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Unstable Thoughts - May 27th 2016, 11:19 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of rape or abuse, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I needed to ask for some advice on something. This is really hard for me to do.

I grew up with a father, but not in the ways I needed. He was really emotionally manipulative and controlling, and I more or less became submissive over the years. On the outside, I was very dominant and stood my ground, but on the inside I was becoming more and more submissive.

At this point in time, I find myself only being friends with males older than myself. I'm 18, and they are usually around 10 years older. All of my friends are educated, one being a PhD student and the others having finished a bachelor's degree. They all have stable jobs, and no partners, and are highly intelligent people.

I feel like I want to be surrounded by men like this because they provide a father figure like relationship with me. But, I also desire to be romantically linked to them. I have been, to all of them, at some point in time.

So what I realise is that I have desire to be romantically linked to them, and to have them as a father figure, and that they need to be intelligent, educated, and have stable lives. However, whenever I'm feeling depressed or insecure, I desire to be in a relationship with someone who fits those categories but is also abusive to me. One of the men I am close to definitely has a very abusive streak, so it is something that could become real, not just a desire in my mind when I'm down.

My current boyfriend outright refuses and is entirely not like that and wants to give me respect and would never hurt me, so that is a good thing. However, these desires are really not good at all, and I feel like it is unhealthy to want to be hurt like that.

I just feel alone.
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Re: Unstable Thoughts - May 28th 2016, 11:00 PM

Iím sorry that your father was emotionally manipulative and controlling. But itís really good that you reached out for help, even though it can be hard to do so.

What you described, being friends with older males and looking up to them as a father figure is quite natural. You may feel that you have a Ďvoidí from having a father physically around, but emotionally abusive towards you. You may find that you really want that father relationship, and have found this in older male friends (commonly known as Ďtransferenceí). Thatís natural. At the same time, itís understandable that sometimes this can turn into a romantic desire too. Thereís nothing wrong with this either, but try to make sure that you are safe around older guys and that you donít get taken advantage of.

It can also be common to feel like you want to be abused again, particularly when you are feeling low. You may feel that being abused is what you are used to, and sometimes you may feel like you deserve it too. In some ways, you may also subconsciously want to be with abusive men, because it is familiar- it reminds you of your father. When this happens, we can revert to our younger selves and want to Ďfixí the situation, hence being attracted to abusive people. But itís really good that your boyfriend refuses to be abusive, and that you have recognised that is unhealthy. Iím just wondering if you have had any professional help, such as counselling? I think it would be interesting for you to explore this issue with a counsellor, who will be able to help you figure out where these feelings are coming from and what you can do about them, so that you donít end up in a cycle of abusive behaviours or relationships.

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Re: Unstable Thoughts - June 1st 2016, 01:26 AM

I agree in that given what you've been through it's completely normal to want a father figure in your life. As long as the relationships you have are healthy (attachment or abuse can both be detrimental to your well-being) then there's no problem with wanting to seek out a father figure, in my opinion.

Something I've learned is that some people will seek out relationships with people that remind them of their fathers. Someone I know read about that somewhere as well. I was in an unhealthy relationship and it took me a while to realize it was almost identical to an abusive familial relationship I had with someone.

The fact that you realize that you're thinking unhealthy things is good, and leads me to believe that you are self-aware and will look after yourself to the best of your ability. If you were going to act on those thoughts, I don't think you'd be worrying about whether or not you'd act on them, if that makes sense.

I like the idea of going to counseling if that is available to you. It doesn't work for everyone, but it can be very helpful for some people.

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Re: Unstable Thoughts - June 2nd 2016, 12:27 AM

I am really glad you have reached out. I know that can be hard to do especially when discussing things that have to do with family. I think that what you are dealing with is rather natural. When you don't have a father figure you look for one with a surrogate. I have done the same thing with mother figures. I also believe that the abuse you are desiring can occur when you have been abused. I think that it is great that you are so self aware and are doing what you can to avoid an abusive relationship. While you may have a desire to be in an abusive relationship when you are feeling distraught it is possible that your self awareness will prevent you from reaching out and fulfilling that desire.

Are there things you could do when you are feeling depressed to help you deal with these feelings?

I really hope that this helped and I am wishing you the best of luck.

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