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Doormat needing boundaries(11 Posts)
I am very very similar.
I am starting counselling in the new year to try and deal with my poor 'sense of self'- the deep rooted idea that my needs, wants and feelings are inferior to others.
Anger can be a very difficult emotion to stay with. We often get messages that its something we 'shouldnt' feel and that you're a 'nicer' person if you can just let things go and get it over it all. It doesn't work that way for everyone, as you know! Anger can be very useful because it lets you know when someone has overstepped your boundary. The key is to learn to manage it in positive, healthy ways. Not always easy.
You seem to have been well trained to put everyone else first and to ignore your own needs. I agree with you that its about self-worth and being able to put yourself first when necessary. For someone with a history of abuse, it's a skill you have to learn and develop for yourself. It can be hard but so rewarding!
Here's what has helped me:
- Psychotherapy. Having professional support has helped me more than I can say and I can't recommend it enough
- Self care - simply, taking good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, make time to do things that you enjoy, whatever that is for you. Dressing in a way that feels good and wearing make up every day is extremely important for me, not for everyone though
- Consider your own needs. You sound very self aware and are probably able to recognise when you're putting other people first at your own expense. Ask yourself - 'what do I want to do in this situation?' Try to keep it separate from what you feel you 'should' do, which is often what we have been conditioned to think about.
- Practice naming your feelings. As in 'I feel really angry now', 'I feel very sad today' and think about why you feel that way, what made you feel that way and what can you do about it, if anything
The most important thing in your life is you, above everything else. That doesn't mean that you never ever consider anyone else, but that you always have one eye on your own needs and that you don't allow yourself to be trampled over by other people. It takes practice, but its the most rewarding work I've ever done!
There's no quick fix. Start today and do one small thing today just for you- could be anything
- sit down with a cuppa for 30 mins
- remind yourself that you are doing very very well
- walk - woods/beach
- browse a bookshop
- cafe trip
- window shopping
- read a magazine
The point is to not let others dictate your days but only works if you are mindful of your thoughts and your internal 'voice' replacing any nasty thoughts about yourself with actually you are ie the opposite
'It took a few hours for me to keep telling myself that I am entitled to my own opinion'
I've had the same thing - a dreadful sense of shame when someone questions you or disagrees with you. Its horrible. Sounds like you really handled it well though. And of course you are right - you are fully entitled to your own opinion! Keep telling yourself that - it takes time to really believe it deep down but you will get there.
EA is horrendous - it just shreds you as a person from the inside out. I had it with my parents and with an ex partner as well. It makes you doubt everything about yourself. It takes time to build yourself back up again. Sounds like you're well on your way though x
And yes yes to resetting that internal voice. I started praising myself for every little thing - 'it's raining today and you remembered an umbrella, good work babe!'. Notice every single thing that you get right and every good decision that you make and praise yourself for it. Find a voice that works for you, call yourself a sweet name, do whatever feels most natural for you. It might feel clunky at first, but over time, it helps to drown out those awful critical undermining voices that we have internalised from our abusers.
Have you done the Freedom Progamme?
Might help with some of this.
Well done for getting out!
Practise makes perfect.
What about taking a course in something that requires disagreement, discussion, etc? Philosophy, politics, literature, debating club? That way you could practise having different opinions right to other people's faces in a safe environment.
I don't think you necessarily need fixing, as you'd probably do well with a partner like you or who is generally a nice person.
Most of us tend to let go and give other chances.
It allows us to live together because we all screw up at some point.
I don't think you need to get angry, but certainly observe how people behave, if you can. Not how it reflects on you, but them. If someone has temper tantrums, it's because of how they deal with things not because you made them angry.
The freedom programme sounds useful for you and I liked the idea o an activity where you can debate safely.
I think you will do well, though, because you are already aware of how you are thinking, reflecting on it and trying to modify it.
You might do well on cognitive behavioural therapy, but it looks like you are already applying it yourself.
Give yourself time to recover from the damage of the last relationship and don't accept anything but someone who values you and makes you feel good about yourself.
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