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  • #385172
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I am uninterested in having such exchanges with men… I really don’t want to fall into that kind of trap, really, if I can help it“- I wasn’t interested in such exchanges either, but I didn’t know there was any kind of a different exchange. I only knew the one kind: the one my mother trapped me in, “that kind of trap” I was born into.

    (I)… worry, for myself and the future. I worry about what my life is going to be if I am unable to find a solution and to heal“- without healing.. your life would be.. just like it is now, I am guessing, no?

    I still do not intend to end our communication. Unless you want me to end it, of course“- it didn’t cross my mind,  for me to suggest an end to our communication, not at all!

    In the short term, the possibility of being troublesome for you is still more worrying (my usual kind of worry though)“- you are not trouble to me, or for me, no trouble, truly. You are helping me understand me and my mind/ heart/ life better, so thank you!

    And the fear of developing an emotional attachment if the conversation goes on is another thing I’m dealing with“- I think that you having an emotional attachment to me will be good for you, not bad for you.

    what I don’t know is… how to deal with the anxiety that comes with feeling some kind of connection with good people, while being who am I right now and being tight to such a rotten place. In doubt, I tend to consider backing off, but I only do so if I notice my presence is undesired or bad for the other person“-

    – 1) I desire your presence in my life, and I would like sometime to exchange emails and talk on the phone, if you wanted that too. For now I am fine with the current communication here, 2) Your presence is good for me because like I wrote above, you are helping me significantly, 3) The connection you feel to a good person (and I am glad that I think of myself as a good person!!!), like I said, I think that it is and will be good for you. If I thought otherwise, I wouldn’t want to continue our connection: it must be a Win-Win connection. Unlike the Win-Lose connection I had with my mother: a Win for her (that intoxicating feeling of power), and a Lose for me (excruciating powerlessness).

    “being abused doesn’t justify becoming an abuser. It is an explanation, but it doesn’t mean it should be okay“- of course it is not okay: it is never okay for a parent to abuse her position of power over her child to terribly hurt and harm her child.

    I wrote to you: “Now, I am thinking: Linarra may not like me comparing her mother to a Nazi guard, and you answered: “Well, I won’t protect her from that comparison. She can be quite racist and once, when we were fighting her over one of her racist comments by comparing her to Nazis, she answered with a provoking ‘Hail Hitler!’“- wow! My goodness..

    “I think I was uncomfortable with the idea my mother was a bad mother for my half-siblings while being an alright mother for her new children. But I was wrong… The perceived difference was because I wanted to believe my mother was good for my siblings and I, because we were young and needed her. My brain couldn’t deal with the possibility she was bad and couldn’t change“-

    – if your brain now can see this possibility as the reality that it is.. if you see reality for what it is, your mind, your heart and your life will be better for this.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #385174
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I told you a few days ago that you will be the first to know when I have a good night sleep: well I forgot to tell you earlier that this Sunday morning, I woke up not at 3am or 4am… or 5am, or 6am, but at 7am. I don’t remember when it happened last, I feel lazy and it’s pretty nice. But I kept my word to you: you are still the first person I told about this!

    It is now 11:32 pm your time, I hope you are sleeping restfully, or that you soon will be.

    anita

     

    #385175
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    Usually I leave it to 2 messages a day, but I am unsure whether I would be able to answer to you tomorrow, so I prefer to answer ahead than to risk replying with a delay that could make you wonder if I was bothered with anything you said. I’m warning you so you know you don’t have to rush your reply.

    ” I wasn’t interested in such exchanges either, but I didn’t know there was any kind of a different exchange. I only knew the one kind: the one my mother trapped me in, “that kind of trap” I was born into.”

    Very understandable, we rarely get a say whether or not we fall into traps we’re born into. For men I am twice as wary because my mother has been very insistent with that trope. She has been insulting any of her daughters for leaving with a man and relying on a man,  even those who didn’t leave yet! I always wanted to make her shut up on that because she was the one making the environment so terrible anyone could be tempted to fall into another trap for as long it isn’t hers.

    “without healing.. your life would be.. just like it is now, I am guessing, no?”

    Yes, I worry about the absence of change/progress. Because I am not happy with this life, of course. The idea I will stay in this time loop isn’t very good for my mental health. I can only be patient if there’s hope of evolution for me.

    ” it didn’t cross my mind,  for me to suggest an end to our communication, not at all!” “you are not trouble to me, or for me, no trouble, truly. You are helping me understand me and my mind/ heart/ life better, so thank you!”

    That’s good, I’m happy.

    “I think that you having an emotional attachment to me will be good for you, not bad for you.”

    I think so too, even if I am anxious about it.

    “1) I desire your presence in my life, and I would like sometime to exchange emails and talk on the phone, if you wanted that too. For now I am fine with the current communication here”

    I am comfortable at the idea of exchanging email with you, though I am unsure how to do it on this forum without keeping the information public (since we cannot delete messages later). I feel safe with you but with the amount of information that has been shared on this thread I’m a bit uncomfortable letting also my mail there.

    For the phone calls, I’m more nervous about that. Both because it takes a while for me to get used to them with a new person and because I am insecure about my ability to have a clear english pronunciation, but we’ll see. If I can overcome my anxiety, why not.

    ” 2) Your presence is good for me because like I wrote above, you are helping me significantly”

    I’m really glad because I wouldn’t be able to be comfortable if it weren’t a Win-Win connection.

    “3) The connection you feel to a good person (and I am glad that I think of myself as a good person!!!), like I said, I think that it is and will be good for you.”

    It was already implied, but I think you are a good person too. And I agree it could be good for me. Though, sincer I’m always worried, I might be checking regularly if things are still Win-Win for you.

    “I told you a few days ago that you will be the first to know when I have a good night sleep: well I forgot to tell you earlier that this Sunday morning, I woke up not at 3am or 4am… or 5am, or 6am, but at 7am. I don’t remember when it happened last, I feel lazy and it’s pretty nice. But I kept my word to you: you are still the first person I told about this!”

    I received the mail notification for this message as I was finishing replying there. It was curious/excited, and now I read it I am having a big smile. I’m so glad you slept so well last night!! And it’s sweet you kept your word.

    Now it is 11:41 pm for me, so I’ll better get to bed soon. But I wanted to warn you the three following days (maybe more?) my schedule and internet connection will be unpredictable so I am unsure about my ability to reply. It is because my high school friends are back in the area for this week and they planned for us to go out a lot. I’m pretty sure I will have some spare time to think of you, but unsure about the possibility to reply. Just so you don’t worry!

    I hope your afternoon will be good!

    Linarra

    #385176
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I read only the first paragraph of your recent reply and will read the rest Mon morning, which is in about 15 hours from now. You wrote: “I prefer to answer ahead than to risk replying with a delay that could make you wonder if I was bothered with anything you said“- I almost want to ask (but I think I know): how did you know? You are right, I did think that you were bothered by something I said and that I may never read from you again!

    Isn’t it amazing.. how old thinking keeps repeating itself. Thank you for replying, it does make me feel better that you did earlier than later. I don’t know if you noticed my third post of today, the short one just before your recent reply.

    anita

    #385211
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    The way I answer your posts is, as you know, part by part, taking my time, letting the feelings settle, patiently making sense of things:

    I prefer to answer ahead than to risk replying with a delay that could make you wonder if I was bothered with anything you said. I’m warning you so you know you don’t have to rush your reply“-

    – you cared that I will not feel troubled about you not replying to me, and then you cared that I will feel pressure to respond to you in a rushed manner. I don’t think I received quite such caring on tiny buddha, this is a unique/ exceptional experience for me.

    “Very understandable, we rarely get a say whether or not we fall into traps we’re born into… my mother.. has been insulting any of her daughters for leaving with a man and relying on a man,  even those who didn’t leave yet! I always wanted to make her shut up on that because she was the one making the environment so terrible anyone could be tempted to fall into another trap for as long it isn’t hers“-

    – This is exactly my experience, you said it just like it was for me: I preferred to “fall into another trap for as long as it isn’t hers”- no trap felt close to being as bad as being in her trap. Being in other traps, as humiliating as they were- felt like a welcomed breaks from being in her trap.

    Your mother/  my mother not wanting us to be “relying on a man” is their dealing with potential competition over who owns us.

    I am not happy with this life, of course. The idea I will stay in this time loop isn’t very good for my mental health. I can only be patient if there’s hope of evolution for me“-

    – I see hope for you but I wouldn’t say: you can do it, Linarra! You can do it, I know you have it in you.. etc. This cheerleading is not good for you or for anyone in your position, I believe, because it is likely to create pressure in you, you thinking something like: well, if I can do it.. why don’t I? What’s wrong with me?

    It really is impossible for me (or for anyone) to know that you can or cannot live away and independently from your mother: the proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes: if you live away and independently from your mother long enough- then you will know that it is possible for you.

    I wrote to you yesterday: “you are helping me understand me and my mind/ heart/ life better, so thank you!”, and you answered: “That’s good, I’m happy“-

    I want to add to my point about you helping me something that I thought about after our exchange yesterday, while I was walking on the treadmill. It is regarding the reason I thought that you will choose to no longer communicate with me, and that was that I mentioned to you my experience with exchanges with men. I thought that you will be disgusted by me. Walking on the treadmill, I thought: what if Linarra had this shame that I have, in regard to such exchanges, will I tell her: shame on you!

    And I answered myself: no, I wouldn’t, while feeling empathy for you, and extra empathy at the idea of you experiencing what I did, that humiliation with men. Next, I thought to myself: maybe I don’t have to live with this shame anymore. If Linarra does not deserve this (or any other) shame, why do I?

    And for the first time in my life, I considered that maybe I do not have to keep living with that shame.

    So, you see how you are helping me?

    I wrote to you: “I think that you having an emotional attachment to me will be good for you, not bad for you”, and you answered: “I think so too, even if I am anxious about it“- I cannot tell you how crucial it is for me to not betray your trust in me. If I did so, I will be betraying my trust in me and in everything I value most highly.

    “I am comfortable at the idea of exchanging email with you, though I am unsure how to do it on this forum without keeping the information public..  I feel safe with you but with the amount of information that has been shared on this thread I’m a bit uncomfortable letting also my mail there“-

    – I am interested in continuing our communication here because it may be helpful to other members reading it, silent members that are following our communication. So, I am not interested at this time to transfer our communication to private email. It is a good idea to exchange emails in case this website is no longer available for us, and of course, for the purpose of talking on the phone. There is a way to exchange emails without the email remaining on records here and I have done it already. But no rush in doing so.

    The way to do it is: we agree to do it at a particular time, then one of us submits a post with the email address, the other copies it to paper, and the other clicks “Edit”, and deletes the email address. It needs to be done within the 5 minutes or so that the Edit feature is available after each post is submitted. I have never given my email address, it was always the other member that has done so, but I am willing to make an exception for you and post my email for you to copy. But like I said, no need to rush. It is just an idea to get used to, at this point.

    For the phone calls, I’m more nervous about that. Both because it takes a while for me to get used to them with a new person and because I am insecure about my ability to have a clear english pronunciation, but we’ll see. If I can overcome my anxiety, why not“-

    – I will so enjoy hearing your French accent. But like I wrote above, there is absolutely no rush, it is an idea to get used to- or not, a possibility, something you may grow to like later.

    “I’m really glad because I wouldn’t be able to be comfortable if it weren’t a Win-Win connection”- if I thought that I was capable enough and saintly enough to help anyone through an extended communication over time- without being helped at the same time- that would make me either too altruistic or too arrogant for my own good (and in so being, not helpful at all).

    “I think you are a good person too” – yesterday I referred to myself in my post as a good person. I don’t think I ever did that. Later on the treadmill I perceived not feeling ashamed anymore.. now I see the connection.

    And I agree it could be good for me. Though, since I’m always worried, I might be checking regularly if things are still Win-Win for you“- you are welcome to check regularly, but I think that I will let you know every time I  become aware that you are helping me, just as I did in this post.

    “I’m so glad you slept so well last night!! And it’s sweet you kept your word“- you noticed that it was important for me to keep my word. You noticed. Last night I was up for a long while but I went back to sleep and was up shortly before 7, good thing!

    I wanted to warn you the three following days (maybe more?) my schedule and internet connection will be unpredictable so I am unsure about my ability to reply. It is because my high school friends are back in the area for this week and they planned for us to go out a lot. I’m pretty sure I will have some spare time to think of you, but unsure about the possibility to reply. Just so you don’t worry!“-

    – Thank you for the warning. Similarly and independently of your warning, I thought only yesterday about letting you know that sometimes I lose the internet, if happens quiet often and it can last for a long time when I lose electricity.

    I am okay with you not posting for a while, and hope that you experience more calm and meaning, and hopefully some joy being out with your high school friends!

    anita

    #385217
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    It’s  8:39 pm, I’m back from going out with my friends for today. My legs are my body are tired (but I think it’s a good thing), but hopefully not my mind as I still want to reply to you! (not because I feel like I have to rush, but because it’s something I enjoy to do)

    ” you cared that I will not feel troubled about you not replying to me, and then you cared that I will feel pressure to respond to you in a rushed manner. I don’t think I received quite such caring on tiny buddha, this is a unique/ exceptional experience for me.”

    Well, it was easy for me to imagine these two possibilities, and clear communication is the only way I can see to prevent bringing such discomfort to you. Your comfort is important. I can’t be able to think of everything ahead of course, but for what I can think about, I want to make an effort so our discussion can be a good experience for you, as it is for me.

    ” I see hope for you but I wouldn’t say: you can do it, Linarra! You can do it, I know you have it in you.. etc. This cheerleading is not good for you or for anyone in your position, I believe, because it is likely to create pressure in you, you thinking something like: well, if I can do it.. why don’t I? What’s wrong with me?”

    You understand this really well. It is nice. Often, well-intended words come with pressure and unfortunately, I don’t do well under pressure. I am grateful you are willing to talk with me no matter the outcome, it is a relief from my usual worries.

    “It is regarding the reason I thought that you will choose to no longer communicate with me, and that was that I mentioned to you my experience with exchanges with men. I thought that you will be disgusted by me.”

    I wouldn’t. I am far from feeling like from feeling disgusts for those who fall into that, it is a very understandable behavior when we came into this world being exposed to such exchange practice. To be honest, while being exposed to this way too much, it twists our perception, it makes it hard to believe people who do anything for you if you’re not paying the price… I used to think it was just how the world worked (and still struggling with that belief because, for some, the world does work that way…) But in the end, the only disgust there should be is the one aimed toward those who take advantage. They aren’t good people.

    “what if Linarra had this shame that I have, in regard to such exchanges, will I tell her: shame on you! And I answered myself: no, I wouldn’t, while feeling empathy for you, and extra empathy at the idea of you experiencing what I did, that humiliation with men. Next, I thought to myself: maybe I don’t have to live with this shame anymore. If Linarra does not deserve this (or any other) shame, why do I? And for the first time in my life, I considered that maybe I do not have to keep living with that shame.”

    I see! I am really glad! This is good. Shame is a very difficult feeling to live with, and it makes me happy if our exchanges help you to alleviate some of it.

    ” I wrote to you: “I think that you having an emotional attachment to me will be good for you, not bad for you”, and you answered: “I think so too, even if I am anxious about it“ I cannot tell you how crucial it is for me to not betray your trust in me. If I did so, I will be betraying my trust in me and in everything I value most highly.”

    I am not sure I fear your betrayal the most. I fear making mistakes, not ill-intentioned, but due to ignorance and lack of awareness. I also fear the intensity of my feelings. Usually it isn’t a problem because I am taming them, over time it became a second nature to temperate myself. But… how to put it, I feel like our connection is challenging me and will keep challenging me emotionally.

    It makes me self-aware of my usual emotional regulation when it comes to attachment. I mean, I’ve always been aware of it but I thought of it as a good thing, as a protection. From what I gathered from our conversations though, I guess this protection isn’t always the best thing (or good at all if it has anything to do with my difficulty to feel my own emotions and acknowledge them). Therefore, it makes sense our exchanges might lead to… me learning to be more open with (healthy) emotional attachment, and maybe letting myself feel my emotions. But it makes me anxious because compared to my usual state of regulation, my untempered feelings are quite… intense. And it is both embarrassing and intimidating. And it makes me feel vulnerable. And it also worries because I have to be able to deal with these emotions in a responsible way, one that wouldn’t possibly bring you discomfort.

    “I am interested in continuing our communication here because it may be helpful to other members reading it, silent members that are following our communication. So, I am not interested at this time to transfer our communication to private email. It is a good idea to exchange emails in case this website is no longer available for us, and of course, for the purpose of talking on the phone. There is a way to exchange emails without the email remaining on records here and I have done it already. But no rush in doing so.”

    It makes sense, alright then.

    “The way to do it is: we agree to do it at a particular time, then one of us submits a post with the email address, the other copies it to paper, and the other clicks “Edit”, and deletes the email address. It needs to be done within the 5 minutes or so that the Edit feature is available after each post is submitted. I have never given my email address, it was always the other member that has done so, but I am willing to make an exception for you and post my email for you to copy. “

    Understood. And that’s alright, I can do it. 5 minutes? No big deal, it can be done (when you’ll deem the time right.)

     “I will so enjoy hearing your French accent. But like I wrote above, there is absolutely no rush, it is an idea to get used to- or not, a possibility, something you may grow to like later.”

    Ahah, if it was only the accent! Well, hopefully you’d be patient with my real-time mistakes.

    ” if I thought that I was capable enough and saintly enough to help anyone through an extended communication over time- without being helped at the same time- that would make me either too altruistic or too arrogant for my own good (and in so being, not helpful at all).”

    It makes sense. I like to help too when I can but it is extended… I wouldn’t be able to do it either if it isn’t Win-Win, it wouldn’t feel good or right.

    “yesterday I referred to myself in my post as a good person. I don’t think I ever did that. Later on the treadmill I perceived not feeling ashamed anymore.. now I see the connection.”

    It seems to me like a great step, congratulations!!

    ” you are welcome to check regularly, but I think that I will let you know every time I  become aware that you are helping me, just as I did in this post.”

    I guess I won’t need to check too often if you let me know. I am less worried when I am aware of what the other person is getting out of this.

    “Last night I was up for a long while but I went back to sleep and was up shortly before 7, good thing!”

    It’s good insomnia didn’t win this night indeed!

    “Similarly and independently of your warning, I thought only yesterday about letting you know that sometimes I lose the internet, if happens quiet often and it can last for a long time when I lose electricity.”

    Thank you for letting me know.

    “I … hope that you experience more calm and meaning, and hopefully some joy being out with your high school friends!”

    Thank you, the calm was achieved today. The meaning, maybe during a few minutes. Joy, not much that I can tell about but it’s alright. I did feel joy reading your post today and replying to it. That’s enough for me. It’s now 10:38 pm for me and I should get to bed. I hope you’ll have a good afternoon, sweet Anita!

    Linarra

    #385218
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    You called me “sweet Anita!”- it makes me smile, but more than smile: I felt a chill, a sudden cold.. obviously some emotion rushing, making me feel chilly. A good emotion though. I read your wonderful post and it is indeed wonderful to me. I will reply tomorrow, no need to rush because for one, it is 11 pm your time and like you wrote, you should get to bed.

    I feel like saying good night sweet Linarra, but that’s a bit tacky, maybe, copying your words… well, let me gather myself for a moment, see what comes naturally: good night, sweet Linarra!

    anita

    #385229
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    I read your post as I was falling asleep, it made me smile. Since I got some spare time this morning I wanted to tell you about it. Also, I don’t know if it’s tacky but I didn’t mind it, I liked that you felt like wishing me a good night in such a way, it felt warm!

    I hope you’re sleeping well tonight.

    Linarra

    #385240
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I hope you’re sleeping well tonight“, you posted at 1:06 am, my time. I was awake last night, maybe at about 1 am,  and your words crossed my mind: “I am glad that insomnia didn’t win” (quote from my memory, not sure these are the exact words), and I thought: maybe I can make it so that insomnia doesn’t win again, and..  I fell asleep again. I woke up at 5 am. Not too bad. How is your sleep these days?

    Yesterday, you wrote to me: “Your comfort is important“- I want to reciprocate this: your comfort is important too!

    Often, well-intended words come with pressure and unfortunately, I don’t do well under pressure“- when it comes to improving one’s mental health, no one works well under pressure. Cheer leading/ pressure can work for a runner in a race- that’s because running is a short-term, physical task, but emotional healing is always a long, long-term mental task. Gentleness and patience is always the key to emotional healing/ improving one’s mental health, not pressure.

    I am grateful you are willing to talk with me no matter the outcome, it is a relief from my usual worries“- I imagine the pressure you’d feel to reach the outcome by a certain date.. and to show that you are making progress on your way to the outcome (so to make the Exchange worthy for me). Emotional healing is a Process that needs to be taken with no consideration of the Outcome. For a long time, I fell in love with the process itself, curious and interested, engaged.. with no consideration of any outcome, none at all.

    “I am far from feeling like from feeling disgusts for those who fall into that, it is a very understandable.. it makes it hard to believe people who do anything for you if you’re not paying the price… I used to think it was just how the world worked (and still struggling with that belief because, for some, the world does work that way…) But in the end, the only disgust there should be is the one aimed toward those who take advantage. They aren’t good people”-

    – this is very important for me to read. I never discussed this issue before, not even in my over two years of therapy, not with anyone before here, with you. To read your words above is like taking in a cold, clean air for the first time, to read “very understandable” and “far from.. disgust”, and more.

    I feel that there is something more to develop from what I quoted right above: first, true; “for some, the world does work that way”. I would say that for many, it does. There are many people who “aren’t good people”. Coming to think about it,  my own mother was not “good people” to me! Your mother was not/ is not good-people to you!

    My mother did not perceive me as a person of value, but as a Thing that belongs to her. No wonder I continued, outside her physical presence, to perceive myself to be a Thing that.. does not belong to me. In those humiliating situations- I wanted to get away, and my body said NO! in so many ways, I mumbled no, no, no, but I just didn’t feel that I had the right to say out loud: NO!, or to stop what was happening, or to leave. I didn’t perceive that I had that right or option. It was a relief when it was over. Before and after that terrible part, it was nice, primarily because I was not with my mother, and I got to be in a restaurant and riding in a car, etc.

    My body did not belong to me, I didn’t like it, just carried it around, like it was really a thing that does not belong to  me, a thing I was uncomfortable with. I was almost trying to get rid of it because it was trouble, shameful.

    Shame is a very difficult feeling to live with, and it makes me happy if our exchanges help you to alleviate some of it”- I thought yesterday: I can’t un-feel the shame if I only think about myself, but I can un-feel it when I think of how you wouldn’t deserve to feel that shame if you experienced what I did, and how so many women who did experience what I did, or similar to it- they don’t deserve to feel that shame. Therefore, I don’t.

    “I am not sure I fear your betrayal the most. I fear making mistakes, not ill-intentioned, but due to ignorance and lack of awareness”- I know this fear oh so well.

    “I also fear the intensity of my feelings. Usually it isn’t a problem because I am taming them, over time it became a second nature to temperate myself. But… how to put it, I feel like our connection is challenging me and will keep challenging me emotionally”- this is why being gentle and patient with yourself is so important: you treating yourself this way and me treating you this way too: gentle, patient, no pressure, no Outcome in mind, only Process.

    “it makes me anxious because compared to my usual state of regulation, my un-tempered feelings are quite… intense”- It will take getting used to what is now unusual. With time, and with the right attitude (gentleness, patience) you will become comfortable with what now is unusual and uncomfortable.

    “And it is both embarrassing and intimidating. And it makes me feel vulnerable. And it also worries because I have to be able to deal with these emotions in a responsible way, one that wouldn’t possibly bring you discomfort”-

    (1) you have a wiggle room  with me, some room for “making mistakes, not ill-intentioned, but due to ignorance and lack of awareness” without being judged or punished for those, no punishment, no withdrawal, (2) it is very important that you grow to understand that if you bring me discomfort- it is not going to be a devastating discomfort that I can’t handle, but a small discomfort that will help me learn something new as a result. In this Process of emotional healing, it is moments of discomfort that move us toward more learning= healing.

    So you see, your “mistakes” are opportunities for me to learn= heal. Same with my mistakes: they are opportunities for you to learn= heal. We should both relax further: give ourselves the right to be spontaneous, trusting ourselves and each other to not make devastating mistakes.. because we are good people, so devastating mistakes are really not possible for us to make.

    anita

    #385278
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    “I was awake last night, maybe at about 1 am, and your words crossed my mind: “I am glad that insomnia didn’t win” (quote from my memory, not sure these are the exact words), and I thought: maybe I can make it so that insomnia doesn’t win again, and.. I fell asleep again. I woke up at 5 am. Not too bad. How is your sleep these days?”

    Insomnia is a though fight, I’m glad you were able to get a few hours of sleep last night, and I hope your sleep will be longer tonight.

    My sleep is alright lately, no insomnia. There’s just a bit of an interruption of my routine with my friends’ plans this week. We went to sleep at 2:00 am last night but I slept enough I think.

    ” I want to reciprocate this: your comfort is important too!” 

    Thank you!

    “I imagine the pressure you’d feel to reach the outcome by a certain date.. and to show that you are making progress on your way to the outcome (so to make the Exchange worthy for me). Emotional healing is a Process that needs to be taken with no consideration of the Outcome. For a long time, I fell in love with the process itself, curious and interested, engaged.. with no consideration of any outcome, none at all.”

    Ah, mental health is a bit like learning a craft then. Even if the attempts have wonky outcomes you can only keep motivation alive if you love the process enough to be alright despite repetitive fails.

    “I feel that there is something more to develop from what I quoted right above: first, true; “for some, the world does work that way”. I would say that for many, it does. There are many people who “aren’t good people”.”

    Too many, way too many… It makes the world very difficult to navigate. Learning to figure out who is trustworthy, how to stop falling into power games… And how to deal with interactions with dangerous people when they can’t be helped.

    “My mother did not perceive me as a person of value, but as a Thing that belongs to her. No wonder I continued, outside her physical presence, to perceive myself to be a Thing that.. does not belong to me… My body did not belong to me, I didn’t like it, just carried it around, like it was really a thing that does not belong to me, a thing I was uncomfortable with. I was almost trying to get rid of it because it was trouble, shameful.”

    There’s so much hurt there, I can feel it. She hurt you so much… She deprived you of the comfort you should have felt in your body and the love you should have feel for it, for yourself. It was so wrong of her.

    The shame should have been hers. She was so mean to put this feeling inside you, and she did it when you have no mean to fight it. The one who was supposed to love you and protect you. And you had nobody to protect you from her… So it is no wonder you fell into her trap, then traps similar to hers. It takes a lot to undo the beliefs, the thinking patterns. It takes a lot to heal from the negative and hurtful feelings that were put inside us.

    “I thought yesterday: I can’t un-feel the shame if I only think about myself, but I can un-feel it when I think of how you wouldn’t deserve to feel that shame if you experienced what I did, and how so many women who did experience what I did, or similar to it- they don’t deserve to feel that shame. Therefore, I don’t.”

    So your empathy for others is helping you the most for this, it is interesting.

    “It will take getting used to what is now unusual. With time, and with the right attitude (gentleness, patience) you will become comfortable with what now is unusual and uncomfortable.”

    I am curious to experience how it feels, to be comfortable with… Feelings.

    “(1) you have a wiggle room with me, some room for “making mistakes, not ill-intentioned, but due to ignorance and lack of awareness” without being judged or punished for those, no punishment, no withdrawal”

    Thank you. And, same for you with me.

    “(2) it is very important that you grow to understand that if you bring me discomfort- it is not going to be a devastating discomfort that I can’t handle, but a small discomfort that will help me learn something new as a result. In this Process of emotional healing, it is moments of discomfort that move us toward more learning= healing.”

    I like this view on mistakes and moments of discomfort. It feels better, safer. Unlike my painful past experiences. And since it is mutual, it feels right.

    “So you see, your “mistakes” are opportunities for me to learn= heal. Same with my mistakes: they are opportunities for you to learn= heal. We should both relax further: give ourselves the right to be spontaneous, trusting ourselves and each other to not make devastating mistakes.. because we are good people, so devastating mistakes are really not possible for us to make.”

    I want to try it. I’ll try to think of this when I worry. I really want to discover and experience healing with you, at least as much as it can happen during our communication.

    Linarra

    #385280
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I wrote to you that there are many people who aren’t good people, and you wrote: “Too many, way too many… It makes the world very difficult to navigate. Learning to figure out who is trustworthy, how to stop falling into power games“- it amazes me how confident I feel at this point (compared to past zero/very, very low confidence) about my ability to figure out who is trustworthy and who is not, and how to not fall into power games. It looks easy to me, in comparison to how difficult it used to be.

    And how to deal with interactions with dangerous people when they can’t be helped“- in all of my years away from my mother, I did not personally, to my knowledge, come across a person even close to the amount of danger my mother was to me.

    “She hurt you so much… She deprived you of the comfort you should have felt in your body… And you had nobody to protect you from her… So it is no wonder you fell into her trap, then traps similar to hers… It takes a lot to heal from the negative and hurtful feelings that were put inside us“-

    – thank you, yes: she hurt me so, so much, it’s incredible how much emotional hurt a person can experience- at any age- and still live to tell about it, isn’t it (?)

    I want to compare the traps, the trap with my mother vs the trap with men: with my mother the trap was never ending, with men it was temporary. With my mother, I thought of (and I think I used the term in my poems at the time) my childhood as “my private holocaust”. It felt like an eternity with no way out.

    So your empathy for others is helping you the most for this, it is interesting“, you wrote this regarding my shame. Yes, and this happened as a result of communicating with you, because of you.

    “I am curious to experience how it feels, to be comfortable with… Feelings“- the brain/ body automatically numb feelings that are too intense for it to handle, so if and when you happen to feel a more intense emotion: your brain/ body will automatically numb it. This is what happened to me, again and again. It never happened that an emotion became so intense that.. it killed me (obviously) or pushed me into psychosis or whatnot.

    Regarding my offer of a wiggle room to make mistakes, you wrote: “Thank you. And, same for you with me“- you are welcome, and thank you!

    I want to try it. I’ll try to think of this when I worry. I really want to discover and experience healing with you, at least as much as it can happen during our communication“- do you have a specific idea in regard to trying something soon, in regard to healing?

    anita

    #385287
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    “it amazes me how confident I feel at this point (compared to past zero/very, very low confidence) about my ability to figure out who is trustworthy and who is not, and how to not fall into power games. It looks easy to me, in comparison to how difficult it used to be.”

    It is reassuring to read about your progress on this matter. It’s always nice to know it is possible to improve and gain confidence in such matters.

    “I want to compare the traps, the trap with my mother vs the trap with men: with my mother the trap was never ending, with men it was temporary.”

    Was it because with men you were more free to leave and cut ties? Because they just couldn’t have more power over you than she used to have? (which makes sense) Or because if you were able to leave her you knew you could leave anybody?

    ““So your empathy for others is helping you the most for this, it is interesting“, you wrote this regarding my shame. Yes, and this happened as a result of communicating with you, because of you.”

    I’m glad, yet it wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t able to be kind and empathetic with others. It seems like this healing happens because you are good with others, and therefore it makes you able to be good with yourself.

    “the brain/ body automatically numb feelings that are too intense for it to handle, so if and when you happen to feel a more intense emotion: your brain/ body will automatically numb it. This is what happened to me, again and again. It never happened that an emotion became so intense that.. it killed me (obviously) or pushed me into psychosis or whatnot.”

    Oh for sure it is unlikely to kill or drive into madness (or it already have happened when the worse happened, I guess). I guess what is bothering when I feel intense emotions (the level of intensity when you’re being aware of them) is shame and some kind of loneliness. They aren’t landing anywhere and I live in the fear if they were noticed I would be humiliated.

    I mean, it’s not like I’ve been going through terrible humiliation every times I have been teased for feeling something. But I tend to withdraw easily when someone notice an emotion. Because it gives informations about me and it feels a bit threatening.

    I guess I still running on the same brain program that is meant to protect me against bad people.

    do you have a specific idea in regard to trying something soon, in regard to healing?

    I have no specific idea. Not exactly. But there’s something that is bothering me, a decision I should make soon and I don’t manage to make it…

    There’s a friend who invited me to stay 2 weeks with her (she’s keeping a house and don’t want to be alone and I’m the only one of the group who technically have no engagement). She took my maybe for a yes but I can still say no or just do a shorter period.

    Anyway, the thing is… I don’t know how to feel about it. She’s a good person but we aren’t close enough for me to be entirely comfortable at the idea. Especially since I don’t know her lifestyle and I tend to need space from people regularly enough.

    My brother thinks I should go because any change/novelty is better than none for my brain. And well I would be curious of having more one-to-one talk with this girl but that might be too much. Just the last 3 days of hanging with my friends were enough for me to want to shut down from socializing for weeks or months. And it’s not because they’re bad people. I am afraid I am not a people person… Unless there’s a special connection it is very difficult to be around anyone. I do not feel threatened by them, I feel tired. Like my life is suspended for as long as I am out. Not that there’s much happening in my life home, but at least when I’m alone in my room I can chose what I want to do, I can think myself. Outside with people my brain cannot think, cannot want, cannot chose. Because as a person, I’m still not shaped enough and strong enough to not fade in the background when someone else is around.

    From there I don’t know what I want or should do when it comes to this friend’s proposal. Or other things I should do in order to heal. I’m curious to see if you have any input or thoughts that could be helpful to clear my mind about that.

    Linarra

    #385290
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I wrote to you: “I want to compare the traps, the trap with my mother vs the trap with men: with my mother the trap was never ending, with men it was temporary”, and you asked (I feel like saying thank you for asking, and I didn’t yet read what you are asking):

    Was it because with men you were more free to leave and cut ties?”- no, this doesn’t sound true, I mean: I was not at all “free to leave” those humiliating situations, I felt immobilized, unable.

    “Because they just couldn’t have more power over you than she used to have?”- no, this doesn’t sound true either, because they had all the power they needed to humiliate me.

    “Or because if you were able to leave her you knew you could leave anybody?“- no, I wasn’t able to leave her or anyone.

    I think that the difference between being stuck/ trapped with her and being stuck with them is that after a limited amount of time, they drove me back, in their cars.. to her, dropping me off and  going back to their lives while my life with her had no time-limit, it was ongoing.

    “It seems like this healing happens because you are good with others, and therefore it makes you able to be good with yourself“- yes, it makes sense that for a human/ a social animal, emotional healing has to happen in the social context: being good to other people=> being good to myself => being good to other people, etc.

    “Oh for sure it is unlikely to kill or drive into madness (or it already have happened when the worse happened, I guess). I guess what is bothering when I feel intense emotions.. is shame and some kind of loneliness. They aren’t landing anywhere and I live in the fear if they were noticed I would be humiliated.. I tend to withdraw easily when someone notice an emotion. Because it gives information about me and it feels a bit threatening.“-

    – when you expressed intense emotions and your mother notices.. how did she react (you probably shared but I forgot at the moment)?

    “I have no specific idea. Not exactly. But there’s something that is bothering me, a decision I should make soon and I don’t manage to make it… There’s a friend who invited me to stay 2 weeks with her.. I can still say no or just do a shorter period…  Just the last 3 days of hanging with my friends were enough for me to want to shut down from socializing for weeks or months. And it’s not because they’re bad people…. Outside with people my brain cannot think, cannot want, cannot chose… I’m curious to see if you have any input or thoughts that could be helpful to clear my mind about that”-

    – as I read your dilemma I arrived at my answer quickly, way before I got to the ending of my reading: it was (and is) a clear and confident no. Reason: “we aren’t close enough“. To stay with a person you are not close enough to, in her house, for an extended amount of time, given how you feel around other people- is far from being congruent with the gentle and patient nature of emotional healing: it is rough and extreme.

    anita

     

    #385292
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Linarra:

    I wanted to add 2 things: I didn’t sleep well, so I am tired, still fine with replying, it’s just that when I feel so tired and uncomfortable (intestinal discomfort) I tend to be matter-of factly, not emotional, not affectionate, etc. So I wanted to let you know that if you are feeling the lack of emotion in my reply- the only reason is my physical tiredness and discomfort,

    The stay over with the friend- I think that it can work IF (1) you are given your own room the house, and (2) she knows ahead of time that you will be spending as much time as you need in that one room, maybe ALL of the time, and (3) she is perfectly okay with that, and you trust her to be okay with it (so while there you feel no pressure to socialize with her).

    Also, I can’t predict the future, there might be some factor I did not consider, and therefore I don’t want to feel and appear to be overly confident in my answer.

    anita

    #385311
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dear Anita,

    ” (I feel like saying thank you for asking, and I didn’t yet read what you are asking)”

    You’re welcome. I do ask because I want to understand better, but of course if there is anything you aren’t comfortable to answer you don’t have to.

    “no, I wasn’t able to leave her or anyone.”

    What about when you did leave at 24? What made it happen? Did you still felt the ongoing trap despite leaving the country? How did this escape feel?

    “when you expressed intense emotions and your mother notices.. how did she react (you probably shared but I forgot at the moment)?”

    Well, that depends on how she feels and which emotions she notices. I will try to explore those that don’t make the most sense. Like… why I feel shame and anxiety when I feel intense affection? If I have to connect it to my mother, I don’t have much memories related to her noticed my affection for someone. Maybe, with my roommate at college (who was also one of my high school friends so my mother knew her). I was very fond of her and at some point, my mother started to get jealous and criticize her. Of course, I defended my friend and got angry at my mother, and over time she dropped it (usually she’s aiming more at my sister’s relationships so maybe she just went back to that.)

    I am not sure why it would result in shame and humiliation though. Unless… The main reason my mother criticized the few friends I had was: they were better than me… Or rather, have better context than me. I wasn’t jealous of them, mostly intrigued about different lifestyles and families, especially when they seemed healthier. My mother was getting angry over nothing, as usual. But there still were this messages I was feeling after she was making some scene “You are lesser than your friends”, “You aren’t in the same category”… Which leads to “You should be ashamed”, “If you friends were aware about your life and your family they would dislike you” or at best “They tolerate you but they would like you better if you were someone else”.  A general “you are lesser” feeling and “you may appreciate someone but you don’t deserve reciprocation“…

    I guess this last one is getting closer to the issue since I’m getting a bit emotional over that. I probably shouldn’t worry that much, because I’m not lying about who I am or my life to people and I have not been rejected for that by my friend. But I still have this feeling I can’t have close connections because of that. Only superficial ones, or for the few that get deeper they would still be unbalanced because I am not enough of a person and I don’t have enough of a life to be considered as such. And therefore if I can appreciate someone as a human, I am doubtful they would appreciate me back as a human too. And I feel ashamed for even considering I could be liked as something else than an object.

    “as I read your dilemma I arrived at my answer quickly, way before I got to the ending of my reading: it was (and is) a clear and confident no. Reason: “we aren’t close enough“. To stay with a person you are not close enough to, in her house, for an extended amount of time, given how you feel around other people- is far from being congruent with the gentle and patient nature of emotional healing: it is rough and extreme.”

    It kind of feels extreme for me too. Honestly, if I was only listening to my feelings I would say “no”. It is too much, too sudden. I am unprepared… So if I accepted it would be under the pressure of not wanting to harm our friendship.

    ” I think that it can work IF (1) you are given your own room the house, and (2) she knows ahead of time that you will be spending as much time as you need in that one room, maybe ALL of the time, and (3) she is perfectly okay with that, and you trust her to be okay with it (so while there you feel no pressure to socialize with her).”

    Those terms make sense. I don’t know how it’ll go, but I’ll have to talk with her and make my feelings clear. And I guess depending on how the conversation will go I’ll either go in more adapted terms and peaceful mindset or not go at all.

    ” I didn’t sleep well, so I am tired, still fine with replying, it’s just that when I feel so tired and uncomfortable (intestinal discomfort) I tend to be matter-of factly, not emotional, not affectionate, etc. So I wanted to let you know that if you are feeling the lack of emotion in my reply- the only reason is my physical tiredness and discomfort”

    I understand. I didn’t mind but thank you for letting me know, it is good to know. I am sorry you didn’t sleep well and went through intestinal discomfort. I hope you’ll feel better soon, and will have a better rest tonight.

    Linarra

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