The most caring thing I can do for others is not be a bother or burden.

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
This has led to complete isolation from everyone in my life except T and my kids. I am fantastic at work and meeting the needs of my students, parents, and teachers. When I am not at work I take care to make sure I do not ever bother or burden anyone. It has become a bad habit. T says it's because I judge others and myself for reaching out. I know I don't judge my students for reaching out, I praise them. I reached out in my diary by sharing my pain and two people encouraged me to call the hotline and I did and I felt better. It wasn't wrong of me to share my pain and they helped me and I took that help, which means I can be strong and brave. This cognitive distortion makes it difficult to have a friend. I want to have a friend in my own city someday. A real friend who doesn't try to prey upon me or use me. In order to have a friend I have to do things that I would judge as a bother or burden. That means talk when I feel the need for connection. I really judge myself harshly for that. I wonder if there's a way to practice?

I think I already am planning on practicing talking. I went on Tinder today and swiped right on a bunch of people. I can practice talking with them. They want to hear me. Allow myself to resist any pressure to meet up and just see if anyone feels comfortable talking. I am nervous because I am so isolated that I know some people will be able to detect my desperation or my lack of support. But that's okay. It's important for me to practice discernment of dangerous people. I know I have fallen prey to predators in the past and I am very cautious of that now. Probably that is partly why I have isolated as much as I have. But I have to break through. I just have to.
 
I went on Tinder today and swiped right on a bunch of people. I can practice talking with them.

^ I'm not on Tinder but I've heard a lot about it and pretty much it's not used to find conversation partners.

If you've fallen prey to predator type behaviour from people before this or, have a history of being victimised, I think going on that website is akin to putting your head in the lion's mouth.

And how do you 'allow yourself to resist the pressure to meet up'?? That's all Tinder is about. Pressure to meet up. Talking about the meeting up part. Why put yourself under that type of pressure knowingly? Is it some type of home-made exposure therapy experiment?
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
Since my 'don't bother people' are from slightly different corner / more action & timing & need to not delay others than core beliefs, I'll give it a go...

Maybe try to look at the other side of the coin: Everything that you think is a burden for other people is a chance to include you and have a great time meeting someone whose perspective is different.

It's another growth opportunity.

A chance to expand horizons, instead of be stuck in the same old same old, where it comes to people.

Ditto to 'bother'.
Only people who are 'bothered' by others just going on about their lives & doing nothing wrong nor boundary crossing are, I've found, either shit at time management themselves, jerks, or both.

As in their attitude & the way they choose to let you know about it is more about them and their values... not about you and lack of yours.

Ditto to what was said about Tinder.
Social media in general may not be the safest venue for sorting out trauma-related socialization issues... because to many they're just a convenient way of playing games with people & lying.

Maybe try in person meetings based on interest in legitimate, safe, and regular settings first?
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
This has led to complete isolation from everyone in my life except T and my kids. I am fantastic at work and meeting the needs of my students, parents, and teachers. When I am not at work I take care to make sure I do not ever bother or burden anyone. It has become a bad habit. T says it's because I judge others and myself for reaching out. I know I don't judge my students for reaching out, I praise them. I reached out in my diary by sharing my pain and two people encouraged me to call the hotline and I did and I felt better. It wasn't wrong of me to share my pain and they helped me and I took that help, which means I can be strong and brave. This cognitive distortion makes it difficult to have a friend. I want to have a friend in my own city someday. A real friend who doesn't try to prey upon me or use me. In order to have a friend I have to do things that I would judge as a bother or burden. That means talk when I feel the need for connection. I really judge myself harshly for that. I wonder if there's a way to practice?

I think I already am planning on practicing talking. I went on Tinder today and swiped right on a bunch of people. I can practice talking with them. They want to hear me. Allow myself to resist any pressure to meet up and just see if anyone feels comfortable talking. I am nervous because I am so isolated that I know some people will be able to detect my desperation or my lack of support. But that's okay. It's important for me to practice discernment of dangerous people. I know I have fallen prey to predators in the past and I am very cautious of that now. Probably that is partly why I have isolated as much as I have. But I have to break through. I just have to.
It's okay to be wrong. Just try.. Then you'll go on to something else from there. You are a perfectionist and carry yourself that way. This ( as you say) is good for work but not in casual conversation with people. ( ditch the teacher and be casual)
Do you want to date? There's an over 50 dating site, I was going to try, but I met my boyfriend then. I have one really close friend and my kids.( also T) I have other friends as well but I like to be by myself, too!
What is your hobby? Do you like country music? Try square dancing, etc.
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
Wow, I really am splitting. I forgot that I wrote this. I am not being irresponsible. By trying to meet a new friend on Tinder.

Ok. Is it the app? A better app than Tinder would be... Bumble?

I don’t want to bother anyone who knows me so I will meet a new person. I have let all the people who know me understand that I can take perfect care of myself. So what’s left? My need for touch?

Thank you @blackemerald1 for reminding me of how I have fallen prey before and that Tinder is filled to the gills with predators. When I talked to the hotline she said that I could start by being friends with a teacher. Someone I confided in on Friday, a former teacher who is a volunteer who cares about my situation. I could invite her to lunch.

Here’s the weird thing. Her son is a teacher at the school and he’s on Tinder and he Superliked me! Which is where you really want the person to notice you. Oy vey. Perhaps Tinder is like the dance group, not a good influence for me. Most of the people are pushing the meeting and lying about themselves, I hear you.

I did feel hopeful about a couple of people. But then now I don’t trust myself. Hmmm... Back to work tomorrow. This feeling will subside.

Thank you @Deanna for reminding me about groups. Groups! Ugh, my last groups didn’t last, but they *were* fun for the most part, while they lasted. And I can find new groups, and be cautious of predators in every group.

Thank you @mumstheword for standing with me and seeing me face to face. Witnessing helps me heal. Presence.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
This has led to complete isolation from everyone in my life except T and my kids. I am fantastic at work and meeting the needs of my students, parents, and teachers. When I am not at work I take care to make sure I do not ever bother or burden anyone. It has become a bad habit. T says it's because I judge others and myself for reaching out. I know I don't judge my students for reaching out, I praise them. I reached out in my diary by sharing my pain and two people encouraged me to call the hotline and I did and I felt better. It wasn't wrong of me to share my pain and they helped me and I took that help, which means I can be strong and brave. This cognitive distortion makes it difficult to have a friend. I want to have a friend in my own city someday. A real friend who doesn't try to prey upon me or use me. In order to have a friend I have to do things that I would judge as a bother or burden. That means talk when I feel the need for connection. I really judge myself harshly for that. I wonder if there's a way to practice?

I think I already am planning on practicing talking. I went on Tinder today and swiped right on a bunch of people. I can practice talking with them. They want to hear me. Allow myself to resist any pressure to meet up and just see if anyone feels comfortable talking. I am nervous because I am so isolated that I know some people will be able to detect my desperation or my lack of support. But that's okay. It's important for me to practice discernment of dangerous people. I know I have fallen prey to predators in the past and I am very cautious of that now. Probably that is partly why I have isolated as much as I have. But I have to break through. I just have to.
When I was married to the abusive X, I spent most of my life in bed, working....when I wasn't at school, teaching. It was best not to bother the X, and over time.....I became a noone......there but not there....unloved....and very married left feeling very alone. Being invisible, not bothering him was preferable, and if I asked for his help.....I'd better be ready for criticism about how I was stupid or ignorant.....blah blah blah. My husband was not a listener, not very emotional, and didn't know what to do with someone else's emotions except find fault.

I wanted to learn to play an instrument so I started playing with 2 other teachers at work during lunch twice a week. Both of them sang and played an instrument, too....and both were patient teachers who knew a lot more than I did about music. That was then......and years later...I invited those I had played with to my home...but I kinda hand picked the people I had grown close to and trusted....to make a small group of musicians. So, my friendships started outside my home....and then over time, I brought some of them home to play with me.

I was allowed to have a small group of people at the house once a month to practice music without the husband's reprisal. I invited them on Sunday afternoon for lunch and playing. I didn't learned to read music until I was well into my 40's and at home I'd practice with the computer-until a piece was memorized to perfection so I'd feel confident to play with others. There was music group at the church that was giving free lessons. I went there twice a month. It took me a while to learn to read music and get used to playing an instrument with people-the group started small and grew over the years....I was not the leader, and I shrunk when anyone critiqed my playing.....and initially, I took it as harsh criticism. Not playing perfectly makes me foggy.....not having practiced right beforehand makes me foggy...playing in public made me foggy.......but now, persistence in playing that musical instrument has paid off 20 years later we are a group of friends who have played at each others kids weddings, shared confidences, supported each other during cancer or other medical issues, and just had fun together. We haven't played together since Covid....but we keep in touch. Connection with trusted others has helped my transition to single life. Sharing an interest.....that's how it started.

During Covid, we don't get together....but we did do a Christmas Mystery online.....and meet for the holidays online and toast via Zoom, meaning we've remained friends. I think, learning to play in a same-sex group where there was no pressure sexually was a huge help just getting comfortable with people. They had either been married, or widowed....and I could relate without pressure over a similar interest.

When I left my husband....I took my network of music friends....and wasn't totally isolated....that was one activity that stayed the same when I moved to my new environment-we continued to meet once a month. I am so grateful to my friends who didn't judge me......and who were there in one way or another to help me move, listen to my sad story when I couldn't hold it in.........and the music making.....was uplifting and made me feel a little more competent in the moment. My life had been my daughter but she grew up and moved away.... she wasn't around at all after I moved out of the family home.....she said she didn't want to play favorites but she did....so instead, I played my favorites with my friends. I found that this also gave me something to talk about other than my teaching career......

So, you too can find your interests.....and learn new things.....and share interests to have something in common to talk about with other like-minded people as yourself. I strongly advise it because your kids will find their own lives.....and without friends, it can be very lonely. I think it is a very healthy thing to work on communication, meeting people, and hopefully you will meet some like-minded people with similar interests. Good luck!
 

Friday

Moderator
Wow. Totally missed this, the first time round. How are you doing with it?

It’s very much an ongoing thing with me, that I have to work reeeeeeally hard at allowing other people the right to make their own decisions.
 

Self-Determined

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker and @Friday I am doing much better with this! I don’t think that I am a burden and if someone thinks I’m a burden I am able to discern if it’s real and if so whether it is deserved or I can ignore. Mostly I don’t spend time ruminating on this. Also when I am alone or with my kids I have things to do that I look forward to, like art, piano, or being in nature or shopping. COVID helped me feel very comfortable being alone because it is the right thing to do to protect myself and others, and reaching out became more meaningful. I am getting my vaccine on Tuesday and I look forward to getting to hug my vaccinated friends. My self care involves planning for future me now.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker and @Friday I am doing much better with this! I don’t think that I am a burden and if someone thinks I’m a burden I am able to discern if it’s real and if so whether it is deserved or I can ignore. Mostly I don’t spend time ruminating on this. Also when I am alone or with my kids I have things to do that I look forward to, like art, piano, or being in nature or shopping. COVID helped me feel very comfortable being alone because it is the right thing to do to protect myself and others, and reaching out became more meaningful. I am getting my vaccine on Tuesday and I look forward to getting to hug my vaccinated friends. My self care involves planning for future me now.
Wonderful to hear you are doing much better! And getting the covid vaccine will hopefully help to make you a bit safer in this time.
 
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