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Emotionally Lost, Looking for Support (Threadcromancy? Yes, But For Good News)

124

Posts

  • DrZiplockDrZiplock Registered User regular
    You talking to someone professionally?

    "zip, i dunno what it is about you, but there's something very cat-like about your face. i can't really place it. you'd make a good mountain lion." Hail, Satan!
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    No, I'm not. I have... complicated opinions about the medical professions; I try to use doctors and medical professionals (with the exception of visiting general practitioners for yearly preventative exams) only when absolutely necessary, and I don't think being dumped qualifies as a legitimate medical reason (for me, of course; I never speak for others).

    It hurts, and I'm sad, but that's how it's supposed to work. There's nothing unnatural about how I'm feeling. ........it just sucks REALLY badly. :(

  • phoophoo Registered User
    Jack, I totally understand negative feelings about medical professionals. I will say that therapists (not psychiatrists) are different. Their focus is completely different and are more like to see you as a whole person who can heal yourself when pointed in the right direction.

    I don't think the reason you would go to a therapist at this point is so much to get over this one girl, but if you saw a poor pattern in yourself that either led you to this girl or allowed you to stay in the relationship when it became unreasonable. You mentioned that there are certain specific circumstances under which you can become codependent. If that is a situation you can correct yourself, fantastic. But often folks need someone who is not so close to the situation and have a healthy perspective to point you in the right direction. Therapists work great for repeating patterns and it's not just a mask or bandaid like medications are (for fixable things, not chemical things).



    Essee
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Oh, let me clarify. In no way do I view the medical profession or medical practitioners in any field of medicine with anything other than respect and admiration, necessary for modern human existence. I, however, recognize modern man's over dependence on medicine, which can have negative consequences. Overuse of antibiotics and over sterilization of the environment created superbugs and MRSA. Overuse of aspirin or medications create tolerances that make them useless.

    I have nothing against those in the field of psychiatric medicine, but I try very hard to only use medicine of any kind when it's necessary so that I don't become over reliant on medicine (and I view therapy as a form of medicine).

    I'm not against seeing a professional about possible mental issues, but I want to hold off on doing so until I'm absolutely sure I can't deal with the problem on my own to prevent over reliance. And that's aside from the fact that, like I said, I don't think the pain of being left and cheated on warrants professional medical help. The codependency issue I could see myself talking to someone about, but not yet. Now that I have a name for it and can identify it, it should be trivial (especially considering how much I reflect on my own actions day-to-day) to spot me falling into it again. If I start acting like that again and can't change my actions on my own, that will probably be when I seek professional help.

    JackKieser on
  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    JackKieser wrote: »
    So, here's to 3 months, I guess. Here's hoping the next 3 are good ones.

    They'll get better dude. I felt the same way after my ex moved out after 3 months. Hell, even after six months I still would get pretty down now and again. I'm at about 9 months out now and am pretty ambivalent about most of what happened unless I dwell on it. I also gave myself a year away from dating and focusing on getting myself back together. I'm just now getting to the point of wanting to start dating again and it will still be a couple more months before I actually start doing that and I'm mostly fine with that. Give it enough time and you'll be over it and probably wiser for knowing what you want (or don't) out of your next relationship when that time comes.

  • Dr. VenkmanDr. Venkman Registered User
    Jack, I wanted you to know that even though I've been a longtime PA fan, your story inspired me to finally register for the forums. Keep your head up, keep a song in your heart. Always remember to keep yourself laughing and smiling. A huge key for me in a situation such as this is to learn to love yourself. Become your favorite person. Always know that you can improve. Before you expect anyone to love you, you must love who you are and what you can and will be. Always inspire and never stop looking towards tomorrow.

  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    :) I'm glad to see posts like that because it helps me feel like some good came from this whole thing. Multiple people have joined the boards because of this thread, and that makes me feel like I've been able to give something, albeit something small, back to the community. It's a good feeling, and I've definitely been short on those lately.

    Essee
  • NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
    I'm sure you're fine not seeing a professional right now. Phoo's basically hit the nail on the head.

    Personally, I know I'm absolutely against taking meds unless it is clearly warranted (which, sadly for me, may be becoming the case).

    I'd like to reiterate that it'd be better for you to just get out and indulge in new hobbies or exercises. This will make the next 3 months go by quicker, and make them that much more enjoyable. Depression will make you isolate yourself and want to avoid people, so do your best to force yourself out of that mentality (not easy, believe me I know). Start small, and grow large!

  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    Hey, everyone. Something happened today that I think I should share.

    One of my coworkers did something today that was, I think, very inconsiderate because it put basically the entire branch out for 45-60 minutes at closing today, and it made me... well, pretty damn angry. Normally, I'd just be pissed at him, go home, play some games, and be done with it... but that didn't happen today. I'm not entirely sure if it was because of the level of anger that I felt or because of the reason I felt it (inconsiderate actions), but my anger at my coworker triggered pretty vivid flashbacks of my anger at my ex. Very vivid.

    I had flashbacks of the day she left (when I was at my angriest, probably), as well as flashbacks of the day I found out she cheated on me. I also had "anger fantasies", for lack of a better term, wherein I had the opportunity to scream at her about how she treated me and how hurt I was (which isn't too surprising, considering I have a very vivid and overactive imagination). I couldn't control the direction of my thoughts, nor could I control my stream of consciousness during this period, which made me angrier (I can't stand not being in mental control). Obviously, this fed into a cycle of anger; the cycle lasted for about 2-3 hours, total.

    After playing some Borderlands 2 and taking a nap, I feel a little better... but I've never experienced anger quite like this before. I've been angry at my ex, of course... furious about what she did to me. Sometimes, before I go to bed, I imagine myself in a room with her where I can just let it all out, but it usually manifests as despair in those instances. I've never felt my mind be so uncontrollably angry about it with no provocation, however; my anger at my coworker, as far as I can tell, was completely unrelated to my experiences with my ex, and there was no identifiable trigger that I can find, aside from the emotion of anger. Usually, if I start to feel latent anger towards my ex, it is triggered by something: a picture of the wedding, a comment by a friend, a song we liked, etc. This time, no such trigger existed.

    I'm not sure what to make of all of this.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    You were that incredibly angry at her the whole time; what has happened is that your emotional state has now improved sufficiently that your mind feels able to relax a little bit and let that anger express.

    Next time you start feeling like that (if it happens again) go to the gym and beat the ever-living shit out of a punchbag or whatever until you are totally exhausted. Then call somebody you like on the phone (family, best friend, whatever), talk to them for 10 or 20 minutes about stuff that makes you feel happy (NOT about your ex), then go to sleep.

    Repeat that emotional purging cycle a couple of times, and most of that anger and tension will unwind.

    EDIT: If you don't like gyms or punching bags, then try something like mountain biking - the important thing is that it should take up all your attention and be physically demanding. Punch bags are just a particularly good way to release aggression.

    V1m on
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    Anger is a pretty par the course reaction to a boundary being broken.

    I think you're going through a healthy cycle, and my suggestion would be to avoid suppressing those feelings and as much as it will hurt and you will cry, to really think about why you feel that way.

    Speaking from a very similar experience as yours.

    Essee
  • phoophoo Registered User
    I agree with the folks that say do something physical. When I went through and angry period in my life, I would save up all the glass recycling and periodically would go out and throw them violently into the recycle bin so they'd smash, but I wouldn't have to clean it up. It's not as physical as a punching bag, so ymmv, but I found breaking things to be satisfying.

    There's probably some angry tears in there that need to come out and will quietly fester until they do. It is good that it is starting to be released little by little as you are able to deal with it.

  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    Hey Jack, I was at the Q&A with LewieP's Daddy. I was so proud of you, and then had to explain to LPD the background to it all, and what an amazing place PA is. He got it.
    You're going to make it through all of this, I know it's hard right now, but you will. Have faith in yourself, don't be afraid to express your feelings, bottling them in is no good for anyone.

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
    Essee
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that expressing your anger in physically violent ways is constructive (e.g. "go hit a punching bag and imagine that it's your girlfriend"). The research on this is a bit ambiguous, and there are indications that even something like screaming actually makes things worse, in the sense that it takes longer for you to get over everything.

    Exercise in and of itself is a good thing, so it doesn't necessarily have to be violent per se. Even something as simple as running or lifting weights will release endorphins, etc. and start you on a positive reinforcement cycle. A good trick would be to go do something physical that will take your mind off of the past whenever you feel the onset of depression or anger. What you're looking for isn't necessarily to overcome the negativity so much as deflect it and focus on something else.

    Right now it's very easy for your mind to focus on your past relationship because it was a huge part of who you were and what you did on a day-to-day basis. It's going to take time to break that pattern. To use an analogy, right now you are used to taking a specific route to the store. However, that road has now fallen into disrepair - there are potholes and big rocks all over the place. You don't want to keep taking that route because it will eventually wreck your car, so you have to keep reminding yourself that there's another way to get to the store. Sure, sometimes you'll be absentminded and take the old route every once in a while, but after some time, your mind will habituate to the new detour. It just takes time, repetition, and practice.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    Essee
  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that expressing your anger in physically violent ways is constructive (e.g. "go hit a punching bag and imagine that it's your girlfriend").

    Agreed. A recent study showed that the whole 'don't bottle up your anger' thing might actually be overstated. Apparently expressing your anger makes it easier to get angry again later. Of course, suppressing your anger can apparently lead to health problems.

    Anger is yet another thing that moderation is best for.

    Essee
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that expressing your anger in physically violent ways is constructive (e.g. "go hit a punching bag and imagine that it's your girlfriend").

    Agreed. A recent study showed that the whole 'don't bottle up your anger' thing might actually be overstated. Apparently expressing your anger makes it easier to get angry again later. Of course, suppressing your anger can apparently lead to health problems.

    Anger is yet another thing that moderation is best for.

    Anger is healthy - suppression is not. Exercise is one way of channeling that anger - brooding over someone and fantasizing about beating the shit out of them is likely not a healthy channel for that anger.

    Exploring your anger, why you feel anger, and how to best approach being angry are all things a therapist is good for.

    Being dumped - and as Phoo pointed out - the bigger picture of being attracted to certain types of people that feed off of codependency and potentially repeating a cycle is pretty much what a therapist would be good for at this point.


    SkyGheNe on
  • phoophoo Registered User
    I think one reason the smashing glass worked for me was because it was being destructive, but in a constructive way. I was accomplishing getting the recycle out, and I wasn't thinking of someone or a situation specifically. Course, I think during that time I had difficulty being angry and expressing that anger, so maybe that's another reason why it worked.

    Come to think of it, I may be experiencing a similar phenomenon to your "out of proportion" anger, which means it's probably fairly normal. I've been experiencing out of proportion sadness when I watch or hear something sad if it deals with a lost or missing love of some sort. I also had a breakup not long before yours.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that expressing your anger in physically violent ways is constructive (e.g. "go hit a punching bag and imagine that it's your girlfriend"). The research on this is a bit ambiguous, and there are indications that even something like screaming actually makes things worse, in the sense that it takes longer for you to get over everything.

    Exercise in and of itself is a good thing, so it doesn't necessarily have to be violent per se. Even something as simple as running or lifting weights will release endorphins, etc. and start you on a positive reinforcement cycle. A good trick would be to go do something physical that will take your mind off of the past whenever you feel the onset of depression or anger. What you're looking for isn't necessarily to overcome the negativity so much as deflect it and focus on something else.

    Right now it's very easy for your mind to focus on your past relationship because it was a huge part of who you were and what you did on a day-to-day basis. It's going to take time to break that pattern. To use an analogy, right now you are used to taking a specific route to the store. However, that road has now fallen into disrepair - there are potholes and big rocks all over the place. You don't want to keep taking that route because it will eventually wreck your car, so you have to keep reminding yourself that there's another way to get to the store. Sure, sometimes you'll be absentminded and take the old route every once in a while, but after some time, your mind will habituate to the new detour. It just takes time, repetition, and practice.

    I didn't say anything about "imagine it's your girlfriend".

  • CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    I have no opinion on the matter of expressing anger physically, but using a punching bag can still be a really good workout. But if you do try it, remember to protect your hands. A punching bag may seem somewhat soft, but it really won't take long at all to hurt yourself if you don't wear some hand protection.

    Essee
  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    JackKieser wrote: »
    Hey, everyone. Something happened today that I think I should share.

    One of my coworkers did something today that was, I think, very inconsiderate because it put basically the entire branch out for 45-60 minutes at closing today, and it made me... well, pretty damn angry. Normally, I'd just be pissed at him, go home, play some games, and be done with it... but that didn't happen today. I'm not entirely sure if it was because of the level of anger that I felt or because of the reason I felt it (inconsiderate actions), but my anger at my coworker triggered pretty vivid flashbacks of my anger at my ex. Very vivid.

    I had flashbacks of the day she left (when I was at my angriest, probably), as well as flashbacks of the day I found out she cheated on me. I also had "anger fantasies", for lack of a better term, wherein I had the opportunity to scream at her about how she treated me and how hurt I was (which isn't too surprising, considering I have a very vivid and overactive imagination). I couldn't control the direction of my thoughts, nor could I control my stream of consciousness during this period, which made me angrier (I can't stand not being in mental control). Obviously, this fed into a cycle of anger; the cycle lasted for about 2-3 hours, total.

    After playing some Borderlands 2 and taking a nap, I feel a little better... but I've never experienced anger quite like this before. I've been angry at my ex, of course... furious about what she did to me. Sometimes, before I go to bed, I imagine myself in a room with her where I can just let it all out, but it usually manifests as despair in those instances. I've never felt my mind be so uncontrollably angry about it with no provocation, however; my anger at my coworker, as far as I can tell, was completely unrelated to my experiences with my ex, and there was no identifiable trigger that I can find, aside from the emotion of anger. Usually, if I start to feel latent anger towards my ex, it is triggered by something: a picture of the wedding, a comment by a friend, a song we liked, etc. This time, no such trigger existed.

    I'm not sure what to make of all of this.

    Being angry is sometimes natural, You should let people know when something upsets you, taking a nap or getting your mind off will only distract you. You shouldnt be "violent" towards your co-worker, or whoever makes you upset, but you should let people know, in a civilized way, and according to the situation, that you have been annoyed, or even angered by the situation/person. In my experience, this is far more rewarding than punching a sand bag, or shooting virtual foes, and will most likely help you create a better enviroment (for you), if people around you know what rubs you the wrong way.

    Essee
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    just read the whole thread, reminded me of my breakup back in 2004, and how long the recovery process took. You last comment about the anger you are feeling really rung true with me. That white hot rage is scary, and I talked with a councilor regarding my feelings, mainly for myself, I don't like being angry and the rage, sadness, blame, etc etc was really annoying. What I was feeling apprently was textbook standard. My councilor helped me work things out in my head and to break the mental cycles I would get myself into. No drugs were prescribed, it was just identifying what was happening and taking control and stopping the trend.

    My relationship was 6 years, first real relationship for both us, we were both virgins when we got together and we learned alot with each other, so it really hit me when it ended, especially how it ended (cheated on, betrayed etc) anyways I took me about 2 years before I was ready to seriously date.

    You likely have a long way to go, and talking to professional will help, especially with the anger. Other than that play safe, enjoy your hobbies, take time for yourself and hang around with good friends (and from the sound of it you are doing just that)

  • NamrokNamrok Herndon, VARegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Oh man, the anger. I remember when my last ex went completely insane, and emailed a bunch of things I'd told her in confidence about my family, things I was actively in therapy for, to my mother. Or at least she lead me to believe that's what she'd done. I don't talk to my mother much. The aforementioned things mentioned in confidence and all.

    I shattered my fist on a steel door.

    So yeah, definitely get a grip on that anger. Don't hurt yourself!

    Namrok on
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Well, some good news, or at least I think it's positive. So, my friend who got married (the groom, that is) talked with me about two weeks ago after I had a breakdown, and we decided that I needed to try new things. Problem is, I have motivation issues right now due to the whole "apathetic" part of the depression stage; it's really hard for me to care about doing anything when I don't even feel like I can do anything, much less that I'm worth doing anything. To try to combat this, we decided to take the "Jerry Holkins Approach" to motivation and just have him give me deadlines to do things.

    Each week, I'm to report to him one new thing that I want to do or one task that I think will help me heal / grow, as well as an estimated time of completion. When that time limit is reached, he contacts me to ask how it went. Anything is an acceptable response, other than "I actually didn't do that thing I totally said I was going to do." Knowing that I have the disappointment of someone I really respect and look up to on the line if I don't do things is great motivation for me right now, at least until I have enough self-esteem to be able to tell myself that I'm worth the effort of doing things in and of myself (which might take time... I'll elaborate on that in a bit).

    This was my first week, and my task was to take an introductory course in Iaido. It went well... really well, actually. The sensei in charge of the program has been doing this for 48 years, and he's structured the lessons to foster feelings of strength and compassion, two things I really need to be feeling right about now. So, I've decided, since I've wanted to learn since forever, and now's a good time for self-betterment, AND because I should be doing physical things, that I'm going to take the full program, for realz.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like progress to me.



    Now, to clarify on the self-esteem issue, and why I'm not feeling very progressive in that regard... I've been having some jealousy problems lately concerning my friend, C. You see, her boyfriend left her about 2 weeks before my ex left me, and in much of the same way: a curt "I can't be with you anymore", then just gone. She, however, didn't have to deal with the lying, cheating, threatening, or stealing that I had to deal with. Because of our mutual pain, we've bonded a lot. Well, she's doing a lot better off than I am right now, especially inter-personally. Basically, she has a line of guys 5 deep waiting for her to give them the OK for sexings. She's doing very well for herself, and it's made her super confident and a lot happier.

    I am super jealous of her.

    Now, I've talked to her about this, because while I've always envied those who are so overtly wanted by others, I've never been actually jealous to the point that I am now; because I didn't want to damage her progress or hurt her in any way, I confessed this to her already and suggested that we not talk for a while (in case I do or say something mean or stupid in my jealous state). She wants to help me, though, and is suggesting being a wingwoman. We'll see how that goes.

    The point, though, is that my self-confidence is just shot right now. I find it very hard to think good things about myself, and VERY hard to find myself physically attractive in any way. C has told me that I am, and I'm quoting, "hot", but to be honest, I don't really believe that's true. In any case, I certainly don't have a line 5 women deep ready to sleep with me at a moments notice; hell, I haven't had a single woman in the last 4 months tell me I was attractive at all. Since I'm such a sucker for empirical evidence, that makes it hard for me to have self-esteem; I just don't see the proof justifying it. And when I see her, who, honestly, I think is, though attractive, less so than I am, getting so many guys... it just makes me feel this overt jealousy, as though it's just not fair.

    So, that's where I'm at right now. It's been 4 months since I've had any, and I'm jonesing. I know, now that classes have started, that the college girls are all back, but I just don't feel confident right now, no matter how much I actually want to go out and do anything. It sucks, because there's something I want REALLY badly (to feel wanted by someone else, even in a shallow sense), but I just don't feel capable of getting it.

    JackKieser on
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    @JackKieser I absolutely get what you're going through. It's why I'm in therapy now and why I nearly lost my girlfriend a little over a month ago. I was actively in a relationship with a woman who was telling me she was attracted to me, and I literally could not see the forest for the trees. I still can't if I'm being completely honest.

    You made the right move in talking to your friend, and I'm glad that instead of taking it the wrong way she decided to try to help you. I hope that works out. Even if it does, however, one thing I've learned recently is that sex isn't the panacea that I always made it out to be. Sex always made me feel better about myself -when I was receiving it regularly- but the moment that supply line of booty got shut down, so did my confidence.

    And once that confidence goes out the window, so will everything else, because I let it.

    One thing that my therapist told me that's helped me a decent bit lately is that I need to avoid statements involving the words "should" and "what if". I don't know if you find yourself using those phrases often, but keep an eye out for them. They're inherently negative because they're either statements about something that you're not (and clearly it's a failure on your part), or statements about all the bad things that could happen (so why try).

    Other than that, I was given a piece of advice once by a friend (before she turned into a girlfriend, and then into the worst mistake I ever made) about breakups. She told me that the best way to approach the recovery is to expect to feel kinda crappy about it for half as long as the relationship lasted. If you feel crappy for less time, then you've got a bonus! If you feel crappy for LONGER, that's okay too but it's a good idea to try and figure out why.

    I'm glad you've picked up a physical hobby. I'm firmly in the boat of hobbies and physical activity to solve sadness and anger related problems. I disagree that punching bags are a negative expression of anger/anxiety/whatever, if only because my girlfriend's Dad is the LEAST angry person I've met to date, and he's a sucker for the speed bag. I also think smashing some melons is a healthy idea because Gallagher is just about the happiest guy in the damn world.

    All that said, I think you absolutely have what it takes to get through this. Even if you don't get laid anytime soon, I can tell you that the first 5 or 6 months are the hardest. My longest dry spell was 4 years, and while I don't ever want to do that again (and while I don't want you to go through anything similar), I will say that it was survivable.

    Winston Churchill once said "If you're going through hell, keep going." I've kinda made it my mantra lately, and I've been passing it to anyone I think could benefit from it.

  • MovitzMovitz Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    My girlfriend of seven years broke up with me about 2 years ago and it sort of came out of the blue for me as well (and when I mentioned it in the starcraft vent I got a load of supporting PMs, PA people are best people). Anyway, I started running like a madman, because that's the kind of physical exercise I like, and it helped a lot. The aikido class sounds like a really, really great idea. Structure in your everyday life, something to look forward to and those endorphins from exercise will do you real good. Signing up for new hobbies is also a great way to meet new people.

    The self-esteem issue is not something that will be solved by sleeping around I think. At least that's not how I work. Just try finding stuff to do and realize that you can have and fun with people without looking for a new potential partner all the time. Be alone for a while and realize that your worth is not measured by if you're with someone or not. I think that's an important thing for everyone to know.

    But if you really want to get laid just play to your advantages, whatever they may be. I saw the PAX-video and you look like an intelligent, nice and well dressed guy so I'm sure there are many. This will sound a bit idiotic maybe, but I find that just giving a smile on eye contact at a party or whatever is a really good way to connect and start a conversation.

    Movitz on
    Essee
  • MovitzMovitz Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Inx wrote: »
    Other than that, I was given a piece of advice once by a friend (before she turned into a girlfriend, and then into the worst mistake I ever made) about breakups. She told me that the best way to approach the recovery is to expect to feel kinda crappy about it for half as long as the relationship lasted. If you feel crappy for less time, then you've got a bonus! If you feel crappy for LONGER, that's okay too but it's a good idea to try and figure out why.

    How old were you then? I sure as fuck wasn't planning on feeling shit for 3.5 years after that 7 year relationship ended, just saying. ;-)

    Movitz on
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Movitz wrote: »
    M
    The self-esteem issue is not something that will be solved by sleeping around I think. At least that's not how I work. Just try finding stuff to do and realize that you can have and fun with people without looking for a new potential partner all the time. Be alone for a while and realize that your worth is not measured by if you're with someone or not. I think that's an important thing for everyone to know.

    yea YMMV on that one, for me sleeping around was a huge ego boost, helped me build confidence and have fun at the same time.

  • MovitzMovitz Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Movitz wrote: »
    M
    The self-esteem issue is not something that will be solved by sleeping around I think. At least that's not how I work. Just try finding stuff to do and realize that you can have and fun with people without looking for a new potential partner all the time. Be alone for a while and realize that your worth is not measured by if you're with someone or not. I think that's an important thing for everyone to know.

    yea YMMV on that one, for me sleeping around was a huge ego boost, helped me build confidence and have fun at the same time.

    Really? I just felt it was shallow, in lack of a better term. Like, yeah I'll get drunk and fuck around a bit but since I know it means nothing it's sort of pointless. Well, except for the sex, sex is always better than no sex :P

  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Movitz wrote: »
    M
    The self-esteem issue is not something that will be solved by sleeping around I think. At least that's not how I work. Just try finding stuff to do and realize that you can have and fun with people without looking for a new potential partner all the time. Be alone for a while and realize that your worth is not measured by if you're with someone or not. I think that's an important thing for everyone to know.

    yea YMMV on that one, for me sleeping around was a huge ego boost, helped me build confidence and have fun at the same time.

    That's how I'm viewing it. Right now, I don't want to be in a serious relationship, and although I'm sure I do have inter-personal strengths, they would be things like my caring nature, my intuitive empathy, or my intelligence and eloquence... All things which foster long-term relationships, but no mention of the shallower things which START relationships in the first place.

    What I'm looking for is a string (not necessarily close together) of short-term ego / confidence boosts, and yes, some fun while I'm at it. I just want to feel better about myself and feel like I'm not so one-sided, and, you know, when getting over another person, it would be nice to feel like there is a wide, accessible pool of potential women in my future, and not just a shallow pool of women who like me in spite of my physical lack of attractiveness.


  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Movitz wrote: »
    How old were you then? I sure as fuck wasn't planning on feeling shit for 3.5 years after that 7 year relationship ended, just saying. ;-)

    I was 21.

    Never said "plan" to feel shitty. Just to be prepared to.

  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    I will be very disappointed in myself if I feel like shit for a year and a half over a woman who lied to me, cheated on me, stole from me, and threatened me, and that statement is only partly facetious.

    JackKieser on
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Why? And I don't mean that in an accusatory or hostile manner, but really, why? Yes, she pulled some really awful shit at the end, but then if that was all that mattered you wouldn't be upset to begin with.

    I'm not trying to tell you what timeframe to set for your own grieving here. I think my message might have gotten confused. I'm trying to say that it's okay to be upset about this for however long it takes.

    I was with a girl for 5 years, and in those 5 years I was subjected to both emotional and physical abuse and neglect. Won't say I was the perfect boyfriend, either, but what I'm getting to is when I finally got out of that relationship I was stunned to find myself legitimately depressed over it for a full year before I started dating the girl I'm with now. It wasn't until recently that I finally acknowledged that there was still baggage left from that relationship, two full years later. When I got out of the bad situation, I had expected it to be a weight lifted from my shoulders, for everything to be fanfares and confetti and partying all the time cuz I was free. But there was more to it than that, a lot of which I swept under the rug, and I'm finally starting to really recover.

    The reality might be that you find yourself free of grief next week. It might be that you're still working it all out this time next year. What I'm trying to say is neither result is wrong, or bad. As long as you deal with your grief in a healthy way, who gives a shit how long it takes? Why beat yourself up over taking more time than you would like? You loved this girl for years. You lived together. And she burned you real bad. You're not just recovering from the burn, but all the things that led up to it.

    At least, that's what I took from the advice when it was given to me. I guess YMMV.

    Essee
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    Well, the way it was put to me by one of my friends is that thinking of her simply isn't worth the brain power anymore. My ex did such terrible things and is now such a radically different person (and is such a bad person) that she is not worth the electrons wasted by thinking about her. I tend to agree with him, but that logically means that all thoughts about her are wastes of time / energy, and that would include the good memories, too.

    It makes sense to me (and, hey, I could be wrong) that her actions effectively invalidated the entirety of the relationship, at least as it concerns her. Those "happy memories" are all worthless now, because the person who made them happy not only doesn't exist anymore, but is so untrustworthy that I can't be certain that they were ever legitimately happy experiences in the first place; the whole relationship, conceivably, could have been a lie. After all, we were long distance for a year; who's to say she didn't cheat on me then, too?

    If those premises are true, what is the reason I'd have to be sad for so long? I'm in a better place now, and it's not like she ever loved me in the first place (you don't do what she did to someone you love). It just seems wasteful to be sad for that long over someone as terrible and inconsequential as my ex.

    But, I also agree with your reasoning. I am, in essence, mourning here, and there are of course emotions that I locked away in the first few weeks for the sake of my sanity that will resurface as time goes on, things that will affect me for a long time, possibly forever.

    I guess I just don't like the thought of being affected for the worse by such a terrible person as my ex, and I'm dealing with how best to frame the changes I know my psyche is going through.

  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    You're totally right that continuing to be affected by a person who was in your life who is lame is dumb. But it IS a part of reality that it's going to affect you for a while, and it's normal that it happens. It's unfortunate, but it's okay. And furthermore, it really won't affect you forever (although just like most other life events, it may shape what paths you take from now on). So it's going to bother you for a while, but not forever, and that's really normal. You don't have to rush yourself to recovery, so just try to do as many positive things as possible for your life (especially getting through your classes as planned) and you'll get past all this junk while coming out the other side a better person for all of this.

  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    Wow, it's been a while. I didn't actually plan this, but it looks like this post is exactly 4 months since all of this started. Wow, it's... actually kind of crazy, when I think about it. This is going to be a long post, for sure.

    I know it's been a little while, but I wanted to give the boards an update on how I'm doing. The short of it: I'm doing better. A lot better, actually. For a while, I wasn't. Things were getting better on a practical level after my last post; classes were going well, work was getting substantially less stressful, my home was finally in order and felt a little more like a home, my swordsmanship classes were steady and going well... but, emotionally, I was getting worse. I was having more frequent nightmares about my ex, and that was when I could even get to sleep; some nights, I was so plagued by thoughts that it took me hours to finally drift off, which was starting to affect me during the day.

    Most of my thoughts were centered around my lack of closure. I was having a hard time getting past the unfairness of all of this. I felt like it wasn't fair that I was hurting so much when I couldn't even guarantee that the person who caused all of my pain was. I know it wasn't productive, and I tried as hard as I could to stop, but... well, it's tough. Thoughts of how happy I thought my ex was in her new situation, with her new "open relationship", her new home, and all of that, plagued me because I was still having a hard time coping with being alone again.

    Two weekends ago, I met Naporeon out like I usually do when my Saturdays allow. I ended up staying to watch a football game, which I usually really don't like doing, because I was hoping that college people would be out, people I could try socializing with. No one ended up coming out that night, but I wanted to try another bar, so I ended up leaving. Halfway to the next bar, though, I was just... wracked with this intense terror at the thought of talking to other people, people I didn't know. I was so scared by it that I jumped on the next bus I could get on and went home. I wasn't proud of myself; in fact, I was pretty ashamed, and it took a friend coming over and spending the rest of the weekend with me to make sure I didn't beat myself up over it.

    Things finally took a turn for the better this week, though. Through sheer providence, I ended up seeing my ex's roommate at a Starbucks. I found out through her that my ex hasn't actually been happy since she left me; in fact, she's only gotten worse off. She's a ball of anxiety and paranoia, and she's lost so much perspective that she started abusing her roommates, the only people she really had left on her side up here. This led to her leaving angrily because they stopped putting up with her abuse. Now, she's living with her 19 year old beau in his mother's house, still angry, alienated, and alone. My ex's now-ex-roommate has the same opinion as everyone else the two of us have known here in Seattle: my ex has burned the bridge, and no one needs a friend like that.

    I know that I've been told about the concept of "winning the breakup", but I never really understood it until I learned what I did. I didn't used to think that mattered, but in the days since I learned how badly off she is compared to me, I've felt more happy, more confident, more energetic, more focused, and I've been sleeping a bit more soundly (even though I'm still getting bouts of insomnia). I think this knowledge has given me a bit of the closure I so desperately wanted. Even though I don't believe in karma or cosmic justice, it just feels right now, like it's as it should be, and that makes me feel less angry, more at ease. My friends are telling me that's normal, that the rage and hate I felt (and still feel) towards her that makes me want her to be miserable is just a part of grieving and getting past what she did to me, and that as long as I'm feeling better, that's what matters.

    I've been thinking a lot about it over the past few days, and I think I'm actually ready to try being a part of society again. I really do want to date again. Casually, of course; I'm still not ready to be in a relationship, not yet, or at least I'm not ready to pursue a woman specifically for that aim. If that's what naturally happens in the course of casual dating, however... I don't think I'd be against that anymore. What really matters to me, what I think I want right now, is just to get out, to relearn how to talk to women without being afraid, and to causally meet women who want to just go out on dates every week or two. I think I'm ready for something as low-pressure as that. And even if I'm not 100% ready, I finally want it again.

    So, that's where I'm at right now. I'm still pretty lost, on a practical level. I've never dated at a college before (I've always started relationships during the summer, oddly enough, and never while classes were active), so I don't know where to go or what to do. I still need to get comfortable just talking to people again, which I know will take time. And, I'm sure as hell not ready for anything online, like match.com or OKCupid; that seems a bit too serious for me right now. But... I think, if anyone has any advice on how to date casually (if that's even a thing; it's not like I know)... I think I'm finally ready to use that advice.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Taking joy in other people's misfortunes isn't a sign of getting better, it's a sign of getting worse. There's a lot more going on with you (mentally) than just going through a bad breakup, and I know you said that you don't like seeking professional help, but reading that last update sorta clinches the fact that maybe it'd be in your best interest.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
    V1mTychoCelchuuuCentipede Damascus
  • NewtronNewtron Registered User regular
    Again; feeling the need for vengeance is normal, but letting it control you is not.

    Two things: You need closure, and you need to vent.

    Closure:

    It sounds like you got some closure in knowing that the person that screwed you over is in a shittier place now. This is pretty normal in any cheating related business: the idea that someone that stole from us, played us like a fiddle, then threw us away when it was convenient for them gets what they deserve in the end. It will always lead us to asking "how could they do that? what was so bad about me?", and that paints the picture for your mindset that I think could use some changing. You may still be in the "It's my fault, I wasn't good enough." phase. Either consciously, or unconsciously. The best way to get over this, particularly in your case, Jack, is to recognize that you are a good enough person. You need to get your confidence and self-esteem back. You already know and are working on this, but i'd like to reiterate a very crucial method which I stated earlier:

    You need to forgive her.

    I know that's probably hard to read. It's probably easier now that you have some details on her life than it would have been before, but it's still going to be difficult. To help you forgive her, consider her standpoint: She is fucked up mentally. She very likely has borderline personality disorder, or some other serious mental illness. She didn't choose to be this way: a combination of genetic and environmental factors have dealt her a shitty hand in life. If she were a happy, healthy individual, then she would have never done this to you. This sick individual doesn't deserve your hate as much as she does your pity. Stop wasting your time on being this poor, sick thing's victim, and live your life happy and well. Yes, it sucks that she fucked you over, but now you have experience! Now you know what to watch out for, and how to set certain boundaries! These years haven't been a total waste, not so long as they make you stronger and help you learn something. You already know that these emotions of yours are no good, so now start working on not only exercising your body, but also your mind! Which brings me to my next point:

    Vent:

    I somewhat agree with Esh now. If you're going to school, then I strongly suggest you take advantage of any counselors on site. Student counselors often have perspective to offer on soured relationships (they often deal in physically abusive relationships, for example), and can help you identify and work against unhealthy mindsets, triggers, or rumination patterns. Sometimes we just need a professional third party to take our burdens off of us and give us mental tips. Sometimes friends and family can't do much for us beyond "yeah man, that sucks." or "fuck that bitch, you deserve better!". You don't need a party to add to the fire, you need a party that can offer a new, healthy perspective for your mind. They may also try and hock antidepressants on you, but you are perfectly free to tell them to shove it if you don't want to pop pills. I again very strongly suggest you vent to someone. Especially before casually dating again; you don't want to take feelings of resentment of your ex with you on any potential dates.

    Above all else, remember that living well is the best revenge. Ultimately you are in control here, and you can choose to ruminate over her, or do your damndest to understand her and finally put her out of your mind. It's going to be tough, and it's going to be a while. Anger, resentment, and depression are always normal in these cases. You can try and get over this in a few months to a year, let it go on for decades, or hell let your life be defined by this. There's a lot of guys and gals out there that never get over their experiences with the shitty ex. You don't wanna be one of these people. Keep at it, and keep doin Iaido.

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Esh wrote: »
    reading that last update sorta clinches the fact that maybe it'd be in your best interest.

    Yep. You've done everything that could reasonably be expected of you to help yourself.No one (not even you) could accuse you of not trying to fix this yourself, it's just that it hasn't worked.

    At this stage the sensible thing to do is admit that things aren't right, and you need a little professional assistance.

    Or you can do what I did and throw 5 or 6 years of your life down the drain while acting increasingly assholish to the people in your life, because it's pretty near impossible for someone with no self esteem to have much esteem for others. You'll probably drag yourself out of the hole eventually, but you'll burn a lot of time, a lot of opportunities and in all probability a lot of personal relationships doing it.

    Don't be dumb like I was. Be smart like we're telling you to be.

  • phoophoo Registered User
    edited October 2012
    Yes, it's satisfying to see someone who hurt you go down in flames and have others to see what you see and also cut ties with that person. It's also satisfying to eat the whole carton of icecream at once, but that doesn't mean either of these things are good for you.

    Consider that your emotional state is still tied directly to her. If she won the lottery tomorrow, I bet you'd be peeved. And then if her car got stolen, you might secretly take a little bit of joy in it, yes? It is *bad* to have your emotions hinge on someone else. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is another thread that codependents tend to experience.

    You have done great to push on through life and cut as many ties with her as you can. Now it is time to cut emotional ties. It will be tough and you may temporarily feel much worse, but the pay off will be the best yet. One way of cutting those emotional ties is just what Newtron said: forgive her.

    If you can't cut those emotional ties, then it IS time for counseling, because the problem does not lie exclusively with dealing the situation but with your personality and will come back to bite you again.

    phoo on
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    All of this is very different from what everyone else IRL has been telling me (possibly because they are biased, I will admit). I'd like to write more, but I'm on my iPod, and typing on this thing sucks.

    What I will say, though, is that (maybe to due a deficiency in my communication) the worries I've been reading seem overblown. I wanted justice, or the feeling of it, and I got it. I think thats why I feel better now: because I don't have a reason to have her actions affect my emotional state anymore. I already got an eye for an eye, so I'm good. I may have wanted her to never feel happiness ever again last week, but that was because of my own misery; it seemed proportional and fair that if I couldn't be happy, neither should she be able to. But now?

    I already know she's crazy, depressed, anxious, and alone. Why should I care what happens from now on? If she gets better, good for her; she's not getting me back either way, even if she comes crawling on her knees begging. If she gets worse, well, she's not my problem anymore.

    Sure, it might have been "bad" for my emotional state to be tied to hers (and I have serious reservations about that claim, for long, complex reasons not related to my ex), but I don't have that tie anymore, not that I can feel. If it comes up again, sure, I might have an issue, but I'm not terribly worried about that. Right now, I'm much, much more concerned about my future and my development as an individual.

This discussion has been closed.