Time to say hello
Today I finally realised the importance of using my voice, so here I am.
I live in a large regional city in NSW, and in my late 50s. I am widowed and have a grown up family and grandkids. I have a couple of friends who I could say are good friends, a small circle of acquaintances, a secure job and a secure roof over my head, and not living hand to mouth. My health isn't great but not too bad. But I have depression, anxiety and am a survivor of child sexual assault. I also have a sleep disorder and some other conditions that do tend to make life a bit frustrating at times.
For most of my life, I have put my needs last. I have kept quiet and pretended I was okay when I wasn't. The number of people that have seen me cry could be counted on one hand. Whenever I talk even now about how I feel, the attention of the other person (except professionals of course) seems to wane half way through. Whereas I will listen to others for as long as they need. Conversely, I talk too much at times and come across as much more sociable than I really am.
I'm hoping that I have found a safe space to be able to be myself, and share some common understanding. I'm pretty self aware and have ideas and plans but I find myself going off track quite easily. I do feel that a shared journey is sometimes smoother.
Welcome to our friendly online community, we are so glad you decided to join us here. We know it can be hard to write the first post, so thank you for having the courage.
It sounds like there have been multiple points in your life where things have been extremely difficult for you. We're sorry to hear that it hasn't always been easy to share your feelings, and haven't always felt heard by others. We're sure that a lot of our community members will relate to these feelings and hopefully some of them will be able to offer you words of advice.
Please know that you've come to safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need.
Feel free to reach out here on your thread and keep us updated on what you're feeling and experiencing whenever you feel up to it.
hello and welcome.
I hope you will find this space a supportive and non-judgemental. Well, I think all the people here are nice and understanding. By putting yourself last, you are putting everyone else before you, which while a nice attribute does come at a cost. Would you call yourself a people pleaser?
One of things I am working on at the moment with my psychologist is setting boundaries and putting myself first. Though this has been going on for sometime for me and not easy when not used to it.
I would be interested in listening to your ideas and plans. Sounds interesting. Tell me more.
Hello Dear Leica,
A very warm welcome to the forums...
I can also relate to some of your words and want to thank you for being brave in posting here...We really are a very kind and caring community and I hope to get to know you better...
I also am widowed with grown up children and have some gorgeous grandchildren, unfortunately they live around 7 hours drive away and we don’t see each other much..,
I have been a people pleaser all my life and find it very hard to put my needs first...I think it’s learned very early in life Nd it’s really hard to unlearn....
I am always interested in learning different strategies to beat my own depression/anxiety...
Talk here anytime you feel up to it, we are here for you with our care and support...
My kindest thoughts dear Leica..
Hello Leica, and a warm welcome to the site.
There are times in life that we put our own health and how we are feeling last, behind those asking for help, but if you aren't well yourself this becomes a heavy chore to achieve, to fully comprehend what they are saying, this is the time to pull yourself back and start thinking of yourself.
The more these people say the heavier the burden is to you, that's when you need to look after yourself and get the help you need.
I'd like to welcome you too.
I have a past, with some features similar to you. I have not had a successful intimate relationship , no kids, grandkids & have been estranged from family. I'm trying to be more involved with my sis. this year.
For a long time I express my feelings most of the time,& when I did I would deny it. Eventually that had to change, & I've been working on it.
Boundaries are a big work in progress too, as is trust/distrust, abandonment, self-confidence & self-esteem, Lots of feelings, memories ... working through my whole person, I think, sometimes. It has been a long road for me.
I have found this is a place where I feel supported & cared for. Although I cannot be as open as I might with my Psychiatrist (PDr - my own abbreviation), this place is quite good. We treat each other with respect & many are here because they are struggling, & stay, becoming able to help others too. I was very unsure I could,or would say something really wrong, but so far, the feedback I get from other members has been positive. That's helped me so very much, it akes me feel fuzzier than my little /big cat in my avatar.
& I have to stop when I reach the 2500 characters, with spaces, count.
I too welcome you to our community here. There are many sections to this forum, as you become more acquainted with it, you might like to branch out and have a look at different sections.
Some days I find I wander off track quite often. I am learning that those moments are okay and I can try to refocus later.
It can be difficult to show our true feelings and emotions to other people in real life at times. People don't always know how to react or respond. I feel in society we are generally taught that we need to be tough and resilient.
There are times that is not possible.
This is a safe place to share as much as you feel comfortable doing.
You have received some caring and wonderful responses here. If this in itself overwhelms you, it is okay to make a general comment to everyone. Use this space how ever you need to.
Kind regards from Doolhof
Thank you for such a warm and relaxed welcome. Relaxed is a good thing to me as I sometimes get overwhelmed (often self inflicted). After sleeping on it, as the saying goes, I feel like I've made a good move coming here. I have utilised various ways to be okay and get better, and have found for me that it's a delicate balance.
My priorities right now are to get through Christmas. I always find it a bit difficult, not for any particular reason. Maybe it's the hype and expectation (not criticising it, just the way I experience it). This year has really been turned upside down for the obvious reasons, but I think I will be okay.
Then it's time to get back on my medication properly, and start to work on some practicalities that will clear the 'noise' that keeps me from getting where I feel I want to be.
A lot of words resonate from your replies. People pleaser, boundaries, self-esteem. Nodding furiously here. Guilt, fear, distrust and doubt reign in my mind as well. It does give me comfort that there are others who understand and speak the same language, the words that are sometimes difficult to find.
On a lighter note, I will share an update about an idea that came from some mental health coaching I recently went through. I can't remember the name of the concept but it involved a focus on practical things. Coming up with these and seeing them through was pretty hard in the extended lockdown. But one I came up with was to grow (or try to grow) some vegetables. It was 'lockdown proof' and got me out of the house into my backyard. It also didn't depend on anyone else and would probably give me at least one or two small successes. I now have some button squash, tomatoes, small pumpkins and even a few berries (which are hard to grow here because we don't get enough cold temperatures). Every bite tastes extra good and it satisfies my love of sunshine and food!
I like the growingthings idea. There's a thread on here for people who like Gardening. My place is really unsuitable, & when I did try, I had barely noticeable success.
& as fruit & veg have become more expensive, I wonder how I can continue to eat healthy. So, I think it's a great idea.
I'll be around BB for Xmas, so I'll check into the social part of the forum, or for my own threads & I'm easy to find. I would enjoy others to talk to over the Xmas/NewYear time. Like for many, it does have it's own particular stresses & now with this Omicron & more restrictions being applied, it just got harder.
I think, reading your post, does it help to write things out? Are you able to find words more easily when you write rather than speak? I know I'm getting better with speaking what I think & feel. Writing is still my prefered way to work through what's on my mind. I, generally, still find the words I want more easliy coming to mind, but for several month, I am feeling some difficulty with that & my memory has become so poor. But apparently, there's nothing wrong with my brain; just getting old? Okay...what can I do about that? Just keep plugging along, keep pushing,& trying to be patient when I know there's a word I want, but can't find it. It'll come, given a few minutes, or not, & I find another word to use for the time being, & if I want I can go back & put the word in later.
But speaking seems to require that I keep talking, although I'm searching for a word, I feel I must not let the flow of words falter or break off in midsentence. So frustrating. I think my feelings are fuelle by expectations that I always answer when spoken to, & was not allowed to say, "I don't know"... That thought makes a lot of sense to me. As well as the fact I was not allowed to speak at all about some things. Which I refuse these days.😺