Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

Post by Glides on Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:13 pm

Hello gang.

I made the giant mistake when I first joined the forum all these years back of assuming that if all these external stresses and fears in my life were removed, then I would somehow be happy. It was an incredibly childish and naive view to hold (I was eighteen at the time, who am I kidding?), and this year has essentially proved every last one of you wise souls completely right about me, so thanks for nothing Razz

In all intents and purposes, all of my external stresses and fears are more or less gone. No school, I've been kinda sorta seeing someone, been working freelance. Eighteen year old me would be dancing a jig at the news of me doing all the things that Nerdy Virgin Glides never got to do.

But there are still days like today where I feel absolutely in the goddamn pits and I've been in enough therapy to identify the source of it and make sure I don't lose myself to it completely and launch into one of the rants that made Nerdy Virgin Me so despised back in the day. I was an utterly toxic emotional black hole, and I very much don't want to go back to that place. Days like today make me begin to feel like I am.

The old insecurities come back, which would make eighteen year old me laugh. My absolute obsession with having as many sexual partners as possible to validate my existence is still there, though I still only have two (and there isn't really anyone I'm interested in right now aside from the kinda-sorta-partner). The two of us even have the exact same insecurity re: not many partners, she too wants to have a lot of partners for the same reason, though she's only ever been with me. Not even that I don't like being with her, we do have good chemistry and communication and all of that. But a lot of my borderline-MRA tendencies are still there beneath the surface, and I want them gone.

The major lesson of therapy has been "anger is a mask for sadness". I was incorrectly taught that men could not express negative emotions or weakness, so aggression and anger became what I could express in society without judgment. It's the reason I missed out on the opportunities I missed out on, my absolute refusal to be vulnerable and open up to anyone. I also tended to pursue people who I knew were a) Not interested in the slightest, so I could expect failure, and b) emotionally toxic and narcissistic people, who would only give me validation and attention as an exchange for using me however they liked. I don't even mean this in an exclusively romantic or sexual context, I did this even in a lot of my friendships. Any genuine expression of interest or emotion resulted in me lashing out to defend myself from attacks that weren't even happening.

Most of all, there's this growing anger and resentment inside because of needing therapy in the first place, for being the "broken one" who couldn't even fix things on my own. It's mostly jealousy and envy towards most other people for appearing to have always been good at socializing and finding friendships and sexual partners with what seems like hysterical amounts of ease. It's desperately wishing I could've been born someone who never had any trouble at this, for whom everything came easily. It's the very arrogant part of my mind that wants everyone to want to be like me and desire what I have. I very much don't want to be like this anymore.

I just dunno exactly what to do beyond keep going to therapy and chipping away at it bit by bit. I just want to make genuine improvements before it's too late.

Glides

Posts : 38
Reputation : 10
Join date : 2016-04-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

Post by Enail on Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:28 pm

I was going to give some advice, but you already pretty much covered everything. You're aware that when you're feeling bad, it's a feeling and not reality, and that it's temporary, you're recognizing it when what you're thinking is unhealthy and are able to detach from that and see that it's a mindset you don't want to have rather than something essential, you're recognizing  good things in your life even when they don't keep you from feeling insecure or unhappy, and you're seeing concrete positive changes in your life from it all - how is this not genuine improvement?!

Lots of people need therapy; lots of people who don't get it for whatever reason probably would need it to fix things that are going on with them that they aren't able to fix currently. Very few people have everything come easily, whether or not they need or get therapy. That seems like feeling resentful that you learn a language better with an instructor than by self-teaching - sure, it'd be convenient to be able to do it just as well without outside help, but taking a class doesn't mean you're not learning the language or that it doesn't take skill and effort on your part.

What's the deadline of "too late," and what are the consequences for missing the deadline? What improvements do you think you'd need by then for it not to be too late?
avatar
Enail
Admin

Posts : 3151
Reputation : 1471
Join date : 2014-09-22

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

Post by Prajnaparamita on Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:04 pm

Glides, you've made a lot of really amazing, insightful observations here so I'm not sure what possible advice I could add, because it seems like you've got a very clearheaded understanding of your problems, you're just now frustrated that even with that understanding things are still sometimes so hard. So in response, I thought I might give you an observation of my own from my experience dealing with something that sounds a little similar, and how I've been facing it, if that might be helpful. You mentioned chasing after people who obviously aren't interested/aren't accessible and I used to do a very similar thing. For quite some time, I thought unrequited crushes were all that I was capable of, because that's what I would find myself in, over and over and over. And when I was dating, I had this almost compulsion to go towards unavailable men at the expense of everything else. It wasn't just unavailable as in had no interest or feelings for me, sometimes it was falling for guys who lived on the opposite side of the country, or who were strictly poly when I wanted a monogamous relationship. But whatever it was, they had to be impossible. And like you, it was comforting to be set up for failure, but there was more than that. I would throw myself into these feelings for impossible men fully, be totally obsessed with them and the pain it caused me that I couldn't be with them--how I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, all the ways I had failure and how much it all hurt. And the thing was, this actually worked really well. Because every second that I spent agonizing over someone who would never return my feelings, I didn't have to focus on my crippling anxiety or major depression, or the thoughts like "am I a failure in my life?" "why can't I do the things my peers are capable of" "is there ever going to be a future for me?"

If I could ball up all of my mental illness and struggles in life and put it all inside my romance novel-esque impossible relationships and unreturned feelings, then I didn't have to face them, I could do something much more fun in having passionate, take your breath away crushes and longing and see that as my true problem instead. I didn't have a messed up brain and a messed up life to deal with, I just needed my One True Love of the Month to finally return my feelings and make me no longer a broken shell of a being. And the saddest thing of all was that I was fully aware of myself doing this while I did it, I was just so caught up in the rush and excitement of a new crush and the drama of it all playing out and the escapism from my empty depressed life that I didn't know any way to get off and choose something else.

Anyway Glides, sending Jedi hugs and I hope you can hear that you're not alone in this and it doesn't make you a bad person, in fact its pretty freaking awesome that you've been working towards getting better and striving towards progress.

_________________
Foster! It saves lives! And kittens! People will just give you kittens! For free!
avatar
Prajnaparamita

Posts : 375
Reputation : 209
Join date : 2015-02-05

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

Post by Glides on Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:32 pm

Enail wrote:

Lots of people need therapy; lots of people who don't get it for whatever reason probably would need it to fix things that are going on with them that they aren't able to fix currently. Very few people have everything come easily, whether or not they need or get therapy. That seems like feeling resentful that you learn a language better with an instructor than by self-teaching - sure, it'd be convenient to be able to do it just as well without outside help, but taking a class doesn't mean you're not learning the language or that it doesn't take skill and effort on your part.

What's the deadline of "too late," and what are the consequences for missing the deadline? What improvements do you think you'd need by then for it not to be too late?

"Too late" is probably one second from the moment I type this.

I know what I need to do. I don't know how to get there. I need to figure out how to come to peace with that part of myself that desperately wants to be validated as a Big Masculine Manly Man by every woman I'm ever attracted to despite already having a supportive and communicative partner. Again, said partner knows about this and genuinely doesn't mind (it helps that we're in an "open relationship" though neither of us have enforced it so far).

I need to figure out how to not put all of my self-worth and value aside from that into doing everything perfectly with nobody else's help, because this is exactly the kind of mindset that nearly got me thrown out of film school. I'd work on most projects either alone or with only a few other people because it felt like a personal failure to have to rely on anyone else. This resulted in most of my work being really subpar because I spent so much mental energy doing everything that I couldn't focus on one aspect, and my grades suffered severely for it. Plus I generally assumed that most of the other students didn't like me and assumed they'd refuse to help anyway.

I've made a lot of mistakes over the past few years. I've alienated a lot of people, lost way too much thanks to reckless and self-destructive behavior, went to court, sabotaged the closest relationship I ever had in my life on purpose, practically became a pathological liar to put up this front that at the time I thought made me look more impressive but in reality made people think I was pathetic (pretty much any man obsessing over sex for his own validation is pathetic, as it turns out), was pressured into consuming way more alcohol and drugs than I felt comfortable doing, and generally am considered as a pariah by my immediate family for all of the above reasons.

Worst of all is knowing that a lot of people were genuinely concerned for my health the entire time, and I can't really blame them for eventually giving up on me and cutting me the fuck off. I was as bad IRL as I was in the forum, and it made me really difficult to be around. Looking back on old posts both in the forum and other social media, I was this close to becoming a complete Red Pill myself.

For reference, a friend of mine and I were talking recently about where our lives had gone and he made the point that I had a tendency when I was younger to insult women whenever I was intimidated by them. Never to their faces, I was apparently so convincing that even back then a lot of these people would speak nicely of me, not even realizing the kinds of things I was saying about them behind their backs because I was scared shitless of how seemingly perfect they all were in my eyes. I was terrified of anyone I was attracted to, and I'd compensate by insulting them and trying to demean them so I could feel powerful and strong again. I don't have any excuse for that, I really don't, I'm just saying all this to illustrate that, yes, I was a total shithead, but not for any of the reasons I believed at the time.

People disliked me not because I was ugly or nerdy or socially awkward, it was because I was, and still am, an incredibly insecure and self-loathing person who would lash out at anyone I deemed superior to myself, which was almost everyone.

I also had a tendency to abruptly break off contact with girls I liked the second they started seeing anyone or had sex with anyone who wasn't me, and I didn't even remember that I did that since I haven't done that in a while. Apparently quite a few people were completely confused as to why I had suddenly ghosted them out of nowhere, and absolutely devastated thinking it had been something they did when in reality, I was simply too insecure to be friends with a woman who had a boyfriend, said boyfriend always being another reminder of just how pathetic and stupid I was. More than once recently have I bumped into several people I did this with, all of whom gave me shit for it. My only excuse was "I was going through an incredibly difficult time and I didn't think you wanted to talk to me anymore," which is only partially true. Even worse is that most of these people have since forgiven me.

I'm not writing all of this thinking you guys will just say "oh well, let bygones be bygones." This forum has had a weird tendency to seemingly forgive all of my behavior when other people would get kicked out for one infraction. I'm just kinda going through my own behavior with the perspective of hindsight.

I mean, shit, at my own graduation I was sat between two women who I found to be incredibly attractive and I got so bored that I just started a conversation with both of them, completely going out of character. I mean, nothing happened, nor did I try to make anything happen. We talked for hours, we all got our diplomas, we all wished each other the best and walked off, probably never talking again. It was very out of character for me, and the conversation seemed pleasant enough.

That's not even going into the severely racist and homophobic/transphobic tendencies I didn't even know about. Jesus, there's a lot of that crap inside the old noggin too.

Misogynist/Racist/Homophobic/Transphobic/Self-hating Jew. I gotta work on all of that. It's exhausting and so much easier just to let go and sink into the quagmire of your self hatred and not hold yourself accountable for anything you do, and blame everyone else for everything that goes wrong. It's easier to try to be as hateful and disgusting as possible because if you cant' be the Best, you could at least try to be the Worst since no one else is aiming there.

Hell, I did a lot of what I did hoping people would hate me. At least they'd pay attention to me then, right? A lot of times it worked. A lot of times, they'll probably resent me for the rest of their lives and I've earned it.

So it's not just being better than I was, it's making sure I never slip to that place again. Sometimes I feel myself going there, and it takes so much goddamn work not to.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Glides, you've made a lot of really amazing, insightful observations here so I'm not sure what possible advice I could add, because it seems like you've got a very clearheaded understanding of your problems, you're just now frustrated that even with that understanding things are still sometimes so hard. So in response, I thought I might give you an observation of my own from my experience dealing with something that sounds a little similar, and how I've been facing it, if that might be helpful. You mentioned chasing after people who obviously aren't interested/aren't accessible and I used to do a very similar thing. For quite some time, I thought unrequited crushes were all that I was capable of, because that's what I would find myself in, over and over and over. And when I was dating, I had this almost compulsion to go towards unavailable men at the expense of everything else. It wasn't just unavailable as in had no interest or feelings for me, sometimes it was falling for guys who lived on the opposite side of the country, or who were strictly poly when I wanted a monogamous relationship. But whatever it was, they had to be impossible. And like you, it was comforting to be set up for failure, but there was more than that. I would throw myself into these feelings for impossible men fully, be totally obsessed with them and the pain it caused me that I couldn't be with them--how I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, all the ways I had failure and how much it all hurt. And the thing was, this actually worked really well. Because every second that I spent agonizing over someone who would never return my feelings, I didn't have to focus on my crippling anxiety or major depression, or the thoughts like "am I a failure in my life?" "why can't I do the things my peers are capable of" "is there ever going to be a future for me?"

Oh yeah, I can really identify with all of that. I'd have some Big Romance to distract me all the time, preventing me from ever attempting any sort of genuine self-improvement. And only I could ever do this kind of behavior, if anyone else ever expressed the same feeling I'd inwardly dismiss everything they said. There was a lot of people I know and still know who would sleep around and then pine after one person, and I'd always dismiss them by saying to myself "well at least you get laid."

Of course, the actual context was that usually they'd just let anyone who expressed interest have their way with them, and all of their sexual experiences would be horrible except with that one person, and really it was massively wrong of me to ever assume any of that could be enjoyable until the same damn thing happened to me. Suddenly it all clicked and I realized how you could have sex and still hate yourself.

If I could ball up all of my mental illness and struggles in life and put it all inside my romance novel-esque impossible relationships and unreturned feelings, then I didn't have to face them, I could do something much more fun in having passionate, take your breath away crushes and longing and see that as my true problem instead. I didn't have a messed up brain and a messed up life to deal with, I just needed my One True Love of the Month to finally return my feelings and make me no longer a broken shell of a being. And the saddest thing of all was that I was fully aware of myself doing this while I did it, I was just so caught up in the rush and excitement of a new crush and the drama of it all playing out and the escapism from my empty depressed life that I didn't know any way to get off and choose something else.

Anyway Glides, sending Jedi hugs and I hope you can hear that you're not alone in this and it doesn't make you a bad person, in fact its pretty freaking awesome that you've been working towards getting better and striving towards progress.

I really miss Longing, that was always the most fun. Fantasies are far more fun than the actual complicated process of being with another person. Fantasies always favor you entirely and never consider the feelings of the other person. You don't value them for who they are as people or how much you enjoy spending time with them, only for the superficial qualities that'll make other people envy you. They fulfill all of your needs and never have any of their own.

So I dunno how to stop myself from feeling that way even now. Difference is at least I know I'm doing it.

Sorry for the rant.

Glides

Posts : 38
Reputation : 10
Join date : 2016-04-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Very slow progress, can't it go faster? [Mini-Rant/Seeking Advice]

Post by OneTrueGuest on Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:28 pm

Hey Glides.

You were the reason I first joined this forum. I saw someone in so much pain and I just thought that maybe I could offer some insights from someone who'd had her share of it. Then you were the reason I left. Despite knowing that you were going through what you were going through I couldn't handle, as others here seemed so much more able to do with such kindness, the cruelty that came with it. I still knew you were in pain, but I had to protect myself. I had to put up some boundaries.

Now I'm back. Not for good, but for this moment. And it's because of you yet again. And I want to say from the perspective of someone who has this history with you, that even though I know you are feeling how you are feeling right now you are expressing yourself in such a new way. In such a less harmful and destructive way. And that the progress is so palpable, so visible, that you need to know you have grown and changed so much. And how positive that is. How your change already to this point should be taken by you as a sign that there is still more change for you to come. You are growing, and you aren't done yet. The bad feelings, honestly, might always be there. I deal with the bad feelings (or my versions of them) practically every day. But the thing that happens as you start to actively work on them is that we learn coping mechanisms. We learn how to not be controlled by these things. We do actually relax, despite their presence. You already are learning that.

Basically my whole point is: you can do it. You will do it. You have been doing it. You can and will survive this, and, I firmly believe with what I've seen here in this thread, you can also thrive. It won't be easy. And it's likely never going to be easy. When you sort of come to terms with that, that life is hard but it's actually okay that it is it makes things more manageable. Even if they are still there. The triteness is true: it does get better. Not easier. But better. Smile


Lastly - I firmly believe every single human on the planet should be in therapy. We all have so much of our own shit to unpack. But for many reasons, financial, access, stigma, a lack of self awareness, not everyone is. You are. You have an advantage. Maybe think of it that way?

Anyway yeah. Weird to come back to post like this (I do obviously still check the forum and like to see what folks are up to), but I felt I had to. I dunno. I hope it's okay that I did. I hope I'm not causing any extra grief.

You don't know me from Adam, but I'm really proud of you. Of all of this. I really am.

OneTrueGuest

Posts : 145
Reputation : 101
Join date : 2014-11-21

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum