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  #11  
Old 07-07-2012, 07:08 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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That's cool that you are working on the abandonment issues. I hope you are working on the self esteem too and working on BEING OK wanting what you want from life. And BEING OK if that doesn't always line up with other people's wants.

Life is totally fair -- we all get one life to lead. Our OWN. I know several people who want to be childfree and are -- you don't HAVE to have kids.

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I need to have a healthy relationship with myself before I can have a healthy relationship with another person...but I still feel like I want and need the love and security of a relationship. I feel off-center otherwise...like a vagabond, without a home. Lost. So for me, love is both the poison and the cure...
I have to go with nycindie. And I agree with the first part. A healthy rship with yourself first.

But you really don't need a relationship to define you. Wanting to be in one is fine. You even have a BF already!

But I do not agree with the idea that it is the "cure." If anything if you are not secure in yourself you are going to be all "ACK!" in relationship. Every little bump that comes along shaking down your whole inner world and self worth. And that's just in mono -- never mind the complex polymath.

Your self-esteem seems based on the outside of you. External factors -- what other people think, what other people want, what you perceive "society" thinks of you. You are tangling up social reputation with self esteem there a bit.

You are too fluid. Like water going all over the place with no shape. Why is your self esteem not based from the inside? Where you are the internal authority of your inner world and your saying to yourself that you are good enough makes you good enough? We ALL have our special skills and talents, our strengths and weaknesses. Good self esteem accepts that -- "hey! I have these good areas and strengths, and in these areas I'm weak. I still have something to offer! "

If you do not know how to validate your own self NO amount of external validation will be enough. You'll feel the temporary feel-good hit, and then want another. If you keep pushing partner to be your filler-upper with the feel good hits, you become uber clingy/suffocating. Like a black hole that he can never fill up. And it is true. He cannot. Because only you can plug the leak inside you and heal your self esteem by changing your negative thought patterns.

Keep trying on that. Even water can firm up a bit and be ice with a shape on its own and not needing any outside container to define it. Don't feed the bad wolf.

Think about moving yourself up higher on the emotional guidance scale. You sound like you hang out in black and deep purple and red.

http://www.beyond-the-law-of-attract...attraction.gif

Here it is in spiral model.

https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...31598624_n.jpg

THAT is what centers you -- how you talk to yourself inside you and whether or not you keep your thoughts in good order. To come in at middle contentment -- at about a 7. Good enough happiness most of the time is passing grade. 70% is a C in school -- that passing average and there is NOTHING wrong with that! Most of the time, you can spiral up to a little better. But if most of the time you are content, and sometimes extra happy, then life feels pretty satisfying.

NOBODY can expect A+ perfection at all times! That's not realistic.

My Dad suffers from bad self esteem and other issues and he goes to group. I don't know if there's a chapter near you but in case there is...

http://www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/sy...l-language.asp

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-07-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2012, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
My Dad suffers from bad self esteem and other issues and he goes to group. I don't know if there's a chapter near you but in case there is...

http://www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/sy...l-language.asp
My mother went to Low's Recovery groups for years - she made good friends there and the system helped her immensely, especially in dealing with difficult emotions.
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:12 PM
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You're right that I should see myself in a better light. While I definitely do have low self-esteem right now (due to my issues with abandonment and poly), it hasn't always been that way...and I don't consider myself a people pleaser. In fact, one of my big problems is that I'm selfish, stubborn and I'm often oblivious to the feelings of others...until I mess up and conflict happens, then I just feel bad about myself.

I'm a terrible mish-mash of attitudes, because although I'm emotionally dependent on other people, I'm ideologically VERY independent, and I have a dominant streak. I would never compromise my own ideals for anyone else. I also have a childish attitude of how-I-want-it-when-I-want-it, which I'm trying to work on. It's terrible, because in my last relationship, at one point he was more like my father than an actual lover, and that just fostered more dependence. It was difficult breaking away from him because I felt like I needed him.

I tend to be domineering in my relationships, but I do also want to be whatever the other person wants me to be. For example, I enjoy catering to their fetishes even if it's something I'm neutral about. I do this because I want to see them happy. I want to be the person they want while still being true to my own desires. I do not like doing things just because I'm expected to, much less if it's something I personally don't want to do. (This is where the issue of child-rearing comes in.) I'm extremely honest about what I want and do not want, which can be off-putting to a lot of people who would think I'm being blunt and rude.

And while I'm aware that there are people out there who would be happy in a childfree poly relationship, I'm not sure if that's the type of person I'd be attracted to. I feel like that type of person would be a sort of free-spirit, sexually permissive type of person with lots of partners and I'm just not interested in that. I'm more into the shy, intellectual guy with a goofy sense of humor. But I suppose everything exists in this world, so perhaps I should embark on this search for "the one" who would have all those qualities I desire? (I'm a bit bitter about this whole affair.)

I guess, maybe, it's not all bad...my "friend" has expressed fear and uncertainty about a possible poly relationship, but he told me that he's not going to give up until he tries, and if he can't do the poly thing himself, that he'd stick with me until I find someone who can be that for me. He really is an amazing person. And though sometimes I feel like I'm just a giant pain in the ass, there must be something good about me if he's decided to stick around.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:48 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I don't mean this unkindly -- but have you had a check up? You sound kinda "splitting" in your thinking. Google it.

Reminds me so much of my dad and his "black and white" thinking patterns. All or nothing. HIGHS or loooooows. (He's also bipolar)

This goes beyond my experience so I don't really have anything more to add other than I am glad you are trying to work on yourself and I hope you move into a more positive headspace. I live with Dad's probs so I know how rough it is for him. But I don't really live it MYSELF so... I'm only looking in on it second hand. I don't wear the shoes.

I'd strongly encourage checking out Low's group if you have a chapter nearby though.

GL!

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-07-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2012, 10:33 PM
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I can definitely sympathize with a lot of what you're feeling now. I have been there myself in the past.

I know you said you can't access you school's psychiatrist because it is summer, but could you possibly find another one? Maybe you could check with student services to see if they do offer some sort of care in the 'off season' or if they could suggest another doc or therapist who could work with you. At the very least, having someone you can talk to who *legally* can't blab about what you share with them can be very freeing and it's good to have a professional to help guide you through the process of figuring yourself out and accepting yourself fully. It's not about finding a doc to "fix" you, but rather someone to support and guide you. It can also be helpful to speak to a psychiatrist to rule out any possible chemical imbalances, as GalaGirl mentioned. I'm not suggesting that this must be an issue for you, just that it could be a possibility and treating an underlying condition can help make things much easier when it comes to self-esteem, abandonment issues, and relationship issues. Sometimes you need a little assistance to get your thinking back on track and see all the possibilities. (I have firsthand experience with this as well and would be more than happy to talk privately about any of it if you'd like.)

I definitely agree with the comment about being overly fluid, like water taking on the shape of its container. I have described myself that way at times. It's a slippery slope and makes it easy to 'lose yourself' in the process of trying to adapt to other people. Total reliance on other people's happiness and approval for your own positive feelings is not healthy. You mention feeling responsible for your ex's well-being and other people's emotions as well as feeling like you "need" your partner and rely on them like an authority figure. These things (and a few others) definitely throw up a bit of a red flag to me that you may be experiencing some codependency issues. It might be worth looking into some things on that topic. Melody Beattie has some great books about letting go of the overwhelming *need* for other people and learning to focus on being there for yourself first, which allows you to really be present with other people and appreciate your relationships for what they are, not to have to force them or use them to meet all your needs. (Again, this is an issue I have personal experience with and would be more than happy to talk about more if you'd like.)

Along the same vein, you mentioned that as far as your time goes, if you aren't with one partner you would be with the other. The concern here is, where is your "me time"? Do you feel you must be with a partner at all times? Some people need more time than others outside of their relationships but everyone should have a little breathing room from time to time. As tempting as it may be, especially in multi-partner situations where time is an important and finite asset, it's just not healthy to need to be with a partner (one or more than one) at all times. It can also be very taxing on you partner(s) to feel they must be there constantly and lose their individuality or personal time. Rather than just being together and close, people can end up enmeshed and unable to distinguish their own value outside the relationship or their wants and needs from the other person.

There are certain things that you should know your boundaries on and not compromise. You definitely shouldn't feel pressured into having children if you feel you are not ready or don't want to just because you assume it's what you have to do or it's what someone else wants. And you have to live by your own time table, not assume you must have kids by 30 or you have failed someone.

It is tempting to want to please everybody all the time but it's just not possible. You have to figure out where you stand on things and what you need, and be able to value yourself separate from your worth in a relationship before you can really bring all you have to offer into a healthy relationship. Trying to please your partner all the time is not fair to you or to them. It's all about finding balance. You can't expect a relationship or another person (or people) to provide you with all of your self worth and value and to meet your every need. It's just not possible or healthy.
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2012, 04:34 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
I'm a terrible mish-mash of attitudes, because although I'm emotionally dependent on other people, I'm ideologically VERY independent, and I have a dominant streak. I would never compromise my own ideals for anyone else.

......

I tend to be domineering in my relationships, but I do also want to be whatever the other person wants me to be.
I think that these two quotes show the major contradiction that you have going on in yourself, because they just don't match. The second part says that you absolutely WOULD compromise your ideals in order to have a relationship with someone else.

So which is it? Because it really can't be both.

I strongly believe that the first step to working things out is to really know yourself, and be brutally honest with yourself. Come up with a picture of the person you are, and see if your actions reflect that or if there are contradictions, like the one above. If there are contradictions, try to use those to modify your self-image to fit that. Keep doing that until you feel you have a good idea of who you are, flaws and all.

THEN you can start to work on those flaws. If you don't have a good picture of yourself then you're not going to be able to do much in the way of successful work on yourself, and a professional really won't be able to help you much.

IF you are poly, then that is you. How much are you willing to compromise that in order to have a relationship? Would you die your hair (or shave it off), get a tattoo, vote for the other party in an election, change your religion (or adopt one). How much or little are you willing to give up to make a relationship work? There's no right or wrong answer to this - it is who you are. For each of the things that you are willing to give up, how much would you resent the fact that you had to give it up?

You have a long road ahead of you, and I wish you luck on your journey. If you work on it, then things WILL get easier, believe me. Make a conscious decision to start this work on yourself.
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  #17  
Old 07-08-2012, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
I'm extremely honest about what I want and do not want, which can be off-putting to a lot of people who would think I'm being blunt and rude.
Like,
'Hi potentialPolyPerson, you seem interesting, I'd like to date you. I'm not interested in having children, how do you feel about children?'

That's not rude in the least (well, it might be if the second or third sentence you ever utter to said person. But somewhere in the first date, or email, isn't rude at all.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
And while I'm aware that there are people out there who would be happy in a childfree poly relationship, I'm not sure if that's the type of person I'd be attracted to. I feel like that type of person would be a sort of free-spirit, sexually permissive type of person with lots of partners and I'm just not interested in that. I'm more into the shy, intellectual guy with a goofy sense of humor.
Okay, so I'm new-ish to poly, but 'shy, intellectual, and goofy' would describe almost ALL of my partners in my life (and I've had a lot, as a serial monogamist). Every single one of them did not want children, just like me.

I wish more intellectual people would have children (unfortunately, many do not).

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Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
But I suppose everything exists in this world, so perhaps I should embark on this search for "the one" who would have all those qualities I desire? (I'm a bit bitter about this whole affair.)
I can see your bitterness. I'm so sad that you're hurting. But that's the whole gorgeousness of poly. You don't have to search for 'the one.' You can search for the many!

How about one intellectual, goofy-humoured, child-free guy, maybe he's not shy and he can help you find a nice shy, intellectual, child-free, maybe not so goofy guy for another boyfriend?
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  #18  
Old 07-08-2012, 06:48 AM
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StarTeddy StarTeddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think that these two quotes show the major contradiction that you have going on in yourself, because they just don't match. The second part says that you absolutely WOULD compromise your ideals in order to have a relationship with someone else.

So which is it? Because it really can't be both.

.....

IF you are poly, then that is you. How much are you willing to compromise that in order to have a relationship? Would you die your hair (or shave it off), get a tattoo, vote for the other party in an election, change your religion (or adopt one). How much or little are you willing to give up to make a relationship work? There's no right or wrong answer to this - it is who you are. For each of the things that you are willing to give up, how much would you resent the fact that you had to give it up?
Well for me, I don't think it's a contradiction because although I may change some behaviors to please them (like wearing clothing I think they'd like more often), I would never compromise my ideals (or if you prefer, my principles) for someone. I would never lie (to myself or otherwise) to please anyone, because that goes against my core ideal of honesty. I wouldn't change my beliefs for anyone either. I always stay myself, it's just the little things I do to please them, because I want them to be happy.


Quote:
I strongly believe that the first step to working things out is to really know yourself, and be brutally honest with yourself. Come up with a picture of the person you are, and see if your actions reflect that or if there are contradictions, like the one above. If there are contradictions, try to use those to modify your self-image to fit that. Keep doing that until you feel you have a good idea of who you are, flaws and all.

THEN you can start to work on those flaws. If you don't have a good picture of yourself then you're not going to be able to do much in the way of successful work on yourself, and a professional really won't be able to help you much.

-snip-

You have a long road ahead of you, and I wish you luck on your journey. If you work on it, then things WILL get easier, believe me. Make a conscious decision to start this work on yourself.
I try to know myself. It was through introspection that I realized that all of my annoying bad habits were because I have abandonment issues. My psychologist was surprised because she told me that she doesn't often get people who know what their problems are. I actually used to have really high self-esteem. I thought I was the queen of the world and that men would grovel at my feet. It was after some serious introspection that I realized that I'm really not all that--I have my good qualities but I have my fair share of problems too, that I need to work on. I'm less happy with myself now, but I can live with that...I'd rather know myself for who I am than be a narcissistic fool.
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  #19  
Old 07-08-2012, 07:55 AM
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StarTeddy StarTeddy is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I don't mean this unkindly -- but have you had a check up? You sound kinda "splitting" in your thinking. Google it.

Reminds me so much of my dad and his "black and white" thinking patterns. All or nothing. HIGHS or loooooows. (He's also bipolar)
I looked this up and it doesn't seem like me at all, though I have a tendency to overreact to bad things. Thanks for the suggestions, though.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:03 PM
Ttree Ttree is offline
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I'm learning that if you want to truly be happy you have to be with people who will accept you for who you are. Now that I know I am officially poly, any guy I date has to know and accept that this is what I am, and that I will not change in a relationship.
You seem to be dating people who won't accept that aspect of you? I'm experiencing firsthand how much hurt can come from that. When I realised I am poly my ex wouldn't accept it, and while we still both care deeply about each other and have admitted as much, and are there for each other as friends, we are at a complete stalemate and know that we can never be together. It hurts a lot.
Please do yourself a favour and tell people you are interested in upfront that you are poly. A lot of hurt comes from not being open about that, especially once deep feelings are admitted
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