April 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm #145593
Dear Free Moon:
There is a way to heal from such past injury as you experienced and to have a healthy relationship with your boyfriend. Really, there is and it is very possible for you. Best place to start this healing work is in competent psychotherapy.
You wrote: “I was so jealous of their relationship because my mom was paying more attention to the nanny than me, and it felt as if she was wishing for her to be the daughter instead. Of course, that’s not the case…Yeah… I was a weird kid.”
You were not a weird kid. You did not imagine things. Children are very good at perceiving people and situations as they truly are because of lack of previous experiences. Without previous experiences, there is no distortions of reality.
Your mother, in reality, gave you very little attention, way less than a child needs. When the nanny was around, your mother, in reality, paid attention to the nanny while mostly ignoring you. You needed her to pay attention to you so intensely and she didn’t. That hurt you a whole lot and you were jealous of the nanny.
In competent psychotherapy, with an empathetic, hard working therapist, you can process these strong childhood emotions and put them to rest. Is such therapy possible for you?
April 19, 2017 at 6:51 am #145799
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by anita.
I think it is possible for me. There is counselling for depression and anxiety in my area that might help me overcome this situation.
Meanwhile, what can I do on my personal time to achieve such goal of not fearing fear?April 19, 2017 at 8:28 am #145811
Dear Free Moon:
I hope the counseling will work for you, that you will let the counselor know specifically, best you can, what you need help with.
Your goal is “not fearing fear”- let’s look at this goal. Do you mean that you want to live without fear? And can you state your fear in a sentence?
anitaApril 19, 2017 at 9:15 am #145839
I want to live where if fear comes, I am able to just watch it without letting it affect me.
My fear is being left alone or replaced…April 19, 2017 at 9:48 am #145849
Dear Free Moon:
You can do the following: write or type a page describing your experience as a child, being in the company of the nanny and your mother, while your mother was attending to the nanny in loving ways, ignoring you. Type what you heard your mother say to the nanny, the emotion in her voice as she said what she did, her actions toward the nanny. Describe what you were thinking, feeling, and doing at the time it happened.
If you want, draw a picture of that scene, draw it in a child like manner, the way a child would draw herself, the nanny, the mother, in that scene.
When you are done, you have this paper with you. You can make a few copies of it. Keep a copy in your purse so you have it wherever you go. Have a copy at home. Then, whenever you think of your boyfriend and his female friend, take the paper out and look at the picture, read the words, either one, or both.
This way, you switch from the false perception of the current situation to the true perception of the past situation that keeps inserting itself into the current one. If you try this, let me know how it works..?
anitaApril 23, 2017 at 6:57 pm #146369
I will try to do that! It seems like a more hands-on way of dealing with the anxiety.
How can I let my boyfriend help me? He tries to understand me, but I know he doesn’t understand completely which is okay.April 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm #146387
Dear Free Moon:
One way you can have your boyfriend help you regarding this issue is without him even knowing about it: when you are with him and you think about the female friend (or she is present), and as you think you feel distress, do the following: take his hand in yours and hold it, feel the warmth of it, and say to yourself: he loves me. Or you can hug him, ask for a hug or just hug him, say the same to yourself.
This way you counter the distress with comforting physical touch.
You can also share with him a bit about the nanny experience, and how that fuels your distress with the female friend. When you share, do so responsibly, letting him know that this issue predated him and is not of his doing, or for him to fix. You want to let him know so that he understands you, what fuels that distress. Express your hurt over the nanny experience, again, responsibly, that is not by going on and on and on and crying (not that I have a reason to think that you will), but show the hurt some.
That will encourage him to express his hurts to you if and when they come up, bringing the two of you even closer to each other.
anitaApril 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm #146529
Oddly enough, when I start to feel so down about it, I just want to hug my boyfriend tight. Even the thought of having that physical contact with him already feels a bit calming to me. I will start doing that if/when I start to feel uncomfortable and upset.
I do think I should share the story about the nanny with him because it would help him better understand why I feel the way I do.April 24, 2017 at 7:21 pm #146583
Dear Free Moon:
If you share this with him, being the decent, loving guy that he is, as I understand, he will feel closer to you, and love you even more.
Post again, anytime.
anitaApril 25, 2017 at 11:32 am #146691
I cannot thank you enough for the help you’ve given me. You are a wonderful human being. 🙂April 25, 2017 at 11:54 am #146703
Thank you Free Moon, and you are very welcome. Post again anytime and I will respond.
anitaJune 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm #154024
I am coming back here to ask for more advice.
Since the time I posted here, I noticed that I’ve harboured a lot of “resentment” for this female friend of his (I’m putting the word in quotation marks because the word is a bit too strong, but I can’t think of a more mellow one right now).
In almost two months, every time she comes up in a conversation – especially when it’s coming from my boyfriend – I suddenly feel this “resentment” rising up within me. I express my dislike right away more often than I would not like to, then after pausing and breathing, I feel immediately bad for what I feel towards her. I don’t understand why I’m insecure of her when I’m in a good relationship with my boyfriend. Somehow, I still feel threatened, even though she hasn’t really done anything suspicious to me or my boyfriend – at least, not that I know of.
Just yesterday, my boyfriend posted an Instagram picture about Father’s Day and she commented with a heart. I felt my heart beating fast right away and texted my boyfriend that I felt uncomfortable. He reassured me that it’s harmless and that no one else can take him away from me. He’s very understanding about this situation, but I don’t want to push his patience to its limits. I only let him know what I felt because I’d rather be honest to him than to bottle this feeling up and explode later on.
I’m becoming silly and ridiculous… I even bought a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies because the anxiety is getting out of hand at times.
Any thoughts? 🙁June 20, 2017 at 10:12 am #154248
Hi Free Moon,
I am sorry, I am replying late, but I am fairly new on here, but I have been reading all your posts, and feel things with your friend and your boyfriend have been going on long enough. From the sounds of it, nothing has changed, with their demeanor and flirtatious stuff with each other and I feel they are both are violating your boundaries and disrespecting you.
One post read that she was playfully hitting him on the back of his head. Calling him let names, etc, etc, yet, she continues with violating boundaries and what she is doing is flirting with him openly with him in front of you. When I was dating, or my friends date, and a woman comes along, they do not call him pet names and playfully hit him on the back of the head. Something is very wrong with this, and it’s gone on long enough. You are still frustrated and a resolution has yet to be found.
It’s time perhaps, and I hate to say this word, but it’s time for something different. Ultimatums. Let him know what he is doing, no matter what his excuses is disrespectful and you refuse to go out while this woman is in presence. I don’t understand, why he can’t just have a date with you, without her being around all the time. I don’t know, there are alot of red flags here. The further this goes on, the more upset and resentful you will become. What it all boils down to, is violating boundaries which they are both doing in front of you, it has gone on long enough and perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship, you deserve better.
June 20, 2017 at 10:15 am #154254
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Eliana.
Dear Free Moon:
I am glad you are back to your thread. I hope you find some benefit to you in that book.
You wrote: “I feel immediately bad for what I feel towards her”- try to accept how you feel without judging what you feel as bad, or good. Feelings are automatic mental events, we don’t choose them, so they are neither good nor bad. (Not feeling bad about how you feel will… in itself make you feel better).
You wrote: “I still feel threatened, even though she hasn’t really done anything suspicious to me or my boyfriend – at least, not that I know of.”- clearly, you believe that she is a threat or may become a threat at any time. When you state that “at east, not that (you) know of” that as far as you know she is not a threat, it means that she may presently be a threat, it is just that you don’t have evidence to support this suspicion. Or that she may become a threat, anytime.
I am wondering, as I type this, if it will be a good idea for your boyfriend to explain to his friend the reasons and then cut contact with her. It will definitely bring you a great relief. It may not be a good idea IF after such cutting contact, you will be worried about another friend of his. That will lead to his gradual isolation. I don’t know. Problem is you don’t know either if she is a real threat or not. Maybe she is.
Maybe you can talk with him about the possibility of him cutting all contact with her. You can tell him that you really don’t want to control his life, to harm him in any way, but that you want to explore the possibility with him. You can tell him you will not be pressuring him to do so, that you are not expecting him to cut contact with her. What you want is to hear his thoughts and feelings about the idea. A back and forth conversation, an honest exchange on the matter can help a lot. At the least, you will learn more about his motivations, and the nature of the perceived threat.
anitaJune 20, 2017 at 10:21 am #154256
Yes, I agree 100%.