January 18, 2016 at 12:24 pm #92899
I posted the above post before I your last post showed on the thread and I just read it. I still don’t know what father issues you are referring to then (bio or step father issues? Or both). I read about your bullying in school. This is unfortunate and it affected you very much. When bullied, you definitely needed at the time your parents’ protection, understanding, guidance and support..! Very much so.
Please continue your Mindfulness work- you got it and you are getting it. Let me know how you are keeping at it! Write anytime you would like. Your pace, your choice of topics!
anitaJanuary 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm #92903
“If your mental disorders are the consequences of her behavior toward you, well.. if she does not believe that a forming child is affected by the child’s parents’ behavior toward the child… well, this is a giant blind spot, isn’t it?” It really is. My mother has always been supportive, and as caring as she can be, despite the fact that her parents were physically and verbally abusive towards her. No emotional or physical affection. So, in a sense I think she is doing as best as she can based on her experiences. She always welcomes me to share with her. She knew I was dealing with depression a while ago and she was amazing. However, I never let her know about the bullying, I saw how much it affected her after I got into that fight at school. I didn’t want to break her heart or hurt her. It was my burden to carry, not hers. I didn’t want her to see me as a broken doll that needed fixing. I didn’t want anyone to see my vulnerability.
“When a parent believes that his or her behavior has no consequence on the child’s mental health… what kind of oversight is it, Aislynn? What kind of blindness is it?” It is a very big oversight I say. However, my mother is very aware of this. I think that the reason why she doesn’t take mental health so seriously, is because deep down she herself is still very hurt from the abuse and neglect of her parents. I believe this is why she doesn’t acknowledge it. She understands how much words can hurt and when me, my sister, and my younger brother are mad at each other she makes sure to tell us, her daughters, as the oldest ones, that we need to watch our words with my 9 year old brother. He is overweight and we are forbidden from calling him fat, because although we don’t say it to bully him, just to let him know to watch what he eats, my mother understands how damaging words can be. She is conscious about mental health issues, yet there is something that prevents her from fully acknowledging it in others.
“I still don’t know what father issues you are referring to then (bio or step father issues? Or both).” Biological father issues. It wasn’t bullying or anything, but rather abandonment. The way I saw it back then, I am his blood, his child, he was one of the two people who were supposed to love me unconditionally but did not, or he would have tried to let me know what was going on. He would have tried to stay in contact with me and he should have thought about how it might impact me. He did not, he was selfish, very much so and left us with nothing. That is my father issue, because of this, I am very untrusting of men. I have commitment issues and because of this my relationships are not very stable. I will go out with a guy, we’ll be together for up to a month, after which I will doubt that I like them, I will break up with them, realize I like them, go back, and so on. This hasn’t happened with just one of my exes, but a majority of them. It is a pattern with me. Also, rather than have them break up with me, I break up with them, I don’t like the sense of being dumped. During high school I didn’t want to be alone, so much so that I craved the attention of guys, I went out with various guys, on and off, and kept stringing them along, just so I could prove to myself that I was likable and that I could have them at any time I wanted to. I don’t feel stable in relationships. I feel as though the minute I fall for them, they’ll walk out on me, and I doubt myself. Which is why I kept stringing others along. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to be left again, so I always left them. Sounds twisted doesn’t it? Believe me, I know how wrong I was. I realized how wrong I was and tried to break that pattern.
“This is unfortunate and it affected you very much. When bullied, you definitely needed at the time your parents’ protection, understanding, guidance and support..! Very much so.” I did, I needed someone to tell me everything would be all right, that it could be fixed. However, I was too stubborn to let my mom know. I didn’t want to worry anyone. I’m sure my mom would have been very helpful had I let her in.
“Please continue your Mindfulness work- you got it and you are getting it. Let me know how you are keeping at it! Write anytime you would like. Your pace, your choice of topics!” I most definitely will let you know. I was pleasantly surprised that today I haven’t felt as anxious as I thought I’d be. I have felt anxious, but not overwhelmingly so. My breathing does seem emotionally heavy though. I was a lot more anxious yesterday and the day I started this thread. It certainly helps knowing that someone else understands what I am going through. It somehow makes it seems like things are not so bad. I start my semester tomorrow so I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to talk about with you tomorrow.
I have to be honest and say that I was googling, “social anxiety college” just the other day. I found lots of threads of others who feel so much social anxiety that they skip school, drop out, cry when talking to people, stutter, don’t have any friends, etc. Reading some of them helped me, it makes me grateful that my disorder is not as strong. It makes me feel more confident that I can do it. If other people younger than me or my age, have it worst than me, then I think to myself, “you are not alone, you can do it.” Of course, we’ll see how that all goes tomorrow.January 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm #92904
You are on the right path. Good work! It is not a linear process, that is, it is not going to be better, then even better.. and then even better. There will be progress the regression, then getting stuck… and most people give up at this point. But stick to the process. I learned over time that when I am distressed, the moment I am distressed, this is an opportunity to move forward.
You will have to persist whatever is next.
You describe your mother as a kind woman and you have a lot of empathy for her, so much so that when you are so terribly bullied at school, you didn’t want to burden her with it. This is very kind of you, very loving of you… unfortunately for you, it means you did not have the strong, capable mother who would have been able to support you when you were bullied or otherwise. So you were alone a lot with your fear. I am sorry for that.
I understand now what you meant by father issues. I understand you trying to protect yourself from future abandonment with the young men in your life. But this is a topic for later…
For now, it is about you learning to calm yourself through mindfulness. There is no one else to do the job. I wish I had a strong, capable parent who held me when I was afraid, providing the comfort I needed, who was there for me, strong, so I could relax. If I had such a parent, loving AND strong, I could relax and feel protected. This was not the case and I carried this excess, ongoing fear into my adulthood and it is still an issue for me.
And so it is, I believe, an issue for you, excess, ongoing fear from long ago… and now, you have to be, over time, that strong, capable person that you always needed and did not have.
I like you googling and finding testimonies that encourage you. Take it easy, take it slow, it is a long term process. Focus on overall progress, not perfection.
Post anytime, and until later:
anitaJanuary 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm #93040
“excess, ongoing fear from long ago… and now, you have to be, over time, that strong, capable person that you always needed and did not have.” Yes, I do. I guess I’ve known that for a while now. I’ve always felt like I couldn’t rely on others but myself, and when it comes to my social anxiety I really am the only one that can help myself in the sense that the way I react to my anxiety is what either helps me improve or keeps me stuck.
“Focus on overall progress, not perfection.” This is something I will have to keep in mind.
Today was my first day of class this semester and I am pleasantly surprised to say that I didn’t feel much anxiety at all. It was nothing compared to the previous years.
I made sure that last night I was calm, not anxious. I knew that if I let my anxiety take hold of me, that it would make it much more difficult in the morning. I guess a lot of my anxiety has to do with my expectations of what could happen, anticipation. So I ran two miles, I usually jog or walk, but I felt I had tension building up somewhat so I ran. It felt good, and even when my body was tired of running, my mind was not, so I kept running. Unfortunately, by not listening to my body I strained a muscle on my leg. After that I decided to check my schedule, the class roster (to get a feel of who the people could be, as if their names could give away anything), I looked at the bus schedule, and I spent more than 30 minutes trying to find out where exactly in the building my classes would be. Struggling to find my classes really built up my anxiety. Once I found out where my classes would be, I planned out how I would walk to my class the next day. I decided I was already feeling much too anxious too my liking, so I sat down and watched a tv series that I really enjoy, and I had some passion flower tea that is supposed to relax your mind and muscles. I don’t know if it really worked because it really does do what it advertises, or because I felt like it worked, so it did. What matters is that it worked for me. I wasn’t able to sleep much because of the pain in my leg, so I was up early and started feeling anxious. The tea worked last night so I thought I’d drink some this morning. I wasn’t worried about forgetting anything because I had made sure to have everything in my backpack ready for the next day, so I was ready to go. On the way to school I focused on being mindful. I focused on the cars, the road, the bridges, etc. Once I got to school I even forgot to put in my earbuds (I always have to have earbuds when I am out at school and don’t have anyone to talk to, it makes me feel less overwhelmed). I went to the bookstore, atm, and walked around to find my classes, and then I took a seat in one of the lounging area, with a clear view of the outside. I still had about 50 minutes left before class started so I just checked my email, deleted some old pictures, etc. I then saw someone in the lounge area looking outside, so I thought, “I’m going to focus on what I see.” I wasn’t anxious, and was able to keep myself sitting there, until about 17 minutes before class during which I checked on my leg and freshened up a bit. The hallway was full of people, and while I would usually feel intimidated, this time it didn’t bother me. I waited for the teacher to arrive and I sat in the front row, something I hadn’t attempted previously. I just didn’t want to sit in the back and look like a slacker. I wasn’t nervous or anxious. The professor was friendly enough, and she used me and a couple of other people in my row to make examples of favoritism, phone policies, team work, etc and I was fine with it. I didn’t have to stand up or anything, but even then, that sort of attention makes me heat up like a tomato, not this time. I was however, very conscious of myself, my actions. I was very aware of the people in the same row as me, the position of my arms, my surroundings. The professor talked about the group project and said “if you find yourself not having a group, come see me and I will pair you with a group who I think you will fit in well” and while I hoped I wouldn’t have to resort to that, it made me feel better. I thought to myself that I’d worry about it when the time came. Then for my next class I was running a little late, luckily it was only half of the people from my first class, 24, and so I didn’t feel so intimidated going in. I was one of the last ones, but I still felt comfortable. Luckily, the guy in the group I sat in was cracking jokes and being funny, talking to me a bit, and I felt included, even though I felt that the girls at the other table were not amused. I was glad to not feel nervous or anxious. I felt aware, of myself, of others. Even waiting for the bus, I did not feel as paranoid as I usually do. It was a good day.
So in light of that, I was thinking that a great part of my anxiety comes from anticipation, anticipation of talking to other, anticipation of feeling lost, anticipation of getting mugged, etc. Once I was able to calm down that anticipation, the actual moments were a lot better. The mindfulness certainly helped.
Also, I believe it helped that I got out a lot of my worries before the actual day, that I planned it out and stuck with it, otherwise I know I would have certainly been a mess. Had I not found the school map, or figured out where to find the lounge area, I would have been anxious no doubt. Another thing that helped was knowing that someone else knew about my issue and that I was able to find forums with other people whose problem was worse than mine. It put things in perspective. Also, what I did different than last time was that instead of telling myself to not feel anxious, I told myself that it was all right, that it was going to be okay, that I would do fine and that it would all work out. That positive self talk helped, a lot.January 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm #93047
What an amazing report… it is as if you were born to be mindful, you are so good at it. I am thoroughly impressed. And your descriptions are so detailed. Today, at the least, you were an excellent self manager, planning and executing.
To calm yourself you ran (way less chances to get injured walking briskly than running because walking you always have one foot on the ground and it is as effective as an aerobic exercise and stress relief, if you walk fast), had herbal hot tea, watched a favorite TV show, looked at the view and paid attention to sights…and I am sure I missed a few things.
You planned a lot, took the extra time, so no rushing… you decided where to sit in class, in the front. And you did not execute perfectly: you forgot your earbuds, BUT you didn’t get distressed over it. (Perfection can never be achieved!)
Excellent job, Aislynn! Excellent. You minimized all the factors that could cause you distress (being early, planning how to get to classrooms, and having plenty of time every step of the way) and you calmed yourself when you started getting distressed (TV show)- this is so important, to notice when you start getting distressed and taking a calming action right there and then!
Please continue… and take care of that muscle… walking fast next time?
anitaJanuary 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm #93059
“it is as if you were born to be mindful, you are so good at it.” I do believe I have always been very observant about the world around me, so yes I do believe it does come fairly easily to me. The only thing I struggle with is going off on tangents of what ifs, theories, etc. I am just a very curious person, so it does not come easily to me to not observe or analyze the information.
“way less chances to get injured walking briskly than running because walking you always have one foot on the ground and it is as effective as an aerobic exercise and stress relief, if you walk fast” Great point Anita, you are very correct. I won’t be able to do much physical activity for the next week or so, so running and jogging are definitely out of the picture. But when I do get back to it, I will definitely walk briskly. For now, I can walk with very little pain on my leg. However, when sitting down I can hardly move it because it aches a lot. Rather than risk further injury I am going to lay off of physical activity so my leg can heal.
“You planned a lot, took the extra time, so no rushing… you decided where to sit in class, in the front. And you did not execute perfectly: you forgot your earbuds, BUT you didn’t get distressed over it. (Perfection can never be achieved!)” Yes, I planned a lot. I realize I do that a lot. I tend to plan as much as I can when it comes to going out the supermarket, the post office, school, the bus, etc. While it helps calm me down, I have to admit that I feel like I am adding to my burden, in the sense that when I am not able to plan I am a nervous wreck. So essentially I am creating a dependency on my planning, and that planning itself takes a long time, I always go over my plan more than a few times.
“Excellent job, Aislynn! Excellent. You minimized all the factors that could cause you distress (being early, planning how to get to classrooms, and having plenty of time every step of the way) and you calmed yourself when you started getting distressed (TV show)- this is so important, to notice when you start getting distressed and taking a calming action right there and then!” Thank you for that. Yes, I did notice that right as soon as I start feeling that dread or anxiety creeping up, that is when I need to take action and do something to put myself in a good place.
“Please continue… and take care of that muscle… walking fast next time?” I will most definitely take care of that muscle and not run for a while. So yes, walking fast. However, I feel that sometimes I want to go faster, and faster and faster, as if I could just run away from it all. A good feeling, but not so good for my body.
I have an observation to make. A few months ago I started picking up on just how anxious my dog had become. Specifically around people or other dogs. I thought it was just his personality, but about a month or so ago I came to the realization that it was because of me. Because I was scared and anxious all of those times. I felt anxiety that the other dog would be mean to my dog, or that it would bark or growl. Then I would feel anxious when anyone passed by me at the park, or asked to pet my dog, so in a sense I was passing all of that anxiety to my dog. He would twitch his ears, shrink away and stick his tongue out nervously. They say that dogs are very keen at sensing our emotions, and I see how true that is. My dog loves to be pet, all the time. He’s a lap dog. He would always stick his tongue out a little bit or twitch his ears when I would pet or cuddle him, and I realize that this all coincides to when I was feeling dread, nervousness, uncertainty, because just yesterday, and today when I wasn’t feeling anxious, he didn’t do any of that. He didn’t do any of his nervous habits.January 19, 2016 at 6:02 pm #93063
Indeed you are a very detailed, thorough observer and analyzer. Again, I am impressed. From last backward: your dog picked up on your anxiousness… it only makes sense then that children, at any age, pick up on the anxiety and tension of their parents, doesn’t it? Parents don’t realize how important it is for them to be calm … for the well being of their children. Unlike a child, though, your dog will not have to grow up, get a job, maybe start a family and all that, and he doesn’t have that great of a memory, I think, and … lucky him, he is not going to fret about it all.
You wrote that you worry that you are dependent on planning and that it is a burden. Well, for as long as you need to plan in such detail so to decrease your anxiety, do it. It is effective. In the future, when you are calmer, then you will not need to do so much planning. Some, not as much.
You do observe and analyze- as I wrote before, you do have what it takes.
Wanting to run, that is the rushing. This is why slow yoga stretching is helpful. So is the practice of Tai Chi which is as I see it, slow, very, very slow movements, like in slow motion, that slows down that rushing that is a feature of anxiety.
I think we are approaching the third page here, or maybe already and I am glad you are persisting in it. Let’s keep going (and resting), oh, and talk to your dog, tell him calming things: this way he hears your calming tone and you get to hear it too!
anitaJanuary 19, 2016 at 7:58 pm #93086
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so observant or aware. It haunts me at times.
You’re very right, it does then make sense that children would pick up on their parents actions and tensions. It is then no wonder that children start acting out, they are just emulating what they know.
Yes, indeed lucky dog. However, I love him so much that I hate him having to feel and sense my anxiety if even for a little. His life is short and I want him to enjoy it, not spend it feeling my anxiety.
Well, that sounds good. In reference to in the future not having to worry so much about planning in the future when I can better manage it.
Ah, so even the rushing dictates that part of my life, what I thought was my escape from it. Right now, in light of my pulled muscle I will do some yoga and see how that goes.
“Oh, and talk to your dog, tell him calming things: this way he hears your calming tone and you get to hear it too!” Oh yes, I most definitely will, I confide in him, tell him what I don’t say to others. I think he most of all, deserves to be calm.
If you don’t mind me asking, you said you’ve struggled with anxiety most of your life. Before you started, what was your anxiety like, and how is it now? You know, just as a comparison, to see what it is like, to see what it could be like for me one day.January 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm #93093
I will answer you tomorrow, tired now. Sleep well and it is not only your dog deserving calm, so do you! So keep taking care of yourself. Till the morrow…
anitaJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:46 am #93107
You asked for my experience with anxiety before and after healing, for comparison reasons you wrote… comparison. Well, I am still healing, every single day, practicing mindfulness and more mindfulness, paying attention and I am seeing more and more each day. The more I notice, the more I see what I didn’t see before, the more there is to see the day after. I do not anticipate “the day AFTER” that is, me being healed and living “happily ever after” in a state of eternal comfort.
My anxiety manifested itself, as I have shared on this forum before, in symptoms known under the categories of OCD, Tourette Syndrome and other diagnoses of neurological and psychiatric disorders. I also wrote before that these diagnoses are collections of symptoms and the root cause is what I refer to excess and ongoing fear, that is, anxiety.
Comparisons can be counter productive. People see too much into symptoms, thinking things like: oh, I don’t have THAT symptom, that means that person is too different from me. Thing is the symptoms of anxiety are different but anxiety is always… too much fear at too young of an age to deal with it healthily.
Hope you are having a good day today, never perfect, but good enough. Keep at it, Aislynn!
anitaJanuary 20, 2016 at 8:02 am #93108
Oh, and I am currently calmer, way, way calmer than I used to be and way, way… way less reactive to fear and distress than I used to be.
anitaJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm #93167Cheaw HonParticipant
Hi !I am Cheaw. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone I had been there before. When my mom passed away when I was twelve and my dad left the family when I was thirteen, I was torn apart. My heart was broken and I was too young to handle all the pain that was such overwhelming.
The year after my mom passed away, my secondary school years started .
Due to my issues, I was always so moody and unhappy that all my classmates were so sick of me, that they were reluctant to see my face and even to hang out with me . As my dad left us, the situation became worse. As I couldn’t blend in with the people in my school the bully started. They banned me and isolatede in group projects. They neglected me and didn’t let me take part in most of the group activities in school.
They began to make silly jokes about me. It was still a situation I could handle but day by day their jokes went bolder and bolder until it was unbearable for me. I was a conservative and introverted person. I couldn’t bear when the guys in the class had made explicit jokes about me filled with sexual contents!They let me heard what they said in order to provoke me and felt so much fun by doing it. They even started to make fun of me about the way I looked and how much I weighed. No one would ever talk to me in school because it would be a humiliation to talk to me.
they definitely had ruined my self esteem. I felt too hysterical and started to skip my school frequently and the consequence was that my academic performance went straight to the bottom… it made me even more embarrassed because I used to be a straight aces student. Every time I go to school anxiety conquered me, it was so intense that I felt like I was suffocating. My heart would start pounding so fast and my mind rushing in light speed. it was so excruciating. The school was a hell to me. It was so bad until my vice principal had came to my house to talk to my grandparents who were my guardians.
Finally I decided to shift to an all girls school. I successfully made a few decent and sincere friends and I know that from that day onwards I need to start a new life. I have to be strong.
As I grow up, I went through the process into becoming a new person who is stronger and better, I came across countless obstacles and also a lot of hard times when I had doubts upon myself . I learn my lesson day by day. Everyday I try to improve myself.
I don’t want to be an underdog anymore. I can do it! I tell myself that I’m better than who I assume myself to be because I am. No one can judge me, they aren’t god, they have no right to say what is wrong and what is wrong about me. Believe me, everyone has their own weaknesses, who are they to say that they are flawless and we are full of flaws? I live with this principle every day.
I improve myself everyday. when I’m down, I cry out loud but I stand up strong again after I had spilled out all my sadness and I’m a fresh person again. No one can ever beat me down. As I came to know lord I know how to love myself and the people around me even more.
I’m now 18. I’m a brand new me. I am not afraid to make friends and talk proudly in public anymore. I enjoy my social life . Remember, the people around are just as ordinary as you are, why do we have to think of ourselves as worthless and non worthy garbage? we are not and no one is. anyone can be who they want to be as long as you keep moving on and try to be better than who you are today compared to yesterday ! Keep your spirit up and strong! Gambateh and do live your life to the fullest filled with passion 😀January 20, 2016 at 8:18 pm #93175jockParticipant
great post Miss Hon! Inspirational!January 23, 2016 at 7:28 pm #93457
Where are you and how are you???
anitaJanuary 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm #93842
It’s terrible that you had to encounter so many hardships. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you. It’s great that you have overcome it, however, I am not sure that I can ever get to the point you have.
I thoroughly agree with this, “when I’m down, I cry out loud but I stand up strong again after I had spilled out all my sadness and I’m a fresh person again.” I do this as well, it used to be a very common thing for me to do about a year ago, but now it’s not as overwhelming.
“Remember, the people around are just as ordinary as you are, why do we have to think of ourselves as worthless and non worthy garbage? we are not and no one is.” This is something I forget, all the time. For some reason, I am intimidated by them, as if they were all knowing and perfect. However, you are right, we are all ordinary, and more likely than not, the people in my class are to some extent, like me.