Hi, I came here a couple months ago where I sought some advice about my family situation. To some extent or another, things have kind of calmed down in that area. But I just need some place to vent about my problems, and hopefully somebody can give me some better perspective.
Anyways, Iíve been seeing my counselor for about 12 sessions. As far as I can tell, itsí been helpful. It took a long time for me to warm up to talking to another person about my problems, but Iíve opening up.
I guess itís still very hard to deal with a lot of these things. I keep dwelling on a lot of my problems, and I have a lot of difficulty learning to let go and move on. I donít know why, but I still dwell a lot on my relationship with my ex. I keep rehashing the things I did wrong, what I couldíve done better, and things she did that hurt me. Iíve talked to my counselor about this, and to some extent, sheís helped. She says all the right things, and objectively speaking, I know what she says is right. I get that all relationships have problems; many of them will fail, and so on. A rational part of me can stand back and say all the right things, but in my gut I still feel just as awful as I did when we broke up. I still focus on it, and it still gnaws at me a lot. Itís an awful experience. I know that I was a rotten boyfriend. I said it a million times to myself, to my counselor and to my friends. They all say that relationships are almost never the fault of one person, and theyíre right. But in this case, I feel it really is my fault. I was the one who came from the screwed up family, and I was the one who poisoned a perfect friendship.
Iíve talked to my counselor about these things, and sheís helped a lot, but itís so difficult to deal with these things. They weigh on you every day. Itís not a 9-5 job where you ďquitĒ and can forget about it. It haunts me throughout my day. I see other couples, and Iím so envious of how happy they are. How everybody else has normal, healthy lives. Not me though. I have to go to a counselor to learn how to make and maintain better friendships. I have to go and learn how to control my temper and how to not let my anxiety get the best of me. I donít feel jealous of others, but I am envious of everybody else. I would do anything to have a ďregularĒ life with good friends, a decent family, and the ups and downs that come along with it.
I feel like Iím a spectator to life itself. Itís a horrible feeling to feel detached and isolated from everybody around you. There is no web of interrelationships out there that I fit into. Iím just standing there watching as everyone elseísí lives unfold. I donít know what to do or how to jump back into these things. I donít know if itís just a fact of my life that Iím disconnected to others or feel like a beyond the norm loner. I donít expect to be very popular or have a lot of friends, but Iíd like to have better friendships with the friends I have, to talk to them more often and share more with them.
Partly as a consequence of this, I miss my ex-girlfriend so much. We had been friends for years before we dated, and she was the first, actually probably the only, person I felt I could be open to. I could call her whenever I felt, weíd grab meals together, and she could make me feel completely at ease. I know that sounds very common and inconsequential, but to me, it was very big to have anything like that. It was the only time I felt anything with that much warmth, depth or significance.
It makes dealing her loss so much harder. I felt like I had had this one magical moment where I had something really special in my grasp, and I lost it. Well, more precisely, I wouldnít say I ďlostĒ it; rather, I poisoned it. It was a perfect friendship, and when we transitioned into a couple, I destroyed it. My friends and my counselor have all told me that failed relationships are rarely one personís fault. But in this case, I think Iím an exception to the rule. The details of what exactly happened donít matter that much, but to make a long story short, I guess I carried what happened in my family and those experiences, into my relationship with her. A completely different side of me emerged , and it was terrifying what happened. Try to imagine hating yourself; everything about your face, your hair, you body , and your personality. Then think of meeting somebody who loves all of that and accepts your flawsónot only does she accept them but it is precisely those flaws and eccentricities that she loves about you. The cruelest of all possible fates would be that youíre incapable of loving and respecting yourself to accept that sort of person even exists. Not only that, but the person you love the most, and want to prove your love to, is the same person you fail in the worst possible way. You cannot accept her flaws, her oddities, and her failings. I was a real monster in the way I behaved towards her. I can tell you that I didnít mean it, and I didnít. I can blame my parents, and to some extent they are responsible, but in the end those choices were mine, and I have to deal with the consequences of them.
I do miss her a lot, but itís been quite a while since we broke up, and Iíve learned to gradually let go of things, but I crave that warmth so much. Itís almost like a drug to have something like that. And I run through memories, both good and bad, in my head. Itís a way to temporarily shut out the pain that I constantly feel.
I hate her a lot though. Iím ashamed to say that, and in a way, itís frivolous to say so because of all of the awful mistakes I made, but I hate her for manipulating me, for preying on my insecurities, and for ditching when we were dating for another guyófor months. Itís a feeling that can completely control me at times, like a white hot rage towards her. I want to scream at her for what she did. I donít get what it would accomplish if I did but I feel I need to vent at her. And since I canít, and shouldnít, I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder. Itís been over a year since everything has ended, and Iím still afraid of doing certain things just because I cannot mentally break my life away from her. Itís hard enough when somebody was a fixture of my life for many years, but itís also difficult when sheís the only person Iíve felt any closeness to. Sometimes I think itís easy to hate her. When we broke up, it felt like I was emotionally hemorrhaging, and the only way I could get things together would be if I focused my hurt towards things she did that wronged me. I didnít see the break up coming at all, and I suppose itís too difficult, psychologically speaking, to deal with the awful fact that she simply didnít want me to be with her anymore. That she doesnít love me and that all the things that meant so much to me no longer held any value to her. I guess itís an obvious fact that everybody realizes, but itís absolutely crushing for me accept that.
After all of this, itís perverse to say it, but a part of me wants nothing to do with anybody out there. I want to never feel a need for a girlfriend, for a friend again. If I need somebody, then s/he can get close, she can see my vulnerabilities, and hurt me. That person can leave me too. Itís paralyzing to feel this wayóto be torn between to contradictory feelings.
Itís been such a long time since things have ended, but I struggle with every day. My counselor has given me exercises , some sort of cognitive therapies, to change my thing. Sheís also given me articles to read, lists I should make, new perspectives, and a slew of other things. But in the end, it feels like Iím trying to chip away at in iceberg with a toothpick. No matter what anybody else says or does, Iíve internalized the belief that Iím not worth anything. Being a good friend, an excellent student with a few close, but very loyal, friendsÖnone of that matters to me. Why is it I feel like my life, my friends, and my worth is always a little less than hers? Sheís moved on with another guy and to another country, but why I always feel like Iím less because of this? These things feel so monstrous and over whelming that I donít know if Iíll ever get out of it. I know that these things can take time, but I donít know if I can hold on any longer. How many times have I tried to uproot myself from my problems? How many times have I vowed to change my ways? How many times have a promised myself to think better of myself? Iíve lost count how many times Iíve said these things ,but they have all failed.
Iíve spent a lot of time in therapy unraveling these threads. Itís been helpful, but Iím pretty aware that my father is abusive, and I was raised in such a family. I donít know, however, how to get myself out of this situation.
In the end, Iím still here, alone and depressed. Iím sick of this, and Iím also scared. Why am I like this? If I go to therapy, and Iím am deemed to be healthy, then what happens if this happens again? How many more times can I go through this? I donít know if anybody else has felt this way, and Iím terrified that I will never get out. Whenever I do feel better, I end up getting yanked right back to the same spot I was months ago. Itís awful, and I canít stand it anymore. I keep writing lists of things that are good, that tell me that Iím worth actually worth something. Iím hoping somebody else out there really gets what Iím feeling, and has been there before. My counselor (or therapist) is nice. But I donít think anybody can connect to this unless s/he has experienced it firsthand. I just want somebody to tell me thereís an end to what feels like an unbearable pain.
Thereís probably more. But for now, thatís all. Iíve needed to get this off my chest hopefully get some answers.
Posts: 21 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008
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It sounds like you've been through a lot there, and I'm sorry to hear that it continues to be so hard. I'm glad to hear that you're seeing a counselor and working diligently with an open mind towards your goals. It's not easy, but you're doing the right thing.
You wrote a lot there: I'd like to start a longer dialogue, but I'll first start by asking a few questions and making a few comments.
OK, if I understand correctly, you grew up in a very unhappy and even abusive household. In your ex-girlfriend, you found someone who loved and appreciated you for the things you could not see in yourself and felt a love you had not experienced before. However, the relationship turned out not to be quite the dream either of you had wished for-- your not treating her as well as you feel you should and her behavior not being as faithful as you would want. The relationship is over but you're having major trouble moving on; you have sought outside help that is positive but still not enough.
I agree that it's really hard to live the life you wish for, a simple and fulfilling existence, when you didn't grow up in such a situation that modeled that. It sounds to me like you are doing a good job of not blaming your family for your own behavior now, even if they are responsible for a lot of things that happened to you growing up. However, it seems that a lot of your frustration and anger has now been directed at your ex. I would agree that her behavior was not good, but I think it's more than just what she did that makes it so hard to move on.
You know, any break-up really hurts, especially when it was such a strong and important relationship that seemed one of the best things in your life so far, a sign of things getting and being better. I am going to say that I *know* you will be able to have the type of life you dream of as well as a partnership that is even *better* than the one you had here. However, there's no rush and, I would agree, a lot of stuff to work through first.
Now for the questions: - How old are you? - Where are you with your life right now-- work, school, etc. and where you would like to be heading? - What does your living situation look like?
Have you looked into any in-person support groups? We are glad to offer you support on the boards but I'm also thinking that this would be the perfect addition to your one-on-one counseling sessions. I would especially recommend a group of fellow young experiencing similar things, such as a tough home situation growing up.
You're certainly not alone, Bobby, and I know your future is bright, certainly brighten than your present feels right now. We can't change the past but let's brainstorm ideas for making both the future better and present more bearable.
Bobby, I just wanted to mention that I read up on your past posts here, and I gotta say, you sound like one awesome person for all you've done. You are managing school, work, and family stuff. You helped your mom and you get out very quickly. You have tried-- and stuck with-- counseling. Wow! It sounds to me like you've made a lot of major progress in the past six months or so, even if you don't feel like it right now. You mention you have tried to escape your challenges before but realize you must face them down now; again, that's a really brave and hard thing to do. Sometimes dealing with them is so hard that you feel you aren't making progress when you really are, you know, because they're brought back such strong memories and feelings? You are this-close to finishing university and moving on to full-time employment at a job I hope you will like and find rewarding. You'll be able to live decently, help others, and start paying off your debt. That all sounds really cool; and if your degree is taking you longer, that's just fine, too. Often the home stretch is the hardest but you're literally almost there!
Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003
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Thanks. Sorry the slow reply--school and job stuff means I have little free time.
I really don't know if I'd like to participate in a group counseling setting.
Even though my counselor is nice, I still find it very difficult to talk to her about whatever is going on in my life. It's not her, but it's just a very emotionally charged subject. This is really the only place I feel kinda okay talking about it, being anonymous and all. Talking about these things in a group setting would freak me out.
I know you're right that whatever my ex did isn't sufficient to explain why I can't move on. I dunno why I'm like this or feel such a phenomenal amount of resentment towards her. I thought a lot about the break up.
I guess for a lot of people, when they break up, they usually feel pretty awful for a couple weeks, and they gradually move on. For me, it really wasn't like that; I didn't feel anything. I was numb. It wasn't until several weeks later that I felt anything at all. I really can't even begin to describe how I felt. I don't know if anybody has every been in a situation where you experience something where you are simply not equipped to handle it. It's a feeling of things just short circuiting. That's me.
All I can say is that after we broke up, I eventually felt a lot of resentment towards her. I remember realizing that she felt nothing towards me, didn't love me, and effectively, wanted to move her life in a direction where I wasn't a part of it anymore. I guess those are normal things, but it felt absolutely awful. And I'm still stuck feeling this way.
I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder, and I keep rehashing these things--stuff that happened between us--in my head. For some reason, I can't let go. And I feel so pathetic of all of it.
I sat there waiting for her when we dated, after we broke up, and I missed her so much. I remember trying to talk to her because I couldn't see what had happened (at the time), and realizing that she just didn't care. I wasn't her boyfriend, or her friend, but just an obstacle in her life. She wanted me out. She transformed the relationship, dictated the terms, and I felt like so lousy for it. I guess that's a fact of dating--that you are vulnerable like that. But it seems like I can't handle it. I feel like ripping my hair out. It's just too much for me to handle. All of it. The dating, how to navigate fights, good feelings, and certainly the breakup.
After we broke up, I felt so depressed. I really don't drink that much but in those months, I did, a lot. I could barely get out of bed to go to class, and I couldn't focus during lectures. For awhile, it felt like my world collapsed. I didn't think of things in the Romeo-Juliet complex, but I felt crushed inside. I hated her for the way she treated me when we dated, lying to me, and behaving like she had a right to behave any way she wanted to. It's like she broke me and got away with it.
I remember trying to talk to her so I could try to piece together things, but she didn't care either way for it. I just got in the way of things. It's like I had to beg her to treat me with any respect, or just value me in any way. I put so much trust into her, but I was ripped to shreds for it.
My fantasy, for what it's worth, would've been to talk to her, and sort everything out. And apologize, probably forthe 1000th time, for the things I did wrong and figure out what had happened in the last couple of months. I dunno. I guess it's hokey for people to talk to their ex's like that. But it would've meant a lot to me.
I get that the common denominator was that I just wasn't a good boyfriend and there were other problems like distance. But I don't know why I can't let go of this stuff.
Posts: 21 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008
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I sat there waiting for her when we dated, after we broke up, and I missed her so much. I remember trying to talk to her because I couldn't see what had happened (at the time), and realizing that she just didn't care. I wasn't her boyfriend, or her friend, but just an obstacle in her life. She wanted me out. She transformed the relationship, dictated the terms, and I felt like so lousy for it. I guess that's a fact of dating--that you are vulnerable like that. But it seems like I can't handle it. I feel like ripping my hair out. It's just too much for me to handle. All of it. The dating, how to navigate fights, good feelings, and certainly the breakup. After we broke up, I felt so depressed. I really don't drink that much but in those months, I did, a lot. I could barely get out of bed to go to class, and I couldn't focus during lectures. For awhile, it felt like my world collapsed. I didn't think of things in the Romeo-Juliet complex, but I felt crushed inside. I hated her for the way she treated me when we dated, lying to me, and behaving like she had a right to behave any way she wanted to. It's like she broke me and got away with it.
I don't really know what to say except that I think you summed up the way I am feeling currently. I don't know even know how to begin to navigate through my feelings. I feel broken and rejected and the person wants me completely out of his life. He blames me for everything and does not even want a friendship.
Posts: 39 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008
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Yeah and the ridiculous thing, for both of us, is that you still miss him/want him to be a part of your life. And similarly, I can't let go of something that obviously wasn't good for me to have in the first place.
Posts: 21 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008
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For what it's worth, seeing a therapist/university counselor has been somewhat helpful. So it might be something you can look into as well. It's unpleasant to discuss these things, and there are a ton of things I just cannot bring myself to talk about at all. I've made some incremental progress over the past eight or nine months, and I attribute it to attending therapy sessions at the university.
A lot of these things still hang over my head, but they're not nearly as dominant in my life as they were in the past.
I still feel hurt and angry about things in the past, and I don't feel nearly as assured about my future, specifically about my ability to sustain a healthy relationship with a girl. I wonder if she'll accept all my problems and weird baggage. Or if next time around, I'll see more attributes of my father in myself the second time around. All this speculation doesn't do me any good. I guess you can only move forward.
It is, however, so very difficult to do this alone.
Posts: 21 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2008
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