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  1. #1

    Trying to begin...

    Hi,

    I have never done anything like this and so I am not sure how this works, but here goes!

    I am a single-mom, 41, my daughter is 22 and I have never married. My daughter and I live with my Mom and share expenses until I can get a higher paying job. I work two jobs at the moment. One at a private college as Administrative Assistant and another as a Personal Assistant. I teach Bible Class to 5-7 yr olds which I enjoy very much but will be giving up in December.

    I used to have a friend who could dissect life issues with me but she has gotten married and consequently is a bit distracted (understandably so) with her new life, so I am looking for a place to share my struggles so I can overcome them, and also help (if possible) anyone else who needs it. I am a good listener, if nothing else. :-) I really like the kindness and depth I find on this website and I hope it will continue to help people as it has already helped me.

    I don't know the protocol for posting on forums and chat rooms and stuff so please tell me if I abuse a system in any way or say too much.

    I will share a few of the things I am struggling with and hopefully anyone else who might have some similar struggles can share theirs with me and we can work our way through them.

    Pride and low self-esteem. What a pain. I can dissect this to a point, then I get stuck. Low self-esteem: for me, stems from caring too much or listening too much to what other people think. Their opinion of me or something I have done is more valued than my own opinion. While there are many things I would like to change about myself to be happier with myself/my performance, I am ok with creating goals and ways to achieve those changes and really want to be left alone to work on them. But I let other people distract me from my own goals and so cannot accomplish anything (because it’s too much)– therefore, I never feel good about myself anymore. Also, I have a co-worker who feels competitive with me or something, and feels the need to push me down – I can usually see through this as her need to feel better about herself, but lately, it is hurting me. I need to rise above this again but I want to know why it’s getting to me all of a sudden. Here’s where pride gets in the way – I don’t want her to know she got to me so I say nothing and act like she has not affected me in any way. So, I’ve been preaching to myself about discipline – I just need to buck up and DO what I need to do and stop letting things get in my way. This is where I’m stuck. It’s all just words.

    I love precision and perfection. But I need to let go of it since I don’t live in a perfect world. And it stresses me out too much when things go wrong repeatedly. I want/need things to be smooth and orderly. While there are always little things to fix or perfect, and this is what keeps me challenged and going, it seems that I am running as fast as I can and doing the best I can along the way, but in actuality, I am going nowhere. I think I just need to let go of so many concerns, but then I feel like a failure or that I gave up. I want to persevere and see my way through this. I’m just having a hard time connecting “seeing my way through” and “letting go”. They seem so opposite and yet, I feel like I must let go to see my way through.

    Somehow, I need to accept the load on my shoulders and am struggling with it. It feels like too much and is very overwhelming but I actually need to be able to take on more. I don’t know how to rise above these feelings. Usually they don’t get me down but they are now for some reason.


    Ok. So those are the main ones I think.

    Thanks!

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  3. Trying to begin...

    Hi, Laurie. Welcome to this great site! So far you seem to have a really good grasp on what this site is for and how to use it.......

    I can really relate to quite a bit of what you are talking about! The first thing I thought when I read the bit about the co-worker is did it ever cross your mind that she might actually be jealous? She feels the need to break you down, therefore you must be doing a very good job at what you do. Your co-workers and superiors must already be aware of the good job you do. Just keep on doing what you are doing. The next time your nasty co-worker makes a negative or derogatory comment, tell her if she has nothing positive to say, to please keep her comments to herself and, furthermore, suggest that she go elsewhere and find something useful to do, because you really don't CARE what she thinks! Geez, bullies come in all shapes and sizes, don't they? Also, don't allow her to take one ounce of credit for a job you alone have done, and don't let her denigrate your work to others without having something to say about it. It really is rotten to have to be in an office on a daily basis with someone who is getting your goat all day long! I can feel my insides cringing just thinking about it! I used to be like that, afraid to hurt another person's feelings in the workplace, but I am not that way now. I've learned through experience and a few courses to recognize personality types and I have gotten pretty good at dealing with them. Without being at all rude, I can dispatch the most persistant sales person from my reception desk in less than 40 seconds with his mouth shut and his head hung low! Everyone in the office finds this quite amazing, actually......I'm the same on the phone with unsolicited calls other than our clients or brokers - get to the point or get off the line!

    I think you are stressed out because it's time for you to make a positive move, maybe in many directions, but it can be done once you find the self-confidence and courage. Visiting this site was a good first step, and there are many others here who will have valuable advice and help you along the way. I am not a doctor or anything like that, but there are many here who are qualified to help you through any trials you are facing.

    See you around!

  4. #3

    Trying to begin...

    Hi, Laurie...

    As a starting point, have a look at the exercises on self-concept, etc., posted in Resources. Take your time and think about them -- then come back and tell us if they helped you get a better idea about where these patterns came from....

  5. #4

    Trying to begin...

    Hello Laurie,
    Welcome...
    I recognise myself in a lot of what you say :D
    Pride and low self-esteem... I wonder if they are opposite swings of the pendulum... well, I hope for you it stops swinging soon...and you can come into a peaceful balance.. :)

    I think what Jubjub says is true...you do sound stressed (you were wondering 'why now')

    I guess the change with your friend getting married, has exposed a gap...and if you're a good listener...who is really listening to you?

    I see you teach bible class..is there anyone in your church who you can trust with talking more deeply about things?

    Anyway- it is good to 'meet' you...

    I look forward to hearing more from you,

    Marion

  6. #5

    Trying to begin...

    I don't know how to reply to each of you directly yet, so please forgive me for this way.

    Thank you all so much! I am so grateful for all the wonderful comments and suggestions.


    jubjub: First of all, thank you so much for the faith and confidence you expressed towards me. That was so nice! I think you are right about my co-worker being jealous. She is actually the assistant director (AD) of our office and I’m the administrative assistant. Our boss has been giving me lots of work lately (which I’m grateful for) that I think my coworker would like to have done herself as it is for the president of our college and will gain some recognition. Then our boss left for vacation, left me the point person for this project (asking the AD to keep me informed of her part in it) and then gave the majority of the project to the AD. You can see the problem here. I have spoken to my boss about this kind of thing before and asked that she give the whole project to just one of us as it is much cleaner that way and more efficient. (not to mention keeps the peace) Unfortunately, I think she was distracted getting ready to leave for her trip and didn’t think about how she was setting us up. So, after she is gone all of these problems have arisen about this project. As soon as I realized what was going on and that my coworker really wanted the project for herself because of the notoriety of it, I just gave it to her. I hate conflict and confrontation and competition. Not a good career move but the days were unbearable until I gave it over to her. You were so right with all the things you said to me. In the past, I have been able to tactfully and immediately stop her comments and negative actions towards me, but for some reason, this one caught me off guard. I would LOVE to hang around you and watch you with all that dispatching. What an art! I would love to know how you learned to do that. J

    And yes, I am stressed. That's why I want to unravel it. I hate being stressed out. I have been making some little moves lately that are positive and know that I have many more to make. I just bought my first vehicle a few weeks ago. I cannot tell you how impactful that was for me. This has always felt like a trap to me to commit to all the payments for so long. Crazy huh? I’m rather a free spirit and yet, have never had freedom because I didn’t want to buy the car and be so financially strapped. Ah, well. It does feel good now even though it is still a bit scary to look ahead at the future. And yet, this is just the beginning as I’m also trying to move out on my own (with my daughter). It is very expensive in So Cal and I don’t know if I need to leave the state or keep working the system here. But that is my next step.

    Mr. Baxter: I will definitely do my homework with the 'self-concept' section. And you hit the nail on the head – the patterns are exactly what I am searching for. After looking at the list I can see that I have my work cut out for me. I hope this website and all of you will give me the strength to follow through and not get scared and quit. These types of exercises seem to be the undoing of me because I never get to resolve them – just open them up and hurt. I will complete the exercises and let you know what I’m thinking – but you’re right – that will take me a little time. J Thanks for being willing to listen.

    Sammy: Wow! You have really hit some targets. Sometimes this stuff is creepy how people can ‘see you’. But that’s what makes it so interesting. (I think so anyways) I hate to say “I am stressed” –it seems to have lost meaning these days. But I can’t think of a better word. And I think I can only be stressed if I let myself get there. So, how did I do that this time? I know I have taken on too much and on top of that have been dealt a little more. Most of these things are temporary but are always replaced with something else. I suspect I am running from loneliness or fear and so I’m overloading myself. And there are scary hurtful changes in my life that I’d rather not see. What a can of worms huh?? But I have made commitments that I cannot (in good conscience) back out of yet. I am crossing things off as fast as I can, but I still need to see them through to be fair to others. So I guess one step at a time….

    You guys are the only ones listening to me. That’s why I’m so grateful for finding you. Really, you are the only ones I’m talking to.

    As for church – this is a bit hard to explain. The only reason why I am talking here is that after reading some of the conversations on here, I felt like the ‘listener’s’ were equipped to handle this type of conversation with a genuine interest, care and respect for people. Not many people possess this in my arena. So, while there are many with good intentions and care about you, they don’t know how to have these kinds of conversations. This is exactly the gap of ‘losing’ my friend. Until this week I have just wished I had someone to talk/analyze with but then everything seemed to be too much all of a sudden.

    It’s nice to meet you too! I would love to hear about your struggles with pride and low self-esteem if you are comfortable sharing it.


    Thank you all again – so very much J

  7. #6

    Trying to begin...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie
    And I think I can only be stressed if I let myself get there. So, how did I do that this time? I know I have taken on too much and on top of that have been dealt a little more. Most of these things are temporary but are always replaced with something else. I suspect I am running from loneliness or fear and so I’m overloading myself.
    that was helpful to me reading that- thankyou.
    It is true- they are always replaced by something else :( and the 'rest' you promise yourself just never happens...

    and I think your insight into 'why' is good. (I do see myself also in what you say).

    I am crossing things off as fast as I can, but I still need to see them through to be fair to others. So I guess one step at a time…
    yes, I relate to that also.

    As for church – this is a bit hard to explain.

    Not many people possess this in my arena. So, while there are many with good intentions and care about you, they don’t know how to have these kinds of conversations.
    Yes, I do understand that... I was fortunate enough in my earlier days of going to a church to find a few people who had the combination of both the spiritual faith, plus listening and understanding in depth ability ..
    But not for a long time now.. have I met people like that :(

    But maybe I will in the future- maybe you will in the future... we need flesh and blood ones to understand us...

    But, one thing at a time, as you say elsewhere :)

  8. #7

    Trying to begin...

    that was helpful to me reading that- thankyou.
    I'm glad that was helpful. I would love to hear what that made you think or how it was helpful.

    It is true- they are always replaced by something else :( and the 'rest' you promise yourself just never happens...
    I think this is where we should focus. Why are they always replaced by something else?? This is what I want to find out so I can change the way I view it. I think whatever it is, is something I don't like and I need to see it and learn to like or accept it. I'm a huge believer in forgiveness and I think if I don't like something I need to 'forgive' it and the only way to truly do that is to find something good about it and focus on that until the negative thoughts/feelings are balanced out with the positive. Then my entire perspective is changed and I can see much more clearly. Not like now. So I know I have the wrong perspective on something. I think this is the hardest part for me - identifying truthfully and confidently what exactly the 'thing' is. It just feels like a black space in my head. Lonliness and fear are still reactions to something....hmmm....my future is pretty unknown and unclear but usually that is exciting to me.......I just dont know...


    But not for a long time now.. have I met people like that :(

    But maybe I will in the future- maybe you will in the future... we need flesh and blood ones to understand us...
    Me neither. That's why I decided again to see if there was any kind of chat or forum on the web. I wasn't expecting to find it though :-) so this is nice!

    Yes, that's the downfall of using the internet for this. You (and the others) have helped me already because of that very point - you are flesh and blood that are relating to what I'm saying. This is sooo comforting. But it does make you want more huh? I'm very grateful for this site, and all of you, but at some time I will want/need more than internet friends. I struggle with this too, though. I have a much harder time actually talking to a live body than writing it down. So I don't want to use this for a crutch. I'm hoping it will just serve as a first step. Another thing that bothers me about myself is that when I do find someone who I can converse with, I feel too needy (because I haven't done it in so long and it just all wants to come out) so I put up walls or run the other way. Somehow I need to not allow that strong need to surface or at least not be so strong. I have had a couple of really good conversations with a man I met recently, and I don't want to find myself needing him too much. I don't want to scare him away. I also don't want to care too much what he thinks and just be myself and if it's meant to be, it will be. But I'm tired of investing myself in someone and then losing them. It leaves me more empty each time. So I thought if I keep reading this site and talking here when I can, then I won't say so much to just one person. We'll see if that works I guess. :-)


    Pride and low self-esteem... I wonder if they are opposite swings of the pendulum
    Hmm..well...tell me what you think about this: I think pride is the weapon I use to hide/overcome the low self-esteem. The defensive, automatic reaction to something that doesn't make me like myself. (in this case, my coworker treating me like I'm not good enough for this project - I KNOW this isn't true -why do I listen to her at all?) Pride is so false and shallow and it really disappoints me in myself. I don't even see it until after I have thought/said something. Take my coworker for example, I know I should have confronted her and asked her if she resented our boss giving me that project. Hopefully, she would have discussed it with me and none of these feelings would be lingering. (it's been a few days ago and I'm not so upset now, that's why I can see this now and couldn't then - why did I lose sight of this?) But instead, I behave as if nothing has happened, receiving her ill treatment over and over. This was not good for either of us. She does not feel good about herself treating me like that, and I don't like to be treated like that but the worst part is that I didn't stand up to her and help us both feel/be better. I HAVE to stop doing this. I have been so much better, but I did it again. ugh!

    I hope I haven't said too much here. Let me know if I have. And thanks for listening :-)

  9. #8

    Trying to begin...

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie
    I think pride is the weapon I use to hide/overcome the low self-esteem. The defensive, automatic reaction to something that doesn't make me like myself... Pride is so false and shallow and it really disappoints me in myself. I don't even see it until after I have thought/said something.
    I'm not sure that pride in oneself is always a bad thing but I get your point. It reminds me of the concept of the inferiority complex vs. the superiority complex, introduced by the psychiatrist Alfred Adler. He had to struggle throughout his childhood with feelings of inferiority and suggested later that this might be a universal human phenomenon, something we all have to resolve. Adler said that some of those who don't resolve these feelings live out their whole lives feeling inadequate; others create a mask of superiority as a defense against the underlying feelings of inferiority.

    Take my coworker for example
    :o) When I read that, I thought of the commedian, Henny Youngman: "Take my wife. Please!"

    I know I should have confronted her and asked her if she resented our boss giving me that project. Hopefully, she would have discussed it with me and none of these feelings would be lingering. (it's been a few days ago and I'm not so upset now, that's why I can see this now and couldn't then - why did I lose sight of this?) But instead, I behave as if nothing has happened, receiving her ill treatment over and over. This was not good for either of us. She does not feel good about herself treating me like that, and I don't like to be treated like that but the worst part is that I didn't stand up to her and help us both feel/be better. I HAVE to stop doing this. I have been so much better, but I did it again.
    Yes, but the point is to strive to be better, not to be perfect or to beat yourself up when you can't be perfect...

  10. #9

    Trying to begin...

    ... concept of the inferiority complex vs. the superiority complex, introduced by the psychiatrist Alfred Adler. He had to struggle throughout his childhood with feelings of inferiority and suggested later that this might be a universal human phenomenon, something we all have to resolve. Adler said that some of those who don't resolve these feelings live out their whole lives feeling inadequate; others create a mask of superiority as a defense against the underlying feelings of inferiority.
    OH MY GOODNESS! I have ALWAYS felt inadequate and inferior. I hadn't thought of those words but they are perfect! I think I'm so used to accepting that I am inadequate/inferior that when someone competes with me or pushes me down I don't understand why. And, it occurs to me that maybe that is why I cannot receive compliments or good things in life. I always dodge them. Well, I guess I need to think about this. Thanks!!


    :o) When I read that, I thought of the commedian, Henny Youngman: "Take my wife. Please!"
    LOL!!! Totally made me laugh! Thank you!

    Yes, but the point is to strive to be better, not to be perfect or to beat yourself up when you can't be perfect...
    wow! one of the very things I want to tackle. I didn't even make the connection. This reminds me of something I heard recently: "don't focus on the end result - just the journey". I haven't said it very well, but usually you hear about 'focusing on the finish line' type of thinking so you will persevere to the end. This other statement was talking about not being so concerned with the end result being exactly what you want it to be, but enjoying or paying more attention to your journey along the way. What you said above made me think of this. Thank you again!

  11. #10

    Trying to begin...

    Or, to risk another cliche, you must first of all before all other things learn to love yourself.

    I did receive your email, Laurie... it's late tonight but I'll reply to it when I am more lucid.

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