Emotional Abusive Relationship

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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This area of the boards is expressly for support and help for those who are currently in or have survived abuse or assault. It is also for those seeking information or discussion about abuse or assault. Please make every effort in this space to be supportive and sensitive. Posts in this area may or do describe abuse or assault explicitly.

This area of the boards is also not an area where those who are themselves abusing anyone or who have abused or assaulted someone may post about doing that or seek support. We are not qualified to provide that kind of help, and that also would make a space like this feel profoundly unsafe for those who are being or who have been abused. If you have both been abused and are abusing, we can only discuss harm done to you: we cannot discuss you yourself doing harm to others. If you are someone engaging in abuse who would like help, you can start by seeking out a mental healthcare provider.
Heather
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Heather » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:38 am

Totally! Also, this never has to be either/or. But it can for sure be a decent stopgap (in some ways, not so much in others) when therapy isn't available for someone.

It's fine for you to be using the boards here the way you have been, but if you prefer something more private, there's always our chat service. That's something you can catch in the hours it's open (those times are listed here: http://www.scarleteen.com/need_help_now ... t_services), or something where you can ask for a time outside those if you want to talk with someone specific or those open times just don't work for you. :)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:33 pm

Thanks all.

I am wondering if anyone -ie. Heather - has any words here -The old stuff is finally gone ( I am realizing that some people will not stay in our lives and that's for the better, and there is no 'trophy" for keeping said-friends in life and sometimes its' better not to have a bow tie and beautifully wrapped past.

I sort of feel in-between: the old is gone, yet the new is still not here yet. I know that as I have new experiences/accomplishments, this experience will too fade away or be minimized in the grand scheme of things. But I am waiting in a sense for the time to pass. I have a big school goals and have personal goals too - but wondering if anyone has any word on how to do better self-care/navigate this "in-between" phase?

The thoughts still come and I just have to remind myself that this isn't as big and soon will blur away as i experience more and new experiences

Sam W
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:28 am

Hi coolcats,

One thing I've found helps people during those "in-between" phases is to view then as an opportunity in and of themselves. Are there things you've been wanting to try, changes you want to make to your life or routines? Now is a great time to give them a go. They don't have to be big, important things either; they can be hobbies you're curious about or have let fall to the wayside, fun rituals for yourself (like taking yourself out once a week for fancy coffee or dinner), things like that. It can help this feel like just another part of your year, rather than a sort of weird, waiting room period. Does that make sense?

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:32 pm

Yes, I think that's true - and I am planning to sign up for a running event that I know that I will enjoy as a celebration


I wonder if the real issue isn't the "waiting period" for someone/something else but rather just processing the emotions/feeling/whathaveyou.

I think the reason I feel bad is that at some level, i am still blaming myself for it and I have to go back and re-read what Heather wrote earlier that it is not something that is normally seen right away (even if I had hints, I blame myself for not coming here earlier, etc)--; that it takes many people much time to recognize the problems/dysfunction...

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:13 pm

coolcats222 wrote:Yes, I think that's true - and I am planning to sign up for a running event that I know that I will enjoy as a celebration


--I wonder if the real issue isn't the "waiting period" for someone/something else but rather just processing the emotions/feeling/whathaveyou.

---I think the reason I feel bad is that at some level, i am still blaming myself for it and I have to go back and re-read what Heather wrote earlier that it is not something that is normally seen right away (even if I had hints, I blame myself for not coming here earlier, etc)--; that it takes many people much time to recognize the problems/dysfunction...



---The other big thought is that I only have a few weeks of vacation every-year and in the last year, all vacations were surrounding him who was just terrible. I was in my dream locations yet sad and just simply felt unheard/unsupportive etc. Including recently. So looking back, a lot of thoughts are about how he acted (his choice, not on me), how he always acted (last 4 vacation/trips), and I feel sad/angry that I lost that time when I could have been elsewhere. He acted terribly and worst than a stranger. I guess its about re-enforcing those boundaries that I failed to do earlier.

Now, it's a lot of hard work but I can take another break in 2-3 months so perhaps I can look forward to that.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Location: Chicago

Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Heather » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:59 am

I wonder if you can think of this in-between time as the social/emotional version of a big deep breath and a big long exhale.

I know that sounds a little cheesy, but bear with me here: know how when we do that with breathing, when we really take the time to stretch out that inhale and exhale, and really let ourselves feel the space it makes in our lungs, our whole bodies, even our heads? This time can be a lot like that: about making space for yourself and your heart and your head.

Like Sam suggested, can you use this time and space to focus on the parts of your life and yourself that may have gotten less attention or focus (or none at all), and regroup and reconnect with those? How about with a friend or two you probably fell out of touch with during your relationship with your ex, but would like to reconnect with? Or some new friends it sounds like you could make with your plans for that run? What about things you have wanted to try or do, but haven't yet gotten the chance to?

Sometimes one of the great things about having this kind of "time-between" is that you get a chance to re-assess and re-experience all of what you want in your life, and your day-to-day, so that if or when you start dating again, you go into it having a better sense of the place there is for it in your life, especially if you also a) want it to be healthy for you and b) want it to really add to your life, rather than be your whole life, or only really mesh with very limited parts of it, know what I mean?

I don't know about you, but I'm a big reader, and I also like to use times like these in my life to re-read a book or two that I have previously found very inspiring or influential, to kind of remind myself of who I am and what really matter to me: to get re-inspired about my own self and life.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:43 pm

Thank you Heather. I agree that taking a version of inhale/exhale is important.



The other issue is that I am in a demanding academic program with a big exam coming up with requires 10-hours of straight up study with great attention for next 8 weeks. So my version of reconnecting is of course (getting in touch with old friends when i can via online/phone calls) and also just using this experience to be keenly aware of what is supportive in my life and what isn't, and how.

This experience did leave a bad taste in my month.I made an appt with a new counselor let's see how good/helpful it is.
Yes, this non-relationship( I can't even call it an ex but there was no label here, but that's exactly what/he was) will never be a part of my life again. It would be nice to feel happy to let go of such a yucky bad thing, but I'm still wrapping my head around it that it is gone. I know it will be a minor blimp in rear view mirror.

I think I would like to send an "angry" letter - I think i may need that to have my voice heard. I also know that I don't need to send a letter, when i can hear/validate myself on my own.

Jacob
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Jacob » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:34 am

Hey coolcats,

I can't speak to those options, but it's no problem having someone genuinely seek support in my opinion.

Have you used our chat service, too? It's not a replacement for therapy, but could maybe be helpful if you are looking for something that feels more immediate. I do Wednesday afternoons, and all our chat hours are here: http://www.scarleteen.com/our_live_chat_service/

It does sound like eventually getting a decent therapist could be the most helpful thing when you become ready for the search.

From reading through the thread, what Heather said about self-forgiveness seems like it could be central.

Feeling responsible to not 'waste time', or feeling like our flaws, or weaknesses in allowing them in our lives, are the causes of someone else's crappy behaviour towards us, sounds like a lot of self-blame. Higher education is also a place where I'm sure it's easy to feel under constant scrutiny!
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:30 pm

Thanks Jacob! I appreciate it

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 7229
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Location: Chicago

Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Heather » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:18 am

Btw, in terms of that letter, why not go ahead and write it if you are still feeling that inclination?

The great thing about writing letters is that we can write them and NOT send them, and can often still get a lot out of what we were looking for in them through the process of writing them. In fact, I'd say that a lot of the time, the value in writing letters expressing our feelings is more in the process of writing and then reading them than sharing them.

Of course, if you write it and feel like you do want to send it, or need to, you still have that option, too! <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Mon May 06, 2019 8:58 pm

Hey guys, Heather and all -

I have a big high stakes exam in a few days requiring 10-12 hours of focused individual concentration and somehow, I have found myself going through the events associated - it is as if all the feelings I repressed for a while have come back- I can't afford to lose my concentration but also know that relaxing and not panicking at every little dition will help me regain it.

Even opening this thread - to share with you guys - bought on more fodder for me to chew on.

Yes, I find it somehow easlier to replay that thoughts and how much I want to say XYZ via recorded message to them. I want to call them @sshole, I want to speak up for myself and release that stress. I realize techonology also plays a part here since it's ever so tempting to message the person etc. I also know that I need to FOCUS ON ME and these thoughts/scenarios only put the focus on the wrong place: not me. I have to assure myself that I will address it when the time is right for me and not rushing it as right now is for the best.

Somehow the stress of other events is triggering this - maybe a distraction is what my mind is looking for.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Sam W » Tue May 07, 2019 7:10 am

Hi Coolcats,

Being under stress, even if it's in no ways related to that past relationship, can definitely bring up feelings about it (sometimes our brains are like "hey, I'm stressed about this thing, time to think about all the other things that have also caused me to be stressed"). It sounds like you have a handle on what you need to do and what you need to prioritize, which is awesome on your part. Is there a particular type of support you're looking for around this from us?

coolcats222
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Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Tue May 07, 2019 7:31 am

Mainly just looking for some education - like you said how this can trigger other kind of stress-

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 7229
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
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Location: Chicago

Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Heather » Tue May 07, 2019 7:44 am

Something that often works for me in these kinds of situations, if it helps, is to "reward" myself with time to think about the other thing if I do X hours of the thing I actually need to do.

So, what if for, say, four hours of focus on studying, you "earn" one hour of focus on this?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

coolcats222
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Location: United States

Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby coolcats222 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:12 am

Thank you Heather.

That's very good and helpful. I am writing a long letter so yes, that's a very good and direct way to handle it.
4 hour of studying and 1 hr of this is much more direct way to handle then doing work outs and "just stop thinking about it".

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 7229
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Emotional Abusive Relationship

Unread postby Heather » Wed May 08, 2019 10:27 am

It's really hard to make ourselves stop thinking about pretty much anything, especially things that are a big deal. It's a lot easier to redirect our thinking and manage the time we spend thinking, IMHO. Hope it works out for you!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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