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How can I be more understanding?

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  • #393232
    ninibee
    Participant

    Hi,

    I am in a relationship where I am finding myself tending to be more in a selfish/sad/desperate way of being and am finding it very hard to be understanding towards the other person in the relationship.

    What I want most from this relationship is to spend time with each other and be able to enjoy it. This used to be the case, we were each other’s favorite people (as friends) and were happy just to be in the same room together. We disappeared from each other’s lives for 8 years, and in that time we both went through some dark times.

    In December, I reached out to him, which I had only attempted one other time in that 8-year span, and was very happy that he responded this time. I later found out he was just as happy that I reached out.

    From that time until now, I feel as though I have been watching the relationship crumble in front of me and I don’t know how to stop it. (As I am writing this, I wonder if maybe I should just let it crumble and not worry about trying to stop it)

    I’ve come to know now that he has a lot of constant and perpetual stress in his life. I want to be careful not to share too much, but honestly, I know very little as it is. I know he gets up quite early for work. He has a child (toddler) that lives with the mother/grandmother and he goes there whenever he gets the chance. He himself lives at his parents’ home for now until he gets his financial situation more stable. My impression is that his relationship with the mother of his child is stressful, and has been that way for years even before their child was born.

    The first time we saw each other again, he told me that he has thought about me for years and missed me deeply. He said he did not reach out because he did not feel like things were good in his life and he did not want to disrupt my life, he knew that it would be emotional to talk or see each other again.

    I can see in his actions and in what he says that he cares for me. But I no longer feel his care. I feel fear, doubt, loneliness, anger, emptiness, distrust. I hate to admit it, but it feels like nothing he could ever do would ever be enough for me to feel okay or secure. This causes him a lot of stress, hopelessness, and heartbreak. So this does not seem very good to either of us.

    He has expressed that he feels like I don’t understand how busy and broke and stressed he is, and how hard he tries to be there for me despite those aspects of his life. And it’s true, sometimes I am thinking to myself “I just don’t get it”.

    I want to be a good friend and be understanding and be there for him. It breaks my heart knowing that for the past few weeks I have been basically the complete opposite of that and caused this strain on our relationship. I don’t know how to make myself feel secure and okay with how things currently are. I have been doing some reflecting and trying very hard to be a better friend and give him space.

    These past few nights I have wished I could undo this time of us talking to each other again altogether.

     

     

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by ninibee.
    #393244
    ninibee
    Participant

    Nevermind, I don’t think I did a good job explaining. I don’t know how to delete the post.

    #393321
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear ninibee:

    Welcome back to the forums. The following is mostly a copy of the post I sent you earlier on one of your previous threads because I was not able to post on this current thread.

    Your first thread was in June 2019, your second, November 2019, third, January-February 2020, Fourth, February-March 2020, Fifth, April 2021, and sixth and current thread, February 20, 2022. In your last post on your 5th thread, back on April 15, 2021: “I start to feel great amounts of anxiety and shame around what I post. I feel like I never should have never should’ve opened my mouth… I worry I waste people’s time on here… that I am always spinning around in circles and being difficult and weird and unreachable”.

    In your new, 6th thread submitted yesterday, you shared that you are in a relationship since December 2021: “I can see in his actions and in what he says that he cares for me. But I no longer feel his care. I feel fear, doubt, loneliness, anger, emptiness, distrust. I hate to admit it, but it feels like nothing he could ever do would ever be enough for me to feel okay or secure”.

    Not surprisingly, you ended your original post with: “These past few nights I have wished I could undo this time of us talking to each other again altogether” – similar to wanting to undo your 6th thread right after you submitted your original post there.

    I went over your previous threads, and I’ll get right to the point. I think that your emotional trouble, particularly your strong sense of shame, originated in the way your mother treated you starting when you were a baby. You shared that your mother has germaphobia. You wrote: “When I have watched her hold or interact other people’s babies, I feel like I can sense her nervousness and discomfort. She seems very unnatural with a baby, like she has not ever been a mother before. So, I assume it would’ve been the same when I was a baby… I was an icky and unpredictable object to her“.

    You were particularly icky to her when on your very first airplane ride, as a baby, you vomited, following which you developed a fear of vomiting in enclosed spaces: “I only know of one traumatic incident with vomiting when I was a baby and that was when I was strapped into a car seat on my first plane ride, and I threw up all over myself…  My absolute worst fear is being trapped in an enclosed space with vomit“.

    Your mother was uncomfortable when interacting with you as a baby and she was disgusted by your bodily fluids and secretions, including vomit. I imagine that during that too-long of a plane ride, she expressed her disgust plenty. As a result, you absorbed her disgust and grew up feeling disgusted with yourself and expecting everyone else to be rightly disgusted with you as well. You wrote: “my mom was not able to accept me on a bodily level from the time I was a baby“, and you wrote: “I am a quite disagreeable and dislikable person… I leave a bad taste in people’s mouths… I feel like it is something bad inside of me that people can sense… I feel… disgust with myself… all the times I made someone uncomfortable. I did not mean for that to happen” –

    – your vomit, other bodily baby secretions (saliva, urine, feces) were very disagreeable and dislikable to your mother, left a bad taste in her mouth, and you felt, as a baby and onward, that there had to be “something bad inside” of you. You felt that you made your mother feel uncomfortable because of that something-bad-inside, and you were sorry, felt that you didn’t mean for that to happen: to secrete saliva and urine and all that babies naturally secrete, having no choice on the matter.

    You wrote regarding your mother: “There is this feeling that you cannot get away with anything she wouldn’t approve of, so many things need to be kept a secret” – the beginning of her disapproval was for your bodily secretions and there was no way for the baby that you were to … keep it a secret!

    Still regarding your mother, you wrote (you are referring to yourself here as an adult): “I would hide my dirty laundry… would feel anxious about her moving my clothes from the washer to the dryer” – even after your clothes were washed, you were still afraid that some secret will come out, some secret secretion that wasn’t successfully removed by the washing machine, a secret to be discovered by your mother if she moved your washed clothes from the washer to the dryer.

    “I start to feel great amounts of anxiety and shame around what I post. I feel like I never should have never should’ve opened my mouth“, you wrote back on April 15, 2021, as if… when you open your mouth, something bad (vomit) comes out.

    Regarding your current boyfriend, you wrote: “I hate to admit it, but it feels like nothing he could ever do would ever be enough for me to feel okay or secure” – nothing he could do, but there is something you can do.  I hope to read back from you, ninibee!

    anita

    #393756
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I hope to read from you soon, ninibee.

    anita

    #393757
    I am buddha
    Participant

    Tight hugs and unconditional love ninibee, hope you get what you are looking for. I am Buddha but not Buddha yet.

    #393836
    ninibee
    Participant

    Hi,

    Some time was passed and things have changed. I realized that for a little while I was “triggered” back into some abandonment issues (or something like that) and was not thinking rationally and I am embarrassed. I was in “nothing is okay” mode and was looking to something outside of myself to feel okay again, which is not possible and I was not being smart. Some of the sentiments were and still are true, like absolutely I would like to be a good friend to this person if I can. He is someone I feel deeply attached to, and in some ways have been in love with, but he isn’t and will never be a boyfriend to me. We feel the same about each other in that way.

    anita, I don’t know what to say in response to all the things I have said in the past about my childhood/mother. I re-read it all now and I would say that I was “reaching” when I said a lot of those things. I was trying to piece things together and come up with “facts”.  I feel now that there’s no way to know how things truly were. For sure there were painful moments in my life like everyone has, but I have no idea if or which ones are the reasons behind anything in my life.  Many of my thoughts about myself and feelings day to day are the same, even after years. The only thing that has ever made a positive/healing change in me is if I experience something new or contrasting. That was in the back of my mind when I started this thread. I wanted to experience something new. I am curious what your response will be if you have one.

    #393837
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear ninibee:

    I wanted to experience something new. I am curious what your response will be if you have one” – my response is that seems to me that you are not sure what the … something old was about (your childhood/ your experience with your mother), but you definitely want to experience something new.

    I can relate to wanting to experience something new. I chose my username here on the forums more than 6.5 years ago, based on the same desire: to experience something new. My username is NewLife123. I always wanted a new start, a new beginning.

    anita

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