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It feels like I’m a prison in my own head.

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  • #397219
    statix
    Participant

    I’m in my mid/late 20s. I grew up with a strong Christian family and eventually left it. Since I was a boy, I’ve always wanted to have a loving wife and 2 children to cherish.

     

    I have never, throughout any time in my life, have had success with any female showing any interest back at me. I’ve never had a girl smile at me, kiss me on the cheek, holding hands, etc.

     

    I’m not mad at any females, its just bad luck that there wasn’t any connection to keep communicating. I’ve spent a long time forcing myself to go to bars, going to friend’s parties, multiple dating apps, chatting with women at work, with nothing working out.

     

    I’m obviously still a virgin and am just crushed by my past. My therapist has explained to me that sexual/dating experience or body count doesn’t matter in regards to my dream of a beautiful family and wife to give myself to. I’m letting these aspects about myself destroy my sense of self worth. She’s absolutely correct.

    Ive self harmed myself multiple times because the constant emotional pain of shame and embarrassment due to being in the sexual/social minority by my age. It also feels like almost anything media wise talks about sex like it’s a common experience (which I’m sure is for most adults) but everytime I hear this it just kicks me in the heart and reminds me again about how I’m the outcast.

     

    Therapy has helped me become very aware of how unhealthy and disgusting I treat myself. I logically agree 100% and want to start genuinely loving myself and being kind to myself. It would feel beautiful to honestly love myself and stop comparing myself to others.

     

    After almost 1 full year, I struggle so much trying to be kind to myself. I’m aware of how much better and happier my life would be if I could. I’ve spent a year of frequently going to therapy, trying new medication, exercising, finding actives to do in order to stay busy and not lay in bed to cry.

     

    I logically am wanting to stop the self hate, but emotionally it just feels painful and sounds like BS every time I’ve tried to write down positive things about me in my journal, looking at myself in the mirror, or attempt all the different worksheets or suggestions my therapist gives me.

     

    It hurts so much to have this be the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on in my life, and it feels crippling today just like day 1. Nothing’s gotten a tiny bit easier. I feel terrible at how difficult I must be to my therapist and parents.

     

    If anyone has read this far or even commented, thank you so much.

     

    #397242
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Statix:

    I will be able to read your post and reply in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #397245
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi statix

    I’m sorry for your difficulties. You’re right. These thoughts are a form of self-abuse.

    What I can suggest that helped me with thoughts of self-hatred. Is that for me, practicing saying positive things that I didn’t believe to be true was unhelpful.

    Perhaps it is a little early to directly address that issue? A less direct way might be helpful? If you can be kind to yourself in other areas, that is good preparation for learning to be kind to yourself in regard to your difficulties.

    Perhaps you could start by writing positive things that you like about yourself in general? My advice is to only do this while you are feeling calmer. Practicing these exercises while you are upset is going to lead to more self abuse.

    My thoughts about writing positively about yourself in a more general way are:

    What makes someone a good person? Do you share any of these characteristics?

    What are some good aspects of your personality? Are you a caring person? Are you kind, loyal, do you try and help or support others? Are you intelligent or hardworking? Do you have a good sense of humour? Do you have any skills that you are good at?

    If you are still uncomfortable with these positive things. Please feel free to try a more balanced approach.

    Considering what makes someone a bad person can be helpful. Do you share any of those characteristics?

    If writing down negative traits is what allows you to consider positive traits go ahead. I certainly found this helpful. But do so without emotion like a lawyer. Considering the pros and cons. Keep it succinct and remember that negative traits can be worked on. Try and keep the negative traits less or equal to the positive traits. If you are only writing down bad traits stop because it is not helpful.

    Please see the example below.

    Pros: Good with computers and animals, intelligent, kind

    Cons: Anticipates arguments and gets defensive, gets upset due to mental health issues frequently

    What can I do to address the negative traits?
    Keep working on improving my mental health. Go back to therapy if I’m not able to deal with these issues alone in 3 months.

    A good way of being kinder to yourself is to write down when you do good things. If this is difficult start paying attention to little things like:

    Holding a door for someone, returning someone’s keys if they drop them, making an effort to be polite (saying please and thank you), buying someone a gift, or cooking someone a meal. If you have pets, caring for your pets is a good quality too.

    Again, if you need to balance it by writing down negative actions that is fine. For example:

    Postive actions: Helped people learn English, took care of pets, kind to people I live and work with

    Negative actions: Argued with family, forgot to send some emails, haven’t kept up with housework

    What can I do to address negatives?
    Consider revisiting therapy to deal with family issues. Set reminders to send emails then send the emails tomorrow, I will do some housework at the weekend because I am busy tomorrow.

    Writing down any compliments that people give you can build confidence. This could include compliments about hairstyle, clothes, possessions, hobbies, interests, personality, work and skills. Compliments aren’t just about physical appearance! Writing down when people say kind things to you might be helpful too.

    Sometimes it can be painful trying to think kindly about ourselves. A good way to get around this is by distancing yourself from the situation. What would you say if a friend confided in you what you just shared? Would you comfort them or shame them?

    I think there is one other important topic to consider. Challenging self-abuse. This doesn’t necessarily mean trying to stop negative thoughts in the early stages. Simply, considering what you think or feel about the topic is a good start. Remember, to do these exercises when you are feeling calmer.

    Self-abuse is harmful. Do you agree? Do you enjoy feeling upset (silly question but please humour me)? In what ways does self-abuse harm you and make your life more difficult? What would life be like for you if you didn’t have to deal with these behaviours of self-abuse? Would you like to stop these behaviours? If someone else were treating you this way, would you tolerate it? Do you deserve to be treat this way?

    I’m glad you are working with a therapist. I hope they can help you discuss what led to developing  this behaviour of self-abuse.

     

     

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Helcat.
    #397287
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Statix:

    I’m not mad at any females, it’s just bad luck that there wasn’t any connection to keep communicating” – I don’t think it’s a matter of bad luck.

    There is a reason or reasons (it is not a matter of luck) why a man in his later 20s who “spent a long time“, going “to bars, going to friend’s parties, multiple dating apps, chatting with women at work“, never had any “success with any female showing any interest back at me… never had a girl smile at me, kiss me on the cheek, holding hands, etc.

    The following are my thoughts and possible reasons, not necessarily true to you: maybe true, maybe partially true, maybe not true at all (so don’t be alarmed when you read something that is not at all true to you, remember that it is only a possibility). You are welcome to consider the following and let me know:

    You are angry at women, so when you communicate with them, your anger shows, and they withdraw. You wrote: “I’m not mad at any females, it’s just bad luck“, but maybe you are mad at females. “Females” is derogatory word when used in ordinary speech, as opposed to it being used in a scientific study.

    You wrote: “Since I was a boy, I’ve always wanted to have a loving wife and 2 children to cherish” – the use of the words “loving wife” is very different from “females“. In your imagination there is a loving-wife, but in reality, you come across … females. You respect the image of the loving wife, disrespect the women you come across.

    I grew up with a strong Christian family and eventually left it” – your strong Christian family was not strong enough to keep you in it; perhaps your mother was not a “loving wife”, or a loving mother, and she did not cherish you, or your father… and since you were a boy, you dreamed about being married to a woman unlike your mother.

    My therapist has explained to me that sexual/dating experience or body count doesn’t matter in regard to my dream of a beautiful family and wife to give myself to” – a body count of zero women interested in you in spite of significant efforts to socialize, does matter when it comes to your dream of getting married because you have to get at least one woman to become interested in marrying you.

    Therapy has helped me become very aware of how unhealthy and disgusting I treat myself” – it is possible that when you approached women so far, it was not your anger at them that showed, but your disgust with your own self. Your facial/ body language may have expressed self-disgust (avoiding eye contact, looking down or away, facial muscles tensing, making your face look too intense, poor body posture, etc.), and maybe the words you used expressed self-disgust.

    It just feels painful and sounds like BS every time I’ve tried to write down positive things about me in my journal, looking at myself in the mirror, or attempt all the different worksheets or suggestions my therapist gives me” – it’s time to stop doing these exercises that haven’t worked for you. There is something else that you need to do first.

    After almost 1 full year…  a year of frequently going to therapy, trying new medication, exercising, finding actives to do… I logically am wanting to stop the self-hate, but emotionally… this (is) the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on in my life, and it feels crippling today just like day 1. Nothing’s gotten a tiny bit easier” – the first thing to do is to locate the beginning/ the genesis of your self-hate: when did it begin and why. The first words in the Old Testament are “In the beginning”. I am not religious at all, but I do believe that we need to look at The Beginning of our lives in order to experience a new beginning (this time, a beginning that one chooses!).

    Let’s look at the beginning of your post: “I’m in my mid/late 20s. I grew up with a strong Christian family” – this is your beginning: the family in which you grew up.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #399934
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Statix?

    anita

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