January 27, 2022 at 11:36 am #391904
I wrote to you: “your mother knows what sweet you like… but she keeps offering you bitterness“, and you asked: “are you speaking metaphorically?” – when I wrote to you that your mother knows what sweet you like, I was literal. It reminds me of my mother being generous enough to go through the trouble of taking a bus to a particular store that sold my favorite, expensive marzipan cake, and doing so repeatedly.
When saying that your mother offers you bitterness, I was metaphorical. My mother’s offered me painful histrionic displays of her misery, blaming me for adding to her misery (I was not at all guilty for such)- that was my mother offering me her bitterness, feeding it to me. If I was given the opportunity to choose, I would have easily chosen to see her happy over a million marzipan cakes!
“The fear of judgement that gets reactivated around people; how do I win over that? Both in the moment and long-term to ultimately not have it at all” – based on my personal experience, the first step to take is to no longer be in contact with your primary judgers (parents/ family members) who judged you when you were a child and who keep judging you still. Without no new contact with them, you stop to the ongoing stream of judgments.
Second step is to tackle the mental representative of your primary judgers, aka the inner critic. It’s the one that keeps projecting the primary judgers into other people, making you feel uncomfortable around people even when they don’t judge you at all (“once there are other people around, I just feel weird. Like I want to get away from them. That if I stay too long, they’ll judge me“).
I asked you if we covered the strategy of your mother controlling you by expressing that she is upset, and you wrote: “it just happened a moment ago. My mother brings up something about a cousin and what she is doing wrong, and I agree with her on some things and not others and my sister has to constantly interject like she is my mother’s attorney… They’ll have a conversation over me. My mom sometimes pretends I didn’t say the sentence I did and move on like I never spoke” – reads like your mother does not welcome your independent thinking, rejecting it, and your sister understands this, and wanting to please your mother, she sides with her.
“Why does my mom need backup, she is the strongest of the 3?” – your mother is not stronger than her two daughters. She abuses her power as a mother. This abuse doesn’t make her strong. It only makes her feel strong from time to time.
“I am going to reduce my interactions with them over time without catching their attention that I’m pulling away. It will help me see if I feel better away from them. I have trouble being by myself, the depression comes back but I’ll see what I can do to change that” – I have no doubt that if you move out and live away from your mother, when you do, it will not be an instant solution to your mental health challenges, and there will be plenty of times when you will feel worse, not better. This is why I am realistic about the process of healing. I know from personal experience how difficult it is. If I could go back in time, I would have looked for quality psychotherapy and I would have ended contact with my mother decades before I finally did.
anitaJanuary 27, 2022 at 11:54 pm #391920
I agree with you, the materialistic band-aids could never heal the the emotional wounds.
I understand that not contacting them would help in not adding new wounds. And possibly reduce the burden on me to play catch up to their energy.
It’s the one that keeps projecting the primary judgers into other people, making you feel uncomfortable around people even when they don’t judge you at all – your inner critic is a projection of people that judged you. We don’t want to be judged so we are doing it ourselves. My inner voice though doesn’t judge me. It is afraid not judgemental.
I don’t think it just makes her feel strong. When she managed to control us so well, she is the strongest. Just like the general. Maybe most powerful is the right word. She is less wounded than us, she knows what she is doing, which makes her the heroine of every stage.
I understand therapy and moving out are the solutions to this.
January 28, 2022 at 7:59 am #391932
- This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by samy.
Maybe one day you will post here, saying: I moved out! I am living my life my way! That would be delightful to read!!!
anitaJanuary 28, 2022 at 8:39 am #391934
I’ll post when I do that, anita.
GirijaJanuary 28, 2022 at 9:02 am #391936
You can post anytime. I figure it’s probably tiring to have this ongoing back and forth conversation about your mother. I mean, you live with her so it’s not a good idea to get angrier and angrier when you can’t just get up and leave, for practical and emotional reasons. So, post anytime about anything, whatever you want to talk about.
anitaJanuary 28, 2022 at 9:26 am #391937
When you offer to talk about anything, i will take it immediately :).
This has been on my mind today because I was on reddit and there is a forum for Indian women. One woman posted about how she had just lost her virginity and it was so simple and that she wished she hadn’t been so scared or that people didn’t make a big deal about it and that it wasn’t earth shattering. Most of the comments agreed with her and said over time with the right partner you’d learn about each other and it gets better. One comment stood out to me. The commenter described how when you have a partner that respects you and there is warmth from them, sex can get earth shattering every once in a while. I did not care about the great sex part but the way she described intimacy was so beautiful. I’m scared I will never experience that.
I have already mentioned my looks. I could better them and they will only get better to a certain point. And I know better than to put myself down for my looks or other flaws. But I am seeing myself from the eyes of men and worry that a man that I could have a great life with will not give me a chance and I was lose out on love. I understand men can have flaws too. But there are some people that are more right for each other than others. And I am afraid I won’t get to live a life with intimacy and love.
I know that love is a not a guarantee. Not always could a person statistically meet “the one”. I don’t believe in that as a perfect person but, as I mentioned, someone you could have your best life with. I hope to find love. I wish I do. But I can’t help but think the odds are against me.
Arranged marriage is a coin toss. In the patriarchial setting, a lot of men have not explored how they see women and it shows. I have spoken to 2 men so far and it seemed very transactional. But at the same time, dating is still new here, a lot of men join apps for sex and still end up going for arranged marriage. In either of these scenarios, it would be looking for a needle in a haystack. But I’m afraid my needle will jump back into the haystack after seeing or getting to know me or that I’ll never find the needle.
The dilemma is do I wait and possibly never find the needle. Will I know when I’ve found the needle? I think I will but not sure. If I wait, I will lose the prospects of finding a husband over time. I’ll probably regret not settling, if I am all alone when I am older. This has me torn.
January 28, 2022 at 10:36 am #391942
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by samy.
“I can’t help but think the odds are against me…. it would be looking for a needle in a haystack. But I’m afraid my needle will jump back into the haystack after seeing or getting to know me or that I’ll never find the needle” – you have cute ways of saying things (the needle jumping back to the haystack, funny). To state the obvious: there are plenty of beautiful women whose needles jump back into the haystack, just saying.
“I have already mentioned my looks. I could better them and they will only get better to a certain point” – I just imagined your looks, as you described it, but you are still cute. Okay, not pretty- but cute, with cute expressions. Don’t underestimate cute!
“The way she described intimacy was so beautiful. I’m scared I will never experience that… I am afraid I won’t get to live a life with intimacy and love” – interesting, you are not experiencing intimacy with a man in the present time, yet you are afraid that in the future you will not experience it. You are not afraid now about not experiencing it… now?
“The dilemma is do I wait and possibly never find the needle. Will I know when I’ve found the needle?… This has me torn” – your dilemma is whether to wait or to be looking for the needle now? I say: look for the needle now. More precisely: look at needles, get to know needles (outside the physical intimate context!) Don’t settle for any needle: choose the best available needle for you because your cute self deserves the best! All this will take time, so might as well you start looking tomorrow!
anitaJanuary 28, 2022 at 8:18 pm #391953
Thank you calling me cute. I do have a sense of humour and consider that a strength 🙂
I know that pretty women lose their needles too but I suppose if I had less flaws my needle wouldn’t jump back.
interesting, you are not experiencing intimacy with a man in the present time, yet you are afraid that in the future you will not experience it. You are not afraid now about not – experiencing it… now? – yes, I don’t need it now, I do feel lonely but that lonliness has me fear I’ll never find it. I want to experience it atleast once in my life, and hopefully it goes on till the end of my life. I don’t have a problem with when it’ll start, doesn’t have to be now.
What I am trying to figure out or are on my mind –
1) Will I ever find it, there is no predicting this. And I do realize I need to look to find it. And currently arranged marriage portals are where my mother is shortlisting guys for me.
2) The anecdotes of online dating has me terrified. I don’t have the guts to try it. And create a profile for myself.
3) Does it exist at all? The commentor on the reddit post has me convinced but I don’t see it anywhere. Could she be making it up? Probably not, she has no reason to. Is she super pretty or amazing, likely.
4) You did say not to settle, and I don’t want to either. But I am afraid of ending up all alone. And while I am okay with being alone now, what if as I get older just having a companion is better. I don’t need just a companion now though.
5) You said start tomorrow but I am not confident in who I am today to put myself out there. I could be thinner, with more hair and better hobbies. But at the same time, I don’t have a lot time left for finding a husband now. Should I just stay single and date at 50 if I’m still alive? I’m sure there’ll be divorcees and single men too at that age.
6) I am getting triggered and wanting to change everything about myself. Not even change, but wish there were different. I was upset last night and cried in bed, couldn’t life give me better looks considering everything else has been so bad. I know it sounds entitled and life doesn’t owe me anything. But after money, love is what I want. I actually want love more than money. But I won’t survive without money at all, so maybe they are equal for me.
I think I have internalized the fear that I will never find it. Now everything seems impossible. I can’t imagine a guy loving me. That is in part my own flaws and also because I am repulsed by all the men in my family and some guys in college and school, and can’t imagine men being capable of that.
If someone told me love and intimacy are not real, it would be awesome. I’d be sad that such wonderful things don’t exist but I could just go on with my life. I’d still have trouble with my looks but no angst about not finding love because of who I am and worrying about what all I need to change.
GirijaJanuary 29, 2022 at 2:35 am #391954shattered piecesParticipant
I have been following your story on this forum (and many others too-like Dave F “stuck in loneliness..” amazing conversations ) because I feel that I learn a lot about myself and my emotional world/wounds through the communication you and others have shared on this forum. Having followed your story, I repeatedly see a pattern where you are stuck (for lack of a better word-sorry if it feels offensive) in a thinking that love/intimacy issues can be solved with finding a partner -and finding a partner is dependent on your physical attributes. I get you, you want to experience love with a person, and I want the same for you. I think you are as pretty as you choose to see yourself as pretty (if it makes sense). I dont want to hijack your story with mine, but maybe offer another perspective to the way that you view “being pretty” and relationships.
First being pretty is overrated and doesnt guarantee a loving relationship! Pretty people feel very lonely too, sometimes even more lonely! I am writing to you not as someone that feels sorry for herself but as a sister in this world, that cheers on you and wants you to see yourself differently. Second, most of the body related things you can change with diet/exercise /make up- if you wish but most importantly, you need to see yourself in the mirror beautiful and deserving of real caring and true love. Love that will not leave you if you have a bad stomach flu one day, or feel depressed and defeated by life.
I am often seen as someone pretty by the conventional standards, yet I am single after 3 long-term relationships (in my late 30ies now). My 5y partner left our engagement because I am too driven and in his own words “too fit and pretty” so he left me and married my best friend (she is overweight -no sorry needed, i am over it). In my last 3y relationship that i am recovering from -my partner initially loved everything about me for 3 months, then spent 2.5 years breaking me down ( from my intelligence to my looks/self esteem -i have been in therapy for 1.5 years working on myself and understanding why I allowed it). Men that approach me see me as a trophy to win. That is why i dont date on apps and my walls are still a little bit too high now, but im becoming more open to love as months go by…
Even my boss has tried to downplay my work achievements by saying in meetings that the only reason why I get opportunities/invitations by companies to give a talk, is because I am good looking (note; i work really hard and have sacrificed a lot for my career). It hurts a lot, so many times i locked myself into work bathroom crying wishing they would see how much I care about my job/how much passion I have. Yes I can now finally accept who I am and laugh at all that because of the work I have been doing on myself. But my message is, yes being pretty opens some doors but most of those doors you would wish later that you never opened.
I am aware of the arranged marriage culture ( even if I am not from that culture, my 3 year partner was), and living with your parents -in laws and extended family until married. I know that it is hard to break free from that, emotionally complex because of shame/guilt and feeling abandoned by the only family you only know. Also many of our ideas about how things are or should be come from the values/ideas rooted in our families so it can feel like not knowing who we are if we leave those beliefs behind. But it seems to me that you want something different, you want to build a life you choose for yourself, you want to find your type of people and grow emotional intimacy with a person (not only physical). Work on finding real caring friends that allow you to practise being emotionally available (safe friends if I may suggest so you dont have to worry as much about attraction or if someone just wants you for sex). I like how you are trying to change things by working out and changing diet- it is important for our well being more than our looks. And by changing our well being, it changes the way we view ourself and the way others perceive us, because our energy suddenly irradiates postive vibes/that we are enough on our own. And that is very attractive! all my love to youJanuary 29, 2022 at 8:10 am #391960
You are welcome. “I know that pretty women lose their needles too, but I suppose if I had less flaws, my needle wouldn’t jump back” – continuing the metaphor: needles jump back to the haystack because something inside them is unsettled, an unresolved pain from childhood vibrating within them, making them jumpy!
“What I am trying to figure out or are on my mind – 1) Will I ever find it” – like you said, “there is no predicting this“, but having communicated with you long enough, I believe that the person that you are (the ways you think, feel, behave) is compatible with a long-term loving relationship with a good man.
“Currently arranged marriage portals are where my mother is shortlisting guys for me…. The anecdotes of online dating have me terrified. I don’t have the guts to try it” – however you meet men, the key is to thoroughly study any man, thoroughly get to know how he thinks, feels and behaves in various contexts before agreeing to marry him. In regard to online dating, if you gather the courage to try it, and need help with putting together a profile and with how to go about it otherwise, let me know and I’ll help you best I can.
I didn’t understand #3. Next: “You did say not to settle, and I don’t want to either. But I am afraid of ending up all alone” – by not settling I meant that at the least, you don’t choose a man who will make you wish for and long to be alone!
“You said start tomorrow but I am not confident in who I am today to put myself out there. I could be thinner, with more hair and better hobbies” – here is a catchy way to start an online profile: “I could be thinner, with more hair and better hobbies, but I am…. (positive traits humbly stated, with some humor)”.
“I was upset last night and cried in bed, couldn’t life give me better looks” – when you were in bed last night crying, it was dark, wasn’t it? You couldn’t see how you look. When you get married, every single night it will be dark. In the dark, before falling asleep, you and your husband can hold each other, feeling safer in each other’s arms, whispering words of comfort, or sharing a joke to lighten the seriousness of the day. All that done in dim lights or in darkness.
In the morning, after a good night sleep, he will be smiling as you bring him breakfast to bed, seeing you, in his eyes, as the most beautiful woman in the world.
“I can’t imagine a guy loving me” – I can.
“If someone told me love and intimacy are not real, it would be awesome… I’d still have trouble with my looks but no angst about not finding love because of who I am and worrying about what all I need to change” – (1) Love and intimacy are real, but they are not the dominant human experience, this is why the world is in the state in which it is, (2) You don’t need to change before you look for love. In the profile suggestion I made above, you state that you could be thinner, meaning you can put together this profile tonight or tomorrow!
January 30, 2022 at 7:06 am #391975
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Hi shattered pieces
I don’t find it offensive at all that you said I was stuck, it is absolutely true. And a couple years ago, I had arrived at the conclusion that no one could give me enough love for me to feel enough, but it was more out of bitterness. Bitterness I still feel to this day. Times when I felt I was a better friend for someone or a better choice and yet wasn’t picked. Your post brought that back, but I am not the same person. If a person rejects me or doesn’t like me in the context of a relationship, I can take that for what it is and move on. I am not the girl that has crushes anymore. I don’t idealize men. In fact, I have gone in the opposite direction.
The reason I have oscillated back to wanting intimacy or love from another person is I pretty much did not have anything I was excited or happy about in my life. I was stressed out and feeling low. So I suppose I was looking for what could possibly fill the void and I landed on a relationship as the answer. It could have been something else like a materialistic goal, but I believe because I always felt rejected by men, that wound was sore and I landed on that. Then this brought back all the bad things guys told me I was or things I thought I was being rejected for. At the same time, I am truly convinced that the likely of a true intimate relationship is very low. Marriage is still a transaction. So I could not decide which way to go and was indeed stuck.
Regarding your experience. I read this expression and I love it, “the trash took its self out”. I am happy for you. I would have said I’m sorry only if you were hurt, but you are not and that is wonderful.
As for the things at work, my manager made me cry a number of times too. And what had helped was the movie “Captain Marvel”. There is a dialogue where she says “I have nothing to prove to you”, to her senior who keeps controlling her. I was already at my limit of tolerating my manager’s constant insults and putting my skills down and this movie gave me a chance to rise above. I realized through the movie that I didn’t have to let my manager define my skill. Because he could never put those words on paper. My appraisal was always good, all he was doing was unofficially lashing out at me. And I did not need to care about what he thought about me, I don’t need to prove my ability to him.
Thank you for your post. A lot of old lessons have come back to me.
I will take your advice as well, I am actively working on my well being. And I think I have been able to tap back in to myself for those lessons, because I have been less anxious lately. So I was able to take more time and come up with more empathetic answers for myself.
GirijaJanuary 30, 2022 at 7:30 am #391977
I went to a gynaecologist for my thinning hair. She had me take an ultrasound and turns out it was PCOS. She gave me Birth Control pills and another supplement that apparently increases insulin sensitivity. I read several doctors’ opinions on this and I have decided to hold off on the birth control for now and will tackle the actual problem itself with the supplement and work on my lifestyle.
The reason I am telling you this is because I am going to sound different from my post a couple of days back.
Firstly, thank you for going so far as suggesting a witty profile. It sounds great. I am happy to know you think I can find love and a long term relationship. Your advice on getting to know the person well before marrying is something I had decided a long time ago. I always thought even when I’m down and out, I push through life and that I don’t want a person who’ll be a burden to me. Recently though, I was wanting a relationship so bad that I was weighing if I should be more traditional about that and that was why I was writing paragraphs on love. I find it silly now.
Every person deserves joy and love. But I thought about this and wonder – do we feel love or do we feel its absence. I think we feel the absence. I was feeling a void and decided it was love. It was a lot of things but I think what was actually missing was the physical sensation in my chest. I want to call it joy, but essentially the opposite of anxious or feeling empty. I have taken a couple of doses of the medicine for PCOS and I feel the ‘joy’ in my chest. For all I know, it was this illness that was making me feel so out of it. I was ill and needed treatment. Of course, all my issues are still there but I feel more grounded. Like I can be in this moment and decide how I want to live it. I feel like I have control over myself. This gave me a new perspective on my last comment about my looks.
I am who I am, and people can take me for what they want. If they like and love me, that’s great. If not, I feel enough, and they can go love someone else. I don’t need it anymore, for the time being atleast. I can decide what this moment is for me, and I can decide to be joyful. If I take actions that match my intention and are in my interest, I will create joy for myself. I want to focus on myself from within. I want to create my experience out of me ( I wish I could express this better but I am not able to, with English atleast). I want to define my world and live in it – love myself and love living, and take life as it comes.
The profile when I do create it, I will make it funny. I will let myself show through. Not what I think other people want to see. For now, I will focus on myself. Love can wait.
GirijaJanuary 30, 2022 at 8:54 am #391986
You are welcome and congratulations for going to a gynecologist, discovering that you suffer from PCOS and starting treatment. A couple of the well-documented symptoms that apply to you: thinning hair on the head and depression. Also, it reads that weight gain is a symptom and that excess weight worsens symptoms, so I guess losing weight is at least part of what you meant by working on your lifestyle. You started taking a supplement that the doctor recommended, and you feel more grounded, plus a joy in your chest. Excellent!
What you expressed in your recent post, as I understand it, is that you used to think that the emptiness that you felt in your chest was about the absence of love (of loving relationship), but now that you took the supplements and feel a joy in your chest (as well as feeling more grounded and in control of yourself), you figure that the emptiness was the result of a hormonal imbalance, and correcting this imbalance through supplements and lifestyle changes will take care of the void.
Your thinking makes a lot of sense to me because sensations and emotions are made possible by chemicals, mainly neurotransmitters and hormones. An imbalance of hormones easily explains a messy emotional experience, such as you described since 2019: “My constant fear is that I am a raging, emotional and unstable person… I want to know how to fix this. How to be normal. Every new thing I do sucks because of how abnormal my brain is… Always ready to go into a frenzy” – I am not a doctor, but I think that PCOS/ hormonal imbalance easily explains most if not all of this. A normalized hormonal imbalance should take care of your quest, identified in the title of your thread: “I want to be normal“!
You wrote earlier on this thread: “My excitement to me used to feel genuine and open. Now, I feel it is chaotic. Just desperate and needy” – could be that your excitement felt genuine and open before your hormonal imbalance came to be, but after it came to be you felt chaotic, desperate and needy.
Fast forward to the present, you took supplements, and you already feel the opposite of chaos and desperation: you feel more grounded, in control over yourself, and no longer desperate: “I feel like I have control over myself. This gave me a new perspective on my last comment about my looks. I am who I am, and people… If they like and love me, that’s great. If not, I feel enough, and they can go love someone else” – I am very pleased to read this!
Your intent: to love yourself “and love living and take life as it comes“- post anytime you want to share about life as it comes!
anitaFebruary 1, 2022 at 7:30 am #392145
It is hard to tell whether the years of stress lead to this illness or the illness lead to the stress and anxiety. I think it is the former. My symptoms get worse when I’m anxious.
When I said lifestyle – it is losing weight – low-carb diet and exercise, and also stress management – I am doing yoga, it is not helping that much. Instead telling myself, nothing is more important to me than myself makes me feel better.
I am trying to get as calm as possible. I want to become a person who is not easily shaken by external circumstances.
GirijaFebruary 1, 2022 at 8:22 am #392148
“It is hard to tell whether the years of stress lead to this illness or the illness leads to the stress and anxiety. I think it is the former. My symptoms get worse when I am anxious“- it starts with the former, years of stress leading to an illness, and then the symptoms of the illness get worse with added stress (anxiety= ongoing negative stress). Many of the illnesses created by ongoing stress cannot be reversed and cured, and management is the only option.
“When I said lifestyle – it is losing weight – low-carb diet and exercise, and also stress management” – excellent plan. I consider myself an expert on low-carb ways of eating, so you are welcome to use my (undocumented) expertise!
“Telling myself, nothing is more important to me than myself makes me feel better” – nothing in your life, should be more important than… you, for crying out loud!
“I am trying to get as calm as possible. I want to become a person who is not easily shaken by external circumstances” – this is key. The way we get easily shaken by external circumstances is that our bodies chemically overreact to external circumstances, producing hormones and such that make us feel panicky and we can’t think rationally when panicked. When you keep yourself as calm as possible, you literally calm your body’s chemical reactions to circumstances.
Emotional Self-Regulation is part of this chemical intervention, you can read about it on Wikipedia and elsewhere. Four strategies for us to regulate our emotions are: Situation Selection (effective avoidance of stressful situations), Situation Modification (making effective changes within a stressful situation), Attention Deployment (effectively directing your attention toward or away from an emotional situation), and Cognitive Change (effectively re-appraising or re-evaluation a situation and in so doing, altering its emotional meaning).
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.