July 18, 2019 at 7:12 am #303793
I’m a 24 year old female. I have dated in the past but never was truly invested. I never let my heart open up to people and the ones that I did fall for were very unhealthy, hurt me or never really cared for me. It’s almost if I only liked people who hurt me to prove to myself that love is hard. I have finally found someone and it feels amazing, I want to yell from the rooftops and be with him all the time. I know he cares deeply about me too and we’ve been together about 6 months. I just have so much anxiety because I don’t want to mess this up. I struggle with self-esteem issues (internally, i don’t think he knows) and grew up with a father who cheated on and deeply hurt my mother. Watching her in so much pain at the age of 7-13 definitely hurt me and my relationships, especially the older i get.
This guy still has a wall up to where I don’t feel like I can talk about all my issues yet, he’s so sweet and would listen but I just am not completely ready. I guess I’m just trying to figure out how to let myself be open and to stop this worry battle constantly going on in my head. I feel so great when I’m with him but as soon as he lets go of my hand or takes longer to text back I think he’s lost interest and I know it’s all because of my own thoughts. All this anxiety makes me start to wonder if it’s paranoia or is it intuition or is it me subconsciously trying to build walls back up so i don’t get hurt. I’m just so confused. I know I act weird sometimes, leave without saying goodbye, get mad and he helps me but one can only deal with so much before they decide to walk away from me.
I really don’t want to ruin this, but I’m scared my issues are something that I should have healed along time ago before I met this man. He’s so wonderful, I don’t want to lose him but I don’t know where to start with working on myself.July 18, 2019 at 7:47 am #303799
I read your new thread and the previous ones. This is what I figure: when you were about the ages of 7- 13, you witnessed your mother in emotional pain because your father cheated on her, “Watching her in so much pain”. Your empathy for your mother was complete and therefore you felt her pain, you felt her hurt and her anger at your father. Her hurt and her anger became yours.
Fast forward, “as soon as (your current boyfriend) lets go of my hand or takes longer to text back”, your childhood hurt and anger are activated. Fear also gets activated, fear that there will be hurt and anger after he cheats on you, or leaves you, if he does.
“All this anxiety makes me start to wonder if it’s paranoia or is it intuition”- it is not intuition; it is your childhood hurt, anger and fear getting activated. Here are indications of your anger getting activated: “I.. leave without saying goodbye, get mad”.
In June 2018, you were dating someone for two years at that point. You wrote then: “now that I’ve started to fall in love I have this constant paranoia that he is (cheating). Every time his phone goes off I think it’s a woman… he has never once given me a reason not to (trust him), but anytime I see him on his phone the thought comes up again”-
– what you called paranoia is the fear of childhood, the fear, hurt and anger that you experienced by proxy, because of your empathy for your mother and taking in her experience as if it was yours, as if you experienced it personally.
You wrote June 18: “as for other relationships it’s been the same thing. I would eventually ruin those relationships by breaking it off because I had a ‘feeling’ they were with someone else”-
– to no longer have your childhood experience get activated in your present life, in your relationships with men, including a good man, like your current boyfriend, you will need to acknowledge and process that childhood experience.
Did you attend or consider attending psychotherapy?
anitaJuly 18, 2019 at 11:31 pm #303907
It seems to me that your anxieties are a result of your insecurities – “as soon as he lets go of my hand”. Have you considered that your father having an affair and hurting your mother was a threat to your security? Did you ever wonder what would happen to you if your parents divorced? What will happen to you if your boyfriend lets go of your hand?
Trust issues relate to insecurity. Your father had an affair. Your boyfriend is not your father. Those other boyfriends were not your father.
Self esteem issues are always ‘internal’. It is how you feel about yourself on the inside. Do you feel good about yourself? Your boyfriend will know, even if it is subconscious, that you have low self esteem. You can work on this – it’s easier than you might think. It takes a little effort but it’s worth it for the long term benefits it will have over your whole life.
With regard to talking to your boyfriend, have you discussed your parents relationship with him? Bottling your feelings up is the worst thing that you can do – what is wrong with talking about your hurt and your anger? Children are very good at “blaming” themselves. If you cannot trust yourself to talk to your boyfriend, it might be beneficial for you to find an impartial listener to speak to.
Do you want to know how to stop worrying? It’s easy. Every time a worrying thought appears say the word “STOP”. Thoughts are fleeting – you can control them, you can let them go.
I hope you can find a safe environment where you can discuss your insecurities and come to terms with what happened during your childhood between your mother and father.
PeggyJuly 19, 2019 at 3:20 am #303925
You will open up to your boyfriend naturally in time. In fact, the longer you know someone, the more you open up to them. Yes, people will eventually find out that we are a mess, that we have childhood issues. But guess what, so do they. Everyone has STUFF.
What I would do is take comfort in your routines and have something soothing or productive to do when he’s not around.
Don’t know what else to tell you and I wish I did. This is a common problem.
InkyJuly 19, 2019 at 10:02 am #303957
Thank you for this and thank you Anita for reminding me of my past post as now I can see the re-occurrence of thoughts that has to do with myself and not the person I am with. I ended up saying some insecurities last night and potentially ending this relationship, sadly. But this can only be motivation to get the help I need.
I feel as if I am not insecure up until I have feelings of love start to form and it’s like I turn into a completely different person, an emotional jealous insecure little girl.
I have thought about therapy, never have gone. It seems scary and expensive but living this life unhappy is not ideal and would be a lot of help. Thank you for the suggestions.July 19, 2019 at 10:13 am #303967
You are welcome. “I feel as if I am not insecure up until I have feelings of love start to form and it’s like I turn into a complete different person, an emotional jealous insecure little girl”-
– the feeling of love for a man, that includes a need that he loves you back, a need for him to be there for you. And that need activates the fear that (like your mother experienced), the man will stop loving you back, will cheat on you. That fear leads to your frantic efforts to avoid such imagined hurt, including breaking up with the man (as you might have done last night).