Guilt Over Support for Self

FreeSoul

Learning
I have been trying to develop confidence, get inspiration, and benefit from several books and videos I came across, in several areas of my life where I didn’t get support or guidance from my parents.

I could recollect several instances right from my childhood until now, into my adulthood, where I did something good once, like won a race, but could never repeat it again ever.

To compensate for the lack of support and guidance from my family, I turned to books and I have been an avid reader of self-help books, and also watch inspirational videos on self-help and self-development.

After reading a book or watching a video, I get extremely excited, benefit from it too for a short time, but then move to another book or a video.

To get long-term benefit from these books and videos, I would have to refer to those material several times, which I am unable to do.

Recently I started asking myself questions “what keeps me away from so much beneficial material that is stored on my laptop?” “why am I unable to reread a book or watch a video again which has benefit for me?”

I couldn’t understand this habit, until I came across a book on communication in which the writer mentioned guilt as being the cause of not repeating something good and beneficial or not enjoying life.

I grew up in an emotionally neglectful, emotionally abusive, and abandoning family, where I not only didn’t receive support and guidance, I was also put down for achieving something beneficial or attempting something that could have benefit for me.

One of the reasons could be that I don’t get positive reinforcement for something I do for myself; and after repeated put-downs, know that I won’t be supported, which puts me down from seeking benefit from the books, videos, and personal experiences before even attempting something.

The struggle seems never ending, and wish I could overcome soon, now that I am aware of what causes me from seeking benefit from so much information I’ve with me.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Mod Note: @FreeSoul I've shifted this across to the General forum, as the focus of conversation is more about the struggles you're facing about making progress with your symptoms stick. If you feel like that's the wrong call, please shoot us a message at Contact Us. and we can get the forum right together.

Back to the topic...!

Something I've definitely found with my own recovery is that skills that work best? Are the ones that I've made a point of deliberating practicing long term... Is that something you do when you read a book that resonates with you?
 

FreeSoul

Learning
Are you in therapy? Therapy provides a relationship where you learn how to do what you need to be fulfilled as an adult. It might be a good option. It had done wonders for me.
Right now, I am not working with a therapist. I worked with a counsellor for few years which didn't help much.
Hope to find a new one.
 

FreeSoul

Learning
Mod Note: @FreeSoul I've shifted this across to the General forum, as the focus of conversation is more about the struggles you're facing about making progress with your symptoms stick. If you feel like that's the wrong call, please shoot us a message at Contact Us. and we can get the forum right together.
Seems good 🙂
Back to the topic...!

Something I've definitely found with my own recovery is that skills that work best? Are the ones that I've made a point of deliberating practicing long term... Is that something you do when you read a book that resonates with you?
I move from one book to another book without using the techniques in those books.
Currently, I am struggling with communication. I found a book which has really good content on having conversations which I needed.
I am unable to follow instructions from this book.
I tried journaling to figure out why I can't use the methods; I have tried to persuade and convince myself that I wouldn't be treated in a similar way as I was treated in my past when I was trying to communicate, but still, I haven't been able to take any action on it.
I can't even fantasise or consciously visualize having conversations with people.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
Guilt about self care and support is a weird one for me too. We all should be wired to do this, to think about ourselves and our actions in a positive way. So against our own survival instinct to not.

I was steered toward accepting that it takes really bad parenting (or trauma of another kind) to get someone to not like themselves and feel guilty when they get glimpses of not having those feelings. Seeing it as something done to and not by myself has helped. Even now when I typed this I had to deal with the automatic "stop feeling sorry for yourself! you want something to cry about?" that comes up whenever thinking that I wasn't responsible for my parents actions. like I said, it is a weird one.
 

FreeSoul

Learning
I still feel guilty over several things, or rather anything I intend to do that has benefit in it for me.
I have this core belief that I shouldn't do things that give me something to be happy about, something beneficial.
I stay low, as if left abandoned, and shouldn't do anything worthwhile.
In school, I was not involved in most team sports, and I didn't want to be involved either. Didn't study either.
In university, I stayed by myself.
In school, university, and at work, those whom I hung out with were the ones who approached me, and we never had any decent conversations; not even goofing around. I remember complaining about my abusive father to some of my "friends".
At work, I did my work, and hardly communicated with people besides the normal work related stuff.
When I tried to move to another city to take up a job, my father manipulated me into giving up.
When I tried to start a business, my father again played around with me, misguided me, and used strange tactics to not only not let me succeed, but also to never attempt doing business or taking jobs again.
He even criticised my clothing, and several other choices, and I dress and do other things which are normal, maybe even better than those in my family.
What I still don't understand is I knew he was lying and trying to trick me into giving up my goals, but I still got affected by what he tried to trick me into.
Now, I just sit in cafes, looking at the world passing by, unable to get anything beneficial done.
I thought making friends and meeting people would give me some connection with healthy people, and also help me in earning an income. When I attempted talking to people in the past, I couldn't move beyond basic greetings.
And yes, I am not the only target. He force feeds my mother when she is supposed to be dieting, he controls even a glass of water she drinks, and other crazy shit.
In the past, therapy motivated me for a day or two, and then I was back to where I had been, but then, those therapists didn't attend to the core issues keeping me down.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I had to give up on trying to have a better past. It was a lifelong habit to try and figure out what happened and why, try to make sense of something that made no sense. In the quest to find reasons, I usually ended up thinking it was me that caused it and I still do, after years of knowing intellectually that it wasn't. somewhere deep inside, nestled in with the fight or flight and will to survive and the desire to fit in so I have a better chance at reproduction and survival with the group is the part gone wrong, the part that is supposed to be able to tell me that I am OK and doing the right thing. In its place I think I have a criticism conduit that takes any and all directly to my heart. I am working on installing filters to ward off the inappropriate criticism, especially the 50 year old ones put in the pipe by a narcissist with warped views on parenting. I wish I could tell you that it was working well, but this stuff is wired in deep and it takes awhile.
 

Friday

Moderator
To get long-term benefit from these books and videos, I would have to refer to those material several times, which I am unable to do.
So maybe it’s not the long term benefit that’s important to you, but simply being “around” interesting/supportive people talking about things you value? IE the benefit is the exposure to different ways of thinking, and different values, rather than instructional content?

Because as you noted:

I grew up in an emotionally neglectful, emotionally abusive, and abandoning family, where I not only didn’t receive support and guidance, I was also put down for achieving something beneficial or attempting something that could have benefit for me.

People go to museums and concerts, who aren’t artists and musicians. People read about world affairs and tragedies, who aren’t politicians or doing jack shit to make the world a better place. It doesn’t make someone a bad person to be interested in things they don’t actually DO. It makes them interested in it, or an aficionado / enthusiast / devotee of it, or they value it & as such wish to make ThingABC or ThingXYZ a part of their daily lives.

Currently, I am struggling with communication. I found a book which has really good content on having conversations which I needed.
I am unable to follow instructions from this book.
I tried journaling to figure out why I can't use the methods; I have tried to persuade and convince myself that I wouldn't be treated in a similar way as I was treated in my past when I was trying to communicate, but still, I haven't been able to take any action on it.
Well that makes total sense, if you’re using the books as a “background noise” of supportive “people” rather than instruction manuals.

Since this is the habit of years? Or even a lifetime? I very much doubt you COULD use your background of a supportive and intellectually curious network of “people” AS an instruction manual. Like someone who visits museums becuase they value art? Rarely just picks up a brush and paints a student piece, much less a masterpiece. Instead? They still go to museums for the experience, and ambience, and joy… but take an art class if they want to learn how to paint. ((People with NO history of art appreciation, meanwhile, often “start” learning how to paint by way of museums. Because they saw something, and decided to attempt to do it, themselves. There’s no history, no pattern of behavior, no habit of years to fight against. No different with book, IMO.))

Long & Short of it? = I’d put money on you needing to change your environment to change your behaviors. IE take a communications class, or join a debate club, or toast masters, or an acting class, etc. if you want traction in communicating. Ditto any other self help area. Move out of books, and into IRL, to effect change. Not because one can’t create real and lasting change from what they’ve read… but because to create something new? Mixing things up, is necessary.

Now.., if you surrounded yourself with interesting/supportive people who value what you value? Yes, you’d probably lean less into the books, and more into real life. PERHAPS enough to start using the books as instruction manuals. But equally likely not. As someone who learns to play violin, IRL? Still usually attends concerts, and plays recordings at home. As they’ve always done.

I have this core belief that I shouldn't do things that give me something to be happy about, something beneficial.
I’d strongly suggest starting a thread on exactly this. It dovetails, for sure, into a lot of other things you’re working on / thinking on… but also rates a more focused look.
 

FreeSoul

Learning
So maybe it’s not the long term benefit that’s important to you, but simply being “around” interesting/supportive people talking about things you value? IE the benefit is the exposure to different ways of thinking, and different values, rather than instructional content?
It really helped being around supportive people. I remember once I was in NYC and I met another person who went to the same university as mine. We both were visiting NYC, and met for an evening. This person was extremely charming, friendly, and encouraging. In few hours, he had rubbed his charm and friendliness on me.
Unfortunately, we both moved back to our countries, and since then I haven't been able to meet another person like him.
And as William Gibson said "before diagnosing yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."
That's exactly who I was surrounded by for the past couple of years which completely destroyed the charm I had remaining in my life.
I was hoping that after reading instructions from books, I could use them in real life, which I haven't been able to do.
Since this is the habit of years? Or even a lifetime? I very much doubt you COULD use your background of a supportive and intellectually curious network of “people”
Indeed, this has been a lifetime, and it's extremely difficult to persist on something new. I easily fall back to the old behaviors of self-abandonment.
Long & Short of it? = I’d put money on you needing to change your environment to change your behaviors. IE take a communications class, or join a debate club, or toast masters, or an acting class, etc. if you want traction in communicating. Ditto any other self help area. Move out of books, and into IRL, to effect change. Not because one can’t create real and lasting change from what they’ve read… but because to create something new? Mixing things up, is necessary.

Now.., if you surrounded yourself with interesting/supportive people who value what you value? Yes, you’d probably lean less into the books, and more into real life. PERHAPS enough to start using the books as instruction manuals. But equally likely not. As someone who learns to play violin, IRL? Still usually attends concerts, and plays recordings at home. As they’ve always done.
Moved to another country few months back. It's difficult when I have spent all my life around narcissists, emotional abusers, and sociopaths to adapt to something new. My soul seems to be destroyed and I am trying to put myself back together emotionally to even make any effort to meet people again.
I joined Toastmasters back in my country, before Covid and was regular there. Even after couple of years there, I was unable to communicate with energy and lacked enthusiasm.
I attended acting lessons few years back, and I could have won an Oscar had I taken it seriously. I was surprised how good I was in acting. I could feel its positive effects in real life too. May be, I should take more lessons.
 
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