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Messages - Sasha

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1
Recovery Journals / Re: Sasha is not my real name
« on: June 27, 2020, 10:39:50 AM »
I donít know where to start. Itís been a while. My partner and I broke up. Or rather he left me. In April.

Iíve been up and down. These last two weeks have been hard. I found out he is seeing someone new. A week later I witnessed stranger street violence that has caused trauma response.

Today I woke up and went back to bed. For two weeks me head has been swimming with thoughts and feelings towards the partner I have lost. I feel low. He was very supportive and helped me a lot with trauma responses and CPTSD / PTSD symptoms.

My therapist has suggested I could start to treat the loss like a death, and so I invited him to a Ďritual endingí on my terms, next week, where we are writing goodbye letters to one another. I already digitally deleted him when I found out about the new woman. Maybe this will give me a gentler sense of finality. I donít know. Right now I am swarmed with the feeling of him, images of him with someone else, feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, loss and longing.

Iím not okay. Finding the energy and mindset to bathe, clean up, go to the shops... it feels like too much. This week I engaged in destructive coping mechanisms that Iím not happy about. Stranger sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Hyper socialising. I feel frazzled. I want to look after myself but I feel like a ghost of sorts. 

2
General Discussion / Re: If not my parent... who are others?
« on: April 02, 2020, 08:51:10 PM »
Thank you all so much for writing!  :grouphug:


Okay, that's probably enough from my perspective. I just felt very drawn to what you have to say, as it's so eerily familiar; disturbing but also sadly reinforcing that need for grieving your therapist has pointed to.

Thank you for your response, it's so interesting to hear how others perceive this area of recovery. I am very glad I met my therapist and that she positioned this to me. Sad as it is to grieve for lost parenting, I feel focusing on this the other new perspective I am gaining from therapy, I feel like I'm having a breakthrough.

It is leading to new instances where I am able to handle triggers better. As well as possibly helping me deal with the desire to be 'rescued' it's also helping my see that when I am triggered I can yearn for external parenting instead of pulling upon my adult self as a valuable and consistent loving a reassuring resource.

What came to my mind: What is the difference between getting support from friends and seeking parenting? When a friend responds with understanding and kindness, is that parenting or just being a good friend? In a parent/child relationship, the parent is the caretaker, nurturer, forgiver, etc. The child is (rightly) needy and the receiver. In a friendship, the relationship is more give and take, although there are times when one person is giving more and the other is receiving more.

Your comment opened my eyes to the fact that in my romantic relationships I have (unconsciously) partly strived for a parent/child setup in order to try to feel secure. These needs have been misplaced, as the pain of parenting lost in childhood is projected onto a partner as a need that is sadly futile. It cannot be fulfilled to that degree, especially when the consciousness is not present to examine how heavily this need may weigh on a romantic relationship or friendship. It possibly even perpetuates the trauma, as the need is never fulflled. It is misplaced. This sense of identifying the 'location' or timeline of my emotions is something I feel tangibly since I wrote this post and started to grieve more.

Your post also made me think about the nature of the partnership my adult self desires, and that is one of mutual and equal give and take, therefore not the parent/child dynamic. It has been very helpful for me to realise adult self wants something more progressive for me and my partner. Thank you for your comment.

I don't know if seeing a T is enough for most of us because it is a therapeutic relationship. Group therapy seems to be a good option though because there are others like us who get what we're going through and are on an equal footing with us. Safe, caring, holistic therapy F2F communities would be even better  :yes: I'm thinking of places such as Body and Soul in the UK.

If we deal with the wounds and gaping holes our trauma has left with us in environments like B&S. then we don't carry that into our relationships with partners, children, friends, employers, etc., at least not to the same degree.  It gives us more of a fighting chance to build and sustain healthier relationships imo.   

Thank you Kizzie, I will definitely look into group therapy options once the current public health crisis has passed.


At any rate, if you subscribe to the theory that we, or at least some of our parts, have been frozen in time (childhood) in response to trauma (and I feel this is true for me), then there really canít be shame in feeling this way. Itís ďa normal response to an abnormal situationĒ. I think Iíve settled on a belief for myself that, as long as Iím aware of it and maintain an awareness of the other person and their needs/wellbeing, then I shouldnít beat myself up over my yearnings. I have a small number of ppl I feel close to and care deeply about. I try to take care of them, too, and in the end, I think thatís what matters

Yes! Something I am working on is trying not to judge my child needs as harshly, catching myself when I respond with disgust or shame. The other day my partner and I had a misunderstanding about planned time together, and I went from 100 to 0 in a split second, triggered into abandonement depression. The sham said, so loudly "Of course I got it wrong. Why the * would anyone want to hang out with us."... and flashback commenced, with visual and emotional memories of neglect coming through.

How on earth can I carry on telling this poor child that they deserved this, and that this is normal? I don't want to do that any more. I want to do everything in my power to smash the critic that turns that awful trauma back in on my self, and abuses my wounded child AGAIN. I want to put a stop to it. To treat my yearnings as parts of our selves that need to be heard feels much more compassionate than my previous mode.

I have always been able to see it clearly with a partner, and my parent head has been strong and active for others (co-dependent, anyone?) but accessing this compassionate caring parent voice for myself... wow, I welcome this. I wish to bring this into my way of thinking and processing more and more.

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Inner Child Work / Things I can do for my inner child
« on: April 02, 2020, 06:01:19 PM »
My little girl. How can I give her the things she needs to feel secure, safe, wanted and for her to rest within this security?

Things we can start to do or do more:

Making music
We have always loved playing musical instruments and singing. It turned into a career for us (despite wanting to be a teacher or politician!) and the nature of this joy morphed into work, validation, new pressures. Years ago I stopped the gig hunt and decided to focus on a new career. Now I have made the space and enviroment for us to relate to music with joy and playfulness again. It means unblocking that feeling of pressure, but my adult self can keep working on this to give my inner child what she loves.

Drawing and painting
She adored drawing, painting and colouring in. It was her escape. She would find a spot and settle for hours, bringing colour to pages and pages. She carried on drawing in our teenage years, and a few years ago I picked it up in the form of illustration. It felt like a great way to journal and I drew how I felt, which was a great release. I put it down again but I can give this to her again now. It has always a private, peaceful and safe place for us.

Bubble baths!
It is odd to admit this, but baths scare us a bit. We never had one, and in adverse overcrowded conditions privacy and private bathroom time was not available. For some years now we have been finding baths are lovely when we have them. We like to fill them up with so many bubbles and put a movie on. We would quite like to get some bath toys, so we can enjoy this time even more and allow us to feel safe, private and relaxed as we clean and unwind in a secure space.

Reading
She used to read and read and read. It was life, it was everything. I miss that feeling. Somewhere along the way life became urgent and books became slow. Screens have lulled us into another mode, but the books are so grounding and we love to smell them and hold them in our hands, and fall asleep with them on us. I want to give that to her again.

Things I am already doing and will keep doing:

Story time
Me and my inner child love soft stories like the story tape ones we fell asleep to years ago, The Fire Bird, Lorna Doone, The Secret Garden. I have an app on my phone that plays sleep stories. I LOVE IT!

Rain sounds
The same app plays rains and other textural and natural sounds. It's called Calm.... It reminds us of when we went camping, and when we slept in the back of dads van, cosy in blankets amongst wood and tools, coming back from the woods. Ah, I just went there. I love my dad. I wish we had had more of him.

Gentle movies
Period dramas, disney, rom coms... We like to feel and see love, laughter and hope. We love the skill and colour, vibrancy and being taken on a journey, when we can relax and explore someone elses world. It is a restful place for us.

What things do you do?

4
Successes, Progress? / Alone is truth. Loneliness, a lie.
« on: April 02, 2020, 05:11:14 PM »
I have been circling around and around. I have wanted others to feel the way I feel, since I was very young. I didn't want my life, I wanted to be someone else. As a young child I wanted to be rescued. I knew it was wrong, and it never went away. No-one came.

But someone did come. I did. All the time, I came and I showed up. I advocated for myself throughout childhood, I kept myself as safe as I could and I made good friends, and developed bonds with great people that helped me and who I am still good friends with. Through all the pain and trauma and hurt I battled to be a good person, and I chose paths that aligned with my truth. I am proud to have worked personally and professionally to help others. I still do.

Boundaries and needs that I could never hear have now been identified and found, unearthed and built through reading, learning, talking, seeking help, having faith and following the belief that things can be better. I went to libraries and sat reading through psychology books. I decided to pay for therapy. I joined this forum. I moved to a new place and made myself a home with animals who love me and who I love, with plants and safety and comfort.

I tried my very best, at every turn, and I still do. Despite setbacks and more pain, I have worked again and again to find resolve. I am resilient and it is paying off. Sitting here now I feel safe in my own presence. I hold all of this and I want to be who I am. There is still regular pain, and it frightens me, but I feel so proud of who I am and how I handle this.

Years ago in a haze of trauma response with so many tears I could barely see to walk down the road, I took a left turn into a tattoo shop. I knew that I could no longer carry on worshipping the bold bright functioning self and despising the scared traumatised self, and I marked it on my body that my strengths and my weaknesses are equal, they both need my love. The strong in me must help the weak in me. I have two love hearts tattoed, one on each wrist.

I realised my inner child. I committed to loving her and I will never break that commitment. She is beautiful and she is so worthy of my love. She is my child, my responsibility. I will never abandon her. I will show up for her forever and ever and ever. She is the centre of my world. I will play with her and listen to what she needs, I will make it so she can rest. She will know that I have her, always have, always will.

Where I have sought the parents I never had in friends, lovers, partners, I now allow myself to grieve. I have provided the safety for me to do so. This is the truth. This is the aloneness that was real, that often feels so painful, and this is my work. I will not give this to anyone to fix or solve, or rescue. I will hold this, for my child, I will direct towards the truth and not look to others to become something that cannot be.

When I feel abandoned and swallowed in lonely dispair I will come for me again, I will show up. Every time. I will for eternity soothe the loneliness and pain. I always have had and always will have my self. My loving, strong, resilient, resourceful, brave, kind, truthful, wise self. 

Thank you for reading  :grouphug:

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Hey Jedi, how are things for you at the moment?

6
I did an online test as feel like I want to work out my attachment style. Reoccurring problems with my partner seem to me like they could be due to us having different styles.

The results are:
35% anxious preoccupied
29% secure
29% fearful avoidant
6% dismissive avoidant

What on earth does this mean?

How can I be all of these at the same time?

Baffled!

7
How is everything now, Nina?

8
Thank you to everyone who posted. You were there for me and it means so much.

Iíve been feeling up and down for some time now, however I feel like recently Iím expressing emotions with more clarity.

My T said a while ago that they think my anger turns inwards and is like self-harm.

Since then Iíve been trying to tap into my feelings, not judged them. Iím feeling more anger and more needs. And I guess these two match up... I feel angry that my needs arenít being met. That they werenít met.

Thinking now, I know that the day I wrote this urgent post, I was struggling to cope with my partner needing space - a regular statement and occurrence. Iím realising now that maybe I donít need to just adapt and compromise to something that is hurting me.

Have written more in my journal if anyone wants to keep talking (donít want to use this urgent  thread more than necessary)

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Recovery Journals / Re: Sasha is not my real name
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:32:24 AM »
ē Partner wants space to find himself, on his terms, regularly.
ē Iíve been trying to support this. It hurts, regularly.

Compromise compromise compromise. Something Iím VERY good at based on consistently having my needs trampled on and having to adapt all the time.

Recent relationship has felt better - Iíve been more communicative, feeling more authentic and expressing difficult emotions.

Iíve tried to support his need to his own space. After all, thatís not odd? Itís normal! Iíve wanted that in previous relationships myself.

But at this time in my life, I just donít want it. I want someone to want me in their life everyday. When we spend a lot of time together I feel so relaxed. The push and pull of my partner needing space feels too much for me.

Iím unhappy. Heís unhappy. Both of us are trying to get our needs met, both of us are trying to meet the others needs. But weíre hurting.

Are we incompatible?

Is this where compromise has to stop?

Should I try harder, challenge my anxious fearful attachment feelings and stick it out?

He says he wants to live with me one day. I just want it to be now.

I feel like the wounded child is so loud and I donít know whether itís bad or good. I canít tell whether itís also my adult self. I think it is. I think all of me just wants to be wanted by the person I am with.

Not forced to take space and again prove my resilience and ability to adapt and compromise. I want someone to allow me to rest and stop forcing me to be independent in life.

I want to nest and be intimate, loved, cocooned, wanted, adored, cherished. I want a teammate, a partner, a spouse.

I WANT TO BE THE CENTRE OF SOMEONES WORLD!

Do any adults truly have this and feel secure in their marriage and relationship?

Or is it too late? Am I yearning for something an adult can never have? Do I need to let go, grieve, submit?

I wish people would stop forcing me to be brave and strong and alone. I wish someone would just wrap me in their arms and allow me to rest and stop there, with them.

I donít know if I even deserve this. I hope I do. I hope I am and can be a good enough partner. I so want this.

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Recovery Journals / Re: Sasha is not my real name
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:20:21 AM »
I feel like writing in capitals. Not shouting. Just a strong repetitive feeling.

I  D O  N O T  W A N T  E M O T I O N S  A N Y M O R E

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Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Everything is falling apart
« on: March 14, 2020, 08:55:11 PM »
Thank you for your reply and for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

I can still feel myself in it. Nervous and on edge, although feeling a bit better, but very wary that my partner is coming home from his late shift soon and I am worried about something setting it all off again. I will try to stay grounded but feel so sensitive at the moment. To everything.

He has said he would like to come to therapy with me, however I feel a bit unsure about this as this is the first time Iíve built a safe space with a therapist and if Iím totally honest Iím scared to bring anything that I canít control into that space right now. Iím worried to feel like a specimen, and feel fear that I wonít know how to handle experiencing the discussions between my partner and therapist about me and my experiences. I already feel ganged you on and Iíve not even done it. Bad feelings. Might be exacerbated due to my current state of mind.

The link is so full of great suggestions, thank you. Iím also unwell with flu this week so thatís probably impacting my capacity. Iím going to do some cooking in a minute, to make something nice for me and my loved one. I feel apprehensive about cooking, especially about possibly relaxing and then something triggering me again. Iím finding if he doesnít pay me attention I feel triggered, but if he does I feel disconnected. Feel like we canít win at the moment  :'(

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Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Re: Everything is falling apart
« on: March 14, 2020, 06:37:56 PM »
Last night I cried a lot (again) and felt so out of control, very bad, and my partner also cried. It is frightening to feel so bad but also very scary to see the pain and frustration that my partner is feeling. I feel like we are both being attacked, however I realise that for him it seems like it is simply me attacking him, and picking up on everything he is doing Ďwrongí. I know that it is not my true self, it is my frightened survival traumatised self.

Hyper vigilance has been out of control for me this week, and my outer and inner critic have been on full volume. It has hurt me and my partner. The toxic shame is huge. I havenít been able to look at myself properly in the mirror for most of the week and the stream of negativity in my head had been relentless. All because my partner wanted some time to himself. Itís just so awful that Iíve reacted like this. I donít always do this, I think itís a lot worse as I am going into very deep areas with my therapist and I feel quite consumed by it all, as if the past is everything. This has happened before, similarly set off by an abandonment trigger. It feels like the deepest biggest one with the worse trauma response, and it is the hardest to pull back from once in motion.

Earlier I remembered something people have said on here, about how it is important to find ways to soothe when overwhelmed. Iím really struggling with this, and havenít been able to find much solice this week. Nonetheless even remembering this being said helped me get some distance and I felt calmer. If anyone has any gutter suggestions on this Iíd be grateful.

I have spoken to my partner breaking up this week and have been ruminating about the relationship ending, stuck in critic mode, and feeling absolutely devastated at the imagined loss of our relationship, brought on due to wild and powerful feelings of abandonment and emotional flashbacks.

And yet, even after this week he woke me today with kisses and hugs. I still canít feel the level of emotion I would like to, but I am so grateful that he still cares and is still here. Today I sincerely apologised to him because the emotional rollercoaster of this week has hurt him. Regardless of whether itís my fault or not, I am upset and not happy to see that he is hurting as a result of all this. He is a huge support for me and is very patient and caring, and I have been unable to connect with him or see the truth of who he is this week. I wish it wasnít like this, as this has caused us both pain, and has also increased my fear because our connection has become so fraught.

I still feel vulnerable but am glad to have more clarity and calmness arriving. I do want to find a way to say thank you for his love and his kindness as it means so much to me. But also still feel quite shaken up by this week and scared to get rebuffed as heís quite tired and overwhelmed. I think I just need to focus on stabilising more than anything atm.

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Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / Everything is falling apart
« on: March 14, 2020, 01:03:17 AM »
My partner wanted time to himself. This triggered me. I have neglect and abandonment trauma from childhood. The trauma response was and still is strong.

I tried to deal with it and focus on the present world, that my partner needs time for his own mental health, but a day extra got added on to our time apart when I wasnít expecting it.

I feel like I have fallen into a severe depression and ongoing trauma response state. I canít feel warmth or love. I feel everything has ended, is ending and itís just happening in slow motion.

My partner is frustrated and hurt, because I canít recognise him. He keeps telling me that what I am experiencing isnít real, that Ďeverything is okí and I feel angrier and angrier, and like Iím going insane, because it feels real to me. I feel like he is gone, like he left me, and I feel dead inside.

I canít stop crying and I havenít been looking after myself very well this week. I feel frightened and out of control. I also canít advise my partner what to do at the moment. I feel very lost.

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Inner Child Work / Re: Is it healthy to want help when I feel regressed?
« on: February 23, 2020, 11:25:35 AM »
 :blahblahblah: I feel aware that this week I have been very full of thought and asking loads of questions etc.

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General Discussion / Re: If not my parent... who are others?
« on: February 23, 2020, 11:23:11 AM »
Also, is it at all healthy to seek parenting in any form in others?

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