Telling the difference between gut and fear in relationships

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    Hi Seaturtle

    That is amazing to hear that your family have noticed your growth too! 😊

    I think that you are strong enough to figure things out if there are any difficulties in relationships. It is great to hear that you are practicing listening to your intuition regularly!

    So there’s something that can stop you from listening to your intuition in relationships.

    Schemas can create attraction to people that you aren’t compatible with. A schema is an unhealthy thought pattern about yourself. For you, it would be a result of your trauma. But the basic idea is that if say you are used to an unstable home environment, once you leave that environment your mind tries to recreate that environment elsewhere. It is not just environmental though, it can affect mood and all sorts. People psychologically consider whatever they are familiar with safe, even if it is not safe. It takes effort and time to overcome these tendencies.

    But yes, it is possible to access your intuition in relationships.

    Something that I found helpful was to consider what I did and didn’t want in a relationship. Perhaps you might find that helpful when considering new partners?

    Another thing is that people often act differently from normal when they enter relationships. Some are more affectionate, this is to encourage emotional attachment. It can be a good idea to emotionally protect yourself and wait to see how people act later on. This is how you will learn more about their nature and of course you learned the hard way that living with someone is how you truly learn about what they are like. Once you have lived together and they have experienced hardship. That is when you have a good understanding of someone’s character as people are at their worst during times of hardship.

    Oooh that’s a deep question. It is difficult because with trauma there are times when triggered that trust can even be difficult with loved ones. With strangers I would say, pay attention to how they behave and what they say. If someone treats other people in a certain way, they are likely to at some point treat you like that as well. The clearest indication is if they have done something that doesn’t sit well with you. Another thing to consider is how you feel about them when you are calmer. Is the intuition still there? If not, it could just be anxiety. Considering if your feelings proportionate to the situation is also helpful. Being triggered or anxious is upsetting. Intuition is calmer. I guess what I tend to do is trust people in stages. If people are consistently kind, I share more. If they are not consistently kind, I share less.

    I imagine that dynamic during disagreements would be because of your father. I am imagining that as a child when your father was angry you just wanted it to stop and you were scared and wanted a hug. But he was also unstable and not safe for you during those times. Would you agree with this? These feelings can persist as adults during disagreements.

    I think the difficulty is to stay present when triggered during a disagreement. It takes a lot of practice and willingness to be vulnerable, being open to be hurt, but at the same time trust that the other person doesn’t want to hurt you.

    Haha yes, it does take more than positivity. My husband and I actually figured things out finally. I think we have always been trying to protect ourselves first and foremost. Which isn’t always conducive for fixing problems. It is more like two people just saying my feelings are important. All feelings are important, but nurturing a relationship and solving problems is perhaps the most important thing of all. It does take two people to do that though.

    I’m not American, so we don’t celebrate it. How was your 4th of July? How have you been?

    It has been lovely catching up with you again. 😊❤️

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏


    Dear Seaturtle:

    I have this new fear that came along with the positive growth, and it is that I will lose myself in a relationship again… Relationships create a barrier between me and my intuition.. I wonder why this is…? Anita, I’d also love your thoughts on this!“-

    – my thoughts: a romantic relationship re-opens your Unseen Wound, a wound created in childhood, and when that happens, the blood seeping from the re-opened wound floods you emotionally and drowns your intuition.

    “I wonder… if it is possible to get my intuition to always be at my forefront?“- my thoughts: yes, by healing your Unseen Wound- a long-term project.

    You can prepare yourself for your next relationship by doing an exercise that starts with listing all the specific behaviors by N that made your Unseen Wound bleed, and for each behavior, figure out if it is it reasonable and fair to expect your future partner to never do this or that behavior. If this beginning of an exercise makes sense to you, let me know and we can develop it further.




    “And why, you might ask, did I not join the festivities? Because I have Covid, 3rd day now (Covid face emoji, if there is such an emoji).”

    As I read your message I thought your fourth of July sounded wonderful. I saw many eagles when I was visiting the PNW recently. And it must not have been too hot where you were because I was outside on the fourth and it was hard to not constantly think about the heat. I am so sorry you have covid. How are you feeling today?




    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I want to heal my wound and thank you for your exercise recommendation. I will start it today.




    Dear Seaturtle: You submitted a post 2 minutes before you submitted yours. I am tired, exhausted, thank you for asking.



    Another double posting, lol: You are welcome, Seaturtle!


    Dear Helcat,

    So tell me if you think I am interpreting this wrong. But after reading your description of schemas, mine in being unnoticed and overlook, so that is comfortable to me. I remember learning this concept in psychology, and thought I was conscious of my schemas. I used to think they were being controlled and told what to do. But now as I get to know my parents more and reflect on my childhood I am realizing it was much more. It was emotional neglect, soul-less, cold, arguing, laughter, tv, vacations and games with my siblings, the best part.

    ” Once you have lived together and they have experienced hardship. That is when you have a good understanding of someone’s character as people are at their worst during times of hardship.”

    I appreciate this observation.

    Wise words “Intuition is calmer.”

    I imagine that dynamic during disagreements would be because of your father. I am imagining that as a child when your father was angry you just wanted it to stop and you were scared and wanted a hug. But he was also unstable and not safe for you during those times. Would you agree with this?

    Yes. Interesting though, to get to the safe place, a hug, I did different things with my dad than with N. With my dad I would say something to make him feel empathy for me, in those moments I would bring up what I was dealing with in life at that time. For example he got upset with me for being too messy (as he did often) after leaving a very small thing out of order, or leaving my homework on the counter. He would confront me and I would feel so bad, apologize, then would bring up something bad that had happened between me and my mom that was affecting me emotionally. He would empathize with me then the space would feel much safer to me. With N, first of all he would never be the one to confront me. I was always initiating the conversations about how we felt. He would be passive aggressive so I would tell him his behavior was making me sad, and ask him why he was behaving that way, if it was something I had done, to which he rarely had an answer for. Usually gaslighting me telling me my intuition about his passive aggression was wrong. This was that emotional discomfort with him, the moment I wanted to erase what I had said to begin with and skip to a hug, so I usually would. How long before I caved would vary, but usually I would just drop it to feel emotional safety again. He rewarded me for dropping it.. rewarded with warmth and closeness.

    So then my solution is to learn to be calm during confrontation and not feel emotionally unsafe. Why do I feel emotionally unsafe, how do I self regulate my emotions in those moments.. ?

    I think the difficulty is to stay present when triggered during a disagreement. It takes a lot of practice and willingness to be vulnerable, being open to be hurt, but at the same time trust that the other person doesn’t want to hurt you.

    I read this after I wrote the above. Staying present sounds painful. I am calm now though and still feel like N wanted to hurt me. Like he was punishing me for not being a certain way. How he handled the breakup certainly supports that. Do you think people act out of character when in pain of a breakup, or that it in fact reveals some of their personality? I am wondering because I wonder if my not trusting him was about me or about him. Same with my dad, if not trusting him was about me or him. Do I have trust issues with everyone or just those who are actually untrustworthy.


    I celebrated fourth of July by spending time with friends outside, watching other people’s fireworks!

    Ditto, I enjoy talking to you as well! I am doing good, I am trying to juggle my internal healing while still taking care of things in the outside world. I wish cars, money, housing and food weren’t necessities haha. How have you been? and your baby, doing much better now?



    Hi Seaturtle

    That is a good summary of your understanding about the schemas. I would recommend taking a look at a list of schemas and see if you think there might be any others as well as the ones you have already mentioned. Abuse tends to give you quite a few.

    The good thing is that you are very driven when it comes to healing and overcoming your trauma. This part of you, the intuition, the healthy boundaries part of you fought against the schemas and it won! You sought to end a relationship that was unhealthy and which was incompatible with you. You have done really well in taking care of yourself!

    I just mentioned schemas because when dating they can create feelings of attraction for people that you aren’t compatible with. It is something to be mindful of in the future. That is not to say that you will only be attracted to people who trigger your schemas. Just being more aware of what you do and don’t want in a relationship and keeping yourself accountable to that can be helpful in navigating these things.

    Yes, you really did go through a lot as a child. It is not an easy thing.

    I see, as a child you had a pattern of apology and telling your father about something not to do with him that would make him empathise with you to resolve conflict.

    And with your ex you had a similar pattern in that when a disagreement was happening, you would ask him to empathise with how he had hurt you. To which he often refused. He would comfort you instead when you had dropped the issue.

    That sounds quite manipulative to me, choosing to comfort you when you drop the issue. I’m really sorry that happened. When you describe how he was, he seems very avoidant.

    Feeling emotionally unsafe during a disagreement is called an emotional flashback. It seems like you are brought back to emotions and patterns that you experienced during disagreements with your father. Just a more adult version. If that makes sense?

    It depends on what helps you. Everyone is different. But yes, the goal is to stay calm during disagreements. One thing that helps me is to remove myself from the situation for a short time. Sometimes turning away and not looking at the person helps me. Sometimes staying silent helps me to control myself.

    There are flashbacks that you can make to reassure yourself. If you memorise it or stored it on your phone that could be helpful. So the point is to recollect the past event, show your past self empathy and to separate it from the present, then to reassure yourself.

    I’m going to give an example of what mine looks like.

    When I was a child my mother was very unsafe. I was terrified when she would get angry at me and hurt me for no reason. I didn’t deserve that, I deserved to be loved and taken care of. These memories make me feel scared during disagreements. It is July 2024, I’m safe at home. I’m an adult and I can protect myself in ways that I could not as a child.

    Yes these things are very difficult. It is a delicate balance because at the same time as being vulnerable, validating your partner, being assertive and managing your boundaries are all important. It is a very complicated skill to learn. It doesn’t mean tolerating an abusive situation.

    I would agree that the break up was awful and he was intentionally trying to hurt you. Yes, people can act out of character when they are extremely stressed but that is also part of their character if that makes sense? There is a pattern of behaviour during times of stress.

    I think that he was manipulative and avoidant and refused to show empathy at times. Not all times, you have shown that he is capable of empathy sometimes. Generally, it seems like his goal was to get you to stop. Not to necessarily hurt you. Though you definitely did get hurt.

    You mentioned that earlier in the relationship he was a bit kinder to you?

    I think that maybe with your ex, it was a bit of both? There were things that he did wrong which made it harder to trust. But at the same time, the trauma with your father was still present. Remember that your ex reminded you of your father sometimes?

    I think not trusting your dad was about his unfair treatment of you.

    Whether you have trust issues with everyone during disagreements is only a question that you can answer yourself. Personally, I do experience trust issues with everyone during disagreements, to varying degrees. If someone hurts me intentionally it gets really hard. Swearing, insults, yelling are things trigger me. Keeping difficult conversations very calm is helpful to me. There are some techniques to do that like only one person should speak for 5 minutes and then switch. And setting a 30 minute time limit on disagreements.

    Fireworks are awesome! It sounds like you had a really good time. 😊

    You’re doing a really good job taking care of everything. If only money grew on trees. Haha.

    My son is growing really quickly and crawling already. I’m getting addicted to buying him things. 😂 I’m definitely doing better than I was. Still getting there. Babies are hard work and we don’t have help from family or a sitter so it is non-stop. It is okay, I am used to it by now. The next goal is teaching him to walk.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏


    *flashcards you can make

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