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Name: Bree
Age: 20
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Vicious cycle - June 17th 2019, 05:55 PM

I grew up in an absuive household, emotionally, and mentally. Both my parents although separated are absolute psychos who I grew up idolizing. All the way up until basically now where I finally live on my own with my boyfriend and I’m out of the shit hole, even though I still do have to have some interaction with both of them. I’m on my path of forgiveness and growing, but one thing I can’t seem to shake is my rudeness. To survive with these parents I became stone cold, critical, and plain mean. And it haunts me. I hate it, I hate being a bitch, I hate feeling that feeling when I snap at my boyfriend for something. It’s driving us apart, I feel like I’m making him rude. He is the love of my life hands down, 100%. And I don’t want to lose him, and I am working so hard to maintain my temper, use positive techniques during our arguments, letting things go. I am in therapy and discussing everything there as well. But sometimes I just get so low. I feel in our fights as if he’s going to leave me for it. I know it’s just my depression and anxiety getting the best of me, because if he actually was gonna leave me I would know long in advance before ever just breaking up. But today I had a mental break down. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in at least six months to a year and today I just felt it all boil up. These are the moments I turn to self harm and suicidal ideations. I am already insecure about myself, everything about myself, so when I feel like my stability, our home and my relationship is shaking, I can’t take it. It’s too much.


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Name: Kylie
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Re: Vicious cycle - July 2nd 2019, 03:47 PM

Hi, Bree,

I'm so sorry it's taken so long for you to get a response! I also have a complicated history and grew up in a family where there was a lot of criticism, so I understand how these habits can become ingrained in your mind. Sometimes I catch myself thinking or wanting to say something, and I realize that it sounds just like what I used to hear growing up in my family. The good thing is that recognizing it is the first step to stopping it, so I commend you for that!

When you find yourself saying or thinking something critical, remind yourself that this is a result of your upbringing and NOT reflective of who you are as a person. Sometimes I have to stop and tell myself: "This is what [so&so] used to say and it is not reflective of my own beliefs. I want to do better." I find that recognizing that the thought does not come from me but from a force outside of myself, can go a long way in stopping that thought in its tracks. Don't blame yourself for the thoughts, but rather remind yourself that they come from a place that has been hurt (have compassion for yourself and what you have been through), and that you want to try your best treat people better than how they treated you, even when it's hard.

If you are in the middle of an argument, excuse yourself if you need to and take some space to cool down for a bit. If we go into a argument emotional and get ourselves all riled up, we are much more likely to say something that we will regret later. Sometimes we just need a little bit of time to ourselves to calm down, breathe, and think about how we can best approach the situation at hand. During this time, ask yourself what you want to say to your boyfriend and how you can best word it so that he will understand and also be more open to hearing your side of the argument. Remember: if we do our best to remain calm, it paves the way for future, more open conversations, and the other person will be more receptive to you and your ideas. In the end, it works to both your advantage and his.

One thing that I also wanted to ask (and you can feel free to disregard this, as I know it's not for everyone) is if you have a higher power. I personally believe in God, and I have found that praying and asking God for the strength to be kind in difficult moments really helps me. It might sound silly to some, but it works for me! Your higher power doesn't have to be God, of course, but it could be anything that you see as being higher or more powerful than yourself.

This article offers some examples of higher powers, including some secular ones. As I said, it might not be for you, but in those moments where I am really struggling, I've personally found that it helps to hand my problems over to God and ask for His help.

One of the most important things is that you have compassion for yourself. You went through a lot, and it's understandable that you would struggle with these things. It doesn't excuse hurtful behavior, of course, but it doesn't mean you're a terrible person either - you're someone who is hurting and has been hurt. The fact that you want to work on this and better yourself is HUGE and definitely something to be proud of! Don't expect perfection (after all, none of us are perfect, and we're all prone to anger at one time or another), but take small steps each day to change the way you think about and respond to things. It's okay to mess up sometimes! We all do!

I hope this helps a bit.

All the best,
Kylie
   
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