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My insecurity is driving me up the wall


katmisj
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After so many toxic and abusive relationships with men in my life, I finally found a guy whom I adore and treats me like a queen. When we first met, it took me a few months to let my guard down. I had just left an extremely confusing and toxic relationship with someone I loved more than myself and was still recovering. But he was patient, kind and always understanding. If one thing I've always felt with this guy, was safety. Later on we decided we were going to be in a relationship with each other. 
He gives me NO reason do distrust him, has always been clear as to what he wants with me, always talks about a future together,  doesn't follow a lot of people on social media, isn't very active there either, has few friends and is a very discreet person in general. Everything he can do in order for me to feel less anxious and safe, he does. My ex: used to follow tons of girls on insta, would like all of their pictures, would secretly DM them, every fight we had he would chat to other girls on dating apps and it would show on his phone and would always hide our relationship to others. It was fair to say he fuelled my insecurities and obviously didn't make me feel safe at all. That, added to all my unhealthy relationships in the past made me have a hard time accepting genuine love and kindness, and I'm very distrustful of people in general. 

This past week my partner and I were fighting a lot and I realised I was once again losing myself and becoming co-dependent on the person. I was once again throwing all my past trauma into someone who for the first time in my life, isn't out there to get me. I got overly sensitive of him liking a girl's picture and talked to him about it and he said: "why do you think so little of yourself? Why do you think some other girl is better than you and I'd leave you for her? I chose to be with you and you're the one I want to be with". He also said "the girl I met was this confident girl who thought so well of herself." And I really did, I was this confident girl who knew what she brought to the relationship. But as time went on, the thoughts became "why would he want to be with you? Why out of all the girls would he choose someone who's not even that cool/successful/pretty etc?"

I don't want to lose this guy because of my insecurities, but most of all, I don't want to lose myself. I feel like my last relationship was a wake up call, to understand what I deserve and what I don't, to be happy and that I don't need to be micro managing and acting like a crazy, paranoid person trying to control what my partner does in fear of losing him. Because well, if he does, it's his loss. (kind of a cliche joke but I still believe it's true) 

Also a little summary on my life background: I grew up in a dysfunctional home. My mom was (she became someone really sweet and loving after I moved out) a narcissist, and my life was extremely difficult, emotional and depressive from my pre-teens to my young adulthood. I ended up in lots of toxic relationships, settling for anything a little bit better than the lack of love I received inside my house. My last relationship was the wake up call I needed to realize I have to put an end to this fear of abandonment and anxious attachment style I carry.

And yes, I am in therapy and I try to take care of myself in general, but my god, sometimes I just feel hostage inside my own head.
I would just like some kind of advice as to how I could deal with this on a day to day basis, how I can build up my self-esteem and not feel like I'm not worthy of love. I really feel like I'm at a point in my life where I've had enough of years of toxic relationships and I legit just want to have a calm, healthy and nice relationship with someone. 

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11 minutes ago, katmisj said:

my life was extremely difficult, emotional and depressive from my pre-teens to my young adulthood.

Have you seen a physician about your depression and anxiety? Start there. Ask for a referral to a therapist for ongoing support.

Punishing people for past bad choices is obviously self-defeating and sabotaging. You're pushing people away, then blaming them for your excessive controlling behaviors.

Stop playing mirror mirror games (like your "narcissistic" mother).  The victim mentality is all part of that game.

You can help yourself if you want to but first you'll have to treat underlying conditions and be open to changing and improving your life.

Stop beating this current BF up. It's cruel he's not your psychiatrist.

 

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I’m sorry you are struggling. I think it’s about choosing your reaction.  So when you feel like that choose not to subject your boyfriend to it. Not easy but essential. I ended things with a lovely guy because he subjected me to his insecurities. Then he promised to change. He was in therapy too. He did. For two weeks.  Then resumed.  We dated for about 6 weeks and to keep the stress and aggravation wasn’t worth it at all.

I feel for you and I also feel for him. It’s not fair to him. It’s ok if you’re not ready to be with him and treat him with respect - choosing your reaction is hard but doable. And the only way to build a healthy relationship. Good luck !

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I think its good you're in therapy and seeking help but are YOU DOING THE WORK? or are you just counting on your therapist to fix you?  

It really doesn't work that way.  So you've had some crappy relationship with toxic people, who hasn't? 

You were raised by flawed humans, who wasn't?

That's all the past. You're living in the past. letting your ego tell you old news that keeps you in n the past. 

You've found a good guy. Step up for yourself and stop the cycle of turning into someone that drains the love and life out of others.

People can only build you up so much. It's actually pretty lazy of you to just expect people to accommodate your lack of confidence and self esteem. And constantly soothe you.  They're trying to keep their own crap together.  

It's hard for everybody! 

You asked for advice on what to do? Here's what you do...

Start controlling your self dialogue. When you get nervous or feel less than good enough. observe the situation from the outside.

Google some self affirmations that you can repeat to yourself when needed.

Go to the bookstore and look at self transformation books. Find one that resonates with you.

Recognize that being a weak, no one loves me type is NOT ATTRACTIVE. 

Be strong for yourself and the people that do love you.  Why do they have to suffer while you wallow in some made up pity party?

 

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Because he liked the girls picture? Just because of that you threw a hissy fit at the guy you date very briefly? You are lucky he hasnt dumped you on the spot lol

You are not ready to date. Your break up was fresh(as I saw from previous thread) and you still picked up bits and pieces from that. And you decided for a new relationship. Where you projected your past insecurities from previous guy to next one. Best you can hope now is that you "keep it together" somehow. That means to keep those thoughts for yourself and not expressing them. He is not allowed to cheat, to sneakily message other girls etc. But he is allowed to follow people he knows and likes some of their pics when he see them. Its not cheating, its not a sin, it doesnt mean he likes them more, it doesnt mean anything. So, keep that stuff for yourself and for therapy. Dont be quick to air something like that. Because he was patient and very understanding now, but if it keeps happening, dunno if his patience will not run out. And you will lose him in that way.

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A change of diet can be beneficial to dealing with anxiety. Eat bananas, cut out caffeine and alcohol. Take supplements like St' Johns wort, vitamin B complex. Yoga, regular exercise like walking/ jogging will clear the mind, and increase feel good hormones. Try breath exercises to relax. All these things will change some of your brain chemistry. Oh and lots of good sleep.

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I dated someone with insecurities and much like you described and it slowly became my responsibility to help manage them.  But the thing is, your insecurities are yours to manage, not his.  He will ultimately grow tired of tippy toeing around you so as to not trigger you.

Your description of him is interesting.  You either knowingly or unwittingly chose someone almost reclusive, little or no activities and few friends.  There is a saying that unhealthy people are attracted to birds with broken wings. . .because they aren't likely to fly away.  It seems you find this attractive.   But why?

 

2 hours ago, katmisj said:

 I was this confident girl who knew what she brought to the relationship.

You know this is not entirely true.  You can't have it both ways. We can fake "as if" for only so long. Especially when we are trying to attract a partner.  But once comfortable and attached all your ghosts spill out of the closet <  That is the real you.  Not the game face act you use to attract someone. Take responsibility for it and embrace it.

I agree you aren't ready to date.  But here you are.   It's good you are in therapy, but unless you learn your responsibility in your past relationships, commit to the work and do it diligently on a daily basis.   . .Meaning, you squash those intrusive thoughts and feelings and wait to see the outcome of what ever triggered you rather than acting impulsively on it, this is bound to fail. It seems he is trying to win your trust.  But at the same time you are testing him and sabotaging it.

When you lose yourself in a relationship you slip back into to old patterns which is detrimental to your style of anxious attachment.  You need to push yourself to have outside interest , friends and activities that do not include your partner.  It serves as a reminder that you are much more than just someone's girlfriend. And you will be alright now matter what because you have a full rich life to lean on.

Edited by reinventmyself
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50 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

You either knowingly or unwittingly chose someone almost reclusive, little or no activities and few friends. 

Agree. Someone isolated as he is an easy target to abuse and perhaps won't notice the substance abuse.. More of a prey than a BF.

 

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How long have you been seeing this new guy? You may be insecure and overcome some hardships in your childhood but you seem to have vaulted this new person onto a sky high pedestal too. Temper your expectations and enjoy your time together. There is no need to rush into things with this new person just because he smells or looks slightly different from the rest. Give time to blossom. 

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7 hours ago, katmisj said:

I am in therapy and I try to take care of myself in general, but my god, sometimes I just feel hostage inside my own head.
I would just like some kind of advice as to how I could deal with this on a day to day basis, how I can build up my self-esteem and not feel like I'm not worthy of love.

Going to ask the obvious - what does your therapist suggest?

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Since you have a suspicious mind, I'd suggest not being friends with significant others on social media so you can avoid seeing whose photos he likes. Something you should know: There is no need to be a detective to either confirm someone's cheating ways or to appease yourself that nothing is going on at the moment. Secrets always have a way of coming out. No need to pry. And If you don't want someone to assume the worst of you rather than see you as innocent unless something happens to prove otherwise, then don't make a partner pay for the crime he never committed.

When I met my husband, he was cheated on twice by the two main longterm partners he'd had. He also had a mother who was narcissist, plus turned a blind eye to emotional and physical abuse committed by his father onto him and his siblings. Yet, he never once assumed I'd cheat. If I said I had dinner plans with a girl friend, he said "Have a good time" and meant it. When he couldn't go on a trip with me because he'd just started a new job, I went with a girl friend. He called me daily, saying he missed and loved me and detailed my car while I was gone. Not once did he ever wonder or ask if I was really going out to dinner to meet a man or that I would have a girls gone wild trip.

You can retrain your brain to think positive thoughts, and now that you understand the psychology of why you might have behaved in certain ways, put a plan in place to change that dynamic.

You take chances on people who lack red flags and that's the only control you have. If a breakup happens, oh well. Teach yourself that you will survive and be just fine. You won't crumble to the ground and stay there. There are no guarantees in life. Just be the best gf you can be, choose a partner who shares your ethics and dating goals, and hope for the best. When you have a fulfilling life besides having a partner, a breakup will be upsetting but not as devastating as it would be if he was the sole center of your universe.

 

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It can take some time before you feel really 'okay' again. With your history, you know you've been damaged with your mom to an ex.

So, sometimes it is best to just lay back for a good while and focus on ourselves and getting better again, without feeling a need to be involved again & again.

As it is obvious that your past is still affecting you.  This is really not good.  In time, he may just get a little fed up with accusations, feeling he isn't trusted, questioned about everything, etc. ( causes strain in a relationship).

 

The way I see it is, If we are not okay, often, our relationships won't be either.

Not sure the time span of your last relation and this guy, but should this one also end, then please consider not getting involved again for a while.  And hopefully you are not getting involved so you 'feel important'.  This comes from within, and if you keep looking for this elsewhere, you will be disappointed.

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Thank you for all the replies. I guess I should give some more details into this. The girl I was insecure about was a girl he used to talk to who had just bought a house and posted about it. My boyfriend always talks about making big money, buying a big house, traveling etc and it made me feel a bit self conscious because I'm a little bit different than that. I came from a good financial family background but at the same time I'm very detached to material things in general and I'm more of a nature/minimalist/enjoy the moment kind of person and looking at that made me feel just bad in general, as in like "hm maybe he wants to be with her because she's more money driven than me". And I know it's silly and I know social media doesn't mean much but I really am working hard on trying to and in no means it comes from a place where I want to "abuse" him or make him feel bad, I would legit never do that to someone on purpose. If anything, I'm the one that's suffering from my own choices and thoughts.

I really did realize that I have to stop worrying about the future and live in the moment. I can't control anything, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. I went from this girl who didn't really care much and though so well of myself to someone who's always looking up to him and looking down on me. As if I'm not good enough to be with someone so good as him. 

My therapist always advises me to keep looking for these intrusive thoughts and look for actual evidence that proves what I think instead of believing in what I feel and think. She's a sweetheart and I've been with her for almost a year, but I do agree that I'm the one who has to do the work. There's only so much one can say and do. 

 

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35 minutes ago, katmisj said:

My therapist always advises me to keep looking for these intrusive thoughts and look for actual evidence that proves what I think instead of believing in what I feel and think. She's a sweetheart and I've been with her for almost a year, but I do agree that I'm the one who has to do the work. There's only so much one can say and do. 

Your therapist is right. So the question becomes, are you doing what she's been advising? 

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No you don’t always have to live in the moment. Or not exclusively. Part of a serious relationship is planning for the future. Considering whether you’re on the same page and wavelength.

 Don’t ask your boyfriend about a Facebook post.  Ask him why he wants a big house.  Be curious not furious so to speak. Has he commented on your values? 
do both. Live in the moment and keep attuned to the future. 

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

No you don’t always have to live in the moment. Or not exclusively. Part of a serious relationship is planning for the future. Considering whether you’re on the same page and wavelength.

 Don’t ask your boyfriend about a Facebook post.  Ask him why he wants a big house.  Be curious not furious so to speak. Has he commented on your values? 
do both. Live in the moment and keep attuned to the future. 

^This OP. Rather than getting into an imaginary competition in your head with some other woman and the game of more than or less than, you need to learn to look at things from the "are we compatible" perspective and yes, ask questions.

If big money and a big house and the lifestyle that comes with that is critical to him, you need to explore that more and understand just how important it really is and how he sees a woman's role in that. Then you need to consider whether his goals are actually compatible with you and what you want. Your minimalist desires and what kind of a lifestyle you want for yourself.

It doesn't make either of you right or wrong or less than or more than, but matching lifestyle goals is a critical compatibility issue. So don't be with any guy just to avoid being single. Instead, learn to focus on quality and compatibility. Basically, you need to fix your picker and actually start picking instead of latching on to any man who shows you attention and then freaking out later that maybe you aren't right for each other....after you've already grown attached.

 

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6 hours ago, katmisj said:

I'm very detached to material things in general and I'm more of a nature/minimalist/enjoy the moment kind of person and looking at that made me feel just bad in general, as in like "hm maybe he wants to be with her because she's more money driven than me".

Then think about this and whether you both are compatible. It doesn't sound like you both are. 

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Also please don't assume that someone who wants a big house and financial success, among other goals, is "money driven" - some are some aren't.  Just like people who like to hike aren't necessarily tree hugger crunchy types who will talk your ear off about climate change and veganism.  Your insecurities of course can trigger these negative and rigid mindsets. Resist the urge.

Also consider that you had the opportunities you did -to have time to connect with nature, probably go on hiking trips -because your family provided for you financially.  It's fine to feel detached from material things but depending on what sort of nature activities you like to do the costs can add up. It's great to enjoy the moment and great to be able to do so.  Often it takes money to be able to do so.

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