T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 30102
posted 09-23-2009 02:39 AM
Excuse the long rant...but any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. I feel I need to let this out because I can't talk to anyone about this.
Ever since I broke up with my long-term abusive boyfriend in April, I feel like all I have been doing is falling into some sort of downward spiral. During the summer I thought I was happy and so I partied-a lot. There were many times when it got out of hand, and I cannot tell you how many times that I had been drinking so much to the point of vomiting. Every time I would drink, I did not stop until I was sick. Along with the heavy drinking I got more into drugs, and would do them often. I think I started to have less of an appetite, and I believe I lost a little weight. I am petite enough as it is, but right now I think I weigh around 88 pounds and I'm 21 years old. I didn't think it would take this long for me to heal from my abusive past from my ex, although, we were dating off and on for 8 years and I practically grew up with him. I learned from someone that he already has a new girlfriend (which is kinda funny because she looks quite similar to me actually). I can't help but feel sorry for her because I know that she is probably just the rebound girlfriend. It just hurts a little because it's like he's not the least bit sorry for how he treated me. There is something different about me, I noticed that I am quick to anger now, and I am quite lonely (although I do have a number of guys who would like to be with me) but I am hateful and bitter. I don't want to be close to anyone. And actually, I think I am starting to treat the guys I am with like shit. Well maybe not, but I use them to get what I want without the intention of being with them. In fact, I am quite resentful of my close girl friends because all of them are relationships with someone, and I actually hate that. It's like I'm thinking that since they are young like me that they should be single like me and not care about relationships with guys (like me). But I know that's not the case and that is just only the way I feel and so I feel alone. I am thinking that since I don't want to be attached to anyone, that casual sex is not a bad idea. I almost think that it would make me feel happy, as if it's a way to help me forget about my ex. I hate him so much. I hate myself for being so stupid, depressed and for wasting years of my time with this person. I am lost and I think I need help.
Member # 3
posted 09-23-2009 11:52 AM
Oracle: can I ask what you have been doing for yourself to facilitate your healing? In other words, have you sought out and engaged in any kind of counseling, including getting help for your binge drinking and drug use? Have you also checked in with your general doctor about your physical health?
I disagree that with the way you're feeling, sex is some kind of answer, and it also doesn't sound to me like you're in a healthy place to be sexual with other people right now, either. And sex with others doesn't tend to heal wounds from abuse, nor is using sex as a way to "forget" likely to be helpful. From the sounds of things, too, your ability to make choices in alignment with self-care is so impaired that adding casual sex unto the bill here is probably more likely to create additional self-destruction than anything else.
Member # 37835
posted 09-23-2009 01:23 PM
I want to strongly second Heather's encouragement to seek out counseling and hold off on casual sex. One additional thing that I want to stress is that your response is quite normal for someone who has just gotten out of a long term relationship. While it sounds to me like you definitely need help to deal with what's going on with you, your drinking, and your reaction to other men. I found that developing a strong community of women around me was very important to me when I got out of an abusive relationship, precisely because I found myself not trusting any men at all. It's okay to take some time when you don't spend much social time around men, particularly if you feel like those interactions are not healthy for you or them. Its completely okay to not want relationships right now, too (trust me, I sure as hell went through a phase of that. Again, it's normal). Coming here and pointing out that you think you need help is a good first step. Do you need help finding counseling resources in your area? Also, I'll second Heather again on this: You should also really check in with a regular doctor about your weight and substance use problems. 88 pounds does not sound like a healthy weight, pretty much no matter what your height is.
Member # 30102
posted 09-23-2009 04:08 PM
Heather: No, I have not gone to any counseling because I didn't think I had a problem. When I started drinking heavily and using drugs I thought I was just having 'fun'. I have not gone to a doctor either. What I did to help the healing process was that I talked to those closest to me about my situation with my ex and they were supportive of me. I am also an artist so I would spend a lot of time painting and drawing as a way to relieve stress, anger, and other negative feelings, and I still do that now. I've also been doing little things like looking nice when I go out in public and I'm thinking about changing my hairstyle. But that's all I've been doing to help me heal from that relationship.
atm1: Thanks for your supportive words. I hadn't thought about developing a strong community of women because while I do have girl friends, most of my closest friends are guys, and my best girl friend goes to university somewhere else. I will try to do that. To be honest, I don't really want to go to counseling. I know that I have a problem but I don't want to make a huge issue of it, and frankly I am embarrassed to be suffering so much because of my abusive ex. I am just hesitant. I'm just not sure what to do. Also, I've always had an issue with gaining weight, but I would like to. I really did think that I lost a little weight though. For now, I am going to try to stop drinking heavily and using drugs. I don't know what to do, maybe I just need more time to heal..
Member # 3
posted 09-23-2009 04:14 PM
I hope I can be frank and that you can understand what I'm saying is coming from a place and care.
Looking at what's been going on, I personally would not be comfortable suggesting you just give things more time. It simply seems way too possible that in that time, you could do yourself some serious harm. And if the binge drinking continues, not only do you risk VERY serious health consequences every time, in short order -- if not already -- you're going to have alcoholism as something to deal with too, something few people can manage without real help. I feel all the more strongly about that given how until now you didn't even conceive of what you were doing as being both dangerous AND a barrier to healing. In other words, as an advocate, as someone who runs an org that is supposed to be about doing what we can to help any of our users either stay or get healthy, I think counseling sounds absolutely essential for you now, and I don't suspect time without that is going to result in much. At best, I think that time will result in a neutral result, not a positive one, but it seems likely enough to present dangers I'd not advise keeping from counseling and other healthcare any further. By all means -- and as an artist myself, I get it -- working through your feelings with your art is going to help. So is talking to friends. But what those things, or haircuts or looking nice cannot do is help you develop good coping tools, as well as any guidance in HOW to process all of this. That's what a professional is for. I'd also like to point out that if and when we get into and stay in abusive relationships, we know there's something up with us in the FIRST place, if you catch my drift. In other words, we probably needed some counseling BEFORE those relationships; some help with ourselves and our lives before that happened, which is often some of why we find ourselves in them to begin with. So, I do think it's clear you have some problems you need help with now, but I suspect you've probably needed counseling help for longer than you've realized. In fact, as far back as 2007, you'd posted here saying you had a pattern of others walking all over you, something counseling then likely could have helped with (usually that's a mater of learning to be assertive and assert limits and boundaries, and an inability to do that can make people especially vulnerable to abuse). Can I ask why you feel such a strong need to avoid counseling and a visit to your doctor? What are your fears around those things? [ 09-23-2009, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]
Member # 30102
posted 09-27-2009 04:42 AM
Serious harm? I can't imagine what I could do. It feels like I am at my lowest point right now.
I never thought I needed counseling. But I remember that in my younger years I was painfully shy and would not defend myself and I had low self esteem. I had a really hard time talking to people. It's also hard to tell if I have an alcohol problem. I don't know because it's not affecting my everyday activities, but I do feel that once I start drinking I slip into some sort of deep depression once in a while, and I get angry with others and I keep most of it inside but I do sometimes end up saying something stupid or hurtful to those who I am supposed to care about... The reason I think I want to avoid counseling is just a matter of pride, or something like that. I feel that if I go, that I am letting my ex 'win' in some sort of way because it would seem like he was successful in tearing me apart and I don't want people to know that I was so weak and stupid. I'm supposed to be happy without him, and I have been for the most part, but I am suffering so much and I don't know why. Of course, I never want to see or hear from him again, so I don't have to worry about getting back together with him. I want to avoid counseling because I think it makes me a failure and that I am not strong enough to handle myself, it's embarassing and if I did go I would not want anyone to know. I don't want him to have the satisfaction of knowing that I am having so much trouble with out him (if he ever gets wind of it)...but I am mainly concerned about my own sef image and happiness. I want to feel and be seen as a strong, independant and healthy woman and I want to do it myself...
Member # 3
posted 09-27-2009 09:32 AM
You know, a month or so back I saw a really great blog entry from a therapist on five good reasons to do therapy. Here it is:
http://www.magpie-girl.com/20090831/jen-payne-five-signs-that-its-time-to-call-a-therapist/ You'll notice that all of those reasons are primarily just about getting a hand to transition into a better, happier place, and I'd agree with all of them. I understand feeling like certain things can make it feel like an abuser or attacker "wins," totally. But I don't see how they win by anyone avoiding help to get them to a place where they can thrive, nor how they lose by someone spiraling downward on their own. Additionally, all of this may not be about your ex in the first place. In fact, who it's most about is you. I also think -- and believe me, my mantra as a child was always "I can do it myself!" and often still is as an adult -- it's important to realize there are few things in life we do 100% on our own, without any help from friends, family, our communities, and helpers like a site like this, a doctor, a therapist, a teacher, a mentor. Plus? Taking ourselves to any kind of help service when help is what we need IS doing it ourselves. And yes: serious harm. For instance, you're binge drinking. That can land you with alcohol poisoning, which can kill you, damage your organs in ways that impact your health for life, put you in harm's way from someone else, the works. In my book, looking at what you have written it is NOT hard for me to tel if you are having a problem with alcohol right now: you very clearly are.
Member # 30102
posted 09-28-2009 02:25 AM
I read the blog entry and I found that some of them relate to my situation. I suppose I am more open to going to counseling now. I don't know where to go though. Also, I can't really pinpoint what I need help with. Depression? Coping with my past abusive relationship? Alcoholism? How do I find one that is right for me? I'm thinking maybe I should just try out my university's counseling center...
Member # 30102
posted 10-07-2009 11:01 PM
Sorry to bring this up again, but I'm still wondering if counseling is a good thing for me. I was considering going to counseling a few weeks ago but right now I feel alright(Well I just met someone that totally lifted up my spirits, but they're gone now). So I've been elated for the passed week, so I'm not sure if I should still go...
Member # 28346
posted 10-08-2009 12:40 AM
My personal opinion is: Go for it. Even if you're feeling good
this week, the underlying issues are still there, you know? There's really nothing to lose here. If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. But if it does, then that'd be so great for you. Your university's counseling center would be a wonderful place to start.