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I don't know how much more I can take

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This topic contains 62 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #335038

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for the advice. I have been really busy recently, so I haven’t checked this website. Sorry for the late reply! I’ve been talking to some people in my classes and hopefully, I will end up with some friends soon.

    While the cousin and the friends situations are slowly being solved, I feel that I have another problem. I ruminate a lot and think about my problems all the time. My therapist and I have been working on stopping the rumination cycle, but I just want to get myself to stop altogether. I know that it takes time to stop these things, but I just want the thoughts to go away. I don’t want to have to fight off thoughts that come into my head all day. An example of something that I ruminate about is my nose. I’m pretty sure just seeing pictures of noses triggers me into ruminating about mine. It’s just a very confusing situation for me. I stumbled upon a subreddit called “BigNoseLadies.” There are a bunch of pictures of women with big noses on there. I clicked on it hoping to find some appreciation of big noses that would maybe cause me to appreciate mine. However, their noses were a lot bigger than mine. Like, extraordinarily bigger than mine. That’s what causes me to think and think and think. I wonder how could my nose be considered big if it looks nothing like these women’s noses. But then I see pictures of models and see that their noses are small and mine is not as small as theirs.

    That is an example of a thought that I just want to stop. I know that teaching myself to stop the thought process over time will stop be from ruminating. However, I just want to get rid of the thought from the source. I don’t want to be “triggered” by everything all the time. I just want to be normal. I just want to stop thinking my nose is big. Or, I want to get surgery so my nose will be so small that nobody could consider it big if that is what it will take (even though I am scared of surgery and really don’t want to do it). Stopping the rumination is one thing, but how do I just stop the thoughts from even coming to me?

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Katie.
    #335170

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    “how do I just stop the thoughts from even coming to me?”- if by “just stop” you mean to no longer ruminate anytime soon, then you can’t. Some drugs will bring about a relief of no rumination at all but will lead to far greater problems and the relief at one point on is a thing of the past. SSRI drugs are prescribed for obsessive thinking, and they take of the edge off, a relief for some time, but they don’t accomplish that permanent relief you wish to have.

    Psychotherapy, if it is quality psychotherapy with a therapist that understands OCD, then with lots of work and time you will make great progress. In therapy it will take teaching you and you practicing a multi disciplinary approach, that is, teaching you emotional regulation skills aimed at you lowering your anxiety every time it is elevated through mindful practice, it takes you having a daily routine that works for you, it takes you being selective as to the people you choose in your life, it takes you having some insight into the origin of your elevated anxiety back in your early childhood, it takes you practicing empathy toward yourself and assertiveness with others, and probably more things that I am not thinking about right now.

    I can tell you what doesn’t work: the compulsion to check following an obsession. For example, regarding your nose obsession: to google photos of noses, to ask people if your nose is big, and this is what I see members doing on this forum when obsessed with this or that worry- they ask people their opinion on the issue, but they are never satisfied with answers, they keep asking and asking on any website they can get to, asking the same question. No matter the answers they receive (some answers are thoughtful, thorough, complete and excellent), no answer satisfies them and following getting an excellent answer, they ask the same question as if for the first time.

    Regarding the origin of your elevated anxiety overall (I say elevated because all humans are anxious, it is the human condition), I remember from our previous communication that it has something to do with your mother giving you the message very early on, I think it was pre-school, or kindergarten, that there is something wrong with you, even taking you to doctors to figure out what is wrong with you (while all along there was nothing wrong with you).

    Maybe that message turned into the core belief: something is wrong with me. And it is this core belief that is fueling your Nose Obsession. This message/ core belief better be looked at in context of your therapy. You are welcome to share more about it here, if you want. We can talk about it further, here.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #335182

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    Yeah, that sounds like me. I ask the same question over and over. I just want somebody to say “your nose is not big” but I’ve also been told that many times, and I am never happy with it.

    And yeah, I would like to talk about it further here.  I remember growing up feeling that I was different and weird. I just always felt less than. Do you think it also could’ve also been the way teachers treated me when I was young? Before I entered school, I was a very confident girl. I remember thinking I was awesome and that I was able to do anything I put my mind to. But for some reason, all my memories (beginning from preschool) include me being shy, anxious, and even sad. I remember feeling extremely nervous as a 4-year-old to go up to a group of girls and ask to play with them. I had to talk myself into doing things like that even when I was just 4.  But how did that form? I also remember being very slow in learning the alphabet. I think teachers thought I had a learning disability. The thing is though, I don’t have a learning disability and I don’t think I ever did, I just didn’t feel motivated to learn it. Even though (knowing myself) I feel like I would’ve been really excited to learn the alphabet, but I think I was overwhelmed with so much anxiety as a child that I couldn’t focus.

    I had to see a therapist when I was 9 because teachers told my mom I needed one to find out what was wrong with me. I remember feeling really uncomfortable at the therapist’s office because I knew most kids did not go there. It just made me feel weird and like a loser. All the happy, cool, and normal kids did not go to therapists and I was socially aware enough to know that. My therapist would ask me questions and I would just answer with “I don’t know” and I was speaking as little as possible, which thinking back, was probably a reaction to me feeling uncomfortable and just not wanting to be there. The therapist wasn’t able to find anything wrong with me besides that I was very shy.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Katie.
    #335190

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    Also, I just have a question. I don’t really know who else to ask because I just want an unbiased answer. Mayo Clinic states: “<b>Body dysmorphic disorder</b> is a mental health <b>disorder</b> in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can’t be seen by others.” If it’s true that I have BDD and that I am thinking about a flaw that ‘appears minor or can’t be seen by others,’ how come 2 people have pointed out my flaws? I can understand my flaws being minor because I lived most of my life without even knowing of these flaws I have. They just kinda appeared one day when I began to feel extremely anxious about myself and was looking for what is wrong with me. However, my cousin pointed out my nose, and that makes me feel that is isn’t minor. Actually, I don’t think that I thought my nose was big until my cousin told me it was. Another girl (who I met at college and I used to be friends with but have since cut out because she is kinda toxic) would point out my small forehead. She would make fun of me for it. Do you think there could be something wrong with these 2 people? Because they are the only ones who pointed it out in my life. Or, could my flaws be noticeable to everyone but they are the only ones who say it out loud? I may just be ruminating right now, but if it’s true that these people are not normal by noticing my flaws, it helps me to understand that maybe I have no reason to worry about them. Maybe most people don’t even notice them. It’s just very confusing 🙁 I just want to make it clear that in my 20 years of living, these are the only two people in my life who have ever said anything negative about my appearance and even more so, the only 2 people who have ever pointed out specific things about my appearance.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Katie.
    #335208

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    Your second post is about your compulsion to check your obsession, to get more and more input regarding your nose from a different angle, you want me to tell you that you shouldn’t take your cousin’s comment about your nose and the other girl’s comment regarding your forehead seriously for whatever reason. So I wont respond to it further, because like you stated yourself: “I ask the same question over and over. I just want somebody to say ‘your nose is not big ‘ but I’ve been told that many times, and I am never happy with it“.

    Regarding your first post, can you answer specifically and factually the following two questions:

    1. What exactly did your teachers in pre-school and grammar school say or do to you that caused you to feel “shy, anxious, and very sad”?

    2. What is it that your mother say and did to you during your first decade of life that caused you to feel shy, anxious and very sad?

    (I will soon be away from the computer for a few hours).

    anita

     

    #335216

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    1. I don’t remember specifically what teachers would say in preschool, but I know my dad would try to help me learn the alphabet and I felt bad that I wasn’t picking up on it like other kids. I knew my dad had to help me because I wasn’t learning it. I actually don’t remember my preschool teachers talking to me much (maybe they did and I don’t remember or maybe they just didn’t), but my mom told me that they would say something is wrong with me to her and my dad. I think teachers would call my parents in for a parent-teacher conference and say “I don’t know what’s wrong with her but something is wrong, maybe she has autism.” I have considered that maybe I’m autistic but I highly doubt it because I’m aware of what’s going on socially and I just don’t really exhibit any symptoms. I also took tests online and I always come up as “not likely to be on the spectrum.” As for grammar schools, I also don’t remember my teachers talking to me much. I had one or two nice ones, but I remember I had a lot of mean ones who would yell at me instead of helping me. I had a lot of trouble paying attention in class, and teachers would be very nasty to me over it. I think that when teachers yelled at me for not paying attention, it hurt me more than it helped me. It wasn’t really a behavior problem that I had, my mind would just wander and I didn’t know how to bring it back. When teachers would yell at me, I think they thought I wasn’t paying attention because I was a bad student. But that actually wasn’t true, I wanted to pay attention but I just couldn’t. I felt sad that I couldn’t do well in school and I truly wanted to.

    2. My mom didn’t really say anything specifically to make me that way, but I think there were a few things she did. I don’t think she was as involved in my life as she should’ve been. I noticed everyone else’s mothers would stand up for them and fight for them, but my mom wasn’t really aware of when I was mistreated. Going off of what I said in the above paragraph, I feel that my mom should’ve defended me to the teachers that would yell at me. I wish my parents would’ve figured out what caused me to be unable to pay attention (maybe it was ADHD, maybe it was me dissociating because of how anxious I felt) and told my teachers that it’s not okay for them to yell at me as if I need to be punished for something I couldn’t help. I think all those times that people/teachers would try to punish me for things I couldn’t help, I became passive and believed something was wrong with me. I also should’ve told my parents what was happening, but I didn’t know there was anything to tell because I thought I was just a bad kid.

    #335220

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    I don’t have time this afternoon to read all of your recent post, I will read it all tomorrow morning. But for now I want to ask you a question about something you wrote (you told me this before, many months ago, I remember it): “my mom told me that they would say something is wrong with me to her and my dad”-

    – there is something wrong about a  mother telling her pre-school child or grammar school age child that someone (be it whomever) told her that something is wrong with her child. Do you see that????

    anita

     

    #335286

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    My first question to you was: “What exactly did your teachers in pre-school and grammar school say or do to you that caused you to feel ‘shy, anxious, and very sad’?”-

    – your answer: “I don’t remember my preschool teachers talking to me much (maybe they did and I don’t remember or maybe they just didn’t), but my mom told me that they would say something is wrong with me.. I think teachers would call my parents and say ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with her but something is wrong, maybe she has autism.’… As for grammar schools, I also don’t remember my teachers talking to me much.. I remember I had a few mean (teachers) who would yell at me instead of helping me.. I think that when teachers yelled at me for not paying attention, it hurt me… I wanted to pay attention but I just couldn’t.”

    My second question to you was: What is it that your mother said and did to you during your first decade of life that caused you to feel shy, anxious and very sad?-

    – Your answer: “My mom didn’t really say anything specifically to make me that way… my mom wasn’t really aware of when I was mistreated.. my mom should’ve defended me to the teachers that would yell at me.. and told my teachers that it’s not okay for them to yell at me”.

    My input today:

    1. You don’t remember anything at all that teachers told you but you do remember that your mother told you that your teachers said that something is wrong with you (“my mom told me that they would say something is wrong”), you figured that your teachers said to your mother/ parents something like this: “I don’t know what’s wrong with her but something is wrong, maybe she has autism”-

    – it is very unlikely that teachers, especially special education teacher/ professionals would use such a word as “wrong”, as in “something is wrong (with a child/ student)” or “I don’t know what’s wrong with her but something is wrong“- it is very unprofessional to use the adjective wrong when discussing a student, especially given the fact that you were at pre-school in the 2000s, in very modern times. I think that a teacher using the word “wrong” to describe a student to her parents can be fired and the school sued for using this word.

    Also, it is not likely that a teacher told your mother: “maybe she has autism”, to be guessing this way. It is not professional.

    2. You do remember that your mother said to you: “my mom told me that they would say something is wrong with me”- they didn’t say that, she said that. If she didn’t mean to hurt you, then she was very inattentive and callous about what she said to her very young child. And if she was so callous that time, I don’t know how many more things she told you that were extremely insensitive and callous.

    3. You wrote: “My mom didn’t really say anything specifically to make me that way”, meaning you are not aware that when a mother tells her child: something is wrong with you, it is going to make the child anxious and very hurt.

    4. Teachers yelled at you and they shouldn’t have, and neither one of your parents stood up for you. As a matter of fact, not only did your mother not stand up for you and “should’ve defended me to the teachers”, she offended you by telling you that something is wrong with you!

    * I suggest that you talk to your therapist about this very point that I brought up here, using your words.

    If you feel comfortable to share what else did your mother say to you that may be offensive, suggesting to you in other circumstances that there is something wrong with you, please do.

    anita

    #335600

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    I’m sorry again for the late reply. I had something come up regarding school but I’ll try to let you know so you know next time when I won’t reply as fast.

    As for the first post, yes I see how that is wrong. I just want to clarify, though, that my mom didn’t reveal that information to me until about 2 years ago (when I was 18). She didn’t tell me about what my teachers said until randomly when she was ranting about how bad my elementary school was. It still hurt to hear those things, though. I remember feeling really sad when my mom revealed my teachers thought I had autism. Because even though there is nothing wrong of with autism, it kind of validated this weird feeling I grew up having. I always grew up feeling out of place and different. Teachers never really cared for me, I was never a favorite student, I seemed indifferent to them. If my teachers did truly think I had autism, then I thought maybe my fear of people thinking I’m weird or different (a feeling I had and still have) is logical. Maybe that is where it came from, maybe I could sense how my teachers felt about me based on how they treated me. To clarify: there isn’t anything wrong with autism and I wouldn’t even care if I had it. However, considering that I’m not even close to having it based on tests, it makes me feel weird that people may have thought I did. I would understand if I DID have autism, but I don’t.

    But even though my parents never told me what my teachers said when I was young, I could still somewhat tell. I knew my parents would go in to speak to my teachers a lot, and once my parents told me (when I was around 9) that my teachers said they were going to hold me back a grade if I didn’t improve my test scores. I also knew that my teachers told my parents to take me to a therapist and other stuff. I don’t know if my parents ever specifically told me that my teachers suggested I see a therapist, but I may have just assumed because most of the therapy was based around school. My teachers would always call my parents in for meetings in order to improve my grades. For example, one time my parents when in for a meeting, when they came back we went out and bought 20 of my favorite toy at the time (they were these really small, cheap toys so it was easy to get), and my parents gave them to my teacher so they could give it to me every time I rose my hand. It was supposed to be a positive reinforcement for speaking in class. It somewhat worked, so maybe it was good, but those things were the hints. These things don’t seem outwardly bad. It seemed like my teachers cared about my grades and wanted me to improve. However, there is something off about it to me. Today, I’m a good student, a great one even. I get straight A’s and study a lot. I always pay attention in class.

    I think my inability to pay attention was definitely caused by pain. Whether that pain was anxiety, sadness, or whatever, I just had low self-esteem and didn’t think I could do well. I think those problems should’ve been solved, but they weren’t. And something was obviously causing the low self-esteem.

    And it makes sense that my mom may have used her own words when describing that teachers would say something was wrong with me.

    And lastly, I still can’t remember specifics if my mom ever said anything offensive, she probably didn’t or maybe I just forgot. But I just remember that my mom wasn’t as involved in my growing up as I think she should’ve been even though she was always there, she just wasn’t there for me emotionally.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Katie.
    #335696

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    No need to apologize for late replies, no such thing as late here, reply when you have the time and desire.

    “I always grew up feeling out of place and different”, and you think it is because teachers at school, although you don’t remember what, if anything they said to you.

    When your mother “was ranting about how bad my elementary school was”, she was blaming the school for.. whatever she was blaming the school. You too are blaming the school for how you experience life, for that pain (“I think my inability to pay attention was definitely caused by pain”).

    Do you remember what she was ranting about on that day regarding your elementary school.. and what she was ranting about at other times?

    * Do take your time to answer and keep in mind: you don’t have to answer me. If our communication becomes confusing or distressing for you, you can take a temporary (or permanent) break from it anytime. To be polite, all you have to do is to let me know that you are taking a break, that is all.

    anita

     

     

     

    #336126

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    She was ranting about the moms at the school. She said one of them invited every boy in the class to the son’s birthday party except for my brother. She was talking about how my brother was really upset because at the end of the school day the teacher said, “everyone going to (son’s name’s) birthday party line up!” and all the boys lined up except for my brother because he wasn’t invited. She was basically ranting about how bad it was there and how teachers and parents were really uptight and snobby.

    My mom rants about elementary school a lot because she said the people there were really rude. I don’t know if you’re from the United States, but I went to elementary school in a city that is known for its “rude, closed off” people. A lot of the people there were apparently very rude and uptight.

    #336130

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    Also, something has been causing me to be really upset. The situation is really confusing for me. So, all throughout high school, I had my group of friends. I was really close to them. However, when we entered college we all remained close. Some of us were closer than others, for example, I was really close with a couple of girls while I wasn’t so close with others.

    I feel that recently, because of my mental problems, I’m not as close with them even though they were my best friends. Yes, I understand people drift apart when they enter college, but they’re all still close (I’m in a group message with them through text, they talk 24/7 ). I have just distanced myself (not on purpose) because, with my body dysmorphia, I have naturally isolated myself. I also would get really anxious in social situations so even though these were my best friends, my anxiety is through the roof and I can’t feel comfortable talking to them.

    However, I noticed that they don’t seem to care. My best friend (let’s call her Emily) has texted me once saying “hey what’s up you haven’t texted much” but that was about a month ago and since then she hasn’t texted me at all.

    I went home one weekend and my other friend (who I wasn’t as close to) was also home. I texted her saying, “hey are you home too?” And she said, “yeah but I’m busy.” Coincidentally, my cousin was in town visiting me. When that friend found out my cousin was there, she texted her saying, “ugh I’m so mad I didn’t know you were here! I’m going back to school now :(”

    That made me upset because she only knows my cousin through me. Also, she clearly didn’t care that I was home?

    I feel that everyone thinks I’m boring now. I don’t say much when I talk to my friends anymore because the only “major” event happening is that I am trying to recover from my anxiety disorders. I used to have tons to talk about (boys, school, friends, hobbies) but now I have none of that. Schools boring, I am in a committed relationship with no drama so nothing to talk about there except “yeah, he treats me really good,” no friends at college except for people I don’t like, and I have hobbies but ones that none of them care about. I also don’t do much because my friends’ daily activities include: drink, smoke, hook up with guys, have fights with their friends, etc. I avoid doing all of those things because they trigger my anxiety. When I drink, I get anxiety about how it’s going to affect my health (it also used to cause me anxiety because I would get so hungry and eat everything when drunk because the alcohol would hurt my stomach, and then I would feel so fat and gross. I think I’m over that though). I don’t smoke for the same reason (because of my BDD, I’m very serious about my skin and smoking + drinking causes premature wrinkles). I don’t hook up with guys because I’m loyal to my boyfriend, I also don’t have fights with the people I’m close to because I don’t care for drama.

    I am using my cousin as an example of someone that my friends want to be friends with. She is outgoing, she talks a lot, and she drinks and parties. I used to be the same way, but because of how I am now, I’m not. And clearly my friends don’t seem to be very affected by my lack of presence. I’m just really upset. I don’t know… is it my fault? Their fault? All I know is it hurts to know that my friends don’t really seem to care for me. That’s why it’s so hard for me to end contact with my cousin. She and my boyfriend are the only people who really seem to “care.” Even though my cousin is toxic, she still seems to care. Although I feel like it’s hard for me to tell when people don’t truly care about me. I try to talk about this with my cousin and boyfriend, but they always just say I need to put the effort in. The problem is, I don’t feel comfortable putting effort in. Also, I try talking about this with my therapist but I’m just so confused about this situation that I don’t know how to express it properly.

    I’m very confused about why I feel so hurt by this situation.

     

    I feel like I need to be someone I’m not for my friends to care. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I were different. If I was confident, wore cute clothes, didn’t study for school, was single, was always hooking up with guys, had tons of friends at school, was partying, was drinking, was smoking, was tan and wore makeup, etc, then they would love me. But I’m not like that anymore. And I shouldn’t have to change to make them interested in me, right? But I keep getting the same advice to just put effort in. How do I put effort in?! I want to be myself.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Katie.
    #336132

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    I will be able to read your recent posts (and anything you may add to it) when I am back to the computer in about 13 hours from now. I read the last line, that you are very confused and feel so hurt. Try to relax this evening/ night, listen to some guided meditation or soft music or take a hot bath, and I hope you will feel better soon.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  anita.
    #336138

    Katie
    Participant

    Anita,

    Okay, thank you. I will do that.

    #336190

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    Regarding your first post yesterday, your mother ranting, Here is an Cambridge online definition of the verb to rant: “to speak, write or shout in a loud, uncontrolled, or angry way, often saying confused or silly things”- it is never a good idea for a parent to rant to a child about anything, it is never a healthy thing for the child. Whatever complaints she had regarding elementary school (and I do live in the US and have  worked as a teacher in big city elementary schools), she should have talked to the teachers/ school staff about, not rant to her children.

    A child needs a calm, sensible, logical mother, not a ranting maniac.

    She claimed that “parents were really uptight and snobby”- I don’t know about snobby, but your mother herself has been very uptight, reads to me. She blames school teachers, other parents.. she blames everyone else, doesn’t she, except for herself.

    Regarding your second post: it is a good thing that you are “in a committed relationship with no drama so nothing to talk about there except ‘yeah, he treats me really good”, and it is a good thing to not engage in your “friends’ daily activities.. drink, smoke, hook up with guys, have fights with their friends”. It’s a good thing that you don’t “get so hungry and eat everything when drunk.. don’t smoke… don’t hook up with guys… don’t have fights.. don’t care for drama”.

    Unlike your boyfriend (and cousin), I don’t think you “need to put the effort in” getting closer to peers who drink, smoke, hook up with guys, and fight with their friends. How can it possibly be a good advice for anyone to befriend people who behave in such ways that deliver STDs and unecessary drama and aggression into their lives?

    I think that it is time for you to make new friends, friends who do not do the behaviors that harm them and that will harm you if you engage in them (just as they already harmed you in the past).

    Instead of compromising yourself so to fit their clique, find your own, find peers who are compatible with who you are!

    anita

     

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