August 5, 2019 at 8:42 am #306639
First, most of the time I don’t think people who post photos are intentionally trying to make others feel bad. When you saw those photos online, you felt bad. Was it intentional on your former friend’s part? Maybe, maybe not, but either way it ruined your day. I think this happens a lot.
I began moving forward once I realized that it wasn’t the situation that was affecting my happiness, it was I. I was causing my own misery, drowning in my own negative thoughts. So one day I decided to stop in spite of the unfairness of the situation. So I read some books and learned how the mind works and how we sometimes need to detach from our thoughts. We can’t stop our thoughts but we can view them from a distance, not engage them or be dragged down by them. It wasn’t easy at first but it’s become a habit for me now.
What happened to you could happen to anyone. You tried to make it right but it turns out you can’t fix it so all you can do now is take care of yourself, heal, and get stronger. Don’t let these women affect who you are, and if you aren’t quite sure who you are then make a list of the qualities and values that are important to you and stick to that list no matter what happens. Sometimes we slip, make mistakes (nobody’s perfect), but then we forgive ourselves and get back on track. Take your power back from these women. They can’t affect you anymore.
No, you aren’t making too much of this experience. If you let it, this experience will teach you new ways to cope when things don’t go as planned.
BAugust 5, 2019 at 8:55 am #306643
PS – Just now realized I didn’t answer your questions…
How long did it take? It’s ongoing. I still feel something when I run into some of these women but I can cope much better now. It happens slowly I think. Months, maybe years.
Where did I land emotionally? I feel strong emotionally. Much stronger than I did. Maybe there’s some apathy. I just don’t think of them anymore, that is, until I run into them and feel a little something, maybe there’s some sympathy for them…but then I get back on track.August 5, 2019 at 12:59 pm #306733
“It’s really only been in the last few years that (your mother) stopped giving negative, critical opinions and I’ve stopped needing her approval… to think about those times and wallow in the emotional abuse would not be a good mindset for me… we’ve finally reached a place of peace… I’m now on month three, and am in the ‘anger’ phase. Mostly at the woman who I was friends with for five years… Will I ever be able to move forward completely from this experience?”-
My answer: maybe not completely. If you didn’t see any of these people your thread is about, time would do its thing, but being in contact and having more experiences with the same people makes it difficult to have an emotional distance from the events that trouble you, to see those events as things that happened in the past and are done with.
My suggestion was never that you wallow in the past, but that you gain a deeper emotional understanding of what happened in the context of your relationship with your mother so that you don’t keep reliving it, or re-experiencing it in the context of your relationships with other women. You may be at peace- in some way- regarding your mother, but your intense anger at her is projected unto others.
anitaAugust 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm #306939
I had a moment today when I was able to fully appreciate what I have in my life and feel true sadness for the woman who is separated. I felt full of gratitude for my family, friends, that I love my work and that I have a loving spouse. I felt grateful and a few moments of true joy. (Is this being present and mindful?) The woman who used this situation to endear herself to these other women doesn’t have those things…her family is there physically, but not really. She is bored with her job, doesn’t love her husband and while she has friendships, they are new and few.
I started reading Present Over Perfect and I have a New Earth on my kindle.
Perhaps this situation was a nudge in the right direction. Most everything happens to me for a reason, especially bad things (relationships, jobs, situations). I learn and take away the lesson. Perhaps this was for me to finally recognize that I need to learn to not let my thoughts overpower my mind and body. That it makes me physically sick when I let this happen and it’s time to take back my mind.August 7, 2019 at 8:55 am #307001
I hope you continue to practice gratitude and mindfulness, taking back your mind, as you put it.
anitaAugust 7, 2019 at 9:05 am #307003
I’m with anita. I love your post. That’s how I feel too, that I need to keep my thoughts in check or else it means trouble for me. To me mindfulness is about bringing my attention to whatever is happening right now, and as regrets or worries creep in (which they will), being aware of what’s happening and letting them go. It’s about keeping a close watch on the activity in my head, being aware when unhealthy repetitive thoughts are bouncing around and choosing to get back to a healthier state. It’s an active choice I make over and over and over again every single day. What helps is letting my senses do the driving: what am I seeing (husband, kids), hearing (voices), smelling (eucalyptus trees), tasting (an apple), touching (my dog’s fur) — I’m instantly out of my head! Sometimes it’s easy; other times not so much, but overall it has greatly improved my life.
So I don’t have anger about my earlier situation because it forced me to find ways to cope with challenges, and the next challenge is always just around the corner so having a strategy in place beforehand brings me peace of mind. In my humble opinion, you are on the right path.
BAugust 7, 2019 at 11:41 am #307043
PS – I wish Peter would chime in because every time he does I look at mindfulness from a different angle and see something I hadn’t seen before, obtain a deeper understanding. On another thread he suggested author David Richo – thank you, Peter! I will also take a look at Present Over Perfect.