General chatter - I think I'm doing something wrong here.




mimsyborogoves
09-19-2013, 10:24 PM
I guess I should give back story before I go into this:

I have a friend, who's well... more than a friend. I guess you can say we're friends with benefits, but it really is more to it than that, and it's complicated. It's like...we're definitely more than friends with benefits, in that it's really obvious we have feelings for each other, but due to our current circumstances, a real, official relationship isn't really feasible. Circumstances being neither of us really have the time nor money to invest in a relationship and keep it stable. Neither of us make a lot of money in the first place, and we live a good hour away from each other, so it takes a lot of gas and money just to go see each other. He makes more money than me, but his bills and his band take up most of his money so he never really has any left over to come see me or take me out, so I usually just go to his house. And the thing about this is, because we know an official relationship isn't really right for us right now despite our feelings, we allow each other to see other people as long as we're honest with each other about it and we're being careful.

That being said... to be honest with you guys, although I -really- and truly do love this guy, and I understand and am okay with how our relationship is, it's not very fulfilling sometimes. I want him, I want to be with him and I want to spend my time with him, but because he isn't able... I've been wanting to see other people. Sometimes I'm fine with how things are and that's all I want, but then I want to go out or something. And he knows and understands this. He wishes he could take me out and spend time with me like a "real" boyfriend ought to, but he just can't, which is why we're okay with each other going out with other people -- for that reason; if we find something better, we're free to go forth and do whatever makes us happy. (Of course, whenever I mention another guy, he always gives me that, "Great, I hope it goes well!" like he's all supportive of it, but I can always tell that he's jealous. It's the same with me.)

So anyway, like I said, sometimes I'm fine with the way things are, but sometimes I just want to go out, and sometimes I kinda hope that it turns into something if I go out with another guy, and sometimes I'm not. Right now, I really don't care one way or the other, but I really love my best friend (thats the best way I know how to refer to him, lol) and to be honest,i dont really want to see other people. But, I also want to go out, and I know he can't take me out... so I joined a dating website thinking maybe something better would come out of it. Maybe not, it didn't matter one way or the other, right?

Well, I went out with this guy a couple weeks ago that I actually had gone out with before, after meeting on the same website. I told my best friend about it, well, I posted about it on Facebook before I told him (cause it wasnt a secret; it was a "date" in that the guy took me out to dinner, but that was really all it was, so I didn't feel bad about posting it), and he asked me about it. And then I told my best friend about it the next time we hung out, and I voiced to him that I didn't really care if it anything sparked from the "date"; I just wanted to go out. And he told me that was kind of a sleazy thing to do because it's like I'm just using the guy to buy me dinner. Of course, I wanted to tell him that I'd prefer to just go out with him (my best friend), but since he couldn't afford to I was seeking other options. But I didn't cause I didn't know how he'd take that. I told him it wasn't a big deal because the guy was kinda flakey anyway (which he is) and really super duper busy (guy i went out with goes out of town a LOT and is rarely around in the first place; this date was a rare opportunity, lol) so a relationship with him wouldn't happen anyway. We dropped the subject and carried on.

Well, tomorrow night, I have dinner plans with another dude from the dating website. And I kinda had second thoughts about it early on because I thought about what best friend said about using guys for dates, and I felt like that was what I was doing. And I told the guy that I wasn't sure, but he ended up talking me into giving him a chance. And I kinda feel like I should, and I am going on the date for that reason... but idk. I kinda feel like I'm doing exactly what I did before and "using" the guy for a date. Cause I know I don't really want a relationship with anyone, shoot I barely have time for the one I have with my best friend, lol. But I want to go out....so I don't know. I kinda feel guilty about it, and I'm almost compelled to cancel the date... but then I really feel like I should give this guy a chance cause he could be better than what I have going on. And the thing is, if best friend won't take me out, and I shouldn't go out with guys just for the sake of going out...what should I do? I thought about just going out with my girlfriends instead, but the reality is I want to spend time with my best friend outside of his bedroom (and I don't just mean that sexually, we hang out in his bedroom when I come over, lol) and I don't want to have to foot the bill every time, and I know he usually can't afford it. So it's kind of a lose-lose situation.

Should I feel guilty for going out with guys and having no intentions of pursuing relationships with them? Maybe I should indicate that on my profile so it's not like I'm using them. But I feel like that's still a form of using people. I don't know what to do about this. :/ Part of me feels like I should just leave best friend as a best friend and just pursue other guys... but I don't want to. I love him. And it's hard for me to pursue other people knowing I don't have the desire to. I feel like I'm doing them a disservice, but I'm also doing myself a disservice. Maybe I should just learn to get fulfillment from my girlfriends and not worry about guys at all. But I don't want that either, lol. Ugh! I don't know how to do this!


alaskanlaughter
09-20-2013, 12:05 AM
just a few thoughts, in no order and not meant to offend....

money and time come and go....sometimes people in long term relationships are broke, sometimes they then get a good job...sometimes married couples are super busy with work and kids, then later in life are not....if you want a long term relationship with someone you just have to "roll with the punches" and go with what part of life you are in at the moment

i also wondered, if you have time to date and go on dating websites, why not use that time with the guy you really want to be with....Skype or chat or whatever even if you can't go there to be right with him...take that time and use it in some way with him

but of course he also needs to meet you halfway...if he would prefer to use his time seeking out and dating others, than this might not be the right man to put effort into

im sure i have more thoughts but i'm awfully tired :)

belovedspirit
09-20-2013, 12:41 AM
To answer your question, I think honesty would be most fair and honourable. Is there anywhere on your profile to indicate that you're only interested in short-term or casual dating? That way, if you do go out with someone, they've had a heads up and it's fair game.


happybug
09-20-2013, 03:50 AM
I'm just wondering how you'd feel about your 'best friend' guy seeing someone else. A relationship has more to do with having the money or time to see them, it's about making the time to see them regardless of if you have money or not. Your half-hearted attempts at dating other guys sounds to me like you perhaps want to make your bestie so jealous he'll declare he wants to be with you. There's no need to play that game. You admitted you want things to be something more with your bestie, don't wait until it's too late and he's found someone else, tell him or write him a letter if you can't. No relationship is easy and if you want things to work out you need to make the effort, despite all the obstacles. If you don't think he's worth the effort then just move on. Good luck with whatever you choose.

SkinnyBee78
09-20-2013, 05:04 AM
eh...I have mixed feelings. I'll try to sort them.

1. I think if you really love someone, and this goes for the two of you, you will do what it takes to be together. When it all comes down to it, you do what you want to do. If you WANT to be with that person (this is under the assumption that two people love each other and want to be together, feelings mutual and simultaneous) nothing will stop you. In my opinion, one hour is NOTHING. I've been in love with someone 8000 miles away and we made it work because we wanted to (in the past). Distance and money should not be an obstacle. That sounds like an excuse, imo.

2. You're not exclusive so you absolutely should feel no guilt about going out on dates. You say you are open to the possibility of more happening with some of these men if that were to flourish, so, how is this any different than any other dating scenario? People should know that not every date ends up in a relationship, so, casually dating should honestly be how any date should be approached in the beginning no matter who is paying for the dinner, etc. Now, once things become more serious, then that should be revised.

I guess I don't see what you're doing as wrong. I think as long as your conscience is clear, you're fine. Enjoy being single, too! It's a fun time. :)

zoesmom
09-20-2013, 09:25 AM
My two cents:

My husband and I started off much the way you did. Best of friends even, stil are. We spent 3 years traveling back and forth to one another's house, me to his more often than him to mine. We where 72 miles away from each other. He was paying his ex wife off, so he had no money. I was a college student working a part time job, so I had no money.

Often times, we ended up doing nothing more than sitting in his room playing the XBOX or watching a movie. We ate boxed mac and cheese and "dates" were RARE...like...non existent rare.

At first, it bothered the ever loving heck out of me. I WANTED TO GO OUT! I wanted to be romanced. So, I met Justin and dated him casually while still seeing my now current husband.

He never complained. But he took an air of possession with me and started finding a way to entice me his way more often. We couldn't afford to go out, but he COULD pack a picnic. We could go for a walk at the local park. We could catch the occassional cheap seat $20 tickets for a concert...or even the free ones they have from time to time.

Then he switched it up on me and considered going back to his ex wife. Talk about a serious mind F***!!! He was just doing what I was doing...but...OMG! The very thought of sharing him with her?!?! I immediately broke it off with Justin (who took me on dates I might add, to expensive places even) and started trying to find more time with my current husband.

Soon after, I moved in with him, commuted to work (afterall, I had been driving to his place nearly daily as it was), took online classes, lived on a seriously tight budget, we got pregnant, we got married, I found a new job closer to work, ex wife stopped received alimony (YEAH for time limits!!!) and now, we are happy as can be, been together 8 years, madly in love, and fixing to buy our first real house. Almost debt free, with the exception of my student loans and $1500 left on my car.

My point is, if you too both love each other, like you claim, it WILL kill you both inside to see the other dating someone else, even casually. If you truly love each other, figure out what is more important to each of you and make the necessary adjustments in your lives to make it work. The thought of my husband going back to his ex, or to any woman, broke my heart and made me realize I COULD NOT LOSE HIM! He was better able to cope then I was, but it still messed him up, to the point he had to find other means of getting the attention I was denying him, even if unintentional.

Just my two cents.

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 09:26 AM
My heart is really at a battle with my mind with this one. My heart wants my best friend so bad it hurts. My heart wants to marry him. But the other reality is and I guess heart was talking last night and failed to mention this; the biggest reason we aren't official is because he's a commitment phobe and has expressed to me that it's not that he doesn't want to be with me or doesnt love me, I don't think he wants to be in that kind of relationship with anyone. He wants me to focus on getting my life together. He wants to focus on making his life better. He even said he thinks part of the reason why I have problems is because I spend so much time worrying about loving him and making him happy that I forget to love myself and do the same for myself. And brain agrees. Brain wants to do for Lauren and go out with guys and not worry about a relationship period (mych like bestie.) Heart wants best friend and that's it.

I want to satisfy both the heart and the mind. That's the bottom line. I don't think that's possible though.

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 09:30 AM
Zoesmom, I often wonder if that's how me and bestie will end up. But a big part of me thinks I shouldn't live my life based off the idea that that will happen. Maybe it will; maybe that's my destiny. But should I just keep going as I'm going and not worry about it?

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 10:39 AM
Oh gosh, I messed up.

Because I wasn't sure about the current date with the new guy to start with, I didn't tell bestie about it. Then I had my little depression spell, and I wanted to hang out with bestie after it all and he wanted to hang out with me. And I told him because I felt like he should know and I shouldn't hide it. And he's pissed because he thinks i only told him cause I felt guilty and I had some f-ed up scheme planned or something. I don't know but he's mad, and I cancelled my date tonight cause I couldn't go on it knowing that it was going to hurt my best friend. I feel absolutely terrible. I should've been upfront with everyone from the start. The guy I was gonna go out with tonight didnt even know my friend existed.

I need to learn how to be honest with people and accept things for what they are. I didn't want to tell my friend cause I thought he'd get mad, and I didn't want to tell new guy or cancel that date because I thought HE'D get mad. I'm scared to tell anyone anything in fear that they'll get mad at me. I'm really glad I'm going to see a counselor today. I think he couldn't have come at a better time.

Desiderata
09-20-2013, 11:26 AM
:hug: Based on your last post, I think you're creating problems for yourself in how you're handling this, but you are so stressed I imagine you felt like you "had" to tell them this morning - no judgment. But zoesmom had excellent advice for you.

It's not your heart that's tugging you, it's hormones. And I don't mean to be suggest it's just about sexytime. Hormones are powerful. The infatuation feeling is very, very powerful. And makes it hard to see what's really at hand. From what you're saying, it doesn't sound like an evenly reciprocated situation. It sounds like you're into him a lot more than he's into you. I have been on both sides of that. And I've really struggled with a big issue it seems like you're dealing with -- making choices solely to get approval (or at least, to avoid disapproval) from others. That is really tough. Hope the counselor clicks with you. If not, try another. Regardless of the reality with the one guy, you have to come first. That will be key to any solid relationship - with him or anyone else.

If you do keep going on dates from the site, why not just split the dinner bill? No guilt of using anyone.

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 12:21 PM
The new guy still wants to see me tonight. He won't take no for an answer. But I told my best friend I wouldn't go. And part of me wants to stand by that so I can show that I'm serious about the way I feel about him, cause he pretty much told me he needs to be apart from me until he feels like he can trust me again. I really don't blame him for being hurt. But I feel like going out with the new guy will say that I don't need my best friend but I do need him. I need him more than anything. If it wasn't for him I probably would've killed myself this week. He was there for me and he's always there for me and he cares about me and I just slapped him in the face. I don't know what to do.

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 12:22 PM
Best friend said I should go. "Why not? You planned it anyway."

mimsyborogoves
09-20-2013, 12:30 PM
Best friend said I should go. "Why not? You planned it anyway."

vabs
09-20-2013, 01:49 PM
You shouldn't feel guilty for dating these guys... they made a choice to spend time with you! Anyone guilt tripping you for that is honestly trying to manipulate your emotions.

I'm not trying to be callous, but it sounds like your bestfriend/friend with benefits has you wrapped around his little finger. He's set his boundaries (no formal commitment), but he's not respecting your boundaries (dating other people if you're not in an exclusive relationship).

I don't think he's going to change his boundary, and trying to make him change is going to wind up hurting you. You can only control YOUR boundaries, and ask him to respect that or face the real consequences (you leaving). :hug:

Song of Surly
09-20-2013, 03:49 PM
What Vabs said.

This guy friend sounds a little bit like a user to me. He keeps dragging you back to him emotionally, but then he won't commit. Then he feeds this whole "needing time" business, which I have always found to be a line of complete bull. Not to be harsh, but a lot of the time it is. He doesn't have much of an excuse to be hurt if HE'S the one not wanting to make a commitment. He's pouting, wanting a level of emotional commitment to him, but he's not giving it back to you.

In my opinion, run away from the commitment phobe. If you really can continue this whole friends with benefits deal without becoming emotionally wrapped up in this guy (which you obviously are), then I say go for it. But it sounds like, as Vab said, this guy has you wrapped around his finger. Whether he's purposely stringing you along or not, I can't say, but it doesn't sound like he's the kind of guy that's in a place for any kind of a relationship.

JuvenileNarcissist
09-20-2013, 09:49 PM
I had quite a bit of experience with people just like your friend. The best thing for you to do is to distance yourself from this guy. Don't go see him. Tell him if he wants to see you, he knows where you are. This way you can judge how high a priority you really are to him. If he isn't willing to put in the effort, it's time to move on. I know it's a scary prospect, but you owe it to yourself to find out how important you really are to him.

And I especially agree with Song of Surly that he has no right to be hurt by you dating anyone if he's unwilling to commit to you. That's a right reserved for people in committed relationships.

You can be strong. You can stand up and demand to be treated better. People treat us as badly as we let them. If he isn't willing to treat you better, then he isn't worth it.

I hope things will go well for you. And I hope you will find good advise from your counselor. Remember you deserve good things. And sometimes the people we think we love the most just aren't good enough for us.

mariposssa
09-20-2013, 10:32 PM
Yeah. I agree with the last poster. This guy sounds like a player, a loser or a poser. If he is into you; let him come to you. Be busy yourself with other dates, girlfriends, activities and family to find out how long it takes for him to come to you and visit you. If he never makes the time, the effort, gets the money, etc then I think it is a pretty good indicator that he's just not that into you. His loss.

dstalksalot
09-20-2013, 10:41 PM
Stop the benefits and stick with the friends part. See how long he sticks around for. This will allow you to distance yourself emotionally.

nelie
09-20-2013, 10:41 PM
I had an experience similar with a guy in college, he was totally my best friend but he also played me. Basically, it sounds like you are being played and once this guy finds someone he truly likes, he'll stop seeing you.

Elladorine
09-20-2013, 11:17 PM
I think both of you guys are confused about what a relationship is or supposedly should be. It's not about the amount of money you can spend or even the amount of time you can spend together, it's about making a commitment to each other. And it doesn't sound like either of you are really ready for that.

Wannabeskinny
09-21-2013, 08:32 AM
Oh gosh, I messed up.

Because I wasn't sure about the current date with the new guy to start with, I didn't tell bestie about it. Then I had my little depression spell, and I wanted to hang out with bestie after it all and he wanted to hang out with me. And I told him because I felt like he should know and I shouldn't hide it.No, he doesn't need to know about it. It's none of his business what you do with your time. He has no dibs on you. And he's pissed because he thinks i only told him cause I felt guilty and I had some f-ed up scheme planned or something. It sounds like both of you have a messed up scheme going on. He's telling you to go out with other people but then criticizing you for it. You go out with other people but only so that you can make him jealous. Neither of you is being honest with yourselves, each other or the other people you try to date. And no word yet about any girls your "bestie" is dating, how odd is that? I don't know but he's mad, and I cancelled my date tonight cause I couldn't go on it knowing that it was going to hurt my best friend. Why should he be hurt? You're doing what he told you to do, go out on date.I feel absolutely terrible. That's how he wants you to feel.I should've been upfront with everyone from the start. No you shouldn't. Do what's right for you and let everyone worry about themselves. You're not married or in a committed relationship, and the LAST THING that a guy wants to hear when he takes you out on a date is that you're in love iwht your best friend. The guy I was gonna go out with tonight didnt even know my friend existed. Do the guys you date always have to know who all your friends are before you go out with them? That's absurd.

I need to learn how to be honest with people and accept things for what they are. I didn't want to tell my friend cause I thought he'd get mad, and I didn't want to tell new guy or cancel that date because I thought HE'D get mad. I'm scared to tell anyone anything in fear that they'll get mad at me. I'm really glad I'm going to see a counselor today. I think he couldn't have come at a better time.

Your "bestie" is using you. He knows that you love him and would do anything for him. He knows this because you call him and tell him every time you go on another date. You want to make him jealous? Try being secretive. Try being UNAVAILABLE. Try not asking him permission to go out with someone else. He's got you wrapped around his finger my dear, he has you right where he wants you, you go to him all the time, he doesn't have to lift a finger or spend a dime. All his money goes to what's important to him (not you). AND he's rid himself of the burden of actually being committed to you with all his excuses. He has a girlfriend without having to be a boyfriend.

Sorry to be harsh but having a boyfriend should leave you feeling happy and not wanting to go out with other guys. And having a best friend means feeling secure, happy and excited to tell them about what's going on in your life without judgment. You have neither of these things with this guy. You're depressed, you're feeling guilty, and you're feeling scared of hurting him. How is any of this good?

MauiKai
09-21-2013, 09:55 AM
What Vabs said.

This guy friend sounds a little bit like a user to me. He keeps dragging you back to him emotionally, but then he won't commit. Then he feeds this whole "needing time" business, which I have always found to be a line of complete bull. Not to be harsh, but a lot of the time it is. He doesn't have much of an excuse to be hurt if HE'S the one not wanting to make a commitment. He's pouting, wanting a level of emotional commitment to him, but he's not giving it back to you.

In my opinion, run away from the commitment phobe. If you really can continue this whole friends with benefits deal without becoming emotionally wrapped up in this guy (which you obviously are), then I say go for it. But it sounds like, as Vab said, this guy has you wrapped around his finger. Whether he's purposely stringing you along or not, I can't say, but it doesn't sound like he's the kind of guy that's in a place for any kind of a relationship.

Totally. Your best friend is not doing right by you. He wants to have sex with you, and he wants you to entertain him but he won't squeeze out a penny to take you anywhere, ever. He wants you to not really date other people, but he refuses to date you. Hmm.

mimsyborogoves
09-21-2013, 10:08 AM
You guys are right, and from here on out, I'm not gonna make an effort anymore. I'll let him come to me if that's what he wants. I really think he just got pissed that I actually was doing what he told me to do in the first place and realized that by doing that he was letting me leave, and instead of doing something about it himself and being a man and stepping up, he made it sound like it was my fault. I was upset about it at first because I love him and he really has helped me in so many ways -- he's kept me from doing some really stupid things, like hurting myself when I'm depressed. But I can't take this crap anymore. If he really loved me he'd make an effort. And the thing is, any time I try to bring that up, he acts like I'm being ridiculous. He's the shithead, not me.

But I still love him so I'm gonna have to do a LOT of other things to keep me occupied. I wrote in my journal last night that I really hope my real friends come out of the woodwork and help me get through this, cause I really need social interaction outside of him. If me and him were meant to be, then we'll be, kinda like what Zoesmom said. But if we're not, I don't need to miss out on my life for something that's never going to happen.

The guy I went out with last night was lame and really wasn't someone I'd be interested in dating. Most guys I come across end up being duds, so maybe I'm just not meant to be with anybody. Maybe I'm supposed to be alone forever. And maybe I'm not, but that's what that seems like right now. Cause I read what y'all say, y'all have said it before,that I'm not ready to date. But I've never been in a serious relationship, so I don't know how to handle it. Maybe I'll never be ready to date because I'm just not cut out for it. I'm never satisfied with anyone and when I finally find someone I do actually love, I'm not meant to have them. So whatever, it's not meant for me. I'm meant for me, and I guess that's all I need anyway. Myself. I'm meant to be happy with myself and that's it.

Desiderata
09-21-2013, 10:27 AM
You are awfully young to write off several billion possibilities in the world! (Saying that makes me sound decades older than I am, haha - I'm not that much older than you.) It's an obnoxious cliche, but that doesn't make it less true -- love can often come when you're not looking for it, especially if you're in a good place by yourself. And that's annoying and frustrating to hear when you just wanna find someone :D, but really - the most important relationship you'll ever have is with yourself.

Sounds like positive developments, even if the date was a dud. It's a positive thing that you went. Hope the counselor appointment was helpful.

mimsyborogoves
09-21-2013, 11:01 AM
I have to give the counselor a couple more shots to feel him out.. he didn't really offer any kind of advice or support on the first go. He really just kinda let me talk and then summarized my "problems" back to me and that was it. It kind of made me feel like all I was to him was another patient. I dated a guy who was a psychology student in training to be a counselor and he was like that -- anytime we talked about something "deep", I felt like I was being treated like a patient instead of someone he actually cared about beyond the doctor's office. I need to feel like I'm important all around, not just in the hour or so that I speak with someone.

My last counselor really made me feel like I was important to her and I was more than just her patient. Even if that was all I was to her, it's important for me to know that the person I'm pouring my soul out to actually is concerned and cares and wants to help. She felt like my best friend and because of that I really did well from her sessions and that was actually the last time me and "best friend" had a long break, and I was fine...until whatever the counselor left me with wore off and I started feeling bad again. :/ I'm scared I won't ever be able to live my life without someone holding my hand through it.

AwShucks
09-21-2013, 11:20 AM
But ... I'm gonna have to do a LOT of other things to keep me occupied. ...I really hope my real friends ... help me get through this, cause ... If me and him were meant to be, then we'll be, ... But if we're not, I don't need to miss out on my life for something that's never going to happen.

Maybe... I'm not ready to date. But I've never been in a serious relationship, so I don't know how to handle it.... So whatever,... I'm meant for me, and I guess that's all I need anyway. Myself. I'm meant to be happy with myself ...

HI -- I picked these phrases out of what you wrote. You're very bright. You know what to do here. And, you're so lucky to be realizing the underlined concept so early in life. Read and REread that particular phrase.

You've accomplished so much in your short life. I read your goal post recently, so it's kind of fresh in my mind (very inspiring by the way!). You've given yourself such a gift of unlimited possibility by changing your life for the better and losing the weight. You have no idea! You're just getting started!

Keep YOURSELF in mind here. Demand the best treatment from him, because you're WORTH it. He has picked up on some little remnant of insecurity left over from the "olden days" and he ran with it. He knows how to push all of those old painful buttons and it's working for him.

But, it's NOT working for you. Don't play along. YOU deserve better! YOU ARE THE PRIZE. I can't stress that enough. I know it can be hard to think of yourself that way when for so much of our lives we don't feel like a prize. But, in dating, never forget - you are ALWAYS the prize. He should feel lucky to get to just spend time with you.

It's a big world out there -- so much more to experience than just those "boys" at hand at the moment. Keep your chin up and LOVE yourself. Some guy will come along and admire that very thing about you!

PS I second the recommendation of taking the "benefits" option off the table. It's yours to give, and you can be really choosy in giving it. Save that for someone really special -- someone who has NO DOUBT you are a PRIZE.

Wannabeskinny
09-21-2013, 11:41 AM
I think you're looking for the right answers in all the wrong places. You can't expect everyone to love you and save you. I think your new therapist is doing his job which is listening. He's not supposed to advise you without knowing the facts yet and that can take several sessions before he feels comfortable knowing who you are. He's not supposed to be your friend.

I'm just a stranger on the Internet but I get a sense that you are insecure and that you need validation. You need to be important to someone and you need someone to understand you and you need someone to care about you. None of those things are wrong to want. But not having them isn't indicative of not deserving them. People have a tendency to shy away from people who are needy and if that's happening to you then maybe you should spend some time learning how to be your own best friend for a while. If you're not being good to you why would anyone want to be good to you iykwim. I'm not saying be alone or don't hang out with people. I'm saying maybe take a break from having so many expectations if other people. Fulfill your own expectations. Be good to yourself, inner peace and all that. This world would be an easier place to live in of people spent more time developing inner peace.

alaskanlaughter
09-21-2013, 12:21 PM
when I was young(er) I went almost straight from living at home to dating a boy/living in his dorm room in college....I always had someone around....and then a few years later we got divorced and I CHOSE to spend an entire year living by myself with my young son and proving to myself that I could do it!!.....I made online friends, I journaled, I worked, I learned how to mow the lawn myself, I took 8-10-hour road trips with my son by myself, I flew alone to a journalism conference and stayed alone in a hotel, networked and socialized alone, and I had a blast...I did everything and learned how to be self-sufficient and come to terms with myself....and I LOVED IT!!!....

however while making friends online I did connect with a man long distance in the state and over the course of a year, chatted and then talked on the phone and eventually, at the end of "my year" he came up to my city and we became a couple

that was 11 years ago this month :)

vintagecat
09-21-2013, 01:51 PM
Mimsy,

I am happy that you realize that the BF was a dead end because he was. He very likely will drop from view or maybe phone/text randomly months apart for a booty call. He is a user as others so aptly pointed out.

My sister had a thing for "bad boys" and unavailable men. She had misery after misery with the most charming guys and it would be my fate to run into them with other girls in heir laps. Eventually she realized that the right guy might not be wrapped up in the immediate pheromone jolt of the bad boy. She had been turning down a med student at the hospital (where she worked) that had asked her out a couple of times (she thought he wasn't her type) and she said yes on the third invite and they have been married for almost 30 years.

Similarly though bad boys weren't my deal, I was drawn to sensitive artist types that needed a mommy and often enough, a job, another type of user. I eventually decided that I'd take a chance on a very "steady Eddie" that asked me out who's sole artistic endeavor was building an airplane. I didn't get the "click" that I was used to with those user/losers but I thought maybe he would be a good friend but as it turned out, after about three dates, I started to love him. I've been married to him for 21 years.

The moral of the story: Maybe that guy was lame but maybe not. Let your intellect and not your emotion choose the second and third date with any potential partner. If the guy could be good to and for you, go out with him again and really try to get to know him. If not, then move on.

I am concerned for you. Saying things like killing or hurting yourself is not a good sign. Honey you might not know it now in your emotional state but life is a beautiful gift, even in pain and sorrow, when living there is always a tomorrow. And despite the promises of faith none of us really know for certain that we get another shot at it and even though I had an out of body experience while drowning as a child, I am not 100% certain. Live like there is nothing else.

I'm glad that you are in counseling. You need to have a good fit with your therapist but you also need to know that to get the most out of the experience you will have to do a lot of the work yourself outside of your sessions. In neither of my very effective and brief counseling stints did my therapist tell me what to do, suggest courses of action or give advice but rather asked pertinent questions that led me to find the answers within myself which is much more effective than receiving advice. They did suggest homework with reading lists, journalling and meditation or quiet time. I did my homework.

It seems that with all the busy work that you do, though it seems important now, you are likely distracting yourself from the most important task at hand and that is healing yourself. It's not an easy task. It requires a high level of faith in yourself and emotional courage to face unpleasant truths and feelings, let them wash off and out of your life. The end result is joy. I promise.

Keep us posted. We are all concerned.

Cat

mimsyborogoves
09-21-2013, 02:22 PM
I've thought about the bad boy vs good guy thing. And the thing is good guys always bore me to death! They're not exciting, and they always want to take me on elaborate dates with elaborate dinners and I like that and it's nice... but most of the time I just want pizza and beer and a heavy metal concert. And most of the "good guys" I come in contact with are obviously not into that.

It's like good guys try too hard to impress me. And I don't need to be impressed, I just want them to be themselves and not give a crap. And that's kind of how I want to be; I want to be myself and not give a crap. If I get all dolled up to go on a date its for me, not them. I mean of course I want to look nice for them, but I look nice for me because that's who I am. And the thing is, "bad boys" usually tend to want those kinds of things that I want. They're soft when they need to be but their rough around the edges and they remind me how to be brave and be courageous and not give a crap. Good guys just make me feel like I'm dating someone I'm "supposed" to date, like I'm dating them to impress other people. I feel like I do everything to impress other people and I don't want to do that anymore. I like pizza and beer and I like fart jokes and heavy metal and I'm rough around the edges! I want someone like me!

vintagecat
09-21-2013, 02:41 PM
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with your likes. My sister thought that too though, nice equals boring, but not necessarily so. My husband likes a good fart joke as well as the next guy. We aren't into metal but he likes sailing, aerobatic and glider flying, not exactly sports of the weak. I'm pretty sure every first dater that you've had likes pizza and beer but has enough respect for you to roll out the red carpet to express that respect. I think you are confusing "not giving a crap" with spirit and depth and respect for weakness.

You are young. At some point you will want your life to be about more than metal and parties. If you want to swim in that ocean for a while, fine. Have fun but beware of the rip tides and don't get swept out to sea by falling in love with someone that doesn't and won't love or care for you. IMO you aren't ready for a relationship just yet anyway. You need to find yourself first. Best of luck to you.

theox
09-21-2013, 02:43 PM
I have to give the counselor a couple more shots to feel him out.. he didn't really offer any kind of advice or support on the first go. He really just kinda let me talk and then summarized my "problems" back to me and that was it. It kind of made me feel like all I was to him was another patient. I dated a guy who was a psychology student in training to be a counselor and he was like that -- anytime we talked about something "deep", I felt like I was being treated like a patient instead of someone he actually cared about beyond the doctor's office. I need to feel like I'm important all around, not just in the hour or so that I speak with someone.

My last counselor really made me feel like I was important to her and I was more than just her patient. Even if that was all I was to her, it's important for me to know that the person I'm pouring my soul out to actually is concerned and cares and wants to help. She felt like my best friend and because of that I really did well from her sessions and that was actually the last time me and "best friend" had a long break, and I was fine...until whatever the counselor left me with wore off and I started feeling bad again. :/ I'm scared I won't ever be able to live my life without someone holding my hand through it.

It's understandable to want to feel like "more than just a patient" to your counselor. However, feeling like you're friends with your counselor isn't the same thing as receiving good counseling. I'm not an expert on this stuff, but my understanding is that the counselor's job is usually to help his clients resolve specific problems and move forward in life. This doesn't require that he be every (or any) client's friend (which sounds like it would be exhausting, anyway), only that he be appropriately knowledgeable and use his knowledge to try to help them solve their problems.

The sentence I bolded in your quote is something that would probably be good to bring up with your counselor, if you haven't already. There are things you can do to become more emotionally self-sufficient and self-confident. Your counselor can probably help you with this. I don't know if I've ever recommended my favorite book to you. Sorry if I have. I think you might find some of the opinions and exercises in it helpful in working through some of the thoughts and beliefs that are causing you distress, so I'll recommend it again. Feeling Good by David D. Burns, M.D.

You'll get through this. Hang in there.

Wannabeskinny
09-21-2013, 05:31 PM
Vintagecat has incredible insight. It's not often you're going to hear such eloquently expressed wisdom and concern so try to really listen. "Life is a beautiful gift, even in pain in sorrow" bravo.

mimsyborogoves
09-21-2013, 10:58 PM
Today was better, great in fact. I went to a musical festival with one of my female best friends and had a blast and ate too much food and ...well that's another story and I ate way more than necessary. I'll be so glad when my period comes, lol.

But it's still hard and I still feel lost. My guy was gonna go to that festival with me before all this went down, and he even told me that he didn't really even want to go cause it wasn't his style of music, but he'd go for me. I told him that he didn't have to go if he didn't want to, which is why I went with my girlfriend instead. And while I was enjoying myself, it made me sad that he wasn't by my side. And that there was a possibility that he might never be by my side again.

Before things got tough with his money situation he was making an effort. We'd switch off, he'd come to my house one weekend and then I'd go to his. Sometimes we'd go out and sometimes we wouldn't, and on the nights he came to my house I'd cook for him and we'd watch movies and it was just nice for him to be around...and then **** got rough and I got bored and instead of just voicing to him that I was bored I decided to fix it on my own. He took time out of his life to make sure I was okay while I was depressed. He didn't have to respond to me or talk to me, but he did. He has his moments of selfishness a lot which irks the **** out of me and is why I don't want to go back to him if he does decide to come back... but he's not always like that, and I remember that and I remember the times he has gone out of his way for me and I wish I could just stop worrying about it.

Losing someone you care about is hard. It just is. He's such a big part of my heart. -sigh- I know I'll be okay and one day I'll get used to being alone but for right now it just sucks a big one.

Missy Krissy
09-22-2013, 01:48 PM
*Disclaimer I wrote this before reading everyone else’s responses*

Honestly, it sounds to me like you and best friend are using each other as back up, “pseudo-relationships”. That’s not fair to anyone. It sounds like you’re interested in being with him, but are making excuses for why you’re not (eg too busy, no money, distance). In my opinion, the whole “we’re-friends-with-benefits-but-I-want-something-more-but-he-doesn’t-have-time-for-me” sounds like a recipe for heartache.

If it were me, I’d cut out best friend entirely and see other people. Even if you aren’t seeking a serious relationship it doesn’t mean you’re using guys for dates/dinner. It means you want to meet people and have fun. It sounds to me like best friend wants to keep you on the sidelines for himself and is manipulating you by trying to make you feel guilty for going out.

If cutting best friend off prompts him to want to get serious with you, well then you can re-consider. But if I were a betting gal I’d say that he’d let you go without causing a fuss and find someone else to satisfy his needs – and that isn’t the type of man you want to be with in the first place.

That’s just my take as an outsider going off of what you wrote. There’s every chance I could be completely miss-reading this (and I kind of hope I am). Either way, good luck to you!

mimsyborogoves
09-22-2013, 06:33 PM
Part of me, a big part of me, wants everyone here to be wrong. But the other part knows y'all are probably right, and the thing is, me and him have never been "cut off" from one another long enough to see what would happen. We'll say "Oh we're not gonna see each other for a while" and then a week or two later we're right back to where we were. And sometimes it's him making the call back, sometimes it's me. We always go right back to each other. But I always wonder if there will be a next time and if the next time will be permanent. This is a "next time" so I'm wondering what the outcome will be. I guess I should just move on entirely... but I'm not ready for men. Not other men, anyway. I'm not comfortable enough with myself. Not that I can find men I actually like, anyway, like I said before.. I don't necessarily need the guy to be a complete dead-end, going nowhere, doesn't give a **** about ANYTHING bad-boy type. But I don't want a complete goody-two-shoes either, ya know? I find it hard to connect with these people. But then again, anymore I find it hard to connect with anyone.

I'd really like to get involved with more things on campus but if y'all go look at my other post entitled "I am so OVERWHELMED!"... I don't think I can. I'd love to join my university's choir or some other music group because I love music, or a poetry group or something... but my schedule can get so whack sometimes I can't really fully commit to anything that isn't flexible. Volunteering is something I can choose to do whenever I'm free. That makes it really hard to get out there and socialize and meet people. I feel like I really am doomed to be alone as long as I keep my retail job. I wish I could just quit the damn thing, but then I couldn't pay my bills, even if I just got a part time job somewhere. It's like I've had to sacrifice myself entirely so I can afford to do it later. =/

Wannabeskinny
09-22-2013, 10:34 PM
You're going around in circles. I dot really understand anymore what the issue is, there are too many at this point. You're busy, you're overwhelmed, you're not ready for men, you don't want to be alone, I've honestly lost the whole point of this discussion. All I know is there is some kick *** advice being given but you don't seem to notice any of it. Good luck.

mimsyborogoves
09-23-2013, 12:25 PM
I've been an emotional wreck for the past week and I do have too many issues. I do appreciate the advice here and I've listened and now I'm just trying to figure out how to apply it. As far as the guy's concerned, I talked to him and told him how I felt and he told me as long as we were always honest with each other, then we could carry on like normal except the difference this time is we can't see other people, and that goes for both of us. And he even said he'd try to go out with me at least once a week. He made his comitment! but as far as finding myself is concerned... That's a whole other ball game. I'm a very very broken person, I've lost a lot of weight, I don't know how to handle that, I've been ignored and forgotten about and told I wasn't good enough by someone my whole life and I'm just now realizing that I am good enough and I can accomplish anything, I just have to get over my own humps. I want to do things in life that I can't do without it affecting me somewhere else (like getting tattoos and piercings in the professional world is gonna happen). I want to travel and sing and write and be me and I really feel like my job is holding me back from being myself but I can't quit my job so I don't know how to fix that. A lot of these things are things y'all simply can't fix and I have to figure it out on my own. A lot of times I come here to get my thoughts out.. I journal too and maybe that's better but sometimes it's more comforting to feel like I'm actually talking to someone instead of just a piece of paper and a notebook.

But that just annoys people when I do that apparently so I guess ill just keep it to my notebook.

mimsyborogoves
09-23-2013, 12:55 PM
Y'all might could help me here though: I'm up for a promotion at the store that's a full time position with benefits, the catch is I have to have open availability, which is why I feel like I can't do anything outside of work and school cause i don't know if my job will actually allow me to. If I stay part time, I know I'll have more flexibility with my schedule, but no benefits and no guaranteed hours. That's what I'm weighing out here. I mean how do people have full time jobs and go to school and still find time to do things they actually enjoy without falling behind somewhere??

mimsyborogoves
09-23-2013, 01:01 PM
Like I don't know about a writing group or anything but I want to join our university's choir SO BAD but it meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5. I know it's too late to do it this semester, but I want to join next semester and I feel like if they offer me this job and I accept it, they won't let me do it cause that's not open availability. that was my favorite thing to do ever when I was in undergrad and I feel lost being at college and not doing that. It gives me friends, it gives me confidence, it gives me something to accomplish! It's my hobby. And I want to do it at school because I KNOW I'll be around people my age. Seems like everything I do outside of school I get surrounded by people much older than me and I can't find a group of people my own age to get involved with.

alaskanlaughter
09-23-2013, 06:10 PM
Y'all might could help me here though: I'm up for a promotion at the store that's a full time position with benefits, the catch is I have to have open availability, which is why I feel like I can't do anything outside of work and school cause i don't know if my job will actually allow me to. If I stay part time, I know I'll have more flexibility with my schedule, but no benefits and no guaranteed hours. That's what I'm weighing out here. I mean how do people have full time jobs and go to school and still find time to do things they actually enjoy without falling behind somewhere??

looking back on my college experience, if i was offered a full time job with benefits i would absolutely go for it...do you NEED benefits? like, are you still covered under your parents' health insurance? will this give you more money?

college is temporary though, while you will always have to be employed....farther down the road, will it look good on your resume that you were promoted to this position? will it make you look bad to your employer if you turn it down?

for me, i worked several part time jobs and went to college full time....i was extremely busy and rarely had time for anything else...BUT college will end and when college ended for me, I was then able to get more into the things i wanted to do - i sang in my church choir, i tutored elementary students in reading, i helped judge a statewide high school academic competition, i took road trips, i let my little sister live with me (twice), i attended work conferences that i enjoyed, i remodeled my living room....I HAD TIME for those things

i think i'm just rambling now....hope some of that made sense

vintagecat
09-23-2013, 07:31 PM
As far as school goes with your job offer, do they offer some online classes and then weekend or other optional lectures/testing? That might help a bit.

I don't think anyone minds that you have issues. God know most of us do. I understand more than you know about being told and more often treated like I wasn't good enough from early childhood onward by my mother. I eventually realized that this was her problem, not my inadequacies, driving her unkindness. It wasn't a sudden realization however, it took work on my part to get there.

An old Indian proverb: An elephant is eaten one bite at a time. Pick the biggest, most debilitating issue and deal with it first. Same for your activities. Pick the most rewarding ones and focus on those. Start dumping the lesser so until you have breathing room.

I think others are confused about why you are still talking about user guy over and over but I understand that you have to process it. Might I suggest writing letters to him that you will never send. Express yourself without reservation and you will get clarity by doing so.

I wish you the best. I get being lost but you are the only one that can find you.

Missy Krissy
09-23-2013, 07:36 PM
I'm not annoyed! When I read your posts I get the impression that you're trying to sort your life out but don't really know how, or don't have very much guidance IRL. And yes, as humans sometimes we have conflicting emotions, and that's ok too!

As for the love situation, I'd recommend proceeding with caution.

As for the job deal, well, do you think that the company sees you as valuable or expendable? If they see you as valuable then they might be able to work with you a little bit. If I were you I'd take the promotion. Once you show them how well you preform in that new capacity then I'd see about getting those hours off on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bloopers
09-23-2013, 08:54 PM
Honestly, it seems like you should sort out your other issues first before thinking about relationships. You mentioned that you would've killed yourself this week if it wasn't for him, and being suicidal is a much bigger issue that you should be focusing on fixing instead of worrying about this guy. I am in college as well and hold a job, so I know how hard things can get as far as social life goes. I've accepted that I won't be able to hang out with my friends every week or meet new people every week, I've accepted that I will probably have to study over the weekends if I want to get into a good grad program, and I think it's a lot easier when you set your priorities and do what you think is most important.

As far as your job, if you are not happy, then start looking for another job that WILL make you happy. I'm not saying quit, I'm saying find something better suited for you but don't resign till you are able to get another job.

I really truly do wish you well! :hug:

Wannabeskinny
09-23-2013, 09:51 PM
I never said I was annoyed, i said i was confused. For every question you have people give several great answers. But every question brings forth 4 more questions. I'm overwhelmed just reading about it, it must very difficult to deal with however I think you're going about it all wrong. You're focusing on too much at one time. Speaking to the counselor might help you sort out your priorities. Losing weight comes with its own set of difficulties to deal with and you don't want to derail yourself by putting all your energy into the wrong things.

mimsyborogoves
09-24-2013, 12:14 AM
I probably go to too many people for advice. I go to freakin' everybody, not just y'all, lol. I go to 5000 different people and get told 5000 different things (or 5000 different variations of the same thing) and it ends up overwhelming me. I guess I get so bent on doing everything "right" because I feel like if I do something wrong people will look down on me and I don't want that, so I feel liek I need all the help I can get to do something "right".

It's kinda like dieting: people tell you not to eat junk food because it's bad for you, but then when you're faced with junk food, you really really want it but because someone told you it was bad, you feel like you can't have it. And then you feel deprived, so you have it anyway because you don't think it's so wrong and then you don't feel deprived, but then afterward you feel guilty because of the fear that something bad's gonna happen to you for having the cookie, even though you know there's nothing really wrong with eating junk food in the first place, as long as you don't let it become a problem.

^^ that right there is how every thought gets processed in my mind. Every one, for every situation. Everything is made complicated and it's like my brain won't allow me to just do things and not worry about them.

Desiderata
09-24-2013, 09:48 AM
Even if it's numerous and conflicting, are you genuinely listening to the advice you get? I don't get the sense that you are, but maybe so. It seems like you're spinning your wheels. You're looking at every facet of your life as a problem that is victimizing you and looking outward for someone to fix it (at least, to tell you what to do to fix it). And it seems like you're spinning from one issue to the next, thinking that if just somehow all these things would be solved, you'd be "OK."

It's that very mindset - of seeing everything in life as a problem, of seeing yourself as the victim things keep happening to - that is the actual obstacle, not the reality of things. Which is why it's great that you're exploring a new counseling relationship. But even there, as other people have pointed out, that counselor is not going to fix anything for you or provide close emotional support -- you think those two things are what you need to be OK, but they aren't. You do need someone objective to listen and gently point things out to you, if you're willing to listen to them and do the heavy lifting of adjusting your outlook. It sounds like you have a bit of a perfectionism / fear of failing thing going on, too - I relate :) - and a counselor can help with that, too.

But what does asking 5,000 people accomplish? If you spend all your time asking and not enough time reflecting and working on yourself, are you making things better for yourself? What do you get out of running around and repeatedly telling different groups about your problems? What purpose is it really serving? (Please don't think I'm implying it's pointless -- it definitely has a point, and is serving some function for you right now. You need to reflect on what that is, though.)

I really do wish you well, and I'm sure everyone else that's responded does, too. It is sometimes hard to tell if you are genuinely asking for perspective or just looking for an audience to wallow for, though.

Wannabeskinny
09-24-2013, 09:53 AM
I see, I've been there. You don't trust the voice inside yourself one bit. That's why you go to everyone for advice. But then you don't actually listen to them either. You keep yourself in a state of panic so that you don't have to really move forward. It also doesn't do much to cement to your friendships. If you value someone's friendship you won't overindulge yourself in asking for their help. I'm just putting myself in someone's shoes that you go to. If I had a friend who was asking me for advice, then not taking it and running around in circles about it, or coming up with several reasons why they can't take my advice I would probably distance myself a bit. Not because I don't care but because the distance is already there. If you build a wall of "I can't!" then you're really isolating yourself.

Giving credit to someone else for saving you from suicide is really dangerous.

Wannabeskinny
09-24-2013, 09:55 AM
Even if it's numerous and conflicting, are you genuinely listening to the advice you get? I don't get the sense that you are, but maybe so. It seems like you're spinning your wheels. You're looking at every facet of your life as a problem that is victimizing you and looking outward for someone to fix it (at least, to tell you what to do to fix it). And it seems like you're spinning from one issue to the next, thinking that if just somehow all these things would be solved, you'd be "OK."

It's that very mindset - of seeing everything in life as a problem, of seeing yourself as the victim things keep happening to - that is the actual obstacle, not the reality of things. Which is why it's great that you're exploring a new counseling relationship. But even there, as other people have pointed out, that counselor is not going to fix anything for you or provide close emotional support -- you think those two things are what you need to be OK, but they aren't. You do need someone objective to listen and gently point things out to you, if you're willing to listen to them and do the heavy lifting of adjusting your outlook. It sounds like you have a bit of a perfectionism / fear of failing thing going on, too - I relate :) - and a counselor can help with that, too.

But what does asking 5,000 people accomplish? If you spend all your time asking and not enough time reflecting and working on yourself, are you making things better for yourself? What do you get out of running around and repeatedly telling different groups about your problems? What purpose is it really serving? (Please don't think I'm implying it's pointless -- it definitely has a point, and is serving some function for you right now. You need to reflect on what that is, though.)

I really do wish you well, and I'm sure everyone else that's responded does, too. It is sometimes hard to tell if you are genuinely asking for perspective or just looking for an audience to wallow for, though.

Yes!!

mimsyborogoves
09-24-2013, 02:30 PM
I'm putting this in all caps so its a loud declaration, no harm meant here:

I AM GOING TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING. TAKE THINGS ONE STEP AT A TIME. I MAKE LIFE HARD. NO ONE ELSE DOES. WHO CARES IF PEOPLE DON'T APPROVE OF THE THINGS I DO, IF THEY REALLY CARED IT WOULDN'T MATTER TO THEM ANYWAY. I AM SPECIAL, I CAN FLY, I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT AND IT'S OKAY AS LONG AS I'M HAPPY. I AM HAPPY. MY FAMILY LOVES ME. MY MAN LOVES ME. I HAVE FRENDS AND THEY LOVE ME, AND THESE PEOPLE CAN CARE ABOUT ME BUT I CAN'T EXPECT THEM TO TAKE CARE OF ME. I HAVE TO DO THAT.

And I'm going to. Right now. because all I'm doing is letting my brain conquer me and I can conquer my brain. I don't think I'm gonna take that job because I have enough money right now to carry me through until my lease is up. And I need to work on myself and my happiness because I can't be successful if I'm miserable. I think I'm gonna start putting up money for a trip to NYC. And I'm not gonna let anyone tell me I can't do it. I can go to NYC with or without people and its something I've always wanted to do as damnit I will because it'll prove to me and everyone else that I'm not a you-know-what. The end.

Lecomtes
09-26-2013, 10:10 PM
Kudos Lauren, great proclamation! Keep at it, and as my fiance sometimes gently reminds me, "Stop thinking so much.". Haha! Don't take it the wrong way, I just totally resonate with the over-thinking things piece! lol. Shalom!

Mazzy
09-27-2013, 11:27 PM
Hey Lauren -

Do you know how to conquer your brain?

It seems like you're experiencing what is often called "monkey mind."

Let me tell you something that I've learned that I find very valuable...

Most of our parents were raised without any inkling of self-compassion. I am not talking about selfishness/self-centeredness/self-esteem. I'm talking about forgiving one's self wholly. We (and your parents) were all taught we must be selfless and giving and have compassion for others, and often it's impossible to measure up, so all sorts of outlets are used instead. But when does anyone ever suggest having compassion for yourself? Let's say you misplaced your car keys - imagine the litany of degrading remarks you apply to yourself that you would never use on anyone else.

This lack of self-applied compassion is a black hole. This lack of wholeness unconsciously gets passed down from generation to generation in the form of disconnectedness, punishment, and reward. I don't even think most of us are fully aware of this lack because it's so common and automatic. However, without self-compassion, our parents easily lost their patience with us, resorted to the tools they were given and punished us if we didn't do precisely as we were told. Obey, and we would be rewarded. It's the system we have and we all live it, no one is to blame, and it probably won't change anytime soon (I still resort to this with my own son. It's simply force of habit).

Also, it's a system that is commended by society at large. Everyone seems to think it works because there's the illusory motivation it produces, but the motivation is external (ever hear of external locus of control?) and doesn't last. Get a sticker if you clean your room does not mean you have any desire to clean your room now or in the future - your desire is for the sticker. As an adult, who needs a sticker? And who is giving it?

The true motivation is internal. We all need an internal locus of control to guide us. You do not need external motivators (e.g. if I lose weight, I'm going to buy myself a new outfit...or...I shouldn't have eaten that pie, I better starve myself all day tomorrow so the scale goes down). They don't work. Every one of us has a drive inside to be happy/content and well. It's natural. No need to bury it with misinformation. Just be quiet and let it do its thing. It will lead you...

Being punished and being rewarded for something someone else wanted us to do taught us how to look outside ourselves for validation. You're doing that now, and in most of the things you do. You have a case of hot potato - the second you feel something, you jump outside of yourself and look for the next available release, whether it be your compulsive relationship with your best friend or this urge you have to be social and/or date guys, or travel, sing, etc.

It's what you've been trained to do. And every day, you're being trained to do it simply by living in this culture. And while it may not be your fault that you do this due to common programming, it is your responsibility. Your life is yours alone.

What's the solution? Self-compassion.

It seems like the second you start to have an emotion, the channel switches. Can you imagine self-compassion? Do you know what it is? I think most of us can imagine it, even if we've never really tried it on for size. If not, Google it. Get a book on it. Learn what you can. In any case, I guarantee you that you are hurting terribly inside and not acknowledging that pain. Because, pain hurts. It hurts so bad we want to escape, to jump out of our skin. It's because our parents couldn't face their own pain, so it taught us that pain is the worst thing in the world and has to be denied till it disappears from every conscious level of our being.

But, denied pain is a Medusa. It is only an illusion when it disappears because before you know it, your life is messed up, you're fat, you're driven to all kinds of bad situations, and you hate yourself, and feel empty inside and have no clue why. After all, you're in denial of your pain. It's so denied you probably don't even realize the extent of it. You may be completely numb to it. This is when it's nearly insurmountable.

The moment you have self-compassion, you recognize just how tired and sad you really are. This awareness is the key to your life.

So the question is, do you really want to conquer your brain?

You can conquer your brain by tuning into your emotions. Start by being quiet and alone, feeling your body and sensing any resistance. Whatever resistance you have acknowledge it and stop resisting. Be like an open current. Be the watcher and let your feelings and thoughts gently flow through you and around you like tiny shooting stars until they disappear. You will realize they don't define you. Stay tuned within yourself. Learn to meditate or pray. Get a book on it if you have to. Be focused on the inside. The more you do this, the less you are focused outside yourself. Change your inner world so that whatever is going on with the outer world doesn't matter so much.

At the end of the day, pain is not a big deal. It's just pain. Don't let it scare you like it does everyone else. Face it down, have your way with it, and let it go. You will be at peace inside and will have much less need for external gratification, knowing that you can confidently count on yourself for the answers to your own life.

Wannabeskinny
09-28-2013, 09:55 AM
Mazzy,
Your post made me cry. Thank you so much for reminding me of this important lesson. I'm not the OP but I've gotten so much out of this thread and your post hit home.

I've actually been giving this so much thought, about how our parents were and about how our families handled pain. I've always thought my parents and grandparents were strong and now I understand that they weren't strong at all, they were just making do, sweeping the pain under the rug and denying themselves the help they needed. I have inherited all their turmoil and I don't deny myself help, but I also don't know how to alleviate it for good.

I've thought about taking on a spiritual journey, I'm not religious in the traditional western sense but I am drawn to eastern philosophies. It's in my mind to isolate myself and take yoga retreats and practice meditation but it's hard with every day life (job, kids, house, realities). I have to make a bigger effort.

vintagecat
09-28-2013, 02:06 PM
It's because our parents couldn't face their own pain, so it taught us that pain is the worst thing in the world and has to be denied till it disappears from every conscious level of our being.....

The moment you have self-compassion, you recognize just how tired and empty and sad you really are. This awareness is the key to your life....

At the end of the day, pain is not a big deal. It's just pain. Don't let it scare you like it does everyone else. Face it down, have your way with it, and let it go. You will be at peace inside and will have much less need for external gratification, knowing that you can confidently count on yourself for the answers to your own life.

Condensed, bolded part mine.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

So true and the journey of liberation from dynastic pain is one that many people (if not most) never take. They go to their grave with their self hatred and fears binding them.

I know my mother will. She treated me in particular cruelly much of the time butI now understand that it has much more to do with her own self hatred than me. (I looked just like her but was her opposite temperamentally. I carried her pain, partially understanding it like the biblical scapegoat for years.)

She's 75 years old, quite spry, and until a few years ago didn't have to take a pill for anything and yet she hates her body with a terrible intensity. I'd say objectively that she got a pretty good one. She always compares herself to others, thinking that other handsome women are more beautiful but in fact she was most of the time the better looking of her comparisons. She will never be wholly satisfied with herself, her life, her family which is beyond sad. We used to joke that Mom would have us move the barn 6 inches to the left and next year 5 inches to the right. But it's no joke, really. It was a symptom of her deeper dissatisfaction with herself and by extension all that is around her.

I have great compassion for mom because she lacks insight into things that have made her and by extension many other lives around her unhappy and no doubt the source of her pain is generational. There are many family secrets on her side and they are detestable in how they've shattered lives, shuttered insight and stolen happiness years past their expiration dates, initiated by people long dead.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.... Those fairy tales are in fact ancient wisdom and I have insight into what makes an "evil" stepmother and compassion for the what makes her life so empty that her beauty is all that she possesses. Her actions are inexcusable but understandable in the context of passing down the pain to the next generation.

You have to be ready to commit to dealing with the pain. It may take some time. I know I had so many defenses and intermeshing around my mother's issues that I had to approach it slowly, identify the layers and unweave the pain that bound me.

Now that I have, it's like the sun has come up in my life. Like night and day. I also see the waste of such inter-generational pain. The talent and potential to soar shunted into dealing with unproductive emotions that in fact belong elsewhere foisted onto innocent generations by denial.

Deep down I understood this even when wrapped with my mother's pain and I chose not to have children at a very early age to avoid passing down the bitterest part of the vine on to another generation.

My sister who is getting there sees the end point but still is working through her pain issues. She said had she known, she would have raised her boys with a lot more forgiveness and affection.

This is a subject I can warm to being on the backside of it and understanding the freedom to live my life without denial, fear or pain that isn't mine.

Well done Mazzy. Said more succinctly than I could have done.

Mazzy
09-28-2013, 02:09 PM
wannabeskinny, that means a lot coming from you! I've read a lot of your posts and found you to be quite enlightening as well. Usually when I read something you wrote, I'm over here doing an imaginary high five. :cp:

I think you can take up meditation and study yourself without being traditionally religious and also without compromising traditional religious beliefs. Honestly, you don't need more time - you need the moment you have now just to be. I used to think if only I had more time in the day, I'd be able to get everything done - but what I really wanted was more space. I'm taking that space now and things seem to be going a bit smoother.

Good luck on your journey!

cat - I hear you! well said... I really like this, "The talent and potential to soar shunted into dealing with unproductive emotions that in fact belong elsewhere foisted onto innocent generations by denial." God, how much more we could live if not so weighted down!

My mother is still very difficult to break through sometimes. She suffered from major depressive disorder most of her life, a legacy that thrives in my family and got passed onto me. It's strange - but I never find her to be very introspective of her problems - it's always someone else's fault. I went to lunch with her yesterday, and I fully expected the usual weight that comes with her presence, the downcast eyes, the slow speech - just being in her presence can feel suffocating. No wonder I would eat! And yet, she was even worse than I had imagined. But, I swore to myself that I wouldn't let her black hole suck me in. I vowed before I went there that I was bigger than her black hole. I stayed present. Staying present allowed me to overcome it. Not much later, she snapped out of it. We went shopping. She was a delight. So, being larger than the pain really made a difference not just for me, but for her, even without me intending to change her one bit.

So, Lauren, if you're still around, there is a solution and it does work if you take the space you need.

vintagecat
09-28-2013, 02:52 PM
So, being larger than the pain really made a difference not just for me, but for her...

Mazzy,

Absolutely. Mom invents reasons for us to come now when she never did before. If I hadn't had the detachment and breakthrough that I had prior to her knee replacement surgery a few years ago (we stayed four months with her) it would have been a disaster for all of us.

I couldn't have coped well with her depression and dependencies. Definitely staying in the present, speaking rationally to the "pain" that is like a separate entity rather than reacting to it and spreading my joy and freedom around breaks the spell at least temporarily and her atmosphere doesn't threaten to swallow me up like it did in the past. I'm sure I am an enigma to my mother.

How it all relates to weight loss (bringing it around) has to do with my niece's wedding this spring. I decided that I would do my best to look nice even at 250 something. I found a very flattering dress, bought some make-up (the first in years) and proper accessories. I told my mother that I was wearing a vintage dress (which it was) and I'm sure she was thinking Oh.My.God Cathy's wearing some hideous thing...again, to the wedding.

Knowing this I went to the thrifts to find some God awful 80's construct that would do as a good joke. I found a lime green straight dress (which I look terrible in, both color and cut) with a big white collar and shoulders that would make a linebacker proud. I bought some ugly white shoes (March wedding, a no no) and proceeded at the appointed time to dress for the wedding.

I came out in that hideous ensemble and no one raised an eyebrow. I got a few tepid, "You look nice." and I realized then and there that I had set the bar for myself artificially low over the years in reaction to the demands that I be something other than I am. The fact that no one got the joke until I changed into the real wedding clothes meant that the joke was on me. So I decided to try a bit more starting with my weight which was impinging on my health. The last bit of rope that bound me was released. That is why I'm not struggling with my eating like I did in the past.

Again I warm to this subject because if people that need to can get here, they will understand the difference that it makes in every aspect of living. Thanks to mimsy for bringing this topic to the forefront though it was probably not intentional.

theox
09-28-2013, 03:32 PM
Excellent post, Mazzy.

alaskanlaughter
09-28-2013, 04:30 PM
I see a lot of inter-generational pain and its consequences from growing up and continuing to live around Native Alaskan peoples

I also attended a conference about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder a few weeks ago and one speaker was very interesting....he spoke about how your actions and experiences can change the expression of your actual genes and can then be passed down to your children...for example if you have the genetic tendency towards diabetes, you can choose or not choose to actually get diabetes based on your eating habits and exercise etc....there was a lot more than that but it was about how your life experiences and actions affect what genes are turned "on" and what remain turned "off" and how that gets passed down in generations

he spoke about how generations past have fought in horrific wars (and continue to) and about how Native Alaskans have experienced a total cultural takeover of their lands within generations here and as little as 2 generations ago, were shipped off to boarding schools, forbidden to speak their language or eat their Native foods there....this was in relation to how trauma affects genes and how those off/on genes are then passed down

the speaker talked about how there are theories in the scientific community about how PTSD in past generations could still be being passed down in a muted form as the now-common ADHD disorders

I thought this whole topic was just so interesting in terms of how our parents' experiences, trauma and choices could really be affecting us in unknown ways and through genetic expression

Wannabeskinny
09-29-2013, 08:10 AM
Thanks Mazzy for the encouraging words. You're right about needing space rather than time, the difference is a state of mind. I have never meditated and I imagine it to be difficult. The thought of sitting alone for even 5min sounds simple enough but I just know that my mind would be all over the place. I think I need some sort of direction, like a guided meditation. I've been taking some tai chi lessons which is considered "meditation in motion" and I really enjoy it and wish I had more time for it. I need to look for some resources on how to meditate.

Mazzy
09-29-2013, 12:25 PM
Cat, I'll bet your mother thinks you are an enigma, but secretly she might also be envious. You can put yourself out there so boldly when she probably never could. I think your vintage dress idea is pretty funny. It's too bad no one knew you well enough to get the joke! But, boy, what a visual of how these things can backfire. That inner rebel attached to the outcome, still owned by these people in a weird way. It works both ways, doesn't it? You can succumb to the pressure and be codependent, or you can rebel and be counter-dependent, neither of which really represent You... It's a lesson I'm still learning as well. Now that I'm starting to get it, I hope I can start living the rest of my life in peace rather than some kind of twisted rebellion. They really should teach these things to kids, shouldn't they? It's such a waste to be so blind.

alaskanlaughter (nice name by the way), this is interesting: "The speaker talked about how there are theories in the scientific community about how PTSD in past generations could still be being passed down in a muted form as the now-common ADHD disorders."

I've always wondered if my depression is a form of PTSD. My brother had ADD when he was young. I believe stress can suppress growth, so it wouldn't surprise me if it did some form of damage on a cellular level, particularly in the womb during the most major growth period of a person's life. Or it could just be the suppression of pain and the resulting behaviors/nuances that impact the formation of ADHD after a child is born and while still developing. As a mother myself, I know that's an overwhelming weight to carry and it's much easier not to think about it. Really, all you can do anyway is focus on one's self and be present in order to heal both. But, anyway, I digress....

vintagecat
09-29-2013, 01:25 PM
Yes an enigma at that...sometimes to myself.

Yeah, the joke fell flat. I have to say there was great relief all around when I took the terrible outfit off and showed up in the "real" dress and shoes. I realized then and there that some (not all) of my funkiness was despite my better judgement in order to separate myself from my overly conservative and always externally proper family.

I'm still funky and artsy in attire and attitude but in a way that is less extreme I think and more reflective of who I really am. I "got it" after the joke that no one got. The punchline was for me.

And, lest anyone think that I don't love my mother and am disloyal by talking about family business online, I do love her, second I suppose to my chosen pack of husband and an old and very special dog. I have lived my life trying to be an open book after watching secrets destroy my family.

My mother is estranged from her siblings, her brother estranged from a couple of his children, everyone angry at everyone else. It's only in the past few years that I have a real relationship with my siblings. It's no way to live. If even one person recognizes something and gets free of their past to any degree by my sharing what went wrong, I'll have done some good.

I also liked AKlaughter's post. I have read a lot of what she posted here and there and having witnessed the generational issues of the AK native, it's clear that something is very wrong. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a terrible tragedy and many natives have problems with alcohol and/or sugar. I am positive that genes play an important role in this, as does generational legacy.

On my father's side we have something like a 16th Canadian native American ancestry and those genes have come out in my grandfather (diabetic), father (diabetic with alcohol issues) and me (diabetic). We all had/have the high cheekbones and broad open planes across our faces, both men got the coloring and prominent noses. I got my coloring and nose from my blond Austrian mother. I find this conversation particularly interesting and an important part of my life for the past few years.