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Letting go of hope for a person’s recovery.

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 56 total)
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  • #383218
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    I would just like to add that you are not too much, and that your need for empathy, comforting and soothing is legitimate. Your anxiety is probably the result of those and other needs not having been met properly in your childhood. There are ways how to meet those needs after the fact, in adolescence and adulthood, in a safe therapeutic setting.

    What I was saying is that he, as a young guy and a non-professional, is unlikely to be able to meet your needs, even if he were the kindest person on earth, because there is a wound there that first needs healing. If in addition he has his own issues and reacts negatively to your needs, then he definitely isn’t/wasn’t able to give you the support you need. But help is available, and I hope you can get access to therapy soon…

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by TeaK.
    #383280
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I am now a college student living at home but you are correct I had been receiving help since the very beginning of high school.

    The free/low-cost therapy has a long waitlist so I’m not guaranteed a spot and I have called and emailed them but it’s been hard to get in contact. I will try again.

    The relationship between my family is good. They are supportive of my choice to receive professional help and they try their best to support me, but it’s been hard to get the help I am looking for and also very pricy.

    #383283
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    “”Here is one possible scenario of what might have happened: In the beginning he was able to empathize with you, checking in on you, being kind and considerate, and offering help. As you were anxious quite a lot, it could be that after a while he got tired of always talking about your anxiety and being careful not to upset you. He might have started developing resentment for always needing to take care of you, and it might have manifested in him not being there for you when you needed it most: When you had an especially rough day, he wasn’t available to talk. Or when you were about to be admitted to hospital for suicidal ideation, he instead of being concerned, started talking about his exam. It could be that you were too much to handle for him, and so he sometimes “checked out”, exactly at the worst time. He probably couldn’t tell you directly at the time that you’re “too much”, but did it in this form of passive aggression.””

    I agree with this. He had told me that I was too much for him and he said he had to walk on eggshells around me so I wouldn’t get upset. He told me I was sensitive and emotional but in a bad way. I don’t understand what I was doing that made him feel that way, I made sure to never dump everything on him but he never told me at the moment that he couldn’t talk to me (he didn’t set a boundary). I didn’t know I was doing something wrong because he never told me about it at first.

    “One possible reason for this could be that he is narcissistic and really inconsiderate, and that in the beginning of your relationship he was faking kindness and interest in you. The other possibility is that he isn’t narcissistic but that he felt unheard, since a lot of your conversations were about you. As I said before, maybe he was tired of talking only about you and tending to your needs, but wanted to talk about himself, and expected you to listen to him and be there for him? I really don’t know if this is the case, just putting it out there as a possibility…”

    I don’t think this is the case because I would listen when he’d talk about himself and vice versa, until I would be going through an episode.

    “Having read everything you wrote, I see two possibilities: 1) one is that he truly isn’t able to empathize with people and is extremely self-centered (it would be true if he were a narcissist, or someone with antisocial disorder), or 2) that he isn’t able to show as much empathy for you as you would want it – however that it’s not a failure of his character, but rather that due to your anxiety, you are very sensitive and in a big need of empathy and soothing, which he isn’t able to meet (and then reacts with resentment, and lately, is extremely hostile and disrespectful).”

    I think these two possibilities are true.

    He states that he has trouble empathizing with people and I was not shown the empathy I needed during my rough times. It’s a bit strange because he was showing me love and empathy during the beginning of my relationship, it wasn’t exactly what I needed but I would tell him what I needed and he would understand and change to support me, but as soon as my mental state deteriorates, he’s not able to be there for me. I admit I was very codependent on him because I wouldn’t take care of myself sometimes (especially during the end of the relationship) and I wasn’t able to self-soothe my emotions. I relied on him for my happiness a looot. I think that’s why he reacted with resentment and is hostile and disrespectful… 🙁

    #383284
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    Thank you for those words. It’s been really hard to believe that it wasn’t all my fault and that I’m not too much. It was so heartbreaking because I genuinely thought that I was asking for too much and I should just learn to be less sensitive and emotional. It’s really hard because for most of the relationship and friendship that happened after the breakup, none of my needs were being met and I genuinely thought I was the crazy one because he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. I don’t think he was doing anything wrong (besides the disrespect haha) because I just wasn’t getting my needs met and it’s just heartbreaking when it’s someone you love and it’s strange because I was getting all my needs met at the very beginning of our friendship/relationship and suddenly, I’m not anymore. Things changed and it really hurt me.

    I didn’t realize how hurt he also was because of our relationship until he told me about it and it finally hit me that we had been both hurting each other without realizing even though we loved each other very much.

    I don’t understand why I still love him to this day and care for him. I don’t even know if he feels the same way, even if he doesn’t it never changes the fact that I still care and love him.

    All I really want is to move on with my life and keep the good memories locked away in my heart, it’s really difficult and right now I’m not sure what to do.

    #383290
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    you’re welcome. As I said, your needs are totally legitimate, including the need for empathy and understanding, but the truth is that if we have a childhood wound, where those needs weren’t met when they were supposed to – then no one will be able to give us enough, unless we first heal that wound. Or, they will be able to give us in the beginning, as he did, but then they’ll get tired and give up.

    You say he accused you of being too sensitive and too emotional, but you don’t understand why:

    He told me I was sensitive and emotional but in a bad way. I don’t understand what I was doing that made him feel that way,

    The answer could be this:

    I would get lots of anxiety and need reassurance that he loves me. He would try his best to reassure me and make me feel better.

    I admit I was very codependent on him because I wouldn’t take care of myself sometimes (especially during the end of the relationship) and I wasn’t able to self-soothe my emotions. I relied on him for my happiness a looot. I think that’s why he reacted with resentment and is hostile and disrespectful…

    So you relied only on him to take care of you and soothe you when you were upset, and you also needed him to reassure you often that he loves you. That’s all a big burden for a person. He was doing it for a while, but then got tired. It was too much for him to handle, specially when you would go through an episode:

    I would listen when he’d talk about himself and vice versa, until I would be going through an episode.

    he was showing me love and empathy during the beginning of my relationship, it wasn’t exactly what I needed but I would tell him what I needed and he would understand and change to support me, but as soon as my mental state deteriorates, he’s not able to be there for me.

    I imagine that when you went through an episode, it was too much for him to handle, he didn’t know what to say or do. Perhaps his defense mechanism was to “check out”, to not be there for you in those critical moments.

    His mistake was that he didn’t tell you you’re burdening him at the time when it was happening, but would use passive aggression instead (like not being available to talk, or talking about himself when you were very fragile and in need of support):

    I made sure to never dump everything on him but he never told me at the moment that he couldn’t talk to me (he didn’t set a boundary). I didn’t know I was doing something wrong because he never told me about it at first.

    You experienced it as a sudden change in his behavior: at first he was super caring and considerate, and suddenly he became cold and unresponsive. The reason could be simple: it was too much for him, but he never dared to say anything openly. He rather accepted (or appeared to have accepted) your characterization – that he lacks empathy and that he should change. But he said he can’t change, because he allegedly suffers from the antisocial personality disorder. Frankly, this might not even be true, perhaps he’s just told you this as an excuse, because he didn’t want to argue with you any more?

    I didn’t realize how hurt he also was because of our relationship until he told me about it and it finally hit me that we had been both hurting each other without realizing even though we loved each other very much.

    It’s possible that he too was hurt, because he wasn’t able to meet your expectations…  and wasn’t able to tell you openly how he feels about those expectations. His resentment grew over time, first it manifested as “checking out” (passive aggression), and now he’s showing it openly by being hostile and disrespectful.

    I don’t understand why I still love him to this day and care for him. I don’t even know if he feels the same way, even if he doesn’t it never changes the fact that I still care and love him.

    There may be many reasons why you love him and care for him. Maybe one is that you feel that deep down he isn’t selfish and inconsiderate, but just couldn’t give you what you wanted. You said he never wanted to hurt you on purpose, and that may be true…

    All I really want is to move on with my life and keep the good memories locked away in my heart, it’s really difficult and right now I’m not sure what to do.

    You’re right that you need to move on from focusing on him to focusing on yourself and dealing with your anxiety. That’s the only way you can have a healthy relationship in the future.

    You say you have a good relationship with your parents, and that they are supportive of you seeking professional help. You also said you didn’t tell your parents when you were admitted to hospital for suicidal thoughts, and that your ex- boyfriend was the only person you talked to about those things. How come you didn’t want to confide in your parents? If you feel like it, please share some more…

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by TeaK.
    #383294
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    You’ve blown me away by putting everything into words perfectly! I can’t explain how much sense this all makes to me when I read it. After the breakup, I was so confused about why we broke up, and every day I would try to figure it out. I reached a point where I understood the main reason, but now I understand why he was being hostile and disrespectful to me. Now that I think about it, he’s behaving the same way he did last summer because of the same exact reason. So thank you so much for clearing everything up. I feel so much at peace now that I realize why he was behaving this way towards me because I genuinely don’t think he’s a bad person but he was being that way towards me and it confused me.

    “Frankly, this might not even be true, perhaps he’s just told you this as an excuse, because he didn’t want to argue with you any more?”

    When he told me this, we weren’t speaking anyway and I just had to ask him a question and he told me about his diagnosis after. After that, we never spoke again. So I’m not sure if he said it as an excuse or not, I highly doubt it but I don’t think it matters anymore.

    “You say you have a good relationship with your parents, and that they are supportive of you seeking professional help. You also said you didn’t tell your parents when you were admitted to hospital for suicidal thoughts, and that your ex- boyfriend was the only person you talked to about those things. How come you didn’t want to confide in your parents? If you feel like it, please share some more…”

    I did tell my parents about my suicidal ideation, but my parents did not understand depression or suicidal thoughts very well mainly because they weren’t educated about it and in their culture family members would tend to hide mental illnesses as they were not considered to be good. I told them everything I was feeling and they did not know what to do about it, because they thought that the thoughts would be gone within some time. They were being supportive they just didn’t understand the severity of it and I don’t blame them. So I just told my school counselor about it so I could seek help, the doctors at the hospital told my parents about what I was going through and then they understood and do their best to support me.

    #383296
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    you’re welcome, I am glad it helped you understand his behavior a little bit better, and that you feel more at peace now.

    It’s also good to hear that your parents are supportive and understanding – that they aren’t condemning you or blaming you for your anxiety. I wonder when was the first time you experienced anxiety and what it was related to? If you’re willing to talk some more about it, please do…

    #383303
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I’m not sure if this was shyness or anxiety but in the Fourth grade (I was 9) my group partner had accidentally cut open his finger from velcro and was bleeding. I was too afraid to ask him if he needed a bandaid or if I could go tell a teacher. This is the earliest memory.

    In the fifth grade (I was 10), I was very shy and anxious. My teacher would always pick on me to answer in class (she would specifically pick on me because she thought I was shy and wanted me to get out of my shell) and I would get extreme anxiety. My anxiety was at its peak during that time, so I would skip school so I didn’t have to deal with that. I also had no friends in that class.

    In grade 6 I made a plan to make friends in my class, I did talk to people but I realized no one was interested in me. Until a new student came along and I talked to her and we became friends. A girl came between us and we had our own friend group. But that girl was making the new girl her best friend and she eventually formed a friend group that I was apart of but I wasn’t getting treated fairly by the girl. She bullied me and I felt alone. Near the end of the year I finally stood up for myself. I told them that they were being rude, I was so loud about it and then I ran away and cried.

    In 7th grade I reunited with my old friends and made a new best friend too. I was coming out of my shell and I remember not being very shy and anxious. This continued on into the 8th grade. But I was getting bullied and teased by boys in the other classes for my appearance.

    In highschool I was very shy and anxious, I had trouble making friends so I mostly kept in touch with my old friends. I only made two friends in highschool, one of them being my ex.

    I experience anxiety most days. Today I went grocery shopping and had major anxiety that I would bump into my ex. I also experience intrusive thoughts every single day. As well as existential anxiety and thoughts.

    I’m just not sure what to do about it anymore.

    #383309
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    thanks for sharing some more… When that situation happened in the 4th grade, when your class mate cut his finger and you got confused as to what to do – have you told your parents about it? If so, what was their reaction?

    In the fifth grade, when you felt extremely anxious because the teacher would often pick you to answer questions (to help you come out of your shell) – have you talked about it with your parents? Did they know you were skipping school because of that?

    I am asking you this because if you needed to deal with problems on your own (or you didn’t want to upset your parents with your problems), it can easily lead a child to develop anxiety because there’s no one to help them and emotionally regulate them…

    #383334
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I did not tell my parents about the incident that happened in the 4th grade.

    I told my mom about the incident that happened in the 5th grade and my mom would let me stay at home. She did not know what to do but she allowed me to skip school for that reason.

    #383355
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    I told my mom about the incident that happened in the 5th grade and my mom would let me stay at home. She did not know what to do but she allowed me to skip school for that reason.

    This shows that your mother unfortunately didn’t know how to handle problems like this. She (or your father) should have gone to school and talked to the teacher, and also talked to you to soothe your anxiety. Parents are adults and one of their main roles is to emotionally regulate the child – to soothe and comfort the child, to reduce the child’s anxiety, because the child is unable to do that for themselves. It seems your parents didn’t have those skills and would rather let you to “regulate” yourself by avoiding uncomfortable situations. It seems you didn’t have a proper background, a proper safety net to fall on in stressful situations, and that’s why you likely developed anxiety.

    When you were bullied in the 6th grade, did your parents know about that at all? And when you finally stood up for yourself and told that girl that she was rude (but then ran away crying) – did your parents know about it?

     

    #383356
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    My mother knew about the bullying from the girl but she did not do much she just gave me advice on how to handle it. Only my mother knew about the bullying in the 6th grade.

    #383357
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    My mother knew about the bullying from the girl but she did not do much she just gave me advice on how to handle it.

    What did she tell you?

    Only my mother knew about the bullying in the 6th grade.

    This means your mother didn’t tell your father about it. What do you think is the reason?

    #383358
    canary
    Participant

    Hi TeaK,

    I don’t remember what she told me but I think she would tell me to not talk to the bully. I’m not exactly sure.

    I told my mother because I’m closer to her than my father because he would be at work and busy. But mainly because me and my mom have a close relationship.

    I don’t think my mom thought it was a big deal to tell my father about it.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by canary.
    #383360
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear canary,

    I don’t think my mom thought it was a big deal to tell my father about it.

    yes, that’s a problem. It was a big problem for you, but in her eyes it wasn’t a big problem, and so she downplayed it. Or she let you deal with it on your own (like letting you stay at home to avoid feeling anxious in class).

    She probably wasn’t aware of the importance of emotional support and the child’s emotional health. I think it goes into the category of emotional neglect – not providing enough emotional support to the child. She probably didn’t know better, but it still happened and affected you negatively.

    Do you have a lot of siblings? Because that too may contribute to the child not receiving enough attention from the parents…

     

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