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Feeling that I can't love others

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Feeling that I can't love others

Postby Jay563 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:31 pm

Hey guys,

I’m really struggling with anxiety and depression at the moment and just hoping that someone might be able to offer some insight or opinions.

I’ve just hit 30 this year seeing a lot of my friends settle down etc and the idea just seems so scary to me! The idea of picking one person to spend the rest of my life with just seems overwhelming. I’ve always thought I would change as I got older but it’s just not happening and I think I’m shying away from the commitment. I spend a lot of time alone and work alone as self employed and the thought of someone being there all the time and being responsible for them scares me! I also worry about whether I could actually honestly love them. I like people don’t get me wrong, but what is love? Is it strong like? I’ve had girlfriends before but always knew they would come to an end at some point and sort of had my foot out the door knowing I wasn’t committed for life but that was when I was younger so it seemed less daunting. I feel I'm running out of time to meet someone and have kids etc!!

I’m also now questioning if I love my parents. I just don’t get how people can know if they love people when you don’t know what someone else feels. I’m thinking I may have a personality disorder of some kind like Narcastic Personality Disorder. I always dream of being a performer on stage in front of loads of fans and living the celebrity lifestyle but I don’t have the confidence to make it happen even if I could. I feel to tied to my parents in a strange way, almost still like a 12 year old.

I also get nervous in social situations and don’t have a wide friend circle. I’m not great at making new friends and these are my school friends still. I’m also worried about if I will be able to look after kids and actually feel love for them, or maybe I will regret having them and be stuck with the burden for years. It seems such a gamble having them and then possibly having to live a lie.

I’ve always chased money and thought by having a nice house and car etc that I would have achieved more than friends and feel good about it. In a way I suppose I do feel good about it as I’ve done it but then I’ll see a friend who’s traveled more and think they will look down on me a bit because I haven’t traveled as much. Also everything is a competition with most of my friends and bad things happening to them sometimes makes me feel less anxious about my own life, which I know is terrible!

I feel I’m in my comfort zone a bit too much but need my mum and dad to hold my hand out of it which is pathetic at age 30. I’m actually really independent and have my own business etc but in my mind I still feel like a kid.

I’ve had panic and anxiety for years. Even when I was a kid I used to worry about if I had looked at someone a little funny or not washed my hands fully and touched something they would get a disease off me etc. I used to have to tell the person or my mum for reassurance until I could let it go. Then as I got older I started getting anxiety and panic attacks every 6 months or so, usually around my birthday as it was another year gone. I went on anti depressants at 21 and are still on them today.

I'm just worried that there is something missing with me. I like to just chill in front of the television or on the laptop and relax, or play golf or whatever and I feel with kids I wont be able to fully switch off at any second.

I'm very sensitive to criticism as well. I feel I always have to be moving forward in life and advancing myself, whether that means making more money or improving my physical appearance etc. With a partner I think I might lose that drive as well.

I'm so worried that I'm a Narcissist and just wanting success over wanting a family life like most people. I just think I would get bored with a family life as I'm not fully emotionally engaged? I'm never really happy for others doing well and I can't imagine that changing for wife and kids but only speculating. I just struggle to feel in the third person, unless it's like a homeless person or something then I always feel sorry for them. It's just the feeling genuinely happy for someone else I struggle with as they aren't me. I always see things on Instagram and Facebook and people are so happy for one another, but I feel like life is a competition and I just don't get it !

Sorry I know that was long winded but just getting it all out there. Just looking for some guidance as I'm so lost at the moment !

Thanks all,
Jay
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Re: Feeling that I can't love others

Postby xdude » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:31 pm

Hey Jay563,

Unfortunately we aren't qualified to diagnose so all we can do is guess. If NPD is part of what is going on, well you are very insightful, and clearly introspective. Could be, but most people with PDs don't give any of that a first (let alone second) thought.

I wonder if there is some social aspect going on. I keep reading various articles about people your age avoiding high commitment relationships (i.e., I don't think you are alone in thinking this way). Some people seem content enough focusing on work, and personal interests. You are not causing anyone else any harm if you are honest up front that a long term relationship with children is not a goal (at least not yet).

Sorry I don't really know what is going on with you either, but I do think there is a difference between choosing to pursue personal goals and pathological narcissism. I suppose there is still plenty of social belief, you must get married, you must have children, to be normal, or to feel satisfied. Times have and are changing in some cultures. Some will see that as a social failure, others as a social evolution.
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Re: Feeling that I can't love others

Postby alexa99 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:14 pm

Hi
I hope I don't break any rule writing my opinion. I think love is build by 2 elements: the feeling coming from inside and the decision to love someone coming from head. I was raped and I have a child after what happend. He is not like me 100%, of course, I mean my eyes, my mouth... What to do? To love him, to hate him or just to not care about him? These were the questions. At the begining I hated him because anytime I saw him reminded me about the rape and the rapists. But after a time, I decided that is not his fault and he is just a little innocent baby. So, I begin carrying him like any mother who wanted the child she has. I learned to love him, day by day, night by night, every second. The conclusion is that you can learn to love someone if you really want to love. Nobody is perfect, it is a huge diference sometime between we are dreaming about a person or our life and the reality. In the mean time, loving someone, will change you completely: you will have a lot of worries for person you love but you will have also a lot of satisfactions when you will kiss or watch or talk or just thinking to that person. I am talking about a child. About a partner I think is a little bit different, but not very much. I hope you do not mind my comment.
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Re: Feeling that I can't love others

Postby xdude » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:49 am

Hey alexa99,

alexa99 wrote:I hope I don't break any rule writing my opinion.


Expressing opinions from our own experience is cool and encouraged!
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Re: Feeling that I can't love others

Postby vernaslast1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:48 am

I believe that a child learns to love by feeling love. If shown love, he learns to love. In my case, my mother showed no love to her three children. My two older sisters apparently did not suffer the same consequences of this that I did. We were raised in a dysfunctional family setting. Our parents had severe ,heated shouting matches and some physical abuse too. They divorced when I was seven. Now that dad was out of the house, all the conflict and turmoil is gone too. Right? Wrong.

I came across a website recently that introduced me to mental disorders. The disorder that matched my circumstances almost perfectly was called Reactive Attachment Disorder, RAD. RAD is established in the first three years of life. If a child does not get the emotional bonding from their main caregiver, Mom in this case, he learns not to trust them. The child cannot depend on the caregiver to respond to their discomfort. Letting a child "cry themselves to sleep" is an example.

When a young brain is exposed to excessive emotional stress, and the stress hormone, cortisol,the architecture of the brain changes to cope with this trauma. Learning difficulties, substance abuse,depression, and the inability to emotionally bond to others is very common.

I can't even conceive the idea of love. I couldn't even say the word until I was forty. The closest I can come to the feeling of love is toward dogs. Dogs love unconditionally and can't hurt you. Maybe that's why care so much for them.I can believe that people growing up in a "normal" household can't understand that concept.

I've read that children can store long term memories as early as three years old. The very first untoward thing I remember her saying to me was this: She was reading the paper in the living rm. when I asked her for or wanted something. She didn't look up from the paper but said "Go away, you bother me" She said that seventy yrs. ago, and I never forgot.

Her emotional abuse continued well into my adult yrs.I've missed the joy of meaningful marriage, and having children. I didn't realize that she was destroying my life bit by bit.
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Re: Feeling that I can't love others

Postby xdude » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:17 pm

vernaslast1 wrote:I believe that a child learns to love by feeling love. If shown love, he learns to love. In my case, my mother showed no love to her three children. My two older sisters apparently did not suffer the same consequences of this that I did. We were raised in a dysfunctional family setting.


I think a lot of people can relate to this thought. I wonder too if the reason lack of a parental love affects some children more than others has something to do with the child's innate personality, and/or maybe something to do with being a first, second, etc. child.

It also seems like sometimes what happens is there is a 'golden' child, or special child, who doesn't necessarily turn out issue free, just the outcome is different.

Agreed with your thoughts on RAD, and the idea that a lot of this is formed early on. While it's somewhat possible to compensate later, if that core sense of safety, and being valued just because isn't learned during the earliest years it's very hard to out-think that those feelings later.

Yes, some people who struggle with 'love' may find that they can love a pet, because as you wrote, they return love unconditionally. That lack of unconditional love can end up becoming a life theme that affects someone their whole life.

Finally, yes it's near impossible to explain to someone else who had a reasonably normal upbringing why those who didn't struggle with this for life (something you wrote about as well).
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