Home→Forums→Emotional Mastery→How to accept my flaws and be myself
- This topic has 372 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 1 week ago by Tee.
January 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm #391577
We have recovered fully.Yeah i know about the treatment.I have schdeuled a therapy with a ocd survivor himslef.Lets see how it goes.You stay safe.January 18, 2022 at 1:34 pm #391581AnonymousGuest
Good to read that all of you have fully recovered from Covid, and that you scheduled a therapy session with a therapist who is an OCD survivor himself. I hope to read from you how it goes and thank you for wishing me to stay safe!
anitaJanuary 30, 2022 at 2:25 pm #392059
As you know i myself deal with anxiety.I dont know how to handle my twin sisters frustation.She stays in India.Her marriage ended in divorce after one of year of being married.She wasnt ready to get married.She also has anxiety and fear of failure.So she was scared to get married assuming she will fail in marriage too.This happened few years back.My parents and I used to always tell her to get her married even though when she wasnt ready.After getting to know about her anxiety i stopped insisting her about marriage.But one day she herself decided to get married and asked my dad to look for a suitor as it was an arranged marriage.She met a person and spoke to him and decided to get married.When they were getting to know each other she noticed some red flags and told my parents.They told her it will be fine.She got married and stayed with her husband and mother in law(she is a widow).Her MIL made her life hell.She used to make her do all the household work inspite of my sister working all day.In some parts of india,mother in laws treat thier daughter in law very badly.They literally treat them like domestic helper.People still tell the daughter in law to adjust thats how life is going to be after marriage and she has to adjust for the sake of her husband.Her mother in law and husband were emotionally abusive.My sister couldnt take it and she came back to parents home.My parents and other people convinced her and spoke to her husband as well.When she got back the same thing continued.He used to comapre my sister to his mother.No matter how much my sister cooked and took care of them they were never satisfied.The mother in law used to interfere in thier relationship.So many things are changing.But still in some parts of india when it comes to marriage the daughter in law has to adjust and live her life according to terms of her husband and in laws.Anyways my sister couldnt take the emotional abuse.They got divorced after so many fights.All these fights,shaming,blaming each other has caused lot of trauma on my sister which made her anxiety worse.She used to blame me and parents for her bad marriage.I couldnt take it at first.Because of my anxiety it made me feel so guilty and i thought i was responsible for her bad marriage.It took me some time to get out of the guilt.Divorce is a big taboo in some parts of india.People judge /shame you for leaving your husband inspite of the emotional abuse.People always balme a woman if she is divorcee.My sister went through all this and people still judge her sometimes.She still blames me sometimes when she gets frustated.She lives in small town with my parents where divorce is still a taboo.Now after few years my parents have started pestering her to get married.She is not ready because of the emotional trauma she went through.She does have a job.She still blames me when she gets frustated with peoples judgement and her job.She is not able to handle this stuff sometimes and takes it on me.I told her to stop blaming me many times.Sometimes i dont understand how to handle her stress.It triggers my anxiety.Now she keeps saying that i am living a luxurious life in US and she is the one who is suffering there without nobodys support.My parents do help her but still pester her to get married and dont give her the personal space.She is getting frustated with how people are treating her and with her job.I told her many times to leave the town and get a job in the city so that she can live her life according to her terms.She tells me that she cant stay alone because of her anxiety.She is stuck and not able to move forward because of anxiety.Yesterday she was frustated and texted me.She blamed me for leaving her alone in India and told me that i am living a luxurious life there.It made me feel so guilty that i couldnt sleep at night and triggered me.I stopped interfering in her person life long a ago.Sometimes i try to help her emotionally and financially to some extent since i myself deal with ocd so i try to help only to some extent.Because helping her is making me stressful sometimes.I took a step a back.I stopped talking to her like before because she blames me when she gets frustated with her life.I respond to her when texts me.I did the same yesterday but it makes feel guilty that she is enduring all the difficulties all alone.Even i struggle with anxiety on top of that i have health issues and toddler to take care of.I dont blame her for my difficulties.But she does it when she is frustated.I dont how to handle that guilt.January 30, 2022 at 4:44 pm #392088AnonymousGuest
I started reading your recent post but seems like I will be able to continue to read and reply to you Mon morning, which is in about 11 hours from now (assuming that I will have power and internet tomorrow, it being that the wind is getting very strong here and may knock out a power line).
anitaJanuary 30, 2022 at 6:54 pm #392089AnonymousGuest
I will reply further tomorrow morning, but for now, I read the rest of your recent post and I understand your sister’s misfortune and difficulties, but she is wrong to BLAME you. She is blaming an innocent party: you are not responsible for the abuse she suffered, and you are not responsible for a culture that allows young brides to be abused by the husbands’ mothers. None of it is hour fault! Your sister represents a common theme: a victim turning into a victimizer. Don’t allow that to be. You wrote earlier that you have a therapy session tomorrow, Jan 31. I hope the therapist will be of some help to you (if you keep the appointment). I will be back to you in about 10-11 hours from now.
anitaJanuary 31, 2022 at 9:43 am #392094AnonymousGuest
I read your recent post attentively this morning, something that I wasn’t able to do last evening. First, I want to summarize what you shared since Sept 2021, which is relevant to your recent post, including some quotes:
When your mother got married, she lived with her husband (your father) and mother-in-law (your grandmother), which is the custom in India. When you and your siblings were born, you all lived with these three adults: grandmother, father and mother. The family was poor, and “always judged by relatives” for being poor. Your grandmother “used to fight for every small thing”. Your father was a short-tempered, couldn’t hold a proper job, lost an eye to cancer, and “used to blame/ fight” with your mother “for every single thing”. Your elder brother “would always hit… or say nasty words” to you and to your twin sister. As a result of all this fighting and abuse, “it was always chaos at home”, and you and your sister were very anxious girls. A core belief was born in you, a core belief that carried through from your childhood to your adulthood, from India all the way to the U.S. where you currently live with your husband and toddler: “there is always voice in my head that I am doing wrong“.
A few years ago, your anxious twin sister feared that if she got married, the marriage will fail. But your parents and you “used to always tell her to get married even though she wasn’t ready”. At one point, you “stopped insisting” that she gets married, but she got married anyway. Her marriage was hell, “her mother-in-law and husband were emotionally abusive”. She returned home to your parents.
There is a strong taboo against divorce in some parts of India even when the wife is abused. The common attitude is that a wife should take the abuse dished by the mother-in-law (and husband). Divorced women are blamed and shamed for leaving a marriage, no matter the circumstances of the marriage. Keeping these attitudes in mind, your parents and other people talked to your sister’s husband and convinced your sister to go back to the marriage. She did, but the emotional abuse continued. After many fights, they got divorced and the 1-year marriage ended.
Your sister moved back to your parents’ home, in the small town where they live in India, where the taboo against divorce is strong. A few years have passed since the divorce, and recently, your parents again started “pestering her to get married”. She is still not ready to get married. She is frustrated about not having her personal space in the home with her parents, about them pestering her, about people’s judging her and treating her poorly, about not having any social support, and about her job.
She has blamed you for her bad marriage many times, and the day before yesterday, she blamed you for “leaving her alone in India”. Many times, you told her to stop blaming you, but when she gets frustrated- she blames you yet again. She also expresses envy at you for “living a luxurious life in the U.S.”, while “she is the one who is suffering (in India) without nobody’s support”. Her frustration, blame and envy trigger your anxiety and feelings of guilt, so much so that you couldn’t sleep at night.
“I told her many times to leave the town and get a job in the city so that she can live her life according to her terms. She tells me that she can’t stay alone because of her anxiety. She is stuck and not able to move forward because of anxiety… I stopped interfering in her personal life a long time ago. Sometimes I try to help her emotionally and financially to some extent… helping her is making me stressful sometimes. I took a step a back. I stopped talking to her like before because she blames me when she gets frustrated with her life… but it makes feel guilty that she is enduring all the difficulties all alone. Even I struggle with anxiety on top of that I have health issues and toddler to take care of. I don’t blame her for my difficulties. But she does it when she is frustrated. I don’t how to handle that guilt”.
The second part of my post: I feel empathy for your sister. Problem is that as things are, there is nothing you can do to help her because she is stuck, and you can’t get her un-stuck. She is suffering and you can’t stop her from suffering. In practice, you are not helping her to get better. You are not giving her the support that she says she needs. Instead, you are giving her a person to blame, a person to punish, a person to give some of her suffering to, so that she does not suffer alone. When she makes you suffer, at best, she feels better for just a little while. Next time she feels frustrated, she needs to do the same thing all over again: blame you, punish you, make you suffer.
She says that she can’t leave your parents’ home in the small town in India because she can’t live alone, being that she is as anxious as she is. She also says that you live in luxury in the U.S. Let’s say that you offer her to live with you and your husband and toddler in the U.S. This is likely to be a big mistake because (1) It will be a draining full-time job on your part to deal with her anxiety on top of your own. It will take so much away from your ability to fulfill your real responsibilities: that of a wife and a mother. Having her live with you can destroy your mental health and your own marriage, (2) She is likely to keep doing in your home, what she is doing from across the world: blame you when she gets frustrated. You will ask her to stop blaming you, but she will blame you again, if not with words, then with a look on her face, or a tone in her voice.
Your sister’s circumstances are sad, but so is your mother’s and father’s and so many people. What can you do about it? Make your home a better place, take care of your little family. Protect yourself and your family from forces of destruction whomever these forces are, be it a sibling, a parent, anyone!
I recommend ending your contact with your sister for a few months and revisit the topic later. During these few months attend quality psychotherapy for your anxiety and OCD, and if needed, consider trying a different SSRI drug. You mentioned that when you took Zoloft, your anxiety increased. I remember that after I stopped taking Zoloft for a while and then started taking it again, my anxiety also increased. My doctor at the time told me that Zoloft does have a stimulating effect on many people, similar to coffee (that’s why Zoloft is prescribed to take first thing in the morning), and he prescribed me with another SSRI, Fluvoxamine, which is known to not have a stimulating effect (that’s why it is prescribed to take at nighttime).
I hope to read back from you soon.
anitaJanuary 31, 2022 at 11:23 am #392121
Thanks for your reply Anita.You summerised it up so well .Sometimes i just hate indian culture.People are respected based on gender,financial status,degree,marital status and all that stuff.I feel people in USA are more accepting and welcoming.I heard many people telling my sister to go through abuse his husband will change after a while.I never saw that change in my father.My father was and is emotionally abusive to my mother till today.He never changed a bit.Yeah i know i am not responsible for my sisters life but sometimes i feel bad for her that she doesnt have a life partner like i do.I spoke to my sister yesterday told her about the way i feel. she told me that she said it in a generalised way.When my daughter was born she got her child aborted.I was going through postpartum anxiety.She blamed me so much for her bad marriage that i couldnt take it and went crazy that i went to ER.Since than i stopped interfering in her life and stopped texting her.I told her my mental health is geeting affected by her.I stopped talking to her like before.When i went through postpartum anxiety i went through it all alone.I didnt have any family/friends. I dont blame others for that.I have my therapy session and talk to my therapist regarding this and see how it goes.I should stop carrying baggage of my sister.January 31, 2022 at 12:49 pm #392123AnonymousGuest
You are welcome. “I heard many people telling my sister to go through abuse, her husband will change after a while. I never saw that change in my father. My father was and is emotionally abusive to my mother till today. He never changed a bit” – I wish that many women who were and are told the same, got to read your sobering testimony!
“Sometimes I feel bad for her, that she doesn’t have a life partner like I do” – I understand. Even though I don’t know your sister at all, I feel bad for her too, and I too wish that she had a good life partner. When I feel bad for other people, including for people I know and feel close to, I remind myself that my feeling bad will not make any positive difference in the other person’s life. My bad feeling is causing me suffering and it is not helping the person I care about!
“She blamed me so much for her bad marriage that I couldn’t take it and went crazy that I went to ER. Since than I stopped interfering in her life” – it turned out, looking back, that it was a mistake to tell your sister at the time to get married. it’s a good thing that you corrected your mistake: from one point on, you stopped talking to her into getting married, and you no longer interfere in her life, that is: you no longer tell her what to do and what not to do.
I think (and correct me if I am wrong) that what happened back then, when you told her to get married is this: for the longest time, things were not well for anyone in your parents’ home, so you figured that your sister would have a better life if she lived elsewhere. The culture and practicality allow for a woman to live away from her parents’ home if she gets married. When she gets married, she has the opportunity to move out of the unhappy home of her parents and live in a better home. I figure that the guy chosen for her showed some promise in providing your sister with a better home, and that promise motivated you to talk to her into marrying him. If the plan worked out, talking to her into getting married would not have been a mistake. It didn’t work out, so turns out that it was a mistake.
Notice this: (1) If you didn’t talk your sister into marrying this guy, your parents still would, and she would have probably listened to them, as she ultimately did, (2) If you talked to your sister against marrying that guy, what kind of a better life could you have offered her at the time, in the home of your parents? By talking to your sister into getting married, you did not talk to her into moving out of a good, healthy home! You talked to her into leaving a bad situation, hoping she would be entering into a better situation.
“I have my therapy session and talk to my therapist regarding this and see how it goes. I should stop carrying baggage of my sister” – yes you should stop carrying the baggage of guilt in regard to your sister. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to apologize to her exactly for what you believe you did wrong, explain to her your intent and why it turned out to be a mistake, tell her how you corrected your mistake and in doing all that, release yourself from this guilt. Maybe your therapist will agree with my idea or have a better idea.
anitaJanuary 31, 2022 at 1:27 pm #392124
She was comfortable at my parents home.We felt safe after a while.Our parents started treating us better when they got finacially stable.The fighting between my grandma and my mom stopped after a while.My intention was not to get my sister out of the home but to have a companionship and settle down in life.According to indian culture a girl has to get married soon.The more you delay the suitors will reject.Dont even get me started some indian guys dont marry a divorcee or a woman who is in early thirties or woman with dark skin the list goes on.My intention was just to see her happy and parents told me to convice her to get married.Anyways i apologized her for my mistake so many times.But still she takes it on me sometimes.I will stop texting and set my boundaries again.She is my twin sister so i cant let her go.When my brother stopped respecting my boundaries i stopped talking to him.I feel that all these things are happening because of my father.I just hate him sometimes.His short temper and being emotional unavaiable to us has made our family dysfunctional.January 31, 2022 at 1:57 pm #392125AnonymousGuest
In your two most recent posts you wrote: “My father was and is emotionally abusive to my mother till today… (sister) was comfortable at my parents’ home. We felt safe” – did your sister feel comfortable and did the two of you feel safe living in the same home (1) with all its history of fighting and abuse, and (2) while your father was still emotionally abusing to your mother?
anitaJanuary 31, 2022 at 2:58 pm #392126
Since childhood we didnt know what it is like to feel safe.My mother was uneducated she never knew that it would effect the children still she doesnt understand.she is financially dependent on our father.So she accepted her fate and my father.My father used to go for 9-5 job would come home and shout at us then would go back to his friends.I used to argue with him and i used tell my mother many times to leave him but i was just told thats how he is and ignore him.In some parts of india its okay to stay with a abusive father and still many people do.Its normal.We were just taught to be respectful to parents no matter what beacuse they sacrifice thier lives for upbringing. Whenever my husband plays with my daughter i always think that my father was never like that.I never had that emotional bond with my father.After divorce my sister insisted my mother to get out of that home so that they both can stay in some other city.My mother is used to it and she doesnt want to get out of that home.She is always bothered about peoples judgement.I think thats how mother was brought up i guess.Even her father had anger issues.Now after my anxiety i understand whats its like to feel safe and how a parent can impact a childs life.January 31, 2022 at 3:04 pm #392127
A woman is nothing without a man thats what we were taught.So thats the reason why my parents still peseter my sister to get married.If given a chance many people would appreciate my mother for being so patient with my father.They will bash my sister for standing up for herself.A woman should never have opinions and should never raise voice.If she does so she is called manipulative and what not.
January 31, 2022 at 3:15 pm #392129
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by zenith.
Both my sister and mother are stuck in survival mode because of anxiety i guess.So they dont have the confidence to stay alone.January 31, 2022 at 3:17 pm #392130AnonymousGuest
“She was comfortable at my parents’ home. We felt safe… Since childhood we didn’t know what it is like to feel safe” – there is a strong human tendency to forget how things were and to re-write history. When we do that, we prevent ourselves from learning and healing. If we want to heal, we need to see reality as it was and as it is, and not make believe it was or is different than it is.
All that you shared about yourself, and about your sister, and the rest of your family, indicate to me that you and your sister grew up in a home that felt very unsafe, much like my home, and the home of millions of people. So, I am guessing that when you encouraged your sister to get married years ago, you wanted her to live in a safer home than your parents’ home. Do you disagree? (it’s okay to disagree with me, of course)
anitaJanuary 31, 2022 at 3:32 pm #392131
We always feel comfortable around my mother.That was never my intention i guess.We are not supposed to have sex before marriage or have a boyfriend.At some point of life you long for a companionship and intimacy right .May be thats the reason why i told my sister to get married.I know agree may be our home is not safe place.How it is impacting us emotionally.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by zenith.