Explode the #1 Block to Healing from Anxiety (Relationship and Otherwise)

Grandma with my brother circa 1966

A few weeks ago, as I was cleaning out our closet, I stumbled upon a stack of papers from my grandmother. Most of the papers were familiar, but one unfamiliar packet literally dropped onto my lap, a stapled report for an adult-education class in psychology that she took in 1963 that I had never read before. The title was, “My Psychograph and Its Evaluation.”

It was like stumbling upon a lost treasure: A window into my past, my history, and my beloved grandmother’s inner world. Here was a twelve-page, carefully crafted essay written on delicate typing paper (this was long before the ease of computers and printers) where she analyzed the results of several different psychological tests. The results of the test in terms of numbers are irrelevant to me, but her interpretation and reflections reverberated inside of me on so many levels. Like many people of her generation, my grandmother rarely discussed her inner world, so to stumble upon these words was stumbling directly into my grandmother’s long-protected psyche.

There were so many fascinating elements to the paper, but what stood out in stark relief over and over again was her inner critic and her voice of shame. Consistent with the profile of my audience (and myself, of course), she described herself as “very conscientious and always able to carry out any assignment, tasks and responsibilities given to me to the best of my ability. However, in doing so, I usually become anxious, especially under pressure.”

These are admirable characteristics, but she viewed them as evidence of brokenness. She wrote, “I am a very tense person with symptoms of hysteria, such as stomach-aches and headaches with no physical reason.” Obviously, she’s describing symptoms of anxiety, which, in 1963, she labeled as “symptoms of hysteria.” At least we’ve evolved since then in terms of how we understand and name anxiety!

One line in particular broke my heart. It was reflecting on a test she took called the “Neymann-Kohlstedt Test of Introversion-Extroversion.” She wrote:

My score on this test is a plus eight, which puts me in the normal range. I am rather surprised at this score and also very pleased. This shows real growth through the years. I was brought up on a farm in upstate New York. We were rather isolated from people and as a result had very few friends. I would usually hide when strangers would come to the house. Becoming a normal human being from the introverted youngster is an accomplishment I am proud of.

Oh, how many times I’ve heard this exact equation in my work: extroversion means “normal”? How many times clients ask me, “Is it okay that I don’t want to go out and party every weekend? Is it okay if my partner wants to be more social than I do? Does this mean I’m not normal?”

I’ve written extensively about the myth of normal both on my blog and in my Trust Yourself course, and it broke my heart to read this line from my grandmother. I wish I could have sat in front of my her and said, “You know, Grandma, being shy as a child doesn’t mean you’re abnormal. And being extroverted isn’t a sign of mental health; it’s a temperament that you’re born with. Introversion is just as valid, and carries within it many gifts.”

The Voice of Shame

Embedded in the myth of normal is the voice of shame. It’s the voice that I hear every day amongst my clients and course members that says:

  • I’m not enough.
  • I’m broken.
  • Everyone else has it figured out and I don’t.
  • There’s something wrong with me.
  • I’m too much. Too sensitive. Too weird. Too different.

It’s this voice that, if you could explode, would allow you to heal your anxiety from the root.

As soon as the shame voice appears, it’s time to press pause on whatever healing practice you were planning to do and attend directly to that voice. Just as anxiety is a messenger, so shame voices carry crucial messages about the blocks that are preventing you from living life with less anxiety and more joy. As I shared on my Instagram feed a couple of weeks ago:

Nothing shuts down the pathways to healing faster than shame. As soon as you hear the voice that says “You’re broken” that’s the time to pause and meet yourself with compassion.

We always heard the phrase growing up, “Grandma is such a worry-wart,” but now I’m wondering if her worry was greatly amplified by her self-doubt and especially her shame. She clearly carried a belief that there was something wrong with her, that she wasn’t “normal”, that she didn’t belong or fit it. If she could have exploded that shame voice, her anxiety would have radically reduced.

Here’s what I would say to my Grandma if I could sit with her today (which is also what I say to my clients in some form every day and what I hope to communicate to you on my blog every week):

My dear, beautiful Grandma: There’s nothing wrong with you. There was nothing wrong with you as a child when you felt shy around strangers. There was nothing wrong with you as an adolescent when you struggled to venture out into the world. There was nothing wrong with you as an adult when you struggled to find meaning and fulfillment. You were a sensitive, shy child, which is a beautiful temperament. You were caring, loving, attentive, and nurturing. Throughout your life, you showed a deep, abiding love and care for everyone around you, especially your grandchildren. This ability to love was your greatest gift, and evidence of your sensitivity. How could there be anything wrong with that? You were a gift, Grandma, and hopefully you know that now. 

Every time you year that shame voice see if you can replace it with the truth. See if you can see yourself through clear eyes and know that you’re okay exactly as you are. This is how we heal from anxiety, one voice at a time.

What does your shame voice sound like? Share with us in the comments below, then also share how a wise and loving voice would respond to this voice. Remember: Normalization reduces shame. When you realize that you’re not the only one struggling with these voices of shame, the shame itself reduces.

***

In case you missed the Webinar announcement on Thursday, here’s the information again:

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be offering a monthly webinar series for the next few months. The first one will take place on December 13th, 2018 at 5pm ET, and the topic will be “How to Maintain Your Sanity Through the Holidays.” As always, I’ll be delving into depth about what it really means to maintain sanity – this isn’t the “3-steps and all of your problems will be solved” approach – as I discuss the common areas where people lose their center and become overwhelmed with anxiety during this season.

After I share a teaching, there will be time to connect with me directly and ask your specific questions about holiday anxiety and anxiety in general. I’ve loved connecting with my audience through my blog over the years and I  very much look forward to connecting voice-to-voice through this platform.

Please know that if you can’t attend the live call you can still listen to the replay afterward. Once you sign up below you will have lifetime access to the call.

To receive call-in information and reminders, sign up here:

 

52 comments to Explode the #1 Block to Healing from Anxiety (Relationship and Otherwise)

  • Samantha

    Sheryl, what a beautiful post. It’s amazing to see how connected we all are, us and the beautiful and sensitive men and women from generations ago. If only we could go back even further to see the inner worlds of our ancestors from several millennia ago 🙂

    My voice of shame: you’re way too broken to heal from your past. You’ve let people walk all over you which stunted your growth. Youre not mature enough, adult enough, and you don’t have your crap together like everyone else does. You can’t possibly do this…

    Yikes! My voice of shame is wrong. I’m bringing her compassion though because she is trying, in her own twisted way, to protect me. And I thank her for that. But I’m not broken, I’ve never been broken.

    “You are the sky. Everything else is the weather” – Pema Chodron.

    You can’t “break” the sky. Just because you’ve experienced thunderstorms doesn’t mean you are broken.

    • Beautiful, Samantha! I love that you shared your shame voice but MUCH more importantly that you immediately named it as wrong and brought compassion to it. That’s one of my most favorite Pema quotes ;). x

  • Rochelle

    Yes, great to share and hear how others struggle als so we don’t just think we are the only ones or even the minority. I was struggling so much this morning with irritation. Irritated at my partner, irritated that my clothes were a mess irritated I couldn’t find my hat!! I kept saying “I need to go out for a walk to clear my head” as I was walking around the park I would have waves of calmness pass over me then my mind would say “it’s so weird I have to leave the house to feel better, I bet such and such never has to do this” I just tried to think, yeah maybe they don’t and maybe they do! It’s like I have to be perfect but not just that, I have to be perfect without trying!

    • Samantha

      Rochelle,

      Almost every couple I know that is married for over 10+ years has said something along these lines. I was just speaking with my sister-in-law who was feeling so overwhelmed with 3 little ones, her husband (my brother), chores, responsibilities, etc., that she just hopped in the car, drove to the mall, and sat on one of the mall benches and ate a pretzel. She just needed to get away for a bit, be alone, and clear her head. Totally normal! I also experience times where I need to take a walk and be in nature if I’m feeling too stuffed.

      If there are those couples who never need alone time/time alone to clear their head…well…good for them. But I don’t think that is the reality for most people!

      Sam

    • Getting out of the house and going for a walk is one of the most effective on-the-spot prescriptions for anxiety and irritation, as you’ll see from my latest Instagram post. It doesn’t say anything alarming about your relationship. It simply says that you’re human ;).

      • Rochelle

        Hi Sam and sheryl, thanks so much for both of your replies and support!!

        Sheryl I just saw your insta post ha, how timely! By the way, I felt a million times calmer and clearer when I returned back to the house! 😉

  • Shelby

    I absolutely love the letter you wrote to your grandmother. So much I that I pasted in my notes to read again although I’d like to imagine my mother writing that very message to me. Accepting my deep sensitivity has been a great challenge for me lately. I have experienced much anger towards it and a huge amount of shame and non-acceptance. I forgot about the beautiful aspects to being a highly sensitive being and to being extremely empathic. I’ve also come to realize that when expressing my anxiety to my partner he becomes anxious himself as he starts to believe he is the root cause of it. It’s made it hard for sharing my inner world with him and has made the anxiety worse st times. He wants to make it go away. He wants to get rid of it. I imagine it’s because he cares deeply for my well being and truly wants me to be happy and comfortable in the relationship. He wants me to trust him. Though I do trust him very much that doesn’t make for no anxiety. I start to feel bad for making him feel uneasy and then I get even more frustrated with myself for having so much fear and anxiety to begin with. Then appears the shame.

    Because talking about the anxiety with him creates this negative spiral sometimes but not always can it still work? I always fear that it won’t because he doesn’t always understand why I have it.

    • Depending on our partner’s temperament, we can’t always talk to them about our anxiety, and if you find that sharing with him makes it worse it’s probably wise to step back and either talk to a trusted friend, therapist, or turn to your journal.

  • KD

    Sheryl, thank you for this teaching. I’ve wondered what shame my ancestors carried in them, especially in a time that it was taboo to talk about it. My voice of shame says I’m not cut out for marriage, I’ve made so many wrong choices, I should divorce my husband because I can’t cope with conflict or differences. I know it arises from my anxiety because my fear has me wanting a smooth path because I saw so much conflict in my parents’ marriage, and my anxiety leads me to think that I need to be with someone who sees things the exact same way I do, which is not possible .

    • Yes, good: you named a common shame voice that arises for those prone to relationship anxiety and you’ve doused it with truth. That’s the work: keep naming and correcting, then going more deeply inside to attend to the core pain and fear.

  • Susan

    Wow, such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this and your soothing message to your grandmother and to your clients that there was nothing with them, thus, there was nothing wrong with me. I am just becoming aware of my many shame voices. I am also just becoming aware of my truth. Please continue with these helpful posts.
    Thank you!

  • Diana

    Can shame sound like avoice that beats you up? One that curses at you and makes you feel horrible about yourself? If I ever eat too much sugar, or I listen to resistance and binge watch Friends rather than journal and avoid my feelings, this voice comes up and is so mean to me. “You’re such an idiot, you never take care of yourself.” is something mild… it is usually FAR worse. Is this shame? Is it normal to have this really mean and angry voice that tries to get you to take care of yourself by belittling you, cursing at you and hating you? I am not sure how to address this voice, it makes me feel horrible about myself.

    • This voice is shame but it’s also self-judgment, also known as the inner critic, and when you’re constantly hearing/listening to that voice it will lead to shame. Is that a familiar voice from your past? Someone who spoke to you that way in your growing up years? It’s a very mean voice, and it needs to be addressed every time from a place of love – from a deeper part of you that knows that truth about who you are.

      • Diana

        I can’t pinpoint one person that used to curse at me so much. I was always bullied in school by peers and also in my family for being overweight or not pretty enough or having crooked teeth. I am not sure how to address it. I dont know how to bring compassion to it when it calls me names, puts me down and yells at me. Sometimes this voice acts as if it knows whats best for me and tries to push me toward it with horrible meanness. Kind of like my parents did but worse. Do I acknowledge and then set it aside?

        • When you’ve been severely bullied the shame voices etch deeply inside your mind, heart and soul, and they’re very difficult to replace with love and compassion. At this point it’s considered a trauma response and it’s best to address it through working with a highly skilled therapist and possibly doing something like EMDR or neurofeedback. And yes, the more you can acknowledge it and try to respond with love, the quieter it will become over time. That voice is NOT your truth, but it’s difficult to know that when it’s what you’ve heard your entire life. Sending love.

          • Diana

            I was badly bullied. I feel like I have a lot of pain and sadness bottled up deep down and like I need to cry for years and years in order to heal. Its hard for me to do this as I tend to go numb and disassociate from myself. I am currently in therapy and going through your BF course again! I am dedicated to healing, I don’t want to live my life miserable. Thank you for your advice, I will hold on to your last line as a beacon of truth.

            • Kim

              Hi Diana, what you shared about feeling the need to cry deeply touched my heart. Learning to cry has been one of the biggest healers for me. I hope you keep moving in that direction, finding space and safety you need to grieve. Hop this finds you gently.

  • Pete

    I’m ashamed that I was fired 3 years ago from a great, good-paying, job that I loved and not having another full-time job in my field yet. I worked very hard to get that job and worked very hard on the job. I made some mistakes which I still think about constantly. Primarily not listening well enough and being deferential enough to one of our long-standing, important, and (as I would learn) very powerful partners. But my main mistake was challenging his seniority by questioning the quality and speed of his work and suggesting a different direction. After a disagreement with me, he told my boss he would no longer work with me. My boss saw no other option but to fire me. I lost my job because I didn’t play office politics well enough. I don’t feel broken, or abnormal, or like I’m not good enough. I feel more than competent enough for a good job in my field again and hopefully I’ve learned from my mistakes. In the last three years I’ve applied to many full-time jobs in my field, to no avail. I have been able to get some part-time contract work and I’ve learned a lot of new skills and concepts in the last 3 years. But the shame of being fired walks with me everywhere I go. The shame of not being able to get “back on the horse” quickly walks with me everywhere I go. And the shame of making mistakes that got me fired at my old job walks with me everywhere I go. If you can relate I’d love to hear from you.

    • Struggling around work is a very common source of shame, and it’s more situational shame than deep-rooted shame. Still, the work is the same, which is to learn to bring a voice of compassion to the shame, and imagine several times a day what a loving, older mentor would say to you about this situation. We all make mistakes; that’s part of life. The healing work is to learn to forgive ourselves as we continue to put ourselves out there and trust that, with time, the new job will arrive.

  • Samantha01

    Thank you for this post, Sheryl. This really is a treasure, what you found. It makes me sad as well when I think of loved ones that haven’t received accurate information and help to heal their wounds. I feel very lucky to have so many resources available.

    My shame voice tells me that Ii’m deviant, a bad person, and can’t expect anyone to truly love me unconditionally.

    One thing that helps me is to think of myself as a little girl. Sometimes I’ll even look at an old picture of mine. I see the innocence and joy in my face and am reminded that I was born whole and pefect. I am still that little girl. I think I’ll be more proactive in connecting to her.

  • Stories: You are too fearful, to the point you can never heal from it. Your son will see your fear and will develop theses habits himself. You have too many phobias. The fact that you feel fear on a daily, hourly, basis means you are broken to the point of no return. The nausea you feel each day and night is embarrassing and is taking you away from your purpose. No one will understand. They are embarrassed by you. And when you start crying about this, you should stop because you’ve already cried enough.

    Truth: You were designed exactly the way you were meant to be. It was not an accident. Every part of you serves purpose. You feel deeply, as you were intended to. The fact that you feel fear constantly does not mean you are broken, it means you have things that need to be tended to. You will find healing. No one is embarrassed and will partner along side you when you share honestly. You are not alone in this. Everyone caries a backpack of shame that needs to be emptied at multiple times over the course of a life. You are processing your shame and fear. Your son will see the example that he can proudly follow and unearth any shame or fear that he is experiencing. If you need to express your emotion, do it freely, keep these feelings above ground. Process. Breathe. Express gratitude. Look at how far you’ve already come.

    Sheryl, I have read your blog for almost two years now, and even did your Sacred Sexuality course, and yet I have always done it quietly, never having commented or actively participated. This was exactly what I needed after an emotional week of taking on others’ pain in an attempt of support and feeling the personal termoil because of it. Reflecting, I can see this week with a healthier, more clear, lens. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Dear Cassandra: What a gift to this community that you decided to post and share this most beautiful offering of honesty, vulnerability and self-compassion. Your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your courage and your commitment to your own healing. You are, indeed, offering a profound and impactful role-model for your son of what it means to be human with all of its messiness and courage. Sending much love.

  • Tündi

    Thank you for sharing this deeply personal post – I remember you mentioning how close you were with your grandmother. And oh how you look alike! I can only imagine the emotions you must have felt upon reading that report. I lost my grandmother this year, and even though we weren’t particulaly close, it has affected me more than I expected. She was a very disciplined, reserved woman who I’m sure carried a lot of shame. I will think these words to her whenever she comes to my mind. Thank you & have a wonderful week ahead! Can’t wait for the webinar! Tundi

  • Gina

    My shame voice sounds like:
    “Why am I so fickle about decision making? When I make a decision, why do I find all the negatives and then doubt it and ultimately want to run? (At jobs and in relationships) What’s wrong with me? Where did my confidence go? Why can’t I just be myself in all social setting without the chatter doubting myself? I wish I were more confident, decisive, articulate, proud!”
    Clear eyes, kind voice sounds like:
    “It’s ok to be exactly where I am even if I have goals to have a higher self-esteem! I’ve made amazing decisions and have attracted amazingly loving people in my life! Dang,I am LOVED! And I love my soul… sensitive, curious, analytical.”

  • Kelli

    Hi Sheryl, I have been reading your blogs for years and have taken two of your courses, which have helped me in all sorts of ways. However, I am going through some wild transitions right now. I am an artist living in Los Angeles, and just got into my dream school, Columbia, for social work. Not only will I be going back to school for a career that isn’t photography (my art), but I will also be leaving this city with all my friends to move in with my long distance boyfriend of a year. A lot of the spikes are arising. I spend my mornings both ruminating and trying to sit with them all. I’m scared I’ll lose my art. I’m scared he’s not the one. And I’m scared of making the wrong choices. There is a voice inside of me that is growing that knows this is an incredibly exciting time, that I am so grateful to have a partner I love (even though he’s not always “perfect”) and knows that no matter what happens I am going to be just fine. Trying to water that one. Thank you for remaining me to trust myself. I have everything I need.

    • You certainly do have everything you need, Kelli, and I was so pleased to read the voice of your loving inner parent enter the comment at the end. That voice it the key: water it, allow yourself to feel the fear, sadness, and vulnerability of this huge transition, be kind and gentle with yourself and you’ll be FINE. More than fine. You’ll grow through this transition in ways you can’t even imagine.

  • Bernadette

    How do I sign up to hear the webinar? Thanks xx

  • Jeana

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Sheryl. I would like to share what my voice of shame has been telling me today:

    “You aren’t emotionally mature enough. You should have processed your emotions, found the silver lining in the situation, taken full responsibility for your feelings, and gained composure before expressing yourself to your boyfriend. You saw him before your emotions were fully processed, categorized, owned, and integrated, and you lacked composure. Now you MUST make it right. You must pardon yourself, take the blame, explain yourself, and be 100% certain that he doesn’t feel guilty for your immature behavior, or he will resent you, and you will end up suffering great amounts of pain, and it will all be your fault.”

    I already feel so relieved just having typed up this nonsense. Instead of one response, I’d like to include a short inner dialogue:

    Loving Adult: When you pardon yourself, take the blame, or explain yourself with the intent of avoiding your boyfriend’s resentment, how do you feel afterward?

    Inner Child: I feel invalidated. I feel abandoned and desperate. I resent my boyfriend, and resent myself even more.

    Loving Adult: I am going to stay with you through this one. Let’s take this risk together. I feel your yearning to “make it right”. Let’s drop into the body and see where that lives. Let’s let these feelings run their course until the storm clears and the water is as still as a mirror again. If we stay still through the storm until it clears, a loving action will bubble to the surface and we will act on it with gratitude and confidence. Take my hand and let’s embark on this adventure together.

    <3 As always, thank you Sheryl, from the bottom of my heart, for the work that you dedicate yourself to.

  • Hi,Sheryl
    I have been following your blog for the last 1.5 years and my anxiety and my negative thoughts is that much old.I often get anxiety where I doubt my relationship with my boyfriend followed by other thoughts which includes dwelling in the past .Prior to my relationship,I had a friendship breakup which was horrible,and I still have its wounds in my heart

    • My voice of shame tells me things like you will not be able to open up to your partner or any other people you are feeling like this because you have done this you will never ever feel open and lightly again this feelings are actually eventually going to kill you from inside…

    • Friendship breakups can be devastating and leave scars, especially if the wound goes unattended. I encourage you to pour some light of curiosity and compassion into that wound and see if you can find some healing around it.

  • I have been having this voice in me ever since my relationship started and I have had anxiety pretty much from the beginning. My boyfriend though not perfect we always supports me and is my best companion.How do I counter this voice?

  • Aggie

    Hi Sheryl,
    Thank you for this post. It’s so important to remember that the doubt lies within myself and not the relationship I’m in.
    I do have a question…
    Recently, my anxiety and obsessive thoughts have turned the tables. For about a year, I was experiencing doubts about my boyfriend and our relationship, compatibility, connection, etc – you get the picture! But recently, I’ve been obsessing about his feelings for me. I’m practically convincing myself that he does not love me and based on nothing other than my own thoughts inside my head and over-analysis of his actions.
    I was wondering if you have any course that addresses this specifically? Or would I be best off continuing with the breaking free from RA course?
    Thank you so much for all you do,

    Aggie

  • Amanda

    My shame voice sounds like you’re not good enough, you’ll never breakthrough or be enough, you can’t do it, you’re going to fail, look at your past, you’re so insecure, you’re too sensitive, you’re too weak. If I were to replace that with a more reassuring voice it would be God telling me that I’m okay, I’m doing the best I can, that I’m changing everyday, that I e made progress and have gone a long way and I’m continuing to go, that I’ve been through worst and that I’m not alone, that even if I fail God has my back and there is nothing to be afraid of.

  • Sue

    My shame voices say “what have you achieved?” “you are different to normal people – what is going on with your life? you don’t want kids, but you have a rubbish career. Most people either have one or the other, either a good career and no kids or kids and a mediocre career. You are a drifter and a failure”. Then I think of others who are like me and I feel better but as my therapist has said to me: drop down into me, what makes me happy? Well what makes me happy is freedom and autonomy. If I had a more high powered career, I wouldn’t be able to dedicate time to the hobbies I love. So this is me and this is what I want out of life, so I am going to try and embrace it.

    • Beautiful, Sue. I’m curious what hobbies you love. And I want to tell you, in case you don’t know, that many people have careers and kids but they have no idea what makes them happy. They have no hobbies, and they’re searching for the things that fill their well. It sounds like you know what you love, and that’s a true gift.

  • Madeline

    Hi there Sheryl,

    Thank you so much for this post, it brought me to tears.
    I am struggling with anxiety the most I ever had before, in this time of my life, and nothing serious is happening in my life. I was always an anxious child who suffered from panic attacks, but sometimes I feel like my anxiety is getting worse as I grow up. I often feel like the world is a dangerous place, I feel unsafe, and extremely vulnerable. I am such an anxious person and it is absolutely debilitating. There is almost always a weight on my chest. I feel like the most sensitive person in the world, and I often feel like I cannot relate to anyone and I feel I am very different from everyone else and sometimes feel alone. This makes me feel even more unsafe. Relating to the world is one of the most important things to me, and I feel so incredibly different!

    These are some of the things that I think to myself. :

    “No one has as much anxiety as you do”.
    “No one is as sensitive as you are, what is wrong with you”?
    “You are nervous going on a two-hour car ride, what is wrong with you”

    I feel like I’m growing more fearful, why is that? Did you feel like this when you were in your 20s?
    P.S. Thank you so much for all your posts, you are such an inspiring, beautiful person. I hope you know how much you touch and ease our hearts.

    • Dear Madeline: You are not alone. I wish I could give you a hug. Every thought you have are thoughts I hear every, single day from my clients, and are certainly thoughts I had in my 20s. There is NOTHING wrong with you; I promise! You’re a highly sensitive person whose sensitivity wasn’t honored and channeled as a child so it had no choice but to morph into anxiety. Today’s post also addresses what you’re describing. Are you in therapy? Sitting with a compassionate, skilled therapist every week can be life-changing. If possible, I would also recommend taking one of my courses, most specifically Trust Yourself when I offer it again in the spring.

      • Madeline

        Thank you so much for your response Sheryl. I am thinking of taking your Trust Yourself course, I think it’s time. One more question: is there a book out there that really helped you or that you heard about, in relation to HSP’s AND anxiety?

        Happy Holidays Sheryl,

        Madeline

  • Sarah

    Hi Sheryl ,

    Thank you for the post! I am having a sudden reoccuring issue today about projecting. Do you have any advice as far as projecting? I keep having these thoughts about him such as “he is going to leave” “he doesnt love me, he is tired of me” “he doesnt seem interested/happy anymore” and so on. How do I know this isnt ME projecting those feelings onto him? do I actually want to leave? Do I actually not love him and want/need fo leave? Am I unhappy? This is troubling me so bad today.

  • Morgan

    Hi Sheryl,

    What if you’ve done something really bad in your past, or someone has done something really bad to you, and you still love them? Like rape, lying, manipulation, etc. Are you/they still worthy of love?

    Thanks.

    • Morgan: If you have been raped, you need to leave the relationship. This is a bigger question than I can answer on my blog, but I encourage you to seek professional counsel so that you can make a loving choice for yourself.

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