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Can you help me work out what is the problem with me?

(17 Posts)
tranquilitygardens Wed 20-Jul-11 14:49:01

Hi, I am feeling very fragile after a lot of horrible things happening in the past few years.

I am wondering what it is about me that people have little or no empathy for me and my children.

I used to be a very empathatic, people pleasing, passive agressive person looking back. I have worked very hard on myself, to get a better ballance and I don't feel I am that person anymore.

I am happy to answer questions, it is so difficult to see your own problems, compared to others problems.

I can't go on like this and because no one cares about me, no one cares about my children either and I can't bear to see them have the same life I had, I want better for them.

So basically how to people have people who care about them in their lives, as I never really have had that, thanks!

tranquilitygardens Wed 20-Jul-11 14:50:48

I just want to add, I am not looking for people to say oh poor you, after reading my op it may appear so, I am looking more for ways to go forward for me and the children, not sympathy.

GypsyMoth Wed 20-Jul-11 14:51:36

do you think you appear strong? maybe it comes across as aloofness?
are you a lone parent?

fluffyanimal Wed 20-Jul-11 14:53:31

What is it that makes you think that nobody cares about you or empathises with you? What are the problems you've had recently? it's hard to offer advice without a bit more information.

JanMorrow Wed 20-Jul-11 14:55:54

Are you a single parent? Do you mean you've been let down by partners and your family etc? It's easy to blame yourself, but sometimes it says more about the other person than yourself.

It sounds like you didn't have a happy upbringing, is that the case? I guess it's just important to try and be positive for your kids.

GotTheHump Wed 20-Jul-11 14:58:31

maybe you are a bit self-obsessed or a navel gazer, try to over analyse every little thing?

those kinds of people can be very hard work at times

GypsyMoth Wed 20-Jul-11 15:06:44

sometimes,when you go through trauma,then come out the over side stronger,people tend to back off. i found this after a dv relationship

not that nobody cares,more they just leave you too it? hard to explain what i mean,but i dont take ANY crap now after being a total doormat before....people now react differently towards me.

Ormirian Wed 20-Jul-11 15:10:27

Goodness - I don't think that empathetic is anything like the same as people-pleasing or pa. If you've worked hard at getting rid of the empathy maybe people are reacting to that

tranquilitygardens Wed 20-Jul-11 15:53:06

ILoveTIFFFANY, JanMorrow, yes that is about it. I can definatly relate to the people not liking the changes in me.

Ormirian, I was over empathic in that I thought too much about the other person and their feelings and needs more than my own needs or feelings, which was why I was passive agressive due to poor boundaries and putting up with far too much.

fluffyanimal, well when I began to change it was quite quick and I did push people away, and I went from somone who was a door mat to someone who wanted people to show they cared for once, they were only interested in themselves and the effect me changing had on them and they were well quite angry at me for changing when I look back and they had no interest in what was going on with me, or why I needed to change. More recently now, well I am apparently hated by everyone according to one person, the reason was due to the fact that I showed people for who they are to people, rather than allow them to abuse me and appear to the world they are lovely, I exposed them really, as I couldn't take it anymore, so the people who thought of the abusers as lovely and the abusers seem to hate me for revealing the truth, and spoiling their delusion I suppose, this has left me and the children not in a good position.

fluffyanimal Wed 20-Jul-11 16:31:25

tranquility it sounds like you are in a good position! You have found strength and self-reliance and cut destructive people out of your life. Of course those people aren't going to be happy, but do you really care what they think? It's time to start finding yourself a completely new circle of friends, people who will appreciate you for your true self.

You can still be caring and helpful to others, but now you know your boundaries, what you won't put up for. IME people warm to those who are outward-looking but who are clear about their boundaries and limits. Can you take up a new hobby or a sport, something completely different to take you into new social circles? These things will take time but you will get there.

tranquilitygardens Wed 20-Jul-11 16:51:39

fluffyanimal, I tried to make new friends, and made an error with the person I got very close to, I was seeing someone at the time, and discussing this new "friend" and was told, why do you want to be friends with someone who is doing xyz behaviours, and I let the friendship go.

I have been too scared to try again, anything close, to be fair, due to medical reasons I have been immobile for over a year which hasn't helped, but not full reason, as my mobility has gotten better, I am now at the point where I am free to start trying again and I am feeling scared, as if people will smell lonleyness and the fact I have been damaged off me and reject me.

I have been doing a short course and one of the ladies wanted to take my number, she seems a lovely person, I think that I don't trust myself that much as I am so scarred now, and I am wondering if she was keen to swap numbers more for the fact that she said a few weeks back that she was going to a talk related to the course, and I said I was going and I mentioned I drove, and offered a lift to her.

The course worked out today that some people didn't show up, and it was just me and this lady talking and it got the most personal about her life and mine, and I have gotten with a regular person in about two years, she asked me about the condition as I missed a day at the course to go to the appointment, and as I discussed my feelings I was on the verge of tears about it. I wouldn't allow myself to cry and changed the subject, she said it is ok to cry, which was nice to hear.

I also have an old friend who let me down when I was going through a hard time, I have started to get close to again, I feel that the friendship will never be a close one again on my side as it was before, I feel that I can't talk about a lot of things and my full feelings with her, as I feel that if I do that she will reject me again. I think what I am saying is that I am open, and honnest, but I am not telling everything to her as I used to do before. I don't know if this is normal or what really, for people with normal boundaries etc? I was diagnosed recently and I told her I was, what I didn't discuss is how it made me feel. I just went on to to discussing other things with her. I have always asked other people a lot about themselves and their lives, I enjoy doing that, I also shared a lot about myself, and I am sharing less about myself now.

It is practice I suppose.

I am just wondering how to handle things to keep being me, and to not scare people off.

msfishneedsabycycle Wed 20-Jul-11 18:12:29

It sounds as though you are going through a process of learning to establish new boundaries for yourself. Give it time, like minded people will come into your life.

Just decide what you would like to keep private for your own safety and sanity. It is ok not to discuss everything with your friends.

tranquilitygardens Wed 20-Jul-11 21:11:24

thanks smile

springydaffs Thu 21-Jul-11 02:37:13

I agree that you have probably attracted a particular type of person into your life, all your life - and now you've changed. tranquility, people don't like having a mirror held up to them, don't like being told clear and straight that their behaviour is off. They will kick you very hard if you do that. I think that sometimes we think that if we just tell them they'll say 'oh yes, I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was doing that, I'm sorry I hurt you' but tbh that's not going to happen with the type of people you have been attracted to in the past (takers?).

It sounds like you want more honest relationships, where discussions like above will be a healthy part of your friendship; you want people to like and accept you as you are. I think we can all expect that from the people we choose as our friends. Comments like 'you're a navel-gazer' I find very unhelpful - and there are plenty of people to say things like that. We are who we are - I am eg a deep thinker and I want people around me who not only accept me for that but enjoy that in me. I don't want people around me who effectively say 'Don't be the way you are'. If they don't like it, fuck off, and close the door behind you.

It sounds like you've made a big shift in your life and are now doubting yourself as your old friends aren't coming with you. That's understandable and quite a challenge - but keep going tranquility; you know why you did it and you are relieved to have left behind the person you were. Keep forging ahead - you are doing the right thing but it will take time to build relationsips that have a different flavour to your past relationships. You may make some mistakes - welcome to normal life - and can't expect not to. You may be hurt again but keep going, you're not alone. It won't be perfect overnight but you have turned around that ocean liner and it will take a while to take full effect.

Well done for doing all that work on yourself btw - it's not easy and you did it. smile

springydaffs Thu 21-Jul-11 02:53:24

Just remembered something: somebody said to me once, in a very disparaging way "you're very sensitive aren't you?" (with a distinct hmm in her voice - silly cow ). I replied, "no, finely-tuned". (implication: not ignorant like you). It was a small victory wink

tranquilitygardens Fri 22-Jul-11 14:36:05

Springdaff's what lovely posts, yes my family and later friends were all of a type and birds of a feather and all...

I am quite frank now a days, not a in horrible way just in a better way, and I won't cover for people anymore, including my children.

I had never heard the phrase of "navel gazer" before personally.

I asked my old friend if she thought that I reacted more extreme than anyone else would have under the circumstances when things were bad in my life and she said no, not at all, that at the time she had her issues and she was owning my situation at the time and found it hard to not do so at the time.

thanks for your input smile

WriterofDreams Fri 22-Jul-11 15:05:36

IME it takes a very long time to build up trust with a friend and even then that trust can be broken quite suddenly. I'm afraid that's the way it is.

I might be wrong but it seems from your posts that perhaps you lack a mother/father figure in your life and you're looking for relationship where you can really depend on the other person and trust them to look after your best interests. I hate to be blunt but it's unlikely that you're going to find that in the near future. Perhaps down the line if you very slowly build a friendship then it will become like that but IMO that level of relationship takes a long time to build up and is a very rare thing.

Remember that everyone else is taken up with their own concerns and their own worries. They may care about you as a friend but when it comes down to it they're going to look after themselves as you are not their family.

I speak from some experience. I know I have a tendency to expect a lot from people and I've learned over the years that I have sometimes overburdened people, that I can come across as too intense and too needy. I give a lot to them but to be honest in the past I often gave in order to get back which isn't the right way to do it. Of course you shouldn't pour yourself into a relationship for no reward but at the same time you can't demand that other people are as giving as you are. You need to give it time, feel out the boundaries of the relationship slowly and see how far it will go. If you listen and listen but then the other person isn't willing to do the same then you have to accept that and move on - you've been helpful to them but they're not willing to be helpful to you. Getting angry about it is pointless - if you get annoyed at the person then they'll feel betrayed and angry as they will feel that you only gave in order to get back and that you're expecting too much from them, if you just get angry in private you'll eat yourself up. Either way there's nothing gained.

As an example: I had a friend who was a great support to me a few years back during a breakup. He later broke up with his girlfriend, and I rang him in order to talk to him about it. He claimed to be fine and wouldn't talk which surprised me but I took him at a his word. A few months later he turned on me and got really angry about how I didn't support him and claimed that I "should have known" he needed help even though he said he didn't. He mentioned all the support he had given me and I was so annoyed - as far as I was concerned he gave me that support freely because he was my friend, I didn't feel I owed him something. Our friendship has never recovered.

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