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Everything posted by elsewhereagain

  1. I've been doing all those things. I can't change the past or the relationship I "allowed" in the past. I hit a roadblock in regards to the loss and pain that I feel, not the boundaries I have drawn or the work I am doing on my self worth - which I identified in my original post - and came here for support on that. What I lost, and grieving that loss, was important and that is the part I am working on at the moment, not the part where I tell myself it was my fault, or think about what I 'should have' done.
  2. Yep, I should have walked away and didn't because I believed something that turned out not be true. Did I 'bring it on myself' and 'choose' what happened, and basically 'ask for it'? And only have myself to blame and am now playing a victim? Believe that if you like. I didn't come here to be attacked. The advice I have asked for is clear.
  3. I'm not going to defend myself against comments like this. What I have written and the advice I have asked for is clear.
  4. It's the loss of a couple of years in terms of what happened between us. The 15 years is the friendship, the trust, and the memories of a person who has now vanished, and who was extremely dear to me. I had a life outside of him, I wasn't governed by this for 15 years. "Just" 2. Those 2 were enough! I have taken ownership and I am doing those things. Some days it is harder than others. Just because it was a non relationship, and that I let it happen, doesn't mean I was in the same position of equality or power as him. Please don't assume and project these things on to what I have written, just because I haven't given every detail. Not every story is the same. Please read the things I have written above. I have explained why I do not find comments like this helpful or supportive.
  5. Thank you. It is getting easier to eliminate him. And then there are attacks of panic, and loss and fear, which is where I was when I wrote this post and where I'll probably return to over the next couple of days. I'll keep trying. It is so helpful to have somewhere like this forum to return to when those moments happen. It's something I'm going through alone. I can return to advice like this and feel a little calmer. Thank you.
  6. Actually, I think that might be what it was for him. What really set things off on a different course for us was when, once things had begun to get more romantic-feeling between us, he quite suggestively and meaningfully suggested I (and he) 'take a leap of faith'. I did. I took a risk in letting my guard down, and believe something could progress with us, because he knowingly encouraged me to. He knew what he was saying and doing (and I do believe he feels guilty for that now). I think it's always been a safe fantasy for him, but it wasn't for me the moment he invited me to take a 'leap of faith'. He also once told me, much later, that he wasn't 'ready'. We were talking about something else, but the meaning was clear. It's easy to brush these things off as misunderstandings, but distance has actually helped me see that I didn't misunderstand or make it up (something I didn't expect, I thought I was having to come round to the illusion). Looks like he finally is 'ready' in general now, but the chance for us is gone, and the loss of that, and recognition that the hope that was there, and the potential, is all gone, it hurts, I don't think that it's wrong or unnatural that this hurts. Everything you say above is something that I believed too. And I've been doing therapy (when I could afford it) and self-help books (audio, it's been too hard to read). I'm much further down the road than people are giving me credit for on here. I'm just in pain.
  7. This guy is 40 too and I'm pretty sure he has now met his future wife. I appreciate your comments. I feel that I have owned the parts that were my responsibility, and I've definitely learnt a lot about what I will do in the future. I've learnt a lot about setting boundaries. For me, it wasn't a switch I could just switch off. It's been a long, slow acceptance that how he treated me was not ok, and that I am worth more, and that I let myself stay in a situation that caused me harm for far, far too long. At the time, I chose compassion for him because I thought it was the right thing to do and I believed in the bond between us, but I see now that this was at the expense of myself, and my reality. The bond I felt to be between us was something that developed over 15 years, and it was deep. I am about a year in to the grieving process. Sometimes I feel that it is too late for me to apply any of what I've learnt, that there won't be any future relationships, and that something has been taken away from me that I'll never get back. But it's not too late for him, and look at him now. That is a real block that I am trying to work through at the moment.
  8. This is partially true but I never saw him as perfect or as able to meet all my needs and ideals. It was a very human, imperfect connection, on both sides, but one I really believed in and trusted, for 15 years. That's a long time, a lot of history to lose, especially when it was a fundamental part of my belief system. He initiated and encouraged these things. I really cannot emphasise enough how much and how often he treated me, and looked at me, like he loved me, and then acted like it never happened. I was absolutely more vulnerable to this because of my past, but he knew this, and had his own past problems too, which we shared with each other. I understand the psychological pattern you are describing above, but I really want to state that his actions, behaviour and manipulations/denial mechanisms were not 'regular' or healthy, and they eventually made me question my reality and my self. I questioned my reality and self because I felt like I was doing what you are describing above. But I wasn't. I want to flag this because it has taken a lot of time to heal from that and I really don't want everyone to dwell on telling me that I imagined it, wanted too much, idealised him, created the situation for myself, created a fantasy, etc. I want to move forward, I don't want to question what was real and what was in my head, I devoted enough time and tears to that already. I've excused him, enabled him and forgiven him enough. I know I am justified in the hurt and anger I feel towards him for his actions, regardless of how it sounds based on the outline I have given (which is a focus on my experience). I am struggling to move on from the real loss and from the perceived injustice, and the feeling of worthlessness. I am getting there, but struggling afresh at the moment, and felt the need to reach out to a forum, in the absence of having people to talk to. The majority of my friendship group was one I shared with him. All they ever say is "he's a womaniser, you know what he's like, he uses women, he forgets and moves on in minutes, he's terrible with women" etc etc. The loss I feel of the 15 year friendship, the emotional and foundational loss of trust and belief in someone I loved and who I believed loved me (in whatever form that might eventually take), and who still - the last time I let this happen at any rate - discards me moments after saying how important I am to him, how special things are between us, how sorry he is...is reduced by these mutual friends to me simply being one of his 'victims' by them, one of his discards. The betrayal runs much deeper than that.
  9. Thank you, yes, I agree with this, and these are useful words. These are things I know and am trying to stick to - but I keep getting sucked back in to the pain. Especially late at night when I can't sleep. It's one thing to know something and another to feel it, and I don't want to repress or dismiss the pain I feel. It is good to hear and read clear words that remind me of what I already know when I feel weak. Thanks!
  10. I really feel for you and I know what this is like, to feel like you - or the vital essence of you - has essentially 'died'. I don't know if this will help you, it's all small steps. But I found doing a 'values' list to be quite constructive. I used Brene Brown's values exercise. Copy and paste "Understanding Our Core Values: An Exercise for Individuals and Teams Colin Breck" in to google for a useful article. (You are supposed to end up with 1 'value' but I decided I wanted 3!). It was a good starting point for me, just as a way to piece back together and reclaim who I am, what I care about, etc. It's a long road. Don't underestimate the small things. Sitting in silence, drinking tea, listening to your body. Remind yourself that you are in recovery. I hope also you are able to find some suitable professional help with a therapist you click with. That can be a long road too!
  11. He wasn't happy casually dating. He was using and hurting people and getting away with it. His entire group of friends thought the way he treated women was terrible, but he's the kind of person who no-one ever directly confronts. Casually dating isn't a disease but living in denial and addiction is, which is what he was doing. Wow. I am not going to accept this. It's taken a really long time to get to a point of not blaming myself, and thinking that it was me that was the problem. Yes, I overinvested, and I am recovering from that. I don't need to be told that it was my fault and that I created the situation. I was there and I know what he did - it has taken a long time to accept that he treated me so badly. I WANTED to believe it was my fault, and my responsibility to fix. My question is about how to continue moving on, when I am beset by the hurt and anger that has risen from his 'reformed' personality (which I should be happy for him about, but can't be).
  12. This was background context. I don't love him anymore, which is what has allowed me to see rationally how badly he treated me. I am still recovering from the effects of his behaviour and his treatment, which included gaslighting and narcissistic traits. I'm not sure what you mean by "perceived satyriasis". That's not something I perceived or said. I said he was a womaniser and that he was driven by getting people to love him. He would emotionally connect with a woman, make her feel special, make her feel 'heard' and 'seen' in a way that suggested serious feelings, and then when they questioned the status of their relationship after a few months, he'd discard them. This may have been for sexual motive but who is to say except him, and I don't care, because there is no paint dwelling on it. Like I say above, I was giving background context. What I care about is how to heal from what happened. Like I said in my post, I already know that I have to relegate him to the past and block him from my mind. I am actively doing this. But what is blocking me is what I said in my last paragraph and what is the title of my post.
  13. Thank you, it is really helpful to hear this. I have finally got there. My head knew this for a long time, but it is only now that my heart has properly caught up, due to the sheer amount of times he has let me down while we've been trying to repair the friendship (not romantic aspect, but the 15 year friendship). During the period of time where things were confusing and charged between us, I told myself so many times that I had to take his inconsistent words and actions at face value, but at the time when I was emotionally involved and invested in him, it just wasn't possible to walk away. I spent so much time seeing things from his point of view. Since our friendship broke down I have been grieving the loss of a love and a 15 year belief that never was and never happened. I know I deserve better than the way he treated me and I am finally able to walk away from the entire friendship (as hard as that is). But while I am still recovering from it, he is now 'reformed'. No karma for him. It's a real kick in the gut that I just can't put to rest.
  14. I just mean that he has finally had to confront his own issues, which has given him a way out of his toxic behaviour...for his new relationship. I should be happy about this 'growth' but I am struggling with the fact that he treated me so badly, it's too late for anything to be retrieved for us (friendship or other) and I am so damaged by what happened... but there are no consequences for him - he's happy and everything has gone well for him.
  15. I had a very close, very deep connection with a friend for 15 years. I've never felt any other connection like it, I felt like he was my soulmate, or that we were kindred spirits. I believed in him and in the connection between us, and because I met him when I was barely 21, my belief in this formed a foundational part of my adult identity. It formed the basis for my sense of hope about myself and my life (I came from a difficult and unsupported home. He 'saw' me and 'knew' me, or at least, did things to make it seem that way). A couple of years ago, things shifted between us. There was always an element of romance to our friendship, but it was not something at the forefront, and I often responded to suggestions of that with fear (it is very difficult for me to trust and be intimate with people and I think the depth of the connection I felt made me feel vulnerable). I suppose, for me, it was something deep within me that just 'knew' that one day we would, or should, be together, but that it would be in the future. Anyway, a couple of years ago, things shifted between us and it felt like something was going to happen. He treated me really badly during this stage. I felt loved by him, I felt like he loved me by the way that he looked at me, by the things that he said, and by the way that we were together. But - consistently - just when it felt like things were definitely moving in that direction, he'd start dating someone. He was a serial dater, constantly meeting women online, and breaking things off after a couple of months. And in between, there was this confusing, charged, 'stuff' between us. I went a bit crazy during this time, I hardly knew which way was up. Looking back, I realise how damaging and harmful his behaviour was, and how it was driven by denial, low self-esteem and an addiction to dating. He was a womaniser and he used and threw away so many women. I knew this about him, I felt him to be wounded, I saw the person underneath who had so much love and goodness, and who I felt so connected to, and I felt that he knew it, and felt it too. Eventually we kissed one night, but it did no go well. It produced further mixed messages and confusion, and dishonesty on his part. He told me he didn't want to be involved with me, but then treated me like he did, and made me feel, again, like he loved me, and that there was hope. Only to drop me or ignore me for weeks, and serial date. It made me question my sanity and my grasp on reality. This situation culminated in our spending the night together, when very drunk. Afterwards, he blamed me, shamed me, and broke contact with me, ostracising me from the social group we shared. (A group in which he has more power and influence than me). He told me some terrible, cruel things that I am still trying to recover from, 18 months on. After 6 months, we resumed contact and I told him how the whole situation had made me feel. I apologised for the actions on my part that had led to the breakdown in our friendship, (mainly, that I just wanted to know what the *&£& was going on and was unable to accept his treatment of me - which was basically to just erase me so that he could continue enjoying his life without having to deal with what had happened between us). I didn't get a real apology from him, although I could see just how sorry and guilty he felt. He struggles to apologise, although at a later date, he did partially do this (and it was a very emotional, authentic moment between us). We agreed to stay friends and to rebuild trust between us. He very much wanted this. But weeks in to that, he started letting me down again, dropping me and forgetting about me - not following up on things when he said he would. He has made me feel so worthless and forgettable, like I just don't matter. But he frequently has told me I do (without my prompting). When the pandemic happened, which was very soon after our initial reconciliation (curtailing our ability to reconnect properly as I no longer live nearby, although we have have talked online over this period). He totally crumbled. Complete manchild. He continued dating (meeting people in person, via online dating sites) all throughout lockdown and eventually met a girl who a few weeks in broke things off with him. This seemed to catalyse him into a period of growth. His extreme vulnerability due to lockdown allowed him to emotionally connect with this woman, and as a result, he continued to pursue her and they are now back together. He talks about her like she's the 'one', he told me, in great detail, about the great connection he has with her. How he imagined a future with her. It feels to me that the situation of the pandemic forced his wounded nature to grow and heal, and that this woman is now the beneficiary of that. He's reformed his womanising ways and is free to love and give - he's happy, in love, and going to have a future with her. Being forced in one place, and having fewer distractions and options to run, is deepening their bond and giving him the time and space to actually settle in to a real relationship. I want to be happy for him. But I am so desperately hurt and angry. He wounded so many women, for years, and he wounded me, and he's still so oblivious to it. My life, and my sense of self and identity was destroyed because of the careless and cruel way he treated me. But he gets to be happy. He gets to benefit from the pain he caused me by knowing not to treat someone else like that. These are all things he has basically said to me, in one way or another. And even though I know he feels guilt and sorrow at what happened between us, he hasn't really made real amends It's been me giving him all the opportunities, and every time it's mattered, he has let me down. He drops me or just entirely forgets about me and any communication we have had. He just forgets, like he has forgotten everything else he's done and said. Like it's nothing. I can't trust him or rely on him, but it is so hard to let go, to something I believed in for so long, and someone I cared for so deeply. I don't think there is a way forward for this friendship anymore. And I don't think there is any point in me telling him about how I feel. But I am struggling so much with the idea that he gets to be happy now, when I am still in so much pain. It doesn't seem fair, and I feel so helpless. I wasted so many years of hope and trust in someone who I still believe felt deeply for me, but who could only treat me cruelly. And then, to make it even worse, is now giving someone else everything I thought we would have - everything he made me believe was there between him and me. I didn't project...he either manipulated me (because of his desire to be loved by everyone) or really did feel something, but I know I didn't imagine it. I know I have to give up on salvaging anything; relegate him to the past and block him from my mind. But I don't know how to cope with the anguish that I feel that he is now reformed! That everything he did to me was a waste, that my love was a waste, and that there are no consequences for him. How do I do it?
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