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  • #415546
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Bună Tee,

    I wish I could tell you I am feeling better, but I am not unfortunately… I’ll let you know if there’s some progress finally…

    Okay Thanks. My well wishes 🙏🏽

    Okay… if you share about your own childhood and your own experience, that might have some weight and she might consider it. Also, you can say that nowadays children spend too much time on the internet, and it’s not good for their health, so actually nowadays parents should encourage their children to go play outside and not try to keep them indoors.

    This occurred to me because I’ve recently seen a cartoon about old and new trends. One of the illustrations shows the Old trend: mother pulling her son back to the house because he’s been playing too much outside, and New trend: mother pulling her son out of the house, while he is glued to his smart phone

    You always give great examples. Thanks! I’ll talk to her that way since I also think it’s the same matter as you said. I do have problem for explaining things properly sometimes (More than I want to admit) So this would be helpful.

     

    Well, if in the past she got worried about you for even as little as headache – that’s a lot of worrying. Remember, what matters is what happened in your childhood – that’s the imprint you’re living with – even if now she’s not worrying that much. What did you do when she’d get worried about your headache, do you remember?

    Well yeah past is lot of years so the imprint… I don’t actually remember properly but what I do remember is that I just asked for written prescription to my sister (She’s nurse) and then she’d be worried less since she is sure that I’ll be taking the medications.

    Sure, that amount of worry is understandable, and since you were doing some really wild stuff, it’s sort of obvious why you didn’t want to tell her… But you also mentioned that she was worried when you wanted to learn how to swim, in a swimming pool with an instructor (if I remember well?). That’s a bit of an excessive worry, in my opinion. How old were you then?

    It was actually just recently few months ago. I started the swimming classis and after that I told them. So my parents wouldn’t argue with me. Heck they’re even worried that I’m letting a stray cat inside my place. They be like she might have diseases and blah blah blah.. I’m like I’ll go to the vet and give her vaccination. So, you don’t have to worry about that. Literally no one in my family grown up with a pet. So I did see that coming.
    Thing about them as they are scared of the things that they don’t know or experienced before. And I’m the opposite if I didn’t experience that thing, I’d get curious and explore it let alone the outcomes. That’s why my family thinks that I’m a rebel 😂

    So I was thinking about emotional enmeshment, which I suggested as a possibility last time, but based on everything we’ve talked about so far, and how you behave in relationships, I don’t think this is the case with you after all.

    Hmm yeah I don’t think so…

     

    You’ve talked about this before – that you get “overprotective” i.e. controlling when you try telling your girlfriend that she should eat healthier, or have better sleeping habits. From what I’ve understood, you don’t just tell her “you should get more sleep, staying late is bad for your health”, and then sort of let it go, but you turn into this drill sergeant who is pushing her to eat healthier, sleep healthier, etc. That’s the same drill sergeant who sometimes turns on you (in the form of the inner critic), and sometimes on the people close to you (in the form of the outer critic).

    So it seems to me that the “care” you show towards your partner has this overlay of criticism. And so you turn into this overprotective, critical father, who is watching his “daughter’s” every step, trying to “improve” her. You get so focused on her and her problems, that it consumes you completely and you can’t focus on your own life.

    I think this type of dynamic is not emotional enmeshment, but more like that you’re focusing too much on her and her “wellbeing” (but in a bad sense, like an overbearing parent), and then you’re frustrated when she doesn’t want to take your advice. This then is frustrating to you and you rather give up, i.e. leave the relationship.

    What do you think? Does this sound plausible?

    Hmm I think it’s plausible, it does have a connection. And I believe it’s been weeks I haven’t awaken the drill sergeant.

    But it’s right I did act like an overprotective, critical father! Not all the time but still…

    And after that I get exhausted and give up on the relationship.

    Striving towards Perfection (specially with Humans) isn’t a wise thing to do I guess… and I tried to make them “perfect” the way I wanted even though at that time I just saw it as a care and concerned about their health.

    Or is it just like my parent thinks they still have to care about me like even though I’m not a kid anymore…

     

    Yes, it was! But you know you don’t need to accept her marriage proposal, right?

    Exactly! No rush… If she wants to rush things, please know that you have the right to say No. Even if she doesn’t like that…

    Right haha! No I don’t need to accept her marriage proposal. I’ll still try to communicate clearly as possible.

    The other day I was thinking about why I feel the way I feel and I think… Like why I don’t have high expectations or even good expectations from the dating. And I could think of the possible reasons

    1. I’m emotionally exhausted from this
    2. External environment could be the big reason as well not just my friends but like everywhere I see it just that all be like it’s lot of mind games and complex – not like clear communication as it should be. So yeah it’s like a confirmation bias
    • The way I perceive my past relationships. Like Did I even had a healthy relationship before that I’m longing for it again?

    So because of these reasons, I just feel more hopeless and I just feel not excited for dating. Not more than Maybe just some time spending and physical pleasure.

    And yeah what about you? Did you celebrate valentine week?

    #415656
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    Bună Tee

    Is that Romanian? Had to look it up but am still not sure…

    You always give great examples. Thanks!

    You’re welcome!

    It was actually just recently few months ago. I started the swimming classis and after that I told them. So my parents wouldn’t argue with me.

    Oh I see, it was recent. What would they argue with you? That you shouldn’t take swimming classes because it’s dangerous?

    Heck they’re even worried that I’m letting a stray cat inside my place. They be like she might have diseases and blah blah blah.. I’m like I’ll go to the vet and give her vaccination. So, you don’t have to worry about that. Literally no one in my family grown up with a pet. So I did see that coming.

    Yeah, it does seem they are a little overprotective. I wonder how they’ve survived you leaving home at the age of 16 and living alone, if they are so worried about you even to this day? How did they even allow it?

    But it’s right I did act like an overprotective, critical father! Not all the time but still…

    Yeah, and there might be a similarity with how your parents acted with you (and are still acting with you). Overprotective, trying to control you (although not succeeding), and doing it “for your own good”…

    Or is it just like my parent thinks they still have to care about me like even though I’m not a kid anymore…

    Yes, it does seem like that… that you tend to behave in romantic relationships a little bit like your parents behave with you…

    Striving towards Perfection (specially with Humans) isn’t a wise thing to do I guess… and I tried to make them “perfect” the way I wanted even though at that time I just saw it as a care and concerned about their health.

    Yeah, it’s pretty destructive for the relationship if you see the person as “lacking” and try to make them “perfect”. The person feels not good enough, whereas you put yourself in a superior position, and basically judge and criticize them for “underperforming”. Of course, you can say it’s all with a good intention, “for their own good”, but it’s not a healthy, equal relationship.

    In a healthy relationship, we accept the person as they are – we don’t try to change them and mold them into something that we would like them to be. It doesn’t mean we need to tolerate and accept some of their bad habits, however fundamentally we don’t try to change the person to be something they are not. It’s like we look at them with love and acceptance, not with a measuring stick that says “not good enough”.

    But it’s right I did act like an overprotective, critical father! Not all the time but still…  And after that I get exhausted and give up on the relationship.

    Yeah, no wonder, because it’s like you’re in a war with the person, trying to make her do what you think is right for her, and she wouldn’t… And maybe you think she doesn’t love you if she resists, if she has different priorities and preferences than you? And so you conclude it’s not worth the trouble because things can’t be the way you want them to be?

    External environment could be the big reason as well not just my friends but like everywhere I see it just that all be like it’s lot of mind games and complex – not like clear communication as it should be. So yeah it’s like a confirmation bias

    Yes, it seems some of your friends tell you you need to “play the game”, which makes it look like some kind of competition, like who is going to outsmart whom… Whereas a healthy relationship is not a competition, but a loving and supportive co-existence (or something like that, I can’t think of a better definition now 🙂 ).

    The way I perceive my past relationships. Like Did I even had a healthy relationship before that I’m longing for it again?

    So because of these reasons, I just feel more hopeless and I just feel not excited for dating. Not more than Maybe just some time spending and physical pleasure.

    I imagine you haven’t had a healthy relationship so far, because of those emotional wounds and programming that stem from your childhood. So no wonder you fear more of the same… But what you’ve experienced so far isn’t what a true relationship looks like. Trust that you too can have a healthy relationship, but you’d need to heal some of your patterns before that’s possible.

    And yeah what about you? Did you celebrate valentine week?

    Well, not particularly, I did get flowers from my husband. But we’ve never really paid attention to that date, so I don’t consider it important. But we do have a very good and strong relationship, and that’s what matters most 🙂

     

    #415666
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    Is that Romanian? Had to look it up but am still not sure…

    Haha Yes

    Oh I see, it was recent. What would they argue with you? That you shouldn’t take swimming classes because it’s dangerous?

    My mom was scared because in past my little brother had an accident at the river but luckily saved. I was with him that time and I didn’t knew swimming either. So it’s like swimming and river are past fear for her..

    Yeah, it does seem they are a little overprotective. I wonder how they’ve survived you leaving home at the age of 16 and living alone, if they are so worried about you even to this day? How did they even allow it?

    Omg yeah It wasn’t easy! and they tried lot of things to make me stay. But I was really stubborn about it and figured every answer to their worries. And still, they’d call me every day for more than two months.

    Yeah, and there might be a similarity with how your parents acted with you (and are still acting with you). Overprotective, trying to control you (although not succeeding), and doing it “for your own good”…

    Oh you know what this could be right! 😂

    Yes, it does seem like that… that you tend to behave in romantic relationships a little bit like your parents behave with you…

    Yeah, need to break this pattern.

    Yeah, it’s pretty destructive for the relationship if you see the person as “lacking” and try to make them “perfect”. The person feels not good enough, whereas you put yourself in a superior position, and basically judge and criticize them for “underperforming”. Of course, you can say it’s all with a good intention, “for their own good”, but it’s not a healthy, equal relationship.

    Yes, and it makes them feel inferior which makes things even worse. Because they don’t feel much comfortable after that. Eg. “Share their true self” And as the comfort decreases, means the distance is just increasing. Right?

    In a healthy relationship, we accept the person as they are – we don’t try to change them and mold them into something that we would like them to be. It doesn’t mean we need to tolerate and accept some of their bad habits, however fundamentally we don’t try to change the person to be something they are not. It’s like we look at them with love and acceptance, not with a measuring stick that says “not good enough”.

    Yes I totally agree with you! But my critical self just tried to look what they can do better? Just like I did with myself.

     

    Yeah, no wonder, because it’s like you’re in a war with the person, trying to make her do what you think is right for her, and she wouldn’t… And maybe you think she doesn’t love you if she resists, if she has different priorities and preferences than you? And so you conclude it’s not worth the trouble because things can’t be the way you want them to be?

    Yeah so thing is that I did felt like they don’t care about me anymore because they don’t prioritize the same things. And after that I’m like well I’m doing this many things for them, I’m prioritizing them but If they don’t care why should I? I could be 10x colder than them (Crazy I know) and I did end my relationships in I’d say extreme anger. I felt it but I didn’t express that anger. I just wrote the letters that this isn’t working out and I don’t want it like this anymore. After that like we talked about “Emotional dependency”, And I feel like I don’t need anyone to depend on.

    Yes, it seems some of your friends tell you you need to “play the game”, which makes it look like some kind of competition, like who is going to outsmart whom… Whereas a healthy relationship is not a competition, but a loving and supportive co-existence (or something like that, I can’t think of a better definition now).

    Exactly! But I think it should be from both ways, right? It can’t work if I’m the only one being vulnerable and try to communicate clearly as possible. Or it could be same effect if I do that, But I think it depends.. I’m working on my heart shield, It doesn’t mean others wanna put out theirs

    I imagine you haven’t had a healthy relationship so far, because of those emotional wounds and programming that stem from your childhood. So no wonder you fear more of the same… But what you’ve experienced so far isn’t what a true relationship looks like. Trust that you too can have a healthy relationship, but you’d need to heal some of your patterns before that’s possible.

    I agree with you. You think I’m ready? Or I still need lot of healing even to start dating someone? I think now my goal should is being comfortable in dating first, So I don’t feel intimated quickly. You know what I mean? Also like just feel more confident around women and see all as equals.

     

    Well, not particularly, I did get flowers from my husband. But we’ve never really paid attention to that date, so I don’t consider it important. But we do have a very good and strong relationship, and that’s what matters most

    You’re right! I’m really happy for you 🤗

     

    And I wanted to ask… We’re talking about already healthy and established relationship…
    But what can I do for just start the dating? Because tbh I still feel very new to all these…
    I mean like the learning the starting? Idk how to explain… Since relationships I had without distance was lot of years ago and I already knew those women well, and they proposed, but I think that time I was really naïve and I didn’t know what I was doing in the relationship.

     

    It’s been few days I started to feel hopeless and inferior at work, Just mood swings like that. And I’m feeling this pressure to get back doing productive things, and for a short while I am productive, but I searched, and I found that mood swings like those could be sign of bipolar disorder but I’m not sure. It’s like for a time being I’m feeling really good and after few minutes I’m like what am I doing? And then feel hopeless. Or this kind of things happen to an optimistic person?

    #415689
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    Omg yeah It wasn’t easy! and they tried lot of things to make me stay. But I was really stubborn about it and figured every answer to their worries. And still, they’d call me every day for more than two months.

    It seems you were pretty resourceful, already at that age. And really self-confident in a sense, because you knew you could make it on your own, without your parents’ protection. The fact that they worried and called you every day is normal I think, because you were a minor when you decided to live alone… so I wouldn’t call that excessive worry.

    In fact, I am thinking now that their biggest mistake as parents wasn’t excessive worry (because you sort of gave them the reasons to be worried 🙂 ), but rather, it could be the criticism and judgment that you grew up with. Feeling constantly criticized (e.g. your father was very harsh with you when you didn’t hand him the proper tool right away), always compared to others, perhaps always feeling that something is wrong with you and that you’re not good enough? Like, being seen not with loving, accepting eyes, but with strict, judgmental eyes, who always evaluate you and seek a reason to criticize you?

    This seems to me the greatest wounding that you’ve experienced. I’ve experienced the same from my mother. She took my good results at school for granted, never praised me for that, and at the same time she looked for every opportunity to scold me. There was always something wrong with me, in her eyes… and so I grew up with the belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. My self-esteem was zero.

    Children who grow up being heavily criticized develop the harsh inner critical voice (which we’ve talked about already), but they can also develop the outer critic, as the flip side of the inner critic. According to Pete Walker, the outer critic is our defense mechanism against getting hurt in intimate relationships:

    “CPTSD typically include an attachment disorder that comes from the absence of a sympathetic caregiver in childhood. When the developing child lacks a supportive parental refuge, she never learns that other people can soothe loneliness and emotional pain. She never learns that real intimacy grows out of sharing all of her experience.

    To the degree that our caretakers attack or abandon us for showing vulnerability, to that degree we later avoid the authentic self-expression that is fundamental to intimacy. The outer critic forms to remind us that everyone else is surely as dangerous as our original caretakers. Subliminal memories of being scorned for seeing our parents’ support then short-circuit our inclination to share our troubles and ask for help.”

    The above is the excerpt from Pete Walker’s book “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”. It could be that you felt very unsafe and criticized when you showed vulnerability or weakness in front of your parents. This might have given you the message that being anything less than “perfect” means being judged and rejected. It also might have led you to believe that the person you are in the relationship with is there to judge you and criticize you.

    You might even subconsciously believe that this is what relationships are all about: competition, who is better, who is more successful, who is more “perfect”. If so, you naturally want to either win in that competition (be the “more perfect” one, and judge the other person for her supposed deficiencies), or you want to leave the competition altogether (not be in a relationship at all).

    Would you say this is true for you? I have more to say and I’d also like to answer your questions, but let me know if the above resonates with you?

     

    #415690
    Tee
    Participant

    I’ve noticed a typo in the quote by Pete Walker. It should be like this:

    Subliminal memories of being scorned for seeking our parents’ support

     

    #415694
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    In fact, I am thinking now that their biggest mistake as parents wasn’t excessive worry (because you sort of gave them the reasons to be worried   ), but rather, it could be the criticism and judgment that you grew up with. Feeling constantly criticized (e.g. your father was very harsh with you when you didn’t hand him the proper tool right away), always compared to others, perhaps always feeling that something is wrong with you and that you’re not good enough? Like, being seen not with loving, accepting eyes, but with strict, judgmental eyes, who always evaluate you and seek a reason to criticize you?

    I totally agree like you mentioned (and even others told me) I was resourceful and pretty much self- reliant. But the thing is that for my parents and grandparents they never saw that as my good accomplishments. They were always like look what he did at this age? Look what he accomplished?  Mainly my grandfather and father (Both are very “perfectionist” nature) So instead of praising they were criticizing me and that made me realize that no matter what I’ll do I wouldn’t be good enough for them. (I realized that years ago) And after that not spending that much time with them, I think they already see me as someone not “inclusive” in the family. Because they be like whatever they think is the only truth and I didn’t like that. My siblings felt the same way as well. But I believe it’s not their fault. My neighbors are like that, older relatives.etc because they grew up in competitive environment. and time when over-achievers were praised and also by that I mean who’s earning more. and Fast! another reason for my impatient behavior sometimes

    This seems to me the greatest wounding that you’ve experienced. I’ve experienced the same from my mother. She took my good results at school for granted, never praised me for that, and at the same time she looked for every opportunity to scold me. There was always something wrong with me, in her eyes… and so I grew up with the belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. My self-esteem was zero.

    Yes, I can totally relate! I know that feeling, but it must have been hard for you. In my case it was my grandfather. And even though I had good grades, It wasn’t enough! I felt literally pressurized to be in the Top 3 students! and yet I still made it as a Top 1st student till the end of high school. Just to feed their ego. So he can talk others like “look my grandson has always been the 1st”. But Because my mother and grandmother never criticized me for that and just loved me without any expectations from me. so It was kind of sane place for me. Otherwise, I swear I’d have to run in the jungle much earlier and never return. And sometimes I think how self-confident, fearless and full of hope kid I used to be. Because of the criticized father and my inner criticism over the years my self-confident and self-esteem is still quite low, and it did affect my career and relationships quite a bit. So I still have to work on my self-esteem and self-confidence.

    The above is the excerpt from Pete Walker’s book “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”. It could be that you felt very unsafe and criticized when you showed vulnerability or weakness in front of your parents. This might have given you the message that being anything less than “perfect” means being judged and rejected. It also might have led you to believe that the person you are in the relationship with is there to judge you and criticize you.

    To the degree that our caretakers attack or abandon us for showing vulnerability, to that degree we later avoid the authentic self-expression that is fundamental to intimacy. The outer critic forms to remind us that everyone else is surely as dangerous as our original caretakers. Subliminal memories of being scorned for seeing our parents’ support then short-circuit our inclination to share our troubles and ask for help.”

    Would you say this is true for you? I have more to say and I’d also like to answer your questions, but let me know if the above resonates with you?

    Yes I believe I can resonate.  Because those lines hits me. As you know in my previous relationships, I wasn’t being my true self and shielded my heart.

    You might even subconsciously believe that this is what relationships are all about: competition, who is better, who is more successful, who is more “perfect”. If so, you naturally want to either win in that competition (be the “more perfect” one, and judge the other person for her supposed deficiencies), or you want to leave the competition altogether (not be in a relationship at all).

    Okay so I’m not sure if my subconscious mind believes in that but I’m sure that my conscious mind doesn’t believe competition in the relationships. It was mostly fear of judgments, criticism and inability to express my emotions properly.

    or you want to leave the competition altogether (not be in a relationship at all).

    This part could be true though. Conscious and subconscious both levels

     

     

     

     

     

    #415695
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    I looked it up for what CTPSD means.

    And not all, But many things are related. I’m actually surprised!

    • difficulty controlling your emotions – Yes
    • feeling very angry or distrustful towards the world – No
    • constant feelings of emptiness or hopelessness – Frequent (Nowadays)
    • feeling as if you are permanently damaged or worthless – Mostly
    • feeling as if you are completely different to other people – Yes more or less
    • feeling like nobody can understand what happened to you – Yes
    • avoiding friendships and relationships, or finding them very difficult – Yes
    • often experiencing dissociative symptoms such as depersonalisation or derealisation – Yes
    • physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, chest pains and stomach aches – Less Frequent
    • regular suicidal feelings. – No

     

    #415696
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    I totally agree like you mentioned (and even others told me) I was resourceful and pretty much self- reliant. But the thing is that for my parents and grandparents they never saw that as my good accomplishments. They were always like look what he did at this age? Look what he accomplished? Mainly my grandfather and father (Both are very “perfectionist” nature) So instead of praising they were criticizing me and that made me realize that no matter what I’ll do I wouldn’t be good enough for them. (I realized that years ago)

    Good that you’ve realized it at a relatively young age! But the imprint stayed, and so their perfectionism became your own perfectionist inner critic. Which is telling you that you’re not good enough, not accomplishing enough at work, not earning enough money etc etc. It’s sad that both your father and grandfather were perfectionists, so you received a double dose of criticism.

    Not only that, but it seems there was no male role model who could have served as a positive father figure (“My neighbors are like that, older relatives etc because they grew up in competitive environment“). So you were surrounded by bad role models…

    Yes, I can totally relate! I know that feeling, but it must have been hard for you. In my case it was my grandfather. And even though I had good grades, It wasn’t enough! I felt literally pressurized to be in the Top 3 students! and yet I still made it as a Top 1st student till the end of high school. Just to feed their ego. So he can talk others like “look my grandson has always been the 1st”.

    Right… so for your grandfather, it seems you were a tool to boost his vanity and pride. He boasted to others with your accomplishments, while at the same time he wasn’t really proud of you, but kept criticizing you. I can see how damaging it was for you, and how toxic. I understand why you wanted to get away ASAP…

    But Because my mother and grandmother never criticized me for that and just loved me without any expectations from me. so It was kind of sane place for me. Otherwise, I swear I’d have to run in the jungle much earlier and never return.

    It’s good you weren’t criticized by your mother and grandmother. However, I get the feeling that they didn’t protect you from your father’s and grandfather’s criticism either. Your mother told you to take your father’s criticism silently and “maturely”, so basically she never challenged your father to change his approach. My father never protected me from my mother’s criticism either. That’s why the damage done by my mother was much bigger than it should have been. Because my father allowed the abuse and didn’t say anything. I think something similar happened to you too?

    And sometimes I think how self-confident, fearless and full of hope kid I used to be. Because of the criticized father and my inner criticism over the years my self-confident and self-esteem is still quite low, and it did affect my career and relationships quite a bit. So I still have to work on my self-esteem and self-confidence.

    Yeah, and I think there is even a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem is a basic sense of self-worth (which doesn’t depend on any skill that you possess), whereas self-confidence is related to various skills we have. Say a professional athlete may have a lot of self-confidence that they are good at sports, but once they get injured, they may feel worthless because their self-esteem was based on their skills and not on a deep inner sense that they are worthy as a person.

    Perhaps you too feel self-confident is some things, but what is missing is a deeper sense of self-worth, of being worthy simply because you exist?

    Yes I believe I can resonate.  Because those lines hits me. As you know in my previous relationships, I wasn’t being my true self and shielded my heart.

    Right.. and it seems to me that you’re very cautious with relationships not only because of your father’s (and grandfather’s) criticism, but also because you weren’t protected enough by your mother. So relationship might seem like a very scary thing, where no one is on your side?

    Okay so I’m not sure if my subconscious mind believes in that but I’m sure that my conscious mind doesn’t believe competition in the relationships. It was mostly fear of judgments, criticism and inability to express my emotions properly.

    Okay, you’re afraid to be judged by your partner. So to protect yourself, you rather judge her and make her seem deficient, so to feel less vulnerable? Like, you first judge her before she can judge you?

    This part could be true though. Conscious and subconscious both levels

    Okay, so you don’t want a relationship to be a competition and a power struggle. You hate it. And that’s why you’d rather not go into it. But the problem is that a part of you believes that relationship is a power struggle. Or at least that being in a relationship means being judged, criticized and hurt. That you can’t show your weaknesses, or even your spontaneity (like dancing while cooking lunch) without being criticized. Right?

    And if you approach relationships from that vantage point (which is a vantage point of fear), then I think it’s better not to date. Because you’ll likely get more of the same. But if you work on slowly dissolving that fear, on realizing why it’s there and then dissolving it… that’s when you open yourself to a different kind of dynamic in a relationship. To a possibility of a healthy relationship.

    That would be my answer to your question whether you’re ready to date (You think I’m ready? Or I still need lot of healing even to start dating someone?). I think you’re ready to date if you can let go of some of that fear of judgment in the relationship. We can talk more about it, if you’d like to…

     

    #415697
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    Good that you’ve realized it at a relatively young age! But the imprint stayed, and so their perfectionism became your own perfectionist inner critic. Which is telling you that you’re not good enough, not accomplishing enough at work, not earning enough money etc etc. It’s sad that both your father and grandfather were perfectionists, so you received a double dose of criticism.

    Yes the IMPRINT! That’s the thing I’m working on

    Not only that, but it seems there was no male role model who could have served as a positive father figure (“My neighbors are like that, older relatives etc because they grew up in competitive environment“). So you were surrounded by bad role models…

    Yes exactly! And as we talked recently now I realized how good it is to be surrounded by good and supportive role models

     

    Right… so for your grandfather, it seems you were a tool to boost his vanity and pride. He boasted to others with your accomplishments, while at the same time he wasn’t really proud of you, but kept criticizing you. I can see how damaging it was for you, and how toxic. I understand why you wanted to get away ASAP…

    Yes and at that time I was like I’ll make him proud of me. But later I realized that his pride and ego are much toxic

    It’s good you weren’t criticized by your mother and grandmother. However, I get the feeling that they didn’t protect you from your father’s and grandfather’s criticism either. Your mother told you to take your father’s criticism silently and “maturely”, so basically she never challenged your father to change his approach. My father never protected me from my mother’s criticism either. That’s why the damage done by my mother was much bigger than it should have been. Because my father allowed the abuse and didn’t say anything. I think something similar happened to you too?

    Yes I can say that’s really similar what happened to me. But what do you think what stopped your father and my mother from protecting us?

    Yeah, and I think there is even a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem is a basic sense of self-worth (which doesn’t depend on any skill that you possess), whereas self-confidence is related to various skills we have. Say a professional athlete may have a lot of self-confidence that they are good at sports, but once they get injured, they may feel worthless because their self-esteem was based on their skills and not on a deep inner sense that they are worthy as a person.

    Perhaps you too feel self-confident is some things, but what is missing is a deeper sense of self-worth, of being worthy simply because you exist?

    I totally agree with you! I do feel like I’m missing deeper sense of self-worth. And recently quite a lot

     

    Right.. and it seems to me that you’re very cautious with relationships not only because of your father’s (and grandfather’s) criticism, but also because you weren’t protected enough by your mother. So relationship might seem like a very scary thing, where no one is on your side?

    Right! and that’s the reason why I also still have fear of commitment. It feels so scary.

     

    Okay, you’re afraid to be judged by your partner. So to protect yourself, you rather judge her and make her seem deficient, so to feel less vulnerable? Like, you first judge her before she can judge you?

    Hmm may not like who’s first but like because I tried to kind of make the relationship and the person “Perfect” like we talked about empathy before. I used to directly run for the fix instead of empathizing first.

    Okay, so you don’t want a relationship to be a competition and a power struggle. You hate it.

    EXACTLY!

    And that’s why you’d rather not go into it. But the problem is that a part of you believes that relationship is a power struggle. Or at least that being in a relationship means being judged, criticized and hurt. That you can’t show your weaknesses, or even your spontaneity (like dancing while cooking lunch) without being criticized. Right?

    Yes being vulnerable and showing weakness as well as opening up as I should be that’s something I need to work on.. and I believe I’m little better than before in that regard.

    For spontaneity I don’t feel criticized. Because in my previous relationships I received lot of good compliments about it and I myself believe that without spontaneity relationships are much less fun.. Because I’m someone who gets bored pretty quickly

     

    And if you approach relationships from that vantage point (which is a vantage point of fear), then I think it’s better not to date. Because you’ll likely get more of the same. But if you work on slowly dissolving that fear, on realizing why it’s there and then dissolving it… that’s when you open yourself to a different kind of dynamic in a relationship. To a possibility of a healthy relationship.

    I want to get out from this fearsome repetitive cycle. So, I will date and experiment till I have the success.

     

    That would be my answer to your question whether you’re ready to date (You think I’m ready? Or I still need lot of healing even to start dating someone?). I think you’re ready to date if you can let go of some of that fear of judgment in the relationship. We can talk more about it, if you’d like to…

    Yes we can talk more about it since I’m still confused even so that I’m being mindful about myself. It’s still makes me overthink

    I have a funny example about fear of judgement. So the date I told you about (Before the doctor) I was in hurry, I took a shower I get ready and forget to put the deodorant and just went out. And when she started being touchy and huggy with me I realized heck I forget the deo and instead of being in the moment and even though I knew that she’s not thinking about that I smell, But in my head I was like don’t let come near too much now because of your mistake now she’d take you as someone who doesn’t even groom himself properly. And I was actually trying to be less touchy with her just because of this overthinking and fear 😂

    #415704
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    Yes the IMPRINT! That’s the thing I’m working on

    Yes, and the imprint is carried by the inner child… that’s why it needs inner child healing.

    Yes I can say that’s really similar what happened to me. But what do you think what stopped your father and my mother from protecting us?

    Well, my father had his own emotional wounding related to his mother. I think he was trying to get love and validation from his emotionally distant mother. He repeated that in the relationship with his wife, i.e. my mother. So he always tried to “please” and “appease” my mother, and he never wanted conflict with her. It was important for him that my mother isn’t angry with him. That was his priority, not my well-being or even his own well-being. And so he stayed silent and endured what he shouldn’t have endured.

    With your mother, there could have been also cultural factors at play, maybe that women shouldn’t object to their husbands? So perhaps that contributed to your mother staying silent?

    I totally agree with you! I do feel like I’m missing deeper sense of self-worth. And recently quite a lot

    I see… yes, if you’re missing a deeper sense of self-worth, it’s very likely related to that incessant criticism that you’ve heard from your father and grandfather….

    Right! and that’s the reason why I also still have fear of commitment. It feels so scary.

    Right… because the closest relationships for you were a source of stress and humiliation, not a source of encouragement and support. And also broader relationships weren’t too supportive either, because as you’ve said, it was all about rivalry and who is more accomplished, who makes more money etc. No wonder you didn’t want to show any vulnerability, or your true self.

    But do you know what Henry Cloud’s definition of intimacy is? Intimacy = into me see.

    We need to allow the other person to see us, to see into us, otherwise there can be no intimacy and no real relationship.

    It could be that your inner child is still afraid to be seen, because he believes he’s not good enough, not worthy enough? But if you can truly believe that you’re good enough and have so many good qualities, and that you don’t need to be perfect (unlike your parents and grandparents told you!)… then you might allow another person to “see into you”. As we’ve talked about before, you don’t need to spill out all your deepest secrets on the first date, just maybe share one vulnerable thing and see how she reacts…

    For spontaneity I don’t feel criticized. Because in my previous relationships I received lot of good compliments about it and I myself believe that without spontaneity relationships are much less fun..

    I said it because you mentioned earlier that you fear they might judge you for your spontaneity:

    I know I’m in touch with my inner child and I still do lot of things that an adult actually doesn’t do like I turned into a kid when I’m with kids, Different kind of bicycling, Singing and dancing for no reason (Lot of times while cooking, Watching Anime and Cartoons and lot of things like that) And I kind of fear they would judge me for that and not actually understand.

    But it’s good if you feel you can be spontaneous and playful after all!

    I want to get out from this fearsome repetitive cycle. So, I will date and experiment till I have the success.

    Good! I guess you can now be more mindful while dating and observe yourself, and notice if the fear arises… which is already a big step!

     

    #415715
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    Yes, and the imprint is carried by the inner child… that’s why it needs inner child healing.

    I told you about my CEN (Childhood Emotional Neglect) Right?

     

    Well, my father had his own emotional wounding related to his mother. I think he was trying to get love and validation from his emotionally distant mother. He repeated that in the relationship with his wife, i.e. my mother. So he always tried to “please” and “appease” my mother, and he never wanted conflict with her. It was important for him that my mother isn’t angry with him. That was his priority, not my well-being or even his own well-being. And so he stayed silent and endured what he shouldn’t have endured.

    Ohh I see. So just enduring silently could be pretty damaging as well.

     

    With your mother, there could have been also cultural factors at play, maybe that women shouldn’t object to their husbands? So perhaps that contributed to your mother staying silent?

    Yes totally agree! Old beliefs!

    I see… yes, if you’re missing a deeper sense of self-worth, it’s very likely related to that incessant criticism that you’ve heard from your father and grandfather….

    Even now? Even though I don’t focus much on what they say. Even if it’s the past wound. I’ll have to build strong sense of self-worth again. I’m done feeling worse about myself! And also because it’s something stopping me from being compassionate with myself.

    Right… because the closest relationships for you were a source of stress and humiliation, not a source of encouragement and support. And also broader relationships weren’t too supportive either, because as you’ve said, it was all about rivalry and who is more accomplished, who makes more money etc. No wonder you didn’t want to show any vulnerability, or your true self.

    Exactly!

    But do you know what Henry Cloud’s definition of intimacy is? Intimacy = into me see.

    We need to allow the other person to see us, to see into us, otherwise there can be no intimacy and no real relationship.

    What a great way to explain! I agree with that. But like what does it mean to let them see into us? Does it mean let them know what we’re thinking without judging, without fear of criticizing, and also being vulnerable or something more?

    It could be that your inner child is still afraid to be seen, because he believes he’s not good enough, not worthy enough? But if you can truly believe that you’re good enough and have so many good qualities, and that you don’t need to be perfect (unlike your parents and grandparents told you!)… then you might allow another person to “see into you”. As we’ve talked about before, you don’t need to spill out all your deepest secrets on the first date, just maybe share one vulnerable thing and see how she reacts…

    Yes maybe this inner feeling not being worthy is damaging me for so long that I lost track of my own self.
    Right! One step at a time

     

    I said it because you mentioned earlier that you fear they might judge you for your spontaneity:

    I mean with my parents I still do, but not with my romantic interests.

     

    Good! I guess you can now be more mindful while dating and observe yourself, and notice if the fear arises… which is already a big step!

    Thanks for giving me hope though. I was about to give up if I didn’t find out its not only about dating but it’s much more deeper thing to resolve.

     

    Today I listened to this podcast and it had an interesting concept about childhood trauma. Like today pretty much every one have some issues related to childhood that they need to address and work on. But instead feeling like a victim. Being mindful in the present and accept that and he quotes from the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said: “Whatever happened, happened for the good; Whatever is happening, is happening for the good; Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only.”

    Just think about it like if everything went perfectly would you have this drive to improve yourself and work on yourself every day? Probably not. So it’s like bitter and sweet things mixed cocktail which is fun thing about life and that’s what makes it interesting and worth living not just like a raw water.
    Makes me think that striving for this inner peace is nothing less than a great war against ourselves.

     

     

    #415716
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear Tee***

    #415722
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    I told you about my CEN (Childhood Emotional Neglect) Right?

    Yes, you have. I’ve mentioned the inner child healing again, because it seems to me like we might be getting closer to understand the key wound of your inner child, which is lack of self-esteem and the fear of being judged. If deep down you still believe you’re not good enough, or not worthy enough, then this might be why you don’t want to be “seen”.

    Ohh I see. So just enduring silently could be pretty damaging as well.

    Very much so! In the Bible, it’s called the sin of omission – the failure to do something which was right and necessary. For me as a child, my father’s silence was very damaging, because I had no one to defend me. So in my mind, it meant that my mother’s judgments of me were true and that indeed, there is something terribly wrong with me.

    What a great way to explain! I agree with that. But like what does it mean to let them see into us? Does it mean let them know what we’re thinking without judging, without fear of criticizing, and also being vulnerable or something more?

    All of the above. Also, share your hopes and dreams without fear of being ridiculed, for example. Let them know if something hurts you (rather than giving them silent treatment). Let them know if you’re worried about something, discuss your feelings, rather than stuffing them and pretending that everything is okay. Let them know what you need from them, rather than expecting they should read your mind.

    Yes maybe this inner feeling not being worthy is damaging me for so long that I lost track of my own self.
    Right! One step at a time

    Well, you’ve got a strong inner critic, which so far you were mostly aware related to your career (e.g. you were scolding yourself for not doing enough work, or for lagging behind in your career goals, etc). So, the inner critic was quite obvious in your career, and you’ve been doing some important things recently to lessen his impact: you’ve learned how to have more self-compassion and stop pushing yourself to do more and faster all the time (i.e. you’ve lessened the impact of the “drill sergeant”). You’ve lessened the impossible expectations on yourself, work-wise.

    In your relationships, I’d say that so far the outer critic was more pronounced (more than the inner critic), because you’ve been mostly critical about the girls you were with and finding faults in them. But it could be that this outer critic is just a defense mechanism, which allowed you to not go deeper with a girl, to not show yourself really. A defense mechanism against true intimacy. Because if you judge someone and feel superior to them, you don’t really want to be vulnerable with them. As you noticed it yourself, it kills the chance for intimacy:

    Yes, and it makes them feel inferior which makes things even worse. Because they don’t feel much comfortable after that. Eg. “Share their true self” And as the comfort decreases, means the distance is just increasing. Right?

    Yes, if there is this superior-inferior dynamic going on, the distance increases and intimacy becomes impossible. That’s why I am thinking that your outer critic (which is this superior, judgmental, critical persona that you tend to put on in romantic relationships) could be a defense mechanism against vulnerability. This “persona” serves to protect your inner child from being seen and being hurt. This could be the shield around your heart that we were talking about…. What do you say? Do you think it’s possible?

    I mean with my parents I still do, but not with my romantic interests.

    Oh I see – it’s great that your girlfriends liked your spontaneity!

    Thanks for giving me hope though. I was about to give up if I didn’t find out its not only about dating but it’s much more deeper thing to resolve.

    You’re welcome! Yeah, romantic relationships are always about deeper things, since there’s always a connection between our attachment trauma and the way we behave in relationships.

    Like today pretty much every one have some issues related to childhood that they need to address and work on. But instead feeling like a victim. Being mindful in the present and accept that and he quotes from the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said: “Whatever happened, happened for the good; Whatever is happening, is happening for the good; Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only.”

    Yes, it’s a good way to look at it – not to feel like a victim, but rather, see our childhood as something that shaped us but also something that we can grow from and transcend. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but there is a Japanese art of kintsugi – repairing broken pottery with gold. The idea is that our “cracks”, i.e. our wounds and painful experiences can make us beautiful, if we manage to heal them and integrate them into our life.

    Just think about it like if everything went perfectly would you have this drive to improve yourself and work on yourself every day? Probably not. So it’s like bitter and sweet things mixed cocktail which is fun thing about life and that’s what makes it interesting and worth living not just like a raw water.

    Actually yes, we can learn and grow from challenges…

    Makes me think that striving for this inner peace is nothing less than a great war against ourselves.

    Well, inner peace is important, but I think if we want to achieve it by hiding from the world, hiding from challenges, then it’s not the real thing…

    #415729
    SereneWolf
    Participant

    Dear Tee,

    Yes, you have. I’ve mentioned the inner child healing again, because it seems to me like we might be getting closer to understand the key wound of your inner child, which is lack of self-esteem and the fear of being judged. If deep down you still believe you’re not good enough, or not worthy enough, then this might be why you don’t want to be “seen”.

    I believe we’re getting closer too. Heck you’re even more efficient and resourceful than my current therapist 😂

    Very much so! In the Bible, it’s called the sin of omission – the failure to do something which was right and necessary. For me as a child, my father’s silence was very damaging, because I had no one to defend me. So in my mind, it meant that my mother’s judgments of me were true and that indeed, there is something terribly wrong with me.

    Oh no wonder it contributed to lack of your self-esteem like my childhood

    All of the above. Also, share your hopes and dreams without fear of being ridiculed, for example. Let them know if something hurts you (rather than giving them silent treatment). Let them know if you’re worried about something, discuss your feelings, rather than stuffing them and pretending that everything is okay. Let them know what you need from them, rather than expecting they should read your mind.

    I think in my previous relationships I did that lot less or rarely. I did share my hopes and dreams without fear of being ridiculed. Because I’m kind of confident about talking about something that I’m passionate about. And I never felt that they are judging my hopes or dreams just because it’s not same as some other people. But like silent treatment was like my main trait. And instead of discussing I just expected them to solve it because I be like it’s their fault, they made me feel this way. So now it’s their responsibility.

    Well, you’ve got a strong inner critic, which so far you were mostly aware related to your career (e.g. you were scolding yourself for not doing enough work, or for lagging behind in your career goals, etc). So, the inner critic was quite obvious in your career, and you’ve been doing some important things recently to lessen his impact: you’ve learned how to have more self-compassion and stop pushing yourself to do more and faster all the time (i.e. you’ve lessened the impact of the “drill sergeant”). You’ve lessened the impossible expectations on yourself, work-wise.

    Thanks for the positive progress reminders. I think for self-compassion it’s only starting but thanks to mindfulness I’m able to see some progress. Also thanks to you obviously 😀

    In your relationships, I’d say that so far the outer critic was more pronounced (more than the inner critic), because you’ve been mostly critical about the girls you were with and finding faults in them. But it could be that this outer critic is just a defense mechanism, which allowed you to not go deeper with a girl, to not show yourself really. A defense mechanism against true intimacy. Because if you judge someone and feel superior to them, you don’t really want to be vulnerable with them. As you noticed it yourself, it kills the chance for intimacy:

    Oh that’s right! That’s what I was thinking all along.

    But that makes me think like… Is that why my heart feels in like neutral gear now? I don’t know how to explain because for so long I haven’t actually shared my heart and have a real intimacy. So even though now that doctor girl is good, I still don’t feel like anything much for her. Maybe just a little attraction but nothing more.

     

    Yes, if there is this superior-inferior dynamic going on, the distance increases and intimacy becomes impossible. That’s why I am thinking that your outer critic (which is this superior, judgmental, critical persona that you tend to put on in romantic relationships) could be a defense mechanism against vulnerability. This “persona” serves to protect your inner child from being seen and being hurt. This could be the shield around your heart that we were talking about…. What do you say? Do you think it’s possible?

    Hmm more or less yes I think.. But I’ll still think about it more and let you know

     

    Yes, it’s a good way to look at it – not to feel like a victim, but rather, see our childhood as something that shaped us but also something that we can grow from and transcend. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but there is a Japanese art of kintsugi – repairing broken pottery with gold. The idea is that our “cracks”, i.e. our wounds and painful experiences can make us beautiful, if we manage to heal them and integrate them into our life.

    Right! and that’s really interesting and awesome concept to know about. Love it!

    Actually yes, we can learn and grow from challenges…

    Absolutely! I mean that’s why we’re all here for

     

    Well, inner peace is important, but I think if we want to achieve it by hiding from the world, hiding from challenges, then it’s not the real thing…

    Yes I agree. And I think before starting all this I just used to run away from the uncomfortable situations and emotions. But without facing we can’t actually understand the root and heal it. But as I started to face things head on my resilience got better and better and I did overcome some of my past fears. Still have to work on some fears but yeah

     

    #415879
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear SereneWolf,

    I believe we’re getting closer too. Heck you’re even more efficient and resourceful than my current therapist

    Haha, I’ve been talking to you longer and much more frequently than your therapist, that’s why 🙂

    I did share my hopes and dreams without fear of being ridiculed. Because I’m kind of confident about talking about something that I’m passionate about. And I never felt that they are judging my hopes or dreams just because it’s not same as some other people.

    That’s good! It’s nice that you could freely share that part of yourself, and that they weren’t judgmental at all.

    But like silent treatment was like my main trait. And instead of discussing I just expected them to solve it because I be like it’s their fault, they made me feel this way. So now it’s their responsibility.

    Yeah, that part you’d need to change…

    Thanks for the positive progress reminders. I think for self-compassion it’s only starting but thanks to mindfulness I’m able to see some progress. Also thanks to you obviously

    I am glad you’re seeing some progress! And you’re welcome!

    But that makes me think like… Is that why my heart feels in like neutral gear now? I don’t know how to explain because for so long I haven’t actually shared my heart and have a real intimacy. So even though now that doctor girl is good, I still don’t feel like anything much for her. Maybe just a little attraction but nothing more.

    Right… well, your heart is probably very guarded. And you probably don’t allow yourself to feel much because you’re afraid of where it may lead you. So far relationships were always a disappointment and a cause of frustration, so you’re very very careful. And also, you said that so far it was always that the girl approached you. You never made the first move… But did you ever like a girl but were afraid to approach her?

    Hmm more or less yes I think.. But I’ll still think about it more and let you know

    Okay…

    Right! and that’s really interesting and awesome concept to know about. Love it

    Glad you liked it!

    Yes I agree. And I think before starting all this I just used to run away from the uncomfortable situations and emotions. But without facing we can’t actually understand the root and heal it. But as I started to face things head on my resilience got better and better and I did overcome some of my past fears. Still have to work on some fears but yeah

    Really good to hear this. You’re right – there is no growth and fulfillment in life without facing our fears, so yes, you’re on the right track 🙂

     

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