Patients Behavioural disorders / Mental illness
Is my anxiety influencing my perception or things, or am I self-gaslighting?
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Weird title, I know... I didn't know how else to word it.
But hello. My name's Cyy. I'm a bit new here and I guess something recent has been really bothering me lately. Maybe it's not all that recent, now that I really think on it. I'm hoping this actually relates to the anxiety discussion forum because I really don't know where else it would fit in.
I'm not really a person who likes to express myself - at least not with my heavier emotions like sadness, anger, ect. Let alone express them to other people, because I feel like I'm just burdening them with my problems. It's part of why I'm here now. I don't feel like I can share anything with people I have relationships/personal connection to anymore for the previously stated reasoning... amongst the other problem I've titled here.
Something happened the other day, and it happens often I realize... Let me give a simple example of this: I'm upset about something, and I really only express it in a tone where I sound... bummed out, I guess? At least, that's how it's been described to me. The person wants to talk about it and checks in, and I kind of hesitated - for the reason previously stated. As we kind of start to dissect it a bit, I might pick up on their voice or expression that they feel bothered or guilty or something like that - and I begin to backtrack.
I start to just think: "Crap. I made them feel bad because I'm upset. They didn't mean for that to happen, and I don't mean for them to feel bad about themselves. I don't want them thinking I'm upset with them or like I'm blaming them."
So, this results in me responding with apologies. Saying "sorry" every five minutes or less over everything. Constantly insisting that I'm not upset with them or blaming them, that I'm more upset at myself - because I am more upset at myself. I start blaming myself.
The other day, I constantly insisted: "No, I shouldn't have done this" or "I shouldn't have said that" and "I'm sorry I kept you up this late, I know your tired". It's so... tiring. I felt so bad that this problem came up and that they stayed up later, despite being tired, to talk to me about it. Then at that point, I just start breaking down and crying because I'm busy freaking out about how I'm a complete burden to them. I feel like I forced them to be there and it's even worse thinking about how I said the "I shouldn't have...." phrases. It all seems so manipulative to me, and that's the last thing I ever want to do to another person. Hence the breakdown and the panic attack that ensues...
Then it spurs on the problem because the person stays there with me, waiting until I stop freaking out. I appreciate it a lot, and I always make sure to express that I appreciate them. But it just... Feels so terrible to even say anything anymore. I could have an actual issue that I'm upset about and I want to address, but I don't want to for the sake of the other person... Which kills me inside because then I end up hurting and just keep hurting because of it... But I so badly don't want to be a person who manipulates for the sake of my own emotions - and I hope that's not what I'm doing. If I am, I just want somebody to call me out on it so I can be better.
I constantly feel like people should be mad at me or should call me out for something, even if I don't know what. I just always feel like I've done something terrible in cases like these and I just want someone to say that I've done something so I can be better. The person this happened with told me that I'm okay to be upset with what I was upset over and I didn't do anything wrong but... it just feels like they lied to me so I don't feel bad, or something. But maybe that's just the anxiety?
It's one of the biggest issues that led me here in the first place. So if someone here thinks I am being manipulative, please, tell me. Like I said, I would do anything just to.. never do that to a person. I've been in that seat before, and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone else.
I've been sitting here just between: "Did I do something, or is it the anxiety?"
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Hi @Cyyber, thank you for sharing with us. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. It can be uncomfortable when you feel like a "burden" to others, or when anxiety causes us to over-analyze situations. Let me tag some other members who can possibly share with you.
Hi everyone, have you ever felt like your anxiety distorts your perception of social situations? Have you ever felt like you were "burdening" others by sharing what you're going through? How do you handle these kinds of feelings and situations?
@mmf2022 @tmzapped @Kiarap425 @Joipayn @Stormilee2019 @Kyskinner1 @Jmitchell @LizB219 @kisslamarre @EclipseLuna @shaylaww @msmith0422 @Psmith1299 @Patience @Serena56 @user5678562 @dawnbunny
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Courtney_J, Community Manager, Carenity US
Yes, constantly feel like a burden to my family. I have no reason to feel so depressed when I have such a wonderful family. I need to get better in this area!
Hi Cyy, your story moved me so I wanted to offer help if I can. Please keep in mind that I am not a qualified mental health professional. My knowledge and advice comes from continual research in mental health, participation in support groups, and my own life experiences. You've taken a tremendously brave step by reaching out, so give yourself lots of credit. Right out of the gate, I have to say, you're not being manipulative by any example that I see. The fact that you're even worried about being manipulative reaffirms that for me. You are well within your rights to express yourself if something is hurtful to you. If you're saying things in a bummed out tone, its because you ARE bummed so this is expected. I see a lot of negative self-talk in what you've described for us. Negative self-talk is a major symptom of some mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. The things we say to ourselves are often taken as fact. We buy in to the belief that we're unworthy, along with alot of other flaws. It creates a vicious loop in our minds that is challenging to break free of, but not impossible. Talking with someone is a great way to combat these thoughts. Another great way is by challenging the thoughts any time that you notice them. Ask yourself "Is this thought true? Can I prove it? Is it helpful?" A prime example is "I'm a burden", well...is that a fact? Has anyone expressed to me that I am a burden? This can help reduce the anxiety and allow you to think more rationally. These topics are often difficult and embarrassing to talk about. Many people are unaware of what to say or how to help, but that doesn't mean they don't want to. I wouldn't read too much in to it if you're venting to someone and they seem uncomfortable; these are uncomfortable topics by nature. If your friend is sacrificing their time, or sleep, to be there for you, trust and believe that they care. You are not a burden on them.I have treatment-resistant Bipolar 1, so I am no stranger to anxiety and negative self-talk. I realize how difficult it is to open up to people close to us. I have worked on this for years and I still find it difficult. But the people who truly love you will be understanding, and hopefully very compassionate. They will offer their availability to you voluntarily. The challenge, then, is to believe that they honestly want to be there for you, which I wholeheartedly believe that they do.I know its a long response, I'm sorry about that. Hopefully you're able to find something helpful out of it. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable and sharing with us. Better days are coming!
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to this post and inviting others to join in the topic. It's nice to see such an active community, and a very open one at that. I'm happy to have found this place. Already some members who responded have given some ease at-mind and helpful information. 💜
I completely get that feeling, as stated a few times before. It's definitely something I'm currently struggling with. I'm happy to hear you have a wonderful family, and in that case that I feel they would be supportive with you and your situation 💜. I see we need to learn that we not a burden, and the things we feel have validity. Also, thank you for your response. It kind of helps me see that I'm not the only one with this kind of struggle.
Hang in there, it is a daily struggle that has its ups and downs. Utilize this site to talk it out with people when the need arises. Never isolate it only makes it worse! You are not alone.
Thank you for your response to my post. No need to apologize for it being long, by the way! I made a long post to begin with and I tend to do the same. With your response, what you've said to me here is... very comforting and kind of helps me understand. I greatly appreciate what you've shared. Kind of with what you said - regarding that if I'm concerned about being manipulative, perhaps that's not the case - I'm still struggling to grasp that concept and not overthink on that as well.
After this discussion was posted, I did finally talk with the person that this happened with and explained what was going on. As what you've said here, they completely understood what was going on an reassured me that they cared and didn't think I was doing anything wrong - or really thought anything negative about me. In fact, we talked a little more in-depth about our feelings, which probably helped our relationship and our understanding of one-another more. I'm the kind of person that feels if I vent out my feelings to someone - I should open the door and do the same for them. This was also a part of the original issue I posted here, but forgot to mention, because I felt like I didn't allow them to express themselves and how they were really feeling through the moment of me having that bit of a break down.
I'm going to try your advice with thought-challenging. I've tried it in the past, and looking back on it - it has worked to some extent. I just need to exercise it a bit more, kind of like improving a skill, almost?
Seriously, your response was very insightful and helps me recognize what's actually going on rather than my distorted view from the anxiety. Thank you so much for sharing 💜. I hope to get a little more involved here and help in the same way.
I greatly appreciate the support! It's very nice to see, and definitely a welcoming and open community from what I've seen and read so far. I plan on definitely sticking around to help where I can, as well as try to reach out when need be. The same sentiment is shared with you. I hope you have a lovely day, and know that you're not alone 💜. We got this!
AMEN TO THAT!!
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