Am I Needy?

According to an online dictionary, to be needy is classed as “needing emotional support; insecure.” I suppose to figure this out I’d have to ask myself whether I’m insecure. The answer is of course a resounding yes. Am I needing emotional support? I guess I am. Does that really make me needy though?

I’ve felt pretty depressed today. I feel alone. Apparently I don’t matter; this, according to what is very likely my depression brought on by both recent events and my shiny new older age, in much contrast to yesterday’s more positive entry.

When my, I guess you could say ex—to whom I’m still strongly connected and with whom there may still be some hope for the future—hung up on Skype to go hang out with her fairly new female friend again, I felt sadness. According to my brain, she’s pushing me out, I’m in the way, and she doesn’t care about me anymore. It’s a really saddening thought process I’m having about those close to me that I can’t shift lately.

So, I went online to seek some sort of comfort with other people like myself who have problems, and got talking to some friendly familiar faces. I felt a little better, but still I was missing something.

When I called my dad, we chatted for a while, I tried to say I wasn’t feeling good, but it didn’t really come out well, because I’m not good at verbally saying these things. We brushed on a serious topic or two, joked about silly crap, then he had to go do stuff, so that was that. I felt alone again, like I’m not important; I don’t matter; I’m worthless.

Maybe that makes me needy?

I’ve never particularly thought of myself as a needy person. If anything, I have the opposite problem sometimes, in that I often want to isolate myself, whether for good or bad.

I feel like I’ve failed everyone. I’ve failed society, I’ve failed my parents, I’ve failed my friends, I’ve failed those with whom I’ve been romantically involved, and for sure I’ve failed myself a number of times.

I know this is just depression, or at least I hope that’s all it is. Still, it doesn’t change how I think and feel, because ultimately, I have let people down a number of times. I have failed. The sad thing is I will continue to fail, because that’s just what happens in life.

At the end of the day, all I can do is hope the successes will outweigh my failures.

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It’s the Final Shutdown

Recently, I’ve been learning about shutting down, particularly in the context of a relationship. That awkward, hurtful silence as you realise something has gone awry.

Opening up is difficult, especially when you’re very upset or pissed off, and you just can’t seem to find the right words to express yourself, if indeed you wish to express yourself at all!

The situation may become more complicated when tricky mental health issues are involved. As someone with OCD, anxiety issues, and a history of depression, I’m only too aware as to how these sort of problems can skew an already difficult moment in relationships and friendships.

Unfortunately, shutting down often has a consequence. If I talk to you about something that you’re insecure about, and something I say “triggers” you, thus leading you to shut down and feel upset, then it’s problematic.

Why?

Because when someone shuts down like that, the other person doesn’t know how to react; the person being blocked out has no facts on which to base his or her thoughts and feelings, which leads to confusion, frustration, and sometimes even aggravation.

But wait!

This can be resolved with some careful communication. Even just a word or two from the person who has shut down—and an understanding approach from your partner—can make the world of difference.

Let’s say I tell you something that nudges your insecurities and you find yourself getting upset. You could then tell me “I’m feeling insecure,” or something to that effect, then it would very likely prevent my brain from jumping to the conclusion that I’ve totally and utterly screwed the pooch. Incidentally, who would screw a pooch?

Communication is so key because miscommunication can be damaging. Without clarifying misunderstandings, we can be lead to believe and react to all sorts of silly things that may be no more true than the sky being made out of chocolate. Mmm.

I was once in a relationship with someone who would frequently shut down on me. In my young ignorance, I handled it badly. I didn’t understand, and I didn’t know how to deal with that sort of thing. As a result, I became bitter and felt as though I couldn’t say anything for fear that it would be the wrong thing. While I did feel a similar way recently, I had the experience and foresight to deal with it better.

With that in mind, I recently ran into this situation in which mein Schatzi shut down on me a couple of nights ago. The situation was not handled well, because communication went entirely out of the window, leaving me confused (as to what I did wrong, for the most part) and frustrated, then eventually upset and annoyed. Once again, I went through that fear that anything I say could make her feel like crap; because of this, I myself started shutting down. I felt shut out, which doesn’t feel great.

There’s a happy ending here, I believe. We did talk very recently and the problem came to light—it actually wasn’t me, but rather, something with which she struggles and has done for a long time. Praise Jebus! A real problem became only a hurdle over which to leap. Progress was made, and we’ve began healing, now having more understanding and more strength as a couple.

Please don’t shut your other half out without so much as a how do you do. I know it can be hard. I’ve done it myself, many times. But, for the sake of you both, you are best to push yourself to say at least something that could alleviate any possible confusion or misunderstanding.

If you really can’t tackle whatever caused you to shut down, try something like, “I can’t talk right now. I’m going to take a break.” If it’s not something your partner has done to directly piss you off or hurt you, then you could try adding, “it’s not you.”

As for the person trying to deal with someone who has shut down on you: don’t force him or her! Encourage, sure, but know when to call it quits and give that person space, even if they don’t say anything!

My advice, should you choose to accept it, is to be mindful of how you give your partner space. Shouting, “I’ve had it with you!” then disappearing for a day might not be the best solution, nor is vanishing without saying anything.

However, calmly saying “I’m going to give us both some space to figure this out,” or something along those lines, could really help make it clearer what’s going on. Whatever works for you guys, really.

By no means am I a couples counsellor, so feel free to ignore all this—I’m just a 29-year-old guy with frankly lacklustre experience, however, I am an observant, analytical man who tries to pay attention to the details, and likes to learn from life, rather than breeze through without a care in the world.

Thank you Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources for sharing this.

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My Virgin Media Login over Firefox – Connection Unsecure

I’ve seen this issue around the interwebs. You set to log in to your favorite website for ordering various bits or bobs, or perhaps fancy doing some online banking—BOOM—Firefox tells you that you’re insecure! Granted, I have some personal issues, but telling me I’m insecure is a bit rude.

Today, this issue appeared with the login page for My Virgin Media, Britain’s number one Internet Service Provider offering fantastic speeds over a solid fibre optic cable—no phone line necessary. For £28.50 a month, and a £49.50 installation fee, I’m getting approximately 6.9MBps download speed, rated 50Mbps; that’s six point nine megabytes per second. Sadly, like many ISPs, I’m not offered a very good upload speed, but roughly 390KBps is just enough for some acceptable streaming over Twitch, and for some decent online gaming. But what good is such a fantastic service if we want to log in and are then told our connection isn’t secure?

Oddly, this problem only seems apparent for us Firefox users, a browser which, according to Wiki, has, as of July 2015, “between 12% and 19% of worldwide usage of users,” with Chrome, for some reason, being the top dog for the majority of the users across the globe. I’m not sure what changed to make Chrome so popular, because previously, it was all about Firefox!

I’ve just spoken with a Virgin Media techie, by the name of Ian, and he claimed that he’s “unaware” of such an issue with My Virgin Media or Firefox, but oddly, later goes on to say that he can “definitely remember” a few occasions in which Firefox has “flagged something as a false security concern,” and that he has already “had chats and calls in the past” with others claiming that “our website doesn’t use the best security protocols.” So which is it? I now wonder.

Ian continues: “I’m afraid I’m not qualified enough to confirm this but what I will say is that if this was a real security concern our Website wouldn’t be allowed to remain open. If the protocols need to be updated then I’m sure our IT department are looking into this.”

Ian then provides me a link to a thread on the Virgin Media forums, and a link to a workaround from September, this year. I suspect any workaround of this nature will merely trick Firefox into thinking it’s secure, but that still leaves a dirty thought in my mind: what if it’s actually not secure? Being paranoid about security can make browsing a challenge at times.

Thankfully, Ian understood my security concern, stating that you “can’t be too careful these days especially over the Internet.” Well said, Ian.

Taking a look at the suggested thread which discusses this issue, a commenter by the name of Sololobo reminds us that this is our ISP, on which we “depend” to “help ensure” our “online security.” Too bloody right. If we can’t even trust our ISPs then what hope in hell do we have of being at all secure online? At the bottom of the thread is a post by site admin, James_W, who tells us “this information has been passed on to our security team for analysis.” That was, however, over half a year ago.

Annoyingly, I’ve actually had this issue with PayPal in the past, and even my bank’s website, but I seemed to have resolved that by tweaking Kaspersky Internet Security. It appeared that Safe Money was somehow interfering with Firefox’s certificate checking system.

Imagine walking into your local bank only to have a member of staff tell you that you should “probably know” that “this bank isn’t secure.” Sure, that’ll make me really comfortable.

Being insecure sucks.

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