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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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This topic contains 1,271 replies, has 37 voices, and was last updated by  Shelbyville 5 hours, 53 minutes ago.

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  • #288427

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Shelby.

    This is probably going to be one of those posts you won’t like but I hope you won’t run from it and will read it and consider it at the weekend when you hopefully have a bit of time to yourself. I suspect a lot of it you already really know since you are smart and perceptive enough to understand these issues and have been working through them in therapy.

    You guys sound a classic avoidant/anxious combination – pretty much the polar opposite of what’s helpful for either of you as it stands. It’s why he runs every time you become needy or wanting/demanding to be closer – and why he triggers your anxieties when he doesn’t give the constant reassurance that you are loved, that you are safe, that you think you need from him.

    The thing about anxiety though, as you know, the more you feed it, the worse it gets. E.g. he may tell you he loves you – you are ecstatic, yippee, finally! You feel fantastic, fulfilled – you are wanted, you are enough, it’s fantastic!  A few days/weeks later you find the old insecurities creeping back, wait, you say, I wonder if he still loves me now, how much does he love me, if he really loved me enough he wouldn’t want to do x,y,z, he would want to be with me, I would be enough for him. Etc etc. So your helpful inner voice continues in this vein – I don’t understand, why are you ‘leaving’ me – I can’t be special enough, I must be lacking somehow.  Rationality has flown out the window at this point, shouted down by the insecure you, demanding to be looked after, to have their needs met. And so you reach out, demanding more, asking to be made to feel whole again like it was before when it felt so good. Tell me again, how you love me, ask me to move in, marry me, do something special – demonstrate again how much I am loved, so that I know I am safe and happy again, I don’t want to feel afraid anymore. And so the circle goes on.

    Now if you were with a secure attachment type, he would recognise these demands as what they are, underlying insecurities you need to deal with and that he can support you dealing with – but can’t deal with for you. And he could listen but not give in to the demands and in such a way, eventually, they lessen as they are ineffective, not getting the attention/response they want. And so,  with his and others support, you work through your own insecurities and become able to meet your own needs, to not have that constant ball of anxiety in your stomach, worrying about everything, feeling inadequate, feeling scared, lonely. Now when he tells you he loves you, it brings you pleasure still, it still makes you happy – but you don’t NEED to hear it, you know it already because you know you are lovable, enough. And you know you would also be ok without it after time.

    Being with an avoidant type though, this doesn’t happen. Instead, as you demand more, more closeness, more proof he loves you, more togetherness – he legs it. Either physically or emotionally, he retreats, looking to protect himself from the seemingly never-ending demands ( like, would you mind texting me once in a while……all the way up to let’s get married and have kids ) that will demand his attention, require him to give up something. So he withdraws, you try harder, he withdraws more etc.  At this point you either leave, hoping for the ultimate “if I leave he will realise what he is missing” or you hang on in hope, try to pretend to be something you are not, pretending to be ok with not getting your needs met until it bursts out of you anyway.

     

    So – all well and good (or not I guess!) – but how to break the loop. How can things change for the better, recognising this isn’t a pattern you want for the rest of your life. You can’t make him go to therapy or want to change or even to recognise that is his style – that’s outside your control. What is in your control is that you can work on yourself to become a non-anxious attachment type, to become the stable secure type that is able to have a long-term healthy relationship.

    As such, all the discussion here on feeling blue, wanting him to be different, hoping for him to change, accepting you are the kind of woman who just puts up with it, it’s all pretty much wasted energy really. A way to distract from dealing what is within your control entirely, namely working on yourself. This is not about encouraging you to develop the strength to leave this relationship but to take responsibility and focus on developing yourself to give it the best chance possible – as well as strong enough to also be ok with it not being what you want, if that’s how it turns out.

    I thought about this a lot as you remind me so much of myself back in my anxious days so I know this is possible. I’m not your therapist and I’m not an Anita , who does an excellent job of helping others delve into their why so no offence meant here! As you know I’m more pragmatic and forwards looking. So I’m not especially interested in working through your childhood as to why you are an anxious attachment type, it is what it is, what is of value is how to work through that. I am willing to help you work through dealing with your anxiety issues, to help with becoming the self-confident woman you can be, in control of her life and not letting life control her and hopefully someone able to then support her guy working through his own issues, instead of looking to him to save her.

    I realise we have got close to this before and you have shied away from those kinds of questions. So if it isn’t something you are interested in working through here, I’m not offended or upset in the least – entirely your choice as ever. I just don’t think the most supporting or helpful thing I can do for you is to continue to listen and try to help when it isn’t about working on yourself. I know you think that if only this relationship would work out, all will be great, happy again. But I honestly don’t think it will be the kind of relationship, the kind of life you envision without working on yourself first. It’s not what will make you feel better long-term, however much it feels like it would be the answer now.  I’ll still be here if you’re not interested and you will both still have to put up with my travel tales as/when – but I just wanted to explain upfront why I don’t think it’s helpful for me to encourage more unhelpful discussion around the relationship itself and so you’ll notice I won’t be responding to that.

    Let me know – and incase you have made it this far still – yes, there are some good websites dedicated to putting together house sitters/home owners – sort of a Match.com for travellers! I use TrustedHouseSitters, which is the largest by far of opportunities but also of people looking. The other is MindMyHouse, which is much smaller and basically free at something like £16/yr whereas the bigger one is about £70 after you use a discount  code which are usually available. I regularly get people asking us to sit now which is nothing short of awesome!

    Kkasxo – amazing timing as ever….I’d just finished writing all that and you came and nailed it much better! This is at the guts of it all absolutely all about working on your own self-esteem.  Even being able to recognise you are sad at not valuing yourself enough is a good step – recognising the need for change. Without a doubt I’m happy to help you on that front as much as I can too. I honestly think we all need to change this conversation into working towards something positive, however small. It can be too easy to be falsely comforted by sharing pain, looking for others in pain to agree how much it hurts and so on. I did that a lot after the break-up, seeking out people who would feed my need to agree how badly treated I’d been, how ‘bad’ he was and how ‘good’ I was ( i.e. he would come back, he would miss what he had etc ) . In the end, I realised it was all keeping me tied to the break-up, it wasn’t helpful or healthy.

    Hope you both understand where I am coming from.

    #288433

    Kkasxo
    Participant

    Michelle,

    In all honesty, you have hit the nail right on the head!

    I am reading, and re-reading everything that you have said and it completely applies to my situation also. It was a discovery of mine a while back that I have an anxious attachment style whilst A2 has an avoidant attachment style. As you say, you’re a prime example of the fact that it can change and actually I have another example of this very close to home. One of my best friends had an anxious attachment style due to her upbringing and then being in and eventually leaving an abusive relationship. She has been with her now partner for three years and he is literally the prime example of a secure attachment style and because of this you can literally see the transformation in her and how she is as a partner in this relationship! You’re right, he has taught her how to be secure by not giving into her anxiety but rather assisting her in working through it. It does happen!

    I believe I am setting myself for a lifetime of misery living in anxiety, whether with A2 or someone else, if I don’t work through these issues so I’d be more than happy to explore this concept further and shift the conversation in this way. Afterall, anxiety generally is exhausting and what bliss it sounds to be to just feel so secure in yourself as a person and all the relationships/friendships surrounding you. Pure bliss!

    With that in mind, I saw another quote I love today; ‘With how fast life really does pass us by and how we will never get these days back again I do wonder sometimes, am I being daring enough? Spontaneous enough? Am i speaking my truth enough? Going after all the things I want in life enough? Am I simply not giving a sh*t enough?’

    I think you’re right! Time to get to work! It’s time to make a life we truly want, not one we hope for.

    #288487

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Hi Michelle,

    I don’t disagree with what you said. Thanks for taking the time to go through the whole situation in that way.

    I’m not afraid of working on myself & if I have perhaps backed off from suggestions in that direction previously, even from others on this forum, it was because I have reservations about potential damage.

    I spoke to my therapist in the past & genuinely I have a lot of respect for him, he’s good at what he does, and he was quite concerned about people online offering ‘psychological advice’ and what they were ultimately getting out of it themselves.

    Now I hope you understand that I’m just being as honest as I can be. Because this is an online forum, I have always kind of had this last level or layer of protection about myself. I’m sure if we met in person, we’d get on like a house on fire and be lovely friends and I’m very glad you take the time to offer advice on an ongoing basis. I appreciate it probably more than you know.

    I completely understand your perspective and that you believe it to be counterproductive to continue contributing to a conversation about my situation with my ex, so honestly I take no offence whatsoever for you detach from that element.

    Im not wary of working on myself, just perhaps of doing it incorrectly or causing damage in some way. In my line of work, I have learned to become quite cynical in certain ways!

    I will continue to look forward to your tales from all your trips as I definitely feel they give me perspective. Again, I’m not rejecting your offer as such, I’m just wary. I certainly appreciate the offer and the manner in which you conveyed it in a non-threatening, non-pushy way.

    This you may simply clock up to me being unwillingly to work on myself, and there is nothing I can do to change your mind on that, as it seems a reasonable assumption. However, all I can say is that the idea of making my own inner self strong and happy sounds amazing and genuinely something I would be interested in, but just not sure if this forum sits well in my gut as the route for me….

    Kkasxo,

    You definitely sound like you’re up for being proactive- do you think that is a change from where you were maybe a fortnight ago- when you felt completely depleted? You definitely sound like you have more energy now, even if not happier, perhaps looking for a way out of the tunnel?

    #288625

    X
    Participant

    Michelle:

    I would like to let you know that there is at least one more person on this forum besides Shelby and Kkasxo who is grateful to you for your input.

    I was very similar in my feelings and reasonings to the ladies when I had my unhealthy relationship.

    It finished roughly four years ago, I have had a few minor, not-so-minor and one major mostly one-sided crush since (that basically cured me from that breakup and is now finally subsiding mostly because of time elapsed and one-sidedness and lack of contact), but nothing two-sided and serious. I am still figuring out why I like certain men, and why I am liked by those whom I can hardly stand or can see only as a friend, but not liked enough by those whom I like to have a relationship with me.

    I guess I am much healthier now having done a lot of reading, dwelling and observing, but it is definitely helpful to learn from experience of somebody who has been there, has not only survived, but is in a healthy relationship and not only is, but has been for 18-19 years. So thank you!

    #288627

    X
    Participant

    Kkasxo:

    I think I know the answer to your question. I was asking the same question myself regarding my ex when in a relationship and certainly after it ended. I don’t think he was wearing a mask either. I think it was a combination of both: you being very much in love and high on this love blinding you (or making you judge in his favour when in doubt) AND, since it was earlier in the relationship, he was also very much in love doing his best and putting his best foot forward.

    When I get to interact with my ex (very, very seldom now), I also can’t help feeling that he is a different person. But then I remember how he was acting when he fell in love with my successor – it was EXACTLY how he was behaving when he was in love with me, up to calling her the same pet names. And then I remember how he had been behaving towards my predecessor – and now I was in her shoes, to the minute detail. It kind of hit home.

    #288629

    X
    Participant

    You and Shelby may be lucky (or unlucky – depending on the view) that your men haven’t dumped you themselves for somebody else. That is when one really starts getting oneself together, pride and everything.

    #288659

    Michelle
    Participant

    Ah see, I knew you was still in there somewhere Kkasxo!!  And how awesome to have one of your best friends as a living example right in front of you – life is strange like that, it seems.  Your quote is another good one – especially poignant given the recent death experience you’ve been through. Life really does fly by and it seems it only gets quicker as you get older. It’s funny actually, once you start doing all those things ( speaking your truth, not giving a sh*t about things that aren’t important and all the rest ) you start to wonder why you were quite so afraid of doing so in the first place. I certainly learned the hard way that it was only by being myself that I could really trust anything else was real. Afterall, if I was pretending to be to the world what I thought it wanted me to be – how could I believe what the world was showing me was true. But it was so damn scary being myself, if people rejected the ‘pretend’ me, who cared, it wasn’t me. But if they rejected me, now, that’s a whole other ballgame. Plus after so long of pretending, being a people pleaser, following the unspoken rules and expectations of my upbringing, my environment – it was really hard to know who I was anymore anyway.

    And perhaps that’s as good a place as any to start on this journey – spending some time getting to know yourself again, what you value, what you stand for, no emotions attached either way. There are no good/bad answers – everyone is individual and it will be different for everyone. You don’t need to share on here unless you want to but make some time for yourself, get outside into the sunshine and just give yourself the freedom to ignore all your current circumstances and breathe freely. Let go of all those expectations for now. They can come later if/when needed.  At the end of the day, this is all about gaining the strength to take control of your own life and be ok with events that you can’t. The wisdom being in knowing which are which – bit like that AA prayer.

    If you haven’t already come across them, two books I found eye-opening/inspirational at the time were “You Can Be Happy No Matter What” – which sounds incredibly cheesy but was one of the best ways in to understanding the difference between thoughts and reality for me. Plus Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s “The Invitation” – also sounded way too ‘hippie’ for logical me but something in it rung true towards an authentic life, to being more how I wanted to be.  A more modern version is Mark Manson’s blog “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, which I usually love reading but he’s not going to be everybody’s style for sure…

    Shelby m’dear – understand entirely and very happy to see you being honest about it. It’s hard enough as a naturally private person for me to post some of these things, so I’m glad you understood. Talking in person is always easier for sure. And yes, you can have a lot of very well-meaning people trying to help but absolutely agree, everyone has their own history, their own biases, their own current understanding of their world view which will colour their advice however well-meant. And a lot of people will try to get you to adopt their values, either with or without knowing it, as it validates their view of ‘they are right’, makes them feel more secure. But not necessarily helpful to you! Part of what I had to work through was recognising this, no longer accepting everything at face value but assessing if it was something I also considered ‘true’ or not. So I entirely get the wariness and tbh, would be concerned if you weren’t.

    It’s good to hear you are interested in the idea of strengthening your inner self, in whichever way you find works for you.  Obviously it’s not a “hey everything’s amazing all the time” thing, it doesn’t stop life throwing cr*p at you, but it does give you this weird sense of stability within, no longer looking to the outside world to fix things or wasting time on unhelpful anger, emotions no longer buffeted all over the place. Very handy for rolling with it when travelling!!  It’s not that I’ll no longer discuss your relationship but more that perhaps I can help look at different perspectives, different ways of responding as a stable-attachment type – positive actions/thoughts. That sound helpful?

    X – nice to hear from you – means a lot to know my experiences can help others. Like I always say, I don’t have all the answers, no one does, but if it helps others at all, that’s worth the sharing to me.  Sounds like you are a little down the path of figuring yourself out which is good but still some way to go on valuing youself enough to attract the ‘right’ partner. At least you now know enough to identify those you know won’t be a good healthy match. My best advice, continue to grow and be the strong authentic version of yourself as you can – if I’ve learned anything it’s that the more you know what you want, the greater the chances of it happening as all your actions line up behind it.

    Take care all – look forwards to hearing back.

    #288661

    Shelbyville
    Participant

    Michelle,

    I genuinely do appreciate your contributions and please know that I appreciated the offer of advice and I ‘in theory’ do want to work on that, but I suppose the wariness is just there. Having said that, what you mentioned previously seemed completely rational and understandable so I got paid today so about an hour ago I scheduled a session with my therapist for tomorrow to discuss it further and explore the things that you raised that have been swimming over and over in my mind since I read your post.

    So am I correct in thinking you were an anxious/insecure attachment type…..like me….and now are a secure attachment type? You were able to change…or rather grow? I also read your advice to Kkasxo and will read those books your recommended as I like to read and gain new perspective. Also starting researching the house sitting options! Thanks you x

    #288671

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hey Shelby,

    Yup, I was really pretty bad too but had like zero idea at the time that it could be different. Very insecure and limited perspective/experiences partnered up with a confusing desire to want to explore, to want to know more although everyone around me then was content not to do so.  About a year after my traumatic break-up I realised I was starting to sabotage a new relationship that had huge potential with the same old behaviours –  I can remember very very clearly the day I decided I didn’t want to be this person anymore as I could see where it headed and the pattern of my life if I didn’t change.

    And so began the long learning curve, the reading, the talking, opening up to adapting my way of seeing the world, seeing it truly as best as I could.  Building my own self-confidence, my own values & desires, not just taking others handed down by either family, society or media.   So yes, now I’m very much a secure attachment type as well as a million times more self-confidence and assertive, things I had always struggled with.  Though much rarer these days I still have some triggers but I recognise them and can identify them for what they are, unfounded fears/doubts about myself and I’m able to deal with them myself, without needing to ask for re-assurance.  Even if sometimes that means stomping off for walk to clear my head before dealing with whatever it was that sparked me!  Honestly, it’s like night/day, the difference. Long journey, don’t think it ever ends once you open your eyes but the enlightenment becomes compelling – I think it’s why I travel so much now, more perspectives to be gathered for me yet.

    Funnily enough, I’m wary of offering advice, I’ve mentored some people who have hung on my every word and I’ve had to always make it clear to them that that is just not helpful or healthy either. No-one else has the answers for you. I get why you are wary too. Especially as one of your triggers is change, and this is going to smell rather badly of that to your self-protective voice… No need to change unless or until you want to though, reading and learning about the options, the different ways of being & seeing, consider for yourself, see what feels right to you. I hope it goes well with your therapist tomorrow, look forwards to hearing whatever you want to share.

    Btw – be warned……those house-sit sites can be very addictive…..!!

    #288819

    X
    Participant

    Michelle,

    You have posted some incredible things, I’ll be sure to read them more attentively later as I can already see some important pieces that I want to give more thought to (and maybe ask questions if that is okay with you?)

    For now, I’ll limit myself to the following (and maybe you might be able to elaborate or comment).

    I certainly learned the hard way that it was only by being myself that I could really trust anything else was real.

    It is not that I was pretending before, it is more like I wanted to present a neutral image to the world, so that people wouldn’t be able to tell what I am or who I am besides what I would show them. Now I just don’t care anymore, which maybe the aftermath of my mild depression episode following the breakup or maybe it is just my experience that showed that sky didn’t fall on me or anybody else if I am more outspoken in my opinions and views – whatever it was, but it is certainly easier and more relaxing to be oneself and not to give two hoots about what others think. Not that I cared before, but I wanted to sort of remain a mystery.

    At least you now know enough to identify those you know won’t be a good healthy match.

    Well, I could identify those who wouldn’t be a good match in the past, too. Now after my ex, I have become even more selective. And know better about the hormone high of falling for somebody or being in love. And will definitely be more demanding and not understanding bordering on being a mat because oh, he is so tired, can’t people forget / make a mistake – don’t I do it myself – hey, I have examples! I guess one of my good or bad qualities is that I am very, very self-aware. Which leads me to a) expecting people to be the same and b) naturally, finding similar blunders and errors in my own behaviour and, consequently, always find excuses – if I care about these people.

    And this is my biggest issue. I very rarely meet a man with whom I feel chemistry. And even if I do – most likely, the man would be married / have a partner. And I honestly don’t know if I am just plain unlucky (one of my hopes is that sooner or later I am bound to come across somebody who will be free AND with whom I will have chemistry BUT he also needs to want to be in a relationship with me – a very unlikely combination, don’t you think?) OR if there is something about a married man or a man with a partner that attracts me to him EVEN BEFORE I know that he is married or has a partner.

    Actually, this last part seems to be changing. Again, I don’t know whether this is just because of the sheer quantity factor (the more men one meets, the more chances one has to find what one is looking for) or because I myself have changed albeit in the smallest degree. Of course, I hope for the latter. But one “free spirit” man, one still pining after his ex and two on the border of divorce (one still in the same limbo a fourth year in the row and don’t have a lot of info on the other yet – maybe already divorced, but certainly not a good candidate for romance just yet) – that is a tad too few for a four-year time frame… (I am not counting those for whom I felt a very strong physical aversion even though they were free and interested.)

    I am not talking about “fireworks.” The very first question I always ask myself is whether I could make love to the man in question. 99% of the time the answer is no. Sometimes, the man would pass the first selection criteria – whether I like his looks and how we would look in a family portrait, but give me two more days to ask myself about sex, and the answer would most likely be no. Besides that, of course, there is character, education, his other attributes- so if somebody passes and seems to like me too (it may only seem or be totally unsuspecting on his side – a couple of glances here and there, etc.) – no wonder I start daydreaming and end up very attached…

    I also wonder what makes you want to dive into the workings of the convoluted and complicated minds of those who seek advice on tinybuddha, you being in a happy relationship yourself? It is just that normally people write on forums when they need help and, more often than not, they are helped by members who also need help in this or in another matter, but hardly ever those who don’t need help find themselves on such forums – for why would they in the first place (not to mention being willing to guide others)? Of course, if you don’t mind…

     

    #288831

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi X,

    Sure, I’m fine with more questions and will say when I’m not – though since this is Shelby’s thread might be good to check with her as to if better to start your own thread perhaps.

    In reverse order then – why am I on tinybuddha forums. It’s a good question since yes, I’m very aware I don’t fit the ‘normal’ profile, if there is such a thing.  It’s a pretty simple answer though. Through a ton of hard work/determination/luck I was able to achieve a couple of major life goals last year, one of which was being able to leave my full-on job in London and have more time/freedom, especially to travel more. As such, I now have enough time to be able to give back and help others, another goal/value which is important to me.  I looked into local volunteering but they need a regular once/week type commitment that doesn’t fit with my travel goals – and so online ‘helping’ was the obvious answer. I’ve read articles on tinybuddha in the past when struggling and so it seemed a good place to start, among other ways.  You will see I’m not as active as most of the regulars on here and I’ll only contribute as/when I hope I have some relevant life experience/perspective to share that may help.  Know your own limits!

    Onto the next…”At least you now know enough to identify those you know won’t be a good healthy match”

    Some interesting points in there.  These are the ones that jumped out to me as worth thinking more about.

    –  Agree it’s helpful to be very self-aware, the more you know yourself the more you can recognise what is helpful/unhelpful for you to invest your time in, which is our most precious asset after all. Often we attract what we need, not necessarily what we want or think we want at that time.  You have an intriguing mix of an analytical selection process combined with pretty much all physical attributes, chemistry, ‘family portrait’ and so on. A lot of pre-selection before really getting to know any of these people?  It would be simple to say you are attracted to unavailable people so that there is no real danger of having to get emotional invested again but I suspect as you think about it, there’s more to it than that. Do you know why you value the physical so much more than the mental/character of potential partners, given it’s those that last longest and have way more impact on whether you are happy together or not. Again, nothing is right/wrong here, it’s just that you come across as someone who clearly enjoys using her brain but doesn’t appear to value that when assessing partners?  I can understand why if very few men you meet pass these selection criteria that you get excited, attached to them – after all, not many pass right?  People can be surprising you know, sometimes it is worth getting to know people before dismissing them because of such set criteria/expectations.

    Last (first?! ) one: I certainly learned the hard way that it was only by being myself that I could really trust anything else was real

    From my experience, it’s definitely the latter. When you do something you think is scary, like dis-agreeing with someone you’d usually just play along with for the sake of a smooth road, and the worst doesn’t happen,they don’t hate you forever etc,  life goes on. And the more you do it, the more ‘proof’ you have of a different experience to your fears, lessening the fear so much until it becomes seemingly daft you were ever afraid of it.  Once you get to the stage of being able to be yourself and not be concerned about what the outside world thinks, it’s pretty empowering. I read a great quote once, something along the lines of “someone can only make you feel bad about something if you feel bad about it yourself”. Essentially, if you have done your best to behave with your values, e.g. honesty, respect, love, compassion, whatever – then other’s judgement is simply that, their judgement, something you should consider but can reject if false.

    Hope helps!

     

    #288871

    X
    Participant

    Hi, Michelle,

    You know, after the breakup, after lots of reading and taking my time, I slowly started to feel that my cup was filling up again and I didn’t mind giving my listening ear and time to people who needed it and who, as I felt, could benefit from it. In the past, I read about filling one’s cup first figuratively speaking, but didn’t feel that mine was and didn’t know what it felt like when it is. Well, now I know, so I think I understand where you are coming from and I can only say thank you.

    Yet, I am afraid that mine is such a tangled mess of thoughts, feelings, and past experiences that, although I do long for somebody to help me make head or tail of it, I know that it is very hard work. I also know that my tendency to analyse, overanalyse and overthink (all of which subsequently is poured out in writing) doesn’t help the matter in the least.

    I would be thrilled if you could offer your insight and tell me what you think is going on with me. I started a thread two years ago, but Matt, the person with whom I had a most interesting exchange (also useful because he was a man) and who seemed to not mind my lengthy paragraphs left the discussion hanging. Still, it helped a lot also by putting literally everything I had to say in writing – got it all out with a sigh of relief. In the end, I got tired of rehashing that unhealthy relationship and the breakup, reached the bottom and began to recover in earnest.

    I also posted some things on the thread that Matt had started and on Shelby’s, Shelby’s was already two years after that. My progress so to speak. I can say though that all the facts and thoughts and ideas on those threads are still valid and applicable. Me today wouldn’t have anything to strike out or change – and if to add, then to add small bits like that I seem to be moving away from liking 100% unavailable men to men who seem to be slightly more available, at least on the surface (no partner).

    Maybe, there is ultimately nothing wrong with me. Maybe I am indeed on my way to full recovery and meeting the right person is just a matter of time. Sort of if I go through a hundred men, I am bound to meet the one. 😉

    It just feels that I meet so few men whom I like and who like me to stay long enough that if it continues like that, I’ll be in my fifties and still looking.

    I believe what I am trying to say is that I would more than gladly listen and absorb what you might have to say, but for that, I am afraid, you might need to know the whole story – on those threads – but that story is so long and cumbersome that I don’t want to push it onto you unless you don’t mind and have time.

    You can click on my name and look through my posts – you’ll see how long and convoluted they are, but I can still sign under each one of them!

    I have more to write in response to your comments more specific to my concrete situation (who would have doubted?!?), but I guess I’ll wait for your reply before I proceed.

    #288873

    X
    Participant

    Your description of the circles that an anxious attachment style goes in is very eye-opening. But why would somebody with a secure attachment style be attracted to an anxious attachment style and vice versa in the first place???

    #288875

    X
    Participant

    Just one more thought for Shelby and Kkasxo regarding their men. I find that my attitude towards my ex was very similar to how you were / are feeling. Now, when the romance was full steam ahead, I did see what I might not have liked at all in him, in his face, in the vibe he was giving off if I hadn’t been so much in love. But all the other things that I saw alongside with this trait or these traits were so much pronounced that the negative, repulsive portion was lurking in the background, not completely out of sight, but not on the forefront either. I remember looking at his picture and thinking, “Yes, you might be like this, but I still love you!”

    Well, fast forward to three-four years later, present moment. When I look at his pictures now, even the ones that were taken back then, when we were together, or when I see him live, I can’t help but see those ugly features springing right at me. They are not a revelation ’cause I did notice them back then, but now they are so conspicuous now that I surprisingly tell myself that me today would never choose him again the way he is now and – also a surprise! – the way he was back then. (Even though I do remember only too well how much I loved him and what it was that I saw in him then.)

    So I do hope that I have changed, even in the very least.

    Wishing the same peace and acceptance to you.

    #288915

    Michelle
    Participant

    Hi X,

    So, I found your old threads and have read some of them, not all, there is a lot as you say.  Curious – have you ever tried to practice focusing your mind/thoughts? Whilst I appreciate sometimes it’s easiest just to mind-dump everything as it comes so to speak but I think practicing this could be helpful for you in calming your mind, seeing clearer. You clearly have a wide-ranging, well-read mind but it’s not so obvious how you go about sorting through the whole ton of data, information, thoughts, input?

    Personally, the best way I have found for this is to write your first ‘mind-dump’ out in Word or something and re-read it back through – and then force yourself to ruthlessly prioritise it into the top three things you want to say.  Like that hot air-balloon game where you have to name what gets thrown out first, it’s a way of helping work through identifying what seems most important, which is always telling by itself.  It would be helpful going forwards for us I think, even if you still post the whole mind dump, to put at the top of each one what you considered the top three summary sentences/points to be.

    Have a go at doing so about the other responses you wanted to write re my comments whilst I work through your old posts more.  I’m going to suggest you post them under your old thread and let me know when you have done so and I’ll answer you there, if that works for you.

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