Forum Replies Created
February 24, 2019 at 5:26 pm #281609
I read Michelle’s reply and your reply to her and your meetup with your ex.. and something popped into my head. It seemed to me that you have not accepted that the door to your relationship has closed; perhaps you are hoping that if you knock on it from time to time, it will open once again for you.
And the getting in touch with your ex from time to time are your attempts to knock and see if there is a response from him and that you both can open the door once again. I think like Michelle pointed out, you seem to be afraid of change/what change might bring.
I wonder if you are fearful that if you grieve and accept that the door is closed and thus moving on and being open to the change in your life, that door will be closed for good. Though I think that the contrary is true, that if you accept that this door is closed, then you can work on yourself and your ex can work on himself. Cos even if the Shelbyville now and the him now get back together again, the same problems exist and you both will be back to square one.
The relationship probably stands a better chance if you both have improved on each other, close this door and then open a new door together the next time. So look at yourself too, how have you changed during the relationship and how has that contributed to it not working out? I remember you saying that you used to travel alone, you used to do a lot of things but those were lost when you were in a relationship. Maybe you can find that Shelbyville back again and like Michelle said, to look at what you want for yourself in the future.
Only when you accept that the door is closed for good, then can you move on and have a change in your life. But I think that will take time to happen and it could be that you need to knock on that door more times to realise that the door is closed and no amount of knocking can reopen it. I also knocked repeatedly on the door with my ex too and it took prob 9 months to a year to realise that the door has closed and I need to grieve and I need to move on.
So do not be too hard on yourself too, everyone’s journey is different. And no matter how much we can say here and how much you read, end of the day, it is your own journey. Be gentle with yourself too – it takes time.January 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm #273741
Oh dear! dropping a tree on your foot :(( that must hurt really badly! Okay, it sounds like you better take a good rest and let your foot heal! wishing you a speedy recovery. take things slow in the meantime – ice your foot and keep it elevated!
Yes, that is still the plan. I will continue staying with my father until i have saved enough money to get my own house. Or i may explore if i have any opportunities to work overseas. that would be my dream to work overseas actually! my few months overseas last year was such an enriching experience that i would like to have a longer experience of that.
I still attend therapy but i have changed my therapist. as much as my previous therapist helped me. .there was a part of me that was not comfortable with her as she was quite aggressive in her views and in some sessions i felt like i was also brought back to being a little girl. so i found another one whom im more comfortable with and still continuing that journey.
I feel the main difference in my relationship with my father would be the power difference. Before this, i think the power difference was huge. I would always perceive him to be “bigger” and more powerful than me and i felt like a helpless victim. but i think now i see myself as equal sized to him and that i am an adult and not that little girl who is so fearful of him. i think i used to live in fear of his aggression and when it would happen (since it was intermittent and not all the time). but now, i know i can survive on my own and there is nothing to fear. if there comes a day that he is aggressive again, i know i can speak up for myself and i would leave. i think in the past, i would be frozen and not know what to do. but the me now, i am confident i am able to manage. so in my interactions with him now, i feel i speak to him from an adult level and not as a scared little girl responding to her father. i think it was the empowerment from being on my own in a continent i perceived to be more dangerous than my home country.
indeed my friend that i lost 8 years ago had a lot to share about her troubled marriage and i was sad to hear that she had gone through all that. and i was also regretful on how i reacted to her wanting to get married back then. i basically told her to choose him or our friendship and that pushed her away too. i thought if i had taken a different approach, at least she would have social support. but she has moved on now and is recovering from that episode. so im glad that we are friends again and with time and maturity, i think our friendship has deepened.
January 10, 2019 at 6:26 pm #273733
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Not_so_lost_star.
Wow, uncanny how similar our experiences can be. The power of forums eh? To be able to connect with other people with similar experiences and that in itself tells us that we are not alone if whatever we are facing 🙂 I guess our exes are pretty sweet people but they are just not the person for us at this moment.
Hmm, yes before I went away I also thought whether I am just running away and will i feel worse if i am alone in a foreign place. it was scary and i wondered if i would be able to handle all that time alone. there were moments where it felt so terrible but it was also in those moments that i allowed myself to feel and that was when healing started too. i think the beauty of travels is that you would meet new people who may give you a different perspective. I remember on one of my trips, i met this lady who inspired me with her own heart break story. She moved to a new country for her then boyfriend.. and she did not even know the language in that country. ended up he decided to move away from that country and left her alone there. she was broken but eventually she found her own footing and she learnt the language in that new country, made new friends and there she was standing on her own! When I spoke to her.. i was so inspired by her story of resilience and these are the moments along the way that helped me build myself together again. i always feel no matter how the travel may go.. there will be moments that gives u a different perspective n renewed insights. just being in a different place works. but of cos maybe you can wait till you feel a bit more mentally prepared or when you feel that impulse one day and just book something!
maybe the sadness comes with each day that you are accepting the end of the relationship. prior to this your sharing seemed to be still more on looking at that door of the relationship and hoping it would open again. probably now you seem to be accepting more that it is closed for now and that is when the sadness would creep in. allow yourself to feel the pain and sadness at bearable doses.. somehow that helps.
ahh i think i get what u mean! in the initial months of the breakup.. i felt that way too. .i was just floating.. sometimes i would wonder how did i make it from point a to point b.. i was just going on auto pilot mode and just keeping myself alive. i had to tell myself to eat to do my daily things.. but i know i was not fully alive in that sense. anyway, your breakup is still very fresh so be gentle with yourself!
i saw on the other thread that books help you too. there was this book i read that was helpful to me. it is called “Second Firsts” by Christina Rasmussen. you can check it out and see if the book speaks to you. it is about recovering from grief and loss and creating your second firsts.January 9, 2019 at 10:52 pm #273593
I will reply you here so as not to disrupt your conversation with Kkasxo. With regards to your question..
Can I ask…..when you went away by yourself, were you lonely, did you miss him or were you able to stop thinking about him and enjoy being by yourself?
Yes, on my first trip alone (which was less than a month after the breakup; booked the trip on impulse to get away from the familiarity of the place which reminds me so much of him).. i thought of him A LOT. there were even moments that I would plug in my music of our songs.. and just cried and cried while listening to the songs. I kept thinking and wondering if we would get back together.
On subsequent trips.. months down the road.. the thoughts of him got lesser and there were times of being lonely.. not just because of him but just the sheer fact of being alone. but it also made me realise who i am on my own without family.. friends.. him.. and that is when i found myself (as cliche as it sounds though). and i slowly regained my smile and happiness. i think it just adds up day by day.. you start smiling at things unrelated to him.. then there will be more and more things and the significance of him contributing to your happiness lessens.
though.. i do still think of him and our good times together but i know those belong in the past.
and my personal belief is that you do not have to forget someone completely to move on. you can still hold a piece of the memory with you.. as long as u dont look at it so much that you are stuck there.
what really helped was not having contact with him in the intial month, we actually agreed to not talk to each other and let our own healing happen. but of cos after a while i was tempted to have contact with him.. and i did. i wanted to know how he was doing(is he as miserable? does he regret?) but each time i contacted him my mind goes into overdrive and i overthink. but i do think those moments of contacting him were helpful too as it helped me to gain clarity that he is not in the same place as i am.
i agree with you saying that if you were to mourn over the relationship, you should do it. it seems like he has already let go of the relationship, so what are you holding on to? for me at that time, i thought if i didnt mourn, the relationship still has hope. but i realised that regardless of whether i mourn for the relationship, regardless ofwhether i am stuck there.. he is gone and nothing i do now makes a difference to that relationship that has passed.
what i can work on is the relationship with myself and with people who are willing to put in similar effort. anyway kudos to you for living each day as it is, be in the present and fighting the urge to be in touch with him! wishing you lots of courage and love and kindness to yourself 🙂January 9, 2019 at 10:40 pm #273581
Always seems like when you are wondering about me then I would pop up with an update 😉
Yes, I am still living with my father and the arrangement is a lot more bearable and happy now that I have grown through my journey. I am glad it has not been undone too and I will continue this growth!
Oh dear! I remember reading about your injury on another thread sometime back right? Is it the same one or is it a new injury? Hope it heals soon so that you can resume other parts of your life!
Sharing with you something that amazed me and related to the title of my thread “Surrender while keeping faith”. There was this very close friend whom I fell out with due to her choosing to marry an abusive guy. She felt that I did not support her and it was difficult for us to continue the friendship too as the guy was also cutting her off from her social support. We lost touch for about 8 years and I pretty much just left it as it is (surrendering). And guess what, 8 years later, I bumped into a mutual friend, found out she has divorced and I reached out to her and now we are back in touch 🙂 So I am like, actually if the friendship or bond is strong enough, I should have the faith that if it is right.. it will come around again at the right time. I was just super amazed at how everything came together.. that I see the real example of how choosing to surrender while keeping faith can happen. Everything will work out in time to come in the way they are supposed to unfold!January 5, 2019 at 9:45 pm #272499
Hi Shelbyville and Kkasxo
I have been following your conversations and it reminded me of how I was 2 years back. You both have mentioned about hoping to hear from people who have gone through this and i hope to share my experience and see if it resonates with you both in any way.
(You can read the full story on my posts if you want to.. but id just give the gist of it here)
I wrote in here 2 yrs ago. Feeling lost after a recent break up. It was one of the most difficult things ive gone thru and one of the most difficult part of it was that we broke up due to circumstances and it was difficult accepting it cos i felt it was not as tho we didnt love each other anymore. And i always struggled with the what ifs…and if we wld get a second chance again.
Similarly, in the first few mths.. and even for the first year.. i held on to every contact i had with him.. hoping to see any signs in those contact that circumstances have changed n tt he is now able to be with me again. But that wasnt the case and he was still stuck in the same situations.
Altho a part of me was still waiting for him but i told myself i cant be passively waiting. So i told myself i need to grow thru this too.. so i went on solo trips, lost weight, did a 4 mths solo trip to another continent and rediscovered who i am on my own. And i told myself that this is what i will still hve regardless of whether he comes bck to me anot.
Something that helped me get going was this phrase:
“Let go of what was, accept what is and have faith in what will be”
There were so many beautiful memories that i was reluctant to let go of.. and i badly wanted to have the memories again. Bt i realised i needed to let go of those because they belong in the past.
And one part of me always fantasized about us getting back together again.. so the what is helped me get back to the present is to list down what is. For me then.. i listed that he is unable to be in a rs.. he is unable to give me wht i want.. and that helped to give me the reality check that it is not possible.
And i remember reading through and there was this part you all were wondering about trusting the process.. and it can be difficult. Bt i told myself to have faith in what will be. N sometimes is just to accept that we do not have much control over what is happening. If it is meant to happen, it will. And when you surrender n be open to things.. u will be surprised at hw mny beautiful things can happen. And the only thing i can control at the moment is myself and how i choose to grow.
2 yrs on.. it is nt as if i have completely forgotten abt him. I still think about him n how he is doing. N i do still wonder if we will get a second chance. Bt again tt is outside my control so i will surrender and have faith in the best outcome.
And dont beat yourselves up for nt being able to let go of them yet. Sometimes i feel our body knows hw much we can handle at the moment. Maybe your body is nt yet ready to feel the whole impact of fully letting go. So when you are ready.. when tt moment is there.. it will come 🙂 it took me a while too and one day i just realised tt there is no pt in me hanging on anymore n tt is when i cld fully let go.
If nt for the breakup.. i dont think i wld have grown as much as an individual. Wishing you both the best *hugsJanuary 5, 2019 at 9:20 pm #272497
Happy New Year! May the year ahead be filled with blessings for you and your loved ones! 🙂
I have completed the 4 mths overseas trip and i have been back home for a few mths too 🙂 happy to say that it was one of the best decisions ive made in my life to be overseas and on my own. Ive learnt so much about managing my own anxiety and not giving in to the anxious thoughts and feelings that have arrived. Ive learnt about the kindness of people in the world.. ive learnt how to be alone on my own.
And i feel like ive grown up to be an individual and no longer that little girl who is fearful of my aggressive father. And coming back home.. it has made me no longer fearful of my father. I know i can survive outside on my own, fending for myself and I can be assertive. So i can stand up for myself and i now dare to have my own voice and speak up if there is something my father does that i do not agree with.
It has been really life changing and now i can truly say im a not_so_lost_star 😉 even changed my nickname here!
Hope you have been well Anita – always appreciative of your insights and perspectives that have helped me in this growth..March 24, 2018 at 5:36 am #199209
Have been really caught up with many things here and finding my footing! What you have said to me has been at the back of my mind as I moved around cities.
It has been quite wonderful so far as I find my new sense of safety.. I am slowly feeling a little more confident in finding my own safety and of keeping myself safe. And also getting to know different people that are around – people who are different from my father. I have met really kind and generous people that touched me.
Yes, there has not been anyone who has displayed such aggression to me in my life. Nothing even close, not even raised voices. Hmm, and I guess with that aggression that threatens my sense of safety, that is when I fear his aggression as if it will bring about my death.
Another thing I am quite proud of myself for is saying no to people. I think I used to be a people pleaser and I was afraid to get people angry (probably linked to that aggression I experienced). But on this trip, I have learnt to say no to people in small ways, like when they want me to send them photos I took or to borrow something from me which i was not comfortable with. And I thought that was a good change!
And another thing I am beginning to think about is.. where is my home? Not sure how to describe it yet.. it is a growing thought. But I kind of feel like I am starting to question where I belong. I guess definitely with my siblings I feel at home, but they have their own families already. And so far, it feels awful to be saying this but I do not miss my father. When I think of him, I only think of obligations and filial piety.. not so much of him as home. And it makes me wonder about what happens when I go home. But of cos, it is still early days. So I will see how that thought develops.
Hope you are doing well too Anita!
not-so-lost-starMarch 10, 2018 at 2:50 am #196619
I was very intrigued by your observations of the herd of elks and your thoughts about safer but there is no such thing as being entirely safe. It was something new to think about the fact that there is no real safety and I think it is important to me to remember that too, lest I get lured into the false sense of safety here and let my guard down. Especially, given that like how you put it, I am recalibrating myself and finding a new measurement of safety.
And I think that helps me to think about safety in a new way.. it is not that I was entirely safe back home too. there were different dangers.. different dangers in different ways.
And the elks you observed had a herd, and the ones in the middle could safely graze and feed.. whereas now, I am a lone elk and I have to be watchful for myself. It is interesting how they ran away, even though you pose no real danger to them. I have this vision of myself as a tiny elk back home, with my father elk being huge and so dominant. And the danger I am always watchful for is him. Perhaps with other dangers around too, but the main danger was my father elk.
Now, I am a free elk and running around in this new world. I have to learn new things and learn new ways of being safe. And I like this perspective on safety.. it gives me the sense that there are things to discover.. there are things to work on.. i have many more things to find out for myself.. i am on my way to becoming my own elk! And that is pretty exciting, albeit scary at the same time.
Yes, I will use this trip to “Know it on a deeper level, look around in a different way, consider what you didn’t consider before.”
Thank you Anita as always 😉
not-so-lost-star or should i say elk :pMarch 8, 2018 at 3:31 am #196321
Thanks! Hope you take care of yourself too.
A thought occurred to me this morning.. stemming from the idea of safety. When I was experiencing the anxiety, I felt it to be a familiar feeling.. something that has existed before.. maybe a long long time ago. I even wondered if this was anxiety I felt when I was in my mother’s womb.. or could it also be anxiety that my mother felt.. and this anxiety probably existed for a long long time. This anxiety that this world does not feel like a safe place and I thought of my father and situation at home.
That with what happened at home, with father’s erratic moods and all, I probably did not have a strong sense of safety at home.. and deep inside probably did not feel like the world is a safe place. The worry that when would my father’s temper erupt? When would another episode occur?
But with time, I learnt to deal with the uncertainty.. of creating a sense of safety within that world. And relating to my father as the sense of safety.. i thought it was paradoxical that he is the cause of the feeling of danger but yet he is where safety lies. Cos I have learnt how to stay safe.. by avoiding triggers that would set my father off.. so when he is calm, I am safe. I avoid, so I am safe. Even though there is danger, I have learnt how to keep myself safe.
And thus, when I am thrown now into another world, which I perceive to be unsafe too, I feel less in control. Cos I dont know what is making this world unsafe. At least at home, I know my father is the trigger, the secret to safety. Whereas here, it is an unknown. And it is a new skill that I have to learn to keep safe. And perhaps, I may even learn that the world is not that unsafe.. the world can be a safe place.. I can keep myself safe.. that safety does not lie with my father.. he is not the one that creates safety. He creates safety because he is where danger is created too.
What are your thoughts on this?
not-so-lost-starMarch 7, 2018 at 9:49 am #196247
Thank you!! Speaking to you here certainly would help with my anxiety, I think speaking with you helps to ground me and gives me new perspective! Thank you for keeping this communication open always, when you are available 🙂
Yes, new circumstances make new experiences possible and I will persevere on this journey 🙂
It is interesting that you point out that bit about the feeling of safety in the mix and which is why I continue living with him. My therapist went through this similar point with me just recently, when I was talking to her about not moving out. She mentioned about it not being impossible but maybe I do not want to. I suppose while financial considerations are one factor, if it is something I really want, then perhaps I would give up other things for it.
Let me sit on this and see what other new insights come…
not-so-lost-starMarch 7, 2018 at 8:41 am #196237
Yes, you remembered correctly that that is how things were at home. My mother was the submissive one and I did follow in her footsteps and I was also generally submissive back home.
And I think you are right, I guess there is the feeling of safety with my father and generally, I can be the submissive one when I am back home in a lot of social situations as well.
Thus, when I am here, alone, I have to be the dominant one and I cannot rest on my laurels and count on other people to help me. I have to ditch my submissive role and be on my own. And that I thought that is also where I have to grow and where I have the most potential for growth. Maybe that is where my anxiety comes from too.
Not-so-lost-starMarch 7, 2018 at 8:19 am #196231
I hope this trip would help me grow too! Yes, I have travelled before and quite extensively actually. I have been to this part of the world before also but previously I was with friends. On this trip, I am alone plus it is the longest I will be away from home. I have also travelled alone before but that was for about 11 days and in a country nearer to my home. I guess the main difference is being alone and being here for a longer period of time.
Okay, sure! I am quite curious where that thought is leading to.
Yes, that is the gist of what I said that I thought my childhood was a happy one and all was well at home. I think before therapy, I thought my father was just not expressive and he was a good father at the end of the day. So while I was not very close to him emotionally, I did not have much feelings towards him. Probably mostly appreciation and gratitude towards him for bringing us up. No overwhelming affection there but no strong negative feelings too.
Not-so-lost-starMarch 7, 2018 at 7:29 am #196223
I like your analogy of being of anxiety being like on a theme park ride – and interestingly, I am one who avoids the theme park rides as I do not like the feeling of being out of control. And like you described, how scary the rides look and I do not trust that I would make it back safely actually. So I guess that probably shows that I try to avoid anxiety provoking situation.. and being on this trip is like taking on this big rollercoaster in the theme park..
Something new.. something scary.. something totally out of my comfort zone.. something that threatens my sense of safety.
And I thought about the aspect of safety here versus home. I think it is not so much my father that gives me that sense of safety at home. but it is the familiarity, it is like taking a carousel ride at the theme park. It is safe, it goes in circles, I know what is coming, I enjoy the ride with the music.. I do not need to worry about anything. Even if things goes wrong, I know where I am, I know who can help me and I am familiar. There is no danger to speak of and there is no anxiety.
Where I am, I feel less safe as it is a foreign land. Plus I read accounts of people in danger here (haha, i thought it would be better to read accounts of worst things that happen and prepare myself for it.. but that may possibly have given me more anxiety). It is far away from my home and definitely feel less safe. My home is very safe, we can walk around at night with no fear, there are no pickpockets. I feel there are more things that needs me to be on the lookout for.
I feel as though I am on the big rollercoaster, with my feet not touching the ground and that is why I am anxious.
Yes, I think it does help to think it will not kill me and to know I have some ways of keeping myself safe too.. does help to lessen the anxiety. what i tried is to colour mandalas also.. it takes my mind off things and i focus on the colouring and not the worry.
I also really like “the surrendering while keeping the faith: surrendering to the here-and-now in slow motion (the security belt) while keeping our faith in our safety (“this feeling will not kill me”).” I shall remind myself of this too. Surrender while keeping faith.
I wanted to challenge myself and come on this trip. .cos while the carousel felt safe.. it was beginning to feel too routine.. and I thought I needed to grow. And thus, I thought this trip would help me grow as a person and to be an individual to take care of myself. And I think the anxiety is necessary to grow and it is about growing with the anxiety. If I run back to safety, then there will be limited growth.
Not-so-lost-starMarch 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm #196017
Aww! Thanks for thinking of me – it brings me comfort to know that you were thinking of me and it seems to help me feel like distance is not that big a factor. Even though I am far away from people, people care and people can send their warmth too!
Reading your paragraph about anxiety made me smile.. cos essentially that means to surrender to the process right? 🙂 Which relates to my topic that I started out with. There is no controlling the anxiety, it may be triggered at anytime.. and it is something outside our sphere of control.. and it is to surrender to the healing that comes naturally.. the more i try to control it.. the more anxious i feel. it will be a false sense of control to think that I can anticipate anxiety and be able to be one step ahead of it..
so are you also saying that healing of anxiety will come naturally and that the intensity lessens by itself over time?
yes that is right! the fear of more fear is what I am experiencing now. and i feel if i do not focus on the anxiety, it is alright. but when my mind turns to the anxiety then it spirals into more anxiety.
the last time i experienced severe anxiety was one night when I had caffeine in the evening.. and I am quite sensitive to caffeine n it sent my mind into overdrive. i remember not being able to sleep that night and I was worrying about this trip. I wonder if I would be in any danger.. if I would somehow put my life in danger.. would i end up depressed or having some kind of mental illness.. what if i felt super lonely.. what if someone kidnapped me.. and all kind of scary and worrying scenarios came to mind..
oh actually i also experience some anxiety a few days back when I was visiting this church and they had a very narrow stairway to the tower. and i felt super anxious suddenly and felt like the walls were closing in on me.. and in that moment of intense fear and anxiety. .i thought whether i should turn back and go to the entrance.. and i told myself to just breathe n keep walking.. and i reached the top shortly after. i thought that scenario is kind of similar to the anxiety i am experiencing now.. that there is this fear .. n i feel like should i turn back and go home? but i know i do not want to do it.. it is the anxiety that is making me fearful.
the last two months have been really intense as I was preparing for this trip.. i thnk there was a lot to occupy my mind with.. alot of planning. .alot of tying up loose ends at home.. and I had mixed feelings of excitement, reluctance, anxiety about this trip.
maybe it is the sudden lull of thoughts and activity now that I am finally here. there is that contrast between the super busy and active life back home.. with now when I have so much free time. with an idle mind.. anxiety seems to creep in.