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Thread: How do I let go?

  1. #1

    How do I let go?

    Hi, Iím a 26 year old female. I believe i first fell in love, or what i thought was love, at age 15. This relationship lasted on and off into my early 20ís, I would consider this person to be my first love. I will be the first to admit the relationship wasnít good. I had my heart set on him as soon as I met him but we were very different. When I was about 16 I really wanted to be with him, he was being a typical teenage boy, chasing every girl. Heíd get my hopes up and then heíd leave me with false hope and eventually publicly embarrassed. Once he asked me to go to prom and then ditched me the day before the dance. Stuff like that. I donít want to place too much blame on him because although his actions were insensitive, he was just a boy and he wasnít willing to stop playing the field for me. As much as he hurt me then, I donít think he even knew how deeply he affected me. I threw away my high school experience to be with him. I didnít date around, I didnít go to any games, I cried at all the school dances seeing him with other girls he was proud to show off. I couldnít understand why I wasnít good enough for him. I felt led on, lied to, I was his secret no one knew about. To this day, I know that even though we were just kids, I had chosen him. I donít know why i was so committed- Thatís who I wanted to be with. I would get this really intense euphoria when I was with him.. I never experienced anything like that.. I wasnít jaded back then and I just fell head over heels.

    Finally after high school he committed to a relationship with me (rocky, just like the start of it). We werenít right for each other but I couldnít stop- itís like I was addicted to it. No matter how toxic, I genuinely felt like I couldnít stand to be someone he used to know or see him with someone else. Sometimes i would make the decision to leave and i would give in over and over again. The thought tormented me. 6 months in to our official relationship his dad committed suicide days before Christmas. Thatís when things really fell apart. We were more toxic and codependent than ever- but I felt like I couldnít abandon him. His dads death left him broken. Seeing him like that crushed me- it didnít matter how unstable he was or abusive he was to me- I just wouldnít give up. And even though what we had was awful i still loved him. We had domestic disputes, we had had really ugly fights in public places and been asked to leave. He would get so mad sometimes I thought he wanted to hit me but instead he would punch himself in the face. I suspect he was flirting with girls but instead he would accuse me of being unfaithful and go through my phone. One time he even put me in a choke hold (in the car in the middle of traffic) for wanting to leave. He left me on the side of the road in an unfamiliar neighborhood and I still stayed with him. If I broke up with him he would be back at my front door begging for me to come back. He was scarily persistent..

    It wasnít until one Valentineís Day, he bought me some wilted flowers and told me his mom would take us out to dinner at Olive Garden (special, I know). I had a knee injury at the time and on our way to the restaurant I reinjured it. My knee cap was dislocated and it had happened several times before. It was always a scary experience. He took me to the ER and sulked because I ruined Valentineís Day. When he left me there alone, nurses and techs came up to me and asked where he had gone. When I told them he left me there they unanimously told me to aim higher. I never went back after that. Itís been about 6 years since the break up. Almost 7. Iím in a new relationship with a man who treats me infinitely better than he ever did. He is sweet, heís attractive, my family loves him. I feel so lucky to be with someone like him- any girl would be lucky to have him. He showed me what love really means. Iím more grown up and weíve built a really beautiful life together. Perfect as he is, i have never had that same magnetism or addictive personality in this relationship. As of late, I have been plagued by thoughts of my ex boyfriend. They linger throughout the day and i canít shake them. Iíve had awful dreams where Iíve begged him to come back to me. Sometimes up to 3 nights in a row. Since our breakup, he has had several new girlfriends, the most recent one I know because we went to school together. I think that may have added some insult to injury for me. I handled the last time ok but now that heís with someone i know, Iím obsessive. And Iím so upset. For awhile there my ex was doing horribly. He was stealing, using drugs, he had been charged with some misdemeanor crimes.. it seems like he hit a rock bottom. I ran into him once at my place of work and he followed me in his car. He was acting really scary. In the last couple years he feel off my radar. I heard he was doing well again. Recently I heard he is committed to his new girlfriend, his sobriety, he seems to have really turned it around. Iím sad to say this gets under my skin. All I ever wanted was for him to be healthy and happy- and now that he is, with someone who isnít me, I canít stop thinking about it. I feel so selfish for saying that but itís true. this is what I always hoped for him in my heart of hearts. Now I feel horrible. I find myself forgetting all the ugly times and remembering what it felt like to hold his hand and just be in his company. I miss the idea of him. I feel overwhelmed with guilt.

    My new partner doesnít deserve this at all. I wish I could talk about it but I canít. Iím finding it really difficult to be nice to myself right now- I get so angry that I feel this way. I compare myself to the new girl heís with. I have given up all hope we will ever reconcile- in fact i would be happy if i never saw him again. But if i run into him at the store or pass by him in the car it makes my stomach drop. Although Iím silent I want someone to tell me how much he missed out and heíll never find anyone like me. Itís an awful feeling. I donít know why Iím clinging to this validation i wonít ever get. I do t think heís sorry, and i doubt he thinks about me. Recently with the Coronavirus massacre and the state of the world Iíve been extra stressed. My dad is very sick at the moment and i find myself remembering what a rock i was for my ex when his father took his life. I have so much resentment towards him I didnít even know was still there. I worked so hard to get to where I am and I feel like I just took a backslide.. Still underneath all the ugly feelings I have, I want him to be ok. I always have, but in his world Iím afraid I donít exist. i feel like I was worth nothing to him and he gave all of himself to someone else who didnít know him or care like i did.I feel like he never really cared for me, not the way I cared for him. I just fear for my own mental health and peace of mind. Iím self isolating and the thoughts have become almost constant. I have such a good thing in front of me I need to be thankful for. I thought that I had fully healed, I thought the sadness from this relationship couldnít touch me anymore. Itís been 6 years, I feel like such a fool for even dwelling on it. Why are these old feelings resurfacing? I just want to be free instead of a prisoner to my thoughts. Recently, I think about him everyday. I feel like this is NOT normal. What can I do? Iíve tried journaling, meditating, changing the subject in my head, we have 0 contact. I'm ready to move on and leave my past behind, i think i deserve it. Please please please help.
    Last edited by kamurj; 03-21-2020 at 07:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Skeptic76's Avatar
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    You are an excellent writer. You sound so in tune with yourself. Along with your self knowledge there seems to be a tendency to be your own worst critic? I hope you can cut yourself some slack...

    I hear you saying that you feel like you gave your all and your best years to him in an attempt to genuinely help, only to be treated with indifference and a lack of gratitude at best, and abuse during the worst episodes. I can feel that hurt when I read your post. And then to see him ďget it togetherĒ AFTER youíve finally parted ways? Yes, that could make anyone resentful. I donít have personal experience with it, however I know that this is what Alanon is for. It is free and they have a ton of zoom meetings you could attend to check it out in the ďAge of Coronavirus.Ē

    For the good things you described about being with the good man you found, I hope youíre able to find some solutions here on ENA and I wish you the best!!

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Horsecrazy
    Itís been 6 years, I feel like such a fool for even dwelling on it. Why are these old feelings resurfacing? I just want to be free instead of a prisoner to my thoughts.
    I think it may actually be due to the fact that your dad is very sick.

    Sometimes one anxiety takes the form of another anxiety. It's happened to me.

    It actually just happened to my boyfriend due to the Covid situation. We were just talking about it today. My boyfriend's family's business has to lay everyone off, but instead of worrying about that, my boyfriend is worried about food shopping, which is actually something that he's a little OCD about naturally.

    Well, we have enough food. We know we're not going to starve. His fixation with the food store is irrational. He said to me this morning that thinks he's just transferring his anxiety about work onto food.

    I think your dad's illness is probably more upsetting for you than you realize, and your transferring it onto the old familiar obsession with your boyfriend, whose new relationship has recently attracted your attention.

    I don't think it's normal for you to be so obsessed with your ex, and obviously it makes you miserable. But I do think it scratches an itch for you. In this case, I think it's probably helping you cope with your father's illness, albeit in a very inconvenient and unpleasant way.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    The place to look is what is going on in your current relationship and life. Are you unhappy? In a rut? Do you have the same goals,values etc? You need to delete and block this ex from all your social media, devices and messaging apps. Stop tracking him. Your focus on him is representative of other things, you should look into.

    Get some help for recovering from an abusive relationship. The other things are fine but they are not helpful in getting the appropriate insight and help for recovery from abuse. Do some soul-searching as to why you seek out risk and drama.
    Originally Posted by Horsecrazy
    Itís been about 6 years since the break up. Iím in a new relationship with a man who treats me infinitely better than he ever did. He is sweet, heís attractive, my family loves him.

    As of late, I have been plagued by thoughts of my ex boyfriend. he followed me in his car. He was acting really scary. Iíve tried journaling, meditating, changing the subject in my head.

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  6. #5
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    Best relationships are the ones that are usually forged when young but in your case, he wasn't the right one even if you feel the bond is/was very strong. I hope that you will get through this, keep your mind busy.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I donít want to place too much blame on him because although his actions were insensitive, he was just a boy and he wasnít willing to stop playing the field for me.
    He wasn't "just a boy" he was an a-hole whose parents didn't bring him up to have integrity, a moral compass or compassion for others. When you accept that he was an a-hole and not worth your thoughts, you will get to the blissful stage of indifference to him. Good men do not ask you to an important dance and then ditch you the day before. A-holes do that.
    So:
    Take him down off the pedestal you have him on... view him through the clearer lense so that you see the sociopath that he is and if you can't do that on your own, then please get yourself to a therapist to help you with learning how to love yourself enough to know you deserve better than anything he reaped on you.

    Although Iím silent I want someone to tell me how much he missed out and heíll never find anyone like me.
    You have to believe that. Even if someone tells you that, if you don't, deep down know that you are the prize, then us or anyone else telling you that will not make things any better for you. Get thee to a personal therapist who will show you how to love yourself and how to see through that clearer lense.

    I don't even know you and I know you can do better than a sociopath, a-hole who doesn't know right from wrong.


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