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Thread: Regressing Too Far?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiny View Post
    We all want to be loved and accepted, and having an emotional/mental illness often means that your self-esteem and confidence takes a real battering. :-(

    For me, anxiety makes me want to escape "adult life" and empty my mind and to give myself permission to feel little. Being "little" is something we worry isn't "socially acceptable", and (at my most anxious) I felt quite embarrassed and ashamed that I wanted to feel little so often.

    I wonder if, when you sought emotional reassurance from your parents by sleeping with them, and allowing them to see your little side... Maybe you wanted them to see your littleness and sort-of "test" them to see if they would accept you...?

    Anyway, they did! Yay! You should feel happy; not surprised and discombobulated!



    When I was at my most anxious, I was wearing diapers most of the time, and became even more anxious about what others might think -- even more self-critical.

    I wonder if your "self-critical voice" is being too hard on yourself. Maybe there's an incongruence in your surprised reaction because you feel like you deserve to be criticised: on a subconscious level you couldn't believe that anyone could accept you as you are... because you don't accept yourself as you are...? (I've no idea -- just some rhetorical questions that might be barking up the wrong tree!)

    I mentioned the psychological concept of "splitting" on another thread (link below). It helped me make sense of the way I have a "child side" and an "adult side", and how I had sort-of split myself into two identities... And how it might be psychologically "healthier" to try to integrate these two sides of myself so I could see myself as I truly am -- a grown man who likes wearing nappies and the pure innocent joy of being childish -- and more importantly, accept myself as I truly am.

    https://www.adisc.org/forum/showthre...-mix?p=1533838

    Accepting yourself can be hard if you subconsciously feel like there's something wrong with you, and that you shouldn't like whatever it is you like. The truth is that (apparently) you like diapers too, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. It's just the way things are. You're not to blame for that any more than you are for liking cheese sandwiches. You can't choose what you like. But you can choose how you see yourself, how you react to what is, and what you do in life.

    You are one person -- unique, lovable, and with your own quirks and life history and likes and dislikes. Who can judge you for being you? Only yourself! There are no rules in life. You have to make them up as you go along.

    It's amazing that your parents accept you. You've tested them and they passed! You know that they are there for you and love you as you are without question. But I think it's good to try not to push things too far. Maybe your parents would be less concerned if you change into a clean nappy if you want to sleep with them again.

    Or maybe, when you're feeling low, you could just remember how accepted you were by your parents, and realise that it's not their love and acceptance that you need to test now. You need to love yourself! Give yourself a break. Allow yourself the "down time" you need to deal with the world. :-)

    Insist that your "adult side" gives permission to your "child side" to be little and have fun! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! All adult and no child makes anyone incredibly boring and miserable! Don't feel ashamed for the joy of being little -- embrace it! Never forget that you are far more than your "inner child", just as you are far more than your "inner adult". Don't let your adult and child fight or try to dominate each other. Let them both have a voice, and listen to both their needs.

    Obviously I don't know anything about you, so apologies if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick. These are just some random ideas from personal experience that helped me. You know yourself better than anyone else. So trust in yourself to take any ideas you think might be relevant, and reject those that aren't.

    Good luck! :-)
    Hey tiny!! Thank you for your post!!

    Okay, so, here I go. My parents and sister have been super supportive of my "little side", always. My friends too. Ever since I've had bad experiences in the past, they have come to the conclusion than me being diapered and babyish but happy is better than being depressed and anxious as a young adult. I really love my parents and my sister for what they have done for me. The idea that I am 27 years old and that I can be a baby around them makes me grateful and full of love!!

    But yeah, I'm entering a new ground which is scary, as any. This is the first time they've let me sleep with them in diapers, let alone a wet diaper. Or hold my dad close as I suck my thumb. I am super grateful, but making these steps is hard too.

    I have come to accept my AB side a lot. And I of course know that wearing diapers is nothing bad and that it's what I like and nothing will ever change that, nor do I want to. That's the idea I have when I am sound of mind. But yeah, mentally ill here, sometimes my ideas and perceptions change according to my mood, and it becomes really hard to push forward. I am taking medicines and everything, but sometimes, the dark, insecure side of myself is still there. But most of the time, I am pretty comfortable with my baby side.

    Thank you for your kind words. I know, I want to merge both my "adult side" and "baby side" into a coherent persona, but it's still tough. But I'll make it... somehow...

    And yes, my family accepts that I am a baby at times, and the though of me being open like that, it's really heartwarming.

    Hugs and thanks!

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kik91 View Post
    Hey tiny!! Thank you for your post!!

    Okay, so, here I go. My parents and sister have been super supportive of my "little side", always. My friends too. Ever since I've had bad experiences in the past, they have come to the conclusion than me being diapered and babyish but happy is better than being depressed and anxious as a young adult. I really love my parents and my sister for what they have done for me. The idea that I am 27 years old and that I can be a baby around them makes me grateful and full of love!!

    But yeah, I'm entering a new ground which is scary, as any. This is the first time they've let me sleep with them in diapers, let alone a wet diaper. Or hold my dad close as I suck my thumb. I am super grateful, but making these steps is hard too.

    I have come to accept my AB side a lot. And I of course know that wearing diapers is nothing bad and that it's what I like and nothing will ever change that, nor do I want to. That's the idea I have when I am sound of mind. But yeah, mentally ill here, sometimes my ideas and perceptions change according to my mood, and it becomes really hard to push forward. I am taking medicines and everything, but sometimes, the dark, insecure side of myself is still there. But most of the time, I am pretty comfortable with my baby side.

    Thank you for your kind words. I know, I want to merge both my "adult side" and "baby side" into a coherent persona, but it's still tough. But I'll make it... somehow...

    And yes, my family accepts that I am a baby at times, and the though of me being open like that, it's really heartwarming.

    Hugs and thanks!
    No problem at all! I'm glad you found my post helpful. I spent a lot of money on therapy, so it's a privilege to be able to share that knowledge around and feel like I'm still getting my money's-worth out of it! lol

    Like you, I realised logically that I should be more accepting of myself, but it can be hard to actually feel and believe what you know to be true.

    It's good that you recognise that your moods fluctuate... When I was feeling "down", it helped to realise that my thinking became increasingly pessimistic and black-and-white. And I would ruminate on things I had no control over, convince myself that everyone hated me, and generally whip myself up into feeling worse and worse about everything. It's like sailing a boat through a storm. Sometimes the best thing to do is batten down the hatches, hang on for dear life, and wait for the storm to pass. At times like that, negative thoughts aren't helpful. I would tell myself that now is not the time to think about them. Let them go.

    If the thoughts are important, then you can re-examine them when you feel better. If it helps, write them down on paper, then put them out of your mind. The paper will still be there later, so you can stop thinking about it now.

    I also did this to help me sleep -- anxiety would mean that all sorts of thoughts would race through my head when I went to bed. Again, I told my brain that "now is not the time" to be bothering me. If it's important, then I will remember those thoughts another time and can deal with them then. Now is the time for sleep.

    Another thing I did was to analyse my thinking patterns logically to find flaws in them (briefly -- without dwelling on them). How well does my self-concept really match reality? My negative thoughts always seemed to be "worst case scenarios" where I would seriously underestimate other people's reactions, and imagine that I knew how much they disapproved of me... when in fact... I don't know any of these things, and my state of mind is simply assuming the worst. I realised I was basing my sense-of self on faulty perceptions and logic.

    My therapist talked about a person's "locus of evaluation". Someone with an internal locus of evaluation has a self-image based on their own internal values. An external locus is when a person uses other people's value systems to judge themselves against. An example of this might be an AB who is happy themselves to be AB, yet still sees it as somehow "wrong" because they are judging themselves against (what they mistakenly think) are other people's values.

    https://counsellingtutor.com/counsel...of-evaluation/

    My therapist helped me see how my locus of evaluation was mostly external, and how incredibly bad I was as figuring out what other people think. If someone looked at me "funny", I'd assume that I looked weird or they "hated" for some reason... when really... I had no way of knowing what they were thinking. I was reading far too much into other people's facial expressions and body language that I found it hard to be in public...

    In one particular incident, I remember riding my bike along a towpath and seeing a frail old woman about 100 metres ahead. I could see her staring at me, and panicking and hobbling to the edge of the path... where she simply stared at me as I approached. I slowed to an absolute snail's pace, gave her plenty of room, a friendly wave and smile, and thanked her... Her face darkened and she gave me such a glare that I almost fell off my bike. It felt like she'd torn me to shreds. I couldn't stop thinking about why she hated me and what I could have done "better" or differently.

    My therapist helped me realise that there was nothing I could have done "better"... I'd done nothing wrong and, unlike so many people, had gone out of my way to be extra careful and friendly and tried to put the old lady at ease. It's not my fault that she glared at me. And why should I even give her the right to judge me. I know I was being kind and considerate, so I should feel proud and happy with myself. I should recognise how I upheld my own values... Yet instead I "imagined" what the old lady might be thinking and just assumed the worst and that she was right... even though I've never met her before. Maybe a cyclist had hit her in the past, so she was extremely nervous around bikes. Maybe her partner had just died and she was preoccupied with her own thoughts. I will never know. I will probably never see her again, and with so much uncertainty, I really don't need to worry myself with trying to figure out exactly what she was thinking. It simply doesn't matter. And I'd completely forgotten all the other people that had thanked me for cycling cautiously past their dogs, etc. My brain was ignoring all the positive signals I was getting, and focussing only on the negative. It was a distorted way of seeing the world and myself.

    This is a concept from Carl Rogers'"client-centred therapy", which I found immensely helpful.

    https://www.simplypsychology.org/cli...d-therapy.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy

    His book "On Becoming a Person" was a great read and really helped me throw off all that self-imposed anxiety and feel more "human". The prologue and first chapter are about the author -- it helps to see where he's coming from, but it's a bit long, so if you get bored, just skip to chapter two where he starts talking about actual psychology.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-Pe...dp/1845290577/
    https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Pers...dp/1845290577/

    There's a free PDF of the book here too:
    http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/...g_a_Person.pdf

    The basic idea of Rogers' therapeutic approach is that every human has a natural tendency to flourish. Psychological distress occurs when people do not feel free to flourish in their own way. For Rogers, the therapeutic process was mostly about listening to the client, accepting them as they are, and identifying their personal values and what it is they enjoy and want to achieve out of life... and giving them the tools to discover who they are, their own values and "setting them free".

    You can take these ideas and be your own therapist. Listen to yourself, accept yourself, and be true to your own values. And take pride in that! You have a greatly accepting and loving family behind you. They love and accept you. I'm sure they want you to love and accept yourself.

    People love you! You are loveable! Find like-minded people, surround yourself with those you love, and don't let the bastards grind you down!

    ---

    Oh -- and one other thing was to become aware of how my "physical state" tied in so closely with my mental state. When I get anxious I fidget and tense my muscles... What I didn't realise is how your brain learns that these things go together and that if you fidget and tense your muscles... you start to feel anxious. If you slump in your chair, you feel miserable. If you force yourself to smile you feel better. I tried to make sure that my posture and body-language reflected how I wanted to feel.

    Sometimes you can "trick" your brain into feeling better. And other times you need to accept how you're feeling (little or whatever) and just run with it. The only "right" way to feel is how you actually do feel. You can't suppress or hide from your feelings. Don't question what you feel -- no one else can tell you that -- you are the number one expert in the world on knowing what you feel! But you can question why you feel that way.

    Trying to understand how the mind works, and the reasons behind my feelings really helped me understand how normal the feelings I have are. Everyone is weak, fearful, lacking in confidence, in need of reassurance, and afraid of others judging them... but we don't see that because most people hide that part of themselves from others so well.

    ---

    Exercise really helps too -- it gets rid of pent up energy, gives your mind something to focus on, and releases "feel-good" endorphins into your blood-stream. Even if it just means running up and down the stairs a few times when you feel stressed.

    I hope that helps. I'm sending positive thoughts and good vibes your way!

    tiny

  3. #13

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    Hi tiny!!

    Thanks you so much for these, I am certainly going to read more on them! I have been planning to go to therapy recently, because the knowledge that I'm squizoaffective, and AB and my sexuality... it all has taken a toll on me. I know I'm not wrong. I know this is who I am, and I know that I should accept myself for this. People love me, and I am a great, lovable person.

    But sometimes, it just doesn't feel that way.

    So I need to work on it, learn to embrace myself fully and love every bit of myself. Thank you for these resources, I will put them too good use! I can start reading on how to make my self-image better and control the anxiety and everything that comes with it.

    Thank you again, tiny!

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