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Chillamma speaks: Question and Answers #3

Q. I have been in moods of fear for many days. I havent attended class for 4-5mnths due to my fear to be failure among my frnds .The reason for this is i have been lazy through out my college career but still i have.

By Mar 2,2013  0

Chilamma Q and AQ. I have been in moods of fear for many days. I havent attended class for 4-5mnths due to my fear to be failure among my frnds .The reason for this is i have been lazy through out my college career but still i have gain control over it . My frnds keep asking me when u gonna attend your classes but every time I answer them the same- may be next class. For this i have also missed my exams and now I am in deep mental pressure cant able to handle pressure now and now i am in moods to fear & wht my parents , teachers friends will look upon me and how will i face them. Please boost my moral confidence and please help me . I would surely look upto your email. Thank you.

A. Thank you for your question and showing faith in us. We put our best efforts to support people in their difficult times. We hope that you benefit from it.

 The first step to dealing with any crisis is being able to identify the real reason behind it. It becomes easier to focus on the solution, once the problem has been identified. In your case, you have solved the most difficult part; you already seem to be aware of the problem. It is your fear of failure that has you immobilized. Also, another aspect which is working against your career is your habitual laziness; your habit to procrastinate. You have mentioned that during college despite being ‘lazy’ you still managed to have control over ‘it’; which implies that currently you feel the situation is no longer in your control.

This anxiety has probably started to affect your self-esteem and confidence. May be you already consider yourself as a failure hence you are concerned (probably embarrassed as well) to ‘face’ your family, friends and teachers ? Are you afraid that this may have damaged your image in front of others ? We can understand that such a thought can extremely overwhelming .

It is a fact that your actions and behavior play an important role in molding others impression of you, however nothing is permanent. Impressions and perceptions change with time, therefore stop worrying about what others will say.

Despite having identified the problem, your reaction towards it has been contradictory. The solution to dealing with the fear of failure is NOT INACTION but taking action to overcome it. For the fear of failure you did not attend your classes; how has non-attendance helped you in proving otherwise? It’s an ironical situation !

Probably, you may also be struggling with finding the right motivation.Is your current education/classes of your choice ? Do you find it interesting/exciting or not ? Could lack of interest be the reason behind your procrastination? And finally, what drives you to succeed – opinion of others about you or your own inner desire for success and excellence ? Usually we find ways to succeed when driven by our inner motivation.

Embarrassment and laziness are impediments to growth. It should be your desire to learn and practice. Your actions should include going to the classes and also learning from additional material. In some cases if you struggle to understand the subject material and feel the need for additional help, never shy away from asking for it. Sometimes all that is required to succeed is to ask that first stupid question in class; it takes immense courage to overcome your internal barriers. Eventually, one day you would emerge successful, independent of what resources you were provided or what classes you attended. Sachin Tendulkar is known to practice his art for hours at a stretch without pretending to be a master in front of others. Once you succeed, recognition follows.

Many factors affect our decisions and actions. Our lives are shaped by our choices; whether to get discouraged by criticism or to take it as a challenge and prove others wrong; whether to give up after a setback or to use it as a stepping stone to success. It is your life, hence it’s your responsibility to choose well.

So set your goal and begin working towards achieving it. For success you have to set appropriate goals and proceed step by step. In your case it may include consulting your teachers about reappearing for the exam (or any other alternative), attending classes henceforth, taking notes, obtaining notes from friends (if you do not have them). There is no substitute to work hard and by putting in few extra hours hopefully soon you will make up for the time lost. Make use of all help available to master the subject material whether from books, notes, teachers, friends and strangers or whoever; your only objective is to fulfill your goal. What people think about you is only secondary.

It’s never late to start on your path to success. You have taken the initiative to find help, shared your problem on a public forum this shows that you have courage and strength in you. Now all you need is to show the same strength and courage to confront and overcome your fear. We wish you the best.

Q. Hi, I am a 20-year-old girl soon to be 21.. My parents want me to get me married as soon as i graduate, i.e. , 3 years from now. They have already chosen a guy for me. And the guy is nice and all but he is 7 years elder to me. I don’t want to go against my parents and I believe in their choice but i am confused about the whole age thing and that it’s happening a little fast. What do i do?

A. First of all, take a deep breath, roll your neck, drop your shoulders, breathe out and relax 🙂 The thing that is ‘happening a little fast’ is in the future, three years away. So for now let go of all immediate concerns.

Yes, we understand that at your age the concept of marriage may seem a bit frightening. It is natural for you feel apprehensive and be uncertain. One thing for sure is that you have three years time. So, before you make any committment you can spend some time learning more about him. Only by knowing him you would be able to decide whether the age gap is relevant or not. Knowing him as a person will enable you to take a decision based on your own conviction, and not by simply following that of your parents. Though your parents will have your best interest on their mind, it is you who has to spend the rest of your life with him. So, talk to your parents and share your concerns with them. Make them understand that to ease your mind of any anxiety, it is important that you get to know him before going ahead.

In our opinion it does not matter whether it is a love marriage or arranged, whether the couple belong to the same age group or have a ‘big’ age difference(subjective notion). One gets to find stories of success and failure on both sides of the spectrum, as these factors are not the deciding factors ! Our personal life and happiness depend primarily on our expectations from life and how willingly we can adapt to new situations. Usually flexibility and patience are good indicators when it comes to long-lasting and fulfilled marriages. Age only has a minor possible role, if any.

Marriage is a long enriching journey with many challenges and responsibilities. There are no guarantees in life therefore one needs a committed partner to walk together through all the ups and down together. Marriage will be big decision in your life, take your time and take a decision only when you are convinced and at peace in your heart. Good luck.

Q. I’m one of those who feel they are getting deeper & deeper into the quagmire of problems. I’m an adult survivor of child sex abuse and I have got just bleak memory of what had happened since I hadn’t even started school or was about to. That continued to happen over a period of 3 years until we were transferred from the place. But since that incident I was scared to meet new people or go out of my house. Imagine joining school as a toddler with new faces & a strange place. With time the memory got bleak, but I had already become a recluse then. What started as a defense mechanism, became a habit & now it’s my nature. The various sites about CSA that I went through told me to speak up which I did during a tiff with my Mom when she said that I was a social oddity. I thought speaking up would help me somehow but since then it has increased my embarrassment. Nothing changed, I had expected things to be better if I spoke out. & also since I haven’t got many friends due to my reclusive nature, I feel really alone. I’m not rude, nor selfish then why can’t I have friends. Out of the many classmates I got two boys at different period of time became comparatively close than others, & I developed some feelings for them but things somehow didn’t work, it would have been easier to handle if that voice in my mind hadn’t suggested that because I had an embarrassing secret ppl don’t like me. If life’s like this then I have lost all hopes for the future to be kind to me. I would rather not live at all than to live like this. But then my parents have so much hope for me that it makes me sad to imagine me not being there to fulfill their hopes. I don’t know what to think, how to sort it out & most of the time I feel like a zombie, alive with no life.

A. Hello dear,

The incident from your childhood is very unfortunate and no child ever needs to go through such a trauma. It is a deeply scarring experience and usually involves long-term counseling to heal and regain normalcy. We acknowledge your pain and suffering and appreciate that fact that you felt safe enough to speak about it on this forum.

From your mail it seems you are a very well read and informed person. Your mail indicates that you have been working proactively and have done your research to understand and mitigate your pain.

In general, the effects of childhood sexual abuse are diverse; each case unique with its own set of issues. As seen in most similar CSA cases, there are often several aspects that need to be addressed. We do invite you for further one on one counseling should you feel the need to speak to a qualified counselor.

Based on your mail there are certain issues that we would like to highlight. We believe you have researched on CSA and know about a lot of its literature, however we still feel the need to reiterate some points:

a) You may have been helpless as a child when the incident occurred however, you no longer remain helpless.

b)As an adult, you now have the power to make your life as you want it to be.

c)The aspects of self-pity in your thought process will only entrap you further. Rather than feeling like a victim, think of yourself as a survivor who had the strength to overcome intense traumatic experience.

As a child, you formed the defense mechanism to protect you and help you survive the experience. It was required then for your self-preservation. However, you need to realize that with time your situation has changed and the same no longer applies to your present. Therefore, the old behavior is no longer relevant. You are aware that due to your reclusive nature you are unable to make friends, thus increasing your isolation. Hence, its time to unlearn the old conditioning.

You mentioned the reason for your disappointment was due to your expectation that things would change if you opened up about your past. What kind of change were you expecting ? Was it acknowledgement of your pain and acceptance from others; or empathy and understanding of your pain; or maybe you were just looking for a shoulder to lean on ?

The fact that you felt more embarrassed after speaking about it indicates that you are still unable to come to terms with your past. You may be dealing with some unresolved issues which cannot be addressed under this limited setting. We would recommend that you find a counselor of your choice or to contact us for further details.

You need to admit to yourself that you are in control of your life. You need to accept every aspect about yourself and love yourself; not dwell on self-pity. Other people’s opinion or acceptance is secondary to your own. Currently, the only thing standing between you and your happiness is you yourself. Only when you love yourself, others will get drawn towards you. What happened in the past was not your fault, you had no control over it, so you do not need to feel embarrassed or blame yourself. Don’t allow your wounds to turn you into a person you are not. The power lies within you to let go of the fear and pain and embrace your new self.

Having said that, we want you to know that you are doing very well for yourself despite so little support. It shows you have extreme strength and will power. Our only suggestion would be to tell your inner voice to shut up the next time it tries to discourage you. Have faith in yourself; instead of holding on to your past or worrying about your future, try to make your present beautiful and happy. Live for yourself before living for others. Live Now.

We try to help you out with anything life throws at you. Should you have anything that’s been bugging you lately and you feel like opening up, do drop in a word about it here🙂


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