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tk123

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So its been a long time since I have written a journal. This journal is going to be about my tumultuous 20s, what I learnt from them and what I may look forward to in my 30s. I came to enotalone this time after a failed relationship, details of which can be found in the ex boyfriend/girlfriend forum. I have to say I found Clio’s advice very useful and it set me off to thinking about how I ended up here, 30, with the realisation that I am not just a late bloomer but probably a bumpkin sometimes about life. So here is who I’ve been so far and in these introductory posts, I’ll detail my emotional thought processes and also what I hope for the future.

 

I had an ok childhood, but until around 3 years ago, there were aspects of it that I didn’t quite reconcile with. I am the eldest in a family of 2 daughters. I am from a small town in India. My mother was very strict and sometimes I felt neglected me and preferred my younger sister. My dad was a government servant, he didn’t earn a lot but we were comfortable. From as far back as I remember, I was a little melancholy as a kid and I didn’t have too many friends. We lived a little on the outskirts of the town, I didn’t have playmates there and my parents couldn’t afford taking us to town to meet people much. Also mother was not big on people, she didn’t approve of many of my and dad’s friends, to this date, I don’t exactly know why. My sister has actually managed to stand up to her in this regard. So as I said, I was melancholy and I wrote good prose, but in hindsight, pretty awful, romantic yearning poetry as a teen For as long as I can remember, I think I had somewhat of a Cinderella fantasy that once I had a nice stable relationship when I grew up, all these troubles and this feeling of being unloved will go. Growing up, I felt unwanted many times because of my mother’s neglect sometimes I think, my lack of friends and the strict, somewhat abusive atmosphere at my convent school. You can see where this is going already.

 

I was a good student, topped my batch most times and I think I made up for my lack of social relationships by being extremely good at whatever I did. It probably was some kind of compensation or avoidance. But I had very low self esteem. Around 24 I got my first job as a journalist. It was also the time when I had my first relationship. For a few months, everything seemed to be going as per plan. Then I told my folks about my relationship and all hell broke loose. My guy was a sensitive chap, folks had met him and they also knew that his parents were getting separated. I was told he wasn’t right for me. In our culture, families don’t approve of love marriages easily. I also lacked the courage to go against my family and got out of the relationship. I thought we could be friends and I think I was very oblivious that he may not take it as friendship and might hold on to hope. In short, I have realised of late that it wasn’t so much as him not being right for me, but my not being right for him in the long term. He is now married and I am happy for him.

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This relationship aftermath drew somewhat of a wedge between me and my parents. I felt that though they expected me to handle all other adult affairs reasonably, I had no choice in who I would marry. I think I rebelled somewhat by then continuing to choose relationships that didn’t really lead much anywhere. I was working in a different city, I was lonely and my job was getting worse by the day. I was a television journalist but I wasn’t getting the assignments I really wanted and was capable of because a few people at the top seemed to think that I looked too much like a kid and did not come accross well on air. I had a very underdeveloped dressing sense and being from a small town, I had not been exposed to a lot of what my peers knew. This slowly gutted my confidence, they didn’t sack me, nor did they scream or be horrible visibly, but it was insidious. I was just not given any important work and I had to claw through whatever I had. In office, I was isolated when it came to gossip or the power gangs of the informal network. My low self esteem got more fodder and I was very self critical.

 

Around this time I met another guy, younger and he came from another broken family dynamic. I think subconsciously I was trying to right the wrongs of my previous relationship. This relationship lasted 6 months, of which only the first 2 were pleasurable. After that he just was mostly neglectful. I think he had said he didn’t believe in marriage but I was immature enough to think that I could change that because it just seems to be so because of his own parents’ divorce. I think I was the rescuer here. He used to ignore me a lot after the first few months and would just not take my calls, answer messages and even stopped coming by regularly. I think I did realise it wasn’t healthy when he did not show much concern once when I was sick because this reminded me of mother. She would give medicines, she would cook good food when I was sick but never sit beside me when I was suffering. I wasn’t still over him so it took some amount of breaking up and getting back together after the 6 months for me to finally cut him off. But I didn’t move on healthily till much later.

 

The phase soon after the breakup was worst. I was in touch with some of his friends, one guy particularly, who won my confidence and tried to have rebound sex with me. Somehow even though we made out once, I ended up resisting his advances and I cut myself off from all of those friends. But my feelings of rejection were heightened. I had truly enjoyed going on meet ups with those friends of his and I had thought that maybe I had found friends in this city. But this guy was just planning to use me. When he knew sex was not going to happen, the friendship and the concern ran out the door too.

 

I spent the next year trying to heal, I had a phase for 6 months where I would wake up and just start crying, the tears would just come. I lived alone. I still get afraid when I think of those times and how I survived them. As for my parents, according to them I never should’ve loved anyone and should have just waited for them to find a guy, so no support there. Sometime during this relationship itself I started seeing a therapist, but as I realise now, she was more interested in keeping me coming, she charged very heavily and she just kept me talking, never really offering much or just telling me the truth, that I had suffered a blow and that it would take time. I also was fighting a lot with my parents because now all the pent up emotions of my mother’s neglect came to the fore. I was saying everything I hadn’t in 26 years. It was ugly and my parents didn’t understand what hit them. I also had a fight with my sister and it didn’t heal until recently.

 

I was a mess but I tried counselling, I went to every blog possible, read the Secret, numerous self help books, vented, cried, joined some bitter get ex back forums and then went on to read numerous blogs written for women on how to keep relationships. As I see it today, I was setting myself up for a whole lot of wrong ideas about how to go about relationships. These blogs they tell you to be open, womanly, submissive at times and at times they tell you to just dump the out of the person and hold your head high. There are rules there and I think I took the rules too seriously. I also didn’t want to get hurt and I didn’t want to be ‘soft’ the way I was in the previously emotionally abusive relationship. I was also seeing my friends slowly getting married or engaged and my parents had not even started thinking about my marriage. I hated everyone I think but mostly myself. I had a late rebellion, not in my teens, but when I was around 25-26.

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Then around the time I was turning 27, I met another guy. This guy was totally unlike any other I had dated before. This is the ex, that brought me this time to posting on enotalone, rather than just lurking. Here is what I wrote on the ex boyfriend/girlfriend forum about the relationship. As I cant post a URL yet, I am reposting the whole thing.

 

It has been a 3 year roller coaster ride. This is going to be long. The relationship was perfect when it began, we dated casually (nothing physical) for 6 months before he asked me out and I specified then itself that since he planned to go abroad within a year for his MBA, I expected to atleast get engaged before he left and married after he got his new job after the course. Things were fine, his parents were working in a different city then so I had never met them. Then when his mom was coming down at around the 7-8 month of exclusivity mark, I requested that I be introduced. I thought he was the One and he had indicated he thought so too. He spoke of the future and supported me during my difficult career time. His mom came and went and I was given a flimsy reason about why she couldnt meet. I let that go because his behaviour was still loving. Then just around 3 months before he was to leave, his dad was diagnosed with cancer, he didnt tell me after a few weeks later. But I heard his father was responding well to chemo and that he was still going to go abroad for his course. I knew that an engagement then wasnt possible before he left, but I still wanted to meet his mother when she came before he left. This led to a few fights and he dumped me suddenly. He just stopped talking in fact and I kept asking him for weeks, apologising, crying and ultimately asked him if he wanted to separate so he said maybe thats the best. I beat myself up a lot for being nagging and for insisting on meeting his parents etc. In our culture, long engagements arent done and most couples don't live together before marriage, love matches themselves are frowned upon and I was already 27 then and had an unsuccessful relationship before him, so I was under a lot of pressure too. He had also said that if his parents disapproved he may not be able to marry me so I had told him he had to let me go if things weren’t clear.

 

We kept in touch on and off and then I finally let go and started to plan my life again. Within a month of no contact from me, he contacted on his own and said that he had missed me and that he wanted me back. I did love him so I let him back in but I said I wanted him to atleast speak to my father so that the relationship could move forward, considering he wont be returning for more than a year. He agreed and just before the day he was to speak to my father something else happened in his family (it wasnt serious this time) so he was not in a state. Asking him to just do it led to a fight and hostility and I was so scared of losing him all over again that I just stayed instead of saying it was a dealbreaker if he couldnt keep promises. This was just the beginning of a 2 year phase of madness. He would constantly give me silent treatment if I held him responsible for any promises he broke or if I insisted he skype with me weekly instead of just speaking to me on phone messenger apps. Calling from abroad was costly so the relationship was entirely on phone and occasionally on email. He would sometimes make plans to spend time with me online and he would never appear and when I asked would say that a sudden party happened on campus. Questions would lead to the silent treatment again. I would alternate between begging him to stop, bargaining with him to stop, fighting with him, confronting him and sometimes not caring myself during his bouts of silent treatments. He could go on for about 2 months at a time and mostly I would crack and send him a mail about what the hell does he want to do, break up and we would get back either fighting through it or with him saying that everything would go back to normal. I wouldn't get any explanation of course of why he chose to ignore for so long or what could be done to not have this repeat. Most of our fights were on his not taking any steps towards ultimately getting married or moving forward in any meaningful way. During the silent treatments or otherwise he would be partying, having fun, networking. It didnt really look like family issues were bothering him, but he would totally disregard my existence. Eventually his course got over and I thought that now things will fall into place. But surprisingly to all of us even his friends, he chose a job in a different city than his home town and though initially all of us thought it was going to be a short stint till he got a job here but he said he would like to continue for a couple of years. I am older to him, 30 now, to his 27 and I had been through 2 years of silent treatments where crying and suicidal thoughts were regular for me. I was losing patience now since he didnt seem anywhere closer to committing. When he was studying he said he needs to get a job before speaking to my folks and after getting the job and working a few months into it, he still didnt commit. Finally, I got frustrated and even if I loved him a lot I broke up angrily. I was tired and I had been to 2 counsellors and was crying daily wondering why did my dream relationship turn so sour. He said I never cared about him. With all the pressure and my fears of turning 30 I had, I admit, I sometimes told him to decide or to let me go so that I would find happiness elsewhere. My parents were facing questions from others as I had passed the acceptable age of marriage in our country. I was losing hair, my weight was constantly fluctuating and I was afraid I was going to lose it waiting for him. He also said he didnt want to hear how horrible my work life or anything else was and truly I had been emotionally dependent somewhat initially because I lived alone and had no friends where I worked.

 

It still wasnt easy letting go and fate dealt me a mad blow with my company transferring me into the city he lived in. I had broken up just after my company told me this. Anyways I did go to that city and worked and he never really got in touch with me until 3 months later a day before Christmas. He called at 3 am and I felt I shouldnt answer such a late call as I didnt think we would speak lucidly at that hour and also because I was getting counselling and was finally getting over all the hurt and all the missed opportunities of the past including relationships. He got angry and accused me of deleting him from the phone app and not answering his call just because he hadnt answered one of my mails. He then apologised after I didnt take the bait and said he was ready to go all the way and wanted me to come to his place and stay for Christmas and the 26th. I wanted to meet him but I wasnt sure if I should stay the night so I told him I wont. I asked to meet somewhere public and he said he had an ankle sprain which I don't know why I suspected wasnt true. Long story short, he got angry and didnt want me to do a favour by meeting him. He still said that he was a one woman man and I was that woman so I said he would have to back it up with action and whether he was ready now to commit, he chickened out again and I felt sad.

 

A few weeks ago, he mailed to say his father had died. I had just resigned that day as I got a job back in my old city and my first thought was when I called him that I wont be around in the same city when he needed me the most so I blurted out I was leaving the city. Not my finest moment and not what you'd say to someone who lost a parent, not justifying anything but he was always partying and cheerful to everyone except me and chose to block any attempt on my part, face to face or otherwise to talk about his family, that I thought everything was fine and his father was long cured. I did message him a few times as a friend and he did respond but again he stopped acknowledging even normal messages and with all the moving away I was doing and some feelings of missing him, again I wrote an emotional response about his ignoring and all that he keeps saying but not doing. I realised it was the wrong timing and later tried to make amends but he started stonewalling and some of my old anger was back. Eventually he responded when I said he could atleast ask to be left alone rather than plain ignoring. He once again accused me of being self centered and told me that I dont really care about him anyway. I apologised for that one inadvertent remark and told him that he needs to have spelt out what exactly he found wrong rather than always go silent on me. How was I to stop doing something annoying if I didnt know what it was? How was I to know what exactly he was going through at home or elsewhere if he didnt trust me to listen to it and stick around?

 

So my question is, was I self centered or too focused on just getting married, though to me it felt that I had always communicated my expectations clearly early on? Does any amount of my being self centered or just being oblivious to his troubles justify months of silent treatment? How does one handle things like these? Is it his commitmentphobia, the damaging effects of silent treatment or am I a bad partner that silence is the only way to handle me? How should I proceed here? I am sorry this is too long.

 

Enotalone member Clio helped me see for the first time that while this guy was all wrong because of the silent treatments, what I was doing wasnt stellar either. Thanks to my past experiences, I had become very focused on marriage and securing the relationship that I missed the wood for the trees. I was not seeing what was happening because this guy like Clio said checked all the demographic boxes and we had some good connection initially so I was not ready to let go, I dont think I fully am, though I understand more of how things played out here.

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So where am I going with this extended saga of my not so great life? Well, I am seeing things clearly for the first time now. Perhaps it is the meditation and all the work I have been doing all this while, that I was even able to see what Clio was trying to tell me here. I guess, the old me would've not really understood how I was enabling this situation. I have realised a few things now.

 

1. I thought I was independent, but I probably wasn't because subconsciously I had bought into the conditioning in our society that a marriage would not just bring legitimacy to feelings and also that it was a marker of a woman's adulthood and success as a person.

 

2. I thought marriage would solve things like my dependency on my awful job for survival, my low self esteem, my lack of credible friends. I had bought into the concept of someone making me whole without even realising it.

 

3. I have a tendency to be focused on just what I want at times at the cost of seeing how things really are. This is born out of insecurity of going back to a situation of feeling powerless so I try to control outcomes.

 

4. I have somehow stumbled into some good friends, who have supported me so now I realise that it can happen that you have people who have your back. People may disappoint, but I now have people who'll atleast talk it out. One friend recently when we fought and didnt talk for a few hours, leading me to panic that the friendship was gone, told me, do you think friendships just die so easily? No one had told me that it wasnt normal for people to just clam up and have nothing to do with you. I always lived in literal fear of these kinds of impasse because thats all I had seen so far in my life. This fear had led me to bend myself so much for others.

 

5. I did some horrible things with this recent ex too. I was sometimes just focused on how things would affect me and my life plans. This I now realise was all the negativity and bitterness I had accumulated by being powerless in my job, a previous abusive relationship, his silent treatment and my insecurity about growing old and being lonely forever.

6. I still haven’t learnt healthy assertion. I either comply or get aggressive. I haven’t had too many examples in my life where I could have my own opinion honoured and I consequently thought that I had to either fight, beg and convince or stay angry and depressed about things. But my awareness of these things is better.

7. After the sudden move that my company sprung on me which landed me in my ex’s city, which isn’t a great place for my profession, I finally decided that I didn’t have to let a company decide where I would live, so I have quit now and am joining another job in my old city. The place I am going to be is known to be full of pressure, hope I do well and practice healthy assertion and correct the career flaws and be more confident in my work than I was all these years.

8. I recently got to know that people did recognise all the effort I took in getting myself a slow and sure makeover. People have noticed how I worked hard and got better at my job. But most of the times I was just focused on all the hard work I was putting in and the lack of appreciation from the bosses. I only recently had a good boss and I realised that I truly was part of a toxic team initially and I don’t know if to blame destiny for it, but things didn’t have to be as bad as they were back then.

9. After I read Clio’s advice, I finally realised my mistakes with my ex and have written to him. I know its too early for this as its just a month since his father died. I don’t think we are going to get back or anything, our communication pattern was too destructive. But maybe now that it has clicked in my head, we may both find some closure.

10. I probably was borderline love addict because I thought a relationship would somehow magically change things. I also thought marriage came first and then the adjustments and sacrifices, but I now realise that the relationship has to be compatible and all adjustments made before marriage can be thought of.

11. I’ll probably get married too late for my culture because I don’t think I am anywhere near being healthy enough for a relationship now. And I want to choose healthily now rather than go for looks and common interests, but know if the guy really wants to get married and married to me and if we are compatible. That will take time and may not go the way traditional marriages in our community go.

 

12. My relationship with my parents is better, I don’t hate them but there is a great generation gap. I have a good relationship with my sister too. They still sometimes don’t take my individualism well and I feel that while I have a lot of freedom, I don’t have the freedom to make mistakes and that they wont be supportive about such things.

13. Finances are somewhat better. Our industry is going through upheaval and I realise that I may have to draw up a plan to do something other than TV news in a few years to avoid problems. I also have to figure out some way if I really want to study abroad as I have dreamed before.

14. I have seen 2 other, better, less judgemental and practical therapists in the course of this relationship and its aftermath, so I think I don’t need more talking or figuring out but more taking action on what I have learnt is needed.

15. I have realised that while delayed gratification is good, suppression is not. I have to learn in the next year to do things for myself, guilt free and to know that I have the right to keep myself happy and I can only be healthy if I give importance to myself and my own feelings.

 

Lets hope, I do better at this second chance at my life and that my 30s are better than my 20s. If you have read so far, any thoughts?

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So where am I at today, I deleted all the mails I have of him so far from my gmail. I have given off most of the clothes and accessories he gave me as a gift, money which he once said maybe he should have invested. While dealing the mails, came accross some that were from way before, when we were so in love, times when we were both so caring to each other. What just happened, I felt and I felt guilty that I wasnt adequately supportive about his father's death. So I sent a short mail asking him to take care at this time. I don't know if I did the right thing. Maybe I should leave him alone. I just feel that I was never this oblivious to anyone's feelings, how did this happen? I wasnt almost cruel, how did things become this way?

 

Then I think of all the times when he could have said what really was on his mind, taken me into confidence rather than just block communication or just say he had stuff on his mind but never specify what. Granted I am a little stupid sometimes and don't catch the drift and I think I pushed him too far with insisting on what I wanted and saw fit. But I know I havent been insensitive on purpose. I just was so convinced that we were in agreement and that other things were interfering. His actions never matched the words and I think the resentment within me just grew day by day. I don't really know where I am going with this. Everyone has told me to just stay away from him.

 

I was thinking of how he called and declared I was the only woman for him and yet he chickened out when I asked him to substantiate it. Somehow it is tough to accept that all of it could have been a lie. Maybe it was just timing, but I don't know. I feel I should make amends for not being entirely supportive about his father, but I also know that he wouldnt have been the first person I reached out during a similar thing for me, just because I didnt expect he would come through. Thats sad isnt it?

 

And on my way to work I cried about how everyone had met his father, including some friends, even if it was just because his family travelled for his graduation. Heck I had thought I'd be by his side then and I had even saved up to go abroad atleast once when he was there but he always said it was too expensive and I shouldnt. I never met his family even as a friend. I was not worth being around them and I just cried at that. I was angry at how it was probably easier for him to make me the villain in the piece, the insensitive girlfriend who didnt understand his pressures, who only thought of marriage and who will never understand if he communicated his own expectations thoroughly rather than taking responsibility that he didnt do what he claimed to be doing. So what gives here? I feel horrible and then I also feel that he did bring some of it upon himself? Why cant I just be there objectively as a friend during his difficult time? My love is probably conditional and I don't know if I can ever see beyond how insecure I felt through all of this. Did I dream up my insecurity or were all the cancelled dates, the silent treatments also responsible for it? I wish the last 3 years had never happened. I wish I can go back to being 26 again and do something else with my life.

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I am not stopping contacting him when I really should, because there is nothing there. I was doing so well and then I got pushed back into the spiral when he contacted and then his father and all that. I think at times he only needs me when things are wrong in his life. He doesnt really love me. But I am so attached that I want to believe he does. Ugggh stupid feelings and stupid me for believing them. I have even deleted his number and everything but I still remember his email ID by heart. I wish I forget it somehow. I dont see why movies make amnesia seem to be so bad, I think it means we get a chance to be a whole new person :stupid:

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Today has been good so far. Winding up business in this city and meeting whoever I have to meet before I leave. I did some random stuff like have a beer in the middle of the day, which I have never done before because I was in a celebratory mood. I have written tons of goodbye mails today and people have recognised my contribution over the years at this company. It feels good that I am not leaving bitter or with unfulfilled potential.

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At times when you are going through the struggle, especially years of it, you just see yourself as hapless, inadequate, even crazy. In the past few months though, there have been some instances where I have suddenly found myself proud and even grateful to myself for having gone through these things and done a good job with it. It is rare for me to feel appreciative of myself and I know maybe it won't last and in a few days I may feel angry at myself. Today for the first time ever in my life, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling happy about myself. I am sure that's a good sign. Maybe the tides are changing after 5-6 years of immense uncertainty and struggle. Let's hope.

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The first week at the new job has been pretty decent. It has gone on well and I was even appreciated. A change from my old place. I have been realising how much the lack of appreciation in my life at my old job had spilled on to every aspect in my life. it had made me doubt everything and led me to unfulfilling relationships to which I clung in the hope that atleast that will make it seem like I am lovable and normal. Things are much clearer and at tiems I am horrified at how unworthy I thought myself to be.

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Seems it is a good thing to detox from a relationship somewhat. Don't know though if its good that I am not very sympathetic to the problems in his life. I guess I end up somehow or the other remembering the times he wasnt so good to me. I am right now I feel 70% over it. It took a year of back and forth for me to reach here and almost 6 months of not trying to get back with him. I do feel a little conscious of how he may be thinking of me. Perhaps it wasnt so much about who was good or bad or right or wrong as to the fact that we werent that good a match for each other. Anyways.

 

New (actually same old) city, new job, new everything, taking time to understand. And then there is the called house hunting. I have spent around 8 hours today doing just that and no satisfactory results yet. At some point I felt that I should 'settle' for something that was in my budget so to say but didnt look very clean or great. I thought it over some more. Now this is where I think I have changed a bit. I am ready to spend some more time and energy into something rather than settle or get anxious and feel like a failure that I didnt find it right at the first go. I can also afford a bit to do it now because I have a back up, a friend's place, if not this company guest house. Back in the old days, when I had just started out there was nothing of the sort.

 

I realise now that when I started working, I was surrounded by people who had got things easy. They used wiles or connections from family or something else but definitely not plain hard work and persistence. Naturally, my values clashed and I also felt like a failure because no matter what I did, I never matched up to them. It took me many years to find my kind of people in this city. Now that I have returned after a brief bit, I appreciate some bits of the city more, I hate some of the same things, but I dont have a feverish attachment to it, a lot of my feverish attachment to a lot of things has dwindled now. It could perhaps be because I am starting over in so many aspects right now, there is nothing left to attach to. Or it could be that I have finally learnt some lessons after those years of struggle. Any ways, I feel less depressed, a little more hopeful and I hope that lasts. Earlier I used to feel victimised but I think I also blamed myself a lot, now I am able to place the blame on the people it belonged to also, while acknowledging the naive or silly ways I let myself be trampled upon. How long these aha feelings last, lets see. I am almost scared I'll jinx it by saying it out loud.

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So today was a day when I met someone who I dated before this ex. I have seen ex 2 over the years as we work in the same field but we had parted bitterly after a short 6 month relationship where he had started neglecting me after 3 months only. He also had this tendency of not taking calls, not responding etc though that never went on for days. But he had messed me up pretty bad. I had thought that he was probably narcissitic at the end of it or just very thoughtless. He had a sad past and all that. Over the years I think I still did have the anger, so I never spoke to him. The first few years of my recovery I used to feel proud of having come afar and that I never even had to look at him though I found him looking at how I had changed. Today we met amongst other people while out on an assignment. Some of these people know of my history with him though they didn't know either of us back then. Some discussion began on some work aspects and this is the first time we spoke directly even about work. It didn't feel awkward. We even had lunch in the same group. I realised I had truly healed this time from him atleast.

 

Now most times I forgive very easily. They say true forgiveness shouldn't be so easy and I agree because I do forgive but the scars remain and if the other person so much as does something vaguely similar the wound is scratched afresh. Then things get worse. But I also have a hard time keeping grudges, rather I am lazy about spending energy on that. But this guy, the relationship with him had truly messed me. I carried the scars in my recent failed relationship too, which is the longest I have had at 3, close to 4 years, but most of it was long distance and filled with silences. I think sometimes I stayed too long because I didn't want to accept that one more guy treated me this way by being flaky and undependeable. Also recent ex was the complete opposite of ex 2. Recent ex had a stable family, great job, was overall considered a great guy, so it was tougher accepting that the great guy somehow could be mean to me and also make it sound like I was so needy and bad. Honestly I also realise that there was some insecurity he triggered which made me into this person who wanted to control his going away from me. I also had notions of him being so much better financially and otherwise that I had made life plans around his plans. There were things I had stopped doing so as to not have a fight about with him. There were things I had started doing to please. And the last 2 years were all about managing not to get treated with silence and anger.

 

Something shifted the end of last year. The pattern of accepting less had started with the exploitation I had faced at my job. Somehow through sheer perseverance I had managed to turn the situation around and having a new, supportive boss also helped. Slowly I regained some of the confidence and I think an undue transfer by my previous organisation kicked me in the a** enough to finally take my job situation in my hands. I have now started a job at a place that's not really known to be the chirpiest place to work at but I have some confidence back now, I know I can make something out of this too. I now have this attitude about most things. It feels good to not be worried all the time. The last 5-6 years were the worst in my life. But even though a lot of what I wanted hasn't worked out yet, the desperation is gone, the need to prove myself worthy, even if its only to destiny has gone. And so I think it didn't matter speaking to ex 2. Recent ex, I feel he isn't still there, he has a lot of stuff to resolve in his head. I was also so entangled before I couldn't see it. Hope he is able to make his way out. I do love recent ex, can't hold a grudge even though he may have ended up treating me worse than ex 2 because he kept coming back and leaving. But he has lost his father now and I haven't been exemplary myself all the time. So maybe given time, just like this old relationship healed, the recent one will too. Just that it took 5 years for that one, wonder how long this one will take. I did send a short mail to recent ex, talking only about him and his loss, just 1 line about my joining, that's it. No response as usual. Al Turtle says send non confrontational mails for some time. I think I will if not for anything else but to just be able to meet someday in the future and be cordial atleast.

 

New attitude has rubbed on to my house hunting too. I don't wish to settle, I'll keep looking till I find a clean, decent place within my budget. There has to be one in sucy a large city. No more compromising on either the look or cleanliness with the thought of this is all I can afford/deserve.

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Loneliness is a . Sometimes I think I dont really need anyone but just a sense of not being alone is enough. To come home to people, to be able to talk to someone and share intimately. I do share a lot otherwise also, I mean all my inward looking thoughts, so its not like I dont or that there isnt anyone who'll listen. Just that the special one isnt there and to be honest despite all the madness, all the emotional battery, I still miss him. Atleast I felt I had someone, now I dont know, I feel very blah about relationships sometimes, even scared.

 

I have found a place, this time there will be 2 other girls staying in the same apartment so I guess I wont be entirely lonely. No TV there though, dont know how I'll manage, being a TV news person, its tough and its the first time in 5 years I am going to be without one.

 

When I return home after work, every evening I feel this sense of purposelessness, this gnawing feeling of what am I really doing, is life any worth if there is no one who'd experience it along with you? As far back as I can remember, I've been lonely. But my limited interactions mean I either pour things out completely to a select few or I have this weird pattern of holding back and not really getting out there and genuinely trying to like and be with people.

 

I saw Her, the movie. And I could relate to a lot. That feeling of being on your own all the time, that immense need to connect, so much so that just a voice that listens is enough. Question is, is your life enough, if there is no one to mirror it back to you? No one who knows you in and out and whom you can take for granted and who you take for granted?

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I had a horrible day. My old boss who is also a friend has been a little pissed that I changed jobs. I met her today and she made some comments which made it look like she was trying to make it look like I made a bad choice. Maybe I did. I am not sure anymore of anything. Btu trying to clarify things with her brought on all sorts of anxiety and brought about memories of my dealings with my ex. I have huge abandonment issues. I felt that if I didnt resolve this, she and I wouldnt have a good relationship anymore. My thoughts were full of self flagellation. And who knows, its just been 2 weeks, maybe my new job may not be that great, what happens then? Everything seems like a mistake.

 

Then my best female friend was not available today coz she is going through some fight with a good friend of hers. So I didnt really have anyone to talk to. and best male friend has just started seeing someone who also works in my office but it was awkward coz he hasnt introduced us and it feels odd when I am around this girl. Plus I;ve heard bad stuff about this girl though I didnt tell my friend because he is a stubborn type. But we ended up arguing over something related to her wanting to keep the relationship secret coz of rival office politics. I felt that it was needless and that they should just keep it secret because of petty people and not because of working in rival organisations. that led to an argument and then I was a mess. He always gets stubborn about things, my friend and a lot of tiems he has realised on his own that I was right later. I jokingly mentioned that and he said that I always want certification for being right and so on and so forth and it clearly hasnt been my day. For a few minutes I felt as if all the somewhat certainty I have built in my life is collapsing and it will anyways. He'll soon be busy with his relationship my best female friend is looking for a job out of town and then I'll again be here, alone, with no one to talk to, no one who'd understand and probably unsatisfied in life.

 

I missed my ex a lot the last few days also. Maybe I am the immature one and I make people act in weird ways, even abuse me. my thoughts are full of self flagellation right now. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

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I think even the fact that you question that some of the patterns are brought upon by you is a good sign. But sometimes you can take that too far. People tend to be on a spectrum - some can never see their role in their own lives/struggles and blame outside forces, and some take everything upon themselves and leave themselves battered and bloody with their own self-contempt. I think, probably like most things, falling in the moderate part of the spectrum tends to be healthiest.

 

And some days just suck. And sometimes it really sucks when there is no one there to hug. It won't be that way forever, but it's okay that you feel that way today.

 

I think it was really brave of you to make a job change and move back to the city you wanted to be -- but sometimes brave, big decisions take awhile to adjust to -- won't always feel great right off the bat. Give yourself at least 6 months to adjust to a new job.

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Thank you and yes that day was bad. I only had arguments that day and things were better the next day. So yes you are right, some days just suck. I'll also figure if I am taking too much blame in things. Hope all's well with you

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  • 2 weeks later...

New job is hectic. I have no time to surf even. I get just one day off in the week and that's mostly spent running errands.

 

I have noticed that I have minor relapses around the time of my periods. Its those days when I have a huge urge to call, reconnect, mail one more time and hope things will change. This time when a couple of times I typed out the emotional mail, I was like you've said all this before, he knows and if he doesn't there's no point saying it again. Somehow, my mind doesn't wrap itself around this opinion that he might have been an emotional abuser.

 

The only regret I have now is of how I wasn't there for him when his dad passed away and how I just couldn't keep the history away while communicating even then. My friends say its ok and that they know had he included me in his family and not put me through so much, I'd have been by his side at the funeral and after. While I see this, I still do feel if there was a way to do it better.

 

But then, I also realised had something bad happened, maybe I wouldn't have contacted him because I wouldn't be sure he'd have come through. My friend also feels that the attempt he made to reconnect just a month before his father's death might have been because he knew it was coming and he needed some support. He isn't entirely bad but we can all be selfish at times. I have said sorry about my slight mis-steps after his father's death. But I guess he won't forgive so soon. He took so long to forgive and used to give me silent treatment on normal issues. This is huge and I guess in his place I'd have also found it tad insensitive. Just wonder sometimes how such a dream relationship just went so wrong.

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This is one of those periods in my life when there is no drama as such that I can hold on to and justify the lack of progress in my life. Yes, I still dont know who I will marry or if I will ever have a partner. I know I have joined a work place that is known to be rough. But let's see how things go in general. Perhaps I was also attached to the drama because suddenly I dont know what I am doing. I am just simply working and functioning and I am too tired right now to worry about oh no what will go wrong 5 years from now. So I am pretty much blank, somewhat numb.

 

Thoughts of the ex do return. I know our relationship was not healthy. Sometimes when I read about emotional abuse I realise that he did some of that. But I dont know if that was because he too was going through something and that somewhere we had a communication breakdown or because he was an abuser and was slowly making me into the perfect victim. Yet there are days when I remember the early relationship, when he was good, when he treated me with such care and so it is difficult to reconcile what became of it later. He also used to say he was so happy then and now miserable. I dont know if that was also just a lie because otherwise he would be out and partying. I also realise that beyond the first 8 months, he hardly shared anything about his family with me. I never heard him speak of them again. He was always acknowledged as the good guy and he was the same good guy to me initially so I am sometimes baffled as to whether it was emotional abuse or whether we just brought out the worst in each other because of some incompatibility. At times though, it feels like I dated 2 different people, 1 in the first 10 months and another after that.

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I also struggle with another thing, I wonder if I'll ever trust another person. I guess if someone could be consistently good for 10 months (also 6 months of being friends before those 10 months so totally more than a year) and then change, I'll perhaps always keep waiting for the other shoe to drop in every friendship/relationship I'll have next. Its all so fragile and transient.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the inevitable has happened. My best female friend P has got a job out of town. Happy for her but sad at not having her around.My best male friend who has just started dating has suddenly turned cold turkey and asking him what happened and I did something wrong unwittingly hasn't helped. He just says nothing and to chill. Didn't press him any more coz guys have this thing of making you sound like a nag even when you are just asking to understand. The ex sure had that ability. I'd end up apologising after we had a fight over a promise he failed to keep, always. But have been missing him a lot. Ex also is a strange creature. After making me think he'll never even want to talk to me thanks to my slightly lukewarm assistance during his bereavement, he mailed saying he saw some terrible news about some journalists being attacked and hoped I was safe. I kept the reply to the point and asked him if he was well too. No response again. I almost wanted to mail asking him why he chose to 'forgive' me. Didn't so far. Kept to that polite response. But he's on my mind and at times I feel the pull to just try once more. I keep reminding myself that I have tried several times he just didn't take up any responsibility. But its true I miss him and I am still unable to picture a life with anyone else physically. Still think we made a cute couple and I won't get anyone my age like that now. But everything else also counts and I don't know what can change the last 2 years. I miss the old him, not what it became.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That last interaction of course didnt end at the polite thing. A few days later I asked about his dad and he was back to his tactic of not responding. The same silent treatment type of . Of course it is my mistake that I always reply when he asks anything. I did get angry enough this time to tell him clearly that he shouldnt send me any random mails if he doesnt want to hear from me, but I coated it with the truth that it disturbs me because I am still not over the relationship. After dilly dallying a few more days, I deleted him off fb. Last time when he discovered I had taken him off bbm he was angry. I do expect a backlash if he ever gets in touch. But I think he wont now. I have probably hurt his pride this time.

 

Some days are good at work. Its definitely better than my previous place where no matter what I did I wouldnt be given good stuff to do. There were many biases against me. That is not happening here so far. Hope I do well here. Another thing is the friends who helped me when I was still hedging over the breakup etc are all gone. P has joined her work in a new city though she is always a phone call away. My male best friend has suddenly changed a lot, its not just the relationship he is in, but I feel now that I work for a rival network and am not of any direct benefit to him, things have changed.

 

So I feel alone. I think of why its always been this way. Though people say when it comes to tough times you are always on your own. Only regret with ex that keeps coming up is that I couldnt put the bad behaviour aside and be there during his time of grief. But I do know somewhere that he wouldnt have bothered if it was the other way round, in fact would've left much earlier. Still there are days when I think that maybe this is how relationships are and that it was as best as I could've got and maybe I gave up too soon (even though my brain says I am thinking wrongly).

 

I am at a curious stage. I want to be in a relationship, a life long, loving one but I am scared that my time is gone, that I may never find it. I am even tired of trying to do any coaching or 'inner work' to attract such a relationship because all I've been doing so far is working hard for that elusive relationship. On some level I've totally given up and yet I wonder why cant this simple thing that so many people seem to get so easily be mine too.

 

Anyways off to an assignment in the different city later this week. Should be fun.

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I have been doing ok and I have suddenly found that this is not going well with friends who supported me through some of my rough times. I have been more assertive and I have tried to do things differently and yesterday I got this whole lecture about how I was getting aggressive and that how they thought I was becoming into the kind of monster my current organisation is famed to produce. Funnily, my behaviour hasnt changed much but just because of my changing my job, people's perception of it has changed. At times it hurts me and there is one niggling problem, if I am having a mildly confrontation discussion I tend to start crying even if I am not that upset or not trying to be totally defensive. I cry and I express my words differently. I am much better with writing things out and explaining my side. Unfortunately this crying tends to sometimes make the other person see it as futile to discuss things with me. I also find it unrealistic that these friends are expecting me to suddenly set aside all that happened for close to 7 years and became equanimous about it and just in general stop ever mentioning it (I mention it maybe once in a month and I forget it soonest). I feel that they are not ready to give up that slightly doormatish image of me and dont know how to deal with the changes I am making. I agree its hard for everyone, but doesnt mean that they label me as having a victim mentality and always acting out of past wrongs. I also believe that I do have the right to take precautions that past wrongs dont recur. Is that so unfair to ask? And is there a switch that once the past wrong situation is over, you'll suddenly stop operating with the awareness of it?

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When I was younger I never had to worry about PMS. But the last few years, I have had some of the biggest cases of PMS. I have felt these sudden surges of plain anger and irritation at the world, even at random things like people talking around me. Its somewhat irrational, but that's how I feel at times. Does anyone else have such irrational thoughts?

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When I was younger I never had to worry about PMS. But the last few years, I have had some of the biggest cases of PMS. I have felt these sudden surges of plain anger and irritation at the world, even at random things like people talking around me. Its somewhat irrational, but that's how I feel at times. Does anyone else have such irrational thoughts?

 

Yes. I don't want to ask you to reveal your age here if you'd rather not, but with PMS it is relevant. Mine came on strong in my 40s. I always suffered debilitating headaches from it, maybe 4x a year, even in my 20s. But then 40 hit like BAM. I even got tested and was told I was off the charts. It still happens. Symptoms include spaciness, irritability, short-tempered, impatient, and some kind of high and mighty sense of myself such that my bf, whomever he is at the time, is not good enough under any circumstances. Also during this time I need to drink about 1/2 gallon of water/similar just to get back to normal. Its nuts. And I get it on the way into my cycle and on the way back out. And then again the next month. So it really becomes almost my normal way of being, even though I know it isn't. Working out, being low body fat, eating protein and iron heavy diets -- all of that helps.

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Thanks IthinkIcan, I am in my early thirties. Things were even worse during my abusive relationship, now the PMS isn't as bad as then but it is there. My hair was thinning so I went to the doctor who after tests concluded my iron is very low, so I am on iron supplements for a few weeks now along with some amino acid supplements. So I guess iron does play a large role. Thanks for your tips, will keep them in mind. Exercise is something I have still not managed to motivate myself into.

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