Feel like I need to be a secret.
so in the past I’ve had some pretty poor relationships. My first ever relationship was an affair ( please no judgment. Hindsight is a beautiful thing and I learnt a huge lesson) but being involved in an affair means a lot of secrecy. The man eventually left his wife but continued to keep me secret out of fear of upsetting her further..... for 6 years.... we only ever went to places if he was sure she wouldn’t be there. He would only come to my house after a certain time so he could be sure he wouldn’t be seen not being at his house. In reflection I know how rediculous it was. But at the time you’re in it, you don’t see it.
Fast forward to today. A couple of nothing relationships later and I’ve started seeing a guy going through a divorce. All seems very above board. He’s very open that he is seeing people. But I’ve realized, I’ve viewed myself as still needing to be a secret. If I go to his house, I don’t park close by - it’s a small town that his ex still lives in an my mind tells me it will cause trouble if a car is seen at his house. Next he sent pictures to his friend of he and I together on the couch. And I nearly had a stroke to think people would know that he is seeing someone. Added to this is that I’m over weight and have little to no self esteem. My mind feels like everyone will judge him for dating ‘ the fat chick’. Obviously my weight is not a big issue for him, because he’s interested in me. It’s just my own issues making me feel like that. My whole life I’ve been told “ you could be really pretty if you lost some weight “ I am on strong anti D medication, we all know how hard it is to lose weight while taking that. Believe me I tried But I’d rarher be fat and happy rather than skinny and sad
i went into the city to have lunch with the bloke in seeing. My eyes were darting everywhere looking to see if there was anyone we know, feeling anxious that we would be seen or ‘ caught together ‘. There is absolutely no reason our interaction needs to be a secret.
I just don’t know how to change my mindset on this. Or the anxiety of possibly being seen with someone who actually does like me. I feel like this behavior is ingrained into me. And the poor bloke I’m seeing probably thinks I’m an irrational freak for parking my car so far away.
It is good to see you've found your way to Beyond Blue (BB) forums. Welcome. People here are caring, supportive and respect privacy.
It sounds like you are having a difficult time of it with your relationship, that you are anxious about this and that you think you need to be a secret.
Have you every spoken to anyone about your anxiety, e.g. your doctor or a therapist? Anxiety takes a lot to manage, but it can be managed. And once you start doing that, you can probably start to look at those things in your life that could be causing it.
There are a lot of available resources on the BB homepage under the facts tab about anxiety. Have you had a look there?
Also, have a read through the staying well posts for ideas about - slow breathing, grounding, mindfulness and meditation. All these are good to help alleviate some of what you feel when you're anxious.
Changing mindsets is difficult, however, it can happen if you want it to. I always find my therapist helps tremendously. It takes time, it's never easy, but it can work.
Let us know how you get on.
Firstly, I have found BeyondBlue to be a completely judgement-free zone, and we all have our things going on, so please don’t feel that you have to hold back or can’t talk openly here for fear of being judged.
I feel really sad that you’ve been made to feel in the past as though you have to hide or are some sort of shameful secret, you never deserved that. People can be very callous in the dating world, and it takes a thick skin, and us sensitive souls with depression or anxiety can be spat out the other side.
I think Pamela is right in that old habits die hard, it will take some time for you to slowly bring down those walls, but an understanding partner will certainly help you fast track that. We all have our idiosyncrasies that rear their heads at the start of a relationship, so parking up the street is the least of it :)!
Regarding your weight struggles, I also dislike how society places us into different weight categories (sorry this is a personal peeve of mine!). Walk down the street and we’re all different shapes and sizes. Your partner obviously cares about you and is proud to have you by his side, as evidenced from the fact that he wants to take photos with you and show you off 🙂
That being said, I think that you need to be kinder to yourself and practice some self-love. How you usually do this I’m not sure. I go for long walks and find that this clears my head and puts me in a better frame of mind. I read magazines and books and go for breakfast in the sun. Just little things that give me back my strength. The reason for this is that relationships can take a lot of work and be draining, this relationship hopefully will be right for you, but it’s also important to have enough self-esteem and confidence to walk away if it ever turns out it’s not right for you. I wish you every happiness xx