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Author Topic: Struggling with Understanding
Alergnon
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How can I not be paranoid? I dislike that word.

So, to condense the story and leave out *drama* you would say. M and I have a really great friendship, really great, awesome communication. Just, when I text him and he replies and then he doesn't, I get *paranoid* over he doesn't want to talk to me anymore. Yesterday was a hard morning. I was frustrated with the side walks and felt off. He has told me many times that, he isn't ignoring me, he may be sleeping or working or his cell phone died. I can't just be like, okay maybe that is what is happening. No, my thoughts are, he left me. He had said we could go for a drive and I was hoping we could, since I was stressed with pressuring myself to do better on the product at work, bills, my bank, health, having really no friends, etc. to just relax and not worry about anything.

I sent him a message and it resulted in something bad. This morning while working he sent a message at 3:30am, I was scared to read it, because I messed up. I had my co-worker read it and asked her what it said. I read it and looked at her and cried.

He sent this message: I already figured out that u have been scared from ur past. Bottom line is dont get upset about small stuff like the car ride, etc. protect urself all u want but few in ur life are/have been genuinely helping u out. I have. I know things are tough. I am not going anywhere nor will ignore u. U have helped me theough some things. I value ur friendship thus far so I am not going to let this one outbrust of urs derail what I think of u a person deep down.

My question is, how can I not be paranoid. It's easy for someone to say, go out and meet others. I just, I dislike the bus system and I need a second job which I have looked and will be looking more. I know I need to hang with people and meet more. I refuse to hang out with any of my co-workers other than my friend from work and my colleague I work alongside of and she works alongside of me but it would be hard to hang out with her, since she has a family and her relationship with her and her husband has been on thin ice. So, we chat a lot at work where no other ear shot people can hear, because it's her and I and either 1 or 2 others working but out front.

Sure, find friends. It's hard to do that.

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Heather
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Can I first ask if you've followed through with any counseling or therapy so I know where you stand with that?

(Robin isn't here this week, she's out of town. So, as you know, in general I think it's probably better she work with you than myself, especially in depth, but I can get you at least started with this if you'd like.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Heather
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It'd also be helpful, I think, to know what YOU said with this message, not just his response. Especially since he called it an outburst.

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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

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Alergnon
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Yes, I've started Therapy. I see him again this week for the second time. Not sure what he would like to do, because... I went on and on telling him my life, I guess I know the questions off by heart what they ask, so I just answered his questions before he asked.

I understand Therapy would be a good start. I have no one here. M was honest with me and his own thoughts and feelings about why I am even in Ottawa.

He said that he knows I moved in with my cousin, then she did dumb stupid stuff from what you've told me and honestly she isn't a support for you. Would you ever consider going to her for help? I told him no. He went on, she kicked you out and you lived with me for a month because you refused to stay there the last month because of what she tells you. You told me you had no money to pay your landlord in December and you went to the Government for help, what if you run into something like that again, what would you do? I said, I don't know. He goes on, you have no one here that would help you. And if you had friend who truly cared for you, if something happened they would be right there to help you out. Have you thought of going back home? I told him I can't nothing is there for me and I have no one here. He understands that I've been on my own since I was 16 and came from a very dysfuncial family, and when he drove me down there to see my grandmother, he met my parents. M didn't understand why and how I could even be okay with seeing my fathers face from what he did to me. He also said, I may be wrong but did you come from a family which had nothing. I said yes.

He later explained I rely on him too much and he can't always be there for me. I've grown a massive attachment to him and fell in love with him. He also asked me, shouldn't you be like talking to someone about all of this and not me? Not to be mean but I don't even know how to help, I can be there to comfort you and be there, but seeing a therapist or something, I'm not sure how it really works, I've never been in a situation like that before.

He also said, I need someone to go to and grieve with and I can't grieve with my family because they are far away and I have no one to talk to about those feelings.

Heather, I'm scared to lose M on so many levels. I'm so paranoid he will stop talking to me or seeing me. He told me he will never do that many times but inside, I feel and think otherwise and it's scary having no one when I have no one.

I told M I was happy with just working, sleeping, working and sleeping and hanging with him when I can, until I had to go down to the funeral, things happened and things were said, it triggered me. I didn't even want to go to my Grandmothers funeral and I did it for my Grandma, I wasn't there because my father called me, I was there, to she her no one else. Ever since I moved out at 16 I've always been forced, pressured or even cornered to see them or call them, when I was living in a group home and ran away to end my life, came back to the head lady and my worker, they grounded me if I didn't give them my parents information and I also had to explain to everyone why I ran away, they made me tell the others I wanted to die. I've been forced into seeing them. March, I went down there on my own will and last Christmas as well.

I'm surprised M hasn't left me after what I had sent him, people have left me because of it. He on the other hand hasn't, he understands how hard it is on me. Yes, we have a sexual relationship which he and I are both happy with and we don't have sex every time we're together, because for him and I it's not about the sex, it's about the company, cuddles, enjoying, rest, relaxing and so on.

There is also drama around him and I. People have past judgements and jokes about M and I. It's affected M and it's pissing me off since these people have no idea what person I am, they think M is with a 13/14 yr old because I look like one. M told them I'm very mature more mature then them and has told them to F off, and they wont. For awhile I thought that would destroy us and it hasn't. M doesn't like it but he's tried to explain to them and offer to even talk to me, but they don't. More than half of them has never either, seen me, or had one signal conversation with me let alone a sentence with me.

Sorry if I rambled I have been doing that more and more lately.

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Heather
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I'm sorry, but I'm feeling lost: somewhere in here, have you told me what you said to him that he described as an "outburst?"

Also, have you yet talked with your therapist about being in an intimate relationship right now, your ability to handle that kind of relationship, and, if they feel you can handle it, about developing tools and skills to manage it well?

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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

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Alergnon
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The outburst was, I freaked out and sent him messages, leading up to the last one, he then told me he had his phone charging and he was sleeping.

I told him, I hurt myself 7 times and he thought he had intentionally hurt me which he stated he never did or wanted to. He said he was done.

I explained in messages it wasn't him, but my past and all this stress going on. Then, I gave him space, asked if he would like to talk with me so I can give my reason.

All in all, it was stupid of me to do that. I couldn't handle bills coming up again, to my health, to my job, to freaking out yesterday because today it's been a month since my Grandma left, and I couldn't handle it.

I was never like this, never felt this way before, until, I went down to the funeral. I was doing okay handling my stress and figuring it out. I took it day by day with what was in my bank or not. I guess, when she left maybe others would follow.

I know M would never leave me, ignore me, or anything... because... I think he... doesn't just care about me and wants to help but, he... has feelings for me. I don't know, I want him to come to me to tell me.

I rambled again.

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Heather
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I'm not seeing any outbursts here.

But am I getting that M has tried to set limits with you about how much you ask him for and how much he feels you rely on him exclusively, and you broke those boundaries by doing something like disclosing self-harm you were doing?

Or (and perhaps and) you kept messaging him trying to get his attention and the finale was saying you were harming yourself?

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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

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Alergnon
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I'll just put the conversation in (And yes I say a lot)

Me: "Okay been 4 hours since I heard from you, I'm turning cell phone off, so if anyone wants to chat I'm not here. Besides I'm trying to relax and clearly I need to hide this damn phone in a hole. Talk to you whenever I turn my phone back on! Besides wouldn't matter since your busy or whatever to talk."

“I… hurt… myself… 7… times… I’m so weak… such a baby… I am! I don’t ******* care about it dripping it can drip all the 7 wants, I should add more droplets! I shall go an retrieve into my shallow shell, such a weak move…”

M: “I went home plugged my phone in to charge. Then fell asleep instantly. Andrew woke me up… now at bar. I am done. Leave me alone. I never did anything to hurt u intentionally. Bye. Seek help.”

Me: I know you don't want to do anything with me anymore. I would like you to hear me out- in person but that is all up to you if you would like to hear me out. I guess if I don't hear back or continue to chat or whatever hope things go okay with your bar and your daughter.You may understand what I mean: I locked myself up to protect myself from the hurt and I refuse to let others know. i hurt myself to keep quite and not spill, I didn't know who to.. instead I hurt everything; you and myself. I pull away from people who I care about to protect myself not meaning to cause pain, and I did. To not have that person, you, find out about myself, where I came from."

M: I already figured out that u have been scared from ur past. Bottom line is dont get upset about small stuff like the car ride, etc. protect urself all u want but few in ur life are/have been genuinely helping u out. I have. I know things are tough. I am not going anywhere nor will ignore u. U have helped me through some things. I value ur friendship thus far so I am not going to let this one outbrust of urs derail what I think of u a person deep down.

I know,I'm taking this way out or proportion and just freaking out, at the beginning, that is what outburst he was talking about. I feel overally dumb and I'm still paranoid and today I've been doing good not having him respond as soon or fast. I'm trying to just, relax and wait.

I feel like a drama queen.

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Heather
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Let's see if we can't talk about this in a real way without using disparaging terms for yourself, okay?

Here's what I'm seeing: I'm seeing what looks like you trying to emotionally manipulate someone because you want their attention. I see you using pretty passive-agressive language and tone here, and then upping the ante when you don't get a response by not only reporting self-harm, but doing it in a way likely to scare anyone, which I think you were probably aware of.

Then I see you stepping right over the boundaries M set, which it sounds like he's been trying to set with you before now, too, and then kind of rationalize stepping on his boundaries no less.

You don't need me to tell you, I don't think, how none of this was cool and how none of it is the stuff of healthy relationships. It seems like you already know that.

Now, I think that at this point, I have a good enough sense of you to know just how much desperation you can feel when you feel lonely, and just how scared you are about this person abandoning you. I also think it's pretty clear at this point that you haven't had any healthy modeling with relationships in your life, so it might seem like this way of interacting with people is the way to do it. But in order to be in a healthy relationship, however these things might be true, they've got to be remedied and worked on FIRST.

But this, and some other stuff, is also why I have tried to be very consistent in stating to you that my assessment is that at this point in your life, a close, intimate relationship -- especially when you don't also have other close relationships, like other friendships -- probably is not a sound thing for you or something that a) you yet have the tools and the healing under your belt to manage, and b) which is likely to be healthy, for you or the other person.

Now, I get someone coming along who seems really awesome, but even when that person is the most awesome person in the world, their awesome alone can't make a relationship work or be healthy. Do you know what I mean?

That given, it seems to me you have a couple choices right now:

1) You step away from this, period, and take real time OUT of a sexual/romantic relationship to do more healing, learn some of the skills and tools per healthy relationships, and also invest more time in your life creating a net of relationships, not just only one or only sexual relationships. This would also involve working with your therapist on all of this. And honestly, it sounds like M would probably be open to supporting that, if that's what you needed to do in order to take care of yourself and engage in this relationship in a healthier way.

2) You stay in this, but ask your therapist to help you and M manage this relationship in a way that's healthy for the both of you, maybe getting your therapist involved. That would probably involve stepping back on how serious this got, and seeing each other and being in contact a little less, making rules you honor like how many times or when you text and call (one set time a day to talk or text might be a very good way to start something like that), and truly honoring boundaries, etc.

3) You keep going at this as you have been, and really, while that's an option, I think chances are good one or both of you is going to get hurt.

I want to add a couple things to this, and if they're unwanted or unsolicted on my part, my apologies, and please feel free to ignore them.

As my life goes on, I tend to feel like the idea of anyone in my life I care about making any kind of promise - or reality -- that they would never, ever leave me, no matter what, isn't comforting, it's scary. It's scary because I care about the quality of my relationships, and it's scary because I care about those people. I don't think I'd do this, but just as an example, if I was being in any way abusive to someone I cared about, I hope to hell they'd leave me and stay away, because I don't want to be hurting them. You know?

But getting to a place like that means that we can't see any one relationship as a lifeboat. One, because that's not what healthy relationships are, but two, because we have to be able to be okay with ourselves without any one given person in our lives. That doesn't mean we might want that, nor that it might be hard to not have someone we care about and want in our life in our life, but if we really think we wouldn't survive the loss of any one person, then we have to know we are MUCH too dependent on them. Or just really not at all in the right headspace or heartspace to be in that relationship, because obviously we have a lot of work we need to do on and for ourselves first. Do you follow?

I also want to add that your grandmother didn't leave or abandon you. She didn't commit suicide, and she didn't hop a bus out of town to ditch you with no word. She got old, she got sick, and she died. I know that is clearly a huge loss for you (especially if, and it sounds like maybe this is the case, she was the only family member you had you had a good relationship with). Obviously it is, and obviously it has really knocked you for a very hard loop.

But I think thinking about this as her leaving you is making a hard thing harder.

She didn't leave. She died. I know that means she's not here for you, and that is obviously very sad, but her dying has nothing to do with you in the sense that that wasn't about her deciding she didn't like or love you, not about her not caring about you. It was just about her getting old and passing away, which was something completely outside her control. However much she loved you, liked you, cared for you? That didn't change when she died.

[ 01-07-2013, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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

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Heather
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One last thing, btw, I'd perhaps think about with this is if you think some of your behaviours with this have been an attempt to test him to SEE if he'll leave.

Often enough, people do that, without even realizing that's what they're doing. It's a means of self-sabotage, ultimately, and one where if the person does leave, then they get to be the jerk who left, rather than the person for whom you made it impossible to stick around, even though there's nothing mean or jerky about a person leaving an unhealthy relationship.

I don't know if this is something you're doing or not, but I'd think about it for yourself and see what you think.

--------------------
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

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Alergnon
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I'm going to need some time to think about all of this.

All my life I feared to become what my parents were and... I feel horrible and scared I am becoming them, verbally abusive, rude, making them feel less than of a person and I don't want that at all. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be angry and miserable like they were.

I'm just scared and I've never been taught how to treat others with respect when feeling scared because half the time, I don't care. Not saying I'm not a caring person, I am, just when I am scared... that happens. I feared this would happen, me treating M like this, it's wrong of me.

I know my grandmother never abandoned me, I've been abandoned all my life. It felt like she did only because, I tried to talk to my own mother, she never looked at me or replied back. So, I think feeling abandoned from my grandmother came from the fact I lost my mother as well, even though she is breathing.

I need to work on that with the therapist, about relationships and my feelings, learn how to not be like that person my parents were when I was living with them.

It's like I have some demon inside of me, I would do anything to help someone, but when I am scared, I say things and it never makes sense. I went off the wall when M came over to cuddle on New Years, I knew something was up, his guests/friends, made fun of him New Years eve about us, and he went to bed early. He keeps telling me "to not worry about it, nothing can be done, I've tried." But, I insist something needs to be done. I can't stand him being bothered and basically being bullied by his customers and friends.

So, if I could do anything to help myself would there be a center or something to go to, regarding this kind of thing, like a class, sessions or something I can look into going where it focuses on that?

I need to think about everything you said still, I wanted to acknowledge that I'm being rude and abusive and I don't want to be like my parents.

[ 01-07-2013, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Alergnon ]

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Heather
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You know, Alergnon, I think what you just wrote here is some of the most honest, real, self-aware posting I've ever seen from you. Saying things like this out loud (or writing them out loud) can be really hard and really scary, and I commend you for that.

It might also help to know that when people in this spot really start to get that kind of self-awareness? Then is when they can actually start making progress, because that really is half the battle, just getting to that. [Smile]

I understand not wanting to be an abusive person, and I know that's the last thing you want. But I also understanding doing what we learned, whatever that is, and behaving in the way we saw other people behaving. That's something no one is immune to. It's also something people are particularly prone to do with interpersonal relationships.

You say these behaviours "happen." That makes it sound like you aren't actively doing them, when you are.

Do these feel in or outside your control? For instance, when you pick up the phone and text like this, is it like you literally feel you cannot put the phone away, that your heands are typing while your head is screaming for you to stop? Or is it more in control than that?

I hear you saying that when you feel scared and desperate, you have a very hard time really thinking about anyone but yourself. Does that sound about right?

If so, then in thinking about all of this, I'd suggest thinking about how you might be able to manage an intimate relationship right now, a healthy one, where you have top always see the other person and regard them, when it sounds like you are feeling fearful and scared and insecure around it pretty much all the time, especially all the time or anytime this person isn't right next to you. get what I'm asking?

I don't think you have a demon inside of you. I think that you have mental illness you're just barely starting to manage and learn to manage. I think you have a lot of healing to do, due to things that other people did to you which were not, in any way, your fault. I think you don't have healthy behaviours to bring to relationships, overall, just yet because you have to learn them first.

None of those things make you a bad person. They just make you a person who, in my opinion, needs a lot more time working on their own stuff outside of a sexual/romantic relationship, especially a very serious one, before they can earnestly have a healthy one and interact in this kind of relationship in a healthy way.

Really, your therapist is the very best place to start with this, and sticking to therapy, over time -- as in, at least a year or two, I think, given the level of trauma you've experienced -- is likely your very best tool. We have many articles and columns here on the site about healthy relationships, and there are books I'd be happy to suggest, too, but I think that all of that is going to be much more supporting help than therapy. And at this stage in the game, those things aren't likely to help you much if you don't feel able to control your own behaviours.

(But I'd still be happy to give you some books and pieces to start with, if you'd like, and you can see if they help you or not. It's not like reading them would hurt!)

--------------------
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

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Alergnon
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Hmmm, sometimes yes, when I pick up my cell phone and call or text, I'm hating myself for sending another message because that fear has taken over my mind and I become selfish and I think about me not M. Like, I think about him, but in that moment, no. I call myself names when I send messages because 1) I need to calm down 2) I trust M 3) I need to just wait.

I also get anxiety when he doesn't respond for hours, making me feel like, I did something wrong or, another thing, I keep saying sorry to bother you but... like I feel like a child.

I do have some handle on my own emotions and then I don't. My colleague and myself talk about our lives, like me I tell her about M and I and she tells me about her and her (not likely going to be husband anymore from what I've been gathering) husband, but also a man in her life that is good to her. She has told me her self I talk to much and I need to wait for him to come around and talk to me. She is right. She's the only person I talk about that stuff to in great detail, our conversations get so deep it's like *wow*.

I need to improve on this, needing to wait. I've always had issues with waiting. Can't stand waiting.

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Alergnon
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I hate to admit this...

But...

After I read what M sent me last night, and before, just thinking about it, I worked myself up to the point I was almost puking. It may had to do with my stomach went to hell last night resulting in me gagging due to the pain.

I know that isn't normal or is it, feeling like I'm going to throw up from thinking about someone?

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Heather
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This is another one of those things likely best-suited to therapy.

But if you want my read on it, my sense is stuff like this probably has very little to do with M, as a unique person, at all, and more to do with what he represents to you, and more to do with YOU.

Mind, anyone who has a person they care about get pushed to the limit by them who says they're done? Is probably going to feel seriously bad. At the same time, I think it's all worse for you because of all the things we've talked about over the now-years you've been here, very much including the fact that I just don't think -- I know, I'm being a broken record, but I don't know how else to try and get through on this one -- you are yet going to be able to handle an intimate relationship, and are without a lot of the tools and supports people tend to need to do that. Like, for instance, having at least one friend to call when you feel upset like that, maybe to have come over and both be there for you, and then help talk you down to a place of some real gravity.

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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

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Alergnon
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And right now... I'm freaking out again and I feel I need to hide my cell phone again... M said he would get back to me within an hour and he said that at 3pm and it's past 6pm and hes only sent one message back 2 hours after.

I feel like crying and I have no idea why.

Hate this. I'm restraining myself.

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Heather
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So, he DID get back to you, sounds like, right?

If you need to put your phone away out of reach because you can't otherwise not keep texting him, by all means, do that.

If you feel like crying, you can cry.

I do hope you'll bring all of this up with your therapist at your next session, hopefully as honestly, because it's really important.

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Alergnon
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Heather you lost me on; "... this probably has very little to do with M, as a unique person, at all, and more to do with what he represents to you, and more to do with YOU."

What do you mean by what M represents to me and more to do with me? I don't really understand, or maybe I do... but I don't see it.

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Heather
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You really haven't been with M for very long, and it's not like your survival actually depends on him. He doesn't keep food in your fridge, pay your rent, help take care of your kids, etc.

In other words, I think the level of upset you have had around M which has been pretty much a constant from day one has not been about HIM and your relationship with him as a unique person.
I think it's about seeing this, or any sexual/romantic relationship (because this has been a bit of a pattern with yous since you've been posting here) as a lifeline, as do-or-die per what it means to you and how your sense of self is often very dependent on a person valuing you in this way.

If that's not clear, think back to how things were in the first week or two you were seeing him. I remember, and there was a very similar level of desperation, even though it really couldn't have been about him as a unique person because you barely knew him. That wasn't really about him then, and it's likely only so much about him now.

I think we've also talked about codependence in the past, right? If so, that's likely a big part of this picture.

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Heather
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Also, go back to where you talked about how you can't even care so much about someone else when you're hurting. That's kind of part of this stuff likely being more about you than him.

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Heather
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FYI, I will be ending my workday in the next couple hours, so I want to maybe see if we can't make a self-care plan for you tonight. Just getting though one night in healthy ways is something that can help that become more of a pattern.

Want to do that?

If so, are you working or not tonight? What were your plans in general?

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Alergnon
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I was looking for a sex buddy that was all, nothing more and I told him that with telling him, someone to have a good time with.

Matt taught me it's not about sex and he didn't know I was struggling with sex, I believe I told him at some point.

He told me he wasn't looking for a relationship, neither did I, well sorta but I wasn't really up for it, I was more looking at finding a sex buddy for my own needs.

First time I went over, we watched X Files, I believe a week after it got sexual. He told me with him not looking for a relationship, he didn't want me to fall in love or become attached. In the same week, I had seen two other people, none of which resulted in sex, one resulted in fooling around, I thought it was okay. But M told me, since myself and him got sexual that we shouldn't sleep around because it wouldn't be right, in less he told me or I told him I was, or something. At the point, I realized he didn't want to use me. At one point we did nothing for 2 and half weeks, we chilled and talked, watched TV and movies, drove around, etc.

This may sound, off, maybe, but he has helped me with my sex problem and I know there are other ways, but he didn't use me as his toy and he doesn't, he could care a less if doesn't have sex, maybe that is a guy thing-cover-up or something I have no idea. He was honest and he even asked me what guys would normally do with me alone the first time, I told him, try to take advantage of me.

I saw M on facebook and sent him this

Me: I want you to know, I'm restraining from sending you messages all the time till you get back to me.

M: i just got home having dinner with andrew

Me: That fine. I just wanted to let you know, that is all. Also it's hard restraining myself from sending you messages.

M: send messages then

Me: No. I say no because I send to many and your like spammed with them, when I should wait for a response and not send more. I need to learn to wait, Matt. Gotta say, it's killing me inside restraining sending you messages.

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Heather
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So, it sounds clear that on top of everything else, so far this has also been a bit of a watershed relationship for you, if not a pretty big one.

Not really having the tools and skills to manage most relationships is hard enough, but it can be REALLY hard with something like that. So, I'd say it's all the more understabdable you're feeling very scared and really struggling here.

Can I make a suggestion? Maybe next time, don't send the message saying you're not going to send any messages. because, of course, you just already did, you just used another medium. So, you kind of take away any real feelings of success, then, and also make it something about him in some way when it's really about you, and you learning to control your own behaviour. Get what I mean?

In any event, again, what's your plan for self-care for tonight?

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Alergnon
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Yes I'll be working tonight. I may take a nap before work or maybe see if M wants to hang for a bit before I work if not I'll take a nap, been up for 2 days now, only slept an hour yesterday before work, and been up since Saturday evening.

Aha, people think I am crazy for not sleeping 3 days and I still work and function fine.

And tomorrow, is my night off, don't have plans yet.

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Heather
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Well, no one is functioning fine on three days of no sleep, even if they think they are. Physiologically and emotionally and intellectually, the body simply isn't, no matter who you are. So, for sure, one of the things to add to your list is to work on getting more sleep. [Smile]

How about instead of seeing M, you sleep until you have to go to work? Then plan to get a lot more sleep when you're done?

After that, what about planning some by-yourself self-care things for the rest of the day and night?

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Alergnon
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I'm getting better at getting more sleep, before I was a robot.

Well, I know tomorrow M and his roommate are going shopping in the States (if he gets his employee to start work early) and I'll sleep the morning and most of the afternoon away and get up. After that, not sure on what I should do, clean my so ever cleaned room with minor crap on the floor.

Just take it easy.

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Heather
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Cleaning and/or rearranging -- making your space more beautiful -- is always a good self-care move. [Smile]

If it helps, when I do self-care days, I try and tick at least one box for every aspect of self-care on this list:
• body (at least one for the inside, one for the outside, unless it's something that combines the two, like taking a long walk)
• heart
• mind
• spirit
• space

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Alergnon
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[Smile] Haha

I will try these. I also realized I need to gather my so ever filed papers and put them in order for taxes soon.

But, I may do what I did on News Years Eve, went to sleep at 9am or 10am that morning and woke up at 5am New Years Day. It was amazing sleep!

I will try those things you listed.

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Heather
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It sounds like you're way overdue on amazing sleep, to be sure. [Smile]

Just as a reminder, Alergnon, you're cared about here. While we certainly can't address all the things you need addressed, or be more than we actually are -- like not being an in-person friend or a therapist -- we are invested in you, and hope you realize that in considering your support circle, and people who care about you, you can certainly put us on that list.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Alergnon
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Okay Heather [Smile] *hugs*

Thank You. Will think more of everything and if I'm awake and alert in the morning after getting home from my overnight, I'll read up on some articles on relationships and such.

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Heather
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Hugs back. [Smile]

I can create an article and booklist for you in the morning if you like.

If nothing else, bookwise, I think one book that might really help you (I like it a lot, and it helped with some lingering family abuse stuff myself) is Healing Your Emotional Self by Beverly Engel.

It has done fairly well, so I'd say chances are good of finding it at the library.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Alergnon
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Awesome. Thank You.
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Heather
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Sure thing. Take care of yourself tonight.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Alergnon
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Last night working, was a struggle for me, I went slow and even though I didn't do what I normally would do because my co-worker wanted to make the product I just did the other side of the kitchen and storefront. I spaced out a lot in just feeling crappy. Dealing with costumers and there orders, taking money, I didn't interact with hardly any of them, I basically took there money and gave them their order. That is very unusual for me; I would smile and maybe have small talk with them, while I am waiting for there order to be past to me.

M picked me up from work this morning and drove me home. I swear I need to stop rambling to the world of useless crap. I guess I was happy to pick my checks up tomorrow at my cousins, because not like I need the money right now, because I get paid this Friday and the checks wont go through till then.

Got home and not sure where I spent the 2 hours before I went to bed. I know I laid on the bathroom floor in pain ready to throw up. I just, got up trying to not puke and walked to my bed and past out cold. I remember vuguely of my cell phone ringing and looking at who it was- I had no interest to answer my doctors office, and woke up to a voice message and 7 text messages. I slept 10-11 hours straight. Am I feeling better? Not one bit. Still in pain.

I have a doctors appointment tomorrow at 11:15am and therapy at 1pm Thursday.

Okay I've thought a lot about everything, besides when I was out cold sleeping. These questions keep running threw my head.

1) I can't do this anymore.
2) I'm starting to hate myself more and more, because I'm becoming them.
3) I feel useless and could I do better than that?
4) Why am I doing this, it's not right on so many levels?
5) These racing thoughts are starting to become exhausting.

Explanation of each.

1) Can I keep doing this? I feel I can, it's just a rough spot for me. What I can't do anymore is be in this confusion, leaving me wondering what the hell is going on. I know people don't talk or express their feelings well, but for M, he does a great job in expressing his thoughts, fears, concerns, and feelings about things in his life- which is great. But from him and I, it's like he says something and I'm left confused. When I had asked him about what he said in the shower, he responded with- I never said that, did I, that wasn't me- sorta thing. How can someone like me understand this. What he said to me was, "I think I'm falling for you," I asked him, "what do you mean?" He said, "I think I'm falling in love with you but I don't know."

2) I know the right thing to do is, talk to M about me becoming more and more like my parents, but I can't let him see me on a different angle, as someone bad. He knows a lot about what they did, said, done to me in the past. He feels sorry for me because I have no family here. He used this phrase, "your with family" he said this to me when I spent Christmas eve and Christmas day with him. All that I can't become is my parents. I feel selfish for letting it happen. All my life, ever since I was in grade 7 about 6-7 years ago, I told myself my family wasn't my family anymore, that I was some lost baby they picked up. I told myself on a daily basis, "I will never treat anyone like they have to me, never... I just can't make them feel like what I went through, it's not right." I'm scared that my parents seeped into me last person I want to hurt is M.

3) I had a question pop up in my head while working a few nights ago, "can I do better than M?" I asked my colleague this she didn't know how to respond. "Maybe but do you feel you can do better than M?" I said, "yes and no," this question pops up sometimes. Maybe, I'm trying to be better for me, but I feel selfish to be better for who?

4) I knew I was becoming like my parents awhile ago and I ignored the fact it was happening. Now, I can NOT ignore it. When I am hurting, I hurt those who mean a ton to me, but it's always towards males and not females. I guess, I begin to have no respect for them because I feel bad and I blame them. This is wrong on so many levels. I've had people walk out of my life because of this and honestly, M hasn't, I'm not sure why he hasn't yet. Maybe; 1) I have no one/friends 2) he wants to help 3) he cares 4) or something else.

5) It's back, my racing thoughts. Pattern? I feel when I see my parents because I was forced to or I choose too the two times back in March and last Christmas, when I leave, a part of me was taken from me, I get home and I feel like a weightless feather asking myself, why don't I live with them? When... I see them, I feel what they are saying and doing is right and normal because I was raised in it. When I get home, it's like, where the hell is their behavior and I miss it. Now, I'm becoming them! I had no interest in seeing them in October but I needed to see my Grandma and I was scared. The moment I got on the train, I wanted off, train ride to my Grandma's funeral was hell. In Toronto I wanted to just not get on my other train I wanted to go home. Moment I was there and saw her... I wanted to leave that was all I wanted to see was her.

I don't know what I am doing!

I hardly talked with M today, other than when he picked me up from work and drove me home and some little short text messages when I woke up, because he went out of Country for shopping and he let me know when he got back.

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Onionpie
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Hi Alergnon. I'm sorry to hear that you've been having such a hard time with this lately and were unable to focus at work because of it. Were you able to keep some of the self-care things Heather suggested in mind?

I myself have been learning new ways of dealing with stress in-the-moment, but those methods don't just have to deal with anxiety-type stress; being upset is version of stress, and you could also try stress-reduction methods to help get out of (or at least a little removed from) other negative head-spaces you may find yourself in. For example, you can try singing your favourite most relaxing song to yourself, and think about things that might make you happy (like fluffy kittens! Or scuba diving! Or snuggling up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate).

Those methods work to get you out of the stressed-out or upset headspace, by making you concentrate on un-stressful things. There are also grounding techniques you can try, like some people find that having something soft that they can touch (a scarf or mittens, or a sweater) really helps them calm down in the moment. That sort of thing is an important aspect of self-care as well. Heather's suggestions of focusing on heart/body/mind/spirit/space can be used in that way too -- as smaller in-the-moment self-care tools; touching a soft fabric would be a "body" self-care tool, for example.

What do you think? Do you think there are any in-the-moment techniques like that that might help you feel better when you're having moments like being very tempted to text M? If you aren't sure of any, how about taking some time to think about possible ones for yourself? Try thinking of your favourite song, or textures, smells, or images that make you feel happier or more relaxed.

I hear you saying a lot that you've always been worried about turning into your parents, and you feel now that you are doing just that. However, I don't think that's a great way to think about it; I mean it's not like you actually can literally turn INTO them [Wink] What's happened is just that you have adopted some of the unhealthy relationship dynamics that you grew up observing and experiencing, and you're reflecting that. That doesn't mean that you're a terrible person, or that you're "turning into" your parents, or that you're doomed to be an abusive person. Not one bit. It just means that you, like all the rest of us do, are behaving in a way that you've learned.

But do you know what? You're awesome. You're awesome because you're SEEING that you're taking part in unhealthy relationship behaviours that you learned from your parents' unhealthy relationships. And the fact that you're seeing that means that you can change it. You are not doomed to "become" your parents. You have stuff you've got to work on... and after that work, you'll be able to have interpersonal behaviours that are healthy and beneficial for everyone involved. From here it's only up [Smile]

I also hear that you're really worried about acting out these unhealthy dynamics with M, and you don't want to hurt him, and you see that you've already been taking part in some of those unhealthy behaviours. I think, though, that what you should be thinking about here is not talking to him about how you're becoming more like your parents, or questioning if you can do "better" than him, but instead you should focus on how you CAN really solidly STOP your unhealthy dynamics with him. You say several times that you really don't want to treat him poorly or hurt him in any way.

And honestly, in my opinion, the best way to stop from doing any harm is to not participate in an intimate relationship until you have learned new ways of interacting. Because right now all you have to go by are the unhealthy dynamics you observed from your parents; so if you want to have a healthy relationship, you're going to have to wait until you work on learning healthy behaviours.

You can't have a good, healthy relationship FIRST -- if only! That'd be great, but unfortunately, that'd also be magic. So I think right now instead of focusing on being in an intimate relationship, it would really help you to instead focus on doing some real big, hard work with a therapist on learning healthy interpersonal dynamics and behaviours. THEN you can go out and have that kick-*** relationship with a kick-*** person.

I know that's a lot to take in. How do you feel about all of that? Is there anything that feels way off the mark there? Do you agree that stepping away from intimate relationships would be the best way to stop from hurting people and/or being abusive right now, or do you feel that there'd be a better way than that? Do you feel like you'd be willing to really commit to and work hard with a therapist? Do you feel that it would really aid you in learning more healthy behaviours?

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