September 14, 2021 at 4:18 am #386283
You are right about being bald, I have had several partners before, but I think it’s a normal self-conscious thing about having great hair etc etc. I shouldn’t focus on this at all. I am not sure how to exactly share images on here, so I’m happy to send them across and see what you think via another route, but I can’t seem to find what I last had on my profile, though thinking about it, if I were to create one right now, I think it would go something like this:
Musician & artist.
Runner, walker and footballer.
Accomplished cook, keen finder of new places to eat and drink.
Bookworm and science fanatic.
Big film and TV fan, especially Christopher Nolan.
Empathetic, compassionate, with a dark sense of humour.
Very close with friends and family.
I guess It might be a bit vague, or not… but I was trying to write it for limited space on a bio like tinder or bumble. Would love to know your thoughts, I’m always a little conscious that I do not want to sound like I am trying to show off.
DaveSeptember 14, 2021 at 10:54 am #386306
It’s okay to not post your image here, see to it that you are smiling in the photo, a genuine smile, will you?
You mention Tinder and Bumble: I am not familiar with either. Consider Match. com and Plenty of Fish. com (a free service)- they may be more serious/ reputable online dating services which allow a large space for members’ profiles.
You listed in regard to your profile: “Musician & artist. Runner, walker and footballer. Accomplished cook, keen finder of new places to eat and drink. Bookworm and science fanatic. Big film and TV fan, especially Christopher Nolan”-
– I would place these things at the end of your profile (which would read like a short essay). Start the essay with what you want from a relationship and what you have to offer it. Go straight to the point. Say it in simple, direct language. You are welcome to post this here.
anitaSeptember 16, 2021 at 1:58 am #386362TeaKParticipant
I am yes, definitely feeling the pressure to not mess things up next time, but I think I am also feeling a sense of calm, that I definitely know what I want and need from a relationship, and will be able to choose carefully before becoming too involved, and also to be honest with people I date about this.
This is great that you know what you want from a relationship, and will be able to choose wiser, not so much from your wound but more from a sense of wholeness and knowing yourself.
Thanks for the advice, I have joined two meetup groups in my area and have planned to go to two events in the next few weeks
Good for you, I hope you have a good time!
I’m a little nervous about telling my friends about these, as I’m not sure if they would judge, but then again, they are all in couples, so it would be hard to understand my position right now.
Maybe you don’t need to tell your friends, if you feel they’d judge you. Tell them only afterwards, if things work out fine.
Wishing a speedy recovery to your father!October 19, 2021 at 4:05 am #387536
Hi Anita and Teak,
Apologies in the delay in getting back to you, it’s been a super busy 6 weeks after moving into my new home. Lots of family and practical matters to attend to. But I have taken a dip in the dating seas and although I am not seriously dating anyone, I am talking to some interesting people and I am enjoying it, whilst also enjoying my free time, time with family and friends etc.
Anita – I tried Match.com but didn’t find it very easy to use, where I am based in the UK, the majority of people are using apps such as Hinge, Tiner and Bumble, and I have had a couple of dates through these platforms, some really interesting people and am talking to some more, but I am definitely not trying to rush things. I am definitely smiling in my pictures, which show me in some of my hobby settings, running, music etc. Your advice on what to include in the bio is very helpful, so thank you. I am being honest about what I can bring to a relationship and what I am looking for.
Teak – The meetup groups were fun, and I actually have made a couple of new friends, which apart from dating, is something I was looking to do. I am happy to just do things I wouldn’t normally do and to experience new things with new minds 🙂
All in all, things are going well. My dad has his ups and downs health-wise, which can sometimes make my mood difficult, but I am trying to stay pragmatic about it. Also, living alone has been quite the adjustment, I do enjoy it often, but sometimes it can be lonely. So going to the gym and seeing friends regularly has been very helpful. Though sometimes I find I don’t want to pursue hobbies etc in the evening, but also I struggle to relax. Maybe this is just the adjusting phase of my life.
I hope you are both well and the weather hasn’t gotten too cold these days? The leaves are turning orange and falling here in the UK.
All the best to you both,
DOctober 19, 2021 at 11:42 am #387542
Good to read back from you! The leaves are indeed changing, not too cold yet but cold enough in the evenings to start the fire and sit by the fire stove. Good to read that you are taking dating slowly and lightly, not rushing.
“sometimes it can be lonely… also I struggle to relax“- I think that I suggested to you before that what we feel as children, we tend to feel as adults. It takes work and lots of patience to work through difficult childhood emotional experiences so to make them less powerful in our current adult lives.
Here is a small sample of your difficult childhood emotional experiences: “I could not bare to upset her.. I felt responsible often for my mother’s happiness as a child”, “(My father got) very angry at normal child-like things, such as dropping something… (I) walked on egg-shells around him so as not to make him angry” (June 2021).
We want to forget those long gone experiences and we should.. unless we keep re-living them. Going to the gym, meeting with friends, these are very helpful, but working through difficult childhood emotional experiences is quite necessary if we want to change how we feel long-term. Not an easy task, I need to do more of it myself these very days. If you find it useful to exchange such work here, on your thread, me and you, let me know. If not- I am fine with it, it’s an idea that just popped into my mind.
anitaOctober 19, 2021 at 11:57 pm #387554TeaKParticipant
good to hear from you! I am glad you’re doing fine, meeting new people, opening up to new experiences, and taking it easy, with no pressure on yourself.
Though sometimes I find I don’t want to pursue hobbies etc in the evening, but also I struggle to relax.
As anita said, there is probably a reason why you can’t relax in the evening and allow yourself to unwind, chill, perhaps watch TV or whatever is your favorite pastime, and simply enjoy yourself… Be at peace with yourself as you’re doing nothing, just chilling, just “being”… Are there thoughts that come up, e.g. the internalized critical voice of your father that you are so clumsy for simply being yourself, or perhaps another thought that stops you from enjoying the moment? If you’d like to explore it more, you are very welcome.
The autumn has come here too, but the weather is still nice and sunny, and still not too cold. So I am enjoying it! 🙂November 1, 2021 at 3:10 am #388042
Thank you so much for getting back to me.
Anita – you are so right, what you mentioned before about the thoughts of us as children coming up in adulthood has stuck with me and has been so important in my self-work over the last few months since talking with you both. The observation you made is acutely felt for sure. I still am in touch with my ex, and feel the guilt of hurting her still. Just like trying to protect my mother. And as I am a carer for my now disabled Dad, I experience his anger and aggression quite often, due to his breakdown. So those feelings come up a lot. I feel the difficulty I have relaxing, comes from being distant from people, maybe some kind of separation anxiety from my mother as a child. I think that is why I get attached to people quickly when talking on dating apps, I trust strong and independent women (like my mother), almost instantaneously. I am very happy to work on these things with you on here, absolutely. Please let me know what you think would be best to start with?
Teak – Your thoughts are really appreciated. You are right in what you say, the critical voice of my father is now so prominent due to his disability and I find it hard not to feel like I am a child again. Exploring these things with you both would be so worthwhile and I thank you so much for the opportunity.
I hope you’re both well 🙂 and I look forward to working things through with you.
DNovember 1, 2021 at 9:21 am #388048
You are welcome. You wrote regarding your mother in June 2021: “I couldn’t bare to upset her.. I felt responsible often for my mother’s happiness as a child“. Today, Nov 2021, you wrote regarding your ex-girlfriend: “I still am in touch with my ex, and feel the guilt of hurting her still. Just like trying to protect my mother“. And then you wrote: “I trust strong and independent women (like my mother), almost instantaneously. I am very happy to work on these things with you on here, absolutely. Please let me know what you think would be best to start with?“-
-you can start with answering these questions, if you want to: (1) Who hurt your mother and who did you therefore need to protect her from? (2) If your mother was indeed a strong and independent woman .. how is it that she needed protection from a child.. you? (3) What made your mother so unhappy?
And now, I will answer the same questions I asked you in regard to my own mother: (1) Seems like everyone had hurt my mother, including me, her daughter. So she told me, and I felt very guilty for it, (2) My mother said that she was strong and independent raising two children on her own, working 3 jobs per day, no financial help from anyone.. taking care of the home herself, without the help of a man, etc., and in these regards she was indeed strong and independent. Otherwise she was weak and dependent, expressing her misery to me on an ongoing basis, telling me what a horrible life she was having and how I added to how difficult it was for her, (3) What made her so unhappy: that people didn’t appreciate her and hurt her (including me, so she said), that she didn’t have the life she wished she had: one of luxury.
anitaNovember 2, 2021 at 1:16 am #388089
Thank you so much. It’s clear I appear to be following patterns in my life with the women I care about.
Absolutely, and my apologies if I am not as good at asking the right questions as you are. I will try my best.
(1) It was my father, having an affair when we were so young, and leaving my mother to raise us alone initially. It was always made clear to use as children what my dad had done (it was hard to hide it really). She never spoke badly of my father though, but was honest about how much it hurt. I felt the need to protect her from my fathers hurt (2) In a similar way to your situation, she went back to school, worked many hours and raised myself and my brother with little help from anyone else, though my father did return to our lives when I was around 3 years old (part time). But similar to me, she feels emotions deeply, and struggles to hide these things, so although I saw her as strong in one sense, she would show us such love and compassion, that I felt such empathy for her real struggles, and wanted to protect her from the tough world. (3) I feel my mother was both happy and unhappy at the same time, although she doesn’t say it now, I think she always wanted my dad to stay, to be the family she wanted and to raise me and my brother together, this sadness always felt close to home for me. But on the other hand, I could see how much my brother and I made her happy, so I wanted to re-inforce that side of things, and not let her down.
With your mother, was it (and is it still) difficult to hear these things, that you contributed to the hurt she felt? Did you feel resentment for trying your best as a daughter and only hearing what a horrible life your mother had? Do you feel that you appreciated her? Although you couldn’t give her the life of luxury she wanted, or was it hard to appreciate her with how she felt towards you?
DaveNovember 2, 2021 at 9:47 am #388095
Your fear of hurting your mother/ the women in your adult life on one hand (“I could not bare to upset her… My ongoing fears of.. making the caregiving females in my life unhappy or sad”), and your fear of being alone on the other hand (“the fear of being on my own is definitely a theme for me.. I have struggled with abandonment issues for many years.. My ongoing fears of loneliness…I have never really lived on my own.. some kind of separation anxiety from my mother as a child”) have been quite pronounced since your childhood.
You shared about your experience when you visited your father, that he was: “very distant emotionally and tough on me.. my father just didn’t know how to comfort an upset child… I definitely walked on egg-shells around him so as not to make him angry”- I understand why you felt alone and lonely when you were with your distant father, why you were afraid of your angry father.
But why did you feel alone and lonely and afraid when with your “very comforting and loving” mother, a woman who showed you “such love and compassion“: why was living with her.. not a good experience either, an experience that led you to fear being abandoned and left alone?
“I have always been so close with my mother“, you wrote. But was she so close with you, I ask myself, and it is clear to me that when she was very hurt, sad and/ or upset– she was emotionally distant from you, withdrawing her precious comfort, love and compassion away from you, separating from you emotionally=> leading to your anxiety about being separated from her.
“I felt trapped between two parents – my mother whom I wanted to make happy and shower with love and prevent from being upset.. I definitely wanted to run away from this“- you wanted to make your mother happy and shower her with love so to.. prevent her from feeling hurt, upset, etc., and in so doing, to prevent her from abandoning you emotionally. In different ways, you were abandoned by both parents, and you felt trapped alone. You wanted to run away from that dreadful experience of feeling so alone.
“(I) was acutely aware how hurt she had been by my father“- the acute part is that when she expressed being hurt by your father, she also withdrew from you emotionally, and you felt.. acutely alone.
“I could not bare to upset her…My ongoing fears of loneliness and making the caregiving females in my life unhappy or sad“- I think that .. again, you couldn’t bare to upset her because when she was upset, you were left terribly alone. You feared her hurt, sadness, unhappiness, upset-ness because these emotions in her meant that you were alone. Fast forward, you as an adult, fear these emotional states in the women in your life.
“I felt the need to protect her from my fathers hurt.. I felt such empathy for her real struggles, and wanted to protect her from the tough world“- I think that when alone and abandoned by both parents, you felt the need to protect yourself from being alone in the tough world by changing your mother’s mood, showering her with love, changing her hurt, sadness and upset .. into Happy.. so that you are no longer alone.
If you can relate to any part of what I wrote here, please let me know, and we’ll take it from there.
anitaNovember 2, 2021 at 10:12 am #388097
Answering your questions in your last paragraph: “With your mother, was it (and is it still) difficult to hear these things, that you contributed to the hurt she felt?“- (1) It was very, very difficult for me to hear her express that she was so very hurt and that I contributed to her hurt. She went on and on telling me many times how (she believed.. or did she..) that I intended to hurt her and went about hurting her in a planned and calculated manner.. while reality was that I never meant to hurt her. The opposite was true: I would have done ANYTHING to make her happy.. and I did My Everything to make her happy: my Everything was limited to the fact that I was a child and lacked money and resources to make money, (2) I ended all contact with her more than 8 years ago, so I no longer hear her say anything (I still hear her voice in my head though, but less acutely, as times and healing proceed).
“Did you feel resentment for trying your best as a daughter and only hearing what a horrible life your mother had?“- I wasn’t aware that I tried my best because she told me that I tried to hurt her. I tried to tell her that it was not true, that I didn’t try to hurt her, but she argued and insisted that what she said was true. I was very confused.. believing her- yet not believing her. I felt such a painful empathy for her for having had a horrible life for so long.. I used to fantasize about being rich and changing her life, giving her the luxury she said would make her happy. I gave her my first paycheck at 18 and onward. Following a year working my first full time job in the US, I gave her ALL my money, having nothing left for me. It didn’t make her happy.
“Do you feel that you appreciated her?“- of course, a terribly painful kind of appreciation: it hurt me to eat the food she bought for me, I couldn’t enjoy clothes and toys that she bought for me with her hard earned money because earning money working as hard as she did- was a big part of what made her life so horrible, something she expressed to me at great lengths.
“was it hard to appreciate her with how she felt towards you?”- I was devastated by how she felt about me, and I was very angry with her for a long, long time, but throughout I never stopped wanting her to love me back. I kept waiting and waiting.. and it never happened.
anitaNovember 11, 2021 at 2:30 am #388429
I can absolutely relate to a lot of what you’ve said here. I think feeling alone and lonely in the presence of my father has now been amplified since his stroke two years ago, so when I care for him, he cannot talk due to his disability and struggles to control his anger, so definitely the child in me sees this threat as all too familiar. Additionally, as I became an adult, my father and I have a much-improved relationship, where he would say things such as ‘I love you’. But I feel that was taken away with this illness of his.
To be honest, I always look back on my upbringing with my mother as positive and loving, so I am not actually sure where these feelings come from of abandonment, if maybe they are there because of the contrast of my mother and father, and not wanted to be separated from my mother. Also, she worked a lot so maybe there were elements of me wanting to see her more. I think I struggle to remember if my mother was upset, if she would withdraw from me, I think in reality, she was more likely to come to me for comfort, which might be where I get the feeling that I need to comfort and protect the care giving women in my life from.
“You wanted to run away from that dreadful experience of feeling so alone.” Yes, definitely. I still feel that urge now, to run away from being alone, which in itself is a paradox for me.
“she also withdrew from you emotionally, and you felt.. acutely alone.” again, I am not sure but this could be the case. I never felt a lack of love from her, but I felt empathetic for her sorrows and hurt that she had suffered, and it made me anxious to not be around her.
“Fast forward, you as an adult, fear these emotional states in the women in your life.” This is absolutely true, I have had several long term relationships in my life, and of the ones of which I was the (seemingly) happiest in, these were the ones who broke up with me out of the blue, when I thought I would spend my life with them.
“changing her hurt, sadness and upset .. into Happy.. so that you are no longer alone.” This resonates with me a lot, I feel I bring this into a lot of my relationships with women in my adult life. There have been times where I am single, where I crave the validation and attraction of women, because it makes me feel less alone. I definitely crave a close relationship where I’m told how much I am loved and needed.
One more current point I wanted to add, was that now I am dating, I have been on a few dates with nice people, but nothing too serious. I am struggling with self esteem issues. To be completely candid about this, physical attraction is needed for me in a relationship, as well as emotional, and I feel like I am struggling to connect with people whom I find physically attractive. It is making me question my own ‘attractiveness’. I feel very vulnerable admitting this, because I understand it may seem vain, but It seems to trigger something really deep in me, which hurts. But I also understand these things take time, rome wasn’t built in a day. But I wasn’t sure if I was just reaching for validation more than anything. If that makes any sense?
Thank you so much for helping me work through these things. You have no idea how much this helps.
DNovember 11, 2021 at 2:42 am #388430
“that I intended to hurt her and went about hurting her in a planned and calculated manner.. while reality was that I never meant to hurt her” I imagine this made you feel so trapped and powerless? That although you loved your mother and would have done anything to help, this wasn’t only ignored, but in fact you were criticised for the opposite. Do you bring this feeling into your relationships as an adult? Do you find maybe you have overcompensated in areas of your life so as not to seem like you aren’t doing enough, or supporting those close to you now?
“that I didn’t try to hurt her, but she argued and insisted that what she said was true. I was very confused..” Do you feel this confusion has carried forward into your relationship with others as an adult? For example, that you feel like you are doing everything you can but someone may not appreciate you for it, or that you might earn enough money to be comfortable, but struggles still arise? I’m not sure if you can relate to that?
“it hurt me to eat the food she bought for me, I couldn’t enjoy clothes and toys that she bought for me with her hard earned money” Does this make it difficult for you now to appreciate gifts and shows of self-sacrifice from others? Like it may be that you would be begrudged in accepting them from others?
“I ended all contact with her more than 8 years ago, so I no longer hear her say anything” Do you feel this was the best decision for you? I understand from friends I know that sometimes, the relationship with a parent is unrepairable and, although we would like to reach agreements and understanding with people we care about, sometimes this just isn’t possible.
DNovember 11, 2021 at 7:59 am #388442
You are very welcome.
“she worked a lot so maybe there were elements of me wanting to see her more. I think I struggle to remember if my mother was upset, if she would withdraw from me, I think in reality, she was more likely to come to me for comfort, which might be where I get the feeling that I need to comfort and protect the care giving women in my life from… I still feel that urge now, to run away from being alone“-
– (1) It makes sense that the fact that your mother worked a lot, and you were therefore away from her a lot, alone- by itself led to your ongoing anxiety when you are alone, (2) It also makes sense that a person who is upset is not in the mood to attend to the emotional needs of another person, and your mother was no different: when she was upset, she wasn’t available to comfort you. Instead, she came to you for comfort, (3) When she was upset and came to you for comfort, she was the Weak One (the one needing comfort) and she expected you to be the Strong One (the one providing comfort), but in reality, you were weak, you needed her comfort and you didn’t get it when she was upset.
“I never felt a lack of love from her, but I felt empathetic for her sorrows and hurt that she had suffered, and it made me anxious to not be around her“- you needed her comfort, that’s why you were anxious when she wasn’t around. And when she was around and upset, sorrowful and hurt- she wasn’t available to comfort you. It seems to me that you suffered from lack of comfort in these 3 situations: (1) when visiting your father, (2) when your mother worked and you were alone, and (3) when your mother was with you, but was too upset and sorrowful to comfort you.
“now I am dating.. I am struggling with self esteem issues… I am struggling to connect with people whom I find physically attractive. It is making me question my own ‘attractiveness’… It seems to trigger something really deep in me, which hurts“- given that whatever your physical characteristics, there are men out there with similar characteristics who feel attractive nonetheless, I am guessing that the something really deep in you that gets triggered when women you find attractive seem to not be attracted to you- is your deep hurt about not being enough for your father and not being enough for your mother: not enough to take away his anger and make him emotionally close and comforting, and not enough to make your mother present at home (not away for work), and not enough to make her happy, emotionally close and comforting.
As to your second post: “I imagine this made you feel so trapped and powerless?“- yes, terribly trapped and powerless. I escaped my trap through massive, extensive daydreaming/ fantasy life. In reality, I tried and failed to convince her that I had NO INTENT WHATSOEVER to hurt her. Notice I spontaneously typed using big print.. it’s still the frustration of not being believed!
“Do you bring this feeling into your relationships as an adult?“- for the longest time, every time I did something innocently, something small like not doing a good job sweeping the floor, a voice in me accused me, saying: you did it on purpose, you are trying to hurt (someone)! and I had to .. convince myself: no, I didn’t intend to not do a thorough job, it wasn’t on purpose! Every time a person seemed upset, a voice in me accused me: you hurt him, you hurt him on purpose, you said something wrong on purpose.. you did something wrong or failed to do something.. poor him.. evil you!!!
“Do you find maybe you have overcompensated in areas of your life so as not to seem like you aren’t doing enough, or supporting those close to you now?“- I gave large amounts of my money away countless times so to compensate people for my wrong doing, real and alleged (alleged by my internal accuser= my mother’s voice)
“Do you feel this confusion has carried forward..“- I didn’t quite understand this question. If I didn’t already answer it here, you are welcome to restate it.
“Does this make it difficult for you now to appreciate gifts and shows of self-sacrifice from others?“- when my mother accused me of intending to hurt her and then going about it in a planned way over a long period of time (she fits a Paranoid Personality Disorder, in my understanding), she also went on and on about all the material goods she gave me, how hard she worked to buy me those things.. on and on.. and on. Therefore, I hated receiving any thing from her, felt guilty, didn’t want her to buy me anything, but she insisted.. As an adult and living on another continent, I went to great lengths, living in miserable physical circumstances, so to spend the least amount of money on myself, and give her the greatest amount of money so to pay her back the huge debt I felt that I owed her. Also, any material gifts from others.. I passed to her, whenever possible. P.S., I failed to free myself from my alleged debt to her.
“Do you feel this was the best decision for you? I understand from friends I know that sometimes, the relationship with a parent is unrepairable and, although we would like to reach agreements and understanding with people we care about, sometimes this just isn’t possible“- yes, it was and is the right decision for me. I wish I made that decision by the time I was 20, instead of wasting a lifetime trying to pay that debt, experiencing excruciating guilt, feeling like a very bad person.
As far as the idea of repairing my relationship with her , the idea makes me smile, knowing how impossible it is or would have been by the time I did end contact with her.. I can’t change another person, and I definitely cannot change a person (such as my mother) so drastically and massively. I was never able to make her see me, hear me, or value me. I tried so hard for decades to change her so that she will .. wake up to the possibility that I was there, that I was for her- not against her, that I was not worthless.. and I failed. I finally gave up the efforts, efforts that robbed me of a life worth living, for half a century or so.
anitaNovember 16, 2021 at 7:10 am #388691
“she expected you to be the Strong One (the one providing comfort), but in reality, you were weak, you needed her comfort and you didn’t get it when she was upset.” Yes I feel this quite acutely now. I try my best to be there for the people who need me, and especially the women in my life. I still am there for my ex partner, we are still friends, but I would drop anything to be there for her if she was hurting. I don’t know if this is healthy, but I also am not sure how to get past this needing of comfort and support that I need. Today has been a tough day, feeling like I don’t want to hurt anyone I’m dating, but also feeling like I need someones support, I feel a bit paradoxical.
“(1) when visiting your father, (2) when your mother worked and you were alone, and (3) when your mother was with you, but was too upset and sorrowful to comfort you.” This does seem absolutely accurate. Now with my fathers illness and lack of communication or compassion, I feel it strongly when I care for him. I feel I’m also at the age as a man who shouldn’t be reaching out to my mother for so much support. So I do try and nuture myself if I can. I definitely bring the anxiety from my mother into relationships with women, as I am hyper aware of their feelings and try to work out if it is something I’ve done wrong which might have upset them, if that makes sense?
“…is your deep hurt about not being enough for your father and not being enough for your mother” Yes this does seem to be the case. I have been through stages in life where I’ve been given validation (women finding me attractive etc), and have felt great self esteem. But I believe because I broke up my last relationship and have been single for a while, that I can’t find someone who feels like that about me. But the rational part of my brain knows that this is just a time of change and transition. I know I have a lot of love to bring to a relationship, and to admire and support a partner. These things just can’t be rushed or controlled I guess…
To your responses:
“…massive, extensive daydreaming/ fantasy life… NO INTENT WHATSOEVER” I can completely relate to you here, I feel I escaped into worlds of fantasy and fiction growing up as a way of avoiding uncomfortable emotions. I imagine the frustration you felt was intense, on the one hand not being believed, and the other, that it was someone who traditionally should believe and support you unconditionally.
“you did something wrong or failed to do something.. poor him.. evil you!!!” I can imagine how you feel, that maybe you feel similarly to me, that when someone is unhappy, you immediately may have thought that you were responsible, that someone told you it was you causing this. Are you much better at rationalising this now? Realising that you aren’t always responsible for someone else’s mood?
“gave large amounts of my money away countless times so to compensate people for my wrong doing” This makes sense, if you are trying your best to make sure people understand how much you are there for them, or are sacrificing for them. (Don’t worry about my other question, I probably didn’t word it very well)
“As an adult and living on another continent, I went to great lengths, living in miserable physical circumstances, so to spend the least amount of money on myself, and give her the greatest amount of money so to pay her back the huge debt I felt that I owed her.” This must have been so difficult, living with this debt over your head, especially when it sounds like a not-so-real debt that could never and shouldn’t ever be paid back. I hope now you are more open to allowing yourself some luxury and treating yourself well?
“instead of wasting a lifetime trying to pay that debt” I know it must be hard, but I guess there is no real timescale for these things, and one person may make these life changing decisions a lot sooner than others. We all go at our own speeds.
“I finally gave up the efforts, efforts that robbed me of a life worth living, for half a century or so.” That makes sense, it is so difficult to change anyone, if not impossible. You are right to accept things as they are in my opinion. There are times that we get really caught up in how someone is far from ideal, but if they only understood, things might be different. But to attempt to change someone is just painful.
I hope you are finding this helpful? I obviously don’t want to keep asking you questions if you are not finding it useful. Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to work on?