How I tried to convince people to be with me….

I am currently among other things working with feelings of shame which are related to my abandonment issues. Why am I ashamed? I am ashamed for many times where I convinced several of my exes to stay with me when they either threatened to leave or just did not want to be with me. I am ashamed that I lowered myself to the point where I begged them to stay.

To give you a short reasoning why I did this would be – because this is what I have been doing my whole life with my mum. The usual situation in our family life was when my mum did not get what she wanted and then threatened to either kick me out of leave herself. What followed was always me begging her to either take me back or not to leave. It was not like she would always react to my begging either, often times she would tell me how disgusting it looked like and how I was disgusting. And you know what – I felt disgusting. I felt low and humiliated and there was no self-respect left, because I needed to beg for her to actually keep me.

Soon enough this became the center of my life, because it is not like she is only communicating to you what a low creature you are during these times of ‘eviction’. No, since she has the power and control, she walks out when you are talking, she looks at you with disgust when you need something or are ill etc etc. You know you depend on her, so you make the point of your life to not cause much trouble and to somehow continue convincing her to keep you. Every day is a win.

Sadly this is how I have behaved with my boyfriends often enough. I have had my moments of protest, but I have always given in. My ex learned this soon enough that threatening to leave was the perfect way to manipulate me. Whatever concerns or reservations I had about his behavior disappeared when he threatened to leave. Because, I did not want him to leave, in fact in my mind I was as dependent on him as of my mum. I could not get to my head that he actually does not have the same control over me and at this point I could actually afford letting him go. No, I made myself as dependent on him and again, days became about me somehow convincing him to stay with me. I tolerated him flirting with other women, I tolerated his occasional disappearances, I even tolerated him telling me that he would not get anything from marrying me and that would be entirely a favor to me. The last thing probably described the best how I felt in this relationship – like he was doing me a favor for being with me.

This is also accidentally how I have felt during my whole life – like it was my job to make other people want to be with me. The thought of other people needing to gain my approval never entered to my mind. The thought of me being able to choose who I want to relate to and setting borders on people’s behavior also never entered to my mind.

This is something which I need to put a heavy emphasis on, because all this laid out like this makes me incredibly sad…

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The selfishness of a ‘nice guy’

Because of my ex, I am quite familiar of how some guys have a habit of presenting themselves as ‘martyrs’ when they get rejected by the girls they like. In the case of my ex it was some girl 15 years ago who he still keeps talking about and blaming her for using him as an emotional cushion for dealing with the heartbreak from all the assholes that she was dating with. In his mind, the girl was ‘evil’ and playing with him. I was not in the situation, I cannot detest to the motives of the girl, but I have made some recent experiences with similar guys and can give you my own version of ‘these nice guys’.

I have to say that I find such ‘nice guys’ who complain about girls friend zoning them and always choosing some assholes over them extremely upsetting. Why?  – Because they have so big rejection issues that they are not really honest about their motives. Instead they hope that if they pretend to be the friend of the particular girl, they can somehow win her over by not risking much. When this strategy does not work, they attempt to find the scapegoat – ‘the evil’ girl.

All the while as a girl I have had to deal with guys who were sending me some mixed messages with occasional crossing of the friendship and I found those situations extremely difficult to deal with. You like the guy, you love debating and discussing with the guy, but you are sure you not interested in them romantically. So what do you do when they have not really made their interest clear and instead keep communicating with you as friend. Well, you take them for a friend. What upsets me more than having to deal with some occasional problematic signals is the reaction of these guys when you openly confront them about their potential interest and say that you do not share this. In my experience this reaction usually can be divided to two.

The first reaction is to take few steps back and claim that they were not romantically interested at all and you just misread them. Meaning, they make fool of you. That is fine, I can deal with that. However some then continue communicating with you as a friend and then somehow after a reasonable amount of time make another move. This behavior confuses me even more, because I assume that I have made my disinterest rather clear the first time around and you have claimed that you do not have any romantic interest as well, so what???

The second reaction is to frame the girl as evil for wasting their time (the strategy that my ex chose as well).  This I find even more ridiculous because if you as a guy have some romantic interests but you have not had the courage to come forward, it is not the girl who misled you, it is you who misled the girl. So I as a girl would actually have more right in blaming you for breaching my trust, making me invest to our friendship under false premises and using friendship as a means to an end. Mind me, to me friendship is sacred and it is not just some code to – the guy I have not managed to sleep with yet.

I am not saying that the situations are all equal, indeed there can be women that ‘use’ some guys as well as the opposite. However since I had made similar experiences myself and I usually try to be rather clear with my intentions by mentioning either my ex or some other romantic interest to guys with whom I have some doubt that they might be interested, I feel that there is still some truth to my assessment of these guys. So all I can say is that it is better to be clear about your motivations or if you do not dare to do this, at least do not blame the other side for not playing the mind reader and figuring  out your real intentions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vicious circle of depression

Lately I have had episodes of feeling sad. Well, lately is probably a nice way to put it, because the truth is I have been struggling with sadness all my life. Lets rephrase, lately I have started to observe and analyze how the mechanism functions. So I will try to verbalize my observations.

What usually happens to me is that I feel lonely and isolated. Not so much even thinking that everybody has great lives, but rather feeling that I cannot burden other people with my problems. Furthermore, I feel like perhaps if I share this feeling of sadness which keeps accompanying me through life with others, they might not like me anymore. So this again exaggerates this loneliness, because I feel I cannot really talk about feeling lonely with anyone without being stigmatized.

The stigmatization is partially in my head, but partially also true. Lately that I checked, people do not like other people that are downers. The problem is, you isolate yourself further because you cannot be true to yourself. You hide your true feelings, instead choosing to talk about something which is not so relevant, not so sensitive. This pretty much sums up my whole life and my reaction to this sadness.

As a result of never talking about your true and deep feelings of sadness, you feel disconnected. You feel like social interactions are not really giving you what you need and as a result you feel even lonely at the presence of others. You have perhaps to a degree tried to share this deep feeling of loneliness, but then met either some basic suggestion such as – use positive affirmations or people just do not understand what you are talking about.

So the loneliness is reproducing itself. After your failed attempts of connection to others about your issues you feel that your internal feeling of being the odd one out, the freak – never being understood, will only gather strength. You feel as if, in order to connection to others, you need to first change yourself. To somehow make this loneliness disappear. But in the process you isolate yourself more….

Unhealthy ways of dealing with negative emotions

As I am brooding over my deal with dating, I am coming to understand that I have adapted completely wrong practices in dealing with negative emotions from my childhood. My practices vary from instant gratification to ignoring, but very little of my energy has been directed to actually dealing with these negative emotions. But lets delve on the topic a bit closer.

My habits are quite likely copied from my mother. My mother has versatile ways of dealing with negative emotions, one worse than another- firstly of course diving into work, but then also food and alcohol. Lets not forget shopping – my mother’s apartment is filled with stuff she will never need. She is also good in taking her emotions out on other people, mostly me. Finally, she is also good in denial, you know if I do not acknowledge these emotions exist, maybe they do not exist at all.

I would continue with my unhealthy habits, but the sad truth is that you can pretty much copy paste the last paragraph. In addition, however, I have also taken the approach of seeking emotional nurturing. It is not necessarily bad thing, I think it might even be one step closer to healthy ways of dealing with my emotions. However, the way I do this, is problematic. Namely, I tend to think that if I just replace old love with some new love interest, I do not have to deal with the sad and painful emotions related to the old one – Quite common, actually, and the prime reason why people hop from one relationship to another.

But…I do not want to do this anymore. As I was going through guys who have sent me messages, I realized that I am too emotionally exhausted to date. In fact, what I am looking for is emotional support and not some new date. It is unfair to expect that a new date is somehow going to resolve my issues from a guy who ghosted me. So, instead I am going to do something which I have not done before. I am going to wait with dating and I am going to take care of my emotions, my pain……MYSELF.

Being attracted to someone’s potential

I recently heard a sentence – “I do not deserve you, you are worth someone better than me”.  It is actually quite painful for me to elaborate on this sentence, but since this blog has as its main purpose to be as honest as possible and perhaps motivate others with my honesty, I am going to go ahead.

See this sentence is not a compliment. Whenever you hear this sentence, instead of convincing the other person that they are great, what you should do is to analyze it further. What they are telling you is that you deserve someone better. That means, they have noticed that they are not treating you the way you should be treated. If you start convincing them at this point that they do deserve you, what you are telling them is – actually I do not really respect myself enough to ask for what I deserve.

My reaction to that sentence was a bit of both. I did agree on the underlying message and told the guy that I think he is a bit of a work in progress. I also tried to communicate that I do believe in him. However, what is so attractive about a guy who you consider to be work in progress? I mean if you now think that after hearing this sentence I told him, well OK, feel free to seek me out when you feel you are ready for anything substantial, you are wrong. Even though I agreed with him in terms of me deserving something better, my subconscious obviously was too afraid to let go of this guy who I thought had so much potential. So instead, I got myself into a situation…..

So what is it about getting attached to someone who is nothing but a vague promise of commitment? Does it still reflect my commitment issues? Does it reflect the problem with self-esteem? Honestly, at this point I do not know the answer. I do know however that when I hear the following sentence again, I should not ignore this.

“Fighting for love”

When I was fifteen my father reappeared and wanted to establish some kind of contact with me. Mind me he had earlier occasionally shown up and met with me for one evening and then disappeared again. My very skeptical reading as to why he wanted to connect with me at the age of fifteen would be that, he assumed that most of the work of child-raising would be done by this point and he could reap some rewards of having a child.

However connecting with me did not exactly go as planned. Namely I was distant and mistrustful. I had trouble opening up and talking to him which was obviously not something he expected. In his mind he was hoping for a daughter who would embrace him warmly and give him some of the love he was missing in his life. The idea of having to rebuild the trust at this point was not part of his plan.

So it did not take long for him to disappear again. Even if it seems obvious that it was my fault, subconsciously, I think I have always held myself accountable for his disappearances. I mean how else would I explain that when my ex disappeared, somehow I believed him when he explained to me how I had made him disappear. How relationship with me was so draining that he had no choice but to vanish for months. I looked at other happy couples and felt myself like a total failure, because I somehow made my boyfriend want to run away from me and not even keep in contact with me.

Interestingly enough when my ex reappeared, it was not him who had to work with regaining my trust. No, instead it was me who somehow had to fight for not having him abandon me completely. This sounds perverse as I write this here but I think even today there is a part of me that keeps asking – why don’t they want me? Why does no one want me enough for them to invest and fight for their relationship with me? Why do I have to fight for the right to have them in my life instead?

It is apparently these types of men I keep looking for. The kind of men for whose presence I have to fight for. The kind who disappear and reappear or make me work for their attention and love never giving me enough security about the relationship.

It has taken me for years to understand that on some level I have taken responsibility for my father’s assholish behavior. That on some level I thought his disappearances spoke more about me than about him. I also understand that just because I now understand rationally that these disappearances should not speak of me, emotional understanding might take a while, still.

Always on the outside looking in

I have frequently wondered why I am so quick to feel like an outsider and why I take the role of a scapegoat in the big group setting. I suspect that my role is not solely in my head, but I am more likely to be rejected by groups as well. So far I thought that it has been my experience with bullying which has impacted my social behavior. However, today I discovered another layer to this feeling of non-belonging.

When it went back to my happiest memories, memories where I really felt the warmth of home and love, I discovered moments which I had spent at my childhood friend’s home. She has a full family with mother father and a sister. Her mother was this warm and welcoming creature, being able to really create a sense of home. My mum as opposed to that was a workaholic who used work to run away from her emotional problems and came home to unload work stress (well at least mostly). So there was a stark contrast between those two homes.

However, I never really really belonged to my friend’s home. I mean I did belong but in the end of the day I was not at home in this space. I was not at the liberty of deciding when to play or what to wear etc. I was a guest. Interestingly in my coziest memories related to home I am a guest. Hence home was meant for someone else. Someone else got to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and the only way I could join in was by stealing some rare moments and invading someone else’s home space.

I think this really has been the defining experience of my life. Other people had homes and families. Other people felt welcomed and supported. I did not have a family. I did not have support. Hence when going to visit someone’s family, I feel inconvenient. I have no idea what it feels. I feel like a stranger, like I have no business there.

The fine line between vulnerability and neediness

At the age 31 I have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like. I mean there is another drawback for having chased after unavailable guys, besides the obvious ones. See the problem is that I have very little experience in being present in the relationship where we were both open and vulnerable. I mean the whole idea of chasing unavailable guys is that you will not get hurt because the disappointment is kind of coded into the future anyways. So now that I am actually opening myself up to guys who are not obviously unavailable I risk with truly getting hurt. And let me tell you, I have little idea on how to handle these emotions of vulnerability and hurt that come with truly being present with someone.

Since I have no experience I tend to verge between two extremes, either be truly submissive and accepting of shitty behavior or being truly closed off and distant. It is really complicated to hit the middle gear, simply because the whole experience is so new for me.

I am also noticing that I am dealing with the emotions of yearning and longing for someone and I have no good idea on how to manage this either. I mean, I know one should not act needy etc., but I have no idea on when is one acting needy and when is one just vulnerable and open. How should you respond when your love interest is withdrawing – did you somehow act overly distant and drove them away with your wish not to appear needy or are they just in need of space? Am I being needy when I go after them and tell them that I miss them or am I just showing natural vulnerability and interest? Is my judgement on them being less invested than me fair or is my fear of being vulnerable clouding my judgement? I mean there are tons of questions which I now seem to have in connection to this fine line between neediness and vulnerability. I have no idea what is right and wrong and it is not like someone has enough patience to start educating me from the ground up at my age. So I know I need to somehow learn this, but how……well this remains to be seen.

Hot and cold guys

My relationship with my ex has been potentially one of the longest that you can have with someone who blows hot and cold. It started as a mutual dynamic, taken that I was unable to sustain intimacy of any amount of time. My ex still likes to claim that he does not run hot and cold, he is just reacting on my behaviors. Now, I am finally realizing that this is not true.

 
How? See I met another guy and I am noticing very similar habits and patterns as with my ex in the beginning of our relationship. So, lets call the new guy Tom. Tom is acting all flirty with me and trying to smooth talk me. Now, I am usually not very quick to fall so Tom is doing the smooth talking, emotional supporting etc for months. Finally, I start developing certain feelings about Tom as well. So I become more available and open and what do I see, suddenly Tom is distancing himself. He does this once, twice and the third time. At the point when he does it for the third time I am finally starting to think. So here is what I figured out.

 
The pattern with these guys is awfully similar, it is almost like you were dating the same guy all over again. They like to draw you in with emotional conversations – deep stuff, not some trivial compliments. They let you know they like you and you start becoming more smitten. When they notice that you are becoming smitten, they suddenly distance themselves. They stop being available. The usual dynamic which I followed with my ex was to call him myself, to chase him to a degree. Well, with Tom, I have not been doing this. Instead I become distant and cold myself which initiates another reaction – him question me about my distance and rejection issues. Let me tell you, it is so easy to fall for such things. You really start thinking – maybe I am mistreating poor guy. Maybe I, indeed, have strong rejection issues. It took three times of him distancing himself for me to understand that actually, no, I do not have rejection issues, but rather it is difficult to be consistently open and vulnerable with someone who acts all wishy washy.
I have to be grateful for Tom, I never fully realized my exes patterns in the relationship. Thanks to Tom, however, I am becoming clearer and clearer as to how my ex treated me for years, acting all warm and loving at one moment and then distancing himself, making me think that it was something about my behavior which made him do that. Hell, he was actually telling me constantly how it was about me and how he was just reacting.

 
Now, more interesting question is however, why do I keep falling for these on and off guys? What is it in me that finds them attractive? This is something to explore further through this blog.

Embracing who you are

I am not a very average person. My weirdness or specialness goes to the extent which motivated my ex to tell me that he has never met anyone like me or even comparable to me. Part of my recent struggle has been to accept and embrace this individuality.

 
See my whole life I have heard everyone scolding me. No, it was not only my mother who clearly wanted me to be more practical and organized, but it was also teachers, friends and what nots. One of my friends for instance recently criticized me for prioritizing talking in a relationship, I think her exact words were something like – “Guys do not want to talk, you should just accept this, you are living in a dream”. My ex, whereas he noticed my being different from everybody else somehow also wanted me to be more like him – more logical and fact oriented namely.

 
When you are raised with such continuing criticisms, it is easy to feel that something is wrong with you. In fact this is how I have felt my whole life. I have spent years trying to deny and change who I am with varying degrees of success. I still struggle acknowledging that I, in fact, am dreamy, unpractical, a bit messy and unorganized and all the other things which our society seems to condemn.

 
It pains me to acknowledge that some of my closest people, while obviously finding something in my company which they liked, also spent considerable amount of time trying to change and retrain me. I am starting to realize that I have looked for understanding and support my whole life. I have been looking for someone that would see more in me than just this broken thing which needs to be somehow fixed.

 
Last year, whereas painfully difficult, has luckily sent me also some people who were able to see the gifts I have before I was actually becoming aware of those. Chase, in particular was someone who saw something in me, something more than I ever did. His belief in me started this process of changing. Jenny, one of my recent friends, has been another one to believe in me.

 
I cannot believe that it has taken me years to actually find people who do not need me to be different, but can see me for who I am and value this. Now I just need to learn to do this myself to a similar degree as well.