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Forums / Depression / Help. I don’t know who I am supposed to be and feel lost

Topic: Help. I don’t know who I am supposed to be and feel lost

  1. therising
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    15 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It can be so hard to relate to who we truly are at times. We can have 99 people tell us we're amazing, tell us how conscious we are, tell us how thoughtful we are, how incredible yet we don't believe it. Then that 100th person comes along who shows it all to us in a way where we can finally relate. It's like they hold a mirror up to us and, for the first time, we actually see clearly who we are.

    That 100th person holds the ability to take away all that blurs our vision/perception. They can take away the self doubt, the self judgement, the pressure to conform, the false beliefs that say 'I'm not good enough' or 'There's so much wrong with me' or 'I'm not a real man or a real woman in the eyes of society'. They can take away all the illusions that have led us to see our self in a certain way, the wrong way. Once all that blurs our vision/perception is removed, we see a clear reflection of who we are. We can go from 'I am not the person you think I am' to 'Oh my god, I am that person'.

    The illusion of you being 'not man enough', can be replaced by the truth found in that heartfelt experience you shared with your aunt, how your heart broke for her and how deeply you felt that. This reflects not that you aren't man enough but that you are an intensely loving person who does not wish heartbreak upon anyone. The greatest and strongest of men throughout history have loved deeply. The most arrogant of men have been undeniably insensitive. This is rarely a trait a woman looks for in a man, insensitivity.

    You can speak to a variety of women who will tell you 'While I have been with the same man for years, he has never been sensitive enough to know who I truly am and what I truly need, in a way that makes my heart sing'. To seek a man with a great balance of both masculine and feminine nature is a quest for finding 'the ideal man'. I should add, to seek a woman with a great balance of feminine and masculine nature is a quest for finding 'the ideal woman'. The ideal woman is not all loving and timid and doting, she has facets of a warrior when times get tough. She is courageous and strong, among other things. The perfect man is not all 'Don't worry Sweetie, I'll protect you' or 'How 'bout a roll in the hay?!', he has facets that are deeply loving, incredibly gentle and undeniably soulful.

    In my opinion, quite often it is not the perfect manly man we are after or the ideal lady like woman, it's the perfect balance of self which is incredibly attractive :)

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    16 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I hope you are right that someone probably more sensitive like I feel I am isn’t frowned upon by women. Maybe past experiences are conditioning me to believe that and the groups I’ve grown up around.

    I feel really on edge about myself at the moment and I feel like I’m a womanising piece of rubbish which I tried to avoid being.

    I had a chat with that girl and told her upfront that I’m having a bit of a battle internally at the moment and I’m not sure of where I am at currently personally but I do think she’s lovely so it is nothing to do with her. I would be interested to see her again but I wanted to tell her I don’t want to promise anything because my stress levels are really high and I feel like I’m figuring myself out. I wanted to give her the freedom to choose to not talk to me/see me and pursue others or not feel the pressure to have to only pursue me.

    I feel Im a disgrace because I’m so confused, I do feel interested but then I’m not sure whether I can sustain a relationship at the moment as I’m starting to see things I struggle with are very much still there and I don’t want to burden another person and maybe need a time out. Also I’m not 100% sure yet that we are even suited despite sharing moments together so I feel like a pig.

    Im trying to see what happens and respect her at the same time without making promises I can’t keep I don’t know what to do with myself and I feel like a terrible person and my anxiety is through the roof everyday

  3. therising
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    17 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I can't help but wonder how conscious the girl you're seeing is. If she's highly conscious, you might find she is exactly who you need in your life right now. This leads me to think of the guy my daughter's currently seeing. He is so highly conscious it blows my mind.

    I believe this guy is exactly who my daughter needs in her life. Apparently, from what she says, he wasn't always this way. Up until the past couple of years, he lacked serious self esteem while struggling with trying to think well of himself. Part of this was based on his soul destroying experience with bullying in the past. He began going to the gym, not to look all buff but to basically feel a greater sense of well being. Things took off from there. The better he felt within himself, the happier and more energetic he felt. He ended up feeling such an overall sense of well being that this led him to love himself for being who is naturally is. He just loves the energy he has as well as the energy of who he is. That's one serious 'work out', to work out facets of who you're not, in order to discover who you are. It's life changing and mind altering.

    His balance points to both his determined nature and his gentle nature. Determined to achieve whatever he imagines is what drives him to achieve. He is driven by his imagination. On the gentler side, his Valentines gift to my daughter involved him composing a song for her while he played his guitar along with the lyrics. To tell you the truth, I'm jealous :) His consciousness is what leads him to ask her why she can't accept the compliments he gives her. He encourages her to explore her thoughts and beliefs. I wonder whether the girl you're seeing holds the same ability. If she questions you as to why you think the way you do or why you believe the things you believe, she's possibly challenging you to consciously explore the things you need to seriously question or look at. While your relationship is in the early stages, so is my daughter's relationship with her partner.

    Daniel, in my opinion you are far from being a disgrace. There is nothing wrong or disgraceful with seriously trying to work our self out. This is a period of a massive shift in consciousness for you. It takes some serious hard and highly emotional work, to get through such an intense mind altering shift. If you're feeling exhausted, it would be based on the hard work you're doing. Don't forget to recharge, otherwise all you'll be feeling is exhaustion :)

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    17 February 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    First thing, I am very happy that your daughter has found someone like that and I wish them both all the very best! That is the type of impact I’d like to have on someone one day as you mentioned I just think maybe I’m not good enough at the moment.


    I think part of what seems to be eating away at me is that I thought I was ready for a relationship but I’m almost seeing that maybe I need some of my issues run a lot deeper than I initially even thought which scares me and I don’t want to burden someone at the same time I figure it out. She wants me to be honest with her when I know where I’m at and I feel like I’ve really been doing my best to respect her.


    I feel a bit like I need a timeout to sort myself out because I’m so stressed and anxious I can’t relax at all and I don’t want to string someone along for the ride even though I like her as a person. We are different people a bit also which I think might end up meaning we’d suit as friends in the long run but I’ve really been trying to not make my decision to hastily like I have in the past and consider things carefully but then that’s where I feel like a bad guy because I don’t want to be confusing to someone.


    My head feels like it’s going to explode with stress because I’m trying to do my best to get to know her but there’s things nagging at me to say it’s not right and that I need to sort myself out before I commit to anything with anyone.


    Im feeling ashamed of myself for being so confused and not sure of myself, she had mentioned to me that a friend of hers at work that she mentioned me to says that’s I’m stringing her along and will drop her when I’m bored which I am absolutely not doing and now im even more anxious that that’s how I’m seen because I’m not that.

    I thought I was ready and I was making progress I just feel a million miles away because I’m so on edge with everything maybe it’s just not right time I don’t know what to do anymore
  5. therising
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    18 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    You sound pretty stressed and understandably so. You've got a lot running through your mind. Do you think it would feel like a serious relief if you decided to let go of the relationship or do you feel this is something you can gradually work through, with some careful strategies? Some strategies might look a little like breathing exercises or meditation exercises of some type. In mentioning meditation, I'm not talking about sitting there not thinking of anything, more so about choosing different things to meditate on, to help take your mind off of what's stressing you, even if it's just to calm your nervous system. A calmer body can help create a calmer more ordered mind and vice versa.

    There's a huge variety of meditation choices - mediating on music and how it leads you to feel (in the way of sensation), meditating on the feelings of an amusement park ride, meditating on the beauty of the butterfly enclosure at the zoo or the incredible colours that come with a sensational sunset. These are forms of meditation you can either do alone or with someone else. You can even meditate on developing certain soccer ball skills. Maybe that is one you've done in the past. If so, you would know that meditation is about clearing the mind of distraction in order to fully focus on what you need to focus on developing. It's about attention to detail. The attention to detail involves where your foot is in relation to the ball, the amount of force and balance it takes to keep it going back and forward from one foot to the other, for example, if that's the desired skill to be developed. At the moment you're meditating on your thoughts. If you're meditating on how 'dysfunctional' you are, in your opinion, this is what you're giving your full undivided attention to. The practice of fully focusing/meditating on dysfunction will bring about the feelings that come with a sense of dysfunction. Meditation will almost always produce feelings, from incredible peace to incredible stress.

    The brain is a tricky thing to master. The thing is, it will believe just about anything if what's presented to it is believed as being 'the truth'. On one day your 'truth' can be 'Being introverted to some degree is bad', whereas the next day you can be led to see the absolute truth is there's nothing wrong with it. 2 different 'truths', 2 different lots of feelings. The brain is largely a processor. It'll process any belief you give it. What beliefs are you giving it to process?

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    18 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Just wanted to say thank you for your continued patience with me as I do not expect you to try to help me and you have been a wonderful help and someone I’ve enjoyed talking with, I will always appreciate it and I apologise for the confusion or over-dramatic nature of my posts at times.

    I think you may be right in terms of taking a break, I had a chat with my Aunty last night who is like a confidant for me given she helped my mother raise me pretty much and sort of formulated a plan of action so to speak. Not sure what you would think and whether this is disrespect of me to do.

    The “plan of attack” so to speak is to try my best to calm down and just see where the moment will take me with this girl the next couples of weeks and then revisit my feelings in general. I have been honest with her saying that I’m not sure where I’m at in this period and I do not expect her to wait around or only speak with me but I do want to see her again and just see what happens. If in a couple weeks after seeing her a bit more I still might be uncertain and stuff I will let her know that I need to focus on myself at the moment or if I feel like I can work through it as you mentioned then I will continue.

    Does that sound dishonest or disrespectful to her ? She mentioned her work friend said I might be stringing her along which I took a bit of exception to (not to her just in my own head) because I am most certainly not.

    My Aunty mentioned that unfortunately/fortunately however you want to view I am too nice a person to want to hurt someone so I neglect how I feel and put pressure on myself to make sure I’m always respecting the other person and it stops me from just enjoy myself. She did mention that it’s part of dating that you might see someone for a period and go your separate ways, this does not mean you’re a bad person unless you’ve intentionally been deceitful or something like that which I have not.

    Part of it too is there’s a physical pressure on the relationship that I’ve never experienced and I feel wrong for doing anything with her but I think she definitely wants to with me, I just get anxious because I think too far ahead like what if this doesn’t work and she thinks I just used her like her past, sorry if too much info

    Thanks for the advice on meditation I have tried it at various stages and it does help, maybe I need to force myself into a habit of doing it because you can probably tell I get worked up and my rationality goes all over the shop.

  7. therising
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    19 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I've very much enjoyed chatting with you too. To add to this, I can honestly say you've led me to be more thoughtful, giving me the opportunity to think about some of the things I wasn't entirely conscious of before. I feel patience hasn't entered into it at all, btw. I never feel the need for patience when someone is working so hard to figure things out in life. Takes a heck of a lot of patience to tolerate the behaviour of someone who makes no effort at all, who has no interest in finding the best in themself while they flat out refuse to work through their challenges. You are working so hard and you have my respect. Also, in my opinion, you're in no way over dramatic. You're managing a lot of emotion.

    Your aunt sounds like a wise and thoughtful caring person. She's taking both your and that girl's feelings into account. I can understand why she's your confidant; she sounds like a beautiful, gentle and enlightened guide who knows you well. I think the plan that always works best is the plan we can best relate to. If you can relate to her plan sounds like it's the right one for you. I think it's a very considerate and relatable plan, taking who you naturally are into consideration. I've found, with certain plans of attack, people don't take who we naturally are into consideration which is why these kinds of plans are destined to fail. Makes me think about how my husband used to say to our son 'Just hit 'em', when my son faced psychological bullying at school. This just wasn't my son. The plan had to be a psychological one. By manipulating his own way of thinking and flipping the script, he gradually began to see how he was in control of each situation. He became the leading character, eventually leading them to leave him alone. Based on the lead character aspect...

    You're not leading this girl on/stringing her along, as her friend may suggest. While it may appear this way to the friend, the fact is - you've been completely open and honest with where you're at in this relationship and how you're trying your best to work through it. If anything, you're leading her to see things clearly. The friend is seeing an agenda that's just not there. Perhaps this is based on her friend's experience with manipulative males. She may not realise you're not like a lot of guys who can be manipulative and self serving. No, you're someone special and that's the truth. Perhaps the friend just can't believe a guy like you exists, someone who is incredibly rare :)

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Daniel12
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    240 posts
    20 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Thank you for your ongoing support, you have been a great outlet and I am glad I came here to try use this as a way of expressing myself as it lead me to great conversation with you and many revelations you have led me to realise.

    I think my aunty's plan is a way of trying to release the pressure I feel to sort of please everyone in the situation thats causing me stress, it might not eliminate the stress/anxiety I feel completely but at least it may give me a like structure to follow. I know that's a silly way to see it but she described the situation better than I can as she has said to me unfortunately I cannot please everyone in certain situations and you cannot control how people with think of/react to you. She mentioned that I am trying my absolute best to give this girl a go and see what could happen despite the feelings I have and I have also been honest with her and allowed her the option to do as she pleases because I am aware of the mixed feelings. She then said because I am doing my best that's all I need to worry about, if in the event I do not believe she is right for me of course it might be difficult for me to tell her particularly if she likes me as my natural inclination is not to upset someone but aunty said do not just settle because you don't want to hurt someones feelings but at the same time realise that I have always been respectful so I am not like those guys I have mentioned.

    In the grand scheme of things the situation is nothing compared to what others go through, I think it is just my intense levels of anxiety and stress which have really come to the surface and not wanting to be a bad person/guy if I choose not to pursue someone long term.

    To make things more stressful, this person I met through a friend a couple times I have been told really likes me and I have my friend wanting me to pursue that. I have not gone on a date with this girl but now I am in a position I have never been in where I am caught in-between two people and I don't want to hurt/disrespect anyone and I don't want to upset my friend. My anxiety is through the roof, I am judging myself everyday and I seem to jumping from one thing to another to try and resolve it. One moment I try figure out how I can gently let someone down without coming across like I used them because it's becoming too much for me and then the next moment I don't want to do that because I have been encouraged to give things a chance by my psych and no be afraid.

  9. therising
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    21 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I think there's often the temptation to compare what we're going through to what others are facing. There's also that temptation to downplay our stress or our grief, declaring that in some way we're not entitled to feel the way we do.

    I think back to when I had a couple of early stage miscarriages, about 18 years ago. I can recall feeling as though I wasn't entitled to feel the way I did, in comparison to some poor mum who experienced the overwhelming emotional sufferance of a stillbirth. The thought of this did not take the pain away for me, the incredible grief I felt around that time. When I consider such sufferance, I would not belittle the overwhelming pain and grief of a 2 year old who just lost his favourite Teddy bear, for it to never return. His pain and grief is raw and devastating, until it begins to ease. He has just lost the love of his life and he feels it so incredibly deeply. It is the depth of our emotions that leads to our sufferance (stress or grief), not the circumstances.

    Also, never underestimate the impact of a brand new challenge. I think we can have a lot of little challenges along our path throughout life, ones that don't impact our mind, body and spirit to the point where it's almost debilitating. There is nothing that compares to a 'fork in the road' moment, where we face choosing who we're going to be, which path we're going to take. While one of those moments may resemble 1 or 2 of the simple challenges along a straight forward path, it's the intensity of the challenge that dictates it's a 'fork in the road' moment. This is what I have found in my own life. I've also sound that standing there, trying so hard to choose 'right', can be a stressful time.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    21 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I think this situation I described below is really challenging and it's making me sick with stress if I am honest.

    I fully understand in my attempts to be as respectful and patient as possible I may have confused the situation for myself to a degree. I think my patience and the fact that my natural instinct is to always be nice and give benefit of the doubt maybe has created a situation where I've neglected my own feelings and now I am trapped in a loop where I am so stressed about how the other person is going to feel is I don't stay the course that I am not even considering it from my end because I believe I'm a terrible person for not being at the same level as them.

    There has been plenty of moments of self doubt and questioning because of things that are happening. I feel so much pressure it's actually making me sick because I don't know what to do genuinely. I have tried to be as upfront and honest as possible that I am going through a sort of transition period so out of respect for her I want her to know like where I am at and that there is potential that something serious may be too much for me at the moment but I enjoy her company and I am trying to get to know her deeper because we still haven't really got past say a basic level yet apart from physical side which I never intended it just happened naturally.

    The problem and where I feel all the pressure is, it's being taken like "I'm playing her" or I'm speaking to loads of women or I am stringing her along for a ride while I am bored, none of which I am trying to do and I try to say this and then I get accused of treating her like a friend only. I am trying to express I enjoy her company and I don't know her well enough yet to make my decision so I am just trying to stay in the moment and do that but I will always respect her first and then also I am going through a tough period personally so if that's not for her to stick around for I understand.

    Everything is getting misconstrued or there's pressure on every word I say or action I make and I hate myself for everything, I have no idea how to handle this

  11. therising
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    22 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I feel for you so much as things sound like they're becoming pretty distressing for you. It's a horrible feeling, distress, and at times it can feel like there's just no obvious way out of such sickening upset. I think it's times like this where only in hindsight do things become clear. With hindsight we're able to say 'No wonder I was so upset at the time. It all makes complete sense now'.

    It sounds like you're now asking yourself the really tough questions, which may help explain why things feel like they're getting tougher. Sounds like initially it was a more basic lot of questioning, 'Do I like her as a potential partner or not? Maybe, maybe not. Let's see'. Now, do you think it's a matter of 'How do I stay with her when I don't entirely feel like staying with her'? or 'How do I make something work that feels like it's not working?'. It's tough when you're a feeler and an analyst. Back and forward, back and forward constantly between logical analysis and feelings. Throw who you want to be or don't want to be into the mix and it becomes even tougher. Could sound a little like 'I feel this relationship may have potential, even a little. Logically though, can I live up to her expectations, throwing myself fully into the relationship, as opposed to gradually letting it unfold? But I feel if I end things now there will be so much upset for her. But, logically, it makes more sense to end things before there's too much hurt felt. I feel like a terrible person if I end things but, logically, I know I have to get past feeling like a terrible person, in order to get on with my life and let her get on with hers (where she can find someone who can throw themself into a relationship 100%)'. So much feeling and logic. The internal battle between feeling and logic can be brutal at times.

    I'll ask you what may be the most logical question. Not entirely sure if it is the most logical question but I'll share what has simply come to mind. I'll let you decide. The question is 'Logically, should a relationship feel this distressing or hold this much pressure?'. Would you say the more doubts you have about the relationship, the tougher things are going to get and the worse you're going to feel?

    I know not wanting to upset her is a significant factor in this but, putting that aside (I know it's hard), would you feel incredible relief if the relationship was over? There may be some mixed emotions, relief and elements of guilt but, over all, would you feel relieved?

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    22 February 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising

    I think you’ve almost described the problem perfectly between logic and feeling. I feel like we get along great and share some good moments and feel comfortable but logically I don’t think I can meet her expectations at least not at the moment or in near future. I actually feel like we’d make a good friendship but I am aware that the possibility of that has probably gone or at least been blurred because of a physical connection we have shared. I feel like I’d actually be someone whose a good support to her as a friend and I wouldnt actually mind doing that as to me if nothing else we’re friends. I believe any relationship should start as a friendship.

    The other element of feeling like a terrible person is that she’s shared some pretty personal stuff with me, which mind you I never asked to be told and I even prefaced it by saying if you’re not comfortable telling me don’t because we don’t know each other that well. I said that after she mentioned she’s opened up to people before who judged her and didn’t listen when all she wanted was someone to listen.

    She said she was comfortable to tell me because I listen, I just listened to her and I think because I’m quite patient and in general I’ll try to support others whoever they may be I was genuine in my support. I guess I’m worried she’s going to think I just took what she told me and just disregarded it and used her which i didn’t.

    The question you ask me is the exact thing I have been pondering since I last saw her, as bad as it sounds I would feel relief but I would also feel regret because I feel in a different time maybe it might have been different. But I would agree with your sentiment that it shouldn’t feel this distressing and pressured. Maybe I’m bringing it on myself a lot and I’ve tried to give this a go for that reason as well.

    I think the experience has maybe showed me I’m not as ready for a relationship as I thought I’d be because I’m stressed over everything and then im constantly insecure. Maybe I need to relax myself before I can commit to someone but I know how that would sound to her if I said that’s the reason it would be like I used her which I didn’t.

    I’m caught between wanting to see her because I do like her and then feeling like what’s best for me is to try and end it but I have trouble explaining that the issue is not her personally it’s more where I feel I’m at individually, I don’t know I feel terrible sorry for dumping this here.
  13. therising
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    23 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I can understand why she adores you. I believe she senses everything you are: Deeply considerate, openly expressive with your feelings, a great listener/therapist, humorous, pleasing to look at (from what you say, quite modestly), a non alpha type who's typically out to prove himself, a friend with benefits etc. This describes pretty much the perfect guy, in my opinion. In you, I imagine she sees the ideal guy. You may be tempted to think 'I'm not that good' but I'll prompt you to look back over that list and then challenge you accept you're all these things to varying degrees. You gotta admit, it's undeniable. If you add to the list 'somewhat confused' (at a confusing time of your life) would you say this sums you up, basically, this list? Even getting a 'I suppose so' is good enough :)

    With me mentioning the 'friends with benefits' aspect, just want to clarify. I'm not coming from a 'casual sex' perspective, it's actually a whole different perspective. Btw, I know you mentioned nothing's gone to this level but I'll ask you to consider the following. You could ask a couple who have been together for years 'What makes your relationship so strong?', to which their response may be 'We're friends more than anything. We listen to each other carefully and inspire each other. We're guides for each other. We evolve individually and together. We have the added benefit of experiencing, together, the type of energy that puts us both into a blissful state of activity. We only share this kind of energy (intimate energy) with each other and no one else'. They may say to one another at times 'I'm bored, let's generate some energy/interest' or 'I'm feeling a little flat today, how about generating a little hyperactivity?' or 'I'm stressed. How about some gentle relaxing 'exercise' together?'. They may see this kind of energy as a tool in their relationship as opposed to it being the focus of their relationship. Their main focus is friendship and mutual respect. The added benefit aspect comes down to what someone can give to or share with their partner.

    If you feel you can't give to the relationship, even on a basic level, would you be depriving her of something she wishes to share (intimacy)? If this is the case, one way of thoughtfully approaching this with her could involve you expressing how you don't want to deprive her of something she wishes to experience with a partner. She could stay with you and not have that or find someone she could have that with.

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Daniel12
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    24 February 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising


    It became too much for me and I had a conversation with her and tried to explain in the most respectful way possible where my mind is at and why I can't seem to continue.


    I mentioned that I do like her for who she is as a person, I have enjoyed our time together and whilst the moments of intimacy we had shared complicates things and makes it seem like I had ulterior motives throughout the short relationship I had with her those moments meant something to me as I have never really had comfortable moments with regards to intimacy with anyone and I was genuine in those moments. I don't expect her to believe that and I feel sick with guilt and stress.


    I mentioned also that I have realised over the last couple days particularly that maybe I need to do more work on myself before I can dive into something with someone and I can't continue when I feel this stress about myself within the relationship as I will forever like a burden on the other person and would be unable to 100% commit myself to her and I believe that would be disrespecting her as a person.


    I feel like a terrible person and like I have become exactly what I did not want to become, like the group of guys I have previously described. I am so ashamed of myself and whilst there might be a small sense of relief it's overcome by intense disappointment in myself for allowing myself to upset someone like this and not using my better judgement as to not being intimate with her given the state of confusion I may have been in. I feel like a self serving a**hole for lack of a better term and this experience makes me feel I am million miles off who I should be
  15. therising
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    25 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    It's the nature of just about any major challenge for it not to be easy for, I believe, the purpose of such an intense challenge is to change us. It can take a heck of a lot of pressure to change us. Sometimes the pressure is incredibly intense. Most things/people eventually change under pressure.

    I'm glad you've found relief. Also glad you've discovered you're within a period of personal transformation/reform, that can perhaps more easily take place while you're on your own. While you wished for a relationship and it came, with another woman waiting on the sidelines, perhaps it wasn't until now that the direction you want to take has become more clear. I've found, while personal reflection can be undertaken while we have others in our life, deep personal reflection is something that requires a time out from the relationships we have in our life. I go into such a state myself at times. I become a bit detached during such periods. I regard it as a constructive form of detachment, such a period of self reflection. A bit like the natural ebb and flow of the ocean - I retreat before returning again. Into the world I go again with more knowledge, more self awareness than before, so I can enjoy life more with a deeper connection (each time).

    I think the poop that comes once a challenge appears complete can feel pretty horrible. Can easily be left beating our self up at times. I think, in the poop, we can discover who we don't want to be, so that we can work more clearly and easily with who we do want to be. Daniel, to me it sounds like you were considerate and honest in that relationship. Perhaps this is something you'll more clearly come to see over time. Believe me when I say you're not like one of 'those guys'. I used to date those types of guys and you're far from being one. They're horrible, depressing thoroughly self serving people. While some of those types of guys grow out of being this way, some remain that way for the rest of their life. Some women marry those types of guys and suffer terribly in the marriage, the whole time wondering what's wrong with them (their own self), as opposed to addressing the fact they married a depressing narcissist. As you're aunt has touched on, you're far too considerate, conscious and sensitive toward others to be a narcissist, to the point of mental torture. You really wouldn't make a good narcissist :)

    Would you say you've gained the ability to sense whether a relationship feels right or wrong?

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    25 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I have been feeling pretty terrible and ashamed with myself for what I did. I know it sounds silly but I know I upset her and I’m not naive enough to think I wouldn’t upset her but I just feel like I did the wrong thing even though being honest was probably the right thing for her as if we continue her feelings and mine may have developed more and it would of been worse.

    We did agree to be friends because I did say I actually liked her for who she was it just wasn’t feeling right in a romantic sense or it was too stressful with that pressure on it. So we are still friends and talking a little bit but that almost makes me feel worse, I feel like I’m such a terrible guy like I shared moments of intimacy with this girl which by the way I seldom do with anyone unless I’m comfortable so it did mean something but then turned around and “friend zoned” her but my intention was never to use her, I was trying so hard to try breakthrough with her and I felt it was probably a sign we were better as friends that I couldn’t quite get over that hump.

    I feel it was opening up a lot of things I thought I had control over that I clearly don’t.

    As a young male I don’t know how to act or how I should be. Whether I’m too nice as a male and not assertive enough with things like intimacy or even outside of that stuff and that does not make me a man. I feel like because I might be shy with intimacy at first until I’m comfortable I’m seen as boring or I lack masculinity.

    I know that sounds ridiculous but I’ve realised that this issue runs pretty deep and there’s no certain trigger it’s just a huge self doubt that I’m not a man or I’m not fun enough for someone.

    I don’t know how to control this anxiety and the insecurities it brings and that contributed to the stress I was going through, I feel pressure to be like “one of the boys” but because I believe I’m a bit more sensitive I’m less manly and not attractive to girls.

    Then, without sounding arrogant, I’ve been told by dates that I’m attractive and that I should have heaps of options but I’m not like that and I feel like there’s this expectation maybe from how I present myself aesthetically that I’m going to be some big larger than life male character and I’m not and it disappoints people. Or in this case I always felt she thought I was being dishonest because she thought I’d have been with heaps of women and I haven’t and I just always felt uncomfortable.

    I have no idea anymore if even made any progress a all

  17. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    2816 posts
    25 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I've come to find some of the most brutal times in life are times of reflection. Such times can be seriously triggering and highly emotional. They can also be incredibly confusing. I've found the internal dialogue can sound a little like 'What is wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way? I thought I'd passed that stage or gotten through it or made sense of it but here I am, again, going through the same old thing. What is wrong with me? Am I broken?'. Can be enough to make you want to scream at times.

    I wonder if you can relate to the following: I've found with a majority of the challenges in my life, there's a common thread that runs through them. Doesn't matter what the challenges are, how similar or incredibly different they appear, there is still a common thread. The common thread for me, throughout most of my challenges in life has been 'self acceptance'. Do I accept myself as not being perfectly perfect? Do I accept myself as someone who suffers deeply at times, when deep sufferance is there to be felt? Do I accept myself as someone who questions those who refuse to be questioned/do I accept myself as challenging? Do I accept myself as confused on occasion, as I'm gradually making my way toward greater self understanding? Do I accept I'm not going to please everyone because everyone is different and everyone has different expectations of me? Do I accept I make questionable and sometimes regrettable calls? To all of these things and more, I've come to say 'Yes'. I accept all these things about myself. Finally giving yourself permission to be who you naturally are is liberating. You finally come to see how much hard work is involved in being anyone other than yourself. No wonder life can feel exhausting at times :)

    Something else I've come to find over time and that is...if I'm still feeling down and/or incredibly frustrated it's because the challenge I've been facing isn't over, it's still going and that's what I'm feeling. I'm feeling it still taking place. If it was over, I wouldn't be feeling so bad. Hope that makes sense.

    So, while the challenge of reforming the relationship with that girl into a basic friendship is complete for now, would you say you're still feeling the 'common thread' that ran through it? Is the common thread 'self acceptance'? By the way, progress isn't always obvious until it's made obvious. Just because you can't see or feel progress, doesn't mean you haven't made progress.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    26 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Maybe I liked her more than I thought but I hope I made right decision for myself long term.

    I have been pretty distressed about where my life was at the last couple days, last night in particular and I happened to read your post and I can relate to what you say about self acceptance, I also tried to reach out to a helpline where I spoke to a lady who told me to take the pressure off myself and trying to know exactly who I should be or who I want to be at every moment. I think this relates to how you say giving myself permission to be who I naturally am as the lady mentioned something very similar.

    I have been working so hard to figure things out for myself I'm sort of uncovering more and more issues and it's deflating me as I often go to bed thinking "what am I doing with myself", this is in spite of having a solid family behind me and a good career. I don't know what's wrong with me, I feel guilt because I have these things on the surface I should be comfortable with myself and the relationship stuff should happen in time but I feel like I don't know what I am doing, I feel sporadic when I think of what I want in a relationship or whether I want a relationship or whether I am ready. One day I think I definitely am, the next day I think gee whiz I am definitely not because I not comfortable in my own skin (this was a big factor in why I had to end it with that girl).

    I feel as a 25 year old male going on 26 in a few weeks with my European background I should be secure in myself and know what I should be. I feel lost as to what makes me a "man" and whether things like physical intimacy in a relationship will define it and whether me being a sensitive guy needs to change and be more assertive etc. People see my job, family life, physical health and think I have it all together and I think I well and truly don't. Whenever I encounter a social situation the "what ifs" start, I don't know and I question my every move and self doubt. I feel like I need to be this strong solid man that has it all figured out and I am way off it and I am ashamed of myself.

    I wish I had the ability to just live in moments and not stress about consequences, not in a bad way but sometimes I admire those so are careless rather than "careful" like I am. The my friend wants me to try pursue his girlfriends friend and she is nice and id want to but I know I am just not anywhere near comfortable in myself and there's just pressure from all angles.

  19. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2816 posts
    26 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    There's nothing quite like digging deep to uncover things. The more you dig, the more you uncover. Can leave you thinking at times 'Why did I start digging? Things were a little easier before I started trying to get to the bottom of things, like how I tick and what upsets me. Now I've become far more complex than what I first imagined. I have so many issues'. You can be kinda left wondering as to whether you're working to get to the bottom of things or digging yourself a hole.

    I think some of the most expert of hole diggers are archeologists. Of course, they don't just dig holes. They uncover the past and study it carefully. They make greater sense of timelines and how things may have played out during certain times. With what they uncover, these things tell stories that relate to certain behaviours, ways of thinking, social and environmental influences etc. Their job is not to 'dig holes', it's to uncover stuff within layers that have built up over time. They can dig for days, for months and even years. So much hard work to find just the occasional revelation, the occasional gem of a find. If there's one thing that all archeologists will agree on and that's the importance of having regular breaks from digging deep, otherwise it's thoroughly exhausting work.

    It sounds like you're digging deep constantly. I can relate to how this feels. When I go through the hard work periods that are required for me to be able to better understand myself and my circumstances, so that I don't return to depression, it can be hard for me to stop. It becomes almost obsessive. I have to find why I think, feel and behave the way I do. Once I achieve eventually finding something, I naturally relax. If I don't find anything significant, I can be digging for days on end. Sometimes it can get in the way of me living my life. Is it a form of OCD? Not sure. Doesn't matter really, for the goal is to achieve the objective of better knowing myself. I believe this is one of if not the most important objectives we're faced with in life, to better know our self so that we can live with greater ease, finding the flow. I think what creates the disorder is imbalance.

    To find balance between analysis/thought/mental processing and feeling/thoughtlessness/emotional relaxation is key. Do you believe part of your quest may be to uncover what feeling good feels like, how thoughtlessness (not thinking) can be achieved and how you can relax your emotional mind/body at the same time?

    2 people found this helpful
  20. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    27 February 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    It's been just about 12months since I turned 25 and approaching my 26th birthday I remember thinking this time last year on my 25th birthday "where am I at with myself personally, (not career or family wise)?" and not knowing the answer at all.

    Now I am about a month away from turning 26 and whilst I have put in a lot of work, gained a lot of experience for example I dating which I feel I needed because I was very "green" about it all, I feel like now I'm asking myself more concerning questions like "where the hell am I doing?" and I very much feel I have lost my way a lot. I seem to be acting in ways or letting myself make decisions I never usually would that are even out of character. For example with this girl I have been speaking to/dating I find myself doing things that are probably out of character, such as when we were intimate or have been affectionate usually I have self control with that stuff because I don't want to upset people if things don't work out.

    I feel like I am losing my way a lot, I can't recognise or work out who I am. I seem to be making impulsive decisions that I never have made before and I feel uncomfortable but it's all coming from a start of confusion and uncertainty about how I should act and what I should be. It's not like the decisions I have been making have been things like turning to alcohol or drugs or something like that I still feel I am have my common sense in that regard. Maybe with this girl because she's from a different type of crowd or she's a more carefree/liberal type that has sort of come out of me a bit and I have acted a bit more out of character as I am usually a lot more considered in my approach to things. I don't know if it's a good thing because I might be "living" a bit more than I ever did previously but I am 26 in a month and I feel like come on figure yourself out. I have a good family, I have a stable career, I am healthy but I feel like I want a relationship but I am like all over the place with it. One week I think yes I am ready definitely it's time to stop confusing things and get it together and then the next week I am more carefree about it but maybe that's the approach I need to take. I don't even know what I am saying as I am typing, I have no idea what to do with myself, I feel really lost in myself and I can't even describe it.

  21. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    2816 posts
    27 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I used to think on occasion 'I just don't recognise myself', when behaving out of character, and I had no idea why this was the case. Then one day it hit: It's other people or situations that bring out different parts of me, sometimes parts I just don't recognise at times.

    My brother brought out the jet setter in me some years ago when he insisted I do a bit of international travel. My kids brought out the fun loving part who I thought I'd lost at one point in time. Different people I'd met on my spiritual path helped bring out the natural or nature based part of me to explore and there are other people who are triggering in certain ways who trigger my highly patient self, my philosophical self or my completely intolerant self. While I used to be ashamed when my completely intolerant self came out on very rare occasions, I grew to realise I should not have to tolerate certain behaviour. So, in turn, such people led me to find greater self respect.

    Sounds like the girl you were dating led you to find a certain carefree liberal part of yourself. Whether you want to explore that part of yourself further is a whole other matter.

    While I expect to discover new facets or parts of myself in the future, based on the people I meet and my experiences or challenges in life, I'm able to recognise that there are parts of myself I don't wish to channel ever unless I am given no choice. I never want to meet with a part of myself who has to take me through the grief of losing a child. I pray that part of myself never has to come to life. I pray I pass before both my kids. I never want to have to channel that part of myself who will fight to the death to protect one or both of my children. I never want to channel that part of me who is forced to take the life of another. There are so many hidden parts of me who I hope I never come to meet with.

    I suppose you could say there are certain influences in our life, growing up, who reign in parts of us. The risk taker may be reigned in by our mother. The sensitive or deeply intuitive side may be reigned in by the people who lead us to self doubt. The outspoken rebel, who needs to rebel for good reason, may be reigned in by certain systems we find our self in, like the school system. Once the reigns come off, through independence from such people or systems, we're free to meet with all those different aspects of our self. So, it becomes a matter of 'What parts of myself do I wish to meet with, am I ready to meet with?'.

    2 people found this helpful
  22. S.BROOKE
    S.BROOKE  avatar
    1 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Heya! Just stumbled upon this and wanted to say, I resonate with alot of what you've shared. I have been struggeling with these same issues for years. You sounds like an over thinker like me, analyzing every tiny detail from all angles, only to end up more lost then ever xD anyways I have no solution I'm still looking for help myself. I just wanted to say though, people who are down to earth and chill are absolutley attractive! These are the types of people I'm drawn towards. They're interesting, and mysterious & they feel safe to be around. There's also something really attractive about people who are happy to be in their own little bubble and arn't out there demanding attention or validatiom from others at all the time. Loud flamboyant people can be fun and they have their place, but some of us prefer to be around calm, chilled out people who arnt so demanding of our energy lol. Anyways I hope one day you can find peace with who you are and let go of that need to morph into something that isn't really you because I promise there are people our there who will appreaciate these parts about you. Keep being you so the right people can find you and love you for everything you are:) you sounds awesome.

    3 people found this helpful
  23. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to therising
    Hi therising

    I guess you may be right about different people influencing us or being out different sides of us. That girl definitely brought out a more liberal side to me and I have acted in ways that I don’t usually act, not necessarily in a bad way it’s just unfamiliar so I guess that’s what feels “wrong” about it.

    I just feel like I’m going on my 26th birthday and I would have thought I’d have things figured out at a personal level by now but I feel like I’m way off it. Parts of me knows what I want long term like for example to have a partner but the process of getting there I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. Some months I feel like I’m on track and I’m doing the right things and trying to be true to myself, other weeks I feel all over the place like I’m not myself or acting out or something like that.

    I see like my sister getting married on Thursday and it’s great I’m very excited for sure but part of me feels guilt because I’m down on myself because I feel a million miles away from getting to where she is. I’m 26 in a few weeks and I feel like I couldn’t be further away. Some weeks I feel like I know what is it I’m looking for and the other weeks I have no idea and I’m just lost in myself and where I’m at.

    People tell me to try calm down because I have my career sorted and things like that but I feel like I’m faltering very significantly where it matters most to me and that’s in finding my place and a relationship.

    At start of the year I was feeling somewhat energised and had things like getting into coaching for soccer and stuff like that to look forward to and I thought it would help but I’m actually worse, I feel ashamed of myself because I haven’t fully embrace like the soccer coaching for example or other things I had planned because I feel so lost at how I’m going to find what I want.

    I’m not sure if you think I’m putting undue pressure on myself but I don’t want to be in the same position this time next year and no matter what I try every year I find myself saying “I don’t want to be in this position this time next year” and when that time roles around I am in the same position if not a little worse. I just have no direction I feel confused and like I’m just making stuff up trying to find answer in like a panicked type of way.
  24. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3624 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to S.BROOKE
    I think that was a nice comment you left here, S.BROOKE! I would agree with you.
  25. NaturallyNatural I
    NaturallyNatural I  avatar
    3 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hey Daniel, I've just spent the last month reading this thread and have been overwhelmed with a cocktail of relatability and emotional insights. Though I'm 18 years quite young, Oh Boy, reading this thread has felt like possessing a more comprehensible perspective on my deeply transitional period into maturity. Firstly, I very much ought to thank you genuinely for finding the courage within your heart to express yourself and highly turbulent experiences through this way. True courage. Also, I sense grace blessing you with the Rising's sage help and advice. Really direct your attention to the advice she has given you, because it to me it's an opportunity for you to more deeply investigate self-inquiry. You're not alone in this Daniel, you've got my empathy from how I relate to your experiences. Alittle strangely intriguing that I am also at a depressing stage of yearning to discover who I really truly (beneath all the fabrics of my ego), and I do find it lonely experiencing this at the age of 18. It's like no matter how many times you 'try to accept' yourself and flaws, it is not the same as a spontaneous acceptance. Take my premature words with a grain of salt Daniel, but I know in my bones that you can't find real acceptance in your thoughts and mental activity. It has to be located much deeper than your thoughts (whether they're depressing or euphoric). Your thoughts (mind) can be your wonderful servants, but they are terrible masters or abstractions that can consume. Apologies for my non-sense jazz and ramble. I can almost feel your pain and strain as my own in these conversations with the Rising and others. I highly recommend giving a listening to Gangaji a try on Spotify or YouTube. Consider the words from Alan Watts: "to escape from the discomfort of fire (suffering), go to the very furnace (core of suffering) of the fire and do not run away" (I might of made up parts of that 😉)

    Seongha

    (You'll be in for a treat when you discover genuine peace) ✌️

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to S.BROOKE

    Hi S.BROOKE

    Apologies for not replying sooner as I got distract

    i very much appreciate everything you’ve said it does mean a lot given the current state I’m in!

    I hope somehow this thread shows you that you yourself are not alone in whatever it may be you’re experiencing as well

  27. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    28 February 2022 in reply to NaturallyNatural I

    Hi there

    Thanks for commenting on the thread I really appreciate your kind words of support, I hope this thread has somehow helped yourself like I’ve mentioned below to see that were all not alone and you can reach out whenever and wherever you need.

    You sound very wise for your age and I think that will hold you in good stead :)

  28. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    2816 posts
    1 March 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hi Daniel

    I believe NaturallyNatural I has offered you sage advice through their own experiences and efforts to obtain self understanding and direction. The philosophies of Alan Watts are quite interesting. While I haven't really looked into them to a large degree, what I have come across points to what's naturally depressing, what's naturally inspiring, what's naturally motivating etc. So, you could say he saw life and human nature from a very natural or soulful perspective as opposed to a socially contrived or ego based perspective. While I believe you to be a very natural guy, I wonder whether you'd relate to some of Watt's philosophies. Some of them may prove relatable.

    Personally, I've found life involves searching and gathering. As I go along my merry way and sometimes not so merry way, I collect things such as philosophies, practices/habits, knowledge, outside the square ideas, people to add to my circle (whether through YouTube, in person or elsewhere) and so on. At the moment I'm in the process of collecting clothes as I'm rather fed up with dressing as who I'm naturally not. The way I've come to dress is bordering on depressing. It's quite blah and darkish.

    I have found that it's what I've collected or gathered that has gradually changed me over time. I'll use the analogy of carrying a backpack on the path of life. We start off with a collection, in that pack, of our parents' ideas and practices. Then we meet people beyond our parents who add things to that pack, sometimes whether we like it or not (friends, educators, bullies and people in general). We even carry the comments of strangers with us, typically comments that have either inspired us greatly or weighed us down heavily. We collect words, thoughts, beliefs and practices/habits etc that appear to dictate who we are. Before you know it, you're largely carrying other people's stuff. You've made it all your own without realising. It's time to start unloading all that's just not you. You start becoming fully conscious of everything that's been put into your pack. No wonder that pack's been such a burden, so heavy, unhelpful and even depressing at times. Now there's room for you to begin gathering what you need.

    In this day and age, the ultimate hunter gatherer is no longer the alpha male; the ultimate male, with evolving intelligence, is one who hunts for what serves him best while gathering it into his trusty backpack. He hunts for knowledge and freedom through knowledge :)

    2 people found this helpful
  29. Daniel12
    Daniel12 avatar
    240 posts
    2 March 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    I think I take on board a lot of other peoples feelings/thoughts. It’s with good intentions because I’m trying to be good to most people but I think I’ve neglected how I feel as well and now I’m exhausted.

    I guess I’m just disappointed in myself at this stage of my life that I seem to be like a yo-yo where I think I know what I want and how to get it and the next day I’m lost. There’s always confusion and pressure in my head that I should be at a certain level that I’m nowhere near. It becomes a very depressing feeling that I can’t shake.

    I feel like I’m failing my life because I have no idea what I’m doing outside of work & family. I feel like I’m making decisions spontaneously and at random and I don’t even know how I feel about it all. I’m struggling to express how I feel at the moment and I think it’s probably making it worse.

  30. NaturallyNatural I
    NaturallyNatural I  avatar
    3 posts
    2 March 2022 in reply to Daniel12

    Hello Daniel,

    Accepting who you spontaneously/naturally is divinely wonderful in it's own right, but why not in this moment, just be and come to terms with the experience of being depressed and hopeless. I know it will be the last thing you want to experience right now, but I find that wanting to feel/think a certain way that is not directly what you are not experiencing in this moment can lead to more intense suffering. Just for the purpose of investigation, why not just drop/let go of wanting a partner or to not feel depressed, and just really be still with the feelings of depression. That also includes your thoughts and mental chatter, let them go haywire and don't resist them. Enquire what doesn't change in this moment regardless of the strength or depressive nature of your thoughts. There has to be something deeper here, something eternal, if you are truly not your thoughts and ideas of who you think you are. I'm simply suggesting to not try not to resist your strong feelings and thoughts, but to just be with them in this moment; they're only the guests of your mind, not the owners. I think the Rising may have some agreement with what's said.

    Seongha 😉

    1 person found this helpful

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