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Author Topic: Scared they're all the same....
XXHayleyBabyXX
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Hi again [Smile] .

I recently got out of a really bad relationship and ever since I've been in "I hate guys" mode lol. I just want to hear other peoples opinions about this. I think it might help.

What if they're all the same?? Or atleast most of them??? Are there actually good guys out there??? Or are the "good" ones just bad guys who havn't gotten caught yet????

Feels like there are so many amazing girls who genuinely care and then so many guys who are just gonna hurt them [Frown] [Frown] .

I'm losing faith in love. I want to be positive and I want to beleive that they're not all the same and that every guy isn't going to hurt me like my ex did [Frown] [Frown]

Does anyone have an opinion about any of this???

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Heather
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Well, I think we can safely say that all men -- just like all women -- are not the same. All men are not abusive, just like all women are not safe.

You don't hate guys: you are, perhaps, finally getting angry with your ex (which is healthy), and it might also be emotionally easier for you to figure -- this is a place in plenty of people's process -- that it's about his being a guy, rather than about his choosing to treat you the way that he did, quite specifically. I think sometimes too that "I hate guys" stuff around abuse might also come from grappling with guilt people who are abused or maltreated can feel if and when they stuck around for abuse rather than getting out pronto.

Mind, it might also help to realize all love in the world is not guy-girl. In other words, both in sexual and romantic relationships, as well as with family relationships, friendships, work and other relationships, the world of love isn't all about what guys do to girls and what girls do to guys.

Have you yet gotten any in-person counseling around this, Hayley?

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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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Heather
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P.S. Looking at your signature line, perhaps it might also be time to start rethinking the way you define love? Personally, I find that definition pretty troubling, and not very much in alignment with love and healthy approaches to love.

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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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XXHayleyBabyXX
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1st appointment tomorow [Smile] . Finaly lol

I wish I was mad at him [Frown] [Frown] I want to be

I didn't text, talk, email or see him for 2 weeks hoping it would help and then I stupidly thought I was over it enough to not want to get back together as soon as I spoke to him lol and texted him and I got aload of horrible texts and aparently getting together with me was the biggest mistake he ever made. Ending it was the best decision he ever made and he's 100% over me and dosn't even care about me in a friends kinda way.

I know he's just trying to upset me. I know I didn't deserve that and I know alot of what he said wasn't true [he said that all he ever got with me was drama. acting like the drama was my fault. What did he expect me to do?? Just sit back and let him do whatever he wants just to make his life as drama free as possible lol] but of course I sent a text message back saying that I respect him decision but that I always cared about him and I always will even if I don't get anything back in return and that I'm ALWAYS here if he ever wants to talk.

But why do I keep running back????

He's a horrible person. All he's doing is insulting me and trying to put all the blame on me. He's made it pretty obvious that he never cared, dosn't right now and never will again but yet I can't get him out of my head.

I still feel like really connected to him...I don't know how to explain it. I havn't even seen him in a month and I havn't talked to him [apart from text messaging] in 3 weeks but I still feel like he's a part of me. As stupid as this sounds. He has a girlfriend lol.

I can't let go!! Even though I know I should.

And I've tried to go out and meet new people and stuff. Nothing serious just a bit of fun. But the whole time I'm just thinking "it's not the same"

It's like I'm addicted to him. Don't even think you could call this love anymore. Yes I do still think I love him. Yes I would still do anything for him but how can I care so much for someone who dosn't care about me at all. Do I just think I'm in love with him?? Or am I really still head over heels in love with someone who treated me so terribly?? It makes no sense.

I don't understand what you mean about the signature lol. Loving someone is taking a risk. Letting them into your life and your heart. Giving them everything you have and hoping and praying and beleiving that they won't make you regret it right?? lol

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Heather
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Here's what I'd say about the sig line and love. Yes, when we love someone, we are open and vulnerable with them and give them more opportunities to harm us more deeply than we do with people we don't get close to. And yes, part of loving someone is trusting them. But as a one-sentence summation of love, having the power to destroy in there at all -- and no mention of the power to create good things, to enhance life, etc. -- strikes me as not the best affirmation ever. As well, someone not destroying you is Ground Zero of love, know what I mean? When love is really present, that fear of being hurt, to the point you're hoping and praying, should not be so pervasive, and it should also fade a lot as time passes, especially when someone DOES love you and demonstrates that love by showing you, over time, you really don't have to worry about that.

I think we're helped when our affirmations around love and relationships are positive, and much more likely to seek out healthier relationships.

Per everything else, three weeks isn't a long time, especially when you aren't really taking serious space away from someone (or they or a given situation won't let you), come back to contacting them, and are still, in some way, in the relationship per them having the ability to mistreat you. And often recovering from/getting over abusive relationships tends to take way more time than getting over non-abusive ones because so much of abusive relationships has to do with being controlled by someone, adapting so much of your life and behaviour around them, etc.

I would posit that what he probably wanted you to do -- and I think we talked about this before you did it - was react exactly as you did, by contacting him and showing him he can still upset you and get you to react to him and so that can could abuse you verbally with those texts. So, again, I would strongly encourage you to cut off ALL contact, and not backpedal. I know it's tough, but it's best, and until you do that, getting over this is going to be way harder and take longer.

Lastly, I'd add that I'm of the mind that everyone we have ever been close to IS a part of who we are, because our life experiences are so much of who we are. I don't think it's silly to feel like he's still part of you, because he is, and whatever you gave to him of you -- even if he was a bad choice of a person to give that to -- isn't minor or moot even though he's been awful for you. I know (too well, even with myself), how crappy it can feel to feel like someone who abused us or treated us badly is in our hearts, is part of us, but I think it can helpful to then just think about what we can DO with that.

For instance, you can use this to get stronger, to know now walking into relationships to be a bit more cautious and not stick around when someone starts showing any signs of abuse or lack of care. You can use this to motivate yourself to have a better life, including better relationships. You can use this to perhaps evaluate what love really is and how you define it, including thinking about the fact that "doing anything" for someone who does not feel or act the same way is not healthy, and is probably more about the WANT for love you aren't actually getting or experiencing rather than about love itself.

And no, it won't be the same with other people, but that's probably a good thing. often, with abusive people, our feelings can feel more intense because they up the ante a lot and keep us in a constant state of high-key emotion: even the bad stuff has an intensity to it, after all. As well, expecting new relationships to be like older ones just isn't apt.

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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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Heather
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By the by, all of these things are awesome to talk to a counselor about, and I'm so glad you'll be able to start this week. I hope that goes realy well for you.

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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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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Any suggestions for something more positive?? [Smile]

I just dont understand it
No one has a lower opinion of him right now then I do. I think hes a bad person/son/boyfriend/friend. I know he'd hurt me again. He's not even with me and he's hurting me. I know I deserve better. I know we'd just keep fighting but yet the idea of getting back together is still so appealing lol.

I want to hate him. I should hate him.

Alot of my friends dont think it was never love. They think I was just infatuated with him. Does this make any sense to you? Or do you think it really was love??

I could list a hundred reasons why we shouldn't be together and I can't even give you one why we should but yet I still wish we were.

I just felt so connected to him. Instant sparks. How did I connect so much with someone who treated me so badly?? Could have lay in his arms for hours. How did I get that close to someone who was hurting me so much?? I opened up so much. Gave him everything I had. And it dosn't make any sense that the person I've been the most attached to ever was the person who treated me worse then everyone else put together.

It's like I'm addicted to the pain, or I like getting hurt or something...I don't know it dosn't make sense. I just cant think of any other explantion besides I enjoy getting hurt. Because if I didnt wouldn't I have given up by now?? or wouldn't I want to give up??

[ 05-04-2009, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: XXHayleyBabyXX ]

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Heather
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Hayley, I'm just about to step out for a bit, but I didn't want you to think this was ignored.

If someone else doesn't step in on this, I'll hop back early tomorrow morning so we can continue, okay?

But I also want to leave you with a couple things to read on this, here and elsewhere:
Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault
http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/?page_id=168
http://www.crisisinterventioncenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95:why-do-they-stay&catid=36:dv&Itemid=76
http://www.slate.com/id/2215693/

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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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Heather
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Hayley, I'm back. Did you get a chance to look at any of those links in terms of what you were last asking about? have any feelings about what you read you want to talk through?

I couldn't possibly say, as someone not living inside your own heart, if what you left was love or not. However, plenty of people love people who don't love them back or who mistreat them. I don't know if "it" was love if by "it" you mean what the two of you had together, because it doesn't sound to me like this guy was loving with you or was feeling love: we really can't love someone and abuse them, and the jury is pretty much in on that point. But that doesn't speak to what you were feeling.

I do think, though, that it can be tough, especially as a younger person (it stays tough as you get older, I think, just not quite so tough), to suss out the differences between passion or chemistry, like, love and also the WANT of love. In other words, sometimes the strong feelings we have around someone else can be about the possibility of something; about a love we want but don't actually have.

All the same, I'm not sure how important it really is now for you to have a definitive answer on what you were feeling: no matter what you felt or feel, this person is clearly bad news for you and not someone you can be in a healthy relationship with.

Per the suggestions for more positive affirmations about love, from a personal standpoint this is one of my favorite writers and thinkers speaking with my hands-down favorite buddhist teacher, and I think it says a smorgasbord of amazing, insightful things about love. She quotes Fromm on that first page, in a sentence I think is apt (even if some of Fromm's work is very outdated now in other respects): "Love is the active concern for the life and growth of that which we love." I like that one.

Ultimately, one of the biggest things you'll tend to find when you're reading any of the big thinkers of the world around love is the theme that love and fear cannot really coexist. In other words, fear limits our ability to love and be loved, which I'd say is part of why the context of abuse is no place for love. And if you look at that Fromm quote, you can see that an abusive partner feels quite the opposite: they tend to behave in ways that very much are about hindering growth of the person they're with, you know?

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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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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Hey again. I read them all [Smile]

"sometimes the strong feelings we have around someone else can be about the possibility of something; about a love we want but don't actually have"

what did this part mean?? I'm not sure I understand.

The counselling helped alot [Smile] thank you for suggesting it

I wish I understood why I love someone who treated me so badly......what's there to love?? He dosn't have many qualities I like....the bad DEFFINETLY outways the good...but yet I'm still crazy about him....it makes no sense and it's driving me crazy

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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SkystheLimit
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Never lose faith in love though XXHayleyBabyXX. That's the worst thing you could ever do. My girlfriend had a similar encounter with her ex, until she met me, someone who'd never treat her wrongly. Us "right guys" are out there Haley. Don't give up hope, but also don't ever let a scumbag abuse you in any way, shape or form.

If you just keep your eyes wide open and not in a "hate-mode" you'll find a guy that'll give you the love that you've been looking for and most of all, WANTING to give it to you. Speaking from experience at least. knock on wood!

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XXHayleyBabyXX
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After all of this it's hard not to though [Frown]
I gave him everything I had to give
Trusted him with my heart
Loved him more then anything or anyone else in the world
And he left me
I'm scared I'll never get over it
and no one will ever measure up
and ten years from now I'll still miss him
I've never been that attracted to someone before and I'm scared it will never happen again

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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atm1
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Hi Hayley,

I understand exactly how you feel, because it's exactly how I felt soon after my abusive relationship ended.

I think the most reassuring thing I can tell you now is that, even though I felt the same way about my abuser as you do about your ex, I am now incredibly happy in a long term relationship with a partner who treats me like a real partner. I love him very, very deeply, and I am very attracted to him.

I know things seem really bad now, but I just want to remind you again that there ARE better people out there for you, and how you're feeling is totally normal.

Have you been able to talk about these fears with your counselor?

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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Yes a little bit but she keeps going back to stuff from my childhood lol and to be honest I had a very happy, non traumatic childhood lol as far as I can remember anyway and I don't really understand what that has to do with anything I'm going through now lol but I'll stick with it for awhile anyway and it might do some good

But it dosn't make sense [Frown] [Frown] did you feel like this too??? It's so frustrating that I'm not over him since I could list the reasons why I should hate him, why I deserve better, why we shouldn't be together but yet I still miss him sooooooo much.

He's totaly moved on and is with someone else already and had told her he loves her...shes the one...the only girl for him...everything he used to say to me. But I can't seem to get him out of my head even though I know he probably hasn't thought about me at all in the past month.

I've cut all comunication again. It's been a week. But it just dosn't feel like it makes any difference.

I want to meet new people but I don't really know how to go about doing that.

This is the hardest thing I've ever gone through in my life.

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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atm1
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Yep, that's totally the same way I felt. You're right that it doesn't make sense, but we feel the way we feel.

What you should learn from the fact that he's already saying these things to someone new is the fact that he likely doesn't mean it, not really. He's likely saying things to manipulated her in the exact same way he said things to manipulate you.

More likely than not, his actions have very, very little to do with you or this other girl. His world seems to revolve around him and him alone.

In terms of meeting new people, you're still in school, right? If so, are there any club sports or general clubs you might want to get involved in? You can end up meeting a lot of really great people that way. What are your interests?

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XXHayleyBabyXX
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I'm friends with his new girlfriends best friend and she said he's already started lying to her aswell. I know this shouldn't make me feel better knowing that he's hurting someone else who dosn't deserve it but in a weird messed up way I was kind of releived to find out that maybe I wasn't the problem if he's doing the same thing to her.

I'm really busy with school work at the moment because my final exams are coming up so I don't think it would be a good idea at the moment just because I'm distracted enough as it is trying to study with all this going around in my mind constantly. I feel like I wouldn't have the motivation/energy to put the work that would be needed in.

When you met your current boyfriend was it totally different to your ex?? Like were there instant sparks??? Or did you have to spend time with him before you got really intrested??

The only time there's been instant sparks with me was with my ex and my friends think I'm being way to picky with guys now and saying no to dates I should be going on. I don't know if I really am being to picky and they're right that I might need to spend alot of time with someone before I start falling for them and my ex was just an exception. Or if I'm doing the right thing being picky and waiting til someone tops my ex to get involved.

Will more healthey relationships start without fireworks?? Or should I be waiting until someone gives me that butterflys in your stomach feeling before getting involved??

Was the butterflys in my stomach feeling love?? Or just my reaction to being emotionally abused?? Did my really strong feelings towards him have anything to do with subconciously knowing that he was a bad choice?? It feels like I'm attracted to the wrong people.

Was I really attracted to him because he seemed so far out of my reach? Because it was always a challenge?? Because I was constantly trying to make him love me??

Since I can't find many qualities about him that I like is there a chance that it had more to do with how I felt when I was with him rather than what kind of a person he is??

I'm rambling lol and I know alot of this probably isn't making sense. I analize everything way to much. I just want to understand it.

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Heather
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Hey, Hayley.

Sparks, butterflies in our stomachs and such are generally about feelings of chemistry, sexual or otherwise, not feelings of love. Mind, it's really tough to talk about that too universally because these things vary so, so much, but deep love isn't something instant: that's something that grows, and while it certainly can feel exciting, generally love makes people feel calmed, centered, more than fluttery. Chemistry, on the other hand, is something we can feel right away, and it may or may not ever have anything to do with love.

But sometimes, too, butterflies can be about feeling nervous or anxious.

If you can't think of many qualities about him you liked, then I do think it's safe to say you probably did not have love for him, and I think it's astute to think about if what you were feeling was more about chemistry than love or about what kind of person he was. In some ways, I feel like it's common in abusive relationships for NEITHER person to really have the relationship be about what kind of person each is in a positive way.

I also think it's apt to think about if your feelings were related to how hard you had to work to try and get him to love you. It sounds to me like you're starting to think about this deeply and coming to some sound conclusions.

Personally, given how fresh this breakup is, and how you've barely even started counseling, I, myself, wouldn't suggest you start dating right now. You have some healing to do, and walking right out of an abusive relationship and into something else can make it pretty easy to walk right into another one without seeing it coming (been there, done that, boy do I have that t-shirt). So, I'd suggest taking some more time, at least a couple months, without dating or pursuing new relationships.

--------------------
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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atm1
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I just wanted to echo what Heather said given your response to my response.

I want to point out that it took me a year and a half before I felt ready to enter into a new relationship. I had known my current partner for about 10 months by the time we started dating. There were some instant sparks when we first met, but I absolutely had to take the time to learn to trust him and feel safe with him. These things aren't an either/or situation, and often new relationships do develop slowly.

I could go on and on about how my current relationship started out differently from my abusive one, but the most important aspect was the fact that my current partner and I talked about everything and truly listened to and respected what we each had to say. Things moved very slowly, and that was what I needed.

I definitely agree with Heather that you probably aren't ready to be dating yet, and that you shouldn't let your friends pressure you into it. In my mind, being picky is a very good thing.

What are your plans for after the semester? Are you working this summer? If so, you might meet some new people that way.

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Ecofem
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Hey Hayley,

I've been reading your thread and have been meaning to reply out of solidarity. In addition to echoing what Heather and atm1 have said here, I'd like to add this bit of personal experience that I thought of when I read this:

quote:
Originally posted by XXHayleyBabyXX:
I'm friends with his new girlfriends best friend and she said he's already started lying to her aswell. I know this shouldn't make me feel better knowing that he's hurting someone else who dosn't deserve it but in a weird messed up way I was kind of releived to find out that maybe I wasn't the problem if he's doing the same thing to her.

I was in an abusive relationship in my final year of school. Fortunately, the relationship did not last very long; unfortunately, the effects of it lasted much longer, but I'm doing really great now. [Smile]

For me, a big thing after the relationship had ended was feeling so confused about the whole thing: my feelings for him (I didn't love him but was wondering why the heck I went the distance and took all those risks for someone I didn't love and honestly hadn't even really liked all that much?!), the abusive aspects (while I felt something was wrong in my gut, I couldn't pin it down), and things he said (confusing!)

I totally hear you here. While you don't definitely don't want others to be treated badly, it does help give some proof that his poor (to say the least) behavior was truly 1) present and 2) about him and his own issues and not your fault or due to your behavior.

My experience is as follows: A few months after we broke up and I truly stopped seeing him, I had heard he was dating a classmate of ours. It was a bit sad for me, of course; I thought she was a very decent person. I went to prom with a group of friends and had a *wonderful* time, but also found myself thinking extra hard about that relationship: Seeing the guy I had missed out on dating and wished I had and as well as my ex with his new girlfriend. (Sheesh, it's like in those teen movies but all internal versus some crazy dance off scene. [Wink] I saw how he was all "gentleman-like", holding open the white SUV door for his date (in a white dress, gotta love/loathe the symbolism there.) I felt so disgusted and sad; to me, he was either being a wolf in sheep's clothing and I wanted to tell her to watch out or he was truly ok and I had imagined everything. There's a phrase in German for this: "Schein, nicht Sein." [Appearing one way but just for appearance's sake, not really being that way at all.]

You could imagine my bittersweet surprise when his girlfriend came up to me a few weeks later to talk. It was at a big party after graduation and I was standing on the street corner at 4 or 5am waiting for my ride home... She asked me out of the blue and a bit awkwardly, "Um, I was dating [ex's name] up until recently but asked for a break because I had heard his was saying bad stuff behind my back, like that he was only with me for sex. I know you had dated him earlier this year, uh, I was wondering if there was anything weird or bad about when you two were together." Without going into all the details, I was like "Oh, well, yes... absolutely. Definitely. Let's just say it ended very, very badly." To this, a friend who was with me just shriveled her face and shook her head in a serious expression. I think she definitely stopped dating him at that point. I'm glad I could help her, even if the whole thing would have been best avoided.

My point to all this is that yes, it is absolutely not about your doing anything bad! This guy was very bad news, although it's ok for you to have only realized that later. It sometimes takes awhile but you're away from him now and working through things, which is important. As Heather said, it sounds like you're getting to the stage when you're looking at past events with a more critical eye, which is a good step. And, honestly, anything that helps you see the relationship through anything other than rose-colored glasses is good.

As for turning down the guys who are interested when you think you should date them but aren't, that sounds like a really good sign! Of course there are people interested in you-- you have so many great qualities! [Smile] However, there will always be people in the future; right now it's best to focus on yourself and attitude towards stuff. I have had good and great relationships since the one I mention here, but I also had a period when I was dating some-less-than-great-people-in-less-than-great-situations that would have been best avoided. Taking a break to focus on yourself, your hobbies, your friends, your mindset and relationship radar is really important and will ultimately mean better people along the way. [Smile]

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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Can I ask a question actually? Ya know how they say that daughters of alcoholics often end up marrying an alcoholic? Or that if you were abused when you were younger you'll often end up in an abusive relationship? And patterns and all that kind of stuff?

I've never really understood this and I just think it's all really intresting but I just dont understand how people end up going from one bad relationship to another.

Lets use the whole abusive relationship thing as an example. Say that Emily was in an abusive realtionship [random name lol] and she realized what was wrong and she got out. And then she ended up in another abusive relationship a year or two later.

Would she know from the start that her new boyfriend is going to be abusive and still get together with him?

Would she subconciously know he was going to be and ignore all the warning signs?

Is it just bad luck?

I dont understand the whole patterns with relationships thing. I don't want the same thing to happen again but I know what my type is and I know I'm attracted to all the wrong people and I always have been.

Even recently it seems like when I meet someone that I know would be bad news in my head I'm thinking "boyfriend material" lol. And then when I meet someone who I know would treat me right I have absolutly no intrest.

It's like I'm not intrested in the perfect boyfriend. I'm only intrested in the messed up people who I could attempt to change. How do I get out of this way of thinking?? Will the bad boys always be my type? Will I grow out of it? Is the counseller right about it having alot to do with my childhood even though I think I had a very untraumatic happy childhood? lol.

Will I always be a fixer?? Looking for someone to rescue? Will I ever be happy in a drama free, stress free relationship with someone who can prove they love me just by saying it? Instead of looking for someone who I know is bad for me and expecting them to prove they love me by changing? Will my self esteem always depend on whether or not I'm worth changing for??

Why can't I be attracted to the nice guys??? Who'd treat me right???? lol

I don't really think the counselling is helping but I'd like to get your opinion on it. It's been about 3 weeks now and I orginally went to talk about what happened with my ex but she keeps changing the subject to stuff that happened when I was younger [my parents gettin divorced ect] and it just feels kind of pointless....I'm not upset about my parents being divorced and all though I can't stand my step mom I rarely think about any of that stuff.

I was 4 when they split up and I cant remember anything. I cant remember moving, I cant remember them fighting, I cant remember being upset about it or anything. It dosnt bother me at all anymore and I think I'm totaly used to the idea. It's obviously not an ideal situation but I deffinetly think the best thing to do is focus on the positives and stop analizing it. It is what it is. I can't do anything to change it.

Are all counsellers only going to be intrested in talking about stuff from my past?? Or do you think it would be worth looking into switching to a different one? It's not that I have a problem discussing it or that it upsets me or anything because it dosn't. I just think it's pointless spending an hour a week talking about something that in my opinion has absoultly nothing to do with the real problem.

She keeps telling me that she thinks I'm holding in bad feelings ect and she dosn't seem to understand that I'm honestly not upset about anything from my past and that my ex boyfriend really is the problem.

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Heather
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Ultimately, when it comes to our patterns, all of this tends to be influenced by our awareness of them.

In other words, we do see that more often, someone who is in a pattern of dating abusers is doing things like not taking time to be alone, hasn't gotten any counseling or other good support to heal from abuse and learn how to better recognize it, or who continues to see abusive behaviors as normal.

For sure, this is not 100% controllable. For instance, we may be as aware as the day is long yet still wind up with someone abusive for a while before they show us any behavior that clues us into abuse.

Three weeks is still just the start of therapy, and it is normal to talk about early childhood in therapy, since that's so often where we get a lot of relationship models from, and form our ideas about relationships around. Talking about the past often does get us somewhere, and get us to present, it just can take a little while.

By all means, though, you can always ask a therapist what their plan is and WHY they want to focus on whatever they are focusing on: we always get to do that, and a good therapist should always be open to sharing their rationale. You don't just have to sit idly by and ask no questions.

Also know that this is her job, this is her field of study, so you will need to have some faith in the fact that what you think will get you to the point you want to may not be as informed as her ideas on that, you know? You know you, sure, but she knows from therapy.

Lastly? Often in therapy when someone is really resistant to talking about something, or feels they should just 'go to the positive," that is a signal of avoidance and that they probably need to focus on exactly what they think they don't. [Smile]

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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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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Hey I'm back again

Ok I'm feeling alot better, still horrible lol but better then a couple of weeks ago anyway....

I still think about him all the time...still miss him every single day....still want to talk about him [I seriously can't wait for the day when I actually don't want to talk about him lol. When talking about him is boring lol]

I've done ALOT of thinking and with the counselling and talking to my friends and parents and I've kind of realised a couple of things....

I don't think his behaviour was the problem, I think the fact that I was willing to put up with it is the problem. I always thought the solution to the problem was love him enough to get him to change. Love him unconditionally. Love him and ask for nothing in return and just wait until he loves me enough to change. But I realize now that you can't change other people....I couldn't change him...the only one who could change him is himself. And it would be VERY VERY tempting to jump back into it if I ever got the chance even though I know it's stupid and I'm going to have to work on making smarter decisions even if it's not what I want because in the long run I'll be better off.

Everyone kept asking me what why I stayed with him for so long and saying that they don't understand how I could have been happy with him and I always thought I wasn't...but looking back on it now I was happy...I shoudn't have been...but I was....not because he was treating me good but it was a challenge, always a challenge, I liked the idea of fixing him, being the one worth changing for. And I had gotten my hopes up so much that someday I would be that it was devestating when I had to give up on that dream. As upset as I was about all the fighting and all the arguements I was like addicted to trying to change him. I enjoyed trying to change him. And there was so much to try and change....

I think I've learnt alot....I won't beleive everyone who tells me they love me anymore...I still feel like...I'm...I don't know how to explain it...broken...it's like I didn't just lose him...I lost a big part of me too....I don't know how to explain it....

I know I'm probably better off the way I am now. I won't get hurt as easily but I miss the old me. It's hard to trust people again.....

The old me would say thank you if a guy told me I looked nice
Now I'd just assume they're lying to get me into bed lol

I no everyones not going to be like my ex...I know there's good ones out there but I just can't open up enough and trust someone enough to find out if they're going to be different

I've noticed alot of things about the guys I'm picking over the last month or so too

Me and my friends were at a party recently and I was talking to this guy....I wasn't intrested at all. Later on in the night someone told me that I should be careful and that he drinks way to much and I didn't act on it but it was like something changed straight away. He seemed so much more attractive to me...which is messed up...he seemed like a perfectly nice, normal guy and I'm not intrested and all then I find out that he has a drinking problem and I'm tempted to go over and start up another conversation.

Another example....
2 guys, we'll call them Kevin and Jason
we've been hanging out with them for a couple of weeks
Kevin is good looking, nice and sweet and he's asked me out a couple of times
Jason treats girls terribly...jokes about all his past girlfriends that he's cheated on....jokes about using girls....one night stands....he's just bad news....but I feel like I click with Jason but not at all with Kevin even though Kevin is the one who's nice to me

I know the guys I'm picking are bad for me and I do plan on staying away from them I just don't understand why I'm never attracted to the good ones lol only the bad.....

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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orca
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I think it's great to have a passion for change, and that's something very special for people to have. However, I think if you redirected that passion towards something more positive, you'd feel great about yourself, which in turn would lead you to making healthier decisions for yourself and your relationships. When I say redirecting that passion and energy, I mean things like artwork or even volunteer work. You're absolutely right when you say you can't change someone. You can, though, work in small ways to make big changes to your community and environment through volunteer work. A lot of people find that doing community service gives them a great sense of fulfillment (which, I think, is what you're looking for when you think about "changing" those guys you meet) and self-worth (another thing I think you could use a whole lot of).

There are a ton of different areas you could volunteer in, too, even working with animals at the SPCA or reading at the public library or being a guide at a museum or making arts and crafts with kids and handicapped individuals. If you want some help locating volunteer orgs in your area, let us know and we'd be glad to help. But if volunteer work just isn't your thing, there's a ton of other stuff you could be doing that will be far more fruitful and fulfilling than looking for guys to "change." What kinds of interests and hobbies do you have?

[ 05-31-2009, 10:04 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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Selkie
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There are some guys out there that believe very strongly about the "right" way to treat women, and follow their beliefs to the end of the world.

By "right" I mean a type of chivalry code, that women should be respected and honored, no matter what their relationship with that woman is, and so on and so forth, and can be surprisingly modern and flexible about it. And so yes, I do believe there are "good guys" out there, along with a healthy smattering of not so good ones.

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"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Jill2000Plus
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Is chivalry such a good thing though? I'd rather be with a guy who treats everyone equally, not one who thinks that women should be put on a pedestal.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Selkie
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Well, there is that, I wasn't saying that that type of guy is the best, nor the "ideal" guy, but in reply to the original question, it is a type of guy who would never hurt a girl.
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XXHayleyBabyXX
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I'm sorry everyone I know I'm probably driving you crazy but I need help!!!!! I know your probably going to end up saying all the same things again because there's probably nothing left to say to me [Frown] [Frown] [Frown]

I just can't get over him. It's been like 2 and a half months. He's already gone through 2 relationships since we broke up and as pathetic as it sounds I'm still crazy in love with him.

My friends are sick to death of hearing about it. Every time I mention him I just get yelled at because I aparently have no respect for myself, I love him more then I love myself, it's my own fault he's still hurting me because I'm the one who keeps running back and if I had any self respect at all I wouldn't be willing to get back together with someone who treated me like that. I know they're right. It just hurts hearing them say it.

Most of my friends have pretty much told me that our friendship is over if I get back with him because they said they couldn't even try and be civil to someone like him and because they're not going to be there to watch me let him hurt me any more then he already has. I know this makes me a terrible friend and I know I should be putting my friends 1st but being honest about it I know if it was a choice between them and him I'd pick him in a heart beat. Which is kind of a scary thought. That's I'd give up everyone who cares about me for someone who's proven to me over and over again that he dosn't care and never will.

I've tried several times to get him back. And he's already told me that

- he did love me but dosn't love me any more
- that he was over me less then a week after we broke up
- that he loves his new girlfriend and is in perfectly happy relationship
- that he dosn't think about me at all any more
- that he dosn't miss me
- that everything happens for a reason and we wern't meant to be
- that breaking up with me was the best decision he ever made
- going out with me was the worst mistake of his life
- that he dosn't hate me but he dosn't feel anything for me any more and dosn't really have any intrest in being friends

I want to be over him so badly but nothing I do works

I no he treated me terribly, I know if we got back together he'd continue treating me terribly but there's just something about him

It's 2 and a half months later and I still check his my space all the time, I still regularly send him text messages, I still talk about him non stop, I still love him with all my heart, I'd still give up anything to have him back, I still want to cry everytime he talks about his new girlfriend, it still hurts to hear him say that he thinks I treated him terribly even though I disagree it still hurts so much to know he thinks that or thinks I didn't love him/didn't care, I still compare every guy I meet to him, I have no intrest in flirting, dating, kissing other guys because nothing and nobody even kind of compares to my ex and I don't think anybody ever will

I don't want to date because it's just depressing and reminds me how much I love my ex being out with other guys who I don't like anywhere near as much. But at the same time I think the only thing that will make me forget about my ex is finding someone I like more which seems like it's going to be impossible.

I still cry myself to sleep most nights. I started going out with this guy I met about a month ago and it lasted two weeks and I dumped him yesterday because....

- I was ruining it with the whole trust issues thing
- It was like just waiting around to get hurt
- I wasn't expecting him to treat me good or be faithful, I was pretty much just waiting for him to hurt me
- he was nothing compared to my ex
- there was no spark, no fireworks, no chemistry
- I was thinking about my ex non stop

I would seriously do anything to get him back which I no probably sounds crazy but I'm miserable without him. I thought I was unhappy when I was with him but just like I predicted this is ten million times worse.

And he's so manipulitive. Even on the phone to him last night he kept talking about how I treated him badly and his new girlfriend treats him better and I seriously could barely hold back the tears. I would have done absolutly anything for him. And I wish he knew that. I gave it a hundred percent every single day. Yes I made mistakes. Not going to try and pretend I'm perfect because I know I'm far from it but it hurts so much to hear him saying that I wasn't good enough because I think he was more then good enough. And I said something about how all guys are the same and I started laughing. It was some stupid joke about all guys only wanting sex and he said "thats funny, because I found out that you're not all the same". As in all girls arent like me and there are way better ones out there.

All he does is hurt me but I can't help running back for more. I'd prefer him insulting me to not talking to me at all. I'd prefer a day of fighting with him rather than not seeing him. I'd prefer mean text messages from him rather then no text messages at all.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously don't know what to do. I know I need to move on but I just can't do it and I'm so sick of crying and counselling isn't helping at all and I can't talk to my friends and my parents just get frustrated when I bring him up

[ 06-14-2009, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: XXHayleyBabyXX ]

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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orca
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Well, of course it's going to be more difficult to get over him if you keep contacting him and so often. If you want to get over him and really start moving forward, you're going to have to cease all communication with him. Erase him from your cell phone, delete him and block him from your email, instant messenger, Facebook, Myspace, and whatever other social networking sites you use, stop looking at his Myspace, Facebook, etc. If you need to, give your phone and computer to your parents until you feel you can control the urge to contact him or look him up.

I know it's tough to let go, believe me, I do, but you're not going to feel any better by spending so much energy on him. Did you give any thought to what I said earlier about channeling your energies elsewhere? I think that will really be helpful to you now. Has your school let out for summer vacation yet? Do you have any plans for the summer? One thing that I found helped me a lot after I left my ex was going out of town for a bit and escaping a lot of the things that reminded me of him. Do you have relatives or friends living in another city that you could visit? Or do you think you could take a trip with your family or friends, even just for a day or two?

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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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orca
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Also, you may want to consider just taking a break from dating totally. You just got out of an abusive relationship, after all, and you've only started counselling recently. It takes time for those wounds to heal and for us to see that we do deserve better relationships and how to achieve those better relationships. Give yourself a break. You don't need to rush anything.

For a point of comparison, I got out of an abusive relationship a year and a half ago but I'm still not dating and don't plan on doing so for a little while longer. I've been asked out by a few different guys, but each time I've said no because I'm just not ready to date. (I also wasn't interested in any of the guys who asked me out, but anyway.) I've been doing the counselling thing (in between counsellors at the moment, though, but seeing the one at my college for free in the interim) and I do feel a lot better about myself than I did before, but I know I'm still not ready for a relationship. I know that I still have some insecurities, and so if I were to get into a relationship now, there's a chance I may be placing my partner in the position of acting as a pep squad, which just isn't what you ask a partner to do. Yes, partners should be supportive and encouraging, but they shouldn't be saying "Rah, rah, go you!" every five minutes. I have to do that for myself and truly believe it before I'll be ready for a relationship. And recognizing that limit for myself is important, and it means that when I do get to the point where I'm really ready for a relationship, that relationship is likely to be far more beneficial and joyous than any I may have now.

Too, many counsellors do recommend taking a break from relationships for at least a year after getting out of an abusive relationship. You need that time to heal and to process everything that happened in the abusive relationship and learn how to avoid it in the future. Some people find that it takes them longer than a year before they feel ready, and that's okay. We all get to take as much time as we need to heal from abuse.

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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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Heather
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Hayley: I read this earlier this morning when I was not at home and didn't have the proper time to respond. Orca said a lot of what I'd say, but I want to add a few things, and reiterate a couple that she said, as well.

A couple months actually is not a long period of time to get over a major relationship, especially one that was dysfunctional or abusive. I feel like your friends aren't being as compassionate as they could be, so you might just want to ask one or two if they could try to be a bit more supportive of how you're feeling. I'd also suggest asking one or two of them to help you break contact, for good: given how they feel about him, I'm sure you'd find willing help. By help, I mean things like deleting his numbers off your phone (and maybe changing your number), unfriending him on social networking sites, and perhaps even literally taking your phone out of your hand if you go to text him.

Mind, I agree with them and with orca that if you are still contacting this guy, some of the strife you are feeling IS strife you are making. You know that he doesn't treat you with care and love, and should know by now he isn't going to. Contacting him when you have every evidence it equals pain or more suffering for you isn't how to take care of yourself, move on and heal. So, I can certainly understand why they might have frustration with that, especially if they have been trying to help you get out of this all along.

One thing I want to toss out to you, hoping it might help you process all of this, is that I think talking about you being with him, you contacting him now, being about a lack of self-respect is a very loaded phrase: it's full of a lot of judgments, even if there is some truth in that. I wonder if it might not be more positive and productive to think about you being with him, still trying to pursue him now instead being about not treating yourself with care and with love, and about not earnestly feeling you are worthy of love. Let me explain a bit more.

Sometimes, when we get in these kinds of patterns chasing after someone who just will not love us, it can seem like we ARE saying, with that behavior, we are worthy of love and are trying to demand it. However, that idea falls apart when what or who you are chasing doesn't have any love to share or give. When that's the case, I think the pursuit is more about avoiding really loving yourself and avoiding growing to a place, and eventually choosing partners, where there will be love. The real deal, not infatuation, not possessiveness, not attachment, not being in love with the want of love or idea of love, not feeling like you won a battle with someone you wanted to have love you but who didn't or won't.

In fact, even the topic of this thread kind of strikes me as some avoidance: you not having what you want and need isn't just about how guys are or are not: it's also about how you are. You said in this last post you would prefer being insulted or mistreated to no contact, and that says A LOT about how much you are NOT loving yourself at all, and how much YOU need to make some serious changes in your relationship with you. Someone who had real love for themselves simply would not feel that way: only someone at some pretty serious war with themselves would.

My gut feeling is that your misery isn't about being without him: it's about having to live more out of denial, more with the truth, both of which are really hard to do sometimes.

I also think that "something about him" probably is the abusive, manipulative behaviors: people who are like that do tend to be very magnetic. If they were not, no one in their right mind would wind up with them because they'd see the abuse coming, rather than it being able to hide very well behind charm and promises.

One thing I'd suggest is getting your hands on a book called "Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men " by Lundy Bancroft. I think it might illuminate some things for you and be very helpful.

I'd also agree that it seems very soon for dating to me, particularly given where you're still at, both in being able to earnestly move away from this and in your counseling.

You have invested a LOT of time and energy into an awful relationship with someone who treats you like garbage and likely always will, no matter what you do or do not do. He'll probably keep treating other women like garbage, too, for that matter.

I think if you invested that kind of time and energy into your relationship with yourself, into earning YOUR love for YOU, you'd start feeling a lot better, and start growing in a way that someday you WILL be able to have a true, loving relationship with someone who loves you, and where you love you as well.

(Also? I was just thinking when I read this this morning that some kind of trip/vacation/change of scenery would be ideal for you, like orca suggested. Sometimes changing up our physical scenery can really facilitate changes in our emotional scenery.)

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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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XXHayleyBabyXX
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Hi again. Ok emm yes school is over for the Summer. I've been looking into volunteering and I've just started dance again [I did dance and gymnastics for about ten years but quit a couple of years ago. It's only an hour a week but I enjoy it.....

I'm actually going on vacation for a week with a couple of friends in August but I don't have anything else planned between now and then. I agree that it would be a very good idea though [Smile]

I havn't spoken, texted, emailed him in a week which I know dosn't sound like very long but for me it's a major improvement.

We got into a fight involving a mutual friend....long story....but basically I was telling the truth and she was lying and he believed her over me and told me to "stop trying to make the friends thing work" because he's not intrested.

We no longer have any of the same friends which I think is a good thing. All my friends sided with me and alot of his friends who sided with him have actually emailed, texted or rang me apologising saying that they were wrong and should have sided with me and have ended their friendship with him and the only mutual friend we had was the one who started the fight with me and my ex about a week ago.

And I've ended our friendship because I was upset that she lied and started the fight between me and my ex [she's also one of the girls he cheated with and I never really got a proper apology so I'm kind of happy to have her out of my life].

I've promised myself I'll stop ringing/texting him and my friends have agreed to help [take my cell phone if I want to ring him and refuse to give it back no matter how much I beg and plead lol]

Alot of my friends hear stuff about him...from other friends who are still friends with him. Stuff about him fighting with people I know, problems with girlfriends, who he's cheated with ect and they always let me know when they hear new stuff. Should I tell them to stop? Will that make it easier? I never really thought it was making it harder and its always bad stuff so if anything it should make me get over him faster right?

Another quick question lol. I still talk about him non stop. Should I be trying not to? Should I like just keep talking about it lol as much as I want and hope that some day I just won't want to talk about him any more? Or should I keep my mouth shut even when I want to go back to analizing everything that happened lol? I dont know how to explain it lol. Like is talking about it just going to make it harder? Or will keeping my mouth shut when I want to talk about it make it harder?

I ordered the book Heather [Big Grin] thanks!

"Someone who had real love for themselves simply would not feel that way: only someone at some pretty serious war with themselves would"

What did you mean here? I'm not sure I understand.

And your right about him treating other girls badly. The girl he went out with straight after me broke up with him because he cheated and kept lying to her. And his new girlfriends friend has already emailed me after hearing stuff about my relationship with him asking me what happened and saying that he's not happy about his friend being with my ex and asking for help.

I stopped going to counselling because I felt like she was constantly straying from the problem. It seemed like she was using my parents divorce as the reason for every problem I have. I'm not upset about them being divorced. I havn't been for a very long time. I was 4 when they split up and I can't remember anything. I cant remember them fighting, can't remember moving, can't remember being upset about it. To me this is normal. Its the way its always been as far back as I can remember and I don't see how that has anything to do with any of the problems I'm having now. Which I explained to her over and over again and she kept explaining that children block out upsetting experiences lol. I'm not saying I don't think this is true. But I deffinetly don't think it's the case with me.

I have had alot of issues with my step mom and her solution to the problem was to stop visiting if it makes me uncomfortable. That's not a solution! lol. In my opinion that's just being selfish and I'm not going to sacrifice my relationship with my Dad just because I don't enjoy staying in the same house as my step mom for various reasons. So ya....the whole counselling thing deffinetly didn't go as well as I expected it too.

One last question. You know how I've been saying that I know I'll be over my ex when I find someone I like more? I don't want to get into another relationship because I know it would be to difficult right now since I'm having so many issues with trusting people I just need to feel sparks with someone. I just want to feel the instant sparks with someone even if it dosn't lead to anything just to reasure myself that I'll feel the way I felt about my ex again. Is the spark I felt something to do with him being abusive? Keep in mind he wasn't at the start. The first month at least was perfect. Did I feel that instant connection with him because he was abusive even though I had no idea he would be at the start? Is that whats been missing with everyone else?

I'm so confused about everything and I'm not sure if with every guy after him it's the spark, fireworks and instant connection that's been missing or the abusive traits. My ex didnt show any of the signs at the start and I was still crazy about him. So I don't think I picked him because I knew he'd treat me badly....

Is this making sense?? Sorry for rambling on for ages

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

Posts: 145 | From: Planet Earth | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hayley: this is a lot to respond to, so hopefully I won't miss anything.

I absolutely would ask friends NOT to gossip about him with you. I don't see how that's helpful, or how it's going to help you move on.

Yes, I'd work on trying to stop talking about him incessantly. Honestly, there have got to be other things to talk about, no?

What I meant by this -- Someone who had real love for themselves simply would not feel that way: only someone at some pretty serious war with themselves would -- in the context I said it in is that disliking ourselves, not fully loving ourselves, can be at the heart of some of the ways you have been feeling and thinking.

Did you talk to your counselor about feeling like that about discussing your parents before you just left that counselor? It sounds like it, but just checking. Have you started looking for a different counselor? Our first counselor isn't always the best fit: it's often something we have to shop around a bit for.

The spark you felt with your ex could have been sexual chemistry/attraction, but some of it could also have been about abusive behaviors. Abusive people tend to come on very quickly and very strong, which can make things feel very amplified. And abusers pretty much never start out abusive, as we've talked about before and explained in one of the articles we linked you to. Nearly every person;s story of an abusive relationship involves the abusive person being Mr. or Ms. Perfect in the first few weeks or months. That, in and of itself, can be a signal: no one is perfect, and even in new relationships where things are often less complex in the beginning than later, people do tend to show up at least some imperfections.

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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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OneQuestion
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Don't wanna sound arrogant, but I'm a good guy. I'd never hurt my girlfriend in any way. We're out there [Smile]
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XXHayleyBabyXX
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There's not enough of ye! We need more!!!! lol
She's a lucky girl [Smile]

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Being with all the girls in the world dosn't make you a man. Makin one girl feel like she is the world, well, that does.

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Smiley64
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Things similar to this may have already been said, but I thought I'd put in my two cents. Your situation sounds very similar to how things ended with my ex boyfriend.
One thing that I had to learn the hard way, is it takes time to heal. During the healing process, I always felt the same way, that I loved him so much, and even though he hurt me in numerous ways, I still wished to have him back. The best thing for me to relieve myself of this feeling was spending lots of time away from him. You'll feel like the pain will never end, but it will, it just takes time.
Also people deal with things in different ways. You may feel hurt for a long time, and as you mentioned, go through the " all guys are dumb" stage. His way of dealing with it may have been moving on very quickly and not thinking about it.
The main point I wanted to get accross, is that, though it may seem far away now, better days will come, even when it seems impossible.-Smiley [Smile]

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