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deehmah wondering
November 13, 2003
3:20 am
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deehmah
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Why do I have a problem separating the reality of who someone is from my desire to see them as I want them to be? My last relationship, he was cheap, boring, unexciting, lazy, had poor personal hygiene. We had no "good times" that I have fond memories of. I was embarrased to be seen with him by anyone I knew. Yet, the fact that he cared for me (supposedly) made me thankful.????? And even though I know that I did the right thing breaking off with him, I have problems with it and am sad. Maybe because he let me go without a fight? Is it only self esteem? And I keep thinking about the 'potential' he had. And the flashes of 'the person within'. Of course, I was going to 'fix him up'. Get him to cut his hair, manicure his nails, buy him nice clothes. Bring out that hidden, wonderful man. HA HA. And when I get caught up in my sadness, I remember things as they never actually were. Why? Is my self esteem so bad that I will accept anything? I wonder about all of this.

November 13, 2003
3:41 am
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deehmah
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I wonder - why do I not accept someone as they present themselves to me - why am I always trying to see 'the person within'? Do I think that I'm some kind of saint - that I can fix everyone? And why do I think I deserve so little? I am educated, intelligent. Have a great job, am financially independent. I am attractive, warm, caring, giving. Why do I feel that if I ask to be treated as special, to be treated as most women want to be treated - that I am being selfish? That I am asking for too much. Why do I let men make me feel guilty for asking for these things when I know I'm not wrong. Yet I let them question whether I am wrong? Just wondering.

November 13, 2003
10:35 am
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mj
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I had a police chief tell me that to be treated as a lady, you demand respect.....example. When you are with a gentleman, if he isn't being a gentleman and not opening your door, just sit there until he opens it. He will get the message. If he doesn't open your door wait patiently at the door and eventually he will open the door. You never have to say a word if he is a gentleman. If he isn't, move on.

November 13, 2003
3:59 pm
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deehmah
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MJ - you are so right. it all starts with me, i guess. like the saying at the top of the page - when you settle for less, you get even less than you settled for.

November 15, 2003
5:06 am
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Hermione
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Deehmah - what would happen if you saw yourself in the same eyes that you gaze on other people with? What would you want to 'fix up' about yourself? It sounds like you have everything happening on the 'outside' - all the wonderful things you can acknowledge about yourself (go girl!) - but what about 'the person within' you? You ARE special - you DO deserve respect - where does the 'guilt' come from? What do you feel you truly deserve?
(just some things I have been asking myself lately and thought it might help)
Big hug - H

November 15, 2003
12:13 pm
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deehmah
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H - I guess I've never felt special. Intellectually, I know I am but when it comes to others - I just don't feel like I deserve it. I put others first at my own expense. Then, as time goes by, I get resentful. But I feel that I'm being selfish if I ask for what I want. It comes from my upbringing - classical child of an alcoholic (my father) and a self-suffering, martyr complex mother. Also, I was adopted when I was a year old so I have a lot of abandonment/rejection issues that have followed me my entire life. My feelings never mattered growing up. I was always told 'you know how you are'. I still don't know what that means. I was made to feel guilty about everything. As an adult, I can see the wrongness in that, but as a child - I believed it. It's a constant battle. But thanks for the hug!!!!!!

November 15, 2003
12:55 pm
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Anonymous
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Dehmaah,

I am in the same boat...can't offer advice, but know you have a fellow traveller here...Same childhood messages, same problems today in relationships...

November 15, 2003
1:19 pm
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unhappy camper
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I am a member of this club too.

gingerleigh told me recently: if you have a deep cut it won't heal if you put a filthy bandage on it (my husband). Look for a clean healthy way to heal the wound.

Dirty bandage is my husband's new nicname. LOL

(thanks again ginger)

hugs to the other members of this doormat club. I hope we all can quit this club soon.

camper

November 15, 2003
4:15 pm
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Hermione
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Deemah - I've got myself back on to the self parenting path - through a book called Self Parenting - it has many exercises in it that might help you a lot.
I may not do the book justice but here goes - it is like you set up a dialogue with yourself either on paper or in a mirror talking out loud and you let yourself make a statement about yourself or ask yourself a question - it might be "You are so special to me 'little girl' how are you feeling today?" then give a little time to see what you answer - the answer is from the child part of you who cannot shake the feelings you describe - listen to her until she has nothing more to say - you can be gentle with her and respond to her the way you wished to be spoken to when you were young - you may be surprised at her anger, at her sadness, at her joy for having the opportunity to talk with you - be gentle with her and coax her to tell you how she is feeling and let her know that the parent part of you will always be be there for her whenever she needs you - tell her that you will take care of her, protect her, nuture her, love her and never make her feel guilty or less than special.

It may sound silly but I have found it very powerful - even giving myself a hug at times - don't be worried if she doesn't answer straight away - she may be deeply buried - it may take a few times for her to find the courage to talk - you are your own best friend - doing this work is a way of getting the right messages and letting them remain - unchallenged by the exterior world. Its a dialogue that can undo the negative messages you got as a child.
Use two different pens if you are writing - write a letter of invitation to your little girl if she is finding it difficult to surface - let her know it is a safe place for her to come and talk about how she is feeling.
It sounds to me like you are a wonderful 'parent' and that you could really give yourself all that you need - try not to give yourself the same messages you got as a child - try to give yourself the messages you wanted to get.
This process is very empowering - it may sound silly and strange but I urge you just to try it once and see what happens - I am back to doing this once a day and its amazing how 'cared for' I am feeling.
Doing this for the people around us is great but it may not get us what we need in return - doing this for ourselves guarantees we get what we need in return.
Be gentle with yourself, more hugs to all of you - hope this is helpful in some way,
H

November 15, 2003
5:24 pm
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deehmah
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Thanks so much to all of you for the messages of support. Again, it helps so much to know that I am not alone. Hermione, I have heard of this book and will look for it next time I'm at the bookstore. I don't think it sounds silly at all. I have been looking to others for validation, my whole life. And I haven't gotten it. Maybe I really do need to give it to myself. How can I expect others to treat me well if I don't treat myself well. This also intertwines with the other thread 'friendship'. I have the same problem with friends. I find that as long as I am 'flexible' and do what others want - everything is alright. But when I speak up for myself - they leave. This is for both men and women. There are many dynamics in friendships and I think there are always leaders and followers. If you are a follower, a peace keeper, a fixer, you have to find friends that while they may be leaders, will not exploit you but value that part of you. I have two good friends that I find this to be true. Both have somewhat 'stronger' personalities than I do, but both value me and are willing to make sure that I am included in all decisions. And I have been learning how to say 'no', i don't like, want to do something, with these friends because I know it's o.k. and they won't stop liking me.

November 15, 2003
6:35 pm
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Hermione
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You are lucky to have such good friends - my best friends live quite a distance away so I rarely get that deeper kind of understanding - I have only been living in my current location for three years and I am still searching for a friend who I can really 'click' with - I am lucky that there are people here who I can get along with and who are supportive and kind but I guess I am learning to give to myself what I can't always source outside of myself - glad you liked my suggestion - I am getting quite a lot of relief/insight from it - hope it helps you too - goodluck
H

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