This is really stupid...but its me

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
This is really stupid...but its me
16
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 8:16pm

My hair....rules my life....I am super down and depressed today because it LOOKED GOOD...and I didn't see my boyfriend.

Missy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Fri, 05-08-2009 - 9:15pm

Sorry it took so long to respond..your post was thoughtful and shows generous curiousity and caring..I was so BURNT out last week, I couldn't type another line...I basically put my self in seclusion....WHY when I know it makes everything worse - I DONT KNOW!

Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Wed, 05-06-2009 - 11:17am

Good morning missy2. Well, it's morning where I am. I have been popping back in reading some of the posts, while I have been on something like a sabbatical lately. I hope that you don't mind if I jump in here a little bit.

While reading all of your posts and replies on this thread, I was curious if the therapist that you are seeing is part of your alcohol recovery program?

You had also stated something about your children, which gave me the impression that you fell that they are challenging. I was wondering if you felt comfortable enough to elaborate on that?

I was a barber in one of my former careers, and I was always scared to death when a woman or man came in with long hair and wanted it cut off. I have always felt that a person's personality is often connected to their hair, especially self-esteem. It kind of reminds me of Samson getting his hair cut off and loosing his strength. I straightened the curly and permed the straight...lol.

However, I think you are describing more of an obsession, connecting good feelings with good hair. If you don't do this, then that will happen. An obsession.

You also commented about all of the mirrors that are strategically placed in your home. I once heard that it is a person that walks past a mirror not looking in it, that knows they look good, but a person constantly looking in a mirror has the fear that something about them is wrong. Bear in mind.....I don't agree with this on all cases, but it is an interesting point of view.

I was wondering if you have visited with your counselor about any behavioral change therapies? I would suggest asking him/her about a "Dysfunctional Thought Record".

I was wondering if you could also use a Neti Pot after working with smelly chemicals to cleanse your sinuses? If you're not familiar with the Neti Pot, you could ask your pharmacist.

If you get up at 5 to get to work by 7, that's great. At least you have no concerns about allowing yourself the time for self-care.

You have already been provided some excellent suggestions by other members here. I hope that you are bringing these up for discussion with your therapist, if you think these ideas might apply to you. I know that it is difficult to overcome what we thought and were taught as a child, but maybe the answer is not in overcoming them, but rather instead learning how to put them into perspective for an adult. Once you get your childhood beliefs into perspective, then you will be able to more easily move forward.

Blessings

dragonfly siggy

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Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 05-05-2009 - 9:38pm

I'm glad it was helpful! I think what you did with writing and then thinking about what you were really hoping for is excellent. Definitely a way to experience change. After my divorce I had a relationship during which I kept a file on my computer and just typed my feelings every now and then, it kept me a little more emotionally balanced it seemed, and it was easier to keep the problems in the relationship and my own issues in perspective. That was several years ago, it's much easier to do that now. Practice makes perfect :)

I think sometimes by trying to ignore the past *that* is when it defines who we are. By facing it head on and saying "I understand what happened, what should have happened instead, how it affected me and what I want the result to be now in spite of it all" we can escape it.

I'm sure your children see your efforts. They may be parents one day too and they'll see no parent is perfect. We all just try our best with the cards we get dealt.

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Thu, 04-30-2009 - 5:18am

Thank you for going back and fourth with me on this....it has really helped to re-enforce some things my guy has said to me and my therapist.....so since your an outsider....it must be true...it must be possible to get better....and I am not blowing the stuff up about my mother and my past...it HAS affected me.


See...I try to think...its in the past and it shouldn't define who I am now....I think I"m stronger than that...but, obviously it has affected me and I still need to work on things to get better.


Last night before bed....after my b/f left...I wrote him a letter explaining how I wasn't good enough for him....and how I can't take this agnozing pain of working to be good enough for him and that I wanted to end it

Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 9:23pm

That's awesome - he sounds like a great guy.

The only problem that I've experienced is getting self esteem from another person is fragile, it's not an endless source like when you get it from yourself. Your approach of testing him is very understandable, and I think very common. It's fine too as long as he has a chance of passing and when he does, the test ends. If the test is a way to have him deliver self esteem forever it'll eventually wear him down because he won't be perfect either, one day he might do or say something that will hurt and you need to be able to get past that without letting it destroy you.

At some point, and I know it was because of therapy, I turned the corner and actually believed I was deserving of love. My issue comes from not feeling loved by my dad, and of course that easily worked it's way into all my adult relationships. But anyway, by believing that I was deserving it made it a lot easier to accept the good treatment, compliments, etc. It also made me not want to settle for anything less than that. Even now though and really I think this will always be the case - when something goes bad in the relationship (can be a small thing) I want to internalize that and all those unworthy feelings come back. I have to separate my feelings from the situation and remind myself that my husband is well intentioned, does love me, would never want me to be hurt, wants me to be happy - and by reminding myself of those things I can keep my own old emotional injuries from turning a small deal into a major deal.

So back to your mother. I just get this feeling like you are taking on her role, criticizing yourself even when she's not there to do it. The "goal" if you can call it that is where you can treat yourself the way she should have treated you all along. I'm just feeling like this self esteem thing is a disease of sorts, but curable, with the right amount of effort and properly adjusted thinking. I read something recently about how we build our children's self esteem. It really hit home. It said that every time your child looks up at you and sees a look of approval or acceptance from you, a smile, a pat on the back or whatever - that is building self esteem. I see it now when I look at my two younger one's, when I smile or say something positive they smile back, it feels good. I know you said positive self talk doesn't help but I wonder if it doesn't feel genuine when you do it. And I'm wondering if there is some way to get to the point it does feel genuine. The way your mother criticizes you (and your ex) probably feels familiar because it's all you knew for *so* long. The kind of guy you are with now - you've definitely made positive strides or you wouldn't be with him most likely. So really you are on your way to the goal even if maybe you don't realize how close you are?

Ok, I'm rambling now. It's late and I'm exhausted, it's been a long day in my house! You sound like an absolutely lovely person to me and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 8:46pm

This made me cry!

Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:57am
Oh and another question if you don't mind - in what ways was your primary caregiver overly critical and if you could have chosen someone different, what would your ideal primary caregiver have been like?

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:33am

But even when you feel good you can't always relax, right? Like having a perfect hair day but being depressed because the one person you want to see you as perfect isn't around that day.

Have you ever thought of this as your new addiction? Or has your therapist looked at this as an obsessive-compulsive issue? I don't know that it's either but it's something to at least rule out. And not that you'd want to ever stop caring about your appearance, because that is a necessary part of caring for yourself and is generally a healthy thing to do - but how you look is causing you a great deal of distress. Even when you spend hours on it sometimes it's not enough. Even when you look perfect it's not enough. Will it ever be enough?

I don't think anything you are experiencing is silly. I think you want what everyone wants - to be loved and accepted. That is so important to all of us, I know it's important to me and I know I haven't always felt that - I've certainly spent my share of years trying to convince myself it was true but doubting it every step of the way. This is the way you are going about getting love and acceptance.

I'm going to make a wild guess that you will stop the lengthy rituals and excess spending on your appearance when you truly feel you can love and accept yourself (you on the inside not you on the outside) and when you truly feel loved and accepted by others (who you are not what you look like). It's like that little girl inside you who didn't get what she needed is still trying to be better and better until finally she'll be deserving of love and acceptance, but like being on a stationary bike in a race, you are never getting closer to the goal. The problem is the you are looking at the wrong goal. Looking perfect won't ever lead to love and acceptance, because nobody who loves and accepts you will care about you looking perfect. In fact, someone who truly loves and accepts you might be troubled by your need to look perfect.

So to change the conversation around a bit - I know a lot about your outward appearance, what are you like on the inside? What are your obsessive criticisms about that part of yourself? Do you put as much effort into make those as perfect as possible too?

Oh and if I'm off base with any of this you can tell me to take a flying leap any time! I'm hoping that I can be helpful in some way but we don't really know each other so I could very easily be off base with anything I come up with.

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2007
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 4:59am

No I thought about that yesterday....I'm always complaining that I am running around and not relaxing.


And I thought...if I wasn't spending so much time worrying about what I looked like....I could relax more...but right now...I can't relax unless I feel I look good.


Catch 22

Missy
Missy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 04-28-2009 - 9:46pm
I still will wake up and do it again tomorrow....until I get sick of all the effort - I guess.



Effort is a good word. It sounds like so much effort. Do you get much of a chance to relax and not worry about your appearance? How does that feel (you don't have to answer if you aren't interested in continuing the dialogue).

"If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it." - Mary Engelbreit.



Photobucket
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

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