Feeling Unlovable

One occupational hazard of being a psychologist is I tend to observe everything around me – what I heard, what I see and what I read between the lines.

People may express their feelings and emotions in many ways. And the other party also owns their own ways to be reactive.

Today I want to write what I reflect from some observations, especially when someone feels unlovable.

I was doing my hair in a hair salon when I heard a middle age woman who offered her husband to have his lunch. The time was close to 1 pm. She said, “Do you want to have your lunch now?”. To my surprise he answered, “What time is it do you think, Stupid!”. When that woman said that it was close to 1 pm, he finally said yes. He left me speechless – especially when I saw the woman took out his lunch box and prepared it for him.

Or another time when a wife told me that his husband easily gets mad at her and the children. Sometimes the issue is just another daily hassle, but he would not react differently. He would mad at her – as usual.

Or … A husband who gave up his pride as a man when his wife acted as a Commander all around the house. From what to wear, what to eat and how to spend the money. He said that he’s been giving up his free choice and voice to his wife – just for the sake of preserving the marriage.

Sometimes we see young children who are struggling to tell their parents that they love them. Some parents are well aware of the signs given – through letters, cards, hugs or songs. But some others are so ignorant – thinking that their children don’t understand what is love, or the ability to express their love.

I can’t imagine the feeling of the wife or the husband or the children in the story above. The heavy burden of feeling unlovable, when their pure intentions were being fire back with not-so-loveable reactions from their loved ones.

Everyone needs someone else to love them dearly and able to express those feelings in overt ways. When the feelings are not accordance with the overt actions, the ambiguous message will be sent. Love is a feeling that need to be shown, spoken or practiced. It seems easier to express our negative emotions – but we can practice to express our positive feelings as well. To make our closest ones feel lovable.

Let’s love each other loudly!
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In Reality or Sway In The Dream?

Yesterday, I had a talk with an old friend about his relationship. He’s about to get married and he is facing a problem – not too big, but significant. He used to dream about having a tomboy girlfriend, independent and able to do her own stuff. But now, he is in a serious relationship with a very sensitive woman and dependent. Time goes by and he realizes that she is the one. He knows that he will marry this girl because he believes in her changing process – to be a better woman.

Retrieving stories and experiences from the past, I was then coming to a conclusion. I told him that his relationship was build on reality bits. It might bite him hard, but once he accepted it, he knows exactly what he’s dealing with. I compared his stories with those many others who let themselves sway in the dream of having an exotic, princess-like relationship with magic carpet, great castle or Doraemon’s door. They might start their relationships with a fabulous beginning – but what’s the point if when reality hits and they move backward slowly? By the end of the day, they have to accept the reality that their dreams won’t match to each other and at last, they walk their separate ways.

I’ve read a story of a young woman in national newspaper about her extravagant wedding. The dress was made with thousands and thousands of Swarovski beads and the celebration was nothing, but magnificent. Wait! But the most surprising part was the fact that their marriage shattered after 5 months. Yes, only 5 months! Did they ever taste happiness? Maybe. But what’s the point of having extravagant wedding party and face the reality of breaking up in just 5 months?

Or another story of my best friend who had been together for years in reality lives. One time, his girlfriend told him that a relationship is like two hedgehogs tying to warm each other. That goal needs enormous efforts, because they are aware with their spikes – and might hurt their partners along the way. The spikes are the symbol of our weaknesses and how our partner’s strength can lift us up – and vice versa. If the main attention is on the spikes, then forget about warming each other. They will blame one another and looking for each others mistakes. But if the main attention is on the warming process, then they will do their best to complete each other.

It is our choice – to stay in reality or to sway in the dream. It does not mean that we can’t build any dreams as a couple. But when both party understand and accept the reality of their lives, then they can build their dreams together. Still possible …

To close this post, I would like to copy and paste one insight gained by my best friend. He said that in life there are many bridges that we build. Some of them are strong enough to help us crossing from one place to another – in which the bridge mediates our process to be a better person. But there are also some bridges that were build just to be burned down! Why? Because their existence will ultimately bring us back to our past. They do not mediates our changing process toward goodness – but to our past, regret and unfulfilled dreams instead. Such bridge makes us sway in the dream of our past, of our unwillingness to move forward – because reality will hit too hard. So, burn down the bridge …

Have a great journey, everyone! Reality may bite you hard, but the wounds will eventually be healed. But letting yourself sway in the dreams, will hurt you badly when reality hit.

Oh Well, Relationship!

I always believe that as a psychologist I own the honor to learn many factual things about others – while I am doing my work. Since this is Friday night, let we discuss something light – relationship. I am inspired by many cases that I have found on site – abusive relationship, gay relationship, cheating on partners and many more.

Abusive Relationships

I have a few clients who come for counseling because they have been living in an abusive relationship for years. The first one who usually come and asks for help is the victim – mostly women. One women came to see me and told me her stories. She was married to a rich husband – a businessman. They have been married for more than 15 years and the cycle of abusive relationship have been started early on their marriage life. The trigger was usually small stuff and as a snow ball, it gets with bigger every year goes by. Another woman also came and shared her marriage life – in which she had experienced 20 years of verbal, emotional and physical abuse from her husband. Both women caught my attention because they have many children during those years of being abused by her husband.

Their husbands represent the common profile of abusers – showing off their ‘power’ upon their wives and/or children – by throwing any verbal put-downs or literally, using any stuffs around them; crying or begging for forgiveness once they have done with their abusive behaviors; buying gifts or sending ‘the air of love’ and the cycle will start all over again.

Sometimes, this abusive relationship was worsened by the presence of a third party. Oh well, relationship …

Beside the wives as victims in many abusive relationships, we have to pay attention to the children in those families. They might ‘get used’ to it, but they might never be able to get over it. Sons will believe that abusive relationship is acceptable and he will do the same cycle to his own wife later on. Daughters might be attracted to the same type of men, just like her old man. The need of cutting off the cycle of abusive relationship in the future generations can be the reason to strengthen the victims/wives to get out from such abusive relationship.

Asking the wives to get out from such relationship is not an easy work, especially when they depend on the husbands – economically, in decision making or any other aspects. They also feel sad and pity toward their husbands – “where he will stay if I leave him, will he be alright after I leave him”.

Gay Relationship

I also have a gay couple who come for counseling. I thought the process of counseling would be different compare to heterosexual couple, but I found out that they also face the same problems. There is no difference between homosexual or heterosexual relationships – skip the gender.

The issue of having affair, cheating on their partners, addiction to porn or being obsessed with certain body figure are some of the many stories behind gay relationships. For me as a psychologist, this is a chance for me to learn from their stories and at the same time, help them objectively.

It is important to look inside ourselves as psychologist, counselor or minister of where we stand – our stand point. It is a no to mixed between religion with professional point of view while helping homosexual cases. If we can differ our point of view, then we can help them to help themselves. But if we choose to stand on religion/faith over professionalism, then it is hard to support such clients – because all we can see is sin and the sinner.

Cheating

Believe me – no matter what religion, skin colors, occupations, level of education/SES – everyone has the same chance to cheat on their partners. They difference is laying on the action taken, once the temptation comes. I’ve seen doctor, church people, businessman, jobless man and many more – who admit or caught that they have affairs with others who are not their partners.

Most of them believe that their affairs were purely physical, only sexual experiences and no feeling upon it. But who knows? Most of all, by cheating – they definitely hurt someone else and crush their feelings into bits.

Oh well, relationships …

Why don’t you share your stories with me?

Wedding Party and How You Perceive It

Today is a big day for my friend, Imelda and her husband, Erizal. Yes, today is their wedding day.

Wedding day is usually seen as the final point of a relationship. Once you get married, then everything will be settle and finally reach the safe point. But, is that true?

weddingsdesigns.com

For me, wedding day is the last day of including other people in a couple’s life. Because on a wedding day, the whole world should stay as an outsider, and the couple must struggle to maintain their relationship. Sometimes the world struck hard on their marriage, or even worse, the whole world is against them.

Can they maintain it? The answer is depending on how hard the commitment that they have.

I have a best friend who told me once that in a relationship, those two people are like two porcupines who are trying their best to warm each other, without hurting each other with their spikes. It sounds hard, and yes, it is hard to do, but not impossible to do.

I am now still at the wedding party … I was wondering how other people perceive wedding day and marriage, when suddenly a girl beside me cried aloud. She cried in the middle of her meal and looked so sad.

After a while, I asked her why. She said, it is due to psychological condition. I asked no further questions.

I am still wondering what’s going on in her mind and heart about wedding day and marriage.

articles.lovingyou.com

What’s in your mind about wedding day and marriage?

Writing is my way to share it to you.

Said I Love You (But I Beat You)

Just before midnight, a good friend of mine -Jonah- called me up. He asked me if I know the latest update of an old friend from Perth, who’s now working abroad.

Jonah said that he just got a text from our friend saying that her boyfriend always swear at her and beat her up. I was so shocked! I met her a few months back and she looked alright. I never had any thoughts of her being beaten up physically and being verbally abused by her boyfriend.

Abusive relationships are everywhere. It can be between partner/spouse. It can be between parents-children. And also in the elderly. Abuse can take many forms: physically, emotionally/maltreatment, sexually and verbally. Being verbally abused is a very big issue. Even though it left no obvious mark as in physical abuse, but the scars are there, inside the victim’s life.

Victims of verbally abusive relationship will feel bad about themselves, they will believe in ‘the fact said’ that they are useless, not worthy and means nothing. The longer the exposure to verbally abuse relationship, the bigger the damage on the victim.

What made me really sad was the text that my friend sent to Jonah. She asked Jonah: will you still consider me as lucky, if you know that my boyfriend always swear on me and beat me up? Because you used to say that I’m such a lucky girl, for my boyfriend loves me so much.

Ironic.

Ladies, please save yourselves. Contact the closest police stations or professionals who can help you – psychologist, counsellor, social worker against abusive relationship, government agency and many more. The longer you stay, the less painful you will feel. The numbness will make you feel helpless and you will decide: this is my life and I have to accept this.
Remember, no one is ever worth enough to beat you or swear on you! Not even your boyfriend who said: I love you! Everytime after he beats you up. Quit from that abusive circle and save yourself. You are not the cause of the problems, because the ones who beat you are the ones who have psychological disorder. They need help!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

Philophobic – What is That?

I found this interesting term last week. I searched through online dictionary the phobia term of being afraid to fall in love, and I found Philophobia (check the complete phobia list on http://www.phobialist.com/)

Philophobia is fear of being in love or fear to fall in love. I think I was a philophobic, a chronic one. I had been through turbulence moments of having failed relationships, being cheated on, being the one who collected the dust of lies and many more. Anyway, I’m not gonna write this painful list any longer, because it’s time to enjoy my moment as being a happy single.

I said previously that I was a philophobic. Am I still one now? Well, I’m in a state of recovering, fast and steady. My experience of being in a serious relationship (at least, that’s what I thought) was a great lesson for me. I learned how to share with my loved one, I learned what it means of giving whole-heartedly and not taking any granted of a relationship. I also learned that windy days and stormy weather always be on the next block. The point is how we, as a couple, can overcome that block of quarelling, fighting and throwing arguments. Sometimes, we’ve made it. Sometimes, we just failed.

This failure can be the main reason of why someone becomes a Philophobic. When we feel that we already give our all and our partner throw that away without any hesitation, we feel useless. For me, that kind of action attacks my confidence and self-worth, right away. I know for sure, that’s the reason why I had that acute Philophobia.

One friend of mine was so intrigued when I put ‘Philophobia’ as my BlackBerry Messenger status. He asked a lot of questions, give me some web links to read, planning to buy me books on philophobia and give me his ultimate advice: ‘Stope being a Philophobic’.

Another friend of mine also asked me about my status. He said, ‘It’s easy, Cicil. Just change your state of mind’. Oh well, I’m one big fan of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, in which the key is to change our cognitive frame in order to change our behavior. Well, the process of therapy is a tough one! So yeah, it is true that I just need to change my state of mind, but -hello- it is a long way, with a hard work (I’m on it).

Anyway, when you are not afraid of falling in love … Enjoy it! Make love with your loved ones ..

Much love, Cicilia.

Writing is my way to share it to you.

Kissing You in Public

Few days ago I hang out with a friend. We talked a lot about daily stuff and suddenly he looked down to his feet. I knew that something was wrong. So, I asked him to tell me what’s on his mind. He said, ‘Cicil, I’m going to say something to you. But I know that you will be so mad at me, because we’ve done something stupid’.

Within second, I knew it was about him and his partner …

Then he continued, ‘We were kissing so passionately in the car. At the parking lot. Just before we got home’.

I replied in perplexed expression ‘Okay, then?’ (Because I thought it was just a kiss in his car – which is not so public)

He said, ‘Then I guess we made someone had a heart attack! Because there was this driver inside the car that parked in front of my car!!! This driver was falling asleep, but when he saw us kissing, he jumped out his seat!’

All I could say was, ‘Reckless’.

Yes, it was a true story of kissing someone in public area. You might wondering, what so wow about kissing someone that you love? In this case, my friend is a gay, so he kissed another man, his partner. That might be the wow-ness for the driver who watched that kissing scene.

Sometimes I wonder why we tend to stare at couples who are acting too much in public area? Meanwhile, the definition of being ‘too much’ is very personal and vary for everyone. We rarely see people kissing at the park, in the swimming pool or while they sitting on a bench enjoying the moonlight. Well, it happened because Indonesia is a well-known Eastern country that still hold on to norm and values, therefore we can’t be too affectionate in public. Or else you’ll go to jail for pornography actions … At least, that’s the explanation that we’ve got throughout school years – moral education subject.

I will close this reflection with a question: is it wrong to kiss someone that you love in public?

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Writing is my way to share it to you.

What Kill Us The Most

Few days ago, I got a text message from my cousin. He’s one big fan of the late MJ. He asked me a question … I thought it was just a random text.

Cousin: Do you know what kill MJ?
Me: Drugs?
Cousin: Emptiness
Me: Sucks, hey!

Then I started to think …
Maybe my cousin was right. Not just MJ, many people out there are killed by loneliness, feeling rejected and unlovable.

I read a short reflection wrote by Paulo Coelho in his collection ‘Like The Flowing River’. In one story ‘Dead Man In Pyjamas’, he wrote a story about a dead man who passed away because of natural cause in his apartment, alone. His body was found on 2004, but … He has been dead for 20 years! Actually, the police found a skeleton in pyjamas. Beside the body, there was a newpaper dated 20 Feb 1984. No one ever tried to look for this man. His ex-wife never made an attempt to contact him. Nor his friends, who thought that this guy was hiding away after borrowed some money from them.

In our daily life, we maybe surrounded by so many people: family, friends, colleague, neighbours, and strangers. But our surroundings never define whether we are lonely or not. Sometimes we still feel excluded and lonely.

I just heard a story about a middle-aged lady who’s happened to be a millionaire’s wife. She has all the money that she needs, cars, driver and many helpers. In her daily life, she’s not a happy person. Her husband used to beat her everytime they have family problems. One of her son is an active drug user. Her daughter doesn’t close to her and they always end up in fighting. Complete sadness, I guess. So, she feels lonely and she started to taking care of someone else outside her house. That person is a security guy on a bank. They meet regularly when this lady come to the bank. She started to shop a little more from the supermarket and drop a big bag of daily products to the security guy. She cooks for him too!

Surprise?

Well, if we reflect back to ourselves, I think that lady is just chasing her happiness and shoo away her loneliness, even though, she’s doing it the wrong way … I guess loneliness is really a killer. But nonetheless, we still have to face it. So, if you have someone special on your side now, never take granted! Embrace the moment and make love …

Writing is my way to share it to you.

Love Me OR Love My Money?

I am going to share a funny scene that I saw at a mall yesterday…

I just finished my lunch with 2 friends from my hometown. On my way to the parking lot, there was a guy who came to my direction. He answered a phone call and talked a bit loud. He said, ‘You never ask where am I or what am I doing! You always tell me how much the bills that I have to pay!’

I was laughing out loud when I entered into my car. Funny and yet … ironic!

From my point of view, I believe that guy was not the only one around. He is with hundreds of other men who feel the same way too, because they have been treated unfair and unwell by their partners (well, I assumed that his partner was on the other side of the phone call). I saw so many people are willing to get married because of other reasons, beside love. They would marry rich men, to have a better quality of life. I can’t say that’s wrong, because for them, that’s the best offer that they could get. So, if you feel that your partner treats you unfair and unwell, try to ask yur partner. You better check his/her definition about treating you fair or well. If it’s match … then attune your signal together.

Anyway, I am enjoying my life now. Let’s see what will happen if I meet a guy who can nudge my shoulder!

Choosing Your Partner of Life

To be honest, this topic is randomly chosen, but purposedly written. I’ve been thinking a lot about choosing the right partner of my future, a.k.a husband. Well, I don’t want to get involved in any open relationship or domestic relationship, it will put me in the edge of mountain. The risk of getting rid by my partner is too high. Few months ago, one of my friend told me about this kind of relationship. At that time, the guy who wanted to approach my friend was attached to someone else and without any thoughts, that guy told my friend about that. At least, he was being honest…

older_couple_book

Some people may consider age differences as one important element. My moslem friend said that in the Koran, it is said that the man must be older than the woman. Ideally, twice as older as the woman. In chinese tradition, it is also unwritten rules while looking for a husband or wife. The woman must be younger, so she can called her husband ‘gege’, meaning older brother. I had a relationship with a guy who was 15 years older than me, and it was nothing. Now I know that big number age does not define your big personality. So, for me age differences is a matter of number. If one day, I end up with younger man, I will say what my best friend had told me .. ” The heck with rules, I love you and you love me. Pursue me and take me wherever you go!” (Hey, EAS … it was a superb advice!)

Other people think hard on the income of their partners. Nowadays it is not always the man who have to work. One day a guy told me that he wanted to get married with a rich girl, so he does not need to work hard anymore. He thought that the girl’s parents will definitely buy them a house as wedding gift! I was so sick when I heard that, but to be honest, it was the truth that flew from his mouth … Some girls had been taught by their parents to get rich man as their husband. My old neighbor taught her twin daughters to attract rich man at all time. So, if there is a guy who ride bike or driving an old car visit her daughters, she will refuse that guy to meet her daughters. But if a guy comes with a fancy car and pocketful of money, the gate is open. Do you think that’s tragic? No, that’s the reality…

money

What else on the list? Personality, smart brain, willing to work hard, fear God, responsible, loveable, tender, … and the list may go on for the next 5 pages.

Do you have any comments on this topic? Help me to figure out the imperfect guy that can complete me …