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Self-perception

cotyledon123cotyledon123 Posts: 3 Newbie
edited February 4 in Health & Wellbeing
Hey, first time poster.

I'm having trouble with my own self-perception, and others perception of me. To cut a long story short, I'm 24 and I recently went to university and stayed at student accommodation. I then decided that the course wasn't for me, and decided to leave to reapply next year. I'm planning to go to the same uni, and move in with my accommodation flatmates. 

For background on my previous mental health troubles, I went to weekly therapy from 2017 to 2018, and the basis of it was that I suffered sexual trauma when I was a child, which prevented me from developing myself fully. Therapy enabled me to understand myself, give me confidence and raise my self-esteem. It also helped me take control of my life as opposed to being at the mercy of others (e.g. be manipulated by others). 

Now, there are a few things that are bothering me that I noticed from my experience in uni (and my life, now that I think about it). I'm understanding it as me not being fully developed yet. The things that are bothering me are:

- I am susceptible to other people's problems
- I think other people think I am creep/crazy (Which I am assured I am not). Adding to this, I think too much about what other people think of me.
- I'm susceptible to girls that fancy me/ girls that I think fancy me
- I tend to focus on a girl that I fancy too much. I don't understand how relationships work, so I try and get their attention or I let them do all the work. I haven't matured properly in that department. 

The last two are the core problem, and I think encompasses all of them. This has been highlighted by an experience I had in halls, and in life.

I find that I latch onto a girl that I like, but don't know what to do, so I fantasise about her romantically or obsess about. This has happened in school, where I had a crush on a girl but had no idea how to approach the situation. I tried bumping into her in school, but not actually talking to her. I thought about putting a romantic letter on her car, but not actually talking to her. - I'm susceptible to girls that fancy me/ girls that I think fancy me

Fast forward to a place that I worked. There was a girl who I caught staring at me - aaand cue the obsession. I fantasise about expressing my love for her. - I'm susceptible to girls that fancy me/ girls that I think fancy me

This happens a few times over the course of my life, and the last time was in halls in uni last year.

The uni experience
So, what happened was that a girl that has control issues and low self-esteem took a liking to me. She would text me all day and be around my flat all the time. She basically forced herself into my life without me reciprocating. Then she completely cut contact I was left confused - I felt there was a mutual feeling between us. Bear in mind she had a serious boyfriend. I initially thought there was something between us, but now I realise that it was a product of her control issues and my poor relationship skills. I made little effort to make arrangements, and she realised that I was inept when it came to intimate relationships. 

I think she cut me out because she realised what was happening, and thankfully she highlighted it to me. Although we talked about what happened and she denies the whole thing. It also didn't help that after she decided to cut me out of her life, she would immediately call someone into the room if I was in the same room as her. This made me feel like I was trying to harm her or that she felt threatened, even though I wasn't doing anything wrong.  - I am susceptible to other people's problems

Once she cut me out of her life, I tried to make her jealous or get her attention. So I talked to other girls around her, I acted a bit more social, I arranged group meet ups without her. This may be normal for a teenager, but I find it unhealthy. I initially realised that it was her decision to cut me out and that I should respect that, but then I tried winning her over in an unhealthy way.

This has left me feeling like I'm a crazy stalker person, and that everyone in the accommodation doesn't like me and thinks I'm crazy. Although everyone considers me a nice person and a friend, this has left me feeling like a total creep because of this whole inner child thing. - I think other people think I am creep/crazy (Which I am assured I am not). Adding to this, I think too much about what other people think of me.

Back to the issue
So, my problem is is that I have love fantasies about having a girlfriend, but don't actually know how to go about it. I revert back to this childish state that doesn't understand or know how to express feelings properly, and so I think a lot about a girl I like but don't actually make any attempt at forming a relationship. I also have poor confidence, but at the same time think I'm hot shit. 

And lastly, I think people think I'm a creep and a stalker, even though they know me as an honest and kind person.

I realise I'm beating myself up.

Thanks for the time taken to read this, and I appreciate any advice given :)

Edit - Having reflected on it, I think the problem was that I am too easily manipulated, and she has control issues. It was an abusive relationship?

Kathleen07

Comments

  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 604 Extreme Poster
    Hey @cotyledon123, welcome to the Mix and thank you for sharing :) does it feel slightly better to get that all out? 

    Firstly congrats on the decision to start a different course, it takes guts to change things in your life that you can see aren't working, and you could easily have just stuck it out and regretted it. Props to you.  Also it's great you have already reached out to mental health services for your past trauma, although I'm really sorry to hear you went through that.

    From what I've read here I can tell you you're quite 'normal' (whatever that word means) - what I mean is you're not alone with any of the issues above you've outlined. It's not necessarily you being 'underdeveloped' or 'child like', it's a really natural thing to experience feeling out of your depth with relationships... To feel more comfortable with relationships comes with experience more than anything, and trust of your partner(s).

    Please don't feel disheartened that you've had this bad experience - you say she had a serious boyfriend anyway? If so it doesn't sound like the best place to start as she was probably pretty confused and/or feeling guilty about her time with you. It is totally normal for someone like that to then deny having anything with you because she won't want her boyfriend (or even herself) to think she's a bad person!!

    You are definitely, definitely not a crazy stalker person for trying to make her jealous or get her attention. We ALL do that. Although we may know it's wrong or won't help, it's so hard not to. It sounds like you know no one thinks of you this way but are still questioning it - what has happened to make you feel that way? Is it just the way you feel about yourself, and you are assuming others will feel the same? Do you think you could talk to one of your close friends about it to get some reassurance?

    - Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • cotyledon123cotyledon123 Posts: 3 Newbie
    It has helped greatly!! Thanks very much for the in-depth reply.
    To answer your questions:

    what has happened to make you feel that way?
    A few things. I think it's because I've always felt older than I am. In fact, I do act like an old man. So in this way, I'm a little out of touch with other people around my age, and I don't connect entirely with 'young' people. I do, but I've always felt a little different. 
     
    I'm also overly sensitive and easily manipulated because I see the world too innocently - I see people as good when maybe they are not. I have been on the end of people that have taken advantage of this. 

    And part of it might come from the fact that I put too much emphasis on 'love'. I develop feelings for people too easy. It happens very quickly and intensely, and I think it's what happened before.
    Whenever I see people together or a girl and a guy getting along, I just assume or think that they're together or 'like' each other, even though they are just friends. My mother does it, and it rubbed off on me.  I'm too innocent and naive to the world I think.

    you are assuming others will feel the same? 
    Not sure what you mean by this.

    Do you think you could talk to one of your close friends about it to get some reassurance?
    I have been talking with a few friends lately which has helped.

    --------------
    I'm too nice, unselfish, and unassertive. I take others feelings into consideration more than I should, and it affects my life negatively.
  • cotyledon123cotyledon123 Posts: 3 Newbie
    Hey @Lucy307,

    I've posted a comment above but wasn't sure how to reply.

    This is a further comment/edit of my reply above: 

    I also get these sort of love goggles, and I think it's why some girls avoid me. As soon as someone that I find attractive pays attention to me, I'm suddenly infatuated by them. I remember when the girl from halls first started to cut me out, I didn't see her for a few days. Then I saw her coming out of a lecture and I just stood there staring and smiling like an idiot. She looked at me worryingly and walked off. I noticed right after that my behaviour was strange. 

    I often find girls staring at me, and it then triggers this attitude in my brain. It makes me uncomfortable when I catch them staring at me because I don't really know what to do - I just try and look and then look away. I don't know how to put it in a modest way, but I have an attractive face that catches people's eye, and I am aware of it and try and ignore it, but sometimes it triggers this weird love obsession. I'm also susceptible to trying to please people, so If a girl is staring at me, I feel inclined to reciprocate even if I don't want to.

    It's this obsessive nature that is what makes me think that I am a creep/ makes me think that others think I'm a creep. I need to stop obsessing/fantasising about meeting a girl and falling in love. It's because I am not fully confident in who I am yet, that I feel that a girlfriend will complete my life and take my worries away. I have not developed fully as a person yet. I think what happened between me and her was codependency. I was dependent on her to take the reins and put the effort in because I didn't know how, and she was dependent on me being innocent and overly nice because of her self esteem issues. 
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 604 Extreme Poster
    Hey @cotyledon123

    Glad to help! So sorry for the late reply, I was away last week.

    To be honest from all you've said above, it sounds like you are seeking self awareness, but you could be wrong about the way others think of you - I am hearing a lot of 'I think...' - I see from your reply above you have spoken to some close friends about their perception of you - has this helped?

    It is so easy to assume we know where things went wrong/what people think of us and a lot of the time it's self-reflection rather than real perception. If that makes sense? So we use our negative thoughts of ourselves and think everyone must feel that way about us. It's really good to ask people's feedback on you as a person, as it can help with your self awareness. 

    - Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
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