Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:49 am

Okay, thank you for clarifying that 2-3 are the dates you got close to.

Can you tell me a little more about how you end up in relationships? You say you don't it purposefully often and that you just happen to meet people. Are you the one who usually initiates the dates, or is it more that someone asks you on one and you say yes, even in times when you're maybe not into it?

So, in order for therapy to be effective, you have to be engaging in it both when you're in a relationship and when you're on your own. That gives you a chance to actually develop tools and delve into underlying issues, rather than triaging whatever thing is stressing you out. I say this as someone who's been in therapy, and who found that while it was good to have that support during times of crisis, the times when I and my therapist were able to focus more on patterns in my thinking, or practice tools to help me in situations I knew provoked anxiety, the better I was able to handle anxiety spikes when they happened. Does that make sense?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:42 pm

..guys just ask me out. I've never asked a guy out before. I've turned down plenty. I don't say yes to everybody.

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Amanda F. » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:33 pm

larajeancovey23 wrote:I just want to be fine as I am..like even if I have negative thoughts or if I get out of control at times..and I'm tired of trying to "fix" what's wrong..instead of being just accepted


I totally sympathize with this, having had many negative thoughts myself. Like Sam said, I don't think anyone is trying to say that you need to "fix" yourself. What we're picking up on, though, is that you seem to be unhappy about those negative thoughts or feeling out of control. And although those thoughts/feelings only come up when you're in a relationship, you can certainly work on them with your therapist at other times. Even though it doesn't seem like you need to work on them when out of a relationship, that's actually the best time to work on them because you won't be struggling as much with the feelings in the first place, and you can practice the techniques that the therapist gives you.

Larajeancovey23, I want to make sure we're able to address and support you in a way that is most helpful for you. It seems like a lot of stuff has come up in the past few days - anxiety, abuse, interactions with other people, etc. We've suggested a few things which you've said you've been working on. I do think that visiting your therapist soon is really important, especially because you've mentioned suicide which is a sign that you need support that we can't offer here. For our part, how can we help you going forward? Would you like to talk about other solutions for managing anxiety while you step away from thinking about relationships? Figure out what kind of relationships will serve you better going forward?

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:35 pm

I'm sorry, larajeancovey23. I didn't mean to hurt you or imply that you were broken or needed "fixing". What I'm hearing from you is that you're unhappy, dissatisfied with some things happening in your life, anxious, and generally struggling with moving on from bad experiences. None of that makes you broken or damaged. It just means you're going through some bad stuff. I just want you to know that there are ways to break through these patterns and negative spirals. I'm sorry that I've upset and even frustrated you and made it seem as though I'm speaking over you rather than listening.

On that note, I want to ask (which basically reiterates what Amanda F posted): what is your specific goal for why you posted this thread? What exactly do you want to accomplish by talking to folk here?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:39 pm

I apologize also..I feel like I'm very sensitive but yeah I just got frustrated. I originally just started this thread to figure something out with my bf..and I was having a lot of anxiety about that when I posted it. Even now but I think I'm a lot calmer then when I did post it

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Amanda F. » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:22 pm

Thanks for your apology to horriblegoose. That was thoughtful - good self-reflection.

So given that it's been a few days, where are you at now? What do you think would be some good stuff to do for yourself going forward?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:55 pm

um..idk I guess I'm at the same like place..I'm just still anxious..and sad. I'm too scared to even look at my phone to see if he's messaged me

Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:08 am

Do you feel like you had any success at all over the weekend with with not focusing on this situation? For instance, where there chunks of time where you were doing something and then went, "huh, I haven't thought about the situation with my boyfriend in awhile?"

Too, I want to highlight the question Amanda asked above: what do you think would be some good things to do for yourself going forward?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:41 am

....no, there weren't. I just basically forced myself. Idk...live my normal life?

Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:04 am

Sometimes, just getting through a normal day is enough.

I do want to circle back to our early discussion of finding new, potentially fun or engaging things to try out (or things you know you like that you can plan to do this week). The reason we continue to suggest that is that, while getting through a day is sometimes all you can manage, having some things to look forward to and enjoy while you're doing them may help you feel less bogged down in the sadness or stress.

Too, if you're really struggling to think of anything you could do or try that you'd enjoy, that's also something to raise with your therapist. Anhedonia, which is where nothing seems to make you feel happiness or pleasure, even things you previously enjoyed, is a symptom of various mental health issues (depression being the main one). In theory, your therapist has tools to help you address that feeling (or lack of feeling).

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:29 am

Should I continue to..like wait for him?

Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:37 am

If you haven't heard back from him, then in many cases waiting is all you can do. As we mentioned earlier, giving him the space to respond is likely to be the best option right now.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:54 am

I'm just..still worried he'll be like the others..especially after I told him how I was feeling

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:13 am

Good morning. Think it's probably not worth our time to go back to the last time you and I talked, but I did just want to say those things to focus on instead I mentioned were only intended as examples. It looks like you may have misunderstood my intent, given your literal response to them.

Per where things stand now with this relationship, I'd say if you still haven't heard from him, I think it's time to consider moving on from this relationship rather than waiting on this person. It's been over a week, yes? And he hasn't reached out to you in any way?

Honestly, I think being out of this relationship and then ideally taking a pretty major break from seeking out a new one -- from dating, period -- would probably be very good for you. I feel like it's unlikely you're going to be able to find and nurture something healthy that you and the other person both feel good in, especially over time, until you can feel really good without this kind of relationship. I feel like until this kind of relationship can feel less like a need and more like a want, you're unlikely to create one that's truly good and that you feel good in.

What do you think?
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

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:38 am

It'll probably start over and just end the same way with someone new tbh

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:44 am

Well, I think if you went into something with someone now, yeah, you're probably right, which is why I don't advise it. It seems pretty clear you've got some patterns you need to break or at least massively disrupt before things are likely to go differently, and that that'll probably take some considerable time and effort.

So long as you feel well-served by your current therapist, they're probably the best person to help you the most with that, since they're likely more aware of both your pattens and both the challenges and the skills you've got when it comes to changing them. <3
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

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:57 pm

well I didn't know..I was the problem. I don't even know if it's me..I'm tired of being single..for the past 4 or 5 years. I didn't even do anything with the other guys..I might've gotten scared but I definitely wasn't as close to them as I am my bf..I thought I could be who I am..but I guess not..I guess it's that bad..

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:40 pm

This isn't about "who the problem is." I also wasn't suggesting your patterns are all about you.

But the thing is, the part of our patterns that ARE about us are the part we have at least some control over and thus, the parts we are most likely to be able to change. So, if we don't at least try and find those and then see what we can do about them, then staying stuck in patterns that are making us suffer is all too easy. :(
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

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:09 am

I feel awful..about it and I don't want to move on..I wanna work through it. But idk maybe I'm too difficult to be loved

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:24 am

I feel like we keep going around in circles here because you seem more committed to statements and ways of thinking like that instead of looking at and considering the kinds of things we are saying and suggesting instead.

For instance, no one had said you are "too difficult to be loved," here, and we have challenged you on things like that throughout. Rather, we're suggesting that you seek out some help and do some work on the way you're approaching and thinking relationships and yourself so that you can change the patterns you have expressed are happening, and so that, for example, the next time you enter into an intimate relationship, it's more likely to be one where the other person wants to and feels about to communicate with you instead of ghosting you or otherwise choosing to just stop speaking with you, as seems to be the case here.

You obviously can't work through a relationship where the other person is no longer contacting you. We obviously can't know anything more about the choice this guy seems to be making in that regard separate from the information you have given us, but I would say that if someone has simply stopped answering you altogether and doesn't appear to be reaching out after over a week (that's about how long it's been, right?), that there probably just isn't a relationship to work through, because it seems very clearly to be over.

I'm sorry for how you're feeling, and I am absolutely sorry that silence is how it seems this person has chosen to end this. That really sucks, especially because then you don't get any help with finding resolution around it from that person. But I think that no matter what else you do, unless I'm misunderstanding this non-response from him, you have to accept that you'll need to start working on moving on no matter what, because they appear to have done so. :(
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

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:15 pm

..but he told me he would never leave like this..I have worked on it, my God, but it keeps happening over and over and I am sick of it

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:21 pm

I'm very tired of being called pretty or beautiful and being left..because of my "flaws"..you don't understand what it's like to be treated like the world and then being left..like you no longer matter over..a death in the family?? I don't understand..because we were so happy before..any of that happpened

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Alice M. » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:32 pm

Hi, I'm going to step in here. I've read through your posts and feel mostly caught up.

I am, however, perplexed by your last couple of statements here. I'm wondering if you understand that people can be seen as physically attractive by some or many, and still have to do things like work hard at having healthy relationships, break up and move on sometimes, etc? It's part of the human experience, regardless of how "pretty" you are or are not. Physical attraction is one piece of the puzzle, and only one piece. There are more pieces in this puzzle.

Sometimes people work well together, and then they don't. It's unfortunate that he's choosing silence as a way to end things, even after saying he wouldn't. I'm sorry about that -- how hurtful. People say a lot of things and then the reality is different. For instance, the divorce rate in the US (and beyond): if saying you're committed to someone forever worked 100% of the time (or even just for the people who find each other attractive or had happy times in that first year or three), then marriage would be an entirely different institution. ;-) You are not alone in this.

Also, sometimes people outgrow each other -- for instance, maybe you two were transitional people for each other, and now you're growing in different directions. Or he got overwhelmed and couldn't deal anymore, for reasons including you or not (serious grief can be extremely life changing, for instance).

I'm going to echo what many others above are saying. You're stuck in patterns that take work and support to break. You're likely to keep winding up here, in this position, without some changes (including identifying and changing patterns, getting anxiety under control if that's a factor, etc). It isn't easy, but it's worth it.

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:17 pm

I think my last question was a bit poorly worded - sorry about that!

We know why you're here, but how exactly can we offer you support/help/resources? Could you take some time to think and clearly lay out for us your expectations of what sort of guidance/resources you need? We've tried encouraging you to work with your therapist, offered some resources to help you practice breaking out of negative spirals, worked with you to help re-frame your self-defeating thoughts, reassured you over this mess with this boy, helped answer questions with advice of how to communicate with this boy - but nothing seems to be helping. Our suggestions have either been dismissed or only seem to help for a couple of hours at most before we're back in the anxiety loop over this sad situation and being unable/undesiring to move on from this relationship. So would it be possible for you to take some time and evaluate what sort of resources exactly you're helping for here and communicate that clearly to us? There's unfortunately no magic or immediate solution to these patterns or spirals and without more from you, I'm out of things to suggest. D:

I also want to point towards this piece found on the forums, since I feel it may be relevant: Why We Set Big Limits Around Anxiety and Reassurance regarding Scarleteen's direct help services.

Here's a summary of the post:

By all means, some of the reason why is because we have to manage our time and energy effectively here. But mostly it's because reassurance is something we, and those who work in mental health, know does the opposite of helping with anxiety. Instead, it actually is something that only helps keep people STUCK in anxiety and makes managing it harder, not easier.


And here's the background/explanation of where that comes from:

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) who experience the pain and terror brought on by unwanted intrusive thoughts will use whatever means necessary to alleviate their discomfort. If they can’t make themselves feel sure about something internally, they reach out to the nearest person who they think can do it for them. If they are unavailable, the person with OCD will often reach out to the cold, unforgiving internet where the answers they hope not to find will always be waiting.

When the part of the brain responsible for making humans feel “sure enough” fails to kick into gear on its own, those with OCD and related anxiety-based conditions often use compulsive strategies to artificially create this sense of certainty. While this temporarily provides some assurance, the joy is short-lived, replaced by an overwhelming and seemingly unfair demand for re-assurance. As a strategy for suppressing the occurrence and effects of an obsession, reassurance seeking is a compulsion commonly employed by virtually all OCD sufferers, as well as those with related OC Spectrum Disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), Social Anxiety (Social Phobia), and Hypochondria (Health Anxiety).
The Problem with Reassurance

So why is reassurance such a big deal? To put it in clinical terms, when an individual seeks reassurance, they reinforce that they are unable to tolerate the discomfort of the uncertainty they are experiencing. At the same time, they reinforce that the best way to alleviate the discomfort of that uncertainty is to compulsively seek reassurance.

Concurrently, reassurance as a behavior sends the message to the brain that whatever unwanted thought set these events into motion must be terribly significant. “If he goes through all of this just to know for sure, then this thought must be really important!”

Finally, reassurance is addictive. If reassurance were a substance, it would be considered right up there with crack cocaine. One is never enough, a few makes you want more, tolerance is constantly on the rise, and withdrawal hurts. In other words, people with OCD and related conditions who compulsively seek reassurance get a quick fix, but actually worsen their discomfort in the long term.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:25 pm

I know that...but it's come to the point where I just want to give up. I'm tired of temporary people...I just want someone to stay. I've done this enough times..once was enough for me. We worked together...like I know him. It's not because we didn't..yeah I know what people say sometimes isn't true..I'm not stupid. But..it takes all of me to even trust someone so to have everything fall apart again is very devastating..even if it is just a relationship. Really I think I just need to patient with him...I really don't think he's this kind of person at all..I just cannot stand temporary relationships..with a bunch of strangers who know all about me..or anything about me. I don't even think it's my patterns..I really just think it's them at this point..because all I do is maybe have an anxiety freak out because of what's happened to me in my past and in every "dating" relationship I have not had freak outs but they still leave...not because I've done anything negative and yeah I get depressed sometimes, but I'm not expecting to be happy 24/7. Yeah..I want reassurance because I'm in so much pain.


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