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Seeing a pattern---don't know how to fix it.
August 4, 2005
1:20 am
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cpt1212
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I went "home" for a visit w/ my parents this past weekend and no matter how good I feel about myself of my life before I go and no matter how well the visit goes I always feel terrible afterward. It usually takes about 24hrs. and then by then I am miserable---I feel worthless, depressed and tense to point that it is physically uncomfortable. I know that they love me the best way they know how and things are much calmer now then when I was a kid, so I don't know why the visits have such an effect on me. I even stayed home from tuesday and put my head under the covers all day (not an exageration). I am realizing now that I tend to do this b4 and after visits with them. I need some ways to cope with this---any suggestions?

August 4, 2005
1:47 am
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cpt1212
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correction I meant that I stayed home from work tuesday

August 4, 2005
8:26 am
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on my way
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Sounds likeyou are moving beyond the old patterns you learned from your homelife as a kid. SOmetimes being in those situations again just repeat the same feelings, unexplainable feelings. I am guessing that you felt that way grwoing up as well. Your parents are who they are...and may never change. Next step of growth for you could be to learn how not to let others make you feel any other way than who you are! 🙂

August 4, 2005
8:46 am
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Molly
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Ahh , my story is ..... Me and my now ex were head over heals in love . In last year i starting getting demanding , jealous etc . I pushed him to the edge many a nite . After a feed of drink one nite i told him twas over ! Next morning he said i hurt him and that i got nasty etc . He said he wasnt sure about us anymore , that the business failing is getting ontop of his plus he is a single parent so finds that hard too . At mo we on a break . I am finding it hard as i do believe it is my fault for pushing him . He is putting up a stuborn front . The ball in his court now for our future . His last words were that he will ring me durn week , as the last few days we have been fighting with bitter words via tex and email . PHEW ... Better in than out , ehh .. I am worried i am clinging onto the hope we'll get back and if we dont i'll be gutted !!!! HELP

August 4, 2005
2:04 pm
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kathygy
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cpt, It sounds like being around your parents brings up a lot of feelings from the past. This used to happen to me until I started to change my way of interacting with my parents. But to do that I had to understand what was going with me subconsiously. I sugest you see a therapist if you are not already to help you find out what feelings your parents restimulate in you so you can find new ways of being with your parents. For one thing I had to learn how to set emotional boundaries on my parents and step out of my childhood roles.

love,
kathy

August 5, 2005
2:29 pm
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hello cpt1212 - how have u been ?

I hope you've regained your sense of self and are feeling more emotionally balanced ("detached") again since tuesday,

my suggestion: let's delve a little bit deeper here (are you up to it?)

You've told us how you feel before and after you visit your parents, but what is happening in between ("black box"?) that is making you feel distressed and miserable ... because here is where you wanna be looking for an answer ("pattern ... don't know how to fix it"), for example what do your parents say to you and how do you usually react ? do you feel disrespected, belittled or unappreciated by them ?

could you (still?) be trying too hard?

molly - what have you been doing to yourself, girl ?!? why is it that you appearantly feel this need or "urge" to push yourself to the edge by provoking your (ex-?)friend the way you did ? why do you seem unwilling to accept that happiness is "written in white ink" ? - ((hugs)), true

August 5, 2005
11:39 pm
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DandyLion
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Hey cpt1212,
I know that realm I see my parents twice a year and it is too much then. I love them very much! Those feelings can be pretty confusing sometimes. Sometimes I count the hours until I can go back to my house, that really only distracts me. I feel much better about going home when I make the conscious decision to travel home, and do not let anyone pressure me into visiting.

August 6, 2005
3:21 am
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cpt1212
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Okay, [email protected], I will give it a try b/c it seems to be effecting me more each time.

My parents live 2hrs from me, much closer than they have lived in the past 10yrs. My mom will hound me to come visit and then i will and when I get there she will need her "space" and spend most of the time I am there alone wrapped up in a book or a ny times crossword. And i can understand that,but she doesn't want us to just be quiet and do our own thing in the same room, she says she needs more privacy and will spend time in a separate room with the door ajar. When we are around each other she is always looking me up down and if she doesn't say something about my weight or my hair or whatever while I am there she will call me up when I have returned home and tell me all about it. She will ask me what I am reading and comment that it is not cerebral enough or say I am glad you have a good job, but what I really wanted you to do is . . . and she is always coming up with projects to take on or causes she wants me to champion or articles she wants me to write. It is almost as if she wants me to do what she is afraid to and only "likes" me when I am in agreement with her. She hugs me and tells me she loves me, but there is always a "but" and she is always holding me at arms length.

My dad is bi-polar. Do I need to say more? Just kidding. Whenever I visit I never know what mood he will be in. Most often he just ignores me or occasionally he is happy to the point of obnoxious, but we are always focused on his moods. Lately he has been off his meds and has been drinking and smoking pot daily and listening to rock music very loud--he is kinda pissed that he is 50.

Depending on my dad's mood my mom and him will either be preoccupied with each other or act like 2 strangers in the same house. My mom will tell me things about him and their marraige and I will hear, "I want to leave him, but I am afraid that he wouldn't be able to cope without me. I just wish he would have an affair". And then she will go through my things to see if I have any pain pills she can steal. I know this is called triangulation and I have asked her to stop and have started interrupting her when starts, but it is very sneaky and sometimes I don't realize until I am involved.

I think the biggest problem for me is that I have very low self esteem and don't yet trust my own judgement. I know intellectually I am never going to get what I want from them, but I still feel that little bit of hope when I am around them--it is almost reflexive. My parents and my brother and sister have very strong personalities and they all think very much alike and are all very self centered (just realized, duh) and they all point out that I am too sensitive or too conservative or too prudish and I guess I just always question my own judgement. Because when everyone around you thinks differently then I do, it means I must be the crazy one. I have just started understanding that is not true since I have started counseling, but I have to remind myself and don't yet believe it.

I guess, I don't know why that just in the last year or so my coping skills when it comes to my family are deteriorating and I don't know why. For example, my family had an election night party last november, we got together for thanksgiving and christmas and I fell into a deep depression for the next few months. With each visit my depression is deeper, although not as long lasting and my anxiety skyrockets. I didn't even realize the connection until my counselor pointed it out a couple of months ago.

Well, this was much longer than I expected (and it sounds much crazier written down), so I will wrap it up.

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