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Question
Posted by: Tamla | 2011/07/04

How do I interpret my terrible panic?

Hi doc and forum members

I have for years, ever since having some very heartbreaking experiences with men, only been involved with unavailable men. Guys who are married, engaged or dating –  or just emotionally icy.

I was last someone’ s actual girlfriend in 1996. I had a horrible experience when I discovered that he was sleeping with 3 friends of mine and shortly after that, I began seeing only unavailable men. I then trusted someone with my heart in 2001 and had another horrible experience when he walked out after I fell pregnant, two yrs into the relationship. Back to seeing only unavailable men, for seven straight years.

Over the last two years however, I keep meeting guys who actually want a proper relationship - from me of all ppl. I keep pointing out other better women they could be with and they insist it is me they want to be with. I am finding I cannot get my head around this. I don’ t mind being physical with these guys but the minute they mention a relationship everything turns black and scary and I run away. My heart actually thuds wildly and I just want to bolt. The one guy requested that we stop being physical so that he could show me he was interested in me as a person. I couldn''t make sense of why he would spend time around me in the absence of the physical so I cut comms with him.

Most recently I have met a guy who says he likes me very much. We have been intimate once and he now says he feels like I used him because I am avoiding him –  which I admit I am doing because he keeps talking about having a relationship. He says he feels like he was just used for s*x. I don’ t understand how a man can ever feel used in this sense? He took me for a luncheon recently –  his friends pitched up and he was affectionate with me, holding me etc right in front of them. I felt panicky again because none of the men I typically see, the unavailable ones, can ever be seen with me in public and here is someone who was holding me in public, for all to see.

I have been to see three separate counsellors so that I can better understand why I can’ t cope with attention from men which goes beyond the physical. The counselling has not helped me and I’ ve ended my sessions all 3 times. In fact I feel like I am running from the counsellors the exact same way I run from men who see more than a body in me.

Why am I running? And from what exactly?



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It sounds as though after your bad experience way back, you have almost deliberately chosen to match yourself with men who are unavailable, or with whom the relationship is otherwise doomed - so when it inevitably fails, at least its likely to be obviously his fault and not yours ! And you've got out of the habits of a more usual and enjoyable relationship, with un-icy and available guys.
It sounds as though you have developed such a very low opinion of yourself, that you suspect anyone who actually seems to like you yourself.
You seem to have a very, very low self-esteem and self-confidence. Apparently, you feel that you can only buy a shallow and temporary relationship with a guy by paying with sex, and that nobody could like you for who you actually are - and if he does seem to like you, there must be something awful wrong wih a guy with such dreadful bad taste !
I;'m sorry to hear that the counsellors you saw were not helpful - maybe they were too inexperienced to handle these issues. But you have surely hit the nail right on the head when you recognize that the therapeutic relations with them were just like your social relationships - they'd be fine so long as the counsellor was useless, but as soon as they began to really build a useful relationship with you and start to get close to the important issues, yet again you bailed out, and avoided what needed to be done.
See a more experienced counsellor or preferably a good clinical psychologist for psychotherapy, and vow to yourself to stay in it until these things have been worked out. You can do it, an it will be well worth it.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

4
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2011/07/05

It sounds as if deep down you don''t believe that you deserve to have a happy and normal relationship. Why is this? Of course you deserve it, and the fact that men are interested in having such a relationship with you mean that THEY see something in you which YOU don''t.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Anon Guy | 2011/07/05

I am unavailable, do you want to use me?

Reply to Anon Guy
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/07/05

It sounds as though after your bad experience way back, you have almost deliberately chosen to match yourself with men who are unavailable, or with whom the relationship is otherwise doomed - so when it inevitably fails, at least its likely to be obviously his fault and not yours ! And you've got out of the habits of a more usual and enjoyable relationship, with un-icy and available guys.
It sounds as though you have developed such a very low opinion of yourself, that you suspect anyone who actually seems to like you yourself.
You seem to have a very, very low self-esteem and self-confidence. Apparently, you feel that you can only buy a shallow and temporary relationship with a guy by paying with sex, and that nobody could like you for who you actually are - and if he does seem to like you, there must be something awful wrong wih a guy with such dreadful bad taste !
I;'m sorry to hear that the counsellors you saw were not helpful - maybe they were too inexperienced to handle these issues. But you have surely hit the nail right on the head when you recognize that the therapeutic relations with them were just like your social relationships - they'd be fine so long as the counsellor was useless, but as soon as they began to really build a useful relationship with you and start to get close to the important issues, yet again you bailed out, and avoided what needed to be done.
See a more experienced counsellor or preferably a good clinical psychologist for psychotherapy, and vow to yourself to stay in it until these things have been worked out. You can do it, an it will be well worth it.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/07/05

It sounds as though after your bad experience way back, you have almost deliberately chosen to match yourself with men who are unavailable, or with whom the relationship is otherwise doomed - so when it inevitably fails, at least its likely to be obviously his fault and not yours ! And you've got out of the habits of a more usual and enjoyable relationship, with un-icy and available guys.
It sounds as though you have developed such a very low opinion of yourself, that you suspect anyone who actually seems to like you yourself.
You seem to have a very, very low self-esteem and self-confidence. Apparently, you feel that you can only buy a shallow and temporary relationship with a guy by paying with sex, and that nobody could like you for who you actually are - and if he does seem to like you, there must be something awful wrong wih a guy with such dreadful bad taste !
I;'m sorry to hear that the counsellors you saw were not helpful - maybe they were too inexperienced to handle these issues. But you have surely hit the nail right on the head when you recognize that the therapeutic relations with them were just like your social relationships - they'd be fine so long as the counsellor was useless, but as soon as they began to really build a useful relationship with you and start to get close to the important issues, yet again you bailed out, and avoided what needed to be done.
See a more experienced counsellor or preferably a good clinical psychologist for psychotherapy, and vow to yourself to stay in it until these things have been worked out. You can do it, an it will be well worth it.

Reply to cybershrink

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