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becoming a whole person

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I've been doing a lot of self-reflection lately and I feel that for many years, since I was about 13, I've always had an unhealthy emotional dependency/clinginess to someone. These people have been teachers, friends, and one boyfriend. I seem to find one person who appears interested in helping me, and I trust them to the point where I dump everything I've been through on them, and don't really trust anyone else. I've never been close with my family, or had much support from them in my life, and I feel that might have something to do with it. I know this is incredibly unhealthy, I'm not functioning as a wholesome person. I have spent the last 2.5 years clinging to the person who became my best friend, and during that time my behaviour was destructive to the point where I now don't know if we'll have a friendship ever again. I am not really sure how to stop doing this though. I don't have many friends, and definitely don't make close friends or trust people very easily as I've been burnt a lot. I know I have to address this though before I can have truly healthy relationships. I want to feel truly independent, truly happy with ME, and not feel like I NEED any one person for support. But I'm not sue how to do that, and that seems to be the cycle I am in. Any thoughts?

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Hi Ariyadhana,


There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who regard their worth based on the number of friends or lovers they have, or, those who judge their worth based on their confidence and their own accomplishments.


Do not look for yourself in others, you'd never find yourself there. True, we may find good friends every once in a while, but ultimately friends would just be friends, they cannot fill that gaping hole.


They are not you.


Sometimes, it pays to be selfish and to look inwards for awhile. Try to understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Work doubly hard on your weaknesses and improve on them. For your strengths, use it to your advantage, whether it applies to work or making a stand for yourself in society. People would see you very differently when they know that your self-belief isn't easily broken.


I hope that my little banter here helped you in some way. To be truly independent, is to believe in yourself. That's the first step.

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You need to go to your doctor and he'll refer you to a Counsellor/Psychiatrsit who can help you.


I was like you growing up and I'm dealing with some of the problems that could've been dealt with when I was young. Please deal with yours straight away otherwise you'll be dealing with it in later life.


Good luck and take care.

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Thanks bleeder. I'm working to try and start doing it. It's just so difficult to work on ME, and being the best person I want so that I'm happy with myself, rather than being the best person I can be so that others will accept me and I can get fulfillment through them. But I hope I can get to the point where I feel like I am a whole person, strong and independent.


Tigris: I've been to many counselor's/psychiatrists, none have helped me. I guess there is no harm in trying again, I really despise counselling though, I've been to probably 40 and it just doesn't seem to work for me.

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I do understand what you're saying.


It is not an easy task trying to look for oneself. We have so many thoughts and directions that sometimes, it seems easier to understand others than to understand ourselves. But never give up. The harder the toil, the sweeter the victory. Always remind yourself that. As far as counsellors go, they can help to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, it is always the same old words. The true work lies with you.


Be strong, and never give up. I am sure you would reap the fruits of independence soon enough.

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Being whole does not mean that you do not need others, nor does it mean you do not make (lots of) mistakes. It means that whatever you do, or whatever situation you are in, you are still whole; that there is nothing wrong (unwholy) with you as you are, wherever you are.


Being whole does not mean not sometimes thinking/feeling you are 'going to pieces' or are 'in pieces'; it means that when you think/feel you are 'in pieces' you are not actually in pieces but are actually still whole. And seeing yourself as still whole 'brings the pieces back together'.


You really do not need to do anything to be whole; you merely see that you always are.

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Ariyadhana, what would make you feel 'whole'?

Total independance is often lonely and challenging. We do need some people to load off on, sometimes - and it's not wrong to do so, especially if they can do the same to you.


I agree with what Bleeder has said. We do have to be selfish, sometimes - and look out for our own best interests.

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Right now I feel like I tend to develop unhealthy attachments to people, I tend to attach to one person at a time for several years, and I ask more of them than they are able to provide me with. I guess I want to lose these unhealthy attachments, and learn to be happy without being dependent on any particular person for my happiness. I want to lose my clinginess and fear of losing people, and develop multiple close relationships instead of investing everything in one person. Right now I also feel like with the friends who I have attached myself to, it hasn't been a mutual sharing. I feel I have dumped all my problems on them and that hasn't been fair.

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Dear ariyadhana,


Your message compels me to to respond, and for this reason, I have just joined this forum.


Your experience was mine, nearly exactly. Except that I am 30 and I have been doing this pattern since the teen years... maybe 12 or 13, but definitely since 15.


Because of the clinginess, it has kept me in situations that were unhealthy. It has caused me to lose best friends, and caused me to sabotage relationships with teachers/professors. Like you, I would go into what I'd been through when conversing with the people. The two best friends who decided not to pursue friendship with me any more, left me devastated.


At about the same time as losing these friendships due to clinginess, I became sick for 2 1/2 years. I lost every connection to everyone in my life... the illness made my clinginess even more so. It was during this period that I had to learn to come back to myself, to be there for me. I first read things on the Internet about codependency and then checked out books by Melody Beattie, and devoured them. They spoke exactly of what I was doing, and why I was doing, and how to stop doing it, and find peace and happiness.


...The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie

Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, by Melody Beattie

...Stop Being Mean to Yourself : A Story About Finding The True Meaning of Self-Love, by Melody Beattie

...Beyond Codependency : And Getting Better All the Time, by Melody Beattie


In addition to reading on the Internet and reading some of her books, I began keeping a gratitude journal, and began doing things to please myself. With this, inner peace and balance started coming about.


The pattern I was doing before was being too giving. I like to give. But the payoff is to self... it makes one feel good... especially if the person praises you for it. There was always this repeated process of me giving a lot, a person really, really loving me, and then turning around and rejecting me and devastating me. After reading those books, I understand why it happened, and take care to set higher boundaries and remind others to do so... remind them, "Take care of yourself." Setting boundaries protects us from others and keeps our own selves intact. I found that I needed to merge into others because I didn't really have a well-defined self.


The other thing I did was to realize that if one has to be dependent on anyone or anything, they must be dependent on God or the higher power they believe in. Because if we set humans up on pedestals they will always let us down, even if they don't mean to or would never intentionally do that. They can't be everything to us, they don't have the resources to do that.


I've now explored anything I was interested in, being freed by not having friends objecting to who I wanted to develop to be, and acquired whatever interests I want, instead of pursuing too many friendships. And I don't push away love or try for it... simply let it flow toward me if it wants. The friendships that I have lost, two of them have forgiving attitudes... at least understand and aren't upset any more. I don't know if we will ever get back what we had. But if that was based on emotional dependency it is better that we don't get back Exactly where we were. I continue to hope to reconcile completely.


Until you solve this problem of emotional dependency it will keep coming, and hurting you, over and over again, with friends who keep leaving you, because it is a lesson that must be learned. In the chakra system that you might research on the Internet, it is excessive heart chakra energy. Everything must be in balance. Even love. When things are in balance you free energy to go to other things and balance you out. You possess the capability to change this!! First, believe that you do!!


For awhile after the times of rejection, I had perfected the art of hugging without feeling any love, which was scary. Every day now, I come into more and more balance. The people I am close to now, I am not too inclined to call them best friend as I don't want to jinx anything. But they know I love them. Like you, my excessive need for love has come from a family heritage that was lacking in love... so I was looking for it everywhere else. Love yourself (and God, if you believe in God), first. Let everything else follow. Love no one else so much that you could not live without them ... treat yourself kindly. When you can do these things, then the drama caused by rejection will stop, and you will find coming into your awareness a new reality. A reality in which you can let go of the outcome and be at peace.






A COOL QUOTE: You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. ~ Max Ehrmann


ACTION PLAN (recap of things that helped me that you might want to check into)


Internet research: Setting Boundaries, and letting go

Internet research: Codependency or codependent

Internet research: Heart chakra, excessive heart chakra

Daily Habits: Take care of self first, in a loving way. Be gentle to yourself. Balance out energies between love and other things to do and be.

Hobbies: Explore new and interesting things to do, that don't need to involve people.

Library reading or link removed purchase: books by Melody Beattie

Religion: dependence on higher power, realization that a human being can't be everything a person needs

Journalling: Journal things to be thankful for, also, journal how you feel when you take care of yourself, or journal how you feel from other people and relationships.

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Hi ariyadhana! For what it's worth, I completely relate to where you're at and how you're feeling. I used to act the same way, because I felt this tremendous need to be heard and understood and accepted (as do we all). You've gotten some great advice here from everyone already.


I'll just tell you my own experience - that a few understanding friends did help me grow. They were patient the umpteen times when I called and had to talk and talk about emotional stuff. Also, trusting a higher power (GOD) as awesomejourney talked about also has been invaluable. When it seems like no one on earth cares, it's reassuring to me that God does love me - and always has.


Everyone has a need to vent and ask for comfort. Nowadays, I'm more understanding of others when I do it, though. I think of specifically what I'd like from that person, and I ask for it. I don't hope that by calling up and talking their ear off they'll somehow "fix it and make everything better" for me. Sometimes I want a listening ear, other times advice. Sometimes I want someone who will understand.


I've also learned to go to different friends for different things. One friend is an angel at sympathizing. Another offers strong words of advice (usually wise). Another gives encouragement. So in some sense, I am taking responsibility for myself by deciding what I need, and who to ask for it.


And I trust that I can and will learn how to persevere through those tough times when I am afraid I might fall apart. I learn to distract myself by journaling, exercising, reading a funny book, doing art or going to see a movie. I do things to help detach myself from the drama and emotional intensity, so I can think more logically about things later and try to solve the problem, rather than get consumed by it.


Take care. Hope this helps some.

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