14 In Love & Relationships

Why You’re Insecure In Love- Part II

“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity.” – Erich Fromm

For those of you that read my prior post on Insecurity in Relationships on Tiny Buddha this is a follow up.  For those who haven’t, here is the link:Why You Feel Anxious in Relationships and How To Stop

I’m going to share something really painful right now. After 7 months of what I thought was a great relationship my boyfriend has suddenly decided to stop talking to me. It’s been over a week now and not a word. Having him disappear is the one thing I told him I was petrified would happen and here it is.

He says nothing is wrong and that he is just working (granted he is on a non-combat deployment), but let’s be honest. We both know this isn’t true and he obviously needs some space and/or doesn’t want to talk to me for some reason. I have spent the past few weeks trying to figure out what I could have done wrong, analyzing my every text and every feeling and although I can’t come up with a concrete answer, I do have to admit that my insecurity may have played a part.

I fully admit that although I never initiated contact with him I was probably expecting him to meet too many of my needs and I was looking to the relationship to “make me feel better” although I didn’t even realize it at the time.

Has he broken up with me? I have no idea. Should I move on? I have no idea. All I know is that this came at a pivotal point in my life. I left my job in the hopes of making a living as a writer and life coach. I fractured my foot and haven’t been able to exercise or get out as I normally would. I am living in a new city where I have few friends and suddenly and unexpectedly I have lost my partner.

The only thing I do know is that I cannot continue to live an insecure life and I cannot continue to lack self-worth and put aside my own needs for the comfort of others because I feel innately guilty about asking for what I need.

My job has always been to put my own needs aside so everyone else can be comfortable. I have never asked for what I needed (emotions were not allowed in my house) and I have never allowed myself to feel the true pain and loss of my childhood, although I thought I had.

I’m guessing you can relate.

But, What Does It All Mean?

When you get to a pain threshold you know you have to change. Frankly, why continue to live an unfulfilled, empty, soulless life? Who wants to live like that? Actually, this is not really living, it is merely existing. This is not to say everything has been bad and awful. The past seven months have been amazing, despite my inner struggles.

Maybe my boyfriend came into my life to bring me to the point where more change was inevitable. Maybe he has served his purpose and his time is done. I do not know. Maybe he has disappeared and I will have to come to terms with yet another person not keeping their word. Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe I can try to trust and believe in the universe.

All weekend I tried to not think about him or us or the relationship. That didn’t work so well. I knew that energetically if I kept focusing on him he would feel pressure and it would keep him even further from me, but my habits run deep and every day without a message from him sent me deeper and deeper into feelings of emptiness and lethargy.

I tried to convince myself to think positively. Fail. I tried to disassociate from my feelings. Fail. I tried to just believe something new. Fail. I am not stupid and my brain knows when you are trying to fool it. I can’t just pretend things, no matter how hard I try.

What this means is that in order for my brain to change the way it thinks it has to change from the inside out and not the other way around. I have to face those limiting beliefs, those subconscious fears those “protective” mechanisms and let them go.

Living in a prison of your own mind is a fate worse than death.

More Therapy

So, here I was again at another transition point where it became change or death. Continued suffering was no longer an option. I knew that regardless of whether my boyfriend and I stay together I have to change my thoughts and change my life. But, I didn’t know where to start.

So, like anyone who is searching for answers I took to google. I took a brief course from Marisa Peer which was very insightful. She believes that our world exists mainly as a reflection of two things: 1) the pictures in our heads and 2) the words we use. I tend to agree.

If we think our world looks empty and our words remind us of that then that is what we will get-more emptiness. Although I agreed with her and  her position and although she believes you can change these words and pictures fairly easily – I was not so convinced.

I knew I needed someone to help me to change. But, I could not spend one more day TALKING about my stupid problems and issues. I have talked them to death. They have been forever my constant companions and frankly I’m sick of them.

So, I found a therapist who specializes in RTT-Rapid Transformational Therapy which was originally developed by Marisa Peer. This type of therapy combines CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), Hypnosis (or deep relaxation) and Neuro Linguistic Programming. You can find a link to my therapist at NoBSTherapy

What Happened?

The first hour we discussed background issues, my family, my boyfriend, the molestation. The usual stuff. Then I laid down on the couch (I know, very Freudian) and she put me into a more relaxed state where I could access more of my subconscious beliefs and thoughts.

The thing is, even if your mind thinks it has let go, your body hasn’t and as long as you hold onto the emotion in your body your pain will not leave you. The memories stay living inside you hidden and waiting to come out.

When you get into a more relaxed state you are able to connect with your body memories and then tell the negative feelings that they are no longer welcome. Doing this in a conscious state never results in any change because your brain is hardwired to think and act a certain way in order to protect itself.

If you want to change the way you think you have to change your hard-wiring. Just know that consciously your brain will attempt to reject change at all costs. Your brain thinks it’s doing you a favor, even though you know in truth it’s ruining your life and on some level you want to believe it.  You want to believe your brain is doing right by you even though you suspect it has an ulterior motive.

So, I laid on the couch and we ran through episodes from my childhood which came to the surface randomly. We processed scenes and images that were coupled with feelings and emotions. I cried and cried. I felt like I was really back there in that space. I was no longer the adult trying to convince myself to believe something. I was the child experiencing the experience.

I was able to take back my power and stop giving it away. I was able to feel the pain and sadness that comes with the truth of an abusive childhood. Know that parents don’t need to be overly abusive to create long term negative effects on your life.

In my house the underlying message was that you don’t talk about your feelings because you are not allowed to have them and you most certainly were not allowed to have needs other than food, shelter and clothing. No one would consider this abusive. Frankly, it isn’t. But, it still diminishes the child. It still sends a message that the child’s needs and wants are not important so naturally as an adult you will act in a way that is congruent with this until you decide to change.  You will continue to expect nothing more than food, shelter and clothing.  You get what you ask for and what you expect.

Once I faced these facts and in my suggestive state I decided I would no longer let someone else dictate the terms of my life, my desires and my future and I started to feel lighter. The depression had lifted. The oppressive nothingness was gone. I felt 10 pounds lighter, energetically.

What Next?

When I woke up this morning my thoughts drifted to my boyfriend. But, instead of focusing on him and on us I can shift my focus more easily to myself. Not always and not 100 percent yet, but I’m getting better.

The more you can focus on yourself, who you are, what you want and where you are going irrespective of your relationship the happier you will be. No one person can be everything to you and no one person can fulfill all your dreams, hopes and desires.

It sounds stupid and cliché, but you really do have to learn to love yourself first. I thought I had. I was wrong. So, here I am starting day by day and taking baby steps along my path to a new life and a new future. Will it be with him? I don’t know.

Can you predict the outcome of a relationship or make something happen that isn’t meant to be? Nope. The only person you can control is yourself. The only person you can change is yourself. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole
    06/08/2017 at 10:09 pm

    Wow, that is so interesting.. I always have certain images ffom my childhood come in my mind..times that I felt emotional pain and also times where I saw my mom trying to get affection from my dad and he ignored her or rejected her…same thing that happened in my marriage.. I saw her pain, and I remember my pain..
    There must be a reason for these memories to keep pipping up..

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      06/09/2017 at 10:00 am

      There definitely is a reason Nicole. We often play out our parent’s marriages because we don’t know any different and we think it must be love when really it is what we’re use to. You are on the right track…

  • Reply
    Jill
    06/08/2017 at 10:12 pm

    This post scares the daylight out of me! This is exactly what happened to me except I have three extra months on you!
    It’s been a week and a half since I heard from mine. My insecurities spewed and I wanted to know where I stood with him. Now he’s gone. I really don’t know how to move forward or how to control my negative thoughts. I’m grateful that I have people that care about me but I’m not listening very well. I can even text my therapist as much as I need and that doesn’t seem to work either. I don’t understand and I need an answer I don’t foresee getting. How does one quiet the mind being such a debbie downer?

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      06/09/2017 at 9:59 am

      Meditation, focus inward, work on yourself, get outside, figure out WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU WANT. You are valuable. You just have to believe it. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    06/09/2017 at 8:05 pm

    Jill it took me several months but journaling definately helped.. also, I started listening to meditation brain wave subliminal stuff. I think it is working. That and a Madia play that came on my newsfeed amd I watched the end and hearing the female character get string and tell the man off and talk about how he has done her wrong snd finish it off with a song “enough is enough” it hit me. That is what I should be saying! I used to be that strong! And I finally faced the truth of all the wrong my husband did. And I feel a great relief knowing that I dont want him back. I dont want to live with the pain and doubt again.
    Keep reading. Journal, learn about jourself and do it for yourself.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    06/09/2017 at 9:19 pm

    I can relate to everything that you mentioned. I too suffered and am trying my best to overcome the issues I face. Thank you for sharing your story because it helps knowing that I’m not alone in this.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    12/01/2017 at 9:48 am

    Hi Carrie. I enjoy reading your stories here and even on tinybuddha’s website.
    I don’t know if this reply is the proper reply to your story but I need to share my insecurities right now, I already keep them too long.
    I’ve been with my boyfriend since 4 years, we once broke up then I got him back. The main reason of our breakup was my insecurities, he didn’t make me feel comfortable at all about myself by surfing freely on the internet.
    As a boy, he does like seeing hotties girl and I wasn’t really concerned or worried about it because I considered that as “normal” nowadays.
    But when I discovered the next months that he saved many photos of them and kept looking for others ones, my brain created too many emotions that I couldn’t even control. I’ve never been so broken but I had to shut up because what he was doing was “boy thing” so it was “vital” for to get always satisfied?
    As he continued and I was more hurt, I tried to push myself strongly to tell him, he stopped.
    Unfortunately he restarted and I felt like I was killed by 3 knives on my back, I’m so sensitive and so so anxious when someone really close to me lied to me. Since that day I don’t trust him anymore, this is not really a serious problem, this is so damn stupid but I can’t change my own feeling, I tried, I couldn’t and I can’t.
    I know the source of this problem is my low self esteem, me fear of losing him,, he didn’t help me improve it and I agree it wasn’t his job.
    Is the problem in me or in him? I’m too introverted, seeing him being so interested or attached to Something open (these hotties girls) makes me feel lonely, irritated, not worthy because I never can do what they do.

    He does love me, cares about me, thinks about me, that’s why that when I’m in a bad mood towards him, I sometimes regret but at the same time if I’m in a good mood, I’m really afraid to be anxious again because he problably continues his small routine behind me. I don’t trust him. I can’t live with this dynamic, it hurts both of us.
    I need some words to enlighten my soul,
    I need some help. I have no motivation to build my confidence, to work out, to have a healthy mindset.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      12/01/2017 at 10:47 am

      I’m sorry you are going through such a tough time. It sounds like you are both the problem. All guys look at other women, but you have expressed that it makes you uncomfortable to the extent that he looks and yet he keeps doing it which says he doesn’t respect your boundaries. Also, the person you don’t trust is yourself. You don’t trust that you will have boundaries and enforce them (I know because I’ve had the same problem in the past). It is your job to create your own self esteem but it is also your partner’s job to be conscientious of your insecurities to a certain extent. Maybe you don’t have to decide what to do right now. Maybe try working on yourself and not focus on the relationship so much (hard for those of us who are insecurely attached). There are a number of resources and books you can read listed on the blog- I suggest the self esteem workbooks and the Insecure in Love book which has been extremely helpful for me. Good luck 🙂

  • Reply
    Laurie
    12/02/2017 at 4:59 am

    Thank you for your sweet and quick answer (I didn’t expect that 🙂 )
    I’m pretty sure if I got some confidence within myself, I wouldn’t be too anxious but I wouldn’t agree if he continued this. I don’t want to have a future husband who still keeps looking and saving hotties in his phone, laptop etc. I do look at other boys but I’m not that obsessed. I always Wonder why he goes that far? What does it mean, am I not enough? Why humans can’t really control their desire?

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      12/03/2017 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Laurie-

      There could be a number of reasons he does it, but any of them have to do with HIM and not you. Guys look at girls and that’s perfectly normal, but he is crossing a boundary and you have a legitimate gripe/concern and I wouldn’t want a husband or boyfriend who disrespects me like that either!

      Have you asked him why he feels the need to do so? He may not know consciously, but it is usually to create distance or because he has some fantasy in his head of the way women should be (which is just another way to create emotional distance really….

  • Reply
    Laurie
    12/03/2017 at 4:34 pm

    I don’t really know why he’s like that but it’s his private part so I’m not supposed not to know but each time we see each other, he’s all the time turned on so I’m pretty convinced the reason is because of his high libido PLUS of our long distance Relationship too. That pisses me off a little bit because it seems like he always needs to get satisfied, I don’t really know how a boy works naturally so I can’t say what he’s doing is completely wrong. Do you get it?
    Personally sometimes I can get turned on suddenly with no reason and try to help myself by watching video but it doesn’t help and I stop. Whereas him, he tries to stimulate himself every day by seeing these photos all the time and it’s irritating.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      12/04/2017 at 9:52 am

      You really have to decide what you are comfortable with and whether it is normal or not or whether its right or wrong. If you aren’t comfortable with it then find someone who doesn’t trigger that issue in you or tell him how you feel and see if he is willing to work with you on it. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Laurie
    12/05/2017 at 6:46 am

    thank you! Happy to meet and talk to you Carrie

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