August 27, 2019 at 7:35 am #309429
Please I need your help because I’m really scared. a few years ago I dated a guy, he wasn’t my boyfriend, we had sex once and mostly we used to send naked pictures. He started it because he liked it and always wanted me to send them. on most of them my face is not visible, and some of them has a snapchat filter on but not I can’t remember. I know there were some that my face is shown. I was stupid to trust him but I knew him for a long time before, it wasn’t like we just met, but now I know I should have never sent them. We dated for almost a year. Then we had a fight and broke off, not a nice guy in the end. Since then I was sometimes scared he had those pictures of me. I know he deleted them from messages because after that he didn’t want his girlfriend to see, but I’m not sure if he still has them on his computer or phone etc. Maybe it’s just my anxiety because I have a huge problem with anxiety and stress management, I really do. But today I was going to a shop by bus and two guys (20-25 yo) started to stare at me and whisper. I didn’t see exactly but I’m pretty sure they were staring and when I looked one of them smiled and looked at me directly. I think I heard something like “but she doesn’t have that skinny face anymore” . Which made me think this was about me, since those pictures I gained weight a bit. Do you think I’m paranoid? I’m going to a wedding this weekend and I’m starting to freak out that my pictures are somewhere on the internet and someone will recognize me and my life would me ruined. I would really not want to live anymore if this happens. A year ago something strange happened on my computer and I got an email that someone hacked my password and has my naked photos and will send them to my family and friends. But that turned out to be a scam and a lot of people got this kind of identical email. But still I am really scared. What if my pictures are really on the internet, what if he posted them somewhere or someone has stolen them from my computer. please help me, I don’t know how but I really need help, if it happens and people will laugh at me and my family would find out I will kill myself . I’m having a panic attack, my heart is racing and my hands are shaking I can’t do anything today since that busAugust 27, 2019 at 7:56 am #309449
First, the obvious: don’t do that again- never send naked photos of you to anyone, no matter what or who the intended receiver is.
Second, the two young guys by the bus staring at you and whispering, this is such a common behavior, young men staring at young women and whispering (things like: look at that body! or… I like her curves, I like a little meat on the bones.. so many, many possible comments)- that it is no indication at all that they saw your naked photos.
Third, unfortunately (for all the girls that do that) a lot of young women send their naked photos, so it is not an abnormality (but should be!!!) – so this guy you sent your naked photos to, he probably received or received such from other young women plus so many, many naked images of women are available online, women that work in the porn industry and otherwise, that … your photos nowadays are likely not such a big deal for him or other men. In other words: they see so many naked photos (still photos and movies) that they probably don’t remember the faces of these women.
Fourth- I am not a computer tech, but I wonder if someone who is can help you figure out where- if anywhere- your photos are online.
What do you think/ feel?
anitaAugust 27, 2019 at 9:14 am #309453
Anita, thanks a lot for that, I’m trying to calm down for past few hours , I haven’t eaten anything and can’t stop worrying. I keep telling myself it would be really weird that even if they saw my pictures they would remember my face AND recognize me immediately. I don’t know maybe I looked my someone they both knew and they were discussing that. what do you think? They obviously said she doesn’t have that skinny face. (they didn’t say she doesn’t have that skinny face “anymore” – I remember now.) So maybe it was about some girl who is similar.
No, I dont think there is a way to check if my photos are online. But you are right that he probably got many pictures from other girls, now I’m trying to remember what I have sent to him and I’m pretty sure almost all of them were without visible face because I kind of kept it in mind that it’s dangerous but I might have sent 1 or 2 with my face. I’m pretty sure I did.And yes of course I will not do that again, I never did ever since and never wanted to, just with this guy, he talked me into it. I really regret it. There was a time we spoke after this and we were “friends” for couple of years but the way we ended things I cannot trust he is a good person anymore. I also blocked him on social media some time ago. I googled what to do and someone said that if there isn’t my name or city on it then it will probably get lost among other pictures. It’s so hard to calm down, I cant think clearly, I’m starting to feel obsessed about it. I feel really anxious and can’t calm downAugust 27, 2019 at 9:44 am #309457
If you have a tendency to obsess and worry about things, practice Mindfulness as a way of life, that is being attentive to what you say and do, so to prevent things to worry and obsess about in the future. Better prevent problems or potential problems- makes life easier that way.
Take this occasion as a lesson learned- not only to never send naked photos of yourself to anyone, but also to live attentively, mindfully and prevent worries and obsessions in the future.
If you see any of those couple of guys again, talk to them, say something like: I noticed the other day you looked at me, I was wondering if we ever met before, maybe I forgot? Ask them in a friendly, casual way. If that happens, their answer may give you the information you need, most likely, that your worry is not true to reality.
Also, if your face is not very distinct, that is, your hair color, facial features are not extraordinary, it is not likely to be remembered, especially if the image of your face was in the background, a bit unclear.
Another point, if this man is not very angry with you and he doesn’t have a history of being vengeful, punishing, he is not likely to want to punish you by advertising your photos. He received your photos for free, no charge. He is probably satisfied- why punish the giver of a .. free gift?
If he advertised your naked photos and other girls found out that he did, he may not receive any more photos, from other girls that is. See?
August 27, 2019 at 1:35 pm #309471
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by anita.
that’s true, he probably doesn’t have a reason to hate me, he had some problems at the end and I helped him although he already had a girlfriend so it was awkward for me. But later we had a fight and I’m not sure how he feels about me now. I don’t know .. he has a dark side. I may have said something to his girlfriend, nothing bad but something she could have gotten upset so maybe he hates me now, I’m not sure. Anyway what the biggest problem here is my tendency to obsess to the point of being ridiculous. I was once worried about being pregnant and I used to take pregnancy tests everyday, twice a day sometimes. I might have bought 20 or more of them, even after 5 months when it obviously turned out I am not, I visited a doctor to check it. When I think of it now it’s freaking stupid and ridiculous but I knew it then that I’m not pregnant , I just couldn’t talk myself out of it. I got obsessed, I lost weight, I stopped eating and barely slept.
I am scared it is happening again today. today I went for a pizza later to stop thinking about it, and also went to buy a lamp. My heart stopped pounding so I feel better and I try not to dive in those thoughts again but I’m scared it’s coming.
I heard about mindfulness, not very much but I think I know what it is. Just dont know how to practice it in everyday life.August 27, 2019 at 2:09 pm #309475
There is plenty of literature on Mindfulness: in public libraries, in bookstores (with workbooks as well, I bet, where you do exercises), online, even here on this website, if you click BLOG at the top, the list underneath includes Mindfulness.
Mindfulness takes us from the there-and-then to the here-and-now. We worry about the past and future. Paying attention to the present takes us from obsession to calm. It takes practice and it works.
Guided meditations are also available online, one series of Mindfulness guided meditation by Mark Williams is excellent.
I suffered from OCD for many years, diagnosed with it and I am doing so much better because, among other things, practicing mindfulness.
Check it out and let me know what you think, will you?
anitaAugust 27, 2019 at 2:33 pm #309477
I played Mark W Mindfulness guided meditation and in the middle I paused to meditated for a few minutes and then listened to the end. It helped, maybe it’s even better than meditating alone. I don’t know what would be better – to read a book or watch a movie, or to continue meditating. I feel better but I’m still scared of panic coming.August 27, 2019 at 3:01 pm #309479
Listen to the words of the guided meditation, take in the words. You can read a book, see how that goes. If you are restless try a movie, or music… or take a fast walk outside (fast aerobic exercise helps anxiety a lot, for one it forces you to take deep breaths)… or a cold shower or a hot bath… so many things you can try, anytime you need to calm down.
“I’m still scared of panic coming”- we are afraid of fear itself, the emotion is very unpleasant so we are afraid of experiencing it. But notice: the emotion itself doesn’t kill- people live anxious their whole lifetime.. all the way to old age. What kills sometimes it taking the wrong action when anxious, for example, driving without paying attention. Often we do things that don’t kill, when anxious, but things that hurt us nonetheless, such as you having sent naked photos or risking pregnancy.
If you are in control of your behavior when feeling fear, you will be safe. Fear itself doesn’t kill and it doesn’t harm.
anitaAugust 28, 2019 at 7:47 am #309539
I started a day with meditation and planning to do it again later. I think it helped. I’m not sure but I slept okay, normally I would wake up during the night with troubles breathing but it didn’t happen, at least today it didn’t. Every time the thoughts are coming I keep telling myself : don’t dive in, don’t follow that road.. I try to be aware what my mind is doing, I know now it’s madness if I follow it. It’s still waiting for me to dive in. I have those thoughts that I have to keep convincing myself, coming up with reasons that I shouldn’t worry, to calm myself and control situation which in fact makes it worse and I just feed my obsession trying to calm down. (the same as it was with pregnancy situation. )
You’re right sending pictures and risking pregnancy was a part of destruction behavior, I know it and I’m over this but this panic and obsession is always here, waiting. I have to do and buy some things today I’m a bit scared of this day, really exhausted by this panic I had in the past and I couldn’t survive it again. Or as you stated – it wouldn’t kill me so I would definitely survive it but it would exhaust me.August 28, 2019 at 8:23 am #309541
The way to manage and heal from anxiety and the obsessive thinking that goes with anxiety is two folds:
1. The Macro (this is how I call it)- being mindful of- and manage- your behavior and external circumstances so to prevent real-life problems, such as pregnancy when you are not interested in getting pregnant, and naked photos being misused, as well as your behavior on the road, so to prevent accidents, your nutritional and exercise behaviors, so to keep yourself as healthy as possible, and overall making less mistakes.
2. The Micro- this is the paying attention to and managing your thoughts and emotions- which is what you are already doing. Keep saying to yourself that fear is not dangerous (as long as you attend to the Macro). Notice this:
When you are not thinking of the photos you sent, you are not afraid of the photos being misused, correct? When you think of it, you are afraid. This means fear is attached to those thoughts.
If you are in danger of the photos being misused, but you are not afraid when you don’t think of it, does it mean that the danger gone?
My point is that the danger we perceive (when anxious) is the fear itself which is attached to the thoughts. Certain thoughts, once activated, go together with fear.
So avoid (or cut short/ disengage from) the thoughts- and you avoid (or minimize) the fear.
A thought is not dangerous, never is it dangerous. But when fear goes with it, we get scared of the thought itself. Imagine the billions of people in the world thinking all day long, thousands of thoughts per individual, per day. None is dangerous. They all happen in the short distance between the ears.
August 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm #309577
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
Anita, I’ve read your reply a couple of times already, I think I understand. I will definitely proceed with the mindful way of life, as the “micro” one with managing thoughts has helped me a lot. The thoughts are the most dangerous in my case, worse than the danger of something happening. the situation with pregnancy as I now think of it, it was 5 months after having an intercourse and I visited 3 doctors during that time because I was sure I was pregnant. No amount of reason would persuade me, not even the fact that it would be shown by this time (5 months), or that I had absolutely no symptoms. I spent hours daily googling pregnancy websites. The were times when I said to myself “how in the world it would be possible, it would be one of those miracles they describe in the news “. But I didn’t “listen” to my own reasons. It didn’t even matter that the chances are almost zero. If I shown you my photo from that time versus how I look now, you would be scared how skinny and unhealthy I looked. I don’t want to go through this again I really can’t do it again.
I’m thinking about getting medication. I don’t want to because I used to take Xanax and was addictive, like a drug. It saved me from going insane when I was going through tough time once because I slept better, I ate, I didn’t think that much before going to bed but I was careless, hurt and ignored some of my friends at that time etc. But maybe if I would use it wise this time it would help. What do you think? I really would prefer that the tools you have shown me (meditation practice, mindfulness) to help me. I would prefer that, if only there is a chance for me. Do you think I can overcome this ?August 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm #309579
I want to read your recent post (and anything you may add to it before I return to the computer) when I am focused, tomorrow morning and will reply then. For now I will correct this sentence in your recent post: “The thoughts are the most dangerous in my case”- correction: the thoughts feel like the most dangerous in my case.
Thoughts are not dangerous; they don’t translate to reality. You can try this- think: “I am an elephant” and look in the mirror: are you an elephant?
Think: I am dead. Are you?
See, I told you so: thoughts are not dangerous.
Be back in about 15 hours from now.
anitaAugust 29, 2019 at 6:51 am #309605
Yes, I think you can overcome this. This, meaning the excess anxiety that you have been experiencing in life. Xanax and other benzodiazepines (I took Klonipin for 17 .. years!) is prescribed responsibly as “short term management of anxiety” (from Wikipedia) because these are very addictive. Clearly, the psychiatrist I had at the time didn’t care about the “short term” part.
A different family of psychiatric drugs, the SSRI family, is considered way less addictive and are prescribed short or long term. I took two drugs from this family, both prescribed for OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), these were Zoloft and later, Luvox. These may take the edge off your obsessive thinking which goes hand in hand with your anxiety.
My point from yesterday: thoughts are not dangerous. As long as you believe that they are, you will always be afraid because you can’t control what you think, no one can.
Imagine thoughts were powerful: every time a person feels angry with another, having angry thoughts, automatically the person they are angry with would… get injured or die or experience some misfortune. Without the angry person doing anything. Or every time a person thinks: I wish I was dead, automatically they would drop dead.
If you understand this very important point, when you have a thought, you can say to yourself: this thought feels dangerous but it is not dangerous: it has no power. It will not hurt me and it will not hurt anyone else… I can think something else now.
You are welcome to post to me anytime on the matter and I will be glad to reply to you.
August 30, 2019 at 4:53 am #309729
- This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
What helps me with “What If?” thoughts is to answer the question.
If I were you and the inexplicable happened, “Hey, I just saw those naked photos!” I’d simply say, “It wasn’t me.”
The more time passes, the more you change my haircut and weight, the older you get, you could totally get away with that theoretical “What If” answer.
“Oh, but your old boyfriend says it’s you.”
Answer: “He has a dark side. You’ve noticed that, right? He was angry that I never sent any naked pics when we were kids, and then he tried to threaten me with a doppelganger’s nude pic off the internet. Sad.”
Another answer: “Um, I take meds for anxiety and suffer from OCD. You think I’d really send nude pics??”
Boom! Theoretically Done!
InkyAugust 30, 2019 at 5:36 am #309733
* Dear Inky: one of the many Best of Inky’s- brilliant and funny!
Dear anna1290: Inky’s suggestions regarding what you would say If anyone asks (which is very unlikely) is funny but also brilliant, excellent answers just in case.