Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Am I taking this the wrong way?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Am I taking this the wrong way?
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm still with the same guy, we've been together about 14 months, long distance, and to me it's weird, but you know that "honeymoon phase" that relationships tend to have and then you settle in and get comfortable and it all is nice and normal? That hasn't happened for us. I can't settle down and relax! Do you think it's because we ARE long distance and it won't happen until we're face to face and can love one another that way?

The real problem is, I have this... inferiority complex, I guess you'd say. I've been very bad this past year and I know it, had lots of bad things happen due to the economy, been backstabbed by family, got all in a tizzy about it myself and ended up getting myself sick not once, but twice! Even had very serious thoughts of suicide and instead of just hauling off and doing it, I talked to my boyfriend about how I was feeling and why I was feeling that way, I wanted him to understand and not feel any sort of guilt, and as my mom has made it very clear that she doesn't like him, I knew she'd place the blame solely on him. Well needless to say, I was very wrong in my "logic" and I caused everyone a lot of pain for it.

But you see? I don't think I'm a good person. I have bad thoughts and I've done bad things, and I don't think HE should feel the weight of anything I've internalized. He says he forgives me for everything I've put us through but I can't forgive myself. I feel like I've successfully pushed and pushed and pushed him away and now even the slightest bump and he'll be gone. We talked about this last night and he assured me that if he were going to leave, he'd be long gone by now. I just feel so damn GUILTY and I don't know how to forgive myself or make it stop. It's not that I don't believe him, there's no doubt in my mind that he loves me and wants to be with me, I'm doing this to myself. *I* don't feel that I'm worthy of him. *I* don't forgive myself for all I've done to him. How in the world can I change feeling this way?

Another thing, and the reason I titled this post what I did, is lately he's been acting as a sort of... well, I guess you'd say counselor. If anything is wrong, he wants me to tell him, and the scary thing is that he can TELL when something's eating me even when I don't want to say. Sometimes I think it's too small or just don't want to bug him with it, but he insists. Sometimes even gets a little snippy with me if I don't. He wants me to rely on him, he wants to be everything to me and honestly? I'm afraid of giving him that kind of power. I already tell him things I've never told anyone else, and he does the same so it isn't totally unbalanced, it just makes me feel so vulnerable sometimes, you know? My worry is, do you think he's trying to make me dependent on him? Or is he simply being a good boyfriend and doing all he can to take what's wrong and give me the solutions to make it better?

Thank y'all for taking the time to read over this. I'm sorry they're such little worries and things, I'd just really like to feel better about all this.

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Let me just make sure I know what's what: have you yet MET this person face-to-face?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, we've talked in text, webcam, and on the phone.
Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay.

Here's the thing: until you actually meet a person, I feel like you should only invest so much, and that you can't really weight a relationship as a whole relationship yet. For all you two know -- and I don't say this to make you feel scared or insecure or to be a buzzkill -- when you meet in person, you may have no chemistry at all and find you want a totally different kind of relationship.

So, until you meet, I feel a bit odd even talking about "honeymoon phases," because you kind of are not yet at step one in a really basic way. Do you know what I mean? And since you have been treating this like a serious relationship for so long, but haven't yet even met, I'm not surprised you can't relax or feel like you can settle into it yet: in some ways, you haven't started the relationship.

In that same sense, I also have a tough time imagining what on earth you could have done to this person that is so terrible when you haven't even met him.

I also think that when none of this is in-person, you're pretty much bound to do a lot of disclosures, and have a lot of the kinds of things involved friendships do, like counseling each other. The kind of relationship you have, when it's mostly online, is going to have a lot of limitations, and so I can see how a dynamic could get created where one or both partners feels very dependent on the other for how you CAN interact within those limitations.

At the same time, pushing for someone to have no privacy or no boundaries isn't healthy.

Can I ask, again, especially given how long-term this has been and how serious it clearly is to you, if you have plans in the very-recent future TO meet and have a relationship in-person?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer. =]

I'll be more detailed for you. He's my first long distance relationship, period, I've never been one to meet people online and then go meet them in person. If I had, I certainly wouldn't have picked someone so far away! He lives practically across the country from me. He doesn't have much money right now and neither do I, and neither of us are in a financial position yet to be together. We were both single for a long time before meeting one another, his ex girlfriend had led him on and lied to him about who she really was, and my ex boyfriend had done basically the same, and what it left was two people with some bad trust issues. Not exactly the perfect recipe for a long distance relationship, but we've worked through that.

I understand what you mean about the "honeymoon phase" and thank you, you answered my question.

As for what I did, I know now how horrible it was when I told him I was feeling suicidal, but I didn't want him to SUFFER or feel guilty because of it, you know? And he later described it to me as emotional torture because he is so far away and he is completely powerless to stop me. And I completely understood and it hurts me so badly to know that I hurt him in that way. [Frown] And I thought I was only doing the best thing by telling him! See, I was making perfect sense to myself but when he drove truth home into my head, I finally realized that I was foolish for ever trying to justify something like that.

Another thing I tend to do when I am upset over *anything* at all, is vomit. For a time, I thought it was involuntary, just something my body did, but he told me that any time I felt like that was going to happen, even after he and I would argue, he wanted me to call him. And no matter what, he would talk to me and calm me down and now it's gotten to where I no longer vomit when I'm upset. But do you see how *wrong* that is? To be arguing with someone, all angry and upset, hang up the phone and feeling sick to your stomach and then a few minutes later, you're calling him saying, "Baby, I feel sick..." and he, the same person you were just arguing with(!) soothes and calms and makes everything better? I feel blessed and so thankful for him, but he is so sweet and I feel... just, guilty for it. And he's never changed, ever. When we first got together, he had a very nasty temper but I asked him to work on it and it never gets out of control anymore. He listens to me and improves himself, he's stopped smoking for me, he's been nicer to his father, all these improvements, and while I've changed too, sometimes I still slip up and after all we've been through, sometimes that urge to vomit comes back, sometimes I get emotional for NO reason and here he comes to pick up the pieces.

He is helping me, but I do have this nagging little thing in the back of my mind that I will become too dependent on him, but he acts like that's what he wants. We're as close as we can be for now and he tells me to be calm and enjoy what we have, and I do. Sometimes when he's reading to me late at night though, I get the most horrible feeling.. this longing for his arms around me and then I feel ungrateful because we're both doing our best to make it happen and I think I'm just greedy. *sighs a little*

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm going to bop around what you've said a bit.

quote:
And he's never changed, ever. When we first got together, he had a very nasty temper but I asked him to work on it and it never gets out of control anymore. He listens to me and improves himself, he's stopped smoking for me, he's been nicer to his father, all these improvements,
I really want to urge you to bear in mind that you're talking about reports of someone's behavior, not the actual behavior. In other words, you don't SEE any of this in the kind of relationship you have. I'm not saying we can't trust people in long-distance or online relationships, but that it also is sound to watch how much stock in what people we haven't even met tell us about things like this.

As well, people DO change and there's nothing wrong with that. Someone who has never changed, ever, would actually be someone not growing, which isn't good.

quote:
As for what I did, I know now how horrible it was when I told him I was feeling suicidal, but I didn't want him to SUFFER or feel guilty because of it, you know? And he later described it to me as emotional torture because he is so far away and he is completely powerless to stop me. And I completely understood and it hurts me so badly to know that I hurt him in that way
I don't think that's a fair interpretation. You both choose to have a deep relationship with distance. In other words, he didn't feel "tortured" because you disclosed something you felt, but because he is far away and couldn't be there in-person (ostensibly) to be with you. But that's not something you did: it's the circumstances of the relationship you two choose to have. People have tough times and feel sad, and sharing that with partners (especially one who gives you a tough time when you do NOT share) isn't about hurting them.

As well, if a person is feeling suicidal, it's very IMPORTANT to tell someone. That's not something to bottle up, it isn't healthy or safe.

And I'd take a look at the inconsistency there: someone begging you to disclose but then saying you doing so is emotional torture isn't being consistent, and also...well, isn't making any sense.

quote:
Another thing I tend to do when I am upset over *anything* at all, is vomit. For a time, I thought it was involuntary, just something my body did, but he told me that any time I felt like that was going to happen, even after he and I would argue, he wanted me to call him. And no matter what, he would talk to me and calm me down and now it's gotten to where I no longer vomit when I'm upset. But do you see how *wrong* that is? To be arguing with someone, all angry and upset, hang up the phone and feeling sick to your stomach and then a few minutes later, you're calling him saying, "Baby, I feel sick..." and he, the same person you were just arguing with(!) soothes and calms and makes everything better? I feel blessed and so thankful for him, but he is so sweet and I feel... just, guilty for it.
You feel comforted by this person: why is that wrong? Mind, you can also likely feel comforted in this way by others close to you, and learn some self-comfort to deal with this, but feeling comforted by someone you are close to isn't something wrong or bad: that's part of the point of relationships in the first place.

But he does not HAVE to be the one to "pick up the pieces." Again, you can expand the circle of people you're close to and lean on, and can also make efforts to do this better for yourself. It's all about balance, in other words, and about making sure that with things like this we aren't being dependent or co-dependant, but looking to people we care for to help us take care of yourselves.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ohh Heather, thank you... you're absolutely right about everything you've said. I wasn't entirely clear though about how he's changed. You see, he HAS changed but only for the better, he doesn't relapse back into his old self, we don't argue nearly as much as we used to and even when we do, he doesn't raise his voice anymore because I asked him not to. Whereas *I* still relapse occasionally, I still get sick occasionally, I still let my emotions rule me... every so often and then I feel as though I'm not trying hard enough to be better. Sometimes [blah, please don't think I'm weird] but sometimes I will intentionally think of sad things from my past, or listen to sad songs and connect them with something that has happened, and make myself miserable over it. All by my own hand. That's what upsets my boyfriend, that sometimes I upset myself in this way and then, all emotional, ask him why he's still with me, why does he stay, what did I ever do to make him care so much about me. It's like I intentionally torture myself, like I ENJOY hurting, you know? And having him always so nice and sweet, always there for me, always loving me and taking care of me the very best he can, doing the best to make me happy... it's something I don't know what to do with! It MUST not be right, so I must make myself feel how it REALLY is, you know what I mean? I just can't relax and feel good and feel loved like I should be.

I have such a hard time thinking outside of my own self, but you're right: I misinterpreted what he was saying about the emotional torture, that it wasn't ME, it was our situation. That had been causing me so much grief and it's so silly that it's as simple as that!

I know I have to stop being so negative and take him at his word and trust him. After last night, he's told me to not listen to country music anymore [it's what always makes me so sad] so I'm not going to. My emotions are so ruled by whatever is going on around me that it goes up and down, song brings me down, a simple "I love you" takes me back up, I'm all over the place.

This is going to sound silly, I'm sure, but... how do you rule *yourself* and be in control of your own emotions? How do you stop outside forces from dominating your moods? Is it a matter of disconnecting yourself from situations, ignoring them altogether, stop being around what makes you upset [ie the sad music]?

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Sometimes [blah, please don't think I'm weird] but sometimes I will intentionally think of sad things from my past, or listen to sad songs and connect them with something that has happened, and make myself miserable over it. All by my own hand.
You know, some people -- I do it myself sometimes -- process feeling that way. In other words, we have sad feelings we want to process, so we do things that help us elicit and get in touch with those feelings.

Avoidance isn't a way to process things, and neither is repression. It's working them through that is.

Now, I can't tell you what -- again with balance, seems to be a theme -- the balance is for you between doing that and making yourself upset when you really are not or do not have those feelings in there somewhere to work through.

I'd also add that when we're long-distance, it can be a lot easier to constantly be available for someone, backwards as that may sound. 24/7 in person? It gets more complicated and can be more difficult. One of the things I think can be particularly tricky with online relationships is that they're a lot easier to make "perfect" than in-person ones, so it can really skew people's expectations of the in-person relationship.

You know, you talk a lot in here about feelings sad, upset, having felt suicidal, feeling unstable in your feelings, feeling grief.

Do you want to TALK about those feelings and what you think the root of them is? Like I said earlier talking to more than one person about these things is a good idea, and we're totally available to listen and give support and feedback, guilt-free.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a hard time talking to anyone about my feelings, it took ages for me to open up to my boyfriend, even my best friends are kept at arm's length. I love this site so much because it's so anonymous and I feel safe and not so... stretched open with everything bared, you know?

There are some times that I will listen to the most horrible song over and over again, thinking that the more I do, the less it will affect me. Build some kind of emotional immunity to it, I suppose? But it never helps any and only serves to make me sad. Sometimes I feel like I just *wallow* in misery and it's strange because normally, I'm a very happy person! You probably don't believe that after all I've just told you haha, but when I am distracted from my past and living for the moment, especially when I have a little bit of caffeine in my system and I have my boyfriend on the phone with me, I feel simply perfect! But sometimes I just crash.

Nighttime is always the worst, always. I spend all day trying to make my mom feel good about our current money and living situation; she's so unhappy. I pretend to be strong for her and let her know that everything is going to be okay, but at night, when I'm alone, the weight of our situation and the weight of the world crashes down on me and I get so upset. My boyfriend and I always talk at night, for hours, until we go to sleep and just having him there and knowing he cares helps ease a lot of my unhappiness.

Yet I feel like I drag him down with me, when realistically I know that isn't true because he brings me up to his level. But do you understand what I mean? I feel like no matter what, I can't allow myself to be happy. Alone, I am not happy because I'm... alone. With him, I can't be happy because he's doing all these nice things for me to MAKE me happy and I feel guilty for them! It's such a mess and it's all me. [Frown]

When anything happens, anything at all that isn't good, I take the weight of it and put it on me. My mother was very reckless with our money? Well I should have kept a better eye on her and her spending habits. My mother slipped on snow and broke her ankle? Well I should have been more alert so I could have caught her before she fell. My boyfriend's computer isn't working? I should have the answer to fix it so he won't have to be without it. I want to take care of everything and make everything perfect and make it all work and I CAN'T and I can't DEAL with that kind of weakness!

I guess my feelings of inferiority come from my grandfather. Nothing I did was ever good enough for him and he had a problem with everything I did. Worked me like a dog around the house to keep it clean and made me do yardwork I was still too young to be capable of doing, he tried to teach me how to drive only to scream in my ear and make me absolutely frantic. To this day, I can't drive a vehicle. Even the idea scares me. I don't have enough faith in myself to be able to do it.

I do nice things but never feel like they are good enough. I feel like, as a human being, I'm *wrong* or messed up somehow and I have to atone for that, and then when I make a mistake, it's devastating to me. My boyfriend gets onto me when that happens and tells me over and over that no one is perfect and my mistakes shouldn't affect me so badly, but how do I stop it?

I just have a hard time controlling myself and keeping my emotions in check. I feel like I'm along for the ride of whatever life decides to throw at me, and I don't LIKE that! I want to control my own life and feel how I want to feel. I want to be able to see the good in a bad situation and realize that life is not black or white, not all good and not all bad, that there is a place in between and that's where I want to be.

When I was feeling suicidal, it was because of a lot of things. I'd rationalized it in my head. I figured if I was gone, my boyfriend could move on and find someone better, he wouldn't have me as a burden to him anymore nor would he feel guilty for leaving me. My mother wouldn't have to worry about caring for me anymore, for feeding or clothing me, she could take all that extra money and help herself be happy. I just thought that I was dragging everyone down and keeping them from living enjoyable lives and if I was gone, they'd move on quickly. My boyfriend then told me to stop being so selfish and see things for what they really were. That my mother and I are so close that she would likely follow behind me. That my pets need me to care for them and love them. That there is no one else for him and that he was alone for seven years until I came along and that he would continue to be alone and miserable if I was gone, and that all I would do is hurt everyone and hurt his family too. But my perspective... I didn't think of any of that, only of how I wanted it to be.

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just so you know, I stepped out for a bit but just came in and read this. I want to marinate with it for a little bit before I respond much, but a couple questions:

1) Have you ever talked to a doctor/therapist about any of these feelings?

2) Would you say you have always felt like this, or that a) a given event or chain of events seemed to start this or b) it's something that has developed over time or at a certain time (like, perhaps, in your teens?), and has times -- like perhaps now -- where it's worse than at other times?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've never talked to any kind of therapist or anyone at all really except my boyfriend, and you. In the past, it has definitely been something I've considered but honestly, I'd be afraid to say anything to my mom about it. I told my boyfriend once that I thought I might benefit from some outside help and he asked why I'd waste money when I could talk to any random person. Now, money IS a big issue.

To answer your second question, no, I certainly haven't always felt this way. I'd say I first started feeling... different, after my last boyfriend left me. When I was in school, I hopped around a lot from boyfriend to boyfriend, always getting bored, always leaving them before too long, and when I got with this last boy, I felt a connection with him and I thought it was serious. So, I got what karma had coming to me. He left me in a terrible way. It was the first time I had ever been dumped, and he pretty much told me that I was sick, disgusting, and a horrible person for what I was suggesting. [All I did was tell him what appealed to me, and that's bondage. I understand lots of people are afraid of or just don't like the idea, but he was just so nasty about it!] He could have just said, "No, I can't do that with you," and that'd have been the end of it. [Frown] It really brought me down and made me feel bad for being who I am.

When he left me, I was very hurt, but I continued to date and bounce from meaningless relationship to meaningless relationship, always hurting the person I was with, intentionally, trying to FEEL something, but I couldn't feel anything! I didn't feel bad for them, but I didn't feel that sense of accomplishment, that sense of betterment, I didn't feel anything at all.

I finally stopped when I met my current boyfriend. That bouncing around went on for a good three years and I never felt happiness that whole time, only boredom and emptiness. Then my mother and I made a big move out of state, just up and left our old life after my grandfather finally died, and I left all my friends and my past life behind me in favor of this one here.

By all accounts, I should be able to move on from all the bad things that have happened. I'm in a new place, I have a new man, I have several new friends and I should be happy, but I just can't seem to let the past go.

How I feel fluctuates a lot now, but I will say honestly that I feel better NOW than I did a few years ago. I feel better with my current boyfriend and while things are not so great in my living and finance situation, I feel like I should be enjoying the good things more than I do, and not focusing so much on the bad things. I should be able to be HAPPY and not make up problems and bring up old scars just so I can relive that pain again. But how do I stop?

[ 07-20-2009, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: egads ]

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Egads: "Egads" is about all I can muster to say about your previous breakup. That sounds really terrible.

If you want to talk about considering therapy, since it sounds like you think you might benefit, and I do too, I'd be happy to talk about that with you, and help you research what might work for you and be affordable. Alternately, have you talked with any of your friends about your feelings?

I'd also be happy to talk with you about your living situation if you like.

Between that breakup, how you felt afterwards and a big move, I'm not surprised you have a lot to process. Even though a move gives you a new place, it's still a big change. As well, a death is a big deal, and the death of someone who you had unresolved issues with, or who mistreated you, can actually be really loaded. Were you ever able, before your grandfather died, to tell him how he made you feel and to in some way, in person, hold him accountable for the way he treated you?

In all of your posts, I hear you say a lot about how you SHOULD feel, but I'd posit that how you should feel is how you DO feel: we feel how we feel, and there's no right way to be feeling. Trying to fight how we feel, or judging ourselves harshly about it doesn't tend to be helpful. What does tend to be helpful is allowing our feelings to be what they are, trying to find out where they're coming from, and processing those feelings.

By all means, it's not healthy to wallow, and we don't want to miss the good stuff going on in the present because of bad stuff in the past. But I'd say we don't have to miss out because we have those old feelings, either.

By the way, I'm hearing you say a lot that your boyfriend seems to be on board with some of what you're saying about yourself: that you shouldn't feel this way, trying to talk you out of feeling this way, et cetera, and I'd suggest letting him know that that actually isn't all that supportive. Listening to how you feel and acknowledging it is, not telling you you're selfish, or shouldn't feel a given way, etc.

Weakness seems to be another big theme in what you're talking about here. Why do you feel you're weak? What's bad about weakness in the first place, in your mind?

And why should YOU be able to fix everything for everyone, to take care of everything for everyone? Why does that kind of responsibility lie with you? Why isn't, for instance, your mother responsible for her money? Why isn't your boyfriend responsible for his computer?

Control seems like another prevalent theme: what does it mean for any of us to "keep emotions in check" all the time? What's the value of that, to you?

Lastly, it sounds like your mother could use some extra supports, too. Perhaps you might consider BOTH of you seeking out some additional help together, and suggesting that?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's just that I put so much stock in what a person I care about tells me, and I truly cared about my ex boyfriend. I never thought he'd be capable of being so cruel, and he used religion to excuse it! Religion that he had never mentioned to me before. I'd never been religious myself, but to hear the one you care so much for telling you you'll burn in hell, that God thinks you're disgusting and sick... it hurts, you know? And the saddest thing of all is that I, foolishly, actually wanted to change for him but it was too late and he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. All because of a stupid little thing I said. I've replayed it over in my head a million times. I should have kept quiet. I should have somehow known he'd hate the idea. But I've finally reached the point where I believe HE was the wrong one, HE had the problem, he didn't love me enough to see past that one [very minor!] thing that I liked and wasn't man enough to simply say no. -shaking head- Don't get me wrong, I'm glad now to have lost him because after all my current boyfriend and I have been through, especially given our distance, and he's stuck by me when it's as simple as a delete key to be rid of me forever? That means a lot to me.

As for therapy, I wouldn't want you to waste your time needlessly. I'll be very honest with you, right now we are living in a 2/1 apartment with one of my mom's old friends, who relocated to be here with us. My mom got fired after she broke her ankle in March, but her employer insisted she "abandoned her job" because she didn't call in while we were in the hospital, leaving it impossible to get any kind of money until something new comes along, and also very hard to find new work since that black mark is on her resume. We're completely without income, my mom's friend is living with us and taking total care of all three of us now. I... am very shamed to say this, but I left high school in the 10th grade to be there emotionally for my mother as we went through a legal... situation with her brother, who stole a great deal of money from us, and my grandfather took his side and blamed my mother for the theft. At that time, his health was already declining as he suffered from brain cancer so he was impossible to reason with. It was all a great mess, justice was never truly served, but thankfully the case was dropped. After MUCH stress for us.

After that, it was a series of harsh events. It all seemed to happen so fast. My grandfather died, we had to arrange his extravagant military funeral, we had to cope with the fact that my uncle had taken his life's savings that had been Willed to us. We ended up letting those people, you know the ones who pay little to nothing for homes then fancy them up and sell them higher? We let them buy our house and made the move up here, just to get away from it all.

What I could really use some assistance with, so I can get my own source of income and then truly consider some sort of therapy, is getting my GED and my own job. Are there online courses for that, would you happen to know? I am afraid to cause my mother anymore stress at the moment, she's stretched very thin and I need to be able to help her.

As for my grandfather and closure, no, there was never any. I can't say that I ever had any good feelings about him, and once he fell ill, I went to see him mostly because I was told to by my mother. But you have to understand, he made our lives hell! My biological father was an abusive drunk hell-bent on having a son and when my mother, from the hospital, called and told him I was female, he actually said, "Let your parents have her and we'll try again." That's an account my mother gave me. When she refused, he made threats and my mother... allowed my grandparents to be my legal guardians, to keep him from getting any rights to get me or hurt me. My grandfather blamed his meanness on injuries he received during the Vietnam War, but even so, I don't think that rightfully excuses his actions for so many years. He had a disability check that he used to pay for everything, we lived very poorly. My mother wanted to work, wanted to leave, wanted to LIVE but every time she made noise, he threatened her with me. Said if she took off, she'd never get me back. And he held me over her head until he finally died and we were finally FREE of him. I never told him anything and to this day, I can't feel anything but hatred for him.

My boyfriend... yes, you're right, of course. I know he has the best intentions. But I KNOW that how I feel isn't all there is. I know there's more than this, there's better than this, if I can only let go of pains that are no longer existent in my life and live for NOW. I have enough problems to face and overcome than to fuss about what happened back then, you know? But I don't know how to be at peace with it and let it go.

Ever since my ex boyfriend fiasco, I felt that love, any feelings of attachment, were weakness in the sense that I'm no longer so independent, I feel this uncontrollable urge to talk to my current boyfriend, to see how he's doing, to see him on cam, to be with him. It makes me happy no matter what's happening in my life. It's not so much that he has that much control over me, just that it's strange to suddenly feel so good when you just felt so bad, you know? It feels like he is my weakness. I had a HARD time with this, too, especially when we first got together. He's always been so understanding though, I've told him everything I've told you and he lets me talk as much as I need to. I swore to myself that I'd never care so much about a person again, never again would I give someone power over me to where they could hurt me the way my ex did, but... I have relinquished some of that control to my boyfriend now, and I no longer question my decision when we argue. I used to! I used to think, well, this is it. This is the one where he leaves me. And he never has. [Smile]

Lately [as in the past few nights] it's been his idea to experiment in some... role-playing, I guess you'd say. We like to get creative on the phone. Normally [please forgive me if this is too much information, but I myself found it interesting upon reflection] I play a very submissive, masochistic role and he the dominant one, and I liked it that way. But he's insisted I be in control and tell him what to do, sternly, angrily, letting me demand what I want... and, somehow, I feel better afterward! Why on earth? For years I thought one thing was what I wanted, but he showed me something else and I see now that I truly like BOTH, and yet again, it all comes back to balance. I'm afraid that since my ex, I've repressed myself, my thoughts, my sexuality, everything for fear that I was wrong. And I'm finally beginning to come back out of my shell again and feel like a normal human being.

As for my responsibility, I honestly couldn't tell you why I feel that way. I feel like, in any given situation, I could do more, that I should somehow know. I feel absolutely worthless sitting idly by while someone is suffering. And any bad action that affects me [like having no money now, having spent three months nursing my mother back to health after her fall, dealing with a very cranky boyfriend with no computer, etc] I think back on ways I could have stopped it so I wouldn't be living with the consequences of *MY* lack of action, you know what I mean?

Well when I say I'd like to keep my emotions in check, I just mean that I want control over myself, I want to be able to not cry if I don't think it's appropriate. Sometimes I cry... for practically no reason at all. My boyfriend was reading to me last night and the leading lady's display of courage moved me to tears. Something as simple as that! Also, when I read comments in Youtube videos sometimes, and see how other people hurt, reading their breakup stories, it makes me feel so BAD and almost guilty for being able to have such love at such a distance when these people fail face to face. My boyfriend is so perceptive to me, he can see every emotion dance across my face, in my eyes, from a fuzzy cam image; can hear every waver in my voice and he KNOWS without me ever saying that something is wrong or good or sad.

I do sometimes feel unworthy of him, given my past mistakes. I wish I knew how to forgive myself as he has forgiven me, and just move on. Karma scares me, you know? I hurt a lot of people and what better way to get me back than to take him and his love away from me, after I've only JUST dipped the tip of my tongue in the sugar? As you said, our relationship hasn't even BEGUN yet. I've told him my fears and he's said that karma has already acted, that my pain and suffering is happening right now. That I have it all and am still afraid, that I can't be happy for that fear. That's my punishment. But I'm ready for it to stop now.

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I want to make one thing clear before I say anything else: us helping you or anyone else get the support services you need -- even in the cases where our searches aren't fruitful -- isn't ever needlessly wasting our time. It's part of what we do. [Smile]

Another thing to perhaps be clear about is when you're using support services like ours, please know that this isn't quite like asking a friend or boyfriend for help: there needs be no reciprocity here, because this is what we do. So, unless something happens like we express a boundary or a limit you aren't respecting, there's no burdening anyone here, okay? [Smile]

Please know there's no shame in any of this per the place you and your Mom are at right now: I grew up mostly poor, I left one home at 15, I have even spent a little time on street, I also have a parent with some problems I've had to support in many ways through my life, including fully financially supporting in my early 20s. I get it, in other words, and know these things are never about someone being at fault.

That said, from the sounds of things, you two could actually probably get good assistance, both when it comes to things like healthcare and counseling, help with food, and also help with your GED. You two may even qualify for Section 8 housing. So, the very first step I'd suggest is that you both get in touch with your local social services office and find out what you can get help with: there are resources for you both, so it makes so sense not to pursue them when you need them. (I actually keep a food stamp from the 90's on my desk at all times to keep myself grounded in remembering we all can be there at any time, and I may even be there again, and that's okay.)

If you give me your zip code, I'd be happy to help you find that local office. That also would hep me see what's available for you with a GED or alternative schooling, as well as possible work programs for you.

I also understand your feelings around your grandfather. My mother's father was very abusive, both to me and to all of his children, and when he died, I wasn't sad, either. However, when we have those kinds of intense feelings, anger, etc. for someone and never get to voice them, that can actually have a huge impact on us. It can ever feel like they got away with something, if you know what I mean. One thing I might suggest is writing him a letter as if he were alive and could hear you. I know it might sound silly, but it can actually be a pretty powerful exercise.

There's so much in your last post, and I don't want to shortcut with any of it, so it might be best we take this one issue at a time.

However, I do want to say that I wonder if you couldn't try and read ALL you have written here, trying to pretend this was someone else, not you. I suggest that because you are expressing a LOT of really, really rough situations and circumstances, and frankly, I'd be thunderstruck, perhaps even just wouldn't believe you, if you told me you were NOT often feeling how you are, all of this given. This is a LOT for you to have dealt with and a lot for you to be carrying around, especially with minimal support.

Let's keep talking -- if you want to -- and we can do our best to touch on all of this, but I also want to make sure we do what we can to get you the most immediate, basic things that you need. When our basic needs aren't met, or are hanging precariously in the balance, it's going to be very tough to deal with anything else.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Incidentally, I also want to add that when it comes to the crying, it merely sounds to me like you're very sentimental and empathetic. There's nothing wrong with that: some of us -- myself included -- are simply like that, and are quick to tears. For instance, when I watch children's films, the theme music they usually have for them at the opening puts a lump in my throat immediately. Intellectually, I sometimes tell myself that's silly, after all they have purposefully composed that music to tug at heartstrings, but intellectually, I also know that's okay, and it's just part of who I am. Plus, tears are good for us, even if it feels silly.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry, I keep adding on.

But I wanted to say that the idea of "instant karma" is pretty unfounded. Karma, from a religious perspective for those of us whose spritual traditions include it, isn't about this lifetime, but the next. Karma also isn't about anyone or any power "getting back at" someone. It's not about punishment or retribution: that's not part of these traditions. It's about movements towards enlightenment, about consequences of our actions and what we may need to do later on to balance them out and move towards a more enlightened life and way of thinking and feeling.

What you're talking about, perhaps, are consequences or causation, and in this lifetime. There are always consequences for any action or inaction we take, however, one needs to be reasonable about these things. For instance, if you hurt someone's feelings, some consequences of that may be that they don't want to talk to you anymore, that they tell others you did that, that they need some help or resolution with you afterwards. You, however, losing a relationship you're in with a totally different person makes no sense as a consequence: it has nothing to do with that situation unless, for instance, you hurt someone else and have not changed your behavior and are hurting this new person the same way.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Hey egads, I'm just popping in to say I'm so sorry to hear about your current situation -- I've been seeing you around the boards -- and, like Heather, offer some support. Virginia has some great, free adult education options as well as good social services for some things. As Heather said, if you're willing to share your zip code or city/county, I would be glad to look up some information for you. [Smile] ]
Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just want to sincerely thank both of you for your kindness and your help. I've never been one to reach out for help from anyone and it's a beautiful, amazing service you offer for girls here. [Smile]

My zip code is 24017. We are currently receiving monthly food stamps, but that's all the assistance we're getting right now. Thank you for sharing a bit of your history with me, Heather, and in helping me feel that I'm not alone in all this.

I took your advice and wrote a letter to my grandfather, and also one to my ex boyfriend, saying exactly how they both made me feel and it was such an emotional release! I cried and cried but once it subsided, I felt... so light, like a great weight had been lifted off me. All those things that I'd kept buried inside me for so long is finally out, and although it makes no REAL difference in the course of anything, it has really made me feel better inside. [Smile]

I also read over my posts a few times and I suppose you are right. I chalked it up to normal life, everyone has problems they have to deal with, these are just mine. I know why I feel the way I do, I only want to gain control and take everything for what it is, be grateful for what I do have and not pine over what is lost, you know? I feel SO ungrateful for everything! At least I have a warm, safe place to stay, at least I have a mother who cares for me, at least we have this friend who cares enough to take care of us during this rough patch, at least I have the love and comfort of my boyfriend, at least we have food to eat and clothes to wear. I have SO much to be thankful for and so much more than many people. Why can't I focus on these wonderful things instead of only seeing the bad?

It's really normal and okay to cry so much? I do it so often over such little things, and I always associated it with weakness, but I guess it's just simply the way I am. The entire time I've been with my boyfriend, I've only heard him cry once, and that was when I was talking about suicide. I wish I was more like him sometimes... he has such control and is always so calm, even during bad situations! I can't cry or panic around my mom because panic breeds panic, so I do have THAT small bit of control, but see, it always comes out in a big burst when I do that, and that's always when I'm alone at night. Repression really isn't working good at all for me. Would you recommend keeping a journal or something like that in order to get these bad feelings out and materialize them? Or is there something else that I might could try to make them take form and then go away?

And thank you for explaining karma. This whole time, I've been looking at these bad situations as if they're my punishment for being such a bad person in the past. I get really confused sometimes because my boyfriend has told me that in order to move on, I first have to own up to my mistakes and take responsibility for them. In my mind though, I thought I had... but maybe not? In thinking that life is punishing me, I believe that while such bad things keep happening, I'm not forgiven and I can't forgive myself. Realistically, that's ridiculous! Bad things happen to everyone, sometimes for no good reason. Sometimes bad people excel and great people suffer. Sometimes it's the other way around. I realize that life doesn't play favorites with people. The thing about myself that bothers me so much and frustrates me to no end is how badly I crave change and I can't seem to fully get there. I don't intentionally hurt people anymore, I'm not cruel or malicious, and I could never DREAM of hurting my boyfriend in any way. I think that's an improvement, at least; one step forward. I want to be able to continue making changes within myself, especially when I know the end result will make me happy.

Sometimes I just have such a hard time opening up with my boyfriend and being honest. Sometimes, through tears, I'll tell him I'm fine just because I don't want to *bother* him with my problems because I *know* they're nothing! Most of them are old things that I should have let go of already, old things that I just randomly decide to bring up and think about again and get miserable over. I replay the same things again and again in my mind and sometimes make myself sick over it, because it's just like it's happening again. I know that all my boyfriend wants is honesty and that if I just give in and let him care for me and trust him, he'll make everything okay and I'll feel better, but it's just so hard. Because what if I do that and he suddenly decides he doesn't want me anymore? What if my problems, once confessed, prove to be too much for him? What if I say one. wrong. word. and he leaves like my ex did? That's what I'm afraid of. I know I shouldn't walk on eggshells but I find that I still watch my mouth a lot of the time. I've told him all of this, too, and he's told me that nothing I could do or say would make him leave me, and again, that if it could then he would already be gone. Yet that fear still lingers and no matter what he says, I know it's in me and ultimately, I'm the one who has to change it. He's more than proven himself, he's done everything right and been pretty near flawless. He doesn't make the same mistake over and over again like I do. Sometimes I just feel plumb hard-headed when it comes to taking someone at their word and believing THEM over ME.

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On the crying? I've cried every time I have read your posts, and that's not about pity, either. Don't know if that makes you feel any better, but seriously, you are not the only weeper around here. [Smile]

Really, I think it's okay to cry so much and just the way some of us are, especially at certain times in our lives. But too, I do think you need to look at how repressed from that you have been and often still are, and realize that of course, bottling those feelings in the past, and trying to do so sometimes still, is going to work a lot like a dam does. You keep the dam up, the pressure builds behind it, and so when the dam bursts, it's going to have all of that pressure pushing it more powerfully.

If you don't keep a journal, I do think keeping one would be a great idea for you. I'm glad those letter-writing exercises were so productive for you, and that given, sounds like more writing could be of real help to you. And if you do wind up starting therapy at some point, having a journal to refer to can also be an excellent tool to work with.

I'm a bit concerned that you don't have the best balance right now when it comes to your support system. In other words, it sounds like it's JUST the boyfriend, and that doesn't tend to be healthy, for a bunch of reasons. One, it really is tough to be someone's sole support. Two, when you are only leaning on one person, you are going to start to worry about burdening them, and start to feel both guilty about doing that AND can also feel really overexposed. A boyfriend isn't a therapist, after all, and one person can't be a whole support system. So, I'd encourage you to start reaching out some more: you've started here, which is great. How about a friend next?

And I have to be frank about something: I think you really need to stop framing this guy as Mr. Perfect Man. he's not. No one is. And again, this is someone you have not even met in person or spent time around in-person in-depth. I'd also say that it's probably best you stop focusing on what would make him leave you, and that he stops saying nothing would. People leave, relationships change, people's circumstances or wants and needs change, people move on. It happens in life all the time.

So, the healthy approach is to accept that may always happen, and to by all means, do what you can to value the relationships you are in and to feed and water them well, but you also have to have some level of non-attachment to them being around forever. I know that can be scary (especially when the last breakup you had wasn't just about leaving, but was really nasty and hurtful), but it's part of the deal: everything in our world is impermanent. We can't change or control that, we can only do the best we can in the present moment, you know? And that includes, very much so, just being ourselves, which we can do and still be considerate of others limits and boundaries, as well as others' feelings.

I also get the feeling of wanting so badly for things to change, especially when you've been in a situation for a very long time -- sounds like for the whole of your life, egads -- that has been really hard. So, let's see what we can do about some of that, okay?

Lena and I can do some digging, but if your mother already gets food stamps, she's already in the system, and probably just needs another visit with her caseworker. You, however, aren't a minor anymore, so you can ALSO get yourself into that system (or are you already?), rather than the two of you trying to live jointly with only your mother's benefits. Suffice it to say,. it also sounds like whatever can be done to get you out of living with your mother at this point, it's probably for the best. I understand that taking care of our parents when they need care and don't have anyone but us is important, but we also need to a) recognize our limits and b) be sure that we're really helping at a given point, not enabling them or locking ourselves into caretaking when they really need to take care of themselves. (And boy howdy, do I know that story: we can talk more about that if you want, too.)

But let's see what we come up with, and I'm happy to keep talking to you about all of this other stuff in the meantime.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lena is local, and also teaches in VA, so she may come back with better information than I, but have you started here, by any chance: http://www.vaged.vcu.edu/index.shtml

Your state and county also have a TANF program, which could potentially help you with financial assistance now AND with getting work: http://www.roanokeva.gov/WebMgmt/ywbase61b.nsf/vwContentByKey/N25ZMJXH791LABTEN

Do you know already where your local social services office is from where your mother goes to get her food stamps?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for being so direct with me. These truths are painful and I need to sit with them for a little while before going any further.
Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No trouble, egads. We'll keep digging for those practical resources, and if and when you want to talk more about what's going on emotionally, just give a shout.

I don't mean to pile hard-truth unto hard-truth, but I'd also include recognizing that this person isn't truly, really WITH you yet. In other words, getting really focused on someone leaving us who is only so with us in the first place only makes so much sense. How can someone leave who isn't with us yet? Just something else to sit with.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey egads, here are some local, in-person resources to please check out. [Smile] Thanks for being willing to share your location. These are a mix of Roanoke County/City and Salem stuff, so hopefully you can find a place close or convenient to you.

GED courses/Adult education: The tuition is totally free-of-charge and classes are located at various places; the exam is under $50 and only requires you to register five days in advance. If you call the number provided, they can help hook you up with resources. (Additionally, I believe you can attend regular public high schools in VA until the age of 21 or even 22; if that's something you're interested in, you could ask about it when you call. Click here for the link

Health Services: Click here for clinic hours and locations of the Roanoke City Health Department. They're a good place to go for things like STI testing and birth control options; it's all on a sliding scale (a.k.a. possibly even free for you.) If you see the left sidebar there, you can also explore other services such as dental care.

Counseling: Family Service of the Roanoke Valley is a non-profit org that offers individual and family counseling (and so much more) on a sliding scale. Click here to find out more.

Legal Assistance: The Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley is a non-profit that offers free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of the Roanoke area. Please click here for more details.

Etc.: The Roanoke Police Department has a good website of links on Where to Get Help. They list two women's centers, Turning Point and TAP Women's Resource Center. TAP looks like an especially neat organization that offers everything from emergency financial assistance to employment help:
quote:
Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) is a non-profit community action agency. For 43 years TAP has been helping the residents of 11 cities and counties in southwestern Virginia to escape poverty and become self-sufficient. Our mission is to encourage economic vitality by strengthening and empowering individuals, families and communities and to mobilize the community’s good will and resources, expand access to existing opportunities and create new opportunities.
If I were to do three things to start, I'd call about GED classes, call the counseling place, and contact TAP for more information. (Here's the TAP online contact form.)

In addition to seeking assistance, just getting more out and about is important and can be a great help; it's a change of scenery and pace. By this, I mean everything from getting a library card at your local library branch to checking out REC services. Do you work? (I apologize if you already answered this elsewhere and I missed it.) Might you be interested in volunteering opportunities?

I find it helpful at times to remember that there are so many people at there who *want* to help but you just need to make that first step of reaching out. [Smile] The search process can be tiring and disappointing at times but ultimately you *will* find nice people and great resources. When people know you're looking and see you're trying, they'll want to reach out even more. (I got reminded of this earlier this year when I tried to find a good GYN/STI testing options; it took me awhile and I had some not-so-fun run ins but ultimately found some great resources and people whose kindness and warmth literally made me tear up. They're out there!)

Please do check out those resources and let us know how it goes. Call right now even and then post about it, if you're like! [Smile]

[ 07-21-2009, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wanted to give you this direct link for the Family Service of Roanoke Valley's page on Individual and Family Counseling. It looks really good to me, and a good place to check out either alone or with your mom. http://www.fsrv.org/individual_and_family_counseling.html

Additionally, I know there are a *bunch* of college in the area, such as Roanoke College, Hollins University, and Virginia Western Community College. You can generally attend things such as public lectures, films, and concerts for free; you can use resources such as their libraries (often nice places to just hang out) or visit their art galleries for free, too. (It's a form of public outreach as they seek to be part of the greater community rather than some academic bubble.) I will sometimes attend concerts and talks at a university near me. [Smile] Here's Hollins' event's calender. (There should be more happening once the Fall semester starts.)

[ 07-21-2009, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey egads,

Just a quick hi to see how you're doing. I hope you're well. [Smile]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
egads
Neophyte
Member # 41367

Icon 1 posted      Profile for egads     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you both for your help with these resources. I'm so sorry it's taken me a bit to get back with you. You're all so nice here.

I'm feeling so frightened and confused right now. [Frown] I'm scared to even talk to my boyfriend now and he's upset because he doesn't know what's wrong, but how can I tell him that I'm having doubts NOW? How do you say to someone "you aren't real"? It's like everything I'd worked so hard to convince myself of just crumbled and fell apart in my mind and I just don't know what to do now. [Frown]

[ 07-23-2009, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: egads ]

Posts: 21 | From: va | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(I figure you hit send when you didn't mean to, and if you add more to this will look again.)

It really sounds to me like your boyfriend is perhaps having some issues with boundaries.

Being close to someone doesn't ever give any of us carte blanche to know every single thing in their hearts and minds. It just doesn't, and pushing and pushing for that tends to be more about control than it is about love.

For right now, if what you're doing is looking into what you can do to take care of yourself, a response to him like, "I just got a bunch of information and resources to see if I can't get myself in a better position with my most basic needs. It's pretty overwhelming, especially given everything going on, so if you want to support me, the best way would be to let me focus on that for right now, okay? It's tough to be proactive and do all this stuff to try and make changes without some space to do it in."

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, seeing the rest of your post, my personal advice would be since this is NOT an in-person relationship, you really focus on trying to take care of your basic needs first -- housing, food, schooling -- before assessing that relationship. trying to do all of this at the same time would be pretty tough to do, and in my book, those other things come first.

As well, when our most basic needs are not being met, it can be really hard to figure out things like relationships. I suspect that if you can start getting some of those needs met, how you feel about this relationship, and what's going to work for you in it, is going to become a lot more clear and easier to manage.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey egads, it's good to hear from you although I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so confused and unsure right now. It's certainly understandable and I wish you the best with it. I agree with Heather on all her points, especially how being proactive about getting your in-person needs met will help you figure out stuff with the relationship. I am in a relationship with someone I met through the internet and who was/is long-distance; if you're interested, I'd be willing to share my experience with that, like some similarities and differences with your relationship here.

Also, these are useful articles if you haven't seen them already. [Smile]

Potholes & Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For
Safer Sex...for Your Heart
Supermodel: Creating & Nurturing Your Own Best Relationship Models
To Be... AWESOME or Just Be –– Tips on Making the Most of Your Life Right Now!
Potholes & Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For
Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner[I link this for general ideas for talking things out; I think Heather's message is best to use for now, of course.]
Activism 101 [That one is about activism but I think the points can be applied to being active/an activist about our own lives and successes, cheesy as it may sound. [Wink] ]

I can see how reaching out to work out stuff in-person can seem so scary and so intimidating, but I think that fear is, in a way, a positive sign that says "now is the time to take action." I realize I gave you a million links, which are certainly good to have but maybe a bit overwhelming at first. But this way you can pick and choose: Why not call about the GED stuff now -- you just *know* those people will be friendly, I think -- and take it from there? You don't have to do everything, just something!

I see you've been so used to having to deal with so much at once, way more than anyone should ever have to deal with... it makes starting especially hard but, I forget who said it, there is some quote like: "If a task seems too huge, just take it apart into make parts and take it step-by-step." So true! (I apply this technique to cleaning my place: I dislike tidying *so* much and find the thought of cleaning a whole room to be overwhelming at times. So I tell myself "I'm going to pick up/tidy/organize/throw away five things and then I can stop" and just start. Usually I'm so into it by the fifth item that I just keep going and feel ok! [Smile]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
Activist
Member # 13388

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ecofem     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey egads,

I saw you were around last night and just wanted to say hi again and see how you were doing. I hope you're ok. [Smile]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3