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betterdeal's Journal

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Book Recommendations

I've read a lot of books over the past 18 months on relationships, the self and self-improvement. There's a lot of dross out there and, typically, I turn off when I read anything that's too normative or didactic. These are the ones that stood out as useful, inspired me in some way, or otherwise added to my happiness. They might work for you too.   What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement Learning to Accept Who You Are   This author has looked fo

betterdeal

betterdeal

Some abused people do abuse

My mother used to say "not all abused people abuse" and she is right. Certainly, she and my father who were both raped as children never sexually abused me or my siblings. However, abuse comes in many forms as you probably know, and some abused people do go on to abuse.   This mantra of "not all abused people abuse" played, I believe, a significant part in my continuation of my last relationship. Because she (the ex) had been seriously sexually, emotionally and physically abused, I felt I was

betterdeal

betterdeal

Moving on

A few of weeks ago, the letting agency told me I had to pay 6 months rent in advance or leave. I choose to leave. I then felt quite wobbly for a while after that. As an Army brat, I moved around every 1-3 years and have done since I left home (and bounced back home a few times in my twenties / early thirties), so moving isn't a big issue for me.   I've realised that part of the wobbles was down to the fact I had rented this place as somewhere for me and my ex to live together, and moving is goi

betterdeal

betterdeal

Not good enough

I hear this a lot from people who feel rejected. I have felt it myself.   The thing is, people are very complex objects, and a close relationship means two very complicated objects in close proximity to one another. Sticking the spatial representation, a UK plug won't fit into a US socket. That doesn't make either the plug or the socket not good enough: they both do what they do well, but only when paired correctly.   So, don't feel that you're not good enough if someone turns down your offer

betterdeal

betterdeal

Therapy

Just wanted to say that therapy is working out very fruitful for me. Having someone to share thoughts with, someone outside of the rest of my life, has been valuable for accessing repressed feelings and thoughts, not just in the sessions, in my free time too. I've been writing a diary since starting. It contains things I have hardly said in my head, never mind to someone else.   After the last bout of writing comparing my most recent emotional crisis with a similar one in the past, I had a dre

betterdeal

betterdeal

Triangulation continued

Okay, so I haven't heard from her, and have heard from him. A good friend pointed out that the protest itself would probably change his behaviour. If not, I can escalate my behaviour to assert myself.   We were supposed to meet today, but it's pissing it down, and we agreed by text to meet during the week. I know he hasn't answered the questions I asked, but I also know he will have read them. Just planting seeds...   At the end of my last therapy session, I felt sad, and shared that with my t

betterdeal

betterdeal

A man full of words, but not deeds, is just like a garden full of weeds

I was sat in my garden this morning, on my rather splendid new deck chair, eating pain au choc, reading the paper and drinking a coffee, in a very middle class moment.   I was infused with smells and sounds; lots of bird song in our back gardens, and the scent of early summer flowers. I became absorbed in the stories I was reading whilst feeling all these sensory inputs. It's something I've always wanted - a garden to tend and a shed. To be in England in the summer time!   I was so involved i

betterdeal

betterdeal

Triangulation part three

Okay, so I heard back from him but not her. He was dismissive and evasive. First comparing what I said to him with what I said to another mutual friend, then saying I was just trying to lose friends and that everyone needs friends.   This guy has no friends in this town. He's lived here for 4 years, commuted to London, and been a problem drunk for most of it.   I agreed to meet up with him tomorrow. I'm not happy with the situation at all. I'll give him a chance, but I won't give him the groun

betterdeal

betterdeal

Insight into my problems attaining a long term relationship

Today I've had a bit of an epiphany or, rather, I've connected some of the the dots.   Briefly, I have had sex with women and had emotional bonds with women, but never the two together. It was maddening for all involved. On one or two occasions I had sex with a woman early on (first encounter) and found later we were on a similar wavelength and became emotionally close, and this drove me crazy.   In one instance it was the other way around. A good friend who, from time to time, we'd get inter

betterdeal

betterdeal

Complicated

It's funny. I've met lots of women who describe themselves as complicated, as a forewarning perhaps. I wonder, do they think everyone else is simple, that perhaps they are unique in their uniqueness? And if this complicated life is an issue for forming a relationship, why not simplify it?   Many men are just as complex, as are many other women. We can all make life just as difficult, inauthentic or complicated, and we can all make it just as easy, authentic, simple as each other. Perhaps with s

betterdeal

betterdeal

Triangulation continued

I sent them a note about this ( you can read about the problem in my previous post ). I want to be able to say this stuff face to face, but I felt too nervous to do so. A note is better than nothing, I figure. Here's the note:   Guys   I like you both. We've had some great times, but there are tensions and things that have bugged me.   I did not like being part of a threesome. I find being part of a gang of three with a couple - in this case, you guys - quite harmful to my happiness. It's sup

betterdeal

betterdeal

Triangulation

Meh. So friends of mine, both of whom I have been close to, who became a couple and returned from a year abroad have been getting on my wick. When they got back, there was tension.   I felt nervous and was stand offish, she was quite clingy and attempting to make conspirational jokes about him with me, he was making snide remarks at me.   Roll on a month later, and we met up again last night, with other friends. I was still stand offish with her, she became more insistent, he was not aggressi

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betterdeal

Second therapy session

What came out of this was quite an enlightening discovery. We discussed how I felt fear and unable to be my real self a lot of the time.   I described how when I attempted suicide that at some point after about an hour after cutting my wrists, I felt a powerful, clear voice saying "this is not the way" and then called the emergency services. I felt that this was the man in me, the real me.   It was the same voice that had I had actually spoken with when in Nepal, in a truck, on mountain road

betterdeal

betterdeal

Guide to life after going NC

No contact is not a weapon or a tool to do anything to someone else.   It's all about you. Its about accepting you are not connected to that person or persons any more, whoever they are, and letting go of the connection you used to have with them.   How they perceive and react to your verbal disappearance is their business not yours.   No contact is a stage, a process. It is not a statement. You have decided you are no longer going to get hurt by maintaining a relationship with that person

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betterdeal

First session with a new therapist

I had my first session with a new therapist today. I was pretty bewildered, felt my throat constrict and breath shorten, so was quite tense. I liked the guy, and trust him, so I'm going with actually talking about sensitive issues with someone face to face as being the reason I had a fear response.   He asked why I choose him. Because I liked his profile in the therapist directory, and because he's a man. There's a lot of women in the caring professions, and one of my issues is being able to re

betterdeal

betterdeal

Having the last word

I've noticed I'm inclined to do this. Sometimes it's profitable to stand your ground, but when you go around and around in circles saying very little with someone, but still saying it, you're trying to have the last word with little effect.   Recognise the pattern, and break out of it when it's in your interests to do so. Letting them know you're washing your hands of it is an option, but it's the washing your hands of it that matters.   This happens especially on the Internet, so learning to

betterdeal

betterdeal

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