Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Feeling uncomfortable in my own body

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Feeling uncomfortable in my own body
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This weekend I was on the receiving end of a very painful break up. I'd like to elaborate more, but things are still very fresh; in order to really clarify my thoughts, I have to work past my tendency to ruminate, dwell, and get sucked into negative emotions.

My immediate concern right now is this feeling that keeps popping up. It's as though I feel unclean or trapped in my own skin. I suspect I feel this way both because of some subconscious ideologies about sex and the relationship itself. I wonder if I'd be feeling this way if the relationship had ended in a less destructive manner. I'm really not sure where exactly this feeling's coming from and it's kind of puzzling.

It's just frustrating. Showering has become an emotional ordeal. There are moments when I feel claustrophobic just sitting around in my own skin.

Please help.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Want to talk about how it ended? You say it ended in a destructive way: what do you mean by that?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In essence, what had been an intense and trusting relationship got shattered entirely by a block of text in an IM on Friday night. I wasn't able to get an understanding of what happened until I asked two of my RAs to help mediate a confrontation on Saturday night.

Our relationship had its set of problems, but as far as I knew from our discussions, we were in a process of rebuilding (since at least the start of this school year). I was blindsided by the breakup in several ways:
1. This period of rebuilding and experimenting from my perspective was actually more like a test for him. He designed it in a way to ensure that it failed.
2. For what could have been many many months he had been having misgivings about the relationship. Aside from some very specific problems that we had been working on, I was completely in the dark. I had no idea that I was doing things fundamentally wrong for him.
3. The break-up itself was one-sided, anonymous, and impetuous and left me with no way to protect/advocate for myself.
4. These issues came to light so suddenly and are so conflicting with the memories I've had, I find myself dealing with a barrage of unsettling implications.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I should also probably mention that during the two week trial period that we had some intimate moments (but not intercourse). Although everything was consensual, there was a period of time that he had essentially been done with me, but continued with physical intimacy out of fear that I would figure out his decision prematurely.
Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This last thing in your last post, this is for sure? In other words, he said that to you?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, this was all talked out in the mediation session on Saturday night.
Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, Ophelia. That sounds so utterly awful. I am so sorry this happened to you. [Frown]

And I can certainly understand why you're having some body/sexuality issues around this. This certainly sounds like a way of being sexually traumatized to me. Add that on top of the other stuff, and again, it's not s shocker you're feeling so shellshocked and uncomfortable in your skin.

You know, I don't think crisis care/counseling is unwarranted with something like this and when you're feeling like this. If not something like counseling, have you done a lot around taking care of yourself with this? Maybe even taken some time away from everything else, if you can, to JUST dedicate a day or two to your own self-care?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thankfully, I'm super lucky in that I had scheduled a counseling session last week. This Wednesday I should be able to see someone. The appointment was supposed to be to talk about my problems at home, but I'm sure the counselor shouldn't mind a subject change.

I'm not really sure how to take time to myself. I've kind of been bending over backwards to try and spend time with other people because when I leave myself alone I start having breakdowns and get into some pretty dangerous circular thinking. Since my health scare began two weeks ago, I was unable to do any music; right now what would have been cathartic is also a struggle to get back into shape. I'm kind of at a loss.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd also like to add that, in his defense, this is a guy with some serious things going on in his mind. He began to place a lot of anxiety about finding a way to deal with his problems, including the relationship, and I just happened to get caught in the crossfire. I'm glad that now he at least has time to himself so that he can figure himself out and that he did it now before something even worse would have ended up hurting me.

I just hate that I understand why all of this happened and that I got all my answers and apologies and these upsetting feelings are still here. Logically everything has been tied up, but emotionally I'm still completely a mess.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, if being with others is what feels best to you, then that is a kind of self-care. Are you able to talk with some of those people candidly about how you're feeling and what happened?

He chose to have you be in the crossfire. I hear you about his having issues, but he also made choices here, very calculated ones. I think it might help to recognize his responsibility in that so you can let yourself acknowledge how you got hurt here. It's really hard to both cope and move forward when we don't do that. Leave him to justify his actions if you must: but for yourself, you'll want to be sure to hold him to a sound level of responsibility here, okay?

Emotions aren't about logic, as I'm sure you know. So, finding out the whys -- if all of them are even for real and aren't just excuses -- doesn't mean you're going to feel okay about them. No matter what they were, you were still put through what you were and that was very much not okay and sounds very traumatic to me. So, you need to go through the process of the aftermath of that emotionally, then start to work on healing from it. Alas, it's likely to be a gradual process, not anything that happens overnight.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been able to talk about a lot of the general break-up issues, but the intimacy thing is somehow different. To my friends, even my close ones, I'm a pretty private person. For a very long time now, this partner had been my only confidant, and I'm finding it difficult to find an unconditional (or even semi-conditional) support right now. Not only this, but my friends are also his; I'm worried about causing schisms or just causing problems in general.

I totally agree with you, Heather. But sometimes it's just immediately easier emotionally to pretend that the actions can be excused and pushed out of my mind. I have to be okay with this and be friendly with him so that I can keep all my friends. I have to be okay with it so that I don't end up harboring this ball of resentment to myself and letting it pressurize. But there just isn't a way to make it feel okay.

During the talk, I was able to address the awful way that he decided to "do this for himself." Although he admitted the vile nature of the break up and apologized, it's still hurtful and doesn't erase anything. And I never got a real apology for not having a choice in things. I'm not sure I'll ever get one. At this point I just feel like the apologies gave him a way to resolve his bad feelings about doing this and I'm still here picking up the pieces. I'm just his learning experience, while I'm still so in the dark that I don't know what to take from this.

Also, while spending time with people has been somewhat helpful, it's also left me realizing how incredibly rusty I've gotten at talking as myself and not as part of a unit. He's someone who's very social and people-smart (as long as things are superficial issues); I on the other hand am not and for a while let him help me voice myself in groups. So it feels like I'm trying to re-appropriate my identity plus fighting to make sure I don't end up losing my friends. I'm also starting to feel like a burden to others around me, since I'm so stuck in my sadness (on top of the social awkwardness).

[ 09-12-2011, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ugh. I'm so sorry. This is a lot for you to have to read through and respond to. I know things ought to at least help when I see the counselor, but for now even just typing them to someone else helps ease all this pressure in my head. Thank you so much for listening and being so helpful and supportive.
Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's totally okay, no need to be sorry at all. However, I'm heading off for the day right now. Hope it's okay to pick this back up with you tomorrow, which I'm glad to do.

For tonight, maybe again dedicate yourself to whatever you know is good self-care for you? So sorry to leave you hanging. (Sounds also like you need to make some of your own friends, but that's often a tough thing to do when you're in the thick of this kind of space. Hang in there tonight.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it's all right, I would really like to continue just talking through all of this. I have all these ideas in my head, but they just circulate and don't go anywhere. Thank you so much.

I would love to meet and hang around with new people, but my meeting this group of friends has been important to me. It took time to find a group with such eccentric interests and perspectives. I've actually been in the group for much longer than he has, and I don't want to have to give them up. However, as it is, a vast majority our congregations happen in the common room of his suite, which has been kind of triggering for me lately. I've been told that I'm welcome there no matter what, but I just can't yet. I'm hoping that in time it'll settle and I'll be okay with being there around other people.

[ 09-12-2011, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm here, gradually waking up, so going to reread all of this and start with some feedback in a few. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I didn't realize he was part of your religious community.

I always feel a little like I might not get the dynamics of religious communities until I remember that they're often a lot like queer communities: very small, very insular, and when something goes down with someone in them being crappy to someone else, it can be a nightmare of politics that often inclines people to just suck it up and stay mum until or unless said person is crappy to others (which they usually are in time).

So, I can feel that dealing with this in community like that adds an extra burden to all of this.

It sounds like I got things backwards: it's not that his friends became your friends, but the other way around. I don't suppose there's anyone in your group you could disclose to who you could absolutely trust to keep it all to themselves for now?

One thing I do want to address is this business of feeling like a burden. When we care for people, we know that people aren't always happy; good things aren't always happening in their lives. So, we accept people will be sad sometimes, and that's usually okay. As well, when we care for people, doing what we can to help them with their own burdens is usually something we'll consider a privilege, not a bummer. Someone asking us for help and support, after all, says they trust us, involves them investing more trust, and also says our company makes them feel better. That's all good stuff, even amidst hard stuff, you know? Maybe think about how you'd feel in the same position?

You might also want to remember that his actions are just that: his. In this case in particular, you REALLY had no say in them, by design on his part. So, if and when you disclose what he has done to any friends to try and help yourself, and they have -- if they do -- conflicted feelings, that's not about you causing rifts unless you say things that are untrue, try to villify him, etc. Just talking about it soundly and for help isn't you causing schisms: if any happen, that's about his behavior and actions, not you disclosing them.

quote:
I totally agree with you, Heather. But sometimes it's just immediately easier emotionally to pretend that the actions can be excused and pushed out of my mind. I have to be okay with this and be friendly with him so that I can keep all my friends. I have to be okay with it so that I don't end up harboring this ball of resentment to myself and letting it pressurize. But there just isn't a way to make it feel okay.

During the talk, I was able to address the awful way that he decided to "do this for himself." Although he admitted the vile nature of the break up and apologized, it's still hurtful and doesn't erase anything. And I never got a real apology for not having a choice in things. I'm not sure I'll ever get one. At this point I just feel like the apologies gave him a way to resolve his bad feelings about doing this and I'm still here picking up the pieces. I'm just his learning experience, while I'm still so in the dark that I don't know what to take from this.

By all means, his apologies may well have been something he did for himself rather than for you. People do that sometimes, after all, and I think this person has given you many reasons to think they may be very self-interested and self-absorbed.

I hear you about what's easier to think, and it's great that you have an awareness of that. But I don't think you have to be on board with his denials or diminishments to keep your friends, nor that you have to be anything but very basically cordial to him when you're in the same circles to maintain your own friendships and that shared community.

I agree: I don't think there is a way to make something like this feel okay, because it very much was not okay. But what you can get okay with is yourself after this, and your feelings about it. Catch the difference? Mind, that's going to take some time, some good care of yourself, some support, and some kind of resolution, eventually, even if it doesn't involve him directly.

How are you doing today?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh! I can see why you thought I was talking about a religious community; I shouldn't have used the word "congregation" to describe meeting/hanging out. But actually, those words you used to describe religious and queer communities still apply in this situation. Basically, we're all kids who've been designated to live together because of our places in the honors college, and so there is definitely lots insularity and politics.

I've been organizing some times to spend with friends apart from him and his living area (where all the action seems to happen). Mostly, this means spending time with people in the friend group whom I had drifted away from during the relationship. But everyone's been so supportive. Still, while my friends have felt indignant on my behalf, they seemed to have moved on and forgiven him much more quickly than I can. I guess in some ways because I don't anticipate being okay with him for a while, I feel like I'm subtextually vilifying him, if that makes sense? Irrationally, I even feel little pangs of anger at people for spending time with him, knowing I can't right now.

If I understand, you're saying I ought to find a way to be okay with my place in things? Mostly, I think I acted pretty reasonably and true to myself during the relationship. I guess there are still some things I need to talk with him about (eventually). I'm not ready for those answers yet, but getting them might make me feel less culpable in a few gray areas.

Today, I think I'm doing better. I was able to shower without feeling too terribly. I feel like it's going to take a while before I feel comfortable with anyone touching me, even platonically, which is a shame. As someone who struggles with mood problems, getting touched is kind of helpful (therapeutically, maybe?).

I've realized that a lot of the stigmas I've started to associate with myself and my body stem from my connection to his anxieties. His OCD complicated our sexual relationship. Eventually, I learned to feel guilty for having a vagina (something that he found hard to reconcile with his cleanliness paradigm). Again, it was a bother case of "it's not you, it's me" stuff, but clearly, that should have been a sign to stop what we were doing. Instead, I decided to just accommodate his anxieties. I felt badly about having a more active libido than he did, and thought that his anxieties were just one expression of that imbalance.

[ 09-13-2011, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm so sorry we keep missing each other, and that two days in a row, I've caught your posts at the end of my workday. I'll do my best here, but I'm pretty wiped, so again, I'll pop back for more in the morning.

Sorry for the misunderstanding about the congregating. [Smile] But still does sound like it had at least some relevance. Phew!

I don't hear you talking about anyone like they're a villain. This person did something really messed up to you. Holding them to that isn't making a villain out of them, it's holding them to what they did and the impact it has had on you (which sounds like even before the breakup was not good for you). I also think it's understandable to feel bitter about friends being friends with him: of course, in times like these, situations like these, we want our friends to be our allies and not allies of someone who did us harm.

What I meant by getting okay was mostly about just accepting that what happened happened. In any place where you did, truly, bear responsibility, sure, owning that is part of it. But so is accepting what he chose to do without trying to justify it -- especially in your own head: your own head gets to be for you -- and what feelings you have around it, etc. Make sense? (That sounded a little obtuse even to me, so if it doesn't we can revisit this tomorrow.)

Tough is really important to all of us, as a people. Heck, it's something infants will fail to thrive without. It's a basic human need. So yeah, when post-trauma involves feeling like touch isn't okay, we can feel pretty wonky.

I hear you in your last paragraph taking some good stuff away from this. I know it really stinks to have to learn things the hard way. It always does. But I think knowing now that when someone has things that make them unable to be in healthy relationship with you that means you need to nix or limit the relationship, rather than trying to accommodate or deny is a great big learn, one that a lot of people don't learn at all, or so early, and something that will absolute make having healthy relationships much more likely moving forward. That's good stuff, and great you got to that so relatively quickly. Rock on with your bad self. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's okay; I've got some interesting class times. I don't mind.

Last night I was able to have a dinner conversation with one of my friends who helped mediate the situation as an RA on Saturday. This time, just getting to speak to her as a friend instead of someone impartial was super helpful. She also got to hear things from both sides and I didn't feel that explaining my position was as one-sided and unfair to him. (Though I you've had me understand now that just dealing with the problem as it concerns me is really my next best step. As we're no longer in a relationship, it doesn't make sense that I'm continuing to protect him rather than helping myself heal.)

I mean, as terrible as it sounds, it makes me feel a little better to know that she is also struggling to reconcile these actions with the person she thought she knew. If he had been an inherently bad person, things might have been easier to handle in a way. As it is, he was a (self-claimed) "good person who did some terrible things". It's as though he has more freedom to justify doing those things; I, however, have come to the conclusion that understanding doesn't mitigate the action in itself.

So I guess here are some things I'd like to do:
1. Talk to the therapist today and see what that leads to. (I suspect that talking to her/him will also help me feel more comfortable about touch and feeling my skin. I still get the feeling every once in a while but it's not as bad when I can understand it.)
2. Talk to my other friend who also helped as an RA that night.
3. Eventually talk to him and fill in some missing information.
4. Learn to be cordial in group situations with him.

He still wants to be really good friends. It makes sense that he wouldn't want to lose the conversation of someone so compatible. However, by the end of the relationship, the dynamic was almost like a friendship except with those times of (apparently forced) intimacy. I don't want to end up angry and in the same place that I was before, except without the security of knowing I can communicate with him. I'm afraid that (at least for now), I'll be reminded of all the problems that I never got to address within the relationship. I guess I also don't trust myself not to just excuse these things and fall back into wanting him again.

One other thing: does it make sense that I'm still taking birth control? On one hand, taking the pill each day is a somewhat painful reminder. I took them both for me and for his anxieties. Over the summer when I switched brands and felt like the pills exacerbated my mood problems, I stuck it out for the relationship (and because of my limited access to a doctor). On the other hand, they represent a kind of independence to me. I'm not sure I should just give them up because I've started to associate them with an upsetting event.

[ 09-14-2011, 07:07 AM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm so glad you were able to have that kind of in-person conversation.

You know, between you and me, personally, I'm not sure there are any "inherently bad people." That's complex, but in regards to this, I think the thing is that rarely, if ever, is sorting through people's hurtful actions or behavior pat, easy or uncomplicated when we're thoughtful people. So, there's that.

I'm glad you have a therapy appointment today and think that lists looks really good. If it helps, I have a personal anecdote about a kind of similar situation that I could share in terms of #4 on that list. Would you like me to share it with you to see if it might give you some ideas?

With what he wants around being good friends, I think right now isn't even the time for you to hear about that, let alone make those decisions. He needs to back off for now, and you need to make some distance if he won't, and you need to take care of yourself. Most likely, a big part of him wanting that is to make himself feel better: not your job. Very much not your job. he did you harm. At the very least, he needs to not put any of his needs in self-care about what he did on you.

With your birth control, I don't think that's about making sense or not. Plenty of people use ongoing contraceptives when they're not currently or regularly sexually active, if nothing else just to be prepared and avoid the hassle of stopping and starting all the time. I think whatever feels best for you and to you around that is fine.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So tonight I had a conversation with the other RA friend of mine. Quite significantly, I heard things that I disagreed with and things that I didn't want to hear. But I'm glad I went through that and I'm relieved about my reaction to it. I got the chance to stand up for myself almost as a practice try.

And yeah, hearing the anecdote would definitely be helpful. I had to be around him today at my newspaper's meeting, and all I could help to do to was pretend he didn't exist and that his was a disembodied voice. Eventually it'd be really awesome if I could just see him as a person again and not a series of happy then traumatic events.

Really, and please tell me if you think this is a bad idea, I want to talk to him and finally reassert the control I felt I was denied in this split. Basically, he may have broken up with me, but I was never given the chance to break up with him. I want to address the issues I never got to talk about while in the relationship that *I* need to be resolved. I want to at least acknowledge the anxieties I've inherited from him. I want to be able to actually voice the severance I feel from him. And I don't want to be vindictive; I just feel like I need this.

And thank you so much for talking me through all of this. This event has set of all sorts of neuroticisms in my thinking, but you've been understanding. I'm not always coherent or concise, but that you still read through all of this and provide such amazing support has really been SO amazing.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, of course. I'm glad to be of help. I'm glad you were able to have another conversation with someone about this and that even in the parts where you disagreed, you felt the strength to advocate for yourself. That rocks.

So, I'll share my anecdote with you, then move on to that other question.

Something like ten or eleven years ago or so, really out of nowhere, with nothing happening and no feelings of aversion, I just stopped feeling any attraction to men-type people. This was very, very strange for me, who had been a very 50/50 kind of bisexual for all of my life, since I was a kid. In other words, gender just never made any difference to me. Suddenly it did. It took a lot of adjustment to get used to that, and I took a lot of crap from some people, but once I did, I was okay, and felt pretty okay about an identity as a woman who was only into women.

I cultivated a pretty excellent lesbian/dyke community I really valued, as friends, as lovers, as comrades, if you will. I felt very accepted and supported. In that community, there was someone who I'd had something sexual with once, but who was more of a close friend, even though I was much closer to her girlfriend. We all had a very family-like relationship as a group. I rusted both of them a lot, even though that first person was sometimes pretty iffy in her emotional stability. As it turned out, she, in time, became emotionally abusive with my friend, started going off the rails at a couple other people.

Scroll forward a few more years, and I was on a trip and BOOM: found myself attracted to a guy again. That was all good, but yet again very confusing, very annoying in some ways (around identity stuff), and when I got back home I found that some of my community...well, were less than accepting.

The worst of everyone was this person. Over a week or two, she'd make fun of me sometimes, then other times get bizarrely sexually possessive of me, once even biting me and drawing blood, in public no less.

I was on the phone with her girlfriend really upset, just getting some support working through my confusion, fear of losing my community and friends, etc. It was not a good day. And this person picked up the phone (drunk, clearly, but whatever) and just ripped me to SHREDS. She basically took every vulnerable place I had and had a field day rubbing it raw, called me names, the works. It was awful and very last straw. (Adding insult to injury, after that call I went out in tears to take a walk with my dog and get some air, and someone out of nowhere in the neighborhood literally tried to kick my little dog. It was really a very, very bad day.)

So. After that, and the stuff she had done before, on top of the way she'd been treating my friend, I basically told her that this was our deal: we were both part of a very small community. We both cared a lot about some of the same people, were very close to some of the same people. We were not going to be able to avoid each other. But what she needed to know is that when we were in the same space, I would be as cordial as I was to anyone else in a very surface way, but we were NOT friends, we would not ever be friends again, I did not ever want her over at my place and I was not going to be pretending that we were still close friends. Those were just my limits and what I felt able to do and that was just that. I made clear the reasons why and again affirmed these were hard limits. If she didn't want to deal with me not being all buddy-buddy, then she was certainly welcome to avoid me if she liked.

Ultimately, that worked pretty well. It took a while for her to stop pushing boundaries with me, and if I still lived there, it might still be happening some. Or not, who knows. When other friends picked up on the fact that something had changed, if they didn't know what it was or I didn't think filling them in was appropriate, I'd just say that our friendship had changed, she was an acquiantance now because I needed some boundaries, and that was all sorted. Other people were not clueless about her behavior, so it's not like I had to argue that point at all.

Was it awkward? Sure. But I figure that's how it is in those situations. And if I ever just wanted to make sure I didn't have to deal with her at all, I just chose to socialize outside that immediate circle of friends.

Not sure if any of that helps, but there you go.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Really, and please tell me if you think this is a bad idea, I want to talk to him and finally reassert the control I felt I was denied in this split. Basically, he may have broken up with me, but I was never given the chance to break up with him. I want to address the issues I never got to talk about while in the relationship that *I* need to be resolved. I want to at least acknowledge the anxieties I've inherited from him. I want to be able to actually voice the severance I feel from him. And I don't want to be vindictive; I just feel like I need this.

I can totally understand your desire for that, I think it's just a question of a) if you think you're likely to be able to get what you need in this way in an exchange with that person, and b) when the right time would be for you to do this. In other words, when do you think you'll be up to handling that and having whatever it is you need TO handle that? It might be something you want sooner rather than later, which is fine, I'd just also make sure you're ready for that whenever you pursue it.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi. I just wanted to post and say that I'm not dead/do have a response, but that yesterday was a complete mess and now I have even more to chew on than before.

I can say that right now I feel like I'm having trouble dealing with things and that right now my credibility feels attached to how well I deal with things.

1. There was a complete breakdown in communication yesterday, and so I went to my RHD (residence hall director) asking for mediation. My point was that, after sending a message asking to have a talk at some point, I was feeling forced into providing closure prematurely (he had given me until Sunday to talk) and that right now I'm not emotionally settled enough to give him any sort of talk.

2. It started as me trying to confront him about feeling rushed and pressured and needing to ask for more time and set my own deadline. Ultimately I got this, but other things I feel got subverted.

3. As someone with bipolar ii disorder, I'm sure I haven't been dealing with things normally or (as) well (some people might have). As someone who just left a troubled home life again to return to college, I haven't felt right-minded enough lately to deal well. As someone who just went through a terribly serious health scare, I haven't been calm enough lately to deal well. So as someone experiencing a breakup of this nature, I just haven't been able to deal as well as I (and apparently he) would have liked. But I feel that I have been made to feel emotionally incapable during this talk last night, which just isn't right. I am under so much stress I just can't be coherent enough to *sound* as put together as he does. Aside from just feeling outsmarted (simply because he has 3 months to figure things out and I've had 6 days), I feel like having the mediator actually made things worse.He mentioned things to our mediator that made it sound like I was just not mentally right—saying that he was worried I hadn't talked to him from the morning after the breakup until that night because he thought I had done something to injure myself to deal with things—and now I feel kind of defamed. And the idea that I can't just react to the situation without feeling like I need to prove my rationality (and that I'm not overreacting or responding abnormally) makes me feel really trapped.

Heather, I am just so tired and overwhelmed. I've been thinking about things so much anyway and even with the deadline pushed back a week, I don't know how much more thinking I can do before I feel like I'm going to break down. I want to be able to just think about myself and be strong for myself, but there are so many expectations of me, that it's just not possible for me to feel what I want without feeling wrong.

[ 09-16-2011, 08:01 AM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, it sounds to me like he's possibly continuing to be manipulative here, much in the same ways he was before.

I hope you know that when we're talking here, as far as I'm concerned you're as credible as anyone else, and I certainly don't think having mental illness changes that in any way, especially when someone is aware of their illness and what it can mean in terms of how they experience things differently from people without that illness.

It sounds to me like you haven't been able to get any kind of break from any of this. Am I right? If so, can you possibly get one, putting things like any more conversation with him or mediators aside while you get some respite?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for helping deal with that mini "am-I-crazy?" crisis. I know I haven't said anything in a while, but just letting your words sink in was really helpful.

It's just so hard, because as I understand it, he's been pretty manipulative (at least from my end), but mostly because of a flawed logic and not because of an intent to hurt or control me. I think maybe I never got told in an effort to keep me from feeling upset. So many of the manipulative things have happened because he chose to act on my behalf (in what he thought were my best interests) while ultimately deciding that he needed to act for himself only. It's weird, because in hindsight I think he should have given me the chance to protect myself, rather than trying to protect both himself and me when they were at conflicts.

And I guess I really want to feel angry at him, as a person, because he was the person who decided that doing all these things were okay. But the person was moved by the circumstances of his mental state and surroundings. And I don't feel like I can gain a sense of release from being angry at circumstances. At this point I'm just angry at being caught in this situation, but from there I'm stuck. I hear that it just "takes time," but often enough, I feel too overwhelmed pain to accept the idea that there's nothing I can do but hope that it settles.

I mean, I keep getting advice like, "this is just how break ups work" and "there was no way you (or anyone in your position) could have avoided getting hurt." It's just that hearing things like this make me feel like I should regret initiating the relationship, because I should have known that relationships end, and always painfully (supposedly). I mean, I don't see that I should regret the relationship itself and all the good things that I felt, because I feel so badly right now. I guess it's hard to be okay with the idea that I really put myself in a vulnerable position and in a sense "deserve" how I am feeling right now.

Lately, I've been trying not too think too much about things too much. Strangely enough, not thinking about everything has helped streamline my opinions on the matter, which should help me figure out what I want to say eventually in my talk. Also, in not asking for as much advice, I've gotten less "you ought to do this." This process has been kinda tough because as a whole I don't feel like I've gotten to say/feel/receive everything I've wanted for myself; the measures I set up to try and assert myself ended up kind of backfiring. I guess I now I know right now I need to look for comfort, and not for a global solution to everything. I wonder if just letting things settle a little bit will help me regain my footing.

As for your anecdote and being cordial without being friends, I think it's a very good idea. But I'm not sure if it's the person I'm fed up with or how the person reacted in his situation. I guess that's what the talk is for: to assess how comfortable I'd feel with still having some level of connection with someone who disrespected the connection so thoroughly. Last night, we were both there hanging out with friends, and to be honest, it was really hard to be mad at him, because he's generally a great guy to hang around with. In a sense, I feel like I'm going to need to suss out if he thinks that he only needs to be a nice person situationally or if he really does feel a sense of ownership over his mistakes. And even with that answer decided, I'm still going to have to deal with deciding what's constructive and destructive if we interact. I guess what I'm asking is, does a day-by-day model sound like a cop-out or a reasonable model to deal with this?

Finally, something weird has been happening lately, though. I tried masturbating recently, hoping to regain a sense of ownership over my own body. I was able to get aroused, masturbate, and feel good, but the second I started to orgasm I just started crying. No matter what, lately, I can't orgasm without crying. At this point, though, I've talked out a lot of my sexual concerns with friends and a counselor. I don't feel as immediately icky in my body, but I don't want to have that kind of upsetting emotional response forever whenever I do something sexual. Does this kind of thing go away with time, or am I just going to have to learn to deal with it?

[ 09-18-2011, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: OpheliaBedelia ]

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpheliaBedelia
Neophyte
Member # 71763

Icon 1 posted      Profile for OpheliaBedelia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know this whole thing is cumbersome and ramble and long. It's okay.

Would anyone mind just giving me pointers on how to deal with anger? I feel about to boil over with stuff, at the risk of making this situation worse. I just want to be done with this anger before it moves me to make unwise decisions/say things I regret.

Posts: 32 | From: USA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 36725

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Stephanie_1     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Going to toss a couple of links for you here. They're links I've worked with students in my classes and they've helped. Hang in there!
How can I deal with my anger?
Taking Charge of Anger
Do's and Don't's of Dealing With Anger: Dealing With Anger in a Healthy Way Is Crucial

--------------------
"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3