First time poster wanting to change

L

Lisa8

New member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
1
#1
I've recently come to the realization that I haven't quite overcome my childhood issues. I am first generation American and was raised by my mother. I'm the oldest of 3 children (i have two younger brothers, i'm the only girl). Growing up, my mother was rarely around. She found her social life to be more important and perhaps more exciting than motherhood. When she was around, she was unbearable to be around. I could tell that I was a burden to her, an unwanted annoyance. Despite my attempts to live up to the ideal image of a daughter (an image that was only relevant in her homeland, ie care-taker to siblings, maid, obedient...etc) i was ridiculed, made fun of by her around other people, and flat out ignored.

I left home when I was 15, and never really went back. I'm 26 now. She was never proactive about my school work, but would always talk to other people about how important she thought an education is. Basically, she was one person at home, and a completely different person in front of others. At age 16 I found myself utterly confused and depressed. I was homeless for a bit, sleeping in my car then bounced around crashing at friends houses. I dropped out of high school and got a GED at 18 (i think, it's all a bit fuzzy). Somewhere along the way, i managed to "get over it". At age 21, I started feeling reflective and found myself in a dark place for a few months. Some time passed, and I "got over it" again.

Now at age 26, I've realized that I expect SO MUCH from the different types of friendships I have. I'm constantly disappointed with others, and I'm quite pessimistic about meeting new people and making new connections. I often think "why bother, i'm just going to be unsatisfied with them anyway". I'm realizing that it's me. I'm expecting these friendships and especially my romantic relationship of 4 years to fill this void of mine, and I don't think that's fair. Instead of viewing these relationships as additions to my life, I've been carrying on as if they are responsible for "filling my cup" so to speak. I don't know how to go about changing my actions in order to have them reflect my new epiphany.
 
maxitab

maxitab

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
10,392
Location
In Devon
#2
Changing habitual behaviour is very challenging, most people need assistance from a wise person, a therapist or counsellor to do it.
You might want to take a look at the 'schema' theory of human behaviour. This states that we adopt various ways of coping as we develop but if our environment/ relationships/ life is traumatic or not validating we get 'stuck' in old maladaptive habits which we just react with, a bit like the default setting on a computer. We may be aware we don't want to be that way, but it feels really unsafe to try and change, or we feel lots of anxiety if we try..............
To change the schema you need to unpick it's origins and begin to try new responses......in little ways, having set up ways to deal with the anxiety you will naturally feel as a result......
You were invalidated and ridiculed by your care giver......you can start there. Look in self help books for ways of building your self image and self worth. Find ways of rewarding yourself and STOP any negative self talk.
I hope this is useful. Keep posting here too, there is lots of support. You have real insight.............
 
Boris

Boris

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2010
Messages
1,332
Location
UK
#3
Hi there, as you well know, your mother robbed you. You seem well balanced for someone who went through the things you did.
So you set your expectations high when it comes to friendships/relationships, so what! I think the main thing is to be honest with the people you`re closest to, regarding your child hood. That way, if they feel you`re not being fair for whatever reason, they`ll understand the reasons why. Relationships, and people are all different (wouldn`t life be boring if we were all the same)... it`s all about understanding each other, and compromise! You had a void in your life, how can you go about filling that by reading a book or two? Personally I don`t think you can, but by talking to people who understand your position... it`s got to be a help, don`t you think?