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This topic contains 256 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 6 hours, 41 minutes ago.

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  • #337292

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    He bought you earrings (the Softening part in his Soften Then Punch strategy and behavioral pattern, the S of STP), then he told you that if you don’t accept his gift, “he will just piss on it and burn it”- that’s the Punch, the P of his STP.

    There is no softness coming from him without a punch to follow it.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  anita.
    #337622

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I went to my first ever court date and got my fined reduced on my lunch break yesterday. I was so panicked that I would lose my job not having a clean driving record. But I talked to one of my coworkers and he said he has a speeding ticket. Most people get some kind of ticket in their life. So I was able to calm down and get myself back to work and finish my shift. Historically I would become so upset that it would be hard to fight the urge to hide but I didn’t so I feel relieved.

     

    I find myself obsessed with relationships. Dreaming of what it would be like to have someone by my side or to be asked to be married. I definitely think I should be single for awhile as I develop my emotional intelligence. He has stopped contacting me so I feel relieved about that.

    One of my co-workers gave me a knife around my bday and a safety guard for it yesterday and was showing me how to flip it. He said one of his friends here got attacked a couple years ago so he always carries a knife on him. Don’t know if this flirting or what his motivations are. He told me to not tell him what I was afraid of.. when I said oh man I hate this sticky test tube (it somehow leaked).

    I wrote in my planner to plan out a positive energy weekend it starts with this morning. Part of me just wants to sit and do nothing but there is life to be lived. Here in the evernow. I told my friends I would see them but given that I have to pay off this ticket I don’t think it would be very adult of me to pay for a little road trip instead.

    If life is what I decide it to be I hope I choose laughter and creative endeavors instead of letting stress get to me.

    #337630

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Congratulations for managing to have your fine reduced and for managing the event well emotionally, being way less upset and reactive than you used to be in the past, in similar situations. You were able to go back to work and finish your shift- excellent!

    “I find myself obsessed with relationships”- because you need a man’s company, but a good man’s company, not that STP person!!!

    Regarding the knife, I recommend that you call a local police station and ask for a safety or self defense take that they recommend, so that you can learn to use that knife if you have to, practice in class different scenarios and what to do in those scenarios (as well as where and how to carry the knife, and so forth).

    And paying the fine should be a higher priority than a road trip, of course.

    anita

    #337908

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I didn’t know that local police stations offer self defense courses. That is definitely something to look into. I was able to see friends and have an actual hug. I saw one of my art buddies I haven’t seen in awhile and he gave me a tarot card deck.

    I became very curious and enthralled with the concept of tarot cards. Tarot cards is a way of connecting the dots by utilizing emotional intelligence and understanding the law of attraction. Emotional intelligence because it helps you understand what a symbol in the context of your life may mean such as the Sun. No matter what position the sun is in it will always shine. What I mean by the law of attraction is understanding the power in choices of thoughts and beliefs. My friend told me that the more meaning put into cards lessens the usefulness of the activity. It is more or less designed as a reflection tool.

    I created a profile on a dating site and there are a lot of sweet people, but I don’t feel motivated to message people back and forth. Just knowing there are other fish in the sea is helpful. I didn’t make any meals for the week or go grocery shopping like I planned to but at least I did laundry. Learning how to be gentle and firm with todo lists is hard.

    It is my goal to learn how to trust myself and it is easier when I follow through or when I cope in the face of adversity. I was wondering if I could ask you how would one develop self-trust? Perhaps it comes from experience? I feel like it was a moment of self trust to leave the STP man because I trusted my perspective and inner world and thank you for helping me understand that.

    When I am learning how to see the bigger picture and have true to reality thinking I feel like I can trust myself. Some ways that helps indicate how true to reality my thinking is would be if I am using a factual narrative instead of a purely judgmental one when describing circumstances. Also I think a deep part of trusting myself is learning how to understand what is meaningful to me indicated by emotions/feelings/moods.

    I hope you are well?

    Best,

    Zeeza

    #337974

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    I am fine, thank you. Glad you got an actual hug and a card deck that you enjoy. I don’t know anything about tarot cards. And the law of attraction- I figure it is useful in certain contexts of life, but it does not equal healing, far from it.

    I understand your lack of motivation to message people back and forth on a dating site. Maybe sometime in the future you will be motivated to message selected individuals.

    “Learning how to be gentle and firm with to do lists” is hard, you wrote, but the combination of gentle and firm is an excellent combination, be more gentle than firm, definitely not harshly firm.

    “It is my goal to learn how to trust myself and it is easier when I follow through or when I cope in the face of adversity.. how would one develop self-trust?”- just like you wrote:

    1. “Follow through” plans you make, but make doable plans, simple, one plan per day instead of a whole list. Also, form and follow through doable rules of behavior, such as not contacting the STP person (I will refer to him from now on as the acronym alone) no matter what. An example of another possible rule: to not have a man in your apartment unless you dated that person for a month outside your (or his) place. When you follow through with your own rules of behavior, you learn to trust yourself.

    2. “cope in the face of adversity”- first avoid any adversity that can be avoided, ex: no contact STP. Do not invite trouble into your life, and if trouble shows up- don’t engage with it, don’t respond to it, as long as it is possible to do so. When you do face adversity and you cope with it well, you build self trust.

    3. “Perhaps it comes from experience?”- yes, the experience of: following through with your stated rules of behavior,  with at least some of the plans that you make, with avoiding avoidable adversity and coping well with the adversity that you do find yourself in.

    Acknowledge and remind yourself of each one of your successes: no success is too small to acknowledge because a small success is a building block in bigger success.

    4. “see the bigger picture and have true to reality thinking I feel like I can trust myself.. using a factual narrative instead of a purely judgmental one when describing circumstances”- just like you stated. Seeing reality as it = mental health.

    5. “learning how to understand what is meaningful to me indicated by emotions/ feelings/ moods”- including understanding what emotions to not react to, for example: do not react to a feeling of guilt regarding STP by contacting him- If you feel such guilt in the future, please post to me before you react!

    anita

    #338396

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I became so enraged at work I had impulses to walk out and quit. I didn’t.  I just put on some headphones and finished the job and felt better for it.

    I had to listen to the manager’s best friend’s playlist of her love songs she shares with her boyfriend all day. The first half of the day was tolerable but as the afternoon dragged on all I could think about was how codependent the lyrics are in this silly love songs. “I would be nothing without you” or “You are my everything”

    I had dyed my hair and painted my nails just to feel good the night before. I asked about her past weekend and plans and I got long answers but never asked in return. What made me upset was when moments later she asks another coworker questions. So they start talking about their dates. “And she goes see isn’t it so nice not to date an asshole? “It hurts to feel so left out and overhear it all. Like why doesn’t anyone want to talk to me? What is wrong with me? I snapped when some probes stopped working that I needed for a lot of experiments. I immediately when on a short break to chill. The manager was able to fix it thankfully.

    Remembering my coping skills bag and that I don’t have to communicate much towards the end of the workday, I put my headphones on and finished the work. As I am leaving she says love you wifey. I made a joke long ago about the fact that her making me cookies makes me want to marry her so she started calling me wifey. She made me cookies for Christmas. It felt like such fake hallow words. I am cool to play along.

    She and I are assigned the project of organizing a freezer. I had the idea to color code everything and she announced it to the manager like it was her idea. Not that it matters who idea was it anyways. She is the manager’s best friend. She asked me what part of the work I wanted to do and told me what she was leaning towards so of course I took the part she didn’t want. Come to find out she already had planned for it to play out this way. She is really good at asking for what she wants and getting it. I don’t know how to do that well. I don’t know how to have strong boundaries and I think that is a big part of self trust that you listed above.

    I just feel heartbroken I don’t know how to describe it my mind switches to trying to find fault in myself of why I am alone and why all things have happened. It hurts when I hear about others talking about their great relationships with their parents at work. Like going on vacation together. My mom sent me a picture of a puppy with a rose in his mouth. One year my mom bought my brother and I stuffed animals for valentine’s day. That was sweet. I am tired of fake I love yous. That is why I ache. That or my thinking. When you so badly want love you make it there even when it is not.

    I just don’t want to be on the outside anymore.

     

    #338438

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    “I just don’t want to be on the outside anymore”- the quest on each and every social animal who is on the outside: we all want to be on the inside.

    If you are on the outside at work, you can be on the inside elsewhere. Being on the outside of work will be tolerable if you get your being-on-the-inside need met elsewhere. Thing is, you want to be on the inside with people who will not hurt you (STP and the like)!

    Regarding the manager’s best friend and favorite at work, I can see how unpleasant that is. And I understand you want to feel valued there, socially, not just professionally, even by people you don’t care for much. We have that need, to be liked, to be wanted, to be an equal part of the pack.

    Good job at enduring your distress and not quitting, on using your headphone and taking a break so to neutralize the distress and continuing your work day!

    I didn’t celebrate Valentine Day yesterday, I refuse to celebrate pre-scheduled special days and instead, I give any day an equal opportunity to turn into a special day.

    anita

    #338496

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    That makes sense to make each day neutral, without expectations, and enjoy what may come.

    It felt easier today at work with just having the acceptance of how the social structure exists at work and focus. No longer trying to bond and get to the inside. Accepting that when I walk into work people won’t acknowledge me right away and continue talking but as soon as someone else walks into the room they are immediately greeted. Or how awkward the end of the day is when everyone says goodbye to each other and I am waiting to basically be dismissed for the day. because no one is speaking to me directly. I am wait for others conversation to end so I can say have a goodnight I am heading out. I am beginning to think I am socially awkward because I am so nervous most of the time and say random awkward things. Sometimes I overshare and undershare. I feel like if I don’t learn how to become more socially inept I could lose my job. It is my belief that I can be fired because I am disliked.

    This is perhaps why I have friends for years but haven’t made any new friends in the past 2 years. Once I become past the initial stage of making a friend I tend to have a friend for life. Issue is friends move away or life changes where we can’t see one another regularly.

    I understand that it isn’t how I feel that is wrong but the attitude I respond to it with. I am learning how to be in tune with myself and stop living as a shell of a person. I mean a shell of a person where I ignore my responsibility of taking care of my own happiness and being codependent instead.

    I am having a hard time being able to sleep. I can understand that as social animals we strive to be on the inside. I hope to remind myself where I am welcomed so I don’t label myself as the odd one and continue to alienate myself.

    #338524

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    I don’t see why being on-the-outside in the context of a laboratory job can lead you to get fired. It is not that you act aggressively toward others, bullying them. It is just that you are not on-the-inside socially. As long as you do your job well enough, and you have done better than enough, I think that you will be fine!

    In the work context, focus on doing the job, and not on the social aspect best you can.

    I don’t remember reading from you about being “the odd one” before recently, in a social context, being “socially awkward because I am so nervous most of the time and say random awkward things”, not being greeted in the morning and ignored otherwise. Is this an experience before this job in social situations?

    anita

    #338536

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for helping me refocus. It is best to strive to keep improving at my job and growing. Not compare myself to anyone else socially or academically but celebrate how I am improving slowly but surely.

    I never thought I was awkward because I can strike up conversations with strangers. I just started to because I think I was trying to rationalize why I am on the outside. I think I am developmentally behind. Like I am still a teenager. I still wear the same clothes I had 10 years ago. Not that this all defines who I am intrinsically.

    I have been in many random social settings and blended in. I think maybe I am not use to not blending in. My experience beforehand with being greeted and saying goodbye was normal. I felt like a part of the team. I have been a manager before and had worked in places where my ideas were highly valued. I attributed this to social success because being able to persuade and communicate ideas helps. Now it feels like I share ideas for it to be slowly accepted and used as if it weren’t my idea. I’m a little fish in an ocean instead of a big fish in a pond.

    Thank you for being so patient with me and helping me cope and have true to reality thoughts. It’s been a rough week but I will keep growing stronger and removing unnecessary suffering by choosing my focus.

    #338550

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    You are welcome, and thank you for expressing your appreciation of me. I understand then why you didn’t describe feelings of being ignored and feeling awkward in social settings before. In the very limited context of your manager and her favorite, you are on the outside. Not in other contexts.

    “I was trying to rationalize why I am on the outside. I think I am developmentally behind”- and your manager and her favorite are developmentally ahead of you???

    I doubt I would be able to communicate with them about such complex topics as I do with you, in such a mature, mutually respectful way as I do with you for so long, and still going, and hoping for more.

    anita

     

    #338664

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    When I first started this thread and reached out here on Tiny Buddha I was desperately looking for a way out of suffering. Learning how to eliminate unneccessary suffering. I have stopped physically harming myself, removing hurtful people out of my life and learning each day how to speak more gently to myself and not let shame take over. Not let myself sink down into the depths of hopelessness. This thread has helped me learn how to utilize emotional intelligence and I am grateful to share that space. I don’t know how or why your words have been so helpful to me but it is so beautiful that wisdom like this can exist and keep growing.

    You are right that each success no matter how small adds up. Over the years it has added up to no longer being suicidal and numbing but learning how to tolerate distress and trust that healing is possible.

    I think a part of the reason why I struggle to have weekly and daily rituals is indecision. And when a solid decision is finally made and I commit myself to it the process no longer becomes about nurturing life but forcing myself to stop being so lazy, stagnant, awkward, or naive. Like you said being more gentle than firm and slowly adding more tasks to each day builds success. I don’t want to work against what I dislike about myself anymore bur rather build on the strengths I already do have. I want to stop stressing over all the things I lack and wish I had and start appreciating what does exist. I hope I learn how to make decisions and not be so indecisive.

    I think I fully understand why weekends exist. To stop and slow down to fully appreciate small and big successes and share experiences with loved ones. I view weekends and my time after work as I chance to fully live and be myself and pray for once that I get ahead finally. It dawned upon me.. why wouldn’t I be living fully while I am at work? I don’t need to become a machine. I can enjoy each moment as my own.

    I think I may be developmentally behind because of my insecurities. I understand most people have insecurities. But sometimes I feel like the bully in my mind bringing me down has too much power. I feel like I can be developmentally behind because panic and anxiety makes me feel like I am not as fully capable as I could be. So I may appear unintelligent to others as I struggle to get words out. I feel like others can ask for what they want and deserve and keeping the peace is always seems to be more important to me.

    I feel like they are developmentally ahead of me because they seem so calm, happy. I think I may be jealous of how supported they are. I am jealous of how their lives is about learning and growing and they seem happy in their careers. I do enjoy science but I feel like it is hard to see the room to grow in this position. It is hard for me to spark the passion to learn and become more into my role. I think it is interesting that what drew me to want to be their friends is also what I wish I had.

    I am conflicted with investing more time, money and energy to keep following this career path. I know that I can’t change my careers randomly. I think I secretly hope I will become so amazing at art that people will want to buy it. Spend all my time creating. I want a life that makes me excited to wake up everyday. I am grateful to be able to wake up neutrally though. It is my belief that creating a life path comes through with consistent effort. Not a specific talent or lucky circumstances but honest daily inspired effort.

    At the end of the day, I am alone in my thoughts. I have to make them the best thoughts I can and treat it like a sacred space. Because what I think (and do) over and over I will become. I hope your sacred space is blissful and continuously growing 🙂

    #338704

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Congratulations for having stopped harming yourself and for removing hurtful people out of your life, as well as for learning each day how to speak more gently to yourself and not let shame take over.

    Remind yourself once in a while that indeed “each success no matter how small adds up”, and that “being more gentle than firm and slowly adding more tasks to each day builds success”.

    “I hope I learn how to make decisions and not be so indecisive”- if the child in you trusts you to be gentle with her for not following your decisions, she will be less and less scared of failing you and more and more likely to follow through with your decisions. You need her cooperation and you get it with gentleness and patience.

    “I feel like the bully in  my mind bringing me down.. I can be developmentally behind because of panic and anxiety”- the bully part of you needs to be brought down, not the child that is being bullied. Bring the bully down by being gentle with the child, and the child will be less and less afraid. Significantly less afraid, she will open up to the outside and develop: she will feel more “passion to learn and become more”.

    “I am conflicted with investing more time, money and energy to keep following this career path”- I don’t know if it is a good idea that you invest more. I don’t know. I do know that it is a good idea that you are and will be able to make a better life for yourself, starting with being able to house yourself and take care of your physical needs, and taking care of your valid emotional needs, such as having a healthy, loving relationship with a man.

    “I want a life that makes me excited to wake up everyday”- if you mean somewhat excited, a tiny bit, then it reads realistic that you can have a life where you wake up every day with some motivation, some looking forward to the day, but an intense excitement every day, I don’t think it is possible or desirable (if you go up too far, you will crash down soon enough).

    “I am grateful to be able to wake up neutrally”- I understand.

    “I am alone in my thoughts. I have to make them the best thoughts I can and treat it like a sacred space”- this is the poet in you. Do make your thoughts the best realistic thoughts, always stick to reality. Thank you for wishing me a blissful sacred space, and I wish you the same!

    anita

    #338784

    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    The child within me has been waiting to be comforted and talked to for so long that it feels like memories are flooding back to me as if I am connected to my whole self. You are right my inner child was scared to come out. I was brought back to a specific memory of opening and closing a jewelry box that had a Ballerina pop up whenever I opened the box. My mom and her boyfriend were screaming and fighting and I remember something about the phone and cops. My brother wasn’t born yet so I had to be 5 or younger. But as they stomped everywhere I kept opening and closing the box over and over. There is a ballerina that stays in this box. This is coming to me randomly at work and I felt so spacey trying to be present with what is now but I became very jumpy at work. Thankfully it was a slower day and I tried to be gentle with myself and I don’t think I behaved in a way that would make people around me uncomfortable or think there is something wrong with me.

    As I drive home I tell myself that I will always listen and protect my inner child because it is safe now. I finally got myself some pizza (haven’t had pizza in months), and I felt the inner child in me become so excited for such a special treat and that she felt so much hunger and my headache turned into a stomach feeling of hunger. As I type this out I am actually aware of how my stomach keeps randomly tensing as I feel nervous about being clear and correct. I relax and remind myself that is ok there is no specific correct way of being me I just am. I find that I reach for my vape the more pressure I put on myself. So I wonder if this is the deepwork I need to connect to let go of my addictions of soothing anxiety. I told my inner child that I will always listen to her. And for some reason I looked in the mirror to see me. It was like my younger self was like wow this is way better than that time when we were 5 and tried to cut our own bangs.

    I told my inner child that we are going to have a good life and we may not be able to do whatever whenever we want to all the time but that is because we finally grew up to be free to take care of myself. It is weird to talk to myself in the second person but it helps make it feel like I am working with myself not accusing myself.

    I actually sang today like I use to randomly and my animals snuggled on top of me as soon as I came home. Sometimes I can’t connect with my pets and I know they need affection as soon as I come home so I always keep our routine but today I felt like I could deeply connect and feel how much we belong together <3  and not just go through the motions of it.

    I remember when I had a mental break down at 17 after getting out of the mental hospital I randomly called my mom and left her a voice mail just crying asking why don’t you love me? but that was all I could ask and keep saying over and over. I was taken to the emergency room because of how hysterical I became punching myself and the walls. I was told that I had a bad reaction to ambien. My grandma visited me there that night and thought I was regressing because I had a stuffed animal with me. I was given this stuffed animal by a second grade teacher who was so special to me. When my mom was gone for 2 years and I would cry in school. My second grade teacher put this stuffed animal in the front of the room to watch us do well for the school year. And one student would be able to take him home. I would read to this stuffed animal and so she gave him to me. I had kept this stuffed animal for years and lost it when I was 20. Anyways I worry about publicly being a child or appearing childish to the outside world. But being authentically me isn’t childish and I can have boundaries with how I share myself.

    I worry that perhaps I am not ready to meet the right person for me because I am still learning how to love myself and being okay with vulnerability. I worry that if I jump into a relationship too soon I may seek so much validation and support that I will rely on this person. I need to learn how to only rely on me so it doesn’t hurt so much if it doesn’t work out. I have been looking for home so long and it is within me.

    I feel like I am connecting fragments of myself. It is refreshing to think of how life will be different and continue to change. I feel like I am internally hugging myself which is hard to feel because I have wanted this for so long. I know I have had moments of feeling connected and will have more. Maybe not immediately all the time but slowly. Afterall I am the only one that will witness my life and value it fully.I feel like I can understand why the most powerful love is self love because it allows one to connect with life and others.

    #338866

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    A bit about the physiology of fear: what happens to a five year old girl as she stands or sits alone, hearing her mother’s voice and this man’s voice, screaming, fighting, someone threatening to call the cops, what is this girl feeling as she holds this jewelry box with the pop up ballerina, opening it, closing it, opening it..:

    Her breathing rate accelerates, she is hyperventilating. Her heart rate increases, her heart working fast and hard to send more blood to her skeletal muscles; air passages from her nose and mouth to her lungs dilate, so do blood vessels to her legs and arms, more oxygen and  more glucose released into her blood and energizing her muscles. Her skeletal muscles partially contract, she feels tense. Peripheral blood vessels constrict, she feels her face is getting hot, she sweating. Hormones are rushing in her blood, causing her to feel very alert.

    Her body is energized to the max but she remains frozen: there is nowhere to run to, and she can’t leave her mother/ her lifeline behind. Alert, energized to the max, but frozen, she is not thinking clearly, she doesn’t know what is happening other that something horribly wrong is taking place and it is about to get worse. Prepared for motion but not moving at all, except for opening and closing that jewelry box, as the screaming goes on and on, and after the screaming is over and silence proceeds, alert and energized to the max for too long, she gets very tired, indescribably tired, spacey, dizzy, almost, her legs are shaking, she needs to sit down, to lie down, or else she will fall.

    “The child within me has been waiting to be comforted and talked to for so long”- I will talk to her now, to her and to all the scared children out there: sh.. little girl, sh.. little boy. It is going to be okay, you will see. You will feel so much better real soon. Here is my hand holding your hand, you are not alone. I am here for you, I am here with you. I will not let go of your hand until you feel much, much better… Are you feeling better now? Don’t be afraid, I will not let go of your hand. Look over there, at the window, the sun came out from behind the clouds, looks much better, doesn’t it? The green of the grass and trees, inviting. Let’s take a walk outside, together, let’s feel the fresh air, the green grass under our feet, better take off our shoes and walk on the grass… It is cool under our feet, isn’t it.. cool under and warm from above. Let’s sit here, on this spot (holding the child gently, sitting on the green grass, under the gentle sun, I gently rock her), sh… it will be okay, it already feels so much better, doesn’t it feel better?

    anita

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