Case Study: Giving up Yourself Leads to Resentment of Another

Case Study: Giving up Yourself Leads to Resentment of Another

Apr 05, 2021

Zoe (not her real name/photo) is in her late 20’s. She had not been in a relationship for some time. She had her first serious relationship in her early 20’s. Zoe described that in her relationship, she felt smothered, had no say or opinion, she did not feel good enough, feared abandonment, and couldn’t express her feelings for fear of rejection.

At the time we started working together, she was struggling with being able to put her needs first, such as pursuing a career of her dreams.

She was confused and could not make decisions; she experienced a fear of making mistakes and often sought approval from her parents, but they did not support her choices. Her family also disapproved of her last relationship.

From her childhood, Zoe developed proneness to seeking approval from others, and this was further reinforced by more experiences in her later years. She recalled that growing up her parents worked a lot, and she said that she did not get much attention and love from them.

Her parents previously faced significant financial setbacks, and they became very cautious and acted to protect Zoe from making similar mistakes. As an adult, she had fears of making financial decisions and worried about spending her money even on necessities.

She had become mentally imprisoned because of the unhelpful family dynamics, and she could not venture out and follow her heart.
During our sessions, she was keen to learn more about herself. The goal was to help her to overcome past limitations and permit herself to move towards her desired life.

We concluded our work after 10 sessions.
We addressed the beliefs she developed from her earlier life experiences and ongoing family dynamics, how the beliefs replayed in her life, making her feel trapped and hindering her ability to change. She wished her parents could understand and support her, the many attempts to get her needs met were in turn always met with disapproval.

She had built her life on what others needed or wanted her to do with the belief she would be accepted. This was evident in her relationships with her parents, past relationship, friendships, and with her colleagues.

The need to be understood and supported became a source of her dependency towards others, leaving her feeling helpless and not in control.

Her past experiences caused her to have a mistrust of others as well as a lack of trust of her thoughts, feelings, desires, and traits.
With the work we did together, she discovered that she could shine and live her life authentically and move beyond the pain. I guided her using tools that helped her increase her level of confidence and self-worth.

She soon realised that she had given her power to others through the excessive need for external validation. She went on to make decisions about what was most important to her with regards to her career, and she also made plans to travel overseas, something she was initially terrified to do.

She learnt to be more assertive and manage her negative emotions. She was confident to enter into a new relationship recently and putting her new skills to use.