⚓︎hey that truly sounds like an awful experience to have. i can't really imagine what it's like to go through that because i haven't come close to anything like that, although it sure sounds something traumatic enough to have me down all day for days.
what i can say is, when that baby girl grows up, what she's going to remember is not him leaving as much as you staying. she's not going to remember him having the time of his life as much as when you fed her, went to her boring pta meetings, and helped her get through college. don't let his actions define you or your relationship with your daughter. yes a father is crucial to a balanced upbringing, but i wonder what type of father a deceptive man will make for your daughter; your daughter is too precious to let such people be around her! he is not fit for her! i can imagine tons of other gentlemen better suited to be your husband and her father!! or if no one shows up, then you're enough!
your husband has made his choice, in a way he's done you a favour; if he stuck around longer he would only bring more deception and damage to you and your child. but if he wished you or your daughter harm, then he will see it, it is not your concern; it is not your duty to bring justice and recompense upon him (unless there is a practical breach of law). your duty is only to make your life the highest possibility. what are *you* going to do?
having said that, please understand that this is not your average bend in the road, this is a full-on, massive, tornado of an event in your life. so you are damn right to be on here ranting for paragraphs. but online love doesn't make up for love in person. my advice to you is, please take care of yourself by reaching out to your support network. your mom sounds like she is a positive influence to you, so let her know how you feel and how you need her. look at other people in your support system as well. also, please find a trained professional to work with you. this is important because of as i mentioned earlier, this is not a normal event, it takes some time to heal and a professional touch can make sure the healing happens productively.
as for being afraid to love again... i think you're afraid that you will love and you won't be loved back, in the respectful, productive, nurturing sort of way that love is supposed to be. but *you* can love freely (regardless of other people's actions), and you can love anyone, your daughter first and foremost. whether people love you back is not your business, because it is out of your control.
i have a girlfriend of 5 years and she tells me she loves me every day. she tells me stuff she likes about me, she tells me the things that i do that she likes. all of this i construe as love. if tomorrow we break up, and her voice disappears, then this warm goeey feedback from the environment that i am worthy of love, that i am a wonderful human being, also disappears. if i didn't hear it anymore, i would think that i am not worthy of love anymore...
*but* i could tell myself those same things.. that i love myself, that such and such are the things i like about myself, and such and such actions are the ones i like. i'm not saying be narcissistic, acknowledge your weakness too, but you can love yourself. when you do this, you will automatically display the qualities that are authentically you, and then you will attract the right people in your life.
⚓︎it can seem daunting to have these types of thoughts, and i can totally understand why they would make one hyperventilate. please remind yourself that they are *just* thoughts, they are not *you*. you have a choice *not* to act on the thoughts. you've done the right thing by being courageous enough to express your need for help on this forum.
i know it seems like a massive feat to overcome these thoughts, and be able to think of living a satisfying, happy, blissful life. but i promise you that such a state exists. maybe you've just fallen down a tad harder than the average person, which means (as you've rightly recognized) you need someone knowledgable to help you get back up on your feet.
please find a trained individual who can work with you. again it can be a daunting process, but as someone who has a therapist himself, i can tell you that it is sooo cathartic when you can be completely honest and unabashedly yourself in front of a professional who can tell you why you're feeling the way you do! it's like having someone look right through you, only, they're not there to judge you, but rather make you enlightened about how to solve your problems. they act as a mirror reflecting you back to you, so you have a better idea of why you're feeling the way you do.
it's important for you to know how you got to this place where you're having these thoughts, because once you do that, you'll feel 1) a weight lifted because you're no longer scared of the unknown and 2) a worthy soul because you know you are not responsible for half the shit that happens to you and 3) a more productive system to lead a happy, satisfying life.
my sister tried to end herself, but immediately regretted it and called a family member for help. i was horrified that it got to as far as it did, but i am glad that we had the opportunity to help her in time. with work and support she is in a *much* better place.. she has a job, she's living by herself now, she even takes care of my other sister. i know at least 2 other people who have had such experiences.
if you walk away with one thing from reading this, let it be this: your life is a gift; currently your tv (your thoughts) is playing an unproductive channel, and because you can't find the remote, you've been misled to think this channel can never change. you just need a little bit of help finding the remote (from someone who knows better), and once you do, it'll open up a completely new, enchanting world as you discover the gifts you have been given, and how to develop these unique gifts into the best version of yourself!
i wish you best :)
⚓︎what you're doing is satisfying your human need for emotional connection by finding solace in people who are not permitted to judge you. perhaps you've had tough experiences in the past that made you realize it's easier to curl up into a bottle and keep all your feelings, thoughts to yourself, because then no one can judge you and hurt you with their words and actions.
you've fallen into a habit of finding satisfaction from the words of kind strangers; they talk to you, and in return you get the emotional connection you've been craving. in the absence of such connection elsewhere in real life, talking to internet strangers has become your go-to medium for satisfying this particular need for connecting with your social circle, your community.
but there's a caveat though. with anonymity you can't build long-term relationships. long term relationships are built by leaning on each other further and further. you invest by opening up and helping others, and they do the same. when you unload onto internet strangers, it's a one-off; there is no investment. in times when we fall hard, its our support network, the people we mutually invested in, who will catch us.
i don't see what's wrong with you opening up to strangers to release things. the challenge is, it has become compulsive, and perhaps a replacement for healthy relationships.
maybe you're shy for good reason - maybe when you opened up in the past, you were treated with disrespect, or felt judged. but there are great people out there too, who will not judge you for who you are. it takes some vulnerability and trust to do this, but this is necessary for you to be able to find your tribe. when you signal to people who you are, and what makes you uniquely you, you start attracting people who think like you.
so keep opening up to internet strangers if it helps you in the short term, but start paying attention what aspects of your online social/conversational skills and what topics you can start bringing to your real life so you can start building real, tangible, long-term human relationships.
⚓︎let's assume that i were a wizard, and with one wave of my magical wand, i could transport you into the picture perfect life of 'another individual'. what does that even mean? if you are in another individual, what is you and what is the other individual? are you wishing to completely merge into another, perfect human being? in this case, you are no more, isn't it? 'your' life doesn't exist, because 'you' don't exist. the other person exists.
or are you suggesting that the part of you that is conscious, i.e. your consciousness, should be planted into another human being? so what happens to their consciousness? do they disappear?
you don't want to die. great; this tells me that you still have a little bit of oomph left in you. as someone wise said, don't die with the music still in you. please, reflect on what your music is. forget about the past, it is not reality, it exists as a figment of imagination and memory. it is useful only to learn from.
maybe your life on paper is tougher than the average person. these 'demons' that haunt you, and disappoint you, and suck the energy out of you, maybe they really are more demonic than anyone else's demons, hence you wanting to be transported to someone else's life.
i want you to realize, even if you were transported into the most beautiful body, with the most beautiful partner, with the most luxurious house and car, and perfect children and parents, and loving friends, even then you would not be happy. why? because happiness is a conscious decision. you could have all of this and then you'd want to conquer the stars. as they say, the neighbour's wife is always sexier. okay i made that up :)
what you're feeling is a call to action. you must answer this call. when you say, i want a do over, what is it that is stopping you from 'doing' in this life? can you list on paper the things you would do if you were magically granted a 'cosmic' do over? for each item on this list, what is stopping you from achieving it in this life?
someone wise once told me, people grow more with pain than they do in pleasure. pain forces one to look around and re-evaluate their bearing. in pleasure, most people just get addicted and lose themselves. this is a call that you want to grow into the best version of yourself.
you have confused your environment, your surroundings, your friends, family, status, with life itself. these things are parameters in your life, they are not your life itself. please, sit still and notice yourself breathing, notice your heart beating, notice your digestion process. there is a state of existence where even the most fundamental process of breathing can bring ecstatic amounts of joy. but what stands in our way and this state of existence, is our attachment to the signals from our senses. we confuse what our senses tell us with reality. that is not reality, it is just our perception. feel your breathing, it is reality. feel your toes touching the ground, the sand on the beach, the water, that is reality.
your mind will spin all kinds of tales. these tales are just different channels playing on the tv - sometimes the tv has switched to a channel which has productive things to say, other times it is unproductive. if you attach too much importance to your thoughts and emotions, you will become a slave to them. your mind is meant to be a tool, but right now it is over thinking and has turned you into a slave.
i recommend you invest in some mindfulness techniques that build your awareness of life.
be well my friend :)
⚓︎it's not clear what your friend or you did to each other for the relationship to melt away, so it's difficult to reason and give advice.
but what i can do is commiserate. your friend seems to have been an integral part of your life, and now it feels like that part of you has been stripped away, leaving a gaping hole. you seem pretty close, so i can understand why you feel so hurt.
if you really think you can move past what this person did, and you really want them back, i suggest you reach out and try to gain some understanding. make it clear how they made you feel, and you really want to understand why they did it. perhaps then you can be in a better position to either patch things up, or move on.
this is another human being after all. if you open up genuinely, if you meant the same to them, then they will open up too. either ways, you will have some closure.
or you may decide that what they did was too terrible for any chance to patch things up. good, you've made a decision. only by shedding the old, unproductive elements of your life do you create room for a new possibility to enter.
be well my friend :)
⚓︎i'm sad to hear about your situation, hearing about these things makes me sad about the trauma certain types of masculinity can cause.
i want to echo the point made above: kudos to you for having the courage to step and express yourself, and let it out.
i am a male, and wanted to add my voice here. the person who assaulted you is a criminal, even if he wasn't prosecuted. he wanted your body, he didn't want the entirety of what your human being has to offer. he cheated on you and betrayed your trust. for your own reasons, you chose to be with him for another 3 months and continued to be involved sexually with him. i want to invite you to consider that this is *your* body, letting someone become intimate with you is a gift and honor reserved only for the highest of men.
your current boyfriend seems to lack compassion. you've opened up to him about a traumatic event in your past, because you felt you could trust him completely. you needed his compassion, and to tell you that it wasn't your fault, that it doesn't diminish you in any way. you needed him to tell you that you are not responsible in any way for the actions of other people. but he didn't. is this a person you want to associate with?
which raises the question: what do you value in a man? is it honesty? compassion? physical attractiveness? strength of character? intelligence? start noticing these things as you interact with men around you. please don't associate yourself with sub-par men. it is much better to be alone than in a relationship that doesn't build you up and empower you.
as for dealing with the trauma, i highly encourage you to consult with a therapist. i know there are social stigmas around this, but they're ridiculous. most people have a support system (friends, family) that they go to when they need to fall into someone. but what do you do when people in your support system are not empowered to support you? you go to a trained professional who is. if this is too expensive for you, there are always cost-effective solutions near major universities, such universities usually have a therapist who can help. if even this is not available to you, please start building a strong support system. the way to know if you have a strong support system, is when the people you lean on help you grow, and feel empowered.
i empathesize with your state, and know that anyone in your position would be feeling this, so you're not wrong to feel these emotions in any way.
i wish you best :)
⚓︎i want you to notice the type of language you're using with yourself, my friend: shame, dumb, lazy, hopeless, fatigued, ruined, ugly... are these in line with what you want to feel? try replacing them with the opposites: proud, intelligent, productive, hopeful, energized, empowered, beautiful.. the more you recite these, the more you will notice moments where you are these things.
please, get up right now, look yourself in the mirror, and perhaps for the first time in a long time, tell yourself that you are a miracle. don't believe me? what is not there to believe? you are a miracle! to be a human being is to be a miracle, isn't it?
have you recently paid attention to all the stuff happening within you? how your heart continues to beat without your conscious will, how your blood continues to flow carrying nutrients everywhere, how your kidneys filter out the filth... if this is not a miracle, then what is? and somehow, all of this activity gives rise to a consciousness that permits calling itself 'ugly, shameful, hopeless and lazy'.
you are stuck in your habits. habits are patterns that repeat, and are triggered by environmental cues. habits are neither good nor bad; they're just phenomena that lead to other phenomena, in a chain of cause and effect. some habits have effects that get you closer to what you want, others have effects that take you farther.
what we did in our past has left an effect in our present, isn't it? if you are lazy, maybe that's a consequence of how you have acted in the past. maybe it started a few years ago, when you were faced with an important task, and you responded with procrastination. and maybe you got away with it. but the consequence of that was that you developed a pattern that still lives on in you. and now it has come to a point where this pattern could lead you to situations with higher consequences (i.e. you not graduating).
please, sit up now, and look around you. have you set up your environment in a way that supports you to accomplish your goals? you say you have 4 weeks to come up with deliverables that will help you graduate; how much work is needed to come up with those deliverables? work your way back from there. plan the next 4 weeks to the minute. account for every moment.
forget everything else, this is the priority; as you yourself have recognized, graduating is your highest priority now because it has a direct impact on your survival; when your survival is challenged, nothing else matters, you must answer whatever is standing in your way. so temporarily put aside your friends and your nightlife and your addictions - there will be time for that. this is the time for fervent action.
as for feeling 'ugly and dumb', become aware that these are unproductive thoughts that are obstacles to your growth. i encourage you to find an activity like meditation that builds your ability to focus, and become resilient to distracting thoughts. it'll take time, but all good things are worth the wait.
you're 28 years young, my friend. who know how many more moments you have left. the question is, now that you've realized your actions have been unproductive, how will you choose to spend the next moment?
⚓︎first of all, kudos to you for being self-aware that you're feeling shame, and the shame is stemming from certain 'self-destructive' habits, as you call them. also give credit to yourself for acknowledging that you want to improve yourself; you are not satisfied with where you are, and the only way you will be satisfied is if you continue to work ruthlessly to transform yourself into the best version of yourself.
i think it'll help you if you can understand the mechanics of why we indulge in destructive habits, despite knowing fully well that they are harmful. why does a smoker smoke cigarettes, when all packets everywhere are screaming about the possibility of cancer? because they lack the awareness of what the cigarette is doing to them day by day, until one day they wake up and realize they lack energy to do even the most basic things. why do they continue to remain in the destructive habit? becuase they have tricked themselves into believing a cigarette is actually benefitting them - stress relief / looking cool / dealing with boredom. people who don't smoke cigarettes can do just fine with stress relief, looking cool and dealing with boredom.
the point is, you're addicted. in other words, you're involved in a destructive habit. habits are patterns that repeat, and these patterns are triggered by environmental cues. habits are formed when you have a strong emotional reaction (reward / punishment) to an external stimulus.
so don't change anything - just notice. when you involve yourself in destructive habits, what was your trigger? become aware of what that habit is doing for you. how are you rewarding yourself with the habit?
for example, i used to reward myself with pornography. long day after work - let's reward ourself with some porn. finished 2 chapters of studying? time to log onto good 'ol pornhub. bored? might as well watch porn. horny and don't have a girlfriend? porn is the answer. i built this habit a long time ago, when i saw a video of a naked dancing girl for the first time at the age of 13. puberty had just hit, and i had a strong reaction to the naked dancing girl. unaware of the perils of pornography, i thought there could be nothing wrong with continuing to do so. so i re-inforced this behaviour until it became habitual. for 15 years i watched pornorgraphy, each year it became successively more addictive; one video, one girl, one position, was not enough. i needed more.
what i didn't realize was that by jerking off so much i was foolishly ridding myself of the very sexual (creative) energy that i needed to get out and do things in the world. sexual energy is creative energy; you can use this energy to create another human being through your reproductive organs, and you can use the same creative energy to color your thoughts and emotions and your body to express what is dying to come out. and don't even get me started on the affects of pornography on my perception of feminine beauty and of sexual intercourse.
the way i got rid of the habit is not by applying my will power to stop. will power is like a fuel tank - it is limited in reserves. throughout your day you use it to make various decisions, and with each decision you use up some of this fuel, until there''s nothing left. in this state, if your environment triggers you, you will fall back into your destructive habits.
so what do you do? don't subtract, add. what is your goal? what is productive in your opinion? is it going to the gym? is it asking that cute girl/guy out? is it working to build your social skills? or maybe you're in school or at work and you just want to be a plain bad-ass. just fantasize about yourself being the kind of person that does all those productive things. before going to bed every night, seduce yourself with the visualizations of yourself being able to deadlift 300lbs, or being able to flirt, or being able to do some public speaking. whatever it may be, start craving it.
slowly, your own awareness will start showing you the way for how you can incorporate that behavioiur into your life. and over time, your life will fill with some productive habits, while the old destructive ones automatically die away because you're not energizing them anymore.
i've already hinted at what helped me cope with my destructive habits. it's awareness of what's going on inside of me during these habits. there are many ways to build awareness, one of them is meditation; i leave it as homework to research which method works best for you. but you do need to build awareness.
good luck my friend!
⚓︎life is an infinite game my friend; you don't choose to play, you're invited. you are a life, teeming with gifts - whether you are aware of it.
right now, as you sit here, as you read this, miracles are happening within you, isn't it? is it not a miracle that you're breathing right now, and oxygen is being absorbed into your lungs and then your blood, which distributes it to the rest of you body? and somehow, this biological process results into this idea of 'i', that can sit here and read and comprehend. there is an order in your system that nourishes each cell, supplies it with the necessary conditions for it to remain alive, and eventually reproduce. who is conducting this orchestra? are you doing it consciously? no, you are unaware of it, but still in the background an ordering force governs your body and sustains it.
despite this wonderful magic happening within ourselves, our minds want to focus more on the unproductive stimuli that our environment feeds us. this is not how we are as kids, isn't it? as kids we felt the full force of life; we followed our curiosity, we felt joyful when our mothers held us, when our fathers fed us. maybe we cried when our siblings teased us. but somewhere along the line our minds starting focusing on the negativity that seeped into us through our senses. over time, we trained our minds (unconsciously) to pay more attention to these negative thoughts, and gradually, over time, this negativity started to cloud the light of our inner being.
you don't control what other beings choose to communicate to you through your senses! you have the choice to control your environment, and arrange it in such a way that only good things come to your senses; but even then you are not responsible for what other beings choose to inject into you through your senses (visual, auditory, touch etc).
i want you to just sit still, and notice: you are not the stimuli that your environment is supplying you! you are not your thoughts or emotions! you are not your senses! if you were your senses, if you were your thoughts or your emotions, then who is the one perceiving these thoughts or emotions??
now tell me, how would it be 'brave' to end this life? you've been invited to play a game, and you've been given some resources: a body, an energy that animates it, and the potential to develop gifts that you can express into the world! you say you are useless, and that your parents agree; let me ask you instead, what would make you (and only you) feel useful? would it be helping the homeless? or teaching what you know to the uneducated? or putting yourself through school to become a lawyer or doctor? what is it? please, answer this for your own sake, and then set about to accomplish it! prove to yourself that you are not useless!
what you are is an opportunity. not all beings have this opportunity. a dog is incapable of learning languages, or teaching. even other human beings may not have the opportunities that you uniquely have, through the experiences that make you uniquely you. so the question is not whether you are useless or useful. the question is, what is stopping you from transforming yourself into the highest possibility?