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Day 32

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by aa3405, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    Today's question is When was the last time you made a mistake? How did it make you FEEL?

    This might sound very superficial, but I realize that my appearance is a big source of anxiety and a tms issue for me. Growing up, I was never very pretty. I had very thick and curly black hair and large lips. I had bushy eyebrows. I did not look at all like the other girls in my school. I was the only ethnic girl in my class most often. I didn't realize till I was older that I felt self conscious and sad about being different and not pretty. Even within my community, I really wasn't considered pretty. I realized this more as I started high school and college. I often got praise from my family for being a hard worker and reliable. So, I focused my attention on school and getting a successful career. Even to this day, I feel ugly. Although, now most people tell me I am pretty. Over the years, I have lost weight, gotten a little plastic surgery done. I get botox and fillers. So, I definitely look different than when I was younger. The issue is that I still don't see myself as pretty even though now I get positive reinforcement from others. I never got it when I was younger and so I don't believe what I hear now.

    My anxiety these days is that some of the women I spend time with don't work and are very focused on their looks, clothes, shoes, etc. I really don't care much about those things because of the childhood background I mentioned above. I try my best to keep up with these women. I often times don't feel like I look as good as them and I focus on that for days after an event. I went to a function last night and because no one commented on my outfit and also because I know I didn't take the time do my hair for a party, I felt very sad and anxious about it afterwards. I know I have a choice to spend time with them or not, but they are actually nice women and it seems like it would be a shame to completely break ties with that group. Some of the women also work and still keep up with their looks. It also occurs in other situations like at work and family functions.
    The main feelings that I get after going to a function where I feel that I look absolutely horrible are fear as well as sadness. I feel fear that I will be rejected by the group, that the group will talk about how horrible I look, that the group will think that I am not worthy of hanging out with them. I fear and feel sad that I don't belong in that group or any other group because I am not worthy enough---I don't have what it takes to make the cut.

    I see how one of my younger nieces who is very beautiful is very concerned about her clothes and hair already. I see how she thinks and knows that everyone is looking at her, because people constantly tell her how good she looks. I think I would care more about my appearance if I had that growing up. Instead I try to fade in the background and not draw attention to my looks, because I know I might be rejected by others.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, aa3405. I think it's great that you are not following your friends in being so concerned about clothes, hair, etc.
    Those are very shallow things to spend time and money on.

    I'm sure that if you look presentable, those friends will not reject you. First of all, you're not competition for them
    in what they consider is so important... their looks. They want to look better than each other so as to win the
    admiration (or jealousy) of their friends, or to get men to admire them more. What a waste of effort.

    I've always thought women who spend less time on their beauty are really more beautiful.
    Ingrid Bergman didn't wear makeup but was more beautiful than just about all the glamour girls.

    It's inner beauty that counts. You've already learned that.
  3. aa3405

    aa3405 Peer Supporter

    I have decided to write about an incident that answers the question for day 32 better. The questions were When was the last time you made a mistake? How did it make you FEEL? My answer yesterday was more of a personal journal entry addressing recent anxiety I have been having about my own self worth and self esteem.

    So, an incident that I had was that my husband made homemade yogurt and was keeping it in the oven overnight to harden. I knew that, but completely forgot about it. I turned the oven on in the morning to make something else. I realized after the oven was preheated that the yogurt was in there. He got upset because he had worked hard on making it. He felt like it was ruined. I was triggered and became my young girl and got defensive and argued that it was an accident. I didn't even apologize because my ego was hurt by the fact that I messed up and that now I was being blamed. I shut down and physically and emotionally to try to leave the situation instead of trying to breath into the hurt that I felt of messing up. I felt fear that I was being rejected by my husband for the incident. I felt sadness and fear for being so stupid. I felt anger for being blamed. I tend to get defensive if someone calls me out on a mistake at times. I already berate myself enough that when someone else does it I feel the need to protect myself from even further criticism. I need to learn to breath into my emotions at the time I feel triggered in order to process my immediate reaction and be able to calm down and rationally approach the issue. I hope to get better at this. Each mistake that I make and reaction that I feel is an opportunity to learn how to deal better with those self defeating feelings of fear, sadness and anger.
  4. Peggy

    Peggy Well known member

    Hi aa3404:

    I am really hard on myself about what I say, am I good to people, did I say and do the right thing. That is my goodist and perfectionist personality coming out. My therapist says I am hard on myself, I think that is a common theme here. I had an alcoholic father and there was a lot of perfectionism in that relationship, also a lot of covering up and trying to make things better or even just to look better than it really was. So, I journal about those traits and problems, and the anger involved there.

    My feelings about mistakes are that they happen, most of the time I don't care for apologies because people don't really want to do them, so they are forced. I only care that they try to not do the same thing over again. I think the thing to look for is openness and willingness to do better, or for them to express their feelings that they didn't mean to hurt me and vise versa. I am not sure if that sounds cold or not? (the gooodist coming out in me . . .)
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Peggy. I think you still care too much about what others think or say about you.
    Who cares, really? I wouldn't expect much in the way of people apologizing. They're in their own thing,
    and let them make the same mistakes if they can't stop that.

    We all make mistakes. The thing is to try not to make the same ones again, but that can be hard for some people.

    I suggest you turn the focus on enjoying your life and liking yourself more.
    Peggy likes this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi aa3405,
    I appreciate the level of self awareness you have in these posts. The way we are built, as humans, there is a lot of self-rejection involved. Many people never seem to feel it. For others, it seems to felt too much. It probably can't be helped. It is compulsive thinking/feeling. Just knowing this is our pattern, we might feel compassion for ourselves.

    Using Dr. Sarno's approach, we can ask how our inner child feels to be rejected time after time, what reactions would that create? Would we feel rage at being rejected? And would we allow that reaction to come to the surface? Or might symptoms arise instead?

    My thoughts about my own self-rejection...

    Andy B.

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