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Drop the buts and think about solutions...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by LostInDaydreams, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. LostInDaydreams

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    My therapist thinks I should leave my partner and that I've got no reason not to start a conversation soon. In fact, it may be beneficial to other aspects of my life if I do it sooner rather than later. Overall, my current situation is no good for me, my daughter or my partner. I'm essentially wasting my life because before I know it a few more years will have gone by and I'll nearly be 35. Life is too short to keep doing something I don't want to do.

    She's right, but I still don't want to do it. It's scary. If I'm not going make any changes, then I suppose there's no point in the therapy. But, I'd rather just bury my head in the sand and carry on as I am.

    I don't know what to think! I'm hopefully going to be meeting up with some friends later in the week, so I might discuss my relationship with them, as it will probably come up in conversation anyway.
     
    #1 LostInDaydreams, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    I've been in a low mood for most of this year so far, but I managed to pull myself out of it at the end of last week. Now I'm feeling utterly miserable again. I just want none of this to be happening. I don't want to be in this scenario. My therapist says I need to focus more on what is real, which I guess is the problem. But, I don't like it. I don't like feeling like this. I don't know how to get a place where I can just accept what is actually happening.
     
  3. silverhalo

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    I think deep down you know your therapist is right but sometimes even though logically we know the advise we are getting might be right it takes a while for us to accept it in our mind and be able to act on it. Fear can be such a paralyser. Maybe you could list the things you are most scared about and work through them so that they become less scary to you.
     
    #3 silverhalo, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  4. shpinaltso

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    Dealing with a problem of this magnitude is an extremely hard thing but it also affects people around you as well. You mentioned that it's not good for your daughter or your partner, even if they don't know what is going on they still feel that things are not right and the suspense can be hard on them too. I'm not trying to make you feel even worse and guilty, I guess I'm trying to say that the end of not knowing, you opening up to them can put an end to the terrible feeling of something bad over their heads and they might welcome a conversation you are dreading so much

    I have never been in a situation like that but the way I imagine I would feel in your shoes is very selfish - like I'm sacrificing the whole family to pursue something just for me. But the truth, the way I see it, is that ending a situation in which all of you are miserable is a good thing for everyone involved and not a selfish thing

    Not sure if this is helpful at all but my heart goes out to you and I hope this terrible time for you will be over soon
     
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  5. LostInDaydreams

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    Thanks @shpinaltso :slight_smile:

    There is an element of guilt and selfishness, but I don't feel that they're my main barriers. It's just fear of what's on the other side.

    I'm not sure how far I appreciate the magnitude of the situation. I suppose I don't think about the reality of it very often. My therapist says I keep minimalizing it and moving away from reality. I don't want to think. It's a lot to process.
     
  6. Pole star

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    Looking back when I was repressed, this is what I used to do. Immerse myself in my studies and work. It worked for a while but then fate had other things in mind. Circumstances ganged up in such a way that I had no escape but to face and accept the reality.
     
  7. LostInDaydreams

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    Thanks @Pole star. Glad I'm not the only one.

    I've vented away on here enough times, but when I'm talking about it I'll go 'it's fine' or 'that's bad, but...' or something.

    In one way or another, I suppose I've always been waiting for life to start. Not necessarily sexuality related. For example, I didn't really enjoy living at home, so used to think 'when I've moved out...', etc. and now I guess I'm sort of doing the same thing. This is going to sound daft, but it's almost like I think I'm going to have another life and I can do it all my way then. I know that's not going to happen, but that's sort of what it feels like.
     
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  8. looking for me

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    I was a long time knowing I had to get out, and finding every excuse, and procrastinating as much as possible, along with keeping so busy I didn't have to think. and its scary as hell, but on the other side is more open, light, and freeing than I ever could have dreamed. it's not perfect, but what is? but it is sooo much better, my therapist told me I should consider getting out, I wouldn't do it for me but I did for my son after her 3rd round of self harm that she gave my then 14 year old son a front row seat to. you can do this, but you're a grown woman and should do what you feel is best for you. im just giving my personal perspective and experience.
     
  9. Pole star

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    I can understand that reasoning @LostInDaydreams.
    I accepted myself some years ago. I was totally new to it, had no gay friends at all and did not know anything about relationships at all. As I was enjoying my new found feelings, personal tragedy struck and then that took all my time. I was de-motivated about everything and slowly had to psyche myself out which happened in its own time (and with help of a therapist who helped with bereavement). Then I developed feelings for someone which did not work out and that is how I found EC last year. I have learned so much about myself and relationships in general in the last year. I am much more aware of what I want and expect in a relationship. So all the time with apparently no progress was not in vain. I did not know anything when I came out. Now I feel so much more empowered. I feel I have grown so much as an individual and developed myself.
    What I am trying to say is that there is a time for everything and you will make the decision you want in your own time. Once you accept yourself you will make the changes you need and want. It may take its own time.
    Sometimes you have 'to seize the bull by its horns' and act now while at other times 'there is a time and place for everything'. Contrasting advice but you choose how you want to do it.
     
    #9 Pole star, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  10. LostInDaydreams

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    Thanks. :slight_smile: My therapist did say that she's not necessarily expecting me to speak to my partner this week. She'd said we can go at my pace in our initial sessions, but her questions did imply that there wasn't much point to the therapy if I'm not going to act. She did say that I should think about a time scale.

    I guess I know that my current situation isn't good for anyone, but I don't have the drive to change it right now.
     
    #10 LostInDaydreams, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  11. Butterflies85

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    Just my 2 cents worth - All I can say is it's a very difficult decision to make - but I also never expected to feel so much lighter and just quietly peaceful within. But like you, I told myself for years that I could stay a little longer, it wasn't that bad...

    This might sound crazy but my epiphany moment came when I realised that the little girl inside of me - the young girl I used to be - would never have wanted to continue on in a life like the one I was living. It's almost like I felt an obligation to my younger self to get my life back on track. I had such hopes for my life - most of all I dreamed about being a strong, happy woman who was in love. I have become a shell of myself in my marriage. I finally realised I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't betray myself anymore. I also know that I would never want my own daughter to stay in a marriage where she is not loved and respected, does not love him/her and just goes through the motions. That is not living. I would never give that advice to my daughter so why is it an acceptable life for myself?

    So even though my separation and this process is hard, I say "come what may", and "fuck all my fears"- I am going to live this damned life, like I've never lived it before.

    Sending you courage, love and hope. You are more than capable of handling what is on the other side of this. You've already been through so much.
     
  12. LostInDaydreams

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    Thanks @Butterflies85 :slight_smile:

    My therapist said something along the same lines - Would I repeatedly force my daughter to eat a food she really, really disliked? No, so why do it to myself?

    I love your attitude, but don't fell I've reached tipping point yet.
     
    #12 LostInDaydreams, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  13. silverhalo

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    You will get there.
     
  14. rosemarythyme

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    I wonder if that really is what she meant. Might be worth asking her to clarify. I guess it depends what sort of therapy you are in. It might be more focused on a certain outcome - you present a problem and expect to solve it together by the end of therapy? The therapy I'm used to is very open and the only goal is general, deep rooted improvement in me which can show up as many different outcomes. The healing thing there is the therapeutic relationship so if I thought my therapist had such expectations of me that would feel very conditional, possibly reminiscent of my upbringing (have to please someone otherwise there's no point) and would need to be talked about.

    I'm in a similar situation - stuck in a totally broken, unhealthy relationship and staying because... I don't know, because it's familiar and I'm scared of the unknown? It feels completely overwhelming to think of moving out, divorcing, breaking up my daughter's home etc. Clinging to my not particularly warm but familiar mother not wanting to be left at nursery comes to mind when I talk about it in sessions... How I see my therapist helping with that is not by giving advice and acting like a 'coach' but more by accepting those feelings of being very small and overwhelmed by some huge task and feeling not ready yet. She accepts it and for once I'm not forced to pretend to grow up to suit someone else but given the nurturing that helps me really grow and be ready in my own time. Anyway, that's how it's been playing out for me. I'm getting quite impatient with myself sometimes and yes, I worry what if I'm never ready but I see shifts and growth in other areas and continue to have faith.
     
  15. LostInDaydreams

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    Thanks @rosemarythyme

    My understanding is that she uses different approaches depending on the client, both long-term therapy and short-term solution focused therapy. We haven't got a time scale specified for my therapy and my previous two sessions had a different feel - mostly me talking about things and her emphasising. In the last session she challenged everything I said, and whilst she's not directly giving me advice, she was leading me towards the conclusion that leaving my partner was the only way forward and the sooner, the better for everyone. She didn't explicitly say that, but I did leave with the impression that there's an expectation I'll do something soon-ish. I'll see how the next session goes, but I don't think she wants me to talk about my current situation endlessly with nothing actually changing, which I do sort of understand, but I would like to talk about it at the same time.

    I completely get what you're saying and it's a thought that crossed my mind - I don't want to end up leaving my partner because that's what my therapist wants me to do. I need to believe it's the best thing to for myself, but I've been told to drop the buts...so I guess that means I can't talk about them?
     
  16. silverhalo

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    I think maybe rosemarythyme made a good point when she said maybe you should ask the therapist to clarify what she meant. I think it's fair to say you find therapy quite hard and stressful so the way you hear what she isn't saying may or may not be the way she meant it. I'm not saying you should argue with every comment she makes but I think it's ok to ask her for more information or to clarify exactly what she means.
     
  17. LostInDaydreams

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    To be fair, with my partner I never ask him to clarify what he means, which is one aspect of our communication issues. So, I guess it'll be good practice for me.
     
  18. silverhalo

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    Yes sounds like a win win, I know when I'm stressed and anxious I often don't always take in what people are saying fully or I tend to take a more negative view of what people are saying. It might not be the case for you but I know it is for me.
     
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  19. butterfly1

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    Sometimes when a person is in a situation for a while, there is a sense of comfort and security. And to have a child just makes it more difficult. But maybe one needs to look at what is really needed. The sense of comfort and security might be a false sense. The appearance of this might be deceiving.

    The risk of stepping out on one's own is hard, maybe even unbearable. But if one's thinking could be changed to a more positive perspective, that risk might be better able to face. The risk doesn't go away, it just becomes a little more bearable.

    LostinDaydreams- you made a first step by deciding to do something to make a change. That is good. You looked for a therapist. That is good. You found a therapist that you think could help. That is also good. You've been going to the therapist. You're doing good.
    But now you have to decide- stay with the thinking you have always had, or take the next step. The risk is scary, and is unknown in its outcome.
    Having the faith to believe in yourself and the process of becoming you is not always easy. But it is not impossible, though it might appear that way.
    And, here is the hard part, thinking about what a child is going through puts another twist in all of what is going on. But, just maybe, things might be better for them. Less or no tenseness. Maybe a better home life for the child. A lot of deciding to think about.

    Life is not easy. But there can be better circumstances for the person who decides to face the risk of the unknown and take that step of faith. LostinDaydreams, just maybe, it is in you to take that step, but it just has to be uncovered. In your time, in your level of comfort.

    Just trying to encourage you to pursue your dreams. It is not impossible to reach. It might take some work to get there, but it's not unreachable.
    : )
     
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