Forum Replies Created
October 2, 2014 at 6:50 am #65905
Awesome, Lilla! Your instincts are very good, and I so agree. Rebuilding yourself is your focus now and from where I sit, you are doing great! A big hug to you.
Cat dancingOctober 1, 2014 at 7:54 am #65857
Hi, Lilla. I hope you are well. I agree completely with Todzilla. When you think about the e-mail note, it really is somewhat insulting. Here is a person who ditched you for someone else, and he expects you to jump at his lame, one line e-mail so he can be assured that you are still on the hook for him. I do not want to make presumptions about the relationship, but with certain types of people this could be called a “hoover,” which means the person is hoping to suck you back into their world to keep you on the back burner in case it doesn’t work out with new chick. Maybe all is not well in his new paradise, whatever, it’s not your problem. Nor is it your duty, obligation or whatnot to make HIM feel better by replying to his one sentence inquiry. What about all the weeks you were crying and feeling terribly about how he treated you.
I believe your gut is telling you NOT to respond. I think you should listen to your GUT and protect yoursef first. You only have to be responsible for your own actions; it is not up to you to make him feel better by replying in any way.
I base this response on your original post. I believe your instincts are telling you that there may be an alterior motive on his part, and frankly I feel that if he really was concerned about how you were doing, he’d pick up the phone. You don’t have to respond at all, or at least right away.
I have a saying posted over my desk that is a good reminder to me in many facets of life: “Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a good thing to say…”–Will Durant. This helps me in situations where I am not sure what to do. It reminds me that I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to at the moment.
I send you the good vibes for peace of mind and healing.
cat dancingSeptember 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm #65810
Dear Sandy. Wow, there is a lot going on here. I don’t have any sage advice but would like to make some observations in hopes that you won’t feel so alone and hopeless.
Maybe you can narrow your list of things you think you need to fix down to one or two things. Simple things; i.e. if saving money is something important to you, get a cookie jar or something and make a rule that you must put $5 in it per day (or every other day, or once a week) or some other amount that is actually do-able. I have done this before (when I quit smoking I put the dough in a jar) and it surprised me how much it added up. When you see the dollars growing in that jar you will feel a sense of accomplishment because you are meeting one of your goals.
You don’t have to give up on school in order to survive. Perhaps you can talk to a counselor at the school you wish to go to and find out how you can manage one class at a time or something. Maybe you can go to community college where the costs are less, and take just one class per semester? I know it’s not easy as I have done the same. I am returning to school in the spring after a long hiatus. I work full time and am on my own with financial issues, etc., so I have decided that I will do what is managable and realistic and be patient about it.
My beloved aunt (my mentor and spiritual advisor) sent me a quote from St. Francis of Assisi which I keep on my desk at work. It says “First start with doing what is necessary; then what is possible, and, suddenly you are doing the impossible…” I find this to be very true. Start with what is necessary (saving $5 a week) and then what is possible (paying for a class with that money) and suddenly you are doing what you thought was impossible!
Go easy on yourself. YOu are young and there is a lot of life in front of you. Remember that life is a gift. While you accomplish one of your goals, you can also maybe make a gratitude list or start a gratitude journal. This was a real game-changer for me when I was in the midst of deep, dark hell. My life was such a “disaster” that the only rule I made for the gratitude journal was that I had to write just one thing in it per day. Just one thing! I started out with things like: I am grateful for my cat. My sister. A hot shower, etc. Some days I repeated the same thing I wrote the day before. But then something amazing happened. One thing became three, which became five, which became 10…it seemed the more I found to be grateful for, the more blessings entered into my life. It truly is an amazing, amazing thing and very uplifting too. It changed my mood and thought process from negative to positive…and you know what? That’s all you really have to do! The rest follows. It takes time, practice and conscious effort, but the payoff is very worth it.
I hope this has helped you some, Sandy. You are not alone. You will be okay. You are on the road to finding what fulfills you.
cat dancingSeptember 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm #65808
You surely do sound like a great and thoughtful man. Remember that. I think that dating should be fun and I also think that moving too fast is a red flag, particularly for a woman who has been cheated on. Self-reliance has nothing to do with it, it’s all about self-preservation. I don’t think two months is a long time. I don’t think three months is either…Most relationships that start like wildfire end in a pile of ashes. Too much too soon is a red flag to me now that I’ve been burned and landed in that pile. Value yourself and all else will follow. Being choosy about who you share yourself with (like the woman you describe above) is not a negative trait, to me it is priceless. It means she values herself and doesn’t just give herself away to anyone who shows a bit of interest. I am speaking here from my own experience and do not mean to read too much into the situation or sound preachy. I hope that you read this and know that I support you and admire you for your striving to do the right thing. That, too, is not a negative trait! It, too, is priceless and will serve you well in the long run.
I have learned the hard way that letting someone “in” too soon isn’t always smart or best. Trust, and true love, take time and patience to develop. Communication is KEY. It sounds like you are ready to do some communicating about where you’re at right now. She has told you that she is not seeing anyone else. Believe her on that. Trust that she is being kind and gracious with you, too.
As a very wise community member said above, try not to worry about outcomes and just enjoy the experience of getting to know someone, of flirting and having fun, of being kind and feeling good about being kind, and the rest will fall in place.
I hope this helps you some, Steve.
cat dancingSeptember 19, 2014 at 12:34 pm #65236
Hi, Jen. I am grateful for your response and for your input and clarification.
I apologize if I made sweeping generalities about your relationship based on my own experiences. As for the triangulation thing, I can only speak of how it resonated with me in the situation I was in, which was a six year ordeal. When I first met the man, whom I refer to as the destroyer, he was married but separated. His wife was in another state and I was assured that they were on the way to divorce. I told him that I could not engage with a married man, and that I was not interested in a roll in the hay with a married man, much less anyone, and that didn’t bug him. He assured me that by a certain date, he would be divorced. In the meantime, he also treated me very well and did not pressure me for sex. He waited six months (yes, for me this was a ‘test’ because I did not want to have any regrets about having sex with someone who would soon disappear) and by then I was in love. The target divorce date came and went. And so did another year. And then another. And another. In the interim, we were together very often, he was constantly calling, texting, etc. etc. and convincing me that I was his “soulmate” and all of that. I believed him. Even when he blew me off time and again because he had to deal with “the crazy ex” who he also asserted was a narcissist. Turns out, he was PROJECTING. He is the disordered one. I now understand why she was “so crazy…” and regret that I believed him over her…anyhow, when they finally did get divorced, it was as if HE FELL APART! I couldn’t believe it! We were finally free to be out in the open (what you describe above, Jen, is not out in the open if you’re hiding from his wife, from social media, hiding HIS TRUTH from the world). I did that too for over four years, so when we could be open, it was foreign to him or something. He folded, for lack of better word, and began to pursue other women insisting they were “friends” (sound familiar with what your ex’s brother is telling you)…I was exceedingly insecure. He spewed all sorts of “pretty words” at me (he was the king of pretty words in FOUR LANGUAGES to boot), but finally I discovered that pretty words are a dime a dozen, it’s the ACTIONS that tell you what’s going on and his actions, i.e. NOT BEING AVAILABLE told me the truth no matter what was spewing from his mouth. I became someone I hardly recognized (snooping, following, semi-stalking) because there was a HUGE QUESTIONMARK in my gut but I didn’t want to believe the truth so I plodded along. In fact, I amped it up so to speak. I tried even “harder” to “keep him” UGH (I cringe today thinking of this). As it turns out, he ditched me big time anyway. He was telling me all along by his actions but I refused to believe…it was easier for me to be in denial. He ended up vanishing. Changing his phone number and leaving the area. Poof. Gone. How’s that for a “soulmate” of six years?
Turns out he gave me a gift. I am almost four years out of that hell and my life is ten zillion times better than I ever thought it would be after he ditched me (and I was NOT a young woman) and way, way better than it’s ever been. Why? Because I began to heal myself inside. The entire ordeal (that I was willing to settle for a married, unavailable man) FORCED me to finally deal with the deep-seated childhood issues of not being “good enough” that I had dodged and stuffed my whole life. It was not easy work but way, way worth it. I have since had the blessing of finding an authentic, true, fun and believe it or not hot guy (even at my age) whom I have known now for more than two years who LIFTS ME UP rather than knocks me down and keeps me on eggshells, off kilter, uncertain, afraid…
This is just a glimpse of my story. I learned it later in life and was preyed upon by the destroyer at a vulnerable time. Like the person you describe, he had no intention of following through on anything…he just wanted to see how far I’d go…it was a semi-game to him. It was MY LIFE, to me. Tough lesson to learn in the fifth decade. But valuable beyond measure.
do what is in your heart, dear Jen. Remember that you have value, that you are unique and a gem, that you deserve to be treated well and valued! That you have a lot to offer and you are empathetic and understanding to a T. Remember that LOVE DOES NOT EQUAL PAIN and that a loving relationship LIFTS YOU UP, not brings you to your knees. Remember that you DESERVE a man who is available 100 percent…and that asking for that is NOT DEMANDING, it’s REALISTIC.
I apologize for being all over the map here. I do not like to see suffering at the hands of someone who may have never had the intention of following through on anything, of taking the “easy road” because he could…I hope there is some nugget of help here. I send you a huge hug. Do what’s in your heart. Listen to that little voice. Remember you don’t have to do anything at the moment…be still and listen to your gut and your heart. Remember to HONOR YOURSELF FIRST.
cat dancingSeptember 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm #65235
I am sorry you are going through this, but I have a question.
Why is the “success” of the relationship all on you?
Why are you carrying the entire load?
Why is it all up to you whether or not things are good and well?
Why is your expressing your truth of being tired and not wishing to engage in sex (while pregnant to boot) a problem?
If you are with someone who is readily handing you a list of what is “wrong” with you, I would re-think why you’re with that person, not to mention WHY HE’S WITH YOU. Maybe you should ask him? Maybe that would help both of you, I don’t know.
What I do know is life is way too short to be spent twisted up in knots over trying to please somebody who finds fault…be happy with yourself (as suggested above) and all else follows.
cat dancingSeptember 18, 2014 at 10:31 am #65160
Oh dearest Jen! My heart aches for you. I am so sorry this happened to you. Let me assure you, however, that this is HIM, not YOU. He is the one looking for reasons to push you away right now. Arguments in relationships are not unusual; giving someone the silent treatment, i.e. ignoring them, being unresponsive, not communicating as if you are invisible, IS. Silent treatment is a form of abuse. You sent your apology on MONDAY to someone who PROFESSED to love you and care about you etc. but to not respond to that until today is NOT LOVE. I do not say this to hurt you but rather to prevent you from further hurt.
You cannot go back to the way it was in the beginning because that scenario doesn’t exist any more. He is not entangled in his marriage any longer, your role is different now and unfortunately he is apparently ambivilent about it. Again, this is NOT YOU, it’s HIM. Read up on triangulation and some lightbulbs might click for you.
I know you don’t want to let go, but in my opinion that would be the best thing to try to do right now.
I believe this person has his sights set on someone else, whether it be his ex-wife or someone new.
I believe this person will not change.
Please try to believe him when he is telling you that he can’t be what you wish right now. Perhaps ever. Please try to accept the truth that perhaps this person is NOT who you thought he was; that he was willing to risk your emotions for his need to “have his cake and eat it too” and then change his mind.
I believe all of the above because I have walked in your shoes. What I learned was eye-opening, life-changing and quite painful. I will never again become involved with someone who is still married, regardless of the state of that marriage or the professsed separation, etc. etc. Not judging you for this at all, just saying I have been exactly where you are at and once the divorce happened, rather than the relationship soaring, it went into the tank and I was spinning…
Be kind to yourself. Eat well. Sleep. Cry. Write like crazy, write all your feelings, read all you can about similar behavior patterns, remind yourself that you are safe and you will be okay; make a list of your outstanding qualities; make a list of things that make you feel good and set about doing JUST ONE THING that makes you feel good about yourself even if you aren’t really “feeling it.” Fake it til you make it, they say. Most of all, please try not to contact this person again for a while, perhaps forever. Any further contact with him will set yourself up for the possibility of being ignored, being treated coldly, amping up his hurtful words, etc. etc. Focus on yourself and whatever it is you need to do to feel better right now.
I hope this helps you some. I have walked in your shoes and am well on the other side, where life is a grand adventure! Truly! The more you sweep out the debris from this painful scenario, the more room it makes for something beautiful to enter your life. You can let it all go one minute at a time.
catdancingSeptember 18, 2014 at 9:25 am #65158
Hi, dear lostandloving it! Wow what great responses your thoughtful question has prompted. I wish I had some sage wisdom to make it all click for you but I don’t. I can only point out what I’ve learned along my path. This part here, dear lost, flags me:
“I want to be his friend, but how do I get over this “Oh, I think I like you” part? I have to see him on the regular and even now, when I am forcing myself to get over him, seeing him so much is just… Well, it hurts. A lot. I feel worthless. Not good enough. It’s very confusing and defeating…”
Dear lost, you may “want to be his friend” but in trying to do so, you are re-wounding yourself! All of your inadequate feelings are reinforced with the “friendship.” It hurts you and of course it would! You are not expected to be so lofty and stalwart that would negate the very real feelings that you have. You are allowed to have your feelings! But you must also realize that in order to feel better, you must do things that LIFT YOU UP and MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD about yourself, not things that make you feel badly as you describe above. You may have to face the fact that for the moment anyway, you can’t “be friends” with this person because it is re-wounding you.
Also you say: “I know these are issues from within. I just don’t know how to handle myself. How do I grow self-love? How do I nurture it? How do I deal with my own power? My own feelings of helplessness or loss or awe of the everyday?”
To me this is really brilliant! You are aware and cognizant that something has to change so you can really soar! You are aware that you do have intrinsic power and that it SHOULD NOT be dependent on other’s opinions/attitudes/acceptance/validation, etc. of you. As you wrote above, and the other members echoed, physical beauty is fleeting. It does not define us (though I’d be foolish to ignore the fact that possessing physical beauty is considered an asset and is quite revered in society). What ends up mattering in terms of living an authentic life is being true to your nature and understanding that all else springs from that. For me, dealing with my own feelings of helplessness and/or loss is to accept those feelings and then let them go. Feel the feelings and let them go, as pointed out above. It’s all temporary, and when I let those negative feelings go I force myself to shift to something positive that lifts me up. In another thread I wrote about starting a gratitude journal. Corney though it sounds, it really worked for me. When I decided to do it my rule was that I had to write just ONE THING that I was grateful for in it every day (that’s how lousy I was feeling). Some days I wrote ‘my cat’ or ‘my sister’ or ‘a hot shower.’ Some days I repeated the same thing. But soon enough one thing became three, which became five and then 10 and before long things to be grateful for were just rolling in front of me! It really lifted me up and shifted my mood, which showed to the world at work and in life, and to which people reacted positively, which lifted me up more, etc. etc. I think you can get the drift. Today I enjoy a centered-ness that I hadn’t known before, all from trying to embrace what’s good and what makes me FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF and let the rest go.
I hope this helps you some, dear lostandlovinit.
catdancingSeptember 18, 2014 at 9:00 am #65157
When I was in a similar place after some major losses I knew I had to try something, anything to change it up. A good friend of mine lent me a meditation CD, which I listened to every morning for 15 minutes in the dark. For the first few weeks, I cried the whole way through it, I wasn’t feeling it at all. Shortly, though, I began to feel it helping center me. It was called ‘Getting into the Vortex’ or something like that (I hope this isn’t in violation of forum guidelines). Anyhow, I also started a gratitude journal. The rule I made for myself was that I had to write just one thing in it every day. Just one thing! That’s how lousy and dead I was feeling. Some days I wrote ‘my cat’ or ‘my sister’ or ‘a hot shower’ as what I was grateful for. Some days I repeated the same thing I wrote the day before. But then something amazing happened. Soon enough one thing became three things, which became 10 things, which seemed to snowball. The more I found to be grateful for (be it a great cup of coffee, a warm blanket, a smile from a stranger) the more blessings there seemed to appear to be grateful for. This totally lifted me up and “lightened me up” too. This new “lighter feeling” began to show to the world, people commented on the positive change and that brought even more positivity and light into my life. It was truly amazing how it built upon itself. The simple act of looking around at what was right in front of me to be grateful for snowballed into changing my entire life. I hope this will help you in some way.