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This is my "safe place....."
April 11, 2007
9:48 am
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bevdee
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Michigan

Hugs to you this morning for this honest honest post. I know exactly how you feel. I have struggled with that "status" myself, and I will respond to you later. (I'm on my way to work)

Can you hold yourself close today? Can you give yourself one hug?

Positive healing energy flowing from Texas to Michigan.

(((Mich)))

April 11, 2007
9:51 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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Thanks Bev...I appreciate it...

(((bev)))

(((Mich)))

One for each of us..have a GREAT day at work. Talk to you later.

April 11, 2007
11:01 am
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ggfred4
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((((((((((Michy))))))))))))))

Here's more positive healing energy from the south, from Louisiana to Michigan.

I am so sorry you have these feelings Mich. I am horrible at advice, but I know you have so many good feelings inside too. I know you are filled with love too; I have seen it here on this site. You have given of yourself to many here. I know you have four beautiful children; think of those cute little faces!

April 11, 2007
11:40 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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((((gg))))

Thanks for your continued love and support. It means the world to me. In the last 6 months of my life...you have been the MOST constant thing in it. I love you and I appreciate you and all that you have done for me. You are a TRUE gift from GOD...Thanks for being what nobody else in my life has ever been.

Mandy

April 11, 2007
2:53 pm
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Friendma
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(((MITCH))) (((GG))) Love and hugs to ya'll!!

April 11, 2007
2:58 pm
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ggfred4
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((((((((((fm))))))))

Where have you been?????????????We have been worried sick about you?

LOve you....gg

April 11, 2007
3:01 pm
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Shaney
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Mich - Thank you for responding to me with such a lovely post :o) - - - considering that we almost came to cyber-blows a while back, I see some real growth here! ~ lol ~ Jeez, the things that we say when we get all spooled up... it's amazing... but I'm SO glad we ended up right where we are. :o) As far as the chance at any future pissing matches... we're on the same side now, so we'll have to find someone else to pick on. Ha!

I'm not sure if I agree that you haven't grown. I think you have - but the fact that you continue to be negatively affected by your mother, keeps a very deep wound, wide open. It's impossible for your wounds to heal, even just BEGIN to heal, with the constant pressure your mom puts on you.

I don't know what the answer is.

I know that I feel better when I don't talk to my mom for a few days. My blood pressure goes down, my thoughts seem to have more clarity, I'm not as anxious.... you name it - it's just better.

I don't know if you can actually do that, though. I know that *I* haven't found it within myself to cut off communication with my mom - even if it's just cutting the communication in half... I still can't seem to do it.

The alternative is to FORGIVE her for putting me in the position of being her mother when I was 12... but I'm not ready to do that either. So, I think that I've just managed to semi-ACCEPT the way that she was, and the way that she is. And I haven't even done that very well.

The reason that I feel you have grown, at least some, is because you can open yourself up and be vulnerable. I can't even do THAT.

Being vulnerable is HUGE, Mich. Don't sell yourself short - because that in itself is a sign of someone who has enough strength to go there.

You've expressed so many feelings, that I can relate to on some levels - not because our experiences are similar, but because the feelings are similar. Although I did have people who may have been there to rescue me (not my mom) - I just never went there. I handled everything myself. I don't know if I felt that I didn't deserve help, or if I felt that in asking for help, it would make me seem weak or vulnerable. TWO things that I've never been good at.

You've been forced, by your childhood, to be a rock for everyone except for yourself. I have too. I'm trying to break through those walls, just like you, but feel stuck... just like you.

BTW... I may have a college education, but I have a shitty car too that I'm embarassed to drive. And AS I WRITE THIS, that hunk of shit is sitting in the shop needing $1500 worth of work. It never seems to end, does it?

Love and hugs and much respect to you ... Shaney

((((mich))))

April 11, 2007
6:50 pm
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bevdee
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Mich,

My car is 7 years old. My work car is a hatchback with a cage behind my head. When my landlord (my friend/next door neighbor's daddy) saw it, he said he thought the car was a dogcatcher that had finally heard about me.

You state reasons for your shame.

First of all, I will ask this question. From where do these answers come from? From whose value system? Yours?

"Is it that even with my friends I feel like I have to live up to what society says is ok?" Which society?

"I am ashamed to be known as her daughter, as their sister. I am ashamed." I have struggled with this too, because of my sister. Because I felt that her behaviour was a reflection on me. On my worth. Once, after a call from my mother (at work), telling me about my sister and her recent brushes with the law, I went into the bathroom to cry. When I came out a tech that I worked well with saw my face and said, "What the hell's wrong with you? we need to go smoke!" He's a real old school tech, a real gruff redneck guy that hated almost everyone, but he liked me. Probably a case of rebels clicking. He pulled me down a side hall to get me away from prying eyes. While we were outside having a cigarette, I told him. He was the first person outside my family I ever told. He said, "Yeah, my sisters some kinda junkie, meth I think- I ain't seen her in years- you'll be ok" I know this doesn't sound real sympathetic, but coming from him, it was. And it was nice to hear from him that having an addict sister didn't define him at all. Did you catch that? He wasn't all racked up over it because he chose not to see her. He didn't hold up a mirror. It took me another year and a half to get to that point.

And more folks have family members with addictions and mental illness than don't. The ones that would try to make someone feel bad about something like having an addict or prisoner in their family have issues of shame themselves. Shame that they are trying to deflect in an effort to ease their own misery.

Now- I'll be back sometime later. I scribbled a bunch of thoughts this morning and I need to decipher them.

(((Mich)))

April 11, 2007
7:14 pm
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Shaney
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"...more folks have family members with addictions and mental illness than don't."

Shoot. That statement alone holds more truth to it than anything I've heard in a while. Yep, there's an addict or someone who has spent time in jail, in every family. We have several, and thank GOD that people have never judged me by my relatives (they may have, but surely not to my face). It can be embarassing when someone asks if I'm related to one of these addicts or felons, but hey. My comment is usually, "There's one in every family - we don't get to pick our relatives." Everyone usually agrees, and we move on. I don't know where in the hell that embarassment comes from, but it's there nonetheless.

I think that from every feeling that you mentioned above - I can relate to the anger, sadness, frustration, but most of all, bitterness. Where other feelings may have dulled with time, the bitterness hangs on like a tick on a dog. I can't seem to shake it. And because I've never admitted to my mom, that I feel the way I do about her, it comes out when I talk to her. And she doesn't even know why. If I told her, she'd probably drive her car off of a cliff... so I keep it in, hoping that I'll eventually swallow something by accident, that will make all of this resentment go away. How's that for irrational? I think my best chance at any resolve, is probably acceptance and then a little distance. I'm still thinking about what to do. I wanted to see a therapist, and had plans to, but the whole house thing came up and now I can't afford it. Once the house sells, I can work on my sanity. Nice priorities.... :o)

April 11, 2007
7:47 pm
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bevdee
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Shaney-

"And she doesn't even know why. If I told her, she'd probably drive her car off of a cliff... so I keep it in, hoping that I'll eventually swallow something by accident, that will make all of this resentment go away."

Does she imply this or has she said things like this in other situations to make you think it?

April 11, 2007
10:08 pm
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bevdee
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Hey Michigan

It was interesting that you said society because I recently had a conversation with a guy from another forum about society. We are allowed to exchange emails, so he and I have been talking. His life story is that he is a rebel in a blueblood family, a Daughters of the American Revolution society, and he has chafed all his life (he's 60) under the restrictions that his eastern seaboard society family has placed on him. He was some kind of tennis protege when he was a teenager, the only time he made his father proud. He said he was an actor for a while, and has lived a diverse, Bohemian life, while his brother made a million dollars and basically my cyber friend feels like shit every time he's around his brother at family gatherings. Because he still compares himself to his brother. He told me that he was envious of my "free" lifestyle, and the lack of expectation because of the lack of status I enjoyed.

I got angry! Angry because I felt he was being snobby, and I told him that his rich blueblood pain was no different than the pain of those with regular old blood. I told him about the Daughters of the Confederacy and how that packed a lot of wallop down here. I threw in how my family were descendents of chiefs of the tribe, judges and lawyers for the Nation, and there was plenty of expectation to get an education, make a lot of money, drive nice cars, and live within a set of rules that this society had imposed an passed on to my daddy. I expressed to him that we both shared the same feelings because I feel that I don't live up to my daddy's expectations either, but for different reasons - because I am not religious, I am not married, I have never given him grandchildren, I don't own a house. I don't conform, and once I would like to hear him say something like" *Bevdee, I admire that you didn’t follow the herd, you thought for yourself, and you stayed true to yourself"

It will never happen.

Well, my friend had never heard of the Daughters of the Confederacy. He ended by saying that he guessed that there was snobbery at every level, and he thanked me for broadening his knowledge base!! I had to write back and explain that I got angry because I thought he was looking down on me. After I fired off my reverse-snobbery email to him, I thought about my perception of myself and how his post caused me to feel threatened. He emailed back and said- no, he admired me for being a (get this) free spirit, and apologized for his phrasing. Free spirit- I near wet myself. He still talks to me, by the way.

Mich? If you had a brand new car how long do you think that would make you happy? How long would that euphoria override the pain you feel as a result of the MamaTango you all do? If you got one, she would probably tell you you should have bought a different make or model, or you paid too much for it, or she didn't like the color. Your home will never be good enough, if you built a hose bigger than hers, you might be able to fling that back at her, but you would never win with her- she would probably tell you you were just showing off, she didn't like the floor plan, the kitchen was in efficient... blahblahblah. I know mine would. She is never going to change.

I did all this- this judging myself by other people's standards. Comparing my possessions to *other’s*. My mother did this- and based most of her self-worth on how she felt she compared. She used shopping and the acquisition of new possessions to fill a void, and I learned from her. I love new stuff, but soon the glow wears off, and there I still am.

Once I figured out whose value system I was using to judge myself- re: material, moral - I was able to start examining every time I made a judgement about myself or someone else. Like- where does this come from? Sometimes I can actually hear my mother's voice making these proclamations - "white trash. wannabees, country scum", and sometimes it is my voice using her inflections of scorn. Sometimes it's my daddy's voice with the goddamning that he does to those sinners that don't believe as he does. Sometimes it's the crazy ridiculing voice of my sister (or me, because we were just alike in that respect- we laughed maniacally at that which we feared or didn't understand- like honesty)- the voice that scoffs at everything that falls under the category of *loony*.

I had a real rough time a couple of years ago, losing a job, and being out of work for a while, and I would not ask for help. I wouldn't ask my parents for a loan even when the electricity got shut off. I was sued by creditors, my landlord, and I am just now paying off the last of my credit cards and court costs. Anyway, it was this catastrophe that caused me to emotionally bottom out and feel like I was belly crawling. Because I based so much of my self-worth on that job and that check, paying bills promptly, and to be honest? To be the daughter that was doing great. To be the only granddaughter in my daddy's family that was pulling in a good salary, and believe me, they talk about that. Sometimes at the dinner table. I was in such debt, I had fallen in a hole and couldn't see the top. My friend stepped in and asked me to rent from her, and this helped and I was grateful, but this messed with my perception of myself being self-sufficient. Having to admit that I needed help. Having to admit to my relatives that I was moving because I couldn't do it myself anymore. I toppled from this pedestal I believed I stood on- into that hole.

I was miserable at my friend's at first, because all my *stuff* was in storage and I had only a small bedroom that was my personal space. She loves to shop and I love to shop and I love shopping with her, but my pressing need to pay off the bills and get out of there caused me to start economizing. I stopped shopping!

I have done this before, when I was in school, and after I left Luc,and was in such debt, but that was a long time ago. Now, there is no brand I am loyal to, and there is no product that I won't compare prices with another. This caused me to evaluate how much satisfaction I got from being able to buy my Lancome make-up in a nice department store, and walk out with the little Belk's bag.

In the middle of this all the fear/horniness/hormonal thing started with the C-man, as I discussed with Tez, a lot of that was my feeling of aging, and not being attractive, and it made me act a fool.

One day at the lake, I sat and made a list of the things that I thought I needed to basically survive, and another list of what I needed to make me feel "happy". I needed to make my car payment, pay rent, buy groceries, gasoline, toothpaste and soap. I did not need new clothes all the time, cool shoes, nice boots, expensive make-up. Brand name shampoo. A $15 can of mousse or hairspray. Now the *rush* I used to feel when purchasing expensive goods has been replaced by the good feeling of satisfaction I feel when I get a really good sale.

I missed the nice house I rented. But I started thinking about that house I had lived in, and I remembered that I always had Mamadrama and self esteem issues, even when I was living in a nice neighborhood, and wearing the long-lasting foundation. Where I live? Next door to my friend now- her daddy's house? It needs work, and this is not lakefront property. It's inside the lakefront property, and there is a world of difference. But it suits me fine, and I really like this tiny house with the big back yard (dogs). The people across the road? Their place makes Jeff Foxworthy's redneck yards look good. But they watch out for me and they watch out for my neighbor now that her husband is in prison, and since they live without electricity!! - all I would have to do if I needed them is holler out the window, and they would be there. I privately judged them very harshly when I moved here, and now? I am comforted by their non-stylish presence.

Basically, I got over myself. It's all external, and when I lay dying, I do not believe I will say, I wish I had worn more expensive clothes, driven a nicer car OR EVEN had a cleaner house I might say, I wish I had been to see Wales and Scotland, and I wish I had written a book, and I wish I had broken free of that which caused me unhappiness long before I did. I wish I had lived my life more fully. I wish I had not given so much of my life to pain.* And maybe -- by the time I die, those thoughts and regrets will not be the first thing that comes to mind!!

There are some people that look at me and only see my 7 year old car, my unbleached hair, older slightly out of style scrubs, and my Dollar General Crocks knock-offs. They might look at my jewelry and see no bling- just pretty colored stones that have a personal significance to me. (Diamonds just don't do anything for me.) Those people might judge me according to a commercial, Hollywood-influenced world's standards, seeing only the external, based on thier own insecurities, and not know my heart or mind. For the first time in my life, I am someone- I'm not sure who yet, she is still emerging, but it's not the person my mother or the person my father expect me to be. The person that can't live up to those expectations, that person feels crushed under their disapproval. I'm weaning myself away from the pull of that dance I do with them. From the need for external approval. It's taking a while and it kind of happens like layers peeling off. I'll tell you what's real nice - I don't try to brag or talk myself up to either one of my parents- or any of my relatives anymore. I realized that a couple of months ago. It was really some pitiful bragging- fishing for compliments. Another thing is that I don't miss telling my mother everything I do, everything I buy, everything I cook. She likes to know that stuff, (even 350 miles away) so she can distort it and use it against me. My daddy asks me how much money I have "set aside" and how my 401K is doing.

By my family's yardstick of success, at my age I am a failure. But I'm actually happier and feel freer than I ever have.

The one thing I find myself doing is this criticism of myself - on my journey. I think I should be going faster faster. I need to accept myself where I am right now.

Thanks for letting me talk, Michigan- maybe there's a morsel or a nugget in here somewhere. Your mom is just like mine. And I really don't think you are all that different from the rest of humanity.

(((Mandy)))

April 11, 2007
11:26 pm
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Shaney
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Bravo, bev :o)..... I actually clapped out loud.

To answer your question, my mom has never expressed or implied that she would drive off a cliff. I just don't feel that she could handle that sort of info, at all, in any way. She's extremely fragile and insecure. She (admittedly) refers to me as her life-line, and doesn't know what she would do if she didn't have me to talk to. She has been broken up with her bf of 7 years (who mentally and physically abused her) for almost a year - but still has doubts that she did the right thing by leaving him. She's the type of person who will obsess for a week, if someone doesn't say hello to her in the grocery store. "Maybe I did something that made them not like me?" She's an absolute wreck emotionally. If I opened that door of the past, and told her how selfish she was, and HAS been since I was 12 - she would crawl into a grave and literally bury herself to avoid the pain of it all. Someday, I may tell her. She seems to be getting a little stronger now that her business is picking up. When I'm ready to finally say it - hopefully it'll be about the time that she's ready to hear it. Wishful thinking... I'm just not ready yet.

Mich - hoping you're doing alright :o) -

April 11, 2007
11:42 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Girls...I am "ok". I will talk a little more tomorrow if I can. I am thinking...quietly for now. I appreciate your love and support. Thanks a LOT.

Love you all...

Mich

April 11, 2007
11:51 pm
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Shaney
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Loads of love and hugs to you too (((MICH))) and (((BEV))) - and thanks to you both :o)

April 12, 2007
12:08 am
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((Shaney))) I appreciate you and your support. I just wanted to tell you that again. It is amazing to me to see how far we have all come in such a short time...from cyber wars to this type of support...

It means a lot to me Shaney (&Bev) thanks a lot.

Mich

April 12, 2007
8:17 am
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needtoheal
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Mich-

I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you.. I have not been posting much. However, that does not mean that I am not thinking of you.. I have you in my thoughts always.

You have given so much to me.. Your love, support, advice and insight has given me so much motivation to move forward with my life..

Just want to say thank you..sister!

love,
NEEd

April 12, 2007
10:11 am
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bevdee
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Mich- thinking of you this morning- thinking of ya thinking your thoughts.

Shaney- I'll have to post to you later- I'm out the door-

(((Ladies)))

April 12, 2007
10:42 am
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ggfred4
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(((michy))) (((shaney))) (((need))) (((bev)))

April 12, 2007
12:36 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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(((gg)))(((Bev)))(((Need)))(((Shaney)))

April 12, 2007
12:54 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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I have started SEVERAL posts to explain more....and I have deleted EVERY one. I will get there...as I am VERY frustrated by my own inner turmoil at the moment. I have to sort it out some to put it out there for ANYONE else to read....I am lost, scared and confused by my own thoughts.

Will chat a little more later....if I can.

Love to you all....

April 12, 2007
1:15 pm
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bevdee
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Hey Mich? I'm not telling you what to do- but I never delete anything until after I post. Sometimes I find the needle in the haystack.

Changing a mindset can be very very painful. I have been there with my mom. It is still happening onion-like. I think it's called cognitive dissonance.

"Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs.

More precisely, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior."

Can you name the two incompatible beliefs?

I have this great staircase analogy, that I thought of just this second. I'm picturing you with this baby on your hip, poised on a spiral staricase- but I have to go back to work!! My lunch is over. Damn.

Talk at ya later-

April 12, 2007
1:25 pm
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((((((Mich))))))

Hey, honey. It seems the last few days have been really, really tough for you. I read the post where you talk about the feelings you were having.

In what way are you like your mother? I want to understand in what way are you like her?

I look at what you did for Arica, you oldester daughter. You didn't make her feel ashamed of the feelings she was having. You struggle to NOT put your fears on her. You make sure her life is as normal as possible.

Yes, you have difficult days with three children aged 5 or younger, but who wouldn't? That's a tall order for anyone to fill. You manage as best you can. You are concerned that they don't get as much attention and affection as they deserve, but you don't bitch that they take up too much time EVERY day.

No one will get what you go through as a stay at home. To say it's a thankless job is putting it so mildly. A lot of people believe that you don't have a job. I would love to see them manage the way you do. You get up, get the kids up, dressed, fed, off to school. You clean the house, bathe the baby, feed him and then get laundry on. Then you make sure all the kids have snacks, get naps and have their homework done by the time Daddy gets home. Then you make dinner, feed the baby, cajole the older children to finish their food, and clean the kitchen. At the end of the day you have to be a sex kitten to your husband when you would rather get the few extra hours of sleep you desperately need. Oh, and that's a GOOD day.

You are learning to stand up for yourself, Mich. Like anything, it takes time to unlearn the behaviours we've had for decades and learn the new ones that are healthy. Patience with ourselves is something we rarely have, but we have all the patience in the world when we are waiting for someone to notice all that we do. We need to give ourselves that patience. We deserve first dibs on it.

Maybe the next time your husband or your thoughtless mother say something about your not having a job tell them they are more than welcome to be you for a few days WITHOUT any help from neigbors or friends. How many days a week do your friends say give me all your kids for a few hours?

I keep saying we teach others how to treat us. If we do that we just may find a measure of that peace we are looking for.

Love,
Cyndra

April 12, 2007
4:29 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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I find myself sitting here in tears. I wasn't crying a little while ago..I wish I could just not think for a while. I wish that I could explain what is hurting me. What makes me just sit here and cry? Why do my moods change so quick? Why am I married to a good man, yet I want something different? Is it because he is too good to me? Because I don't feel worthy of the love that I am getting from him? I don't know. I wish I had a lot more time to just sit here and post...there is so much on my mind. I may talk about 10 different things and might none of it make sense...BUT...it could at least all come out. I need a few hours just to type...I need to be alone...I need to be loved..I need to be held. I need to not be scared. I need to trust the people in my life that do care. There are those people in my life. I want to run, I want to hide, I want to....oh shit....who knows what the fuck i want. I just want to be able to think straight...DAMNIT.

April 12, 2007
5:34 pm
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Shaney
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Hey Mich - :o)

Was there ever a time during your childhood, that you can remember feeling safe and secure? If so, who was it that made you feel that way?

I'm just wondering. I just see you pinging around with your thoughts and feelings, looking for some sort of safety or shelter in someone or something, and feeling angry, sad and frustrated, because you can't find it. If there WAS a time that you felt safe, you would recognize that feeling again. If you have never felt safe, it's almost like you'd be looking for something completely foreign to you. You want it, but you don't know what it feels like... you know what I mean? I don't even know if that makes sense.

My husband asked me once, if I felt a sense of safety and security with him, like I did with my parents when I was little. Then he went on to say that because he is grown now, and his parents are the ones who seem to need protection, that there is no one that gives him that feeling of safety that he used to feel as a child. He was obviously saddened by that thought - I could tell. For myself, I think that there are TIMES that I have felt safe with one person or another, but I don't necessarily remember feeling that way BECAUSE of anyone in particular. It's wierd to think back on that at 41. I'm kind of feeling like I created my own safety and security... but I'd have to think about that more.

I don't even know what the hell I'm saying. I feel like I can ramble here for some reason... so there I went.

April 12, 2007
5:48 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Shaney....I hope you feel comfortable rambling here...I want you to. I want anyone to. I feel safe here...

This will make me feel a little vulnerable and bring a few tears as I even think about what I am about to type..but you asked a question...and I feel the need to be honest. My FIRST time, I EVER felt a TRUE sense of security, love, acceptance, and freedom took place 6 months ago on this website with 4 other women...and an afghan. What I felt then, I believed was security. I believed that I could be me...I believed that I could trust, I felt comfortable to talk, I felt like I was loved for me. That what happened to me, and the things that I had done didn't make me dirty. It didn't make me bad, it didn't make me "sick", that it wasn't my fault...that I was ok, that I wasn't to blame. I can't explain it. Sometimes I feel guilty. I feel like I give up to easy too. I don't know. Sometimes...I really miss that feeling. I felt like I was worth something. Like I mattered. Ahhh shit...the tears. You asked me a question...I answered. I can't answer this any farther right now..it hurts too much.

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