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Thread: Deep sense of grief. 9 months post break-up

  1. #1
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    Deep sense of grief. 9 months post break-up

    I'm writing this after 9 months of what I consider the most painful break-up I've had. As much as I have tried very much to focus on myself, my interests, and my career, I can't seem to shake this intense feeling of grief for the past 4 months almost. I've experienced loss in my life, but nothing compares to the pain I've felt after this breakup, because he's still somewhere, out there and I have to live with the fact that he chose to act the way he did for the entirety of our relationship.

    What hurts most is the fact that I discarded myself and disrespected my own boundaries by accepting him into my life a couple of years back, even when my gut was yelling at me loud and clear. I abandoned myself in the process of getting to know someone. For what? What was I left with? Cognitive dissonance, what seems to me like PTSD, anxiety, and at times, a deep sense of sadness. By cognitive dissonance, I mean all the times he was emotionally abusive and dismissive without me realizing until recently.

    The hardest part of this process has been coming to terms that I'm grieving my old self. One that is never coming back. The old self that was vulnerable, empathetic, and loving... also, naive haha. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that version of myself, since, in this exact moment, I feel I won't be able to open up to someone else, at least not any time soon. I recently met someone who was the complete opposite of my ex-partner in terms of values, but I took a hard look at myself and told him I was not in a place to make anyone else but myself happy. I've accepted that I will be alone for a long time, focusing on my career and other important aspects of life that do not include a partner, and I think I'm okay with that.

    How long did you take to move on entirely from a difficult breakup? Is there hope in finding real and lasting love down the road?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry about all this.

    My personal experience with relationships has been that the most jagged ones are the hardest to get over. It's a bit like drugs, or drug addiction. In the beginning you do them because they are fun, and feel genuinely great, but soon you are just doing them to avoid realizing why you're doing them, while feeling continually less great. So when you kick the habit? Everything the habit was masking starts to surface, and it hurts. Sounds to me you're experiencing a version of that, in that you're not here mourning the love of the ages but a chapter in which you lost yourself. Sorry again and internet hugs.

    It'll take as long as it takes. I've had some breakups that, looking back, took me a year or more to move through—and those were relationships that I knew, when I was in them, were all sorts of wrong. That personal reckoning component, more than the loss of the actual person and connection, really took the wind out of me.

    Good part? It's that very personal reckoning—accepting it, leaning it to, giving yourself the time you need, being good to yourself during a tough stretch—that genuinely does open you back up to something even richer. The world proves this over and over, every day. So, yes, there is hope, and not just whimsical, fortune cookie hope. You are, right now, doing the work to excavate that hope, to make it real, lonely and disorienting as it feels at times. Have some faith in that—and, when you can't, know that a random internet stranger believes in it and has experienced it firsthand.

    Your old self? I get missing her. I sometimes miss a few thousand old selves of mine, most potently in the wake of loss, in the stew of grief. Then again, she's the self that got into this thing that didn't work, so don't idealize her too much. She was young—is still young—and was learning. Some lessons come in the classroom, and some come from moments like this. Every day that passes is a day that our old self is replaced by a new self—and yet, all the while, we are actually just one self, changing shape, growing, getting wounded along the way but figuring out how to heal—and, in healing, finding new shine in ourselves that we eventually share with others.

    Lot's of rambling to say that one thing that struck me was your response to this recent man. That is healthy stuff, right there. Strong stuff. Maybe it feels more like wilting than blossoming at the moment, but whatever it is that led you to let him know this is the wrong time is the same thing that is guiding you to the right time. There is a person out there who will meet you at that place, and you are probably closer to arriving there than you know. Can only speak for myself, but it's been the moments in life that I feel most stuck that I look back as essential to the journey.

    Wishing you the best.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I agree with Blues advice.

    Some relationship endings force us to face other more complex issues. It's sometimes hard to sort out what exactly is causing you the grief.
    The good news here is that even these crappy moments provide great opportunities to learn things about ourselves. Yes, we'd love better ways to learn lessons, but sometimes the best lessons are the most challenging. Get curious. Become motivated. What is this crappy moment trying to teach you?

    Staying too long in that state of grief can lead to depression and circle continues to spiral.

    How do you pull out of it? What worked for me was *acting as if.
    It feel like swimming upstream at first, but you put one foot in front of the other and CHOOSE to move fwd.

    That moment doesn't magically come over you. Stop waiting to feel better. Feeling better is a choice and a by product of making better choices. And with a deliberate effort you basically fake it until whatever you're doing starts to feel right.

    I'd make a list of things I wanted to do and of course would only do *if I was feeling better.

    I didn't feel better. I hurt, I grieved, I was miserably stuck. . but I pushed through it all and challenged myself to do something everyday. And when I did I rewarded myself. It could be a simple as a smile and acknowledging quietly to myself *ok. I did it. . and survived. Or I'd treat myself to a nice dinner or a pedicure to reinforce it. Again I'd smile and sometimes even reluctantly admit that it helped. . even if it was in some small way.

    "One foot in front of the other". I'd tell myself everyday. There were many set backs but I pushed myself to act *as if* until it became a reality.

    I had one of those, honest to God bad movie moments that when I looked in the mirror I said to myself "I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired".
    To be honest, I had gotten out of an 18 yr abusive marriage and jumped into to relationship too soon. I had to pull myself together and end that after 18 months and face things alone. I had a lot of ghosts in my closet to contend with.

    It was choice, even at my lowest that I didn't want to feel that way any longer.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member SooSad33's Avatar
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    Aww so sorry.. :(.. Yes, it does hurt, a lot, for a good while- when we are so broken. (hug).

    It is a 'loss', so you are grieving.. so is okay to grieve ( you know the stages, as you work thru it all?).
    And you were emotionally invested, so can take a while to recover & feel not so bad again.

    When we are so into someone we will tolerate a lot! As you realize now, was too much?
    We can get lost in someone sometimes. But, now that you are no longer- you can work on finding yourself again.
    It can be done.

    YOU were hurt, and my be an idea to look into some prof help- ongoing.

    Don't sit on that thought, that your old self will not return.. sometimes with such experiences, we come out stronger and we realize we have learned a lot! And what to watch for next time.
    Every relationship is different... and yes, some people are toxic :(.

    Empathetic and loving.. Yeah, I believe you've still got that! We dont let someone take that out of us.

    No, you will not be able to move on again for a while.. why should you?
    You NEED your time to recover now and heal.
    In time, you will feel better again. This is only a few months in.. can take much time.

    Good on you- for backing out of the idea of getting to know another someone. Cause you know you're far from ready for something like that again! You have nothing to give at this time.

    For now, focus on YOU. One healing from this.. and getting yourself back.

    And, is NOTHING wrong with being 'alone' for a while. We need to learn to be okay with ourselves.. ( Not needy, not jealous, not impulsive, not angry, etc).

    There is always a chance at love again. We never know. Many people have moved on again.

    Thru my own past, It took me over a year to be okay again, next it took me no time, as my love for him just wasn't there- but it hurt him :(.
    After that, it took a lot of time- as i was deeply into him and he felt less for me- cheating etc :(.
    Last one hurt a lot as well, as he did the push/pull for a good while, until I realized he just wasn't sure enough to be in it fully- so I had to walk- for my own sanity.

    See each experience/ relation is different. But I never rebounded. I always took a good amt of time to myself.

    At this time, as i reach my 50's. I have no yearning to go there- as it can be emotionally heavy when we get invested, then hurt- and is the chance we take.- unless we choose not to ;).
    I just have some family & friends i hang with and my pets and hobbies, etc. I am all okay with it.

    Take your time.. no need to rush, do what you are doing now.. I had therapy for a good while, she helped me work thru a lot of stuff.

    One day at a time.. take care of you now.. and to grieve is all okay.
    <3

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chicadeagua
    What hurts most is the fact that I discarded myself and disrespected my own boundaries by accepting him into my life a couple of years back, even when my gut was yelling at me loud and clear.
    I'm sure. At least you realize it.

    Your problem certainly isn't lack of insight or self-knowledge. It's lack of appreciation for yourself.

    I read your previous thread, and it seems like you went against your own instincts repeatedly, and furthermore chastised yourself for having those instincts. You portrayed yourself as naggy and untrustworthy, and I don't think that was fair to you at all.

    Originally Posted by chicadeagua
    I've accepted that I will be alone for a long time, focusing on my career and other important aspects of life that do not include a partner, and I think I'm okay with that.
    Are you hell-bent on solitude? Is it all-or-nothing for you with relationships?

    I think you should try dating around with NO expectation of a relationship. Not, "maybe it will happen when I'm least looking for it." I'm talking none. Strictly dating, getting to know people topically. I'm not talking casual sex dating, either. Just first meets, maybe some second meets, etc. Let the slag fall away for months or years.

    I really think this will help to give you a sense of poise, perspective, and balance.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. The intensity can have an intense after-effects. Your best recourse is to address this directly. That means seeing a doctor for an overall check-up and a referral to a licensed qualified therapist.

    The extreme self blaming and hopelessness is disconcerting. Particularly your misconception that you'll never be yourself again at 25 after a 2 yr relationship. You need to stop beating yourself up like this and get the help you need.

    Self help books and google-diagnosing him as a narcissist is not helpful. It's more helpful to allow trained professionals to guide you through this.
    Originally Posted by chicadeagua
    The hardest part of this process has been coming to terms that I'm grieving my old self. One that is never coming back. The old self that was vulnerable, empathetic, and loving. Is there hope in finding real and lasting love down the road?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chicadeagua
    How long did you take to move on entirely from a difficult breakup? Is there hope in finding real and lasting love down the road?
    It takes time. Be more gentle with yourself. That's wonderful that you've realized you're not ready for a relationship. I can't speak for anyone else but I've turned that into productivity. Don't let others judge you for your decisions or what's best for yourself. I can't help but wonder if there are people in your life who are asking about your love life and prodding you into entering new relationships or putting that idea in your head given x amount of months having passed and being single. They may have your best interests but it might not be what you need at all.

    How long someone takes to get over any relationship is relative. I'm sure you already know that. And the answer is yes - there is hope in finding real and lasting love down the road. You need to leave enough room for yourself to expand and grow and also leave the unknown for bridges later crossed. Don't overwhelm yourself all at once. Everything in good time.

    Your 'old self' will never be the same and if it hurts, it means change and change doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. At this very moment in time, your new self will also one day be another 'old' version of what you will later be. There are no standstill moments in life and everything changes. If you can ride the waves and keep moving with time, you'll be just fine. In the process, learn to love all of yourself. Jibralta hit the nail on the head by mentioning more appreciation for yourself. Forget what everyone else is doing or saying. Find your own inner voice and start playing and laughing. In the end it's no one's life but yours so grab on and have fun.

    There are low and high moments all the time. Keep listening to yourself and what you feel is right for you.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    You feel this way because this is it, the here and now that you have made discovery, acknowledged what truly happened and now your conscience is ready to unload it. Time to dump the baggage. Meeting this nice person, was the push you needed to start going forward. I'm confident you will know what to do and which way you want to go. And don't worry you will be your old self, but new and improved...have some faith and be happy.

  10. #9
    Silver Member ShySoul's Avatar
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    You aren't the first person to ignore your instinct and pursue something you know will probably end up hurting you. The heart wants what it wants, even if it knows it will end up hurting from it. But try not to beat yourself up over it. We all make mistakes. And we come out wiser from them. We do heal, even if it takes way longer then we want. And we can find love again. And when we do, it's a better love. We know what to look out for. We're cautious about opening ourselves again, so when we do it's for someone who we feel safe with who will treat us better. You can still have that love one day.

    If you are not ready yet, there's nothing wrong with that. Every person is different and has their own way of healing. Take all the time you need. So what if it's been 9 months? There is so much more to the person you are then a relationship. Yes, it would be nice to have someone special to be with. But you can still be happy on your own. And you can only be able to give your heart to someone else when you are fully happy and comfortable with yourself. Take the time to be good with you, be your own sense of fulfillment. The person you used to me is still inside of you. You never lose the essence of who you are, you just need to find a way to recover it.


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