The Gift of Projection

Projection is one of the most important concepts to understand when you’re stuck in relationship anxiety or any manifestation of anxiety. It’s a psychological term that essentially means we’re stuck in a story about someone or something else with the belief that it’s true, and that if the person or thing would change we would feel better. Everyone will, at some point, find themselves stuck in a projection; it’s part of being human. Projections are a bit challenging to define and even more challenging to see when you’re in one. In Wikipedia’s words:

“Psychological projection or projection bias (including Freudian Projection) is the unconscious act of denial of a person’s own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, the government, a tool, or to other people… Projection is considered one of the most profound and subtle of human psychological processes, and extremely difficult to work with because, by its nature, it is hidden. It is the fundamental mechanism by which we keep ourselves uninformed about ourselves.”

In plain-speak, here are some common ways that projection manifests:

I’m not attracted to my partner. That must mean I’m with the wrong person.

I hate being a mother.

I hate my baby.

I would be happier if ….. (I had a different job, house, partner, car).

My friend must be thinking something awful about me otherwise she would have called me back.

My partner doesn’t love me anymore because she hasn’t wanted to have sex in a while. 

You can see that with many of these examples there’s an initial fact – like your partner didn’t feel like having sex – and then there’s the story that you overlay onto the fact. That story is the projection.

“The more unconscious we are, the more we project,” writes Jungian analyst James Hollis in his book The Middle Passage (my current bible). This isn’t a judgement on one’s spiritual or psychological evolution but merely a statement to help us see where we’re stuck. The gift of projection is that it’s an invitation toward consciousness, but in order to accept the invitation we must be willing to take full responsibility for our well-being. That means that we stop blaming others for our pain and expecting others to make us feel alive. No small task, to be sure. It’s a hero’s journey, a monumental transition in itself, when we make the leap from blame to responsibility. For some people, it never happens, and they will remain stuck in the stories that others are responsible for their pain. But for many others that leap into responsibility – and it’s not usually a one-time leap but a choice that happens daily or monthly – signifies the moment or moments when the projection falls away. Another way of saying Hollis’ quote is, “The more conscious we are, the less we projection.” Again, the gift of projection is the gift of consciousness.

Relationship anxiety is, fundamentally, a form of projection. Projection is the doorway into consciousness, but if we refuse the call and insist on remaining stuck in the projection we will remain stuck in the original manifestation of anxiety for a long time. As long as you’re still projecting onto your loving, available, caring partner you’re missing the opportunity to embrace your wounds and your gifts. As I state in one of the most frequently read pinned posts on the e-course forum entitled, “The Crucial Difference Between Those Who Transform Their Anxiety and Those Who Remain Stuck” (over 8,500 views):

It’s the degree to which you pull the projection off of your partner and detach from the thought that your anxiety is because you’re with the wrong person.

Those who detach from this thought and take 100% responsibility for their anxiety inevitably do the deeper work of excavating what lies underneath the anxiety.

Those who are addicted to the thought that they need to leave in order to find serenity will remain stuck.

It’s as simple as that.

And, yes, I understand it’s not simple at all. There are good reasons why people remain addicted to the projection, and that’s where the work needs to begin. But you will not transform unless every time you think, “I’m with the wrong partner. I don’t really love him/her. I need to leave,” you counter those thoughts with, “I’m scared. This isn’t about my partner. What am I really scared of? What feelings are these thoughts covering up? What needs attention inside?”

When I say “doing the work”, what I mean is doing the work of taking responsibility. Journaling about how annoyed you are at your partner, for example, will only entrench the irritation, but dialoguing with this part of you that is projecting your inner restlessness or boredom onto your partner in the form of irritation will be a fruitful endeavor that will lift you once notch out of unconsciousness into consciousness. There are many other elements to doing this work, which is what I teach in depth in the course.

The gift of projection is that when we’re triggered we’re given the opportunity to see our blind spots, or our places of unconsciousness. If we take projection at face value and assume that it means what ego thinks it means, we remain perpetually stuck at first-layer living, never moving beyond the mindset that others are responsible both for our pain and our joy. But when we catch the projection by calling it onto the mat by it’s true name (“I’m in a projection right now. It feels real but I know it’s not”), we harvest its jewels, which are fundamentally the jewels of consciousness.

This phenomena – that we need others in order to see our stuck places and blind spots – illuminates one of the beautiful truths about being human: we need each other in order to grow. Other humans are our mirrors, and just like we can never see our faces without a literal mirror, so we can never see the true nature of our souls in their light and darkness without other humans.

Of course all of this hinges on adopting a mindset of growth instead of remaining fused with the ego-based characters of Perfection, Helpless Victim, and Resistance. We all have these characters inside of us, and they assume dominance in varying degrees at different stages of our lives, but if we’re going to grow beyond our pain and see anxiety and projection as the messengers that they are, we must reach down into the river that runs beneath these fear-based characters – the river of Soul – so that we can get on top of them and connect to our desire to grow. When the desire to grow overpowers our fear of change we can push the blocks of resistance out of the way and walk through the doorway that leads to our next notch of growth. This can happen in a moment or over time, but happen it must. One moment at a time, one dialogue at a time, one decision at a time, we take the reins from fear and decide to take full responsibility for our well-being. The projection bursts and we can then harvest its gems, bathe ourselves in the light of consciousness, and continue on our path of learning how to love.

45 comments to The Gift of Projection

  • TracyJ

    Wonderful post as always,Sheryl. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of assuming responsibility for my own feelings. I know i have many blind spots when it comes to my partner and how i interact in the relationship. I realize that i always have the mindset of one foot in and one foot out with him. We have been together almost 3.5 years and im not sure hes the one i want to be with forever. He is very negative in his life outlook (he suffers from depression) and he brings me down a lot of the time. He has a lot of past woundings that really prevent him from living a full life but he doesn’t want to go to therapy or do anything about it. I know from my own journey you need intrinsic motivation to change, but I’m worried he will never have that. His father is the same way: miserable and loves to complain. I don’t want that future for my partner; i want him to change and grow and experience life fully. I have done A LOT of work since we’ve been together and im finally reaping some benefits of my inner work: i feel more stable and balanced than ive ever been. My partner has changed in some significant ways; hes taking better care of his dental health and eating more frequently. But he has a big block on working on his mental health and i don’t know what to do. I don’t want to leave him for being depressed but i can’t see myself with someone with such a negative attitude long term. What are your thoughts? Thank you for all your lovely work.

  • Samira

    I am going through this right now. I have projected this horrible monsterous story about my bf. I’m scared that he may be someone he isn’t, that he may be this horrible monster. I don’t want to go into details but I think I’m projecting a pure ocd theme onto him. My therapist thinks, along with my codependency, I am internally scared he will hurt my inner child and I am being hypervigilant to protect myself ultimately from abandonment. It’s exhausting and horrible, but my bf is being as patient with my irrational fears as he can be. Thanks for this blog post at this critical time.

  • Clara

    So wonderful and wise, Sheryl. Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    This is beautiful!! Thank you so much Sheryl. I have been caught in a cycle of projection, and being projected upon, and emerging from these difficult and subtle dynamics to deepeny relationships. Happy Mother’s Day to you. I so appreciate your work. work. Thank you!!!

  • Tom

    thank you so much for this helpful post Sheryl. I hope you have had a wonderful mother’s day!

  • Lauren

    Thank you so much for this. I am definitely guilty of projecting a story onto others and “mind reading” my friends. It is a big source of my relationship anxiety because my anxiety revolves around what other people think of my relationship. I realize I want others to think I have the perfect relationship because I do not trust myself enough. I get nervous that my friends think my relationship is all wrong. Hopefully I can do some fear warrior work and trust myself to be comfortable in my relationship without the approval of others

  • Gabrielle

    Timely post as always, sheryl! Thanks for doing such good work and reminding me to take responsibility for my feelings.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Sheryl,

    I try and try to tell myself I am in a projection or that this is all fear. But it feels like I’m lying to myself. I can hear as well as feel to my core, screaming “this is wrong”. You know my story and my biggest spike, but I don’t want to leave. It feels like my ego doesn’t want to leave but deep down I do. Can I choose and change? I want to choose him. But it just feels like I want to want it but I just don’t. I want to believe this is all fear and stories and the reason I feel this INTENSE physical pain for all of our relationship (years) is because of my own pain. But then my mind tells me that it’s true. It’s not about him directly. It’s about me wanting to want something that I can’t have because I’m wired differently. But my ego doesn’t want to accept it and is fighting it because I want to stay with him and have this life. But then I won’t be happy. Idk.

    Does this all sound like fear and projection? 🙁 🙁 I always cry now everytime I think about leaving. A part of me believes I’m going through this to become my true self and that means not having this life. That I’m grieving the life I can’t have. But then I think I wouldn’t care this much if my spike was completely true. There is truth to it. Then I remember you saying we have many true selves. I’m just scared that this one and the life I want with him is my ego because it feels like my unconscious is telling me it’s heart is somewhere else. 🙁

    I’m so lost and stuck and I don’t know what to do. I refuse to leave him. But it just feels like it’s my ego fighting.

  • Sharon

    Thanks for this post, Sheryl. I just turned 40 this year and have been struggling personally for the latter part of last year, and so far – all of this year. I’ve recognized that turning 40 has triggered so many “issues” I thought I had resolved and put to bed. But this 40 thing has felt like a hurtling train – unlike before I am able to see so much of what is happening, despite the speed at which so much of my stuff has come up, but I seem not at all equipped for this next level of working through, of dealing, of healing. I have dealt with a cancer diagnosis, infertility diagnosis and overwhelming grief (oddly, for my own mother who died at 40 – one of the issues I thought I had dealt with), and almost soul crushing levels of regret, particularly in regards to an important relationship. And I have, almost automatically and without resistance and as if I’d never worked through anything before in my life, reverted to victimhood, helplessness, projection and fear. I have been really astounded at my capacity to go so swiftly to these places, given all that I know and have practiced about choice and healing work. The regret is particularly palpable. My question to you is: How does a person move out of these spaces and grow again, when it feels like nothing is working? I can see that I’m playing victim, that I’m behaving helplessly, that I’m projecting (argh – so much projecting) but nothing I’ve done before that has worked is working. Is this common?

  • Diana

    Beautiful and much needed. This struck a cord with me
    ” Those who are addicted to the thought that they need to leave in order to find serenity will remain stuck.”
    I guess because I somehow always come back to this thought, that i need to leave because If I left I would no longer have myself mirrored back to me so clearly.
    Is it normal to feel like I HAVE to stay because I have no other choice? I feel a big part of me wishes to go back to my time before my relationship where life seemed easier and love was a fantasy, where I had it all planned out and “figured out.” But since my anxiety hit (and I have been an anxious person my whole life) I feel like I ask myself “do I really want this relationship/to do this work?” Or am I just staying and doing it because I feel like i should? Could this point to me not being ready for all of this or is it another way to avoid the call to grow that my – almost – daily panic attacks are trying to send me? I fear deeply making a mistake because my relationship is “wrong” in some fundemental way, that its too hard and we arent right for each other, that i rushed into this, im too young etc etc. I guess, I can see it a bit more now that I read this article, that this all seems like an incredibly clever avoidance web spun by the fear spider in me, and I am caught in it.

  • ScaredyWife

    I love this post, and how timely it is for me! I became a new mother 2 weeks ago and have been feeling the enormity of this change and my love for my baby, my frustration of lack of sleep, my fear of doing what’s right for him, etc. and the familiar thoughts have been popping in my head when I’m not feeling attraction for my husband. “Our marriage is over because I don’t love him anymore. How can I when I love this baby so much?” “I love this baby, and my husband can never fill this hole and make me feel as alive as this baby does” “Our time is over, there is nothing else we can do in a marriage now that we’ve had a baby.” “He’s fat and won’t get thinner and I’m not arrracted to his body.” It’s been work to re-navigate those thoughts and to turn towards my husband during these thoughts instead of away from him. Understanding that it’s projection is the first part of the battle!

  • Tatara

    Hi. I’ve been suffering from this problem for almost 2 months now. I’m on medication for my anxiety as well. I’m running out of words to explain the literal torture my mind has put me through. I love my partner way too much and at the beginning of this relationship I did have doubts but they faded away before I knew it. I have a huge fear of change since I was a child, so I considered it a part of that. 4 months later, the anxiety spiked and I had no measures to deal with it. I had no answers to these questions. With absolutely out of control anxiety followed by the terrifying physical symptoms was paralysed by this. All I knew at the back of my mind, that this wasn’t worth leaving my partner, anxiety has struck me and gone away in many of my relationships with family and friends and this will too like those go away. I am impatient too and still waiting to get out of this trap. He’s the most wonderful man, there could exist and apart from similar core values and unconditional love for each other we have a great relationship. My mother is now supportive of this relationship but earlier she wasn’t and had a lot to say against it out of protectiveness since she thought I was too young or immature. However, her views got to me and somewhere I feel triggered the anxiety since I have lived with this belief all my life that my mother knows the best for me. However, your articles have taught me, it’s a blessing to have found your site, that what others say is not always correct, thoughts are not the truth, they are just thoughts. I was also really enamoured by the supposed “adolescent love” as I was told if the butterflies aren’t there the love is over (thanks to google for spiking my anxiety) but I don’t regret it since I found your portal. Your voice through your articles is my guiding force. According to one of your articles, I have realised I’m a part of the 2nd Stage where the physical symptoms of anxiety are manageable but the mental chatter by the ego continues to disturb me. I’m walking towards the path of healing now because I know being away from my partner is going to give me the grief and regret if nothing more. Anxiety has always ruined one of my best decisions and I don’t want this to be one of them. I have habits of comparison, high expectations, caring what other people think and your articles are just the best tools to dismantle these beliefs. I do not discuss this with anyone but my therapist and occasionally with my mother because I have relaised and how you explicitly talk about it too, that culture and society just talks of “doubt means don’t” and it’s so sad relationship anxiety has not been taken into consideration as a problem that so many of us are suffering from. I will be joining the E Course as well and thank you for everything. Most importantly, for the courage that there is love out there for me, apart from the initial infatuation and a ray of light at the end of this dark tunnel. Forever grateful for your work and support I’ve got when I was left alone to deal with my issues.
    Love and blessings.

    • Tatara

      Also it’s my first relationship, and I feel that’s why all the more I’m getting these thoughts. Many say the first relationship doesn’t work out and it’s not meant it’s just a stepping stone or a learning experience and it took me a while to recognise this idea as a distorted belief. There are so many expectations and distorted ways of thinking attached to romantic love, it has been fantasied and exaggerated so much. It’s like any other, simple relationship where two people refuse to give up on each other, irrespective. I can meet the most suitable partner in my first relationship too. I’m suffering but I will not give up even when there are times all I wanna do is give up to get rid of anxiety. Love is above all this and I cannot wait to reach the highest form of love, I’m not going to give up on what I value the most. Trying to heal everyday. I will be out of this one day.

  • Anouk

    This has to be my favorite post so far as it describes so clearly what the issue is and what the work involves. Thank you so much!

  • Katie

    LOVE the mirror analogy. Thank you for your loving words and wisdom, Sheryl!

  • Nicola

    I appreciate this post so much, thank you! This is very familiar to me. I don’t know how to differentiate between projecting something negative that isn’t really true, and trying too hard to continue a relationship that actually isn’t right. Have you discussed this anywhere? Is it worth trusting it’s ‘fake truth’ when having trouble early in a relationship? This is something I’ve never moved past.

  • Jade

    Hi, Sheryl! A very timely post, as always! I am feeling discouraged this week, I’ve suddenly gone from finally doing significantly better and hitting my stride, to hitting a huge spike in anxiety. One of my coworkers (same gender, they’re gay, I’m straight) and I were having a lovely conversation and suddenly I started worrying that maybe the conversation could be taken as flirting. Ever since, I’ve been incredibly anxious with whether I was leading this person on, worrying about whether or not I was lying to myself about my sexuality, whether or not all this could be considered mentally cheating, etc. It’s turned in to an obsessive web that I can’t seem to eat out of. Of course my partner is in the loop regarding this particular spin, and is in no way concerned, just supportive. I just feel terrible. And it doesn’t help that I’ve been having nonstop intrusive thoughts about this person. I’m just so disappointed. I feel totally disconnected to my partner, I feel like I’ve lost progress, and I feel like a terrible partner to him for this. I’m having a much harder time than usual breaking out of this anxiety spin (which of course scares me because my anxious brain uses that as more ammo).

    • Anna

      Hi Jade, this sounds so similar to how it was for me so sending hugs xx I have come out the other side and am still with my boyfriend. The attractions to women have subsided almost 100%. For me.. it was about my own femininity; I had to listen to the voices and understand what I was attracted to – health, womanly curves etc, and then search myself for whether I felt I had these things in me. The answer in my case was always, no. There were a lot of mother wounds, an assault etc that all fed into this. But I had to open myself to the possibility in those moments that another answer was possible. I had to tell myself that if it were the case that I was better with women then I owed it to both of us to know.

      Culture tells us if we’re attracted to the same sex we’re lesbian. It’s just so much more complex than that. Being attracted to the same sex, I have found… in hindsight and now that I can board a train without attraction bombardments… it to be an enormous blessing. I know so much about who I am that I didn’t realise there was to know. However your journey evolves I wanted to share these words as I hope a bit of encouragement. Don’t be disheartened. Breathe into it xxx

      • Jade

        Thank you for your reply, Anna! It is always comforting knowing I am not alone! You’ve actually shed some light on my situation by sharing yours, thank you for that! Luckily I am on the upswing again, and from a clearer headspace I will try and reapproach this particular anxiety spike with a new perspective. 🙂

        Thank you again for the encouragement!

  • Cassie

    This was beautiful, Sheryl. Thank you. For me, this provided the boost to keep going– to continue to be a warrior in the battle against relationship anxiety– when it feels like things are too hard. One challenge for me is the belief that I shouldn’t feel this way (or rather feeling bad that I have relationship anxiety) and then guilt toward my kind-hearted, available, and loving partner because I am struggling with relationship anxiety. Any suggestions? As I write this, I feel like I know the answer — self-compassion and accepting myself.

  • Mr B

    Great post!

    Would another sign of a projection be continual worry about things that may happen e.g. what if my partner cheated on me and I never knew and now I’m with a cheater ? Of course no evidence of this and I have discussed with my partner who thinks I am crazy.

    For me I think it’s a fear of being alone and my head always comes up with some crazy dialogue and of course it’s my worst fear and it hurts because I love my partner so much.

    Let me know what everyone thinks 🙂

    Mr B

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    Projection is so hurtful and painful when you feel you cant change your mindset, and you feel like your stuck in the mud and there is no way out. With your tools things have improved. I am in the journey of learning and growing. Growing day by day, and just learning more about myself and life. Its a beautiful feeling when i can enjoy my husbands company sharing our thoughts. I am loving my own company, its called bliss,
    Thank you Sheryl 🤗😘❤️

  • Alyssa

    Hi Sheryl,

    Thank you for this post. I’m going through a large transition right now – my boyfriend and I are renting our house and moving into a new house (something we’ve been preparing for for months), and the transition itself happened this weekend. Our tenants move in today, and on top of that, my brother and 7 year old nephew are going to be living with us for the next 4 months in our new house. Not only are we adjusting to living in a smaller space, but we are also adjusting to living with my brother (essentially a housemate), and a child! To top it all off, I was very attached to our old house and even though we made the decision together to move and build a more stable financial foundation for ourselves, it still is painful and I feel very sad. I have the thought, “Ok I just want to go home now.” And then I realize I am home, and the Home I was thinking of isn’t my home anymore. I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a massive spiral of anxiety; I was sweating, my head felt hot and my digestive system was in all sorts of knots (my bodies typical response to anxiety. I got physically ill which made my stomach able to calm down and I was able to go back to sleep, but now I’m fearful that this will happen every night. I’m trying to “nest” and make this new house feel more like my home, but I still have this faint pit in my stomach and feel like I’m on the verge of tears. Do you have any advise for adjusting to this type of transition? Thank you so much.

  • Years ago I absolutely did not want complete responsibility for myself. I really thought it was more the responsibility of partners in a relationship to take care of each other. After a tumultuous time I found your site. It’s not always easy but it feels like I walked through a door those many years ago. Everything shifted. Now I check in with myself all the time, where before I would expect someone else to check in for me. I’m grateful to your work.

    • This is it: “Now I check in with myself all the time, where before I would expect someone else to check in for me.” That’s what it means to take responsibility. Thank you for sharing.

  • onedayatatime

    Hi Sheryl! I have a question for a place I get stuck over and over and over. It’s with the concept of needing to express and ask for what you need in a relationship (instead of expecting your partner to just know). I don’t know how to explain that I don’t understand this… because I am thinking it should be clear but I just can’t seem to really get it!! (I’ve heard about this years ago and think of it often). I am confused because all I keep thinking is if we are supposed to fill our own well and if taking care of ourselves/feelings is our own responsibility, then what kind of “needs” should we have in a relationship and expect a partner to fulfill? Aside from that, when I think of needing to express and ask for what I need, I then think “Well, doesn’t this mean he doesn’t get me and doesn’t this mean he isn’t conscious/reflective enough? That we don’t have a strong enough connection and aren’t a good match (And I’m not making a good choice in a partner?)”. And stuck. Ruminating. Every time. Is there any way you can make this a little more clear or understandable for me!??

    • There are certain needs that we can’t fill on our own, like the need to feel appreciated or the need for touch. There are also emotional needs in relationships, like the need to feel safe, seen and heard. So even though it’s our responsibility to fill our own inner well, we’re also humans in relationship with other humans which means we’re going to have specific and general needs that are important to communicate.

      The second part of your question is twofold: 1. You need to name the ruminating as intrusive thoughts then 2. Ask: what are these thoughts protecting me from feeling? I would encourage you to explore how needs were handled as a kid, and, perhaps more importantly, how they were role-modeled. In other words, how well did your parents, especially your mom, attend to her own needs? This will give you a framework for exploring your own relationship to needs.

  • Anna

    Hi Sheryl,

    I am a trust yourself grad.. I’ve done a lot of work and am happier than I’ve ever been, and throughout that all my partner has been stalwart and amazing; but now he seems unable to accept I’m happy. Every few months he draws attention to our ‘lack or vibrancy’, my lack of positivity etc and he says it needs to change. I’m about 95% sure it’s a projection from him. On a very deep level I always wondered what would happen for him when he didn’t need to fix *me* any more. But he doesn’t believe me. The work I’ve done was relevant to me he claims but not to him. I have no idea despite all the work, how to help him navigate it in himself. Do you have any advice for how to guide someone towards truth in themselves when unable to use these words of fear, projection etc? I fear I will lose him if I can’t support him in this.

  • Mônica

    Hi Sheryl!
    I wish you posted daily hehe, I just relate so much to it all!
    Is “I want to live an independent life away from my parents’ home” a projection or is it just a valid way of responding to a constant longing – which I think is a longing for aliveness. I’m 25 and moved back home and often feel stuck and empty – and restless at the same time.

    Love!

  • Lexi

    Hi The Curious Frugal. I love what you shared. How do you check in with yourself? Curious what that looks like for you as I am looking to strengthen this in myself.

  • Marlene

    Hi Sheryl
    Thank you for this post. I really appreciate the explanations and definitions of what projections are and how to loosen their grip long enough to see the truth. I am currently in therapy and working on myself diligently. I see the importance of “owning my own stuff” as we say in therapy.
    I notice I tend to get stuck in, “This isn’t a projection because I wasn’t physically attracted at the beginning and never really was.” Which is true. There have been moments in the last 11 years when I have felt attraction(albeit few and far between).
    The fear mind is so sneaky and always looking for loopholes. SO…

    How can I convince myself this is a TRUE projection when it’s such a tricky situation in that I truthfully was not physically attracted nor did I have a desire to be intimate?

    I truly DO want to take responsibility and get through this. Any suggestions? Thank you so so much

    • You name it as projection and continue working on yourself. Countless people who have taken my courses didn’t felt attraction in the beginning, either.

      • Marlene

        Thank you for your reply. I truly appreciate the response. Looks like there is a big element of faith and trusting the work before more tangible progress can be noted. Thank you again Sheryl. xx

  • Natalia

    Dear Sheryl, I need help, most likely from myself. I am currently still in high school and have just come out of a relationship with a wonderful, compassionate, amazing boyfriend. He broke up with me because our relationship was too consuming. Obviously he gave me more reasons than that, but that was the main reason. I have had relationship anxiety for about two months, and it has been wreaking our relationship. It was consuming from the start (=honeymoon phase, I guess), but it got considerably worse when I started seeking reassurance from him and telling him every single fear I was battling and the results (=that I do love him very much and am scared of uncertainty and him leaving). I needed him close all the time, which ultimately lead to him not having enough space and sacrificing most of himself for me. I need help because yesterday (day of the breakup) I screamed and cried and couldn’t eat or sleep. Today the doubts started up again (=what is love? did I love him if I treated him like that?), I guess it’s a classic case of doubts covering up pain. So I made the conscious decision: I want him back, I want my life back, I want to live without persistent doubts. Obviously, he might never want me back, which is something that makes me want to scream all over again, however, I would like to be able to live my life. My questions are: can I heal myself? is there a chance I can return to my relationship with him? Could the doubts mean I am simply not capable of having a mature relationship because I am too young?
    I know you can’t respond to every comment, I’m just hoping I’ll figure out how to heal myself, so that I don’t destroy everything good in my life (as it’s been affecting my family as well)

    • Since you’re still in high school I’m reluctant to offer advice and encourage you to talk to your parents, if you can, to see about starting therapy with someone locally. In the meantime, please read through my site from the beginning as a lot of your questions will be answered through my posts.

      • Natalie

        I completely understand, I already asked my parents for help and they said they’d try to find me a therapist as soon as possible. From experience they said that finding a therapist might take quite a while, so I’m wondering, is there any way I can help myself and learn to love myself in the meantime? Because I’ve already read through a lot of your articles and they have helped me, however, I’m having a hard time figuring out what my fears actually are.
        I’ve also read that some therapists confirm the doubts as they see them as messages from the subconscious.. is that something I have to worry about?

      • Natalie

        I’m also on the verge of graduating from high school. It could also be the transition that’s making me project.

  • Natalie

    Thank you, I can’t afford the course at the moment, or else I probably would have signed up two months ago. I really appreciate the work you do, I just wish I’d found it sooner.