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NC struggles and recalibrating

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Greetings to the good people of ENA.


Question to those of you who lived not only through break-ups, but through the kind of break-ups that were completely gut-wrenching, identity-changing (not for the best), questioning everything, and where you woke up many many mornings not wanting to live: how long of solid NC did it take to feel at least some relief? To where you are able to live at least most day if not happily then at least with reasonable amount of peace and internal stability?


For me, it's been from 1 May now. I'm supposed to have a new life and try to reconstruct and stabilise myself - God knows how.


I hate myself every day:

First, I hate how I got in with him too far, before I was ready.

Second - and by far the most - I hate how I blamed him for it, and the harsh and unfair things I said that killed his feelings in autumn.

Then, I hate how I didn't know how to fix things or how to end them, how I couldn't just walk away and save all those months, how I hung on to empty hope.


Second is the worst for me, it's what shows up in my dreams and kills me every morning when I wake up. The rest of stuff is at least somewhat human and understandable; but blaming him for the fact that we went too far before his departure was beyond the pale. It was unethical, unfair, damaging, weak, and no wonder at all his feelings died. I am not sure how to forgive myself - when I look back after all these months, I don't understand what the f was wrong with me, how could I have done that. He could never understand it, it was incomprehensible to him despite my attempts to explain.


I know I was traumatised by a preceding relation, but it is not an excuse. Otherwise anyone who's ever got hurt would get a carte blanche to hurt others. How to deal with that feeling and to forgive myself, and to become a better person?


I am afraid to get further embittered by this. I don't want to be bitter.


(And I don't have access to functional therapy in this country, nor can I afford it at least for another 5-6 months).

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Consider reviewing the thread below, which contains a lot of useful insight into self awareness and some work you may want to adopt to bring about the opposite of 'self hate':




Let us know if you'd like to discuss any of it.


Head high.

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It depends on the person. A few days you are still in the weaning phase in my opinion.... Going through withdrawal. Feeling sick about not contacting the person. Questioning your entire relationship and the choice to go NC. Hurting from the ending of something so important. Wanting more closure.


Too much to deal with in a few days.


I'm at almost a month and I still come home and cry. But I cry LESS. That's progress.


it's going to take more time than a few days. Some people here struggle for months.


Give yourself some time to feel sad and hurt. In a week or so, adopt a new habit. A new hobby. Anything... To try to focus on one new thing can help a bit. Makes you feel like you have more control. It won't take the pain away, but it helps you live with the pain a bit better.

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"Then, I hate how I didn't know how to fix things or how to end them, how I couldn't just walk away and save all those months, how I hung on to empty hope. "


You both have responsibility for how things turned out. Don't be too hard on yourself even though I know it's hard. It wasn't all on you, he was a willing participant too.


I can't tell you about how long because it depends on the relationship and on the person, but I think that relief is gradual and NC and letting go is a every day decision until it becomes natural and you don't have to think about it anymore. One day you wake up and realize that it doesn't hurt so much anymore, that you can breath and that you accept the new life ahead of you. It takes time, greave, patience, sometimes a roller coaster of emotions, dealing with our personal demons and strength, but in the end if you push through you come out of that alive and better.


There are things we can do to make the progress faster (like NC and other life changes), but it's important to accept that it's a process and that it might take some time. It's also important to feel everything even if it's tempting to numb it. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're detaching from something that was very dear to you, that you felt was part of you and your sense of being, it's normal that it hurts. It might feel like you're dying or at least a part of you, but when you look back you'll realize that you were giving birth to something new... and like every birth it hurts.

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1 may is just a few days.. let yourself grieve. Eventually, if you think he'd be ok with it, maybe you should community this to him? Maybe you'll both feel better. However, I suggest you wait until the initial pain has passed


Thank you, Thomthumb88. Actually, we talked about these things a lot. Firstly, I am not always good with expressing myself; secondly, he often misunderstands things, so for the first few months after my mess-up, he didn't even hear my apologies. I'd send him an email explaining and saying sorry and reassuring that it wasn't on him and he didn't do anything wrong, but he'd misinterpret an apology as pressure to get back together (which it was not), and clam further up. It wasn't until February that we had a more enlightening convo when he finally heard the apology for what it was and told me that he was very relieved.


But some other things he still doesn't get. However, I am extremely cautious to ever poke at the wound again.

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Thank you, Catfeeder. I like your posts, you seem self-assured and fair at the same time. I think I do need to discuss more; sometimes I feel the need to confess the worst that bothers me.


When we were together during the summer, we were in love, but he was about to leave the continent, so we didn't know what to do. On the last night before his departure, we were not just kissing but went further, much further. I wasn't ready for it, but for some stupid reason I didn't stop it. Afterwards, I felt really bad about it inside, because I wasn't ready for so much sexual stuff (even though it didn't go to full intercourse).


I understand fully that it was my responsibility to stop it if I wasn't ready. He'd never do anything without my consent, he was very respectful and caring. I should've either stopped it then, in the moment - or, when it was too late, I should've just accepted it.


Next few weeks he was gone and very busy in his transition, but we had not decided whether we were together or not, everything was in limbo. Communication was limited due to his travels and poor internet - which I nagged him about. He was still in love with me, but for some reason I thought he'd forget me and fade out (probably, based on my previous negative experiences).


Then one day I did a terrible thing: I got so frustrated from suppressing everything, and wrote him an angry email, which included blaming him for going too far with me sexually.


It was a terrible thing to do. It was essentially accusing him of having taken advantage of me sexually. Next day we got a chance to skype, and I explained that I was struggling with MY actions of that night, not HIS. But the damage was done. That stupid email really shocked him, he was gutted at how a formerly sweet person he loved and trusted could accuse him like that. Furthermore, part of him believed that he did smth wrong and he was mortified. Eventually, I managed to convince him that he did nothing wrong and it was me. But of course, his feelings for me never came back after that.


For months and months, I've been waking up with this contrast of our good and sweet memories followed by my action and his shock.


I know everyone makes mistakes, but this was not some small mistake, it was quite a malignant thing, wasn't it? I hear of people cheating on their partners or doing other bad things, but I think what I did was not any better. It was a form of abuse.

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I wish I knew how to "clean" myself from this action, how to make things right and better. Having to lose him is painful enough, but it is HOW I did it and that weight that weighs me down most.


The place to start would be to consider how every problem started with your invention of a problem that didn't need to exist. You bummed yourself out, then you acted out from that to bum someone else out, which created real consequences.


Then consider why you'd still opt to keep doing that by feeding the root of the problem: bumming yourself out.


It's a circular problem, and the only place from which you can resolve it is the present. You get to decide the point at which you'll recognize that you can't fix self hatred by heaping on more of it.


If you want to explore the thread I linked earlier to work an exercise in one form of self discovery and nurturing, we can discuss it. But I see no value in feeding your current exercise of self flagellation--it's not productive.


Review the thread, or start at the end of it and work backwards, and let me know if you have any questions that can tailor the exercise to better suit your needs.


The goal is to take baby steps forward rather than stew in stagnation, which by definition, means no movement. Consider instead a step toward problem solving by moving the first brick in the wall, and let us know how we can help.

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The place to start would be to consider how every problem started with your invention of a problem that didn't need to exist. You bummed yourself out, then you acted out from that to bum someone else out, which created real consequences.


Then consider why you'd still opt to keep doing that by feeding the root of the problem: bumming yourself out.


Just to clarify: what exactly do you mean by bumming myself out?

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Just to clarify: what exactly do you mean by bumming myself out?


Do you really need to ask? You started your outline of the problem in your OP with this:


I hate myself every day:


There's nowhere to go from there but upward, unless you're committed to drilling yourself a deeper hole to climb out of.

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Catfeeder, I can see why you referenced that thread, I can identify with Waraqqa in some of her thought process. And also on the labelling of problems in a way that is toxic and promotes self hatred and identification with false assumptions and thoughts. I think that "child self" exercise would be very beneficial.

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Thanks. I read the first post closely, and some of it rings with me.


However, it is not just guilt of self-hatred I struggle with. I think the bigger component is the resentment. I don't know how to work through it, where to channel it, what to do with it. I tried suppressing it, but as we know, it's not the best strategy.


My ex had some insecurities, as well. And at times, he used to get upset with me if I hadn't returned his call soon enough or needed some space or me-time. Rather than seeing it for what it was, I took on his view of reality, and thought I was a bad person for taking my time or space (which I sometimes needed). So, I'd apologise and be with him the way he wanted to.


Then later, as he started having all the moves and busy time etc, he couldn't be there. Then I felt resentful that he took care of his needs and it was ok and acceptable, but few months before when I had my needs, I was "aloof" or "cold" and bad one.


So, are there any techniques or help with processing the resentment to get it out of the system or something? I know I shouldn't be feeling it. But I feel it, it is there inside my stomach every time I look. I am resentful that I didn't walk away or taken my time when I needed to, and in the end anyway I got dumped, and now he doesn't need me anymore.


I learnt that I should prioritise myself, and if someone's needs don't match, I should politely and kindly decline and only follow what's inside me, even if someone gets upset. But now it is too late for this case. And I feel so discarded. Why did I have to cater to someone and blend with them and get so attached, and then be dropped and no longer needed? Even if I deserved the break-up. I think that resentment in itself was what caused my malignant email that damaged his feelings. I tried suppress it, but didn't know how to contain it, and it spilled out.


And now I'm feeling more resentment. When I was trying to detach, he was talking to me more, and convinced me to accept his gift. I wasn't sure I wanted the gift, but finally I took it, since it was too late to return it. But those interactions (since he had to help me to set it up, it's an electronic device) kind of got me off track, and I fell a bit deeper for him again, and I had enough stupidity to mention it. So now we don't talk, since it may have scared him again. But it it feels bad when he first gave me a gift, and then not even saying hi. It was hard enough for my pride to accept a gift from someone who dumped me, but on top of that he stopped talking. I didnt' even get a proper chance to walk away myself.


I just feel totally powerless, like nothing depends on me at all.

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What I find uncomfortable and unsettling is that in my twenties, if a relationship ended, I would feel very sad, but not resentful. I only remember some anger issues once after dating a womaniser, and in retrospect I was regretting that I had allowed him to treat me the way he did. The rest of the time is was healthy sadness.


In contrast, now in my thirties (esp the last couple of times), it's been just feeling powerless and resentful. I can understand why I felt that the previous time - the guy was a narcissist and played with my mind (and I even then I was angry mostly at myself for not having known how to set better boundaries; less at him, especially once I had realised he was disordered).


But with this last ex, it is so unreasonable for me to be angry. I mean, why??? So, he had some insecurity issues a couple of times, but objectively speaking, he was one of the kindest, most caring, and respectful people I've ever met, let alone ever dated. It is probably - again - resentment and anger mostly at myself. But for some reason at him, also. Or maybe at life? I often have a feeling that I got tricked into falling for him (though I hesitated in the beginning), and just as I had allowed it inside, he was snatched from me - and not at once, but gradually: first several disorienting circumstantial issues, and when I mishandled those, the final blow of his feelings going off me.


The most difficult thing to accept has been not so much losing him (though that hurt), but him falling out of love and having such negative memories of me.


So, what is it? Guilt, resentment, ego? Knowing that I actually deserved it. Maybe everything together. And bundled somewhere underneath all that mess and dust, there are still very soft and loving feelings towards him. If they were the only ones, detaching would be more like sweet sadness, and the memories would not feel so shameful.


Or maybe it's because it's the first time that someone I had really strong feelings and such a high regard for actually fell out of love with me. I never had that happen before.


The other two times I was dumped was by individuals I was anyway doubtful about. They had simply beat me to the punch, but that bit of ego I had got over very quickly.

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Maybe part of the frustration has also been to control my feelings and make them "fit" the situation. It hit me recently that if I want to tap into the soft and gentle feelings for him - if that makes my detachment easier - then I can do that, and I don't need anyone's permission, not even his.


The other, the uncomfortable feelings I am not sure what to do with, though. Maybe I need some techniques, like re-channeling it somehow, esp. when it hits suddenly? (usually starts first thing in the morning, before I even fully wake up). Comments are welcome.

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