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    notmyrealname
    Participant

    Hi, I’m wondering if anyone has advice for me. I’ve been living by a relative for a year already due to abuse at home. But I’m still struggling to get along with her. I don’t express myself to her since I don’t fully trust her and she is not very communicative, I have to ask about everything. She feels like she can’t talk to me since I shut down and shut her out, and I feel that I can’t talk to her since she’s not open with me. Even when I do ask, she’ll brush things off that clearly mean a lot to her, and will come up again later, I feel like she’s tiptoeing around me, which makes me more uncomfortable around her. Its an endless cycle. At one point we both agreed to make an effort to communicate more, but she didn’t change at all, so it didn’t help me… She is a bit inflexible and judgemental but thinks she is open minded. I am very grateful, I know that she chose to open her home to me. I don’t have another place right now, and I also don’t want to run away… I think it would be beneficial for me to make this work. I guess my question would be how do you open up to someone you feel you can’t?

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    strong
    Participant

    That sounds really hard. I don’t know everything about your situation so it could be i am wrong, but maybe you should start by writing her a letter so she knows how you feel? I find that when you can’t seem to open up, writing a letter is easier and comes across as more effective. obviously every time you have an issue you cant start writing her a letter but maybe just in the beginning to start an open line of communication. Good luck!

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    Chavy
    Participant

    That does sound very hard. Perhaps you can use the DBT method called Dear Man?

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    Chavy
    Participant

    I’m trying to attach the Dear Man technique, but I’m not sure how to. Maybe someone else can do that.

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    notmyrealname
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you for the responses ❤

    I would like to have a conversation about this, I feel that letter writing is less effective and a little bit of a way out of it.

    I am also familiar with dear man, its more that I don’t know what to tell her that I want (need?) from her. The environment is super uncomfortable. She previously agreed to communicate more, but I don’t feel that she kept to it, and I think it’s almost impossible for me to feel comfortable around her if she’s uncomfortable around me. I don’t know what I can do to change this for her as well as on her end for me…

    Hi notmyrealname,

    Your experiences – both past and present – sound really challenging.  While it is a very powerful step to remove yourself from an abusive environment, it can be pretty complicated to live with someone who might not have the best relationship skills.

    I think it can be very beneficial for both of you to go to therapy together to create a system for communicating that feels safe and works for both of you.

    Trust doesn’t happen just because we make a decision to trust someone.  Trust is built.  And coming from an abusive home, it might take you more time to feel safe enough to trust another person.  She might not be the person to open up to but at the same time learning how to communicate with someone who you don’t fully trust is a very helpful skill to have.

    There are some wonderful books out there on the topics of communication, assertiveness, and relationships.  A couple of books that I recommend off the top of my head are “How to say No without Feeling Guilty,” “The Assertiveness Training Workbook,” “The Language of Letting Go,” and “Hold Me Tight.”

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    WhatsAppers
    Participant

    First and most importantly You must break the ice! Find a topic that you both enjoy agree on and are passionate about and just have an enjoyable conversation about that and nothing else (unless things progress naturally).

    When you’re done thank her for the enjoyable conversation and let her know that it meant a lot to you and end it there.

    The first time may be a bit awkward and may not go as planned but eventually 1 enjoyable conversation will lead to the next which can create a beautiful deep and strong relationship

    Hatzlocha

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    WhatsAppers
    Participant

    Im an adult so i can say this “ get drunk” ? easiest for me to talk and worry about the consequences later ? and don’t overthink things then either (obviously that wont work for her ?) just saying it works for me.

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    WhatsAppers
    Participant

    Buy her gifts! Find excuses to buy her gifts, small is okay but larger ones in the beginning is better. This causes YOU to feel love for her (in Hebrew ‘hav’ from the word love means to give). The more you feel love for her the more she will feel it towards you. In time build it up to spending a little time together, going to a coffee shop, a show etc. Behatzlacha

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    WhatsAppers
    Participant

    Maybe try to start being more open in small doses with conversation that isn’t too sensitive so that their reaction or lack there of won’t be too painful. Think of it as an experiment where if the experiment is successful, you both win. If it isn’t, you can have a conversation on how you are trying but don’t seem to be succeeding and how do they think you both can work it out?

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    WhatsAppers
    Participant

    Wow that sounds really tough !
    HaShem should give you clarity, strength and patience to deal with this situation in the best way possible.
    As an aside, I would say to trust yourself here. I believe that when I get the feeling that somebody is not safe (to share my personal life with / let into my world), it is important to pay attention to that feeling and YEILD accordingly.
    That said, if you have grown up in with difficult circumstances, your ability to assess what is / is not a safe person / situation may not yet be accurate each and every time. But that is not a reason to disregard any feelings that come up for you.
    I would tell myself to slow down and give myself more time to feel it out. If things begin to open up and feel more safe , you can always speak more. But once words are spoken / they cannot be unsaid.
    If the feelings persist, I would not to proceed. Wait until you are with somebody safe to speak your heart / mind.
    Remember: even if you have shared your private self once, it doesn’t grant the person you shared it with long term, unconditional access. You can close the door (and lock it) any time you feel you need your space back. It’s your space.
    Your body and mind are your (very real and very true) home. Make it your business to make them both as safe a space as possible for yourself.

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    notmyrealname
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you everyone for all the advice and support! Trying different things slowly and will take it from there.

    Thanks Michali for the professional advice, I would really love for that to work but I think it will take much convincing for her to agree.

    I also really appreciate the books you recommended!!

    Wish me luck,

    Notmyrealname

    So my pleasure!

    Good luck!

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