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Relationship ended, feeling empty

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  • #331923
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi all,

    I’ve written a few other posts but wanted to write a final one (for now at least!) to finish my story. Sadly It doesn’t have a happy ending, and now I’m struggling with how to cope, so I just thought it would be worth asking if anyone has any advice or thoughts on how best to move forward?

    To cut a long story short: I had just started seeing a close friend I had known and been in love with for the past year. In October he told me he had feelings for me and we finally got together a while later. However, I can get very anxious, especially when I really like someone, and I ended up being a bit crazy and insecure with him on several occasions (asking whether he still loved his ex, wondering aloud if we were really compatible, jumping to conclusions about what he thought on a few occasions). Deep down, i think I thought i could trust him enough because we were friends before that we would survive me being a bit crazy, but turns out I was wrong. At some point, I could tell he was having doubts so I messaged him ending things (because I thought that was what he wanted), and he didn’t reply.

    This was a month ago, and I since messaged him again and we exchanged a few messages- he’d said he didn’t stop liking me but had thought it may not be a healthy thing for us to be together. However, the messages also left the door slightly open to reconciliation (several friends of mine agreed..) so I thought we should meet up in person to talk about what happened. To be honest, I had not expected but hoped he would say he did love me and wanted to give things another go. However, we just met up this evening in person and in reality it was just sad, a bit awkward and distant. He obviously wasn’t expecting this to be a let’s get back together meeting and the impression I got was that he thought it was a good idea we broke up, and he said essentially that I really was just too crazy and insecure (in a nicer way than that, but thereabouts). He was perfectly pleasant but I just came away feeling like he never really cared, like the last year meant nothing to him and like we can’t even be friends now because maybe our friendship wasn’t real.

    I now just feel empty, am dreading having to try and sleep and waking up remembering all this. I did the really bad emotional bit when we broke up originally, but now just feel sad and lost. I just can’t believe his feelings, which he said were so strong and which had built up over a year, changed within a week or so. I don’t want this experience to make it even harder for me to trust people than it already is, but it feels like my worst fears were proved right (that he was too good for me and he would leave me). I even booked a holiday next week in November because I thought our “relationship” would combust by now and that I’d need a break.. which is exactly what happened! However, now I have to go on a holiday which I am dreading because I have to go on my own to a scary part of the world with minimal wifi. Sorry, maybe I’m just ranting but I feel so sad about this whole situation and don’t really know or who else to talk to (my friends are bored of hearing about it!). Any advice would be much appreciated.

    #331927
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sarah:

    I am glad you posted again, and please do post anytime you want, it’s not that busy here that I wouldn’t want to read from you anytime you want to express your thoughts and feelings.

    I know you did your part in bringing this relationship to an end, but it is likely that the relationship wouldn’t have worked out regardless, simply because most relationships do end in a breakup.

    Does this make you feel a tiny bit better?

    It is not the end of your world, you are still alive and healthy, aren’t you? And you are about to go on an adventure (how scary is that part of the world??)

    anita

    #332033
    Valora
    Participant

    I can get very anxious, especially when I really like someone, and I ended up being a bit crazy and insecure with him on several occasions (asking whether he still loved his ex, wondering aloud if we were really compatible, jumping to conclusions about what he thought on a few occasions)

    He obviously wasn’t expecting this to be a let’s get back together meeting and the impression I got was that he thought it was a good idea we broke up, and he said essentially that I really was just too crazy and insecure (in a nicer way than that, but thereabouts). He was perfectly pleasant but I just came away feeling like he never really cared, like the last year meant nothing to him and like we can’t even be friends now because maybe our friendship wasn’t real.

    Hi Sarah,

    I quoted the two parts of your post above because there are similar patterns of thought in both of them, before and after the breakup. When you were together, you said you’d been insecure and had jumped to conclusions. Looking back, had he really given you any reason to wonder these things or was it just your insecurities making you fear that these things were happening? If it was simply your insecurities/fears, you can then look at that last sentence quoted and know that that is likely your insecurities talking, too… that you did and do mean something to him, your relationship with him was very real, and I think you can take it at face value when he said that he still liked you but didn’t think the relationship was healthy for you… it likely wasn’t healthy for you. It was bringing out some major insecurities in you, and that can sort of become a self-fulfilling prophecy a lot of times. You have to work on those before you get into a relationship so that you don’t end up self-sabotaging it with insecurities, and if you decide to trust someone, you have to do your best to trust them fully and not let your doubts sneak in unless they deliberately do something that should raise red flags.

     I just can’t believe his feelings, which he said were so strong and which had built up over a year, changed within a week or so. I don’t want this experience to make it even harder for me to trust people than it already is, but it feels like my worst fears were proved right (that he was too good for me and he would leave me). I even booked a holiday next week in November because I thought our “relationship” would combust by now and that I’d need a break.. which is exactly what happened!

    Have you ever read anything about the Law of Attraction? We tend to manifest or bring into our lives the things that we focus on, especially when there is great emotion attached (such as fear) or if we have strong beliefs about it. You were focusing so hard on him leaving you that you literally booked a trip months in advance, while you were still with him, to give yourself a break because you were expecting to be broke up by then. You manifested the breakup yourself in time to go on the vacation you planned for the breakup you were expecting… your belief that it would happen was that strong. It’s the perfect example of how it works.

    So… my best advice is to learn from this. I know you’re feeling awful now and that’s totally normal with a breakup. Give yourself time to grieve and recover, but then work on yourself and these beliefs you have about people always leaving you. Fear of abandonment is a very, very common belief/fear and there is a lot of information even for free on the internet that you can read that may help you to get past the insecurities and change this belief so that the next relationship you get into (maybe even with the same guy, if you show him over time that you’ve grown out of your insecurities) will be much more likely to be successful. You’ll have a much better chance of a happy, committed, long-term relationship with someone who will stick around if you are able to move past the insecurities and fears that have become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the past and then you WILL be able to trust that they’ll stay if you’re both a good match for each other… but that’s the key. It still doesn’t guarantee that you will always stay with each other because sometimes it takes dating for a while to figure out that you’re not a good match… but when you DO find a good match for you, you won’t let any insecurities/doubts get in the way like before, and then that’s when the guy will stay.

    #332113
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Sarah,

    It’s normal to be “crazy” and emotional when we’re young. I see it two ways:

    1. Next time, don’t act “crazy”. Keep your cool.

    2. On the other hand…If he can’t handle it when you’re “crazy”, at your worst, then he’s not relationship material either.

    It’s super interesting you prophesied the demise of the relationship so much that you booked a solo trip from it! Do you REALLY want to go?? You don’t have to, you know. Yes, it could be a great adventure in a new place but it could also be you alone in a strange place grieving a breakup.

    My advice is not to reach out to him. Let him reach out to you. Maybe the friendship can be salvaged, and if you play it cool maybe next year you BOTH will be ready for each other. Don’t mention the relationship fiasco again to him. Make him think HE’S “crazy”.

    Best,

    Inky

    #332077
    Lost girl
    Participant

    Hy i am new in this page so don’t know if is okay to send it here !!

     

    i am 21 and i have been arranged engaged from age 8 now i fall in love with the boy this is my first ever experience with the boy i never ever even spoke with my fiance but i am keeping this relationship  in secret to my family! I want to marry this boy after knowing him 1 months but i am scared how my family will react to my decisions that I want to end this arrange engagement because they are little strict ?

     

    is any hope for my future with this boy or i will need to marry my finace?

    thank you!!! I need help

    #332227
    Clara
    Participant

    Hi Sarah!

    My first thought was “This doesn’t sound like ‘crazy’ behaviour”. Insecure, yes. Crazy, no. I don’t know too many people who don’t feel at least some level of insecurity in the beginning stages of being with someone they like. I have had the same questions in my head so many times in relationships, but never vocalize them. Is playing it cool better? That’s debatable.

    You say he was a close friend before you got together, so presumably he knows you, and knows how you would act in relationships. Unless you did a total 180 after you got with him, he shouldn’t be surprised.

    That said, no one likes an insecure partner. But I sort of feel like if he had really felt like it was something he wanted to pursue, those nagging questions wouldn’t have put him off.

    Give yourself and him some space. Don’t contact him (as hard as it may be). Let him remember the reason why he wanted to be with you in the first place. If he does come around, you need to ask yourself if you really want to be with someone who you feel so insecure with. Rather, with someone who responds the way he did to your insecurities. Because won’t that just make you more insecure?

    When I was younger, I was desperately insecure in most of my relationships. Looking back on the guys I was dating, I would say “no wonder I was!”. Not that this is all on him…

    I hope you feel better soon. We always have no idea how we can move on after a painful break up, but we do. And we grow, and become more aware of what we want and don’t want and what we will put up with or not. As hard as it is, use this time for some introspection. Take care of yourself!

    Last thing: I also agree with whoever in the above responses said that imagining the end of your relaitonship before it’s even over, will most likely bring what you are visualizing.

    #332349
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Anita- thank you. You’re right, I guess it’s hard to accept but I will keep reminding myself of those things.

    Valora- I am aware of the law of attraction but I haven’t looked into it properly- but I will now. I agree, even I am surprised at what a good example of that my situation was. I have actually been having counselling for the past year to try and help my issues but I’m not sure how far it’s got me since this all happened now! But I will keep seeking. Thank you.

    Inky- You’re right. As for the holiday, I don’t really want to go, I just feel like I have to because I’ve spent so much money on it, and if I don’t go I’ll just sit around being sad anyway. Thanks for your advice.

    Lost girl- You should write this in your own post and we can reply to you there!

    Clara- thank you for your advice. I think, to be honest, I actually I did do quite a 180 when I got into the relationship. But still, something doesn’t quite add up, so I guess he just must not have been that into it. I definitely will try and be more trusting and stop visualising the end if I ever find another relationship.

    #332375
    Valora
    Participant

    Valora- I am aware of the law of attraction but I haven’t looked into it properly- but I will now. I agree, even I am surprised at what a good example of that my situation was. I have actually been having counselling for the past year to try and help my issues but I’m not sure how far it’s got me since this all happened now! But I will keep seeking. Thank you.

    I’m glad to hear you’re going to counseling. I go too, and I do think it helps, even if it’s gradual. The important part is you’re trying and I think that speaks volumes of good things about you.  If interested, one of my favorite blogs on law of attraction is Life Made to Order. The blog writer explains things in a way that is realistic and easy to follow, she advises that people not just focus on positivity but also work to get rid of the “ick” when it shows up, which helps to clear up that bad energy, and her writing is also helpful when it comes to accepting and being okay with things the way they are, even when they feel bad at the moment. That site has been sort of a form of counseling for me, too, over the past couple of years because she’s made me see some things in a new and better way.

    #335000
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sarah:

    I had the time and interest to re-read your three threads Dec 2019- Jan 2020 and see if I come up with anything new that may be helpful to you:

    You have a work colleague with whom you were friends for a year. During most of that year you felt some in-love feelings for him. Part of this year he had a girlfriend. By Nov 2019, they broke up, and the two of you “admitted that we both liked each other since we first met”, and “being in “the initial stages of getting together” with him, that is, dating and spending a lot of time together. He told you that he wanted a long term relationship with you, and he told his family and colleagues about how much he liked you.

    At that time, Nov 2019, you booked a holiday for yourself for January 2020, figuring the relationship will end by then  and you will need to recover from it (Jan 20120, you wrote: “I even booked a holiday next week in November because I thought our ‘relationship’ would combust by now and that I’d need a break.. which is exactly what happened”).

    You asked him about his exes during that year “too many questions because I’m curious/ jealous”, and you got so much information that you were “getting paranoid“, feeling “like just another name on a long list of exes”. You also “kept being paranoid that he’d goof me since basically I think he is too good for me”.

    You felt overwhelmed at times, wanting to take it slow,  and he was aware of it, telling you that “he was deliberately being less intense than usual so as not to freak me out, because he was worried I’d run off and disappear from his life completely (he knows that’s my natural tendency if things go wrong)”.

    When you prepared for a date with him, you placed a toothbrush in your purse in case you stay at his place for the night after the date. The date proceeded: the two of you and a few friends were at a bar. Your toothbrush fell off your purse. He noticed that it fell, picked it up discreetly, and handed it to you, so that you can put it back in your purse. While this was happening, you forgot that it was you who brought the toothbrush to the bar. You thought that he brought it to the bar, that he took it from his home to the bar and dropped it to the floor intentionally “as a hint that he didn’t want me staying there anymore”.

    Next, you “stormed off home without saying goodbye”. Next, you messaged him: “sorry for the crazy behavior- to be honest I really like you and I don’t know how to handle it- but I also thought it was a dick move with the toothbrush”. Next, he explained to you what really happened, you apologized, tried to make a joke about it. He seemed off and you asked him if the two of you were okay, and he answered: “we’re fine.. until I do something else wrong”. That evening you went to his place, he was ill but affectionate, and you left his place the morning after.

    You didn’t hear from him for a while so you messaged him and received “only a short reply and no suggestion of plans to meet”. You then “freaked out” and sent him the following message: “Hey, look- I obviously feel like something is different here. Maybe this is jumping the gun but I’m gonna trust my gut and give ‘this’ some space… and will assume we’re gonna leave whatever ‘this’ was… Probably best you replace me on (x) .. permanently if you want to.. I think you’re so great. Even if it really sucks when someone changes their mind like this. . I think you had me on a bit of a pedestal and in real life I could never live up to it”. Next you sent “no need to reply. It’s fine, honestly”.

    Next, he didn’t reply and your reaction: “I’m totally gutted that things have ended and I’m going crazy wondering what happened”. You considered that maybe your “insecurities were too much for him to handle”, that maybe he was “playing me all along and just ran for the hills when he realized I actually liked him too”, and that maybe “he just liked the fantasy version of me”, and later you wrote, “I feel like I have been forced to instigate my own dumping, again”.

    Next, you messaged him and the two of you “exchanged a few messages”. He told you that “he didn’t stop liking me but had thought it may not be a healthy thing for us to be together”. You then met in person and he told you “essentially that I really was just too crazy and insecure (in a nicer way than that, but thereabouts)”. Following that meeting, you felt that “he never really cared, like the last year meant nothing to him and like we can’t even be friends now because maybe our friendship wasn’t real… I now just feel empty, am dreading having to try and sleep and waking up remembering all this.. sad and lost. I just can’t believe his feelings, which he said were so strong and which had built up over a year, changed within a week or so.. my worst fears were proved right (that he was too good for me and he would leave me”.

    Your last expressed understanding of what happened: “I guess he just must not have been that into it. I definitely will try and be more trusting and stop visualizing he end if I ever find another relationship”.

    You are probably having that holiday as I type this. Maybe you will be reading this at some time in the near future, and if you do, I hope you post back to me.

    Here is my understanding today: you’ve been very responsive, interactive and gracious in your interactions with members here, and I imagine that your social skills are excellent at your work place and with your friends, just as they are here on your thread.

    The crazy (your word, which I italicized above) is probably limited to romantic relationships with men, and it is the reason you don’t have a history of any significant long term relationship. The very short romantic relationship with this man, was probably a representative of prior such relationships. This recent man, from all that you shared, did nothing wrong. You imagined and assumed a whole lot of what was not real. The toothbrush incident- it is you who brought it to the bar, not him. You only imagined an elaborate story that didn’t exist: that he had an intent before getting to the bar to end the beginning relationship with you, and that for this purpose he formed a plan: to take your toothbrush from his home, hide it somewhere on his person, take it to the bar where he met you, drop it to the floor with an unspoken but clear message that he doesn’t want you back to his home and that the relationship is over.

    You mentioned twice being paranoid, your word, italicized be me. Here is what Wikipedia states in its entry on paranoia: “Paranoia is an instinct or thought process which is believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat toward oneself.. false accusations and general distrust of other people also frequently accompany paranoia. For example, an incident most people would view as an accident or coincidence, a paranoid person might believe was intentional… A paranoid person may view someone else’s accidental behavior as though  it is with intent or threatening”-

    – so far what I quoted fits perfectly to your behavior with this man, a behavior you termed yourself paranoid. Regarding the toothbrush incidence, all he did was pick up a toothbrush that fell from your purse. That is all he did, doing what anyone would do in his place, no intention to hurt you, no elaborate plan involved.

    Back to Wikipedia: “Due to the suspicious and troublesome personality traits of paranoia, it is unlikely that someone with paranoia will thrive in interpersonal relationships. Most commonly paranoid individuals tend to be of a single status”.

    I am not a medical doctor or another type of professional qualified to diagnose you, and even if I was, this medium wouldn’t be appropriate to make such a diagnosis. It is you who brought up the word and there is no doubt in my mind, that even if you don’t qualify for the diagnosis, you exhibit strong paranoid behaviors in the context of romantic relationships, because you mentioned that you didn’t have significant long term relationships and you booked a holiday right at the very beginning of dating him, planning for a break that you will need following an anticipated breakup.

    If you want to have a future romantic relationship, you have to see a professional psychotherapist qualified to help you. This type of behavior cannot be resolved otherwise. On one hand you referred to your behavior as crazy and paranoid, and on the other hand you expressed doubts that it is indeed so, figuring he didn’t love you, he played with you and so forth, so there is a conflict, you are not sure that you are indeed paranoid in this context.

    You didn’t share anything at all about your childhood, but it is clear to me that your paranoid cognition and behavior in the context of romantic relationships was born in your childhood relationship/s with whomever was your care takers, usually it is the parents, most often primarily the mother. You were deeply hurt, betrayed by a parent and that brought about lots of anxiety which gets activated in the context of a romantic relationship. You imagine that the betrayal will happen again and you freak out. So you make the betrayal happen sooner than later so to get it over with.

    No man can love you enough to .. cure you of this dynamic. Like he told you right after the toothbrush incident: “we’re fine.. until I do something else wrong”. The dynamic is such that you watch everything he does, including his facial expressions, and interpret them to mean that he wants to break up with you. So how can a man have any peace of mind being scrutinized this way, being repeatedly accused, this is a walking-on-eggshells in enemy territory type of a “love” relationship.

    In psychotherapy, with competent, high quality professional help, look into your childhood, into that terrible betrayal that you experienced there. When you find it there and process it, you will no longer see that betrayal where it is not.

    anita

     

     

    #336992
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Anita- thanks very much for taking the time to come back and reply to my post, I’m touched you would make the effort. It is quite hard to read your reply though, seeing my behaviour back in black and white!! It’s a bitter pill but I’m sure is good for me to understand in the long run. Of course, you are right. I have actually been having psychotherapy (psychodynamic) for the past year, which is upsetting because clearly it didn’t have very much of an impact on my behaviour! I think most of my issues come from the fact that my father had multiple affairs throughout my childhood and eventually went off to have children with another woman, leaving my mother when I was ten. My mother was so distressed by his behaviour and for years afterwards that maybe she wasn’t the most.. present.. mother to me and my brothers much of the time. The problem is while I logically know all this, that knowledge doesn’t seem to be enough to change my behaviour now. I find it hard to make the emotional connection.

    In case anyone wanted an update on my situation: I didn’t go on my holiday at first because I was so upset. However, I then caved in and texted the guy because I felt bad about the way we’d left things; I apologised for saying I felt like he’d lead me on when he didn’t, and said that I was “still fond of him despite us being totally romantically incompatible” [even though it was obviously more my fault than his] and that I’d hope we can be friends eventually. He replied saying he’d “still love to be in my life (have I said those words enough)?” and that our relationship was something we “both wanted to work but just didn’t know how”. I then (at great expense!) booked myself more flights and decided to go on the second week of my holiday. It was amazing and I’m so glad I went- I met lots of other nice people and reminded myself that I can survive without him. I haven’t initiated contact with him since, but he still follows me on instagram and has been commenting on my stories. He also sent me a happy birthday message on 24th Jan with six kisses and asking lots about my holiday, which I replied to casually but found confusing and difficult having contact. I’d said we were work colleagues so as not to identify us but the truth is we were actually in a band together (his band), and at the weekend he asked if I want to play another gig with them at the end of the month, and potentially re-join the band if I want. I said yes to playing the gig, but I feel like I shouldn’t have because whilst I really miss playing music and miss the other members too, I’m worried I’ll feel awful having more contact with him now as purely friends. I do still really miss him and honestly would want something to work out between us, though I logically know he is just being friendly. He could even have a new girlfriend, I have no idea. My current plan is to play the one gig, act like I’m completely chilled and over it, and then not re-join the band after. But it’s going to be really difficult! Thanks for reading if anyone made it this far 🙂

    #337030
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sarah:

    You are very welcome and thank you for your appreciation. The following will be another long post, I hope you give it time and consideration.

    1. Regarding learning and understanding ourselves: “The problem is while I logically know all this, that knowledge doesn’t seem to be enough to change my behavior now. I find it hard to make the emotional connection”- as younger children we experience lots of emotion and very little logic. When a child is overwhelmed with emotions that are too painful, she disassociates from those emotions to a large extent. She then grows up to be a teenager and adult who tries to figure out her distress and dysfunction using logic alone, which makes her understanding very partial and limited. Our understanding of our childhood experience has to include the emotions experienced then because our experience at the time was mostly emotional, not logical.

    When we understand our childhood logically, but not emotionally, it is as if we are studying ourselves in a science lab, looking at a specimen under a microscope, trying to learn about that specimen. The learning and understanding of the specimen is an academic learning. We often forget a whole lot of what we learn in a lab or a classroom, it doesn’t stick.

    The emotional understanding in addition to the logical understanding, on the other hand, is as if we are looking at our inside, not at a separate specimen to be studied.

    I’ve known lots of things logically since I was a teenager, but my logical understanding did not help me, didn’t serve me in any way. If anything, it fueled and maintained my distress. Decades later, as I am typing this, I am still learning emotionally and I am using this website to continue this very learning. It is a completely different ball game as far as learning is concerned- it is an understanding that does make a difference, an understanding that does change the way we behave, leaving behind dysfunction and moving toward functional behavior, it changes the way we feel inside, finally letting go of that early-life distress that keeps plaguing us as adults. This kind of learning takes so much more time (and is so very gradual) than academic/ logical learning.

    In summary, we don’t understand ourselves (or others) until we understand ourselves emotionally. When we had inadequate childhoods, we have to understand what happened to us there emotionally. No way around it.

    2. I can tell a whole lot about how you felt as a child how you feel as an adult. When experiencing distressing childhoods, we keep re-experiencing that same distress. I will now quote the little you did share about your childhood, and then (#3), how you are re-experiencing that same emotional experience of childhood in the present, or recent past.

    I don’t expect you to believe me or to make the emotional connection, because like I wrote it takes so much time and persistence, and often it requires quality psychotherapy where an emotional connection with the therapist makes it possible for the client to make that emotional connection with herself, a gradual undoing of that childhood disassociation.

    This is what you shared about your childhood: “my father had multiple affairs throughout my childhood and eventually went off to have children with another woman, leaving my mother when I was ten. My mother was so distressed by his behavior and for years afterwards that maybe she wasn’t the most.. present .. mother to me and my brothers much of the time”.

    My understanding: unless your father told you when you were younger than 10 that he was having multiple affairs, you knew about it because either your mother told you about it, or you heard them arguing, or you heard her tell third parties about it. If your father was busy during your first 10 years of life with his career and multiple affairs, then he didn’t spend as much time with you as did your mother.

    Likely, your mother was way more physically present in your first 10 years of life than your father was, and then he moved out of the home completely. All this means that what happened directly between you and your mother was much more powerful in creating your childhood emotional experience, than what happened directly between you and your father.

    Here is your disassociation in the two sentences I quoted above: “maybe she wasn’t the most.. present.. mother to me”. I have no doubt that she wasn’t adequately present with you, not even close to adequate, but you are not sure, “maybe”. And what’s there in those “…”, it’s missing, not sure.. rather not recall.

    3. I will try to  fill in some of what’s in the “…” by looking at your most recent emotional experience which is a re-experiencing of that childhood emotional experience:

    3a) As a child, living with your very distressed and otherwise occupied mother, you felt unwanted: “he handed me my toothbrush at the bar, I immediately assumed he’d brought it from his house as a hint that he didn’t want me staying there any more”-

    “immediately assumed” means that your real life childhood experience of not being wanted sprung up to the surface within the present (most recent) adult life circumstance.

    Notice that I wrote that you felt unwanted. Here is what  I learned about young children: they don’t misinterpret how their parents feel about it. In other words, your mother really didn’t want you there some of the time, if not a whole lot of the time.

    Here is another possible indication of you feeling unwanted as a child- you wrote to the readers of your thread: “sorry if this is a long rambling post… Sorry,  maybe I’m just ranting… Sorry to butt in on this thread”, as if you are unwanted in your own thread (or in another person’s thread where the original poster did invite members to post).

    3b) There was no emotional closeness between you and your mother, no intimacy. It was supposed to be, or it is what you (and any child) needs, but it wasn’t there: “I’m gonna trust my gut and give ‘this’ some space.. and will assume we’re gonna leave whatever ‘this’  was”-

    – the reason you put quotes “this”, is because you are not sure what that was, a relationship, something you imagined, maybe you were taken advantage of, lied  to..  couldn’t be love, could it.. you are not sure just as you were not sure as a child what it was between you and your mother. The emotional distance between you and her (a result of her doing, not responding to you, not attending to you, and rejecting your efforts to reach out to her) was confusing and very distressing to you.

    “maybe our friendship wasn’t real“- you doubt not only the romantic part of the relationship (or whatever “this” was), but you doubt the year long friendship as well, same confusion about what “this” was with your mother, what it really was.

    3c)  Your mother’s stories regarding your father’s multiple affairs, her distress over those and over the fact that he left her to start a new family with another woman, those were very powerful in your mind: “Probably best if you replace me on (band) at least temporarily.. permanently if you want to.. it really sucks when someone changes their mind like this”- that someone is your father.

    “I have asked too many questions.. it makes me feel like just another name on a long list of exes”- you were very hurt by your father’s affairs mostly because you felt so much empathy for your mother. Her experience as a betrayed wife became yours by proxy. Fast forward, you suspect the men in your life, not  wanting to be one of the many women in your father’s life.

    3d) Your mother (and your father) didn’t really care about you, beyond your physical existence perhaps, or beyond you receiving education and whatnot, she didn’t care about how you felt: “I just came away feeling like he never really cared”- he, the recent man in your life,  might have cared. From what you shared, reads to me like he did care, but your mother didn’t care. You project your mother into him.

    As a child you felt that the reason your mother didn’t care about you is because you were not good enough for her: “I think he is too good for me.. I think you had me on a bit of a pedestal and in real life I could never live up to it.. he just liked the fantasy version of me.. my worst fears were proved right (that he was too good for me and he would leave me)”-

    – a core belief was born as a result of your relationship with your mother- and the absence of a relationship with your father- that you are not good enough. Fast forward, the thought is: no way this man sees me correctly if he values me, he must have a “fantasy version of me” in his mind. If he thinks I am good enough for him, it must be his fantasy, him putting me on a pedestal. It is just a matter of time before he sees the true me and I am off his pedestal and out of his life!

    As a child you were very anxious, often experiencing something like this: “waking up at 4/5 am every night, having stomach issues and serious issues with anxiety.. dreaming of him and thinking about him 90% of the time.. hoping we’ll get together one day”- replace the pronoun he with she (your mother), and this is a description of your childhood emotional experience.

    A whole lot of what an adult experiences in a romantic relationship and in a breakup is an activation of one’s childhood experience, (with a sexual element added)

    You wrote: “I was only with the person for a few months (although we’d been quite intense friends for a year beforehand) so I don’t have the excuse that it was a very significant relationship!”- but your reactions to this insignificant relationship and breakup has a whole lot to do with another very significant relationship that you did have, the one you had as a child with your mother.

    “I felt very similarly when I broke up with someone around 5 years ago- it took me maybe 2 years to get fully over it, I kept feeling like he was perfect for me and eventually we’d get back together one day.. But now five years.. I honestly feel nothing for that guy.. no effect on me”-

    – because like it is with this recent man, the relationship was not about that man, but about your mother.

    The feelings for this or that guy can be forgotten over time completely, but the feelings for our (unloving) mother are never forgotten, even when we don’t remember, even when we don’t want to remember, even when we feel nothing.. those feelings are strong nonetheless and they take  over  our lives until we do all we can do to heal from her un-love, to put it simply.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #337004
    Rebecca
    Participant

    In fact, any relationship disappears over time, and then only a person’s habit appears. Any parting remains as a precipitate in the heart. It is clear that you will not forget all the memories of him, but you will not be so hurt. You are sure to meet your soul mate. It just takes time and effort to withstand old feelings fact, any relationship disappears over time, and then only a person’s habit appears. Any parting remains as a precipitate in the heart. It is clear that you will not forget all the memories of him, but you will not be so hurt. You are sure to meet your soul mate. It just takes time and effort to withstand old feelings.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by tinybuddha.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by tinybuddha.
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