How to grow internally?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 7 months, 1 week ago.

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    Good morning!
    I stumbled across this website when I was looking at self growth and I was intrigued by the positive outlooks and support provided.

    A little about me, and what led me here. Almost a year ago I came out of an 8 year relationship due to my partner at the time having an affair. It was a messy separation with lawyers as we had a house and assets together. Despite how it ended, she was a good person and I wanted a friendship a few months down the track. She didn’t, and I saw a different side to her that hurt me a lot.

    From there I started dating someone else on and off until recently. We were both toxic for each other, we saw the good in each other but each of my friends didn’t see any good to her. I was in and out of hospital for a while due to mental breakdowns. I had a few very serious suicide attempts and ended up in an institution. I think a lot of this came from not truely learning to be alone after my long term break up, and not dealing with a lot of things from my past.

    The past 6 months I have been in a much better place. I have made some positive changes in spending time alone, finding a few things that I enjoy doing by myself. I met someone truely amazing, though as there wasn’t a title on anything I spent a night with my toxic friend and ruined that a few weeks ago. This amazing girl has decided to cut ties, complete silent treatment. I understand why, i just wish I had a little more will power to stop trying to make contact with her.

    Lastly, I feel my best friend betrayed me. She spent a night with my toxic friend the other night. I have known this friend for 10 years, she knows the in and out of our relationship and seen us at our best and worst. She knew I spent the night with her the other week. I am holding on to hurt and anger that I just want to let go of. I expressed my hurt to both of them and have removed any form of communication. I told them it wasn’t to punish them, just that I know I can’t move past hurt and need to do what’s best for me.

    I suppose I am here to self grow. To get out of the mentality that I’m just plotting along in life. To contain my emotions better, as I live inside my head and I act on them frequently. I resigned from my job when I found out about my friend so that I can move states and have a fresh start. I just need to take a step back sometimes, and feel more motivated to want to make changes. I know I need to, but come down to it, I don’t.

    Thank you for whoever reads this, and for anyone that suggests any form of guidance of where to start.



    Hi CuriousGeorge

    The fresh start. I’ve often wondered if such a thing was possible as my own experience has been that no matter where when I took with me everything I wished to leave behind.

    I don’t know CuriousGearge. Your post shows a growth in self-awareness as well as an attempt at creating healthy boundaries. Perhaps the practice of the beginner’s mind might help. A beginners mind allows one to realize every moment as a fresh start.

    “Beginnings could happen more than once or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before. He had faced his shortcomings and overcome them and so the real business of walking was happening only now.” ― Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

    The Magic of Beginner’s Mind: See the World Through Eyes of Wonder

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by  Peter.


    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    If you would  like to elaborate on the following/ answer, please do:

    How was the woman you dated a year ago toxic to you and how was she toxic to you?

    How do you believe that your best friend betray you, what was the nature of her betrayal/ what would it be that she could have done to express loyalty to you?

    I ask because I want to understand better and respond further.





    Do you have a spiritual practice?  a spiritual community?  I’d start with that.

    You want to contain your emotions better?  Practice mindfulness.  There are many books and explanations on websites for that.

    You want to do more than plod along in life.  What do you find joy in?  Go with that.  If you feel stuck within yourself, go volunteer to get outside yourself and help others.




    Hi everyone! Thank you for the replies, I honestly really appreciate that. I’m not actually sure how to reply separately and I also think I accidentally reported someone! I am sorry! I am not too good with technology. Please see below replies:
    Hi Peter! I think this is exactly what I need, a starting point. I’ll certainly take a look over the link you sent through.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond!

    Hi Anita

    The woman I was dating on and off for a year has just ended recently. We were toxic in the sense we were very codependent on each other. She often would lie and was very manipulative, though underneath all that was a good person. A lot of other people noticed the manipulation except for myself this until I took a good step back. She just had two very different sides to her, but I allowed the relationship to continue and always went back to her.

    The betrayal was my friend sleeping with her the other night. I emotionally moved on with the amazing girl, but as I said I messed that up by going back to the toxic girl the other week. My friend saw the ups and downs of our relationship, she knew I went back there just the other week. I just feel beyond hurt and betrayed even though I’m still hung up one someone else. I let it take over my emotions and it was all I could focus on. My friend was apologetic and said it was because she thought as far as feelings went that we didn’t have any for each other. I have removed them both from my life at this point.Thankyou for the response so far

    Hi Mark

    I don’t have much knowledge on spiritual practice but I would like to learn more about it. There’s a link above that I will start on to get exploring! </span></p>
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Thankyou

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by  Curiousgeorge.


    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    Replying to every member like you did, naming a member then responding is just fine.

    You shared that you were in an eight year relationship with a woman (I will refer to her as the first woman). She had an affair and the two of you separated, “a messy separation with lawyers as we had a house and assets together”. During the first six months following the separation you experienced a few mental breakdowns and suicide attempts and were hospitalized. During that time, you dated a second woman on and off.

    In the last six months you’ve been feeling better, still dating the second woman on and off. “She often would lie and was very manipulative”. Recently you met a third woman, “someone truly amazing”. There was no title to this new relationship and a few weeks ago you spent a night with the second woman. The third woman then ended the beginning relationship, giving you the “complete silent treatment”.

    You had a 10- year best friend who you felt betrayed you by spending a night with the second woman most recently. You stopped all contact with the second woman and the former best friend and resigned from your job so to move away from them and “have a fresh start”.

    I hope you do have the fresh start that you are looking for. To make it a fresh start, I figure it will be helpful for you to understand the different sides of people, something you referred to here, regarding the first woman who had an affair: “Despite how it ended, she was a good person and I wanted a friendship a few months down the track. She didn’t, and I saw a different side to her that hurt me a lot”, and regarding the second woman who lied and manipulated you: “underneath all that was a good person… She just had two very different sides to her”.

    People often get confused by the different sides of people. How do you figure if a person is good for you or harmful to you when you see one side only, and then another side. How do you put the sides together so to evaluate the person correctly?

    If you want to explore this topic, you can describe to me the first woman’s two sides, and the second woman’s two sides and we will take it from there.





    Thanks Anita!

    I’m not actually sure if work has accepted my resignation or not. They haven’t spoke to me about it, but on the Monday when I resigned they could tell I was down and told me to take the evening off. I tend to be very impulsive, I still think it is a good idea, though I think having a plan may have been the better option. I will see if they discuss it with me this week as today is my first day back with management in.

    Ok in regard to the first woman- when we were together, she was very caring, giving, loving. We had our ups and downs but every relationship does. A few months before we ended I told her I wasn’t happy, but she wanted to work on things and I decided the least I could do was try. Anyway, she had started acting differently before we separated, I asked her if there was anything to be concerned about and she said no. I found out about the affair, though not through her. Things were said out of anger but a few weeks later I had said to her I don’t agree with what happened but I understand some people make bad decisions and it doesn’t make them bad people. She is still with the other woman now, though she didn’t take kindly when I moved on.  When I started seeing someone new she changed the locks on the house while my belongings were still in there, made it difficult for me to see my dog, and locked me in a room. Things are much more amicable now, we only communicate when it comes to our dog.

    The second woman came along when I was very vulnerable. I jumped into something way too soon because I think I was chasing comfort. She gave me a lot of attention, we would speak for hours a day. She has a habit of lying, even about irrelevant things. She has a very sensitive genuine side that I can connect with, then she has a different side where she switches off and becomes cold and distant. She doesn’t like people saying no to her, about a month ago she did things sexually that I asked her not to, and I know that wasn’t okay and so did she. Yet I still went back there after that.

    The third girl , the amazing one, was someone independent, where usually I am with people very reliant of my time and attention. I liked this, though she was closed with her feelings and I took that as her not caring. She moved away as her visa was up, and we were talking every day until she asked if I had been with girl number 2. She was hurt that it was only a few days after she left, and her of all people. She has come around a bit now and said we can try give it ago as friends which I am appreciative to have her in my life one way or another.

    I just seem to mess things up for myself when I get scared rather than seeing what happens. I really want to learn to not let things consume me as much as they do. The situation with my good friend was all I could focus on, and just in general rather than accepting things I seem to want to change them.




    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    You are welcome. You brought up impulsivity, “I tend to be very impulsive”, you get scared, “let things consume me” and you react any which way, “mess things up for myself”. You can stop doing that by paying attention to that fear, that powerful emotion, when it starts, and unless you are in a situation of clear-and-present danger, calm down best you can, take deep breaths, take a long walk outside, listen to music, choose the way and relax.

    Our worst thinking is done under the influence of fear. Fear is like fog in our brains, we can’t see clearly. So better relax, clear that fog, so to see the situation. I hope that you rethink your impulsive decisions to quit your job and move states away, and that the management at work will be open and understanding this week, not … reacting impulsively to your impulsive quitting.

    Regarding the women in your life, four of them: the ex of eight years, the ex of 1 on-and-off year, the most recent ex-not-yet-girlfriend and the maybe former best friend of ten years- the latter, the best friend, talk with her more, maybe she really did think it was over between you and the second woman. Maybe.. she was impulsive that night.. and you understand impulsivity. Some betrayals are unforgivable, maybe hers is forgivable and maybe it was not a betrayal at all (I don’t know a lot of details).

    The second woman “has a habit of lying, even about irrelevant things”- for a person not in that habit, for a person who cares about honesty, this is a deal breaker, no matter her “very sensitive genuine side”. I bet every human being has a very sensitive genuine side that shows up at times, it is so because we are all born very sensitive and genuine and that part, or side never dies for as long as we are alive. Sometimes you can see it in the cruelest of people and it amazing to see it. But we can’t be in  a relationship with every person because of that side because we have to see who the person has become.

    Often that very sensitive and genuine side is locked within a person who lies and deceives, one who betrays our trust and mistreats us. We have to evaluate the person, not the inner-child locked in there.

    First woman is in your past then, other then sharing your dog, the second woman should stay in your past, the third has come around you wrote, so there is a chance, and the fourth, your former best friend.. unless I am missing an important detail, forgive her. After all, you betrayed the third woman somewhat, haven’t you? Forgive yourself and the fourth and see to it that you are worthy of trust yourself.

    To be worthy of trust, manage your fear and impulsivity. Think when calm, before you act.




    Thanks Anita. That’s very true, I guess I am the only one who is able to choose the way I let something affect me. It’s just hard in the moment to practice this, logically I know I need to take some time out and calm down but when I’m feeling a certain way I find it hard to step outside of that.

    My manager pulled me aside yesterday and said ‘Can I throw your resignation in the bin’. I said ‘I can’t unresign’, and he said ‘well if it’s in the bin I never received it, I told you you’re valued here, talk to me next time don’t just up and leave’. My company is very good to me. I’ve been there for 5 years and they have been very understanding.

    In regard to the best friend, she knew it wasn’t over with the ex as she knew I was intimate with her just the other week. I just feel morally I would never go there with a friends most recent ex, or ex in general if there were feelings involved. I want to forgive her, but I just don’t feel I can trust her now. She had been such a good friend to me, as I had been to her, but that’s why I think I can’t move past it, because it hurt a lot. When we spoke about it her apology didn’t seem awfully genuine, it was just reasons as to why it was okay. I’m torn, I understand about the impulsivity side and it’s double standards in a sense, but I just feel hurt.

    Wow, you have explained that perfectly! So many people have been trying to make me understand the second woman is not a nice character, but I’ve always seen the good. But the “Sometimes you can see it in the cruelest of people and its amazing to see. But we can’t be in a relationship with every person because of that side”. That really made sense to me, thankyou. It’s almost the people with a very questionable side are often the one to give more chances to, because when you see the good in them you almost justify it by saying ‘underneath all that they are a good person’. Which she is, but sometimes that doesn’t make them right for my life.

    The third is occasionally responding, she’s taking her time, but I’m just happy to have her apart of my life and see where it goes. She’s set on a friendship but who knows, I guess time will tell. Do you have any suggestions on how to work on fear and impulsivity? I have thought about meditation, perhaps a retreat for a few days.

    Thanks again for the message



    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    You are welcome. I read your last line and a bit of your second paragraph regarding work, reads good. I will be away and back to the computer in about 14 hours from now to read your recent post and reply.




    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    “Do you have any suggestions on how to  work on fear and impulsivity? I have thought about meditation, perhaps a retreat for a few days”-

    – a nice retreat would be … nice, but the work on anxiety and impulsivity cannot be accomplished in a retreat, it takes daily work, day after day, week after week, it takes many months of ongoing attention, intention and practice. A routine of guided meditations to start with, theme Mindfulness, one or more each day is an excellent practice. If you are inclined, take a yoga class that focuses on relaxation, not the speedy, fast pace type. Also tai chi, a slow motion martial art form is excellent in training the brain to.. slow down.

    A daily aerobic routine such as taking a fast 20 minutes to an hour walk is also an excellent practice. Quality psychotherapy will help with uncovering early-life anxiety that needs to be looked at, for the purpose of uncovering core beliefs that keep … scaring us in the present time.

    Pay attention in the moment you are just about to do something impulsively and pause, take a time out, listen to relaxing music, or take that daily walk, or a second one that day and calm down. When you are calm return to the issue at hand. If you want to post next time you are about to do something impulsively, please do, and I will be glad to help you figure out at that point what to do  next.






    Hi Anita!

    Sorry, I should have clarified I meant a self growth retreat. To try learn how to do the basics of getting in touch with myself. Some I have seen online run for a few days and have a routine of yoga, silent time, learning sessions etc.

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions, and for taking the time to reply. I’ll look into each of what you’ve suggested, I just needed a starting point which you helped me find. I’m very interested in the psychotherapy you mentioned, I’ve not heard of that before.

    Last night I was reading for a good few hours. Which is rare for me on a Friday night. When I put myself to bed I thought I would try sleep without a sleeping tablet, which I’ve always thought was impossible. My mind started racing with anger and all I wanted to do was unblock my friend and the girl to ask them if they had seen eachother since that night. Then I thought about some things you had said. Why? What will come of it? Can I change the outcome? Regardless of the answer will that change my hurt that I already feel? So I tried focusing on my breathing and letting it pass, and it did. I fell asleep for the first time in almost a year without sleeping tablets. It goes to show the power of the mind, and how unaware I was beforehand.

    That is so kind of you to offer support, I will certainly keep that in mind next time I feel impulsive.

    Thanks again




    Update: I’ve back tracked. I don’t know why I did it but I messaged the toxic one and asked if she had seen or spoke to my best friend since. She said both. I said I thought after them saying sorry and realising it hurt me that I was surprised, and she said what did I expect when I had blocked them both and didn’t want them in my life. I guess I just assumed that they would try repair the damage after saying sorry and not continue it. Either way I know I need to let it go and I font know why I let it consume me again.

    THEN, I sent a message to the special one, a long message along the lines of saying I know I have hurt you and I know it’s a long shot, but would she consider giving us a go. Apologised for the hurt I caused and that we have the potential to be something special. It’s like I’m setting myself up to fail because she has told me before it was over each attempt. She hasn’t read it yet due to the time difference as she’s now back home in another country

    THEN, I ordered 6 roses to her house and it said:

    You’re all kinds of beautiful, from the inside out, that I’ve never seen before. “Into my life, larger than life, beautiful, you strolled in” C.A. Duffy

    It’s like as soon as things go bad I shift my attention somewhere else. I know my feelings are genuine with her, but I seem to invest more time and fight for something as soon as I have time to think. I think maybe a combination of both the situations have got me down and I’m constantly focusing on one of the two.

    I want to respect her wishes, and clearly I’m not doing that by sending flowers or a long message.



    Dear Curiousgeorge:

    Regarding the self growth retreat, again, it sounds nice, “a few days .. routine of yoga, silent time, learning sessions etc.” and if you have the money for it, and no better use for it, it is a good idea (for as long as starting a new relationship during the retreat is not an option!) But it will be the ongoing practice of yoga, silent time and learning that will make the difference for you, months and years of it.

    It reads to me that you practiced well the night before, “focusing on my breathing and letting it (the racing thoughts and anger) pass, and it did. I fell asleep for the first time in almost a year without sleeping tablets”, well done!

    Regarding your most recent post five hours after the one I just responded to: your on and off girlfriend on one year and your best friend at the time spent the night together, you expressed your distress over it, the best friend apologized, then you blocked both, expecting the best friend to try to fix the friendship with you and not see or speak to the on-and-off girlfriend anymore. Yesterday you called the former best friend and she answered your question, that indeed, she is still communicating with your former on and off girlfriend.  Then you sent a message for the recent woman in your life, again, after she told you before, after each one of your attempts, that it is over.

    “How to grow internally?” is the title of your thread. My answer, at this point: stay away from all ex girlfriends, and from your former best friend, and from the recent woman and do not attempt another relationship for the next six months. In these six months practice a daily routine of yoga, guided meditations, walks/ exercise, continue your employment, and find quality psychotherapy.

    What do you think and how did you sleep last night?




    Hi again Anita!

    Yes I certainly won’t be starting any relationships until I invest a lot more time in myself first.

    The best friend wanted to talk about it face to face. I said I don’t think it’s a good idea as I don’t particularly know how I will react to certain things. She said let’s just talk, you go first, and then I’ll speak and we can go from there. So she came over, I just said I felt betrayed, and then more betrayed that she continued it regardless of a title of a friendship. I said that she wanted to repair the friendship, and when you hurt someone, the same actions don’t indicate you want to fix them to me. She said she will stop talking to her if that’s what I want. I said I would never tell someone who they can or can’t speak to, morally I would have assumed you wouldn’t but at the same time that’s my morals not yours. She apologised, and said she wanted one too because I said hurtful things. I said I can’t apologise because I believe what I said I meant, I did feel betrayed and I did feel hurt, and I’m entitled to have those feelings. She said if I can’t apologise she’s done , so she left.

    I agree with you that I need to let them both go. In regard to the amazing one, I’m finding that hard. I’m not getting much back though and I need to accept it and move on.

    Thankyou for the suggestions, I will start investing my time into more positive things to help myself. I had a good sleep! No sleepwalking, and I didn’t wake up through out the night much. I still do need to take my sleeping tablets because I will withdraw if I stop completely, but I am aiming to spend a few nights a week without one and gradually reduce now that I know I can 🙂

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