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Chris hart

How to develop trust, empathy, compassion, emotions and get into a happy relationship

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Stephan always relates the problems you have now to your past because you usually relive your past, and I do not know how to get passed that. All therapy has ever done is to break me down and the only way for me to survive is to close myself up again.

so when it comes to my past,

1) My father is gay and decided to have me with my mother who was 12 years older than him. She's narcissistic, mentally ill, manipulative, and an alcoholic. She was also divorced twice before she met my father. 

2) My father left after I was 10 months and focused on his own life, he met who I now consider my other parent and traveled around the world with him for 3 years.

3) During that time, I was mostly neglected and left alone while my mother was drinking, but I obviously don't remember much from those years.

4) What I do remember is when my father came back after a few years, he started to fight to try and gain custody of me and won after a few years, but it was a brutal battle. My mother would disconnect the phone lines so I couldn't call my dad, and she would tell me what to say in court. She would also continuously forget to pick me up from school. Sometimes my dad would come to pick me up at my moms house and I can see him from my bedroom window, but I wasn't allowed to go out with him. I would sit in my room by myself and play with blocks or something and be left completely alone.

4) When I moved in with my father and his partner (who I truly consider my parent) at 6 years old, things started to seem normal. He took on the mother role of filling up my lunch box, cooking dinner, taking me to school, playing games, and going on vacation all the time, etc. My father worked late hours, but he was there too of course. But there are just those few things that always pop up. (like step father equals abuse and psychotic mother equals manipulation.

5) I had no bartering skills, and there was no negotiation with my step father, and my father let it happen which is always the case in these types of relationships. Examples are always embarrassing me in front of other people or using brute force and fear to get his way, and even simply just using me as a way to take out his anger. He accidentally broke my finger once because I wouldn't eat a sandwich. Another example he always used was him freaking out and almost yelling and a nasty tone, but then say something like "you think I'm angry, you really have to calm down?" And he still does this now to this day, even when I am an adult. Like he was in a board meeting having a conversation with people who I barely know, I don't live in the building, so I walked by and decided not to interrupt, so he blurts out "you don't even say hello? Well he's a grown man, I can't tell him what to do anymore."

6) And then there is also the manipulative mother who tells me how bad my parents are especially him, and keeps saying that she will get me out of there and take me to Greece one day or something like that. She would always make up stories about what my dad did to her, but I didn't know it then or for a while. And my dad would tell me stories as well. So I never knew who to trust. And as I got older, my moms disease got worse to the point where she would tell me she wished I was dead and all of these other horrible things so I would stop talking to her or seeing her for years at a time. But for the short time that she was better, it was nice to have a mother to talk to until she let me down again.

So that is a basic history, when it came to school and my other relationships, I remember at least from 2nd grade that I was always picked on and it was hard for me to make friends. Having gay parents made me an easy target, but almost everyone picked on me or put me down at some point, and a few of them made it a mission just to make my life miserable. At most throughout my life, I have 1 or 2 friends at a time. And this never really changed in middle school and high school. In middle school i joined the baseball team and was doing well, but one guy complained and said he would leave unless I was kicked off the team. After a while, I got used to being alone. I got used to accepting things without knowing why.

So how can I trust anyone if I was always picked on or lied to, and by falling into that lie, I hurt myself?

How can I have emotions or empathy if the only way I can get through life is to suppress it?

How can I have compasion for other people if I can't have it for myself?

And I know I come off as an asshole a lot because I don't have any emotion left, so everything sounds like a lie. All I really think when i meet someone is how long is it gonna take before I freak them out or do something wrong.

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Hi @Chris hart

(my amateur assessment, pick and choose what's good for you)

To me your account sounds like a great deal of not getting what's going on around and having been played as an instrument in various situations by various parties. Saying you got used to being alone but wanting to not be alone. (either one of those is incomplete)

Until a certain age, in certain situations I don't think there's much possibility to take matters into our own hands(a 12yr old can't pack up and leave house) but all that changes when reaching a turning point. I'm generalising and putting it rather broadly because it depends greatly on the country/culture and of course the person/people involved. I always thought that I had achieved independence at a relatively young age but later in my life I've met people who were harder pressed or more efficient than me in establishing their new life path.

I think itself the realisation in you, the wanting to get something better is very important achievement already. Should you choose to continue, you'll have to start being your own best A-team (I mean your own best friend : patient, curious, motivating, honest, constructive, responsible, pro-active, always available, kind, dedicated, reasonable, funny... and occasionally let things be said to yourself, even if it is hard at first)

I could give you book titles and videos to watch and so on, but I feel it would only distract you from unwrapping all those things that are bottled up in you. Probably nobody really took the time to just hear you out, show you that in that moment you were that mattered and nothing else. Undivided attention. (I hope I'm not projecting, surely correct me)

Without going into much details. I had ended a 8yrs+ friendship due to (let's call him) Bob becoming narrow minded and detached from reality. So much that in the end of our friendship I was even tired to try to asking meaningful questions about his true thoughts/emotions. After a certain point he wasn't able to speak his mind, without running it through a meticulous and highly restrictive filter. (Don't forget, body language constitutes 70%+ to communication, much of what's perceived is unconscious, very hard to control. We'd been friends for a loong time so it pained me he was slipping away but he wouldn't connect.) He had had a fucked up childhood with lots of neglect, a crazy mother an emotionally distant father and many siblings who sort of raised each other more often than desired... In his early mid 20s he went deep in the maze of determinism and some sort of magical thinking with past lives and everything is relative, no judgement possible on anything bollocks. So yeah, I cut him out like a dead weight. And mourned. And then got angry for me not seeing it earlier (some of my flaws) and at him for giving up on the friendship. Since then I have no qualms about it.

The reason I shared this with you is, because I am absolutely sure you can have meaningful and deep connections with people if you approach your situation from an honest and caring standpoint.

You must realise what happened inside you back then, why you chose the route to becoming distant from your core, your true inner self. To me it's not weird if someone had to develop a skin thick enough to withstand the constant sharp objects flinging at them. It's only a natural defense mechanism.

And I'm not talking about a math equation with a clear solution waiting to be solved. I mean facing the past with curiosity so that you can allocate responsibility(where it's due), mourn the lost, identify patterns in a way that you will see them. Because before, you were looking at them but to you they were invisible. Just like to me Bob (my ex best friend) wasn't a de-evolving, mystical minded person but in fact he was, my 'radar' was off.

This was my two cents, I encourage you to correct me or ask for clarification. I was trying to be as straightforward as I could, hope I was also mindful enough.

Looking forward to reading your answer,



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If I understand you correctly, I think you want me to identify patterns so I can change them. And what I recently did was identify the patterns of my mother and father.

My mother grew up in an abusive household and had the instinct to protect her younger siblings. So the only relationship she really learned was unconditional love while taking abuse. When that ended, she seeked another similar relationship but got divorced twice, in my opinion, because she couldn't marry the abuser of her child (child=unconditional love, husband=abusive parents). She can only marry an abuser because she doesn't know how to be loved. Her solution was to get in a relationship with my father who was gay because the parallels are so clear.

11 year age difference so my father is the same age as her siblings. He keeps the secret that he is gay from his mother, so his mother fits the evil parent role. No love is expected back because he is gay, so the love is unconditional, and she can protect him. The only problem is that the evil mother is great and everyone loves her including my father. In order to follow the pattern, my mother created a bad relationship with her to try and distance her from my father, but it never worked. (I also want to note that this is probably the first time my mother ennacted some form of manipulation or abuse, in order to hold the narrative which would grow over time, especially with alcohol.)

And then when I look at my father, I have note that his upbringing was almost impeccable accept for his father dying when he was 16. So he should understand all types of love, and he should be able to be responsible. The only real thing he had to deal with was that he was gay, which is something that is personal and selfish. So if he knew he was gay, the only reason he would really get involved with my mother is for a cover and his own benefit. And then he did stay with her for 8 or so years before she had me and my mom was 39. So I have to question if he really wanted me or not, assuming my mother wouldn't be able to have children at that age. And during the time I was almost born, my mother basically hit rock bottom when her older brother died who was basically the only one who cared for her. And according to my dad, when my mom became too impossible to deal with, that is when he played the gay card and opened up to his mother, found his partner, and went traveling for three years. But there is no way he didn't know who she was after 8 years, there is no way she just changed overnight. But I just can't get over the fact that he was so selfish that he was able to leave me behind with someone he thought was unstable. 

And when my father did eventually get me, I almost felt bought off. Like I would deal with abuse from my father's partner, but I knew I would have to stay with them because of the opportunities I would get from living with them, and the fact that my mother was unstable. So from that, I learned that I just needed to do what others want me to do to survive, and never have my own opinion because my step father knew best. And at the same time, I never really knew who to believe and I guess I was manipulated by my mother into hating them because she couldn't believe how ok I was living with my dad and his partner who basically took over her parenting role after abandoning me when I was a child. So according to my dad, my mother lies about everything, vice versa. Because of all this backstabbing and manipulation, all I really learned was that I never know who to trust, and I always assume that people are lying. And I always assume that I am at fault, or I can potentially do something, or get humiliated in front of others because of my abusive step parent. Because I was hit by him from time to time, so sometimes I still have a flinch reflex if someone just wanted to touch me on the shoulder.

One pattern I see is that if I piss someone off, instead of just giving them space, I immediately try to apologize or get their approval even if they just need time to reflect or something like that and maybe I wasn't even wrong, which is something I have to change, or even try to ask them what I did that offended them. And that comes from me trying to please my step father, who is always right and never apologizes. Or if my mother was drunk on the phone and called me and said the most horrible things you can imagine about me for an hour, wake up the next day and lie, never admitting that she said anything. Of course I seeked a relationship, so it was nice to talk to her sober, but she would fall off every few months. And when it came to my father, he never really accepted his own faults or simply allowed me to be abused and not correct his partner. If i tried to ask my father how he can have a child with someone like my mother, all he would say is that if I didn't, I wouldn't have had you, the best thing that ever happened to me. And that is a load of crap for obvious reasons, right, if I was the best thing, why did he leave me for him, and then to get the acceptance and love from his mother (the void my mom filled), that was a double whammy, right? All of them can blame my mother for blowing up and kicking my father out. 

i gotta finish this later


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