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#425217 - 02/13/13 11:35 PM pity
Benthebeaver Offline

Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Germany
I was in a relationship with a girl I really really loved, still do actually, but after some time when we started getting closer, I felt uncomfortable about it. She is quite sensitive and knew some things about me that Iíd never really told her. I canít even say that I didnít trust her, it just scared me to see her pity me.. Iím still not sure why. Maybe because I saw some part of me in her eyes which Iím not really ready to see yet. The way she looked at me sometimes, like she could see right inside me.. it made me get angry and shout at her, because I was so scared. I broke up with her some months ago, because it made me feel so uncomfortable and I felt bad because of me shouting at her when she actually hadnít done anything wrong. Iím still sorry for that, I guess it was just me and I wasnít able to cope with me being vulnerable.
There are friends who (roughly) know what happened and I can still talk to them and feel good and safe; with her it was somehow different.
Does somebody of you know that feeling? How do you handle this?
If we're not entirely ourselves, truly in this present moment, we'll miss everything.

#425227 - 02/14/13 01:26 AM Re: pity [Re: Benthebeaver]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
Hi Ben,

Welcome to MS. I know the feeling, but I don't have an answer.

It's good that you're self aware to see that your anger is a defense against your fear of vulnerability... but what to do about it, besides be here, share, read, and find a good therapist, I don't know if there's a cure.

Do therapists practice EMDR therapy in Germany? That is something to think about trying if you have access to it.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#425231 - 02/14/13 02:31 AM Re: pity [Re: Benthebeaver]
xxanxus Offline

Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 23
Loc: Global
It's a feeling most of us are familiar with. when I tried to form relationships, the fear of being pitied would also be within me and it affected my relationships. I didn't know how to deal with, other than finding someone who was also a survivor...

#425402 - 02/15/13 10:24 PM Re: pity [Re: Benthebeaver]
DannyT Offline

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 645
Hi Ben,

Some people are so empathic that they can see someone else's pain written in their eyes and in their gestures. My sister is like that. It's like they see right into your soul.

My guess is that you worried that she saw something so painful in you that it made you feel pathetic in some way.

Pity is a really hard thing for guys like us to deal with. We feel so weak inside, and we so often over compensate and pretend everything is OK when, especially if we're just starting to deal with the abuse, everything is actually totally horrible.

The pity challenges us and hits the biggest buttons of all. It's like you've been accused of being abused when you're still too sensitive about it to even admit publicly that the abuse was real.

That's when it becomes so important to recognize that on some fundamental level we're all OK. The abuse is like breaking a bone. It's bad, but it doesn't make us bad. It doesn't make us weak.

Then we need to be able to say it's OK to be vulnerable. Everyone is vulnerable. The more easily we admit to ourselves that we're vulnerable, the stronger we actually become. Our vulnerableness stems from fear that we'll be abused again or that we're wrong in some way. When in fact, we're really OK deep down. Safe and secure in our having survived.

Once we see these things clearly, we can see the pity in someone's eyes as simple compassionate concern for another human being's misfortune and also as a taking that misfortune and internalizing it themselves. Sensitive people like that feel other people's pain.

What she probably needed to hear from you was something like: You're right. I've been through a lot. But you know what? I'm pretty strong, too. I can handle it.

If you still love the girl, give her a call. Take her out. Look into her eyes and ask yourself what she's seeing. It might just be that she's really seeing you, and maybe she likes what she sees even though there's some pain in your life that she also knows.

It's a funny thing; we suffer a lot because of the abuse, but when we come out the other side, we can be some of the kindest most decent people you'd ever know. We're totally worthy, and we're really, really strong.

Best wishes,


#425841 - 02/19/13 06:46 PM Re: pity [Re: DannyT]
Benthebeaver Offline

Registered: 02/10/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Germany
thanks for your words and for taking your time! Feels good that you understand, gave me a bit of optimism.
Yes, they practice EMDR here. Actually Iím hospitalized right now and have already worked a bit with it, only a bit, but I think itís pretty interesting. Do you have experiences with that?
Those empathic people are actually the wonderful ones, the ones I enjoy to be with.. but at the same time it makes me mad. Thatís a strange situation somehow.
I guess I appear quite strong and confident on the outside though Iím actually so confused and scared of everything sometimes inside... I think Iím slowly learning to admit this.
Well ďI can handle itĒ is something she heard all the time. I only a few times let her console me when something was bothering me.
Yes, I still love her, but it seems like I really hurt her by breaking up with her. I donít want to do this again, get together again and then maybe it still doesnít work and I go away again. This wouldnít feel ok, I donít want to hurt her all the time. Maybe I just need a bit of time first.. I donít quite know.
Thanks for the reply, wish you the best as well.
If we're not entirely ourselves, truly in this present moment, we'll miss everything.


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