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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Jerkiness Problems

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Author Topic: Jerkiness Problems
Handy
Neophyte
Member # 108072

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This is my first post here so I'm not quite sure how to start so I'll dive right in.

I am a 19 year old guy who has been struggling with intense mental illness for the past three years. I just recently got out of the hospital where I was staying for mental health reasons.

My question is how do I stop being a jerk in relationships. My first relationship was when I was 16 and I've had a few long term relationships here and there. Due to my disorders and general low self esteem I use self-deprecation as a coping tool. In my first relationship I would constantly worry about being a horrible person or being unloved. During disagreements I would sometimes go into a panic and go into this mode of "i am a horrible person. you must hate me for being so terrible" Quite a lot of the time I'd try and make my girlfriends break up with me.
These feelings were not faked, most of my disorders center around self hate and my inability to accept myself.

I now know this was a shitty and unfair way to be and it made it harder for my girlfriend to have adult conversations with me. My only defense is that I was 16 and had no idea how to be in a real relationship. My relationships after that first one have mostly avoided the self-deprecation pattern but I still constantly worry I am a horrible person.
Everything I read tells me that I need self-esteem to be happy and good to others, and being able to be a good person is the most important thing to me. But despite years of working at it I feel further away from any state of self love than ever.

I constantly review my past mistakes and I can't help but hate myself for my selfishness. Acting abusive or guilting are the last things I want to be. I want anyone I'm with to feel confident and independent and unafraid to hurt my feelings; that will never become true unless I learn how to stop letting my self-esteem issues control my social life.


So how does a person gain self-esteem? I've never found an answer and I need one if I want to be a better person.

Posts: 4 | From: chicago | Registered: Jul 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Hi Handy and Welcome to Scarleteen,

Helping people with mental illness-related issues is not something we are able, due to not having the expertise or resources, to do here. Do you have a therapist or other healthcare provider you can work on these difficulties, including building your self-esteem, with?

It sounds to me, too, like since you're struggling with this right now, right now is not likely to be a good time for you to get involved in an intimate relationship. it's unclear to me whether you have a potential relationship that you're concerned about, or whether you're asking theoretically.

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Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Handy
Neophyte
Member # 108072

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I do have mental care people who are great and are helping me.

I guess for me this question seemed a bit more like a personal rather than a mental illness question.

As far as avoiding intimate relationships goes that is sort of tricky. Part of my treatment is NOT avoiding things that trigger my fears, so I'm a bit split on the whole thing.

I guess I was hoping just to get some good self care/self love tips for people in general. If this isn't the right website for me I understand.

Posts: 4 | From: chicago | Registered: Jul 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, Hnady, I think per is exposure therapies and approaches are what you're doing, that probably doesn't apply when we are talking about things that can impact/hurt other people, no? If you don't know the answer to that, I'd say that's certainly something to talk with your therapist about.

To make our limits a bit more clear, it sounded like you were saying you strongly feel that what you're asking about is based in mental illness: if so, then a therapist/mental healthcare provider is the right person to work through this with, and we're really not.

But if you want to talk about what you brought up in this last sentence, or DON'T think what's in your first post is solely or primarily about mental illness for you, then we can also talk more about what you first asked without reaching outside our own expertise and capacity. Make sense?

--------------------
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
Handy
Neophyte
Member # 108072

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Thanks for responding so fast. I mean, my therapist doesn't consider me being in a relationship as something that is going to hurt someone else.

I guess I'm not saying things right if you think that I am like, an abusive person. It is important for me to say that my ex's do not consider me abusive nor do the multitude of mental healthcare professionals. A lot of this worry is in my own head and does have to do with my own mental illness, so I am sorry for bringing this up here, it was a mistake

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, that's a strange POV, in my opinion, since we all always have the capacity to get hurt or cause hurt in relationships. I wasn't suggesting you were abusive: rather, just stating the facts around vulnerability any of us have in any intimate relationship.

My point was that exposure therapy is usually about *things* not people. So, it's not something that'd really be applied to something like intimate relationships.

--------------------
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
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Anyway, for sure, if you strongly feel that what you want help with is something based mostly around mental illness, then our suggestion would be to make some good headway working with that, per this issue and others, with a qualified mental healthcare provider. Then, after that, someplace like ours can be a good place to go to fine-tune and move forward, and we are qualified to help in that way.

This kind of limit isn't, just to be clear, about anything but us making sure we're not advising people around things we just don't have the experience, education or training to advise people with soundly.

--------------------
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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Handy
Neophyte
Member # 108072

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I misunderstood. Exposure therapy is really complicated and part of my treatment plan is seeking out social interactions that make me scared or uncomfortable. If this doesn't fit with your general experience I don't really know what to tell you. But like you said, this board does not have the time or knowledge for talking about mental health issues.

I am having trouble finding the words for exactly what I came here for. I'm sorry for wasting your time. Thanks for the help.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It's really not about time, I promise. Rather, it's about not helping people with things where the right kind of help is critical, and where doing so from the seat of our pants would be very irresponsible on our part.

No worries about wasting time, but it truly does sound like your therapist is the best person to start with this with, including asking how you can see out these social interactions in a way where you also develop new patterns per forming healthy relationships. [Smile]

--------------------
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
   

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