Call the Witch by Its True Name

imagesMy favorite fairy tale when I was a child was Rumpelstiltskin, the story of a girl who makes a bargain with an imp-like creature in exchange for saving her life from being executed by the king. First she gives the imp a necklace, then a ring, then promises her firstborn child. But when her child arrives, she begs the imp to let her keep it. He says he will if she can guess his name. In deep distress, she wanders into the forest and stumbles upon the creature, who is hopping around the fire singing, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll go to the king’s house, nobody knows my name, I’m called ‘Rumpelstiltskin.'” When the imp arrives at the kingdom to claim the baby, the girl (now married to the king), says, “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin.” The imp is enraged, but the deal is broken and he has no choice but to run away.

It’s a common theme in myths and fairy tales that the main character often has to call the witch or demon by its true name in order to break the spell. As myths and fairy tales are representations of our psyches, much like a dream, it makes sense that this same principle would apply to the “witches” and “demons” that roam around and wreak havoc on our inner worlds: when we can call them out, they melt, wither, and eventually vanish. And how interesting that I was drawn to this tale as a young girl when my work now revolves around teaching people how to call fear by its various names, thereby diminishing its power and ultimately causing it to run off into the woods!

This principle shows itself daily in my work with clients. A couple of weeks ago I was working with a young woman who is in the midst of planning her wedding while enduring the heart-wrenching pain of severing ties with several toxic family members*. She had emailed me in a panic the day before our session to tell me that she had been having frequent panic attacks, something that hadn’t occurred in a long time. When we spoke she said, “I’ve been feeling crazy lately. I’m waking up sweating and finding myself ruminating about one situation after another. After the spell breaks, I can see that I was panicking about a random thing, but in the moment it feels so real.”

After she shared some of her mind’s choice topics for ruminating, we named the ego’s first tactic: “Story Jumping.” This is when ego hops from topic to topic – much like the imp hopping around the fire – as it tries to convince you that the story of the day needs your undivided attention. If you bite the hook, you will spend the next X amount of hours or days or weeks obsessing about said story until it breaks open. Then you’re off to the next story. Once the first story breaks open you can clearly see that it wasn’t worth obsessing over, but when you’re in the midst of it, it feels 100% real, true, and believable.

Why does the ego story jump? Because it’s trying to protect you from the vulnerable feelings that live inside the story. And if it presents a story that contains a shred of truth it can hook you and lead you to the edge of the pond where you will ruminate and ruminate, trying to solve the puzzle. And the more your mind hooks in, the more catastrophic it becomes (in your mind), and the more your ego has successfully achieved its mission: to draw you away from the pain.

The achilles heel for both client and therapist is to spend any time at the level of the story. To appease the ego and bypass its resistance, I’ll often say something like, “We can talk about the actual situation in a bit, but for now I’m more curious about what’s inside the story. What grief are you avoiding?”

When I said that to my client, she visibly exhaled, and ego, having been called by its true name, stepped aside. She said, “The grief about my family. It’s just so painful.” Then she cried. And the stories, all of them, like the imp in fairy tale, gathered together and ran off into the forest. At least for the moment.

We backtracked then and I asked her when she could remember stuffing her pain. She said it started around Christmas and her birthday when she could feel the intense grief about not being in contact with her family but, as she said, “I didn’t want to spend my birthday or Christmas crying.” This is the second ego tactic: “Don’t be a downer, especially on birthdays and holidays.” It’s another lie that we must call by its real name, for the truth is that when we let ourselves cry for 15-20 minutes, we clear the space in the heart to experience and be present for the rest of the day.

Which leads to ego tactic number three: “The grief/pain is too much. I can’t handle it.” Most people fall prey to this ego tactic as it stems from a child self who, in a young body without big arms to hold her, really couldn’t handle the intensity of the feelings. The only way we debunk this historic and limiting belief is by finding the courage and taking the risk to stand in the feelings.

Another client that same day shared her ego-resistance experience of avoiding feeling the grief about the one year anniversary of her father’s death*. Ego said, “You should be over this by now.” And then she had a dream where she was being claimed by a wave, allowing it to crash over her and knowing that she wouldn’t be washed out to sea. As water in dreams often represents emotions, we both understood the dream as a very positive and direct message from her unconscious letting her know that she absolutely could handle the big feelings of grief and wouldn’t be pummeled by them. She went to the ocean on the anniversary date and allowed herself to cry. She said of the grief itself, “When you’re standing up alongside it, you see how beautiful it really it. There’s release in it. It’s like, Oh, there you are.”

We spend so much mental energy trying to avoid this painful and beautiful place, the rawness and vulnerability of being stripped down and broken open. It scares us because we haven’t seen it modeled. It scares us because of our early experiences trying to handle the tidal waves of feelings coursing through tiny bodies alone. It’s scares us because we live in a culture that discourages its expression and transmits the message of, “Get over it. Grow a thicker skin. Don’t be so sensitive.” It certainty is risky to be vulnerable, to allow the soft heart to express itself without defense or barrier. There is no doubt that it’s safer to travel into the head-space of story. But here’s the ultimate calling ego by its true name and exposing its lies: This tactic doesn’t work. There is no true safety in the realm of ruminating and obsessing. And when we stop resisting what is, the world breaks open.

When I ended the session with my client I said, “Happy grieving,” because for me there is joy in the expression of unencumbered grief. We both smiled. About a week later she emailed me the following:

I just can’t believe how much sadness and loss I feel, and how alluring the pull is to “just look up one more makeup artist/venue/photographer”. I’m so not the type to care about those things, and I know they’re just a distraction because my grief is so big. It honestly just keeps coming crashing down on me in seemingly never ending layers. I’ve even noticed some relationship anxiety coming back around my fiancé. It’s just a constant call for consciousness and to sit in the grief instead of letting my head take me away. It’s soooo hard but I know there’s no other way!

There is no other way. And in her deepest cells, beyond the magnetic pull toward the distractions, she knows what she has to do.

***

* Client stories shared with permission. 

37 comments to Call the Witch by Its True Name

  • agnes

    I think this is one of my favourite posts of yours, Sheryl. I love the fairy-tale analogies. Thank you.

    I know I have posted this a million times over. I feel like I’ve broken through a lot of my relationship anxiety and when thoughts come in now I have a very ‘yeah, yeah…’ attitude to them. In fact, I’m sometimes concerned at how easily I can manage it and have thoughts that I find it relatively easy because ‘I don’t care’. One thing that is always present though is feeling, knowing (not just having thoughts) that I am somehow a bad person. I feel – as I have said before – this is linked to a sense that I am not feeling my emotions properly. When my partner is sad or needing of sympathy my first reaction is ‘What is wrong with you, why aren’t you feeling X in response to that?’. It makes me feel like a psychopath. I try to ask myself what’s underneath it and I can’t get any further than ‘you’re a bad person’. I cry so rarely and I miss it. I miss feeling human. The spectrum of my emotions is so narrow that I can only name 2 emotions – frustration and fondness. I cried and hurt so much as a child. I want to feel life like that little girl did, only now armed with the tools to emerge out the other side.

    I am in a job where I work alongside young people, often whom have difficult backgrounds. We have to hear some pretty unimaginable stuff. Constantly I test my emotional reactions to these stories, and judge myself for ‘getting over it’ or becoming hardened to it. I look inside myself for confirmation that my feelings/expressions are the truth all of the time. Can you offer me any further advice on how to break through this? I am stumped.

    Also, can your teachings on Projection and actively loving, even when you don’t feel it, be applied to family and friends too? I struggle a lot with negative feelings towards a parent.

    Thanks again. Agnes x

  • Esha (first syllable pronounced like saying the letter A, to rhyme with "may")

    Agnes:

    I know we get habituated to a lot in life, used to it, not so quickly and intensely responsive to it. That’s probably an adaptive mechanism with an evolutionary advantage, so we can save our resources, I’m not sure how to shift out of that except by maybe trying new things, or getting help from some kind of counselor. But I offer this poem:

    To Earthward
    Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

    Love at the lips was touch
    As sweet as I could bear;
    And once that seemed too much;
    I lived on air

    That crossed me from sweet things,
    The flow of—was it musk
    From hidden grapevine springs
    Downhill at dusk?

    I had the swirl and ache
    From sprays of honeysuckle
    That when they’re gathered shake
    Dew on the knuckle.

    I craved strong sweets, but those
    Seemed strong when I was young;
    The petal of the rose
    It was that stung.

    Now no joy but lacks salt,
    That is not dashed with pain
    And weariness and fault;
    I crave the stain

    Of tears, the aftermark
    Of almost too much love,
    The sweet of bitter bark
    And burning clove.

    When stiff and sore and scarred
    I take away my hand
    From leaning on it hard
    In grass and sand,

    The hurt is not enough:
    I long for weight and strength
    To feel the earth as rough
    To all my length.

    From The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1916, 1923, 1928, 1930, 1934, 1939, 1947, 1949, © 1969 by Holt Rinehart and Winston, Inc. Copyright 1936, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1953, 1954, © 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962 by Robert Frost. Copyright © 1962, 1967, 1970 by Leslie Frost Ballantine.

  • This blogpost is so wonderful. I find reading your work incredibly validating, like a hand hold from far away. It’s easy to forget how valuable and instantaneous the results of crying are. It means so much to hear it from an expert like you who deals daily in this area. We shouldn’t need permission to grieve but it helps I think to remind each other. Strangely I wrote last week about grieving on my blog as it is the topic of the novel I am writing (The blogpost is called Take your broken heart…What happens when tears fuel art). I love it when life coincides!

  • worrier96

    I love this post. What you were writing about ‘ego hopping’ completely resonates with me right now. I’ve been very much living in the story right now. It all started with fantasy land-I watched a movie with a character that i used to have a bit of a crush on, and I kept on fantasising about this character and story for the past month or so (that is VERY embarrassing for met to admit…)

    But recently I have been feeling quite disconnected from my boyfriend (we are long distance) and I feel it has a lot to do with my ego-hopping. The stories have been changing daily and it is only now that I realise:

    -Story 1: He’s changed so much, you don’t connect anymore. He’s not who he was when you first got together. (This was very sudden, and i managed to call it out very quickly as I knew that I wouldn’t just SUDDENLY notice that he’d changed! Plus everyone changes…that’s part of life.)

    -Story 2:There’s no love in your relationship anymore. (We haven’t been texting as much for the past few days, but that has nothing to do with how much we love each other! This is probably stemming from the disconnection, I have felt ‘out of love’ for a month or so now, which is probably where this is coming from)

    -Story 3: That keeps reoccurring- I have a brain tumour. (That old chestnut has reeked havoc on me before about 4 years ago..)

    Plus many minor stories. I am currently living in doubt city, and keep getting a voice (that i know isn’t my truth) telling me to leave. My problem is, I don’t know what i’m avoiding! I’ve been turning inward for the past week or so, meditating, journalling etc, and i just don’t know what feeling i’m trying to avoid, I can’t seem to find a sense of sadness or anything within me…do yo have any advice Sheryl? Is there something else I can be doing to unravel this, or could it possibly just take time to let whatever it is inside to reveal itself?

  • LovingKindness

    Ah, Sheryl. Reading your blog this morning helped everything make sense yesterday.

    I cried for reasons I really couldn’t understand, but I felt that I was actually being broken open.

    The more I do this work, the more layers I find within myself that need to be cut away. The soft, vulnerable core of me keeps breaking open. It’s so painful. I just want to cry today. But the realization of growth from this place is freeing. I can hold those tender spots within myself and see that I need some self love and acceptance. My psyche has been telling me this for a long time – that I need to develop more love and acceptance for myself – but I was too busy, too caught up in life to listen.

    Thank you for your life giving work. Happy grieving to myself and others!

  • Saskia

    Hi Sheryl,

    Thanks for this post. It made some things clearer for me. But what I am always asking myself is how to grieve and not get depressed. I am always afraid of losing myself in this grief and never be happy again. I know this is already the ego talking to me and trying to safe me from what so ever. But all this stuff about feeling the pain and getting through it and not getting distracted from it, is so abstract. I don’t know how to do this, because I don’t know what it is that is lying under all the layers of pain and ingored feelings.

    Perhaps you have so advice on this. I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Saskia

    • I have many posts on grieving, and if you read through them in succession it might soften and contain your fear of grief. If you Google “conscious-transitions + grief” they will all show up.

      • Saskia

        Thanks, Sheryl. I will do this tonight when I’m at home and have some time for myself. Perhaps this will make thinks clearer in some way.

      • Saskia

        Sorry for bothering you again, but now I know what I tried to express before. What if I will always feel sad once I let the pain move through me? Sometime I feel like I won’t be happy again as soon as I start revealing my pain and my sad feelings. It seems like there is always something to feel sad about. At least in my life it seems so. I try to tell myself that it is okay to feel sad from time to time, but there are so many times that I feel sad and I don’t want to feel this way. Perhaps exactly that is the problem, that I don’t want to fees sad? But how can I explain to my boyfriend that I have times where I feel sad but that this is okay? He hates it when he can’t help me and can’t stand seeing me sad or afraid. I don’t want him to feel bad because of me.

        I hope, you understand what I wanted to say. It is always a bit complicated for me, because I donÄt live in an English speaking country.

        Best wishes
        Saskia

  • Newly Married

    Beautiful I needed this, I often go into the story that everyone things my husband doesnt love me and he loved someone else because he left me to with that person and i feel horrible and my pain this huge pain comes along with the obsession. While there is some truth to the story my ego believes everyone thinks that and I am being laugh at by people. Its harder because there is some true to the story to right away i believe it and go into craziness.

  • Brooke

    Do you do phone calls or a video chat with people in order to determine if the courses will be applicable to them?
    I need help. I am drowning in my fears. My thoughts and my heart is breaking.
    I need out of this ruminating thought process….

  • growinglove

    My boyfriend is one of the kindnest people I’ve met, he’s supportive and protective. He has all the qualities I would generally look for in a guy. I’ve had anxiety about him pretty much since we got close, so from the beginning. He has supported me through it all. I can’t get to feeling even closer to him though, most my days I’m irritated at him for being late or something else and when we do occasionally get past the irritated stage, then I feel disconnected and odd and out of place. I’m struggling to think whether me and my partner will make it through, I’ve been speaking to him since March 2016, and it’ll soon be four months since we have been together officially. Some moments I feel more connected and happier, but right now I feel a little depressed. I don’t know how to balance things, we are both unemployed since I have just come out of university I work part time but I’m looking for a full time job and there’s a lot of transition going around. I’m constantly on this website and now even branching to google more generally about whether I really love this guy. Cos a lot of the time it just feels like I’m forcing myself to be with him and I don’t like that, I don’t want to hurt him and neither hurt myself. In fact, at times it feels like I’m happier when I’m not around him and totally immersed in something else because I’m not having to overthink every little interaction between me and him. The times where I do feel connected is when my sex drive is higher than usual, we don’t have sex but I’ll have the urge to, and that’s when I’ll want him the most. I feel like a bad person. Ideally I’d love to have a healthier relationship with him but this just feels like a fantasy in my head, and I feel like the truth probably is that I don’t like him or love him. It feels scary doing new things with him, we usually just eat but I’d love to do other things. What do couples even do? We have conservative family members so we can’t spend our days together indoors, we usually end up booking hotels. But there are so many barriers for me to connect deeper with him: my strict parents, my anxiety, and when I do ease up I end up having to go home because of curfew! (I’m a night time person). I actually do feel like the exception here. I am so caught in the story.

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl, I have grieved in the midst of your amazing work. I would like to cry more, give myself permission to do it freely without putting protective barriers, I know its such a liberating experience. I wanna completely break free from fear. I know its possible. I am here because I am meant to be here, nothing is wrong with me. Nothing is wrong with being anxious.

  • Zoe Carter-Beedie

    Sheryl, you’ve inspired me to buy a copy of the story. I too was drawn to “Rumplestiltskin”….Well, actually it terrified me! I can still see the imagery of him hopping about!! Thank you so much for inviting me to see the metaphor of the story… Much to ponder. Thank you! 🙂 Love, Zoe xx

  • Angela

    Thanks So much Sheryl, I will definitely keep going, XO

  • Katie

    I’m in the process of going through all your blogs. I’ve written them all down on a list and so far I have atleast 276 written down and still going, I’ve marked which ones I feel would help me first and then I will read through all the others and mark in my diary what helps me. I don’t understand though why I only seem to have one main thought which is that I don’t love my partner? And someone said to me a little while back that it sounds like I’m trying to feel love which is true, when my head says “I don’t love him” i somewhat believe it right there and then because I don’t feel love? But then when I’m around my partner I’m content and it feels right, he is not just my boyfriend but my friend/bestfriend and I like/love being around him. I just don’t know how to shift out my head this whole feeling of love? It all started when we got back together after he broke up with me at first.. and I spent the whole week crying and not wanting to do anything, I’d never felt loss like it. And then when I finally thought I’d be okay, we got back together and the thoughts all started.. also I have a question. Is there a difference between love and being in love? Or is it the same thing but just our day in age has made it out to be something different?

    • Katie

      Today I’ve been having the same “I don’t love him” thoughts and I seem calmer thinking it so I asked myself “is the true” and my head was saying “100%” all because I can’t feel love?? I don’t wanna lose him, he’s too amazing 🙁 I can see us being very happy together building a family and home.. it just all comes down to me thinking love is a feeling and I should know that I love him because I feel it?! 🙁

  • Newly Married

    my husband lied so much about everything in our relationship that its very hard not to be anxious and i am not sure how to handle things out because i am always thinking he is lying to me again, before we got back together he played games with me saying things such i miss my girlfriend, she broke my heart, i want to work things out with her, he lied about getting her pregnant saying that he got her pregnant and turns out all those things were just games he played with me to try to get a reaction out of me and i dont know what to do because i am always anxious, i am on medication and all this is very stressful to me, we are going to couple therapy and he says he is been honest now but its hard to believe in him and my ptsd gives me panic attacks remembering those things he did, he lied about talking to this woman and would tell me she was texting him turned out she never texted him it was all lies to see what i would do, he said she was saying inappropriate remarks about him and to try to get to me and that was a lie too until i finally exploded on him and he tells me it was all lies, all lies to get me to react thats what he says and its all making me very seriously anxious and he is supposedly now been honest and he is trying his best but now its me who cant relax. what can i do please any advice, is this a relationship that can have future? I am very hurt and anxious.

  • JB

    It makes so much sense, and this message has been popping up in multiple places lately; Face Everything and Recover. I have stuffed so much of what happened regarding my ex and I, and I believe this is why I still fantasize over him and create distance between my now husband and I. My ex was taken from me due to health reasons. I say taken because we had no other choice than to separate, for both of our benefits. I never got a proper goodbye. I’m not sure he’s even still living, which HURTTSS. I know what I need to do. How do you recommend going to that place, so I can heal the hole in my heart which I know still remains? I have dreams about him, and he tells me hes ok. But that just makes me miss him more. I say all this because I want to be fully open to the love with my husband, so I know i need to heal.

    • The latent, buried grief needs your loving attention, JB. It needs you to approach it with curiosity and tenderness so that it can find release and healing. I would suggest journaling, as well as writing a letter or several letters to your ex that you don’t send but release through ritual, like burning, shredding or dissolving in a body of water (using ecologically-minded paper is recommended). Invite the grief to show its face and it will eventually move through so that you can open fully to your husband.

  • Leslie

    Stumbled on this today, which addresses the all-important fact that love is a verb and not a noun:

    http://upliftconnect.com/real-love-is-a-choice/

  • M

    Hey Sheryl! I’ve been through many stages of instrusive thoughts pertaining to relationship anxiety (he will get bored of me, what if I cheat on him, am I pregnant, what if I don’t love him, am I a lesbian, do I love him enough, he deserves to be with someone that doubtlessly loves him). Although I can see now most of these thoughts are irrational, I’m stuck with the whole “am I a lesbian?” thing because it makes a lot of sense with my personal history. I know you always stress that mere attraction for the same sex doesn’t mean homossexuality, but throughout my life I have always had homossexual fantasies and watched/felt excited by lesbian porn, even if I never had romantic feelings for any woman from my real, day to day life, or have fantasized with any real woman (I would always imagine someone, or watch something). This stems from my childhood. I had a neighbor a little older than me that made me that made me take of my clothes and engage in sexual friction (she was a girl), and I started the habit of masturbating and never really stopped. I always prefered lesbian fantasies because they would give pleasurable sensations faster. I’m sure my boyfriend is a great person and I’m really attached to him, but whenever I feel less than super connected or in love, or when I fail to reach orgasm by penetration, I attribute this feeling to my possible homossexuality. Besides that, I’ve seen a lot of people on the web sharing their stories of finding out their homossexuality late, and I’ve never been with woman, I had romantic fantasies with boys all my life (only some of them sexual), and I’m just terrified this would be my case, or my lifelong habit of sexual stimulation to lesbian imagery has effectively turned me into a homossexual. I consider myself a feminist and I strongly support LGBT rights, but I’m still terrified of finding out I’m one though my personal story makes it completely logical. I’ve never been so desperate because of all my thoughts, this is the one that looks more real. Sorry for the long comment and for revealing too much, but I’m just so disturbed, I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Everything you’re sharing is 100% normal, common, and in no way means that you’re a lesbian. Women are often turned on by other women. Women often prefer lesbian fantasies, sometimes exclusively. And the fact that you can’t always have an orgasm through penetration IN NO WAY means that you’re gay. Did you know that only 30% of women can orgasm from penetration exclusively? You’re in the depths of intrusive thoughts, and the work is to shift away from giving attention to the thought itself and instead ask what’s really needing your attention inside.

      • Valentina

        Hi Sheryl, I wanted to ask you if it is normal to think “and what if this thoughts are distracting me from feeling that my relationship is over?”, because almost every time you say we need to ask ourselves what’s really needing our attention inside, this though pops up and I get scared. My logical sense tells me that, if that was the case, I wouldn’t have questioned my relationship so much and I would’ve ended it months ago, but instead, I suffer from huge anxiety about having to leave my relationship because my mind tells me to do it.

        • m

          I can really relate to that, Valentina! While I’m in desperation about the whole homossexuality thing, I ask myself if my thoughts since the beginning the relationship are distracting me from the need of accepting and embracing my homossexuality. I mean, of course my doubts always stem from the impression of not feeling enough (what if I don’t feel full as I should because I’m actually homossexual?), but if my history of thoughts points to hidden fears, it can be fear of loss equally as fear of accepting my real identity. But yes, looking at it like that it really feels like analysing the question only takes fear of uncertainty to a deeper level.

          • Valentina

            Yes, I can totally relate to what you’re saying because some time ago I was having intrusive thoughts about my own sexuality, despite I never doubted before. The doubts felt so real I also started to believe that my relationship anxiety was due to the fact that I was a lesbian in denial. Then, the focus switched again to my relationship and here I am.

            I was diagnosed with ocd and a thing that helped me with my sexuality thoughts was, in some level, just let them be and feel the anxiety, not fighting it (I know it’s hard).

            And with this latter question (“what if the thoughts about our relationship are distracting us from feeling our relationship is over?”), I guess it is as you’re staying, another way of avoiding uncertainty. I would like to know what Sheryl and other people think about this too!

            (Soeeu for my English grammar, it’s now my language)

  • Emma

    Hey Sheryl!
    I’m new here, but all of my crazy googling has led me here. I have been seeing a counsellor for about 2 years for general anxiety and depression, though I also have OCD and ADHD. IVe been with my boyfriend for just under a year. We fell in love quickly and had such a great bond, physically and emotional. We have the same beliefs about most things, simliar opinions, etc. He’s everything I would look for overall in a guy. If I could change anything it would be something as simple as hes hard to get along with sometimes. My biggest struggle for the last 5 months is the fact that all of the negative thoughts I have been having have convinced me in a way, to actually feel as if there’s no connection. I have a lot of days where I truly believe I don’t like him as much as I should and don’t feel the way I “should”.. I often just don’t feel right. How do I distinguish the thoughts as being OCD related vs just how I feel? Hope you can get back to me.. xo Emma

    • Welcome, and I’m so glad you found your way here. Your question is addressed in nearly all of my blog posts. Please read through my site as thoroughly as possible and you will find your answer ;).

  • Katie

    Why is it the moment I start to feel okay and accept that love is also a choice, I tell myself “I do love him” it makes me feel like I’m lying and pretending that I love him. A thought arises with “you are just pretending you love him but you don’t feel it so you don’t” this all started after we broke up and got back together, they only appear when we aren’t with each other aswell, as soon as I see him the thoughts go away

  • Katie

    And also, I work on the bar and for some reason if there’s a group of guys or one or whatever that is fairly attractive I’m always wondering if they’re looking at me and sometimes I kinda like it but I’m with someone so I shouldn’t? And I always find myself feeling like I need to look good doing what I do and whatever.. I don’t give the impression that I’m available, I’m so blunt with guys if they try and chat to me. I’d never act on it. But then this worries me and my heads like “if you like the attention and you’re looking at other guys and hoping they’re looking at you then you obviously don’t love your boyfriend” I’m slowing starting to listen to what everyone says on that love isn’t a feeling, I always do loving things for my boyfriend. But the minute I start to feel ok in myself something ruins it 🙁 if love isn’t a feeling, how do you know if you love someone?

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