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Why can't i just help myself!

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  • #347190
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    I am really struggling at the moment, i know in these really difficult times it seems that everyone is struggling! Before all this happened i was on my own for 3 months as mu partner was deployed, i was waking up at 5:15 every morning and taking myself to the gym and then headed straight to work.  Id work my 8-9 hour shift and then come home to study, cook, bath and do my reading ( id started to read about spirituality,self help, meditation. I felt good about myself, i felt motivated.

    Then covid happened, i had to self-isolate and was sent home from work due to a virus.  I work with vulnerable children so they have to be extra careful. I was on my own not allowed to go out for 2 weeks and it was quite hard on me as i was left alone with my own thoughts!

    My partner came back from deployment thankfully before covid became as bad as it is here in the uk and i have now stopped work for easter holidays .. he is back with his son too and im finding it so overwhelming, not just them but everything at the moment.

    I was working out from home and going jogging, i was reading, i was practising self care and now i dont want to do any of these things! I am never consistent with what i do and i get frustrated! I form such good habits and ideas and goals..and then they are gone as quick as they came to me.

    I don’t know who else to talk about this too.. i really am struggling!

     

    Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to me x

     

     

     

    #347204
    Peggy
    Participant

    Hello Soul Searcher,

    Thank you for writing in and expressing how difficult you are finding life at the moment.  Many people are struggling with being isolated but you have the added pressure of undergoing several changes at the same time.  This is always unsettling.  Perhaps it might help you if you just take life one day at a time.  It is more important than ever that you create structure to your day.  Also remember to be kind to yourself.  Physically, you only need to pay attention to three things.  The three things your body needs to function are:  food/drink, exercise, rest/sleep.  Create a daily diary putting these three things in as priority.  Make time to be creative – this could be cooking a nutritious meal, decorating a room, art and craft, making music and so on.  Whatever you do, whatever book you read, whenever you meditate, make it pleasurable.  Form your good habits around things that you enjoy.  That way you will continue with them.  Above all, express gratitude for all the good things you have in your life.

    I hope you begin to feel better soon –

    Kind regards,

    Peggy

    #347208
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    Thank you Peggy,

    I have a journal..i will start to write how i feel and write down those 3 things. Hopefully this will help.

     

    Thank you again x

    #347324
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    Welcome back! Your partner is still in the military, your relationship with him is almost 5.5 years old, started, I believe in December 2014. His son is about nine.

    You shared today that before Covid-19, you were on your own for three months while your partner was deployed, you had a routine: waking up early every morning, going to the gym, then to 8-9 hours shift at work, then back home to study, cook, read, etc., and in the context of living on your own with that busy routine, you felt good about yourself, motivated.

    Then Covid-19 happened, you were sent home from work, isolated at home, having lost your routine, the gym, the pre-pandemic habits and way of life,  and you are “left alone with (your) own thoughts!” Your partner came back from deployment and is back living with you (?) and co-parenting his son, and you are “finding it so overwhelming, not just them but everything”.

    * “I am never consistent with what I do”- it is not your fault that your habits have  been disrupted. You are letting the Covid-19 related  distress spread to ->ou blaming yourself. You are not guilty of this global pandemic!

    * In your very first thread, July 2015, you wrote about your partner: “I do love him, and I love him very much. Despite his faults..  He’s not very good at talking.. terrible at confrontations”-

    – make sure that at this time, you do all you can to keep your relationship with your partner calm, no matter how you feel. If you let your Covid-19 distress spread to your relationship and infect it, your overall distress will increase even more.

    No confrontations with him at this time. Keep it confrontation- free for the duration of the pandemic, no bringing up his faults; contain your distress. Express some of it, responsibly, but don’t burden him with it, and expect him to contain his own distress as well, to not burden you with it.

    October 29, 2019, less than a month before the first case of Covid-19 in the world, your partner “dedicated his time to go gym 5 times a week”- it must be distressing for him too, to not be able to go to the gym.

    At that time, late Oct last year, six months ago, you felt “so exhausted.. can’t even look in the mirror some days.. so tired with work.. I feel fat, I feel disgusted with myself”. I suppose in the last three months, you felt better (“I felt good about myself, motivated”), and now, you feel badly again.

    It is very important, best you can, to not go  to extremes. When something bad happens (and the pandemic is bad!), try to do damage control: don’t let the bad thing that happened make everything in your life bad.

    Don’t blame yourself when you are not at fault, practice self compassion instead, for being a victim to this virus, as we all are. Don’t let the virus infect your relationships. keep the peace with the people in your life for the duration of the pandemic.

    Does this make sense to you?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #348362
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    Welcome back! Your partner is still in the military, your relationship with him is almost 5.5 years old, started, I believe in December 2014. His son is about nine.

    Good Morning Anita,

    I have missed you and this forum, I have been so busy i don’t seem to find to browse on this wonderful website.

    Yes you are right about partner, relationship and the age of his soon.

    Hmm I never thought that it could be down to the Covid-19 affecting my stress levels, i just think from being on my own for 3 months, then being in self isolation and then lock down hit me hard. I was not able to see anyone and at least when i was at work i could see my colleagues, but then i got laryngitis and was sent home. Being sick and not having one person look after you is also quite depressing.

    I understand what you are saying here in regards to confrontation etc, unfortunately as i think you know from previous posts, he is the worst at communicating, he doesn’t know how to and talking to him is even worse than talking to a brick wall. Fortunately he has been able to still train on base, but now he will be home for the next week and half, so i don’t know how his attitude will be. I will take your advise however, and keep the peace until I hope at some point things can calm down.

    At that time, late Oct last year, six months ago, you felt “so exhausted.. can’t even look in the mirror some days.. so tired with work.. I feel fat, I feel disgusted with myself”. I suppose in the last three months, you felt better (“I felt good about myself, motivated”), and now, you feel badly again. – This is what i find strange Anita and something that i at times don’t want to admit to others as i feel…how can i put this without sounding out the obvious truth to myself that i am so obviously scared of. When he is away from me i thrive… as in; i work more on my mental and physical health i.e meditation, reading my books, listening to calming music, working out, going for nature walks. When he is back, i dont find the motivation to do all that or i feel that i cant do that because he is here. I am still trying to figure out why that is and why it happens to me. Is it because i feel threatened by his physical aesthetics and i feel inferior (look at him and then look at me, what is he doing with me) or is it because i am so used to him not being here, that he is disrupting ”my space”? I really do not know what it is.

    Thank you again Anita for your ongoing help, i hope you are keeping safe in these awful times.

    x

    #348394
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    “talking to him is even worse than talking to a brick wall.. When he is away from me, I thrive.. When he is back, I don’t.. I am still trying to figure out why that is”- if talking to him is even worse than talking to a brick wall, and you keep talking, then .. well, you don’t thrive when you talk to a brick wall.

    I am going to re-read some of your prior posts and post to you again, soon.

    anita

    #348418
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    (all quotes that follow are your words.  I edited the punctuation in the quotes for the sake of clarity).

    In your July 2015 thread you shared that you were 26, and “desperate to settle down and have a family”. You were in an eight months relationship at a time (currently ongoing, over five years) with a military man from the UK, a “lovely person.. makes me laugh.. loving and caring and very mature and most of all very, very loyal”.

    For the first six months of this relationship, it was long distance, the two of you traveling to see each other, “it’s been quite a rocky relationship from the start”, he was “quite controlling, jealous and insecure.. so possessive.. but we loved each  other so deeply, there was no way we could have let go of one another”.

    About a month before, June 2015, he traveled and stayed with you: “1st week was bliss, pure bliss. 2nd week came, we wouldn’t go a day without fighting”. You wrote that you were “very sensitive and you could say something so harmless but if you say to me abruptly etc. it hurts me”, and he was “snappy, moody and loves to be in control”.

    The plan at that point, July 2015, was that you will move to his country in August 2015. “He says how much he loves me and that he wants to marry me etc.”

    At the time of your February- March 2017 thread, you were in your home country, after returning from the UK. You left your home country earlier, having “sacrificed and left everything I had here to move to the UK with him..  leaving my job that I was comfortable in, my home, my friends and my family”. While living with him in the UK, when he was not deployed, at times “he was out clubbing with his friends”, and lying to you about it. You fell into depression, felt unappreciated and unsupported and “wanted to go back home”. You checked his phone and saw “a picture message of a half naked woman and plans with his friends on which clubs to go to etc.” You told him you were leaving, he “begged and pleaded and promised me that things would change and how blind he was”, and you stayed. After that, “it was never stable, it was 3 days great, 3 days bad, and so it went on and on like this”.

    You told him: “I want a family, I want to get married, and I want a stable life. If you can’t give me this, then please let’s just go our separate ways”. He “promised he would get help and change his ways”. Three days later, it was “the same old crap”, so you booked a ticket and went back to your home country. You were seeing a psychologist, and your boyfriend in the UK told you that he was seeing a psychologist there, and that he “has made him see a lot of the problem is him”. Later, you found out that “he messed around a few days before” you left the UK to your home country.

    Later he flew over to your home country for one night only, spoke to your mother, “to prove to her how sorry he was and how stupid he has been”, the two of you talked for hours, “he broke down crying and said he wants to change and that it’s not his all words anymore, that he is getting help and he has realized what he has done to us”. You then decided to go back to the UK, following your psychologist’s advice and guidance.

    In your January- February 2018 thread, more than 3 years into this relationship, you shared: “I have been suffering from severe depression for the past 3 years, to the point of suicide”. You shared that “the root of my depression is my relationship and the situation in which I find myself now”, and that you “tried countless psychologists, councilors and psychiatrists and it didn’t help.. I was on Xanax and sleeping tablets to get through the day and to be able to sleep at night, as I was suffering from constant nightmares, night sweats, depression and severe anxiety. My depression still comes in phases”.

    In another thread, same month and year, you shared that after you moved to the UK, he lied to you many times, “and because of all these lies, I am sure that he has also cheated on me”, that you found a very good job there, got a promotion within a few months, bought yourself a brand new car, “but still things were rocky.. no friends, no social life, all I had was him”, that you were “diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety”. After a couple of weeks in your home country, you found out “that he was sleeping with 2 women”. You somewhat believed that he cheated on you because you left him/ because he lost you, so you went back to  him, and continued to be depressed with him, in the UK.

    You wrote: “I have things I want to achieve, I am nearly 30. I want to open up my own business, get married, and have a child. Every time I mention the future.. he says I am being pushy, or I am putting pressure on him”.

    You shared about the relationship: “when things are good between us, things can’t be any more beautiful.. We are kind to one another, we are romantic, we listen to one another… he is the one to break that ‘normality’ and become abrupt when work becomes more stressful or.. when he wants to be on his own and I’m inconveniently there. It just comes to an abrupt halt, into which I get angry and frustrated and then the fights begin”.

    In your March 2018 thread you shared: “I have been diagnosed with .. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. I already suffer from depression, so having PMDD just makes it 10 times worse.. I always feel very down right after ovulation and I get symptoms such as cravings, abdominal bloating, mood swings, depression and fatigue”.

    In your April 2020 thread, more than five years into this relationship, you shared yesterday: “he is the worst at communicating, he doesn’t know how  to and talking to him is even worse than talking to a brick wall… When he  is away from me, I thrive.. When he is back, I don’t.. I am still trying to  figure out why that is and why it happens to me.. I really do not know what it is”. By the end of this post, I will try to answer this question.

    *** In your various threads, starting in your Feb-March 2017 thread, you shared the following about your childhood experience: before you were born, your mother was separated from the father of her two older daughters and she dated a married man, getting pregnant by him and having you. The father of your two older sisters visited you and his two daughters through the years, and you thought he was your dad. But when you were six, you were told that your he was not your dad (that he “wasn’t my dad”, “I wasn’t his”, “(it) was quite a blow”). One of your much older step sisters, jealous of you, “never failed to remind me that he is not my father.. I get very, very angry”.

    You wrote about the man you thought was your dad: “he would take me to the beach to pick shells, to the parks, to his house to play with his expensive China and take me to meals. He died when you were 23. You wrote about his death: “My world turned upside down and even to this day I cry for him”.

    You wrote : “I do suffer from emotional tantrums, and they are so hard to control… I will become hurtful and play the victim.. and say things such as, ‘the only man who ever accepted me or loved me was my dad, but he’s dead, and if I could take his place, I would’. When I am in that state of mind, it is very hard for me to calm down.. Once I’ve calmed down, I feel so embarrassed for the way I acted”.

    Your biological father was “in and out” of your life, “would speak to me for a couple of weeks and then disappear for the next 2 years unless I called him to make contact”.

    When you were 14, your mother left you when you were 14, “for a man in a different country”. You wrote about your mother: “I don’t remember mum being very much in my childhood, very small snippets”, that she left  you often (“she was going for a couple of months every so often”), and you stayed at your God mother’s house, and when she left for a longer time (when she moved away to live with a man in another country), you moved in with your 11 year older sister, and suffered in your sister’s home from her very abusive ex husband, and your sister’s strict rules and lack of support and help in your school studies. You then quit school at 16, met your first boyfriend and moved in with that boyfriend and his mother for four years.

    Overall, as a child and a teenager, you felt “very rejected and abandoned and tossed here and there”, “I felt alone.. like no one wanted me, not my father, mother or sisters… I craved feeling loved and wanted”, “I didn’t receive the love I needed as a child, I wanted approval from my sisters as I had a different dad and felt different and not wanted. I wanted approval from my biological father, from my step father, from my friends who had normal families and fathers whom were at home with their mothers”.

    *** And now my input regarding your current relationship (and this is only an initial input, if you want we can communicate about it over time):

    It is not a matter of him being “the bad guy” and you being “the good guy”. It is not that he is unwell and you are well. It is not that he is the perpetrator and you are the victim. It is not the he needs help and you are his helper. The two of you have been individually and separately unwell for a long time, before you met each other, and after. The two of you have been victims of people before you met each other. The two of you need help. The two of you have  been hurting each other over the years: he aggravates your mental health, and you aggravate his.

    Like you wrote in July 2015, when the relationship was 8 months old, “I am very sensitive, and you could say something so harmless but if you say (it) to me abruptly etc., it hurts me”. And when that happens, and he says something harmless to you, you get angry at him, and the situation escalates into a fight. He is far from being the most patient person in the world, so when you get angry, he gets angry quickly.

    Like all of us who suffered greatly in childhood, you carry your childhood emotional experience into your adulthood (as he does). You keep experiencing your childhood within the context of your adult relationship with this man. Much of your suffering in this relationship is not about this man, but about the childhood emotional experience that keeps getting reactivated within the relationship with him: you felt rejected as a child-> you feel rejected by him. You felt very angry as a child-> you feel very angry at this man. You felt very lonely as a child, unsupported and unloved-> you feel the same with this man. You  were desperate for and positive attention as a child-> you are desperate for it now. You felt very unsafe then->you feel unsafe now.  Etc.

    You wrote: “I have helped all of my partners go through things mentally, and in turn I am now mentally unstable.. ironic?”- in the context of this relationship, you have not been stable, and you didn’t help him. You hurt him and he hurt you. The two of you have been unstable and the two of you hurt each other. You only imagined that you helped him, but all along you were begging for him to help you.

    As you expect to spend a lot of time with him soon, living together, quarantined or so, I would like you to adopt a humble attitude, understand that the two of you need to stop hurting each other, and stop helping each other. You are not superior to him in terms of mental health, and you need his help no less than he needs yours.

    anita

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by anita.
    #348948
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    I hope you are well.

    I am sorry for the delayed and thank you for the very in depth reply. I have read all you have written quite a few times to take it all in.

    I understand when you say we BOTH need help, i completely agree with this and i have on numerous times asked him that we go together for couples counselling but he regards it as silly and that if i was just ”happy” then ”we” wouldn’t be an issue. It seems that i am always the issue because i am never just happy with what i have. I sometimes believe this to be true and i think to myself why am i not happy ? I have a roof over my head, food on the table and stable job, but is all this meant to make me happy with in myself? Is it because i dont love myself yet, is it because i feel no love? So many questions that i feel are un-answered because i feel that i bottle everything up as i cannot express how i feel to him. I dont express these emotions to my family as they always have biased views and state that i need to come home.

    I see how my childhood traumas come to light in my adulthood 100%; the need for acceptance and admiration, the fear of rejection and abandonment and would do anything to achieve acceptance and admiration and would do anything to prevent rejection even if it means im hurting myself i.e. staying in a situation that does not benefit me.

    I do believe that i have helped him with his struggles i.e. not having a connection with his son or family and i slowly slowly have made him feel comfortable with this. He now has a lovely blossoming relationship with his son and more of a relationship with his family too. I feel being with me has made him a little more humble to others around him and to situations, this may just be down to the fact i have just ”rubbed” off on him. I know i have not helped him with his ongoing issues mentally, maybe i worded what i had said wrong as you are right he has not changed nor have i helped him ”mentally”.

    I am very tired Anita, i am tired of wanting things to happen, wanting to, as you said to stop hurting one another and to help one another in a healthy way, but this does not seem to happen. I wish we could just sit down as adults and talk it through, but i know this will not happen, even in quarantine. The truth scares me, i know when you are with someone they are meant to bring out the best in you… i haven’t felt my best in a very long time, but my love for him and the amount of love and determination i have put into this relationship to actually make it work, sometimes does stop me from walking away to focus on myself.

    I can get professional help, but how does this help us? It helps me and he will not go, so it doesn’t help us. I know throughout all my posts everyone has stated the obvious. He is not the one and you need to focus on yourself.

    I will adhere to what you have said and take a humble approach and attitude during these times; it is very hard however, like you have stated above i feel unsafe and that i do! He hasnt been here for such a long time, and is going away again as he has to replace someone who’s family has been struck with virus, so another 3 months till i see him again as of next week. A very stressful time for me too, as i have no one here and i will be going to work as i am classified as a key worker. Again the worry if anything happens to me, ill be all alone again and with the lock down, no one to even come round to the house.

    I also think my expectations were set to high and my visions of where id be as a 31 year old have not matched to where i thought id be now… and this comparison makes me feel low…

    Sorry for rambling Anita

    x

     

    #348978
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    If you helped this man be better father to his son, then you did help his son a great deal, and that’s a wonderful thing that you did, for his son.

    This is what you wrote about how you felt as a child (same quote as in my previous post to you): “very rejected and abandoned.. alone.. like no one wanted me.. I craved feeling loved and wanted”. But you felt loved and wanted, or almost loved and wanted, when the father of your two older sisters visited you through the years: “he would take me to the beach to pick shells, to the parks, to his house to play with his expensive China and take me to meals”. When you were six, you were told that he wasn’t your (biological) father, and that was “quite a blow”, for you, and your older sister reminding  you of that repeatedly made that blow worse.

    Regarding your boyfriend, you wrote: “when things are good between us, things can’t be any more beautiful… We are kind to one another, we are romantic, we listen to one another”.

    Putting together the above: every time things are good between you and your boyfriend, it activates the very good feeling you had when your non-bio father visited you and took you to the beach and to his house, etc. This very good feeling is what keeps you in this relationship. You are chasing that good feeling, waiting for it, needing it and this motivation is what’s keeping you in this relationship throughout all the many, many depressing times.

    You get the good feeling when things are going well with him, but you also  get angry sooner than later. Not only because of his behavior, but because you’ve been angry as a child. It is the old anger that gets activated: “I get angry and frustrated and then the fights begin.. I do suffer from emotional tantrums, and they are so hard to control… I will become hurtful.. and say things such as, ‘the only man who ever accepted me or loved me was my dad, but he’s dead”-

    – you are angry now, and have been angry since a young child, because you weren’t loved as a child (“I didn’t receive the love I needed as a child”), and what you received from your non-bio father, was simply not enough.

    In summary: I believe that what is keeping you in this relationship while miserable in it most of the time, is the very good feeling you experience with him from time to time, as rarely as it may be. The reason this good feeling does not last, is because you are still angry for not having been loved as a child.

    At this point, I don’t know how much of the trouble in the relationship is because of his behavior, and how much of it is because your pre-existing anger that leads into fights.

    anita

     

    #349794
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your kindness and your wisdom. Maybe at this point, the best thing for me to do is to do some self-reflecting, soul searching and try to help myself. This will not be an easy task, i don’t even know where to begin, i try very hard to change my mindset despite how i am feeling but i really do struggle.

    I do ask myself each day, why cant i just be content with what i have and stop wanting and searching for happiness, but i simply cannot. I am a very confused person, i cant figure me out, how can i expect others to?

    Much love

    x

    #349856
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    “why can’t I just be content with what I have”- because you keep wanting something you don’t have.

    What you don’t have is the feeling that you are okay, that you are loved and lovable.

    Regarding your new thread, I will respond to it here and hope that other members will respond to you there. I think that working with vulnerable children is a very valuable job: some of these children, maybe all, feel the same as you do: not being loved, unlovable, not okay.. hurt, angry, enthusiasm here and there followed  by the same  old same old discontent.

    “but again, I want something that fulfils me and makes me happy! I have chosen so many careers.. How do I find out what I want!”- at the risk of repeating myself (I do repeat myself a lot), I don’t think it is possible for a person who feels unloved and  unlovable and not okay to be fulfilled and happy.

    Once you realize deeply enough that your childhood experience of rejection and abandonment and mistreatment was not because you were unlovable, and that you were and are indeed lovable, then you will feel okay.

    anita

    #350006
    Soul-searcher
    Participant

    Hi there Anita,

    If only it were that easy to just say i am love-able and to fully accept it. I don’t know what i can do to apart from try to practise self-love, meditation and things that make me happier to help with the process of loving myself.

    What you have said somewhat scares me, will i really never be ok and happy and just have these happy emotions from time to time? Does this mean i will never be happy in any relationship or job i pursue in life?

    Much love

    x

    #350034
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Soul-searcher:

    “What you  have said somewhat scares me, will I really never be ok and happy and just have these happy emotions from time to time? Does this mean I will never be happy in any relationship or job I pursue in life?”-

    – if I answer: yes, you will never be ok and happy, you will never be happy in any relationship or job you pursue in life, other than from time to time- it will read like I am predicting the future, and that would be arrogant of me.

    But my life experience, my own story, other people’s stories point again and again.. and yet again to the following reality: when our childhood experience is significantly troublesome, we keep re-experiencing the childhood we had, no matter where we are, with whom and in what new circumstances.

    It is possible to free oneself from that troublesome childhood emotional experience if we process it and release it. It takes a lot of work over a lot of time. There is no quick way (we tried all the quick ways, haven’t we).

    As is,  your childhood experience exists in many neuropathways in our brain, spread out, taking over/ interrupting the here-and-now area of  your brain. What I mean by processing your childhood experience, is to create new connections/ neuropathways in your brain, over time, that will contain your childhood experience to one area (the Past), and in so doing, free your here-and-now area (the Present) from your childhood experience.

    This definitely is an emotional journey, a gradual emotional learning journey. But most people who start on this journey quit  it because we don’t want to confront that pain of childhood. We keep re-living it, but we don’t want to look at it, more precisely, we don’t want to be fully aware of how we felt back then.

    anita

    #358797
    Machele
    Participant

    Hi, first of all, I would let it be okay that things have been messy. Rather than beating yourself up, practice compassion and remind your brain that you’re a human and not a robot. Yes, you could have done all of those things and had the motivation and discipline to follow through. You can choose to focus on that, but it will feel awful. But what else is true is that you are a human going through a global pandemic on a level the world hasn’t experienced before. Of course, you fell off of your routine. This is true and you can choose to focus on that version of the story. This version will likely help you feel relaxed and you’re much more likely to take action toward self-care from this place than the other.

    Best of luck to you and practice giving yourself permission to be human 🙂

    Machele

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