Why do stigmas start?

I’m lonely and want to have someone to share my life with.

But I have absolutely zero trust in anyone anymore. I trust a couple of women to be as far as friends, but never anything more. As for men, I’ve gotten to a place where I genuinely believe all men either cheat, are predators, or will lie about what they really feel.

Logically I know that can’t be true, that there must be some good people out there who are worthy of trust. But between the terrible men who have been in my life to the way men talk on social media about their women (like the Twitter post about the moment they started to hate their girlfriends), and the countless stories from other people of being hurt over and over, I just don’t see how I could ever trust again.

How do I get past this? I’m working with a therapist on it, but again, it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.
 
I’m lonely and want to have someone to share my life with.

But I have absolutely zero trust in anyone anymore. I trust a couple of women to be as far as friends, but never anything more. As for men, I’ve gotten to a place where I genuinely believe all men either cheat, are predators, or will lie about what they really feel.

Logically I know that can’t be true, that there must be some good people out there who are worthy of trust. But between the terrible men who have been in my life to the way men talk on social media about their women (like the Twitter post about the moment they started to hate their girlfriends), and the countless stories from other people of being hurt over and over, I just don’t see how I could ever trust again.

How do I get past this? I’m working with a therapist on it, but again, it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.
I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling this way and struggling with trust in others. It can be disheartening and challenging when past experiences and negative portrayals of relationships make it difficult to believe in the existence of trustworthy individuals. It's positive that you're already working with a therapist, and I encourage you to continue that journey, as building trust takes time and personalized support.

Here are a few suggestions that may complement your therapeutic work:

1. Explore your past experiences: Reflect on these negative experiences and identify any patterns or themes that may have contributed to your current beliefs. Understanding the roots of your mistrust can help you process and heal from the past.

2. Challenge negative beliefs: While it's important to acknowledge your feelings and experiences, it's also crucial to recognize that blanket statements about an entire gender may not be accurate. Engaging in cognitive reframing exercises can help you balance your beliefs and consider alternate perspectives.

3. Build relationships gradually: Take small steps to build relationships, starting with platonic connections and friendships. This allows you to gradually develop trust and observe the actions and behaviors of others in a safe and non-threatening way.

4. Communication and transparency: Open and honest communication with potential partners is key. Clearly express your concerns and fears about trust and past experiences, giving them an opportunity to understand and support you.

5. Focus on self-care: Prioritize self-care and self-compassion in your healing journey. Engage in activities that bring you joy, practice mindfulness or relaxation techniques, and surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family.

Remember, healing and building trust take time, and progress may not always be linear. Celebrate even the smallest steps forward and be patient with yourself throughout the process. Consider discussing these strategies with your therapist to see if they can provide additional guidance tailored to your specific needs.

If you ever feel overwhelmed or need immediate support, remember that there are crisis hotlines and helplines available. I encourage you to search online for crisis organizations in your country or region that can provide assistance in times of need.
 
I think I frustrate my therapist a bit. In my therapy, there is a lot of work to be done in breaking off from my family to some degree. I am at least supposed to be creating emotional distance from them.

But I have a tendency to over analyze and research as well as be too forgiving in a codependent way. So I end up diagnosing my family members and making excuses for them based on that instead of letting them hold responsibility for the mistakes that they’ve made.

How do I get out of that dynamic?
 
I think I frustrate my therapist a bit. In my therapy, there is a lot of work to be done in breaking off from my family to some degree. I am at least supposed to be creating emotional distance from them.

But I have a tendency to over analyze and research as well as be too forgiving in a codependent way. So I end up diagnosing my family members and making excuses for them based on that instead of letting them hold responsibility for the mistakes that they’ve made.

How do I get out of that dynamic?
It's common for individuals in therapy to grapple with certain dynamics or patterns that may hinder their progress. Recognizing that you tend to overanalyze, research, and make excuses for your family members is a valuable first step towards breaking free from this dynamic. Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate this process:

1. Increase self-awareness: Continue to observe your tendency to overanalyze, research, and make excuses for your family members. Pay attention to the emotions and thoughts that arise in these situations. Understanding your own patterns will provide you with a foundation for change.

2. Challenge your assumptions: Question the beliefs and narratives you have created around your family members. Ask yourself if these beliefs are based on concrete evidence or if they are a way to protect yourself or maintain the familiar dynamics. Consider alternative perspectives and explore the possibility that they may be responsible for their actions.

3. Set boundaries: Establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries is crucial in creating emotional distance from your family. This may involve limiting contact or interactions, defining what you will and won't tolerate, and communicating your needs and limits to your family members. Remember, setting boundaries is an act of self-care and self-protection.

4. Practice assertiveness: Learn and practice assertive communication skills so that you can express your needs, feelings, and boundaries more effectively. This can help you avoid falling back into codependent patterns and encourage healthier interactions with your family members.

5. Seek support outside of therapy: Consider joining support groups, reading self-help books, or engaging with online communities where you can connect with others who have experienced similar family dynamics. These resources can provide additional perspectives, insights, and tools for navigating your healing journey.

Discussing these challenges openly with your therapist can also be helpful. They can assist you in developing specific strategies, provide guidance, and support your progress towards creating emotional distance from your family while maintaining your own responsibility and accountability. Remember that change takes time, patience, and self-compassion. Celebrate the small steps forward and acknowledge the effort you're putting into your own growth.
 
Assertiveness is really challenging. I can do it well enough with most people, strangers and friends alike. But when it comes to family, it’s like I’m the people pleasing little kid again who is terrified to have the boat rocked and so I scramble around fixing everything to make it just right for everyone else.
 
Assertiveness is really challenging. I can do it well enough with most people, strangers and friends alike. But when it comes to family, it’s like I’m the people pleasing little kid again who is terrified to have the boat rocked and so I scramble around fixing everything to make it just right for everyone else.
It can be especially challenging to practice assertiveness within the context of family dynamics, as there may be deeply ingrained patterns and emotional attachments at play. Recognizing this pattern and the associated fear of rocking the boat is an important step toward breaking free from it. Here are some strategies that may help you navigate assertiveness with your family:

1. Explore the underlying fears: Reflect on the specific fears or concerns that arise when you consider being assertive with your family. Understanding the roots of these fears can help you gain insight into why they feel particularly intense within this dynamic.

2. Validate your feelings: It's important to acknowledge and validate your own feelings and needs, even if they may not align with what others expect or desire. Remind yourself that your feelings are valid and that taking care of yourself is essential for your well-being.

3. Practice self-compassion: Be gentle with yourself as you navigate these challenges. Recognize that breaking free from people-pleasing patterns takes time and effort. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging your progress, celebrating small victories, and giving yourself permission to make mistakes along the way.

4. Gradually set boundaries: Start by setting small boundaries with your family members and observe their reactions. This can help you build your assertiveness skills while also allowing you to gauge their responses and adjust your approach accordingly.

5. Seek support from others: Connect with friends, support groups, or even online communities where you can share your experiences and receive encouragement and insight from individuals who have gone through similar struggles. Having a supportive network can provide validation and help strengthen your assertiveness muscle.

6. Discuss challenges in therapy: Openly discussing your struggles with assertiveness in therapy can be immensely beneficial. Your therapist can provide guidance, offer strategies for practicing assertiveness within family dynamics, and support you in navigating any emotional challenges that arise.

Remember, it's a journey, and progress may be gradual. Be patient with yourself and celebrate even the smallest steps forward. Trust that as you continue working on your assertiveness skills and prioritizing your own well-being, you have the potential to create healthier dynamics within your family relationships.
 
Where can I find support groups for binge eating disorder and/or ptsd?
There are several resources available for finding support groups for binge eating disorder and PTSD. While I cannot share direct links or names of specific organizations, I can provide you with some general guidance on where to look:

1. Local mental health organizations: Search for mental health organizations or treatment centers in your area that specialize in eating disorders or trauma. They may have information on support groups or be able to connect you with local resources.

2. Online directories: There are online directories that list support groups based on location and specific conditions. You can try searching for directories related to binge eating disorder or PTSD support groups in your country or region.

3. Professional organizations: Check with professional organizations related to eating disorders, such as the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) or organizations specializing in trauma and PTSD, such as the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). These organizations often provide resources and can help you locate support groups in your area.

4. Therapy networks: Some therapy networks or online platforms that connect individuals with mental health professionals may also have information on support groups. You can search their directories or contact their customer support for more information.

5. Online communities: Explore online communities or forums focused on binge eating disorder and PTSD. While not formal support groups, these communities can provide a space to connect with others who share similar experiences and offer mutual support.

Remember to prioritize your safety and privacy when participating in any online community or sharing personal information. It can also be beneficial to discuss your interest in joining a support group with your therapist, as they may be familiar with local resources and have recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

Please note that while support groups can provide valuable peer support, they are not a substitute for professional treatment. If you are under the care of a therapist or mental health professional, it is important to consult with them before joining a support group to ensure it aligns with your therapeutic goals and needs.
 
Can you help me work through my spirituality?
Absolutely! Exploring spirituality is a personal and deeply meaningful journey. I'd be glad to help you work through your spirituality. To provide appropriate guidance, it would be helpful to know a bit more about what specific aspects of your spirituality you would like to work on or explore. Could you please share a little more about what you're hoping to delve into or any specific questions or challenges you have regarding your spirituality?
 
I think I’m pretty certain that I don’t believe in god, at least not in the Christian sense. But I do feel like there is some higher power and I do like the sense of community that’s created by religion.

I’ve been considering something in the realm of paganism but I know there’s many types and I get them confused. Can you tell me the types of paganism and what each of their core beliefs are?
 
I think I’m pretty certain that I don’t believe in god, at least not in the Christian sense. But I do feel like there is some higher power and I do like the sense of community that’s created by religion.

I’ve been considering something in the realm of paganism but I know there’s many types and I get them confused. Can you tell me the types of paganism and what each of their core beliefs are?
Certainly! Paganism is a broad term encompassing a variety of spiritual paths and belief systems that are generally non-Abrahamic. It includes diverse traditions rooted in ancient or indigenous religions, earth-based spiritualities, and modern forms of neo-paganism. While I can provide a brief overview, it's important to note that the specific beliefs and practices within paganism can vary greatly among individuals and communities. Here are a few examples of pagan traditions:

1. Wicca: Wicca is one of the most well-known pagan traditions. It emphasizes a reverence for nature, the celebration of seasonal cycles, and the worship of various deities, often seen as aspects of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine.

2. Druidry: Druidry draws inspiration from Celtic traditions and focuses on nature worship, honoring ancestors, and personal development. It places strong emphasis on living in harmony with the natural world and developing deep connections to specific landscapes.

3. Heathenry: Heathenry is rooted in ancient Germanic and Norse traditions and mythology. It often involves the veneration of multiple gods and spirits, an emphasis on ancestral connections, and the practice of seasonal rituals and ceremonies.

4. Eclectic Paganism: Eclectic paganism encompasses individuals and groups who draw from multiple pagan traditions or create their own unique blend of beliefs and practices. It can have a highly personalized and flexible approach to spirituality.

5. Reconstructionist Paganism: Reconstructionist paganism seeks to recreate and revive ancient polytheistic beliefs and practices, often through academic research and historical sources. Examples include Hellenismos (Greek), Kemeticism (Egyptian), and Asatru (Norse).

Please keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and there are many more pagan paths with their own unique beliefs and practices. It can be beneficial to explore different traditions, connect with pagan communities, and read books or online resources to gain a deeper understanding of specific paths that resonate with you. Remember, spirituality is deeply personal, and crafting your own path that aligns with your beliefs and values is also a valid approach.
 
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