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#1 | Back to Top01-27-2014 02:16:23 PM

The_White_Horse
Rose Smilee
From: Galloping through the sky
Registered: 06-05-2008
Posts: 131
Website

Getting in my own way

I'm posting this everywhere because I need as much help as I can get

I'm afraid of bettering myself. Like... i've lived so long like this I feel like it's.... my lot in life?

I feel ashamed and resistant when I think of doing anything good for myself.

I feel avoidant when I think of feeling happy. I feel silly at the thought of being carefree. I feel stuck.

I don't want people to see me doing better. I don't want them to cheer me on. I feel embarrassed when they do. patronized.

But I want their encouragement. I do. I like getting the praise. but I don't.

It's like there's an entity inside me rejecting all positivity and I fight with it every moment. I know it's just a part of me (not multiple personalities or anything) but the pattern of thought is so strong that I feel like it's taken on a life of its own

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#2 | Back to Top01-27-2014 11:41:31 PM

Giovanna
Ends of the Fandom
From: Edmonton, AB
Registered: 10-12-2006
Posts: 8798
Website

Re: Getting in my own way

You sound not at all unlike the way a lot of us have felt in our lives.

It sounds, essentially, like you feel guilty about being happy. Strange when put that way, but not at all unusual! A lot of us have been one way or another taught, raised, to be unhappy. We expect it, and are confused if we're not. If we're doing well, we think it's an accident or something likely to be suddenly taken away.

It's harder than it sounds to be happy and let other people be happy for you. All I can say is, you keep fighting it until it works. Happiness is the point of life, not something to question when you have it!


Akio, you have nice turns of phrase, but your points aren't clear and you have no textual support. I can't give this a passing grade.
~ Professor Arisa Konno, Eng 1001 (Freshman Literature and Composition)

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#3 | Back to Top01-29-2014 02:31:42 PM

Riri-kins
World's End
From: Cloud Nine
Registered: 09-22-2008
Posts: 2354

Re: Getting in my own way

I knew a guy who came from a poor background and was afraid to go to college because people would think he had forgotten where he came from.  He regretted not letting himself grow terribly.  If you try and fail you'll be no worse off than you are now so why not try?


Proud Saionji and Mikage fangirl
My Utena fanfiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2000115/Riri-kins

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#4 | Back to Top02-02-2014 02:23:58 PM

The_White_Horse
Rose Smilee
From: Galloping through the sky
Registered: 06-05-2008
Posts: 131
Website

Re: Getting in my own way

THanks, both of you. I am fighting, and trying, the thought just slammed me over the head pretty hard one evening and wouldn't let me go. I'll try to keep in mind that it's okay to be happy and that I do deserve it!

Actually, I've been trying to get back on track with the things I used to love, which is one of the reasons I rejoined this forum.

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#5 | Back to Top02-02-2014 11:49:30 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
Website

Re: Getting in my own way

Giovanna wrote:

It sounds, essentially, like you feel guilty about being happy. Strange when put that way, but not at all unusual! A lot of us have been one way or another taught, raised, to be unhappy. We expect it, and are confused if we're not. If we're doing well, we think it's an accident or something likely to be suddenly taken away.

This might be it.  But I think I identify with how White_Horse is feeling too, and I would describe it differently.

For me, it's not guilt.  I wasn't raised to be ashamed of feeling happy.  Instead it's that, when I'm sad for a long time, it is possible for sadness to become part of my identity.  It becomes familiar.  An element of my routine.  And if the idea of happiness or self-improvement occurs to me, it's a scary thought, because it represents a departure from my routine.  It's not that I like feeling sad.  It's just that it's what I know how to do.

To make matters worse -- and I see this in the OP too -- when I do the "right" thing and reach out for support, I articulate the way I'm feeling, which then becomes part of other people's image of me.  And when people expect something from me, it reinforces the same expectation in myself.  If I'm perennially sad in their eyes, then it's hard not to view myself that way too.  My friends want me to be happy, and they encourage me to be better, but what they expect is that I'll be sad.  Other people wanting something for me can be a powerful force.  But other people expecting something from me is even more powerful.  I have to either acquiesce or rebel.  And I can't rebel from an expectation that I put in their heads in the first place.

I have absolutely been in a place where I feel embarrassed when my friends see me feeling better.  Not because being happy is itself shameful or embarrassing, but because... well, what if my friends don't know how to relate to a happier me?  Or what if they think I'm faking happiness for their sake?  (Is it possible that I am faking it for their sake?)  If they think I'm sad and I'm actually happy, doesn't that put them in an awkward position?  And isn't it likely that on some level they want me to want their support?  And so I can get in a position where I want and maybe need my friends' emotional support, yet the act of asking for it creates or strengthens social expectations that hold me back from actually feeling better.

The best solution is to not be sad for long enough to let it become part of my identity.  This turns out to be difficult.  The next best solution is to at least make sure that there is something to myself other than being sad, other facets of identity for me to concentrate on or project to my friends.  I am more than my sadness -- and so are you, White_Horse -- and it's important that we don't forget it.  But I don't know how to negotiate the strait between bottling it all up and making my friends unwitting accessories to my own self-victimization.  I don't know how to do that at all.  So I do what comes naturally to me, which is to err on the side of openness, and I do.  Other people err on the side of self-containedness, and I can't blame them for that either.  If you find a better solution, I hope you'll tell me. emot-smile

I don't know whether this is near what you're actually feeling or whether I'm just committing the good old typical mind fallacy.  But if I'm close to right, then find something in yourself that isn't sadness, and use that.  If it's something powerful enough that you can use it to define yourself, great.  If it isn't, then at least you're still something besides sad.  This is not an anxiety-inducing departure from routine, because you aren't actually doing anything new -- you're just emphasizing a part of yourself that already existed.  You can still be sad.  But maybe it will become less central to your identity, and it will be easier to break away.

Good luck.  etc-love

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#6 | Back to Top02-03-2014 12:54:44 PM

The_White_Horse
Rose Smilee
From: Galloping through the sky
Registered: 06-05-2008
Posts: 131
Website

Re: Getting in my own way

satyreyes, your pretty on the mark there. I'm sorry you're go through it/went through it too.

i ought to go consider this

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