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Author Topic: Difficult and very painful break-up
domogneas91
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I was in a serious relationship for about 15 months which ended just under 3 months ago. He ended it with me out of the blue. I won't go into details, as all relationships and break-ups are similar enough, but all I say is I'm in terrible quantities of emotional pain 24/7 which won't go away no matter how hard I try.

I'm seeing a therapist, and my free sessions series is coming to a close. My family is sick of listening to me, and my brother - who is one of my only crutches - has found a new girlfriend and has abandoned me. I don't like talking to friends because I feel like I'm bothering everyone with the same problem over and over again. I've considered killing myself a few times because the pain is far too great to cope with, but I know that doesn't help anything.

I just can't let go, and I hate being single having been with someone for such a long time. I miss the companionship, I miss sleeping together, I miss hanging out, I miss the support, I miss the arguments and the lack of compatibility, I miss the hope for the future, I miss being wanted and needed and desired. It doesn't help that it looks like he'll get back with his ex that he was with for 3 years, which is another kick in the lack of balls.

I can't let go, and I find myself in the deepest depths of depression. I just can't move on, and it's killing me. Help me!

Posts: 52 | From: Ireland | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
copper86
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Hi, IthilienDude,

First, before I say anything, I want you to know that you're not alone. I've been in the exact same position as you. I've felt angry, confused, betrayed, and in a constant state of fog or abandonment. I know how you're feeling, and so many others do, too. Break-ups aren't meant to be easy, and if anyone tells you that you need to move on or that there's a timeframe for feeling better, please think twice about those statements. There is no timeframe for grieving. Sometimes it takes a little longer than we expected. I've been in that "moving on" stage for a long time, and I remember thinking my family and friends were annoyed with me for still hanging on. Has your family said that to you, or is it just a feeling you get?

I'm so proud of you for getting counseling. That's so important, especially after an event like this. Can your counselor recommend anyone else to you that would provide free or low-cost counseling? I'm sorry that I don't know how counseling works in Ireland, but you can always Google it for more information.

I understand how you feel about thinking your brother has abandoned you. My brother is my absolute idol and whenever he hangs out with girls or is busy and I need him, I feel bad, too. But I'm sure him abandoning you is not the case. Even if he does have a girlfriend now, that doesn't replace you as being his brother. I'm sure he still loves you! Why don't you ask him to hang out on a day when he's not busy, and you two can do something you both like? You don't have to talk about the break-up if you don't want to, but having time with your brother might help you feel better.

I know how much you miss him. I feel so bad that you are going through this. I know how much you wish the pain was over. But you have to keep trying. I'm not saying any of this is easy or will be easy - I know how tough it is when someone says, "just move on and keep trying" and you feel like you can't. But you sound like a great person with a big heart, and if someone had found you desirable and loved you before, then I guarantee you it will happen again. Please don't feel unwanted. I know what it's like to see your friends with relationships and you're single, but try not to let it get to you. Do you have any single friends with whom you could hang out or go somewhere?

Take care of your health and try to do basic things: eat, sleep, rest, drink water. Don't expect too much from yourself during this time. Take a few days to do things you enjoy - watching your favourite shows or movies, going for a walk, or listening to soothing music. Share your feelings with your therapist and see if they can recommend you to someone when your free counseling time is up.

I'm truly sorry that you're going through this, and I hope you feel better soon. Take care.

--------------------
"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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domogneas91
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I've been in that "moving on" stage for a long time, and I remember thinking my family and friends were annoyed with me for still hanging on. Has your family said that to you, or is it just a feeling you get?

Whenever I speak about it to my mum she gets impatient and says I know better and that hanging onto the past doesn't solve anything. My brother is so loved up at the moment he can't understand how anyone could be sad. Apart from that, I just have a lot of very deep seated insecurities about talking to people about my problems because over my life people have reacted very badly, including my ex. Whenever I told him any problems he just told me to 'get over it' or 'forget about bad people'. I just keep it to myself in fear of irritating people with my problems.

Why don't you ask him to hang out on a day when he's not busy, and you two can do something you both like? You don't have to talk about the break-up if you don't want to, but having time with your brother might help you feel better.

We do hang out, but he's just insufferable at the moment. He has a habit of falling too hard for women in a really unhealthy clingy way, and won't be told. If I have to look at his girlfriend or hear her name any more I swear I'm going to flip.

I know what it's like to see your friends with relationships and you're single, but try not to let it get to you. Do you have any single friends with whom you could hang out or go somewhere?

I don't have many friends in my county, and there's not many I talk to any more anyway. All my attempts to socialise are a complete failure of late because I'm so miserable all the time. I have a handful of very good friends, but they work all the time so it's hard to lean on them due to their busy schedules.

I'm truly sorry that you're going through this, and I hope you feel better soon. Take care.

Thank you for your concern =)

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Onionpie
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Hi IthilienDude. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a hard time with this break-up. But as copper has said, breakups are never easy and take time (however much time you need) to get over. So please don't beat yourself up about not being over it yet.

Some people find that keeping themselves busy helps them in the process of moving on, because it gives them less time to dwell on things. Of course, bottling up your feelings won't help, and you're allowed to feel how you feel, so I'm not saying you need to try to force yourself to not be sad or upset at any time. But keeping busy helps you get away from being sad at least for a little while. Doing things that keep you busy can also help you begin to adjust to being single.

Do you think that's something that might help you out? Maybe think about things you really enjoy doing, perhaps things that you've neglected doing lately. Any hobbies you used to love but haven't done for a long time? Or maybe something you've always wanted to try but never got around to?

It also sounds like your boyfriend played a big part in your support network, as you said you don't have many friends. When someone is such an integral part of our support system, it's very understandable to be so upset and feel lost when we're no longer so close with them. But it's also important to have more than one or two people as our support system. So, maybe you could try keeping yourself busy in ways that also introduce you to new people to find potential new friends? Maybe there are extra-curricular art classes held at a local school that you'd be interested in attending? Or a viewing of your favourite movie or TV series? What do you think?

I also understand that you feel like your brother isn't someone you can go to for help right now. It sounds like he's in a head-space where he can't really relate or empathize with you right now, and it's totally okay to not want to deal with him. You get to do that. I'm also really sorry to hear that your mum is being less-than-supportive of your right now. I think that makes it even more important that you try to reach out to start up a better support network for yourself, since right now it seems like some of yours aren't really able to BE your support network right now, if you know what I mean? Having a counsellor is absolutely awesome and that's one really solid and great aspect of a support system. You could also talk to them about ways of finding/making a stronger support network for yourself.

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domogneas91
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"... keeping busy helps you get away from being sad at least for a little while. Doing things that keep you busy can also help you begin to adjust to being single."

Problem is, I have a fantastically overactive mind, which means I'm NEVER away from my thoughts. They're there all the time, no matter how much I'm distracting myself. As for being single, it is never a pastime that I've rated highly. For me, ever since I was very very small, being a partner/wife/mother has been a deep desire of mine: I've always loved caring for people, and to have someone to share such a bond with and to love and cherish has always been a wish of mine. As such, every time I lose a boyfriend I feel like an absolute failure.

"Maybe think about things you really enjoy doing, perhaps things that you've neglected doing lately. Any hobbies you used to love but haven't done for a long time? Or maybe something you've always wanted to try but never got around to?"

I have zero desire to do anything anymore, full stop. It's like my mind has just reached a saturation point of fear and I don't want to change anything lest I end up suffering more than I am through a failure. Hell, I'm afraid to do things that I'm very good at for fear of tiny stupid mistakes. I've never been easy on myself when it comes to making mistakes.

"...maybe you could try keeping yourself busy in ways that also introduce you to new people to find potential new friends? Maybe there are extra-curricular art classes held at a local school that you'd be interested in attending? Or a viewing of your favourite movie or TV series? What do you think?"

I've finished school, I've finished college, and I'm unemployed and unemployable. My opportunities for coming across people my own age are very slim at the moment, and in my city there's pretty much naff-all for young people to do. I've run out of ideas when it comes to broadening my social horizons.

As you can see, my life is pretty average at the moment =P

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Heather
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I think it's safe to say that for most people, we have to learn to empty our minds, or to get space from our thoughts. Sure, there are some people who seem to be naturally gifted at this, but I don't think the majority of us are.

Have you ever tried learning a medication practice? I'd say that's the best, easiest and cheapest (it's free!) way to learn these skills.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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domogneas91
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I think it's safe to say that for most people, we have to learn to empty our minds, or to get space from our thoughts. Sure, there are some people who seem to be naturally gifted at this, but I don't think the majority of us are.

Yeah, I've never been fantastically good at mind-clearing or the like. My mind is just waaaaaaaaaay too active for that stuff. It doesn't help that I actually have diagnosed mental problems that cause my mind to be overactive, which puts me at an automatic disadvantage. I tried doing yoga and deep relaxation programmes, and it always turned out that I'd be getting nice and relaxed and then some completely random thought would leap into my mind.

quote:
Have you ever tried learning a medication practice? I'd say that's the best, easiest and cheapest (it's free!) way to learn these skills.
Do you mean meditation practise?
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Heather
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Yep.

And that business where you do some of these practices and get relaxed and empty then random thoughts come in? That's okay.

And with more practice with them, you get better and better at having longer periods of time before the thoughts do come in. It just takes work and dedication, but is totally doable even for those of us with overactive minds and/or who are neuroatypical. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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domogneas91
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Hmm, I should try it out. Might be better than the way I am at the moment. I was diagnosed with ADD, so I was told that things like this would be harder for me to deal with than most other people.

I've never been able to deal with break-ups. It saddens me.

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Heather
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I figured you were probably talking about an attention-deficit issue.

but no, that doesn't mean you can't do practices that help you to clear your mind, just means that a) you might need to be a little extra patient with yourself, and b) you might need to adjust your expectations and figure that random thoughts might come up for you more than they might for others even when you're good at this, that's all.

Really, though, any time at all that anyone can manage in clearing their heads is the good stuff. Even if that time is 30 seconds, or only for 30 seconds at a time? That sure beats none. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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his87love52910
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Hi IthilienDude,
I've been going through the same thing for almost 6 months now. None of my friends really understand how i feel cuz they haven't been there. If you want someone to talk to about this at all I'm here. I'd love to talk to you, I think we both could use someone to talk to who has been in a relationship and his hurt so bad. You can contact me anytime, my email is
[edited: as stated in the user agreement, for our users privacy and safety, we don't allow users to publicly post personally identifying information like email addresses. - HC]

hope to hear from you! [Smile] ))))

[ 01-22-2013, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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domogneas91
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Sorry, I haven't been on here for a while, but I thought I was getting better. I wasn't however, I'm still in the same mess as I was nearly 3 months ago.

I saw my ex the other night. I went to a fast-food place in my neighbourhood and it turns out he works there, and he served my brother and I. He made a point of being the one to serve us, and he was really lovely and nice to us, and it's left me feeling deep feelings of confusion about it. I've been absolutely broken by the experience. I haven't stopped crying every night since.

I thought I was coping without him, but I'm back to square one now. I feel like such a failure.

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Molias
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Hi IthilienDude,

I'm sorry to hear that seeing your ex set things off for you again. I don't think that this means you haven't gotten any better, or haven't made any progress in getting past the relationship, though.

Keep in mind that recovery from breakups, as with a lot of things, doesn't always look like a straight line pointing upwards; it's natural for your feelings about the breakup to fluctuate to where you feel great for a few months and then upset for a few weeks. And I think it's understandable that running into your ex, especially since you weren't expecting it, might bring up a lot of intense and upset feelings.

Before that happened, something had changed to make you think you were feeling better and coping with the breakup better than you are the moment. Do you have a sense of what was working for you before you saw your ex?

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Molias
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Also, if you haven't read this article about breakups yet, I think there's a lot here that could be helpful to you: Getting Through a Breakup Without Actually Breaking
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domogneas91
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To be honest, the only thing that was keeping me from falling apart was convincing myself that I'd never see him again, or that if I did he would be awkward and I'd feel better for being the 'bigger person', which I know is really petty. I wanted to think that he was miserable after what he did to me, and that made me feel better.

But I was so upset to see that he was cheery and happy, and that his life had just gone on as normal without me while I'd been suffering. Hell, I can't count the amount of times I've considered ending my own life because I couldn't believe that I'd find someone else and that I'd have to spend the rest of my life without him. And here he was, happy.

Does this mean I was wrong? That I actually was so horrible that he's happy without me? That he was miserable with me? I feel like I'm an absolute failure.

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Robin Lee
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HI IthilienDude,

It's not really possible for any of us to say what your ex is feeling, or why he feels the way he feels.

I'm truly sorry that this hurts so much.

One reason for your ex's cheery niceness might be that he was working. It's likely that he's expected to behave a certain way at work, and, since I imagine he wants to keep his job, he maintained a cheery demeanour with you as he would with all customers.

Were you able to take a look at the article Molias linked you to? If so, did any thoughts or perspectives come out of that for you?

Also, are you still in therapy?

--------------------
Robin

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domogneas91
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I know you can't speak for him, I do, I just want all my unanswered questions answered. I know that'll never happen, and I know you can't possibly provide that, but I just want to know why.

My ex was always a man who avoided confrontation. And also for never betraying his real feelings about anything: he would smile and be jolly to people he had absolutely no time for, or people he really hated. He always had time for his ex, who hurt him deeply, and even continued contact with her (which I only found out AFTER we broke up) while he and I were together. He was always very closed about matters of the heart, which made him very difficult at times.

But what I can't stand is that six months ago he made me feel that I was the worst human alive and that I basically belonged in a mental home, alone and unwanted, and now he's smiling at me, telling me how nice I look and how nice it is to see me after all this time. Is he that cruel? It's like he's pretending that entire 15 months never happened, and that I'm some acquaintance of his. He knows what he did, and he does this? He could've just left me to be served by someone else; he could've pretended I wasn't there, but he had to do the 'I'm a nice ex, really' routine.

I know I'm rambling and making no sense, but I'm insensed!

I read the article, but - no offence intended, it's exceptionally well writen and contains heaps of very good advice - I'm just completely sick of being told that it'll take time. I'm sick of leading a life of romantic failures, and this time I was completely convinced that I could stop looking for Mr Right because I'd found him, but no, I was wrong. I was wrong about everything. And maybe I'm still wrong: maybe he was right to ditch me and I actually was a completely horrible bitch and I'm just too stubborn and self-righteous to see it. Maybe I do deserve to be alone and unwanted forever, but I just can't accept that he was right. And I hate being wrong.

Therapy... we Irish have a terrible attitude to mental health provision. My free therapy ran out, and I'm too broke and unemployed to afford the 75 euro and hour counselling services. Thanks Mr President for a 56% unemployment rate for the under 25s... it's truly fantastic.

I once again apologise for the ranting: everyone here is sick of me at this stage. Apparently 6 months is too long to mourn an 15 month relationship which was sold to me with a life-long guarantee. Funny that.

[ 04-23-2013, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: IthilienDude ]

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Heather
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You know, reading some of this, I hear you saying people have told you six months is too long to mourn.

Have you, besides mourning, also really spent time feeling as angry and pissed and bitter as you do right now? Just being in those feelings, probably being in them more on your own than with anyone else -- since when we're like this, we're hideously lousy company, all of us -- and letting yourself kind of go to this bottom?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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domogneas91
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I'm not sure if anyone has ever told me six months is too long to mourn, I just get the feeling that folk are sick of me by now, and whether that's just my imagination or what I dunno. My friends and family have had to put up with a lot from me: I'm not an easy person to live with, I will say that, but I've never lied about it.

I try not to be lousy company: I try to just get on with my days and 'be fine', and I think people just take that at face value and let me be without really asking if I am okay. I have only one friend who just listens to me and acknowledges how I'm feeling and says it's okay to be this way.

I'm afraid of letting myself just be angry and upset. I really don't like allowing myself to feel angry, it scares me. I don't know why, because when I was a teenager I had no problem just allowing myself to 'be' and fully experience all emotions, but as a young adult this is scary for me.

I've had a looooooong history of very, very destructive anger problems. Not explosive anger, like 'you need anger managment' style problems, but severely implosive anger: I've put myself in hospital twice in the last 2 years. I get so afraid of allowing myself to fully experience anger and not repress it into myself because if I put myself in hospital, who's to say I won't either gravely offend/hurt/injure/maim somebody else? I never have, and I don't think realistically I would, but it's a fear.

I've always been deathly afraid of solitude. I feel that I need someone to go through this with me and to acknowledge that it's perfectly normal. Doing this whole lone grieving thing frightens me.

I hope somewhere in that long and pointless rant there was the answer to your question. I go off on tangents, sometimes.

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Robin Lee
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It makes sense, from what you've said here, why you would be afraid of your anger. Anger, as a human emotion, is part of nearly all of us though, I'd say. Have you ever found constructive ways to experience or release your anger? Things that some people find helpful are writing or some other kind of artwork. Other people find exercise to be helpful. IN other words, things that engage the mind, body, or both and allow for emotional expression.

It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of energy to attribute thoughts and beliefs to other people, and I'm not sure how helpful it is to you to decide that people are sick of you. [Smile] I know that you have said that no one has out and said that six months is too long for your grieving process, and I'm wondering if people have done anything specifically to send you that message. WE can most often only take people at face value (as I said, it takes a lot of energy to guess what they're thinking) so if people haven't told you, or shown you in some way,, that they're tired of you, it's not necessarily fair to them to assume that they are.

What is it about grieving for this relationship alone that frightens you?

--------------------
Robin

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domogneas91
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I went to art college when I finished secondary school, and the experience was so degrading, destructive and outright criminal that I haven't been able to fully express myself creatively since I dropped out. I left about a year ago, and it's only now that I'm beginning to get back into drawing, film making and creative writing like I used to.

But when I get to writing about the relationship and how it affected me, my mind just goes blank, like I don't know where to begin, or that my writings won't get my feelings across sufficiently. It's very frustrating.

Sometimes when I try to talk to people about the problems I have with my break-up, they are very dismissive. My brother will say things like 'he's just an idiot, forget him', or my mother will say 'You'll find another one', and similarly unhelpful things. When I talk to my mother, sometimes she'll sigh, and my brother becomes very monosyllabic. Most of my friends begin the whole 'you think you have problems?' routine, and others just justify my ex's actions by saying that I'm 'overly temperamental' and he was right to do what he did.

Sometimes my friends will very strongly hint things, for example, they'll gossip about girls at work who've broken up while I'm in the room, and make a point of saying 'it's been x long since they broke up, she should be over it by now'. Other friends keep asking me 'Have I found anyone else yet'.

All these things lead me to believe that I'm taking too long, or am boring people with my difficulties.

What frightens me is I'm not strong enough to deal with this on my own. I don't have a skills or capacity to deal with this quantity of grief. I'm afraid I'll just fall apart, and I want someone to help carry the load with me. I don't know if I can do it alone. My ex became part of me, and now he's gone, it's like half of me has just vanished and I'm not as strong as I was. Then again, I never was very strong to begin with.

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Heather
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With your experiences with anger, do you think you hurt yourself with it because you expressed it, or because you actually didn't?

In other words, often it's bottling up and trying to repress anger that winds up with the kind of impact you've described. Expressing it in healthy ways, letting it out soundly, often is what keeps the destructive stuff people can do with feelings of anger from happening.

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WesLuck
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The feeling of anger can be a useful tool, because sometimes it gives you strength, but bottling it up does tend to make things into a diesel engine, building up pressure until the fuel (or feeling) explodes.

You need permission to "let off steam" safely. Maybe you could buy a punching bag and punching it until you get tired whenever you are angry? Although I wouldn't advise you to get into boxing as a sport, and that's always about violence, IMHO. But a punching bag is something you can do without hurting anyone. Same with art.

[ 04-25-2013, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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domogneas91
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I truly appreciate the advice here, but I have been told this time, and time again over years of therapy and counselling. I do the whole beating things up when I'm annoyed, or writing about it, or whatever, and it's never truly made a difference. At this stage, I may as well be told about how blue the sky is. I don't mean to offend, I'm just truly sick of being old about it. I know what my problems are, I do, and I understand what I need to do to change them, I do, but it doesn't change the fact that I just can't do it. No matter how hard I try.

I practise martial arts, and that doesn't release angry feelings in my mind, martial arts doesn't equal a controlled way to let off steam; if I used martial arts to express my anger, people would die. I see it as a fitness thing, and fitness doesn't equal getting pissed off. Those kinds of comparisons don't make any sense to my head.

There's nothing in this world that can replace or act as a substitute for actually feeling angry. Feeling angry, or permitting myself to be angry, is just what I can't do. I can't even tell someone to go and ride themselves sideways when they're just getting in my grill. Like I said earlier, I just can't.

And wondering about how I'm going to change my outlook on the way I deal with anger in the future doesn't change the fact that I'm just really pissed off now. Right now. It doesn't change the fact that I'm angry at myself for not behaving differently, for not saying the things I wanted to say, for not doing the things I wanted to do. How I deal with people in the future doesn't solve the fact I'm bloody irate about things that happened in the past, and I feel like that right now.

With all respect due.

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Heather
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It's okay for you to say the things you are, IthilienDude, and I understand your frustration around them and the responses here.

But I'm afraid I just don't know what else we can offer you in regard to this, other than to just be a place, then, where you can say these things and where we can listen.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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domogneas91
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And unfortunately that is my problem: it doesn't matter what anyone says or does, I'm still as angry by then end of it as I was to start with. I just wished that the people I knew (myself included) had a better attitude when it comes to troubles of the heart. The Irish have some of the worst mental health in the world, and it makes like terrible frustrating at times.

I'm just so annoyed recently. I've been considering actions as drastic as leaving the country to get out of the predicament I'm in, but I realise that's just stupid. I'm at a loss at what to do; I spend my life in a state of constant stress. I'm never hungry, I'm never tired at night and never want to get up in the morning, I can never breathe properly and I feel at the verge of crying/breaking something at all times.

I hate being the dumpee. I wish I could've done the breaking-up and have been left with some shred of dignity and self-respect. I just feel like a pile of slag on a rubbish tip: unwanted, unneeded garbage. I was used to being the single loner for years and was okay with it, but I got too used to being somebody's somebody that I'm out of the practice of enjoying single-life. And I hate it, with every piece of my being.

Has my life really come to this? Where I have to go online and whinge at people I've never even met about how horrid my love-life is? Good God.

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