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The story, yeah, it's not great, but it needs to be told


tourdelove

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I know refuse to stay like this, however, I have never accepted it, until now :eek: and pretty much 'lied' to myself and others to a certain extent, pretending that I was an 'independent' person, but the reality is different. When I am in a relationship, I appear to function [at least, from an outsider's perspective], but it is mostly, I think, or thought [more on this later] with the encouragement/help/attention of my partner... I know I may expect to much from myself, but I will find a balance. I just know it is a good thing right now to expect more from myself. It is not crazy frightening, and I can do it.

My story

In my teens, I can remember feeling pretty inadequate and, when a guy payed attention to me, regardless of the fact that he was a total jerk, I went into a 'relationship' with him... I didn't know what my boundaries were. Of course. I didn't go for just anyone but when I felt like this guy had some sort of 'coolness', something attractive about him. But mostly, I past some of the good guys, and did go for some jerks AH! I barely knew what it was to be respected. Even with the good guys, I rationalized that I was treated badly as soon as a guy would get to know me, and would realize I was not worthy of love, not cool enough, not hot enough, whatever the reason was. Of course, it had nothing to do with reality. I just didn't realize that it was OK, hell ya, to be rejected. That it didn't mean I wasn't ___ enough, it just meant, we or he just moved on! That's all.

Then, at the end of my teen year, I met a guy I was very attracted to. And, to my surprise, he responded well to me! He was nice to me, and I got very attached to him. I constantly went to his place, constantly wanted to hold him. Became jealous when he payed some attention to his roommate more than I, even suspected that he was in love with her, which was totally not the case. I was fully dependent on him for all my emotional wellbeing. When I asked if we could live together, he said maybe I should try living on my own first which devastated me: I didn't even know if I would be able to have my own apartment. As opposed to living with my mom. Which made me feel like a looser. I just totally disregarded my boundaries, thought I had no real connection to any of my friends that was as exhilarating has what I felt for him. I became sort of addicted to my own 'passion' for him. And looked to recreate that ever since. Even though it didn't make me feel totally happy,but more up when I felt like I was getting 'love' and devasted, anxious, down, when I was not.

When this big first 'love' ended, when I was 23, I felt entirely crushed, very jealous of his new girlfriend, unloved, and depressed, I just didn't know it wasn't 'normal'. Anyway, I was stuck on the fact that this guy was so handsome [to me at least], and cared for me [shockingly, I thought, since I felt so not on the same level of attractiveness], regardless of the fact that we had not too much to say to each other, for the last 2 years ah! Well, we did have a love for music, cinema, and ethnic food, but. We couldn't really talk.

So, after this painful event, I rationalized that I had to go for guys I wasn't attracted to. Which is what I did in my next relationship... I met this guy who was totally in love with me, he got me a job too... and he wanted to travel. I was barely in love with him and felt minimal attraction, but again, he had the fact that he was really good at putting projects together, and had some of the same interests as I. Anyway, after 2 years, with this guy, I finally felt like I should go for this other guy which I was attracted to, and with which I had a lot in common. But I constantly tried to impress him, and probably acted weird, so we never got together. Again devastation... But I can see how I in fact pushed him away. I idealized him, I wanted passion[...]

There was a two year period, in between relationships, where I felt good, even if I wasn't with a guy, but I must say that I was living with an older roommate that took care of most things at the apartment. The rent was extremely low, and I looked up to her a lot... During this period, I longed for a relationship, but the guys I was attracted to felt unattainable, I felt I had not much to offer with my little job... I concentrated on acquiring moutaineering prowess, trying to impress guys, feeling competitive with girls, so I hung out mostly with guy friends... [there's something to be worked out here!]. Never feeling quite good enough, feeling like I should get a career, but fearing I couldn't do it. But, finally, I did get started on a new career, and it felt so right! And I felt less hooked up on getting into a relationship. But deep down, I still felt inadequate, for my age, still felt not totally mature. Which was mostly untrue, I just held on to old beliefs about myself...

Then I met another guy, who was very nice. Again not attracted too much to him, but he liked me a lot, and hanging out with him was very fun, I realized he was 'attainable', and not too shabby, non unattractive. So I was with him for 7 years... :eek: It was a better situation then ever before however as we did share a lot, talked a lot and did a lot of things together, but I still felt like something was missing. but as I became attached, I got too focused on us, being together as opposed to my needs. Afraid to lose him, and not being able to find another suitable guy, just as good and loving. So, instead of asking for what I needed, I just started to feel resentful, started to pull away, emotionally and physically. Retreating in working long hours, concentrating on my career, working out at the gym a lot, sort of trying to prepare myself to breakup and feel attractive when I would [...]. Well, in the end, after coaching and working on myself, I did ask for what I needed but, perhaps I had changed so much, evolved, that all my requests were turned down. So I left.

My inability to feel adequate, and deserving of love, my false beliefs about myself, that I wasn't good enough, my fear of being alone for the rest of my life lead to big communication problems in my past relationship, where I felt unable to talk about my feelings, tell them my true desires, dreams, expectations, for fear of losing them. I would often convince myself that I wanted mostly the same thing as them, for a while, I would be convinced, but then realized it was not necessarily the case, which confused me a lot has who I truly was, and what I truly liked! I also lead me to feel extremely unhappy and frustrated in the relationship, while refusing to leave! At the same time, I behaved somewhat childishly when I felt anxious because of 'outside stress' [mostly work related] and in those times, which was a lot of the time, reverted to manipulating [by being all unhappy, being down on myself] my partner into encouraging me and comforting me about my work situation, my worth, but also, indirectly asking for his help for job search, reminding me to pay bills, do simple chores, pay bills, do my taxes. Ironically, I became very frustrated with him for telling me what to do!!! So I knew that something was wrong. On the one hand, I was totally capable of doing the things I needed to do, but on the other, felt scared because of old beliefs about myself, beliefs about love, most of which I still have to uncover!

Since I have broken up with my long term boyfriend about 2 years ago, I've gone through multiple short term 'relations', this mostly, one after the other, and when I was alone, I concentrated on finding the next relation. Or I felt good when there was a prospect... This, regardless of real compatibility with the guy. Meaning, I often put them on a pedestal, and craving the 'passion' or whatever. Neglecting other aspects of my life, and time with my friends.

Now, maybe it's a temporary thing, but heck, I am banking on it! I have reflected a loooooot on how I operated in my past in the past few months. I no longer feel it is required to be with someone, even if I long for it. I no longer feel that I can't say what I want, because I care less now about a break up.

I know that this work I'll have to put myself through will be difficult... I suspect that I will need to go against my previous habits, and overcome my fears. But I am so wanting this!

I have to find out

what is comfortable in terms of level of attractiveness

am I looking at guys that are too attractive for me, for my comfort?

What is reasonable in terms of attraction? to not feel all starry eyed and losing myself and my self confidence, my boundaries...

Am I focusing on physical features too much? Even though it is good to be attracted, what else is there? Where is the balance?

How can I find fulfilling love, with a reasonable amount of passion, but not get all googoogaga?

Am I not looking at myself in the right light?

How can I establish solid boundaries? How can I stop myself from breaking my boundaries, my values, my needs, requirements when I feel I am getting attached?

How can I keep on doing my thing?

What are the things I truly want? How can I get there setting up a plan to get what I want in other areas of my life, not get distracted, but still balance it with being open, should a good guy cone along?

What is true intimacy? How can I open up, not too quickly, but well, not be scared of my short comings?

etc :)

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Tour,

You're doing a pretty amazing job of exploring all this on your own. I do wonder, though: do you think a therapist might give you a different way of looking at yourself?

I find that when I ask myself hard questions, like this, I tend to give myself pat answers, the same ones I always have. But therapists have tended to ask, I don't know, softer questions, but ones which I didn't tend to resist as much. I don't know, because everyone's different, but that's just my thought. I do admire the energy you're putting into this.

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Hi tour, I agree with malign, you do an exceptional job composing your thoughts here! With such a long past of these types of relationships it is understandable why you are having difficulty untangling it all now. But with all the effort you are putting in getting to know yourself I think you will get there. You are right, it is important to know what you want out of a relationship before just jumping in.

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Oh! thank you so much guys! Your support is so appreciated!

Yeah, I want to do this work now and I am trying hard to stick to the truth as much as is possible, and disregarding these subtle little messages that pass through my head: 'you're no good, you've completely f* it up, all your life, you'll never figure it out, blablabla". I have come to realize it is not constructive to either completely avoid my past, nor it is to beat myself up, and think self-demoralizing thoughts. I suppose it is what it is.

About the point of view of a therapist, well, I don't know as far as my new therapist goes whether she'll offer some insights or not in regards to the past or if she'll want to try and give me more tools for the present. We've delineated what my past was in the first session. But I still will need to see. Maybe I'll ask her what she thinks...

again, thank you so much for your thoughts. It is great to have insights from others.

cheers!

Tour

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