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Struggling with fear, insecurity, and self doubt

Old 06-22-2016, 10:14 AM
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Struggling with fear, insecurity, and self doubt

And, this is a completely different post than what I posted last week, lol! I just had my cycle, so I guess I can't blame hormones, LOL!!

Can anyone else relate? I have a great life today. I'm in a far better place than I was just 18 months-2 years ago. I have a decent job, the pay isn't great and there's no health benefits, but the job is in an industry I enjoy and the people I work with are great and it's only 8 miles from home. I have a man in my life who must love me more than he lets on(I say this because he hardly ever initiates expressing his love verbally unless I initiate it first: he's much better at showing me he loves me through actions), unless he's crazy since he just had us move in together and we now have a blended family of 5. My family is healthy. I am healthy. I go to the gym. I spend time with friends and have a great support group through my Al Anon girls and sponsor. My bf supports me, encourages me, is honest and transparent with me about who he is but it's exactly his confidence that blows me away and makes me think I am NOT good enough for him.

He would be fine without me. I know that and I always thought that would give me solace knowing that he doesn't NEED me, he WANTS me in his life instead. Yet, I struggle with fear and insecurity wondering how I'll measure up to all his past girlfriends who were confident career women, a few of them were doctors and one was a TV news anchor. He is a driven man, he is confident and some folks would even say he's arrogant, until you get to meet him and see that he's humble and that he will serve you and do anything for you if you ask. I am not putting him on a pedestal, by any means, I'm just comparing myself to what he had in his life before and how he is today. Yes, I know I shouldn't compare myself. He doesn't ever compare me to his past loves, he just tells stories like we all do and I make up some crazy crap in my head, lol.
Maybe my problem is that I desire to be needed, to fix someone, to rescue them, to make their lives better by fixing their problems? My bf doesn't need me to do that for him.

I think what i'm learning is that I based my value on my ability to rescue, to fix, to enable, to make excuses for, to coddle, to mother........I now doubt my value and struggle with fear because I don't know how to be in a relationship where a man doesn't need me for those things. If he doesn't need me for those things, than what am I there for?

Yes, this is where my thinking becomes distorted. Now that we live together, I can't hide myself from him. He sees through me and recently told me, "Please answer these questions honestly, not in the way you think I want you to answer......" Yes, I am a people pleaser, too, but hey, at least he asked me to be honest and true to myself. My XAH never knew the real me, I think. Honestly, I am not sure I really did, either, because I was so busy twisting myself into a pretzel to fix him, mother him, be a mother and a father to our son because his dad was absent emotionally, etc. I am scared out of my mind that my bf will see the real me: the scared me, the one who has fear shadowing her often, the one who doesn't believe she can be successful at a high powered career path. My bf is pushing me to interview with his company to be a financial advisor and to get my licensing again ( I had my licenses back before I had my son) and he swears I will be good at it. He builds me up, points out my positive qualities, tells me that he wouldn't push me towards something if he didn't believe I was capable. I sometimes wish I believed in myself as much as he believes in me.

Just having one of those days.....
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:19 AM
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Learning to validate and define ourselves outside of our relationships is a long journey. The fact that you are in a healthy relationship is a great thing, but it doesn't replace the time and focus it takes to undo a lifetime (or at least an adulthood) of chasing external validation.

For what it's worth, you're doing great just being able to recognize where you're at. Belief in oneself takes time and experiences, and you are getting both.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:32 AM
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Lizatola......each human is unique...no one the same.....
Remember that you have some things that the other women in his life did not have.. That something is what he is attracted to......
The root of your current wave of insecurity is coming from w hat was rooted I n your FOO....having nothing to do with other women...

Resist comparing your insides to other peoples outsides.....

I have known lots of female doctors.....they are just ordinary people with another major (in college)....
Same with news anchors....some are horrible insecure and mercilessly driven.....
Again, just ordinary people trying to get through life...just like you....
It is just that some careers get so much "hipe".....and seem more glamorous than they really are......

Liz...maybe, it is time to hit up the therapist and do a bit more excavating into FOO stuff.....I will bet the kid's milk money that this is where your discomfort is coming from.......

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Old 06-22-2016, 10:43 AM
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Just sending ((((((HUGS))))))
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:44 AM
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There's always a better half.
Normal and nothing wrong with it.
I know my wife is the better half.
Something to thank God for.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:01 AM
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Liz, you're a cool person in your own right, not just for what you can "do" for others. He obviously enjoys your company. Maybe it's a relief for HIM not to feel he has to compete with others (like doctors, reporters, etc) who circle the world of his significant other. However together he seems to be, everyone has their vulnerabilities--some just don't express them much.

It really is about feeling good enough about yourself that you don't need that external validation. None of us does it perfectly, but you've come a long way and I hope you can give yourself credit for being an amazing person.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:13 AM
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no advice from me I relate to what your title said, life and relationships are so tough. I am thankful we have this forum to help us get through life and stay sober and there are so many thoughtful and smart people here giving advice.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:58 AM
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I'm with fred that I totally relate to the title as well as what you said in the post.

My codependent side is only okay if I am being super-woman. I tend to think I'm okay because of A, B and C (fill in culturally approved characteristics and activities) instead of being okay because I'm just me.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:02 PM
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Liz...I am currently reading Anderson Cooper's new released book...."The Rainbow Comes and Goes". Written by him and his mother..Gloria Vanderbilt....
It is REALLY good.....I suggest it because I think that it will fit in perfectly with what you are feeling, right now.....

Who would guess that one of the richest and well known women in the world and one of the most popular journalists in the world would struggle with what yoou...Lizatola....are struggling with,,,?

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Old 06-22-2016, 01:37 PM
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Liz, I had a similar bout of super low self esteem a few months ago, and it lasted for about 5-6 weeks. Fortunately, I was able to explain to my gentleman friend that it had absolutely nothing to do with anything he had said or done. Mine was less about comparing myself to women from his past, and more about my struggles with worrying that mistakes and experiences from the past will repeat themselves. First and foremost, the fact that my STBXAH resented me from the very beginning when he left our hometown to move to live with me. I spent a lot of time during my own self-esteem crisis convinced that despite actions and words 100% to the contrary, my gentleman will similarly come to resent me when he and his daughter move closer to where I live this summer, because I'm just not worthy of someone wanting to do that for me.

Getting stuck in your own head is a miserable place to be. I think it's good that you can identify this for exactly what it is, and work on it from the inside out.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Liz, you're a cool person in your own right, not just for what you can "do" for others. He obviously enjoys your company. Maybe it's a relief for HIM not to feel he has to compete with others (like doctors, reporters, etc) who circle the world of his significant other. However together he seems to be, everyone has their vulnerabilities--some just don't express them much.

It really is about feeling good enough about yourself that you don't need that external validation. None of us does it perfectly, but you've come a long way and I hope you can give yourself credit for being an amazing person.
Lexie, you said it right there.....
It's about validation and the fact that I don't love myself enough to feel 'enough'. Last night my bf and I stayed up past our 9:30 PM bedtime (LOL) and we talked. I asked him if we could talk about our relationship and I swear I nearly fell of the bed from laughing because he was like, "You gotta be kidding me! After sex? That is a huge NO NO in a guy's book, you know that!" Haha, but he humored me and not only did he humor, he engaged in the conversation, pulled out his kindle, and opened up a marriage book he had read years ago. We read pieces from certain chapters, discussed our most important needs within a romantic relationship, and it was one of the most productive relationship talks we've ever had. We don't often get a chance to talk about 'us' and that's why I brought it up because we now have the kids a LOT and priorities have shifted and while we see each other every day, our quality time together has changed and diminished.

And, yet, despite that talk and how well we communicate now together, I still struggle with the 'if only'.

So, today I sat down on my lunch break and wrote down this:
If only J would bring me flowers or give me a card.....then I'd be happy.
-follow up question to self: For how long?

If only J said he loved me first instead of me saying it all the time, then I'd be happy and more secure.....
-follow up question to self: Is that true?

And, the truth of the matter is: even if this man (or any man/person/friend/coworker) did those things and met my 'if only', I know that the effects wouldn't last. I'd be happy, sure.....but it would only last long enough until my psyche gets out of whack by something else or some other need or someone says something hurtful or whatever.

Same with the other question: is that true?
Would I really be more secure and happier if someone met that 'if only'...maybe, but again, I know that I'm looking externally for something that needs to come from within.

I know these things, guy. I know that my guy doesn't see me as needy. He sees me as independent, calm, emotionally in control and mature, and he knows me quite well actually. But, I still wonder what parts of me he will discover that will turn him away. My fear of abandonment and rejection kick in and I fall into patterns from childhood where I feel that I will never be 'enough'. I know it's about my dad and about my XAH. I was never enough for them; to fill their emptiness despite my valiant efforts to try. I manipulated with tears, I was passive aggressive, I tried to convince them they were the ones who were wrong because I was always SOOO right.

I don't do those things to my bf. I am not the same person I was.....but sometimes I'm very afraid that it will all come back and I will be stuck in a vortex of codependency again. That fact, right there, scares the crap out of me!
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

I don't do those things to my bf. I am not the same person I was.....but sometimes I'm very afraid that it will all come back and I will be stuck in a vortex of codependency again. That fact, right there, scares the crap out of me!
This. Right here. A thousand million times this. I have struggled with this, too, with the prospect of my gentleman friend moving closer. How long until he sees something ugly in me? Will I be able to keep old behaviors that I have worked so hard to eliminate from coming back?

You are not alone, my friend.
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Old 06-22-2016, 01:52 PM
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Liz.....that is wh y I made the suggestion that I did in my post...

Also, remember that fears are feelings...not necessarily fact....

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Old 06-22-2016, 02:02 PM
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I have been there too, I would go even a step further to being OBSESSED with my fiancÚ's exes. I would constantly look at their facebook profiles and pictures and oh god what if one was private -panic panic panic-.

After lots and lots of counseling and getting myself stabilized on the proper medication I have realized that I do not need to compare myself to his exes, or ANYONE for that matter. I look in the mirror every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed and do self affirmations. It can become so easy to doubt ourselves, especially when we are used to unhealthy relationships, but if you continue to work on yourself you will get there! If I am really having a rough day I tell myself "IF HE WANTED HER HE WOULD BE WITH HER NOT YOU GET IT TOGETHER ADELINE".

Everyone has insecurities and if someone says they do not then they are not telling the truth. But you can't let yourself be held back by the thoughts that go round and round in your head. YOU ARE WORTH IT, YOU ARE AMAZING, YOU ARE INTELLIGENT, YOU HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL, YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOM, HE IS FORTUNATE TO HAVE YOU!

It also sounds like he really believes in you, maybe if you are honest with him about your worries he will be a support system for you.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:15 PM
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:42 PM
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If he wanted a doctor or tv anchorwoman, he would be with a doctor or tv anchorwoman.

He chose you (and you him)

If you work on it you will get over this. Very introspective about the flowers and such, these things don't quell insecurity forever. Marriage doesn't quell insecurity in some.

When you trust him fully, and that takes risk, you will feel better. I am not asserting that he is, or has done something untrustworthy at all. Rather you fear that one say he is going to pop up and say "what the hell was I thinking lets break up"! I don't think so.

I must point out that insecurity has ruined relationships. Its not easy to live with its exhausting. I don't see that you are overly insecure, but its there. I am sure he sees it every once in a while. Just keep working on it you will overcome it.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:22 PM
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Redatlanta, yes you are right. He chose me and I chose him. And, I actually do trust him more than I ever trusted my XAH even when our marriage was good. My bf is super honest with me about anything and he doesn't take things personally, at all. He makes relationships easy, honestly. I'm the one who makes things difficult for myself.

And, to be clear, I don't think he sees my insecurities as much as I do. I'm sure he knows I'm insecure just as most folks can be but I don't wear it on my sleeve. I've never acted jealous, but I've thought jealous thoughts. I've never tried to look at his text messages or fb messages, but I've wanted to! I don't pry, I don't push, I don't badger him for information unless I feel a nagging feeling that I must ask him something. I truly trust the man.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:30 PM
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HI Lizatola,
Your open discussion with your BF last night sounds like it was productive and helpful. I was going to suggest that part of what you're talking about is feeling vulnerable. I'm not good at being vulnerable myself, but when I am, I know that's when I get closest to my friends, male and female. Many of us feel like we have to be independent and strong whereas being honest and open and vulnerable is actually what brings us closer to others.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:57 PM
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You have a sponsor, so I'm presuming you have, or are, working the 12-steps. I would say that (although I'm AA rather than alanon), when I don't work the principles of those steps into my daily life (every day) then fear, insecurity and self-doubt are never going to be far away. 12-steps is 12-steps, so I'm presuming that in al-anon just as in AA, if we want to stay in a state of serene recovery every day , we have to do the work every day. And I know (to my cost) how easy it is for the little things to slip, and gradually stop happening regularly. Is there something you need to get back into your daily routine so that those principles are foremost in your mind as you go through your day? I have a list of them, so if I start feeling a bit rattled I can go through my list and check for what I might have missed out or need to do again.

Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Redatlanta, yes you are right. He chose me and I chose him. And, I actually do trust him more than I ever trusted my XAH even when our marriage was good. My bf is super honest with me about anything and he doesn't take things personally, at all. He makes relationships easy, honestly. I'm the one who makes things difficult for myself.

And, to be clear, I don't think he sees my insecurities as much as I do. I'm sure he knows I'm insecure just as most folks can be but I don't wear it on my sleeve. I've never acted jealous, but I've thought jealous thoughts. I've never tried to look at his text messages or fb messages, but I've wanted to! I don't pry, I don't push, I don't badger him for information unless I feel a nagging feeling that I must ask him something. I truly trust the man.

I am sure I don't have to tell you to "not" go down that snooping path. I used to be a snooper......the relationship before my current one cured me of that. First of all, I don't want to be in a relationship with someone that gives me reason to snoop (certainly there are those relationships mine was one). Secondly, my ex put a key logger on a computer he gave me just weeks into the relationship. I suspected it when we were going through a break up a year and a half later, but talked myself out of it. I kept that computer and used it for 2 years after, I even had it well into my relationship with RAH. (Funny thing is one of the "fantasy" ideals I had about the man was that he KNEW me so well. LOL.Even after we broke up HA). When I finally had the computer searched for the key logger almost 4 years after I got it I can only describe that I felt I had been raped. If snooping is part of a relationship, Either you don't need to be that in relationship, or the person whom you are snooping on doesn't need to be in a relationship with YOU.

Getting over my "snoopy" ways was a real freedom. I am not kidding that in near 6 years I have never once gone through RAH phone or computer.

Sometimes there is a real reason, or something that happens to take a peek - we all know that. Our own insecurity is never a reason. Transparency in the relationship is one of the best ways to avoid that nagging "hmmm wonder if". Accessibility, for me is pertinent. If my ex and I were traveling I always ad to ask him for a password to use a computer (which he never gave me but I knew anyway lol), and he would always have to open the computer first, and dilly dally on it before he would hand it to me. He was attached to his phone as if it were an appendage, and changed the passcode if ever he had to give t to me if I needed to use his phone (that became cat and mouse games of me trying to get the passcode. He stuck by that there was such secret information regarding his" top secret" work on the phone that he would be in legal violation for anyone to know the passcode. Yeah, right).

As you continue your recovery I really hope the jealousy and insecurity will fade - I think it will because you have come so far and are so introspective. No one should have to pay for the crimes of another.
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