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  1. - Top - End - #1381
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    dehro's Avatar

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    The fact is, you can't win with people who act like that. Even if you managed to find literally the best apology ever, it would still be not good enough because their goal is not for you to acknowledge your mistake and do better, it's for you to keep being in their power. All these advice, all the effort thinking "maybe if I just say..." will be wasted because their answer is already decided! The fact that you're even spending time and energy trying to think of a way to apologize that will be good enough (which, again, doesn't exist) is part of their game, which is one of these games where the only winning move is not to play.
    Very much this.
    On a practical level, if you decide to/have to for the sake of maintaining a relationship, you can apologise however you see fit, in terms of how you word it. If they get on your case regardless, you'll just cut it short by saying
    "listen, I genuinely am sorry for doing/saying this, I didn't mean any harm by it and I certainly didn't want to cause distress or hurt you.
    You can take my apology and trust that I'll try to do better, or you can stand by your belief that I don't mean it when I say I'm sorry. If that's the case, there isn't much else that I can say or do that will make this better so the best thing is maybe if we both step away from this instead of having an argument about it, don't you think?"
    ... Or something to that effect.
    Make sure that the tone conveys that an actual answer to that last question is not necessary and back away from the situation and/or the person, physically, if you have to. If they insist, you might as well call them out on it "apparently you are just looking for a fight. Can we at least stop pretending it is about something I said or did? Also, you're going to have to carry both sides of the rest of this conversation, because I am not interested in a fight over something that I already apologised for."
    And then you definitely walk away.
    Their options become limited to standing there, raving like a lunatic and throwing things or calming down. Either way, you'll be out of the room so it doesn't concern you anymore.
    Last edited by dehro; 2017-06-28 at 10:18 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #1382
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    In news that you all can probably figure out how it's related, I'm applying for a new job that I've been told pays better, and hopefully doesn't have a freaking ridiculous healthcare deductible.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
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  3. - Top - End - #1383
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Because the answer is "Sorry for what? You're not really sorry unless you're willing to tell me what you did wrong. You're just trying to blow me off because you don't really think you did anything wrong."
    "I'm sorry because I told you to go **** yourself after you demanded I self-flagellate. By the way, go **** yourself."

    If someone's offended by what you say or do, that's their problem, not yours. There is no point in making yourself into someone's whipping girl for their amusement.
    Last edited by HalfTangible; 2017-06-28 at 12:05 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Everything is going according to plan. And by that I mean the plan has changed like 3 times in the last year but now I have it written down and the new plan is going well!.

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  4. - Top - End - #1384
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    "I'm sorry because I told you to go **** yourself after you demanded I self-flagellate. By the way, go **** yourself."

    If someone's offended by what you say or do, that's their problem, not yours. There is no point in making yourself into someone's whipping girl for their amusement.
    Except it's going to end up being my problem if I can't come up with a suitable apology far more than it will be hers.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  5. - Top - End - #1385
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Because the answer is "Sorry for what? You're not really sorry unless you're willing to tell me what you did wrong. You're just trying to blow me off because you don't really think you did anything wrong."
    As others have said, this is someone on a power trip trying to make you play their game. It has nothing to do with the appropriateness or not of an apology. Don't play that game.

    Now, if you can't stand up to your mother without the consequences being unbearable then you just need to give in, until you can get away. Say whatever she wants to hear you say to get her off your back. I mean by now I have to imagine you can predict what she "expects" out of an apology. Sure it'll be more wordy and it could be hypocritical (depending on what the reason was) but you can take solace that you're just doing that to bide the time until you can get out from under her thumb. There's no shame in doing that. Your mother is abusive and you have to deal with it while you live there. Use whatever coping methods are required to keep your own sanity. And when you do leave, you can let them know exactly how you do feel.

  6. - Top - End - #1386
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    HalfTangible's Avatar

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Except it's going to end up being my problem if I can't come up with a suitable apology far more than it will be hers.
    Kitty, you've made it clear over the last year or so that you can't come up with a suitable apology because nothing you say will be enough for this woman. Stop trying to be nice.

    There is no amount of apology or groveling that will be enough for someone like this. So don't apologize beyond that initial 'im sorry i screwed up'. And honestly, I'd even drop that if I were you, as it just encourages her to think she's in the right.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Everything is going according to plan. And by that I mean the plan has changed like 3 times in the last year but now I have it written down and the new plan is going well!.

    Primal ego vos, estis ex nihilo

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  7. - Top - End - #1387
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    Kitty, you've made it clear over the last year or so that you can't come up with a suitable apology because nothing you say will be enough for this woman. Stop trying to be nice.

    There is no amount of apology or groveling that will be enough for someone like this. So don't apologize beyond that initial 'im sorry i screwed up'. And honestly, I'd even drop that if I were you, as it just encourages her to think she's in the right.
    Think of this less as "being nice" and more as "self-preservation," honestly.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  8. - Top - End - #1388
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    See, the trouble here is you're in a situation where the truth is "Sorry, I didn't realize that would be something you'd see as rude/that would hurt you." Which gets back to the whole thing where it sounds like you're implying the other person is just being too sensitive.
    It does boil down to how the other person sees it, to some extent. No matter how you phrase it, a person looking to be offended will be. I always try to emphasize that it was my fault I didn't consider how you would view it- not that what I did was inherently wrong.
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  9. - Top - End - #1389
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Think of this less as "being nice" and more as "self-preservation," honestly.
    Kitty, are you here to vent or to find a solution? Because if it's the former, I'll shut up now.

    If it's the latter, you've been in this thread talking about your mother's ****ty behavior on and off for - again - at least a year. You've said you can't leave, fine. But for abuse like what you describe, the only choices are leave or change your home situation. Self-preservation clearly isn't cutting it, you need to change tactics.

    The fact you'll even say the phrase 'self-preservation' in relation to your parents (and not be exaggerating, AFAICT) is truly disturbing. Stop taking her **** and start giving her some.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Everything is going according to plan. And by that I mean the plan has changed like 3 times in the last year but now I have it written down and the new plan is going well!.

    Primal ego vos, estis ex nihilo

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  10. - Top - End - #1390
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    I have to agree with those saying that you cannot win. Warkitty, you know this. You know your mom will twist your words whatever you do. She is selling you the lie that there is something you can do that will be good and acceptable, but it will never happen. Her anger is not contingent on your behavior. Her anger is because she wants to be angry, because anger gets her what she wants. She becomes angry because of her, not because of you.

    That sucks, I know, because it would be so much easier if you could control her anger, if you could prevent it, if you weren't powerless. But you are. She will be sad or angry, and nothing you do can change that.

    There are no perfect words.

    So, knowing that - knowing that she will always twist your words, that her anger is not about your behavior or any actual slights but about cutting off pieces of you to make you smaller so that she stays in control - you have two choices.

    1. Compromise integrity, avoid conflict. Agree, make yourself small, fold yourself into shapes to accommodate her, and work like hell to get yourself out of there. You survive by knowing it is not permanent.
    2. Accept conflict, keep your integrity. Don't apologize, keep insisting on taking up the space you need, leave or fight back when she is unreasonable. Accept that the situation may become so volatile that you must leave involuntarily. And work like hell to get out of there.

    Some people feel more sane doing the former, some feel more sane doing the latter. Both are viable survival strategies in a hostile environment. Both must be temporary.

    There is no sane, sustainable option that involves you staying there.

    You are in this thread asking us for advice on how to human reasonably. That's a good instinct. You need to learn that eventually. You'll need to relearn boundaries and comprise and negotiation and existing with other people. All that stuff is skewed for you right now because you are in an emotional warzone. You need to learn it eventually. But you cannot learn it right now, and you cannot practise it right now, because all those things are about interacting with your environment in a healthy way, and your current environment is toxic. If you live by a poisoned well, you don't become healthier by hunting down every recipe in existence. You become healthy by moving the **** away from the well.

    Your number one priority is getting out. Take all the energy you're putting into excuse crafting and pour it into moving away. Everything else, until you're on your own in peace, is just survival.
    Last edited by Glass Mouse; 2017-06-28 at 03:33 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #1391
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I don't know. I mean, for me...I'm happy to take responsibility for the fact that what I did hurt someone? But I don't necessarily like feeling like I'm forced into taking responsibility for how I shouldn't have done something that I really didn't have a good way of knowing that I shouldn't have done. Especially because then I'm going to hear about how awful and cruel and insensitive I am for having done something that I didn't know was going to hurt the other person, and there's nothing I can say back because after all, I apologized! I said I should have known better! So obviously I've admitted how awful a person I am for doing something anyway when I should have known better and decided to do it!

    I feel like it's more like, say someone in the house has a migraine. I don't know they have a migraine. I start to play the piano, which causes them pain because that's how migraines work. Sure, I started to play the piano, and it hurt them. And I'm sorry that that hurt them. But I don't want to feel like I'm being pressured into admitting how wrong it was for me to start playing the piano when I had no idea that would hurt them. Especially not if I'm going to then be guilted for the next month for doing so and have any protests responded to with "but you admitted you shouldn't have done it!"

    I guess I feel like I'm stuck in a dichotomy. Either I have to imply that I did something wrong when I don't really feel that I had a good way to know it was wrong, or I'm effectively implying the other person is wrong for being hurt. What I want to do is hit a middle ground of accidents happen, I'm not blaming the other person for being hurt, I'm sorry that what I did hurt them and I won't do it again, but I really didn't mean to hurt them and I don't want to admit I was badwrong for not knowing.
    "Oh, man, I didn't know you had a migraine! Sorry about playing the piano so loud, I had no idea it was doing that to you. I'll try to be more aware in the future." That's taking responsibility. You did the thing, you're acknowledging it, while stating that it was unintentional.

    If you're dealing with someone emotionally manipulative/abusive, you can't stop them from being emotionally manipulative/abusive. "If I don't give them ammo, they'll leave me alone" doesn't work. It might lessen the amount, but you can't stop it, because it's *not about you*. And the hardest part is that normally-healthy behaviors won't work with them, so you often have to do unhealthy things just to get by. Just try to remember that the things you're doing *are* unhealthy, and that they aren't things you should do with other people.

  12. - Top - End - #1392
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Communication, the downfall or salvation of all relationships. First, if you are unaware of an issue or a malaise there's nothing for you "feel bad" about. You simply did not know, you cannot direct your actions or make changes to actions that you are unaware are going to be perceived as being an uncaring, wrong, unfeeling, or whatever nasty words some pain-riddled-miserable person throws at you. If they are feeling unwell, or hurt, or angry or anything, it is their responsibility to make the people in their life aware of it. If they choose not to, that is not your fault.

    None of us want to hurt the people we care about, but when they are being secretive or refusing to communicate and claim "you should have known" or "it was obvious!" it is them blaming you for their communication failure. They, couldn't be bothered to admit they were hurt / injured / angry or whatever, and that is very much NOT your fault. You were not wrong to make noise, to play, to laugh, to sing or to live, because they are miserable. If you did it knowingly, that's cruel. If you were unaware, that's a communication failure and not your fault.

    Good luck, and if you are interested, there are great references on communication in every human behavior text. Just because we speak, does not mean we are communicating.

  13. - Top - End - #1393
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    @WarKitty: I sometimes am considered awful, insensitive, even cruel person (especially by my parents-in-law since I have a kid).
    Most of us (if not all) are - sometimes, by someone. And it can be completely fine.

    Now I know little about the issue at hand (I only read your last entries), since I don't often come to this part of forum... but my question would be: what would be the state, in which you could be happy with solution? Is it sufficient for you to feel fine about your answer, or do you want the opposition to accept your answer and stop?

    Because these two things could be...mutually exclusive. Still... what would be the "now it's OK" solution for you? When would you feel fine?
    Last edited by lacco36; 2017-06-30 at 03:40 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #1394
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Ugh. I went onto one of my forums for PTSD. They apparently created a new "avoidance" section for ways people try to avoid dealing with problems.

    And they moved one of my threads on trying to figure out how to get help when a lot of your experiences with the mental health system have been massively unsafe there.

    Maybe it's a little thing, but it's got me really upset. I just feel like there's so much trouble if you have issues with the mental health system. Implications or outright stating that if you don't see a therapist, you don't want to get better. Outright disbelief and being told that abusive behavior was "treatment" and "for your own good." Being told that since the person was a professional, you must have misinterpreted. And these take place frequently in places that are supposed to be safe space for people with trauma.

    The whole avoidance issue is just one more thing...
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
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  15. - Top - End - #1395
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Oh wow, that's a really ****ty thing to do, especially on a forum that deals with PTSD. :/
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  16. - Top - End - #1396
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrella View Post
    Oh wow, that's a really ****ty thing to do, especially on a forum that deals with PTSD. :/
    Thanks.

    I've just had so very many troubles with safe spaces. I think abuse within the mental health community is so very commonly misunderstood, even by people who otherwise understand abuse or trauma.

    The worst is people who flat-out disbelieve you. Because nothing physical went on, it's easy to dismiss things as just a treatment that didn't work right. It's easy to say he must have seen something that made him think what he was doing was necessary. Unfortunately a lot of mental health professionals fall into this category too - there's an inherent bias that the "trained professional" must have been right. A lot of people will tell you things like, well, therapy is hard, you just have to stick with it, or otherwise fail to differentiate between difficult therapy and abusive therapy.

    There's also the problem that a lot of people seem to dismiss the issue as "just a bad egg." While the responsibility for being abusive falls on the therapist, there's a whole structure around them that makes it much easier for a therapist to do so. The aforementioned blind trust in the professional is one. The safeguards to prevent someone from harming themselves (while necessary in some cases), are also something that can be abused. There's also, as in my case, dual role issues, where someone can abuse a dual role to force someone into something.

    But a lot of the biggest issue is people don't seem to get that you can't just up and move on, or they offer very simplistic answers. Many people talk as though the solution is to just keep trying therapists until you find the right one. Besides the practical issues, there's the problem that if you frequently end up being harmed or retraumatized in therapy, keeping on trying isn't a risk-free action where you can just shrug off a bad experience and move on.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  17. - Top - End - #1397
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Sorry Playground it is that time of the year when Stadge logs in and places a long rant as he';s not sure else to write down his thoughts...

    Sorry to bother you all...

    I am stuck. I feel hollow and pretty empty. I feel like Iím treading water and tiring. I very rarely feel sleepy-tired, but Iím frequently oh-so-weary and conflicted.


    Spoilered for length of 'history' and 'issues' I have.
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    The last nine years in steps:
    My dad died when I was 17, I had ignored the last call he tried to make to me.

    I got accepted into one of the top universities in the UK.

    I had a few very close friends there, and a wider circle of people to hang out. I wasnít always the loudest or most sociable, but I was liked, and I had energy, enthusiasm and a lot of joy. I met an amazing young woman, became good friends and then later had a relationship.

    I graduated in 2012, myself and all of my friends scattered back to where were from.
    I struggled to find rewarding work, but did manage to visit my girlfriend in her country.
    It seemed hopeless that I would be able to join her permanently any time soon.
    5 months later we broke up.

    4 months later I moved to London, shared a flat with an old uni friend/ex-of-my-best-friend (I checked with him before becoming flatmates)
    I lived quite far out and had very little money, and life was pretty isolating, but I went away to Paris with friends (twice), and visited another friend in Cardiff. I didnít have the internet so couldnít speak to as many people as Iíd like, but still managed to spend some time with friends from uni who gravitated towards London.
    A year after coming to London, I moved into a friendsí spare room, it as tiny, but more central. I met someone, and we quickly (possibly too quickly) fell for each other.
    About 6 months after we met, I moved into her shared flat to stop them from being kicked out.
    7 Months later, we moved into a different flat, just the two of us.
    A year later I moved out but nearby.
    Six months from then I moved back in due to problems with her new flatmate.
    Now- Iím moving away to a city closer to my hometown, continuing my job remotely for 6-months to a year. The GF is following me in a couple of months. Itís going to be tighter than now until she can find a job, but I can just about afford this 2 bed place (2nd bedroom as an office) whilst I could nota fford a 1 bed place in London.

    Issues I know I have
    ē My dad- pretty standard loss of a parent/good friend who I was very close to, but still didnít know as much as Iíd like to about.
    ē Friends Ė Iíve always been pretty quiet, mixed with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Part of this enthusiasm was reduced when I was un/under-employed for a year, but I remember still doing a lot of excited skipping during my first year in London. I now struggle to make new friends, and I feel Iíve massively drifted away from some in the last few years. I want to reach out, but Iím not sure how. My closest friends in London have family property/money so donít seem to deal with the same costly reality I do. My best friend was around last year, but is now contractually obliged to be somewhere else til next March. The city Iím moving to I do have some friends there already but itís so far been a very irregular (time-wise) friendship,a nd Iím worried Iíve lost too much of me.
    ē Costs of London- this city is prohibitively expensive, and whilst I make a decent wage, my GF hates her job, (but not the industry) and it pays very little, this means I contribute more to everything, but we canít afford to do too much.
    ē My Girlfriend Ė Iím not sure where to go or start with this one. We escalated things incredibly quickly and shouldnít have moved in together when we did I feel. She utterly adores me and understands me very well. I care for her a great deal, but worry that I donít love her anywhere near as much as she loves me. And my weird conflict about this torments me.
    o There was a period when we tried an open relationship (for her sake) but it was destroying me mentally and physically (self harm) when she realised, she shut it down completely.
    o She hates her low paying job but still commits to spending time/energy there. Pretty much this, she canít contribute that much to our finances (we donít actually have a joint account or anything) which puts the strain on me. She also complains constantly about her job, and is physically worn down by it, but wonít consider switching careers whilst in London.
    o 3rd is the most difficult, she has a chronic pain condition, along with anxiety and bouts of depression. It kills me to say it, but this has an impact on us. I often feel like Iím a caretaker or helper, and seeing her so tired all the time or in physical pain wracks my insides. We rarely have sex (she is often physically unable to, and when she is, if she has been really bad recently its hard for me to get ouit of Ďcaretakerí mindset, the vast majority of the housework falls to me as she will be too tired/pained/low energy to cook or put washing on, run her own bath etcÖ
    We have to cancel plans at the last minute frequently, which makes it harder/less likely that we end up planning to do anything.
    Because a lot of the time we have is not Ďquality timeí I find myself cancelling other private plans with friends to take advantage of the time when she is feeling well and up for doing things.
    If I do go out on my own I know that one of two things will happen- Iíll either get a lot of messages from her or Iíll hear nothing and guess (85% of the time correctly) that she has slept through meal times, which makes me feel the need to cut things short, or just dread going back as I know she will be worse for having missed food.
    There are also times when we have plans to hang out, but she needs to rest for half an hour, so I potter about, doing pretty much nothing intensive, then half an our passes, and she actually needs another half hour, and so on. This canít be helped, but it is frustrating, as if I knew she needed, say 4 hours rest, I could have done proper exercise, or met with a friend, or something else productive, instead of just incrementally wasting my day.
    I worry about long term things like how her illness would factor in if we ever had children, or how I feel I would like to do more outdoorsy stuff but she definitely canít.
    And I feel terrible about it all, her illness isnít her fault, and how I respond to it also isnít her fault, but I find it difficult and I struggle to talk to her about it as it feels like she is so rarely able to physically deal with having the difficult conversations.
    ē My ex-girlfriend from uni - The 10 months long distance at the end was too much, and whilst we probably shouldnít have done it, I think we were better for trying it. It took me a long while to get over her and the relationship, and even when I was ready to date other people again I was still a little hung up.
    We met up again and spent a lot of time together over the course of a weekend uni reunion last year. It was very helpful closure for me, and I have since realised that I do not miss a relationship with her, but more a relationship as equal and energetic as that one was.
    ē The move- As I said, Iím moving away from London for a while. I realise I might return, especially if I want to work for the same company. I had cold feet about the move, but spoke to the GF about it, and because she wouldnít bae able to quit her job and have a few months off if we stayed in London, I went ahead with the plan. And Iím worried. Iím worried that a move wonít actually prompt a change in me (though that extra 3 hours not commuting will lend time for exercise and some actual rest).
    Iím also worried that the time apart from my GF (she is going home for a few months) , of not being in the same flat (or round the corner as I was at the start of our relationship/when I briefly moved out) will cause me to end things, as I would be free of all the caretaking aspects, without the nicer moments to remind me why Iím with her. In that instance Iím worried that, despite her not being able to afford London and hating her job, sheíll feel I messed it all up for her. Iím also weirdly worried that it wonít cause a revelation, and that Iíll stay, and sheíll move up, and that this level of satisfaction and happiness is the best I can aim for.



    In short, I feel worn-out and rudderless, aimless and that I have lost a large sense of self, drifting away from people.
    Not really expecting anything from posting this, just needed to write it down. Any advice is of course, helpful.
    Punting, champagne and suits. Ah, the joys of being a Squashman and Anglo-Saxophonist.

  18. - Top - End - #1398
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    But a lot of the biggest issue is people don't seem to get that you can't just up and move on, or they offer very simplistic answers. Many people talk as though the solution is to just keep trying therapists until you find the right one. Besides the practical issues, there's the problem that if you frequently end up being harmed or retraumatized in therapy, keeping on trying isn't a risk-free action where you can just shrug off a bad experience and move on.
    I'm curious as to what your expectation for advice is then? A non-professional is probably not going to be able to give anything specific so simplistic or vague answers are going to common. It's likely why people continue to push the "see a professional" part. I mean people can clearly give advice on specific situations, but more general wellness is going to be far more difficult. Also without being a professional themselves, certain options, like medication, can be vaguely suggested ("maybe you need some sort of medication") but clearly they won't know the details of what would be needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stadge View Post
    Sorry Playground it is that time of the year when Stadge logs in and places a long rant as he';s not sure else to write down his thoughts...

    Sorry to bother you all...

    I am stuck. I feel hollow and pretty empty. I feel like Iím treading water and tiring. I very rarely feel sleepy-tired, but Iím frequently oh-so-weary and conflicted.


    Spoilered for length of 'history' and 'issues' I have.
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    The last nine years in steps:
    My dad died when I was 17, I had ignored the last call he tried to make to me.

    I got accepted into one of the top universities in the UK.

    I had a few very close friends there, and a wider circle of people to hang out. I wasnít always the loudest or most sociable, but I was liked, and I had energy, enthusiasm and a lot of joy. I met an amazing young woman, became good friends and then later had a relationship.

    I graduated in 2012, myself and all of my friends scattered back to where were from.
    I struggled to find rewarding work, but did manage to visit my girlfriend in her country.
    It seemed hopeless that I would be able to join her permanently any time soon.
    5 months later we broke up.

    4 months later I moved to London, shared a flat with an old uni friend/ex-of-my-best-friend (I checked with him before becoming flatmates)
    I lived quite far out and had very little money, and life was pretty isolating, but I went away to Paris with friends (twice), and visited another friend in Cardiff. I didnít have the internet so couldnít speak to as many people as Iíd like, but still managed to spend some time with friends from uni who gravitated towards London.
    A year after coming to London, I moved into a friendsí spare room, it as tiny, but more central. I met someone, and we quickly (possibly too quickly) fell for each other.
    About 6 months after we met, I moved into her shared flat to stop them from being kicked out.
    7 Months later, we moved into a different flat, just the two of us.
    A year later I moved out but nearby.
    Six months from then I moved back in due to problems with her new flatmate.
    Now- Iím moving away to a city closer to my hometown, continuing my job remotely for 6-months to a year. The GF is following me in a couple of months. Itís going to be tighter than now until she can find a job, but I can just about afford this 2 bed place (2nd bedroom as an office) whilst I could nota fford a 1 bed place in London.

    Issues I know I have
    ē My dad- pretty standard loss of a parent/good friend who I was very close to, but still didnít know as much as Iíd like to about.
    ē Friends Ė Iíve always been pretty quiet, mixed with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Part of this enthusiasm was reduced when I was un/under-employed for a year, but I remember still doing a lot of excited skipping during my first year in London. I now struggle to make new friends, and I feel Iíve massively drifted away from some in the last few years. I want to reach out, but Iím not sure how. My closest friends in London have family property/money so donít seem to deal with the same costly reality I do. My best friend was around last year, but is now contractually obliged to be somewhere else til next March. The city Iím moving to I do have some friends there already but itís so far been a very irregular (time-wise) friendship,a nd Iím worried Iíve lost too much of me.
    ē Costs of London- this city is prohibitively expensive, and whilst I make a decent wage, my GF hates her job, (but not the industry) and it pays very little, this means I contribute more to everything, but we canít afford to do too much.
    ē My Girlfriend Ė Iím not sure where to go or start with this one. We escalated things incredibly quickly and shouldnít have moved in together when we did I feel. She utterly adores me and understands me very well. I care for her a great deal, but worry that I donít love her anywhere near as much as she loves me. And my weird conflict about this torments me.
    o There was a period when we tried an open relationship (for her sake) but it was destroying me mentally and physically (self harm) when she realised, she shut it down completely.
    o She hates her low paying job but still commits to spending time/energy there. Pretty much this, she canít contribute that much to our finances (we donít actually have a joint account or anything) which puts the strain on me. She also complains constantly about her job, and is physically worn down by it, but wonít consider switching careers whilst in London.
    o 3rd is the most difficult, she has a chronic pain condition, along with anxiety and bouts of depression. It kills me to say it, but this has an impact on us. I often feel like Iím a caretaker or helper, and seeing her so tired all the time or in physical pain wracks my insides. We rarely have sex (she is often physically unable to, and when she is, if she has been really bad recently its hard for me to get ouit of Ďcaretakerí mindset, the vast majority of the housework falls to me as she will be too tired/pained/low energy to cook or put washing on, run her own bath etcÖ
    We have to cancel plans at the last minute frequently, which makes it harder/less likely that we end up planning to do anything.
    Because a lot of the time we have is not Ďquality timeí I find myself cancelling other private plans with friends to take advantage of the time when she is feeling well and up for doing things.
    If I do go out on my own I know that one of two things will happen- Iíll either get a lot of messages from her or Iíll hear nothing and guess (85% of the time correctly) that she has slept through meal times, which makes me feel the need to cut things short, or just dread going back as I know she will be worse for having missed food.
    There are also times when we have plans to hang out, but she needs to rest for half an hour, so I potter about, doing pretty much nothing intensive, then half an our passes, and she actually needs another half hour, and so on. This canít be helped, but it is frustrating, as if I knew she needed, say 4 hours rest, I could have done proper exercise, or met with a friend, or something else productive, instead of just incrementally wasting my day.
    I worry about long term things like how her illness would factor in if we ever had children, or how I feel I would like to do more outdoorsy stuff but she definitely canít.
    And I feel terrible about it all, her illness isnít her fault, and how I respond to it also isnít her fault, but I find it difficult and I struggle to talk to her about it as it feels like she is so rarely able to physically deal with having the difficult conversations.
    ē My ex-girlfriend from uni - The 10 months long distance at the end was too much, and whilst we probably shouldnít have done it, I think we were better for trying it. It took me a long while to get over her and the relationship, and even when I was ready to date other people again I was still a little hung up.
    We met up again and spent a lot of time together over the course of a weekend uni reunion last year. It was very helpful closure for me, and I have since realised that I do not miss a relationship with her, but more a relationship as equal and energetic as that one was.
    ē The move- As I said, Iím moving away from London for a while. I realise I might return, especially if I want to work for the same company. I had cold feet about the move, but spoke to the GF about it, and because she wouldnít bae able to quit her job and have a few months off if we stayed in London, I went ahead with the plan. And Iím worried. Iím worried that a move wonít actually prompt a change in me (though that extra 3 hours not commuting will lend time for exercise and some actual rest).
    Iím also worried that the time apart from my GF (she is going home for a few months) , of not being in the same flat (or round the corner as I was at the start of our relationship/when I briefly moved out) will cause me to end things, as I would be free of all the caretaking aspects, without the nicer moments to remind me why Iím with her. In that instance Iím worried that, despite her not being able to afford London and hating her job, sheíll feel I messed it all up for her. Iím also weirdly worried that it wonít cause a revelation, and that Iíll stay, and sheíll move up, and that this level of satisfaction and happiness is the best I can aim for.



    In short, I feel worn-out and rudderless, aimless and that I have lost a large sense of self, drifting away from people.
    Not really expecting anything from posting this, just needed to write it down. Any advice is of course, helpful.
    I think the first bit is you definitely need to talk to your GF. You devoted huge detailed paragraphs in there regarding her and I think there are a number of issues you recognize. The caretaker aspect of things can be fairly common in relationships where one of the people has fairly severe illnesses of some sort. Being miserable will just lead to resentment which will not be good for the relationship, so you need to be honest with yourself. If their condition is not going to noticeably change or get better long term, are you willing to stick with being the caretaker for that time? It is something that should definitely be discussed too. It's not just a "yes always a caretaker as is currently" or "break up immediately" type thing. Trying to determine how you can BOTH manage the conditions is important here. Like anything in a relationship it requires compromise and communication.
    Last edited by Chen; 2017-07-05 at 09:24 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #1399
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    I'm curious as to what your expectation for advice is then? A non-professional is probably not going to be able to give anything specific so simplistic or vague answers are going to common. It's likely why people continue to push the "see a professional" part. I mean people can clearly give advice on specific situations, but more general wellness is going to be far more difficult. Also without being a professional themselves, certain options, like medication, can be vaguely suggested ("maybe you need some sort of medication") but clearly they won't know the details of what would be needed.
    I guess...from my perspective, it's like coming out of an abusive relationship with a boyfriend. And you get hurt in further relationships, because new guys don't want to believe that you've been abused, they make excuses for the other guy, that sort of thing.

    But what happens is that everyone around you is hopping on "you just need to keep dating until you find the right guy! You can't just assume all men are like that just because you had one bad experience. If you don't get out there and keep dating you don't really want to get better, you're just avoiding the problem, you won't be able to get better until you go out and date!"

    The main issue I'm having is treating it like therapy is risk-free and you can just keep trying until you find the right one. Because that's very much not my experience. My experience is more, even normal therapy can severely destabilize your life and cause significant worsening of symptoms - a lot centered around the problem that even trauma therapists have no idea what to do when a mental health professional was a source of trauma. Again, often coupled with the suggestion that if you don't immediately jump to seeing a therapist, you don't want to get better.

    Edit: I think if more people were willing to talk about ways that can help that aren't individual therapy, or even how to approach therapy safely given what I've experienced of the mental health system. I feel like there's often a blind "but you need a therapist, just go in and tell them everything" even when I've indicated that's not a road I'm ok with.
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2017-07-05 at 09:39 AM.
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    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  20. - Top - End - #1400
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrella View Post
    Oh wow, that's a really ****ty thing to do, especially on a forum that deals with PTSD. :/
    I could see the initial bit being a mistake, but...well, I sent a message to the forum mods and got a pretty dismissive explanation, including something along the lines of "you're avoiding and not realizing it."

    I can kind of see how it could be read that way? Part of the problem is that I feel like there's two separate issues for me that are sometimes hard to separate.

    (1) There's a very real experience that when therapy does go bad, there's a lot of power on the part of the therapist to hurt the patient, and not a lot of power on the part of the patient to push back, in large part because of the credibility structure I mentioned. There's also a very real experience that even therapy that isn't abusive may be emotionally damaging and cause a lot of problems in life. There's also the experience that therapists don't always want to believe another mental health professional is bad, and even those who are willing to accept it may not know what to do. This is what I am emphatic is not avoidance - it's having a different experience of and view on mental health treatment and trying to work rationally within that.

    (2) There's the emotional "trigger" reaction that makes it very difficult to make progress in therapy. This I think again relates to the problem that most mental health professionals don't know what to do. The usual process for dealing with triggers in therapy is very slowly working over them - that's not possible in this case, because the very nature of the process is going to throw the whole traumatic memory in your face all at once. I am not sure I would classify this as avoidance, but I could kind of see it.
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2017-07-05 at 10:38 AM.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  21. - Top - End - #1401
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    The main issue I'm having is treating it like therapy is risk-free and you can just keep trying until you find the right one. Because that's very much not my experience. My experience is more, even normal therapy can severely destabilize your life and cause significant worsening of symptoms - a lot centered around the problem that even trauma therapists have no idea what to do when a mental health professional was a source of trauma. Again, often coupled with the suggestion that if you don't immediately jump to seeing a therapist, you don't want to get better.

    Edit: I think if more people were willing to talk about ways that can help that aren't individual therapy, or even how to approach therapy safely given what I've experienced of the mental health system. I feel like there's often a blind "but you need a therapist, just go in and tell them everything" even when I've indicated that's not a road I'm ok with.
    I just wanted to chime in to say thank you for writing this.

  22. - Top - End - #1402
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    on march 23 my mother died.

    ugh.

    on march 24 i had a dramatic incident of grieving. on march 25 i had another.

    since then there's been nothing.

    i've been functioning reasonably well, having no trouble concentrating at work, handling responsibilities, or taking care of myself.

    but i can't help wondering if i need to grieve more.

    so on sunday i tried watching the movie that always makes me tear up and often causes me to sob like a baby: titanic. while I teared up I didn't sob.

    so it would seem that either i'm finished grieving (which seems unlikely) or i'm unable to cry.

    anybody know of a movie, book, song, or anything else that might help me cry?

  23. - Top - End - #1403
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by messy1349 View Post
    on march 23 my mother died.

    ugh.

    on march 24 i had a dramatic incident of grieving. on march 25 i had another.

    since then there's been nothing.

    i've been functioning reasonably well, having no trouble concentrating at work, handling responsibilities, or taking care of myself.

    but i can't help wondering if i need to grieve more.

    so on sunday i tried watching the movie that always makes me tear up and often causes me to sob like a baby: titanic. while I teared up I didn't sob.

    so it would seem that either i'm finished grieving (which seems unlikely) or i'm unable to cry.

    anybody know of a movie, book, song, or anything else that might help me cry?
    I honestly wouldn't worry about it. Grieving isn't always linear, nor does it work the same way for different people. It's actually fairly common for the person to go through a period of not really grieving and then for it to come later.

    If you need to grieve more, it will come.
    Hail to the Lord of Death and Destruction!
    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! YARN FOR THE YARN THRONE! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!

  24. - Top - End - #1404
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    @Warkitty; at the very least they're being naive about how much power the psychiatric sector can have over people; and how much abuse can stem from that. I know several people who've had to deal with it; I've had to deal with gatekeeping myself. Therapy is a very draining thing by itself. It comes with it's own risks just like any other medical treatment does, and you're allowed to make a choice knowing that information.
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  25. - Top - End - #1405
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    I am very concerned about the impact of anthropogenic climate change. For some background, I am an environmental science major and am extremely interested in this topic. However, I am also fairly lazy .

    I work at a job that directly benefits the oil and gas industry. I have tendered my resignation - the first step. I am planning to take some time after I leave to get back into shape - physically and mentally. I would like some suggestions on what to do next.

    I could go back to school and focus on a field that I feel would be helpful to our current crisis (advice on what field welcome!). This is my favored option.

    I could pursue a career in the tabletop gaming industry (Surprise - I love this hobby).

    I could pursue a career in writing (I love to write).

    Other (Suggestions welcome!)

    Money is not a huge problem currently - I don't really care about money, and am willing to go into debt. I am single and have no dependents. I care a lot more about experiences and making a difference than money.

    Pros: I love to learn, love to write, am fairly competent with math, and tend to pick things up quickly.

    Cons: I am not mechanically intuitive, tend to be fairly lazy, and procrastinate unless I am really involved in the subject or project.

    I am hoping that if I find a career that I am invested in that I might be able to leave the laziness behind - I tend to spend a lot of time on my hobbies and am productive when I am working on those.

    Also a potential con: I am introverted, do not particularly like most people I encounter, and am not terribly charismatic. Looking past my myopic viewpoint for a moment, what would you suggest? I am fairly young, with no attachments, and can take some risks. I am tired of my safe office job and want to do something that will have an impact. Any suggestions? Any scientists out there with insight into what fields might help pull us out of this colossal mess? Let me know!
    Last edited by Kromp; 2017-07-05 at 07:08 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #1406
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    can you employ (I was going to go with recycle) your professional and academic skills in the field of R&D of renewable energy or oceanic cleanup and such?
    there are a number of projects in that field that are underway already. I bet they can use a helping hand.
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  27. - Top - End - #1407
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Edit: I think if more people were willing to talk about ways that can help that aren't individual therapy, or even how to approach therapy safely given what I've experienced of the mental health system. I feel like there's often a blind "but you need a therapist, just go in and tell them everything" even when I've indicated that's not a road I'm ok with.
    That's fair. Group therapy or other support systems (such as Churches in the US) could be an option that might be less intimidating than one on one therapy. Clearly there are pitfalls in these too, but nothing is perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kromp View Post
    I could go back to school and focus on a field that I feel would be helpful to our current crisis (advice on what field welcome!). This is my favored option.
    Some sort of STEM field is probably your best bet to look into new technologies that will help with climate change. That or politics to get legislation passed or to lobby for it. The former is likely easier than the latter, though possibly not as effective (won't delve more here lest we hit forum rules).

    Clean energy is already a big industry and it's just getting bigger. A lot of big companies have green initiatives so its possible with your existing credentials you could get your foot into the door too.

  28. - Top - End - #1408
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    That's fair. Group therapy or other support systems (such as Churches in the US) could be an option that might be less intimidating than one on one therapy. Clearly there are pitfalls in these too, but nothing is perfect.
    I absolutely adored when we had a priest/social worker who ran group therapy. Sadly that's a few states away. I've also thought about certain other aspects - for example, meditation has shown promise for certain people.

    I think there's also an issue that it can be hard to really figure out what an individual therapist does. I'm not really into the whole "talk therapy" thing, but it often seems there's insufficient differentiation. Many therapists seem to claim a dubious number of specialties, and it's often hard to find someone who focuses in on a particular issue or technique, as opposed to someone who has some knowledge in it but isn't truly specialized.

    At some point, the question becomes - now what? Where do you go from here? How do you put a life back together and make it work? Where do you turn when you're unsure?
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2017-07-06 at 09:57 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #1409
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    A thought occurs - if you feel therapy might be useful but you're not quite ready to look for a new one yet, have you thought about being your own therapist?

    My own experiences with counselling/therapy/call it what you please started with a deep seated mistrust of the profession. I knew my own mind best, goddamit, and found the idea of someone picking through my thoughts and memories with a smug, knowing air, grossly invasive and unwelcome. Trusting someone with my thoughts and feelings was the quickest way to get hurt.

    Fast forward about 20 years and a whole of depression, stress and nasty stuff. I'm working in my job and looking to help tinnitus patients and support some of my friends who needed a little extra support. I bought some books on CBT and person-centred therapy. It was interesting reading and rather enlightening and I started a course on the basics of it.

    Remember that 20 years of nasty stuff we fast-forwarded past? It came out to play. Hugely. It reached a point where I was curling up in the corner of the class dreading the group work sessions and eventually had a breakdown at work. Even trusting someone was better than trying to deal with this by myself.

    But although reading those books and doing the course had brought all those bad memories to the front, it really helped when I was looking for a therapist to help me. I found one that, rather than bombarding me with questions or rummaging through my head, instead worked with stuff I chose to bring up in my own time, in a way that was comfortable for me - and the books let me know what sort of thing to expect.

    If you want some details, PM me and I'll see if I can find the titles of them.

  30. - Top - End - #1410
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 4

    Quote Originally Posted by The Succubus View Post
    A thought occurs - if you feel therapy might be useful but you're not quite ready to look for a new one yet, have you thought about being your own therapist?

    My own experiences with counselling/therapy/call it what you please started with a deep seated mistrust of the profession. I knew my own mind best, goddamit, and found the idea of someone picking through my thoughts and memories with a smug, knowing air, grossly invasive and unwelcome. Trusting someone with my thoughts and feelings was the quickest way to get hurt.

    Fast forward about 20 years and a whole of depression, stress and nasty stuff. I'm working in my job and looking to help tinnitus patients and support some of my friends who needed a little extra support. I bought some books on CBT and person-centred therapy. It was interesting reading and rather enlightening and I started a course on the basics of it.

    Remember that 20 years of nasty stuff we fast-forwarded past? It came out to play. Hugely. It reached a point where I was curling up in the corner of the class dreading the group work sessions and eventually had a breakdown at work. Even trusting someone was better than trying to deal with this by myself.

    But although reading those books and doing the course had brought all those bad memories to the front, it really helped when I was looking for a therapist to help me. I found one that, rather than bombarding me with questions or rummaging through my head, instead worked with stuff I chose to bring up in my own time, in a way that was comfortable for me - and the books let me know what sort of thing to expect.

    If you want some details, PM me and I'll see if I can find the titles of them.
    I think some of that is what I am doing, or trying to do? Only I'm going about it differently.

    What I wanted to know on CBT, and what I never found an answer to, was how you tell the difference. Because in my experience, by and large, when you genuinely are in a bad situation, it looks the same and you'll get the same feedback as when you're dealing with a cognitive distortion. So for example, if you're dealing with a genuinely abusive person, people will point to the nice things he does do and say "See, he isn't all bad. You're just seeing things too black and white." (Or another common situation might be that laypeople, possibly even therapists, would continually tell you that you're being too negative and defeatist and helpless, when you've consulted actual experts in the problem you're having and been told there's not much you can do.) I've asked multiple professionals that question and never managed to get a straight answer. To me, CBT just sounds like the same things people say when they're telling you that you should stick with a bad idea, and it results in the same spinning self-doubt and confusion.
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2017-07-06 at 01:29 PM.
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