Inadequacy

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2009
Inadequacy
4
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 9:31pm

Hi everyone.
My name is Kat, I'am 24 and have been in a committed relationship with my man since 2007. Last spring I moved out of our house after going through a miscarriage and some serious emotional issues. After doing some soul searching (and seeing a therapist) we got back together in August. At first we were so excited to be back together that we ignored everything else but after that wore off, we began to seriously deal with the problems we had and made a commitment to one another to work out and understand what happened.

That winter, I began to recognize a girl at his job. They were good friends and she was so excited to meet me. She talked to me all the time, she even flirted with me and I felt flattered by her attention. Then as time went on, I began recognizing something between the two of them. Then I found out that while we were separated, they had something of an emotional affair. They began to get closer, she was fascinated with him. He started paying more attention to her and talking to her more, and I began to feel like I wasn't good enough. As if she had something I did not.

Everything grew to a point when I finally broke down and caved into my suspicions. I snooped and found a conversation between the two of them where she revealed the truth: she hated me this whole time & was mad that me and him were together. She even said things like "I can't wait forever". As anyone can imagine, my heart dropped. The reality that I was a fool and that she was fake made my world begin to spin. Then I REALLY got insecure. Every conversation they had made me red in the face. Every word she spoke made me want to tear her hair out. I was tormented by this inadequacy, but I kept the majority of it inside. Finally, I busted and demanded my boyfriend get his stuff straight and admitted that I hated her. I couldn't stand them talking and I told him how much it hurt me.

Long story short, me and him worked out our issues and he stopped talking to her. He didn't realize how far it had gone, but he broke down and repeatedly told me how much he loved me and how he would never leave me for her. He worked with her though, so she continued to try and talk to him. Even though I told my boyfriend and he knew how I felt, I still struggled inside with dealing with her. This was months ago, and I still feel like I have a raw, open wound when it comes to her. Overtime I see her, I want to pick her brain and know what she's thinking. I've become obsessed with trying to figure out why she bothers me so much. I've always been a confident person, but with her I become so insecure. It's very strange, it was as if I hated her, but wanted her approval and wanted to one up her. We tried being friends but that was before I knew how she talked behind my back.

What I"am trying to say about myself though is that while this began with them, it wasn't about him anymore and it truly wasn't about her. Its about me, about how I can't get past my problems with her, how I feel like a little girl and lose all my self-esteem when I see her. I hate it! No one else gets it, I've talked about it so much with my close friends and my boyfriend that they can't understand why I still feel like I do. By now I should be over it, after all that's happened. But sometimes it feels like day 1 all over again.

I don't know how to regain my independence and stop being shackled to this self-consciousness and jealousy. I just can't seem to let it go.
I don't know how to stop obsessing about it and just realize that he loves me for who I am, and I should do the same.

Can anyone else relate to this?

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: kat_a_tat_tat
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 10:39pm

Well.... perhaps you've had somebody undercut you before. Plus with him getting closer to her while separated means you easily see her as an alternative. Maybe, you're not going to like this, you see your positive traits in her, but not your negative??? THEN to read she's manipulative brings a matter of trust. You've seen you cannot trust her. And as you said, what ever problems your relationship was having has not been fixed, just pushed aside for a while.

So I see your point.

But the solution may just be where your focus is. Maybe your focus is just on the negative parts and you're clouding the positive.

Perhaps you can sit down & focus on your boyfriend. Literally write down (using pen & paper, not typing) all the positive things you've seen in your boyfriend since getting back together. All the things you can think of that shows his dedication to your relationship.

Then once you have your list keep it in a place you can look at in the morning. Then select one of those items & every time you find your mind wondering to your boyfriend, repeat that item from your list that you selected for the day.

Then again, repeat the same thing every time you think of her. So you may repeat that one positive attribute 100 times in one day.

If you decided to do this, then in about 1-2 weeks I'd appreciate if you came back & let us know if it worked :)

---

Another idea is to learn a little bit about Mindfulness. The idea of mindfulness is learning to live in the present. I suffer from anxiety. I used to get horrific panic attacks. I learned how living in the past & fortune telling (all the 'what ifs') harmed my life. Living in the past & future are two ingredients to produce anxiety & depression. Learning to focus on today & enjoy today brings you into the real life b/c life really only happens today.

There is a great podcast called zencast.org. It is Buddhism but that is where Mindfulness comes from. Mindfulness is becoming quite popular in therapy today.

I hope you find something to bring you peace.




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-23-2009
In reply to: kat_a_tat_tat
Tue, 06-29-2010 - 11:18pm

First of all, thank you so much for your reply. You have no idea how much it means to me. I have had (on several occasions) someone betray me before and I also grew up with a mother who had a lot of emotional issues herself and often made me feel inadequate. I often felt like nothing was good enough so it's no wonder that as an adult I still deal with those things. And you're right about her. I see things in her that remind me of me and I recognize what it's like to be fake to someone. I had not thought of this until just now but her actions and how she made me feel has helped me become more perceptive and sympathetic to other people because I know what it feels like to be cut down. I'm very happy on a lot of aspects and I know that I need to focus on them, like I said my relationship has grown a lot and we DID make it through those tough times and honestly, her plans to break us up backfired because it just made our relationship stronger. But it will take work for me to get through this thing with her. Like I said before, I dont think it's even about either one of them anymore but rather my own insecurities to I'm very excited to try the things you mentioned.

I was a little confused by what you were saying about her, were you suggesting that I think of positive things about her to focus on? Before I found out about their "past" when we weren't together, I was getting close to her. She was acting very sweet to me and we all hung out together. She even flirted with me & acted as if she was infatuated with me. I did have fun with her but when I found out that she was lying the entire time, it burnt all those bridges. But underneath it all, I guess to be the bigger person I should think about those good times/things and try to not let the hurt overrun things. I just really struggle with keeping myself in the present.

I try and will try harder to keep myself from slipping into the hurt/sad/jealous girl that evolved when I found out about her & him.

I like what you said about mindfulness. I too suffer from anxiety attacks and actually have epilepsy. Most of my seizures are brought on by stress, but I do not have the typical, text-book seizures. I have simple partial seizures where I do not convulse. Sometimes you can't even tell I'm having one unless you really know me. But they take me into a dark hole when I have them, and have caused me problems in the past when they mixed with negative emotion and depression. What kinds of things do you do for yourself on a daily basis to keep yourself in check and staying in the moment? My father always told me to be one step ahead of everyone but as I got older I saw through his stress & anxiety that that only made things worse because he worried about EVERYTHING. I dont want to be like that.

Again I really appreciate your response. I feel better already. And I will try your suggestions and let you know what happens!

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: kat_a_tat_tat
Wed, 06-30-2010 - 1:43pm

No, no, no... well in Buddhism they may say to think positive in her, and I had tried that before with an enemy, but that is NOT what I was suggesting.

Every time you think of her ... go back to the item on the list you've written about your boyfriend. Sort of in a way, 'okay she threatens me, but look - he shows me he's dedicated to us.'

What do I do. Well, it's not a quick & easy fix. It takes a lifetime to make this work. I've been working on it for 4 years. My H has bipolar & during a time of psychosis he had an affair with a woman who was also in psychosis. I'm not sure if it was physical or emotional, but it was 100% abusive. Even though there was another force at work, my already battered esteem took the worst beating ever & I've been struggling ever since to find balance in my life.

Now I was suffering panic attacks long before this. My father abandoned us when I was about 3 years old and my mother (of 5) is narcissistic ... so trying to win her glory was an impossible task.

The first thing I had to do was accept I did not like myself. It's one thing to know it & another to accept it. At the time I was smoking and I realized a smoker in this day & age could never like them self, as it is a self-abuse. It was when I was thinking up my plan to quit smoking I found the "Four Noble Truths," especially the "End to Suffering." So instead of purchasing a book on how to quit smoking I purchased a book on Buddhism.

Keeping myself in check is something that over time is becoming natural & I'm not sure I can recognize my steps any more. I can tell you the things that have helped me get where I am (and I feel I'm only beginning my journey).

Yoga/meditation:
Meditation is HARD if you have an over active mind. So I prefer yoga. The body movement, trying to get myself into the correct position all while keeping up with the breathing (as that is how yoga movements are measured - by breaths) makes my brain empty of yesterday, tomorrow & focused on the here & now.
... Though practicing a little meditation helps learn to let thoughts pass through you. There is one guided imagery I really like. Not sure why, maybe I can get my visions on it well, but if you go to mediation.org.au/class2.asp it is about 16:45 into the podcast.

Mind/body:
To come to an understanding you cannot heal your mind w/o also healing your body. They really are interconnected. For example I have horrible sinus problems. I had surgery a few years ago & am being told I need another one again. Looking into alternative ways to help my sinus I found an article on Discovery Health that quoted a practitioner who stated sinusitis has to do with issues of unexpressed or unresolved emotions. And another person quoted that it is repressed anger is the #1 contributing factor. Coincidentally my sinus problems appeared about 2 months after getting back w/my H trying to express my love for him while never digesting the anger, hurt & pain I had experienced during his psychosis.

So treat yourself right with food & drink. I first quit drinking to support my H (he cannot drink w/his bipolar - called dual-diagnosis). But now even when I'm not around him I will not drink. I see it, too, as a self-abuse. It drains your body of vitamins & nutrients. I try to eat whole & am working on increasing my veggies and water.

Having a more balanced diet in itself will start to make one feel better about self. I have found a lot of information regarding food & mood disorders.

Exercise/cardio:
I'm not good at this one yet, never liked cardio (I think the increased heart rate makes me feel like I'm about to have a panic attack). But this will also help remove toxins from the body. Plus it also releases chemicals in the brain in which can seen to have the same effects of an antidepressant and will last for 24 hours. I got a bicycle for my birthday. I live in a hilly place so I can only make about a 5 minute ride right now, but I am going out every day.

Music:
Music can really effect the brain. I've stopped listening or at least limit any negative music. I've been trying to listen more uplifting or peaceful music. It doesn't have to be all new age. There are some great songs that come from popular artists. For example, though it may seem depressing to some, I listen to "Float" from Flogging Molly when I feel like running away from my H & his illness. Simply the words, "Don't sink the boat, that you built to keep afloat" is all I need to remember the importance of why I'm still here.

... I contract from home & work has been keeping me away. Need to go, but hopefully this helps.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2010
In reply to: kat_a_tat_tat
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 6:27pm
First glimpse, I appreciate your insight about "mindfulness" and the living in the past issue as I've been suffering from this for the past few years. Perhaps you could either respond to my older post or start a new one with more tips for people like us who are struggling with this?