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Author Topic: I wish this would all end.
Silverwing
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I am recently on rocky grounds with my boyfriend of almost four years. Or it might be ex boyfriend now. I'm not too sure yet. I have been with him since I was 15. We've had out thick and thins and we used to fight a lot but now recently it's been absolutely bliss for all of us. But then we had what I consider a discussion and what he considers a fight and he just sort of felt that there was no future to it and it maybe should end.

I love him but I really want him to be happy. If he isn't going to be happy with me, I don't want to make him or pressure him to stay. The problem is, I feel so powerless and helpless. I have no close friends. I have distanced myself from all of them to make more time for him. And since I just started university with him, I didn't make any friends because (I know it is stupid) I thought we were going to be together forever. You know in a relationship how you can feel like this is the world, you can look into each other's eyes and know what they're thinking, you're so close you share anything? That's what it feels like for both of us.

We have our differences. A lot of them. Perhaps that is why it isn't working out. His family is very traditional and believes in same race marriages and I am not of the same race as him. But I am going off topic. I am just so sad that it's coming to an end. I can't cope with it. I have no one to turn to. I cry all the time. I have trouble eating and I'm having suicidal thoughts. I just want all of this to be over, I want the pain to stop. It feels like someone has died. Nothing will be the same again and everywhere is filled with memories of him. I can't even begin and I don't know how to begin to get rid of them. I wish life was normal but I have no motivation to do anything. I love reading and playing games and watching tv but I have no motivation to do any of it, not to mention doing so would bring up memories of him. In fact my hobbies all remind me of him.

I guess I have a habit of being depressed for a long time after a break up. After my last break up, a long time ago, I was not functional and cried for months after. I only stopped crying after I met him (the one I am talking about throughout the post), and I guess he sort of saved me. I wish I had the power to save myself.

I am so tired of crying and being sad. I'm tired of having my life turned upside down. Worst of all, I despair that I will have to spend my life alone. I am scared I am not good looking enough to be attractive, my teeth are all crooked. And all the men in my life that I have met for a long time now are not my type. I'm so tired of feeling bad about myself and thinking it's all my fault. And I am tired of missing him and being sad and not functional. I wish there was someone I could turn to for help. But there isn't anyone and I don't have money to pay for a therapist. I don't know what to do.

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Heather
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Is this the same person you had the breakup with in August?

And are you still at University now? Might one step you can take be to look into what support services -- groups and/or solo counseling -- your school offers?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Silverwing
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Yeah it's the same person. He didn't want to break up. He really wanted to stay with me, so I said okay and we got back together. We were doing so much better than before because I started to watch myself and change. But now I think he wants to leave me for good now. He's just tired of being in a relationship in general. It's his choice, I wish him happiness in the future but I am just having such a hard time dealing with it. I just feel like my world is coming to an end. I don't know how to live without someone to be there for me unconditionally I guess. I don't know how to stop grieving and move on. My university has counseling but they said they are too busy and only take emergency cases. I have some support from friends but they can't always be there for me you know what I mean? I have to learn to love myself and take care of myself and I don't know how. I am a little worried because I used to sleep like a baby but recently I toss and turn all night for a few hours of fitful sleep. I just can't force myself to eat and I can't do anything to pass time except sit and stare at the computer screen. I just wish I knew how to deal with this.
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eryn_smiles
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Edited- sorry.

[ 12-26-2009, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Heather
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I think, given how you're feeling, it would be sound to tell your uni that you *are* an emergency case right now.

As well, in times of big crisis, it really is okay to lean on our friends more than usual. You'd do the same for them, right? It's even okay to ask one or two friends if they can do things like stay with you for a little while, call to check in on you, etc.

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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Yeah I have asked a few of them to do that for me. I'm just so scared one day I'll kill myself on purpose or by accident. I don't want to do that for some reason. So I have asked them to watch out for me. I don't know why I am alive. You probably live for a lot of things, yourself, people who love you, things you love, things you have a passion about (like Scarleteen). I don't know why I'm alive. For the last four years, it's slowly been changing from living for me (being able to be happy, enjoy my life, etc.) do living for him. Before I do anything I think about how it would impact him. I don't do anything I like if it interferes with him. And I go out of my way to make him happy and comfortable. Also, it's just plain strange to not to go home to him or to talk to him everyday. I don't want to live for anyone but him. I don't know how and I don't know if I want to live for myself. And I am just so tempted to go out there and find someone, anyone, to love and to replace the hole he left, but I know that isn't smart. I don't know how to be happy anymore, I wish I did. Am I a selfish person?

[ 12-26-2009, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Silverwing ]

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Heather
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You know, I'll be blunt and say that I am not the best person here to talk to about suicidal feelings.

I was suicidal myself when I was in my teens, but then I had someone I loved very dearly suicide very violently, and both the fact of that and visually seeing the aftermath of that took the suicidal right out of me. But it also left me very easily emotionally triggered by talk of suicide, so it's just not something I can talk in an unbiased way about or personally do a good job counseling someone through.

That said, while other volunteers here can handle it better, suicide is a life-or-death issue, and that level of gravity isn't something we're equipped to handle at a website, period. So, my suggestion with those feelings is that again a) you make clear to your uni this IS an emergency case and get a counselor and b) you do a really truthful check-in with yourself right now. If suicide earnestly feels like somewhere you might go, our very best advice would be to walk yourself over to a hospital and make that clear to the intake desk and let them take it from there.

Okay?

I *can* talk to you about the other issues (which doesn't sound like selfishness to me, but rather, codependence, which isn't healthy, but a counselor can work with you on that, it's very common), though, but only so long as I/we know that you're not on the brink of offing yourself. If that's where you really are, what we want is for you to get yourself safe first, and come talk with us in terms of processing your breakup feelings later.

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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I am thinking about it. I don't know what to do. It hurts a lot for me and I just want it to end but at the same time I feel like I owe it to other people to continue living. I am really really scared. I feel like I don't have the courage to go on but just forcing myself to takes all my effort. He said he wouldn't be happy if I killed myself so that's why I keep telling myself to stop myself. I think it would help if I knew how to deal with my breakup. My ex is helping me through it. At the end of the day we are still very good friends. He's made it clear that he is going to be there for me as a friend and that we have no hopes of getting back together so I'm not still hoping. It's just so hard. Everything reminds me of him and what I can never have again. I know it's normal to cry and be a wreck but how do I just force myself to eat and sleep? And I feel so bad about myself. I think I blew any chance of being happy ever. I don't think I can ever find anyone as wonderful as him ever again. And it really bothers me how some of my friends aren't allowing me to grieve. They are perfectly willing to talk to me but they keep wanting me to not grieve. Ahh I don't know how to explain it. Thank you Heather for being so helpful in this tough time.
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Heather
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I'm happy to help, but I do really need you to hear me when I say I just can't talk with you about suicide, am not the right person to do it with, and really do not want to because it is exceptionally triggering for me.

If you DO feel that you are in that space, or need to keep talking about feeling suicidal, I really need you to both respect my boundaries in that AND take care of yourself too, okay?

So, since you brought it up again: do you earnestly feel at any risk of suicide? If you do, what I need you to do, and think would be best for you to do in the interest of self-preservation and well-being is to either call a suicide hotline now or to go to the ER.

Here's the national suicide hotline for you: 1-800-SUICIDE

Can you please do me a favor and either do one of those things for self-care, or, if you really are NOT in that space, can we stick to talking about your feelings here without talking about killing yourself or feeling like you may?

If you really no NOT feel in danger of suiciding, we can talk about these other things (like that you have every right to grieve and that that's totally normal after a hard breakup). But if you continue to mention it, not only can I simply not deal myself, I absolutely have to be responsible knowing our limits as an online service, period, and make clear you need to get the right kind of help with that first.

[ 12-26-2009, 10:49 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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I am so sorry Heather. I didn't mean to offend you or trigger your past experiences. Please forgive me. I would love for you to help me about other issues. But if you don't feel comfortable it's alright.
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orca
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Hi Silverwing. Heather had to step out and likely won't be back until tomorrow, but I'd be glad to talk with you, if that's okay. [Smile] First, I want to make sure you are safe. Do you have anyone with you at the moment? If not, can you call someone to come over? If you don't have anyone you can call to come over, then I urge you to call one of the numbers listed below or the number Heather gave you. Thoughts of suicide is not something we take lightly here (or at any good organization that cares about helping people) because we all understand the seriousness of the matter.

However, we also have many limitations in how well we can help someone who is having thoughts of suicide because we are an online-only service and most of us do not have specific training in crisis intervention. A few of us do, but even with that training, the internet does not lend itself to successfully helping someone in danger of harming themselves, so the best thing we can do, for your safety and wellbeing, to ensure that you are going to be cared for and receive the best possible care, is refer you to an outside hotline that can connect you to a local crisis center. We do this not because we are pushing you away, but because we earnestly want the best for you and know that we cannot provide help in this situation as well as a local hotline can.

You can call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or you can call any of these services in your area:
Community Mental Health Crisis Response Program
(serves North York and Etobicoke area)
2 Lansing Square, Ste. 600
Toronto ON M2J 4P8
Crisis: (416) 498-0043

Distress Centres Ontario
99 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 418
Toronto ON M6K 3J8
Phone: (416) 537-7373
http://www.dcontario.org

Gerstein Crisis Centre
100 Charles Street East
Toronto ON M4Y 1V3
Crisis: (416) 929-5200
Web Site http://www.gersteincentre.org

Toronto - Distress Centre
Box 243, Adelaide Post Office
Toronto ON M5C 2J4
Crisis: (416) 408-4357

Survivor Support Programme
Toronto ON M5G 1B1
Crisis: (416) 595-1716

Please, do call up a friend or one of those places. I'll still be here for a while tonight if you want to talk, but I do need to make sure you are safe first. Take gentle care, and please make that call. I understand it's difficult to do, but everyone of those places has trained and caring staff who want to help and listen and will not judge in any way.

[ 12-26-2009, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Silverwing
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I called a friend and they agreed to check in on me. Thank you and Heather both for taking a concern. I wouldn't do it now. I am at home with my family. I don't want them to see. I am trying to control my emotions. I am feeling a bit better after having a talk with my ex and discussing what we should do. It isn't right now I am worried about. When I get back to university, I lived with my ex for a long time in it, I don't know how that will affect me and if it will make it worse. I am looking up counseling services right now. I don't want this to continue, I want to be happy. But it's so hard to battle the negative feelings. I'm hanging in there.
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orca
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Okay, I'm very glad to hear that you have someone checking in on you. And that's terrific about the counseling services. The places I linked above may also be good to look at as some of them are not just for immediate crisis but also for longer term counseling. As for when you get back to uni, would it be possible for you to get a roommate? Might you have a girlfriend who could use a place to live anyway?

You say you are trying to control your emotions in front of your family. Is there a reason for that? What is your relationship like with your family? I ask because often family can be good to turn to for support in times like this, but I understand, too, if you feel your family would not be supportive (though if that's the case, I do wish it was different [Frown] ).

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Silverwing
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I can't get a roommate. I wish I could. I'm so afraid of being alone. When I am alone I start thinking of all sorts of crazy things and I torture myself with those thoughts. And I tend not to eat or sleep when I'm alone. But I can't. I live on residence and I have a single room. They have very strict rules about visitors and staying overnight. I used to be with my ex literally 24/7, I don't know how to live alone.

My family doesn't even know about him. I kept it a secret for four years. It's almost like a long distance relationship for the last three. I say almost because I got to see him everyday but it was always in public (school) and the most private thing we probably did was instant messaging. No phone calls, not many dates, nothing. It was really really hard not having either of our families accept us. And my family doesn't really believe in psychological needs. If they see that you are healthy you must have no problems. I grew up not going to my family for help in anything related to how I feel.

I am going to see a friend today. I am hoping that will help. It feels like no one but you guys understand what I am going through. If only I was functional, then it would be easier to deal with it. I just want a basic life back. I just want to be able to eat, sleep, and distract myself. But I don't know how.

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Heather
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Just FYI, you didn't offend me in any way: just trying to make clear what my own limits were. Alas, I'm not good at everything! [Smile]

So, here's the good news, and it is really good news: it seems to me that you sit at the apex, due to this circumstance, of being able to have a life and sense of sense that is likely to be happier than it's been in years once you work through this. Because even when you're with someone where there are good times, if it started in codependence and stayed in codependence (which seems to be the case), then you could have only been so happy. If you can start to ditch that, you're going to be a lot happier, both without a relationship or with one, whenever you're in your next one.

That said, when did this breakup happen? In the last few days or weeks?

If so, take your grieving time. Yes, when we're grieving things like sleeping and eating right are hard, but that's okay. We'll cry a lot: also okay. We'll feel like crap: okay, too. It is all temporary, even though when we're in it, it can feel like it will never stop. But it will stop in time, I promise.

In terms of dealing with the eating issue, go and get yourself some smoothies from the store. Even if eating real food is tough, if you stay hydrated, and get some basic nutrients, you can have the basics covered, and drinking is often easier than eating when you're deeply upset. Can you do that?

What's your grieving process been like so far? How long ago was the breakup? What are you doing for yourself to help process your feelings? Are you writing them out, for instance? Doing any kind of creative work?

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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I am feeling better today. I made the realization about the codependence with my friend that I went to see. I am starting to see my life in a new light. I haven't been nice to myself in so long. I don't remember the last time I did anything for myself. I sort of realize now that I was always wanting to do something but I always put it aside for him and now I finally have time to get to know myself and I guess, have fun. I'm still scared as hell because I have no idea where my life is going but I wonder how I could ever have thought about just throwing my life away. I'm starting to see the positives instead of the negatives. I'm going to miss the codependence. The fact that he was always there for me and vice versa, but I guess I realize that people have to learn to be independent as well.

The breakup happened on Christmas day. It was a horrible time to have broken up. I am having a lot of trouble even enjoying my holidays now. What is the worst is that my birthday is in a few days. But I guess that is better than him having to pretend to enjoy the relationship for me. So I am glad we broke up as soon as he didn't want the relationship anymore.

The smoothies are a great idea. I am really having trouble eating but drinking is much easier. And the best part is my school offers fresh made smoothies of your choosing so I can live off of that for awhile.

My grieving process had been a bit strange. Sometimes, like right now, I feel almost okay, but sometimes I just get into this slump and I can't do anything. I am talking to my friends about my feelings. I'm trying to go through the pros and cons of the relationship, figuring out what I did wrong and what I did right. I find that I am having trouble writing. I used to do poetry writing all the time and story writing and stuff. I was going to be a writer. But it made me really depressed and anxious so I haven't written anything creative in a few years. I am mostly trying to do mindless things to distract myself.

I am actually a little worried. The male friend that I saw today. He was very helpful and sort of help me realize life is worth living. He shared his experiences with me and I felt like I wasn't alone. But the problem is, when he tried to hug me to comfort me, I was extremely uncomfortable. I felt like I wanted to run away. Like I was just scared I think. Not really but sort of, I don't know how to explain it. I have never had a problem with this before. I have always been a very physical person. I showed affection physically to my friends like hugging and stuff all the time, male or female. But lately, ever since he broke up with me I have been avoiding physical contact for some reason. With my family and now with this friend. I don't understand why it would scare me. Is there something wrong with me?

[ 12-27-2009, 01:02 PM: Message edited by: Silverwing ]

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Heather
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Okay, so it's only been a few days: of COURSE you're still feeling like a wreck, seriously. On top of everything else. I'd be sure to cut yourself a break. It would be mighty soon to magically have it all together and processed at this point.

And for sure, for people who do holidays, breakups on or around holidays are often doubly painful.

Can we perhaps talk about what codependence is? It sounds like you're saying it was a good thing: in the way I was framing it and you were describing it in terms of your previous relationship (not your friendships, which I don't know anything about), it isn't, and it's not the same as coexistence or love or sharing a life together? Codependence isn't mutual interdependence. When we have the former, for sure, we're there for each other, we love being together, but our well-being is not dependent on the other person's well-being: our lives are shared independent lives, not lives that feel like they don't exist without the other person.

Your grief process here doesn't sound strange to me at all, but it DOES sound like now would be a great time to pick up paper and pen again (or keyboard, whichever) and start writing. Try not to go to an analytical place where you think/write about what anyone did wrong or right with the relationship, but instead, try and just write out your feelings right now (one of which may be "I can't stop analyzing what was done wrong or right.").

It's okay not to want physical affection sometimes, for any reason or no reason. Even for those of us who are normally very touchy-feely people (I hear you, me too), there can be times when we just don't want to be touched and when physical affection doesn't feel good to us emotionally or physically.

[ 12-27-2009, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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Heather, can you explain what codependence is? I still don't really understand that and the difference between a normal relationship. We enjoy each other's company immensely but sometimes I really feel like I can't exist without him. We do everything together and make most of the decisions in our life together. Or I guess that should have been past tense. I am having trouble remembering it is all over now. That morning he was telling me he loves me, then boom it suddenly ends. I really want to have a healthy relationship with someone in the future but I don't know if I am capable or I know how.
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Heather
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Feeling like you can't exist without someone is one very big tacit of codependence. It's one thing to really want someone in your life, to share your lives, but it's something else to feel as if you cannot have a life or do not exist without someone else.

This is a pretty good page on codependent relationships: http://psychcentral.com/library/id63.html

Why don't you have a look at it, and then we can talk some more okay?

--------------------
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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Silverwing
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After reading the article, I understand a little better but I am still a little confused. I can say I sort of fit the mold of being codependent but I am not sure he does. He never really needed me in the sense that he couldn't live without me, more like I needed him. I sort of fit the whole I-need-to-save-him thing. But he didn't really need saving. It was more like I wish he needed me to save him. I guess I do have a problem. I remember feeling like I just wish someone would love me and would appreciate me. And also wishing that I was needed. I never really know whether or not why I live. And it's become a really bad habit. My last relationship was like this too, long long ago. I seem to have developed a habit of this since my early teens. I am not sure why I do it. I wish I knew.
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Heather
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One person can be codependent without the other being so.

A counselor can help you through things like this, including helping you to identify some of the roots of this pattern (though you say your family doesn't recognize psychological needs: if that's so, that may very well be part of this) and then helping you develop skills and tools to change it.

It might help to recognize that if love isn't elective, if it's required, or based on a need-to-survive more than a desire to care, to love and be loved, to do any loving we do because we WANT to, because it enhances (rather than renders valid or makes) our lives and that of others...well, it may not be love at all. Without a level of freedom to love, we really can't love, if you get me. And if we're in a modality which is about surviving, rather than about thriving (get the difference?), it's going to be tough for anyone else to really be able to love us, either, particularly when we're not talking about parent-child relationships.

Let's say he needed saving, and you DID "save" him: what would that, in your mind, have said about you? How would that earnestly have benefitted you or a relationship you, presumably, would have wanted to be about someone choosing to be with you, rather than feeling like they had to be with you to save or be saved? Perhaps more to the point, how do any of us benefit if we are "saved" by someone else without that saving really being about learning to save ourselves?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Silverwing
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I don't really understand everything you said but I am going to read it a few times and think about it. Are you saying that what I feel for him isn't love but rather the need for him to need me? I don't know if it is entirely true. It may be. I just feel like it's both. I do have the need for him to need me, but also I really do want him to be happy. If he is happier off not needing me, then I would rather he didn't need me. I don't know how to explain, I think it's a mix of both. Sometimes one wins and sometimes the other wins.

When a relationship ends, is it okay to be sad that he doesn't love me anymore? It just makes me sad that he doesn't love me anymore. I thought he was the constant force in my life, someone who was always there for me and always will be. But it's different. I feel like the old him has died and I miss the old him so much. I know in my heart that its over and we won't get back together but I just wish it didn't have to end. I know it's wrong, I know I should be happy that he's better off without me, but I don't understand how someone can love me one day and not love me the next. I know people change and they have the right to love me or to not love me but I guess I just don't understand the suddenness of it.

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Heather
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I'm not saying it's necessarily one or the other. But the idea that we don't exist without someone else, for instance, isn't about love. Same goes with a feeling that someone has to need us to love us, or conflating (when we are) feeling we need someone to be in a certain relationship to us with love. That's about dependence or codependence.

Did he say he didn't love you anymore?

In other words, I didn't hear you say he did in any of this up until now, but rather, that he didn't want to be in this relationship with you anymore. Not wanting to be in a certain relationship with someone isn't always about not loving them. We can sometimes still love someone plenty, but know or feel a given relationship isn't what's best for us, them or both of us.

Just one thing, it doesn't sound to me like this was all that sudden: in August, for instance, you were breaking up with him, and you've said here that there have been some conflicts for some time, no?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Silverwing
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We have traditionally had our fair share of fights for the last four years. Up until recently though we have worked through them with the mentality that we were working towards a future together. In August, it was the first time he changed his mind and thought it wouldn't work out. And that's why he wanted to break up. So then I was sad and even more of a wreck than I am now. But then about a week to two weeks later, he suddenly wanted to be together again. I was confused but I was really happy so I said okay. The past four months has been really wonderful. At the beginning, in the first month, we did fight a little, but as time went on the fights really lessened. For the last month or so we didn't fight at all. Maybe I am biased but it really looked to me like he was very happy with me. I don't know how to explain it but when I do something that makes him laugh or smile it reached his eyes, you know what I mean? I tried so hard to make him happy. I am depressed sometimes and sometimes I am very unreasonable and it makes him unhappy, but I really made a conscious effort not to be. It didn't always work but I was a lot more reasonable and less depressed. But then on Christmas day I was trying to discuss something with him over instant messaging but it somehow escalated into a fight. I didn't think it was a fight until he mentioned it. I guess that's how misunderstandings over instant messaging starts. But I see his point. We are very different, and sometimes you can't work through those differences with love. Sometimes people just aren't right together I guess. I don't know how to explain it. Since August, I have been afraid of us breaking up, but after the last month, I haven't been afraid anymore. I thought things were getting better. I guess that is what shocked me.

I guess I see his point though. The relationship made him weary. He is tired of the obligations and responsibilities of a boyfriend anymore. Like he's not trying to avoid responsibility, he's just tired of them. And I understand that we are still young, it's natural for him to want to explore and not settle down. I think that's fine but I don't know. I just feel so sad sometimes because I feel like I am not wanted anymore and I don't know what I did wrong. And I feel like, even though I tried so hard to make it work, it still didn't work. So no matter how hard I try in the future, it still won't work. Do you believe me, I really did try my best even though I know I am not the best person and I do have my problems like the codependence stuff. I really did try to make him happy.

I just don't see a great future for myself anymore. I know it isn't about trust, he didn't betray my trust, but I still find it hard for me to trust other people in the future. I know it's too early to speak of the future, it's not here yet, but I just feel like I don't want to trust anyone anymore. I don't know how and I don't know if I want to open up to anyone again. And I have seen most people around me go through boyfriend after boyfriend and they just keep getting hurt. I don't want to get hurt anymore. I know it gets easier and when the time comes, I probably won't be able to resist liking someone, but I really don't want to get hurt again.

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Heather
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Just so you know, I'm heading offline, but I'd like to leave you with some things to think about that I think might help:

• How many people have betrayed your trust? Family, friends, etc? Has this person actually done so? When you say you can't trust people, do you really mean you can't trust them, or do you mean you can't rely on them to stay in the kind of relationship with you that you want them to be in with you? In other words, are we really talking about trust here, or more about a fear of being alone or not in a romantic relationship?

• You say you don't see a great future for yourself anymore. Can I ask what your vision of your future was before? Can I also ask how parts of your future -- your schooling, life goals, jobs, friends, communities, creative work, hobbies, taking care of your own basic care-and-feeding of yourself every day -- have much, if anything, to do with a romantic relationship?

• Can you recognize -- and I know, it's not pleasant or easy -- that if we put all or most of our energy into trying to make someone else happy, rather than just being ourselves and being happy, supporting them in their happiness, and being happy together without really trying too hard, that people (including ourselves) aren't actually very likely to really BE happy? And perhaps also recognize that it seems possible that at least some of the "trying to make him happy" may have instead been "trying to make him stick around" or "trying to make him love/accept/want to be with me?"

(By the way, can I ask that we make an agreement for you to try hard not to say things like how you're "not the best person"? I don't see any evidence that you're not being a good person or haven't been, and we ALL have our issues, gal, I assure you. Doesn't make us substandard or not good people. And even totally amazing, great people who really have their you-know-what together have relationships end, change or find that a given relationship just didn't work out like they wanted. For real.)

[ 12-27-2009, 08:29 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Silverwing
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I can think of a few people who have betrayed my trust. My family has. I know they didn't mean to but a lot of the times they would tell all of our family friends intimate details about me. And I'm not talking about silly things kids they do when they're young. Sometimes they'd talk about my bathroom habits and stuff to other people right in front of me. A lot of the time that I needed my family, be it when I am sick or just unhappy, they haven't really been there for me. I remember my family yelling at me when I am sick, blaming it all on me and stuff. When I was younger, we had a lot of family friends. We used to do pretty well financially, not rich but middle class, and they used to be very nice to us, and to me. But my parents told me not to trust them because they were just using me and pretending to be nice to me to get on my parents' good side. And when we ended up doing poorly financially, they did stop coming to see us or call. I was pretty young then so that sort of shook me up a bit and made me feel bad about myself because I thought they did like me. I never did totally believe my parents when they said those family friends didn't care about me but I never not believed them either. And then there were the whole bunch of friends who told my secrets to other people. Not all of my friends treated me badly but some did betray my trust. And then I was bullied by my friends when I was younger, I don't really want to talk about it but I talked about it in August. And a lot of the times my friends have let me down when I needed them. I know everyone has their own lives to deal with. I understand no one can be with me 24/7, but trying to cope with the break up is very hard and the friends who said they would check up on me really never did. I know they didn't mean to not check up on me and maybe they have something of their own to deal with but I don't know what to think anymore. And I know I haven't always been the perfect friend either, I did distance some of them because of my ex boyfriend. But I have tried as much as I can to be there for my friends when they needed me. I didn't always hang out with them but when they needed me I always put them before my boyfriend. I suppose I can understand why they don't feel the urge to help me through this, it's my own fault. But I just wish I didn't get this double whammy.

I guess I see your point about my future. My whole future was centered around a romantic relationship. The ex boyfriend in question, I have always pictured my life with him. I went to this university because of him (I know it wasn't the smartest choice to make but I really don't regret it. I don't exactly like it but I made the decision and I might as well make the best of it.), I think about working in the same field as him, having similar groups of friends, etc. Anything you can think of about my future basically included him. I changed everything I liked to do to everything he liked to do. The upside is I am pretty sure he enjoyed a lot of the things we did together and I did too. But the downside is now I don't really know who I am and what I live for anymore. I guess I owe myself an apology. And I know, probably the next relationship I have, if I ever, will end up going down the same path. I don't know what's wrong with me, I don't know why I am so dependent on romantic relationships.

I know I wasn't really happy about the sacrifices I was making. But I wasn't too unhappy either. More like a little unhappy. But I really was happy that he was happy. I think that may have been the problem. I did too much, like I tried to hard to make him happy. It was out of balance to him and he wasn't comfortable with that. I guess I see your point. I will also admit a small part of it was that I thought, if I made him really really happy he will want to be with me. But honestly, when I make him happy, whether it involves me sacrificing or not, it made me really really happy to see him happy. It was like when he is happy, I'm happy.

Edit: I read my post again after posting it. I sort of realized something. I sort of always thought to myself, without realizing it, that I couldn't depend on my family, couldn't depend on my friends, all I had was myself. And that made me lonely. I just really wanted to find someone to love me unconditionally. I am sure my parents love me and my friends care about me at some level but I just wanted someone I could always depend on. And I always thought, if I love someone a lot, maybe, just maybe they will love me back the same way. And I really do think that one person would be enough for me. But the problem is I think that is too much and too unfair to ask of anyone. No one should be asked to or be obligated to carry the responsibility of my well-being except for me. I'm sorry. Realizing this really hurts. I feel like I'm all alone in the world. I just really really want someone to love me.

[ 12-27-2009, 09:10 PM: Message edited by: Silverwing ]

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Heather
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(Silverwing, was just checking in before I was all-the-way gone for the day. I think these are really good thoughts, and I'm really glad, even if they're hard, you have had them.

I'll check back in Tuesday, but another volunteer or two probably will, too. Hang in there, okay? Do some more of the grieving you need, but maybe in the next day or so, too, you can see if you also can't allow yourself a few moments to try and really start seeing what YOUR -- not you only with someone else -- future could look like, what you want it to look like, what might be in it you didn't even think that much about before. I think it would be good to start doing, and a nice breather from your sadder moments.)

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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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Silverwing
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Thank you Heather and thank you Scarleteen for being here for me. I really have no one else now.

This isn't related to your post but I just suddenly thought of something. My mother and my grandmother before her and basically all the women in my family, they all live as if their husband was their world. I mean of course they also think about themselves, but it's mainly about their husband. I've been taught when I was young that a woman's happiness is dependent on her future job and future husband. That she should put his needs above hers and serve him and take care of him. There are also certain things that the husband is expected to do but I never got that lesson. I thought it was a bunch of hooey when I was younger but maybe I took heed of more than I thought. It is all that my female role models did.

And it's a bit painful to think about my future right now but I will try over the next little while.

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Ecofem
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Hi Silverwing,

Heather's out today but I wanted to come by to say something, if that's ok. [Smile]

Breakups are so incredibly hard, especially when the relationship was so complicated in many ways. I wish you didn't feel so alone because you're certainly not even if it feels this way right now! I am positive that, with time, this whole experience will become empowering to you: you'll be able to see it as an opportunity rather than the grave loss it feels like right now. And honestly there's nothing wrong with feeling the loss right now: it's important to give yourself the time and space to grieve, although I would say that it'll get easier with time, even if there are still little tremors after the big earthquake. When I was in high school, I spent a few months in a relationship where I was separated from the person but kept seeing him until I finally ended it: it was so incredibly hard because it was just so complex emotionally. I was dealing with not just my feelings for my then-partner but other aspects of my personal and home life. (and I didn't actually love him even, believe it or not! I went through all that for reasons I'm not even sure myself.)

I think your reflection about your mother and your grandmother is incredibly insightful and very pertinent. I agree that while we may outwardly reject something we experience growing up, we can also internalize so much without even realizing it. This can work in interesting ways: for example, a friend of mine is a really excellent artist. Her father is an architect, someone big on exact calculations, perfect right angles and what have you. She's did not like that style and worked very hard to separate herself from that and create a unique style as an artist. Ironically, outsiders find her work to be quite mathematical or exact, a bit like that of an architect! In the end, it's all good: she's found that separation but it's also ok for her work to have that influence in it. We can't control what happened in our past but we can work on how we process it, keeping the good, rejecting the bad, and working through everything.

In terms of thinking about your future, you don't need to do anything immediate but I'll ask it again in a more specific way: What do you enjoy doing? What have you wanted to do but haven't had the time? It can be big things like "climb Everest!" or more everyday stuff (because that's really what life mostly is, the little things and the everyday things) like drinking coffee and reading your favorite blogs. Toronto's a neat city that I've always wanted to visit; I know there's a lot to do there even if you're a bit farther out in the suburbs. What's something or a some place you'd like to visit (or enjoy visiting?) Lastly, how are you involved on campus? If I understand correctly, you're living at home and attending university as a bad student?

Before I go, I want to share two articles with you. [Smile] Please check them out if you're interested and let me know what you think.
Boys DO Cry: How To Deal With A Breakup Like A Man
To Be... AWESOME or Just Be –– Tips on Making the Most of Your Life Right Now!

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Silverwing
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The second article hit somewhere close to home and it made me cry. A lot of it sounded like my life a lot. I don't know what to think about it, so I will probably sleep on it. Today I am feeling more hopeful. I know life looks bleak to me and I feel so scared about being alone. But I really want to try. I remember who I was before I got into this relationship. I don't know if I was necessarily a better person but I liked myself a lot more. I want to like myself again. I want to be happy with myself and my life. I thought about my future. I set a few goals or I dunno visions I guess.

I want to eat right and sleep right. Maybe I will even take up exercising if I find the willpower to do it. I want to stop crying myself to sleep and feel alone or insecure. I know that happens to the best of us during some parts of our lives but I feel like I have been doing it excessively. I want to take care of my sexuality. I don't want anyone I know to take advantage of me at this vulnerable time. I want to take some time alone in my room when I get back to university because that space is mine. I want to grieve and just get it all out. I want to go shopping and buy a lot of nice clothes and make myself happier by looking nicer. I want to play pool and ping pong with my ex and learn how to play better. I don't want to study at all but I would like better grades so I will try to study more.

I don't know what long term is like. I don't even know what I want in a long term. Despite everything you have said, I still really really want someone to be my everything eventually. But I know that might not be very healthy so I am thinking about it.

In terms of the university thing. I go away to a town about an hour to two hours drive away from where I live. I have a single room there inside the university. I like it but it contains too many memories of me and him and it hurts me to think about all the good times right now. I do not have very many friends and even less I can turn to for support. I am very thankful my ex is being there for me. We are supporting each other through it. We are drawing boundaries and redefining our friendship. I know everyone says it's not good to rush into a friendship right away but we have always been the best of friends and I just feel so comfortable with him and he feels the same. We have sort of been moving towards friendship for awhile now subconsciously. Like being with him got a lot less couple-like and more neutral. And we understand that things absolutely cannot go back to the way it was anymore so there isn't really a possibility of getting back together.

[ 12-29-2009, 12:11 AM: Message edited by: Silverwing ]

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Ecofem
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Hi Silverwing [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Silverwing:
The second article hit somewhere close to home and it made me cry. A lot of it sounded like my life a lot. I don't know what to think about it, so I will probably sleep on it. Today I am feeling more hopeful. I know life looks bleak to me and I feel so scared about being alone. But I really want to try. I remember who I was before I got into this relationship. I don't know if I was necessarily a better person but I liked myself a lot more. I want to like myself again. I want to be happy with myself and my life. I thought about my future. I set a few goals or I dunno visions I guess.

I'm glad that you found the article insightful but I'm also sorry that it brought up such hard feelings! (I'm actually its author so I certainly can relate to it, too. Fortunately, my life has had many positive developments and experiences since the hardest time in my life but life always has its good and bad.)

You are definitely the person you were before, the person you've always been, but with more experience that, be they hard or unhappy now, also make you a stronger person. I really like the goals and visions you've set for yourself and mentioned here. [Smile]

quote:
I want to eat right and sleep right. Maybe I will even take up exercising if I find the willpower to do it. I want to stop crying myself to sleep and feel alone or insecure. I know that happens to the best of us during some parts of our lives but I feel like I have been doing it excessively. I want to take care of my sexuality.
These can all be done although some sooner than others, I think. The crying bit can happen over time but per eating, for example, you can start by eating breakfast (like a smoothie!) or getting a veggie or fruit you like (I like bell peppers and melon) to each meal. And when you don't feel it one day, don't get down yourself but just do it next time. [Smile] You can try going to sleep a little earlier (ha, this never works for me) or taking a nap during the day. You could mix up your sleep routine by reading before bed or listening to music or something else. You can try out a group or two at university when you get back or even just chat with a classmate more before or after class, etc. when it comes to meeting more people.

I especially like your sexuality goal. Have you seen this article yet? It's one of my favorites! 10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

quote:
I don't want anyone I know to take advantage of me at this vulnerable time. I want to take some time alone in my room when I get back to university because that space is mine. I want to grieve and just get it all out. I want to go shopping and buy a lot of nice clothes and make myself happier by looking nicer. I want to play pool and ping pong with my ex and learn how to play better. I don't want to study at all but I would like better grades so I will try to study more.
These also sound great: How do you think you can work on the vulnerability bit? What are some concrete things you think you could do? Who are some people you might want to avoid?

I'm glad you can see some positives about returning to uni and I'm with you on that alone time in your own personal space. Grieving is a good goal! As long as you have the means to do the shopping and not go into debt or what not, I agree that focusing on your appearance (in a good ways!) by mixing up outfits or trying out new styles can be really beneficial. My dad used to say "looking good is better than feeling good" and while that's baloney on the surface, it does bring up a few valid points: even if you're feeling bad on the inside, if you're feeling good about yourself on the outside, like by wearing an outfit that you feel really comfortable in, can help make you feel better inside. Some people may reach for the sweats when they are on their periods, which is obviously totally fine, but I like to maybe even dress up a little more!

Ping pong and pool are fun and good things to learn. Getting into your classes and studying more is always positive: if your university has a study center or academic resource center, you could even look into there for some support from the start.

quote:
I don't know what long term is like. I don't even know what I want in a long term. Despite everything you have said, I still really really want someone to be my everything eventually. But I know that might not be very healthy so I am thinking about it.
You have so many good goals for now, you can just focus on those for awhile and see how you're feeling and what you're wanting with time. As for the relationship bit, I think that's some good, honest reflection there even if it's a bit hard to swallow. Heather's given you some good resources on co-dependence and a counselor will be able to help you determine the difference between sharing a life with someone and being co-dependent. To give you some perspective, I love my boyfriend and enjoy it when we're together almost 24/7 (we're in a long-distance relationship most of the time, for some perspective. [Wink] ) We share pretty much everything, share in the good and support each other through challenges. However, we also have our own lives and interests and friends and work, even if they intersect in many ways. You can have a partner whom you love and want to be with in a healthy way (I believe my boyfriend and I have this) and a counselor can help you work out how to do this! [Smile] I think it's also hard if not impossible to have a healthy relationship with positive boundaries when you and your ex were so restricted; it's one thing when you're living on your own and your family disapproves but another when you're dealing with disapproval, lack of freedom, and maybe even sort of believing in what they say (I'm speaking about your boyfriend and his parents here.) Also, while it may not seem like it now, a healthy positive relationship feels even better, I mean, WAY better than what you and your boyfriend have experienced. I don't mean to disrespect or take away from your relationship; I am positive that you two shared many wonderful things and moments and you'll always have those memories. But I also believe that a healthier relationship where you have the freedom to be together if and when you want will feel even better. (I know this firsthand. [Wink] )

quote:
In terms of the university thing. I go away to a town about an hour to two hours drive away from where I live. I have a single room there inside the university. I like it but it contains too many memories of me and him and it hurts me to think about all the good times right now.
Thanks for clarification: now I remember more from reading above! Why not take some of that money and effort you'd spend on clothes and put it on your room? Whether it's just rearranging furniture or getting a new bedspread, such little-big things can help a lot. And I'm sure that eventually you'll be able to remember the good times without it becoming too painful.

quote:
I do not have very many friends and even less I can turn to for support. I am very thankful my ex is being there for me. We are supporting each other through it. We are drawing boundaries and redefining our friendship. I know everyone says it's not good to rush into a friendship right away but we have always been the best of friends and I just feel so comfortable with him and he feels the same. We have sort of been moving towards friendship for awhile now subconsciously. Like being with him got a lot less couple-like and more neutral. And we understand that things absolutely cannot go back to the way it was anymore so there isn't really a possibility of getting back together.
I think it's very good for you to recognize that you two won't or can't or shouldn't be getting back together and I agree that moving towards friendship can happen already during a relationship. Of course, we'd recommend giving each other some time and space before switching to such an intense platonic friendship, but it's really up to you and what you're comfortable with. We certainly don't want you to feel totally alone, which you aren't! Working on expanding your circle of friends when you get back-- or even now, such as by sending some acquaintances little messages you're thinking of them or what not, like asking if they want to get coffee or a meal together when you get back-- is a way to start doing that now. I'd also look into making an appointment at your university counseling center when you get back, even if it means being on a waiting list for awhile, is another important step.

I wish you all the best. I know it's hard but it sounds like you've already come very far. I wish you a very good new year! [Smile]

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Silverwing
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It will be harder for me to make new friends. I'm not a shy person really, but just stepping outside my comfort zone, that first step, is hard. I will try my best though.

I don't know how I can work on the vulnerability bit. I know I don't want to rush into another relationship, I will just bring in the negative feelings from this one into the next one. I have sexual needs but I think I am going to stay away from any sort of romantic or sexual partners and take this time to heal and get to know who I am as a person better. There is this one person, friend I guess, of mine I want to avoid in particular. He's always gotten too close to me physically for comfort when he talks to me and hinted at the possibility of sex even while I was involved with my ex. I don't want to say he creeps me out but he creeps me out and I don't want emotional trauma on top of emotional trauma. But, in these situations, sometimes it's hard to tell if someone genuinely cares or they just want to sleep with you.

I think in the future I am going to enter into relationships that have parental blessing. I think it's one thing for them to disagree and for you to try to prove that you are trustworthy, but another thing altogether for them to hate you and not want you for their son at all. I dunno race or background doesn't matter to me really but I want a set of at least accepting parents. I think at the very least they do not have to like me, but we have to agree to disagree and try not to be biased against each other.

I am definitely going to go in to try to see the counselors when I get back. And I am also going to take care of my health by getting some long needed dental work done. I can't promise anyone that I'll always take care of myself and always put myself first but I am going to try my best.

Thank you Scarleteen. I look back and I can't believe I ever wanted to kill myself. I feel like my life deserves a chance and I deserve to make myself happy. Happy new year!

Posts: 53 | From: Toronto | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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