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Thread: Emotional Self-Reliance

  1. #1

    Default Emotional Self-Reliance

    What I write here is borne out of long and bitter experience.

    Once upon a time, I believed in a great many things I now find unfathomable. I believed that people were basically okay, if slightly selfish on average, but fundamentally similar to myself in that they simply wanted to coexist and learn about themselves in the process. I did not specifically believe in "love," per se, though I did not specifically doubt it either. I was nonetheless surprised when I encountered it in person. And, later, disappointed to find it so much a house of cards, like so many other things.

    Few can understand my lack of interest in romantic relations by this point. I feel like I've already been there. I've fallen head-over-heels in love, I've enjoyed a long-term relationship, I have memories of precious moments... there's a check in the box, you know? And given the price I paid for it, in the end, I am not eager to repeat the experience. It was worth having once, but only once, if you ask me.

    I digress slightly. Upon my separation from my former partner, my social circle immediately collapsed. My separation was caused by the unexpected death of a childhood friend, which left me rather depressed. In turn, the separation caused my social network to disintegrate.

    This bears repeating: my need for emotional support immediately destroyed my social network, starting with those closest to me. More generally, most "friends" (and those even closer) are only there until you actually need them, then they're gone.

    This is not a unique pattern from what I have observed, but instead is rather endemic to human nature. People like to have fun, basically.

    Drawing upon my experience (which I have glossed over very quickly here), the most apparent suggestion is that the concept of a "support network" -- a collection of people whose acceptance your self-image or emotional well-being hinges upon -- is fundamentally flawed. More bluntly, it's a recipe for disaster.

    The question, then, for ADISC is: how do you minimize your need for the acceptance of others? How do you learn to be content with yourself independently of anyone else's approval?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphyre View Post
    The question, then, for ADISC is:
    How do you minimize your need for the acceptance of others?
    How do you learn to be content with yourself independently of anyone else's approval?
    Sadly, I can answer both of your questions with just two words: You Don't.

    Wanting, needing, craving acceptance (and companionship) from those around us is not just a human trait.
    You can ignore it, deny its very existence, but in the end you will eventually succumb to it.

    A life lived alone is no life at all. It is just merely surviving.

  3. #3

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    I think the desire for acceptance is natural. But being content with yourself without others is also important. In the end, you're the one you live with, all the time. Loving yourself, regardless of whether or not another person does in that moment, is absolutely something worth cultivating.

    That being said, I'm in that boat, Sapphyre. I've been going through the worst breakup the past two months. It's terrible.

  4. #4

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    puppyfat I'm sorry to hear of your breakup and I hope you can find peace soon. Healing is a difficult and long process - but we're here for you. Likewise to Sapphyre, I'm sorry to hear of your relationship woes. I feel compelled to offer my thoughts here and here is why:

    I have always lived alone. Ever since I've moved away from family I have, will continue to, and will forever more be alone. This is a crushing reality I face. People tell me I can fix this by just getting out there and looking. Well, it is not that simple. You see, I too have been head over heels for a few women before and they both rejected me on the grounds that they were in committed relationships (I wasn't looking to break anything up either, don't misinterpret what I said there haha). It always seemed like those that I wanted to be with the most were taken. Combine the whole ABDL thing in with this and next thing you know I consider myself asexual, and I find the idea of me being in a romantic relationship repulsive. This has caused a great deal of pain for me, you see, because part of me wants companionship, but the other part of me wants solace. It is so hard to describe to people because I feel like a man of confliction - split right down the middle.

    MandyBear makes a good point. We as humans are programmed to be social animals. We need interaction with others (look at where we are now! lol) and we seek it. I don't consider myself to be a highly social person but I still need time with friends. I only hang out with my friends once every one or two months or so (and interestingly enough I've found this to build stronger friendships on the grounds that not seeing as much of one another makes the moments you spend together more special). But I've also built a complex that I will be independent in my life, free from the cares, worries, and demands of others, and I will spend it on my farm, doing what I wish and when I wish. My point is that looking at the positivity of independence is key. I don't need the partying, the clubs, the money, etc. I just want what I want: to have a farm, to have my dogs, to have my peace. It is easier for me to accept this if I look at the world through a lens wherein I see all the bad that is out there. I could be out spending all of my money on things that could get me in trouble, or I could be out speeding around in my car at night, etc. It is hard to find that independent comfort zone but it takes a lot of analysis of the world to get to that point.

    As far as being content without other's approval - look at your accomplishments. To me, nothing feels better than to look out of my window and see what I've done - my gardens, my landscaping, my house. I look at the wall and I see my degrees, I see where I am in the world and I like to think that I've done well, regardless of what anyone thinks. An independent mind is nothing something achieved easily or overnight. For me it came more naturally because of repeated rejection throughout my life - so I developed a "if the world doesn't want me, then I don't need the world" mantra which has been key for me (although this may be considered an unhealthy view of the world lol).

    At any rate, I hope this helps a little bit - I know I was all over the board but sometimes explaining my own experience is the best way I can try to convey my message. Let me know if you'd like to talk more about this.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphyre View Post
    What I write here is borne out of long and bitter experience.

    Once upon a time, I believed in a great many things I now find unfathomable. I believed that people were basically okay, if slightly selfish on average, but fundamentally similar to myself in that they simply wanted to coexist and learn about themselves in the process. I did not specifically believe in "love," per se, though I did not specifically doubt it either. I was nonetheless surprised when I encountered it in person. And, later, disappointed to find it so much a house of cards, like so many other things.

    Few can understand my lack of interest in romantic relations by this point. I feel like I've already been there. I've fallen head-over-heels in love, I've enjoyed a long-term relationship, I have memories of precious moments... there's a check in the box, you know? And given the price I paid for it, in the end, I am not eager to repeat the experience. It was worth having once, but only once, if you ask me.

    I digress slightly. Upon my separation from my former partner, my social circle immediately collapsed. My separation was caused by the unexpected death of a childhood friend, which left me rather depressed. In turn, the separation caused my social network to disintegrate.

    This bears repeating: my need for emotional support immediately destroyed my social network, starting with those closest to me. More generally, most "friends" (and those even closer) are only there until you actually need them, then they're gone.

    This is not a unique pattern from what I have observed, but instead is rather endemic to human nature. People like to have fun, basically.

    Drawing upon my experience (which I have glossed over very quickly here), the most apparent suggestion is that the concept of a "support network" -- a collection of people whose acceptance your self-image or emotional well-being hinges upon -- is fundamentally flawed. More bluntly, it's a recipe for disaster.

    The question, then, for ADISC is: how do you minimize your need for the acceptance of others? How do you learn to be content with yourself independently of anyone else's approval?
    Through an empty feeling. One has to tell themselves that they should feel no emotions of happiness, sadness, surprise, fear. All emotions need to be numbed. Its something in where you replace pain with nothingness.

    Ask yourself if you'd never want to find a sliver of happiness again if the chance arised or if you'd want to go through hell to feel emotions again. I can tell you that it's not worth it.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by shibapawz View Post
    MandyBear makes a good point. We as humans are programmed to be social animals. We need interaction with others (look at where we are now! lol) and we seek it.
    Thank You Shibapawz

    I would also like to point out that there is big, huge difference between being alone and being lonely.
    Someone who is alone does not always feel lonely. There are times when we all need some alone time.
    Also, it is quite possible to be around people and still feel lonely.

    There have been many times when I was quite happy being alone and left to myself.
    I am not a hermit, lol, but there are times I just do not need nor want contact with others and are happy just having my space, lol.
    Although, this could just be my own anxiety and social phobic problems showing through. :/

  7. #7

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    Couldn't agree more, MandyBear. I enjoy my alone time for the most part but I do feel lonely a lot too. Interacting on sites like this definitely helps to counteract those feelings. I too can't tell if I'm just this way because of social anxieties or whether its because I'm just more of a person who values alone time...

    Regardless, I still need to connect with others occasionally.

  8. #8

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    To put it bluntly I have no family, a few good friends and I have been single for going on about 5 years.

    For a long time I was miserable because I always felt my life was incomplete for not wanting the things that other people wanted. I don't want to live with someone, I don't want kids or marriage or any of those things.

    But that doesn't mean I don't want companionship.

    I would be content to buddy up in a house with a few good friends.

    That being said, humans are social creatures as stated above and everyone is different. Not everyone is a self serving douchbag you just have to find the right set of people and thanks to the Internet you can.

    This is where I come when I need to be accepted for being little and I have other forums for other interests and it's quite lovely honestly.

    Everyone finds happiness in different ways. If your sense of happiness doesn't happen to fit in an already pre-formed category so be it, no one ever said it had to,

  9. #9

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    I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful replies. I feel I should clarify my original question somewhat...

    I seek companionship in many ways, and prefer being surrounded by friends to being alone. However, experience has taught me that -- with very rare exception -- so-called "friends" will vanish the very moment that you need a shoulder to cry on. They're your friends so long as everyone is having fun, but you should not expect emotional support from them should tragedy strike.

    Conventional wisdom, and most therapists (again, in my experience) naively advocate dependence upon a support network. Based on my experience, this is bad advice. I do not want to be in a position of reliance upon someone else -- even a large group -- for emotional support, because by and large people are not reliable in this respect. Emotional support from others must be a "nice-to-have" rather than a need. The question, really, is how to best achieve that.

    shibapawz -- There is more I want to say to your response but haven't the time just now... more later.

  10. #10

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    I would love to talk more about it - and feel free to PM me if you need to vent anytime. I know what it is like.

    And I would like to address your last post a little bit by saying that I highly disagree that dependence on a social network is healthy. A social network should be a tool to satisfy your social needs but should by no means be your pathway by which all emotional support, caring, and interaction is derived. It may seem very counter-intuitive to our culture to do what I've just said because our culture has devolved into very social dependent rings.

    Independence is something to be proud of and it has always been something people have commented positively on for me. Being socially independent has forced me to seek out interesting experiences and hobbies. It has taught me that should the world come crumbling down around me, I have my own land, my own food source, my own heat source, my own water source, and my own independent pride that I could survive where many could not. Now I know I'm speaking more in tones of physical independence but for me the two are intertwined. You will never catch me in any clubs or social events on a Saturday night that doesn't involve working the land or helping out family or friends. Yes, I do go out to hang out with friends but always individual friends or in very small groups of 2 to 4 people.

    I think social independence is a lonely path - and it can be highly bitter and seen by many as no way to live. But, I look at a lot of the drama around me and I'm thankful I don't share the same woes as some of my more socially active friends. I'm not saying be a loner by any means - as I stated before we need social interaction and our friends and family can be the best thing we have in the world. I treasure the friends I have and my family. But I've been able to recognize that the consequence of many relationships today is that people use you. People leave you in the dirt when times get tough. I've been through this countless times with people who I wasted time on thinking they were my friends. I rooted out those people who I knew didn't care about me enough to give a damn when the going got tough. You've got to evaluate your friendships and know who will stand with you when the sh** hits the fan.

    I get very stern and short when I'm talking about this subject, and I apologize in advance to any who take exception to what I'm saying. I mean no harm and I mean no offense. This is just how I live my life and I know that what works for me doesn't work for all, and that is okay! But I value social independence because it is a hard road to travel and I can count my friends on one hand but I know these people will fight for me just as I would for them. Fewer, stronger relationships are more important to me than many superficial ones.

    So what am I doing here then? I love my ABDL family too And I want to learn and interact with others and provide what little advice I can too, but at the end of the day, in my heart I am happy with where I am.

    Just my two cents - thanks for letting me ramble!

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