September 11, 2017 at 7:05 am #168288
First off, I know I need some kind of emotional therapy professionally. A childhood of emotional trauma doesn't just go away with a few reassuring words from the internet, of that I'm sure. Rather, what I hope to get from this is a direction for me to go, because my mind is pulling me into a million different directions, including inward and I have no idea which way is right.
I have self- destructive thoughts. It's hard to think straight because I'm always causing some sort of conflict in my HEAD. I have a relatively awesome life, considering my background: I have a wife, a good job, I plan to move to a new place with my wife, get a house, all that stuff. And I am heavily spiritually active; I meditate almost daily (sometimes it slips, but I like to stay mostly on track) and try to connect with nature despite having indoor jobs and etc. I seem to have a pretty good life going for me. I should be a happy dude, yet there is something missing. Or rather, something in the way, I don't know which.
I constantly bring myself down by over analyzing everything, it's a damn bother. Like a huge mellow-harsher, it's ridiculous. Imagine my inner thoughts are a table of friends, laughing and having a good time, debating, learning, creating. Then there's that one jerk at the table that's like “You probably shouldn't get drinks with ice, it could have hepatitis” Like really man? Could you just not? I know he's just trying to protect me, and he was my most developed part of my mind since I had to mentally defend myself every day through childhood, but your services are no longer needed my friend. Could you please just stop bringing everybody down?
As a result, I feel emotionally fragile. Everything is a crisis. I feel an uncomfortable welling of anger when I barely miss the trash can with a paper ball. When someone tells me how something is done, I strangely handle it very well in the moment, only to use it as ammunition to mentally wage war on myself later. I impulsively feel such anger when things don't go exactly how I wanted them to, even though my conscious, buddha mind says “It's all ok. Let go”
My every day life isn't fascinating. I go to work, I come home and I play video games (Which I want to quit because I know it contributes to this state I'm in). Video games were that place where I could escape reality back then, but now that things are better, I'm still stuck with them. Is this my habit still around? Or am I still trying to escape reality? I don't even know anymore because I've already thought over every possible outcome and possibility and can't determine which.
So long story short… I am emotionally damaged from childhood, but my life now is nurturing and full of possibilities yet still struggle as if it was not. All the free time for video games could be put into other more meaningful endeavors, like developing talents or skills in hobbies (of which I don't have). I developed a guard from my emotional issues and now I cannot let that programming out of my mind, because I don't know how. Please, any words of advice would be super swell. Thank you.September 13, 2017 at 6:22 am #168516
If you would like to elaborate on the following, so that I understand your situation better, please do:
You started with: “I know I need some kind of emotional therapy professionally”- did you attend any psychotherapy in the past, and since you stated that you need therapy, why aren't you attending it?
You wrote: “I developed a guard from my emotional issues”- will you elaborate on the nature of that guard?
Also: who is the person or people who traumatized you when you were a child? Do you currently interact with that person and what is the nature of the relationship with him/ her? How do you explain to yourself his or her abuse of you in the past?
anitaSeptember 13, 2017 at 6:46 am #168526
I do intend to seek counseling, I'm currently saving up to attend sessions. Money is a big factor but I am working on it. That's the reason why it isn't done yet.
My emotional guard is the need to protect my already fragile emotions by simply detaching emotion from everything. It was originally to prevent myself from being hurt by bullies, but now it affects my ability to feel joy and compassion for others.
The person is my father. He promised he wouldn't leave and then he did. He also promised never to make me feel inferior, and yet he did. He is just full of broken promises. I was outwardly mad at him for a while, but that tapered off and now it's just a deep feeling of emptiness. Because he left when he promised not to, it made me feel like I wasn't good enough and now I'm emotional scarred for it. I've talked to him about it and he repeatedly denies responsibility, placing the blame on my mother. That's the most frustrating part of this whole thing, yet I can't just let this go. It's like he needs to say he screwed up in order for me to feel any better about it, which is really lame on my part. That emotional guard is preventing me from feeling compassion for the pain he feels in leaving his kid.
We talk, not regularly. We keep missing calls and never getting back to it. Texts occasionally. He came to my wedding and expressed interest in having a relationship, however, I could feel he wanted to avoid addressing the real issue.September 13, 2017 at 8:36 am #168540
You wrote that the “emotional guard is preventing (you) from feeling compassion for the pain he feels in leaving his kid”-
Help me understand: your aim is to feel compassion for your father? If so, why, for what purpose?
anitaSeptember 13, 2017 at 9:05 am #168550
I want to feel compassion for him because I can't understand why he did what he did. But I'm absolutely certain that it hurt him too, this whole process. I can't imagine letting down my kid time and time again and then not feel even a little bit remorseful. It doesn't seem humanly possible and dodging attempts to talk about it and pretending it isn't an issue just proves it more.
So I want and am ready to forgive him, but he refuses to take responsibility for his actions, so again, I'm left hanging. But cutting him out doesn't make anything better, so what do? I'm banking too much of my mental health on this one thing, but I can't let it go for no reason.September 13, 2017 at 9:22 am #168554
You wrote in your original post: “I should be a happy dude, yet there is something missing. Or rather, something in the way, I don’t know which”- I am ready to suggest to you both: what is missing and what is in the way, and then I will suggest “a direction for (you) to go”, which is what you asked for.
What is missing from your efforts to heal: self compassion, that is, you feeling and directing your compassion toward yourself, the child that you were, being let down by his father again and again.
What is in your way to healing: you feeling, or trying to feel compassion for your father, for letting you down.
A direction for you to go: turn away from the direction you have taken so far: to make your father understand, to make him take responsibility for his actions, to make him love you… to wait until he does, and so, to be “left hanging” by him throughout your life, so far.
Your healing is not going to come from the person who caused the sickness, or the problem. It will start to take place after you turn away from the person who caused the sickness.
anitaSeptember 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm #168574
True that. Hearing everything you're saying and agree. Perhaps just acknowledging that he is an issue and my feelings toward that puts me in a step toward the right direction. And yet even typing this I feel anxious about it. So some part of me wants to feel that love but I can put my focus elsewhere until I can see that I turned out fine considering everything.
Thanks, Anita. Been a pleasure speaking with you on this.September 14, 2017 at 5:14 am #168612
You are welcome. You agree with my understanding but it makes you “feel anxious about it. So some part of (you) wants to feel that love”- to feel safe you feel like you need your father's reliable, dependable love, so you keep waiting for him, keep trying to get dependability/ safety out of him.
The idea behind effective psychotherapy is that the feeling of safety is established in the very relationship with the therapist- it has to be someone you learn to trust, and within that context you grow to let go of the Impulsive and Self-Destructive (words in the title of your thread) pursuit of your father's love.
In absence of therapy or in addition to it, if you build and maintain safe relationships with others, even just one, as with your wife, then healing can be done in the context of that safe relationship.