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Thread: 7 months later, I still love him

  1. #41
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    Originally Posted by Natasha207
    My story: 7 year relationship and broken up 2 full years as of today. I'm STILL HEALING. He was married 10 months after the breakup. Be kind to yourself and realize it's not linear and everyone is different.
    Ouch.......,

  2. #42
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

    Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

    So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

    Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

    Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

    I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

    That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

    Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

    It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.
    Last edited by bluecastle; 06-07-2019 at 08:25 PM.

  3. #43
    Platinum Member JA0371's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

    Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

    So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

    Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

    Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

    I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

    That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

    Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

    It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.
    BlueCastle..you are an amazing writer..just had to say!!

  4. #44
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

    Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

    So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

    Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

    Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

    I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

    That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

    Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

    It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.
    Hi Bluecastle,

    For the record, I didn't think you were negating my feelings at all, it didn't cross my mind. In fact, I thought you were trying to help me better understand them and appreciate that perhaps it wasn't love I was feeling, but attachment. It's most likely a mix of the two. Either way, I know your intentions are coming from the best place and you don't need to think I feel judged or my feelings negated by you - those are someone else's words. I for one find your posts insightful and immensely helpful.

    I take the ego to mean everything we have acquired. Not who we truly are. The lens through which we view our experience, but it can distort our perception. In my experience, my relationship with my ex was lived out through the lens of someone who had been abandoned as a child and who desperately wanted to avoid a similar experience. Now, feeling abandoned and rejected once again, I need to explore these feelings and hopefully choose a healthier, more supportive partner in the future as opposed to someone who merely replicated the hurt I experienced in my early years. Unfortunately, I am still craving this person - their love and attention, possibly because I know I will never get it, I know he is incapable of loving me in the way I would like and am able to reciprocate. Instead of trying to fill the void with another man who will no doubt cause these patterns to be repeated, I need to build my self-esteem outside of anyone else's influence or opinion, and then hopefully alter the lens through which I view life...

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  6. #45
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    Originally Posted by jenberry
    Hi Bluecastle,

    For the record, I didn't think you were negating my feelings at all, it didn't cross my mind.
    Yeah, I got that too jen, you said as much in your first response to him

    And in my response to you, I stated I was happy you took something positive from it!

    @blue, I was the one who took issue w your comment, not the OP.

    Perhaps I misinterpreted, and appreciate the clarification.

  7. #46
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jenberry
    Unfortunately, I am still craving this person - their love and attention, possibly because I know I will never get it, I know he is incapable of loving me in the way I would like and am able to reciprocate. Instead of trying to fill the void with another man who will no doubt cause these patterns to be repeated, I need to build my self-esteem outside of anyone else's influence or opinion, and then hopefully alter the lens through which I view life...
    Here's how I try to process these moments, or how I’m still learning to, for whatever it's worth.

    First, let's get rid of the word "unfortunately" (hey there, ego! what up?! how's your Sunday?) and make that first sentence a hard, factual diamond: You are still craving this person. Which is normal, healthy, expected, beautiful, painful—and, above all else, true. Three years is three years, and for all the ways it went south, and for all the ways he didn't strum some chords you need strummed, there was all sorts of good and history there in whatever kooky house you two built and shared before it crumbled. Always take a moment to recognize that when these feelings surface, and mourn it, without attaching such a huge story because pain and loss are potent enough stories on their own. Between demonization (of another, of yourself) and valorization (ditto) there is always the softer truth that is more profound for being pedestrian—aka human, vessel of id, ego, super-ego and more—which hurts in a way that no amount of self-esteem and resolved abandonment issues can dissolve.

    Pain is pain, loss it loss. See it, acknowledge it, no editorializing. Hey pain, I see you, I feel you.

    So that's one box, and an important one, the dimensions of which get smaller over time and by being acknowledged. Because there is confidence, power, perspective, and self-esteem to be gained in being able just acknowledge that we hurt, that we miss, that we crave—that there is nothing "wrong" or "damaged" by having a capacity to feel the full spectrum of feelings. There is serious strength, in other words, in simply saying, "I am weak right now." Or: "I am really sad and lost right now." Translation to all that: "I am a human who is capable of love and being loved.” And, with that, your worth is affirmed, by you. And your fragility as well—the two things you want seen and cherished.

    The other box—well, that's an important one too, containing all that thorny and swirling dark matter that was there before you knew him and, lo and behold, is still there. Your sh*t. Ugh. Because there is always—always—more of that than we know and it sucks when it gets stirred, when the smell hits our nostrils right when we thought we were strolling through a rosy meadow. The difference here is that this is not the relationship that is over, but the one you can't end, the one that will always be your most intimate—with yourself. Time to tend to it without proxies, with soft hands and clear eyes. So acknowledge that too, in tandem: Hey sh*t, I see you, I feel you. Breathe that in alongside the pain of the person lost. You can handle it. There is beauty in the stink, there really is. Confidence and calm in learning to inhale and exhale it and, in the process, dissolve it a bit.

    I could get super personal here, but I’ll resist. For me the first box (sorrow for losing someone, the hurt of pain flung both ways) forced me to open the second box in ways that were long overdue. Faced the big void—the daddy stuff—in ways I hadn’t yet. I could make it all sound complicated, because for me it was, but really what it came down to was something pretty simple: being able to just acknowledge that big void as part of me, not the thing that had to define me. Not a void to stuff (with love, sex, work, success, whatever) or look away from (ditto), but to learn to live alongside, with some grace. “My dad abandoned me and I’ll always be sad about that”—a simple statement that took 37 years to be able to say without reacting to, to stare into that sun without going blind. (If you’ve seen “Pretty Woman” there’s a great scene where Richard Gere says something like, “I spent $10,000 in therapy to learn to say, ‘I am angry with my father, I am angry with my father.’”)

    Anyhow, forward steps. You’re riding something that needs to be ridden.

  8. #47
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    Hi guys,

    Pretty crazy story but I went to see a medium yesterday. She was incredible, and instantly knew I had experienced heartbreak, validated a lot of my feelings and emotions without me having revealed anything about myself, and indicated that my ex is in a dark place, has run away from a love that scared him because he was unprepared for how deeply he felt and so ran in the opposite direction. I've been feeling more settled as a result.
    In saying that, it doesn't change how I feel, which I acknowledge is deep love and care for this person. It can't be helped - it's there whether he is willing to receive it or not (and he is not) but love is love. So Bluecastle, I believe you are right in saying that despite all the issues around it, despite my history of abandonment and his present situation of drug and alcohol use, despite all the stories...we are still human. I love this person and am grieving the fact it didn't work out in the way I might have hoped. Pain is pain, loss is loss.

    As you said too, the dark and thorny experiences (both mine and his) are the parts that need to be untangled - the abandonment, self-esteem issues and addictions. And I can only be responsible for my own. If I'm right, what you're saying is that there are two aspects to the pain experienced after a breakup. The first is about the inevitable feelings of love and loss, which require no control other than to be acknowledged and held, and the second are the thorny stories that impede upon our ability to choose partners who are healthy and good for us. The latter is the part we can exercise control over. Thank you for this Bluecastle. I will definitely be doing a lot of reflection on this xx

  9. #48
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    You miss being in a relationship. You can do that without him, when you decide to move forward and start meeting men and dating again.
    Originally Posted by jenberry
    No, the comfort and companionship we shared. I was comfortable with him, we had some laughs and I miss his cuddles.

  10. #49
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    Originally Posted by jenberry

    In saying that, it doesn't change how I feel, which I acknowledge is deep love and care for this person. It can't be helped - it's there whether he is willing to receive it or not (and he is not) but love is love.

    Hi Jen, I'm happy you have finally found clarity.

    Re the above quote, this is exactly what I was attempting to articulate -- we can tell ourselves someone is all wrong for us, we are incompatible, they don't want what we want, or they're just a d-bag, but that won't change how you feel. The love you feel for this person.

    People scream it's not love, it's your ego! It's a very common theme on this forum and others. As if that somehow is going to cause your feelings to miraculously change or dissapprar.

    To that I say very simply -- ugh! Jmo.

    You asked how you can move on from your feelings, which I still believe is (1) owning those feelings (which you have) , (2) not denying them or suppressing them by convincing yourself they're not real, or he's some sort of horrible person and dissing him, and (3) which is most important imo -- TIME.

    You will move past this Jen, I promise you! And be stronger and smarter for it.

    That's the positive you can take from this entire experience, including the pain you're feeling now.

    I wish you the very best Jen, lots of happiness and peace. xx
    Last edited by katrina1980; 06-09-2019 at 12:58 PM.

  11. #50
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    Hi Jen, I'm happy you have finally found clarity.

    Re the above quote, this is exactly what I was attempting to articulate -- we can tell ourselves someone is all wrong for us, we are incompatible, they don't want what we want, or they're just a d-bag, but that won't change how you feel. The love you feel for this person.

    People scream it's not love, it's your ego! It's a very common theme on this forum and others. As if that somehow is going to cause your feelings to miraculously change or dissapprar.

    To that I say very simply -- ugh! Jmo.

    You asked how you can move on from your feelings, which I still believe is (1) owning those feelings (which you have) , (2) not denying them or suppressing them by convincing yourself they're not real, or he's some sort of horrible person and dissing him, and (3) which is most important imo -- TIME.

    You will move past this Jen, I promise you! And be stronger and smarter for it.

    That's the positive you can take from this entire experience, including the pain you're feeling now.

    I wish you the very best Jen, lots of happiness and peace. xx
    Hi Katrina,

    Thank you for your lovely message. Admittedly, sometimes it's difficult to decipher love from...other feelings. At this stage (7 months later and not having seen him since January), I might have thought or hoped that some of that love would have dissipated. However, it hasn't. I'm concerned for him and love him, though I recognise that I love who I hoped he would be rather than who he is, someone who suppresses his own emotions. It's either very messy or very simple. I can't determine which. Whether love or egoic clinging, it's painful when it's unable to be reciprocated, and when I sit alone grieving a relationship that, at one time, was the most important thing in my life.

    As you say, time definitely helps. It's given me some clarity to date, it's allowed me to see how incompatible we are and how I am at fault for projecting my idealistic notion of a caring, loving, attentive partner onto someone who is flawed and unable to live up to that. I didn't pay any attention to the red flags. It's been a very reflective and difficult weekend, though it is ending in a place of acceptance. Reluctant acceptance perhaps, but an awareness that I can continue to resist and fight against reality, or give in and accept that he is not meant for me, no matter how strong my feelings towards him are. Thank you so much Katrina, your messages and reflections have really helped me and sometimes it's immensely comforting to know there are other people in this situation, or who have come out the other side.

    Lots of love xxx

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