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10 Happiness Tips for People Who Have Been Hurt

Peace

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~Unknown

Maybe someone hurt you physically or emotionally. Maybe you’ve survived something else traumatic—a natural disaster, a fire, an armed robbery. Or maybe you’ve just come out of a trying situation, and though you know you’ll eventually recover, you still feel pain that seems unbearable.

Whatever the case may be, you’ve been scarred and you carry it with you through many of your days.

Most of us can relate on some level to that feeling. Even people who excel at taking personal responsibility have at least one story of having been hurt. Though some of us have endured more serious situations, you really can’t quantify or compare emotional pain.

To a teenager who just had her heart broken, the pain really seems like the end of the world. In fact, Livestrong estimates that every 100 minutes, a teenager commits suicide—and that the number of suicides in high-income families is the same as in poor families.

Presumably, not all of those teens have suffered incomprehensible tragedies. What they have in common is pain, born from different adversities and circumstances.

When you’re hurting some people might tell you to “suck it up and deal,” as if that’s a valid solution. They may say “it’s all in your head” and assume that reasons away the pain. But none of that will help you heal and find happiness from moment to moment.

Like everyone, I’ve been hurt, in both profound and trivial ways. I’ve dealt with it using the following ideas:

1. Define your pain.

It’s not always easy to identify and understand what’s hurting you. Some people even stay in abusive relationships because it’s safer than acknowledging their many layers of pain: the low self-esteem that convinces them they deserve abuse, the shame over being treated with such cruelty, and the feeling of desperation that convinces them there’s no real way out.

The first step toward finding happiness after having been hurt is to understand why you were hurt, to get to the root of everything that makes the memories hard.

2. Express that pain.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to communicate how you feel to the person who hurt you; and if you can, there’s no guarantee they’ll respond how you want them to. Say what you need to say anyway. Write in your journal. Write a letter and burn it. Get it all out.

This will help you understand why you’re hurting and what you’ll do in the future to avoid similar pain so you can feel empowered instead of victimized. Research has actually proven that people who focus on lessons learned while journaling find the experience more helpful than people who don’t (focus on lessons).

3. Try to stay in the present.

Reliving the past can be addictive. It gives you the opportunity to do it again and respond differently—to fight back instead of submitting, to speak your mind instead of silencing yourself. It also allows you to possibly understand better. What happened? Where did you go wrong? What should you have done?

In other words, it allows you to torture yourself. Regardless of what you should have done, you can’t do it now. If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, you may need professional help to avoid revisiting the incident. If you don’t, you need sustained effort. Fight the urge to relive the pain. You can’t go back and find happiness there. You can only experience that now.

4. Stop telling the story.

It may seem like another way to understand what happened, or maybe it feels helpful to hear someone say you didn’t do anything wrong and you don’t deserve to hurt. In all reality this just keeps you stuck right where you are: living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you.

No amount of reassurance will change what happened. You can’t find happiness by holding onto a painful story, trying to place in new, brighter light. You can only find happiness when you let it go and make room for something better. You don’t need another person’s permission to let go and feel okay.

5. Forgive yourself.

Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong but you blame yourself. Or maybe you played a role in creating your current situation. Regardless of what happened, you need to realize that what you did is not who you are. And even if you feel immense regret, you deserve to start today without carrying that weight. You deserve a break.

You can either punish yourself and submit to misery, or forgive yourself and create the possibility of happiness. It comes down to whether you decide to dwell or move on. Which do you choose: anger with yourself and prolonged pain, or forgiveness and the potential for peace?

6. Stop playing the blame/victim game.

Maybe you were a victim. Maybe someone did horrible things to you, or you fell into an unfortunate set of circumstances through no fault of your own. It still doesn’t serve you to sit around feeling bad for yourself, blaming other people. In fact, it only holds you back. You can’t feel good if you use this moment to feel bad about another person’s actions.

The only way to experience happiness is to take responsibility for creating it, whether other people made it easy for you or not. You’re not responsible for what happened to you in the past but you’re responsible for your attitude now. Why let someone who hurt you in the past have power over your present?

7. Don’t let the pain become your identity.

If everything you do and all your relationships center around something that hurt you, it will be harder to move on.You may even come to appreciate what that identity gives you: attention, the illusion of understanding, or the warmth of compassion, for example.

You have to consider the possibility there’s a greater sense of happiness in completely releasing your story.That you’d feel better than you can even imagine if you’d stop letting your pain define you. You can have a sad story in your past without building your present around it.

8. Reconnect with who you were before the pain.

It’s not easy to release a pain identity, particularly if you’ve carried it around for a long time. It may help to remember who you were before that experience—or to consider who you might have become if it hadn’t happened.You can still be that person, someone who doesn’t feel bitter or angry so frequently.

If you want to feel and be peaceful and happy, start by identifying what that looks like—what you think about, what you feel, what you do, how you interact with people. Odds are this process will remind you both how you want to be and how you don’t want to be.

9. Focus on things that bring you joy in the moment.

You don’t have to focus on completely letting go of your pain forever; you just have to make room for joy right now. Start simple. What’s something you can enjoy in this moment, regardless of what pain you’ve experienced? Would sitting in the sun bring you joy? Would calling your sister bring you joy?

Don’t think about the totality of the rest of your days. That’s a massive burden to carry—haven’t you hurt enough? Just focus on now, and allow yourself a little peace. You’ll be surprised how easily “nows” can add up when you focus on them as they come.

10. Share that joy with other people.

We often isolate ourselves when we’re hurting because it feels safer than showing people our vulnerability. What we fail to realize is that we don’t have to feel vulnerable all the time. We can choose certain people for support, and then allow ourselves time with others without involving our painful stories.

You can share a meal, a movie, a moment and give yourself a break from your anger or sadness. You don’t have to carry it through every moment of your day. Don’t worry—if you feel you need to remember it, you’ll still be able to recall it later. But as you allow yourself pockets of peace, shared with people you love, you may find you need that story a lot less.

***

Everyone deserves to feel happy. Everyone deserves a little peace. One more thing we all have in common: we can only provide those things for ourselves.

This post was originally published in 2010. Photo here.

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
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  • http://www.modf.com modF

    Oddly enough, perfect timing…

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  • http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    Thank you for this! I find the most important of these tips for me to remember are “Stay in the present” and “Stop telling the story.” If I can do these things even briefly, for a moment or two, and if I can even do them at the same time (!) I immediately feel relief from the pain and my experience opens up rather than shutting down.

    -Melissa

  • Guest

    This is a strange complaint/constructive criticism:

    As much as I want to read all of these posts, the fact that the font is in gray and hard to read (for me) discourages me. I feel as if I'm missing out on a lot by not reading.

    I understand the gray is part of the color scheme of the site or this section of the site, but please, please reconsider. :(

    I know it's weird to complain about that, but I may never enact change by never taking action.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Melissa. I know exactly what you mean. I've had this knack of repeating stories all my life. People have pointed it out, and I'll think to myself, “I must believe it serves me to do this, but in all reality it doesn't.” It's funny how you can feel in your head like you're minimizing your pain when really you're just prolonging it.

    Thanks for reading. I hope you had a wonderful Tuesday =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hello guest,

    Thank you for your note. We've received a couple emails along the same lines, and it's something we intend to address.

    I'd hate for you to miss out on a post you'd like to read because the color is difficult on your eyes. Hopefully that won't be a problem for too much longer.

    Thanks again and be well~
    Lori

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    Thank you for adding this note. You bring up an excellent point, and I agree wholeheartedly. I was speaking from my own personal experience of having held onto stories for far longer than necessary. I remember not only re-telling stories repeatedly, but telling them to anyone who would listen.

    I think it's helpful to work through stories in a therapeutic setting and with specified supports for as long as one needs to; and if you can help someone else with your story, by all means share it.

    I just caution against living within a story because it leaves no room to move on and grow beyond that identity.

    Thank you again. This is an important distinction, and I appreciate that you took the time to explain it.

    Lori

  • momisbuff

    This is an excellent article. I agree with most everything you say, except that I don't wholly agree with stop telling the story. On the one hand, it is very true that the more you are in that space, the more you are stuck in the past–long-haul. However, the other way to get stuck in grief is to repress it. I think in the initial stages of really GRIEVING (whether it is at the time of the event or later on when you finally realize it represented a loss), you should tell the story as much as you need to, in order to work it through and get beyond. It's part of acknowledging the pain or the wrong, and flushing through it. When permission to grieve gives way to time to move on–yes, that is when you want to stop telling the story, unless telling the story is essential to helping someone else heal.

  • momisbuff

    This is an excellent article. I agree with most everything you say, except that I don't wholly agree with stop telling the story. On the one hand, it is very true that the more you are in that space, the more you are stuck in the past, over the long-haul.

    However, the other way to get stuck in grief is to repress it. I think in the initial stages of really GRIEVING (whether it is at the time of the event or later on when you finally realize it represented a loss), you should tell the story as much as you need to, in order to work it through and get beyond. It's part of acknowledging the pain or the wrong, and flushing through it. When permission to grieve gives way to time to move on–yes, that is when you want to stop telling the story, unless telling the story is essential to helping someone else heal.

  • http://www.momisbuff.com momisbuff

    This is an excellent article. I agree with most everything you say, except that I don't wholly agree with stop telling the story. On the one hand, it is very true that the more you are in that space, the more you are stuck in the past–long-haul. However, the other way to get stuck in grief is to repress it. I think in the initial stages of really GRIEVING (whether it is at the time of the event or later on when you finally realize it represented a loss), you should tell the story as much as you need to, in order to work it through and get beyond. It's part of acknowledging the pain or the wrong, and flushing through it. When permission to grieve gives way to time to move on–yes, that is when you want to stop telling the story, unless telling the story is essential to helping someone else heal.

  • http://www.momisbuff.com momisbuff

    This is an excellent article. I agree with most everything you say, except that I don't wholly agree with stop telling the story. On the one hand, it is very true that the more you are in that space, the more you are stuck in the past, over the long-haul.

    However, the other way to get stuck in grief is to repress it. I think in the initial stages of really GRIEVING (whether it is at the time of the event or later on when you finally realize it represented a loss), you should tell the story as much as you need to, in order to work it through and get beyond. It's part of acknowledging the pain or the wrong, and flushing through it. When permission to grieve gives way to time to move on–yes, that is when you want to stop telling the story, unless telling the story is essential to helping someone else heal.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    Thank you for adding this note. You bring up an excellent point, and I agree wholeheartedly. I was speaking from my own personal experience of having held onto stories for far longer than necessary. I remember not only re-telling stories repeatedly, but telling them to anyone who would listen.

    I think it's helpful to work through stories in a therapeutic setting and with specified supports for as long as one needs to; and if you can help someone else with your story, by all means share it.

    I just caution against living within a story because it leaves no room to move on and grow beyond that identity.

    Thank you again. This is an important distinction, and I appreciate that you took the time to explain it.

    Lori

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  • http://twitter.com/longzero Long Nguyen

    I believe #8 should read “Reconnect with who you were before the pain.” The word “who” seems to be missing :)

    It's excellent that you added sharing as the last tip as it is an incredible path to joy. No matter what we share, there's always a bit of happiness that ignites when we do.

  • Ross

    Beautiful. I love the phrase “pockets of peace”.

  • Laura

    Thanks for this great article Lori. My boyfriend and I recently broke up, and this will be something that I really needed. I really liked #3, I need to remind myself to fight the urge to relive the pain, since it really does no good. But I know I can get through this, and come out a better person in the end.
    Thanks again!

  • Meenal

    hi Lori.. just wanted to tell u I love your articles.. I haven't read all but a few.. and I read this one again today..
    you inspire a lot of people to bring about positivity and change in their lives..please keep up the good work..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you Meenal. It's nice to know my writing makes a difference =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You're most welcome. I'm happy to help. I know how hard break-ups can be. Hope you're having a nice Sunday!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you Long! I fixed the error….

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  • daguilar

    Hi there,

    I tried reading through this whole list because I've stayed up all night as a result of feeling deeply depressed and being unable to sleep because I felt so down. I've cried so many tears tonight and sought this resource out as a way of trying to figure out how to learn to be happy. But I keep on being stuck on #8 — I can't remember a time when I was happy. The last time it felt like the world wasn't out to get me was when I was four. I'm in my early thirties now, and I don't even really know how it would be to be completely happy or to live a life without this unbearable pain. Do you think this may be something I'll need to address with professional help?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I definitely think professional help would be a good idea. We all need help from time to time, and just asking for it is a huge step toward happiness.

    It might take a lot more for you to work through years of pain than you can do on your own, reading, talking or otherwise. It IS possible, but it may take some time.

    The best advice I can give you is to work toward happiness in small, manageable pieces for now. There is no “happy ending” for any of us. There's just a bunch of days and moments, some that will feel good, and others that won't. Work to increase the ratio. You might not be able to feel happy all day, every day right now–but no one can. So don't worry about that. Just take it moment to moment.

    I hope that you're able to get help and that you find peace. I have been there, and I still struggle sometimes with things that hurt me in the past. It's an ongoing journey. Know that you are not alone.

    Lori

  • daguilar

    Thank you Lori. I really do appreciate this response and will most definitely follow your advice, from getting that professional help and “work[ing] toward happiness in small, manageable pieces” in the meantime. In fact, I think that should be just about doable for me while I go through the process of seeking out that help and seeing how it fits into my schedule. And thanks for reminding me to “take it moment to moment” and that “no one can” “be able to feel happy all day, every day”. Those are also little, useful words of wisdom.

    BTW, I've bookmarked your “Stop Comparing Yourself to Others” article and have found it incredibly useful to me, so thank you for that article too.

  • http://www.organic-made-easy.com/ Organic Happiness

    I use a technique called the Byron Katie method, discussed on my site. But, as for the past- when I was really hurt in the past, it was a direct result of my interpretation of the events. The thoughts I had about the situation were torturous and having changed my perception to focus on the gifts I'd been given, I felt appreciation. And, the person I still love, who still loves me, has shown me that what I was most upset about was minute in comparison to what we share. So, I think I'll have to agree with the person below about not re-telling the story, since the methods that can give appreciation and new hope often, if not always, depend on re-telling the story. I “love the live in the present” tip, by the way…That is so key for enduring happiness :)

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  • Anonymous

    The advice presented here is very “professional”, but sometimes you can’t just do certain things. My only advice for hurt people would be to try and “use” other people so they come back. That means going out with friends, meeting new people… It actually means doing something with your time and not taking pity everytime you get the chance.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Breslow,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. If we keep ourselves busy and lean on the people around us when we need support, it will be a lot easier to let go of pain.

    As for this advice seeming professional, I can understand why. I am not a psychologist, but I spent years in therapy when I was younger learning how to release a painful past. While a lot of this may seem difficult to do, I can honestly say it’s all helped me tremendously.

    However, we are all different. We all have different experiences, beliefs and self-imposed limitations. What works for me may not work for everyone. For that reason, I really appreciation the different ideas people have left in the comments, including yours. Thanks again!

    Lori

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  • MysticBlueRose

    Thank you. My husband and I are separated, he supposedly to “find himself”, but that isn’t what is happening and it’s been so very hurtful. This will help me. Thanks again.

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  • http://www.web2carz.com Used Cars

    I think you have to realize that you’re going to face pain in your life.

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  • http://twitter.com/monicasancio MONICA SANCIO

    Excellent, Lori! I AM IN AWE of your work with Tiny Buddha! I have been checking it out since last night, and I can´t get enough. I even quoted you in one of my tweets.. THANK YOU & please KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Monica,

    Thank you so much! It’s been a wonderful journey so far, and I’m thrilled the site has been helpful to people. Thank you for reading–it’s a pleasure to meet you!

    Lori

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    Self esteem is such a fragile thing and can be affected by the type of people that you allow in your circle.The sad thing is most don’t even realize the impact, if negative is the out come until it’s been stripped away. Some people don’t even stand a chance if coming from a broken home because it is stripped away because the parents lack it, the cycle repeats.Self Esteem Affirmations

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  • http://marvelinthesky.com/happiness Marvel

    During my divorce I had a HARD time finding happiness… so to distract myself I made this happiness circle and designed little characters to tell me the things I was having a hard time remembering during tough times. Being productive, in itself, helped tremendously.

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    Excellent article. When my uncle passed away, I really struggled to get out of the grieving stage.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ICLFRKWWSLJ27YCU62GJG5X3AM Vicky Khan

    Great tips provided.
    very help full yo remain cool.
    Stress Relief

  • Anonymous

     Thanks for the inspirational article. Sure will use some of the tips. I think the worst is that you tell the story over and over again. It is procrastination, searching for comfort zone and just taking no action. I’m myself a diy solar panels for home use enthusiast.

  • Charles King

    The feeling of
    disappointment during the divorced was natural. Though you are not in the sense
    in making it to an end but you have to do it. To get divorced is one of the
    usual ways if the partners can no longer find their relationship happy or
    contented. There are certain ways that will help a divorced people forget what
    was has done. And there are also exercises that will surely help in making a
    healthy lifestyle despite of divorced. There are some countries that don’t
    implement a divorced law; but there are also countries which they legally
    implemented a divorced law. 
     

    tips for divorced people

  • Jackie

    I love this article.It is truly inspiring. I have struggled with depression for a very long time now and this article has helped me. There are some personal issues that i try to deal with on my own and i have always tried to find my own solutions. Your article has helped my alot.thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome, Jackie. I have gone through some dark depressions in my life, so I really do understand and empathize.

    Much love,
    Lori

  • Simpson Antwonette

    These are some really good key point’s. They have helped me with my current situation, it’s very good and sourceful. You knew exactly what to say, and you said it right. Thing’s like this brightens up my day, knowing I’m not alone. Thank you so much. :)

  • Anonymous

    You are most welcome, and you are not alone. =)

  • Myra

    This came at a very good time… Thankyou for sharing your insights. I am right in the middle of the greatest rejection I have ever experienced, by a trusted, childhood friend. I’m torturing myself daily and trying to mend it, change it. It is akin to the pain and trauma of a divorce or death. Some days there is “pockets of joy” and others, overwhelming depression and loss. When all you ever did and became involved a particular friend and then they reject you, wanting to end the friendship, it is a massive attack to your identity and self-esteem. Thanks for sharing you helpful tips- I’ll try them!

  • Anonymous

    I have been spending far too much time lately going over the last year and it was a difficult one. 2 of my friends passed away and my mother passed away and all my siblings decided to stop talking to me. Some major financial hits. I have told the story to some people but I do not have a need to tell people about it.   I am just trying to figure out how to not live this everyday.  I am trying to have a little joy when I can but the night time is the worst, cannot stop the re runs.  sometimes I do not even want to go to sleep, I avoid it.   I will get over this and I do know everything takes time but I am seriously tired of reliving all these hurts and not having my normal positive, adventurous personality.  Any insights on how to get my personality back would be great.  thanks for letting me vent.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Matilda,

    I’m so sorry to hear about all the loss you’ve experienced this past year. That sounds like a lot all at once. I know what you mean about dwelling at night–that’s when I’ve found myself most vulnerable to rehashing the past, as well. Have you ever tried meditating before sleep? There was a period of time when I listened to a healing MP3 every night before bed, and that helped a great deal. It helped me clear my thoughts so that I could relax, instead of drifting off to sleep in a state of exhausted stress.

    Much love,
    Lori

  • Anonymous

    I know about meditation but forgot I could use it to get clearer perspective. Thank you, I will try that.
    Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

    —–Original message—–

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  • Kemantha Govender

    Thank you for sharing this….. the more we tell the story .. the further we get from being silent and connecting with our heart. The longer the pain stays. Have a blessed day

  • Kemantha Govender

    Thank you for sharing this….. the more we tell the story .. the further we get from being silent and connecting with our heart. The longer the pain stays. Have a blessed day

  • Karen

    This is a great post, however, i don’t know if this is the proper platform….i am on social security disability for severe depression…there is such a stigma..i can’t tell anyone , except some of my family(who mostly want me to just suck it up), or professionals, whom of course i have to pay to listen to me…guaranteed, if i had cancer, or kidney disease and needed a kidney, or had leukemia, people would probably hold a vigil at my bedside, but the fact is, i was almost paralyzed by my depression and i was bedridden for most of 2011, and very few people checked up on me…my brother and his boyfriend live with me, but just are using me, and i am afraid of asking them to leave, i’ve tried, they get very angry, and even have the nerve to say i “need them”….yeah, just like i need this depression.   I am lonely, and wish there was not the stigma there is with depression , bipolar, etc…i would have friends who would stick by me and a family who cared deeply enough to know, i’m really not okay, when i say i’m okay..i know this probably wasn’t the proper platform., but i wrote anyway cuz i need to vent…alone, really, in arizona…thanks for listening, Karen

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Karen,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I know what you mean about the stigma with depression and mental illnesses/conditions. Still, there’s a possibility that some of the people you think you can’t tell might actually understand. Far more people struggle with depression than we often realize. Of course, not everyone will be supportive and understanding (as you well know) but some people might surprise you.

    I’ve been there before, and I know it isn’t easy. I’m sending love, light, and good thoughts.

    Lori

  • Kemantha Govender

    Hi Matilda
    I will happily send you healing light and positive vibes and thoughts from South Africa. Been through something similar and the positive and adventurous part does comes back:)

  • Bonnita

    I really liked this. I want to give this link to some of my friends, to whom I listen to about this and that but I really don’t know what to say anymore, I am not a professional psychologist or therapist, I’m a kid and I know as much as they do. It frustrates me when I see people who latch on to pain,  I think it’s alright to be hurt, but not make it your life story. Thank you very much for this post, and it has helped me as well, and it sounds a lot like what my mom tells me, to get up and move on. Thankyou!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Bonnita. You said you’re a kid–you seem to be a wise one!

  • Aeeed

    Thank you

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • 2345

    Great info. I’ve been reliving a painful circumstance for about a month. I hope this helps me focus on the present.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I hope this helps as well!

  • Peggy

    I fully agree with you.
    Not at all talking about your negative story – especially in the beginning phases, but it might be a different phase for everyone – could be suppression and have an averse effect.

    In fact, I told my story so often (to the same person), I got tired of it myself!

  • Peggy

    Lori, I just noticed that you already pretty much concluded the same.  And I agree with your more detailed explanation of the original remark.

    It is true, room to move on is important. 

    I would say also that an entirely different setting might be very helpful. 
    When I came back from a vacation/work trip, I realized that I had effortlessly not even thought about my story for the entire 10 days of my absence from home.  As soon as I got back, it hit me again though.  Afterwards, I sort of forced myself into the state of mind from my trip, meaning not thinking about it at all, as it was so much more pleasant!

  • Blue

    I am presently hurting right now by my partner/bestfriend’s cheating ways. She lied to me several times, made me look like a fool, crushed my self worth, disrespected me and my family. It hurts so much when all you did for a partner was care and love her. She was not even remorseful with what she did. She is one selfish person and she is driven by only one urge…the urge to self satisfaction above all else. No matter what the cost is, doesnt matter who she hurts, as long as she and her needs are satisfied. Now i am the one who is still hurting and hating her. Ive been trying hard to “let it go” but it seem so hard when i though i am in step 2 only to find out that im actually back to step 1. This whole process is tiring and frustrating sometimes because i let myself be hurt by her again and again by remembering all the things she did to me. I need help! in order to move on. I want to stop hurting and be free!!!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Blue,

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I’m going to ask you some questions that may help free you up mentally. (You don’t need to answer these for me. These are just to help you).

    1. Are you aware of the fact that thinking about how she hurt you in the past does nothing but cause you pain in the present?

    2. Does a part of you feel like you get something from thinking about the past over and over again? (Does it make you feel in control somehow? Do you feel like you’re protecting yourself from pain down the line?)

    3. With that in mind, what do you think causes you to keep mentally rehashing the past?

    4. Can you think of some ways to dispute those thoughts when they come up so you’re able to let them go and come back to the present moment? 

    One thing you may want to try is visualizing a stop sign and either thinking or saying the word “Stop” every time you start dwelling. This, I find, is the best way to let go: one thought at a time. You might not do it perfectly every time, but you will begin to make progress if you work at it continually.

    I also highly recommend meditation or yoga to create some clarity. That will help a great with acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go.

    I hope this helps!

    Lori

  • Keegan Teh

    This has helped me a lot. But it takes time to let it go. Not that easy and they have helped me with my situation. Knowing that I’m not alone I may have to change the way of myself I have been acting since I always wanted to be happy and the way things go smoothly. So thank you for posting this it made me relax.

  • Richardweedin

    I know I am not alone. From within my tiny hell realm I see I am not alone.

  • Richardweedin

    I recommend watching the Woody Allen movie “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger.”
    Love just hurts. Love gives space. Humans are danged unprectdibale.
    You’ll be alright. Just love her.
    Take care of yourself.

  • Karen

    You make some wonderful points.
    I do have some problem with the word “deserve.” If I deserve to feel happy then why don’t I deserve that person’s love? If I deserve a little peace, why don’t I deserve that job? Deserve implies entitlement, like it’s something we don’t need to work for – that it’s something that will be given to us.
    I’m not sure what a better word would be – maybe that Happiness is available, that Peace is attainable. But not because we “deserve” it.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Karen! That’s an interesting observation about the word “deserve.” This word has always resonated with me because I grew up thinking I *didn’t* deserve to be happy–that there was something wrong me, and I wasn’t good enough, and therefore I deserved to feel pain. I never thought about it as a sense of entitlement before. You’ve given me some food for thought!

  • Rmonye

    I agree with all 10 points. For some of us, it’s much easier said than can be done. But yes, those points will lead to happiness.

  • shantell

    I thank God for this article because its help me to reveal my hurt amd it has helped me to conquer the pain amd hurt ive been threw I was so on love with this guy ive lost myself and I have lost my true indentity and ive let what has happen shadow my life and bring fears upon me we were at Bible study last mote amd it was about releasing the person who hurt you and and I prayed to God last nite and he helped me to see myself amd the things ive done in ordee to move forward and live my life because I feel like this man has never cared and never care about me but im moving from the past and moving forward because he will never no more have me bou.d in my spirit im givong it to gpd to deal with that situation God want release your pain unles your qilling to let it go

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad you found what helps you release your pain Shantell! I know it isn’t easy, and I admire that you’re taking this step to let go and move on.

  • Angelline

    Im so hurt and wish i would heal 2 years down the line and still in pain

  • Geraldine Cemento Mitchell

    thank you so much for this piece of advice, it related to me in so many way and i’m going to use every bit of it in find myself and handling my situation for a better life an one filled with happiness

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Angelline,

    I just realized I didn’t respond to this when it first came in. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with so much pain. Is there anything I can do to help?

    Lori

  • se

    wonderful article. thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re welcome!

  • S___xo

    Just wanted to say thanks… I’ve had lot’s of different types of therapy including EMDR and none of them seemed to work.. I’ve resulted in trying to heal on my own by reading these kinds of articles and reading help books on healing.. this helps alot.. i just hope one day it will just be memories.. not painful ones

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I know it’s not easy to let go of painful memories. It’s something I still work at, at times. You are in my thoughts!

  • SueTosto

    I love your articles they’re truly wonderful :)  

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoy them!

  • jeef robosono

    sounds like this is all talking about emotional pain.. i have a separated shoulder and can’t do the sports i love doing. its what I LOVE. nothing else brings me enjoyment or pleasure of any kind other than playing xbox but i don’t want to do that the rest of my life.. im about to be a senior and can’t do any sports, i’m going from the most ripped kid in my grade to getting fat and lazy. that thought NEVER leaves my mind, not a second of any given day unless im stoned. my life’s going downhill because of this injury… now i have even more free time on my hands, with nothing to do i just go and smoke w/ some smoke buddies, since my REAL friends are doing sports… can someone please email me robinson.jeff14@yahoo.com i need some help i have no clue what i’m about to do with my life.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Jeff,

    I will send you an email now…

    Lori

  • http://www.facebook.com/DanielQuinones23 PrProblemz Atown-Rep

    Blah. Heard it all before. pain just doesn’t leave over night.

  • Shelly

    Hi Lori.

    I was wondering if you had any more advice on expressing pain.  About 11 years ago my world started to shift. I started breaking out, I felt uncomfortable and sad and out of place. There is definitely a hell involved in those teenage years. The thing is, I don’t think I ever moved forward after it all happened. I feel like I have been stuck in that ‘teenage’ hole for so long, and nothing I ever do stops or heals the pain. I know in my heart that I have so much pain hidden within myself. It expresses itself on my skin and in my extremely low (I’d say basically non existent) self-esteem. I am even feeling myself tear up in writing this. But the pain never releases. I am never free. I would really appreciate any advice, I’m in a deep, dark hole here.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Shelly,

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I had difficult teen years, as well, and spent a lot of my teens and twenties in a deep, dark hole, so I think I can understand! Do you have any type of creative outlet for your feelings? That’s been a big one for me, as it’s helped me to understand my emotions and use them to help other people, which helps me grow through them and move beyond them.

    One way to do this is through writing, but you could also paint, sculpt, or perform in some way. Whatever way you work through your feelings, you’ll likely feel a lot more empowered when you leverage them to create in some way, and help yourself and other people.

    I hope this helps!

    Lori

  • Shelly

    Thanks Lori.

    I have always tried to eliminate the emotions to feel clear and free, but your suggestion made me feel that maybe chanelling them into something would be healthier. Thank you for the fresh perspective! I hope to help as many people as you have one day. Have a wonderful day.

    Shelly

  • Bigtruck_loudpipes

    I was recently hurt by someone I’ve been with for 7 years. It’s the first time he has done anything at all that hurt me. I think this will give me a start in the right direction to moving past the pain.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this helped. I hope you’re able to move beyond the pain, either together, or amicably apart.

  • Nida

    when I read your article it brought tears in my eyes… because they exactly match my situation. I don’t know these ten points were supposed to make me feel good but I am in so much pain that I cant even feel happy that finally someone is understanding how much hurt I am.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Nida,

    I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through right now. Is there anything I can do to help?

    Lori

  • Channelsurfer Dj

    My mom just left me message never to rex her or dad again saying it cost too much n they dnt wnt to pay

  • Channelsurfer Dj

    Never to tex…sorry fr spellin wrong

  • Pranjal

    i feel lyk hurtin myself…i’ve read soo many of these type of articles in the past 2 months..but after a day i go back to the way i was (sad)….d guy i love and was in a rship with still says that he loves me just doesnt want to b in a relationship..v broke up cuz of his prnts….they didnt allow it…. nd nw evry tym i c him, it hurts…i cant face him and he’s in my batch…..help..plz….i still consider him a frnd, but he dosnt reply to my texts and sort of ignores me…i’m too scared to col him……plz help

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Pranjal,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I’m concerned that you wrote you feel like hurting yourself. Have you talked to someone close to you about what you’ve been feeling? Can you promise me that you will if this urge gets stronger? I can send you phone numbers and resources that might be helpful to you. I promise you that you won’t feel this pain forever. It will get better/easier with time!

    Much love,
    Lori

  • Safalika6

    Dear lori

    Can you please give ur mail I’d I need ur help to rescue my pain…. Please please u can mail me at safalika6@gmail.com and I shall share my story pls pls

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time right now. I’ve actually become a little overwhelmed with email requests for advice. Would you mind sharing a little of your story here, so that perhaps I can offer thoughts that might help others readers as well? Also, this allows some of the community members to offer you their help and support.

    You are in my thoughts!

    Lori

  • Jilljohn2008

    I was in the wrong in reading my fiance’s text, and I take the blame for that, but what I read is what is holding me in such anger even though he has apologized profusely and explained his reasoning for it and how I was reading what he said all wrong, And I do believe him, but I can’t let it go and it’s been 3 years!!. I think I have and then it comes back to kick me in the butt. This column is dead on as to what I need to do to move on and I pray that I can follow it. I printedit off and have put it in my purse to use as a reminder!! Thank you!!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad this was helpful to you!

  • linda

    I have been threw so much crap with a man who I loved but couldn’t show anything in return except finding ways to hurt me. I hold so much pain inside that I hurt my self in many ways. I need all the help in the world. IT HURTS SO BAD!!

  • Lori Deschene

    I’m so sorry about what you’re going through Linda. Is there anything I can do to help?

  • JEn

    Okay so how do I let go of the situation that is causing me pain and anger?

  • YourFaceisFunny

    I hve to agree with a lot of the comments that this brought tears to my eyes because it was so helpful ;o;

  • YourFaceisFunny

    It’s just ironically enough my ex’s name is Joy and so that one paragraph where you say it 3 times in a row was a bit of an issue xD but other than that it’s amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this was helpful to you! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene
  • Wen_andy4

    Your amazing Thank you

  • Raerotten

    This article has really helped me. I felt calmer just after reading it. I’ve been in an off again on again relationship with this guy for the past few years where it seemed like he made me feel like I was a powerful confident person and that I was wanted. I finally gave myself to him fully a few weeks ago and he’s ignored me ever since. I finally confronted him yesterday about it and it ended in a very hurtful fight where I realized that no matter how much I want him to understand why I am so hurt I don’t think he ever will and there’s no way that I can make him. Years of self esteem issues made it easy for him to manipulate me (I’m noticeably scarred from multiple surgeries and have never felt secure in my weight despite how much I happen to lose or gain). I had never felt beautiful before until him. I was never able to find myself emotionally during my teen years and fell into a terrible depression that ruined part of college experience as well. I overcame that. I overcame another heart surgery. I should be able to overcome this but it seems to be harder maybe because this is something I’m going through alone and without support (my whole family didn’t like him and are.just glad he’s gone). Your tips have helped me find some peace with this but its very hard to build myself up again when I’m not sure who this new me is and what direction to go in. I feel sort of lost. I don’t have him there anymore as that emotional upper that I needed and I’m not sure how to feel confident and like that desirable person he made.me feel like without him. And I know that it might not be something that anyone can tell me.how to fix which is hard because I’ve always had such a good support system in everything else so I’m not sure how to do this myself. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad you found this helpful!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much, and you’re most welcome!

  • self validated

    I liked reading this…but what I noticed is that most people don’t realize( myself included) that we rehash..talk about…and go over things again and again as a way to NOT feel the grief that is sitting there. And sometimes..we need to rehash and go over and even be the victim sometimes. Each step to the letting go process where are finally able to let that grief express itself..each step needs to be validated within. We simply aren’t ready to deal with the pain..so those identities..and blaming …obsessive rehashings….they are just protecting us until we realize there is no escape from feeling it. That’s why everyone’s process is so different and also so much the same. So in my experience..if you want to go thru it faster? Then validate yourself in every step of your journey. Blame…feel victimized….BE angry and approve of your anger…if you validate your journey and yourself on your journey…it will lead you right back home to yourself. Knowing these things will make articles like this priceless to you..you will see her process but perhaps recognize you are not there yet…so this article just became a guide for me…not to get where I want…but to know where I am at. And thank you for that…

  • Meaghanconnor86

    Those ten strategies we’re very helpful and I thank you, I feel better already.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad they helped!

  • Sandi

    WHy do i want to HURT back…. i hate that feeling so bad. And the people that i let hurt me are people i have met on social networks and don’t know them from adam and when they hurt me i want to hurt back.. i don’t but I feel that feeling so strong sometimes…

  • LT

    Hi I am going through some things and really appreciate the articles on here.  I have habits of regressing and sometimes “forgetting” certain lessons that I should heed because I am not used to thinking differently.. Do you have any tips on how to get these lessons to stick in my head so I don’t just revert back to reacting in a way that will hurt me in the long run.  I get all of this and really want to change the way I approach situations and also remember that I am the source of my happiness.  It’s almost foreign to me and I just want to start to think more positively.  Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome LT! I’m glad the Tiny Buddha articles have been helpful to you. I can relate to that feeling of forgetting lessons. Sometimes I need to learn/remember the same things over and over again. One thing that helps me is to plan for consistent practice. So for example, writing in a gratitude journal everyday creates a gratitude practice; meditating or breathing deeply everyday helps create a mindfulness practice. Or it can even be writing in a journal to track your progress in specific areas. Regarding positive thinking, there’s a post on the site you may find interesting:

    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/why-positive-thinking-didnt-work-for-me/

    I hope this helps!

    Lori

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Do you think maybe you want to hurt people back to feel a sense of control–as if the power has shifted back in your favor? I think sometimes it makes us feel stronger when we try to “get back” at people who hurt us, but in my experience, it only makes me feel worse.

  • LT

     Thank you for getting back to me so quickly.  I think the journal idea is great because it will force me to evaluate where I am at emotionally and I can regain control quickly if I realize I have lost it.  Seems like it takes some conditioning but I imagine after some time and real effort it will feel more natural to think positively.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I think everything gets easier with practice!

  • Sandi

    O  it makes me feel horrible!!  It’s a viscous circle….the anger will just sort of pop into my head and i have a major hot flash and to the one that hurt me.. evisceration comes to mind…NOT for real.. just.. a fantasy.  So. gonna try a new tactic… I’m going to pray for them..(I’m not religious, so..pray..think and hope good things for them… and see if that works. It isn’t easy thats for sure. 
    Thank you lori. (Smile) 

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That sounds like a great idea (thinking good thoughts for them). And you’re most welcome. =)

  • Tmissmedia

    You couldn’t have said it better some of these things I already begin to practice and the other lessons were right on I love the advice and I’ll read it over and over as well as refer it to others!!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad you found this post helpful!

  • peace

    This really help me a lot i was blamed for.doing.something.i didnt even do & i lost a good friend over that situation i blamed myself & kept thinking about the situation everyday . I would always put my anger out on my mom & family becuz i was just so mad but this help mee alot im feeling much Better about mysel

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad this helped you Peace! I know all about blaming myself, and I know how draining and stressful that can be.

  • anjali

    i am really hurted.. I feel as if my life has ended.. my bf dumped me.. he is with another girl now.. he thinks that i cheated on me.. but i never.. i always loved him from my core of heart.. he is still evrythng to me.. i knw he is with sm1 else but i still want him.. but he tells that he doesnot love me now… what should i do?? i cnt live without him!! m feeling like commiting suicide..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Anjali,

    First things first, are you safe right now? Is there someone you can talk to–a family member or friend? I’m really concerned for your safety! Please know that this will get better…you just need some help right now. Can you please let me know you are okay?

    Love,
    Lori

  • tempted

    i like the advice it really gave me a lot of insight and understanding keep up the good work

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad it helped!

  • G

    I have been recently hurt by a man who lied and manipulated me, and then threw me away like nothing. The pain is so strong and I don’t know how I will be ok, or be able to trust another person with my heart again. All these points make me cry, and I think I’m really going to try and use them. But it is also so hard to climb out of that pit of devastation and self-blame.

  • Brian

    thank you so much – i needed to read this at this moment

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaykaykay666 Kristal Kay

    thank you, thank you….i love him so much. and i wish things could be differemt for him and I but trying to change who he is becoming, hurt me along the way. and there was many times when i would “pack my stuff” and “leave”…but hed lure me back in with his sesitive side and hug, cuddle me to sleep and wake up to “forgetting about it. many times he would tell to leave him because i dont deserve any of the things he said to me or any of the times he pushed, shoved me or kicked me….and i wouldnt because i believe in him…..but two days ago i really left….i actually packed my clothes and left. surprisingly, i he gave me the closure i wanted instead of ending things mad like he usually does.. he makes it so easy to not call or whatever or not be in in contact with me. i miss him sooooooooo much. i know he hates the monster he is becoming, because hates his dad for hurting her…but he knew he wa doing the same to me and he knows that……..im afraid of giving in again……….because i know i want too…i guess because i think back nd wonder if my jealousy issues and the way i get moody and give him “attitude” was making him worse. if i wouldve just not been so jealous,,, he wouldve never ever snapped. it was always when i would bring up something bothering me. or when hed be driving and secretly look at a girl, id say “wtf are u looking at????” or make it super obvious i got mad and boom thats when hed snap….first by verbal angry abuse then if i got in his face or when id cry, hed shove me or push me or kick me….one time he literally told me to get out of the car and i was stranded in another city….there was busses but i was crying and people saw….instead of going home, i walked all the way to his….crying…im so ashamed…but now that i got my closure and its been two days, i had forgotten what my life was…..its saturday and i feel lost…like no one makes feel the way he does, like something huge inside is missing..and i know its him…..but ugh help me please…:”(
    please reply as soon as you can, i feel horrible…

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. Breaking up is never easy, but it can be even harder when you’ve been in an abusive relationship.

    I know you mentioned you thought you might have “caused” his outbursts by being jealous, but absolutely nothing condones abuse. You didn’t deserve that, and I hope you are able to stay strong and stay away from him. It will hurt–it might be hard for a while. But in time you will be so glad you moved on and opened yourself up to a much healthier relationship.

    Do you have any friends and/or family you can lean on to help you stick to your convictions? If you’ve been pulled back in before, it could happen again, especially since you feel lost. It may seem like no one else can make you feel like he does, but it is possible to feel this way with someone who *always* treats you well. You absolutely deserve that! And you can have it some day if you resist the urge to go back to him.

    You are in my thoughts!

    Lori

  • jay

    how do you move on from losing a job (my first job) for 4 and a half years because of things changing and not being told about changes. it really hurts when you thought you were respected by your boss and he acted more like a friend than a boss. basically 7 new people were hired out of the blue, this is a small office we were literally like family. and nothing was told to me or the two other established staff. every single day was something new something different and it was very overwhelming and hard. i became very anxious. never ever had anxiety or panic attacks before. i was stressed about school at the time too. its been a month and a couple of days from being fired. i still feel sadness not bc i do not work there, i was very depressed being there. i only stayed bc of my 2 friends and income. i have a great family who supports me and im receiving unemployment. the loss of two friends who didnt really talk to me after i got fired really hurt me. i couldnt stop thinking about that, about how much anxiety i went through. i still think about the stress anxiety and depression and i make myself anxious. i dont know how to let it go bc it hurts too much.

  • Help, please

    Can someone help me, please? I define myself as happy person always willing to help people no matter the circumstances. My problem I am helping someone that really hurt me in the past. I feel brave doing this, but at the same time there is this feeling of doubt about this person hurting me again… I cannot deal with not helping people in need, my instinct says: “go ahead,help!” and I go ahead and help, but I get hurt! :( why should I do? what am I doing wrong? I will truly appreciate if someone can provide me some advise, please! thanks

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there. First off, I think it’s wonderful that you’re so willing to help people! I also think you’re smart to be cautious if you’re trying to help someone who has hurt you before. It sounds like you have a feeling this might not be good for you. So my question for you: what would you tell a friend if shd came to you seeking advice? How would you help her if she were in your shoes?

  • Help, please

    @lori_deschene:disqus You are an angel. Thank you so much for your advise! I never thought about that! You really had helped me! :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so glad I could help!

  • Help, please

    :) @lori_deschene:disqus

  • yaaa mee

    Perfectttttt thank you so muchhh i found my way ahahaha I’m happyyyyy

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/TonguesWagging Da One

    i hate reading

  • Raghul Smart

    2 point make me feel better..! :) thanks a lottttt :D i’m satisfied & admit it

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! =)

  • CL

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for your article…it’s helpful and I felt compelled to write to you to tell you my story. I am in my early to mid 30′s and two years ago right around this time I made the decision to move across the country (I’m from the east coast), I moved to the West Coast, it had been something I had wanted to do since I was a teenager. I had a job for 3 years a few years ago where I was lucky enough to travel the country and had been to over 40 states. So in late 2010 I was really getting tired of my life in NY and had decided to take a risk and move to my dream city (Seattle). I started working really hard to find a job out there, one thing about me, and has always been me, is that I am extremely persistent, when I want something I work my ass off to get it. Anyway, In Dec. 2010 I finally landed a job, flew out there for the interview , got it, and was set to move out there and start in Feb. 2011. To give you some background information on my love life, I had been in a 9 year relationship throughout most of my 20′s and when we broke up I was devastated, it took me a very long time to get over him. In August 2010 I met a guy here in NY…By this time he already knew about my idea to move to Seattle, yet he pursued me anyway. At the time I met him I was very vulnerable, trying to get over my other ex, yet he seemed to enter my life during the right time, I was trying to get over my ex, but this new guy poured on the attention- sending me flowers all the time, he even bought me an angel necklace when he found out i was moving away and told me to always wear it bc it would protect me. It was really extremely difficult for me to move out there alone, as my whole family lives in NY and i had never moved away like that (didn’t go away to college) and he was sort of my security blanket, he said he would talk to me all the time out there, even visit me out there. So yes, we decided to do long distance. And I agreed to it because I thought “this man really truly loves me”, he told me he wouldn’t be looking for anyone else while I was out there and he’d be waiting for me to return. I fell in love with him….and I didn’t think I would ever find someone to love and open my heart to after the 9 year relationship. When I first met him I saw many red flags…he was in his late 30′s almost 40 and had never moved out of his childhood bedroom in his parents house, he did not make any effort to save money, seemed to have no goals or ambition…yet the fact that he gave me tons of attention and would be there for me while I was away completely won me over. He made me feel so important like my other ex had never made me feel. We did long distance skyping and talking all day, he visited me twice…I didn’t date out there, he kept telling me I didn’t belong there and belonged in NY and he was looking forward to me coming back. We also used to fight a lot as well over things I didn’t feel I was getting from the relationship, me wanting to progress into saving money together as a couple maybe talking about living together, possibly marriage…you know all the things we didn’t get to do bc we couldn’t have a REAL solid relationship while I lived 3,000 miles away. Anyway, to make a long story short, he visited me in October 2011 for the second time, he had his phone lying around and I picked it up looked in it and saw he was calling some girls babe and freaked out..he freaked out on me we got into a big fight..he also knew at that point that I was most likely moving back to NY. I had boxes all over my apartment packing up to ship stuff back. Before the phone incident we talked abt it while he was out there i asked if I could come to his parents for thanksgiving and he told me he didn’t want me to. He was just more distant with me ever since he knew I was moving back to be with him. When he got back to NY in Oct. 2011 I didn’t hear from him for a while, than I called him, and he dumped me over the phone , he was crying, though I don’t think it was real, looking back on it. He said the fact I looked in his phone means I dont trust him and he can’t be with me. He said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do. I was crying hysterically. He dumped me right when he found out I put in official notice to my apartment to leave and move back. I was crying hysterically, felt like my world had collapsed, the man I so loved did this to me. Anyway, when I moved back to NY in November 2011 I was still so unbelievably hurt, I felt like my world had collapsed and my life was over…had to move back with my parents, after being on my own for so long. He wanted to meet up and talk…This gave me a glimmer of hope that he wanted to get back together, because although I was so hurt I still crazy enough would have given him the chance. Everyone thought I was nuts after what he did to me to even SEE him and looking back on it they were 100 percent right. Everytime we met up I would bring up what happened and he wouldn’t want to talk abt it blaming me saying I was re-hashing everything and he would turn it around on me and say “if you would just stop blaming me for everything and dwelling we could actually talk and date and see where this goes” of course I believed his lies yet continued to feel so hurt and stifled because I couldn’t express how I feel…and during all this time we would hook up, so he was pretty much using me. In Sept. 2012 I blocked him out of my life and told him I wanted no more contact. Of course he didn’t listen and kept contacting me, and then I saw him because I believed him when he said he wanted to ‘talk’. So I was naive and believed him bc I have a good heart and in Oct. 2012 I saw him and told him I hate him and he was intimate with me to try to make me fall for him all over again. After hooking up with him again I got so
    hurt, I was never able to talk abt anything with him and felt so hurt
    and angry I told him I hate him yet he than was intimate with me to
    manipulate me and use me so that the hate could be turned around to
    love. Then after a trip to Seattle in Nov. 2012 I finally decided to cut it off again so I told him I never wanted to speak to him again, he said ok. And then 3 weeks ago he sent me two texts again saying he would really like to hear how I am doing, it’s like he has NO emotion or understanding of all the hurt he put me through nor does he care, he just expects me to pick up like nothing happened. Ok, so what is my point in telling you this utterly long story? It has been almost a year and a half since the break up (though I only just saw 4 months ago) and I CANNOT for the the life of me move on. I have become a completely different person – angry, bitter, hurt…nothing makes me happy anymore. That fire in me I used to have, i feel like it is gone. My heart has been broken for the past year and a half and i can’t move on. I thought by dating other guys I would find someone but I can’t even open my heart. I am in my early -mid 30s and want to get married and have a family yet I can’t even go on a DATE without thinking about him. I have cried so much within the past year. I just want to move on, I want to ERASE this man from my memory and my life but I can’t seem to do so, because he was linked to Seattle and got to share it with me. He was the only one who visited me besides my parents. the 9 year relationship wasn’t even this hard to get over because that guy never hurt me like this, it was more of a mutual split. So since this, I have been so angry and hurt and bitter, i carry it with me everywhere and nothing that I do seems to help. I can relate to what you write about re-telling your story to anyone who will listen because I do that all the time. I dwell on it 24/7…and I wonder sometimes what will help me get over it more, to stop TALKING about it which will in turn stop me from thinking about it, or let it out. I wrote him a long letter expressing my rage but never sent it, it was more for me, I;ve thought about giving him a piece of my mind and finally getting it out, but I think he is a narcissist and would just turn it around on me which would in turn make me even more hurt and upset. I wanted to ask for your advice on what to do. I just want to get the old sweet, caring, hardworking woman back that I used to be. I want to forget this awful experience and this awful man yet I can’t seem to. I hate him yet he is still in my heart at the same time becase I loved him so much. I want to be able to move on and find the man of my dreams and be happy again. I mostly cannot get over the idea that I threw away my dream of living in Seattle for HIM!!! For this bastard who just used me to show everyone he finally had a girlfriend, he never cared about me as a person. and it is so unbelievably hurtful. I could have still been out there, and dating other men but instead i threw all my eggs in one basket with a man who never even cared and whose heart was never in it from the beginning! If it was, he never would have done what he did to me. He only wanted me because i was long distance, the chase was part of the fun. How do I get over this hurt and anger and allow myself to be happy again and open myself up to another man??? People say I have to forgive him but I just can’t!!! :(

  • anoevol

    This is like a bullet that hit me straight to my face..

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hmm, Is that a good thing…?

  • Cornelius

    Thank you ive been through alot as a teen.. I learned what most people say they just dont know the whole story

  • lilmisspnut

    Thank you for this article. I’m experiencing a great amount of pain right now. My ex and I have been on and off for almost 10 years and now he’s finally “changed his way of thinking” rather than continue feeling sad about our situation. He’s now feeling “free” and is working on himself, which is good, but I’m a wreck going through the motions.

    I’m trying to work on myself now, but I miss him so much. I have hope that one day we’ll find each other again when we are both healthier, stronger individuals, but I have to prove to myself and him that I can get through this difficult time on my own. I’ll be rereading these steps and making sure to put them into practice at this time.

  • Qwerty

    It is important to relieve pain when you need to. It is the same as when you feel like shitting, yet you try to hold it in, it turns into constipation and hurts your body in the long run.

  • Dez

    Thank you for the post. I’ve been living with PTSD my entire adult life. Just recently I started disciplining myself to apply my meditation practice of focusing on my breath when I have flashbacks. Staying in the present and envisioning myself as a bird flying out of a cage has really begun to free me recently. I spent so many years in therapy that I got stuck analyzing it over and over – like you mentioned above. For me it was trying to figure out what was so wrong with me that I deserved it. Or what was so wrong psychologically with those people. Paralysis by analysis. I’m opening the prison door and flying away – I’m finally ready at 47 yrs old to end the suffering. I’m safe now, and I can allow myself to be happy.

  • Tracy

    I just want to add to #10 that “pockets of peace” can be found even with complete strangers. Last night all I wanted to do was go home and cry because I’d received some news out of the blue that brought back a lot of old pain, but I absolutely had to go to the grocery store. I promised myself that I could cry after I went and that I just had to make it through the next hour. (I also promised to buy myself some wine.) While I was at the store, a woman and I exchanged a laugh over something that happened; the checkout clerk made lighthearted conversation with me; and two random people smiled at me. As you might guess, I no longer felt the need to immediately rush home to cry. This has happened to me before which makes me think that on some level these random strangers knew I needed a reminder that I was not alone in the world. (Although it is true too that I don’t have much of a poker face!) Because these small interactions have helped me more than the strangers will ever know, I try to pay it forward by doing the same for others. You never know when your small friendly gesture will be the lift a stranger needs to get through a tough time.

  • thixotropic

    Telling the story is important… to a point. Orgs like AA encourage one
    to stay stuck at that point, endlessly reliving the old hurt. In the
    end it’s infantilising and limiting and has sent more than one person
    back to the bottle. I know people who have attended AA and seen for
    themselves that this endless recitation of one’s hurts is exactly the
    problem, not the solution. At some point, if we’re emotionally and
    mentally healthy, we move on, and don’t need to do that any longer.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Dez. What a wonderful exercise. I’m so glad that has been helpful for you–and I appreciate that you shared it here!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry to hear about the pain you’re in right now. I can imagine it must be tough to be apart after 10 years together. I remember when my first love and I broke up, it felt like I was missing a limb. It took me a while to find my center again and feel ready to truly work on myself. I think it’s wonderful that you’re focusing on your own growth, even if it’s not always easy!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome Cornelius.

  • lv2terp

    TRULY POWERFUL post Lori!!!! :) I am entranced every time I read your gifts of wisdom! Thank you!!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much, and you are most welcome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.callaghan1 Victoria Jane

    That is SO true, Tracy – the smallest gesture of companionship to a stranget can mean the world. God bless you x

  • William

    Excellent post! As is so often true in my life, I am hearing a message at a perfect time. I’ve just recently made the decision to enter therapy to address issues that I’ve let identify who I am for far too long. I told my therapist that I am only interested in visiting the past as a reference point for how to move forward. Life is full of situations that “teach” us about who we are and when we learn through the lens of trauma/pain we continue making present choices through the view of that same lens. Until we decide to free ourselves to learning a new way, we are going to stay stuck. You don’t need to learn to love if you’ve never been taught to fear and hate.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks William, and that’s great about getting into therapy! I think what you wrote about how we learn/make choices is spot on. Embracing that, I believe, is the first step in getting unstuck.

  • http://twitter.com/ginger_kern Ginger Kern

    Wonderful, Lori, thanks for sharing the brilliance.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much, and you’re most welcome!

  • Betrayed friend

    I feel the need to let the person who ‘hurt me’ know that she did; I feel so much pain and anger, knowing that she is oblivious to the pain she caused me — she thinks I don’t know about texts she sent my husband while we were going through a hard time– her texts were part of the reason that I left him, and she wasted no time in moving in on him …. I want her to know that I know what she did.
    Am I so wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I don’t think so. If it would help you heal to let her know you’re aware of her actions, I personally don’t see any harm in doing that. Perhaps once you confront her she will apologize for the pain the resulted from her actions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawgroupcomm Nancy Law

    Great article but what in the heck does it have to do with the physical pain caused by being hit by a car and still receiving weekly medical treatments for it 3 years after the accident? What is your proposal for stopping reliving the incident? My daughter has to go into 8 hours of medical investigation of her body tomorrow (on her birthday) by the insurance company who still do not want to pay her any damages, then another 5 hrs the next day, then this Friday another 8 hrs in court. Your intro paragraphs did say you were going to address physical pain as well as heart ache and I had hoped to get some wisdom from your words to help her feel better about this … how do I help my daughter?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Nancy,

    I apologize for the misleading introduction. I meant this to be more about emotional pain than physical (including emotional pain that comes after short-term physical pain).

    I am so sorry to learn about your daughter’s situation. I’m not really sure how you can help her, as it pertains to her pain and the stress of dealing with the insurance company, but I suspect you’re helping her more than you realize. You’re there for her. You love her. And you’re supporting her so she doesn’t have to go through this alone. I know you likely want to do a lot more, and I imagine it’s a powerless feeling to not know what that might be.

    I hope things improve for her, both medically and with the insurance issues. You are both in my thoughts.

    Lori

  • http://www.facebook.com/shravanmishra Shravan Mishra

    Hey Lori,

    Great article, you mentioned all the basic things which would help someone move on in life. I’ve been hurt in past and carried that pain for almost a year but I would like to brag about myself a little :P and say that I’m quick learner and I learned those things at the right time which helped me get over the pain.

    That was the time when I was almost friendless and almost no body around me to share my feelings with but I take that as a blessing because that gave me a reason to be strong and spend my time in learning and expanding my consciousness.

    One point which I would like to add here:

    Attachment to people: We get so attached to people that we start to tolerate their misbehavior at times due to which we tend to start feeling a little suffocated in the relationship.

    The only reason we tolerate, is not to lose that person from our life or to avoid conflicts.

    The relationships should be based on acceptance, not on compromises.

    We should learn to accept people as they are (by accepting their flaws as well), and not to become their teacher or mentor at every step of the life.
    One should learn to give advice or help selflessly and not to label your opinions with the condition that one who is receiving the opinion has to accept it. (which is a huge matter of conflicts in most relationships.)

    For e.g. Parents try to force their opinions on their children, which make their children irritable because they lose their freedom of choice.
    It’s important for a person not to enforce their opinion on someone but rather show them the path and let them choose on their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lawgroupcomm Nancy Law

    Thank you so very much … I’m so sorry that I was on the offensive … its just so frustrating … and its painful to watch her work so hard to change her goals in life because the car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury … it did not destroy her intelligence but it damaged her in a cognitive way … she earned her income because of her brain and how fast it worked, solved problems, saw new paths to solve problems and now she’s re-training a whole new skillset … she is so brave and she has so much physical pain … I admire her so much. It’s her 41st birthday on Apr 8th (today) and she’s unable to celebrate her birthday because she’ll be tied up all day by the insurance company medical … Two degrees from University but she’ll be so exhausted by the end of tomorrow she’ll have to try to sleep the pain away. Keep up the good work you do :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re welcome, and no problem. I understand. It sounds like she’s been through a lot. I hope the meetings go well for her today, and that she has a little time to experience some joy on her birthday.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Shravan,

    I’m glad to hear you were able to move on and heal from the pain. And those are great points, about what relationships should be based on. I think in a healthy relationship, both people feel respected and free. I’ve certainly been in my share that didn’t work like that, and they were far from healthy. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

    Lori

  • bigsky

    Thank you so much for this article and for the work you do. The points that I need to concentrate on are 3-living in the present, 7-not letting the hurt become my identity and 8-reconnecting with who I was before the pain.

    I have felt sadness a lot in my life. And anger. It’s built up and I feel it’s overtaken my life. My greatest hurt has been from my sister whom I was very close to. I’ve lived away from my family (siblings, nieces and nephews) because of jobs and who I am (an adventurous spirit not afraid to take risks). As I grew older I realized that I wanted to be physically closer to my family and spent a summer in PA with them. I was considering moving there to be closer to family. Then realized my sister didn’t want me to move near. It really, really hurt. As it turns out she has disowned me. I’ve been in therapy for a year trying to deal with the hurt, yet still feel stuck in the pain.

    Two years ago my niece of 22 years old died of a drug overdose. I think it’s been really hard on the family in ways that are hard to grasp. So, in a few years I lost my niece and also my sister.

    I have issues with relationships and my family wants to see me married. I was raped at 3 years old by an old Amish uncle. He did the same – sexually abused – my aunt and my cousins. Relatives were made aware but did nothing. And another uncle in the family also sexually abused me, my sister and my cousins. My uncles and aunt were made aware of it and asked him to seek help, that was the extent of it. When I turned 30 I wrote the uncle who raped me at 3 years old … I felt so much anger I wanted to either kill him or kill myself. I told him that he needed to pay for my therapy and he sent a check for $5,000. This admission of guilt helped me get over it to a degree. But when an old man looks at me in a sexual way it makes my blood boil.

    I lost my dad when I was 11, he was killed in a motorcycle accident. And I lost my mother 10 years ago – she died in a very strange sad way. Became involved (emotionally) with a man from a cult who convinced her that in order to ‘save herself’ she and her daughter (me) needed to have sex with him. When my mother told me this I told her that I have already been through sexual abuse and wanted nothing to do with the situation.

    As I write I realize I’ve had a very strange and messed up life. It almost seems nightmarish and unreal.

    Another thing that is becoming more and more difficult for me to deal with is judgement and criticism from people. I worked overseas for 3 years and when I came back I felt so much judgement and criticism from those close and dear to me. And the judgements stick in my head … that I’m crazy, I should have married this guy, my life has been elusive/a waste, etc., etc., etc. I find myself shutting down and unable to talk to anyone about my feelings because of fear of judgement, ridicule, criticism.

    I live alone – I have for the past 30 years. I think living alone has it’s dangers. I would like/need to share my life with someone.

    The greatest hurt, being disowned from my sister, made me feel like moving far away and never going back to PA. I was living in Chicago and last year moved to New Mexico. So, here I am .. in the beautiful southwest, closer to the big blue sky. Waiting to pass on.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You are most welcome. My heart ached for you in reading about all you’ve been through. It doesn’t sound to me that your life’s been a waste. It sounds like you’ve had more than you fair share of your challenges and you’ve admirably taken efforts to heal and move forward in life. Why did your sister disown you? Has she shut down all hope of reconciliation?

  • rahul

    nice article i like it. it give me a valued information

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  • http://buddhafame.com/ Buddha Fame

    Forgiveness is the strongest weapon one has. If s/he can forgive others for the problems they have brought in her/his life, s/he can live a happy life. In Buddhism it is said, “forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being.” So, in order to yourself from the thoughts you have to forgive the person who has hurt you.

  • Lily

    In all fairness to AA. People who actually WORK the 12 steps, leave the story behind, and go on to live happy joyous lives. In fact that is the whole point. It is called a 12 step program for a reason. If someone is reliving their past pain over and over in meetings, they are likely not working ALL the steps.

  • sumit

    wow Great post!!

  • Ly

    This did not help me at all it’s only making me feel worse.
    I was a emotional crippled person before, I am still emotionally crippled 7 years later.
    I have no friends at all. I have no “joys of this moment” I smell leaves and it’s wonderful. That is about all I have. I know what my pain is, my pain is being cheated on and watching my relationship burn horrendously to the ground while my child dies, and my home is gone all at the same time. I can’t do a damn thing about any of those things and I don’t think any of this “advice” is meant for people experiencing a crisis. This is advice for people who wallow. I am not a wallow-er.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m sorry to hear this wasn’t helpful to you Ly. It sounds like you’ve had a lot to deal with, and I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. You mentioned you don’t have any friends. What about family? Or acquaintances who could become friends? Are there any people you see semi-regularly now?

  • simplymeeh

    I dunno if you’ll still be able to read this reply. But i’m gonna try to apply your advices… especially writing him a letter part…. its probably gonna help me. I was in a relationship that was based on lies that was ended only recently. He lied to me the whole time, cheated on me, fooled me… yeah i’m so dumb… i was lied over and over and still accepted him. Until i found out he has someone else and he was just gone w/ no apology no nothing. It tortures me… emotionally. I thought i’m ok but i just found out that his family knew about it and even them lied to me. they all lied to me. and i was used. I”m not mad i keep saying i forgive him … its just that i’m emotionally hurt and tortured. So yeah i’m gonna try to apply your advices. Just wanted to say thanks for d’ great article. Godbless!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. I hope these tips help you create some peace!

  • Lesley

    I really like what you shared in this article, but the final note about spending time with other people is very discouraging to me. It seems that “hang out with your friends/people who love you/etc.” is always a big tip in these sorts of articles… but the problem is that I have no friends. And the story I’m carrying around is about how my best friend in the world (my sister) decided she wanted to stop being my friend. And now I’m completely alone. So while I’ve found that yoga & getting outdoors are helping a lot, I still miss having people to talk to in life. And reading articles like this just reinforce the idea that I won’t be able to feel better without having a few great friends to support me.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi Lesley,

    I’m so sorry to learn about what happened with your sister. I’ve been through times when I felt like I had no one, so I empathize with the feelings and understand your discouragement. I don’t think that it’s impossible to feel better without close friends supporting you–but I think that most of us feel better when we get out and start connecting with people, even if they’re not yet close friends.

    I find even just going to Starbucks to write and chatting with the people around me can help a great deal when I’m struggling). It gives me a sense that I am not alone–and helps pull me out of my thoughts and into the present moment.

    And then, of course, you could take it a step beyond connecting with acquaintances. Have you considered trying a new hobby to meet new people and potentially make new friends?

    Lori

  • Maddie

    This article is truly WONDERFUL! I only wish I would have come across it earlier this summer when the worst of the worst happened for me. This helped me so much, a lot of these steps I hadn’t even considered, and they are all SO true. Thank you thank you thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Maddie. I hope things have begun to improve for you!

  • Searching

    This is a great article, but I feel very badly that I am so stuck. I have to tell a bit of my story – sorry. Physically and sexually abusive childhood, lots of neglect, emotional abuse continued until my mother died when I was 33, then a legal case at the hands of my older abusive brother. Became depressed and lost everything. Got stronger, just to end up in a relationship with someone who lied to me constantly, broke promises, blamed me, and I broke down. I work every day to get stronger. But there has been a lot of betrayal, abuse and interpersonal trauma in my life.

    But I am SO STUCK! I have tried interpersonal therapy, group therapy, CBT, DBT, journalling, punching pillows, writing letters I don’t send – everything I can think of but I am still stuck. I still feel the need to talk about it, and feel badly that I do. I feel so absolutely broken as a human being. I have PTSD and depression, but have tried half a dozen anti-depressants with no luck. I feel like I have lost all hope.

    I’ll admit, I hate hearing “don’t play the victim.” It makes me feel like what I have gone through means nothing. That it doesn’t matter. AND I WAS VICTIMIZED! And reading “take responsibility for your part.” Does that mean I caused all this?

    I have worked very hard in my life to make something of myself, to do the right things, avoid pitfalls and be the best person, daughter, sister and friend I can be. But I am left with nothing – I’m not working, have no money, no family and no real friends. So I walk around so confused and ashamed. Paralyzing shame. And so, so much pain all the time. The weight of the guilt and shame I carry buries me. I am now petrified to be around people, for fear of their judgment or betrayal or anger or of alienating them.

    Please don’t take this post as any form of criticism. I have known for years I need to “let go” but can’t seem to get there. I struggle with issues like compassion, forgiveness and acceptance – for others and myself.

    Thank you for this article. Even though I struggle, I have found this article as well as other articles on this site very helpful. I guess I just needed to put this out there.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. I don’t take your comment as criticism. In fact, I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. After a very destructive past, I felt confused about the whole victim/responsibility thing as well. I also dealt with depression, was overmedicated, carried around a ton of shame, isolated myself in fear of being judged, and went through a long period where I had practically no money, no friends, and no sense of what I could/should do to get unstuck.

    One thing that really helped me was yoga, because it allowed me to clear the thoughts in my busy mind. Once I found some mental stillness, it became a lot easer to work through my feelings and take responsibility for what I could control–what I did from that moment forward. That, I’ve learned, is what it means to stop being a victim and start taking responsibility. It’s not accepting blame for what happened. It’s deciding to heal and move forward from what happened. And it takes time.

    Have you ever tried yoga or meditation before? You can actually find some yoga videos on YouTube, but I’d highly recommend trying a class if there’s a place near you. I actually got free classes in exchange for volunteering at the studio–and that’s something a lot of studios do (often called “karma yoga”). If that’s an available option for you, I’d highly recommend it. If you’re anything like me, it could change your life! It’s amazing how taking one small step in the right direction can make a world of difference.

    I hope this helps a little.

    Lori

  • Searching

    Thank you Lori for your kindness and understanding. I have tried yoga and meditation, but only worked minimally for me, but I will try again. You’re right – “mental stillness” – it’s something else I struggle with. I have been so lost in pain and anguish the last few months, and that is when I found this site – “when the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Tiny Buddha has been extremely helpful to me, and I am eternally grateful for the compassion I have found here.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad the site has been helpful to you, and I hope things start to get easier!

  • RSL

    This is a rally good article Lori. Thank you for posting. Letting go and moving on will be a long and painful process but one day it will happen. “Don’t think about the totality of the rest of your days. That’s a massive burden to carry” – this is where I’m at.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. Sometimes the best we can do is take it one day at a time.

  • annony

    I don’t refer to breakups or shallow stuff but what about those who are finally “done”? They want no part in nothing, nothing to do with anyone, shut out and closed who live in a cave and won’t change nothing for no one, gone far in the deep types, what happens to them? Do they move on? The western philosophy is all appealing :move on and accept don’t deny the sorrow BUT does that happen? HOw can one accept sorrow in their journey of moving on and MOVE ON? The outcome is nothing but more chaos, if there at all is an outcome an end result in the never ending viscious cycle. But the good thing about illusions is that they can fool us more than idiocy is capable of.
    Negativity? yes but it just doesnt happen and thats that.

  • Lynn

    Hi Searching,

    I am also so sorry to hear about what you have been through too. I would like to recommend you a book I picked up recently called ‘Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child’ by Thich Nhat Hanh. I found his teachings on suffering and mindful breathing very practical and healing and I want to share this with you. Sending you my love and thoughts.

  • Mike García

    I hate breakups especially when you still have feelings for the person. It’s one of the hardest things we as humans have to do. Thanks for the advice :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • boogy

    This literally just brought me to tears. It was perfect you’re completely right about all of this and i can’t thank you enough for posting it. I’ve been looking through a lot of articles to try to help me cope and this is by far the best one in my opinion. thank you so much

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad you found this and that it was helpful to you. =)

  • sadaf

    Thank you for this. It helped alot.
    The pain I had to endure may no one go through it. Was in relationship for 4 years. Partner kept promising he will marry me for two years. His mother told him because I am 4 years older than him ..in the event I cant have any children he shall take a second wife. amazingly he changed from the person I once grew with to someone with views I would not touch with a barge pole.

    He still plays mind games with me that I am getting old and that no one will marry me.
    I have learnt the hard way but I can not be put down like that. I am still hopeful.8

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome, Sadaf. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. That’s horrible of him to say, that no one will marry you. I’ve known some people who’ve gotten remarried after being widowed in their 60s and 70s–so I have to disagree with him! I’m glad that you’re still hopeful. It’s amazing what we can do when we have hope.

  • Anusha

    Excellent article! I think I’m falling in love with you Lori, haha! Keep up the great work :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Anusha. =)

  • Kathy Coleman

    Physical pain is hard to hold on to that’s why it’s hard to explain women wouldn’t have more than one child if they remember the pain

  • Janice

    wonderful article. This line really hit home “living your life around a memory and giving it power to control you”.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Janice. I’m glad you found it helpful!

  • den

    Hello. I just turned 18 and I have decided to just let go of the pain. For the past years, growing up wasn’t easy. When i was in my first year of high school, I was bullied by seniors just because of a misunderstanding. When i was in my second year in high school my friends ganged up on me because of backstabbing. I was always told that my sister was prettier than me. Everytime. Some of my friends have always joked about me being ugly. Maybe once a day. My mind hasnt been the same since. I was paranoid and still am, I always think people are talking about me and stuff. All of the pain has followed me and still has a tight grip on me I cant let go of. I spent all my days crying and being sorry for myself. Because of tightly holding on to the pain, i forgot about the people who sincerely told me im pretty. I forgot about my loved ones who just want me to be happy. I forgot about those moments I was the light of the room because they thought my jokes were simply the best. Now I decided im going to see a psychiatrist, i have decided that this has come too far. I want to be happy and my mind to be at peace. Thanks for this post

  • EllaYu

    Also pain can be a beautiful thing if you channel it properly. I’m not saying necessarily life should be lived as a tortured artist… but really, an outlet, not as a distraction but as a channel, can not only help you identify how the situation has shaped you but help you to find the true beauty and honesty that can be forged as a result of it.

    I’m a writer so maybe I’m looking at this from that perspective. When I’m in pain, I rarely write about my own pain. But I find it very easy to suddenly understand the pain my characters may be feeling – usually about something totally unrelated. They gain depth and character. They borrow from me. They become human. And I find that my characters are more likely to listen to me in that humiliating moment of great sorrow. And I am more likely to listen to them.

    Anger, I find, doesn’t tell me much about myself. Anger is like bargaining with the universe. “If i just do this…”, “if he/she just had done this…”, “if so-and-so hadn’t been so….”. Anger makes you focus on stuff you can’t change. SADNESS, on the other hand, makes you focus on the only thing you can change. YOU. Sadness is a mirror. It forces you to face who you truly are.

    WORK through it. DO YOUR WORK. Whatever that might be. Pour your pain into creation. Use pain, a type of death, to create life. It will be a beautiful moment. Death comes again when the creation is finished but there is a certain finality about it then. Things come full circle and you won’t be the same person after it all.

    It’s hard to explain. But in every crisis, there is a golden and precious opportunity to save yourself from who you once were.

  • SLW

    Oddly and I realise this is a few years later but this comment has really helped me understand my response to discovering my story of pain.

    I’ve spend days wallowing in anger with a desire to lash out and hurt those I feel responsible, but this has been constrained by my inability to do anything, which has just made everything worse.

    I’ve been using anger to suppress and avoid the sadness but EllaYu is correct and it is only the sadness which will help me move on.

  • Karen Gordon

    I have a

  • brokenhearted

    thank you for this article. It has helped me find some peace even if its just momentarily.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad it helped!

  • vishu

    Yup its true ya bt it mights be hurt

  • maureen tezzbah from kenya

    yah i agree with everything you say though av trird it recently but i find it hard to forgive those who have caused my emotional pain in my life to an extent of making me fail in my exams….. sorry not really failing but not doing it to my potential

  • as187

    hi, my name is Adrianna and i came across this and come to realize that i’m hurting myself. I’m in a lesbian relationship and i’ve been with this woman for 15 years. We practically grew up together. The point is we come from very different backgrounds. I’m Christian and she’s Muslim and not out yet. This girl has broken my heart emotionally a few times. She developed feelings for other women and when she meets them she regrets and stops. This happened to me 3 times without me knowing and when i find out she holds me back and tells me that she can’t live without me. Her excuse is she wonders off because supposedly shes waiting for me to be more confidant if that makes any sense. It’s emotionally draining and the sad thing is that i love her but i hate how she can treat me. Am i at fault for letting this happen to me? I love her and i don’t want to let her go but i’m tired of her looking for what IFs with other people. I really need help! It’s bad enough that i have to deal with this all to myself because no one knows about my life.