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First breakup and handling the aftermath.

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  • #339690
    MonaD
    Participant

    Hi anita and all,

    I’m starting a new thread following a previous discussion post where I was struggling with taking a break in my first LDR  (link : https://tinybuddha.com/topic/taking-a-break-in-a-ldr/)

    So all in all, in the end, my partner decided to break up with me (around 2 weeks back). He said that he had expressed that he needed time to sort out his issues pertaining to his family, and that he expressed we could have gotten back together after he was done and that he needed time and space to work things out (which, in part due to my own struggles, I did not give him the time and space and was very frustrated, angry and sad about not being able to stay in contact). Then he said that we were over.

    Then he said that he was sorry and it was not what he wanted to do but what was required of him at the time. Following which he said there was one thing I should take with me when it comes to relationships; “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all”
    For me, this break up essentially created a more solid mental barrier especially whenever I felt the need to vent. I was better able to keep my own emotions and frustrations to myself instead of immediately sharing them with him. By reasoning that he was not my partner anymore so it would be uncalled for to share my problems with him and neither did he have an obligation to look after me since we broke up.

    Following the break up we did speak on occasion  (maybe 0nce a week or so) and since I made a decision to take better care of myself,  I was feeling better and I expressed to him that I was okay and working to improve my life and take better care of myself and that I was sorry that he was on the receiving end of my frustrations. I mentioned maybe things may not have gotten so bad if I have immediately diverted my energy into taking care of myself and working on my goals instead of focusing on the relationship and stressing about him needed time and space to follow through with his tasks.

    He said he was glad I’m doing better and that it meant the world to him.

    A few days after that, I sent a short video to say hello and express that I hope things were going okay and that I hope he was eating well and getting enough rest and staying healthy as much as he could. I said I was really glad to hear that the last time we spoke that things were improving now on his side and that I was doing okay so far myself. And that he was right that I might have gone a little overboard by focusing completely on the struggles of our relationship instead of letting things be for a while and concentrating on and putting energy into the other more pressing things in my life (my masters degree research and my job where I’m closing in on a promotion)

    He mentioned that it was really sweet of me, thanked me and asked how I was doing. He mentioned he was glad things are going my way and that I deserved that, following which I asked him how he was and he responded that things were tedious and he was applying to jobs and that he was drained. He shared that he couldn’t wait to start his own university program as well. He’s passionate about becoming a civilian doctor following his experience while in the military. I expressed my faith in him and that I was sure he’d make an amazing doctor.

    So following all this, I had a few days that I really struggled with my emotions and I chose to try take things one day at a time and focus on doing the little things that made me feel better. Since this was my first real relationship and first break-up, I am a little confused on if I should be dealing with the situation a different way. I am also a little confused as I’m aware after breaking up, a lot of couples may chose to do “no contact” which isn’t the way we seem to have gone with our communication.

    I feel like I’m also in a dangerous place where I still have hope that maybe once we sort our ends out and get past the next two months, we may be able to build our relationship back again with a better understanding of each other and how to handle stressful situations. However, I have no idea what might be going through his mind since he has not spoken or made any allusions to any sort of reconciliation in our relationship. While it makes me sad that despite everything we experienced and built, he may chose to not pursue a relationship with me again and may chose to find a more accessible woman who can actually be around him, I feel that I can somehow reconcile myself by wishing him happiness with another person if he does not wish to be with me.

    However as I mentioned before, I have no idea what he may be thinking. Would you have any advice for me in terms of how to handle this situation better and any pointers in terms of how men may react in a break up like this?

    I am quite inexperienced quite confused at this point, and I would hate to jump to making decisions based on assumptions especially without giving things the time they may need to settle down. I don’t even know if my partner may come around at all but I do wonder if I should leave things be for now and focus on other things and my own goals and see how things turn out in time with respect to our situation.

    Kind regards,

    MonaD

     

    #339844
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    I am looking forward to read and reply to you first thing tomorrow morning, in about 10 or 11 hours from now.

    anita

    #339920
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    “I have no idea what he may be thinking”-

    A summary from your previous thread: you’ve been with him long distance for a year. “Our communication is generally very open and regular”- it has been very open and regular in the context of long distance communication while he was not confronted with his brother’s crisis, and in the context of the very rare and short periods of time you spent together in-person (a week in June 2019 was the last time spent physically together).

    Once his brother needed his help in the family business in another country, and you requested that he sends you short messages regularly (“a few minutes during the day”) while in that country, his response was: “he requested that we take a break as he was not able to be the person I needed.. He said he doesn’t have the emotional energy” for you.

    You wrote: “I recently apologized for being so emotional”- in contrast to you, he is not emotional, so there is an incompatibility right there. I figure that throughout the year you’ve known him, mostly long distance, you imagined that his polite, skilled communication and words of love meant that he was more emotional than he really is, that he cared for you more than he really did.

    “I feel colder towards him”- fitting his coldness/ lack of emotionality toward you.

    “I feel like my trust in him has broken”- you trusted that he cared for you a lot, that he had strong emotions for you, but you found out that he doesn’t.

    And because you found that out, you felt “wanting to hurt him just as much as he has hurt me.. I was quite blunt and cruel in saying that I didn’t want to speak with him much”. Anger follows the perceived breaking of trust.

    He didn’t break your trust by lying to you (ex., saying he was leaving for his country to help his brother while going there to meet a woman), or by verbally mistreating you, calling you names or whatnot (he has been the exact opposite: polite, courteous). The betrayal was that you believed that he was emotional enough to care for you deeply, interpreting his past communication to mean that he indeed cared for you deeply, but recently, you found out that he doesn’t.

    “If everything works out on my end, I’ll be back… when everything is done and the feelings are still there we can pick up from where we left off. Until then I will be focusing on the more pressing things in my life… I m putting us on hold while I help him out… It’s between my brother and I… take a break, so I could focus on him.. without having to worry about what you’re doing. So I can put my attention where it is needed… No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or  none at all“-

    – the last sentence, more than any other sentence is evidence of his non-emotional nature. This last sentence doesn’t have his brother in it. I am assuming that he doesn’t believe that a parent doesn’t owe his minor age children anything. Seems to me that he feels that he owes his brother a whole lot. So I figure he means it in the context of romantic relationships, maybe friendships as well.

    Changing his sentence to the first person, it reads: I don’t owe you anything. I can leave you for any reason or none at all.

    In summary: I think that he unknowingly betrayed your trust because he doesn’t realize how non-emotional he is. He doesn’t realize that being polite, gracious, skillful at communicating, being honest.. that all these wonderful features don’t make up for his lack of emotion. He doesn’t realize that when a man loves a woman and she loves him back, and the two talked about a future together.. that he does owe the woman something. He owes her continuity of communication, he owes her to not break up with her when it is convenient for him.

    I think that he thinks that the problem is yours for wanting something more from him. He doesn’t understand that he is polite, honest, skillful and unloving.

    Notice this: in his mind, it is okay for him to leave you for any reason.. as long as he does it politely, as long as he doesn’t lie to you about the reason (or lack of reason), as long as he communicates to you that he is leaving you and he does it.. respectfully.

    * At this point, the question is what is it that you want. If you want this man no matter what, no matter who he is, if his politeness, communication skills, honesty.. if these are enough for you, then to get back together with him, do what it takes: need him less, communicate with him when he is available and to the extent that is convenient for him. And be ready for him to take a break from the relationship when he sees fit, understanding that he doesn’t see anything wrong with taking a temporary or permanent break from you.

    If you want a man who owes you something more than politeness etc., someone who owes you a continuity of relationship, and if you want a man who cares for you deeply, then he is not your man.

    anita

     

    #339928
    MonaD
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank you kindly for your response,  you were able to very succinctly put into words the concept I had been struggling with to wrap my head around.

    I think you are right, I still feel very jarred when I read that particular sentence  “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or  none at all”

    It got me thinking “Does one not owe their partner loyalty, honesty and communication once they are in a relationship? I wouldn’t be able to classify any bond that didn’t require two people to maintain at least those three things as a relationship at all”

    It really bothered me and still does. I knew  immediately that the cold, emotionless vibe that that statement brought with it was what shook me. I didn’t expect it at all.

    As a person, I have experienced him being emotional, both over our digital communication and in person. I had come to know him as quite an affectionate person. In fact I was more distant than him at the start of the relationship. It took me quite a while to even begin opening up to him and throughout that period, he was very supportive, affectionate and kind to me and made time for me despite his busy schedule. There have been many times in our relationship when I have had to be more logical to help him figure out his emotions/ navigate a situation. Sometimes, when certain situations get too intense, we both understand the need to take some space. We do however usually communicate within a day. At those times he needed space to calm down/process his emotions and think, I am happy to give him the required space he needs. I hope i have been quite understanding that way.

    I personally feel that the emotional and mental stress he may have been under while with his brother definitely contributed to his anger and frustration that did peak in finalizing his decision to break up with me. I have to give it to him that he communicated that he was frustrated with the state of things there and also getting angry more frequently. He mentioned this days before breaking up in an effort to get me to stop adding fuel (in terms of my venting my frustrations) to his fire.

    However, as I said, that final sentence came across as jarringly cold to me. It seemed to me like he was able to switch off his own emotions to do what he needed to do. And as a result of that logical path of thinking, he decided to discard the relationship as it was hindering his ability to get the work done. In hindsight, I have caught myself thinking that if he had ignored me, maybe I would have come around eventually. I don’t know for sure though. What’s done is done after all.

    It seems I do have some decision making of my own to do. What are your thoughts?

    Kind regards,

    MonaD

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by MonaD.
    #339938
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    If he had a difficult childhood (and so many of us do), and he is now living with his parents or he is in a regular contact with his parents in-person, being physically there,  it may be that since he is living with them his childhood emotional torture has been activated and he regressed from the affectionate, sensible person that he was when living away from them, to the cold, selfish person he’s been with you living with them.

    Do you know anything about his childhood/ his past and present relationships with his parents?

    anita

    #339956
    MonaD
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    From what he has told me, yes he has. We both had parents who weren’t the greatest role models. Fortunately, I still have my mother, who despite her own struggles, has pulled it all out of the hat and has never left my family  as my father did. He unfortunately, wasn’t so lucky.

    He is not currently living with his parents, but I do believe he is finding it a bit challenging to suddenly adjust to the change into civilian lifestyle from his time in the military.

    He keeps in touch with his parents on occasion and speaks affectionately of them from time to time. He also speaks matter-of -factly about is experiences growing up and appreciates that he has grown and changes over the years as a result of his experiences growing up and in the military.

    I had a chance to speak with him again and shared the thoughts discussed earlier:
    “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all“. Translate that to first person and essentially it is: “I don’t owe you anything. I can leave you for any reason or none at allI believe that when a man loves a woman and she loves him back, and the two talked about a future together.. they do owe each other. At that stage, they owe each other loyalty, honesty and continuity of communication, and they owe each other to not break up whenever they feel the relationship is an inconvenience.”

    to which he replied,

    “You see, this is why I can’t imagine getting back together at this time or even respond most times. You translate my actions and words into this intensely negative thing because it doesn’t fit your belief. I don’t know why you’re trying to guilt me over a decision I made to help my family.
    I said what I said because it’s true. In no relationship does any one person owe the other anything. You have to remember that. If you ever try to enter another relationship and it turns out to be bad or it keeps you from doing what you need to, than you have to realize that you can end it.”

    Thoughts?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by MonaD.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by MonaD.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by MonaD.
    #339970
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    So if I understand correctly, his parents don’t live in the same area where his brother lives, and therefore he is not currently in daily or frequent contact with them.

    Regarding the rest of your post, his original statement was: “No one owes anyone anything in a relationship. One person can leave the other for any reason or none at all”. More recently he told you: “In no relationship does any one person owe the other anything. You have to remember that”.

    He didn’t state or suggest that a person should be able to leave a relationship when it is a bad relationship. Instead, he stated that anyone can leave any relationship “for any reason or none at all“-

    He suggests then, that  it is okay, or  ethical, for a person to leave any relationship for any reason or no reason at all.

    So, in this man’s mind and heart, a parent doesn’t owe a minor child anything (food, shelter, affection) and can leave the child anytime, for any reason, or for no reason at all. A husband doesn’t owe his wife anything (help with the rent, groceries, affection), and can leave at any time. (Why are you leaving me?? a wife asks, No reason, he answers and walks out the door), an employer doesn’t owe his employee a paycheck, a landlord doesn’t owe his tenant running water, a doctor doesn’t owe his patient any treatment, and so  on and on.

    He then told you: “If you ever try to enter another relationship and it turns out to be bad or it keeps you from doing what you need to, then you have to realize you can end it”-

    – to be consistent with what he said right  before, his latter statement should read like this: if you ever try to enter another relationship .. end it anytime. You don’t need a reason.

    — if you have a record of his previous writing to you where he was that affectionate, decent, open and loving person you say he was, you are welcome to copy and paste parts of it here, if you want my input on the discrepancy between who you thought he was and who he is.

    Otherwise, my goodness! What could possibly motivate you to waste any more time and energy on this … cold,  heartless man?

    anita

     

     

    #339986
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    I feel uncomfortable about having made the comment about this man being “cold, heartless”. First, he is not cold and heartless regarding his brother, I figure, because he is working so hard to help his brother. I suppose he wasn’t cold and heartless toward you during the year long, mostly long distance relationship. What I am thinking as a possibility is the following:

    Maybe it was very easy for him to be affectionate toward you during the past year because it was almost entirely long-distance. Nothing really was required of him and it was very easy for him, and satisfying, to communicate with such a polite, accommodating, undemanding, pleasant person as yourself who didn’t ask him for anything.

    It is possible that you didn’t get to know him well until recently because to know a person well, you have to know him in various contexts and circumstances. The current circumstance gave you the opportunity to learn about him what you didn’t know before, and that is, perhaps, that when he is inconvenienced he withdraws from a romantic relationship, if not in a different kind of relationship. He doesn’t only withdraw but blames the woman (you) for translating his words wrong, for trying to guilt trip him, etc.

    I think that you got to know him in a new context, new circumstance.

    anita

    #363642
    MonaD
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Hello to you and I do hope you are in good health 🙂

    I did not see your last response here until today and that too, only because I decided to have a read through all the old threads I posted here with a calmer mindset as I am not so high strung emotionally at this point.

    As for your last comment, I do believe you are right. We didn’t experience the specific trials that came with an actual relationship where our lives physically intertwined around each other, not just in the digital world. I did get to know him in a new context/circumstance, and one thing I realized was that intense pressure and being able to juggle many responsibilities at one time is something that is normal for me, and I am able to handle it while maintaining my composure, However, maybe that was not the case for him. And that is okay, because I understand that sometimes, there are certain avenues that people have to grow more in through experience and it’s not often an easy process to go through. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses after all.

    Secondly, I realize there is only so far you can go to fight to make a relationship work when so many things work against you – sometimes, it’s better to let go and not hold on because at the end of the day no matter what, we both have our inadequacies and despite this, we both do still deserve to be in happy and truly fulfilling relationships, with people who can be near us. So if I cannot be the person he needs and he cannot be the person I need, then there really is no point in holding on to a relationship is there?

    It has been almost 6 months since we broke up and, while I still have not gotten to a point where my thoughts do not stray to him at least once a day, I’m no longer hurting so much that I’m crying every day. For me, this is a significant step, however small. Even though I still get caught in my feelings at times, I’m not giving up with pushing forward and I am slowly but surely learning to live without him. I just keep repeating to myself one thing that both he and you said to me – I deserve better. It took me a while to have it truly sink in, but yes. I do deserve better.

    I deleted and removed myself from all social media profiles because I did not want to keep hurting myself by allowing exposure to anything he posted about his new girl. This, at the end of the day, was the one thing that exacerbated all the pain I feel. Posting on social media. And the inability to keep certain information private instead of putting it out in public. Our last conversation was a video call that occurred due to a member of my family having sent him and his new girl a long and quite dramatic message letting out a lot of anger on him and her before blocking them (ex: – “you never deserved someone like her (referring to me), so maybe you do deserve your new girl. Maybe she might love you just enough so that it is convenient for you to handle because otherwise, you would probably just dump her too, the moment she inconveniences you”)

    Following this, he told me that his new girl was uncomfortable with him keeping contact with me and he said “I hope you understand”. To be honest, I do. I want to move past this whole ordeal and I can at least respect him for trying to be a reliable and trustworthy man to another woman. I know that I would have absolutely no respect for him otherwise haha.

    Currently, I’m committed to investing in my own health and peace of mind. I still hold a lot of love for this man who is my ex and I do not know if my affection for him will ever really disappear – in a way this is heartening to me as I take it as proof that my feelings for him were true and that he was someone dear. But I have more love for myself now and, I believe, a less romanticized idea of relationships. I am spending my days being useful, developing my career and professional skills, engaging in my art work and working to achieve my goals while surrounding myself with people that pour into my happiness and well-being without draining the life out of me.

    My warmest regards to you anita, wherever you are! I hope you are well and happy!

    MonaD

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 18 hours ago by MonaD.
    • This reply was modified 1 day, 18 hours ago by MonaD.
    #363648
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    Good to read from you again, and thank you for your good wishes for me, I wish you the same!

    Last I read from you was March 18 (on a previous thread). At the time you were working as a technical and application specialist in a company that supplies the required testing needs for all of Sri Lanka, traveling the country. Are you still doing this very important, frontline work?

    It’s been six months since your breakup,  “I still hold a lot of love for this man who is my ex and I do not know if my affection for him will ever disappear.. I take it as proof that my feelings for him were true and that he was someone dear. But I have more love for myself now and, I believe, a less romanticized idea of relationships”-

    – I hope you continue to un-romanticize your idea of the relationship with him because, as you wrote today: “We didn’t experience the specific trials that came with an actual relationship where our  lives physically intertwined around each other, not just in the digital world”-

    – you said it yourself, you didnt experience “an actual relationship” outside the digital. I suppose there is safety in loving a man with whom you don’t have an actual relationship, and to keep feeling love for him, as you do…?

    anita

     

    #363708
    MonaD
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Yes, I am still working in the same capacity. Currently I am in the middle of setting up and doing training workshops for our country’s first ever automatic nucleic acid extraction system that we recently established to support the COVID-19 testing expansion here. We are hoping to open the airport soon. Since a large part of our economy’s income is dependent on tourism, the government has invested in establishing brand new, state-of-the-art laboratories and testing regimens to keep control of the spread of the disease whilst encouraging tourism to grow once again.

    I’m in the middle of this at the moment. I still feel a baseline level of stress as in addition to this, I am also currently trying to finish up my master’s degree in molecular pathology. The research project  results and my final thesis is due soon. It is a lot to handle and I am making sure to take breaks to regroup whenever possible! However it is also fulfilling work and it has been invaluable in helping me get out of my head-space and looking at the bigger picture with relation to my emotions in the aftermath of this breakup. If there’s something that truly fulfills me as a person, it is being useful/helpful.

    – “I suppose there is safety in loving a man with whom you don’t have an actual relationship, and to keep feeling love for him, as you do…?” – This part you mentioned in particular got me thinking. I’m not sure if it is about safety exactly, but more about how I want to live my life. I am not someone who easily gives up/cuts off people I truly care about. I may get angry or frustrated like the soda bottle I can be, but that does not mean that I will not fulfill my duties as I see fit towards them. I believe this is a pattern I have fallen into from when I was younger. My father left my family around 10 years back, and did so leaving us with no source of income to the family. My mother was the person who, through sheer willpower and determination, pulled us through, gave my sister and I an education and helped us through life, despite the pressure and emotional struggles she faced as a result of my father leaving. It was during this period that I grew to accepted my role and started working towards supporting my family.

    I have reached a good place now and we are no longer in financial difficulties as I was able step in to support my mother and sister. Through my own personal journey, I was the only one who was able to forgive my father for leaving us for another woman. I decided to let go of all my anger, practice acceptance and focus on what I could do in the present. I visited him where he lived abroad and met his new family as well. I was able to tell him that although I had no control over whatever issues he and my mother faced in their marriage, what he did was wrong as at the very least if he was not able to be a good husband, he could have tried to be a good father to his children. His decision might have been less impactful if he was in a marriage without children and/or where my mother was allowed to work and develop her own career so she did not have to rely solely on him. However, what he did was he left and cut everyone off. I told him that I visited him as I believed it was only fair that I heard his side of the story as well. We stayed with our mother and were only privy to her side of the events that unfolded. I told him that I have accepted and will move past this, but that I would never forgive him if he did the same thing to his current family. I am now stronger and able to support my own family, however, his new family and children do not deserve the same kind of trauma that I know can occur when such a serious break in a family occurs. I was able to reach a healthy place, however this is not the case for everyone as people handle trauma differently, prime examples being my mother and sister who still harbor anger and frustration towards him.

    I believe it is as a result of this that I do have issues with healthy attachment. I takes me a while to truly trust someone, but once my relationship reached a certain level of intimacy, I do tend to seek comfort and stability with the man who I let into my life. I still struggle with the concept of abandonment and not feeling adequate or enough as a person, as I was constantly told I was the reason for the family breaking up and felt very inadequate and abandoned for a long time. I believe these are the feelings that have been brought up again through my breakup and I still struggle with these emotions.

    However, I also do know through experience that I eventually reach a point where I accept it and I elect to love them as just another human being, with no expectations from them. This is the path that I feel I can live with, partly because I chose to respect that the person did make me happy and cared for me for a certain time, and I don’t want to keep focusing on the wrongs a person did. In the words of Ajahn Brahm, I try to practice kindfullness and being at a place where “the door of my heart will always be open to you”
    By this I understand that I will live my own life and invest in my own happiness, however if there ever comes a time where I may be able to help with something that is within my capacity, I will not turn away and will do what I can. As it stands, I believe I may have subconsciously tried to fill in the space my father left with my ex and expected that he would not cause me a similar kind of trauma. I don’t think this is healthy or a very realistic ground to be on with regards to relationships, and it tells me that I still have internal work to do so I avoid projecting my issues on a potential partner.What are your thoughts? Have you had any similar experiences and advice to give regarding this kind of thing?

    Apologies for the long winded explanation! The above is what I mean by “loving a man with whom you don’t have an actual relationship”.
    I’m not specifically talking about romantic love here, simply the love that I have  to share in general. I don’t think you HAVE to be in a romantic relationship with someone to care about them and extend love towards them in general, what do you think?

    As always, I look forward to hearing from you,

    MonaD

    #363767
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    I admire you for doing the frontline, scientific-educational work that you  do in Sri Lanka, working to establish the country’s first ever automatic nucleic acid extraction system, to support the Covid-19 testing expansion in the country. I can hardly believe that I am communicating with a person in this major position! And on top of this amazing work that you do, you are also finishing your Master’s degree in molecular pathology- my invisible hat is off to you- you are amazing!!!

    I read your recent post earlier in the day and was going to respond sooner, but what you shared was so significant and new to me, that I wanted to re-read your posts in the previous two threads before responding. I proceeded to reply to members that required less research and when I finally re-read your posts, a short while ago, I didn’t find much there to shine light on the new information you provided, except this:

    February you wrote: “my relationship with my family is struggling as well. They are not very affectionate and loving towards me”. March, you wrote “On speaking with my mother, she mentioned that unfortunately I was the kind of person who had more value than I gave myself credit for and not sell myself short, especially in a relationship”.

    Yesterday you shared that your father left his family (your mother, yourself and your sister) ten years ago for another woman, leaving the three of you with no financial means- he left, not looking back, and proceeded to have a new family. You wrote: “I was constantly told I was the reason for the family breaking up”.

    I immediately wondered who told you that you were the reason for your family breaking up, that is, for your father leaving.

    Connecting it to what you shared in March, that your family are not very affectionate and loving toward you, I wondered if it is mainly your mother who blamed you for your father leaving, having led your sister perhaps to believe the same and treat you unlovingly?

    I was prepared to write more, but better I stop here and wait for your answers, whenever it is convenient for you to answer before I proceed (I know you are very busy, so please take all the time you need, and answer only if and when it is convenient for you).

    anita

     

    #363777
    MonaD
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    Thank you kindly for your compliments, I do appreciate them, you are very kind! I don’t particularly see them as overwhelming achievements myself, I think it is mainly as I never took much breaks or gaps while pursuing my educational and career goals and was lucky enough to receive good opportunities coming my way at critical times that I was able to act on. But I realize at this point that not having taken a gap year between studies or something similar does significantly impact the speed of advancement.

    Regarding your response, I’m a little embarrassed at the extent of new information I shared haha, I understand it can be a lot to digest in one go!

    It was mainly my mother who was I felt blamed me for the situation. She sometimes still does and although it greatly saddens me, I think at this point, I have grown a slightly thicker skin. I still feel it deep in my heart whenever such things are said to me, however, I have gotten a bit better at not showing how it makes me feel on the outside.
    I understand that from her side, my mother went through unimaginable trauma from this event herself. I can’t begin to think of the emotional and mental struggle she would have had to go through.  She has directed blame towards both my sister and I for being the reason that her marriage broke and she was unable to achieve the goals that she had in life. It is my understanding that she felt caught between her duty to be a good mother and now feels negatively about having prioritized that over being a more attention giving and a present wife to my father. This I realized after I spoke to my father and he told me that “I’am getting older and always alone as I was abroad for most part Your mother didn’t seem to want to give me much attention as she was always so focused on you two. I felt that she only cared that I was a source of income to the family”

    It is through this experience that I believe in the importance of being present and balancing all aspects of life – work and family both.

    I don’t think my mother ever really healed from this and on the bad days, her hardened, hurt spirit still comes out in her sharp, unkind words.Usually these are directed towards me when it is in relation to this event or whenever I make a mistake, exhibit a flaw in my character or my judgement as an individual. I have on several occasions tried to have a discussion with her on how her handling of the situation damages my mental state, however these discussions have always ended with her not accepting that she made me feel so intensely and with her referring to me as “too sensitive and simply inexperienced with the hardships of life”.

    I was also told by my mother that my father himself didn’t see much value in investing for my higher education as he believed that I don’t have the capacity to see anything I started through to the end so investing finances and energy in too much education might be a bit of a waste. I was never able to verify this particular claim as it didn’t come directly from him, but I do have a very good memory and unfortunately, many of the things that were said have stuck with me, especially from those younger years. I am continuously working on my growth to try and work through my traumas, however they do have a tendency to manifest even in my current adult years and affect my personal relationships from time to time.

    I try every possible way to avoid ever going near this particular topic of conversation or, if it comes up, continuing the conversation as it inevitably gets very heated and never ends well. I understand that unfortunately, my mother’s dealing of this traumatic event has not progressed in a way that she has been able to heal, rather her hard, cruel side can come out, and I do also understand that this might very well be her defense mechanism to protect herself (pushing people away whenever she feels that she is being held accountable for something negative)

    She is supportive in times when I do struggle and she has been a great strength to me as I was navigating my way through my fresh breakup.
    With my sister, I believe it is more that she has not thought and broken down the situation on her own, rather she has internalized the strong emotions that came through my mother. My sister has never really directed any thoughts of believing that I was the cause for the family breaking up towards me herself, but she does get angry whenever I bringing up any discussion related to this topic that inevitably angers my mother. She attacks me to angering my mother as it might seem to her that I am putting my mother through more trauma.

    We have gone through periods of negative energy, such as in February, and then things will usually return to normal once again, however there is usually a period where everyone is tense and it seems we are walking on eggshells in our home environment. The only consistency I have identified with these periods is that they usually occur whenever a casual conversation turns towards this particular topic- my father, the broken marriage, personal flaws.

    As such, I now consciously try to remain silent and not engage or steer clear of this topic. Even if it comes up (ex; mother sometimes asks me if I have recently spoken to my father/ how him and his family is doing), I am quick to give very short, vague answers and shoot any further discussion down.

    I hope this gives you some more insight. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    Warm regards,

    MonaD

     

    • This reply was modified 16 hours, 18 minutes ago by MonaD.
    #363781
    anita
    Participant

    Dear MonaD:

    There is a lot of material in your recent posts. I will make three comments for now (there are more that can be made):

    1. About empathy- your empathy is focused and directed at your mother: “My mother was the person who.. pulled us through.. despite the pressure of emotional struggles she faced.. I understand that from her side, my mother went through unimaginable trauma.. I can’t begin to think of the emotional and mental struggles she would have had to go through”.

    Your sister’s empathy is focused and directed at your mother: “She attacks me (about) angering my mother as it might seem to her that I am putting my mother through more trauma”.

    Your mother’s empathy is not focused and not directed at you: “I have on several occasions tried to have a discussion with her on how her handling of the situation damages my mental state, however these discussions have always ended with her…  referring to me as ‘too sensitive and simply inexperienced with the hardships of life”

    2. about cruelty- Your mother is still a cruel woman: “I felt (she) blamed me for the situation. She sometimes still does… her hardened, hurt spirit still comes out in her sharp, unkind words. Usually directed towards me.. her hard, cruel side can come out”.

    3. About value, credit and short selling- your mother suggested to you that in the context of the romantic relationship you had, and otherwise, you are a person of value who deserves credit and who shouldn’t sell herself short (“she mentioned that I was the kind of person who had more value than I gave myself credit for and sell myself short, especially in a relationship”)-

    – while all along she has taken away your sense of value, she has given you no credit, and she has been selling you short: “her sharp, unkind words.. directed towards me.. whenever I make a mistake, exhibit a flaw.. referring to me as ‘too sensitive and simply inexperienced with the hardships of life”.

    One of the credits she is not giving you is your very significant lifetime experience with the hardship inherent in the experience of being her daughter.

    anita

     

     

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