I can't control myself, period. Help!

Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 06:25 am
First of all, I know I need psychotherapy, and I will do it sometime soon, but right now I just can't afford it. I really need some help and I hope you can give me your insights on this and give me some tips on how to start dealing with this (I've read all websites on this issue but still can't manage to control myself).

There's always been one thing in common in all my relationships (I'm 29 and I'm with my 4th boyfriend now, but I feel I'm losing him): my boyfriends seemed to be afraid of me, in fact they've told me they were afraid of my reactions. They all felt I'm paranoid and looking for a reason to fight; that everything has to be done my way, that I lose control over the smallest things. I don't know why I am like this or what triggers this behaviour, but I am. Rationally speaking, I know this is no good, I know everything a relationship should and shouldn't be, I know all that, but I just have no control of my reactions. I always think the worst of everything. If my boyfriend doesn't call when I want him to, then I think he's cheating or doesn't care about me anymore. I get desperate (but how do I tell the difference between paranoia and a truthful perception?). Then call him nonstop and cry and shout and insinuate the worst things. I never want to, but it just comes out so much stronger than me. People, I know this is absurd, looking from the outside I'd sure be the best person to give some reasonable advice; when it comes to me, I just can't control it, I just can't. I get desperate, so desperate with this fear of not being loved and abandoned I've come to the point where I've hurt myself to punish me for my bad behaviour, telling myself things like "you don't deserve to be loved, all the other girls are, if not smarter (everyone tells me I'm super intelligent), at least prettier, or more able to deal with people, problems and boyfriends. I always feel inadequate, I always feel everything I do is wrong and that I can't handle the situations.

In a way, I've always been pessimistic. At school, I always felt that I was going to get some bad marks and that I could have done so much better, but then, to my surprise, I always got the best marks in class. I was always worried with everything: timing, and I've always hated working with other students, I wanted to do things my way because Ifelt they were doing it wrong.
When I was 20 I suffered from anorexia and bulimia. Felt fat, ugly and once again inadequate.

I've been controlling and histerical since my first boyfriend, so it's not a result of a trauma cause by a previous relationship. I don't know what it is. When I was younger I had this physical problem (in my face) which has now been solved by surgery, and everyone was always staring at me and making jokes. I learned to walk with my head down. I had to be extra nice and talkative to bring the attentions away from this problem I had, which ALWAYS got people staring and making jokes. Of course, boys who came to talk to me only did so when they wanted to ask advice on how to approach my best friend, who was beautiful.

Also (I don't know if any of this is relevant, but best to say it all) I grew up with my mother only. My father only visited me on Christmas and we never had much of a relationship (or any at all...).

I'm not saying my boyfriends are perfect, but the thing is: even if they were not, and even if they eventually cheated (not that I know of), I shouldn't react the way I do. It's way out of line. It's unhealthy and crazy. When my boyfriend adds a girl on facebook, even if I realise they were friends in highschool or something, I google her. I find everything about her, and also check photos of her friends and family to see if I can find some hints on this person...and obviously, staring at her smiling pictures I always think "she must be so much happier and nice to deal with than I am. It's just a matter of time before he leaves me".

And now I'm driving my boyfriend away. I'm not saying I don't think I have good qualities, I think I do, but this ruins everything. Noone wants to be with a person like this. I wouldn't.

Lately my boyfriend has called me less than he used to and says this behaviour drives him away, but keeps saying he loves me, but that he gets scared of me and doesn't know if this relationship is going anywhere. The more I want him to be open and talk to me, the more I pressure him and the more I drive him away.

What do I do for a start? I don't want to lose him, and I want to be light and happy. How do I NOT get desperate if he doesn't call me today? Cause I know it will only drive him away, but, as I've said before, it's stronger than me.

Help me reverse this, please. How to start, what to do. Can I still save my relationship?

Thanks a lot.

Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 07:14 am
My suggestion is that you probably need some sort of therapy so why not get therapy? Don't convince yourself that you can't afford it without checking it out more thoroughly. Sometimes therapists work on a sliding scale of affordability. Community organizations might provide the info and the service. If I were you, I'd look into that ASAP.

There's is nothing here that anyone can say or do that can change your attitude or your behavior patterns. As you must know, this behavior is not an intellectual choice. You clearly don't choose this behavior and you didn't get this way overnight. It won't go away that soon, either.

You can be more careful with your behavior but the bottom line is that if you don't have a good self-image and relationship with yourself, it's pretty much impossible to form a lasting long term romantic relationship.

The thing you don't realize some of the damage that was done was done in your youth. The absence of a father (or the presence of a dad) who didn't show you the love you and support you needed helped to create a damaging portion of your adolescence. Also how your mom provided (or didn't provide the right) support and how she discussed romantic relationships helped (or deterred) your growth and formed your opinion about relationships and possibilities of success.

No one parent, no matter how supportive, can be everything to a child in their development but sometimes it can take two - two positive, mature and supportive parents. Not in all cases, but in some.

Seriously, look into your community counseling services and see who might work on a sliding scale.
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Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 11:03 am
From your description, it appears that you may suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder.


First of all, I know I need psychotherapy, and I will do it sometime soon, but right now I just can't afford it

Stop making any excuses, and go and get yourself the help--the psychotherapy--you know you need.

Tell your boyfriend you realize that you have psychological problems, but you don't know where to turn for professional help, and ask him to assist you in finding it.

You can find low/no cost therapy through the outpatient psych services of municipal hospitals, or they can refer you to a community mental health clinic. County psychological associations often have lists of members who provide some low cost or pro bono treatment in their private practices. Universities that have graduate clinical psychology programs often provide low cost treatment, as do psychoanalytic training institutes.

There are resources available to you. Now, go search them out.

You need professional help. You cannot control or change this on your own.

Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 11:23 am
Thanks for your advice.
Firefly, I read the info on the first link and that is exactly me. I'll search for professional help soon. I've realised I can't do this on my own. I know exactly what is wrong with me and I know exactly what I should and shouldn't do - but just can't, I feel it's not in my power right now, it trancends me.

Thanks a lot.
Reply Mon 20 May, 2013 11:32 am
It is beyond you, Violet4, that's why you need a professional, a therapist, to help you gain control.

What's within your power is the ability, and determination, to get yourself that help. And I hope you do that. You've taken the first step by realizing you need help.

I sincerely wish you luck. I think you will feel better once you have a therapist you can turn to, and I hope you find one soon.
Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 03:21 am
Well, I don't think anything is beyond anyone in terms of what they can achieve through willpower and desire.

That said, is almost all instances it needs time, and very few people are willing for that time.

In terms of saving your relationship, perhaps you can find strength in time to save it - through a therapist. The other way - finding your self, allowing your self to be open and vulnerable enough that you can finally see your self... that usually takes time, because we all of us, rarely know where to start.

In order for the emotional tiger to heal, it's teeth need to be loved by you, it's snarl needs to be accepted, it's fur needs to be felt, it's claws need to be stroked. It is a part of you, and it's precious, and real, and it served it's purpose...

...but you have outgrown the purpose which you grew it from a cub for...

...and now you want to sooth away it's fears...

...to stroke it's teeth...

...and tell it that you want it to help you in the next stage of life...to bring you vitality...but to do that, you need to be vulnerable...and so you ask that tiger to not be frightened, for you will be there to look after it.

...you ask it to not lash out with it's claws, for you will be there to stroke them loving...

...you ask it's teeth to not sink into others out of fear, for you will be there to whisper love, and to ask of others what they are thinking...and there you will, together, listen to what is said, and look in there eyes, and see what is beautiful inside of you, reflected in the soul of those eyes.

Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 05:15 am
I think that a lot of what happens in our childhood affects us. The strong get past it, and the not so strong struggle longer .

My father only visited me on Christmas and we never had much of a relationship

Personally? Most girls need a father figure they are the nice guy, we are their princesses.

I think this has affected you for all of your childhood if you don't mind me saying. At 20, you gave up, stopped eating, binge ate, threw up. And each boy you have gone out with you've challenged, given a hard time, been OCDC over, had anger problems.

Yes, I agree with FF of what it sounds like I am giving my thoughts as to why that might be..

Where is your Father now? You are of a mature age do you think you can contact him get closure? You are both older.

Feeling un-wanted, un-loved.. .Can damage a person in their life or can make them stronger.

Hypnotherapy may also help you.

This anger can manifest and keep going no matter how old you are. If your Mother gave you the best, all I can suggest is forgive your father and realise the love you did get. It's not the end of the world and no two people are the same. These guys take you on because they like you, lust, then love. Don't view them as your Father.

It is not the case/ nor same.

Lastly, love yourself. Stop fighting yourself over what you see as in-purities . We are all who we are, you had 4 boyfriends what seriously does that tell you about your nature, looks and being?
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Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 11:30 am
Well, I don't think anything is beyond anyone in terms of what they can achieve through willpower and desire.

While that sounds like a great motivational slogan, and the essence of a "pep-talk", I think it's not a particularly helpful message to send, especially to someone who may suffer from serious psychological and emotional problems, of a perversive nature, that are truly beyond their volitional control. It's a message that can make them feel even more inadequate, and more of a failure, when they find they can't change themselves, or their personality structure, through sheer "willpower and desire". It's like saying, "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps," to someone who may be too poor to have boots.

I don't doubt that Violet4 has the desire to react differently than she does, but, in order to accomplish that, both re-learning, and new acquiring, of adaptive mechanisms must take place before she even has options to choose from, and that's what the process of therapy would help her with.

Right now, her desire and determination should be focused on finding herself the professional help she understands she needs, despite financial difficulties in acquiring that help--she's got to search out that help and not stop searching until she gets it.

There's nothing wrong with the sort of self-help techniques you're suggesting, other than the fact that they're very inadequate to deal with the magnitude of her problems. Telling her how to soothe that "emotional tiger" inside of her is like suggesting she put a band-aid on a severed artery, or use a mild pain-relieving technique, like aspirin, for a toothache, when she really needs to see a dentist to address the underlying cause, which might be a serious infection.

Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 02:29 pm
The older we get, the less we attribute to our childhood. It just starts to matter less. We can't let is stay important.

She wants to get a handle on her behavior. Good for her.

What is needed is determination to make a change, since she does not feel good herself and is driving away people she wants near to her.
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Reply Tue 21 May, 2013 02:30 pm
While that sounds like a great motivational slogan, and the essence of a "pep-talk", I think it's not a particularly helpful message to send, especially to someone who may suffer from serious psychological and emotional problems, of a perversive nature, that are truly beyond their volitional control.
Hi Firefly.

If you read the very next paragraph, I too suggested a therapist (for this very reason).

That said - the line you quoted, whether or not you think it is a slogan, is one of the great truths of life...

...it's just that very few people ever manage to comprehend it, and fewer still manage to live it (ie. it's true, but not very helpful for the vast majority of people).

Once engaged, it is also not a short term solution, but rather, a life long journey.
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