December 10, 2017 at 6:14 am #181381
Thanks for your very thorough reply and I carefully and meaningfully digested your reply and inputs! There were quite a few points that made alot alot of sense to me and some of them were lightbulb moments for me that I never thought of it that way before.
The first being “he may not be abusive presently, but not because he resolved the issue with you but because he doesn’t have-to be abusive anymore: the results of his abuse are well established: you are filial, no need for him to spend the energy to establish or cement what is already established and cemented.” I was like woah, I never thought of it that way. I always thought of things as being dormant and maybe to some extent he has changed. But you are have pointed this out so rightly that it is because the norms have been established such that he did not have to use that side of him to exert his power anymore because he has gotten his way.
How I know this, cos this abusive side of him reared its ugly head three years back when my sister disagreed with him. So you are right that it is not that it is gone but it does not need to come out now. Cos I sidestep any triggers that may bring out that side of him.
I think he used to be abusive to my mother to get what he wants and to exert that control. And you are right that it is unfortunate that he knows he can get away with it because he provides. The power differential between him and my mother was too wide and she did not know any way around it.
Second lightbulb moment – “It is your motivation to resolve your pain that fueled your motivation to resolve his pain.” I laughed at this as it is ironic how I have been so focused on my ex’s pain that I did not even realise it has been about my pain all along. The irony of it all. All this while, I have been thinking about how to help him get out of that situation that he is so stuck in but actually I am stuck in the situation. I always thought my family situation has blown over and things have improved but like you pointed out, it has not. It is just that the patterns have been established and I am as stuck as ever (although less lost and with more insights but nonetheless still stuck).
And I agree with you on the point that I may be drawn to troubled men and I am anxious when I get in a relationship (the point you made about being acutely and overly aware of every word he says). So the abuse from childhood does have an impact on me and damage was done there definitely.
I also pondered deeply about what to do moving forward.
I would love love love to move out of here as soon as I can. And I did give huge considerations as to whether rental is viable. And the thing is, with the budget I have, I can only rent a room in someone else’s house and honestly it does not seem to look better than continuing to stay with my father.
I think renting a room in someone else’s house would not necessarily be better as I would have to put up with living in someone else’s home and I think I am more comfortable where I am than in someone else’s home. I do not want to pay more to rent a whole apartment as it would compromise on my long term plan to get a nice house of my own. As of now, the only functional practical bit of living in my father’s house is not having to pay rent. Other things like my meals, utilities etc I am taking care of it myself. I am not dependent on my father for anything except not having to incur extra cost of renting a place elsewhere.
The amount of contact I have with my father each day is at most ten minutes and the rest of the time I am either out or in my own room. It really feels a lot like I am a tenant here and he is a landlord to me (just that it is free).
I acknowledge that “there is a limit to how much you can heal living with him and being in contact with him.” which is why my therapy sessions are important to me as I feel much of my healing takes place there. I compare myself now and three years ago and I think I am way better than when I first started out therapy. And I have faith that there will be further healing and I also have faith that I will be able to be with non-troubled men. I see each relationship I have being better than the previous.
And with all these new insights and things being brought to my consciousness (by you and my therapist), I have faith and hope in the future!
You know Anita, right until I started therapy three years ago, I was not even aware that what my father did was considered abusive. Right until then, I blocked out everything from my memory. I mean sure, I was aware of the times of my father’s outbursts but I just chose not to pay attention to them (compartmentalize like my mother did and taught me to). I thought I was very happy and in a loving family. I was happy all the time and I was just sweeping so much of it under the carpet. So much so that sometimes now I think to myself, did all those abusive things my father did really happen or did I imagine it all? Why does it feel so unreal sometimes? But I know it happened.
It is just a lot to take in Anita and I think my brain/soul is still trying to come to terms with all these things.
But I think you would also be relieved to know that I am also not just sitting down and saving money to move out. I also have short term plans to be away as much as possible. I am going for a 4 months overseas trip next year and I do hope to see what other insights I would have when I am on that trip. I am also exploring the idea of working overseas. I just dont see rental as an option as I feel it is a waste of my money which can otherwise go to better use in the longer run.December 10, 2017 at 7:58 am #181399
In my understanding, there would be no advantage if you rented a room in another home and kept visiting with your father occasionally, living in the same city as him, to you living in his home and spending ten minutes or so per day in his company. So makes no difference, might as well stay living in his home.
In my few years of heavy posting on this website, these Forums here, communicating with hundreds of people, I did not come across someone like you, not even close. I have never seen so much healing, insight, openness, and … well, agreement with what I believe is true.
And so, I think this is the first time that I have nothing really to add to what you wrote, no further insight, at this point.
Just my WOW. But hopefully soon enough I will have something more to say…
And I like your plans for the future.
December 11, 2017 at 9:23 am #181559
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by anita.
I have no other words to return your WOW with except with a WOW back at you! Your comment about “In my few years of heavy posting on this website, these Forums here, communicating with hundreds of people, I did not come across someone like you, not even close. I have never seen so much healing, insight, openness, and … well, agreement with what I believe is true.” rendered me speechless as it is huge and means alot to me. My heart is glowing with pride and joy at what you say so it says wow!
I am in agreement of what you believe is true because alot of it, if not all is congruent with what I have read up these years and also what I have learnt through my years of therapy. But what you present Anita, is your gift to be able to point things out that I have never noticed before and the questions you ask leads to so much deeper thinking and insights. Your gift to do it so succinctly,gently and being able to sieve out the important things through what I have shared.
It is this gift, that has allowed this lost star to find her way again. You illuminated the map of where I have been and light up these dots and then helped me to connect them to help me make sense of what is going on. My years of therapy probably helped to lay out the map but the magic you did was to light up the way and show me how the dots all connect together. You opened my mind and let me see what has been there that I missed.
And with this, I am able to find my way again and I can move forward.
I do hope to hear from you if you have any new insights along the way. Maybe a random thought as you are up on your mountains 🙂
And I hope to continue updating you with my new adventures and more things to come!
Like I have mentioned before, I marvel at the beauty of human connection and thank you for being part of the beauty in this world! Truly appreciate all your insights and input and your wonderful gift. The world is a better place because of you Anita 🙂
*In yoga, my yoga teacher said namaste means the light in me honours the light in you and I thought it is quite apt and meaningful to use it here 🙂December 11, 2017 at 10:13 am #181573
Thank you. You are very kind, to express your appreciation the way you do, elsewhere and in this recent post. I appreciate very much your intent to … to make me feel good about our communication and my participation here. k
The light in me does honor the light in you as well.
It is good to have light, so we can see into the darkness, see what is there.
Do post anytime. I would like to read from you again and again.
anitaJanuary 1, 2018 at 1:55 am #184543
Just dropping by to wish you a Happy New Year! May 2018 bring new blessings and wishing you good health too.
Not_so_lost_star 🙂January 1, 2018 at 3:45 am #184545
Happy New Year to you too, Not _so_lost_star! Glad you dropped by to wish me blessings and good health. I wish you the best on this new year and again… smiling because of you… first smile of 2018, as a matter of fact!
anitaJanuary 2, 2018 at 5:11 am #184663
Wow! First smile of 2018 and I am smiling back at that! May we have more reasons to smile in 2018 and may our smiles spread more smiles to others too 🙂
Not_so_lost_starJanuary 2, 2018 at 5:27 am #184669
You have an excellent record of spreading your smile to me… I am smiling yet again. Wouldn’t it be nice if anyone reading this right now will smile too… Take care as well!
March 5, 2018 at 4:58 am #195955
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by anita.
Hope you are well and that more smiles have been in your life 🙂
I mentioned earlier that I will be embarking on a 4 mths overseas trip and here is an update that I have started on this trip! 🙂 It has been pretty good so far, I feel comfortable and settled in quite nicely. It is a beautiful place and I enjoy the freedom of my own space. It is quite a relief to come back to a quiet space and to have a nice kitchen where I can cook my own food.
However, I have this nagging anticipatory anxiety – that it seems that things are too good and I wonder when I will start feeling anxious. It seems weird not to be anxious as things seems to be better than I imagined it would be. It is as though I prepared for alot of negative things to happen but now that the negative things are not happening, I feel weird. And that wondering and worrying is starting to make me anxious.
I met someone who is staying at the same hostel as me and she seems a lot more anxious than me. I felt that some of her anxiety probably rubbed off me and it contributed to my anxiety. It seems like if I feel anxious, I might feel better? But yet as I start to feel anxious then I wonder if the anxiety will become too overwhelming.
Am I too used to feeling anxious that calm is a strange feeling?
I want to enjoy my time here and I think it is enjoyable and will be enjoyable.. but how do I shake off this anxiety?
not-so-lost-star who is feeling anxious :/March 5, 2018 at 5:55 am #195961
Dear not-so-lost-star who is feeling anxious:
I thought about you a few days ago, wondering and here you are, a bit over two months since you last post. I am glad you are back!
Anxiety is … something else, isn’t it? But despair not, as there is hope. Only it takes forever to heal from it more and more, an ongoing process… and when you think you got it.. well, not really. There is more.
Anxiety, that ongoing fear, sometimes at rest, at other times triggered. And when triggered we fear a return at its worse. I learned that it does lose intensity over time of healing. I have to be very patient with the process and gentle with myself. This healing is not something I am doing independently of nature, something I direct, making the rules. Instead it is about me availing myself to the healing force of nature, the healing that all living things experience, with no directing, no willing it and managing it. It just happens. We humans have to … intentionally and wisely get out of the way of natural healing.
The fear of more fear, is what you are experiencing, correct? When is the last time you experienced severe anxiety, in what circumstance was that, and how have you been feeling and doing these last two months?
anitaMarch 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm #196017
Aww! Thanks for thinking of me – it brings me comfort to know that you were thinking of me and it seems to help me feel like distance is not that big a factor. Even though I am far away from people, people care and people can send their warmth too!
Reading your paragraph about anxiety made me smile.. cos essentially that means to surrender to the process right? 🙂 Which relates to my topic that I started out with. There is no controlling the anxiety, it may be triggered at anytime.. and it is something outside our sphere of control.. and it is to surrender to the healing that comes naturally.. the more i try to control it.. the more anxious i feel. it will be a false sense of control to think that I can anticipate anxiety and be able to be one step ahead of it..
so are you also saying that healing of anxiety will come naturally and that the intensity lessens by itself over time?
yes that is right! the fear of more fear is what I am experiencing now. and i feel if i do not focus on the anxiety, it is alright. but when my mind turns to the anxiety then it spirals into more anxiety.
the last time i experienced severe anxiety was one night when I had caffeine in the evening.. and I am quite sensitive to caffeine n it sent my mind into overdrive. i remember not being able to sleep that night and I was worrying about this trip. I wonder if I would be in any danger.. if I would somehow put my life in danger.. would i end up depressed or having some kind of mental illness.. what if i felt super lonely.. what if someone kidnapped me.. and all kind of scary and worrying scenarios came to mind..
oh actually i also experience some anxiety a few days back when I was visiting this church and they had a very narrow stairway to the tower. and i felt super anxious suddenly and felt like the walls were closing in on me.. and in that moment of intense fear and anxiety. .i thought whether i should turn back and go to the entrance.. and i told myself to just breathe n keep walking.. and i reached the top shortly after. i thought that scenario is kind of similar to the anxiety i am experiencing now.. that there is this fear .. n i feel like should i turn back and go home? but i know i do not want to do it.. it is the anxiety that is making me fearful.
the last two months have been really intense as I was preparing for this trip.. i thnk there was a lot to occupy my mind with.. alot of planning. .alot of tying up loose ends at home.. and I had mixed feelings of excitement, reluctance, anxiety about this trip.
maybe it is the sudden lull of thoughts and activity now that I am finally here. there is that contrast between the super busy and active life back home.. with now when I have so much free time. with an idle mind.. anxiety seems to creep in.
not-so-lost-starMarch 6, 2018 at 4:31 am #196041
I’ve been thinking lately of the experience of anxiety as being on a scary theme park ride, going up, then falling down and you scream, others scream… you know the experience, right? It used to surprise me, how scary some of those rides are and how every person made it safe back. Same with anxiety, it is scary but we make it back safe again and again… and yet again.
What better evidence is there that anxiety doesn’t kill, as long as we don’t undo those belts that hold us safe in our seats (on the ride) and otherwise, for as long as we don’t operate heavy machinery, drive or attempt any other task that requires calm attention.
“It will not kill me” is something you may intentionally think when anxious, while you are holding on to something, resuming the calm needed for your next move.
The intensity of the anxiety does get weaker over time, over a long time. Can’t rush this process and it is not linear. When the anxiety is lesser one day, it doesn’t mean it will be lesser the day after or that very evening.
When you feel anxious, one way to return to calm as soon as possible, is to move very slowly, very attentively, sort of moving in slow motion. Do what you need to do, tie shoes or prepare your food very slowly. See how that works.
And yes, it is about surrendering while keeping the faith: surrendering to the here-and-now in slow motion (the security belt) while keeping our faith in our safety (“this feeling will not kill me”).
March 6, 2018 at 10:18 am #196133
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by anita.
It occurred to me, about the preparation for the trip you wrote: “I had mixed feelings of excitement, reluctance, anxiety about this trip.”
About while you were on this beginning trip, you wrote: “there is this fear.. n I feel like I should turn back and go home.”
This means that home which includes living with your father means safety to you, at least, relative safety to being away on this trip. Any idea what about home feels safer: is it seeing your father daily that feels safer, somehow? Do you miss him…?
March 7, 2018 at 7:29 am #196223
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by anita.
I like your analogy of being of anxiety being like on a theme park ride – and interestingly, I am one who avoids the theme park rides as I do not like the feeling of being out of control. And like you described, how scary the rides look and I do not trust that I would make it back safely actually. So I guess that probably shows that I try to avoid anxiety provoking situation.. and being on this trip is like taking on this big rollercoaster in the theme park..
Something new.. something scary.. something totally out of my comfort zone.. something that threatens my sense of safety.
And I thought about the aspect of safety here versus home. I think it is not so much my father that gives me that sense of safety at home. but it is the familiarity, it is like taking a carousel ride at the theme park. It is safe, it goes in circles, I know what is coming, I enjoy the ride with the music.. I do not need to worry about anything. Even if things goes wrong, I know where I am, I know who can help me and I am familiar. There is no danger to speak of and there is no anxiety.
Where I am, I feel less safe as it is a foreign land. Plus I read accounts of people in danger here (haha, i thought it would be better to read accounts of worst things that happen and prepare myself for it.. but that may possibly have given me more anxiety). It is far away from my home and definitely feel less safe. My home is very safe, we can walk around at night with no fear, there are no pickpockets. I feel there are more things that needs me to be on the lookout for.
I feel as though I am on the big rollercoaster, with my feet not touching the ground and that is why I am anxious.
Yes, I think it does help to think it will not kill me and to know I have some ways of keeping myself safe too.. does help to lessen the anxiety. what i tried is to colour mandalas also.. it takes my mind off things and i focus on the colouring and not the worry.
I also really like “the surrendering while keeping the faith: surrendering to the here-and-now in slow motion (the security belt) while keeping our faith in our safety (“this feeling will not kill me”).” I shall remind myself of this too. Surrender while keeping faith.
I wanted to challenge myself and come on this trip. .cos while the carousel felt safe.. it was beginning to feel too routine.. and I thought I needed to grow. And thus, I thought this trip would help me grow as a person and to be an individual to take care of myself. And I think the anxiety is necessary to grow and it is about growing with the anxiety. If I run back to safety, then there will be limited growth.
Not-so-lost-starMarch 7, 2018 at 7:52 am #196225
I hope this trip will help you grow. I thought you traveled before, were previous destinations safer (as far as the pickpocketing you mentioned, crime on the streets and such) than the current one?
I am trying to explore a thought I have regarding your home and safety and therefore I ask:
You wrote a while ago on your thread that before about three years ago when you started therapy you thought your childhood was a happy one and that all was well at home (don’t remember your exact words). Do you remember how you viewed your father then, about three years ago and before, how you felt around him then?