There are people around me that want to love me, but I don’t know how to let it in. I need to find a way to let people care about me in a way that also lets me be an independent adult.
I can feel myself floating away from the world. I’m distancing myself from the people around me because it’s too painful to try to reach out and make those connections at the moment.
I know in the long run that coping in this way causes further pain. I’m trying to dampen that effect by forcing myself to reach out to a certain extent to certain people. Posting here is an example of that.
I’ve been feeling very alone with my eating disorder. In some way that’s how I like it, but I know it’s dangerous to be completely alone with it. So there’s one friend I have talked to about that. I also ended up opening up a little to one of my partners because he was suspicious anyway (we live together) and it was the elephant in the room. Having spoken to him means I can eat separate meals and feel more in control of my eating as well. I didn’t spill everything, just explained that I’m having anxieties about food at the moment.
He said he feels I’ve been distant lately. I don’t feel that he’s been making the effort to connect either. Hopefully having talked about this will mean a start to being closer together. I’m not sure how I’ll cope with that.
Lots to think about after today’s group. Why am I cutting myself again? Who am I angry with?
I’m angry with myself because I still blame myself for not having the relationship with my family that I want to have. I feel like I should have reached out to them, been honest with them about my life but actually (as the group pointed out) I was protecting myself. Why would I be honest with people who have always rejected me and told me I am bad?
I’m angry with my parents for that. The anger is only sometimes there in glimpses. I am starting to get in touch with my anger which is probably a good thing but it also scares me. I want to get in touch with the true cause of my anger, so I can be less reactionary in my relationships now.
What is the next step in my relationship with my family? Frankly I’m sick of pretending everything is okay and going along with their idea of what our family is like. I’m sick of hiding myself and presenting them with a sanitised version of my life to protect them(?), to try to keep their approval.
I don’t know how much longer I will be able to maintain the facade with them and maybe that’s not a bad thing. I am scared of them rejecting me but I have already survived that in a way. It is what I fear so much but in many ways it is something that has already happened. I fear that they won’t validate my feelings or experience but that is already the case.
I suppose I am suggesting I make myself vulnerable to that rejection all over again, by showing them my honest self, by telling them what it was like for me growing up. My fellow group members think I ought to distance myself from my family, at least for a while. That scares me more than the thought of being honest with them. Why? Because it would break the pattern of them rejecting me and I would be accused of rejecting them instead? Because I still cling to the idea that I will tell them the truth and they will fall to their knees and say sorry and that they love me – that’s not going to happen.
I don’t know where to go from here. I am feeling angry, upset and exhausted. I’m ill again because I’m run down. I am still reeling from being in hospital.
I just want someone that I can call and talk to about this stuff, but I’m too nervous to use home treatment team or samaritans or whatever.
I just want someone to give me a cuddle and tell me that I’m brave to carry on when things are so hard. I want someone to tell me that I am doing really well. Most of all, I want to be able to believe them when they say these things.
Today I was honest in my response to comments someone made last week. This might sound a normal thing to do, but for me it is a massive big deal, because I am so afraid of being honest in that way.
It feels like a confrontation. It feels like I am exposing myself by showing my feelings. It feels like I will get a massive backlash of anger and potentially violence, rejection.
I suppose this is because of how I was treated in my family. My dad responded to my objections about how he treated me very immediately with verbal or physical abuse. The response from my mum and my sister (and my grandmother, when she was alive) was more complicated.
They’d reject my version of events. They’d write over it with their truth that was agreed on somehow. That our family was normal. That dad just is the way he is and that I was the one causing trouble by not shutting up and keeping my head down. Because I refused to behave well in response to violence. I didn’t want to reward his bad behaviour.
My mum and my sister made me feel rejected and alone for speaking out and responding to bad treatment. They told me the unhappiness in the family was caused by me and my ‘bad behaviour’ (what I am now beginning to see clearly as rebelling again ill treatment) because otherwise dad would have had no one to fight with, there would have been peace.
Clearly this is bullshit. What would have happened? He’d have ruled over our household with no opposition. A tyrant. He pretty much did anyway, my objections probably served no purpose other than to preserve that little flame in me. The flame that now comes out in anger. Anger that I turn on myself, that makes me hate myself for being like him. I’m so scared of becoming him, or becoming walked over like my mother was for so long.
I’m sorry if this is somewhat rambly. It shows the mess that is my head at the moment. And meanwhile I’m supposed to go places, see friends, talk to people, keep appointments. It all feels like too much but I don’t want to let people down. I’m worried they won’t like me. That I’ll end up alone like I feel.
Group this week was okay. Someone was feeling very suicidal and the session focused mainly on them, as well as some other people who were having some pressing issues.
I shared the information that I had asked my partner to move out and that he had moved out on Sunday. I didn’t mention that I have another partner who I live with. I didn’t want to get into all that.
I commented on what people had said when I was ‘picked on’ for being quiet. I said that I could really relate to what the suicidal person was saying, and that I know it’s different for everyone but that I was feeling that way just a couple of weeks ago and now things are starting to improve, incrementally.
I also told a member of the group I thought they were brave for offering help to the depressed person, when the person didn’t really want to hear that support. They were braver than I, anyway.
I just got out of my individual session so it’s all a little raw.
My therapist said that the group leaders had said that I had some useful comments for people this week. I was surprised and pleased at that feedback.
I talked about how I felt guilty about my partner moving out. It’s hard for me to stand by my own needs. This is all new to me.
I talked a lot about my family. I told them on Monday that I had been in hospital and also about my partner moving out.
I had expected them to have very little reaction and I was right. That little kid inside me that has never been expressed wanted them to say “I’m sorry things have been hard for ypu” and give me a big hug.
My dad was sullen, silent. My mum was silent and obviously trying to control her emotions – mustn’t show feelings! And my sister, as I expected, came out with something condescending that put the onus back on me.
She said that I could have told them when all this was going on (I waited, not wanting to worry them). She said they were always there for me when I need support.
This is clearly not true! I was being honest with them and getting zero support, zero emotional reaction. How can she say that when faced with two silent parents?
As for her I have called her in an hour of need before and she let me down in the worst way possible. So this statement was an outright lie, implying that if I only reached out to them for support they’d be there. This is simply not the case. I kept quiet. Knowing I’d be blamed for kicking up a fuss if I disagreed. The patterns from childhood continue.
Well, today’s session felt like me giving a news report. I felt totally detached from what I was telling her, and I left feeling like she doesn’t really like me. This is a crash from the approval I perceived from her last week.
I know I have issues with relating to her, so desperate for her to approve of me and then today feeling terrible after because I didn’t feel I got that approval.
I told her about the group, and tried to rationalise what people were saying. I know they were probably relating their experiences and not meaning me to apply it so directly to my situation. I know they probably weren’t judging me but I still fear they were.
I know the group leader was probably trying to make me see my dad’s perspective so that I don’t blame myself, not the opposite. If my dad perceived me as hostile and reacted accordingly because he was drunk and just reacting badly to his life, it means it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t to do with me.
Of course, this is all easier said than really believed. How can I feel that my dad’s abuse was anything other than extremely personal and down to me? But these are alternative perspectives for me to think about more.
Last night I had a big relationship talk with one of my partners. He has, for the last two years, been seeing me less and less and prioritising another relationship.
This has been very painful for me and all along I have been trying to get him to be around more, to be at the house he’s supposed to live in with me and my other partner half the time.
Eventually I have not accepted but I have come to an equilibrium with seeing him less and trying to adjust to our now far less serious relationship.
A few weeks ago he told me he was breaking up with her and he wanted to come live with us again.
After much turmoil (including my hospital trip which was also caused by other things), last night we had a big relationship talk and I told him I don’t want him to move back in.
I was very upset and felt very guilty. This is one of the first times I have stood up for my needs and asked for something for myself. My decision.
I feel numb today. I feel like I am scared I’ll regret this big decision and I’m fearful about the future, not knowing if me and my other partner will have to move house or not, not knowing where my relationships will go from here.
I’m left feeling dissatisfied and a bit paranoid after today’s session.
This week I told my therapist about how I had found it easier to talk in the group due to the calmer atmosphere and the increase in structure that the group leaders had established for the next couple of weeks.
She had set me the homework of writing down what I am currently struggling with the most and what I would most like to work on. My three main points were as follows:
1. I would like to have better relationships with other people.
– This includes needing to feel that I exist and that I know who I am.
– At the moment I find I am always very afraid of what people will think of me. I worry that they’ll be angry with me or think badly of me.
– I always expect that people are trying to manipulate or hurt me.
– Splitting – I can easily see someone as all good or all bad and not the more complicated truth of a situation.
2. I would like to have less extreme emotions, and to cope with my emotions in better ways.
3. I would like to gain closure and move on from my past.
We talked about 1. in detail and will be talking about 2. and 3. in more detail next week.
She said she was really impressed with the effort I had put in and that what I’d told her was really helpful. It fit in well with what she’d had in mind to work on too.
It made me feel great that she was pleased with me. I’m always so desperate for approval…