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Unconscious thoughts/beliefs



Well-known member
May 4, 2009
So last year was really interesting for me in that I recognised I had unconscious thoughts and beliefs. It was confusing, and had been confusing for years, because sometimes my emotions did not match my thoughts - I would think one, rational thing, and my emotion would be the opposite. What I learned from that over the years was: "ignore emotions, they don't make sense". This led me into some bad situations...

For me it was self worth and related rejection sensitivity. 12 months ago I would have said I was untouched by rejection. I could think of lots of rejections - particularly of my work, but plenty of social ones too - and had rarely felt they had anything to do with there being something wrong with me, so I was relatively indifferent it and it would never have occurred to me I had a sensitivity in that area. Similarly, I couldn't think of one thing that was flawed about me - well, I knew I had characteristics other people thought were flaws :p but I thought those 'flaws' were fine (and still do, actually...) - so considered myself to have high self esteem.

But over the years I had not been acting as if I had value (because somewhere underneath it all, completely invisible to me, I felt that I didn't matter and would not be accepted by others). The only way I could find out was when years of being in bad situations and not valuing myself led to a total nervous breakdown last year and I got curious about why my emotions didn't match up with my thoughts. It's been interesting but really weird to find out things about myself that would never have occurred to me. A lot of the intrusive thoughts or emotions I've had all of my life that I've intermittently been frustrated with, or ignored, and that I never felt able to accept as 'part of me' because they were too inconsistent with the rest of my personality, make so much more sense now. But it's almost as if that feeling of being unacceptable had been fragmented away from the rest of my personality so when I acted nervously, shy, emotional, irrational etc. it was impossible for me to build it into my self image. I told therapists for years that I felt like someone else kept taking my body.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is because I'm thinking about how odd it's all been and I wondered if others could relate. Have you discovered things about yourself that just seemed weird to you? Have you discovered that you have beliefs that have been so masked by their opposites - where maybe you're overcompensating - that it's been a really odd realisation to notice that you're not quite who you thought you were?

It hasn't exactly changed my sense of identity - in a way it makes me feel more whole, actually, because now things seem consistent and coherent. I still feel like I'm the same person, and that's a good thing, but it's just odd that things could be so hidden from me.


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
I can absolutely relate to what you're saying.

I think life can be a constant path of self-discovery and there are so many layers to our thoughts.
It's not until we have certain experiences or find ourselves facing certain triggers that we truly understand what lies in our subconscious.
Even then, it can take years to work it all out and I don't think that process ever really stops.
I think ultimately these revelations are positive and can lead us to healing and working on the thoughts/beliefs.

Anyway yes - there have been lots of moments where i've understood something about myself that I previously thought was untrue or as you say, perhaps i'd been over-compensating for.


Well-known member
May 4, 2009
Thanks :) Kind of relieving that someone else has experienced that dissonance, I've felt very unsettled about it because it's still dissonant in a way - difficult to put all of my experiences into the same personality/seems inconsistent.

It's not until we have certain experiences or find ourselves facing certain triggers that we truly understand what lies in our subconscious.
Most 'self-discovery' for me has been a rather mild-mannered process of analysis in which I've worked things out methodically, but I suppose that methodical way of doing things means you're still working within your own framework so you'll miss the unconscious bits.

I think last year was probably the only time I have really understood the word 'trigger' despite having seen it all over forums, particularly when I had eating disorders. I've never really been 'triggerable' because I normally feel like everything is in my control and that I'm in charge (maybe because my own agency, independence and containability is very important to me), but it's revealing to find out that that isn't always the case - and, as you say, I've found out a lot more about myself that way.

I think ultimately these revelations are positive and can lead us to healing and working on the thoughts/beliefs.
Couldn't agree more. In many ways, pain has been the best thing that has happened to me. Before I felt really bad pain, I just felt vague unease and the only emotions I was really aware of were a sense of pressure and frustration - possibly because I find it difficult to put any weight in emotions that seem irrational to me - which was difficult to pin down. Knowing more about myself has led me down the right paths towards working out what I could be doing differently.

It's also led us down different paths in therapy and I've become more aware of underlying emotion. So my therapist ended the session the other day by saying that everything I'd said in the session reminded him of my relationship with my Mam, and I really felt it, then all week I've continued to have moments of feeling it again. Not so bad it's bothersome in any way, more sort of relieving because it's like I'm 'getting somewhere'.

Having said that, though, I wouldn't want to be 'triggered' again!
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