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Dr_Kim Understanding feelings of rejection. 
  • replies: 38

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like los... View more

Rejection is such a tough one to deal with, I am yet to meet anyone who embraces it and I know many people who go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. I think the only way to get on in life is to see it as part of the human experience, much like loss and grief. You can’t have the good bits without sometimes experiencing the bad, it’s just the way it is! So we all need to develop ways of managing the difficult emotions that rejection throws up. Lets think about what those thoughts or emotions might be. Here’s some examples. 1. “I’m not good enough” This is a common one. It’s so easy for us to see what we think are faults and think that others can see them too and convince ourselves that these faults make us unlovable. These thoughts are often on replay from a nasty part of our brain, that low self-esteem part that makes us believe that unless we are “perfect”, we cannot possibly be loved or accepted. The honest truth is that we are all just imperfect passengers on the"bus of life”, doing the best we can with whatever we can in the moment! So welcome on board. Brene Brown has some wonderful YouTube videos about this, I'm going to share one below however also recommend you check out her channel as there are many more! 2. "Nobody will ever love me”. This is a very common thought and it comes from the anxious part of our brains that also seems to have a crystal ball! The anxiety centre seems to think it has very good predictive powers but it is a trap and don’t listen to it! It’s a complete and utter lie that anxiety often tells us. 3. “I’ve ruined the ‘perfect relationship’, now what?” Sometimes this is a stage of grief. Often, when we are grieving a loss, we go through a phase of idealising. Things like “it was perfect” are common because it conveniently erases all the things that weren’t that you don’t want to deal with. For example: I see this sometimes with patients who had terrible relationships with their family members and complain bitterly for years, and then once they pass away, the grief allows them to only seem to recall the wonderful times. In some ways, it a blessing, but it can mean in some situations that the hindsight is not always accurate. I also think that in viewing the relationship in an idealised way prevents any real opportunity to learn and grow from it. We can all gain from understanding how we went wrong in experiences so that we don’t repeat the same unintended mistakes. In summary, rejection is a common and necessary part of being in the game of life. To not be in the game because of fear would be a huge shame . Life is too short not to experience the many wonderful emotions that come from being ourselves. In Brene Brown's language: it’s important not to spend your time walking around the arena of life waiting to feel perfect so you won’t be rejected. Just kick the door down and step in and don’t let the critics get you down.

Chris_B PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING: 3 important tips to get the most out of this section
  • replies: 0

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following... View more

Hi everyone, The Relationships & Family Issues section is one of the busiest here on our forums. It's also one of the areas where we find members can get themselves into trouble! Before posting here, take a deep breath and be mindful of the following 3 tips: 1. Do you really want to share this with the world? This is a public forum. Are you thinking of posting something that could identify you to a friend or family member? Once you've posted, you can't delete what you've written and we don't take posts down from here unless they've broken one of our community rules. This is because our members spend a lot of time composing replies, and there is a much wider audience that gets a lot out of reading what has been written. It's not fair to ask the community for support, then ask to have it removed once you've read it so others can't also benefit. Use discretion when posting here - think about the level of detail you are sharing, and think also about who might know you are posting here. Also, please keep it clean: this is an all ages forum and explicit discussions about sexual problems are not permitted. Threads and posts of this nature will be removed and your account placed on a moderation hold. 2. What do you want to get out of posting here? Relationship and family issues are stressful. Members sometimes post here seeking advice about a relationship that has broken down, but find themselves getting upset when they don't agree with the response they get. This is a peer support forum, meaning we are not mental health professionals. We are people of all ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of life experiences. While we aim for our discussions to be conducted respectfully, people here will respond with the truth as they see it, from their own experiences and perspectives. We are not here to take sides. Offence is almost never intentional, but it can be sometimes taken. The advice you will see here is not intended to be a substitute for professional counselling. 3. What other support do you have? Most people posting on our forums (about any issue) use this space as a supplement to other supports. This forum is not and cannot be a substitute for offline supports, but it is often a good place to start the ball rolling and find the courage for seeking help. If you are relying solely on an internet forum to resolve your relationship or family issues, you are likely to be disappointed. Check out the Healthy Homes section of our Healthy Families website for further information and resources.

All discussions

Mick_C My sudden depression is breaking my relationship
  • replies: 14

Hi all, I have been with my fiance for 6 1/2 years. We have a 3 1/2 year old daughter together and I have an 11 year old son from a previous relationship. Our daughter has Sensory processing disorder which makes our life stressful sometimes. Recently... View more

Hi all, I have been with my fiance for 6 1/2 years. We have a 3 1/2 year old daughter together and I have an 11 year old son from a previous relationship. Our daughter has Sensory processing disorder which makes our life stressful sometimes. Recently I've developed depression with no real reason as to why. I have become insecure and second guessing everything. I absolutely love my girl and I'd be lost without both of them. My partner isn't an intimate person, we don't cuddle on the couch or in bed but our sex life is amazing and we kiss regularly and hold hands like most couples. But lately the sex has stopped, which bothers me as I'm an intimate person and it was my main connection with her. She doesn't understand that and says it's because I'm sad all the time lately and she doesn't see that as attractive. I have no idea what has caused my sudden depression but I feel it's causing friction in our relationship. I get very insecure and ask her stupid questions that make her feel awkward. She has given me no reason to think she has done anything wrong for me to question her like I do. I don't understand and I'm struggling with it. My previous ex cheated on me and kccked me out when our son was 6 months old. Ever since then I've had emotional and intimacy issues but thought I had them under control until recently. I just don't know what to do anymore, I can't lose my fiance, I'd be lost without her. What hurts the most is she isn't being very supportive and in a recent conversation she said if we split up she wouldn't keep our daughter from me, we would share 50/50. To me that sounds like she has already given thought to leaving? I really need some help

white knight Combatting criticism
  • replies: 12

We've spoken a lot about stigma of mental illness and the hurt we experience from naivety and ignorance. Tolerating this can become a battle ground as we try to develop strategies to overcome it. How do we do this? Well again, we've talked about "equ... View more

We've spoken a lot about stigma of mental illness and the hurt we experience from naivety and ignorance. Tolerating this can become a battle ground as we try to develop strategies to overcome it. How do we do this? Well again, we've talked about "equalising" the onslaught based on the notion "a immoveable force is only equalled by an equal and opposite reaction". I agree with this because in the animal kingdom the strongest survive and the weaker, the vulnerable, the mentally ill are usually the victims. We have to strive harder to become less victims and more recognised as individuals. Different doesnt mean inferior. Enter the part phrase "How would you like it....". EG The common comment we use is "you're too sensitive". When someone tells you that, they are saying a number of things- you arent normal in terms of sensitivity you should do something about it you are intolerable (to them) with your sensitivity. So a standard answer for me nowadays is "you're too short, can you reduce your height 150mm"? The idea being, just like my sensitivity which I have no control over, their height is fixed! They get a taste of their own medicine. There is one thing wrong with this countering technique- it comes under the "two wrongs dont make a right" rule. It comes across as nasty and potentially explosive whereas education should be the name of the game. So, the part phrase "how would you like it if I said you were too tall and can you make yourself shorter"? Effectively you are turning a nasty statement into a question and a question puts the pressure on them to answer it. Another one- "would you feel comfortable if I asked you to be less talkative"? Some people's assumption is that our symptoms of mental illness is "wrong" whereas we the mentally ill should accept our symptoms is normal for us. The outcome of same could mean eg "you are so moody its intolerable" and answer thus- "do you think moodiness is a bad thing or is it that you live life in a way so stable it might be boring"? You could continue the theme based on the fact that as a moody person with bipolar for example, that you wont take criticism simply on the basis that you, in their mind, dont fit inside the circle of normality. The most successful combatting techniques are ones that dont escalate the conversations , educate the critic and keep them as friends and family. After all if we upset everyone we talk to about their poor knowledge levels of mental illness we'd be very lonely. TonyWK

Checkthebatteries The third wheel
  • replies: 2

Does anyone who has a sibling with mental health problems feel like they come last in everything? I have a sibling who has issues with aggression, mania and addiction etc. and they've always caused trouble and had problems staying in work. Life is on... View more

Does anyone who has a sibling with mental health problems feel like they come last in everything? I have a sibling who has issues with aggression, mania and addiction etc. and they've always caused trouble and had problems staying in work. Life is one big party for them. I don't speak with them anymore and realised a few years ago that I basically grew up in a domestic violence situation with them. In contrast I am the good kid with a good job. I'm nice to people- mostly- and the police have never been to my house- apart from the time they got my neighbour's address wrong. I always feel like I come last. Obviously their treatment and keeping them vaguely on an OK path and everything has taken up a huge amount of my family's time and emotions and came first . Then it was taxing on my parents so they do what makes them feel good. Then it's me, if at all. Often what one, two or three of them want conflicts with what I want but I am never asked. I am just told what will happen. If I speak up or voice opposition or do my own thing then I'm told to not be selfish and upset everyone. There are always different standards-I got criticised the other day for not getting a higher-paying a job within the past 12 months when I finished my postgraduate studies. But good for sibling that they went to the gym this week. The latest is I have been kicked out of my home office- which is at my folk's house because I don't have room for an office in my flat, so sibling can have their friends over.- when they don't even live there but it's a bigger house with a pool etc. I feel my work is more important than their fun time. I feel like I never matter in anything and no one wants to hear how I feel, because that's too hard for them to hear and I should be able to cope with whatever because I am not 'sick'. The only time anyone listens to me is when I do something big like cancelling on a family trip or refusing to see people, then I get told how awful I am and then things go back to the way they were. I feel like my needs should come before their wants given I'm doing the right thing and they are not.

white knight Tolerance of other people-  the era of denial
  • replies: 0

The "tolerance of other people" series of threads is focussed on trying to make sense of how people think away from what we expect them to think. A concern of mine for some time has been how in the last 20 years or so, the birth of the era of denial.... View more

The "tolerance of other people" series of threads is focussed on trying to make sense of how people think away from what we expect them to think. A concern of mine for some time has been how in the last 20 years or so, the birth of the era of denial. In simple terms- when someone clearly and ethically does wrong but denies such wrong doing in fact often now, once the deny it, they double down as if fully committed. Such behaviour is not gaslighting whereby someone tries to convince another by actions and manipulation, that they are going crazy. For example- Walking my small dog last week on a lead and suddenly a larger dog ran across the road and attacked myself and my dog. I was really lucky it let go of my dogs neck and tried to bite me. No damage but the owner in her 20's, her sister and her mother all blamed me for walking my dog in "their" street. I'm an ex dog ranger so I know the law and most dog owners know you cant have a dog unrestrained. The ranger attended and despite admitting their dog was unrestrained continued to deny wrongdoing. So, the era of denial is extended to "the people in denial go on the attack". Another common situation is romantic affairs beyond the established relationship. People having the affair (including emotional affairs on the internet) deny wrongdoing. "It's not an affair, just a bit of fun". Times and standards change quickly. I'm 65yo and as a child I received guidance from my parents and other adults, uncles, aunties and grandparents. What they said was what we did. That moral code was not unlike many tribes and generations that handed down the guidelines. So, would this new attitude be responsible for marriage breakdown? Possibly. When admission of guilt is not forthcoming where is the rule book? The offender that has strayed often knows full well the boundary they've broken but denial sows the seeds of guilt and guilt means doubt. Hence solid evidence is usually needed. Apologies no longer exist In this "era of denial" it has led us to one decision-the implementation of the law. That is the only way we can deal with those that break the law whether allowing their dog to wander/attack, a small accident in a car park or a partner straying. It is an advantage to us to finalise any wrongdoing either lawfully or by action (eg leaving). Our challenge is to remind ourselves what we know as the right thing to do in a era of denial by those willing to sow those seeds of doubt. You deserve better if you are honest. TonyWK

puzzlegirl How do you know when your marriage is done?
  • replies: 8

Hello. I am currently navigating a broken marriage where my husband has told me he hates me, wants to see me hurt, and wants a divorce. The catalyst for this is his behaviour towards and with another woman that was/is borderline cheating. None of it ... View more

Hello. I am currently navigating a broken marriage where my husband has told me he hates me, wants to see me hurt, and wants a divorce. The catalyst for this is his behaviour towards and with another woman that was/is borderline cheating. None of it he sees is wrong. But of course I carried on about it in hopes that he would see I was not ok with it and that it was hurting me. Unfortunately, I carried on too much (and I did do some wrong things), which has resulted in him wanting me out of his life. For the best part of a year now I have gone hard core in making personal changes, and have been working hard towards bettering our marriage. But it is all fruitless. He doesn't care about me (has said as much), and doesn't want anything to change. But he is not actively working towards a divorce. And the most confusing thing is that sometimes he says he loves me, and does kind things for me. He seems to be a Jekyl and Hyde. I am aware that he too is processing some of the mean things I said and did. And I have given him space for that, but how much space is enough?? In no way am I a victim. But I am also a changed person. But it is too late because he is done. But if he is done, why doesn't he just go ahead and sign the piece of paper that will give him freedom from me? I am not quite sure what question I am asking here, perhaps just need a forum to express. I guess I am looking to see what you would do in this situation. Do I keep trying to work on me and the marriage? Or do I give up? We have been married nearly 18 years and have a child, so it's not clear cut. If a man is done with a marriage, is that really truly the end? I want to hope, but I think I have reached a point of 'done' as well. Thanks for reading.

JR1401 Marriage breakdown - wisdom needed
  • replies: 8

Hi BB community, I’m a bit lost and hoping for some wisdom. I have been together with my wife for over a decade, married for half and have 2 kids together. Up until recently I was unaware how unhappy my wife was in the marriage, and it wasn’t until s... View more

Hi BB community, I’m a bit lost and hoping for some wisdom. I have been together with my wife for over a decade, married for half and have 2 kids together. Up until recently I was unaware how unhappy my wife was in the marriage, and it wasn’t until she requested counselling that it all came out. I was slow to grasp the seriousness of the situation and had some adverse emotional reactions - I was blindsided when she opened up which didn’t help the situation. On reflection I understand how we got here, my wife was feeling under appreciated in the relationship, wasn’t getting the attention she needed or deserved, and the spark between us was lost. We both have very demanding and stressful jobs and with 2 young kids we didn’t prioritise our relationship. That being said we have always spent a lot of time with each other and as a family and up until recently barely had any arguments. Since understanding the seriousness of our situation I have been doing everything I can to save the relationship, have bared my soul, tried to reestablish communication, agreed to counselling and was under the impression we were both on the same page with getting through this. Fast forward 3 months and I discovered she has been having an emotional affair with a male friend which started around the same time she flagged relationship issues. This was something I confronted her about as I had noticed a change in her behaviours, not something that she came to me with. We also had our first counselling session recently and agreed with the counsellor we wanted to work through it, but the very next day she said she wants to separate and we have now started that process. We both have very different coping mechanisms, I’m trying to talk through my feelings while she is shutting down which hasn’t helped. I’m absolutely floored. Within 3 months our lives have been turned upside down and I’m struggling to comprehend and keep up with the speed of this. I still have feelings for my wife and would like to work through, we are being amicable as we discuss next steps but I’m concerned we’re about to make some pretty big decisions that will impact the rest of our lives without having had time to fully work this through. She has agreed to continue counselling short term before we make some of the bigger decisions, but I feel this is heading one way. I would be interested to hear if anyone has been through something similar and if any sound advice or reference materials you would recommend. Thanks!

cam003 Relationships after abuse: how to deal with love and loss??
  • replies: 4

Hi, I am new here and this is my first post. I spent 2 years in an abusive relationship, and then 3 years single and recovering before I met my partner (we are both in early 30s). I did have some difficulties learning to let someone into my life agai... View more

Hi, I am new here and this is my first post. I spent 2 years in an abusive relationship, and then 3 years single and recovering before I met my partner (we are both in early 30s). I did have some difficulties learning to let someone into my life again, and he wasn't really looking for a relationship ship at the time. We have been together almost 3 years now, seeing each other on weekends. We live 1 hour apart and this has always put a strain on things as we have very busy lives. Arguments have been escalating since we bought a bus and renovation plans got underway. The bus is at his parents house for logistical reasons and I am struggling to contribute to it with equal time and money. He feels like the longer the project takes, the more of his life wastes away and now he sees me as holding the project back. We were struggling to find a compromise that keeps everyone happy and yesterday we had a disagreement that will likely end our relationship for good. I was really looking forward to this future with him so I am mourning the loss of him in my life as well as this dream of bus life. I don't see this being resolved and I am not sure I want to if we can't find a way to communicate better as arguments are still triggering for me and when he is hurt his nervous response is 'attack or be attacked'. I have suggested couples therapy but he is not keen/doesn't think it will help. I have been through terrible break ups before (leaving an abuse relationship was very difficult) but somehow, I feel even more betrayed that I have let this man into my life and have been hurt again. I've been crying non stop, feel nauseous, and completely irrational. I thought after what I've been through previously, I would be better at coping. I know time will help as it is obviously very fresh... to be honest I am not even really sure what I am asking with this post. I am so exhausted of trying so hard and of being hurt. Why is this so hard and how is it ever possible to love again when loss is so incredibly painful?

Scorpio89 How can I help my partner who has anger issues?
  • replies: 2

I have been with my partner for 4 years and we have a 2.5 year old daughter. He brought us a house in December 2019 from an insurance pay out he received from a work related car accident where he broke his back and was financially compensated. He has... View more

I have been with my partner for 4 years and we have a 2.5 year old daughter. He brought us a house in December 2019 from an insurance pay out he received from a work related car accident where he broke his back and was financially compensated. He has become a very angry man since COVID has hit. We live in rural QLD and his family are in NSW and it has been difficult for him as we have been unable to see them due to the recurring border restrictions. Prior to these restrictions, we were travelling the 7 hours each way to visit his family once a month. Now the borders are open, his parents have said they will be coming to visit us in the next week as they’ve not seen the home he purchased. My partner is dreading this and I believe it is because he has punched holes in most of the walls of our home due to his anger issues. He is a smoker of marijuana, and has a number of “sessions” daily. I am unsure of the price of his addiction, but I know he “gets on” every day, or every second day depending on his supplier. He is not a very hands in father, returning home from work at 3pm, going straight to his stash to have a session, barely acknowledging myself or our daughter - who is very excited to see him. I am a stay at home mother through the day, and I am a very hands on parent keeping our daughter active with swimming lessons, dance classes, park play dates with other children her age and daily activities such as library visits, painting and various sensory activities. I then go to my night job at 4pm and return home at about 8:30pm I am unsure what exactly takes place while I am at work, but I know his temper is very short and I have noticed of late our daughter appears to be scared of him, particularly when he raises his voice. She gets a terrified look on her face, runs to me crying and will not calm down for several minutes. I have never witnessed him physically harm her and she has no evidence of physical abuse, but I have witnessed her go out to him with books or toys while he is “unwinding” or “having a session” and he yells at her to leave him alone etc. I have booked him a number of GP appointments to have a mental health care plan done and as he is indigenous he has an annual health check, but he has stormed out of the GP clinic on more than one occasion as they are not on time and he refuses to wait. He said his time is important and it is rude to keep people waiting, especially those who are experiencing mental health issues. What now?

white knight The dilemma thread. Things you cant work out
  • replies: 1

This thread is designed for members to obtain different answers to their dilemmas. So by getting several opinions we might just sort it out easier. I'll kick off my dilemma now- A good friend I have gets distracted easily when anyone talks to her. Ob... View more

This thread is designed for members to obtain different answers to their dilemmas. So by getting several opinions we might just sort it out easier. I'll kick off my dilemma now- A good friend I have gets distracted easily when anyone talks to her. Obviously I feel her distraction is at alarming levels to a point that it effects our communication. Up front I'll say that if I'm distracted while talking I lose track of my point of conversation and if she doesnt remember (due to being distracted) then the chat has gone for good. That's a risk that I'm aware of so I try to keep my talking short for that reason. Recently my wife joined this friend and her husband outside a cafe. This cafe had a house about 100 metres away where her husband had walked passed a few days earlier and his dog (and him) were chased by the dog from that house. Council attended and action followed. I was chatting to our friend about vacuum cleaners of all topics and a lady walking a small dog walked past that house and my friend's attention focussed on that fact to the point whereby I knew she wasnt absorbing my words. This continued for about 15 seconds when I abandoned talking and waited. She remained focussed and no alarmed I stopped talking. About 45 seconds later she stopped focussing on the lady and the dog and turned her attention to my wife and her own husband eg didnt return her focus to me so I could continue about vacuums. This irritated me and as usual I was tempted to let it go. Frankly I'm tired of it. It's as if her interest was zero. So I asked her, if she wanted to listen to my chat about the vacuums and she replied "were we talking about vacuums"?. I told her not to worry about it. She then remembered and said she "was worried about the safety of the little dog as that attacking dog as it might come out and attack it". My reply was- that, "unless you are going to warn the owner of the dog, worrying about it isnt going to resolve anything and it might be better to continue our conversation rather than remove all focus from what I was talking about." She went on that it was normal to be concerned and normal to be distracted. My side was that it is ok to be distracted but not to the point whereby your attention is so removed that the other person is left dangling ...talking to no one. I dont have this situation with anyone else. It's not a serious issue but is annoying and a dilemma I'm irritated about. What do you think? TonyWK

MoanaMarie Parental alienation
  • replies: 3

Hi everyone, I am hoping to make contact with other parents who have or are experiencing parental alienation. It is so very hard to deal with this, and especially when everyone you know has at least some sort of relationship with their child. In my c... View more

Hi everyone, I am hoping to make contact with other parents who have or are experiencing parental alienation. It is so very hard to deal with this, and especially when everyone you know has at least some sort of relationship with their child. In my case, I am unable to have a relationship with my 40 year old son. There have been difficulties for many years, and over the years he has become increasingly erratic and abusive. He has a long standing issue with drug use and he lives on the streets. He no longer works and has had criminal issues as well. The rest of the family have written him off years ago but I have continued to try to maintain a connection, but it has become too abusive with threats of harm and violence towards me. So I have to stop now. My family are supporting me, and I also have a counsellor I see each week. But even with all that support I still feel terribly sad and worried about him. I worry he will end his life or somehow harm himself. He has no friends, is very much a loner. He is delusional and very grandiose and a lot of the time is clearly not seeing things for what they are. He will not agree to any form of mental health support or care. I have tried on several occasions to get him mental health assessment and support but he will not participate in it at all. He has no wish to have a relationship with any of the family. It is so hard to accept that a child you love does not have the same feelings for you as a parent, and hard to accept that he does not want me or any family in his life and he is not interested in help of any sort, other than financial. I would like to hear from any other parents with similar experiences. I feel I am caught in endless grief and worry even though I cannot do anything. I feel powerless and helpless and alone. This situation has gone on for more than 20 years but worse than ever now. Thank you for reading this.