Attachment, insecurity, and jealousy in friendship

Due to my family siuation, as a kid I’ve spent a lot of time in a daycare, with various “aunties”, and alone (when I got “old enough”).  I always had some friends at the daycare but these were very shallow, as it is the case with kids.

I got my first real friend when I was in primary school. Let’s call her “Jo”. She lived nearby so we’ve often played at each others’ houses, had sleep-overs, etc. I often said that she’s my sister. Our relationship was not exactly like that of sisters, but I didn’t see the difference since I’ve never had any real siblings. Still, we were very close.

Around the 5th grade, one of our classmates (“Maggie”) started hanging out more with us. And I immediatelly saw her as a threat to the friendship I’ve already had with Jo. That feeling kept growing for a good 3 or 4 years. I was still all buddy-buddy with the Maggie, but deep down I was very jealous. Why? Because both of my friends shared similar interests, and I was the “odd one out” so I was afraid that eventually I’ll be out of the clique. The jealousy and animosity on my side escalated to the point where I literally said that I don’t want Maggie to join us when we were hanging out in a bigger group of friends.

Naturally, she still joined us and heard about the thing. After that we talked and cleared everything out. I knew that she wasn’t trying to get rid of me, and become Jo’s only friend, so she wasn’t a threat. Instead I gained another awesome friend.

I still had the feeling of being “the odd one out” (I had that for the majority of my school time), but Jo and Maggie always tried to make up for it, so it was okay.

But then I went to high school in another town. And our friendship loosened up. Or rather mine with them. They were still in the same school, and got boyfriends at roughly the same time – so they spent a lot of time together (sometimes just the 2 of them, or them with other friends, or them and they boyfriends together as a 4-person group). And yeah, I was jealous again. Because they had even more things in common, and even less time to spend time with me. And once again I was afraid that I’ll have no friends. But that didn’t happen. Though, they are definitely closer to each other than they are to me; sometimes, I still get this little ping of jealousy when I see how similar/close they are because, I know I can’t compete.

Then came the university studies. Each of us went to a different city/town so the friendship got even more loose. So it doesn’t hurt as much.

I eventually found new friends. This time, they share my interests. We got very close, pretty quickly. They are the best people I know. And it’s honestly great.Except, that I still feel very insecure in this friendship. We joined in the group at a different time. So I still feel like I’m very “new” and therefore that I am a loose end that can be cut off. I know it’s very unlikely, because they care about me too. But I can’t help my feelings.

I have the best relation in this group with a girl, who’s in my group at university (that’s how we met). She’s also the one who introduced me to the group.

But now we’re finishing the studies. And we’re all moving. We still will be leaving close, but not as much as we were. And we won’t be seeing each other most of the days at university. And I’ve noticed that ever since she’s rented a new room, I get increasingly more agitated.

And I started realising that it’s because I’m very insecure about this friendship. I am afraid that if we won’t see each other so often, this friendship will break apart.

(I don’t think that’ll be the case. We have some friends in our group from other cities and it’s working out great. But I just worry.)

I also realised, that I’m jealous of my best friend’s 2 flatmates. They are also a part of our group, and the 3 of them lived together for a few years, and now are moving together. I like them all. And I think I’m most jealous about the fact that they’ll be together, while I’ll be on my own.

I was reading a book on poliamory recently, and there was a chapter devoted to jealousy. And they were discussing different triggers. It made me realise that my trigger is “exclusion”. Even if it’s just imaginary or potential.

I get very engaged into my friendships, so the feelings are in a way comparable to those in romantic relationships (which I don’t have). I’m very attatched to my friends, and the jealousy is also real and strong.

But since I figured out what and why I feel, I think that I’ll be able to deal with that. I think the first step will be talking about the feelings with my friends. The honest communication is the most important thing in any realtionship, afterall.

Advertisements

Emotional exhaustion

So for over a week now I’ve been trying to find a new place to stay. So far, all the places were disappointing. When I talk to my friends/family about the matter I maintain this relaxed attitude: “I still have time. There are more offers appearing now.”

And while this is true, the search is starting to take its toll on me.

The search is an emotional roller-coaster. When I find a place that seems great I get excited (although less with each room that I’ve seen). When I get there, it’s usually (always) a disappointment. So, when I come home, I cannot stop myself from crying. As soon as I’m in my room the tears just start rolling down my cheek.

I feel like I can’t tell anybody because either they would dismiss it (my family: “there’s no need to be so worried/anxious”) or I feel like I shouldn’t disturb them (e.g. my friends, one of which is planning engagement, and the other is in the process of moving).

And I know that I do have time (over a month) and that there are more and more offers appearing every day. But I’d just rather already have something…

Maybe I should take a break, but I can’t stop myself from checking the websites. And since I can’t find much that looks okay I’m just growing more anxious.

I’m getting anxious to the point where I can’t focus on anything, where I can’t sleep or eat much. And I’m just so exhausted emotionally.

I’ve even started considering staying in the room, I’m currently renting – only because that would mean I don’t have to look for a new place anymore. But I won’t stay here, because the place is not good and I can’t live like this anymore…

Struggles of a millenial (part 1?)

I’m finishing my university studies this June (hopefully) so I need to move out of the place I’m staying right now. And frankly I want to move out of here…

But the problem is, that finding a new place to stay is not so easy.

I am looking for a place where I’ll have it relatively close to my friends and also within a short distance to some public transportation, because I don’t have my own car (or a driving licence) but I’ll still have to get to my job somehow.

As I can’t afford renting a flat on my own (houses are not really that popular in the main city areas in Polish cities), I am looking for a room to rent.

I know it would be easier to rent something with my friends, but my friends have good conditions where they are living right now, so they won’t be moving.

Looking for a room in flats where people already live is full of disappointments and dealing with weird situations:

  • Tiny rooms where you don’t even have a space to walk through
  • Flats where a single man is looking for a single female roommate
  • Flats with 50+ y.o. owners living in them
  • Flats where the said 50+ owner has her own fridge and you have to share a mini-fridge standing in the hallway with the other renting roommates
  • Flats with no heating in the winter
  • “Single rooms” which turn out to be twin rooms
  • No washing machine (people in Poland usually do their laundry at home, there are almost no laundromats and dry cleaners is for like “special” stuff only e.g. delicate clothes of heavy blankets)
  • 8 people living in 4 rooms

I just want a nice room in a nice, not too overcrowded flat with no owner living in it. But apparently even that’s too much to ask…

When you feel invalid

Whenever me and my friends talk about more personal stuff I always feel like I should not say anything because… I had it easy.

At least compared to them.

Like I have this friend who had (still has) depression and she used to cut herself, she was bullied to the extent which I have never experienced. Her life was a literal hell for several years.

I had my own hell, but it was nothing like that. My hell seems to be almost heaven whenever I hear about things like that.

It makes me feel like my experiences are not really valid.

But they are valid for me. And this is what should count.

With mental health it’s not about how difficult your situation was objectively, it’s how difficult it was relatively – just for you. Because it’s your perception of the situation that impacted your well-being.

So, if someone tells you that what you’ve been through is nothing, that people have it worse in life – do not pay attention to this. You are living your own life, not somebody else’s. You are fighting your own fight and if you feel you need help reach out. If you’ve perservered be proud – because you haven’t given up.

No pain, no struggle, no experience is less valid – they are just different.

 

Self-pleasuring, self-exploration, and more…

Like many sex-connected things, masturbation is a taboo in the society. While I understand what lead to this perception and I respect the unwritten rules not to talk about it in public, I am not ashamed of the fact that I do masturbate.

I am a woman in my mid 20-ties and I do experience sexual urges, so rather than going out and looking for risky one-night stand or suppressing them, I usually give in and masturbate. Well, sometimes I masturbate also when I do not feel the urge and that’s great too.

Sometime’s there’s this guilt at the back of my mind when I do this. I was raised as a catholic in a predominantly catholic country. Hence, since my early childhood I was told that any sexual acts except for vaginal sex IN a marriage are a sin. Nevertheless, it never stopped me from masturbating.

I was never really good at following all the religious rules, but this one I started breaking pretty early. I was a child when I’ve discovered that putting my hands next to my crotch , squeezing them with my thighs and rubbing them like that against my crotch felt good. My mom and grandma were furious whenever they stumbled upon me doing that. I never understood why but I started doing this only when I was sure that noone will catch me.

Fast forward few years, I learned what masturbation was. I was probably like 10 at that time. I still didn’t know much about how that exactly works, but I least I found a term for what I was doing. Actually, it was probably about that time when I started doing it naked.

In Junior High School I tried to stop masturbating. I was particularily religious at that time, so I made a conscious effort to not repeat my “sins”. Well, I wasn’t good at that either. I still kept masturbating, though more rarely (mostly around my periods because it helped with my cramps). I never confessed that I masturbate tho 😉

Neither did I masturbate watching/reading hentai mangas/animes (mostly yaoi at the time). Because it was actually in Junior High when I discovered the porn-side of manga/anime and fanfiction…

Within about 3 years I was totally hooked up on yaoi and smutty fics. I also matured enough to not care about society/church and started  exploring my body more, which meant that I actually got to sticking things into my vagina. I didn’t particularily like fingering myself because after that my wrist always hurt like hell, so I went for any phallic-shaped objects that fit “in there”. Which meant used-up but cleaned tampon applictors, pens, and the like. Not very safe, I know. One time I actually got a part of the pen stuck in my vagina, fortunatelly I managed to get it out and later I always made sure that whatever I used did not have any detachable parts.

I was still feeling guilt at that time, but the pleasure masturbation gave me was enough for me not to stop my “shameful practices”

In the end, I came to terms with my sexuality. I wrapped my mind around the fact that masturbation is not a sin and neither is it shameful (though it is intimate and for that reason I masturbate only in my room, behind closed doors).

Embracing my needs was actually very healthy thing. First, I bought myself some actual sex-toys which meant that I was basically much more safe. Second, masturbating helped me unwind and since I am a very anxious person this helped me feel a lot better in general. Third, I got to self-explore.

I masturbate wit varied regularity, I can go weeks without it, and then comes a week when I’ll masturbate 2 or 3 times a day. It really all boils down to whenever I feel like masturbating.

I often masturbate even when I’m at my period because during the first few days it helps with the cramps and towards the end of my period it helps with the dryness (I tend to experience a lot of dryness at the last days of my period/first few days post to the point when it’s really painful).

Besides that masturbation helped me to explore myself, so that when I’ll have sex I’ll know what would give me the most pleasure. For the longest time I couldn’t orgasm, but I’ve managed to finally figure out what combination “triggers it” which is great. I’ve also learned that I have a tendency to squirt while doing particular things so that’s also great thing to know (I will be able to actually warn any potential parters about this possibility).

I feel like masturbation is one of these things people should talk about. With men it’s mostly taken for granted that they will masturbate, and while some parents still frown upon it it seems to be okay. For some reason with female masturbation it seems to be way worse thing. For no reason really. It’s not self-rape – you consent to doing this to yourself. It’s not something which devil suggested to you – you are just responding to your body’s needs: it’s like eating when you’re hungry.

Masturbation is normal and healthy. And it’s important to talk about it. It’s important to stop making a taboo of things which are perfectly fine.

When my brain is screaming at me

I am an anxious person. I get stressed out a lot if I have a challenging task to do or I’m put in a new situation. I feel sick to my stomach. I’m twitchy. I’m easily irritable. But it’s not the worst.

The worst is my anxiety that comes after a stressful situation, like exam. The moment I start thinking about that situation and my brain basically starts screaming at me and pointing out to every flaw, every little problem, picking at myevery insecurity.

And that’s exactly what happened today

So, I’m about to finish my studies and I started looking for a job. I had an interview today and I left the building pretty happy. When I got home it all started to crumble. My brain focused on the interview and kept reanalysig my every single answer, pointing out where I could do better, what I did wrong. Basically I kept telling myself that there’s no chance for me to get the job, and that I’ll never be able to get any.

I was fixated on it for a good 6-7 hours. I tried to distract myself: I watched a new show, I read fanfictions, I worked on my own, I listened to music, I cooked a dinner. But all the time, there was this thought “you SO failed this interview” in my mind; not even the back of my mind, it was upfront. It was the only thing I could think about.

I ate a bag of chocolate chip cookies (I went to a nearby shop just to buy them) – it didn’t help. I turned myself into a blanket burrito and desperately tried to stop myself from crying because all that time I was about to burst into tears. All I wanted was a hug, but I don’t live with my family or friends so I had no one to ask for it.

All the while my rumination cycle had been going on.

What finally helped a bit was talking to my mum on the phone for half an hour, simply talking about my insecurities and hearing her tell me that no matter what the result will be , it’ll all be well.

The thought is still there, but it moved to the back of my mind. And I can actually focus on something else.

Situations like this one happen. Sometimes more often, sometimes less. It may seem like it’s nothing. I know people have bigger problems. But it seriously affects my life. It is not healthy… I need to find a way to stop these attacks at the very early stage… I need a way to break up the rumination cycle… I need to stop punishing myself… I need to stop wishing I could change what I did in the past…

Toxic

Usually when people talk about toxic relationship they mean the “romantic” relationship. But friendship can be toxic too, and that is exactly what I’ve experienced.

I met V over the internet. I was young, 14 maybe 15, she was 6 years older. I was reading her blog with fanfiction. We haven’t met for several years, but the friendship started developing. We talked on chat/skype daily. I started helping her with the fics (co-translation, beta, etc.).

I really liked V. She understood me, we had similar hobbies – I FINALLY had someone to talk to about Harry Potter, and anime,  and shiping, and yaoi, and everything… In few years V became one of the most important people in my life. I talked to her about every problem, every joy. I turned to her when I needed an advice.

When we finally met in person, I was in college. And I was instantly smithen. Like I couldn’t stop staring at her because she was real, she was here, and she was SO AMAZING. (It was an instant crush, I didn’t realise it at that time because I was so deep in the closet I didn’t even consider that I can actually have a crush on a girl).

She lived in a different town so we didn’t meet regularly but we kept talking every day, sending each other gifts even (for birthdays, namedays, Christmas, …). And at that point I was so deep in that I did everything to please her.

She had a huge influence on me. When I visited her in the summer, I’ve spent a week at her house. I spent most of the time alone, with her cats, because she was working (now, that sounds so wrong – I went to visit her, but I didn’t get to spend much time with her). In that spare time I was working on her fics, of course (they needed so much beta, she didn’t have the best command of language). And during that visit I let her die my hair. Actually, it wasn’t lie I had much to say in the matter. She literally pointed to a chair and said “Sit. We’re dyeing your hair.” She chose the colour too.

I kept dyeing the hair the same colour for 3 years…

Much of our friendship was revolting around her fanfiction blog. I was absolutely in love with her works at first, but with years I started seeing the imperfections. They were poorly written, and had really bad plots (too simplistic or too “wtaf?!”, + too many mpregs). Yet, I was unable to stop reading her fics and commenting them (in a favourable way of course, she didn’t deal at all with criticism). I tried, I kept telling her that I’m busy with my college an everything. But she kept saying  that if I stop reading and commenting, she’ll stop writing and will tell all her other fans that it’s my fault (and I really didn’t feel like being bullied by a bunch of yaoists). It was blackmail, I see it now.

She kept using emotional blackmail on me. It was effective – she knew it. All she needed was to pout, say that she’s sad, said that she’s lonely and I kept doing what she wanted. Even without her telling me anything, with most things there was the underlying “V would approve”. It was emotionally straining.

About 1,5 years ago my other friends started noticing that something was wrong with my relation with V. And they decided that it needs to stop. Gradually, I stopped visitng V’s blog. Gradually, I reduced the amount of contact I had with V. I started making decisions for my own – I did things because I wanted to do them, I stoped thinking “what V would say about it”. Half a year ago I finally changed my hair colour. It felt as if a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

V sometimes still messages me, and I’m still unable to ignore her. I still have her in my facebook friends. I still kept checking her blog – every two months to see what she’s up to, and whether she’s doing okay (she always had bad health and kept ending up in a hospital, that’s how I know she got pregnant). I cannot cut the ties to her completely. She was an important part of my life for quite some time. But I’m making progress. I stopped following her facebook feed and blocked the notifications from her on Messenger.

I hope that one day, I’ll be able to leave her behind completely and not care about her.

Because, I know that now if I got involved even a bit in her life the things could come back to what they were  really fast. And I really don’t want that.