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Just sharing

Hey everyone, thank you for being here, and for being you. <3 I wouldn’t be able to do this anywhere else. This community is very special to me.

You’re under no obligation to read or reply to this at all. Personally I’m doing just fine, I’m due to have a session with a professional and I intend to commit fully to the process. I’d just like to share some of the repetitive negative thoughts that have stuck with me, in the hope that bringing them to light might reframe my relationship with them in a more positive way. Well, I wouldn’t like to, I want nothing more than to continue keeping everyone at arms’ length, but it’s time for me to practice what I preach. I can’t exactly let the shame win now, can I?

Maybe that’s a good place to start. If I had to point the finger, I’d point it at shame. It’s largely the root cause of these repetitive thoughts, but also it feels like it’s the foundation for a large chunk of my interactions with people. Good people, people that I’d love to get to know, but people that I can’t reach through this ever-present barrier I hold between myself and them. In my worst moments, I’ve felt like I wasn’t there at all, only it was, along with whatever masks it employed to keep me concealed.

I think that the basis of this shame is that I feel inherently incapable of meeting anybody’s expectations, and that once that’s come to light, all love, affection, and care for me will be irremediably revoked, leading me to be in physical danger. I don’t really want to dig into my history today, but it’s a familiar story. Childhood trauma, excessive parental expectations, lack of support when I needed it, blame for my inability to cope. Rationally I know that all of this is absurd, that they had no right to put so much pressure on a child and that their punishments and continued blame are indicators of their sickness more than mine. That’s not reflected in my conduct, however, and some would say that my actions are better indicators of my true beliefs than my rational thoughts. I think that might be true, but not absolutely. I don’t think anyone’s stuck exactly where they are. Everything is intermediary in some sense.

There are very few people I can relax around enough to be sincere, and there is nobody who has ever seen me relax all the way. I just need that to change. I cannot lie to myself and pretend that that’s okay, while I let the best parts of life slip by because I’m too afraid. But I can’t exactly be sincere with people while I’m labouring to conceal dark secrets either, so this post is a positive step.

So, here it is. This may be triggering, so please read at your discretion.

I feel grossly insufficient in every possible way. I feel pathetic and worthless and innately revolting. I feel like an empty, soulless freak. I feel like these emotions are my fault, and that they’re deserved. I don’t always feel these ways, but even a little is enough. I get these thoughts constantly throughout the day, repeating these and other things like them to me. I say that I ‘get them’ because they come to me like a reflex, like they have for years. For the most part I just carry on through them, they’re something like an ache in my side or a mild toothache, and they just take up mental space. There have been times, when I’m at my worst, when they’ve come at me unrelentingly and been the only thing that I can think, the only thing I can feel. I’ve gotten much better at interrupting them. I’m trending upwards by all accounts, but I’m still held back by this reticence to speak honestly and openly about who I actually am. I’m messy and imperfect. I hope that’s okay.

I’m sure it’s common for shame to live in a recursive, self-multiplying relationship with itself, and mine isn’t an exception. I’m ashamed to admit that I am so ashamed of myself. It feels like a personal failure, but it also feels dangerous. Divulging the extent of my shame is something like an ultimate admittance of my vulnerability, and I’ve unfortunately had damaging, backwards lessons about vulnerability carved into me in my formative years. So here I am, unlearning them by trying to be powerfully vulnerable.

I’m so grateful for this space, and for you. This first step has already proven to be healing for me. Thank you for being part of it, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day/night/anomalous moment in time. :heart:

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Hi Rick. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I know it was not easy and I am grateful for your trust. Sometimes our thoughts get the best of us but it is important to remember that we are not our thoughts. Our thoughts just are. They can be painful, intrusive and annoying but they are not us. I am glad you are on this journey of self discovery and healing. You can be proud of yourself. I hope there will be a time when you will no longer see yourself in such a negative light and see yourself for who you truly are. Thank you again for your trust Rick. You matter and I am glad you are a part of this community. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Rick I too want to thank you for all the effort that you have made writing that, its so hard to peel back those layers and expose how you really feel isnt it? but that is the truly amazing thing about this wonderful place, you can do it and every one is grateful. I am also personally grateful for some of the lovely responses I have been reading of yours recently, you are so kind and very wise. I hope writing this has helped a little with the negative thougts? I know from experience it doesnt make them stop but sometimes getting them out can slow them down for a while.
I have been talking and listening a lot recently about how we allow these negative thoughts to take control of our lives and lets face it a heck of a lot of us do, and ive heard a lot about learning to see these thoughts for exactly what they are which is of course “just thoughts” not facts, now then, I can’t give you a big lecture on how to train your brain as im still learning the process myself but I am certainly trying to work on it and would encourage you to look into it too especially as your thoughts appear so self loathing and although I don’t know you, I cannot imagine for a moment that you are the person that you describe, Infact I already think you are pretty wonderful and I havent met you and dont need to in order to know that. Maybe if we were to all work on our negative thoughts we would all less self critical and feel more worthy to interact with others. I know I struggle with that one too. We are all a work in progress no matter what age we are.
Thank you for being here, thank you for giving me the oportunity to reply to you. You are truly cared for.
Much Love Lisalovesfeathers. :green_heart:

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Hi Rick,

Thank you for sharing and trusting the community with your heart. I feel immense shame all the time and I can relate to some of what you’ve written. Know that here, you are not judged or anything. You are accepted and loved just the way you are.

I feel like your inner critic has a hold on you. Perhaps this video can help a little bit. I’m pretty sure you already know all of this, but I thought I’d share anyway. :hrtlegolove: :rose:

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@Ashwell, @Lisaw1973, and @Mystrose, I appreciate your heartfelt replies more than I know how to put into words right now. I’m so lucky.

It turns out, maybe predictably, that the shame monster is noooot a fan of me seeking support. I’m feeling very raw and my thoughts aren’t at all cogent right now, but I want to come back and engage with your replies more fully after some sleep. We’re taking baby steps here, after all. And babies love naps.

Thank you so much. Love love love love love. :heart:

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Its ok Rick. Take it at your own pace. We are always here to support you :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey @Rick,

I want to respond properly another time, but for now I just wanted to echo the love that our friends already shared.

I’m proud of you, and I cannot put into words how much joy your presence bring to me. Yesterday I smiled for a long time, and that doesn’t happen very often. You bring such a calming and beautiful light. At the complete opposite of the shame that you feel about yourself, I feel so much pride for knowing someone so kind, thoughtful and brilliant.

Your vulnerability is honored today. You are building strength. You are loved right as you are right here and right now, could you feel broken or complete, you are loved. I know it’s hard to wrap our mind around that fact when we are hit by self-doubt, fears, anxiety, a sense of worthlessness… But that’s exactly when friends can help, right? To remind us, from time to time, the fundamental truths that we lose sight of.

Thank you for allowing us to do so. Thank you for being so brave today.

Take your time. Rest. Breathe. You are among friends.

I appreciate you so very much. Thank you for being a part of my life (again, without any expectation or further motive than being grateful). My little world just suddenly got even better. <3

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Ahh you are the best people. I love this place. Again, I know you’re busy so please don’t feel obliged to read or reply. I just want to give sincere thanks.

Yesterday night the rumination machine went into overdrive like any big, ugly beast that’s been prodded would, but I’m happy to say that in the end the prevailing thought is that it’s okay for me to seek help. Your acceptance made that possible and I’m so grateful. It feels like the people who matter won’t be repelled by my vulnerability. And of course I don’t want to be close with people who can’t accept me wholly, anyway. The ultimate responsibility for my emotions still lies with me, but in my mind that just makes your selfless messages all the more lovely. Thank you all. :heart:

I said that I was hoping to reframe these thoughts, and I can tell you listened because you’ve given me a lot to think about. A lot of directly actionable points too, which I really appreciate. After being under the heel of these thoughts for a while I’d uncritically come to think of them as a given, but of course it hasn’t always been like this. That’s a lesson I’ve had to relearn a few times over. In this case I’ve come to identify with them more than in the past, and that’s obviously harmful. Today I’m taking steps to distance myself and fight them more actively. It’s going well! They’ve slowed considerably and I can brush them off with much less of a bother.

Thank you @Ashwell, for being so welcoming and reminding me that they’re just thoughts – they’re not an accurate gauge of who I am. They may as well be gas, for all their meaningful content. I wouldn’t hold other people’s negative self-talk as descriptive of their character so there’s no real justification for this double standard in me, right? But anyway. You reminded me very quickly that I was in a safe, supportive place and that means a lot.

@Lisaw1973, thank you too! You put in all this effort to show me that I was heard. I’ve seen some of your posts around as well, and I see how empathetic you are. It means a lot to me. <3 My thoughts slowed as I typed out my initial post, and did so again as I read your kind words. I’d come to tacitly accept them as if they were just a part of me I had to accept and live with, and I think there was some harm in that. It’s just not true, they can be expelled. I’ve done it before, it can happen again. You’re completely right, they’re just thoughts. Others much like them come and go all the time, and sometimes I can let the bad ones just fly by without a hitch. I don’t think that they’re meaningful, but they definitely point towards some deeper beliefs that require my attention. Your comment gave me a lot to think about, I’m very grateful. Your compliments are so lovely too! Gosh. I’m embarrassed. Thank you! :blush:

@Mystrose, I draw so much strength from knowing that I’m not alone in these feelings. Thank you for sharing so openly and unapologetically. You’ve made me feel like I belong here. Your video was very helpful! Now I can refer back to this when I need some perspective fast. Anything to help me remember that this is a human problem and not necessarily a me problem is so welcome. Thank you for your kind words too, they really mean a lot :heart: I hope you’re doing well, you deserve to be.

@Micro – you don’t owe me another reply at all! Your comment makes me feel whole. This is a full and proper answer, not to mention that you’ve already done so much. I think what I really needed was compassion in a vulnerable time, and in classic Micro fashion you’ve honed in on that with surgical precision. I feel so seen, and now so safe. I’m still smiling and I hope you are too. I hope you know that I’m proud of you, because damn do you deserve it. You are the most brilliant spark. Thank you :heart:

Gaaah I feel so loved. Thank you all again, so much. I hope you’re having a wonderful day and I’ll hopefully talk to you all more soon <3

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I hope you’re feeling a bit of a burden lifted sharing your heart and thoughts. I see how much you impact people in this community and it’s such a big impact. I’m sure you don’t realise how much your words help to heal others.

Those feelings of never reaching other expectations are so cruel and when they continuously repeat in your mind, it’s hard to rationalise with “this isn’t logical or rational”, because in the mind it feels very much rational and your mind even makes up reasons as to why it is.

I hate that your mind holds these intrusive thoughts on repeat and I can totally empathise to those feelings.

The fact that you were so heavily impacted from a young age is so unfair and you cannot be expected to hold the responsibility of that. You were a victim to those who were meant to protect and love you. I hope you find the love and support that your inner child needs here. I hope they can learn to come out and ask for what they need from this community and not feel guilty or that they aren’t living up to expectations that are seemingly impossible for any person to reach.

I love this artist named struthless and I loved this video he did about inner critic. Especially the mouse example. I hope if you want to watch it you might find something helpful too! He addresses it as more from a artist/working perspective, but it still resonated.

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Hey @Bimini, thank you for taking the time to say all this. You said such nice things! I feel very validated, and the effort you took to really read and understand what I said is so appreciated. :heart:

The long-lasting stuff is the hardest to argue against logically, but it’s getting easier. I’m feeling indignant about it right now, like ‘this is my mind, you can back off,’ and maybe that’s a good place to start. Right now I’m working on redirecting and replacing the thoughts when I notice them. This is totally bizarre, but I’ve called myself an egg about a hundred times over the past couple of days. It’s unusual enough that it breaks me out of the thought cycles, so that’s a start!

Any and all resources are great for me! I’ll watch this now. Thank you for sharing.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. You’ve given me a boost with your reply, and I hope you’ll get a little one back from mine. :heart:

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