Intimacy vs Isolation

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by kristellechou, Feb 21, 2015.

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  1. kristellechou

    kristellechou Well-Known Member

    Is anyone familiar with Erik Erikson's Theory on Stages of Psychosocial Development? I don't know much about it, either but I've read up on stage six - Intimacy vs Isolation.

    See, what this tells me is that I am right on schedule because this stage is supposed to happen between ages 19-39 or something. I think my problem is I am so afraid of actual isolation so I lean towards intimacy. Except, I haven't wrapped my head around how there's supposed to be different forms of intimacy. And, I don't just mean sex - but I think I feel like the feeling of connection and intimacy someone normal (not me) would get from, say, friends, doesn't count as intimacy for me. So, when there is a man in my life, I become fixated - because that is the only form of intimacy I feel actually good with and am desperate for it.

    This last one, very recent - we were seeing each other and sleeping together and a month into it, he tells me he's doing the same thing with two other women. Most self respecting women would leave but I didn't - rationalized it in my head as I enjoy spending time with him anyway. And then, in the next month, it began driving me crazy. I began being clingy and moving my own plans to be available just in case he had time for me - I was that girl, you know? I also clammed up, basically. He and I didn't have a lot of conversations because I because so self-conscious. I tried to break it off a couple if times but I've always been pretty spineless when it comes to him so I changed my mind both times very quickly but the second time he told me he's made his choice. Long story short, we said we'd try friends but this last week, I felt the need to fight for him. I sent him emails and facebook messages saying I wanted to fight for him - so I was very desperate and pathetic. I let myself lose all my dignity and yet I still feel like it was alright because I was fighting for what I want. And, yes, as of yesterday, I crossed the line between fighting for someone and being creepy. He called me out on it being creepy and it not being ok and asked me to stop. I merely replied to that email and send another one with additional info, including asking him to block me if he feels the need and he hasn't heard from me since.

    I don't know what kind of response I expect from this post. I've just read on one of the other threads about someone who broke it off with a girl who was desperate for a man and they weren't really talking to each other. That's basically who I am.

    The sad thing is, I still wish for this boy back even if I see we're not exactly a match. I just have crossed line after line with him.

    This incident is a part of my most recent pain - causing me to, yet again, seriously consider suicide.
  2. Northern

    Northern SF Supporter


    Even if your story was not a classical one, it's still normal that you need time to move on. Once you heal you will be ready to find somebody new.

    No reasons to very bad about yourself really, it's normal that you are sad and miss him. Hold on, time will help you heal. Just make sure the next one is ready to be a good partner.
  3. kristellechou

    kristellechou Well-Known Member

    Hey, Northern. Thanks for taking the time to even read through that.

    Maybe you're right because having fought actually made me feel better despite having lost miserably and my dignity in the process. I'm the type to fight for what I want.

    Sometimes, it's just harder to believe I will feel better. I'm sure you know the feeling..
  4. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    There's very, very low self-esteem at play here and you at least seem aware of that. Why do you take honor in fighting for cheating men who exploit vulnerable women like yourself for sex?

    These are not men worth fighting for. So, again, the issue is not your longing for intimacy or the fear of isolation. I think, from what you said, you should focus more on finding who you are and learning what you love about that person. Once you realize that, your self esteem and self worth will improve to the point where you no longer tolerate being mistreated, and will stop fighting for the honor of being treated like lower than trash. Once you treat yourself with respect, you'll have higher expectations for how someone you want to be intimate with should treat you. You won't give these guys the time of day.

    You're not there yet. Take some steps back from having lovers and bedding them, and do things to help yourself. But you're not helping yourself by begging someone to treat you like crap.

    You'll never be happy if you dont know who you are and how you should be treated. Men will mistreat and toss you like a used condom with the only consequence being you desperate to be so violated by them... this is not intimacy. Not the kind that fulfills.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
  5. kristellechou

    kristellechou Well-Known Member

    I understand everything you're saying and I thank you forbit. I'm looking for the strength to keep going for now, though. Right now, it feels like I'm going to get work online and stay home for I have no idea how long. That's the closests I can get to not living without actually not living.
  6. kristellechou

    kristellechou Well-Known Member


    I'm finally in a much better head space to respond to this.

    Everything you said is true and they've all been said to me before. I've said those to things to myself, too - even went as far as recording my own voice to listen to when I need to. I also, weeks ago, started an excel file to help me 'get to know' myself better. I know that once I do, what you said about not giving men who aren't worth it the time of day.

    My one thing is, I believe this man was worth it. He admitted to being selfish was just looking for comfort but he seems to be in a better head space now and it's her he chose to be with - yet another thing I need to make peace with: he chose her.

    Yes, my self esteem had always been low and I was the first person to acknowledge there was a lack of self worth when I decided to keep at it even when he said, "you have 33% of my heart." This whole thing has taken my self-esteem even lower, though. Right now, I don't even want to go out in case he, she or any of his friends (who I know, too) see me. Actually, I take it back, I don't want to see them.

    I am just so lonely. I feel I should work on myself, yes, but I'd like to have someone while I do.

    Ugh! See, this is how f-d up I am. This is when I start thinking I'm un-fixable and begin to get the familiar urge to do it again.

    Although, I do wanna say how appreciative I am of you taking the time to read that and giving such a great response. I don't know what's going on in your life that got you to this site but know that I think you're pretty together and wonderful.
  7. Starting Over

    Starting Over Active Member

    Hi kristellechou,

    First of all, any guy who treats you like that is a self-obsessed loser. You are better off without him. Second, as you pointed out, self esteem is critical in Erikson's stages of development. Erikson believed that having a fully formed sense of self (established during the identity versus confusion stage) is essential to being able to form intimate relationships. Studies have demonstrated that those with a poor sense of self tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to suffer emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression. You WILL find intimacy because you're a caring person (and just because one person took advantage of that in the past doesn't mean you should change that about yourself). And although it's hard, you can't rush it. I hope you are doing better, and feel free to reach out if you need support!
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