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Relationship Anxiety

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  • #205021
    Cheska
    Participant

    I am dealing with anxiety especially when it comes to relationships. I tend to be clingy, needy and insecure and I always feel that the person whom I love will always come to hurt me. It came to a point that I decided to no longer be friends with the person I love because I don’t like the way I am acting every time I burst my tantrums or I act on my jealousy / paranoia. I usually do some illogical decisions if I didn’t get my way.

    I wanted to seek help to understand my situation and how could I overcome my anxiety problems. I don’t want to spill my anxiety problems to my future relationships.

    #205091
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    You are afraid to be hurt in relationships because you were already hurt. We don’t fear something we didn’t yet experience. Usually, it is hurt experienced in childhood, in the context of a relationship with a parent. Is it so in your case: were you hurt badly in that context?

    (Understanding the origin of this anxiety can help start you in the process of healing from relationship anxiety).

    anita

    #205311
    Maria Mango
    Participant

    Hi Cheska,

    I experience a lot of relationship anxiety too, so you’re not alone <3. First off, you’re on the right track looking to understand the root of your anxiety so it doesn’t spill over into meaningful relationships in the future. Anita is absolutely right, you have to look closely at your childhood experiences because they effectively have determined your attachment style as an adult.

    A few steps to take that I think would be helpful for you in your journey to understanding:

    1. Google Attachment Theory and Codependency to help understand the underlying causes of your anxiety

    2.Don’t run from your anxiety, instead turn towards it. Anxiety, while upsetting, is really your inner self asking fervently to be heard and indicates that you have a basic need (love, acceptance, reassurance, certainty) that isn’t being met. Check out Don Miguel Ruiz’s allegory of the Magical Kitchen to understand how to fulfill your own needs. Also check out the Mastery of Love by the same author. It’s really powerful stuff.

    3.Use “I” statements when you’re upset/anxious. I also have had tantrums in the past because I had a hard time expressing that a need was going unmet in a relationship. The best way around a tantrum is to diffuse it by stating out loud how you feel at the moment. Sounds weird but it really does the trick, especially when you’re trying to tell your S/O what’s going on in your head.

    4. On that same ticket-be vulnerable. Find someone you feel safe with like a therapist and practice being vulnerable and asking for what you need. This is key to having good relationships.

    5. Be compassionate with yourself. It’s going to take years to get where you want to go and you are going to feel like you’re failing every step of the way. So be nice to yourself and don’t label yourself needy or clingy. Those words just keep you from seeing how wonderful and valuable you really are. You deserve love no matter what.

    Best of luck

    M

    #205323
    Cheska
    Participant

    Thanks anita for acknowledging my question.

    When I was younger,  my mother and I had lots of fights together. It was a bit physical at times but I learned to toughen myself. I am a bit hard headed and we don’t get along. She usually is not around during my childhood because she was taking of my brother (who was infant at that time) and my cousins in the city. At home, growing up I am at most grumpy and I focused most of my energy on my studies. At school, I am this bubbly and extrovert person. I worked hard to where I am right now. I have stable job back home and friends whom I can trust. However, when it comes to love relationships I tend to be controlling. For someone who doesn’t like being controlled, I am somehow appalled of this revelation.

    As years go by, I matured. My mother and I have good relationship now. There were no physical fights and but we still come across for disagreements. Right now, my mother is scared of me because I am supporting her. I don’t like controlling people but there are something that I tend to control about her (for e.g. spending money).

    #205325
    Cheska
    Participant

    Thank you, M for the support. I will try to do what you have suggested. For now, I am still saving enough money and hopefully  seek a therapist to get my mental health checked. I am glad to be part of  this community that helps one another and committed in healing one another.

    #205341
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    You are welcome. You wrote about you and your mother: “I am a bit hard headed and we don’t get along”, suggesting (so it reads to me) that the two of you don’t get along because you are hard headed.

    Then you wrote: “As years go by, I matured. My mother and I have good relationship now”, suggesting (again, it reads to me this way) that the your immaturity was the reason the relationship wasn’t good before.

    I believe that a child cannot be guilty of a bad relationship with one’s mother. You wrote that there were physical fights between the two of you. I don’t think it is possible that the (understandable and natural) immaturity of a child can be the reason for such fights with a mother.

    Would you like to elaborate on those physical fights, on any one of them, how they came about?

    This may be an unpleasant thing to remember and tell, here or anywhere, but it may be helpful to look into it.

    anita

    #205347
    Cheska
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Based from what I can remember, we had fights because I wasn’t cleaning the dishes or I was answering back at her. I was reprimanded for not doing the chores mostly. She yells most of the time. I used to sneak out of the house and when I came back at home, she’ll be very mad at me. There was an incident that she was very angry about a chore(?) and she had to throw something at me. I forgot to remember what was the issue back then.  She was mostly verbally angry and when she’s at her peak, she’ll find something to hit us (e.g. broomstick). We were living with my grandparents when I was child. My mother and together with his brother (my uncle) technically raised me and my brother (we have a 7 year age gap). I was born out of a complicated relationship which my mother never told me until I asked (during my 20s). I asked my aunt about it and they were the ones who told me that my mother got pregnant with my father but they broke up. My father never knew that my mother was pregnant until years later. My grandparents did not like my father so they insisted my mother to raise me alone. My younger brother is a half brother. I never grew up with a real father figure and I was never close to my mother which always sparks jealousy for her. I am much closer to my aunts.

    Hope this shed a light.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Cheska.
    #205357
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    In your original post you wrote: “I always feel that the person whom I love will always come to hurt me”.

    Based on your recent post, it is no wonder that you feel this way because it already happened: you loved your mother (children naturally do) and she really did hurt you with her words, with her tone of voice, with the volume of her voice, with the broom, and so on.

    You wrote in your original post: “I tend to be clingy, needy and insecure”.

    No wonder. A child is naturally clingy, needy and  insecure, needing the mother to be kind, calm, attentive and supportive. You didn’t have such a mother, and so you entered adulthood still clingy, needy and insecure, at least in context of relationships.

    Your mother was wrong to have yelled at you and hit you. She was wrong to have displayed aggression against you. It was her wrongdoing, not yours.

    Do you agree with my last statement?

    anita

     

     

    #205365
    Cheska
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I agree with your last statement. This is a revelation. It made me realized that during my childhood, she was somehow not a motherly figure to me. No wonder, I am closer to my grandmother (when she was still alive) and aunts than with her even until now. When she’s dramatic, she demands to have more time with her and she obliged me to treat her as a mother because she feels that I am not her daughter.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my issue.

    Cheska

    #205367
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    You are welcome. The fact that you were closer to your grandmother and that you are closer to your aunts, but not close to your mother is a consequence of her aggression toward you, a consequence of her wrongdoing.

    Personally, I am sure that when I was a young child I felt close to my mother, very close, as children do. She too was aggressive toward me. Soon enough, still a child, I was no longer able to feel close to her. I felt a lot of anger toward her. When she touched me, as in holding my hand, I felt very distressed. It is no wonder, because that hand hurt me physically.

    You wrote: “she demands… she obliged me to treat her as a mother”- she can’t demand you to feel anything that you don’t feel. And what you do feel for her is a consequence of her actions. Basically, she is blaming you for the consequence of her actions against you.

    anita

    #205371
    Cheska
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I agree with you that even early as a child, I was no longer able to feel close to her.

    I also noticed that the way my mother demands at me is also the way I demand to my former partner. Basically, she is blaming you for the consequence of her actions against you –>  Is it because of my upbringing that I react to my former partner the same way as my mother when things don’t go my way? Is my mother actions mirroring to my relationships?

    What do you suggest I should do?

    I am currently living with my mother because I am supporting her (basice needs – shelter, food). Will I be able to transform the childhood neglect / aggression my mother instill to me during my childhood?

    Cheska

     

    #205377
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    You asked, “Is it because of my upbringing that I react to my former partner the same way as my mother when things don’t go my way?”

    To give you my answer, I need to know specifically (an example or two can help) what behavior or behaviors on your part you are referring to in the context of your past relationship.

    It will also be helpful for me to understand your current relationship with your mother, how do you feel living with her, how is it for you?

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by anita.
    #205395
    Cheska
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    We started out as friends then he pursued me for 6 months. In that 6 months, I had a series of unstable cycle of tantrums. I mostly react in a negative way (e.g. when he doesn’t message me in a day, I bombard him with a lot of messages or even calls; when I don’t get my way, I throw tantrums; mostly selfish needs). He had to stop because he feels he can’t meet my needs and I deserve a guy who would match my needs. He said he will stay friends with me. I agreed to the setup but I was not really accepting of the friendship setup. I am still hoping he would change his mind and we can resume dating again. During the year he stopped pursuing, I still begged for his attention. I made plans with him even if his schedule would say that he is not sure. I still pushed through.

    And recently, I tried making plans again. His answer was he was not sure. I asked him if he still loves me. His answer was “probably but not the way you wanted or thinking”. It made me decide to stop the friendship because it was unfair for myself that I kept treating him more than a friend but he treats/thinks of me as a friend.

    As for my mother’s setup, I am happy that I can provide for her. She’s changing and I still give her benefit of doubt. Nothing is set in stone yet.

    #205399
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Cheska:

    The example you gave me are you bombarding him with messages and calls when he didn’t contact you in any one particular day. Otherwise you wrote that when you didn’t get a selfish need satisfied, you threw tantrums. What does a tantrum looks and sounds like: what do you do and say when doing a tantrum?

    anita

    #205403
    Cheska
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I told him that I can’t go a day without a text message from him (that he remembers me in a day). Then it came to a point that he missed one dayy and I would get frantic and asked him why he missed. Then I would question where he is, things like that.

    He even told me that I cannot control other people and I have to trust him. The tantrums are mostly getting angry, being demanding, being controlling, questioning for all the wrong reasons.

    I will never forget the last message he told me “You do your own. I do mine. You can force your actions. Not mine. Thank you for being yourself”.   he means by being myself was me being selfish.

     

    Cheska

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