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Taking a break

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  • #434689
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Clara:

    Things sinking in is important. Let it sink in and meet this therapist again, I hope. Meeting your partner next: it is not an all-or-nothing event. With better, developing understanding, magic can happen, gradually, unexpectedly: Love.

    anita

    #434695
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Clara

    It sounds like you talked about a lot in one session with your therapist.

    I’m sorry to hear that your father had an explosive temper growing up. And made some harsh comments about your sexuality during a disagreement. Your sexuality is a very special part of who you are and you a perfect how you are.

    Sometimes when we grow up with someone who has an explosive temper, certain things get normalised and seem like normal behaviour. And we absorb a bit of that into our personalities. Not as severely, but still a bit.

    It takes time to identify when things that we have absorbed from other people arise in our minds. But once it is identified it is much easier to let go because it easy to see that it does not meet our values.

    You don’t strike me as someone who wants to overreact. It happens sometimes when you ignore how you are feeling.

    You seem like a kind and loving person. It is a good thing that you picked up on that you stopped going on dates and celebrating. Weekly dates are essential for fostering a pleasant relationship. They don’t always need to involve spending money. It is just about spending quality time together and being kind to each other.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434696
    Helcat
    Participant

    *you are perfect how you are

    #434706
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Clara:

    Re-reading your yesterday update, we have this in common: I too grew up with a very explosive parent, a mother in my case.

    he would go head to head and gets very confrontational, or explosive…  also very judgmental… he called me useless and loser because I didn’t get married. It was so hurtful for me, I almost ran away from home that time“- it’s amazing how words can hurt. Judgmental words from a parent hurt the most.

    So from young I have learned to hide my emotions“- you learned to suppress your emotions/ push them in. To not express them/ let them out.

    when she came home late, I don’t often text or call he during the time, because I didn’t want to upset her. Once she gets home, she realized I was upset and she was caught by surprise“- you suppressed your anger while she was at work (an under-reaction), and when she got home late, your anger within you exploded (an over-reaction).

    That’s what suppressed emotions do. My mother suppressed her emotions a lot in-between explosions. Fast forward, I suppressed my emotions, and my suppressed emotions exploded in all kinds of ways, even without an outward display: they just felt unbearably intense.

    All I have to do, is to stay calm and collected… I guess that probably should be my stance when I meet her. Be open-minded and see what comes up“- I think that your best bet as far as your relationship goes is to indeed stay calm and collected and that will take changing the habit of suppressing your emotions => expressing them, every day. You are welcome to do so here, on your thread: to type them away, from the gut, to the outside (the computer screen).

    anita

    #434725
    Chau
    Participant

    <p class=”p1″>I do agree I took a bit of the personality of my father. He probably suppressed( ignored) his own emotions to a point where he could only explode or not feeling anything, nothing in between. I also think while others are being vulnerable, it made him very uncomfortable because he needed to be vulnerable( to an extend) to understand or communicate with that person, aka facing his own vulnerability. He only knew how to shut it down by rejecting it. I got his stubborness and jugdemental problem when i was younger, but i worked hard to change it once i realized where mine came from</p>
    <p class=”p1″>i do not think i overreact normally,initially yes, when things were unsure and turbulent. I feel she imprinted that image of me being over sensitive when we started dating . i have changed a great deal but her impression remains.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>in fact most of the time when i am at home with her, i am very silly and funny. i tried to let that part of me out, and that part i dont let it out too often.  but somehow, i can still sense she is very cautious of what i say and tip toe. it is as if she needs to “deal” with me, so she acts in a certain way or do certain things. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>she could go travel with fd for a week, and i didnt comment anything at all other than i miss her( but if someone is tired of you i guess that makes them uncomfortable still) . i guess i felt her uncomfortable, and that made me feel i overreacted and so i tried not to say much, i do ocassionally overreact as you said, when i didnt express myself enough. but in retrospect, It was not that serious honestly, at least until before she didnt respond to my question on whether she likes me or not.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>one thing that she mentioned she liked about me, was how kind i was. i am empathetic and try to understand. she said i brought her new perspective and i am someone whom she typically does not interact with, it is as if i gave her another world to be in. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>i get what anita says, with suppressed emotions, because they arent regulated well, it felt like a suddent pump of air to the chest, to a point i didnt know what how to deal. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>i do lack the habit of expressing. i think i disconnected myself for a while, due to various people around me( parents/ my on-a-break partner) . they all have expectation, i also have expectation on myself on how i should behave in front of them.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>one thing i wana share, i have picked up running again, and i did it 4 consecutuve days( i stayed in a hotel ocassionaly and they do have gym) I want to join gym again to maintain this habit, i think the endorphines help to lift me up and it helps me to regulate my emotions.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>will share again, thanks all</p>

    #434729
    Chau
    Participant

    Hi all

    Just now i had an angry feeling. Primiarily because after I told her about my mom, she didn’t reach out to check on me. I feel like any ordinary friend would check on me.

    I thought of breaking up with her just to end things. While she knows this is challenging for me,  she still insist on the break. When I think of that, I think she does not care too much about me.

    While on the otherhand, i do want to know what is in her mind, I don’t even know if the two weeks break is making any difference, and what is happening on her side? I have no idea of it and I don’t think this work

    I may be looping, talking to her would seem to make things worse(she would think i am clingy?I don’t honour the promise?) But not talking to her makes me feel insecure.

    While On the other, other hand, 3 weeks isn’t too long from now, I will have an answer by then.

    Any insight is helpful, you all may have a more objective perspecitve on this

    #434731
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Chau

    You value being treat with empathy and care. You feel like you’re not being treat that way at the moment.

    For the relationship to move forward, it is not just about your needs. It is also about your partner’s needs. Your partner is responsible for taking care of herself and you are responsible for taking care of yourself during this break.

    I’m sure that ordinarily if things weren’t strained between you she would’ve been there to comfort you.

    On the plus side, she did talk to you when you did reach out.

    This break is hard for you, but you were the person who initially suggested it. This whole thing is your idea.

    Perhaps you are angry at yourself? You would not be in this situation if you had not suggested it.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434732
    Chau
    Participant

    Hello Helcat,

    Thank you, I got confused of what is right what is wrong already. I am unsure if i am angry at myself instead. I just don’t want the situation to continue i guess. I wish it can end, even if it meant breaking up.

    Just now i took a deep breath and just distracted myself with other stuff.

    Thanks for your blessing always

    #434733
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Chau

    If the break is too hard and you would prefer to break up instead that is a decision that you could make. You just have to be sure that is what you really want.

    Are you okay with giving up on the relationship? The only way to know is to wait until you feel calmer. It is not a good idea to make a decision when you are feeling emotional.

    I feel like you have been through so much it could be a valid decision if you decide that is what you want, but at the same time you have been so hard on wanting to stay together.

    Perhaps this is an opportunity for you to think about what you want too?

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434734
    Chau
    Participant

    Hello Helcat

    For now, if i can initiate a break up this is something i can control of. But if i keep waiting this is something i don’t have control of.  Honestly, I don’t know if this is just a fleeting anger or if this persists. But I think i always have an option to make it a stop if i really want to.

    Honestly, I am unsure what i want now, I am also starting to doubt if she is the person i should be with, doesn’t look like we are in sync on these

    Thanks

    #434740
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Clara:

    One thing that she mentioned she liked about me, was how kind I was. I am empathetic and try to understand“- I noticed your kindness and empathy in your interactions with me over the years, and with other responders in your threads.

    I do not think I overreact normally, initially yes, when things were unsure and turbulent. I feel she imprinted that image of me being over sensitive when we started dating“-

    – so, right in the beginning of the 5.5 -year relationship, things were turbulent. This fits with your Oct 18, 2018 post of a bit over 5.5 years ago: “I have decided to take a break from her… it’s been a few days since I stopped contacting her, its a bit uneasy at times. but I think this is the right move”.

    She said I brought her new perspective and I am someone whom she typically does not interact with, it is as if I gave her another world to be in“- I wonder if she said this in the beginning of the relationship when things were turbulent, or later, at times of relative stability. I wonder whom she typically interacts with: unempathetic/ unkind people, or less sensitive/ less reactive people?

    Most of the time when I am at home with her, I am very silly and funny… But somehow, I can still sense she is very cautious of what I say and tip toes. It is as if she needs to ‘deal’ with me, so she acts in a certain way or do certain things… I do occasionally overreact“- occasional overreacting creates more of an impression on a person than silly-and-funny most of the time.

    I remember my mother complaining to me that I remember “only the bad”, as she said, that is that I forgot or unfairly put aside all the good things about her, and remember only the times she screamed/ insulted/ hit me. I used to feel guilty about her accusation. Eventually, I understood that it is natural for any animal to focus on danger when danger is present, and not on non-dangers. For example, a deer sensing a predator in the area, will stand there motionless, transfixed, looking at the direction of the perceived danger: not eating, not walking, not anything.

    I do lack the habit of expressing“- habits are difficult to change, but changing this emotional- behavioral habit is very important for your well-being.

    I have picked up running again, and I did it 4 consecutive days…  it helps me to regulate my emotions“- excellent!

    Just now I had an angry feeling. Primarily because after I told her about my mom, she didn’t reach out to check on me. I feel like any ordinary friend would check on me“- when angry, you forget that you are on a break which you initiated and agreed to.

    she would think I am clingy? I don’t honour the promise?“- yes, at times you are clingy, particularly during this break, and yes: you are not honoring the break you agreed to.

    I  thought of breaking up with her just to end things… I just don’t want the situation to continue I guess. I wish it can end, even if it meant breaking up. Just now I took a deep breath and just distracted myself with other stuff“- no doubt this break is very, very difficult for you, you are suffering. Possible solutions: (1) make what you fear (a breakup) happen already, so that you no longer suffer anticipating it- the relief will be temporary, (2) contact her during the (dishonored) break yet again- the relief will be temporary (as it was the first time you contacted her), (3) address the source of your suffering, which is about a time before you ever knew that your girlfriend existed. Address the core of the wound that’s bleeding in you- the relief will be permanent.

    For now, if I can initiate a break up this is something I can control…. this is something I don’t have control of…. I think I always have an option to make it a stop if I really want to“- I am thinking of you growing up with a severe lack of control: couldn’t control the people walking by the broken window in the bathroom and seeing you naked while showering (couldn’t make them STAY AWAY from the broken window!) Couldn’t control being forced to have breakfast with your father,  couldn’t control being exposed to his angry explosions, (couldn’t make him STOP!)

    No wonder lack of control is so distressing to you!

    anita

    #434755
    Chau
    Participant

    Hello Anita

    Yes, the first one year was a a bit turbuelent for us. I think the main reason was because i was insecure with her then ex. Before we got together, they were on and off for many times, before they eventually broke up.

    They broke up after I reconnected with her, which was around a month after I said i needed to take a break back in 2018. I contacted her after I disconnected with her for a few weeks. Soon after we reconnected, she told me they broke up. We eventually got together in Jan 2019

    She still kept in touch with her ex after that. I was upset about that, but she said once it was over it was over. I was still insecure as she kept the stuff her ex gave her in the house(there was a guitar of her ex, some stuffed animals which were gifts from her ex etc), with her still in touch with the ex, I felt very insecure  at that time, 1) is the history of on-off rellationship she had with her ex; 2) Her ex’s stuff is still in the house and I think this made me feel uncomfortable.

    She eventually put them away/ returned the stuff of her stuff. I think they stopped contacting each other as well. But it made her feel I was a sensitive person and she didn’t understand why I would be insecure, while i think my feeling were valid and i didn’t understand why she didn’t understand instead.

    Now as I am thinking of the past, this feeling of not being undestood was here from the very beginning. I do not feel empthaized or understood well.  I think I need someone who is more sensitve, not necessarily over-sensitive, but sensitive to feelings/ emtions

    She said I brought her new perspective and I am someone whom she typically does not interact with

    She said it recently when we were reviewing our relationship. I asked her why did she like me in the beginning. She said I was  kind person and empathetic, she also said the above. So I asked if those things were gone, if i changed, or did you change. She said no(which made me puzzled also, coz you still like the characters that I have, and you say you don’t like me)

    I think she tends to interact with people who do not handle their feeling/ emotions. she hangs out with a bunch of people for drinks/ just get together for games etc. She does have some friends whom she talks about their problems, but I think they are talking like what typically men do(no offense, I just think most men think in a different way than women). They are all in the head, and everything is compartmentize and doesn’t go into the heart.

    I do think my image stays the same even I have changed. I also told her the same like what your mom did. I understand this is human nature to be more sensitive to danger.

    After last night I think I would continue to wait and see, i comforted myself that another day is gone, and I am closer to the day when we reconnected, I agree that I am swayed by my emotions, when emotion arise, like yesteryday , I wanted to end it and I kind of just want to do somethinig about it. Part of me know I really want to end this, part of me i really want to know what she would say at the end and honour the promise

    Yes, lack of control is distressing for me, throughout the years I have learned and a lot of the things(with the exception of relationship), I have learned to follow the flow

    Thanks for listening, it is indeed a tough time for me

     

    #434768
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Clara:

    You are welcome!

    I do not feel empathized or understood well.  I think I need someone who is more… sensitive to feelings/ emotions… She does have some friends whom she talks about their problems, but I think they are talking like what typically men do…They are all in the head, and everything is compartmentalized and doesn’t go into the heart… Part of me know I really want to end this, part of me I really want to know what she would say at the end and honour the promise

    – I believe that you should indeed honor the promise and not contact her for the rest of the planned break. Being compartmentalized, I guess she is thinking way less about it all than you do. It’d be nice if you move a bit in her way of thinking/ feeling, and she’d move toward your way: more sensitivity and empathy for you. And the two of you meet in the middle and make it work.

    anita

    #434775
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Clara

    I’m sorry to hear that the first year together was turbulent for you both.

    You started dating when she had only just broken up with her ex. This means that she was still seeking closure and grieving her previous relationship. This process made you feel insecure to the point that you asked her to end contact and get rid of the exes stuff.

    You chose to be with her in that situation. When she needed time to get closure and grieve. People have needs like seeking closure and grieving. Feeling insecure is understandable, but you asked her to ignore her needs and her feelings because they were making you feel uncomfortable.

    This was an overreach on your part. I’m glad that she stood up for herself and did what she needed to do to process. It seems to me that she was very kind to you in this scenario and understanding by accommodating your feelings of insecurity. She might not have understood the reason, but she did not reject you despite the issues it caused in the relationship.

    No doubt you were worried that they would get back together and she would leave you. Perhaps what she didn’t understand is why you were still feeling insecure after she told you that the relationship was over. Your anxiety about the situation was very high, to be the point of reassurance having no effect. It was not until her grieving process was over that you calmed down about the situation.

    People make mistakes in relationships, it is a very human thing to do. However, this was not a small thing. This was a large thing and why she has a lasting memory of you behaving in this way.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434778
    Chau
    Participant

    Hi all

    Thank you all.

    I think this has revealed a lot of my and her challenges. I agree with what you both have said. I do appreciate her effort throughout the years.

    I will try to breath and exercise, instead of thinking too much now

     

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