The friends dilemma

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Boatsetsailrose

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The friends dilemma
« on: May 15, 2019, 03:44:30 PM »
OK I'm. Going through the 'what's wrong with me phase'..
I want closer connections with people I don't feel like I'm not open or willing or trying to get this because I am...
I know a lot of people but when I shut the front door it's just me...
It's like I feel I'm. Always doing the work with people and then they agree... Do I come across as too independent, are people intimidated by me.... I just don't know I wish I could see myself as others do...
I guess like anyone some will like me some won't....
I so want a friend or two to be closer to and be in each others lives.....
Fed up of this situation that goes round and round on a loop for me

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notalone

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Re: The friends dilemma
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 07:43:25 PM »
I don't have any answers, but want you to know that I hear your pain and frustration.

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SharpAndBlunt

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Re: The friends dilemma
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 06:50:11 AM »
Hi Boatsetsailrose,

I want to tell you that I really identify strongly with what you're saying. It's a big problem for me, in friendships, not knowing what is too much or what is too little.

I think also that the friends I am attracted to probably have similar worries along the same lines, so when there are 2 people with similar patterns of thinking it can make things difficult. Of course people who think similarly to me are the ones who I am attracted to in the first place, so this is a bit of a Catch 22.

I like what Hope said in my other thread about difficulties I am having with one other friend in particular. Communication is important.

I think it's really important to be able to clearly and  undramatically explain needs and wants in a relationship.

Unfortunately for me my inner critic and outer critic are both really strong. I shame myself for 'doing something wrong' (I often don't know what I have done wrong, or more likely know I have done nothing wrong, but still the critic is strong enough to shame me. This makes me disassociate and communication is impossible).

My outer critic also gets angry at the other person for not seeing what I need (which usually is simple communication).

Trying to explain all this though is tortuous though I 'feel' it 'should' be easy. Again, this is critical thinking.

Like so much of cptsd I think it comes back to patience and understanding. For myself but also for me not to project perfection onto others. This is just how it works for me and is not meant to sound like a judgement, sorry if it did.

I'm sorry if this sounds preachy. I don't mean it to. But your post has been on my mind and I wanted to respond.

I think we are on the right lines...

Wishing us good strong healthy friendships! :)

SaB

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: The friends dilemma
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 07:09:08 PM »
Hi sharpe and blunt
Good to hear your reply...
It's right on cue for me today about 'communicating needs'. I was feeling a bit down and lonely today and then a friend phoned and asked me how I was.. This came as a surprise and I was able to be honest about my  struggles and feeling lonely.. She apologised she's not been a good friend lately (understandable as she has been really struggling).

I really am starting to see there is prob something in how I present and that I don't let myself be vulnerable esp communicating what I need... Its not something I'm versed at at all...
I think it would be a good exercise for me to do some journal lung around what I need from a friend and then see how I can go about it.. Who can hold me when I'm vulnerable... Offer emotional support... Its time for me to start trying... Not comfortable with it but hey its worth a go...
Oh yes I quite relate sharp and blunt I'm super perfectionist when it comes to myself and others... I expect people to meet my high ideals and guess what they always fall. Short...
I wonder if I come across as a snob....

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MoonBeam

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Re: The friends dilemma
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 10:58:21 PM »
An aptly titled post Boatsetsailrose. For me too, it is a dilemma. How do I create close relationships with others when letting someone get close to me is terrifying and often triggering? It's the thing I pine for, yet run away from over and over. I've had many people in my life who I thought would be part of my "tribe"--something I hear others have in their lives (maybe not others with CPTSD  :Idunno:), but that sense of belonging, feeling like someone has my back, I've never really had. Most of those relationships have all ended due to some rupture that I was never willing to mend or they just fell away.

I think for me it comes down to trust and a deep fear of being seen. If I let someone actually see me, they will figure out I'm a fraud, unlovable. A sad thing and I "know" its not true, its the belief I developed due to early childhood trauma, but the inner critic is pretty sure it's my fault. I'm really trying to figure this one out, 'cause I'm realizing how important connection is to healing and well, it's lonely not having it.

I've had a friend for about 11 years, someone I would consider "close" and with my T's gentle urging I took a huge risk and told her I was abused as a child and that I struggle every day with the symptoms of CPTSD. She was blown away that she had no idea, that I had kept this secret so long. She was great about it--loving, compassionate, wanted to support me. Then I took another risk and reached out during an EF. She totally blew me off.  :disappear: Problem was--I didn't say what I needed, just that I was having a rough day. I wanted to blame her for not being there for me, but the truth is that I have no idea how to ask for help or let anyone in, and I totally didn't communicate that I was in need of support. Gah! 

Anyway, this is a work in progress and so far neither of us has run away. I'm pretty good at being there for others, but I'm beginning to understand how in order for real friendship to grow, it requires some vulnerability on my part too.  I realize that one friend is not a tribe (kind of lol) and I need to bring more relationships into my life. I'm wondering if I start showing up for me--being a friend to myself, if perhaps it will open a door for others... 

Thank you both for your insights and sharing your struggles with this Boatsetsailrose and S&B. I'm glad your friend called Boats and you were able to share how you have been feeling. That was brave. I hope it opens a door for deeper connection, if that is something you want with her. I look forward to learning more about how to create this in my life.