Looking for eternal source of love

I looking for someone to make me feel loved. There it is. I know I should not do this and I also know that all love begins from yourself, but nevertheless, I am like a hungry hound trying to get the most out of a bone. Using this anthology is especially meaningful, since I seem to look for love from the wrong places- as is common for someone who has had a troublesome childhood.

It makes me very sad to see how I have been treated in the past by my partners and my friends (I am not going to comment on how I have treated them, because there is nothing exemplary there either). Nevertheless, letting go these people hurts, because as a hungry hound, you really do not want to let go of the bone, even if maybe there is somewhere delicious sausage. You are instead hoping to get more out of the bone.

I have no idea why my relationships seem to end in similar place where I feel judged and not loved by my partners. I can assume that partially it has to do with my own bias and partially with the kind of partners and friends I choose. I have recently noticed similarities in between my ex best friend and my boyfriend. Both seem to have very little trouble in criticizing me nor making me responsible for our relationship. That being said, of course both have series of positive traits as well. However, taking also into account my ex partners, I seem to attract critical people who are not sure of the relationship. Even though I over react to their criticism, that does not make their behavior OK.

So as I am uncovering the layers, I am understanding how hurt I have been about all this. How desperately I have sought after someone who would provide me acceptance and love that I never had. The unavailable guys, that I am longing after are there to symbolize this yearning for absolute acceptance and love- a myth that would be quickly destroyed, would I ever get to the relationship with them. Obviously no one can compensate for the kind of unconditional love that I missed and no one will ever love me the way one would love his/her child. Therefore, my expectations for relationships are misguided as well.

What I am currently still struggling with, is to find out how misguided my expectations exactly are. Am I exaggerating by condoning the behavior of my boyfriend? Have I pushed him to non-commitment? These are all the answers that I am still looking for.

Struggles in my relationship

My partner has become more loving lately. I have to say that our relationship has been a constant struggle for the last year or two. Namely I felt that he was not investing enough, giving me always very round answers as to if he wants to commit or not (this seems to be a reoccurring experience). Partially this might be due to my own insecurities and needing to know where relationship is at before it is in any safe place. However, my partner’s constant answers as to- our relationship is not secure enough or his several threats to break it up when I was complaining about his lack of commitment, have been seriously challenging.

The beginning of this semester we had another breakup talk where he was expressing his opinion that I want too much out of a relationship. I want a lover, a therapist, a daddy and an admirer. His words have some truth in it. I can clearly see how I have been using my partners to fulfill the holes which are the result of my own childhood. I am indeed highly sensitive to rejection and also still have my abandonment fears at place.

That being said, something in his testament makes me highly insecure about the future of our relationship. I know that your partner is meant to challenge you and show you how you can improve. However, his criticism seemed to offer as much of a way out for him as it did growth to me. I am grateful for him for being honest with me on this matter, however, I feel that some of my expectations are not as farfetched as he seems to assume. In fact, I am even guessing that many of my problems are exaggerated due to his behaviors (not answering my calls, not texting me back, not appearing to meetings etc.).

So I am still off to work on my daddy wound, together with my wish to seek the approval of distant partners who seem to not be sure if they want to commit or not. I have gotten to the crisis, where I feel that his loving attention makes me extremely careful because it only lasts as long as I am distant enough. When I however start having expectations on him again, I feel that all these good intentions will disappear. What to do, I have no idea.

Feeling unsafe in the world

I often times feel unsafe in the world. I am scared that people are against me and that something horrible is going to happen. I am scared that my partner will let me down (he has let me down numerous times already) and I am afraid that I will have no one to turn to.

The problem with these feelings of unsafety is that you see yourself as being in the trap. You cannot leave your unreliable partner, because then you would be completely alone. You cannot rely on your own strength and you cannot produce safety for yourself. On the other hand, having an unreliable partner might, instead of helping you, to further push you over the line.

These are the feelings I am lately struggling with as I am trying to deal with his financial instability and my life’s general ambivalence. I am trying to find the source of security the same manner as I used to try to find the source of lasting love and it is nowhere to be found.

In an ideal case, I would of course feel secure myself. I could depend on myself to provide all these things to myself. I am not so sure how likely this scenario is nevertheless, because it seems that very few of us can cope alone.

So instead, I end up trying to hold on to few close people I have. I am trying to sustain relationships, which might as well be already dead. However, I am too afraid to let go and be faced with having absolutely no one close to me. I was scared to let go of my best friend and the same manner I am scared to let go of my partner even though I see more and more problems in our relationship.

Life just feels scary enough with support network, not to mention without.

More about insecurity in relationships

I have never been able to relax into the relationship. I still remember my first experience in getting together with someone. I was nervous and anxious beyond reason- I even ended up drinking in the middle of the day. I never understood why something that I wanted could make me so nervous at the same time. I just assumed that it was because it was the wrong guy.

More than ten years later I still feel anxious. My relationships still feel ambivalent and I am yet to fully trust anybody. Four years out of these have been spent in therapy and I have gotten to the point where I am wondering whether I am not deliberately creating the conditions where I have no security.

I hate making decisions. It is always very stressful and if it were for me, I would just sustain status quo. I hate changes. Changes make me anxious. I also hate having to rely on someone- because what if this person is not there when I wake up. So I postpone making any decisions about my relationship, because well I do not know if I should trust my partner or not.

He has given me plenty of reasons not to trust. In fact, any sane person would have broken up with him already. I however, might have just stayed exactly because of this ambivalence. Because he did not force me to make any decisions. Because the relationship was always open ended. SO I did not have to face my own insecurities in relation to decision making and commitment and could blame him.

The open endendess, whereas making me anxious, still to a degree fits me. I am convincing myself that at this mystical point in my therapy I am able to make decisions. Perhaps I am able to decide whether I should commit or not. The meanwhile I just procrastinate. I procrastinate my life. Because I am scared. Because I still cannot trust myself in my own hands. I feel as if I need someone else to tell me what to do and who to be.

Externalizing vs. internalizing blame

Recently I have allowed myself something that I have been repressing my whole life- to be angry. See the problem was that, I was made responsible for every fight in the house already in my early years. Whenever mommy was angry, it was my fault. My mother used me very successfully as a scapegoat and the meanwhile avoided taking any responsibility for the problems in her life. That was my first experience with an externalizer.

See, people who externalize blame are making others responsible for their reactions and emotions. Their go-to response is anger. I am sure everybody knows at least one person who does this. Contrary, those that internalize blame are usually sad and victimized (depression is their go to illness). Their usual emotion is shame and self-loathing. After all, if you take responsibility for every bodies negative reactions, you are prone to feel bad about yourself.

The fact, that I am finally feeling anger, is a good thing. I am realizing that by always assuming that I was responsible for the way other people behaved, I was actually contributing to my low self-esteem. After all, I was constantly doing something wrong! It was my fault that my boyfriends did not want to be with me, it was my fault that my friend was so critical of me etc etc…..

It is pretty amazing how the world can change its colors when you finally stop taking the blame for everything. I am noticing aspects about other people that I never did before. I am much more likely to confront people on their bad behavior. Obviously that has led to number of conflicts in my life as I have surrounded myself over the years with many people that have the habit of externalizing the blame. After all, we once were a perfect match! But, I also know that this is a vital step in me finally starting to feel good about myself and saying goodbye to depression!

What to do if you feel that people do not value you?

I have been recently working in my therapy on my anger. I am angry at my childhood friend because every birthday of hers became a bullying session against me. I am angry at my mother because of her disrespectful, humiliating and critical attitude towards me. I am angry at my boyfriend for not committing. I am angry at my boss for expecting me to do overwork. In general I am angry because I feel that people do not value nor respect me.

Things are changing. People value and respect me much more nowadays than few years ago. But still…..I feel that sometimes I fall to my old habits of trying to convince someone to like me. Trying to get the unavailable guys to commit to me is an excellent example. You try and convince as if these unavailable guys really did see your value, maybe you could also feel valuable. If everybody saw your value and acknowledged it, you would finally feel at peace with yourself.

It is difficult to let go of the expectation that other people should provide you with self-worth and feeling of importance. You are still on the hunt for recognition and as long as you do not let go, no award is possible.

I have yet to let go. Now I am hoping that once my behavior changes, people’s attitude towards me somehow mystically transforms. They finally give me the outside value that I so deeply desire. The necessary click has not yet happened, because inside I still feel well….that nobody wants me. Nobody wanted me in my childhood and nobody wants me today. As long as I carry this feeling with me and also try to prove to myself that this is wrong by seeking outside recognition, nothing will change and I am well aware of it.

One important thing that has changed though, is that I have gotten disappointed in several people along the way. Even though the finally click is yet to happen, my eyes have opened and things that I notice are not always making me happy.

The history of my commitment phobia

It has been about four years since I started my therapy, being concerned with the question: What to do with my relationship? Namely, I had extreme difficulties deciding if I should breakup with my ex or not. My emotions were running crazy and I had no good answer. My ex had failed to respond to my question if he loves me and told me that he likes me a lot, but he is not sure he loves me. Additionally he told me that he was never in love with me, but that this might not be important.

After having heard all this, I naturally focused only on “He does not love me”- I am unlovable. He will never love me. No, I am not saying that my ex was anyhow right in saying something like this after I had moved to another country for our relationship, but I also took it completely wrong.

It took me one month of therapy and I ended our relationship. I was scared, heartbroken and had no idea how much work was in front of me.

Today I probably would behave very differently in all the situations related to my ex, but one cannot turn back time. Now I can see how I was constantly putting out roadblocks, not letting my ex close. I was behaving often passive-aggressively and I was flirting with other guys. I constantly doubted our relationship and if we would make a good couple. In fact, when he told me that, he did not love me, my attraction towards him increased. That is a clear sign of danger and the easiest way to detect commitment phobia- Just see if you get more excited about unavailable partners or not. To me that has been the case for years. All the time that I could have had a great relationship with some guy who was actually interested in me, I was longing for the ones that were not. I could not help it.

Furthermore, the more relationships developed, the more anxious I became. I usually thought that this is just a sign that it is not the right guy, but I am happy that therapy made me realize that, it had nothing to do with the guys. It had everything to do with my fear of trusting anyone. After all I had been let down for so many times in my childhood. People had abandoned me, abused me, treated me like a servant- how are you supposed to trust anyone? I still struggle with trusting people, I think this will be the last hurdle to be addressed in my therapy.

The other problem was my shame. I had so low self-esteem that anyone who was willing to be together with me had to be crazy. If they accepted me and gave their love freely, they clearly were not worth my attention. I was used to working for love. When love came for free, it was not really desirable. The biggest catch were naturally guys who were not interested in me- after all, this kept me in safe situation were I constantly had to work for their love, never won it and could always be safe while following something did very well- improving myself according to someone’s wishes.

I have no idea how my previous relationships had worked out if I had not had commitment issues. I am not sure I buy that everyone who gets together with someone who has commitment issues also has the same problems. I do believe that at least some of my previous boyfriends are truly capable of creating intimate relationships, it is just that it was impossible with me. If I indeed believed that they were secretly as messed up as I was, that would be terrifying….for them.

I have come pretty far in my therapy at this point but still some hurdles remain. I still have trouble trusting my current boyfriend and relying on him. He is also not particularly reliable, but I am sure my problems contribute to our issues. I struggle to feel safe with him, still…. Commitment phobia is something that is so difficult to tackle, that as can be seen from my example, it can take years.

Some part of me feels sorry about all these years I spent on chasing all these unavailable guys. The other part feels happy because I am moving towards health. Who knows, maybe one day I will in a relationship were I can relax and live a happy family life. After all, I have always wanted a family of my own.

Insecurity in relationships

I feel insecure in my relationship. There I said it. I do not want to say it. I look at other people (from safe distance) and imagine them having perfectly safe and sound relationships. Mine is not. Never has.

It is one of those fight and plight relationships, passion and anger. You know. Plenty of drama and heart break. Not so surprisingly, after my experience with my emotionally distant ex I went to the other extreme. To someone who can be extremely loving at one point and extremely annoyed and angry at another.

When I compare the two last relationships, then in both of them I felt insecure for the very different reasons. With my ex I felt insecure because I could never understand if he loved me or not. With my current boyfriend I feel insecure because I cannot trust him to be there for me, to stay.

I know he loves me. This has never been under the question. But his unreliability (not calling back, disappearing when in his work trips, making plans on his own, his mood swings) makes it very difficult for me to relax. It seems like I am constantly doubting if there is a future for us.

The funny thing is, both guys obviously reflect two of my main issues- my fear of abandonment and my feelings of worthlessness. Neither of them would have managed to trigger me so much if I did not have my issues. That being said, probably I started liking them exactly because they matched my issues.

The behavior of both guys resembles this of my mother. My mother was unreliable in both ways. On one hand she was emotionally distant, on the other hand, she was also unreliable. I am going to make another post however, to describe my mother’s unreliability.

Using relationships for supporting your self-esteem??

I have always had a low self-esteem and felt unloved. So I did something that our culture and media encourages to do- sought redemption through various partnerships. I am in the verge of changing and understanding how my wish to earn/get my value through my partnerships has made it very difficult for me to find the right relationship. So this is a post for starting the thought process on how the fact that I had no belief in myself has changed my relationships.

I have had problems in various areas with my partners. One of the problems from my side has always been that they have seemingly not been committed to me. I am saying seemingly, because commitment is a two way process and probably my lack of self-esteem contributed to their lack of commitment. I have always hoped that somehow, if this one man commits to me, if he really wants to be with me, I am going to feel better about myself. The problem is that no commitment made so far has sufficed. The problem is also, that my partners can sense my desperation and are not keen on taking the responsibility for building up my self-esteem.

The other problem that I have had with my partners concerns them flirting with other women or not giving me enough attention (spending time with their friends etc.). Again, since I connected my value so strongly with these men, I read their flirts with other women as a sign that I am not valuable enough. Afterwards, the arguments I had with them in relation to this topic further pushed them away from me, because I was not drawing my borders, rather I desperately wanted to hear how important I was for them. Was I important? Naturally a man senses that desperation, which also motivates him to say that the problem is mine and not his (even if there really is a problem from his side).

Final problem that I want to talk about is me not believing that they want to be with me or that I am their first choice. This topic is somewhat related to the previous one. This problem came out especially strongly with my ex, who I was deeply in love with. I never thought that he would share my feelings at this level (I was probably right) and my mission was to somehow convince him that I indeed was of value. I neglected all the signs that I might have been important to him, because I simply could not believe his intentions. I only saw my truth, which was- “He does not love me”.

This does not mean that my boyfriends have not done anything wrong, it is rather to say that everything that they have done, I have taken as a reflection on my value. I have not thought that maybe some things are a mere question of setting boundaries, but rather been deeply hurt because in my mind their actions mean that they do not appreciate me.

Fear of being alone (single)

It is night and I cannot sleep. Those sleepless nights always make me think of loneliness. I read somewhere that the extent to which you are able to enjoy being alone determines your attractiveness to others.

I have to say that there is something extremely liberating in the idea of being able to be alone. Being able to be single. Not worry about finding a partner. And with those words I have to say, I am pretty bad at practicing solitude. I am scared. The nights are dark and the big cities and foreign countries are lonely. Who will help me out if I am in need? Who will save me?

I can enjoy being alone if I know that there is a support network for me out there. In fact, at the point that I have boyfriend, I am not overly clingy and can spend a great deal of time apart. However, this terrifying idea of being single….

Obviously there is a trauma somewhere there. I do not know yet what it is- maybe it is about all these people that abandoned me. Maybe it is about my mother leaving me alone for hours when I was a baby. I have no idea. But I hate being controlled by this fear.

Fear of being single makes you weak. It takes away your control. You may institute your borders in the relationship, but you are going to back down quickly if it looks like the other side might leave. You are constantly checking on their intentions on the future. Are they going to leave at some point or not? Tomorrow again- is it still so that they intend to stay?

I think if there is one thing that makes a person more powerful, it is fearlessness of being alone. The ability to build up your own life and be able to enjoy it also without a significant other. Naturally it also makes one pretty attractive.

However, I am not there. Not yet…