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My depressed girlfriend left me

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  • This topic has 169 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by Tee.
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  • #419080
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee

    So have you experienced a similar situation to mine. I do feel as the finishing piece would be to have a loving long term partner who understands me. I have been successful in a lot of other ways and completed lots of goals of mine already at a reasonable age. Ever since I was young I’ve longed for a real partner.

    Maybe I did loose some of these qualities I’m not actually sure about that. I don’t feel like I’ve been a spontaneous person at all, I’m a lot more about planning and calculating. Maybe this is where we also didn’t see eye to eye. In terms of playfulness and childishness I definitely get glimpses of it however at times I am not playful at all and quite dull like we talked about earlier. I think with my ex I became really drained from everything and it made me less inclined to be playful towards the end. It felt like I was a parent more than a partner at times. She actually complained we didn’t play fight and she would ask for attention, similar to a child.

    I think her passion for her craft really intrigued me. She was into crystals, chakras etc and I never have been a spiritual person like that. I found it interesting but not convincing. I think this was also a big difference for her. She read into a lot of things because of her knowledge on chakras etc and I think this is where comments like “your body is rejecting mine” came from. In saying that I admired how much she really enjoyed making necklaces etc.

     

    I did spend time doing stuff with my parents that you would consider fun as a child. I tried sports, musical instruments, art but I only really enjoyed gaming as a child. It was my escape and still is. I did pursue athletics for a few years and enjoyed bmx riding but as I aged I didn’t enjoy spending my time doing that as much during school especially. I will speak with my psych about this tomorrow as well as everything we’ve touched on recently.

    So it was wrong of me to push her? Or it was wrong of me to expect that pushing her would start the change?
    Okay I do understand what you are saying. I expected her to change and thought my efforts would make it happen?

     

    I am slowly realizing it wasn’t my destiny and I think I always knew this. I think if she stuck around and didn’t leave so much I would’ve felt more destined with her. I think if someone pushes through those tough times with me and shows me they can change and want too then I get that destined feeling. However I’ve never had that, only glimpses with her.

    I ended up telling her she was getting blocked just out of courtesy but i don’t think she really cared. However I told her she can reach out in the future if she wants to share stories one day. I don’t think she will but I will be in a better spot by then. I think I’m getting very close to ending the chapter of my life and actually moving on. I’m just over it by now. It gets me thinking about my past exes and relationships. I always have a soft spot for my past women it’s almost a comfort thing.

     

    #419081
    Adam
    Participant

    One of the things that really stuck with me is how she said we are morally different. For example Her morals would be to drop everything to be there for me. Yet she wasn’t. She claimed it was bare minimum because she wants me and needs me and that I should also want to be there for her. This was said during our last and worst argument. She didn’t want to say she needed me because she knew she didn’t. However I think asking your partner for help and saying some to big a long the lines of “I know you want to stay home but I really need you here tonight” is not too much to ask for, if things like this were said and made clear I would’ve been more present I think for her

    For me the bare minimum I expected was contact. She was a really bad texted etc and would obviously ghost me at times which was manipulation and controlling. I would be at work all day and I rarely got a message while she was home doing nothing. Another bare minimum for me was fighting for what you want and she never did that. The fact that it was always me fighting, writing poems, letters, offering comfort and never receiving any from her should’ve been my wake up call and it almost is now. I deserve someone who would’ve done the same for me as I did for them.

    #419086
    Adam
    Participant

    I have thought about some of what I said today. I honestly did do a lot of fun stuff as a child and at times that kid does come out. I remember when we went looking for shells together and I was like a little kid then, however she did bring that out at the time.

    I am quite sarcastic with my partners and just in general. To me it’s a way of being playful. I tend to innocently tease a bit as well, which has caused my partners needing reassurance at times because of their insecurities. Like that time I brought up how she rolls over and turns away from me in bed, I teased her slightly saying I don’t care but I think it’s cute. However it got taken the wrong way.

    I am a bit of a goof I realised as well, especially in public. I am not afraid of making a fool out myself and looking stupid, I think all my partners have enjoyed this about me and seen I have a playful side. However I do still have that calm and balanced side. Similar to my father my mother said, not too excited but not unsatisfied. My Mum compares me a lot to my Dad. My friend told me to look at my ex in comparison to my Mother saying, “would she ever end up being the woman your mother is?”. And he’s right she wouldn’t be I don’t think. I’m saying this because I was trying to think of ‘my type’ and I struggle with this, along with what I actually liked about all my exes. I feel like my type is someone like my Mother, someone who is caring, respectful, rational, loving, responsible and hard working just to name a few things. In saying all of this I do get very attached to almost anyone who I think is attractive and gives me attention. I think of compatibility early on and get high hopes for the future.

    Lastly, Have you ever heard of maladaptive daydreaming? I think I may have something similar. Ever since I was a child I have been a huge day dreamer, excessive at times. I noticed my Father had similar mannerisms to my own when I day dream, maybe he does too. I have never spoken to him about it. I may be looking into things too much but maybe this is adding to my beautifying of the relationship and my hopes of rekindling.

    #419088
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I do feel as the finishing piece would be to have a loving long term partner who understands me. I have been successful in a lot of other ways and completed lots of goals of mine already at a reasonable age. Ever since I was young I’ve longed for a real partner.

    Right, I see. Yeah, love and career are two major parts of our life. You’ve got your career sorted out, you say you’ve achieved many of your goals. And now you’d like to find a loving partner, someone to settle down and share your life with.

    It’s interesting you’ve been longing for a real partner since you were young. Have you felt alone a lot in your childhood? You don’t have to answer, but I think it could be significant. You also say gaming was your “escape” (both in your childhood and now). Escape from what, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I don’t feel like I’ve been a spontaneous person at all, I’m a lot more about planning and calculating

    Planning is not a bad feature at all. It’s very necessary if we want to achieve goals. And you have achieved a lot of your goals. You’ve also earned enough money to buy a house. All excellent things.

    As for spontaneity, I look at it like a season that adds flavor to your meal. For example, you plan a great trip and prepare for every eventuality, but then once you’re at the location, you allow yourself to enjoy, perhaps explore some hidden paths and new vistas, decide on a whim to visit a secret bay… in short, you’re in the moment and enjoying it. So I think the combination of planning and preparing on one hand, and being able to be in the moment and enjoy – is the “winning combination”.

    So perhaps the question is: once you’ve reached your goal (either a tourist goal or in terms of your career), can you relax and enjoy it? Or you’re already thinking of the next goal and calculating how to get there?

    I am a landscaper by trade so I enjoy the outdoors and gardening. We did lots of terrariums and indoor planting together which was really fun to do as a couple so I will continue do so myself.

    That sounds like something that sparked joy in you. It might be a passion worth exploring? It’s a good idea to continue doing on your own and see how you like it…

    I think her passion for her craft really intrigued me. She was into crystals, chakras etc and I never have been a spiritual person like that. I found it interesting but not convincing. I think this was also a big difference for her. She read into a lot of things because of her knowledge on chakras etc and I think this is where comments like “your body is rejecting mine” came from. In saying that I admired how much she really enjoyed making necklaces etc.

    Yeah, you said she spent hours and hours, till deep into the night, making those necklaces. That’s probably when she was “in the flow” – completely consumed by what she was doing, enjoying every moment of it, and feeling like the time has stopped. Do you have some activity like that, where you forget about time and you “lose yourself” while doing it?

    As for her spirituality, it could have been a double-edged sword, because it might have led her to try to heal on her own, without professional help. Whereas for trauma survivors (specially if it was sexual trauma), it is super important to get proper therapy. Not necessarily CBT but somatic therapies. Because I believe you can’t heal trauma just by using crystals and chakra healing.

    So it was wrong of me to push her? Or it was wrong of me to expect that pushing her would start the change?
    Okay I do understand what you are saying. I expected her to change and thought my efforts would make it happen?

    The last one is the closest: “I expected her to change and thought my efforts would make it happen.” Yes, you wanted her to be a more stable person, with some adult goals, that are compatible with your goals. So you definitely wanted to see her changed. But she wasn’t showing any willingness to change. Or perhaps she didn’t want to change in the way you wanted her to.

    And then your mistake was to push her and expect things of her. Later you stopped pushing openly, but you were still hoping that with enough patience and understanding on your side, she would start changing. Your intention and vision for her was to see her changed, and you got fixated on it. Whereas the healthy response would have been to let her go.

    I am slowly realizing it wasn’t my destiny and I think I always knew this. I think if she stuck around and didn’t leave so much I would’ve felt more destined with her. I think if someone pushes through those tough times with me and shows me they can change and want too then I get that destined feeling. However I’ve never had that, only glimpses with her.

    Yeah, her reflex reaction (and perhaps a manipulation tactic) was to leave whenever she didn’t like something. But again, your insisting that she should change (and staying with her) while she didn’t want to change – that was the problem.

    I ended up telling her she was getting blocked just out of courtesy but i don’t think she really cared. However I told her she can reach out in the future if she wants to share stories one day. I don’t think she will but I will be in a better spot by then.

    Good that you blocked her! When you told her she can reach out in the future, do you mean by email? Or that you’ll unblock her after some time?

    It gets me thinking about my past exes and relationships. I always have a soft spot for my past women it’s almost a comfort thing.

    Have you stayed friends with your exes?

    One of the things that really stuck with me is how she said we are morally different. For example Her morals would be to drop everything to be there for me. Yet she wasn’t. She claimed it was bare minimum because she wants me and needs me and that I should also want to be there for her.

    You said it was always one-sided: you were supposed to drop everything for her and also to have understanding for her feelings and her mood swings. But she didn’t understand your feelings – you weren’t supposed to talk about it. As you said, it was a double standard. It was all about her and her needs. Whenever you expressed your needs, you were blamed for it.

    Another bare minimum for me was fighting for what you want and she never did that. The fact that it was always me fighting, writing poems, letters, offering comfort and never receiving any from her should’ve been my wake up call and it almost is now. I deserve someone who would’ve done the same for me as I did for them.

    Yes, the relationship was one-sided: you invested all this energy in her, and it was never enough. She was just taking and  demanding even more.

    A relationship shouldn’t be so unbalanced and one-sided. So that should be your big clue for the future.

     

    #419091
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

     

    Yeh I would love that. The thought of one person for the rest of my life honestly scared me a bit at first until I met this girl. I genuinely thought about marriage, kids, moving in etc.

     

    I didn’t feel alone anymore than a normal kid would I think. I just had desires for a partner from an early age, ever since my first crush. Gaming is like my down time and relaxation. It’s also a social thing for me now as I’ve gotten older as most my friends also game. So during the relationship I obviously lost that a bit which I was fine with. But it was almost as if when things got hectic, I just wanted to game. Usually this meant alone.

    I have always been a bit pedantic as well as a planner. I think I do relax and enjoy it but I also keep in the back of my mind that there is always more to achieve, however I am easily pleased and satisfied. I would say I think of the next goal but I don’t calculate how to get there straight away. So we we’re definitely different in this sense, she was unorganized and spontaneous where as I was a bit more planned and had my stuff together as well let’s say.

    I think it is something I will continue to explore, I have always found it fun and peaceful. Yea she got really into it at night, I think it was mainly because she couldn’t sleep so it kept her busy. I don’t really have a similar activity, not to that extent anyway. The closest thing that I can dive into would be a game I’d say. She actually had somatic therapy once years ago and from what I gathered it was too confronting. I spoke to my psych about recommendations for her treatment. When I spoke to my ex about the options she already knew one of them and told me she went through 3 different people there and could never ‘click’ with any of them. I agree I don’t think any of that actually helps with real healing.

     

    I guess it was I wanted to see her healed, and I knew that change had to happen to start this. I do believe change is inevitable. I got fixated on the idea of a healthy relationship and I thought her changing certain things within her life would make it healthy.
    You’re right though she didn’t want to change but to be sheltered from everything and her problems just go away. I heard a quote about buffalo and cows the other day. They both sense a storm but approach it differently, the cows try run from it but get tired and the storm catches them. Buffalo run at the storm ensure it and come out the other side. Maybe this is where we are also different in how we deal with things.

    No I told her I am blocking her social media as it was a trigger for me. I said she can message my number in the future but I need to heal.

     

    I haven’t stayed friends with exes but I have stayed in contact with one. However it’s more of a comfort thing after we get out of our current relationship. I also message an ex from high school on rare occasions. The high school one in particular I was madly in love with but it wasn’t true love now I have gotten older and I look back.

    She really didn’t understand my side and my feelings. Being told by your partner that you ‘treat them like sh*t’ is heartbreaking. I was almost numb to some of the stuff she said. I remember one time she told me she deserves to be with someone who actually wants her. This was all because I turned a light off before we made out. All these things add up and upsets me how I was mistreated and misunderstood. No matter what I did it was outweighed by the ‘little things’.

    I think so much good will come from all this despite how much it has hurt.

     

    #419109
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I have thought about some of what I said today. I honestly did do a lot of fun stuff as a child and at times that kid does come out. I remember when we went looking for shells together and I was like a little kid then, however she did bring that out at the time.

    I am a bit of a goof I realised as well, especially in public. I am not afraid of making a fool out myself and looking stupid, I think all my partners have enjoyed this about me and seen I have a playful side. However I do still have that calm and balanced side.

    This seems like you’re pretty balanced. You have a playful, even goofy side, and you’re not afraid to show it. Which means you’re not too uptight. But you also have a responsible, planning adult side, which is also super important in life. So it doesn’t seem to me you’re missing playfulness or spontaneity.

    I have always been a bit pedantic as well as a planner. I think I do relax and enjoy it but I also keep in the back of my mind that there is always more to achieve, however I am easily pleased and satisfied. I would say I think of the next goal but I don’t calculate how to get there straight away.

    Again, this seems pretty balanced to me. It’s not a problem to be pedantic and planner, as long as you can also relax and enjoy from time to time. It’s not like you’re never pleased with your achievements and are pushing yourself from more, from the place of never being good enough.

    I am quite sarcastic with my partners and just in general. To me it’s a way of being playful. I tend to innocently tease a bit as well, which has caused my partners needing reassurance at times because of their insecurities. Like that time I brought up how she rolls over and turns away from me in bed, I teased her slightly saying I don’t care but I think it’s cute. However it got taken the wrong way.

    Can you give me an example of a sarcastic comment you made? Because innocently teasing and sarcastic is not the same thing. When innocently teasing, we don’t have a bad intention, we don’t want to hurt the person. It’s like we love and accept them, but we might notice a feature of theirs where they are lacking, and we playfully tease them about it. Like when you told her she’s not good with reading directions, to which she got offended. I think that was innocent teasing and no bad intention on your part.

    In the situation when she rolled over in bed, perhaps she was extra sensitive because sex triggered her trauma. So your innocent (perhaps a little careless) remark did hurt her. But again, you didn’t say it with bad intention, did you? You just remarked something to which she was super sensitive.

    Being told by your partner that you ‘treat them like sh*t’ is heartbreaking. I was almost numb to some of the stuff she said. I remember one time she told me she deserves to be with someone who actually wants her. This was all because I turned a light off before we made out. All these things add up and upsets me how I was mistreated and misunderstood. No matter what I did it was outweighed by the ‘little things’.

    Oh I am really sorry. You didn’t mean anything bad by turning off the light, but she attacked you so strongly, accusing you unfairly. That must have been tough. It’s one more proof of how abused you were in that relationship, and that it’s a great thing you broke up.

     

    Similar to my father my mother said, not too excited but not unsatisfied. My Mum compares me a lot to my Dad.

    Ever since I was a child I have been a huge day dreamer, excessive at times. I noticed my Father had similar mannerisms to my own when I day dream, maybe he does too. I have never spoken to him about it

    What do you notice on your father, which reminds you of yourself? What kind of mannerisms?

    “Not too excited but not unsatisfied” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can be someone who has a peaceful nature and is more self-contained. Do you think that you showing emotions as a child (say huge excitement about something) wasn’t greeted well by your father? Or maybe you wanted to emulate him, and so you tried to be calm and “poised” like him?

     

    I didn’t feel alone anymore than a normal kid would I think. I just had desires for a partner from an early age, ever since my first crush. Gaming is like my down time and relaxation. It’s also a social thing for me now as I’ve gotten older as most my friends also game. So during the relationship I obviously lost that a bit which I was fine with. But it was almost as if when things got hectic, I just wanted to game. Usually this meant alone.

    I understand… it’s a way for you to unwind and sometimes self-soothe. But it’s not an addiction. It’s more that when things got hectic in your relationship, and I guess she was criticizing you and putting unreasonable demands on you, you just wanted to escape that and spend some time with yourself, doing what you like: gaming.

     

    The thought of one person for the rest of my life honestly scared me a bit at first until I met this girl.

    Ever since I was young I’ve longed for a real partner.

    Okay, that’s interesting. On one hand, you’ve been longing for a loving partner since you were young. On the other, you were also scared about it. So I guess there was still something that caused you to both long and fear being in a loving relationship? Do you know what that might be?

     

    My friend told me to look at my ex in comparison to my Mother saying, “would she ever end up being the woman your mother is?”. And he’s right she wouldn’t be I don’t think. I’m saying this because I was trying to think of ‘my type’ and I struggle with this, along with what I actually liked about all my exes. I feel like my type is someone like my Mother, someone who is caring, respectful, rational, loving, responsible and hard working just to name a few things.

    That’s nice that you think of your mother so highly.

    In saying all of this I do get very attached to almost anyone who I think is attractive and gives me attention. I think of compatibility early on and get high hopes for the future.

    Yeah, so it might mean that you didn’t receive enough attention in your childhood, or not the kind of attention you wanted? Perhaps your mother was kind and loving, but perhaps she was comparing you to your father a lot and you felt unseen? I am just throwing ideas here, since I really have no clue what happened. Please don’t get offended if I suggest some outlandish idea – I am trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together and help you, if I can.

     

    #419111
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee

    As an example of being sarcastic I would say things like ‘I love this movie’ if there was a really boring movie on tv.

    No I never said anything with bad intention to her. Maybe she took certain things the wrong way though more than I thought. But she would always argue that there’s no good way to take certain things I said.

    I notice a few ways we are similar. We’re both a bit quiet but make others laugh. Both honest, humble, have the same smile, I could name a lot of different things.

    No my father was really good to me, maybe I did try emulate him a bit when I was younger I’m not sure though.

    I would have no idea as to why there may be something I both long and fear. I don’t think I’m scared anymore. Not right now but eventually in time I’ll be in the right spot for a partner.

    Im not offended at all, I really appreciate you talking to me it’s helping a lot!
    I still feel like I did receive a good amount of attention, I don’t know if it is related to my childhood or not.

    I saw the psych today and it went really well. She told me my ex had a push pull attachment style. She’d pull me in then push me away. We spoke about a lot and she made me feel very safe and reassured. She said it was clearly abuse. I know What I need to do for myself so I will continue to do it.

     

     

     

    #419152
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I am glad I am not being too intrusive with my questions and hypotheses 🙂

    As an example of being sarcastic I would say things like ‘I love this movie’ if there was a really boring movie on tv.

    Did she like the movie and wanted to keep watching it? And then you, instead of saying “sorry I find it boring, can we watch something else?”, you said “I love this movie”, rolling your eyes or something to that effect? So the question is: was your remark playful, or was it resentful because you didn’t dare to say what you really think of the movie?

    I think that would be the main difference between playfulness and sarcasm – whether there is resentment in it, or not.

    I notice a few ways we are similar. We’re both a bit quiet but make others laugh. Both honest, humble, have the same smile, I could name a lot of different things.

    These are all pleasant features. You did say though that you’re similar to your father when you’re daydreaming. So I was wondering what are those daydreaming “features” of yours, that you believe are similar to your father’s?

    I saw the psych today and it went really well. She told me my ex had a push pull attachment style. She’d pull me in then push me away. We spoke about a lot and she made me feel very safe and reassured. She said it was clearly abuse. I know What I need to do for myself so I will continue to do it.

    Glad you had a successful appointment! Yes, it does seem like the push-and-pull tactics. I mean, she would pull you in with her nice words and promises, and then she would reject you with her moods and criticism. She was complaining you’re not spending enough quality time together, but then she wasn’t interested in doing anything together, but just sulking. You also said that after one earlier breakup, she said she’ll never leave again and that she knows you can always sort things out by talking. But then a short while later she’d be breaking up with you again. And so on…

    You said you don’t really know what your type of girlfriend is and what is it that you liked about all your exes (I was trying to think of ‘my type’ and I struggle with this, along with what I actually liked about all my exes). So I took a look at your older posts, and actually this is what you said about your exes:

    All my exes have had some form of anxiety or being prescribed to medication

    So that’s perhaps significant. Also, you said you had to walk on egg shells around them (and this has proven to be true for your last ex gf too):

    They would definitely frustrate me a lot with their own problems which is harsh to say. …. I did feel like I was stepping on eggshells with them

    You also said you yourself sometimes suffer from anxiety:

    No i was quite open about my feelings with her, told her about work, psych appointments, anxiety I was feeling at times.

    If this is a sensitive topic, we don’t need to talk about it. But perhaps anxiety is a common theme here? Again, please disregard if this is irrelevant.

     

    #419172
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    I’m honestly an open book always have been and I don’t get offended easily. Don’t hesitate to dig 🙂

    Yes they were always playful remarks and things we would laugh over usually. I’d say things like ‘I’m an idiot’ and we would giggle and agree for another example. Similar to her comment about trusting directions in a way. Only difference is I wouldn’t take it personally. There was never any resentment or hate coming from my sarcasm.

    I have dark humour as well. I learnt to hold this back early on because of her trauma. I do joke about things I probably shouldn’t at times, again similar to my dad. My friends are also the same but I think she felt uncomfortable around them, she never mentioned anything about it.

    I think it’s easy to notice when my father is “off with the fairies” at times and I think I am also the same. I think my ex saying ‘I didn’t even give her eye contact’ at times was her noticing I’m daydreaming a bit. Little smiles and hand movements is what I also noticed at times that are similar between me and my dad. I noticed as I got older when I’d say dream I would smirk during it at times and I would see this in him too.

     

    I put too much trust in her. My psych said I should listen to my emotions more and what I am actually feeling. For an example, when I started having thoughts of emotional abuse I didn’t open up to my psych at first because I thought I was over thinking. Where as in reality it was clear emotional abuse so I should trust how I’m feeling rather than see it as I’m overthinking.

    She also agreed that I am playful however my ex could’ve brought that side out a bit more. I spoke about that balanced feeling where I am not too excited but not unsatisfied. Like you were saying I may have enjoyed the roller coaster of highs and lows because of this.

     

    I think it is significant in someway, maybe I am drawn to girls who have unresolved issues and feel like I can be a confidante or a savior. I’m not too sure. I only really felt like this with my ex though not my other partners. I need stability though so the reuse I believe I will just be codependent again. I told her about my worries for the next few weeks and months, she said if she reaches out you will have to be firm and break the cycle of abuse. She needs real treatment and help which would take a lot of therapy etc. 18 months she said atleast. But she said don’t think about the future and if she does ever approach you work, therapy are a must and who knows maybe there’s an option to reconnect but to not even think of that possibility. Take it as it comes.

    I am an anxious person but I have always dealt with it. I do get a lot of anxiety in relationships I think because of all the egg shells of walked on during them. Partners have definitely made me question my sanity and if it is really me who’s the problem, which has added to my anxiety. On top of that I obviously had a lot of anxiety with my ex about her leaving again however I couldn’t talk about this as I was holding onto the past and not fully trusting her. This was a hurdle for me in my last relationship.

     

    #419175
    Adam
    Participant

    I am not sure if this is significant but I forgot to add there were a few times my ex told I treat her like her Dad. However I was completely different to her father. She also said her ex was similar to her father but agreed with me that I wasn’t in a lot of ways very early on in the relationship. Not sure why that changed and she said I treat her like that at times.

    I was thinking about messaging her ex just to see what his experience was. Do you think that is a wise idea or I should avoid opening that can of worms?

    I just deleted our messages in my phone as I caught myself looking through old messages. She definitely seemed a lot happier and grateful early on. Messaging me during the days and mornings at work compared to blunt and short  conversations later on. I know it was the honey moon stage then though. My psych actually explained the cycle of abuse to me and how it works. You have a honey moon stage, then something’s happens, then apologies follow and you make up and end up in the honeymoon stage for something to happen again leading to more apologies. She asked me if that seemed familiar and it really was. Every couple months we were splitting and then going through this cycle. With my past ex it made me realise that the relationship was a lot healthier as we went a whole 9 months and then split but never got back together. My psych also spoke about trauma bonding and made it clear that it wasn’t my trauma that was causing it by rather hers.

    #419181
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    There was never any resentment or hate coming from my sarcasm.

    That’s what’s important. You really were just playful and your remarks innocent. But she took it the wrong way.

    And I wouldn’t even call it sarcasm, because sarcasm is a form of passive aggression, where we resent something or someone but don’t want to say it openly, so we resort to sarcastic remarks. I think there is always resentment and anger in sarcasm. Yours was more like humor, I’d say. Being funny, making funny comments and sometimes innocently teasing her, but with no bad intention.

    I have dark humour as well. I learnt to hold this back early on because of her trauma.

    Good, so you were thoughtful enough to curb some of your dark humor. That shows you really didn’t mean to hurt her, but did your best to treat her with empathy and sensitivity.

    She also agreed that I am playful however my ex could’ve brought that side out a bit more. I spoke about that balanced feeling where I am not too excited but not unsatisfied. Like you were saying I may have enjoyed the roller coaster of highs and lows because of this.

    Well, it seems your ex tolerated some forms of your playfulness, like collecting shells, but didn’t always tolerate your humor, specially if you were making funny remarks about her. So in some ways, she was also limiting your playfulness, don’t you think?

     

    I think it’s easy to notice when my father is “off with the fairies” at times and I think I am also the same. I think my ex saying ‘I didn’t even give her eye contact’ at times was her noticing I’m daydreaming a bit. Little smiles and hand movements is what I also noticed at times that are similar between me and my dad. I noticed as I got older when I’d say dream I would smirk during it at times and I would see this in him too.

    Daydreaming in itself is normal, we all lose ourselves in thoughts from time to time and our gaze gets a bit glassy 🙂 But it’s not the same as maladaptive daydreaming, which is a disorder, where the person loses themselves in daydreaming to the point of losing touch with reality and not being able to perform normal daily tasks. It’s a form of dissociation and is usually caused by trauma or neglect.

    Would you say your daydreaming was/is dysfunctional, or it’s more like losing yourself in thoughts and dreams about the future, from time to time?

     

    I am an anxious person but I have always dealt with it. I do get a lot of anxiety in relationships I think because of all the egg shells of walked on during them. Partners have definitely made me question my sanity and if it is really me who’s the problem, which has added to my anxiety.

    Right. So your anxiety is mostly about relationships, not about other parts of your life? You were with partners who accused  you of being uncaring and/or neglectful. And in the past, when you were smoking weed, you might have indeed been like that.

    It’s interesting because this is perhaps the duality you were feeling in the past: on one hand longing for a partner, and on the other fearing the relationship. So perhaps when you were in relationships in the past, this fear popped up (fear of not being good enough?), and so you self-medicated with weed? And then it became a self-fulfilling prophecy because clearly, if you’re smoking, you cannot be a caring and fully present partner.

    Perhaps in this relationship you dropped your fear of being in the relationship, and you took a plunge with all that you had. You did your best. You were a caring and a fully present partner. But she was not the right girl…

    Perhaps the lesson is that even if we do our best, we can’t make the other person to change. But it doesn’t mean we did anything wrong.

     

    I think it is significant in someway, maybe I am drawn to girls who have unresolved issues and feel like I can be a confidante or a savior. I’m not too sure. I only really felt like this with my ex though not my other partners.

    Right, with your previous exes you said you were neglectful/avoidant (you smoked weed), whereas with this one, you thought she was worth quitting. But it’s interesting that all of them have anxiety and/or are on medications.

    So perhaps you are attracted to girls who are a bit insecure and fragile, and you feel you can be their protector? Or maybe with such girls, you believe they won’t judge you because you have “less issues” than them. But then exactly the opposite occurs: they end up judging you a lot? This is again just an idea that I am throwing out, please disregard if it doesn’t apply.

     

    I told her about my worries for the next few weeks and months, she said if she reaches out you will have to be firm and break the cycle of abuse. She needs real treatment and help which would take a lot of therapy etc. 18 months she said atleast. But she said don’t think about the future and if she does ever approach you work, therapy are a must and who knows maybe there’s an option to reconnect but to not even think of that possibility. Take it as it comes.

    Really great advice! I also think it would be very harmful to be in touch with her in any way. Because as your therapist said, you need to break the cycle of abuse. And if you keep in touch, you would sooner or later end up being abused again. Because nothing changed on her side. So yes, you need to stay away from her by all means.

    My psych actually explained the cycle of abuse to me and how it works. You have a honey moon stage, then something’s happens, then apologies follow and you make up and end up in the honeymoon stage for something to happen again leading to more apologies. She asked me if that seemed familiar and it really was. Every couple months we were splitting and then going through this cycle. With my past ex it made me realise that the relationship was a lot healthier as we went a whole 9 months and then split but never got back together. My psych also spoke about trauma bonding and made it clear that it wasn’t my trauma that was causing it by rather hers.

    It’s also great that your therapist explained how the cycle of abuse works, and about trauma bonding. Yeah, you were hooked to those good times (and her promises), and that’s why it was hard to let go, even if the relationship became more and more toxic, and you less and less of yourself. And yes, it was clearly her trauma causing all of that. Your weakness was in staying and hoping things would change.

     

    I am not sure if this is significant but I forgot to add there were a few times my ex told I treat her like her Dad. However I was completely different to her father. She also said her ex was similar to her father but agreed with me that I wasn’t in a lot of ways very early on in the relationship. Not sure why that changed and she said I treat her like that at times.

    Well, you did behave like a parental figure at times, being both her protector and also trying to get her to put her life in order. So perhaps she saw that as patronizing. But if she saw her ex as a father figure too, it might be that she was projecting, or that she was actually attracted to guys who would protect her and shelter her from everything, so she would feel “safe” (which is impossible unless she actually heals the trauma).

    I was thinking about messaging her ex just to see what his experience was. Do you think that is a wise idea or I should avoid opening that can of worms?

    No, I don’t think it’s a good idea. You don’t know if he would be open to that, and it’s a bit like licking the wounds together – I don’t know if you want to bond with her ex in that way. Specially if you don’t even know the guy.

    If you start talking to her exes about her, it would be like you’re still a bit obsessed about her, so it’s not really helping you to move on.

    So my advice is no, don’t talk to him. Process everything you have in therapy or here if it helps you, but don’t open that can of worms (very good analogy, btw!)

    I just deleted our messages in my phone as I caught myself looking through old messages. She definitely seemed a lot happier and grateful early on. Messaging me during the days and mornings at work compared to blunt and short conversations later on.

    Great decision to delete her old messages! The less you get stuck on those mementos of the past, the easier it will be to move on.

     

     

    #419185
    Roberta
    Participant

    Dear Adam

    Please do not take what I say as a reason to go back into an abusive relationship.

    It appears from what you have said that there was a cycle to her.  Woman do have a hormonal cycle and this can exaggerate & trigger behaviors.

    Many people do not recognize this and therefore can not take steps to help ease the situation also it can be a very touchy subject as timing is crucial when broaching it.

    When I was young there was a couple of days of the month where I was horny as hell ( this clouds judgement) and then about a week or so later it would swing the other way where I was emotional,  but also  could not bare to be touched ( this stage also clouded my judgement). Then my period would arrive (relief ).

     

    #419187
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee

    Yes she definitely was at times limiting my playfulness as I was worried about triggering her. I don’t think she understood my playfulness fully either.

    I would say it’s more like losing myself in a daydream than being dysfunctional. It just feels excessive sometimes, like I have to day dream.

    I think that is definitely what happened. Smoking was a bigger issue in my last two relationships. I really did give it my all. My first ex I tried fighting for months later and she told me if you fought earlier it would’ve been different. I was the distant one at first and didn’t want to rekindle until later on. That really stuck with me so I got into the mind set of fight before it’s too late. I think it is a right time wrong person scenario. It’s a hard lesson but it’s true, we can’t make people change, even if we do everything we can.

    I think I could be attracted to it if I’m being honest, however I’m not sure why. My psych said it could just be a coincidence. I don’t think it’s to do with having less issues but more of a protector role.

    I will do my best to stay away from all things related to her. I had an average day I’ve just felt so unmotivated and a bit lonely. I think I’ve cried  nearly everyday but I’m coping.

    I guess you’re right I was a parental figure but I don’t think I was very similar to her father. And thanks that’s good advice not to message him.

    I have just read Roberta’s message as well. It’s interesting you brought up the hormonal cycle. My ex actually just had a laparoscopy to have endometriosis and a marina removed. So maybe it was possible this exaggerated her triggers. We had a big argument before her surgery also. Not sure if any of this is significant.

    #419189
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    Yes she definitely was at times limiting my playfulness as I was worried about triggering her. I don’t think she understood my playfulness fully either.

    Yeah, people with trauma and low self-esteem can get very offended, not able to take a joke, even if it’s an innocent one. She probably felt threatened by those jokes, as if you’re saying you don’t love her or don’t respect her enough.

    I would say it’s more like losing myself in a daydream than being dysfunctional. It just feels excessive sometimes, like I have to day dream.

    Did you notice that something triggers your daydreaming? How long do those episodes last?

    I think that is definitely what happened. Smoking was a bigger issue in my last two relationships. I really did give it my all. My first ex I tried fighting for months later and she told me if you fought earlier it would’ve been different. I was the distant one at first and didn’t want to rekindle until later on. That really stuck with me so I got into the mind set of fight before it’s too late

    Oh I see. So with your first ex you started caring (and fighting for her) too late, so you made sure you don’t repeat the same mistake again. And you quit smoking too, because you wanted to be there for her fully.

    I think it is a right time wrong person scenario. It’s a hard lesson but it’s true, we can’t make people change, even if we do everything we can.

    Yes, she was definitely the wrong person. But at least you’ve learned a lesson, even if it was a painful one.

    I think I could be attracted to it if I’m being honest, however I’m not sure why. My psych said it could just be a coincidence. I don’t think it’s to do with having less issues but more of a protector role.

    Right. Well, she was your first relationship where you’ve tried your best. And this could be because you felt ready to settle down (you said you’ve achieved your main career goals so far, bought a house, and so the next step was to find a partner and settle down). So maybe it’s just that you really took it seriously and wanted to make it work. Maybe that’s the only reason why you were so attached to her, and there are no childhood issues involved.

    Let me ask you though: have you ever felt inadequate in your childhood? Have you perhaps hoped (and daydreamed) that anything in your life should be different?

    I will do my best to stay away from all things related to her.

    Yes, please try to stay away, because really no good would come from trying to get in touch again.

    I had an average day I’ve just felt so unmotivated and a bit lonely. I think I’ve cried nearly everyday but I’m coping.

    I am sorry, Adam. Your feelings are normal. Maybe you’re lacking motivation in part also because you tied your future happiness to her? So perhaps it’s time now to tell yourself that you can still be happy, and still have the future you’re hoping for, only not with her. You’re stronger and wiser for this experience. You’ve learned some lessons, although painful ones. Things will be fine, and you’ll be okay.

    I guess you’re right I was a parental figure but I don’t think I was very similar to her father. And thanks that’s good advice not to message him.

    Btw was her father a positive person in her life, or not so much? And you’re welcome. Yes, better not stir the pot unnecessarily and get yourself attached to her again, indirectly.

    I have just read Roberta’s message as well. It’s interesting you brought up the hormonal cycle. My ex actually just had a laparoscopy to have endometriosis and a marina removed. So maybe it was possible this exaggerated her triggers. We had a big argument before her surgery also. Not sure if any of this is significant.

    It could be that she was more sensitive during some days of the month, however if so, she would have later come to her senses and apologized for her abusive behavior. She would have made the connection between “those days in the month” and her irritability. But I guess her unresolved trauma is what really started her triggers, whereas her hormones only played a minor role.

     

    #419200
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    She definitely felt offended and that I didn’t love her at times, why else would she complain about not being a priority of mine etc. I told my psych that it hurts because she didn’t understand how I loved her and loved me differently. She replied and told me that my ex would also be feeling the same towards me, that I didn’t love her how she did. It was interesting and also hard to hear that.

     

    I think when i just need a mental break it triggers my daydreaming a bit. Smoking does as well. Movies and just media in general can trigger a feeling of wanting to daydream. They can last maybe between 5 – 15 minutes. When I was a teenager, I would go on walks to allow time for my daydreaming.

     

    I think this could be a reason as to why I’m finding it so difficult over being related to my childhood. I really felt ready and like she was going to be the one for me. She fueled my fantasies with her comments too. I had that fate and destined feeling straight away with her. Now I’m worried it will return if she reaches out at any time, and it probably will still be there for a long time. I think it has to do with me being too readily available at times and giving people my all straight away. I am even worried about getting this destined feeling with anyone not just her as I feel like it had made it so much harder for me this whole time. I am still hanging onto hope for some silly reason. My psych said to me that I have ‘drawn the line in the sand’ however i can’t cross this line. I feel stuck in limbo still. This week has been much harder than last, I feel as I’m getting worse with time. Work is being affected and I’m very unmotivated, so I am going to take some time off soon.

     

    I have really hoped anything would be different. My biggest hope since early teens was probably to get a girlfriend and then as I left school, I finally started getting them, but I still have not made it to 12 months with a partner. They always leave and it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. There was a trend where I was always questioning myself with all my exes and my last relationship was the worst for this. She told me once during an argument that something is wrong with me and it really hurt. It made me feel like I was in the wrong and the cause of all issues and arguments.

     

    I tied everything about our futures together and that’s what I always told her. My priority was my future together, so it’s our future. She would see this as her not being the priority in the moment. She was never able to envision the future like I did. I don’t feel stronger or wiser yet. I really feel like if she reached out to me I would do it all to myself again and that’s a fear of mine.

     

    No her father was not a positive figure if you ask me. He was very strict with her as a child and honestly it sounded like he neglected a bit. She said he was physical at times and would shout etc over tiny things. A week before we broke up it was her sisters birthday, there was a massive argument when they went out for dinner because he didn’t get the right sauce. It reminded me of my ex in a way, like he didn’t get what he wanted so now everyone has to suffer despite being a birthday celebration and it ruined the night. My ex told me he actually said “this is why I didn’t want to go out, because it always ends in an argument”. He seemed a tiny bit misogynistic, but I could be wrong. I remember him calling her friend a ‘slut’ once to me and in front of my ex. Luckily her friend was outside at the time, he didn’t realize she was actually there. It was weird that she used him for support at times, I think it was only at night because he would be up until 4am for example, similar to her. Also similar to her he was very unstable and could snap at any minute.

     

    I think all this trauma, unresolved mental health, no desire for therapy, reducing medication without guidelines, no work for nearly 6 months or general direction in life, small friend group who weren’t always a positive influence just to name a few things. One of these by themself is enough to damage a relationship I feel. It was a whole concoction of what I just listed. I just want to be done with all this but I am struggling to do what’s best for myself.

     

    I am getting trapped in thoughts and there hasn’t been any real relief about all of this yet. I’m still hurt over how she actually ended it.

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