need to talk
I've been struggling a lot recently with feelings of love and connection towards many people. On some level, I think that I'm fabricating stronger than warranted emotions, and I can't seem to step back from this. This is leading to so many problems...
There's the fact that I keep feeling abandoned by friends who don't have time for me, to the point where I'm depressed to tears and self-destructiveness. I'm constantly paranoid about not knowing where people are or if they're safe. I'm feeling all kinds of emotional and physical attraction to pretty much anyone I like.
Then, there's a guy I ended up in a serious relationship with without seeming to make any decisions about it. It just sort of emerged from this new clingyness I've been displaying. There are so many things I love about him, but I often feel horrible about myself when I'm with him. He doesn't really share my values, and I don't feel like he knows me very well at all. We're sexually great together, but I feel like sex is something I offer him so he's happy with me. The main problem is that he doesn't really trust me and has treated any interaction I have with other guys with suspicion. So while I feel driven to seek affection and love more strongly than maybe is healthy, he's been making me feel like a slut and a bad person.
And then there's the fact that I sort of am a bad person. After a few months of trying to convince him I was trustworthy, I did cheat on him several times with another guy from a past relationship that I suppose didn't get closed properly. Why? I don't understand. I try to be honest and good, but I'm failing so hard. I haven't told anyone; better to break up with the first guy without making him think he was so badly betrayed. But I'm not breaking up with him, just telling a lot of lies and failing to disengage from either person.
So much of the time, I feel out of control--confused and elated and furious and in love and hurt and sad. I don't know what's wrong; usually depression is very flat for me, not this mess.
Guys, I just need to talk to someone without judgement right now. I'm not even seeking advice. I guess it's not really much of a poly issue, but I was hoping there would be someone understanding here anyway.
Welcome to the forum! I hope you can find some support here. I can relate to some of the things you have shared. I know what it's like to feel that I have no control of my own thoughts and my thoughts are leading into behaviors that I have no control of either. I hate that because I like to feel that I'm able to manage my thoughts and behaviors. I finally got so frustrated that I found a therapist and she really helped me a lot. At first, I was embarrassed to call a therapist because I was raised to think "you never talk to strangers about your personal matters" but fortunately I got over that!!! I am very grateful for the help I received from my therapist!!
syestra, Have these feelings been building gradually over time, or was there some event which triggered them?
Almost everyone I know goes through some kind of identity crisis in their early-to-mid-twenties. Without knowing your age, I can't comment on whether this could be connected to what you're feeling, but the general tone resembles how I felt when I went through my crisis at about 22. I was just all over the place, flailing, reaching for anything to grab on to. Crushes on everyone, crushed by disappointment when they didn't return my affections.
As for the cheating, there's no reason to dwell on mistakes of the past. Learn what lessons you can from them and try to identify the behaviour/events that led up to them so you can avoid them in the future. And if you make a few more mistakes, that's ok. You're human!
Welcome to the forum.
I have a highly individual centric view of everything, including relationships. That doesn't mean I am selfish or apathetic, it just means that I realize that relationships are not things, they're the abstraction of how two or more people interact. Sometimes people get too caught up in "the relationship" that they forget they're dealing with people.
I don't care to give opinions on your relationships with others, but I encourage you to nurture your relationship with yourself. You seem to realize that you're being self-destructive and if you're not loving yourself enough to nurture you, it's nearly impossible to bring that to the table for others.
Maybe you need to take some time for you and see your friends. Confide in them to let them know how much their presence around you matters. Maybe you want more communication with them and these are fair things to explore. My friends are my greatest support, individually and in the ways they as a group build and lift me up.
Take the time to share your feelings. Sometimes putting them to words, even in an anonymous forum of strangers, can help you connect pieces and see things as a coherent whole rather than a jumbled rubberband-like ball of mess. Talking might also help take the edge off of the feelings which will make it easier to deal with them each individually.
Thanks idealist and SC, your kindness helps a lot.
Yeah, these feelings started shortly after a close friend died (which explains a bit, maybe, although that was eight months ago, so maybe not everything). As for therapy, I'm a veteran, if not a fan. I'm going to talk with someone soon, but tonight, soon does not seem soon enough. I'm glad you guys took the time to respond.
I know this is a very basic question but have you been getting 8 hours of sleep a night for the last week? This sounds a bit like something that I went through this year and I realized that I had been getting 6 hours or less of fretful sleep. What would happen is I would run on very little sleep but I'd feel okay in the morning so it became acceptable until I crashed after 4 or so nights and had one good sleep then I'd go right back at it again. Try to get 8 hours for a week even if you're feeling better. It helps balance things and your body processes emotions a lot easier too.
Other than that I agree with SC and Idealist, therapy is good. Also just spending quality time with your friends and maybe taking a little you time away from people in general. Go for walks, play computer games, read, take naps, whatever lets you be in a space quiet and on your own.
Hope this helps and welcome to the forum!
Here are some things that jumped out at me:
"I often feel horrible about myself when I'm with him."
"And then there's the fact that I sort of am a bad person."
"So much of the time, I feel out of control..."
syestra, these words make me feel worried. You're hurting, and you seem to not like yourself very much sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time. That's not the way it should be, syestra.
Who you are is WHO YOU ARE and it is OK to be that person.
You can want to grow and change. That's good! But stand centered in yourself and centered in the present and please, please feel that you are a worthwhile person. Because that is true!
Here's an exercise...it may feel hokey but you could try it anyway if you want.
Stand in your favorite place or your safe room. Take all the frightening and self-destructive feelings that are boiling in you and put them in your left hand. Close your fingers gently around them and let them rest. They're still there, but now they are quiet and contained.
Now remember the happiest, most secure time in your life. Remember how you felt. Close your eyes and bring those feelings back. Go all the way into them and feel the way you did then.
Here's what I think is true: those good feelings are with you always. If they weren't already inside you, then how could you have brought them back and felt them?
OK. Perhaps you can feel that in your center there is a place where it is peaceful and where you are OK. The other stuff -- the destructive feelings, the fear and neediness -- those things exist too, they're yours. But they are not the whole you.
I wish that you can have a calm, peaceful center that you carry with you always.
first of all, here is a big *hug* for you... you are obviously hurting and in need of support, thanks for reaching out. Even if this might not be a poly thread I certainly don't mind the opportunity to care for someone.
It seems to me that the guy should be the first to go. It seems that his presence in your life is not helping you feel better about yourself and is in fact adding to your issues.
Losing your friend is the root of it you say. Good for you realizing that. That is a big start.
When I lost a dear friend who committed suicide a few years back I decided to have my own personal ceremony for them. I did a ritual around their passing. I lite candles, meditated on them and our friendship, went over in my head why they did such a thing and left me behind and came out of it realizing that I was happy for them and that they were now where they should be. I could move on.
I'm sure your friend would want to see you are happy. They wouldn't want you to self destruct as you are now..... perhaps there are other friends of theirs that would join you if you want? Perhaps there is a place you used to go.... I don't know, only you do. Make this your own thing and really go to town on it.
Then sit and think and write, whatever you like to do, about where you will go next in order to find a suitable future for yourself.
I'm not always a big therapy fan, having been one.... I see it's use and see how it works for some, but haven't always had success with it myself. I get more success from really doing the work to go inside myself and bouncing off my friends and family what I have found... maybe that is what you need to be doing. Just because it's just you in this world doesn't mean you can't be your own best friend. That is where really happiness begins anyways.
I'm not going to post much, I think there have been some really great posts already. I do feel the need to put my 2cents in, though.
You say that you are "a bad person". We all make mistakes and do things we're not proud of. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself so that you can move on. And you need to change the dialogue in your head from "I am a bad person" to something more like, "I did something which I am not proud of". Saying you're a bad person cuts off your opportunity for personal growth in the future; saying the behavior was not worthy will allow you to decide not to do it in the future.
Grief can have a huge impact on your everyday life without you fully realizing it. I lost an aunt six months ago and found myself acting crazy for no apparent reason, and introspection would lead me to the feeling that I was so sad because I felt like she died before I was ready to let her go, and I was acting out. Clingy and emotional sounds like me, too. I also lost a goddaughter nine years ago and while time does make it better, it doesn't cure the grief.
If you're a veteran but not a fan of therapy, then maybe you haven't found the right therapist yet. You have the right to find one that you feel comfortable with and who you feel actually helps.
Thanks so much, guys. Reading these entries has really helped make the last few days manageable.
I saw a therapist earlier today. I donít know whether it was because it was a first appointment or because I just have a lot of things I need to talk about right now and we couldnít address them all, but I didnít really feel a good connection. She seemed very sympathetic and willing to talk about my friend who died, but she was far less vocal when I brought up feelings centered around relationships. I mentioned polyamory, how someone I had dated (the guy I cheated with) was poly, and how loving many people makes sense to me. She didnít have much to say, and I left feeling judged. I suppose Iíll go again and see whether it was time constraints or whether I should look for someone else.
In the meantime, Iíll try to take your comments to heart. Maybe I will go into the mountains this weekend and see if I can find some peace and quiet.
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