how to help myself?

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    Dear Lily:

    I made a mistake in my last post to you when I wrote: “traveling, and public transportation (airplanes, airports, trains, buses..) are super spreaders”.  I want to correct myself. First, this is how Wikipedia explains these terms:

    1. A superspreader: an unusually contagious organism infected with a disease. In the context  of a human-borne illness, a superspreader is an individual who is more likely to infect others, compared with a typical infected person.

    Superspreaders have been identified who excrete a higher than normal number of pathogens during the time they are infectious. This causes their contacts to be exposed to higher viral/ bacterial loads than would be seen in contacts of non-superspreaders with the same duration of exposure.

    2. A superspreader event (SSEV): an event in which an infectious disease is spread much more than usual.

    From what I read today, there were studies in Japan, Paris, Italy and more places perhaps- and no SSEV were traced to trains and other forms of public transportation when (1) masks are worn, (2) social distancing is kept, (3) people don’t touch surfaces, and disinfect their hands, (4) the air is well-ventilated.

    SSEV take place when 1-4 are not kept, which happens especially where people spend a lot of time close to each other, talking, singing, laughing etc., such as in a church choir, a restaurant, and especially in bars where people under the influence of some alcohol get closer to each other, talk loudly, laugh, etc.

    Of course, whether you take the train to visit your parents is your choice. Regarding using public transportation to go to work, I would use it if I was you (if 1-4 above are kept) because the ride is short (correct?)- the shorter the ride, the lesser the risk.

    Back to my mistake, the correction is: public transportation when well-ventilated, and when masks are worn, when social distancing and hygiene practices are kept, do not lead to superspreader events.

    Regarding the feeling in your chest- I too have that feeling and a bit of panic from time to time, being afraid that Covid took hold of my lungs, a fear that didn’t materialize yet. I bet a lot of people have the same fear and panic once in a while. But maybe you should get tested, if you can (?)

    Your roommate did not leave because of you! I am glad you are relieved. Regarding your “lots of anxiety and stress” about.. him showing in your WhatsApp update and checking his profile picture and whatnot- your therapist is probably right- your loneliness is causing this, or partly causing it.

    You stated and asked: “It only causes me stress. I want to end this forever and stop thinking about him. How do I overcome such an obsession?.. I really want to heal from this and move on”- I want to give you my thoughts about this after I re-read some of our previous communication that is relevant to this issue, and that will be in a few hours from now.



    Dear Lily:

    I re-read through your posts in other threads for hours today. This will be a first post of two.  I will post a second post tomorrow.

    A couple of general observations: (1) I read again and again how calming and refreshing it is for you to walk in the countryside, by the river, collecting herbs, being out in nature- I wish you could do more of this, but I know that it is difficult to get out during winter time. (2) I don’t think that any person likes to be criticized, but some are more negatively affected by criticism than others, and you and I belong to the group  more easily harmed by criticism. Therefore, when I post to you, I need to keep this in mind. I have no desire to criticize you and I know that if I did, it will be most unhelpful to you. My goal is to never criticize you.

    * In four days it will be Christmas 2020, and you plan to not visiting your parents. On December 25, Christmas of 2018, you posted: “I’m visiting my parents.. My sister said she always gets depressed when coming home. Now I’m feeling also a little depressed”- I hope this makes you feel better about not being there this Christmas.

    On that day, you wrote about your 2019 New Year objectives: “For the new year hope that I can value myself more and not let others take advantage of me or disrespect me. I rather want to take better care of myself”- and you have made lots of progress in this regard, more to be made. I hope that even when you are anxious and feeling lonely, that you remember that you had made progress, and aim at making more progress.

    * You most recently mentioned K again, thinking about him and feeling stress. My understanding, following my hours of reading today, is that you have been thinking/ obsessing about him yet again because, like you suggested, you are lonely. You are a human being and humans are social animals; we are people who need people, just like the song says. I understand that people also drain you, and lots of conflict, awkwardness and distress accompany many social interactions for you- but it doesn’t change the fact that you are human, and therefore, you need people.

    I know that K was and is wrong for you, but.. there were some pleasant moments there for you, some much needed affectionate touch and a few much needed affectionate words- so you miss the touch and the words. Before him, at times,  you missed the dormitory man, because even with him, there was some touch that felt good. These two men- one clearly abusive, rude and crude, and the other inattentive and disrespected-  are the only closer experiences you had with men, therefore you missed them both at one time or another.

    You grew up with hardly any affectionate touch/ affectionate verbal expressions, so you miss the little affection that you did experience with these two men.

    Regarding K, I hope that you will spend less time thinking about him, miss him less, and feel calmer when you read some of what you posted before in regard to him: “he often takes phone calls and talks to the callers for a few minutes, while we meet. Or he looks at this smartphone…he is always very busy, so that I don’t know if there was room for me in his life… he doesn’t contact me often or tell me much about what is going on in his life. He is always busy with his work, studies, family and friends… I feel like I’m only getting crumbs of his attention… He doesn’t show much interest… He doesn’t really have time for me… he also leaves during a text message conversation without saying goodbye” (October 2018).

    “My friend said, that it doesn’t make sense that he really doesn’t have time to call or text me. Because when he was with me, he was always on the phone, talking to someone else. One time, he even called someone, after texting with them on his smartphone while we were eating out. He didn’t ask me a lot of questions, didn’t seem to want to know more about my life. He never had much time for me.. he wanted casual sex, but he also wanted to appear like a good person. During that phone call he acted like I was unreasonable for asking more of his time. He acted like he was too busy” (January 2019).

    “Just in the past months, what happened with K just stressed me a lot and weakened me… I never was part of his everyday life” (March 2019). “I want to leave the story with K behind me, finally” (May 2019).

    “After this new communication with him it was more clear than ever that we don’t fit together. How he doesn’t respond, if I write a long message and all that. It was always like that, I was trying to explain myself, but no real response! It was so frustrating… I should better not try to get into a mental discourse with him. It is a waste of my time! I only get responses like ‘O.K. for your message… I can see why it did not work, I can see that he is not responding to what I am telling him at all'” (August 2020).

    Second post- tomorrow.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by anita.

    Dear anita,

    thank you that you took so much time to read all my previous posts! You really care so much about people and try to help them. I would also like to do some sort of service to help people, maybe volunteer work or something. Or maybe just collect the rubbish people throw away into nature, like Hayao Miyazaki does…

    You are right about nature having a positive effect on me. One day I would like to live more close to nature and I should work towards that goal. It should become a motivation for me to work harder! But even in winter, you can go out for a walk, you just need the right clothing. Sometimes I just have to push myself a little bit harder to do that, when the weather is less inviting.

    About criticism: well, I think it is o.K. and important to hear criticism and I would like to know when I am on the completely wrong path. I know I am sometimes overly sensitive, but better to hear the truth than making the same mistake over and over again.

    Yes, I have also thought about the positive sides of no Christmas at my parents. Sure, I will miss baking cookies with my brother, the smell of the Christmas tree, going to the forest or watching a Christmas movie together. But there are some positives: no long journey, I will not gain weight from overeating, more time for myself to think about my goals and maybe I can read a nice book. I also plan to cook something nice for myself and maybe go for a long walk at the river beach some day. Since Sunday, I am already feeling much better now and also slept better.

    About progress: yes I think I have made some too! I am much more aware about what I want, who I am, feeling better about myself.I want to continue working on that!

    And I would also like to have more human connections. I would like to have cooking get togethers with friends one day, or meeting people to create art. But I also have to take time for myself, find a balance. Learn that it is o.K. to say no, while sometimes making more of an effort to connect.

    It is true that I miss affection very much and would like to have a healthy relationship with a person. At the same time, there are also a lot of things about relationships that worry me. So I would have to take it very slowly. Instead, everything was rushed and I also rushed myself in my attempted relationships so far. I did not take my own needs and feelings into account very much, instead I tried to fulfill the expectations of the men or doubting myself the whole time.

    With K, I think that you are correct that he is not right for me. In my opinion, we simply do not match. We want different things and have different expectations. There was a lot of mistrust and misunderstandings between us and we never were able to really communicate. Not a good base for a relationship. Most important indicator was how I felt during that time, not good at all. I was getting worse. Of course, a lot comes from my own insecurities, mistrust and problems.But I think with the right person, I would have been able to deal better with those things.

    From the things you listed, I wanted to say something about the casual sex. I do really not think that he was using me for sex. And I regret that I once asked him, if it is just about sex. It was an assumption on my part, stemming from my big fear of being used for sex. But also that we didn’t spend much time together made me doubt him and not understand him.

    But the facts are: there was not much there to be called a relationship, no matter what the reasons are. He indeed was always busy and we did not spend much quality time together. the communication was bad. Maybe we just communicate differently. And we both were not able to resolve the problems or talk about it.

    I don’t know about him, but I know that I was deeply insecure and unsure of myself. I didn’t dare to ask for something, to say what I want. I was not showing my true nature. Not because I wanted to deceive him, but because I was too insecure and with no real relationship experience. At least I have learnt some things and know myself better now.

    Maybe I will add more later, I also want to respond to your first post. But now I will first cook something for myself. Thank you for your time and effort!


    Dear Lily:

    I just submitted and lost the post I worked on for hours this morning. This is very difficult for me- it was an almost perfect post. This is frustrating to me beyond words. I used quotes from your shares since 2016, now they are all lost and I am too tired to go through your threads once again.

    I will post to you now based on my memory alone, not going through the quotes that are now lost to me.

    I started that now lost post telling you how delightful it was for me to read your recent post, how your intelligent, insightful, organized and thorough post is evidence of your emotional healing and progress. I added that it is okay with me if you do not respond to every item I bring to you in any of my posts, and that whenever I do not respond to a particular item in any of your posts, you are welcome to let me know what it is that you would like me to respond to, and  I will attend to that particular item in a following post.

    I clarified what I meant by my aim to not criticize you: I did not mean that I will not point to you being “on the completely wrong path… making the same mistakes over and over again”, when I believe it is the case- but that I will do so without anger, irritation, impatience, etc.

    As to the body of the post, summarized: the dormitory man was clearly and consistently rude, crude, extremely disrespectful and abusive to you. It is common in some cartoons and movies to depict a character as 100% bad,  while in real-life it is not this black and white. But in the context of the dormitory man’s interactions with you, he was as close to 100% bad as can be. And yet, you felt empathy for him, not for yourself (stating that he was not a bad person because in his culture that’s how people normally behave, and that it must be difficult for him to be far away from his family, etc.). You stated that you were the terrible person and the abusive one, not him. When you asserted yourself against his harassing you at one point, you felt guilty for having done so, fearing that you hurt his feelings. And following that one assertion, you allowed him to harass you yet again.

    I then proceeded to quote from Wikipedia’s entry on self preservation: “Self-preservation is a behavior or set of behaviors that ensures the survival of an organism. It is universal among all living organisms”- I then proceeded to say than at first look, your behaviors with the dormitory man show a lack of a self-preservation instinct: you allowed him to abuse you, feeling bad not for you.. but for him. I compared it to the following imaginary situation: a deer notices a mountain lion approaching it and it thinks: if I run, the mountain lion’s feelings will be hurt, poor lion.. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. So the deer stands there, anxious, becoming the lion’s dinner.

    I then quoted more from that entry in Wikipedia: “An interesting phenomenon sometimes occurs in social animals. Animals in a social group (a kin) often work cooperatively in order to survive, but when one member perceives itself as a burden for an extended period of time, it may commit self-destructive behavior. This allows its relatives to have a better chance at surviving”-

    I then went on to explain that as a young child,  you did not have a perception of yourself as a separate person from your parent. In your child’s mind you were part of a Unit of two: your parent and you. (For simplicity, I referred to your interactions with one parent only: your father).

    The Unit-of-two consisted of a strong, guiding part (your father) and a weak part that needed guidance (a dependent child). The naturally weak part needed the guidance of the strong part so to gradually develop a strong, separate perception of self. But when your father turned against you aggressively (being rude, cruel to you, expressing that he disliked you, hitting you, telling you terrible things, etc.), he guided you to view yourself as bad, something deserving his aggression, something that needs to be destroyed.

    Connecting this to what I quoted from Wikipedia: to promote the survival of the Unit-of-two, you had to destroy one part of the Unit (you stated that you were in the habit of directing your anger toward yourself, physically hitting yourself at times, as well as considering suicide as a child- the ultimate self destructive act).

    Your empathy therefore was not with the weak part of you, but with the strong part of you, aiming instinctively at promoting the survival of the Unit. Fast forward, your empathy was with the abusive dormitory man, not with the one he abused (you).

    I then added another point: you disliked your father for his closed mindedness, for his attitude of “his way or the highway”, for his focusing on other people’s faults, but not on his own faults. What you did next, perhaps more so in your second decade of life than in your first, was to take the extreme position opposite to your father’s:

    – it was his way or the highway—> in the context of interactions with others, you made your way invalid, and it was about his (a man’s) way, not yours.

    – your father  focused on other people’s faults—> you became blind to other people’s faults while they abuse you, excusing others’ bad behaviors.

    – he did not focus on his faults—> you overly focused on your faults to the point of making yourself sick.





    Dear anita,

    I am sorry that all your hard work was lost 🙁 It happened to me before, that I had lost a post, but it must be worse after you had put in so much time and effort to look for the quotes and read my old threads. Still, thank you so much for your help and dedication!

    Hopefully you were able to relax a bit afterwards and are feeling better now!

    My experience with the dormitory man has hurt me very much. What makes me sad is that this was my first experience with a man. I had really waited for something better. But I had become impatient with myself and was really confused at the time.

    His strange way of thinking had affected me too much. But I also want to correct myself. I was wrong in saying that this behaviour is normal in his culture. There, he wouldn’t even be allowed to have premarital sex… I think the problem was this individual. He was even more confused than me! For him, this kind of behaviour was seemingly normal. He had no empathy for me at all… I can get angry when thinking about him. The worst is the hypocrisy! How he expected a virgin bride, when he himself didn’t follow his own rules…

    What is true is that I am feeling guilty easily and always. I am now also feeling guilty about K again. Maybe I shouldn’t have met him again. And for looking at his pictures online. And even for something that I didn’t really do: connecting in whatsapp contacts. These thoughts still worry me and cause me anxiety. The thought of hurting another person is so terrible for me, that I try to fix it in every way possible, with bad results for me and the other person.

    When I was with the man from the dormitory, I hardly felt any empathy for myself, as I was so focused on not hurting him. It would have been better to help myself, preserve myself. The feeling I had was that I was so worthless, that it doesn’t matter if somebody hurts me, most important thing for me was to not hurt another person. Even if this person treated me like dirt. Once he even did something terrible to me and he even was shocked himself and said “god, what did I do?”. But for me the most important thing was to make him feel better, so I said to him: “it’s o.K., I forgive you.”, even though he had just completely humiliated me and crossed my boundaries.

    But I think that I have made progress when it comes to this. I now value myself more.

    When it comes to my parents, it is true that I felt like a burden to them during childhood… Even my sister said some time, that she felt like that. And the thought still comes up, when spending time with people. Am I getting on their nerves? Am I annoying them? Hurting them? The thought becomes so horrifying, that I often preferred to avoid social contacts and stuck to myself.

    My relationship with my father is complicated. Now we get along better. I am thinking that he is a very lonely and insecure man, even when trying to appear tough to the outside world. I can empathise with him… He must have had it hard himself. I do think that he is a good person at his core, but he is also not the easiest person to deal with…

    And during my childhood, he was not treating me so well… His words and actions towards me were often cruel and it has hurt me a lot. Sometimes I think that he saw his bad qualities in me, while he saw his good qualities in my sister? Then maybe this was the reason why he disliked me so much. Once he said to me: “You are a disgusting person that hates herself”. Now I think, that he probably said this to himself, but back then I did not understand and the words hurt me.

    Maybe this was why he was so aggressive towards me? Wanting to destroy the bad parts in himself?

    As for me, I do think that I often took on opposite positions to my fathers. Definitely when it came to religion, wanting to be open minded… Probably also in the points you listed. To be honest, it doesn’t quite sink in yet. What I can see is that I made my own needs invalid, that I overly focused on my faults, while forgiving everybody easily for theirs. And that this indeed made me sick and was very unhealthy for me.

    At least I am becoming more aware of my problems now and am more connected to my own feelings.

    During the last days I was also feeling a lot better and I think it is also thanks to communicating with you. It feels good that you are listening to me and that I am allowed to express my worries here.

    Today I had quite a productive day. In the morning I baked some cookies while listening to classica music and by candlelight. It was so nice! Then I finally finished packing Christmas parcels for my familiy and wrote a letter to my grandmother. Later I deep cleaned my room while listening to an Agatha Christie audiobook. For today, I am quite content with myself. How was your day?

    Take care!


    Dear Lily:

    My day is fine, thank you, it’s still going (1:45 pm my time, 10:45 om your time). I bet your home smells good having baked cookies, and I can imagine you baking to the sounds of classical music and candlelight (how classy!).

    I recovered after losing my post yesterday, thank you for your concern. I read your recent post and want to reply to it more Thursday morning, in about 16  hours from now. I will still be on the computer  before then, but I am not focused enough to reply to you at this time. Good night, Lily, sleep well.. it’s almost Christmas.. (how exciting, even if one celebrates it alone)!



    Dear Lily:

    I just realized that I was supposed to get back to you- I forgot to return to you. I am sorry.  But I didn’t forget about you:  I did think about you today! It will take me more time before I reply to your recent post because I am just about ready to go for my walk in the snow. I hope you are having a nice Christmas Eve. How are you???




    Dear anita,

    sorry I didn’t reply earlier. How are you? Hopefully you are having a nice Christmas eve.

    Today I deep cleaned the flat while listening to an audiobook. Then my grandmother called when she received my parcel. She sounded genuinely happy, which also made me feel good. Later one of my neighbours came by to give me a Christmas present. She had wrapped up some copypaper? It amused me and brightened my day. It was anice gesture and I can use the paper for sketching out things.

    In he evening I opened a package my parents had sent me and we talked a while on the phone. Overall the day was good, just sometimes I started worrying again. But now I am feeling fine.

    How was your day? Did you enjoy your walk? Please don’t stress yourself about the post!

    Take care!


    Dear Lily:

    Responding to your yesterday’s post: I know that your experience with the dormitory man hurt you a lot. You wrote: “What makes me sad is that this was my first experience with a man”- you are not alone in this because my first experience with a man was not better than yours. Like you were at the time, I too was very shy and had a very low self esteem. It took an aggressive rapist, for no better term, to force himself through my shy resistance and take advantage of me. I am sure that you and I are not the only ones who were taken advantage this way.

    “I was wrong in saying this behaviour is normal in his culture. There, he wouldn’t even be allowed to have premarital sex.. I think the problem was this individual”- I think it is the individual and the culture. Part of some cultures is to excuse men having premarital sex, but judge women harshly for the same.

    “I think that I made progress.. I now value myself more”- yes you have made progress and I am glad you value yourself more.

    Regarding your father being so aggressive, “to destroy the bad parts in himself?”- what people criticize about others (the outer critic) is what they criticize about themselves (the inner critic). The outer critic and the inner critic are two sides of the same coin.

    Regarding your most recent post- I am fine, came back from my walk in the cold yet sunny day. Good to read that you were productive today, that your grandmother received the parcel you sent her, sounding genuinely happy, and that it made you feel good, and that your neighbor gave you a Christmas present, and that you had a good talk with your parents on the phone.

    M E R R Y     C H R I S T M A S,   L I L Y




    Dear anita,

    I am sorry that you had to go through that! Nobody deserves to be mistreated like this! I wish that someone had taught me before that I was valuable and that I am allowed to say no. I wish that these things were talked about more in our society. I am thinking about these topics often, especially when the # metoo discussions came up. How many people have gone through similar things, getting hurt and then, on top of that, feeling shame?

    At least now I have learnt to value myself and to have more compassion for myself. It was the thing that helped me. Other people having real compassion with me instead of looking down at me. You helped me in that journey! I am thankful for that.

    We may have not have had a good first experience with men, but that doesn’t mean that it has to end this way. You are happily married, aren’t you? I am not willing to give up. I am not dead yet…

    I do not wish to give men like the man from the dormitory that much power over me. In reality he was only an insecure man, unable to self-reflect. He actually thought that he was being so nice to me? It confused me a lot. Which woman would like that sort of treatment? I cannot imagine one!

    You are right that his culture also plays a role. But I don’t know if what he did would be applauded where he comes from. Or seen as normal? I do not want to generalize too much. What I saw was that for him his behaviour was normal, which is so shocking. He even acted as if I was hurting him, when I did not do what he wanted. Well, he was just a disturbed person!

    About my father: yes he does seem to be very self-critical as well. He would probably benefit from therapy as well, but I doubt that he will do it. He is now the only person in my family who didn’t go to therapy. Being not open to new experiences and people at all, he has become a very lonely person.

    Your walk sounds good, I am a bit jealous of you for actually having snow. Maybe tomorrow I will have to motivate myself to go out for a walk. It will make me feel better.

    Thank you for your Christmas messages! I too wish you a very merry Christmas!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Lily.

    Dear Lily:

    “I am sorry that you had to go through that! Nobody deserves to be mistreated like this!”- and I am sorry that you had to go through what you did with the dormitory man, you did not deserve to be mistreated like that!

    “I wish that someone had taught me before that I was valuable and that I am allowed to say no. I wish that these things were talked about more in our society”- for a child, her parents are society. What did your/ my parents teach us? Did they respect our “no” (whether our “no” was a word or expressed as fear and tears)?

    When our parents repeatedly did not respect our No, not in a sexual context- we learned to not protest much later on, in a sexual context.

    “We may have not have had a good first experience with men, but that doesn’t mean that it has to end this way. You are happily married, aren’t you?”- yes I am, and I am still healing from my past experience, it still hurts.

    “I am not willing to give up. I am not dead yet..”- reading this just made my day, and it is not just any day: it is Christmas Day!

    “He (dormitory man) thought that he was being so nice to me?”- not likely. Some people are that selfish that they go for what they want without caring how it affects others.

    You mentioned snow and I just realized that it all melted here, so it is not a White Christmas after all!

    You are welcome and thank you for your very-merry-Christmas wish for me. I hope you have a good after- Christmas night.



    Dear anita,

    it is sad, that we were not able to learn these things in our families. Worse, our self-esteem was weakened. In my case, I think my parents didn’t understand much about how to raise children or they had their own issues… Sometimes I think it would be better, if people went through psychotherapy before having children.

    It is true, my “no” wasn’t considered very much… So I couldn’t learn these things. Then it’s no wonder I wasn’t able to defend myself against someone who was so aggressive in crossing my boundaries… At least I have now learnt to empathize with myself, instead of shaming myself further! I am thankful that therapy is available to me and that my second therapist is so competent!

    I guess you are right, we have to live with these bad experiences. For me, thoughts about what happened still comes up from time to time. Sometimes I think about making a graphic novel about it… But I also don’t want to expose myself too much. Still, I often think about these topics like sexual consent, virginity, how victims of sexual assault are treated. Why is it the way it is? At least I want to read more about it.

    The dormitory man actually said to me that he was treating me so well. He also said that women in Afghanistan are treated well and that he wanted to make me happy by sex… My conclusion: he was a very confused man. I could see that and also that he was suffering in some way, so I felt a bit sorry for him. But he treated me so poorly that I should have just given him a kick in the ass (not literally) and left him and never opened my doors for him again!

    Yesterday I went for a very long walk, but it was not such a good idea. I am feeling very tired now and it also feels a bit like a bladder infection or something. It was too cold and I should have worn warmer clothes. Well, I am feeling o.K., but I should be more careful next time! I think I will take a long bath now.

    Are you going for your walk again today? If so, better wear warm clothes 😉



    Dear Lily:

    Thank you for the warning regarding wearing warm clothes when walking, and I hope what feels like a bladder infection is not that.

    Your idea of want-to-be parents attending (competent/ quality) psychotherapy is excellent, I wish it could be implemented. Good to read once again that you learned to empathize with yourself instead of shaming yourself, and that you attend therapy with a competent therapist.

    You wrote that the dormitory man told you that he was treating you so well, that he wanted to make you happy by having sex with you, that women in Afghanistan are treated well.. and your conclusion is that “he was a very confused man”. But Lily, his objective was to have sex with you and he accomplished his objective successfully by what he said and did- this indicates clarity of thinking, not confusion.

    “I could see that.. he was suffering in some way”- we all do, all humans suffer in some way. Hold people responsible when they selfishly cause others to suffer. Don’t excuse people’s behavior by saying.. oh, he/ she is suffering too, he was confused, even when the person is partly confused.

    You wrote that you want to read more about “how victims of sexual assault are treated“;  Regarding the man who sexually assaulted you, aka the dormitory man, you wrote: “I should have just given him a kick in the ass (not literally) and left him and never opened my doors for him again!”- I agree except that you should have given him a kick in the ass literally, and with all the force you can muster; this is how a perpetrator of sexual assault should be treated.



    Dear anita,

    thank you, I already feel better. Less tired.

    The dormitory man was a strange man. The way that he treated me and the way he talked badly about others is enough to know that I do not want anything to do with him. I don’t want to accept such disrespect ever again. (He said that he fully respects me – what empty words…)

    The problem was that I did not trust in myself at all. I was too worried to fulfill other people’s expectations. I knew what he had done to me, but I doubted myself when he rejected my objections. I did even doubt my own perception! How strange is that…

    Feelings of guilt overcome me so easily… I wish I could stop that.

    I want to leave these two relationships in the past. Somehow my head thinks again and again about what I have done wrong, what I have done to hurt them. Less with the dormitory man, because his behaviour was so obviously wrong.

    K even told me that he had no reason to be angry at me. But now I get worried that meeting him was wrong… But I think I just tried my best. I had no intention to hurt him in any way. Maybe I haven’t found the right words, but it’s o.K. I am not perfect.

    Best to focus on other things. I want to move on. In the next days I want to work on my goals. One thing I have made progress on is also that I now am more clear about what I want in life. I want a calm life, living close to nature, preferably at the countryside. If I cannot support myself with my drawings, I still want to pursue this in part time as my life purpose. Besides that I would like to spend time with a few close friends and family. For example, I would like to cook together with friends once in a while or make art or crafts together.There is also a hope or a meaningful relationship at some point, but I am unsure if this will happen.

    Overall this year I want to focus on being more mindful. Maybe this will help me on becoming less distracted and finally becoming successful.

    In 2020 it doesn’t feel like I have accomplished too many visible goals. But I think I have made progress in healing myself and building more confidence in myself. I think this can become a foundation to finally make more tangible changes.

    What I am also proud of this year is that I have spent more time in nature. I learned a bit more about herbs and even tried out some recipes. I collected my own tea, made pesto, smoothies or pastry using wild plants. Also I went hiking with my mother and spent time at the forest and by the river. Next year I want to continue that and want to appreciate nature even more. Maybe I want to celebrate the seasons and eat seasonal food or watch which plants grow at which time…

    Do you also make goals for the new year?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Lily.

    Dear Lily:

    You are welcome. I am glad to read that you are feeling better, less tired, that you want to leave those two relationships behind, that you acknowledge that you have indeed made (significant) progress healing and building confidence in yourself, and that you are quite clear about what you want in life: to live close to nature, to draw, to cook with herbs you collect, to form a few close friendships and a meaningful relationship.

    Regarding your guilt feelings about K- that’s your over-grown, over-active and Rough Inner Critic, looking for what you may have done wrong. Ideally, you would have a <i>Gentle Inner Critic,</i> one that will guide you to do what’s right but without the anxiety, shame, guilt and excruciating doubt. I hope that in the coming year, you will shrink your inner critic and transform it from Rough, cruel and unforgiving to–> Gentle, kind and forgiving.

    I don’t make new year goals, but I used to. I like your goal of being mindful, and it happens to be my goal, every day.

    Happy New Year, Lily!


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