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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Friends => Topic started by: Boatsetsailrose on July 07, 2015, 06:45:30 PM

Title: Relationships
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on July 07, 2015, 06:45:30 PM
Hi :)

My biggest area I struggle with is relationships

I have withdrawn from them really in terms of friendships
I am now back in the arena ( tentatively ) and putting myself out there more
I can see I have worked on my codependency stuff a lot and also showing who I am so people can see me
The thing I am experiencing at the moment is 'why is it always me who makes more effort than the other person and then it feeds into the 'I am un likeable lie'
Is it because I am too needy I expect too much from people ?
I just really want to be loved
I have joined a walking group so that is good and is opening things up
I know I am likeable but I fear  that I shall still be attracted to people who can't emotionally give to me --
How will I know ?
I have a friend and we broke up not too long ago - she got offended that I didn't acknowledge her at a group and we haven't spoken since - we had such a good connection and bond
Sad :(
Any experience in this area greatly received
Many thanks
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: CreativeCat on July 17, 2015, 11:26:29 AM
Hi Boatsetsailrose,

I can really relate to you and this is something I have been really grappling with in therapy over the past few years. I feel really conscious of who I am involved with more than I used to be, in a way I guess I have become more hyper-vigilent. sometimes I find it so confusing and I don't know which way is up and who I can trust.

For me I had to back away from all my friends and family and go into a bit of a cocoon- it's helped me to build relationships back up with the people who have understood. It's also helped me to let others go, either because after some healing i just can't stand to be around them because of their N ways, or some didn't like my new boundaries, and others, like my father, just disappeared when i wasn't making all the effort.

This is slowly helping me to make space for better relationships and instead of focusing on the relationship itself I try to focus on activities that I love and which make me feel good- I have gotten closer to some people as a result- hopefully you're walking club will help you to do the same. I think it's good to experiment. I joined a netball team which I found very difficult and triggering and had to stop but I loved going to a mindfullness buddhist group with a friend as  even when I wasn't feeling great it took the pressure off to 'perform'

I still feel  that I am 'too much' 'too needy' 'too aloof' 'too quiet' 'too loud' even 'too smelly', which sounds as though you are also experiencing in some way? but I can't be all those things! I try to remember that it is my inner critic talking and I just try to keep going with how I feel and manage the uncertainty about what this will bring.  It has definitely got easier over time but I've still got a long way to go. Even being on here makes me feel worried and that people must be able to sense my 'rotteness' and 'baddness', even though I know logically that can't be true.

Mapping out my social circle really helped too... drawing concentric rings around 'me' of 'very close', 'close', 'acquaintance,' 'ambivalent' and 'enemy' and then putting a dot for every person I know in the section I feel is most appropriate at that time. I do this every once in a while- I know this is very structured but it helps me to sit with how I feel and reflect on what is going on in my relationships. it also helped me to be honest with myself and consider which relationships I would like to invest my energy in.

I wish this stuff just came naturally to me but for now, until i can consistently listen to my feelings, it helps!

Also with your friend have you talked to her about what happened or why she is not speaking to you?

Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on July 18, 2015, 07:20:27 PM
Creative cat
Thank u for sharing :) always good when someone identifies and gives there experience
Yes I relate to the innate 'badness' that we feel - this is fading a bit for me now a few mths ago it was so bad - as id withdrawn I was so far away from relating with people and this added to my inner shame stuff
Yes I did the same backed away from most of my relationships some yrs ago I now have limited boundaried relating with 2 family members

'Making space for better relationships '
Is good progress hey :)
Exciting as well I am finding --
I was lucky as I had my t and my sponsor saying 'find an activity u enjoy ' and so the walking group was found - and it's proving really good ( although the men can be a bit lechy )
Def good to meet like minded people and it's helping my shame stuff I had a thought on today's walk ' people like me ' :)
Yes inner critic - I just today received the Pete walker book - am very grateful for him
My brain talks a lot of non truth -

Your idea around the social circle map is good - I don't yet have enough people to map but hey the future is bright :)
Re the friend - she was/ is in the middle of post trauma stuff and was in a bad place - it feels right to move on -
Healthy relating is important now and I know it is me focusing on my recovery that will bring gifts

My new mantra is I am capable competent and enough
This worry about ' being too much ' is a hard one hey wanting us to shrink
Most people are too much in some way - human nature - but our brains go way over board almost need to say the opposite -
I wonder what Pete w says on this ?

Best wishes
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: woodsgnome on July 19, 2015, 12:57:44 AM
This thread hits a core wound of mine, and it seems so hopeless right now. But that's a feeling, and I don't sense any feeling right now, either. Just the usual numbness when my IC pulls out its rejection card again.

I've been so good at going it alone for so long it's second-nature, but it's like having a gaping hole not to have any relationships. But for me it's like Creative Cat says: "I still feel  that I am 'too much' 'too needy' 'too aloof' 'too quiet' 'too loud' even 'too smelly'..."

While all my one-time relationships are severed--some deliberately (FOO), some due to circumstance, and some via death--I still maintained a loose connection with “friends” (some of whom I hired and mentored) at a workplace I'd been associated with for a long time, and where I thought I was still welcome. So the other day, someone I'd done huge favors for turned on me violently when I just asked for something I'd loaned back. Like you're [me] no longer part of our in-crowd, you're this/that/other and how dare you intrude.

There's lots of reasons they'd do that, starting with huge personal probs around drinking and such.  Still all I could dwell on was "it's me, again...I just can't do people." And I've been around all the Walker tips, and many more, and none of it seems to matter anyway. I know it's just ego-talk, that in spirit I'm really okay; but I so easily just fall into self-blame, shut the door and hope never to be seen again. I'm convinced the friends part of life must have passed me by and I've been too smug to even notice.

It's just nice to visit this site, at least, and find real people I can relate to, and know they've walked the same lonely trail. I admire your perseverance in finding a way forward again.

Others here, too, are at least moving, anyway; while I'm just stagnant, stuck but with no outlet, and the notion of why bother looking for one. It probably doesn't make sense, I never seem to hit the sense level either. After all, they also said I'm not in touch with reality. Yeah, right, all that means is I don't go to their bars and fry my brains out like they do for their real fun. And I know that, but my gaping hole just keeps expanding in the meantime, and my options are pretty thin. And I'm only venting, or I don't's just feelings, right? And they're only back where they've always been, hiding under the numbness that won't open the lid and let them taste freedom. Smelly, indeed, in that box of pain.
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Jdog on July 19, 2015, 01:52:04 AM

Just reading peoples' posts and chiming in because I have lots of experience assuming I am "too much" or "not enough" and my hypervigilance has often been very much the determining factor in my responses to the world.  I recently got feedback from a very close friend about my texts- which she hadn't been returning in a really timely manner - and the feedback was simply that they don't always show up on her phone right here I was assuming that it was me being "too much" once again and it wasn't even about me!  She is also going through some stressful situations that I hadn't been aware once more, not about me. 

I guess for me, in overcoming my codependence, an important thing to remember is to first of all be my own best advocate (which is the opposite of how I was taught).  Loneliness is a real and achingly difficult thing.  Being separated from oneself is the most lonely thing of all, and has nothing to do with having caring people around.  I hope to continue my work of reconnecting with myself.  It's tough, tough work.  But what are the alternatives?

Keep healing, fellow seekers.
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on July 19, 2015, 10:24:01 AM
Woods gnome

For me when I was drinking I attracted like crowd - I don't know those people anymore
Then I just went for emotionally unavailable people -
And now I am branching out to a different radar -
It's almost like the people of my de fault setting should have a red radar on their head to help me focus -

For me it seemed inportant to 'have time out ' but equally it feels important to 'get back on it '

Positive relating I can now see is part of developing healthy esteem / self identity and worth
Sharing and being alive
My t said this is the area of c PTSD that people struggle with the most -
It is not our fault - but it does require work persistence and knowledge -
I can see now where I am internally will reflect in my relationships - of course makes sense
To heal within and so with out
Do u mean re feelings u suffer depression ? Inner critic gone wild ?
I would recommend a specialist to
Work with in cptsd if u can
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on July 19, 2015, 10:33:13 AM
J dog
Thanks for sharing -
Yes yes and yes :)
My sponsor says ' not to do others thinking for them ' and also 'focus on my own plate '
The I'm too ... Whatever seems a way to get in and make me shrink - I like the idea once of making it into a silly voice or a character eg 'I'm too loud ' and then developing a character that fits that and what that feels like -
I am learning to be my best person, what my values are and to not compare myself so much with what 'I think' others want or don't want -
Living my life with others in charge is a wasted life - but I know it runs deeper than this and identify, esteem emotional intelligence and others factors play a part - for my a spiritual life helps me a lot
'Re connecting with myself ' as u said - the biggest and best spiritual part of my journey :) :)
Co dependence has been rife for me but it seems to be moving out - bye bye  :wave: it's a horrible addiction to have really corrosive
Best wishes
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: woodsgnome on July 19, 2015, 03:36:22 PM
Thanks for your keen observations, Jdog. Especially noting that: "... in overcoming my codependence, an important thing to remember is to first of all be my own best advocate". That's been a huge one for me to tackle, this advocacy question. It's kind of like I've reached a point of self-acceptance, and I need to defend it? Seems counter-intuitive, but I may be missing something ???.

I feel good about so much of my self-advocacy "style", which did involve a mini-retreat from society but I still had creative outlets/inlets I was comfortable with. Wasn't like I ran away entirely--I still had those inroads and felt my input was valuable. And it seemed like it worked, occasionally anyway. 

But when I encounter a situation involving conflict with people, that I can't handle.  And I do reach out, when and where I can. What devastates me is when I feel cast aside by people who said they'd appreciated my help when they truly needed it. That's when the self-worth and especially the self-advocacy deserts me. My self-advocacy becomes "I need to get out of here". The kicker there is, I readily blame myself, when in fact it might just be that they've changed...they're so far gone into their own coping, mainly via their drinking. It wasn't me, but I willingly step into the blame vacuum, even if I don't have to. 

Boatsetsailrose nailed my conundrum further by asking: "Inner critic gone wild ?" Yep. And then no amount of built-up self-recovery that I've worked on seems to help. The pattern of self-rejection repeats, stuns, and leaves me alone again. Mostly, alone is fine--it's more like a solitary strength, not a true loneliness. Mostly. And then something happens, blows the scenery, and maybe it's good to still be human. But is that just feel-good comfort?  :blahblahblah: Oops--veering towards more self-blame again--yep, it's the person I know. And love? Open question.   
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Jdog on July 20, 2015, 03:20:57 AM

Turning that corner - the one involving rejecting oneself when conflict with others arises - is very difficult and takes lots and lots of practice (so says my therapist, who has proven her wisdom to me repeatedly).  So, try not to reject yourself for rejecting yourself...if you get my meaning.  It sounds as if you have much to be proud of in your self discovery and inner work.  I, also, have stopped drinking and if I were to spend much time with some of those who need to drink in order to feel "normal" I'm sure they would feel threatened by the "new" me.  Some folks will keep trying anything in order to demean another who does not fit their idea of normal.

You matter, and you are surely doing the best you can with all that you know at this moment.  I write this partially because I need frequent reminders of it myself.  I love that BSR quoted her sponsor regarding not doing other peoples' thinking for them. Such a great reminder! 

Take care.
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on July 20, 2015, 04:52:46 AM
Indeed - I say
It's not me , it's my brain :)
Title: Re: Relationships
Post by: Indigochild on August 03, 2015, 09:17:17 AM
Hi Boatsetsailrose

Thought these videos might be helpful to you:
She talks a lot about what you describe.