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I've been with my boyfriend for almost 5 months now and being that this is my very first serious, committed relationship (even though I'm 23 years old, turning 24 soon), I'm not sure what's "normal" and what isn't. A little background story before I explain what I mean. So we met at the beginning of last year while we were both interning at the same place, and we were friends for about 8 months before anything happened between us. My internship ended about 3 months before his and on my very last night there was when we did anything about our feelings for each other. In retrospect he always gave me hints that he liked me but I guess I just didn't notice, and now he tells me that he was afraid of ruining our friendship because I was very hard to read and he could never tell if I would reciprocate his feelings. He also says that I played hard to get, which I hadn't noticed either until he told me so ;)

After I moved back home, we would text and talk on the phone throughout the day, every single day, and at night, when he returned home from work, we would Skype for at least 2 hours. I went to visit him 2 times since I returned home from the internship and things were just amazing. He always makes me feel like the most special person on earth and just happy overall, happier than I've ever been before. Unfortunately, about a month and a half after the end of my internship, I was leaving the country for close to 3 months, plans that I had made before anything had happened between us (we were going to be thousands of miles apart and had a 4-hour time difference between us), but despite this we stayed in touch through Facebook and Skype (sometimes we would stay on for 4-5 hours!!) and during that time our relationship grew even more. A week after I returned from my trip I went to see him again. It was the end of his internship so we spent a whole week together, just the 2 of us. Things were ok, we had a few rocky moments, but we still had a good time. After I returned home from our trip things were a bit off for about a week, during which time I actually broke up with him for a day, but we worked on the issues, he apologized for what he'd done wrong (and so did I) and luckily we're back to how things used to be before - for the most part. I've learned a lot about myself since I started dating him and he's taught me the meaning of the word love and how good it feels to say it to someone and have them say it back (he said it first). And he always asks me "where have you been all my life?" which is about the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me. We have so much in common and get along so well, and it definitely helps that we have a similar sense of humor.

One of the things I've learned, and never even knew, is that I have some MAJOR trust issues and have a tendency for over-analyzing everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Sometimes my thoughts get so out of control and start to snowball that I lose track of what's real and what I’m making up. I start imagining all these different worst-case scenarios and it gets so intense that at times I have to remind myself to breathe after a while. I've never been cheated on before (knock on wood) as I've never been in a serious relationship, so I can't blame my fears on that. But I do know people who've been cheated on, my mom included (by my dad), and I have a general mistrust of men. For one, I grew up thinking that men are incapable of actually falling in love, a notion that I've been trying to forget since this relationship started. I also believe that all men lie and cheat, and I hate that I'm so cynical and skeptical because I know there are good guys out there, and I definitely like to think that my boyfriend is one of them. But my paranoia always gets the best of me. The only bright side to this is that I don't let him see this side of me, which is easy because we're at a distance, but I hate how it makes me feel. I used to be such a positive, all-around happy-go-lucky, throw caution to the wind kind of girl, and now all I do is obsess over the slightest things that I perceive to be "off." For example, the slightest change, regardless of what it might be, throws me off and sends my mind spiraling, trying to come up with all these possibilities of what's happening and ultimately I start imagining the worst and dooming the relationship in my mind (he always texts me good morning, and if one morning he doesn't for one reason or another, I start panicking and wondering what's happening; or if he messages me on Whatsapp instead of the normal text messaging service, I start wondering why and what his motives are - crazy stuff like that). I know this distance thing coupled with the uncertainty of not knowing when we’ll be able to be together permanently are partly to blame, and I know I'm being paranoid and crazy but I just can't help it. I also know that I have a problem and want to seek professional help for my trust issues, but I can't afford it right now. I suspect that my feelings are stemming from the fact that we're at a different stage in our relationship now, where things are more comfortable and we don't feel like we have to try as hard to hold the other person's attention because we got what we wanted, which was to be with each other, and because of this we don't feel the need to text or call each other as much as we used to. I know I'm being a huge hypocrite because I find it ok for me to do act that way, and yet in my mind I don't find it acceptable from him...does that make any sense? He tells me I shouldn't think of him as just my boyfriend, but also as my best friend, which I do, but I guess my expectations are what get me into trouble (most of which I know come from romantic movies and other media that make women believe that if a man isn't acting a certain way then we should be concerned, which I hate, but it's been so ingrained in our brains and we've become so hardwired to look for signs of trouble that it's become really hard for me to fight off these beliefs and expectations).

Can anyone please make any suggestions as to how I can deal with this on my own so I can get "better" before I sabotage the best thing that's happened to me and send him running because of my insecurities? Please help! I don't want to lose him over my paranoia! Thank you so much in advance.
 

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Kay, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm so sorry to hear you are suffering from such a painful fear.
I have some MAJOR trust issues and have a tendency for over-analyzing everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Sometimes my thoughts get so out of control and start to snowball that I lose track of what's real and what I’m making up.
What you are describing, Kay, is a very strong fear of abandonment. The main problem with having such a strong fear -- as with having any intense feelings -- is that they color and distort your perceptions of other peoples' intentions and motivations. This is true for ALL of us. The fact is that, whenever we experience intense feelings like anger or infatuation, our perceptions of other people immediately becomes distorted.

Indeed, this has happened to all of us so many hundreds of times that, by the time we are in high school, we already know we cannot trust our own judgment when we are very angry or infatuated. That's why we try to take absolutely no action -- and keep our mouths shut -- until we have time to cool down. And that's why we typically wait at least a year -- making sure the infatuation has largely evaporated -- before buying a wedding ring.
I grew up thinking that men are incapable of actually falling in love, a notion that I've been trying to forget since this relationship started. I also believe that all men lie and cheat.
If you have a strong fear of abandonment and serious trust issues -- as you describe -- it likely was firmly in place during childhood, probably before you were five years old. Did you experience an abandonment or emotionally unavailable parent at that time?
The only bright side to this is that I don't let him see this side of me.
Sadly, you won't be able to hide that side of you much longer. Moreover, your fear likely will become stronger and harder to resist. The reason is that, during the courtship period, your infatuation largely convinces you that he is "perfect" and incapable of harming you. As soon as the infatuation evaporates -- and it WILL evaporate -- it will no longer be there to hold your abandonment fear at bay.
I know I'm being paranoid and crazy but I just can't help it.
"Paranoid," yes. "Crazy," no. To be "crazy," your fear would have to distort your perceptions of physical reality (e.g., making you think that the TV news reporter is speaking to you personally). That is not happening. You see physical reality just fine.

What is being distorted, then, is your perceptions of other peoples' intentions and motivations. Moreover, that distortion is limited only to people who love you and, hence, pose an imagined threat of abandoning that love relationship. This is why you get along just fine with total strangers, casual friends, and business associates. You will not do anything to push them away. Instead, it will be your loved ones that you (unconsciously) push away.
I also know that I have a problem and want to seek professional help for my trust issues, but I can't afford it right now.
No, no, no. You can't afford to put it off. You need professional guidance RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, your abandonment fear will sabotage your current relationship with the young man. As soon as your infatuation for him wanes, you will start an endless series of "tests" and "challenges" to make sure he really can be trusted to remain loyal to you.

Yet, because your fear is so great, each successful test will give you relief from that fear for only a few days. It therefore will be followed by an endless series of tests and, each time, you will raise the hoop higher for him to jump through.
 

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I went through the same thing you are going through...with every relationship, even my marriage (almost broke us up). I don't experience the severity of anxiety any more, but it took almost a year of therapy. I'm 35. I wish I would have gotten therapy at 24...and saved 11 years of my life.

I can PM with you if you like.
 

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My abandonment anxiety ruined my previous relationship. If I hadn't been so darn clingy I probably wouldn't have driven him off.

I remember a lot of nights crying myself to sleep and not eating for days. My anxiety was horrible! I even remember loosing chunks of hair. Please do get that help. I don't think anyone should live the way I did.

Even being married for 8 years and having gone through therapy I still have 'flashbacks' of that anxiety and it triggers panic attacks . =(
 

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First off, you are not alone in how you feel. I completely agree with Uptown that you need to be seeing a counselor about this. Look into sliding-scale fee clinics in your area.

I am currently in therapy for my fear of abandonment and my own trust issues. I know what it's like to feel like you're going crazy because you feel like you're the only one who feels the way you do.

The first thing that you are going to have to do is make the choice to trust your boyfriend. You have to trust that he has your best interests in mind. I have learned that trust is definitely a choice and it can take some practice.

Second, you have to remind yourself that you have no control over what he does. You do, however, have control over whether you allow your feelings to let you spiral out of control. He has not seen your behavior but he will eventually, I am sure of it. It's good that you have had enough control to not question his every move but eventually your fear will get the best of you and you will either leave the relationship because you can't handle it anymore or you will begin to question him.

Thirdly, you have to cut the cord between the past and the present. The way you feel now absolutely has something to do with what happened to you in the past and the relationships that you observed but it doesn't have to control your life. Live your life in the present and not in the past. Don't worry about what he might be doing, why he didn't text you or why he IMed you on a different program. That's not living in your present. Look up grounding exercises to cope with extreme anxiety in a holistic way. Breathe.

To "get better" you have to change those distortions. I've found the best thing to do when I'm feeling an extreme emotion is this:
1) I ask myself what I think he might be doing. I am completely honest with myself. If my husband is late home from work and I find myself wondering if he's cheating on me, I don't mince words with myself.
2) I note the feelings that I'm feeling besides anxiety. Fear, anger, sadness, disappointment, etc. Find a list of emotions on the internet if you need to.
3) Most importantly: I try and think of a more rational explanation. If he's late home from work and I'm thinking he's cheating on me, I ask myself if there have been any other red flags that I've noticed, if not, I tell myself he probably got caught up working on a machine or he's talking to his boss or someone on the phone.

When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras. The simplest explanation is usually the best one. If he has given you no reason not to trust him, then make the choice to trust him.

Everything I've posted here are things that I have practiced myself. It takes a while and lots of practice to rationalize emotions and to reduce them when they are spiraling out of control. Therapy is very important as well. A good therapist will be your sounding board, they will challenge your distortions and help you think about alternative explanations. Eventually it will become easier.

I've been practicing cognitive restructuring (which is what challenging your distortions is called) for a few years now and sometimes I still can't figure out why I'm feeling so anxious. When I'm anxious, I find red flags where there are none and I try and control EVERYTHING, especially my husband. Just this past week I was feeling extremely anxious and I couldn't find a reason for it in order to practice my cognitive restructuring. After going to my therapy appointment, we discovered that my disappointment from the day before had caused my anxiety. I tend to have high expectations about things and get disappointed easily. If I hadn't talked to my therapist about the way I was feeling, I may never have been able to determine why I was feeling the way I was. Frankly, I thought I was developing an anxiety disorder.

I also want to touch on the fact that emotions are normal. However, when they begin to spiral out of control and affect our lives negatively, we need to look into getting some help. Cognitive restructuring is not about removing all emotions from our lives or even avoiding emotions. It's about feeling the emotions but not letting them take us over. If you want, you can PM me.
 

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First and foremost, thank you all so very much for your comments!! I can definitely relate to a lot of what's been said here, especially when it comes to suffering from a fear of abandonment, which I hadn't realized was the main issue until it was mentioned here.

Every morning when I wake up I feel tremendous anxiety because I don't know how my day will turn out in regards to my relationship. Like I said in my original post, I usually wake up to a few texts from him wishing me good morning and checking how I'm doing. Some mornings there'll be no text and right off the bat I feel sad - and then I ask myself: why can't I be the one to text him good morning first? He's probably still sleeping and I'm sure he would enjoy waking up to a text from me just as much as I enjoy waking up to his texts. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't, depending on how I'm feeling about it.

Today I woke up to a few texts from him and was really happy of course, but then, as usual, I kept re-reading the texts, analyzing his "tone" and choice of words, and wondering what he really meant. We texted back and forth for most of the day, with a break of about an hour or two between conversations every so often. Whenever I took long to reply because I was busy doing something, he would text me asking "what's with the silence?" or "helllloooo are you there?" which always makes me smile because (to me) it shows that he cares. But on the flip-side, if at one point I took long to reply and he didn't say anything, I would find myself getting kind of sad and wondering if he actually does care... I feel like I'm losing my mind here because regardless of what he does or says, I always find a way to distort the meaning of his actions. What makes me feel even worse is that I'm aware of what I'm doing and yet I can't seem to stop! :(

"No, no, no. You can't afford to put it off. You need professional guidance RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, your abandonment fear will sabotage your current relationship with the young man. As soon as your infatuation for him wanes, you will start an endless series of "tests" and "challenges" to make sure he really can be trusted to remain loyal to you. Yet, because your fear is so great, each successful test will give you relief from that fear for only a few days. It therefore will be followed by an endless series of tests and, each time, you will raise the hoop higher for him to jump through." Uptown, you are absolutely right!!! I do this a lot! He doesn't know it, but in my mind I know I'm testing him, his tone of voice, his choice of words, etc (even though most of the time it's unintentionally since it's become so second nature to me). Whenever he "passes" my tests and I feel relieved, it is short-lived. Sometimes I can manage to hold on to the feeling of relief for a whole day, but eventually it always vanishes, and then I start with the tests again, and if I don't get the response I'm expecting, I immediately start imagining the worst...

The anxiety got so bad today that I had to hide in the bathroom so that my siblings wouldn't see me crying.

"The first thing that you are going to have to do is make the choice to trust your boyfriend. You have to trust that he has your best interests in mind. I have learned that trust is definitely a choice and it can take some practice." Seesah, I am trying so very hard but it's not coming easily! It's not so much that I don't trust him, I just feel a constant need to know and control his every move (though I'm really good at resisting the urge and so far have not given into the temptation of being blatantly controlling). I know he's his own person, has his own life outside of our relationship, and doesn't have to be available to me 100% of the time, and yet still love me, but my anxiety doesn't let me think clearly, so of course I don't rationalize too well when I'm having one of those episodes, which have been happening a lot more as of late...

"Eventually your fear will get the best of you and you will either leave the relationship because you can't handle it anymore or you will begin to question him." In regards to this quote, I think I would sooner leave him than become the dreaded controlling girlfriend. I've already broken up with him twice - once when I was overseas and didn't hear from him for a few days because he was out of town visiting some friends, and once during the week after my most recent trip to go see him, when my angst got the best of me. Both times he was so hurt and shocked because he wasn't expecting things to end, especially not in the way they did, that I felt terrible and ended up making up later the very same day. He told me that he was becoming afraid of doing or saying certain things because he really didn't want to upset me and that the mere thought of me being sad because of him made him feel horrible. After the second break-up I decided to get a grip and stop overreacting because I could tell he was starting to walk on eggshells as a result of his fear of hurting/upsetting me. I've been really good at not making rash decisions when I get anxious, but the downside is that instead I let it eat me up inside. I just feel like I can't win this battle if I keep going at this rate...

"When I'm anxious, I find red flags where there are none and I try and control EVERYTHING, especially my husband." - that's how I spend most of my time, looking (and "finding") red flags that aren't even there to begin with!!

I could blame all my issues on my dad who was what many might consider emotionally unavailable when we were growing up (he was just very strict and stern and always expected perfection from us, but he's a good father and never harmed us) or on my mom who, although is one of the sweetest, most giving and caring people I know, sent us to come live with our dad in the US almost 9 years ago for a better education, and essentially left us without a mom while we were still very young, which forced me to be the mother figure to my younger siblings (brother is 3 years younger and sister is 6 years younger) because our dad had to work so much. But I need to take ownership of the person I am and the things I do because whatever my parents did was not with the intention of harming us, they just wanted us to have a good chance at a good life.

I definitely want (and NEED) professional help ASAP because I feel like I'm losing my mind and my sense of self, but financially I just can't afford it right now. Right after I graduated from college I went to work on the internship, which lasted a year. After I finished with that I went to visit my mom for 3 months and I just came back a few weeks ago, so I have no job right now and consequently no income. I'm moving to NYC in about 2 weeks, and hopefully when I get a job there I'll be able to start seeing a therapist...

I'm so sorry my posts are so long, but I really need to vent - otherwise my head might just explode.

Thank you all once again for your comments, you've helped me a great deal today!! I look forward to reading some more of your comments!!

Best,
Kay
 

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I just feel like I can't win this battle if I keep going at this rate...
You can't. It is wise of you to see that. You can make a little progress by reading and studying about your issues -- but you won't get far on your own. As you've observed, your anxious feelings are so intense that they distort your perceptions of your BF's motivations. Hence, trying to correct it on your own is like trying to figure out which way is "up" when you are submerged three miles under water.
I would find myself getting kind of sad and wondering if he actually does care.
As SeeSah explained so well, that endless teasing apart of the meaning of statements made and actions done is causing you to live in the PAST much of the time. Likewise, your endless preoccupation with what awful thing might occur is keeping your thoughts grounded in the FUTURE much of the time.

The result is that you spend far too much time lost in daydreams -- to the point that, when you are with him, you appear to be listening to him but you are not. Even when you seem to be nodding in agreement, you may have escaped into the past or future. He therefore will have recollections of conversations -- and apparent "agreements" -- that you simply cannot recall.

Hence, one of the very first skills you will be taught in a treatment program is mindfulness, i.e., how to keep your mind firmly planted in the PRESENT most of the time instead of escaping into the past and future. Another skill you will learn is how to do self-soothing instead of having to rely on your BF -- as you are doing now -- to calm you down and reassure you.
Whenever he "passes" my tests and I feel relieved, it is short-lived.
To get more lasting relief from the fear and anxiety, you will have to keep raising the hoop higher and higher for him to jump through -- as I said earlier. Hence, the "fun and games" testing quickly transitions to obnoxious behavior that is counter-productive because it will push him away.

My exW, for example, would periodically do things she knew I would hate -- just to see if I would stay with her. Immediately after our wedding, e.g., she started eating like a truck driver and eventually put on 80 pounds. Also, on three occasions during the 15 years, she went on a spending spree of several thousand dollars.
I feel like I'm losing my mind and my sense of self.
Kay, do you have a fragile sense of self, causing you to often wonder who you really are? Do you hate being alone? Do you find yourself relying on your BF's strong personality to ground you and center you? Do you find yourself behaving very differently around different types of people? I ask these questions because, if you have a weak unstable self image, you also are suffering from a second fear: engulfment (from intimacy).
 

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It amazes me how much everything you've said in this and your previous response resonates with me!! Knowing that I'm not the only who's gone/going through this is definitely comforting because it means I can get help and eventually get better!

Kay, do you have a fragile sense of self, causing you to often wonder who you really are?
To be honest, I don't know how to tell if I have a fragile sense of self. Growing up I was always very shy and reserved and very much a push-over, but after taking a creative thinking/writing course during my freshman year of college I began changing a lot. I still keep to myself most of the time (one of the reasons why my boyfriend says he approached me in the first place - he says I "stood out" from all the other girls by being the more reserved, "mysterious" one, unlike the loud, attention-seeking ones), not because I'm afraid of saying something and looking ridiculous (as was the case growing up), but because I'm more of an observer than of a talker. However, when I do have an opinion about something I make sure I'm heard. Does this mean I don't have a weak sense of self? On the other hand, I do tend to apologize a lot (to everyone in general, not just my boyfriend)...

Do you hate being alone?
I always say "better alone than in bad company" and as such I've never had any trouble being alone.

Do you find yourself relying on your BF's strong personality to ground you and center you?
His personality, though very similar to mine, does help keep me grounded. For example, whenever I have doubts about doing something, talking to him and getting his advice/encouragement always helps me make a decision one way or another.

Do you find yourself behaving very differently around different types of people?
As far as I can tell, I'm the same with everyone. Granted, depending on the level of closeness (close friends vs acquaintances), I do/refrain from doing certain things, but that's quite normal.

I ask these questions because, if you have a weak unstable self image, you also are suffering from a second fear: engulfment (from intimacy).
I'm going to do some research into it to figure out whether I have it or not.

Thank you once again!! Your help is definitely appreciated!! :)
 

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Today was a good day. I had an overall sense of calmness and a feeling that regardless of what happens, I'll be ok. I have these breakthroughs once in a while. Sometimes they last a few hours, sometimes a whole day, and at times a week or two. Unfortunately, eventually, something is triggered within me and I go back to doing the things I mentioned previously. But in the moment I make the most of these breakthroughs, especially because I never know how long they will last/when I'll have my next moment of peace.

Can't wait to finally be able to get professional help!!

Thank you all once again, reading your comments always helps me a great deal! :)
 

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Kay, nothing you said in your responses indicates that you have a very weak sense of self. If you had that problem at a strong level, you would know because you would feel an emptiness inside, be filled with self loathing, and be emotionally unstable.

Your lack of such feelings is a very very good sign because it means your prognosis for recovery from your issues is excellent if you seek threatment and stay in it.

The reason it would be so damaging to be very fearful of both abandonment and engulfment is that they lie on the very same spectrum. This would mean that, as your BF backs away from one fear to avoid triggering it, he necessarily would be getting closer to triggering the other fear.

Moreover, when a person has those two fears, there is no Goldilocks position in the middle of the spectrum where he could avoid triggering both fears. No, such a safe midpoints solution does not exist. This is why it is great news that you seem to have a strong sense of who you are.
 

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Kay,

I feel the same exact way you do. Reading your posts feels as if they were written by me!

But let me tell you my story so you know a little bit about how I deal with it (and how I don't).

I've been talking to this guy for awhile now. We met online, never met, but we've known each other for years (we do have mutual friends although me and him have actually never met). I know that sounds crazy, but we get along great and do plan on visiting each other. I don't think that's a big of the problem as is the next part.
We started talking a lot about a year and a half ago and really started learning more about each other. Turns out we have a lot in common and at one point we got to the point where we wanted to be in a relationship. Still, we both felt we hadn't met, so we should wait off on that. But we get along so great, we have so much in common, that even after that incident, we got to that peak point again. We liked each other, and I started panicking. I don't know what it is about me. I felt suffocated with where we were although we weren't even together. Just the feeling of having to be with someone and having to compromise my relationship with myself tears me apart. So I told him we need to slow down.
Yet again, the same thing happened. We slowed down, still friends and still talking but we got to that point again where we really liked each other. By this point, I wasn't willing to leave because I truly do like him a lot. He's a great guy. But of course, me being the crazy person that I am, I backed away. Crying, panicking that we were in a relationship and I told him I couldn't do it. I even went as far as telling him "I don't think I ever liked you that way". Less than 24 hours later, I regretted it.
We didn't talk for a few days and those few days were hell, Kay. I mean hell. I cried at the thought of him and I regretted so much what I had done. Why was I scared of being in a relationship with him? When I'm not talking to him, I'm miserable yet when we're together, I freak out.
So I apologized and told him I take back everything I said. It was hard for him to believe me seeing as how it was the 2nd time I had done this. But he's a great guy, very understanding, very patient and he said we could still talk as friends. But I wasn't happy with that. I wanted more. I felt like I really liked him and wanted to be with him. When we aren't close, I wonder why I had ever pushed him away. Yet when we become close, I wish we weren't so I could be independent. But we went on as friends and one day I asked him to be my boyfriend. He said yes. It's been almost a month since we've been together and I'm getting those feelings again. I feel suffocated. I feel worried. I cry. I feel anxious. I've been cheated on before (with an actual boyfriend, not online) and so I know I have trust issues with that. But my boyfriend now would never hurt me. Like I said, he is a very kind soul and wouldn't hurt a fly. But I still worry. Like if he doesn't text me back, I feel bad about myself. I have confidence issues. And the worse thing is feeling like I don't want to be in a relationship. I never knew I had this issue before him. My last boyfriend was clingy and it was an abusive relationship. My parents also had an abusive relationship. My dad was violent toward my mom growing up so I know since I was exposed at violence at such a young age, that's definitely impacted me and has shaped my idea of a relationship.
I love this guy and I am so happy with him. We do plan on arranging a trip together and I know the problem doesn't lay in whether I like him or not. That's a no-brainer. The problem is in me and I wish it wasn't. For him, it's so easy: he likes me, he's with me, he's happy. With me, it's more like: I like him, but I hate relationships, I don't want to feel vulnerable, BUT I love him and am miserable without him, but I need treatment but I don't have insurance, but he makes me happy so on and so forth.
This feeling sucks. I was crying all day because I felt so bad. I felt so anxious. I hated it. So I looked into therapy and luckily found a therapist by my house who does the sliding scale thing. I'm def. gonna start going. I can't deal with this anymore.
I know exactly how you feel, Kay. Please PM me if you need to talk further. I made an account in this site just so I could reply because I've been violently searching the internet for people similar to me.
I do want to get married one day and have kids but I know I need to overcome this problem first. I want to have a successful marriage and I don't want this to serve as an issue for me in the future. Oh and I'm 21. Probably should've mentioned that earlier.
Hope to hear back from you!


BeeZ
 

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Kay,

I feel the same exact way you do. Reading your posts feels as if they were written by me!

But let me tell you my story so you know a little bit about how I deal with it (and how I don't).

I've been talking to this guy for awhile now. We met online, never met, but we've known each other for years (we do have mutual friends although me and him have actually never met). I know that sounds crazy, but we get along great and do plan on visiting each other. I don't think that's a big of the problem as is the next part.
We started talking a lot about a year and a half ago and really started learning more about each other. Turns out we have a lot in common and at one point we got to the point where we wanted to be in a relationship. Still, we both felt we hadn't met, so we should wait off on that. But we get along so great, we have so much in common, that even after that incident, we got to that peak point again. We liked each other, and I started panicking. I don't know what it is about me. I felt suffocated with where we were although we weren't even together. Just the feeling of having to be with someone and having to compromise my relationship with myself tears me apart. So I told him we need to slow down.
Yet again, the same thing happened. We slowed down, still friends and still talking but we got to that point again where we really liked each other. By this point, I wasn't willing to leave because I truly do like him a lot. He's a great guy. But of course, me being the crazy person that I am, I backed away. Crying, panicking that we were in a relationship and I told him I couldn't do it. I even went as far as telling him "I don't think I ever liked you that way". Less than 24 hours later, I regretted it.
We didn't talk for a few days and those few days were hell, Kay. I mean hell. I cried at the thought of him and I regretted so much what I had done. Why was I scared of being in a relationship with him? When I'm not talking to him, I'm miserable yet when we're together, I freak out.
So I apologized and told him I take back everything I said. It was hard for him to believe me seeing as how it was the 2nd time I had done this. But he's a great guy, very understanding, very patient and he said we could still talk as friends. But I wasn't happy with that. I wanted more. I felt like I really liked him and wanted to be with him. When we aren't close, I wonder why I had ever pushed him away. Yet when we become close, I wish we weren't so I could be independent. But we went on as friends and one day I asked him to be my boyfriend. He said yes. It's been almost a month since we've been together and I'm getting those feelings again. I feel suffocated. I feel worried. I cry. I feel anxious. I've been cheated on before (with an actual boyfriend, not online) and so I know I have trust issues with that. But my boyfriend now would never hurt me. Like I said, he is a very kind soul and wouldn't hurt a fly. But I still worry. Like if he doesn't text me back, I feel bad about myself. I have confidence issues. And the worse thing is feeling like I don't want to be in a relationship. I never knew I had this issue before him. My last boyfriend was clingy and it was an abusive relationship. My parents also had an abusive relationship. My dad was violent toward my mom growing up so I know since I was exposed at violence at such a young age, that's definitely impacted me and has shaped my idea of a relationship.
I love this guy and I am so happy with him. We do plan on arranging a trip together and I know the problem doesn't lay in whether I like him or not. That's a no-brainer. The problem is in me and I wish it wasn't. For him, it's so easy: he likes me, he's with me, he's happy. With me, it's more like: I like him, but I hate relationships, I don't want to feel vulnerable, BUT I love him and am miserable without him, but I need treatment but I don't have insurance, but he makes me happy so on and so forth.
This feeling sucks. I was crying all day because I felt so bad. I felt so anxious. I hated it. So I looked into therapy and luckily found a therapist by my house who does the sliding scale thing. I'm def. gonna start going. I can't deal with this anymore.
I know exactly how you feel, Kay. Please PM me if you need to talk further. I made an account in this site just so I could reply because I've been violently searching the internet for people similar to me.
I do want to get married one day and have kids but I know I need to overcome this problem first. I want to have a successful marriage and I don't want this to serve as an issue for me in the future. Oh and I'm 21. Probably should've mentioned that earlier.
Hope to hear back from you!


BeeZ
Hi BeeZ! Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but I hadn't been on the site in a while and only saw your post last night. It's unfortunate that we have to feel this way, but on the bright side we're aware of it. As the saying goes, the first step to recovery and admitting that you have a problem and in my mind that's half the battle.

Unfortunately, even though my insecurities came into play with how I had been feeling, I recently realized that my guts were also trying to tell me something. It turns out that my boyfriend was keeping a big secret from me, which I found out on my own (I had an unsettling feeling that just wouldn't go away). I'll PM you what happened.

Best,
Kay
 

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Hi,
Anxiety, anger (any emotions really) are very normal. Basically it's a direct response to our thoughts, particularly negative thoughts in the case of the negative emotions you are experiencing. Take some time to consider that the negative thoughts may not be 100% accurate, they are likely to be catastrophic/worse case scenario. Unfortuanately our minds pick up on our vulnerabilities and flood our thoughts with negativity. Just like a bully really, if a bully knows who are concerned about your weight it will pick on this subject, however, the bully will exagerate 'Your enormous', 'Your the fatest person in the world' etc. as you can see it is inaccurate but you believe. (sorry about using weight as an example to illustrate this point, hope didn't offend).
If you are uable to contain your thoughts and feel they are 100% overwhelming, take a few minutes to concentrate on the sound of traffic, colour of wall, smell of food etc, if you can be aware of these things existing you can argue that the thoughts are not 100%, there is other stuff going on which is actually more realistic. You may benefit from looking at some information on my site Your Actual Anxiety
Hope the advice helps and good luck
 
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