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Joannana
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11 Aug 2013, 4:51 pm

sociable_hermit wrote:
Joannana wrote:
Hi Hermit,

Thanks so much for your reply. I think I might have expressed myself wrongly, because I am most definately not the person to go back into bad relationships with people and whenever someone treats me badly repeatedly I have no problem terminating these relationships.

I know I can function on my own fine and I know I should not be around people that don't want the best for me. It's just... It really bothers me that I still sometimes feel the need for this certain person, I would never act on it, but still keep the desire to.

Maybe I would need a bit of help in learning to love myself. I'm only 23 though, so I'm not rushing trying to love myself. I'm sure it will come in good time.

I just wish I'd forget about this person that mistreated me. I know he's not worthy of my attention and affection. Any tips in this area would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks again for the help Hermit.


Ok, that is good, you are in a better place than I thought you were.

Low self-esteem tends to be one of those self-fulfilling things - it perpetuates itself. Gaining confiidence can take a lot of work but one you've started it's an upward spiral. It does take work, though.

I'm not going to recommend anything revolutionary. There are self-help books, and CBT can help by conditioning the brain to think in more positive ways. Hypnotherapy can help. Making time to value yourself and your well-being is perhaps the best thing of all. That means doing things you want to do for yourself, rather than running around after everyone else. Keeping in contact with friends and family, because you deserve that friendship and support in your life. Treating yourself to things occasionally. Maybe meditation, yoga or massages to give you some 'down time' and help you feel happier about how you look and how you feel. Time to think. Eating healthily, but enjoying what you eat. Exercising, which releases a lot of positive hormones (others cleverer than I will tell you what they are - endorphins, possibly?).

This advice probably seems rather generic when your issue is a very specific one. It sounds to me as though you have unfinished business with this person - regrets, perhaps at a potential happiness that has been lost through misunderstanding or poor timing or just the fickle fingers of fate. That may well be true. But the thing to remember is that you cannot truly weigh these things up until both of you are in a fit and healthy state. All you can do is ensure that you are content in yourself - that you learn and develop and grow stronger and more complete. If they choose to do the same, and eventually reach the same plateau, THEN you can make your choices. But until then the dice are loaded, and no matter how hard you both try it won't work out.

There are writers and poets who say that unrequited love is the most romantic love of all. That's nonsense - it's poisonous and soul-destroying. Let it go for now and concentrate on yourself, and hope the other party does the same. You can't force them, and it isn't your issue, so don't get involved. One day you will be happy enough in yourself to judge whether you really want anything to happen between you, and strong enough to ensure that it happens in the right way and for the right reasons. Or maybe your life will take a completely different course, who knows? But either way you are guaranteed to be much, much happier in whatever relationship you do end up in, whether it's this one or one quite different.


Thank you so much Hermit. I really appreciate you take the time to write this all down. I will definately read through this every once in a while. Quiet funnily I have been taking some great steps lately; eating health (I'm starting to learn how to cook), excersizing more, doing things I like and trying to approve of myself without needing other people's approval. I already had bouts of depression when I moved to my new country 3 years ago and that's how I found out about cognitive bt. This has really helped me trigger my destructive thoughts in mayor ways.

I do still have hopes for us to I don't know, work out. But yes, I understand I really need to put that aside. I tried dating for a while, but I feel like I miss him even more when I do that. So yes, it makes sense to completely focus on myself and experiences life in a pleasant way, while developing my social and creative skills.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm just so happy to hear your advice, Just one question though, what does this mean:
"You can't force them, and it isn't your issue, so don't get involved."

Just curious now... so you've found it? a way to love yourself? how old are you if I may be so rude to ask? :P



Joannana
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11 Aug 2013, 4:53 pm

Oren wrote:
Joannana wrote:
I find the comments about stockholm syndrome a bit insulting.
Makes me feel like you assume I have stockholm sydrome or that my relations have been of such horrid form. Please think more carefully before you post.
Following your initial post, Stockholm Syndrome seems quite a mild guess as to what might be wrong with your skills in relating to others.

If you use those type of verbal skills with whomever you feel mistreated you instead of on an internet forum, you might not feel so victimized.


Ha, well I most certainly do. And I have been on forums before so I know things can be crazy. I just thought I'd still venture my opinion.



benh72
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11 Aug 2013, 5:31 pm

Joannana wrote:
Hey sorry if this problems has already been discussed, but I was just wondering if other aspies have trouble with the following;
I get overly attached to people, especially if they have hurt or mistreated me. I somehow believe that I must care greatly for them if I allow them to hurt me repeatedly.
Does this in any way sound familiar?

I've not been in touch with this person, and do not talk to him whenever I see him. But I still feel like I care for him and want to be with him. I feel terribly bad about putting myself in such a vulnerable position. It's very not-like-me to be that way.

How can I move on from this?
And how can I make sure I don't get in a bad situation with a new person I may meet? Whenever someone hurts my feelings now I address the problem and wait for them to apologize and I show some distance and distrust in them. But I honestly don't want to be so guarded. I'd like to be able to trust people and not be so affected by people who hurt me.

Thanks in advance for reading, feel free to correct bad spelling etc, I'm only learning.


It's just the risk you take interacting with people.
Some will hurt you, some will be dishonest, some will manipulate you, and some will treat you very well.
I get overly attached to people, and I still struggle with it.
If it's a celebrity or famous person, at least these days you can follow them on facebook or twitter.
Eventually you'll realise that their life is just as mundane as yours most of the time, and that helps you get over it.
That or they'll do an endorsement for something that makes you feel disappointed in them, and again you see that they are a flawed human, and that makes it real, but at the same time disappointing.

No matter what you do, or who you interact with, at some point everyone will disappoint you; you just have to accept that all humans are imperfect, we live in an imperfect world, so you just have to make the best of it, and hope that the good stuff outweighs the bad, and usually it does.

So far as "Stockholm Sydnrome", as referred to by others, I can totally relate.
My family treat me very badly, and made me feel I was to blame for my difficulties, as I had not been diagnosed with ASD.
They said I was difficult, disruptive, immature, irresponsible, and selfish.
Yet at the same time as they ignored my feelings, needs, and worries, I was forced to sympathise with my parents if anything went wrong, and to "not upset my mother".

I have nothing to do with my family, and this is an issue I will have to follow up with my psychologist.
Clearly I can't interact with my family if they are going to abuse me, ridicule me, and make me feel inferior.
At the same time, they are my family, and I feel a conflicted sense of loyalty towards them.
Again, I need to sort this out in my head, with my psychologist, as it is a complex emotional and intellectual issue.
Only if my family are willing to compromise could I have any hope of a meaningful relationship with them.
At present, they have only offered to resume contact if I will accept them, and accept they will not change.
That's not acceptable, because it means I have to compromise my principles, and accept them whilst they will not compromise to accommodate me and my needs.

In writing it seems simple, emotionally and intellectually it's a minefield.



Eloa
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11 Aug 2013, 6:12 pm

Sort of attachment-disorder?
Do not have resources at the moment, but attachment disorder can also occur in autistic children later grown ups, as also autistic children need attachment, be it on their terms.
Every mammal needs attachment somehow and human beings are mammals.


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LtlPinkCoupe
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11 Aug 2013, 7:45 pm

I've been over-attached to a couple of people in the past....one was one of my mom's co-workers at her job. You see, my mom worked in this office building that used to be an old house owned by a doctor and his family, and the woman I became attached to had the job of monitoring the house's upkeep, coordinating tours and events, etc. I'd follow this woman around everywhere, and while she didn't seem to mind and humored me to an extent, my mom was always telling me to stop following her and to leave her alone to do her job. I was never sure how to proceed, because the woman seemed to like me and be okay with my tagging along, but my mom wanted me to leave her alone. I was very young around this time - maybe about 5.


Another person I was overly-attached to was one of the teaching aides in my first-grade class at a special needs school I started attending when I was about 6. The aide wasn't a terribly motherly type, but I became attached to her just the same. The routine was that I and a few other kids would spend time with the aide in the morning for a few hours, and then return to homeroom to spend the rest of the day working with the teacher. When the order of events changed without any warning or input from me (not that I should have had any, that's just how I felt at the time) during the second semester, I was terribly distressed. When asked by my teacher and parents why I made such a fuss about something that hadn't even fazed my classmates, all I could say was, "I just love Ms. Lynn." Eventually I got used to the new order of things, and I still got to work with Ms. Lynn in the afternoons, so it wasn't as if I'd never see her again. :D

I also became overly attached to my aunt when I was about 9 years old. I think around then, I was starting to realize I was different, I just didn't know how or why. My aunt was a bit different herself, and seemed to understand me better than my own mother did. My aunt indulged my quirks, listened to my stories, and eventually, she would be one of the only people I would trust enough to allow into my own world. When she would have to leave after a visit, I would become very depressed and weepy for almost a week after her departure. She had given me a Pikachu plushie once that I would cuddle with and carry everywhere after she left. I felt as if some of her love for me was in the Pikachu. It's still hard for me to leave my aunt after a visit sometimes, but I don't get as depressed about it as I did when young.


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sociable_hermit
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12 Aug 2013, 4:26 pm

Joannana wrote:
Thank you so much Hermit. I really appreciate you take the time to write this all down. I will definately read through this every once in a while. Quiet funnily I have been taking some great steps lately; eating health (I'm starting to learn how to cook), excersizing more, doing things I like and trying to approve of myself without needing other people's approval. I already had bouts of depression when I moved to my new country 3 years ago and that's how I found out about cognitive bt. This has really helped me trigger my destructive thoughts in mayor ways.

I do still have hopes for us to I don't know, work out. But yes, I understand I really need to put that aside. I tried dating for a while, but I feel like I miss him even more when I do that. So yes, it makes sense to completely focus on myself and experiences life in a pleasant way, while developing my social and creative skills.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm just so happy to hear your advice, Just one question though, what does this mean:
"You can't force them, and it isn't your issue, so don't get involved."

Just curious now... so you've found it? a way to love yourself? how old are you if I may be so rude to ask? :P


Well now... in my case there were many false starts, coupled with bouts of self-delusion and denial and quite a lot of unhelpful medical "expertise". Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot along the way, but it's only now that I feel I'm really getting to grips with it and also accepting just how much I still need to do. I am on the upward spiral - I know I'm already a lot better than I was, and I can also see that there's a long way to go. But essentially that just means there's a lot more good things to come, so it's no longer daunting.

In essence, then, my answer to your second to last question is "Not yet, but working on it, and very hopeful".

In my case the real breakthrough has been embracing the "any port in a storm" approach wholeheartedly and doing things I would never have considered before, partly because I thought they were hippy nonsense and partly because I was too scared. So I go for massage therapy once a week (I put "therapy" to distinguish it from the massage parlours advertised in the small ads in the papers, which tend to offer very different services - I know how some of the minds on here tend to work). I've also been for meditation classes at a local Buddhist centre and they've been very useful, though there are two things you need to know:

1. Buddhist groups tend to be small and very competitive, and consequently always on a recruitment drive. Generally the basic courses are good if meditation's all you need, but anything beyond that gets a bit 'heavy' and also a bit Judean People's Front vs. People's Front of Judea.

2. Buddhist centres tend to run Summer Retreats in the summer holiday season. I don't know where you're based but in the UK this means you can't find any normal day or evening classes in August. So don't start feeling sorry for yourself in August in the UK, ok?

I've also just started going for hypnotherapy and that feels useful but as it mainly affects the subconscious it's really hard to gauge how useful. However at the very least it's another form of relaxation / meditation so it's going to be as least as useful as that and then possibly some more.

I moved home about 4 years ago - only about 200 miles (which is nothing in, say, the US, but a massive deal in the UK). I work away a lot and I think subconsciously I'd kind of closed my shutters somewhat, so it's only recently that I've really started getting to know the area and the people and basically started putting down roots. Wish I'd done it earlier but I wasn't in the right frame of mind back then. I've also finally had some spare cash to arrange some treats for myself. So I've got two vouchers, one to go hot air ballooning and one to go for a driving experience day at a local race circuit. However despite being generally upbeat about things I'm finding it strangely difficult to actually book the dates. I have no idea why this is.

Self-help wise I've found most CBT books really annoying. I think that's something that really needs to be done with an expert, and I'm still waiting my turn with the National Health Service for that, and also for some deeper psychotherapy. The NHS are really taking their time but at least I know it is in the pipeline, so there is something promising to look forward to. Hope is important.

Back to the CBT books! Sorry but my logical brain can't handle books that continually cross-refer to other parts of the same book so you have to keep jumping around in the text, or ask you to create a spreadsheet to record your feelings only to then introduce another spreadsheet ten pages further on that is virtually the same but with more columns, that you're supposed to use differently or at a different time but there's no guidance as to when. Perhaps this is an AS thing but it drives me nuts. CBT requires quite a bit of work as it is without authors making it twice as hard as it needs to be, so I'm waiting for the first-hand tuition instead. Incidentally, you said that CBT helped trigger destructive behaviour - am I reading that wrong or is that really what you meant? And what sort of CBT have you had, was it learning from books, or with professional help? And if books, which ones have you found that are actually logically arranged and good to read rather than incredibly frustrating?

General (i.e. non-AS) books I've found useful include:
1. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
2. The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck
3. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah - Richard Bach
4. Families and How to Survive Them - Robin Skynner & John Cleese

Specialist AS books:
1. Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety - Nick Dubin
2. Apergers in Love - Maxine Aston
3. The Asperger Couple's Workbook - Maxine Aston

It sounds as though you are younger than me (I'm 38, so that's your last question answered!), in which case I congratulate you for getting to your present level of self-awareness so soon, and for already making so many positive changes in your life.

Certainly diet and exercise seem to be VERY important and often overlooked. The benefits are two-fold, in that getting the right balance of nutrients in one's system helps, and so does looking better and feeling better about oneself. In fact it goes further than that as the right diet also makes it easier and more beneficial to exercise. Trust me it's a lot harder for overweight people to exercise than those who are already healthy (! !) - nature is cruel like that.

In addition certain foods may make you feel sleepy or bloated. I've found that caffeine is really bad for me and although I'm not completely intolerant of them I'm avoiding bread and dairy products as much as possible as they seem to cause drowsiness and a general feeling of being run down. Diet may also be very important for AS - a book highly recommended on another thread recently was "Asperger Syndrome: Natural Steps Toward a Better Life" by Suzanne C. Lawton, which apparently deals mainly with diet. I've just got a copy but haven't had time to read it yet :-)

Joannana wrote:
Yes, it makes sense to completely focus on myself and experiences life in a pleasant way, while developing my social and creative skills.

Absolutely spot on. And it sounds like you're doing plenty of very good things already. I'm really pleased by what you've said. In fact, even the way that sentence is worded is incredibly positive.

My line "You can't force them, and it isn't your issue, so don't get involved." was about the other party - the guy you seem to be hung up on - sorting out his own problems. All you can do is get yourself into a better position and hope he does the same, but he'll have to do that for himself. If you are both happy that you've resolved as much as you can and are capable of loving both yourselves and each other then if the spark is still there you can weigh up whether to go for it. If on the other hand you've got yourself into a much better place and he hasn't, you'll be alert and fit and perceptive enough to see it a mile off, I very much hope.

That's basically the situation I'm in, too. My ex and I both had a lot of hidden issues that came to the surface in our relationship and did a lot of harm. However I think deep down we're both good people, we just need to tackle our individual problems for ourselves and then see if we can still get on as friends or possibly more, if we ever happen to meet at the right place at the right time again. I do still have days when it's bloody hard to do anything becuase I miss her, but moping around won't solve that - getting back to how I should be and living my life properly is the only way forward. And we might end up back together or we might not, but if not I know I'll be in a much better position to be a good partner for someone else (and also in a better place to judge whether someone else wants me for the right reasons). She's got things to work out as well, and until we're both better there's no point in trying to assess the situation, let alone make any decisions. And because of that we're also trying to leave each other alone to get on with it, as the uneasy truce we'd engineered wasn't actually doing either of us any good.

I hope that makes sense. Oh, and you weren't rambling - your words were good! See above for truly circumlocutionary behaviour!


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