March 26, 2018 at 8:55 am #199553
You are welcome. I can’t think of anything more difficult than changing a false and debilitating core belief. I am still in the process of changing mine. The healing process for me started with my first quality psychotherapy. While my therapist of over two years was not perfect, he was good enough, honest, clear, caring, empathetic, hard working, dedicated, ethical, professional, involved. The process started there but continued post therapy, still ongoing.
What happens is that a core belief like that looks for evidence to support it and dismisses all evidence that refutes it. So you can be .. good for ten days straight, one “bad” moment, and it focuses on that moment as proof that you are a bad person. Do you agree?
It starts with challenging the core belief, considering that it may be untrue. It requires some insight into how the core belief was formed. And then, whenever distressed following the core belief being triggered, it takes not engaging in trying to prove it wrong. Feel the distress and disengage, not argue with it. Feel the distress and let it go.
Changing a damaging core belief takes understanding that although the content of the belief feels true, it is not.
anitaApril 13, 2018 at 10:45 am #202233
I am sorry I didn’t reply to you. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I wish you success on continuing your path of self improvement!
Maybe therapy is the way for me too. After all, I don’t seem to be able to fix the problem. Last week I looked up therapists online, but I haven’t called them yet.
You are right that I focus a lot on the negative, while I forget the good things. Especially after something bad or embarrassing happened. Then I often overreact.
Last week something good happened. My old employer called and asked if I wanted to work for them again as their company is doing better again. So I started working there yesterday. So that is an improvement, but next time I will have to write applications instead of waiting.
Now that the new semester started and I see my friends more I also feel better. Plus it’s springtime and I went out for walks quite often.
Thank you and everybody else who responded when I was feeling low. It really helped writing it all out!
LilyApril 13, 2018 at 11:49 am #202243
You are welcome and thank you for your good wishes. Glad to read the positive new developments in your life. I hope to read more from you, anytime you wish to share more.
anitaJune 15, 2018 at 5:31 pm #212641
I hope it is okay that I write again in this thread…
For some time I was feeling better. I started reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and in the beginning of may I was really productive. I was very happy with myself, but maybe I should have taken more breaks. At that time I felt like I couldn’t take some time off, because I wanted to get things done and with work and uni during the week, I had to use the weekends and couldn’t take a day off.
But in the last two weeks things didn’t go so well. I had to prepare a talk for one class. In hindsight, I think I spent too much time reading and should have started preparing the talk earlier. Also one fellow student of mine told me that her birthday was tomorrow, but her best friends were out of town, so her plans for the weekend were ruined. As I know how terrible it feels, when nobody calls you on your birthday, I offered to spend the day with her. We went to a museum together and it was nice. (But I might have made a stupid comment… I also worry about that) Anyways, I probably shouldn’t have offered to go to the museum with her, because I didn’t really have the time.
The week of the talk I also had a compact course, but I couldn’t really concentrate and I was really stressed, as I was thinking of the talk. Here is the problem: I was really insufferable there, I think I got on everyone’s nerves. We were working in groups and I was disagreeing with the proposals of others, but I also didn’t have any good ideas myself. Then I had some sort of a breakdown and went home earlier. When I think about it, it reminds me of my father’s behavior. He also goes crazy when stressed. In such a moment I get these intense self-destructive thoughts. I feel like people dislike me, that I can’t do anything right. I am pitying myself. And I start to think things like “I want to burn my sketchbooks”, or that I want to kill myself or hurt myself… And later, I feel even more disgusted with myself, because I reacted so horribly. And I wonder if I’m a toxic person or a narcissist. I need to get my emotions under control, but I don’t know how. I really don’t like myself at the moment. At work I also feel like I’m asking too many questions and get on everybody’s nerves. I am so problematic and I wish I could be different.
For now I decided to spend some more time by myself. I always feel more at ease when I’m alone. I just can’t truly be myself when I’m with others. This weekend I want to work on uni stuff only in the morning, then go to a sports class and then finally clean up my room (which is a total mess).And on sunday I will visit my parents, who are currently on vacation in my area.
I’m sorry for the long rant. I just needed to talk to someone, I think.June 16, 2018 at 3:06 am #212659
Welcome back to your thread. You are always welcome here.
I re-read my posts to you on this thread so to remember (it’s been two months since the last of our communication). I suggest you re-read my posts to you, the more recent ones, particularly.
You read a book and felt better. Books can motivate us, but they are not enough. I don’t think a book has ever been enough for a person to heal from significant childhood emotional injuries.
Of course, my post can’t do that, all my posts to you on this thread or anyone’s posts. It is a long and difficult journey that you can take and you can succeed in, if you persist through distress.
That self critical voice in you, the one who tells you (from your recent post) that you are “really insufferable”, “on everyone’s nerves”, “so problematic” and so on, that voice, to lower its volume, and finally, eventually mute it, it takes that healing journey, a few years of it, every day, persistent.
You wrote: “it reminds me of my father’s behavior. He also goes crazy when stressed”. Millions and millions of people all over the world go crazy when stressed, not just your father. It is not something unusual that you inherited from your father.
Back to the healing journey. You had a bad experience with an incompetent therapist. Maybe a competent therapist will help. If you do re-read my posts to you on this thread, please let me know of your thoughts.
June 16, 2018 at 9:11 am #212705
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by anita.
thank you for always replying to me.
I reread your posts and what you said sounds logical. I really thought that I had overcome my past, but it seems like that’s not the case. Until now, I was still hesitant to give therapy another shot. But now it becomes more and more clear that I can’t make the changes on my own. I know that my own way of thinking (beating myself up) is not helpful at all, but I can’t seem to make it stop. And lately I felt like I’m getting even worse.
So far, I haven’t tried hard enough to look for a new therapist. I only called one, which of course didn’t have any free appointments. It’s so hard to find a therapist! They only have certain times when you can call them (usually one hour once or twice a week) and when you reach them, they will likely have no free spots for new patient (unless maybe you have private insurance…). It will likely take months. I don’t know how people with even more severe problems can do it.
But I guess I will have to make a plan, when to call whom like I did last time. I just fear that people who have free spots might be less competent? Well, I just have to try.
Maybe I was expecting too much too fast. It is true what you wrote, that healing takes time. I think I have to take things a little slower and try to go a little more easy on me.
And about what I wrote about my father. Yes you are right, of course a lot of people go a little crazy when stressed. But the way in which I reacted reminded me of my father somehow. But maybe it doesn’t mean anything.
LilyJune 17, 2018 at 2:51 am #212739
Competent and capable, honest, hard working therapists are hard to find. From your description of available therapy where you live, without private insurance, I suppose, it doesn’t read very promising. But maybe, maybe. If and when you do get to see a therapist, evaluate her or him, figure out if she is capable, honest and caring enough to try really hard to help you. If not, the experience will be a waste of time for you, at best.
The way to deal with that inner critic voice, the one beating you up, is first to notice it. It voices itself quite often in my experience, multiple times per day, sometimes per hour. Notice more and more when it speaks, notice what it says and in what context. Maybe make a list, after a few hours of noticing, when you sit by the computer, of what it said to you and in what context. If you want you can share such a list right here on your post and we can communicate about one or more of those things.
anitaJuly 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm #215715
sorry for not responding in so long. I have some good news though. Today I talked to a therapist and I felt really good about her. She can’t take me on before September, but I haven’t felt as good about any of the other therapists I talked to before. We will have (at least) a second meeting before deciding if we will work together. She also suggested to me to have a final conversation with my old therapist for closure. It never occurred to me before, but this might be a good idea. I still have to think about this more, maybe I will do it.
Also I tried tracking my thoughts, but it was not so easy. When I’m at work or Uni, sometimes I forget about it. But I noticed that those thoughts come when something happens (I make a mistake, act weird or somebody makes a negative comment about me, or when I stand out in a bad way) and sometimes when I do tasks that don’t require too much concentration (like cleaning up, running errands etc.).
I tried to track my thoughts today.
In the morning I felt really bad. Yesterday there was a misunderstanding at work. I had agreed to work more this month, because there is a lack of staff in the company. One colleague and his wife thought that I would start working more today, but I can’t, as the semester only ends in one week. I’m very sure I said the correct date, I looked it up to make sure. Anyways, the colleague made some “joking” comments. He already had made similar comments with another colleague on Monday (he initially seemed to think that I would work more starting Tuesday). They said “Oh, the child has to study…” and then something about “first she learns how to store data..” (which is part of my job). The comments yesterday were along those lines. He said something about me writing applications, but I didn’t understand all of it and another Co-worker said it’s good that I didn’t hear it.
It made me feel so worthless. What they were trying to say (as I understood) was that I haven’t accomplished anything. Or am I wrong? I felt belittled. My thoughts were like this: I was quite sure I had said the correct date. But I can also understand that he is very stressed at the moment. At the other hand it’s not my fault that they don’t have enough staff. And I don’t find this sort of comments in any way helpful. It feels passive aggressive? If he has a problem,I would prefer he would address it directly. Later I also thought more about it. Maybe I don’t communicate enough. Usually I focus on my work and don’t like to talk much. Often I just don’t know what to say and I feel safer concentrating on my work. Maybe that came off as arrogant? I got along well with the former staff, but his wife was newly introduced. First she worked in another place and somehow we didn’t really introduce to each other. Now she has to take on the main burden of work. Maybe next time I should ask her how her weekend was or something and also suggest that we address each other informally (by first name)?
Still, the comments really bothered me. I couldn’t sleep. I thought to myself: I’m worthless, I’m spoiled and such things. Others have it worse, they deserve therapy more than me. Also that I don’t like myself, why haven’t I accomplished more? Things like that. I cried. And I thought: why do I feel sorry for myself? I need to go and change something, do something about it. In the morning I still felt bad. And I was angry at myself and even hit myself with a cutting board in the head (I know, it is crazy and weird…).
I know I shouldn’t let other people’s judgemental words get to me. But I often react very emotional. I need to learn how to control my feelings and thoughts…
The rest of the day was better though. After the appointment with the therapist went well, my mood improved. Then I went to Uni from 10 am to 5 pm and I was mainly focused on my courses, with little room for weird thoughts. Only sometimes I worried if I looked at someone in a strange way or that I should have participated more in the discussion. But overall it was good…
But your idea of writing down thoughts is good. Maybe I can become more conscious that way.July 7, 2018 at 5:15 am #215765
Not a problem, that you didn’t post for a while. Whenever you post is fine with me. I hope the new therapist works out for you.
You wrote that the self critical thoughts happen when you “make a mistake, act weird or somebody makes a negative comment about me, or when I stand out in a bad way”- good observation. This critical voice aka the inner critic is observing us and quick to comment, it is like the critical parent we had only it is always with us watching, listening and commenting.
You wrote that you noticed it “sometimes when I do tasks that don’t require too much concentration (like cleaning up, running errands etc.)”- another good observation. When focused on a task, like listening to the teacher during class at Uni, the inner critic is not active, something else is occupying your attention. When you do something that doesn’t require attention, the mind is free to wonder and the inner critic is taking over the wondering.
* This is where the practice of Mindfulness is useful, to do those things like cleaning up mindfully, paying attention to every part of it, so the mind wonders less.
Reads to me that the colleague who made the comment about you was indeed passive aggressive, unkind, of course. He shouldn’t have. Sure he was distressed about something, but he shouldn’t have targeted you. Likely he feels uncomfortable about confronting who he really is angry about for fear of a negative consequence to him (maybe his boss, maybe his wife), so he targets someone he feels safe targeting (no negative consequence to him).
To feel even safer, he targets you indirectly, hence the passive part of passive-aggressive.
Some people when targeted this way will confront the one doing the targeting. Other people with a strong and active inner critic take on outside criticism such as this and keep it going and going, stirring it up, adding to it. This is what your inner critic did with the colleague’s criticism of you:
It told you: you are worthless! (“it made me feel so worthless”) You didn’t accomplish anything! You don’t communicate enough! (“Maybe I don’t communicate enough”) You came off as arrogant! You are spoiled! You don’t deserve therapy, others have it worse! Why didn’t you accomplish more in your life?
The inner critic kept you up at night with those accusations and abuse, and then it hit you on the head with a cutting board.
I know that kind of inner critic very well myself. I wish I didn’t but I do. Lived with it for decades and am in the process of … no longer living with it. It is possible and I am experiencing it, living without that self abuse. It does take the noticing and then, it takes more.
Self abuse, a critical and abusive inner critic, is unfortunately very common. Keep noticing, look into and practice mindfulness, pursue that therapy, keep posting here anytime you’d like.
anitaDecember 20, 2020 at 8:20 am #371407
how are you doing? I know that I did want to post less, but at the moment I feel not so good. I am spending Christmas alone, because of the pandemic. During the last months I have been feeling more lonely.
Especially during the last days there were lots of negative, shameful thoughts, obsessive thoughts. Yesterday one of my flatmates moved out, the one that lived here for a long time. Sometimes I worried that I was making her feel uncomfortable. I know that I can be difficult. When I asked her, she said no, that she moved out because it’s closer to her work and that she actually was unsure about moving, because she felt so comfortable here.
But yesterday, it was weird, I was more hiding in my room while she and her family moved. I also told her that I wanted to social distance, because I had a weird feeling in my chest area and while breathing. The thought of having Corona and then infecting someone is terrifying. But it was also because of my social awkwardness.
There are also some good news: I can go to work again and I also felt pretty good there, like they accepted me. I even got a little better with the phone calls, I feel. But now I have two weeks ahead of me that are empty, because of Christmas holidays. My own thoughts are very debilitating and I got not much done and was crying. I try to do calming things like listening to audiobooks and I called my sister and my parents. But I can not talk so openly with them.
How are you doing during the pandemic times? Hope you are well!December 20, 2020 at 9:55 am #371409
For some reason, I am already feeling a bit better, after I had submitted my post. Sorry… I think I have to remember the things I can feel thankful for and all the good things in my life. And sometimes there will be days or weeks where I will feel completely down, but that’s part of life.
Better I work on something worthwhile now. I will make some postcards to send to my family.
Still thank you!December 20, 2020 at 10:45 am #371413
Welcome back to your thread. I am not clear about whether you want me to reply to the content of what you shared (or that you just wanted to vent) because you wrote in your second post today: “Better I work on something worthwhile now”, suggesting perhaps that being online, here with me, is not worthwhile, which is fitting with you having expressed in the past that you waste a lot of time online.
Unless you correct me, I will assume that you just wanted to vent, that you vented and you feel better for it. I welcome you to vent anytime, and if you want my input on a particular item, let me know what it is and that you want my input on it.
You asked how I am doing- I am concerned about the pandemic, and hoping the vaccines make a big difference and soon. If you don’t post before Christmas: Merry Christmas and I wish all of us a better year ahead!
anitaDecember 20, 2020 at 11:31 am #371415
no, I did not mean that my time spent here with you is not worthwhile. Even though I still spend too much time online, but this website is not the problem. The only thing is, I sometimes worry about sharing private information about myself online. But I appreciate your help and the time you take reading and replying to me and everybody else. It has definitely helped me understand myself better and to heal.
I meant more worthwhile than my negative thoughts and complaining. Somehow I felt a little bad for my post, to bother you again with the same problems. But I guess it will all take time and my negative thinking patterns and insecurities will come up from time to time.
Today and for the last days I just felt very bad and I wanted to talk to someone. I wanted your opinion on the situation with the roommate, but mainly also to let it out. Because I cannot talk to anyone else about it. I guess it made me feel better already just to write it down. Even though I still feel uncomfortable when thinking more about it again.
Thank you for your reply!
The pandemic is very concerning indeed. Here the case numbers are rising again, where my family lives, it’s not looking good. Therefore I decided to spend Christmas at my place (but then this became a little scary to think about, especially when in this bad state of mind). I would have to travel by train with risks of infection and into a high risk zone, so I think I made the right decision.
In the US it’s also a lot of cases! So please stay safe and healthy. The vaccines are indeed a ray of hope and I hope it will all work out and we will make more progress this year. And thanks for the well-whishes, I too wish you a enjoyable Christmastime and a better new year!December 20, 2020 at 12:09 pm #371419
You are welcome and Thank you for your Christmas and New Year wishes for me. I think that you made the right choice to not travel by train so to see your family for Christmas. The U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci, the Voice of Reason about the pandemic, announced that he will not be spending Christmas with his three adult daughters because that would mean traveling, and public transportation (airplanes, airports, trains, buses..) are super spreaders.
I also think that you made the right choice to stay in your room while your flat mate and her family were going in and out of the apartment moving her stuff. Sharing indoor space with other people is significantly more contagious than being around others in the outdoors.
Also, seems to me that your flat mate moving had nothing to do with you, just like she said.
“I meant more worthwhile than my negative thoughts and complaining. Somehow I felt a little bad for my post, to bother you again with the same problems”- I understand, but I don’t think that it ever crossed my mind that you are complaining.
Regarding bothering me with the same problems- I do not wish for you to have new problems so to make my life interesting. I suffered from the same problems myself for many years, so I understand.
Regarding your concern about sharing private information online- don’t share real names and dates, and you’ll be fine.
December 21, 2020 at 6:26 am #371442
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by anita.
you are right about the public transportation. So far I had still used it, when going to work and such, as I don’t have a car. On my way home I walked often, but it is an 1,5 hour walk. My roommate offered me that she will give me her old bike, otherwise she will throw it away. Maybe that can be a better alternative.
I am happy that I can stay at home for the next two weeks, not having to worry so much about infections. But maybe the feeling in my chest also comes from something else. There is also mold in my room and last December, I had a bad cold with coughs, which I had never experienced before.
Today my roommate also came by to clean up (I thought she had gone home for Christmas already) and we briefly talked. We wished each other a merry Christmas. I am relieved!
Still I am feeling anxiety at the moment. It also has to do with K appearing in my whatsapp contacts a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, I deleted all his numbers and messages now! But suddenly I saw his status (didn’t look at them). I think either he had added me, or what must have happened is that I added his number when he called me last summer to my phone contacts, then didn’t delete it. Then recently there was a whatsapp update and so he showed up. It caused me lots of anxiety and stress.
But I have to admit, sometimes (too often) I still looked at our conversation and his profile picture from his other phone number. I don’t know why, maybe I have an obsession, as you said. My therapist also said that it is because I am very lonely, which is true. I am feeling extremely lonely at the moment. Then I developed this bad habit… Hopefully he didn’t notice, I really did not want to bother him. But it must end now completely and after I deleted his contact info, there is no more temptation.
It only causes me stress. I want to end this forever and stop thinking about him. How do I overcome such an obsession? Deleting his numbers was a good start.
Sorry that I talked about this again. I really want to heal from this and move on.