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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I am overjoyed that you were able to find anything useful from my advice. I am also very happy to learn that you were able to approach your friend, and that both of you had the chance to open up to eachother. Having a friend who we can confide in is an irreplaceable blessing. I am so glad that you have that.
Challenging your thoughts is as you said. Like any other skill, we get better with practice. You said you've use this in the past, so the foundation is there. If you'd like to strengthen this skill, I suggest looking in to mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness teaches you how to observe your thoughts without becoming to emotionally invested. Its an incredible way to slow things down and gain some control. There are hundreds of resources available to help you learn this practice. YouTube, podcasts, books, websites, and apps are all great ways learn about mindfulness.
I have to say, you are very articulate and well spoken. It makes connecting to your story much easier! Thank you again for sharing with us. I'm so glad that you did and that we were able to help. I hope to see you elsewhere among the community.
Yeah, they've been great. We're very similar in situations, which is partially why I think we're able to communicate these types of things. I'm still learning and trying to realize that too, haha.
I used to do meditation, too! I think I might get back into that, because I dropped it for some reason or I forgot about it. I remember how it helped me back then, and overall, made my day a bit easier to process through all that I was feeling. So, thank you for reminding me about it! If you have any notable resources like the ones you listed, I'm more than happy to hear it.
Thank you for the compliment! I try my best to describe what I can, even in that mindset. You've done great at your explanations as well, and it's easy to connect and understand. Thank you again for your interaction and advice 💜
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