January 1, 2024 at 11:05 am #426549
Being poor has shattered my self esteem and confidence.January 1, 2024 at 12:33 pm #426550
You are welcome and Happy New Year!
“How do I make myself priority“?- I believe that it will take more of you sharing how you felt as a girl growing up, making the thoughts and feelings of the girl that you were back then (the girl who is a big part of who you are still) a priority. It’s like making yourself a priority retroactively.
“my friend celebrated her new year party with other friend and she didn’t even tell me… I was always in the notion that people are mean“- it is very possible that your core belief that people are mean expresses itself and turns people off to you. I don’t want to discuss this point because there’ll be no end to such discussion. I want to focus on your childhood experience because that’s where your core beliefs about people were formed, and that’s where your deep hurt and anger originated.
“Let’s continue with reconnecting to childhood experiences… Being poor has shattered my self esteem and confidence“- how were you treated as a child and teenager for being poor.. and what did you think/ how did you feel about it, in detail, and at some length, taking your time (if you choose to share)?
anitaJanuary 2, 2024 at 12:32 pm #426599
Most of my relatives were richer than us.We had this ritual where we used to visit my mothers paternal family every summer break since we were kids until we were 18. Whenever we used to go thier homes on vacation me and my sister would be judged or shame us for the way we dressed or the English we spoke. They used to help us financially but i used to hate it when they judged us . My parents never did this to thier kids and when they visited our home they would always get a special treatment.. I still remember my aunt who used to mock for my english or they way i spoke. It might be a joke but that still hurt me. I developed social anxiety and i always used to feel others are more superior to us. That made me feel so left out. I remember my aunt giving preference to my cousin’s who were rich than us. My other aunt used to mock me for social anxiety when i stopped attending social events because of my anxiety. The list goes on. Thats when i decided people are always mean and they treat you better when you are rich. Relatives are way intrusive in India and they always feel entitled to give an opinion.January 2, 2024 at 12:32 pm #426600
My mother never stood up for us when the relatives were mean.January 2, 2024 at 1:27 pm #426604
I read your two posts attentively and thoroughly. The first thing I thought as I read, is that I like you and admire you for doing this work, for going back in time and sharing more in detail what happened then that has left such strong feelings in you. I don’t like that what happened to you (!) but I like it that you are sharing about it. I want to let what you shared sink in me, and get back to you in the morning. If you want to share more, please do, and I will respond to all tomorrow!
anitaJanuary 3, 2024 at 11:57 am #426704
I postponed replying to you this morning because I anticipated it involving emotions on my part that are difficult to face. But just now, I thought to myself that if you’ve been checking for my reply and you see that I replied to others, that you might feel ignored, so here I am replying now.
After I sent you the post above, 22.5 hours ago (by the time I submit this post), I thought about what you shared, during the day and at night when I was awake (insomnia, unfortunately). I was imagining how it was for you back then during that ritual of visiting your mother’s parental family every summer break:
“We had this ritual where we used to visit my mother’s paternal family every summer break since we were kids until we were 18. Whenever we used to go (to) their homes on vacation, me and my sister would be judged or shame for the way we dressed or the English we spoke. They used to help us financially, but I used to hate it when they judged us… I still remember my aunt who used to mock (me) for my English, or they way I spoke. It might be a joke but that still hurt me…. I developed social anxiety and I always used to feel others are more superior to us. That made me feel so left out. I remember my aunt giving preference to my cousins who were rich than us. My other aunt used to mock me for social anxiety.. The list goes on”-
– I was pruning apple trees yesterday’s afternoon, and this thought occurred to me: zenith was a hero, a child warrior in spirit, during those visits, she would have fought for herself and for her mother and against the abusive relatives if she had any chance of success! She had it in her heart to stand up for herself and for her mistreated family!
But what could she have done in practice? Nothing. If she tried to fight, her mother would have been ashamed and horrified and would have stopped zenith, her relatives would have acted even worse, and they could have withdrawn the financial help!
I postponed replying this morning because I felt my own powerlessness and rage as a child and I didn’t want to feel these emotions. I remember how I held in that huge anger, that RAGE inside of me, day in and day out.. year after year.
I would have been a hero in-practice IF there was any chance of success on my part. It was so very difficult to be a hero in my heart but to be too afraid to act like a hero.
Do you relate to this?
anitaJanuary 3, 2024 at 12:42 pm #426706
I am sorry that it triggered you. I didnt have the rage or anger when they mocked/judged me but i used to cry and feel low at that time. In india we are told to not talk back to elders even if they are wrong. They have this notion that elders are always right and should put up with thier behavior no matter what. Thats the reason why i stayed numb. There were good memories too. I am not sure if abusive is the right word to use but yes they were judgmental . Indian relatives/elders feel entitled to shove their opinion on other kids rather than thier own kids. I accepted it as a kid but i stopped talking to them after i became an adult. You are right even if is stood up for myself they would have termed as rebellious and what not. I used to let it go as child or until i reached late twenties. Now a days i get angry when people judge me and when i dont stand up for myself.January 3, 2024 at 12:43 pm #426707
Thanks for reply Anita. I appreciate it that you thought about me. Like you said may be all the suppressed emotions are coming out now.January 3, 2024 at 1:02 pm #426708
You are welcome!
“I am sorry that it triggered you“- that’s okay, it’s good to be triggered if it helps understand myself better.
“My mother never stood up for us when the relatives were mean…. I didn’t have the rage or anger when they mocked/judged me, but I used to cry and feel low at that time“- you felt hurt but no anger, no anger at your mean relatives, or at your mother for not standing up to your mean relatives… are you sure?
You wrote yesterday: “That’s when I decided people are always mean and they treat you better when you are rich“- currently as an adult, do you still feel poor, even though you are not?
Do you view your sil, mil, your neighbor.. as rich women, rich and mean, similar to how you viewed your rich or richer relatives?
anitaJanuary 3, 2024 at 5:01 pm #426719
I wanted to add that feeling angry is a natural feeling, everyone feels it and every child, minor age or adult, sometimes feels angry at a parent. It is not disrespectful to feel angry at a parent or older relatives like aunts, uncles and grandparents. When you felt angry with your mother (and you did, you said that you lashed out at her, as well as at your father), it doesn’t mean that she was a bad mother or that she didn’t do her best.
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your anger as a child and a teenager, you are not a bad person for feeling it then or now.
anitaJanuary 3, 2024 at 5:31 pm #426720
I dont remeber lashing out at my mother when i was a kid. Inspite of getting judged by relatives i think i never got angry.I have accepted the fact that they are superior to us and i am dumb.So i never fought against it. Once i started going to university thats when i started lashing out or getting angry at my parents.I kind of became rebellious. We stopped visiting our relatives at this point. I always listened to parents till my high school. But after going to university i noticed changes in myself.I never got angry with others even if they judged or mocked i just let it go beacuse i cant stand up for myself.But after my daughter was born or once i got married i am getting effected by other peoples judgements or how they treat me.Thats the reason why i had very less number of friends. Since last year i am getting really effected by my how my friends sil or mil are treating.It feels like i have become highly sensitive to others emotions.Its making me anxious.January 3, 2024 at 5:48 pm #426721
“I never got angry. I have accepted the fact that they are superior to us and I am dumb. So i never fought against it. after my daughter was born or once i got married i am getting effected by other peoples judgements or how they treat me“-
– maybe once you got married to a nice man who respected you, living in the U.S., far away from your family of origin, you felt removed enough from your family and SAFE enough to FEEL repressed anger of past- in a new context, in the U.S..
Do you think this might be the case?
anitaJanuary 3, 2024 at 6:03 pm #426725
I noticed one thing after getting married.I felt more confident about myslef.Because i was always in the notion that nobody loves or likes me. Never had a boyfriend and guy proposed me ever. I did feel safe around my husband and the marraige made me more confident and happy. I still had social anxiety issues but still i was happy that i got a bestfriend for life. After couple of years my daughter was born thats when my anxiety really started effecting me.I felt like i lost all the confidence and happiness that i felt at the time i got married.January 3, 2024 at 6:06 pm #426726
Dear zenith: I will read and reply in the morning. Good night Precious, lovable (!) zenith!
anitaJanuary 4, 2024 at 9:53 am #426735
You wrote yesterday: “In India, we are told to not talk back to elders even if they are wrong“. And indeed, you did not talk back as a child. But a child quiet on the outside is not the same as a child quiet on the inside. Some emotions are strong and they make a lot of noise on the inside. They want to be heard on the outside.
The more they are kept silent on the outside, the louder they get on the inside.
“They have this notion that elders are always right and (children) should put up with their behavior no matter what. Thats the reason why I stayed numb“- your strong emotions were numbed, deadened, but not dead.
“I used to let it go as child or until I reached late twenties. Nowadays I get angry when people judge me… I did feel safe around my husband and the marriage made me more confident and happy“- as a child, you numbed your strong emotions, letting them go in the way of numbness, but they didn’t let you go. They stayed. When you were removed from your quarrelsome family of origin and from the judgmental richer relatives, and lived instead in the safety of your marriage, a continent away, your emotions started to sort of wake up from their numbness and insist to be heard!
If you are removed from a very stressful real-life, long-term situation, and find yourself in a way better situation, it would have been a magical thing if the strong emotions of the past disappeared. But that’s not what happens. What happens instead, is that now that you are in a safer situation, the strong, numbed emotions wake up and insist of being heard.
Here is something you wrote here long ago. I never forgot it because it made such a strong impression on me at the time. I just went back in your thread to find it. Here it is on June 16, 2022, page 13: “I hate my husbands family to the core now“. This is a very strong anger right there, and it made a loud sound inside yourself on that day, demanding to be heard.
Here is the whole post from that day (I am boldfacing the STRONG emotions & emotional expressions): “I am literally crying now Anita. I don’t know why it really feels bad. I treat them nicely when compared to my co sister but this is what I get in the end. It sucks I have to bare them for three more weeks. I hate it. I am trying to accept them the way they are but on top of that my mils drama with my co sister is really hurting me deep down. I hate my husbands family to the core now.”
See above? These are your strong emotions, being loud on the inside, on that day.
13 days later, on June 29, 2022, after the visit was over, your strong emotions above were back to being numbed; still there but weaker, not so loud on the inside. The anger was the quietest of all, as you dearly missed the person you hated to the core a bit earlier: “I missed my in laws badly when they left. My mil always helped with my daughter, household chores and so many other things. We had up and downs but still I miss them dearly“.
The numbed painful emotions were still there, inside you, just not making as much noise like they did 13 days earlier: “but still I miss them dearly. Sometimes I feel like I am nobody’s first priority. Is it ok to feel that way ? My husbands first priority is his mother. My mils first priority is my co sister. My friends first priority is some other friend. I don’t know why I always feel ignored and feel bad that I am nobody’s first priority“.
Fast forward and it’s still the same emotions within you, same story, same themes to the story. Why is this happening? Because your painful emotions will not go away unless you acknowledge them and take responsibility for them, instead of minimizing and even denying them in between crises situations. For example: during the June 2022 visit when you wrote about hating them to the core- the visit was the crisis situation. After the visit, crisis gone, you denied the anger itself, you let it go via numbing and denying it. But is not gone.
Acknowledge all your emotions, including your anger, and respect these emotions. Your healing/ getting better is about acknowledging and embracing all of your emotions, best you can, not denying or rejecting any of them.