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Regretting a missed career opportunity abroad

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  • #378902
    Dandan
    Participant

    Hi,

    I am a software developer in Bangalore. I have been working since 2014. I have had this huge interest in going to a europian company with a job offer and to work there. During my initial years of my career, I have seen many colleagues and seniors being sent to onsite, to the US and Germany etc to work there on short time or long time. I developed this interest seeing them and seeing many other people. I had German language class during my college where is for learn German a bit and also to know something about their culture. All these created some interest in working in a different country , mainly European country and precisely Germany. Atleast for short time as I know I anyway want to spend the rest of my life in my own country. I wanted to go out to get the international work experience. To work with people around the globe. Also to be independent in a different country. Living by choice and freedom. I started working towards this since Feb 2019. I started giving interviews in tech companies in countries like Netherlands Singapore Austria Germany. I failed in many interviews. But in the begining of 2020 I got an offer from a good German company, in Munich. With a decent package. It was when the pandemic was starting. Though pandemic was one of the reasons , I didn’t have the guts to move away from my comforzone here. Leaving my friends behind. I was bit scared . I was thinking for a month after receiving the offer and finally I reject the offer. Started regretting immediately. Till the time I was interviewing, I had this interest to crack the interview and get the offer and to move there. But after getting the offer, I only can think about negatives. Like how lonely I will get there. I am a sensitive person. My friends also told I might get lonely there. All these made me reject the offer. Lockdown everywhere after March 2020. I came to my home town with parents. I regretted this missed opportunity a lot. So I started giving interviews again. I got an interview call from a famous travel search company based in Dusseldorf. It needed experience in a new technology. I started preparing day and night. Till 3 am in the morning. Because I so badly want to get that offer and get rid of the regret I had earlier. After many rounds, I got this offer as well. A decent package. But same thing happened again. I was even contacted by the CTO of the company to offer me additional stocks. But I kept thinking and overthinking for a week. When I think and over think, everything becomes negative. At that time, I was staying at home for months not being able to step out cuz of lockdown. This happens in July 2020. I was becoming lonely at home. And the overthinking and negative thoughts about going there started again. After a week, at night, I sent an email accepting the offer. But immediately after I sent the email, I started panicking so badly, that I couldn’t sleep. All negative thoughts of getting lonely etc, and I became so mad. Couldn’t sleep till 3. Woke up early at 6 and I was walking and discussing with my family like a mad person. Finally I sent a mail again rejecting the offer , saying that something came up. After a couple of days, I again started regretting the best opportunity that I got ever in my life, for which I worked so hard. This step that I took, is still haunting me. It is taking my soul out. I feel that way. It is so painful. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I think, as I didn’t get to go there, should I stay here and do something even great.. I have this small passion about dancing, and I want to learn acting too. Should I try so hard and learn good dancing ?, Become a dancer ? Learn acting and try to enter the acting field ? Or try and lean new skills, entrepreneurship skills and become an entrepreneur? I don’t know what am I supposed to do with my life. After that incident, I started to try for Canada or. Was preparing for ielts. And along with that, I was giving interviews locally, in Bangalore, and after so many rejections, I got another job with a decent salary hike in Bangalore. Almost doubt the pakage of what I was earning. Now I am working in the new company. But I am not satisfied. Being in the same home. Same mentality. I am scared that I am missing these opportunities to expire and experience in my lifetime. I am not satisfied with what I am experiencing. O don’t know how to process this.

    #378918
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dandan:

    You shared that you are a software developer working since 2014, currently working in Bangalore, India. You’ve had a huge interest in working in a European country, particularly Germany, “to go out to get the international work experience.. be independent in a different country. Living by choice and freedom”.

    In February 2019 you interviewed for tech jobs in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany & Singapore. In the beginning of 2020, you received an offer with a decent package from a good German company in Munich. It was also the beginning of the pandemic. You were too afraid to leave your comfort zone behind, thinking about the negatives, afraid to be lonely in Munich, and you rejected the offer. You regretted having done so immediately.

    You spent the lockdown after March 2020 with your family, in your home town, and kept regretting the missed opportunity. You then interviewed again and in July 2020, while under lockdown, “staying at home for months not being able to step out”, you received an offer with a decent package, to work in Dusseldorf, Germany.

    You got scared again, “thinking and overthinking.. everything becomes negative”. You sent an email accepting the offer, but immediately after sending the email, you “started panicking so badly.. couldn’t sleep”, scared of getting lonely in Germany. After 3 hours of sleep, one morning at 6 am, “walking and discussing with my family like a mad person”, you sent an email rejecting the offer, saying that something came up. Two days later, you regretted the rejection, and you are still haunted by that missed opportunity.

    Still living with your family in your  hometown, you interviewed for jobs in Canada and in Bangalore. You received a job with a decent salary in Bangalore, almost double the package you received before. But you are not satisfied with “the same home. Same mentality”, and you are considering a career in dancing, acting, or be an entrepreneur.

    My input: what stopped you from accepting the two offers in Germany was fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that should not be underestimated. If you try again to interview for jobs in Germany, or elsewhere outside of India, you have to have a plan designed to manage fear. With a plan, you will not be surprised by fear or clueless as to what to do about it.

    One way to manage fear is to connect with other people, have a social support network. If you work outside of India, you would be an expat, short for expatriate, which means a person residing in a country other than their native country. In common usage, the term refers to professionals, skilled workers, or artists taking positions outside their home country, either independently or sent abroad by their employers.

    If you do consider going to a city abroad as an expat, consider contacting the community of Indian expats in that city before and while interviewing- it may ease your fear of being alone and lonely abroad. InterNations can connect you with expats in 420 cities worldwide. InterNations Munich  includes, so I read: “a vibrant circle of Indian expats, coming from New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and all regions of India” (internations. org/ Indian expats in Munich).

    In 2009, the German government estimated that there were more than 110 thousands people of Indian descent residing in Germany, more than 43 thousands of them held an Indian passport, while more than 67 thousands held a German passport. (Wikipedia).

    You shared that your motivation to work abroad has been to “be independent in a different country. Living by choice and freedom“, and that you are unsatisfied working in Bangalore because it is “the same home. Same mentality”-

    – if you want to explore your fear and motivations further, you are welcome to tell me about your history of growing up emotionally dependent on your parents (how it was and how it is), without enough choice and freedom perhaps, as well as what you mean by “same home. Same mentality”.

    anita

    #378920
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    I have had this huge interest in going to a europian company with a job offer and to work there.

    [learning German and learning about German culture] created some interest in working in a different country , mainly European country and precisely Germany.

    I wanted to go out to get the international work experience. To work with people around the globe. Also to be independent in a different country. Living by choice and freedom.

    The above seem like your genuine desires, something that your soul is calling you to do, not something that has been imposed on you by your parents or the society. Is that right?

    But then, something stopped you from going after your desires. It’s your fear of being alone and stepping out of your comfort zone:

    I didn’t have the guts to move away from my comforzone here.

    But after getting the offer, I only can think about negatives. Like how lonely I will get there. I am a sensitive person. My friends also told I might get lonely there.

    You changed your mind because of fear. This fear is quite common when we’re about to do something that requires us to step out of our comfort zone. We’re creatures of habit, we like the known, even if we don’t feel good in it. We fear the unknown and the possible challenges that our new circumstances might bring.

    Which will prevail – the fear of the unknown or the excitement about the new opportunities – largely depends on the way we were raised. If your parents were fearful and didn’t really encourage you to try out new things, or if they expect from you to always be there at their side and take care of them, you’d naturally be more reluctant to leave, even for a limited time. Maybe you haven’t developed the sense of independence, required to live on your own in an unfamiliar country, and to cope on your own, emotionally, when your family is away?

    If you’d like to share some more about the way you were brought up, it might explain better why you have such a hard time giving yourself a chance to experience something new in life.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by TeaK.
    #378964
    Dandan
    Participant

    Thanks Anita and teak for the response.

    I grew up with my parents and two sisters in a small town. My parents are so loving and caring. All of us are so sensitive. We were below average in terms of finance. So we didn’t have much privilege as kids. But my father worked hard and had a bank job. He made sure we all got good education from a good school. But my parents get scared easily and are over protective. Wouldn’t let us do anything much mischievous or dangerous. I am so sensitive. I hate being alone most of the times. I get zoned out and get depressed for no reason, even among friends. I feel always low for no reason. I get all the energy from people around me, who are more positive and enthusiastic, self sufficient and bold. I get happy and enthusiastic when there is something interesting and enjoyable to do with the people around me. I derive energy and vibes from the people around me. With myself, I am mostly low and depressed, for no reason. My mom too is like me. She feels low most of the time. If she is surrounded by a dull environment, she feels low. And I am also like her. If i am with a dull company, I automatically feel low and depressed. It is like my default state, and with dull people, it again is the same. I get normal and sometimes enthusiastic when I am around people with positive attitude and strong attitude, in a good way. Like I love in that shadow of the vibes. So past years I was with my friends and roommates, and when I got the first offer, I started thinking all negative. This is my another natural thing. I mostly think negative of most of the things. Always feel that the other part is greener than what I have. If I don’t have offer, I think about offer and lifestyle and experience that I will get there , the happiness etc etc. Once i get the offer, it’s the other way. I think negative about that and positive about what I have now here. In recent years, this dilemma increased bug time, in each and every step that I take in life. Every small step. I over think a lot. I have like 100 thoughts with images and gifs running in my mind without control every minute. So over the time, everything gets weird.

    I also want to confess something. I am the person who had created a thread inthe relationship category, about the dilemma in relationship and marriage. The guy who had crush on both the sisters. I read both of your replies to my topic and I really appreciate your efforts. Sorry I disabled my account and didn’t reply. I have been following her topic in the forum. She had shared the link with me when I broke up with her. I have been reading and I panicked after I created my topic cuz I didn’t want her to know or read that. Didn’t want to disturb her flow of healing. Couldn’t handle it. I am a weak Peron and now I am even weaker. I don’t know if what i am doing is right or wrong. It is always stressing me out. Sorry I couldn’t articulate what I am wanting to say properly cuz my thoughts are so fragmented, and I am so restless. As I said in the other thread, the same kind of dilemma applies to my life as well. I am thinking a lot about her. Imagining the happy moments and how happy we would be, like literally New scenes keep running in my mind. I don’t know what kind of a mental state this is. I am sorry if I am talking something off the topic for the forum category.

    #378975
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dandan:

    You are welcome. My goodness, it is you, I remember the thread you disabled and of course, the ongoing thread of your ex-girlfriend. I want to re-read some stuff there before I reply to you further, in about a couple of hours or so.

    anita

    #378984
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    I am glad you returned to the forum – welcome back!

    With myself, I am mostly low and depressed, for no reason. My mom too is like me. She feels low most of the time. If she is surrounded by a dull environment, she feels low.

    You’re depressed because you were raised by a depressed mother. A depressed mother cannot properly respond to your emotional needs, she cannot express joy that you exist, she cannot be happy about your little achievements, cannot encourage you to try out new things, cannot root for you in a sports match etc.

    But beyond that, she cannot really be happy, and if a mother is unhappy, the child is unhappy too. The child always tries to make the mother happy, and if it doesn’t succeed, the child too becomes sad and depressed. He starts feeling hopeless too, because nothing works, and he blames himself for his mother’s unhappiness – he believes he’s not good enough to make her mother happy.

    So if you feel depressed, have low energy, feel not good enough, and are a pessimist, often having negative thoughts – that can all be a consequence of having a depressed mother.

    You’d need to restore the joy for life and the hope, and I think the best way would be to work with a therapist who could see you and mirror you and encourage you – to sort of act as a positive, nurturing mother figure. This way you could build up the capacity for joy and hope, which right now you don’t seem to have. And also, you’d need to learn to love yourself and realize that you’re good enough, and that it’s not your fault you couldn’t make your mother happy.

    These are my thoughts for now – let me know how you feel about it, and whether it resonates.

     

    #378985
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dandan:

    You shared that you grew up in a small town with parents who were loving and caring, and “so sensitive”-  too sensitive, they “get scared easily”.

    Your father reads like a good man, working hard in a bank so to take care of you and your sisters, and see to it that that you got a good education from a good school. It was not his fault that he was so sensitive/ too scared, not wanting you to “do anything much mischievous or dangerous” and get hurt as a result.

    “I derive energy and vibes from the people around me”, you wrote. As a child and onward, the people around you were your parents, and you derived/ obtained your fear from your fearful parents.

    “I hate being alone most of the times”, but you are also afraid of being with people who are “dull company” because when around dull people, you “automatically feel low and depressed”.

    “I get all the energy from people around me, who are more positive and enthusiastic, self sufficient and bold”- such people are very different from your parents who were negative and subdued, not at all bold.

    “I feel always low for no reason.. I am mostly low and depressed, for no reason”- when you were a young child, like all young children, you fiercely loved your parents, and you fiercely wanted them to be happy. When you saw your mother being depressed (“My mom.. feels low most of the time”), you felt so badly for her, that you felt low most of the time too, like her.

    For you to feel happy and enthusiastic, confident and bold, you needed your parents to feel/ be those things first. If they were happy and bold etc., then you wouldn’t worry about them. But knowing that they are unhappy and subdued.. you’d feel too guilty to be happy and bold yourself, wouldn’t you?

    “My mom too is like me. She feels low most of the time”- it is not that (1) you and your mother are two separate individuals and it so happens that the two of you are alike, or that (2) the low feeling was carried on from her genes to yours. What happened, way more likely, is that you were very sad to see her sad, and you felt too guilty to be happy yourself. You needed her to be happy first, before you could allow yourself to be happy.

    “If I am with a dull company, I automatically feel low and depressed” – this is what happened to you as a child and onward, growing up in the company of your dull, depressed mother: you automatically felt depressed yourself.

    Maybe part of your fear and negative thinking about the offers to work and live in Germany was that you felt too guilty to live a better life than your parents’ lives, too guilty to allow yourself to be happy and bold while your parents are unhappy and subdued still. I imagine that you’d feel like a bad son, and a bad person, if you turned your back to your parents, and chosen a happy, bold life for yourself.

    About your recent ex-girlfriend, you wrote: “I am thinking a lot about her. Imagining the happy moments and how happy we would be, like literally new scenes keep running in my mind”- but you’d feel too guilty to be happy in real life, would you?

    In your earlier thread, you wrote about her: “When I break up with her.. I value her and miss her. But when I start talking to her back, I get the stress and bad feelings… This cycle has been going on”-

    – the stress and bad feelings may be the guilt I am talking about, and this guilt is feeding the pattern you mentioned.

    “I am a weak person and now I am even weaker”- if I am correct  in my understanding so far, I suggest that you think of yourself as a very loving son: you have loved your parents so much, for so long (three decades so far), that you refuse to be happy before they are. Such a strong, fierce  love makes you not a weak person, but a strong person. Only a strong person is capable of such a strong love.

    See this strength within you, acknowledge it, and you will be able to use this amazing strength for you (and no longer against you), and you will make better and better choices, and know peace and love.

    You are welcome to reply to me anytime, if you would like.

    anita

    #379004
    Dandan
    Participant

    Thanks Teak & Anita for the response,

    To add to what I had shared earlier, my mom is not low and depressed all the time, but most of the time when she is inside the home. She loves going out, eating out in restaurants, going for long drives, tours, and specially going to movie theatres to watch movies. Once we plan to go out somewhere, she becomes more happy and enthusiastic. She needs something like this to be able to be normal and happy. With herself, at home, most of the time in my childhood, we used to watch tv a lot. She watches tv programs a lot. She needs some entertainment this way to be normal. Else she is low. She used to tell that it’s so boring and low. My dad doesn’t talk much. He used to work and come back. During my childhood, My dad had a lots of debts. We went through very bad situations in terms of money and debts. And my mom, my sisters and me had inferiority complex. My sister faced a lot of issues in her school due to her inferiority complex, in terms of appearance. Issues at my home used to be too intensive that my sister used to attempt suicide many times and my dad used to hold her tightly and not let her. This happened for years. It was all total nightmare for me and the entire family. We have all been so much stressed about the debts. Gone through the most stressful phase. Eg, we would lock ourselves inside our home when the person whom we had to payback knocks our door. We had to sell two of our own houses. My mom had lot of insecurities that she doesn’t have good education. She didn’t go to college. And also about her attitude and social life. She had complex and insecurities during my childhood. But as we grew up, and my sister had those inferiority complex issues, she even was taking prescribed drugs for controlling emotions. Things went out of hands after that. No time for anybody to think about anything. We all just wanted to face this issue of hers. This is during my 8-9th grade. We moved to a different town, a small town , from a comparatively well developed town. That changed a lot. I joined a school which is had lesser standards. But even before that, since my 5-6-7 th grades, I used to playfully like girls my class. I used to tell my friends that I like her. Partly because I had seen so many movies having all these romance. So I used to like some or the other girl, like a pair or couple. It’s like saying she is the girl I like. Here there is this concept of one side love. A guy first falls in love on a girl, and then tells their friend that she is the girl  he loves. And approaches her, does all sorts of flattering things, to attract her convince her, amd the girl accepts if she really likes. So I was also obsessed with this, liking some girl etc. Since 6th grade. I used to get crushes on teachers. After I moved to a different, smaller town, things changed a lot. That town was even reserved. The school didn’t encourage boys and girls even talking or being together. It wasn’t restricted but not encouraged as well. It was a conservative town. I joined this new school in my 9th grade. I studied in a boys only class of my school. And for 10th, I shifted to a coed class, where boys girls both study. Most of the time I roamed with guys only as talking to a girl and spending time with them is not something students did there. We just talk in class on higher level, and nothing more than that. I used to get a lot of crushes then. After I completed my 10th, board exams, I got bit low marks. So my dad decided to send me to a different school in a totally different town. A school where students join and stay in hostel, and they are forced to wake up at 4.30 am and get ready and study, and study till 10.30 at night. That school is famous for creating state level rank holders. But it was so strict. Boys only school. No option to contact home. Strict hostel and school timings and food. We can talk to our home only when any of the parents come to visit their kid, and we borrow their phone to talk to home for few minutes. I was confident at the beginning for couple of months. My studies was going well. This was for my 11 th grade. Few students used to cry as they were home sick. I used to console them .  After them 2 months, I had to come home for a holiday for couple of days. My dad came to  pick me up and we travelled all the way to my home.  When I had to go back to school after holiday, I left home early in the morning but after this, I started being home sick. I was thinking about home all the time. I started crying and other guys consoled me. But it increased. I became desperate to run away. I created a story that my stomach is getting often troubled because of the hostel food and so I want to quit and go back. I had some stomach issues due to food but not in that level that I should quit and go back. But I made that up to quit. Knowing this, my parents came to visit me and console. But I cried literally that I am not able to sustian here. My dad then took me back home. Quitting the school there. Took me back to my small home town and got me admitted to the same old school which I joined on 9th grade. So same old circle. Conservative circle. I used to roam with seniors and guys in the neighborhood who are elder. In 11 and 12 th grade, I started smoking and drinking, cuz the people I roamed around did that and they were seniors and rowdies in the neighborhood. So everybody used to like and love some girl. I too had crush on a girl in my 12 th. To create sympathy, I have used a razor blade to mark cuts in my hand. Plenty of them. Lot of blood. I had so fragile crush feelings then. But that passed on. After 12 th, I joined a reputed university for my under grad. I used to drink and smoke a lot then. I started living a girl in my class in colege. She was the most beautiful girl so I automatically got crush on her. After sometime she liked me too, we got into relationship. And this went on happily for 3 years. Entire under grad. 2007-10. She was so beautiful. I was average at that time. Had my insecurities. Was so possesive on her. Used to feel bad even if she talks to some other guy or if she likes any actor. Too much possessiveness ruined it. She got pissed off and left me after three years , after we both joined same college for post grad. I was mad for about 1.5 years, 2010 -12. I tried everything to get her back. Went to counseling. Wentto dance classes to impress. But eventually the feelings reduced. I remember during this relationship, she was so soft and fragile . She loved me a lot and I did too. But whenever we were too close, we didn’t have any fight, as she was so soft and fragile, I used to feel something weird, as in something too much , too much that I can handle in my mind. When we used to fight, I felt normal and okay, but being so close, so much attached, it was something that made me so much mad. I don’t know how to explain. So this happened. Coming back to post grad, the new girl who had joined. In 2012, after I kind of moved over the first girl, I started getting crush on thsi new girl. I started talking to her, was behind her. She had just fallen into another relationship m, with a guy outside college. But I barged in, she was responding too. I was all romantic flirty flattering and I had true feelings too. She fellfor me eventually and we had relationship. This was all in the same setup. In front of samel friends and curl in the college who knew I was in a 3 year relationship before. And I was so mad for 1.5 years after she dumped me. I have cried to almost many of my friends about my first girl when she left. Everybody knew that. So when I moved over and started loving another girl, few people spoke bad of me that I am destroying another girls life. It felt so bad. So heart broken to be in that situation. But we continued, me and new girl. I had this guilt and bad feeling about what people were thinking about me. My first girl was also there is same class. She eventually came to know about my new relationship. First girl came back crying, and lot of things happened there. But finally, me and new girl continued. Her father didn’t approve this. I went to her home alone to talk to her dad. It didn’t go well. But somehow later her dad asked my parents to come talk because she was adament on this. When my parents went there , they were not treated so well. Eventually so many issues happened and she got married to some one else. In 2014. After that I moved on soon cuz somewhere I knew that was not going to work out. That’s when I decided I shouldn’t fall for girls so easily. I shouldn’t be so naive. I have some dignity and self respect. But I continued being on low self esteem. I went back to first girl after second girl got married. But I didn’t want to marry first one as well. I used to drink a lot. Get crushes on office colleagues easily. I took things so light. It was like I liked getting crushes and approaching and flirting with gilrs though I wasn’t serious. I am a big time procrastinator. I had this dream of body building and getting to my best physique. Since my 11 th grade in school. In school, I used to do a lot of pushups and workouts and had the best body of my life. But now to the level I want. In college , I wasted under and post grad behind these relationships only. Didn’t follow my passion of workout body building and dancing. I had great interest in dancing during 7th grade. That’s when I knew I could dance decently well. I could have kept on to it, practising new dance forms like folk bboying etc. But I wasted it all since 9tu grade when I moved to different town. So in college I didn’t follow my passion. In 7th and 8th grade I have performed in dance competitions and won. I loved that feeling when teachers and others appreciate my dance. I had a bit of celebrity kind of feeling. But after 9th nothing wentwell. Colelge wasted. So after my second girl got married , I again continued drinking smoking partying falling in crush flirting etc. Didn’t follow dance or workout. I used to pay for gym for years and not go even for a day. I used to flirt and approach girls even though I know their answers,just becuaee I liked doing it. Days passed. I went into depression slowly. And that’s when in 2018 I met the girl, a friend of my friend, the elder sibling. And months later the younger sibling.

     
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>    I have been regretting all along of my unaccomplishment. In terms of dance and workout to get six packs. It’s my dream. But I never was consistent. In my life. During 2014 onwards, after second girl got married, I wanted to improve my self esteem, improve myself in every aspect my looks, appearance, personality, join dance clubs in my office, do performances on stage and get that celebrity feeling, workout and get six packs , the dream of mine. Not flirt and fall for anyone easily dress up really good every single day, groom myself up well everyday, gain confidence in myself over the time doing these , and then meet a suitable , maybe in a dance club, in a gym, or in tech clubs entrepreneurs club, basically somewhere where I went following my passion and to meet someone in that path. That would be more compatible and satisfying, than falling behind in my dreams, not improving my self confidence, self respect and constantly falling in love with girls. I regret not doing all those I said. Instead, I did everything I don’t want to, and here I am. Every single day is a night mare.</p>

    #379005
    Dandan
    Participant

    Sorry for the lengthy post.

    #379021
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    Thank you for sharing your life story with us. It hasn’t been easy for you. You grew up with a depressed mother, who would only stop being depressed when going out, to trips, restaurants or movies. This means she couldn’t be joyful with you, nor could you be a reason for her to be happy.

    When she was inside the house, doing the chores, taking care of you, she was probably always a little sad and depressed. That can be quite devastating for a child. The only time she would light up a little was when she watched TV. You watched a lot of TV with her, and there would be all those romance movies. It’d make your mother happy, it made her feel alive. You felt good for a moment while watching romance movies with her.

    Fast forward to your 5th and 6th grade, where you started having crushes on girls.  It’s normal at that age, but for you it was almost like a game. When you described your crushes when you were older, you said “I liked getting crushes and approaching and flirting with gilrs though I wasn’t serious.” I think having a crush and being engaged in all that drama reminded you of the times when you watched romantic movies with your mother. It made you feel alive – the same it made you feel alive when you were a child. In short, it gave you a high. So I guess it was probably a little addictive.

    In the 7th and 8th grade you developed a passion for dancing and even won in dance competitions. You say you loved a feeling of being like a celebrity, and teachers and others appreciating your performance. How did your mother react to your dancing successes – was she enthusiastic or not too much?

    Later, in the 11th grade, you developed a passion for bodybuilding and were quite fit and had the best physique ever. But you didn’t continue at the university. You now regret that you haven’t pursued further those passions from your youth, and that you wasted many years on failed relationships, having crushes, and smoking and drinking.

    Dear Dandan, I believe your life so far has been a pursuit of passion – something that will lift you from the depression that your mother gave over to you, since she was depressed too. And also, it was an attempt to bond with a woman who will finally be enthusiastic about you, unlike your mother was. Romance and crushes served that double purpose: 1) of giving you excitement and a “high”, and 2) giving you hope of finding a girl who’ll finally be head over heels about you.

    In addition to that is the problem of self-esteem. Because you couldn’t make your mother happy, you concluded you weren’t good and worthy enough. You had a taste of “worth” when you won those dance competitions and were somewhat of a celebrity. But it wasn’t enough to help your self-esteem because the wound was much deeper. You feel unworthy and unlovable, because your mother gave you that message, albeit unintentionally.

    Perhaps your flirting with the idea of becoming an actor is even an attempt to become someone your mother would finally appreciate – because it seems she’s quite enchanted by actors.

    So till now, you’ve been living with the false belief that you’re unlovable and unworthy, and it’s been like a self-fulfilling prophecy because you’ve made some mistakes. But this can change, your wound can be healed…

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 14 hours ago by TeaK.
    • This reply was modified 5 days, 14 hours ago by TeaK.
    • This reply was modified 5 days, 14 hours ago by TeaK.
    #379029
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dandan:

    You are welcome. Your recent long post indicates to me that your distress is often acute, and that indeed, for you, “Every single day is a nightmare”.

    I believe that your first priority needs to be to lower your distress level repeatedly every day. Do so by  (1) doing daily aerobic exercise such as a fast walk of 30 minutes 1-3 times a day, whenever your distress level is particularly elevated, and/or download an aerobic exercise video to do at home,  (2) when you notice your distress has been elevated while working in front of the computer, get up and walk around, look outside the window, drink water, or hot tea and then go back to the computer, (3) consider downloading  slow pace yoga videos, as well guided meditation audios that start with slowing down and focusing on your breathing.

    The second part of my post can be useful to you only if you are calm enough and in the state of mind to consider what I will be posting. Therefore, if you are not calm right now, read the following later, when you are calmer and more focused, maybe after you return from a fast walk (if it is safe).

    I will now retell some of what you shared, retelling some of it in my own words (paraphrasing). If I get anything wrong, please correct me:

    Your mother didn’t like to be at home with her husband and her children, which includes you. She didn’t enjoy your company, so she distracted herself by watching a lot of TV. She was happy when she left the home, going to restaurants, long drives, tours and movie theatres. For her, home was like a prison she wanted to escape, either by watching TV or physically, by going out.

    During your childhood, your family had lots of debts, which caused a lot of stress for your parents, your sisters and you, sometimes you locked yourselves at home, hiding from a debt collector who knocked on the door. One of your sisters attempted, or made suicide gestures at home many times throughout the years. Overall, life was miserable for the entire family of five. But within your stressful life, you had a few passions: crushes on girls, bodybuilding and dancing. (The two latter passions were mostly neglected after high school).

    After 2 months away from your very stressful home, while living in a strict hostel during your 11th grade, you were home sick, “thinking about home all the time.. desperate to run away” and go back home. When you succeeded and went back to living at home, during your 11th and 12th grade, you “started smoking and drinking” with older boys, and you cut your hand (“I have used a razor blade to mark cuts in my hand. Plenty of them. Lot of blood”).

    After you graduated 12 grade and joined a reputed university for your undergraduate education, you drank and smoked a lot, and you entered your first romantic relationship of three years. When the two of you fought, you felt “normal and okay”, but when you did not fight and you felt “so close, so much attached” to her, you felt “too close.. something weird, as in something too much (to) handle”, something that made you “so much mad”. The relationship ended after 3 years, when you joined a college for your post graduate education.

    In post grad you had your second relationship and some interactions with the first girlfriend (“lot of things happened”). The father of your second girlfriend did not approve of the relationship, you talked to him but was unsuccessful in changing his mind. Your parents visited her father and were mistreated. Eventually, the relationship ended and she married another man. You drank a lot, went back to the first girlfriend, but did not want to marry her, and you flirted with women although you were not serious about them. In 2018, you met your third and most recent girlfriend, now broken up.

    My thoughts today: earlier, in your second post,  you wrote, “My parents are so loving and caring”. Your parents means your father and your mother. Focusing on your mother, the parent you spent most of your time with growing up, while your father was at work, your statement then means that your mother is “so loving and caring”. Unfortunately, from what you described, this is not a true statement. Her behavior did not express love and care.

    “I get zoned out and get depressed for no reason.. I feel always low for no reason”- to zone out means to lose focus or stop paying attention to something, usually unintentionally. I think that as a child you zoned out of the reality that there was no love and care for you. And I think that you felt low and depressed because there was no love and care for you. (Not for you and not for your sister who attempted and/ or made suicidal gestures repeatedly for years).

    I understand the stress in regard to having debts and that it was a nightmare, as you put it, for all of the family members. But if there was love and care in the home, the financial difficulties would not have  made your lives a nightmare.

    When you were with your first girlfriend and the two of you were close, it felt “too close” for you. It felt “something weird”, something that was “too much (to) handle” because, seems to me- it reminded you (without being aware of the memory), how much you loved your mother and how much it hurt that she didn’t love you back. The hurt and anger at your love for your mother not being reciprocated came back in the context of your first romantic relationship, and it made you “so much mad”.

    At this point in your life, at 31, there is no way to fix your problems by fixing your relationship with your mother. Even if she started to love you back at this time of your life, it would be too late because the damage to you was done when you desperately needed her love as a child.

    To heal the damage done, you will need to start with (1) acknowledging that it is not true that your mother has been “so loving and caring” (such untruth is keeping you unwell), and (2) grieving this reality, allowing yourself to feel the great sadness, and anger, and whatever feeling comes up at knowing this sad truth.

    It is not possible for a child to acknowledge and grieve such truth, but it is possible for an adult. Once you achieve these two goals, you will be on your way for a much better life, a life where you will be busy living and loving instead of zoning out and regretting.

    anita

    #379049
    Dandan
    Participant

    Thanks Teak and Anita for the response,

     

    I will add some more points to what I had told earlier. I know for sure my mom loved all of us. She took great care of all of us in the childhood. She enjoyed being with us. She used to teach us lessons and help us do our home works. She used to walk for 1-2 kms to come to our school to give us lunch and in the evening she used to make healthy snacks and comes to school, feeds us those and took us back home. Back then, we only had a black and white old tv and with no channels subscription. There was only government shown channel, one or two which didn’t have much. So in the child hood there was no much option for tv. She likes me more than my siblings. She always takes extra care of me. Even now. Treats me special, prepares juice , extra snack food for me. If I am not normal , she will be disturbed too. When my sister started getting those issues late in my childhood, when she was kind of bullied in her school for her looks etc, when she started getting inferiority complex, my mom wasn’t able to address and help my sister. Because my mom is from a village. She doesn’t have much knowledge about these complexes and how it affects. She was worried about her and the whole situation but didn’t know what to do how to help. That’s when things went out of control, we moved to different town etc. My mom has social anxiety. She didn’t have a great relationship with the neighbours as well when we were kids. She always felt people judge her. She isn’t matured enough to support my sister’s issues back then. we bought cable connection/channels subscription in my late childhood only, when I was in 6-7th grade. She watches tv but it’s not like she keeps watching without caring about us. We all together used to watch what is played in the channels, like cartoon movies etc. After the sister issues, my mom became more weak. She has been having lot of insecurities, social anxiety , inferiority complex etc. We all have grown seeing her that way, feeling bad for her , and also went thru similar complexes as ourselves. She was dull if we were dull. She mirrors our feeling. Meaning, if I am dul or the whole family situation is dull, she get so dull room she doesn’t have the energy to turn things around, solve issues of sister or the family. She wasn’t capable of that. She has faced a lot of mental Trauma herself. So slowly being dull became her normal to get dull to happy she wants something to happen talk to us interesting topics, or tv , mvoies going out etc. She likes talking. She has complained a lot that dad doesn’t talk at all.she hasn’t had anyone to talk and share at all. But I have listened to her a lot. She feels like talking, having nice conversation, sensible and funny, and laugh out. She has always wanted that , without that, if the house is silent , she will be dull. Most of the movies here have love stories and I have seen these in my relatives’ , neighbours’ homes and everywhere. Not just my house. I would say that we three gre up so weak. We didn’t know how to face the bullying, the complex, the insecurities because my parents didn’t know themselves. And I liked liking girls for real or for name sake from school. I get attracted to cute girls. My parents don’t know most of these. They don’t know how mu school was, how I got attracted easily, etc. I didn’t share, neither did they find. Dad worked so hard to pay our tuiton fee. He got us admitted to a good English school rather than govt schools. For them, it was a great deal and they thought everything is sorted. But it wasn’t. They couldn’t understand these complexes, and things kids face in a bigger town and a bigger school. So that’s how it was. My mom still loves me a lot. My sister says that my mom is liked obsessed with me. My mom wants me to be happy every single second. But i don’t know I couldn’t handle too much love. Two days back, my mom was feeling low at my home. Mom dad currently stays with my sister’s family  and I stay with them too as cities are locked down and I am working from home. My mom and sister doesn’t get along great. They have their own issues between then. So they fight for various reasons,my sister fights, that’s a different story all together. Two days back when tehre was some fight, my mom was dull, she seeks me all the time. She wants me to be around her. She tells that my presence gives her some strength. So she had some leg pain, she usually applies pain ointment herself, but she bought it to me and asked me to apply. For her, it is something emotional when I apply and massage her legs when she is in pain. She was so fragile amd needy of that emotion I felt. I did apply and massage. I do that many times. But that day as she was needy of that emotion, I felt so heavy inside, it was too much to me. Felt like crying, I don’t know how to explain that. When someone shows too much of emotions , emotional need are is so fragile around me, it makes me very weak and I feel like crying.

    Having said that, Yes I still sometimes believe I can turn things around in terms of accomplishments. Since last august, I joined an online community called fittr for body transformations amd workout routines. I had enrolled for a personal coach and had a decent transformation losing some weight. I participated in transformation challenge twice but not consistent. Didn’t achieve my dream body yet. Since January I have been partying so heavy compromising my goals and developing regret all along. That’s when I went to meet my ex in Pune. Came back, got mad,  all these things happened. The day I broke up with her in texts, my mom got ill, and slowly others too including myself. Turns out we all got covid. Past 3 weeks was so hard at home. After much hardship we just over came the illness. There is a transformation challenge again starting tomorrow and this time I am determined to give my hundred percent to get my desired body. That will give me some confidence and satisfaction of accomplishment. Along with that , I am planning to join dance class, and/or guitar classes to keep me engaged in something I like. But I am scared if I am making a bad decision leaving my ex. I like her a lot. But too much emotions is something I am not able to handle. I am scared if will be able to be love someone else, I don’t know if I can forget her. Sometimes I think what I am doing is stupid. But there is this baggage of bad vibes and thoughts, regrets of unaccomplshments and a thought that I met my ex under bad circumstances which was not supposed to have happened at all. Sometimes I think I did meet her, it has all happened. Now she loves me a lot so why can’t I accept and reciprocate that happily. I am scared of losing her, scared of living life with her too, thinking what if the negative baggage will haunt me , and scared to marry someone else too thinking what if I wouldn’t be able to forget my ex when I am with someone. So everything is scary

    #379053
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Dandan,

    First, I am glad that both you and your family all recovered from covid!! I’ve been following the news and am hoping that things will get better soon in your country…

    Thanks for explaining some more about your mother and your situation at home and while growing up. It appears you were and still are your mother’s favorite:

    She likes me more than my siblings. She always takes extra care of me. Even now. Treats me special, prepares juice , extra snack food for me. If I am not normal , she will be disturbed too.

    My mom still loves me a lot. My sister says that my mom is liked obsessed with me. My mom wants me to be happy every single second. But i don’t know I couldn’t handle too much love.

    One reason you could be her favorite is that you’re a boy, which is in many families in India more appreciated than having a girl. I don’t know if it’s true for your family. But beyond that, I think there’s another reason why your mom likes you the best:

    She likes talking. She has complained a lot that dad doesn’t talk at all. she hasn’t had anyone to talk and share at all. But I have listened to her a lot.

    Two days back when tehre was some fight, my mom was dull, she seeks me all the time. She wants me to be around her. She tells that my presence gives her some strength.

    Your mother had two major problems, I believe. One is that she’s sad and depressed by nature, so she‘s a person with low energy and quite needy. She needs others to lift her up, and she also needs movies and other events to lift her from her lethargy.

    Emotionally, she’s a needy person, with a propensity to easily slip into depression. Even if she took good care of you and your sisters physically, and walked twice per day to your school to give you lunch and snacks, it doesn’t mean she was able to give you the same amount of emotional care and nurturance. In fact, it appears she needed you, her son, to provide that emotional care for her.

    She felt lonely in her marriage and didn’t have an emotional companion in your father, which means she didn’t have emotional support from him. He worked a lot, trying to ensure the best future for you, and he also wasn’t someone who talks a lot. I assume he wasn’t really emotionally responsive, didn’t understand her emotional needs. As someone needy and fragile as her, your mother needed someone to nurture her emotionally, and that someone was you. She talked a lot with you. Perhaps she sometimes complained that your father was so silent and unresponsive?

    In any case, it appears the roles were reversed: instead of her taking care of you emotionally, you took care of her. You tried to make her happy but it was difficult because her unhappiness was much deeper and you could never make her happy. But of course, a child wouldn’t know that.

    In the 11th grade, when you transferred to that strict, Spartan like boarding school, you did pretty well in the first couple of months, you even consoled your school mates when they felt homesick. But when you went home for holidays, I guess you saw how your mother was sad and depressed, and how bad she felt without your emotional support – and you couldn’t bear that. You faked stomach problems so you could come home never to return to that school again. I believe you didn’t do it because you were weak and needy (or at least that wasn’t the main reason), but because your mother was weak and needy. She needed you, and you couldn’t bear that she’d be without you.

    This goes on to this day – she seeks you to console her when she has a fight with your sister. She seeks you to put cream on her legs, even though she could do it on her own. But she likes your caring and your proximity too – as she says, you give her strength. More precisely, you give her emotional support, like you always did.

    She was so fragile amd needy of that emotion I felt. I did apply and massage. I do that many times. But that day as she was needy of that emotion, I felt so heavy inside, it was too much to me. Felt like crying, I don’t know how to explain that. When someone shows too much of emotions , emotional need are is so fragile around me, it makes me very weak and I feel like crying.

    Yes, you feel heavy, because it’s a heavy burden for a small, needy child to take care of his needy mother. You could never give her what she needed, and at the same time you never received what you needed from her. It makes you feel desperate. You are dependent on each other, you’re still attached to her like with an umbilical cord. And that’s why you couldn’t accept that job in Germany – because your mother needs you. You can’t leave her, because she’s needy. She’s even more needy than you are. It feels hopeless for you.

    So you’d need to learn to emotionally detach herself from her, and find happiness and fulfillment regardless of her inability to be happy and fulfilled. You’d need to detach that umbilical cord…

    After you detach the umbilical cord, you’d need to focus on fulfilling your own unmet emotional needs. Only then could you have a chance of having a healthy romantic relationship. So there are steps, it’s a journey, but it’s doable and it’s worth it! Because as you start untangling those knots, things will be become clearer and you won’t feel at such an impasse like now.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 19 hours ago by TeaK.
    #379055
    TeaK
    Participant

    * sorry, I meant to say: you’d need to learn to emotionally detach yourself from her

    #379061
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dandan:

    You are welcome. The more you share, the better I understand. You shared previously: “My parents are so loving and caring”, and most recently: “I know for sure my mom loved all  of us”.

    Let’s talk about a mother’s love in general: a mother’s love, when it is really love, on an ongoing basis, it makes for a mentally healthy child. Let’s look at the mental health of your sister and you (you did not describe your other sister):

    1) your sister: “my sister used to attempt suicide many times and my dad used to hold her tightly and not let her. This happened for years”.

    2) you:  “I hate being alone most of the time…I feel always low… mostly low and depressed… I have used a razor blade to mark cuts in my hand. Plenty of them. Lot of blood… I used to drink and smoke a lot”, etc.

    The proof (of a mother’s love) is in the pudding (the child): if your mother truly loved you and your sister, where did that love go.. why is it not in you and your sister.

    Also, if your mother really loved you and your sisters, how is it that when you first mentioned the word love in the context of your mother, it was not about her love for her children, but her love for going out and being entertained: “She loves going out, eating out in restaurants”, etc.

    If she loved her children where was her happiness about spending time with the children she supposedly loves so much: “my mom is.. low and depressed.. most of the time when she is inside the home.. Once we plan to go out somewhere, she becomes more happy and enthusiastic“- she was not happy inside the home with her children, she was happy to go out and enjoy restaurants etc.

    Your sister’s suicide attempts or gestures, you cutting yourself, feeling low most of the time, having a very low self-esteem, having many crushes on girls and women (being desperate for love) all these do not indicate a mother’s love.

    The reasons and excuses for why your mother did not love her children (“she didn’t have good education. She did not go to college.. My mom has social anxiety… isn’t mature enough… inferiority complex… she wasn’t capable… She has faced a lot of mental trauma herself) do not change the fact that she didn’t. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding: if she loved you, where is that love, where did it go?

    “She likes talking. She has complained a lot that dad doesn’t talk at all.. I have listened to her a lot”- you were your mother’s friend of sorts, a substitute husband perhaps.

    “She was dull if we were dull. She mirrors our feelings”- for any child, the mother is the mirror for the child’s feelings. The child looks up to the mother for emotional understanding and guidance.

    “For her, it is something emotional when I apply and massage her legs when she is in pain. She was so fragile and needy… I did apply and massage. I do that many times. But that day as she was needy of that emotion, I felt so heavy inside, it was too much for me. Felt like crying, I don’t know how to explain that” (May 1, about your mother).

    – Earlier (April 30) you wrote about your first girlfriend: “whenever we were too close.. as she was so soft and fragile, I used to feel something weird, as in something too much, too much that I can handle in my mind.. being so close, so much attached, it was something that made me so much mad. I don’t know how to explain”.

    Do you see the parallels between the above two paragraphs, one in regard to your mother and the second in regard to your first girlfriend?

    You wrote that your first girlfriend was “soft and fragile” and your mother was “so fragile”, but your mother too was soft. You repeatedly, over the years, as a boy and later, as a man, massaged her soft legs, looking up at her face, seeing her smiling with pleasure, enjoying the physical, fleshly pleasure that you gave her.. that experience felt weird, didn’t it, too close, too much to handle in your mind…?

    Wikipedia on covert incest: “Covert incest, also known as emotional incest, is a type of abuse in which a parent looks for their child for emotional support that would be normally provided by another adult… The effects of covert incest are thought to mimic actual incest though to a lesser degree, and Kenneth Adams, who originated the concept, describes the victims as having anger or guilt towards parents and problems with self-esteem, addiction and sexual and emotional intimacy”.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 15 hours ago by anita.
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