Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:48 am

Sure...I mean I've just been living my life like normal..maybe a little bit slower or less "happy" but I'm still doing the same stuff..taking care of myself the best I can

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:53 am

Fantastic! Yay! Here's to a weekend of focus on the myriad other parts of life. What are your weekend plans? Doing anything special for yourself? :)
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 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:03 am

...no, just normal life. Might go out of town..and yeah, I don't party anymore. Because I got tired of the alcohol..and the dancing. There's nothing really special to do for myself..

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:10 am

How about, then, maybe picking out one or two things that you really like to do as an extra way to enjoy yourself? That could be something where you go out, either alone or with friends, like to a movie you've been meaning to see or a restaurant you've been eager to try. Or, if you' re feeling more like you want some concerted me-time, you could do something like a spa night for yourself, or making yourself a meal you really like, watching a favorite show, or reading a book you've been meaning to get to. What do you think, do you have some things like that you can plan for yourself?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:19 am

...I've done those things for the most part..I hung out with some friends yesterday and bought some stuff..and I don't feel any better tbh. Most of the movies I like are..like somewhat romantic so I'm avoiding that same goes with books. I feel like..I can't feel anything rn. I write some music though..and I end up talking about what bothers me still s

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:35 am

Okay, if you're feeling like a lot of your go-to places to put your energy aren't going to work for what Heather suggested, how about taking a look at these two articles and picking three to five things from them to try from now until Monday? I Feel Good: Pleasure and Fulfillment and Self-Care a La Carte both have lists of things to try (as well as some things to avoid).

Too, it may help to remember that this isn't necessarily about making you suddenly feel way better or happier. Right now, what we're recommending is that you shift your energy away from things that are causing you unhappiness, rather than you try to generate a specific emotion. For example, sometimes self-care doesn't make us feel better, but it keeps us from feeling worse and that's enough.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:42 am

...I think I'm just going to work on school and work shit. Sorry for cursing..I don't know if that's allowed here but.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:47 am

tbh I just feel lonely..but not because I'm alone cause I was alone in the relationship because obviously it's long distance so we're not together all the time and we work so not every single second of the day, but my friends don't even text me..I feel lonely no matter what I do in the moment. I miss sharing my day with someone..even if it was laundry or waking up..or work..

Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:01 am

If that's what feels like the best place to put your energy, then that's absolutely where you can direct it! Sometimes focusing on stuff we need to do, like school, work, or life stuff like chores, is also a way of looking after ourselves. I would encourage you to still pick a thing or two from those articles, just to give yourself something to look forward to.

Before you head into that break from thinking about anything related to those relationships, would it be helpful to have some resources on how to move past thoughts about those relationships if they pop up? Or is that something you've worked on with your therapist?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:18 am

Yeah..I have and I thought I was over them but they always pop up since my bf is displaying "similar" or what I think to be similar behavior. It all makes me feel a little worthless..even if I have the self confidence

Sam W
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:26 am

So, even if you're trying not to think about them, odds are thoughts about your boyfriend or past relationships will float through your brain. The trick is to not dwell on them when they do and continue to put your focus somewhere else. Can you give me a sense of what techniques your therapist had you try so we don't accidentally recommend something that you've found doesn't work for you (you're also welcome to take a break from this conversation as a means of testing out your ability to disengage from thinking about all this, if that's what would be most helpful to you right now)?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:54 pm

Just same shit..distract yourself with happy things

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:08 pm

What are happy things for you?
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 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:33 pm

doing things with my boyfriend...and talking and laughing at things together..idk quality time makes me happy.. but idk I've just done all the stuff that would normally make me happy so much alone..it doesn't make me as happy anymore..I just chill alone..shop, eat, cook, normal everyday things, go to the park, school, work,

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Heather » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:48 pm

Do you have any particular dreams and aspirations -- or life goals -- that you can do things to further, support or help get you there? Things you like to do because either a) you simply enjoy spending time doing those things, or b) you like doing because they love you closer to things you want or want to do in your life?

For instance, for some people that's writing a book or songs. For others that might be getting a degree in nursing, or running a marathon, or learning how to play guitar, or building a bookshelf, or looking for a new apartment, or learning a language so they can travel to a place they really want to go but don't speak the language of.
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 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:06 pm

yeah..but all those things take time. I write and I write music but of course I only write about what I'm worried or sad or thinking about. And I want to move out to an apartment..but like you have to save money over a certain period of time. I go to school for journalism..I do all that stuff. I've spent a good amount of time learning languages just during my life..I know casual German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean..

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:24 pm

I know how to play guitar..piano and bass..I don't need a new bookshelf..I have like two already. I had to stop training for a marathon because of this tattoo but once it heals I have to start training in the gym again..like I could do everything in the world and I swear this would still be on my mind..the intensity probably would just fluctuate..the only thing I'm doing is just..going through it

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Mo » Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:26 pm

It sounds like you have a bunch of interests and goals; maybe one of those is something you could choose to focus on a little more right now, as an outlet for extra time and energy. I hear you say that this will be on your mind no matter what and I think that's probably true, but as Sam said above if you can let those thoughts pop up and pass by, and try to keep your focus elsewhere, that will be more helpful than really dwelling in those thoughts.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:24 pm

...I'm already thinking about it again

Gone.Sorry.
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Gone.Sorry. » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:53 pm

larajeancovey23 wrote:Just same shit..distract yourself with happy things


What techniques have you been working on with your therapist in order to do this? Is your therapist helping you practice mindfulness? Have they been walking you through CBT techniques? Maybe you have grounding exercises to practice?

It doesn't sound like you're very impressed with the guidance of your therapist. Are you generally happy with this therapist? How long have you been seeing them? Do you feel like you've made progress with this therapist? What are your goals with this therapist? Have you discussed these goals directly with the therapist? Do you feel like you have any control over what discussions to have with your therapist or do you feel like they always speak over you and dismiss your concerns?

A good therapist will listen to you and let you do a bit of guiding your own sessions and setting your own goals for what you want out of therapy. They will help offer you multiple techniques for coping and moving past unhealthy behaviors. They will assign you homework to help practice and employ these methods. If you're not getting anything out of therapy, then it could mean it's time to shop for a new therapist and find someone you connect with more who better aligns with your personality and can help push you to succeed in working towards your goals more than your current therapist may be.

The Anxiety and Depression Society of America has reviewed and suggested some mood management and thought training apps that help practice some techniques, as mentioned above. They're always best used in conjunction with your therapy, but they may be useful tools for you. I also have a couple people in my personal life who have suggested the app Pacifica, which is free.

In a bit of a different line, I use the app Insight Timer for guided meditation, which allows me to put aside some time of my day and ground myself and re-focus or re-center my train of thought when I'm going down a negative spiral. It has thousands of free meditation sessions. Some are just music, others are guided. They cover all sorts of topics from sleeping to anxiety relief to relaxation to setting intentions and more.

I thought about you when reading about these apps because it sounds like you don't really have a good handle on techniques that can help you break negative spirals yet. For example, you mentioned earlier feeling like you're somehow a failure and unlikeable because you've had a bunch of dates that don't work out and been ghosted a few times. However, a healthier way to think about these experiences would be to stop framing them as personal failures and instead re-frame your thinking to something like: "these dates did not work out because myself and my dates were not compatible people. We were not interested in the same things. We were not looking for the same things in a relationship. Although it hurts to be ghosted, it was good in the long-term that this did not work. I would not have been happy with a partner who could just ghost me, and they couldn't be happy with a partner looking for a long-term commitment."

It would also be healthy to think about what you learned from these experiences. Did you learn more about what you want from a relationship? Maybe you learned that a particular mode of looking for dates isn't the right one for you. Did you learn more about what sort of things to perhaps screen for before agreeing to go out on a date with someone (for example, if you're on a dating app, perhaps you skip over anyone whose goals for a relationship are simply "have some fun", which may be code for looking for shorter-term relationships)? Maybe you would do better if friends set you up on blind dates with people they thought you might get along with. Maybe, if you're using a dating app, you would do better if you spent some time cleaning up your profile and being more specific about what you're looking for. Or perhaps you've learned that dating is just too exhausting for you right now and you need to spend some time working on your mental health and self-esteem and perception of dating before you return to dating.

In recent posts, it also is sounding like you have a bit of an issue with instant gratification. You want committed, fulfilling, long-lasting relationships but you don't want to spend time getting to know people or bond with them or do fun things with them. You just want to immediately settle down because this gives you some picture of happiness and contentment. You are focusing on your physical fitness journey right now, but literally no other hobbies appeal to you and you're not interested in trying any new things because everything takes time to learn and get good at and you don't want to put in any time. To be very frank here, it also sounds a bit like you are focusing on being in a long-term relationship over putting in the hard work to develop healthier thought models and finding responsible coping mechanisms, because you think that will be a quicker and easier way to achieve your goals and find peace.

As someone with depression, I do completely understand a lack of interest and motivation in pursuing old or even new hobbies. I'm getting from your posts that you're kind of exhausted of doing this. But this is exactly when a change of pace can do us really well. Maybe instead of picking up a new hobby on yourself, you can focus on doing something new that benefits other people. What volunteer opportunities are in your area? Could you volunteer with an animal shelter to help walk dogs? Could you volunteer with a soup kitchen? Maybe there's a weekend cleanup effort to clean up local walking trails or rivers? What volunteer opportunities does your local hospital have openings for? Do you have a local senior center that's looking for volunteers to socialize with their residents? Do you have a car - can you help deliver meals for meals on wheels? Both my city website and a local nonprofit for my city lists volunteer opportunities near me. Some might be more exciting, some might be more like admin assistant sort of tasks, but doing something for a cause you support could be very fulfilling and give you new perspective. Could you make a commitment to regularly volunteer [x] times a week for the next three months or so? This would give you a specific task and help show you how commitment can bring a sense of satisfaction and gratification. Mindfulness practices could also help you over this hump.

You're also sounding a bit lost because you feel like you've got some goals that are on track (going to school for journalism, for instance) and so nothing else is seeming interesting to you. Perhaps it would help to stop and re-evaluate your goals. Set yourself some specific goals that have a range of short-term and long-term payouts. Try to avoid goals with too many external factors (for example, getting married, because this isn't something you can particularly control too much). Since you're getting a degree in journalism, maybe it should be your goal to get a couple months of real life journalism experience aside from your degree. Is there a newspaper at your school that you could go out for? If you're already on the paper and uninterested in it, maybe it's time to see if you can write for a different section. Perhaps you want to look for a journalism internship out of school, like with your local city paper. Or maybe you could start your own blog. You could report on local issues, write about topics you know a lot about and have something to say about, do criticisms or editorials of pieces that newspapers are publishing that miss some facts or don't consider a specific perspective. Maybe you could even do a series where you interview people in your life and around your school about their relationships, their thoughts on relationships, what relationship advice they have, what relationship troubles they've had to help give you more perspective and perhaps realize you're not so alone in your relationships woes. You also mentioned an interest in music. Have you written much music before? Maybe you could make it your goal to write an album with [x] amount of songs on it. You could do lyrics or not. You could practice the songs and go all the way and record them and put them together. You also mentioned an interest in working out, even though you're currently resting for a tattoo. Do you have an exercise plan? Have you ever written one for yourself before? Maybe you could spend this time until your tattoo heals to write out some of your own exercise routines.

Negative habits and thought patterns are hard to break out of, yes, which is why it's important to start with a plan of how to recognize these negative habits and practice (and keep practicing) how to break out of them and move forward. And we have to be willing to put a little bit of effort forth. We can't say no to everything that might help because it seems hard or even because it seems boring. We've got to at least give it a shot so that we can find the right methods for ourselves.

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:44 am

No..I don't have a gratification problem. I was with my ex for a year..and this one for about seven months. I think I'd like to get married to someone I actually know?? I'm not about to rush into shit? I don't do dating apps..and I have worked on it before I even started back. I was fine. I'm perfectly fine alone until I'm in a relationship..and I'm not waiting anymore because it's been fucking about 5 years since I've been with someone so I'm not doing that anymore. Look..I have done all these things. I have fucking exercise goals for myself and school goals..and apartment goals. I have all of these things..I've worked in newspapers in the past..I'm just tired of everything so I just kinda live my life..meditation does not help..like of course it helps for a little bit. Like I've meditated with a fucking monk before..which sounds really weird but I have and I swear it doesn't help me much. I'm just tired of literally everything..of trying to "fix" everything..

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:53 am

...I'm tired of people just saying what's wrong with me..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 mean if he leaves I guarantee I'll be okay like..by myself I'll just be more "damaged" but fuck it at this point..like literally not everything is a lesson. Some things just happen I'm tired of people telling me these are lessons..no these people literally used me and took advantage by being "nice." My ex was abusive..these are not lessons..

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:26 am

I feel like if my heart breaks one more time I just have to end it..I don't want to keep feeling this pain over and over and over

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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:45 am

I believe Sian mentioned this previously, but suicidal thoughts are not something we're equipped to deal with. If you're feeling them right it is really important you speak to someone before doing anything else. You can call lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them online here.

I think that horriblegoose, and the rest of us, are not trying to make you feel as though there's something "wrong" with you. Instead, we're offering observations based on what you've shared with us here, including the fact that it doesn't sound like you've had a chance to develop tools that help you shift focus away from your worries about a romantic relationship . Or, the fact that it sounds like even the things you've set for yourself as goals or hobbies don't seem to be bringing you any kind of fulfillment or pleasure. Neither of those things are something "wrong" with you, but they are things that seem to be adding to the sum total of unhappiness in your life, and we've been trying to help you find ways to address them. I do think, based on the more recent conversation, it's time to check in with your therapist and explain that the methods they've given you aren't working and ask for help developing new ones.

On the subject of lessons, you're correct that your ex being abusive is not a lesson, and that the fault for his actions lies on him. However, I do think it might be time to for you to challenge one of the ways you've been framing your experiences. You often say that, when it comes to romantic relationships, the pattern in your life is that everyone leaves you. But, unless I've missed a key detail, you've told us you've only had 2-3 of those relationships. And, if we set aside your abusive ex as an outlier, that leaves you with 1-2 data points. That's not nearly enough to draw conclusions about a pattern from. That's not to say that the feeling of "everyone leaves me" isn't very real and strong to you, or that you're "wrong" for thinking about it that way. But changing the story you tell yourself from "the pattern in my life is everyone uses and then leaves me" to "these 1-2 people behaved in this way, but that doesn't tell me anything about what future people might do" might help combat some of those feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. Does that make sense?

I do want to ask really quickly: when you mention getting out of control, can you tell me a little more about what you mean by that?

larajeancovey23
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Re: Boyfriend and abandonment issues

Unread postby larajeancovey23 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:34 am

It's been more than 2 or 3 people..I've dated more than 3 people. I've just been closer to 3 people than the rest of them..plus I don't date like purposely often..like I said I just happen to meet these people..not on purpose. Just when my anxiety gets really bad..and I can't help texting and saying how I feel or I start feeling really down. My therapist helps only when I feel like this..which is when a relationship stresses me..otherwise I don't go because nothing bothers me when I'm alone..I'm perfectly fine alone


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