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Felling guilty for moving on?

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  • #163090
    Mina
    Participant

    Hello everyone.

    I just recently realise that it was my (past) relationship anniversary a few days ago, I realised it far too late and was surprised that I did not even remember it until 2-3 days after the anniversary when I looked up the calendar in my laptop. I used to drag those special days before this.

    I feel really bitter sweet about “not remembering” my anniversary. I feel like I am truly closing a really big chapter in my life. It was a painful period but I was also very happy during those times of my life. I can feel that a new beginning is coming, and I think I am finally letting it go for good.

    But I also feel guilty at the same time because I feel like I am abandoning the memories and most importantly the relationship itself by moving on. I do not have any wish to start again this relationship and I do not have any unsaid feelings to him but by moving on, I feel like I am walking away from everything. The relationship of course wasn’t all bad, we also had a lot of good memories. Moving on to me means – I will have to walk away from both the good and bad memories.

    I have been waiting for myself to feel ok again, I do not understand why I feel “guilty” for feeling ok again. Maybe in a way, me not letting that relationship go is a way for the relationship to somehow keep existing in my mind, even though it is already dead. Now that the relationship does not exist in my mind and probably also does not exist in his mind too, this relationship truly is dead for us. It feels very final.

    Am I crazy for feeling this way? I would love to hear any advices from everyone here x

    -Mina

     

    #163104
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mina:

    I don’t think you are crazy for feeling this way. I also think you are not losing your memories of the relationship, you only forgot the date. Memories will remain. What I think you feel sad about losing is your ex boyfriend. You are still somewhat emotionally attached to him. So like you wrote, you have kept he relationship alive in your mind while in reality it is not.

    You are very close to indeed leaving it all in the past, as I read your share. It has been a process and it takes time to more fully disengaging from a person to whom you became emotionally attached.

    It reads to me that you are very close because of the sweet part of the feeling “bitter sweet about ‘not remembering’ my anniversary” and because you stated: “I feel like I am truly closing a really big chapter in my life” and that “I can feel that a new beginning is coming, and I think I am finally letting it go for good.”

    Congratulations for being so very close. Your new chapter is made possible by the closing of the old chapter in your mind and heart.

    anita

    #163202
    Miranda
    Participant

    Hi Mina,

    I agree with Anita. You are closing a chapter in your life, and it does seem final.  And sometimes it seems more final than we want if to be.  But it’s all good because when one chapter of your life ends, a new chapter begins.  So you can hold on to the good memories, knowing that as you begin this next chapter of your life, you will have other great memories!  Don’t beat yourself up about forgetting the anniversary of you last relationship.  That is a normal part of moving on.  That feeling of finality can be hard to deal with sometimes, and forgetting those things that are no longer relevant to you now, such as your past dating anniversary, only confirms the finality of your past relationship.  Know that it’s normal to forget what’s behind you so that you can free yourself up for the great things ahead of you.

    Enjoy the forthcoming chapter in you life.

    Miranda

    #163290
    Naturelover
    Participant

    Hi Mina,

    You said that you would not get back with that person again so the bottom line is, you have to move on. If there is no way that you would have a relationship with that person then there is no need to feel guilty. You are doing the right thing for yourself by honouring your decision.

    The way you are feeling is perfectly normal. Obviously you spent a lot of meaningful time with this person so you are entitled to remember the good time whilst undertaking your own selful journey of moving on. I think many many people would feel a similar way.

    #163332
    Mina
    Participant

    Dear Anita, Miranda and Naturelover :

    Thank you very much for all the assuring advices and feedback. I guess, I needed to hear some of those words – that it is ok to move on. I guess I have this irrational fear that If I moved on for good, the memories will disappear too. I admit that I am not very good at saying goodbye when it feels very final.

    I tend to hold on to memories for closure. My ex partner reassured me (a while back) that what we had was real, we spent a lot of good moments together, and a lot of personal stories that we shared will remained there. It was a good relationship, we tried our hardest but sometimes things aren’t meant to be, he wants me to stop beating up myself so much for everything. I got his “blessing” to move on in a way

    After that, I guess I did moved on. I feel like I am one page away from closing this chapter now – and somehow it feels heavy knowing that all things have to end. There is still this tiny part of me that does not want to flip this one last page because I do not want it to end for some reasons. Even though that chapter of my life was very hard and painful, it just feels very scary to start a new beginning knowing that I have no idea what is stored in the future.

    1. How can I stop being scared of this unknown future?

    2. Like I had mentioned above, I have this irrational fear that my memories with him will disappear and somehow will make our past relationship as if it is never happened if I moved on, what do you guys think?

    3. Is it ok / acceptable to think about this past relationship as something that meant a lot to me, and that even thought it does not exist in my life right now, it will ALWAYS exist inside the memories that we shared together?

    4. I recently wrote a journal to write down things (little things) about my past relationship because I am afraid that I will forget, by forgetting those things one by one – am I erasing the memories itself? I am very scared that I am actually erasing the whole relationship itself now because of it.

    I would love to hear advices and feedback if you guys dont mind x have a great day!

    -Mina

    #163388
    Mina
    Participant

    Update :

    5. Is it possible to move on while I still have some lingering affections for that certain person (and there is a chance that the lingering affections will always be there?)

    Considering the nature of the break up and relationship, it was a very mature and understanding relationship, even now we still have a very good relationship even though we are no longer in contact with each other, but we are still keeping the communication line open and will be there for each other if we have some kind of problems. We broke up due to the circumstances that did not allowed the relationship to go any further, for a while – there are times when I wished that we broke up for some other “bad” reasons like because we are not compatible or because we no longer love each other instead of blaming the “circumstances and timing” like what I am doing right now.

    -Mina

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Mina.
    #163424
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mina:

    “1. How can I stop being scared of this unknown future?”- the more power (within reason) that you feel that you have to affect your future experience to your benefit, the less scared you will be. If you feel powerless, like a leaf in the wind, then any small breeze can be like a storm for you. Make thoughtful choices whenever possible, change what is possible for you to change, and you will maximize your chances for a good future life experience.

    “2. …I have this irrational fear that my memories with him will disappear and somehow will make our past relationship as if it is never happened if I moved on…(3)…this past relationship…  even thought it does not exist in my life right now, it will ALWAYS exist inside the memories… (4)… I am afraid that I will forget, by forgetting those things one by one – am I erasing the memories itself? I am very scared that I am actually erasing the whole relationship itself”-

    What I read in these quotes is this: you are afraid being alone. You experienced comfort- the relief of the distress of being alone- when in the relationship with him. Now that the relationship is over, you are experiencing, more acutely, the distress of being alone. And so, being alone, you hold on to the only comfort available to you: the memories of being together with him. You are afraid to lose this leftover comfort, your memories because then you will be truly alone.

    “5. Is it possible to move on while I still have some lingering affections for that certain person (and there is a chance that the lingering affections will always be there?)”- definitely possible, I believe, when you get into a future intimate relationship. I don’t think that your difficulty moving on is so much about who your now ex boyfriend is as a person, how much you feel for him or why the relationship ended. I think your difficulty stems from your fear of being alone.

    anita

    #163458
    Mina
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it, very much.

    I think you are absolutely right. I am very scared of being alone. Your responses to my questions explains everything that I cannot explain myself for this few months. My difficulty of letting go isn’t because of anything related to him.

    Now that I understand the root of my problem, can you give me any advices to stop having this fear of being alone? To give you a general background, I have a good support system, my family never abused / abandoned me, and I have a tight inner circle of friends, they are all good and loyal friends to me. I do not understand why I am scared of being alone, this fear must have a background or origins for it to surfaced.

    My parents spoils me a lot, though. I probably have to mention that. Spoiled kids usually grew up to be really selfish and not emotionally understanding but lucky for me, I surround myself with good friends and good ex boyfriend that grounds me a lot. Can this be the reason why?

    Would love to hear your advices, Anita

    -Mina

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Mina.
    #163480
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mina:

    You are very welcome. We are social beings, we are born that way, and so, being alone is not desirable for any person, not for too long. If your fear of being alone is intense though, even though you have “a good support system… a tight inner circle of friends”- that does make me curious.

    You wrote: ” this fear must have a background or origins”- if you’d like to explore that, I am willing. You wrote that your parents spoiled you a lot, can you elaborate on that:

    When and how did it occur to you that they spoiled you? Did they tell you that they did?

    How did they spoil you?

    How did you feel at the time, when you were spoiled?

    anita

    #163610
    Mina
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for answering again, I will give you the answers to the questions you have asked above.

    Well, I am going to try to be modest as possible while explaining (please do not get the wrong idea) but I come from a pretty well off family.

    My father wasn’t around until I was around 2 years old due to him finishing his Master studies in Australia, but surprisingly I have a pretty close relationship with him since I am not a difficult child. My mother and I have a very close relationship since I was a kid but I noticed that she tends to “baby” me a lot. I am 19 but I have never worked a proper job even a part time one, I cannot drive, and I cannot even apply for my own visa when I was going to study abroad. My mother did it all for me. I am very much still attached and dependant on her

    This later on, became a problem for me growing up. I became very attached and dependant to people. That is why I have a very tight inner circle of friends because I abandon (or willingly gave up) those who cannot stay “loyal” to me. What I mean by loyal is, I want them to be dependable when I need them to be. A close friend of mine have agreed that I tend to depend on people a lot, even without me realising it.

    I am trying to not depend so much on people these days, but I have to admit that I like it when I am able to depend on people. One of the reason why this break up was very hard was also because I depended a lot on my ex parter, having him made me feels very secure. I am a foreigner at this country I am living in (for studying abroad) and since my ex was a local, he became a very important person in my life. I feel like I was searching for that certain partner that would treat me as well as my parents do. My ex became a substitute of my parents in this country. I guess you can say that losing him was like losing my mother

    My father has expressed a few times to my mother that she shouldn’t have spoiled me too much, but I feel like since my father also has a lot of guilt for not being “there” during my childhood so his actions does not say much. He is treating me the same way as my mother has been treating me all my life, not to mention that I never really had any problematic teenager phase during my life, so no reason for him to “rebel” against my mom by treating me harshly

    To give you a bit of background, my grandfather spoiled my mother even worse. That is why she spoils me too (this is her answer when I asked her why she spoiled me so much) She grew up in a similar background as I did, and she was an only child. She was overflowed with love and material things by my grandparents.

    In short, my parents spoils me and they are aware that they are spoiling me.

    Sorry if it is too long, I tried to keep it as short as possible. I would love to hear your feedback, Anita 🙂

    -Mina

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #163624
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mina:

    You wrote: “I have never worked a proper job… I cannot drive, and I cannot even apply for my own visa… My mother did it all for me”-

    This led to you believe that alone,  you are incapable of taking care of yourself. This is why being alone scares you so much. Being alone means you will perish.

    You are “still attached and dependent on her (your mother), ” and “very attached and dependent to people”, including your tight circle of friends whose loyalty means to you  that they are “dependable when I need them to be”, as why you “depended a lot on my ex partner, having him made me feels very secure”.

    Basically, having been spoiled meant that you did not have the opportunities to take care of yourself and in doing so, to develop the belief that you are able to take care of yourself. You therefore believe that you are not capable of taking care of yourself, which means other people must take care of you. If they don’t- you will not survive.

    To be less dependent on others, you need to develop the belief that you are capable of doing the job of taking care of you, working, driving, applying for your own visa… There is no other way to diminish your fear of being alone and overdependence on others.

    I wonder: do you feel that your mother is very attached/ somehow dependent on you and that if you do adequately take care of yourself and need her less, that it will be as if you are betraying her, or abandoning her?

    anita

     

     

    #163710
    Mina
    Participant

    Anita,

    You wrote : “To be less dependent on others, you need to develop the belief that you are capable of doing the job of taking care of you, working, driving, applying for your own visa… There is no other way to diminish your fear of being alone and overdependence on others.”

    1. Can you explain in more detail about this? How can I develop these belief when all my life, I have been treated like a baby that won’t survive without its parents? I really want to stop being dependant on people, because I feel like I became a problem to them and it made me really hard to let go of someone that isn’t in my life any more just because I want to feel safe again by being with them somehow

    2. I will answer your question above :

    “do you feel that your mother is very attached/ somehow dependent on you and that if you do adequately take care of yourself and need her less, that it will be as if you are betraying her, or abandoning her?”

    No, my mother isn’t dependant to me at all. She is a very independent human being, she is very social but she does not “need” people in a sense. She is not dependant to my grandmother (her mother) or my father (her husband) even me (her own daughter) so definitely no. She takes care of herself pretty well.

    My mother would be very happy if I can take care of myself to tell you honestly. These days, due to my depression, I have became pretty difficult to handle. Even my ex partner cannot really controlled my behaviour and feelings anymore. I do not feel like I am betraying / abandoning her if I can be independent by myself, but I have never had such feelings in my life. The reason why I am still very much attached and dependant to my parents is because I am the one not wanting to take care of myself due to my fear of being alone. It is too hard and somehow scary for me, to just be out there living my life – without any shield and protection.

    I think this is also worth mentioning : I was also very dependant on my teachers. Especially my high school teachers. That is why my transition from HS to College wasn’t very smooth because Professors won’t baby you even if you get good grades, you get the same treatment as everyone. I think it shook me up quite a lot back then.

    My teachers and parents were my main “shield” from the real world in a sense. Imagine that you are living in a war country, everyone are wearing a bulletproof vests except for you. You won’t survive, right? For me, the bulletproof vests are my teachers and my parents that protected me from the big bad world. Sounds silly, I know.

    I would love to hear feedback, Anita. x

    -Mina

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by Mina.
    #163762
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Mina:

    Regarding your last comment about wearing a bulletproof vest, you wrote: “For me, the bulletproof vests are my… parents that protected me from the big bad world”- by babying you, they didn’t protect you. Without you being able to protect yourself, you are without that bulletproof vest. By babying you they are preventing you from access to that bullet proof vest.

    Regarding # 1: “How can I develop these belief when all my life, I have been treated like a baby that won’t survive without its parents?”- there is only one way and that is you actually, in practical terms, taking care of yourself. Use any opportunity in your present daily life to take care of yourself, opportunities you missed before. No opportunity is too small.

    This is an example of a very small opportunity that is not small at all: you are home and you feel chilly. The windows are open. Before, it didn’t occur to you that you could close the window and you did nothing. Now, close the windows. It will be a bit warmer for you. Practice more and more and over time, you will be moving to bigger and bigger ways of taking care of yourself.

    As you do, you will develop confidence in your ability to care for yourself and your dependence on others will weaken.

    anita

     

    #163808
    Mina
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for the advices. I will try 🙂

    -Mina

    #163822
    anita
    Participant

    You are welcome, Mina.

    anita

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