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How to move on from the past once and for all?

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This topic contains 95 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #273851

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    I’ve come back to this forum in hope of finding some guidance and/or understanding for my current situation, as at this point, it seems I have stumped everyone (psychologists, friends, family members) including myself. I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible, but I think it might end up being quite long. Sorry about that!

    Currently, I am 29 years old. I was in a very serious long term relationship from the age of 18 until 25. I loved this partner dearly, and he adored me, but I felt from the very beginning that there was no spark or passion on my end. I chose to date this person anyway for two reasons, 1) I knew my family and friends would approve of him, and 2) I hoped that the attraction on my end would come in time. I was correct with the former, and incorrect in the latter. I tried for many years to suppress the feeling that something was missing in my relationship and therefore life, but eventually I could not. It was a very traumatic breakup, not because there was animosity between us, but because we had to detangle our lives from one another, including saying goodbye to our beautiful house we had purchased together, separating our dogs, and friends and family members. Unfortunately, at the time, I don’t think I was able to fully process this loss, and because of that, I dove into a new relationship with an older man that had been interested in me since I was 16. I now believe this man had been grooming me for years, but at the time, I thought it was “true love” and believed all his promises to love me in ways my previous partner never could.

    I tried to propel myself into a new life with this new partner, but in a few short months the illusion faded, and I did not feel for this new person as I thought I did. He was extremely angry at me and called me horrible names for ending the relationship, and once again I propelled myself into dating someone new. Unfortunately, this cycle repeated for many years as I desperately tried to find someone to build a life with once again. I became painfully aware of my age (my younger sister became engaged and married) and my bumpy relationship history. From the age of 25 until I would say 28 (when I met my current partner), I experienced horrible and soul-crushing (I don’t say that lightly) heartbreaks over and over. I believe at present, I have processed and healed from most of those breakups, however, one has lingered and even though now over 2 years have passed, I simply cannot rid myself of the horrible emotions and thoughts that this relationship triggered.

    I met this person in the new year of 2016 when I was just about 27. Looking back, it was an odd time to try and meet someone and date, as my mother had received a terminal cancer diagnosis and was in the process of getting a stem cell transplant in the hopes that it would save her. I think I was both trying to distract myself from this horrible reality as well as trying to have her know if she did pass away, that I was happy and with someone. My family had been particularly worried at this point with my personal life and lack of a partner. Anyway, I met this person at a very vulnerable point in my life, with my mother’s health in a precarious situation, and professionally I was completing a gruelling residency. He became my coping mechanism of sorts, I always felt better around him. However, when we were apart I always worried. You see, he was separated from his wife, not fully divorced yet. He told me this on the first date, but I decided to proceed anyway as he reassured me that he was totally over that relationship, and our chemistry was so strong-something that doesn’t happen often for me.

    I think looking back it was a terrible choice to continue to see this person after he told me his situation with his ex. The relationship was full of extreme highs and devastating lows, usually centred around him staying in contact with his ex and his inability to fully commit to me. From January until May of 2016, we dated on and off. In May, when he did not finalize his divorce even though the legal separation of one year had passed, I decided to end the relationship myself. I travelled to Europe (I am from Canada) on my own, and in this period I believe truly moved on from him. I could see the duration clearly with some space, and realized that he had never really picked me, shows me how important I was. Instead, I was more of an option, someone he enjoyed to spend time with but did not feel the need to commit too. I had a short but wonderful fling with a lawyer in Paris, and at this point wondered what I had ever seen in the previous man.

    When I got back home in July, he was keen to see me again. He told me he had finally finalized his divorce, and he felt closer than ever to move forward with someone. We met a few times after that, but again it seemed clear he was not ready to settle down, at least not with me. We stayed in contact here and there until September, when I told him I could no longer see or speak to him anymore as I had met someone that was ready to date me exclusively. To my surprise, he told me that he had been immature before, and didn’t want to let me go without a fight. He assured me that he would date me exclusively as well, and delete all his dating apps. I was very wary of all this, as before this was never an option. However, I followed my heart and decided to give us one last shot.

    Us being “officially” together was very short-lived, however. This is where I think I get stuck, specifically for thoughts on how it was all my fault it ended. Basically, a couple nights after we were officially together, we went out on a date. The night went at first very well, I remember being so happy since they was what I had wanted for so long. However, at the end of dinner, he asked me what my friends were up to so we could go out with them. I remember thinking I would rather just go home and be together, but I didn’t want to let him down. I texted my friends at the time, they told me they were at a club that was known for having raves and drugs readily available. I wasn’t keen on going, but he seemed like he wanted to, so we went. It was a very bad decision to go, let alone partake in the substances I did. I was already taking prescription stimulants for ADHD (I am no longer taking this medication), and it did not interact well with alcohol or any other recreational substance. Long story short, my new partner at the time and I got into an argument (I perceived him caring more about being with my friends and impressing them than being with me and going home when I wanted to), and I exploded in an angry tirade. I don’t remember much of what I said, but what I do was not kind. The next day, after I profusely apologized for my behaviour, he said he was unsure if he could continue to date me and be vulnerable as I had hurt him so much that night. I tried for months after that night to redeem myself, to show him that he could trust me again, but in November he said he felt his feelings change for me that night. We continued to date until before Christmas, after which he decided that he wanted to be single and that he didn’t think I was The One, even though he had said the opposite so many times before. I was absolutely devestated. After working for so long to have a true relationship with this person, I simply could not cope that in one night, I managed to destroy everything beyond repair. I still have trouble coping with this.

    After a week or so of no contact, we began seeing each other again. However, it was not the same, and he was going on dates with other women. I followed suit and went on dates with other men, but I did not ever feel the spark I did with him. However, a couple weeks ago he began seeing a younger woman more consistently and became intimate with her. He has wanted to keep seeing me as a friend and continued to initiate contact time with me, however, I told him I could not be his platonic friend. I have reimplemented no contact since. However, I did break it once about 6 months ago (a year or so of not speaking at all) to once again apologize for some of the mistakes I believe I had made in our relationship as well as after it ended, but not only did he not reply, he blocked me and I don’t think we will ever speak again.

    I am have now dealt with strong negative emotions about this breakup for over two years, specifically feeling used, like a bridge between his ex-wife and this new relationship. Before implementing no contact, he let me know various things about this new relationship that he was unwilling to do with me, such as setting boundaries with his ex and other women, prioritizing her over his friends, turning his read receipts on his phone so she knew when he read her messages, etc. Deep down, I feel this new woman is reaping the rewards of all the hard work I gave to my ex. What’s worse, and I do feel horrible for thinking this, is that in my opinion, the new woman is far less attractive, educated, and/or successful as me. For some reason, I find this to be a particularly difficult pill to swallow. It’s as if my subconscious would have an easier time understanding and dealing with him replacing me with a woman that was far superior to me either in attractiveness or some other standard. However, from what I can see, she seems average in most ways which I find so perplexing. “Why her and not me?” thoughts wander in my head frequently.</p>
    This is what I struggle with most, as I know I shouldn’t care at this point. So much time has passed, he clearly didn’t value or respect me, and most importantly, I am in a new relationship now. What really worries me is that these intrusive thoughts come into my head constantly, usually when I am drifting off to sleep or when my mind wanders. It seems if I am not constantly distracting myself, the horrible thoughts and emotions of shame and humiliation over what happened in this past relationship haunt me. And worst of all, and I absolutely HATE admitting this, is that I do not feel the same chemistry with my current partner as I did with my ex. Not even close. However, it is as though they are polar opposites. Where my ex was laid back and relaxed about most things, maybe to a fault, my new partner is diligent and disciplined. Where my ex and I had explosive chemistry and got along so well, my current partner and I don’t as much but I am far more comfortable with him, physically and emotionally. I feel that I should be very grateful for my current partner, and I truly, truly am, but I can’t understand why these negative thoughts and emotions about a relationship that ended so long ago keep entering in my mind, and it makes me worry that this says something about my current relationship- that if it was a good match I wouldn’t be having these negative thoughts and emotions about the past anymore. However, I am just not sure anymore.

    Another aspect that makes everything very complicated, is that my current relationship (1.5 years) is long distance. Very long distance in fact, as I live in Canada and he lives in Switzerland. I have always wanted to live abroad, particularly in Europe, but I had not originally thought of moving to Switzerland as I do not speak either German or French. In addition, I have just opened up my own private practice in my hometown, and it has been doing very well. It would be difficult for me to leave my business (some clients I could continue to see virtually, but most of the clientele I would lose in a move), my friends and my family for a relationship. That being said, I think I would feel 100% happy to do it if I had the same chemistry and connection with my previous partner as I do with my current partner. I’m trying to look on the bright side, that it is very good that I feel as comfortable and safe with my current partner as I do, and that perhaps strong chemistry isn’t important in the longevity of a relationship long term. But I am confused and torn, and at this point in my life, I’m not sure what I need to be doing to get myself on a healthy path. I really don’t know how to stop these horrible intrusive and at this point obsessive thoughts about this previous partner, blaming myself for it ending, and feeling like I’ve lost something truly special. I feel immensely guilty about having these thoughts and feelings while in my current relationship, and I desperately want them to stop so I can move forward in my life. At this point, I can’t tell if my current relationship isn’t right for me and that’s why these thoughts are intruding my mind or is it the other way around and because of these intrusive thoughts, I can’t be present in my relationship enough to truly enjoy it?

    Thank you for reading, any insight would be helpful!
    -L

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  laelithia.
    #273873

    Mark
    Participant

    laelithia,

    The way you presented the story of your life, it seems that you are not able to be alone with yourself, i.e. without a romantic partner.   My take is that you spend a year or so without dating anyone.

    I would examine your life and what are the common elements with each man you have had a relationship with.  What worked and what did not?  What was your part in what did not work?  A therapist can help you determine what underlies the unconscious choices you have made.

    You seemed to have a thriving profession which I assume that suits you and who you are.  That’s a good thing.  Do you have a good circle of friends?  Hobbies or interests?  Those are key elements that help you create an independent life, one that does not depend on a sole, romantic relationship.

    You talked about having intrusive thoughts.  Meditation helps with that.  I find that practice as a good way of dealing with thoughts that are triggering.  Just being able to sit with them helps me.

    What are your thoughts on what I said?

    Mark

    #273879

    anita
    Participant

    Dear laelithia:

    Welcome back!

    Like I told you in my last post to you on your previous thread, one that you did not respond to: “the hurt child in you is still hurting and that hurt pours itself into the present, fueling your obsessive thinking” (your wrote above, today: “these horrible intrusive and at this point obsessive thoughts about this previous partner”).

    Back to what I wrote to you in your other thread: “It is that hurt projecting itself into the present, making the present  mean what it does not mean” (you wrote today: “I can’t tell if my current relationship isn’t right for me and that’s why these  thoughts are intruding my mind”- I say no,  your intrusive thoughts do not mean that your current relationship is wrong for you. Your  intrusive thoughts  mean that your hurt from childhood is present, fueling your obsessive thinking, the old hurt wants to resolve itself).

    Like I wrote to you there: “That hurt needs to be attended to so that it stops screaming for your attention in the ways that it does… you can go on year after year, decade after decade, a whole lifetime, reliving this very experience… Or you can attend to your early hurt”.

    As a child I think that you felt Wrong, shameful, guilty and the chemistry you feel for uninterested men, or men that are  not  interested enough in you,  is the passion of a Wrong child to be made Right, good, worthy of love.

    What is more intoxicating and a turn-on than to experience the hope that you will be made worthy of love, to no longer feel that you have to hide that  Wrongness (a wrongness that doesn’t really exist).

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #273935

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Mark,

    I suppose you are on to something. I have not been alone/not dating someone for a very long time. However, I don’t think this is due to an inability to be alone, but rather extreme anxiety about how I must look to my friends and family if I don’t have a steady long-term relationship at my age. I see that this is not necessarily the norm everywhere, but in my immediate and extended family, I am the odd one out because I haven’t had that steady partner for many years. I have three siblings very close to my age, and they have all either married or been in steady long term relationships where their partners are included openly in our family. I feel like I am missing out on this experience, and for that reason, I try desperately to find the person I’m “meant to be with” but I suppose this is the wrong way to think about a relationship. I guess I just don’t know how to think of it any other way.

    When I reflect on past relationships, the part that worked was usually when I was able to be in the moment with them, appreciate them for what they could and were offering rather than wondering how they could offer more or what I wasn’t satisfied with. In the end, I believe all my relationships except for the first one had to do with my expectations being too high and my partners getting frustrated with my dissatisfaction.

    You bring up another good point here about friends. I used to be a very social and outgoing person, but in the last few years I became increasingly embarrassed and ashamed with my failures in the romantic department, and I seem to have closed myself off and alienated myself from most of the people I used to socialize with. In fact, most of my friends from the past are strangers to me now, and our only connection being social media. I do have a couple of very good friends, but they are very introverted and I don’t see them very much. As for hobbies, my profession and academia have really taken the place of those. I wish I had more time to invest in fun or enjoyable activities for myself, but between starting my own business and trying to maintain my long distance relationship, I feel I am constantly short on time (and energy).

    This is a good idea I believe about facing these intrusive thoughts, but I suppose I am terrified of them. I am terrified if I face them, and sit with them, they will consume me. The most terrifying one being “you made so many mistakes that you lost this previous relationship and you will never be as happy as you once could have been”, or “she (his current partner) is having the life you always wanted with him, and you will never be as happy as she is” or something equally negative and damaging. I’m not sure I have the strength to really sit with those thoughts without wanting to be physically ill!

    I’m sure there is a way around all of this, but I feel so stuck and ashamed that I am stuck, that it’s sort of a vicious circle. I simply cannot be objective enough to ensure myself that regardless of who’s fault it was, it was a good thing in the end that this past relationship didn’t work out. But for some reason, I have a very, very difficult time believing myself on that.

    #273937

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita!

    I’m so sorry for not replying to your last post. I believe you had many good points that were (and clearly still are) very relevant to me. This point especially resonated with me: “It is only your pre-existing hurt that colors these relationships with meaning. So the meaning is in your brain only, not in the men’s brains.” This is unfortunately so very true. I kept asking myself “why were they capable of doing this to me?” or “why don’t they miss me as much as I miss them?” and now I see you have given me the exact answer to those questions. It’s a very painful, but I believe necessary realization.

    You are absolutely right that I felt Wrong as a child, a problem, a burden. I tried very hard in my younger years to rectify this with my mother by helping her with chores, caring for my siblings, anything I could do to make her happy. But after several years of realizing this wasn’t working, I became an extremely angry and sad teenager, and I suppose in many ways, emotionally I still am that angry and sad girl. I have spoken to my mother in adulthood about this, but although she has tried to listen to what I have to say, her account of my childhood is totally different, and I have come to the understanding that she is not able to provide me with the validation I so desperately have sought.

    Moving forward, do you think there is a specific way I can continue to heal the wounds of my past and still maintain my current relationship? I hate, absolutely loathe, that internally I compare him often to my ex-partner. I would like to stop this endless comparing, especially since I am certain I am looking at my previous partner with rose-coloured glasses and that probably his current relationship is not as perfect as it seems on social media.

    #273941

    laelithia
    Participant

    A small update:

    I had a strange dream last night involving my ex and his current partner. In my dream, I met both of them. I don’t remember why or under what context, but I remember it was actually the current partner that was very nice to me. My ex told me that he was not currently dating the girl anymore for a couple weeks, and apologized to her for some things. Then, he turned to me, and apologized for how abruptly he had left me and how he had hurt me. He then leaned in for a hug or a kiss, I’m not sure, and I recoiled. He seemed taking aback by that, and I said it wasn’t right based on everything that had happened. He then told me that he had a letter for me that he never sent before, but wished he had. I then woke up.

    I’m not sure if this is helpful or means anything at all, but I thought I should share it.

     

     

    #273959

    anita
    Participant

    Dear laelthia:

    You wrote to me: “You are absolutely right that I felt Wrong as a child, a problem, a burden. I tried very hard in my younger years to rectify this with my mother by helping her with chores, caring for my siblings, anything I could do to make her happy. But after several years of realizing this wasn’t working, I became an extremely angry and sad teenager, and I suppose in many ways emotionally I still am that angry and sad girl”.

    That drive to make your mother happy with you, to place that “OKAY” stamp of approval on you, figuratively, is the drive you have to make the ex happy with you, to place that okay stamp of approval on you, to declare you okay. I think it is the same drive that fuels your obsessive thinking about him and even that dream. In your dream, “He then told me that he had a letter for me that he never sent  before, but wished he had. I then woke up”- I wished your dream lasted long enough for you to read this letter. I wonder if it is your OKAY stamped approval.

    You wrote that your mother’s account of your childhood is “totally different” from yours. But I believe your account because young children perceive reality as it is.

    I think that your healing is about healing that experience you had with your mother. If you want, will you share more about your experience with her, how she communicated to you that you were Wrong?

    And was  her treatment of your siblings different from her treatment of you?

    anita

    #273989

    Mark
    Participant

    laelthia,

    It seems to me that you are focusing on having a relationship for the “wrong” reasons, i.e. to please your mother and to “keep up” with your siblings who are already in a relationship/married.

    You mention having all these expectations about your past partners which caused the dissolution of the relationship.

    It seems you need to figure out what are your own values of your life, not the desperate chasing of having to have a romantic partner.

    Have you considered therapy?

    Mark

    #274473

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your message. To answer your question, I don’t think it was that my mother explicitly stated I was Wrong, or maybe there were some questions like “what’s wrong with you?” (which my current partner also says quite a bit, unfortunately), but it was more a negative feeling I got from her, that I was causing her distress. She would often shake her head or sigh at me, while simultaneously being so cheerful and encouraging to my younger sister. She often identified being similar to my younger sister when she was younger and told me I was more like the girls that bullied her in school. To this day I’m not sure why she told me that, as I have never been a bully nor do I feel I have the self-confidence to be one the “cool, mean girls” she described me as.

    I really hope you are right that my current thoughts and feelings about my ex are not really about him, but lately, I’m not so sure. I had another dream about him last night, this time of him rejecting me again and asking me to go away. The dreams aside, I also had a sad experience with my current partner. I was visiting him in Switzerland, where he lives, and we went to a beautiful hot spring/bath house that was just lovely. There were moments I was completely relaxed and enjoying my time there, but as I looked around and saw all the other lovey-dovey couples, I realized I didn’t feel the same about him. Although I love him dearly and want desperately to feel that way about him, I can’t seem to. In fact, I thought about how lovely that experience at the hot springs would have been with my ex-partner when we were in that stage of our relationship instead. I feel horribly guilty for this thought, but it feels a bit better to fully acknowledge it rather than shove it down and pretend it wasn’t there.

    The more I think about, I just can’t help but think if I hadn’t had all these issues from my past, if I wasn’t projecting all my pain and hurt onto my relationships, he and I might still be together. Do you think that’s true? Or were there other factors (i.e., his recent separation and divorce from his ex-wife) that were more of a factor in our relationship’s demise?

     

    #274475

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Mark,

    Although painful to hear, I believe you are probably right. I think I have been focused on finding a relationship for the wrong reasons for a very long time. I think when it was younger it was more focused around finding someone who would complete me, make me feel happy and whole once and for all, and as I got older, it was more centred around keeping up with what is expected of me and what those around me seem to have.

    I have completed quite a few sessions of therapy, but I did not feel most of the therapists I saw were very helpful other than validating my feelings. I did have one therapist who I really found helpful and looked forward to our sessions (coincidentally I saw her while I was seeing the ex I’m writing about), but unfortunately, she left the practice abruptly and I was never able to locate her again. I am currently in the process of trying to find a new therapist.

    I had another dream about this ex, and I am very upset by it. I simply can’t shake this sad feeling that I ruined our relationship with my childhood issues, that had I worked on myself more rather than criticizing him at the time, maybe we would still be together and I would be happy. I know it sounds so silly and dramatic, but I truly feel like I destroyed my one true shot at happiness, and any one else I date moving forward will not create a relationship as happy as the one I once had. I feel like as individuals, we got along so well and I loved spending time with him. I have not found that since with anyone else, and I’m worried I never will. I feel horrible that when I am with my current partner, I often imagine how much enjoyable whatever activity we are doing would have been if I was with my ex instead. I don’t know how to rid myself of these horrible thoughts that haunt me. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this?

    #274485

    anita
    Participant

    Dear laelithia:

    Your mother looked at the child that you were and she “would often shake her head or sigh at me”. What does it do to a little girl watching her mother looking at her this way, disapproving? Parents are like mirrors to the young child, so when you saw her disapproving of you, you naturally figured that there is something terribly wrong with you, that it is your fault that she looks at you that way.

    Then you watched your mother looking “so cheerful and encouraging” when interacting with your younger sister. You wanted her desperately to looked at you cheerfully too. I think that this was your earliest passion: to change the way your mother looked at you.

    This early passion fueled so many, many efforts on your part, year after year, as a child to “rectify this with my mother by helping her with chores, caring for my siblings, anything I could do to make her happy“.

    You may not feel this passion currently in regard to your mother, tired of all those years, somewhat adjusted to her lifetime rejection of you, but that passion re-emerged in the context of romantic relationships. If a man wants you forevermore (the five year relationship early on), there was no passion, but if a man repeatedly rejected you, there is the passion. This is the current ex you shared about.

    There is that passion and the anger of failing to make your mother happy, “I became an extremely angry and sad teenager… I still am that angry and sad girl”-

    And there is boredom where there is no passion and no anger, boredom with your current long distance boyfriend in Switzerland.

    Your mother rejected you not because there was something wrong with you, but because there was something wrong with her: she incorrectly projected her justified disapproval of her past bullies onto you. You never bullied her or anyone when she made that projection!

    But there was no way for you to know it at the time and you believed there was something very wrong with you, worthy of her disapproval. Based on this core beliefs, a lot of neuropathways were formed. This is why it is important to examine, in quality psychotherapy, this core belief and the beliefs based on that one false core belief.

    anita

     

    #274499

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful feedback. I will continue to work at this, hopefully with a therapist that is as qualified as I believe you are! Do you think if I work through these negative core beliefs, that this obsession with my past partner will diminish? I don’t want to continue each day wondering “what if” with him, and that my life will never be as happy as it once could have been. I want to be able to forgive myself for that one awful night that led to our final break up, but I can’t seem to and I seem to keep re-traumatizing myself over and over, even though two whole years have passed. There is no possibility for reconciliation with this past partner (nor do I think I would really want one), but I seem to live mentally in a fantasy world where that awful night didn’t occur at all and we are still happily together.

    #274515

    anita
    Participant

    Dear laelithia:

    I appreciate your kind words, and correct you on this one: I am not a psychotherapist. I learn what I know from being engaged in the healing process myself since my own first quality psychotherapy in 2011-2013. Posting here for years by this point is part of my learning and healing, every day, hours per day.

    I do believe that your obsession regarding this man will not only diminish but be gone once you adequately address what is fueling this obsession. Take away its fuel and it will get off the road it is traveling in your brain, disabled.

    anita

    #274779

    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I’m honestly very surprised you are not a trained psychotherapist, you have helped me more than other therapists I have seen. In the last few days, I have faced my darkest feelings about this ex. For a long time, I did not want to admit that I yearned for this person, or at least who he was before all the horrible fights happened, but I see now that I do. As painful as it is to admit, I miss him. I feel like this is twofold. In one way, it is about the validation and acknowledgment I so desperately seek, and in another way, it’s solely about him.

    For instance, I have never met someone before or since him that I found physically, emotionally, and intellectually attractive. He was funny, kind-hearted, upbeat and easy going. I loved his name, his family, most of his friends, and his outlook on life. I truly believe had I been working on my internal wounds, seeing a psychologist more regularly to tackle these deep-seated insecurities and negative beliefs about myself, I wouldn’t have strained the relationship to the point I did. He was open and honest with me about needing time to take the relationship slowly, and I consistently didn’t listen and forced it forward at an unhealthy pace, as I had done with most relationships since my 6-year relationship ended.

    I believe there were mistakes he made that caused me pain, but unfortunately, I believe the vast majority of the issues in our relationship were caused by me. My subconscious was hurting so badly, that any time I drank too much or tried any other substance, the wounded subconscious would come to the surface and damage myself and those around me. I am so, so sad about this. I have so many regrets. I truly think this person and I could have been happy, if I had just listened to what he was asking of me, to take a healthy pace and to challenge some of my negative thoughts. I don’t know how to forgive myself now, for hurting myself as badly as I did in losing this person, and in dating the wrong people since then, for the last 2 years.

    Even now, in my current relationship, I believe it is a shadow of what I could have had with my ex. Every day I think about how my current life could have been so much better with him in it, with us together. I was so happy every time we were together, it was only when we were apart that my mind would play tricks on me and make me believe he didn’t care about me and that he wanted someone else. I tested him constantly, started arguments just so that I could witness him trying to win me back, all of it a symptom of my bleeding core wounds from the past. I so desperately wish I could go back in time, work on myself, and see what would happen then. I’m so sad I’ve caused all of this, and I’m so scared that I will be forever haunted by it, and what I’ve done since.

    I really hope I can move past this, see this break up in a positive light, but I feel I never will. I truly cannot see any fault with this ex that could not have been worked through in time. He was as patient as he could be, he tried his best to be with me while I didn’t love myself, while I tested him, questioned him. My current partner has low to no tolerance at all for this. In fact, today he said he didn’t want to be with me anymore because he’s sick of answering questions about who he’s talking to online all the time. I know he would never do anything innapropriate, and yet I still find myself asking. I don’t think I’ll ever find anyone as patient and understanding with this as my ex had been, and I should have been more grateful for him at the time.

    Also, I deeply regret letting my parents get involved with that past relationship. They did not want me to be with him from the start, because of his past marriage, but I don’t think they should have judged him for that (my mother herself had been divorced twice before meeting my father). Even worse, I listened to their advice, started to pull away from my ex even though I so desperately wanted to be with him. I should have been stronger, I should have been brave enough to be with him even if my parents didn’t approve. He made me happy. They quite simply, don’t. I don’t know why I listened, and I have this to add to my list of regrets.

    #274787

    anita
    Participant

    Dear laelithia:

    I read just a bit of your most recent post. I agree with it being unwise to seek your mother’s approval of your ex, definitely time to stop trying to turn that frown into a smile. And yet, it doesn’t mean that ex was the right man for you. I would like to read and re-read attentively your last post and any that you may add when I return to the computer tomorrow morning, in about fourteen hours from now.

    I hope you find some calm this evening, be it in a hot bath, soft music, or silence. Feel the sadness, let it be.

    anita

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