March 4, 2020 at 3:12 pm #341488
I will be able to read your recent post and reply when I am back to the computer in about 15 hours from now.
anitaMarch 4, 2020 at 3:13 pm #341490
* didn’t reflect under TopicsMarch 5, 2020 at 8:51 am #341662
On one hand you write about your cousin: “she is a big part of my support system. Who else, besides my boyfriend would support me?”, and on the other hand, you write about her: “she is kinda the bad guy for telling me I need a nose job, constantly putting down my intelligence, saying I’m fat, putting her toxic ways of thinking onto me, and just not seeming to care about me in a lot of situations“-
You can’t have it both way: a big part of your support system is not congruent with putting you down and not caring for you constantly and in a lot of situations.
– so which one is it???
anitaMarch 8, 2020 at 10:10 am #342250
I don’t know 🙁 and that’s what makes it so confusing for meMarch 8, 2020 at 10:47 am #342260
We are all people who need people, and when the only people available to us put us down once in a while, we’ll tolerate it because .. we need people. But once we figure something like this: wait, there are such people that will not put me down? I didn’t know that, so… I don’t have to tolerate put downs so to have people in my life???
If your cousin is the only sometimes-friendly person in your life, then no cousin= no social life, then it is cousin, no matter who and what.
anitaMarch 12, 2020 at 10:07 am #342964
That makes sense. I still view her as my best friend, and it is hard to let go (probably for the reason you explained). It is so weird how it always comes back to her. All my problems always come back to her. In the end, I am always complaining about her. What she said caused me to hate myself, what she did made me cry, but in the end, I feel like it is my fault for not standing up for myself or confronting her.
I tried setting up a boundary with her recently. She kept saying “this girl is so ugly” so I simply said, “hey can we not talk about this kind of stuff anymore? it seems toxic” and she got really mad. Whenever I asked her a simple question, she would answer with “I am not answering, too toxic.” That annoyed me because instead of understanding, she began to act petty.
I’ve been researching narcissistic relationships, and I feel like she is a narcissist. The funny thing is, this is EXACTLY how I felt in the abusive relationship with my ex. I cared about him, and I care about my cousin. He would insult me, she insults me. I would try to leave but mentally couldn’t allow myself to, I try to leave my relationship with her but can’t allow myself to. I can’t tell if she is my best friend or my worst enemy. Is she just obliviously rude? Or does she do it on purpose? Is it my fault for not standing up for myself? Or is there something greater going on? Am I overreacting?
I just feel very confused, all the time. Sometimes I feel like it is in my head, but other times I can’t deny what’s going on.March 12, 2020 at 10:13 am #342966
I feel so dumb. Like part of me feels like I’m overreacting because there’s no proof. There’s 0 proof that she purposely tries to hurt me. Like she just does and I don’t feel comfortable confronting her. Does she even try to hurt me? What if she doesn’t know she hurts me? How can she not know?
Also, the last time she really attacked my appearance was a long time ago. It seems that she stopped. Why? Is there a reason? Does she know I was hurt so she stopped? Or was it in my head? Is she a good friend for stopping? Even though she stopped, why does she still bother me? Why does she still make me so mad? My boyfriend sometimes gets mad at me because I ALWAYS confront him and even yell at him for doing something wrong or mistreating me, but he notices that I can’t confront my cousin AT ALL. Why don’t I feel comfortable confronting her in the same way as him?
When she was talking to my first ex (first love), did she do it on purpose? Or am I blaming her for something out of her control? I know we stated that she did it on purpose, but what if she didn’t. What if I just made it seem that way. I have no idea.
Sorry for all the questions, I don’t expect you to answer but this is just what is in my head. All the time. I am so unsure of what is going on. I feel lost 🙁
March 12, 2020 at 12:16 pm #342984
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Katie.
“There’s 0 proof that she purposefully tries to hurt me”-
First, you don’t need proof because you are not a prosecuting attorney in a court of law needing to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that your cousin is guilty. She is not in danger of being incarcerated, so you don’t need proof so to make sure she is not falsely incarcerated.
Second, if she hurts you not purposefully, it still hurts. When you cut your finger by accident, not purposefully, when cutting vegetables for a salad, your finger still bleeds, and it hurts, doesn’t it.
“Does she even try to hurt me?”- it doesn’t matter if she tries to hurt you or if she hurts you effortlessly. It matters that she repeatedly hurts you.
“What if she doesn’t know she hurts me?”- I thought you told her many times that her comments (ex., regarding your nose) hurt you. Didn’t you?
“How can she not know?”- if you never told her, she may not know. If you told her, she knows but she doesn’t care- your hurt feelings are not her concern.
“the last time she really attacked my appearance was a long time ago.. Is she a good friend for stopping?”- if she apologized and stopped all her offensive behavior against you, then I guess she may be a good friend. I was not under the impression that it was the case.
“Why don’t I feel comfortable confronting her in the same way as him?”- you are either afraid of her but you are not afraid of your boyfriend and/ or you feel guilty about confronting your cousin but you don’t feel guilty about confronting your boyfriend.
“am I blaming her for something out of her control? I know we stated that she did it on purpose, but what if she didn’t”-
-what if it is your legal and ethical right (it is) to cut contact with your cousin without taking her to an imaginary court of law (where you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she intended to hurt you, that it was in her control to not hurt you and yet she purposefully chose to hurt you)? What if… you can have her out of your life simply because you want to. Life without your cousin may be better for you (and I think she will live fine without you in her life, so nobody loses).
March 12, 2020 at 4:05 pm #343024
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Thank you for your reply. I haven’t told her that her comments (especially regarding my nose) hurt me. I have just been too afraid to tell her, and I have no idea why. Maybe I’m afraid of her. I feel very nervous when I think about how I would confront her. To me, confronting her wouldn’t change much because it wouldn’t stop my hurting.
I also feel that she knows what she is doing hurts me. She has been vocal about people saying negative things about her appearance and how it hurts her feelings, so that is an indicator to me that she knows. So if I confront her, what will she say? Apologize and not mean it? She can’t take back my pain. She is smart enough to know what is rude and what isn’t rude.
Also, yes, she stopped saying negative things about my appearance. I have no idea why she stopped. I never confronted her to stop, she just did. I think it may have been because she could tell I was developing some issues around my appearance. All I know is that I never told her to stop. For all I know, she could say something rude about my appearance next week. It could also just be because I distanced myself and she doesn’t have as many opportunities to even say anything.
I will try to end the contact. The problem is, she wants to visit me in a couple of weeks. I told her that she may not be able to come, and she got really mad.March 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm #343050
I will read your recent post and reply to you when I am back to the computer in about 12 hours from now.
anitaMarch 13, 2020 at 9:58 am #343136
Nov 2019, you wrote about your cousin: “She would always put me down, and sometimes not even so subtly.. when I was 12, she would tell me I wasn’t pretty enough to be popular.. once my cousin began to laugh at me for not being pretty enough.. She would laugh at me, LAUGH…she would look me up and down, laugh, and say, ‘no offense Katie, but you’re not pretty. I know you’re not popular because you’re just not pretty enough.’ … when I was 14, my cousin told me my eyebrows were too thick. She told me my legs are too fat. She began to tell me my nose was too big… She always had something bad to say about me.. my cousin would laugh at me saying I desperately needed a nose job)”
You explained in that thread that your cousin’s mother tells her daughter (your cousin) negative things similar to what she tells you, putting her own daughter down. Your cousin’s response to her mother’s verbal abuse is not to blame her mother and confront her mother so to stop the verbal abuse directed at her. Her response instead, is to take it out on you (the bold face here are your words).
So she allows her mother to throw insults at her and her reaction is to throw insults at you. She is afraid to confront her mother and you are afraid to confront your cousin. Let’s look at your fear as you wrote about it in your recent post here: “I have just been too afraid to tell her, and I have no idea why. Maybe I’m afraid of her. I feel nervous when I think about how I would confront her”-
– imagine you confronting her, as an exercise (not planning at all to execute the plan) and type away whatever comes to mind as to what you say, what she says, what you do, what she does, etc.
March 15, 2020 at 2:49 pm #343452
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Okay here would be the scenario:
In an ideal world where I had no fear of confronting her, I would probably say the following. Also, after writing it all out, I also naturally added other things I was hurt about. I also started to get flashbacks of when she and I were very close, and when I used to have self-respect and confidence. I know that throughout the years when I lost my self-confidence and faith in myself, it was due to other things besides her. It was because of my abusive relationship and possibly even the prominence of social media because of its focus on beauty. However, she was my best friend and she hurt me which made those effects even worse.
“Hey, you know how I have self-esteem issues and body dysmorphia? I just wanted to let you know that a big reason as to why I have those problems is because of what you had said to me. I always had trouble accepting myself, but when you said I needed a nose job, it became even harder to accept myself. I really fell down a path of self-hatred and it caused me a lot of pain. I wouldn’t allow myself to be happy because of what you said. If I were to look in the mirror and think for a second that I looked pretty or that my nose looked cute and small, I would instantly squash any of that because I couldn’t allow myself to do so. All I knew was that you said my nose needed to be fixed.
You knew I struggled with self-esteem for my entire life. You are my cousin, you saw me grow up because we have always been close. You saw me when I would struggle with shyness and anxiety. You saw how I was afraid to put myself out there. However, instead of lifting me up when I needed it, you brought me down. You would tell me I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or cool enough. So my question is, why have you always put me down? In the moments when I needed your help, you seemed so focused on my flaws. When I first entered college and was trying to break up with my abusive boyfriend, you told me I needed a nose job. Why would you tell me THAT during THAT time?! That was a time when I needed strength, bravery, and confidence in myself. Were you just oblivious to what was going on?
I miss when we were 16 and we were the closest we ever were. I don’t know what was different then, but I think I would just look past your mean words because I knew you were my best friend. We had so much fun together. We would travel, meet people, laugh together, take photos, etc. Your words have always hurt me but I had ignored them until it became too hard for me to ignore.
When I got into an abusive relationship, you didn’t seem to care. I was changing. Don’t you remember how much happier I was before the relationship? How I was able to talk to anyone, I would dress up and wear makeup, I would laugh??? How I had tons of friends and would meet people wherever I went? Then, when I stopped grooming myself, stopped talking to people, and felt depressed because of him, you didn’t seem to care? You didn’t seem to care that the old Katie (the fun, happy, talkative, and well-liked Katie) was gone. I felt depressed. My ex would completely take advantage of me. I became silent. I barely talked to anyone. Didn’t you notice the change? It seemed like you just accepted this new version of me. That hurt me because when I was struggling and changing, it seemed like you just turned a blind eye. Like everyone else. Except, you were supposed to be my best friend.”March 15, 2020 at 3:07 pm #343456
You said it all perfectly, clearly, thoroughly, sensibly. What you typed above is fluent, honest, believable (nothing seems made up or exaggerated). After reading this exercise, I am all behind you ending all contact with her. I wouldn’t confront her if I was you, as in starting a conversation- because it wouldn’t turn out to be a conversation but an argument, or her dismissing what you said, blaming you further, etc., all not good for you, and in no way will it fix this broken friendship.
anitaMarch 16, 2020 at 10:17 pm #343728
thank you for the advice. I will continue to try to end contact with her. I want to end contact with her so badly. I feel that it would help me grow. I want to replace her with people who better me. However, it seems so difficult. Going back to my body dysmorphia, I feel like my nose holds me back so much. I look at people who are happy and they all have perfect noses. I feel like my nose keeps me from being attractive. It makes me feel inferior. It makes me feel afraid to put myself out there because 1) I dislike myself and 2) I feel like others will judge me for the things I dislike about myself. I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I want to be confident and happy. My anxiety over my nose has gotten so much better than before, but it’s still there. And it still makes me feel ugly.
it hurts me because I look in the mirror and think, ”she is crazy for thinking my nose is big. It’s small” but then I think about it and I’m like “I think I’m just blind. I can’t ignore that it’s not perfect. People probably think my nose is big and I’m the only one who thinks it’s not”
People in this world are super critical. How don’t I know they’re not judging me? My therapist tells me to trust my gut, and my gut told me that my nose isn’t bad (because I didn’t care about my nose for years. I never thought it took away from my beauty). However, now my gut is telling me my nose is bad. Or just that my face is bad. Who can I trust? The old me or the new me? I hate this feeling 🙁
I haven’t mentioned much about this, but I’ve been somewhat losing feelings for my boyfriend. I still love him so I’m trying to work it out, but I noticed I was losing feelings when I was attracted to other people. I was crushing on other people.
This may sound wrong or like cheating, but it was just a thought so I don’t want to take it seriously. I was just thinking about this guy that I really think is attractive because he’s really mature and into self growth (again, just a thought. I know it sounds wrong to think that because I have a boyfriend, but I would never act on that thought). I was imagining myself with a guy like him, but then I saw he was following this girl I know on Instagram. The girl is really pretty and I feel like she is way prettier than me, so I was sad. Because I thought to myself “who am I kidding? Why am I imagining myself with a guy like him. He is into girls like that, not me” and I felt really sad. Then I was like, “it’s because of my nose. If my nose was smaller and fixed, I would be as pretty as that girl”
does that make sense? I’m not trying to cheat on my boyfriend but I was just thinking about what it would be like to date that kind of guy. Then I felt insecure because I felt I’m not good enough for it. But I don’t want to feel that way. I want to be confident and feel that I can date whoever I want.
March 17, 2020 at 7:49 am #343762
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Katie.
Regarding the first part of your recent post, about your cousin, your nose and .. your gut: obviously you can’t trust your gut to tell you if your nose is small or big. Problem is you can’t trust science either, because you measured your nose, researched and compared nose sizes and still, your gut says one thing one time and another thing at another time. Here is what I suggest: assume that you do have a big nose, and imagine you have a young child with a big nose- will you abuse that child, put her in front of a mirror and tell her: look what a big nose you have, how ugly you are, I hate you for having a big nose! Will you say it to that little girl with sad eyes looking up to you, hurt beyond words? Or will you keep your thoughts about her nose to yourself, no matter how unpleasant, and say nothing to the child, treating her kindly at all times?
Stop fighting within yourself: small nose or big nose? Choose big nose and live with it well.
Regarding your cousin, you wrote: “I want to end contact with her so badly.. However, it seems so difficult. Going back to my body dysmorphia, I feel like my nose holds me back..”- with all due respect to the size of your nose, it can’t possibly be big enough to exert such force as to hold your whole body back. It can’t even stand on its own! So it’s not the nose that is holding you back, it’s fear and mental distress.
And who is feeding your fear and distress? Answer: your cousin, you wrote it yourself: “I want to end contact with her so badly. I feel that it would help me grow”- meaning she is holding you back, she is exerting force against you, keeping you stuck. If not by things she currently tells you, then by the memory of what she did say and by knowing that she can say negative things to you anytime, because that’s her habit with people.
If and when you cut contact with your cousin (and any person who holds you back from bettering yourself and growing), it will not solve all your problems, it will be a necessary beginning to solving problems.
Regarding the second part of your recent post, your relationship with your boyfriend and your nose: you shared that you’ve been “losing feelings for my boyfriend.. attracted to other people.. crushing on other people”, and you imagined being with one of your crushes but you feel that you are not pretty enough for him to want to be with you, because of your nose. My input: I know nothing about your boyfriend and about your relationship with him, I don’t know if it is a healthy relationship. So I have no thoughts on what you should do about this relationship. What I do know is that your nose, as big as it may be, is not the center of life as we know it. You can hear about the Coronavirus all day long on the radio/ online, but nothing (absolutely nothing) about Katie’s nose, outside your thread right here.
Again, stop being conflicted about your nose, assume it is big (although not big enough to make local, national or international news) and find a way to experience a better life. After all, there are women whose noses were publicly acknowleded to be big, and yet, they live a better life than yours. Join that group of women!