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No, I haven't had any contact with him since January. He sent a text on the anniversary of my dad's death saying 'thinking of your family today' (very impersonal) to which I replied thank you, and that was it. Otherwise, been NC.

What do I love about him? That's a tricky one. I think it was more to do with the comfort and companionship we shared. I was comfortable with him, we had some laughs and I miss his cuddles. I know...not a solid basis for a relationship by any means!

 

Good for you! I suggest that you block him.

 

I think that it will be easier for you once you focus on how he treated you when you moved;especially, after your dad passed. The bottom line, is this guy was not there for you, and chose his buddies and partying over you. This is who he is.

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Thank you Carus. I've been told it takes 2 years to get over someone. Ouch. I really hoped it would be better by now, and it is on the whole, but there are times when I miss him dreadfully.

 

Two years to move on from a three year relationship. Who told you that?

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Good for you! I suggest that you block him.

 

I think that it will be easier for you once you focus on how he treated you when you moved;especially, after your dad passed. The bottom line, is this guy was not there for you, and chose his buddies and partying over you. This is who he is.

 

Yes, this is who he is. He'll treat any other girl the same since getting close to someone represents death to him! Ah the two years thing is just something a few friends have told me, from their own experience, but I don't take it too seriously. Probably takes that time to reach complete and utter indifference.

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Hi Bluecastle,

Wow...I was hoping you’d still be on these boards, thank you so much for responding. You’re right that the grieving process is entirely non-linear. Whether or not I loved what you said does not matter as much as how I benefit from your reply, and I always find such healing and honesty in your words.

You’re right that ‘love’ is the wrong word. It’s a bit of a catch-all term for ‘still lingering over the remains of a relationship’. I’m not in love with him. He has done everything imaginable to ensure that being in love with him at this stage would be akin to Stockholm syndrome. I’m not sure what it is, if not love. I miss him, his company, occasionally his touch (which, P.S. wasn’t worth writing home about). You’re right also that what is actually going on my life is pretty dull (work, resting and recovering from surgery) and so my mind meanders frequently into tragic love story territory. But, at its very core, this was more a tale of two people who liked each other initially, at a time in both their lives when seeing where a mutual attraction would take them, but who were ultimately incompatible in almost every conceivable way.

 

Your assessment of the ego and mine specifically is startling. Taking him out of the equation, here I am still suffering from feelings of rejection and wondering how I ended up in this situation in the first place. You’re quite right – this has nothing much to do with him and more to do with ego withdrawal. Withdrawal from the idea I had of him that never transpired.

I’m sorry to hear that you are also familiar with the pain of parental abandonment. And you have hit the nail on the head: my ex resembled my father in so many (scary) ways. Physically, they are scarily similar to the point I even questioned whether I had missed this glaringly obvious sign not to go there.

 

Your story is scarily similar to mine with the small difference that I hoped, from the beginning, that my ex was ‘The One’ rather than wondering if there was anyone more suited to me. I also think I respected him more than he deserved. But maybe those are just differences between the sexes. It’s amazing that you’ve really dug deep and looked at those parts that were so pained, initially from your father’s abandonment then the relationship which served to reflect this back to you. How did you do that?

I’m so glad that your story does have a happy ending. Not in the relationship sense (selfishly because I’m sad to hear you’re not single!), but in the sense that you know yourself much better now and have come to respect those parts of yourself that were previously neglected. So, maybe my ruminations are less to do with my ex and more to do with my ego withdrawing from its addiction to someone who was not good for me, and who represented unhealed parts of myself that need tending to. Maybe I’m just crying out to love those parts, and my ex provided me with a bandage over them for a period of time...

Thank you again for your reply Bluecastle. I’m so grateful you decided not to delete it!

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Going back to your first paragraph in your OP, don't be ashamed....Goodness, 7 months is not that long really. I've seen people still recovering for a lot longer than that, myself included*

 

Just continue putting one foot in front of the other and keep focusing on your healing. Put some short term and long term goals and plans in place. Take care of your health and eventually you will start to pull up*

 

Sending You Strength

 

Carus*

 

I agree with this post from Carus and his previous one.

 

And he’s a great person to advise on this because it took him a very long time to heal from his last relationship, he created many threads, and now, and correct me if I am wrong Carus, he’s in a great new relationship now with a new woman. Good for you Carus, I am truly happy for ya! :D

 

Anyway, jen, you asked how you can move on and heal after 7 months. First off, convincing yourself that what you’re feeling is not love, but rather some sort of romantic, dramatic obsession akin to some romance novel (which novel I loved by the way) as another poster suggested, is invalidating and insulting and does not serve you any good purpose imo.

 

These are your emotions, your feelings, you are the one thinking about him and missing him, loving him still, or believing you do, and there is nothing "wrong" with that!! Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. And convincing yourself otherwise won't do a damn thing anyway imo, more on that below.

 

Second, jmo but I don’t think it matters whether or not he was a great boyfriend, who turned into a disrespectful d-bag, whether you were compatible or incompatible, or even how you deserve better. Or anything else.

 

What I am saying is continuing to diss him will not help. Temporarily it might, but not in the long term which is what you want.

 

The feelings will still be there regardless; best to not fight them, not rationalize, not tell yourself he was all “wrong” for you – sweetie just allow yourself to feel them, the bad, the good and the ugly!

 

Allow yourself to feel that pain and let it rise up to the surface versus trying to convince yourself you don’t really love him, he became this horrible boyfriend, etc. all in an effort to suppress or rationalize away that pain.

 

All that will do is bury it, not get rid of it. It will still be there, lingering, and will infect all your subsequent relationships, I can promise your that.

 

It hurts like hell right now I know, and I am so sorry, I’ve been through it myself. In fact, it got so bad I nearly ended my own life.

 

My ex and I broke up in December 2015 after six years together. We were engaged, planning a beautiful wedding in Hawaii, when the sh** hit the fan and it all fell to pieces.

 

It took me almost an entire year to feel I was truly moving on, but I did not feel I had truly moved on until after around two years.

 

TWO FULL YEARS.

 

So be patient with yourself!! Time heals! TRUTH.

 

It’s great you came here for support, continue coming here, but it’s also important you don’t use these or any forums as a crutch, cause sometimes that can cause people to remain stuck and actually prevent the healing process.

 

Try to create a healthy balance between talking about it, and making an effort to live your life to the fullest, spending good time with friends, even meeting and dating other men on a casual basis. You will experience good moments and bad moments, but again, just allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling.

 

That is what I did and it helped me tremendously!

 

I met my now boyfriend in March 2018, and after a few early “bumps” we are now closer and happier than ever!

 

This will be you too, I promise you!! Again, just be patient with yourself, allow yourself to feel your feelings, feel your pain, let it rise to the surface, so it can be released, like forever!

 

Not suppressing it, allowing it to linger deep in your soul, only to re-surface when you meet another man who evokes strong emotions, and you attempt to have a relationship with him.

 

Time heals!!! And imo it's about the only thing you can count on.

 

Take care and like I said keep coming here for support when you need to, okay?

 

This forum can be great for that, and I speak from experience when I say that too!!

Edited by katrina1980
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I gather this was mixed male and female housemates? "he ended up living with 5 young professionals who regularly went out drinking and did everything together (was kind of incestuous: they would sometimes wake up in each others beds)"

 

Was he winding up in bed with the others? Or others somehow waking up in bed with him?

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jen, to add to my last post -- below are some affirmations that reinforce the notion of experiencing your emotions, allowing yourself to feel that pain, and thus allowing your feelings and pain to rise to the surface, to be released into the Universe -- forever!!

 

I know it might sound hokey to some but my goodness, it helped me so much! I used to be the great suppressor of emotions, the great pretender. That mindset only ended up hurting me more in the long run.

 

----

 

Affirmations to Heal the Soul

 

“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” — Steve Maraboli

 

This^ is one of my favs! :D

 

“When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” ― Gerald G. Jampolsky

 

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” — Alexander Graham Bell

“I don’t regret difficulties I experienced; I think they helped me to become the person I am today. I feel the way a warrior must feel after years of training; he doesn’t remember the details of everything he learned, but he knows how to strike when the time is right.” — Paolo Coelho

 

“Only by acceptance of the past can you alter it.” — T.S. Eliot

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I gather this was mixed male and female housemates? "he ended up living with 5 young professionals who regularly went out drinking and did everything together (was kind of incestuous: they would sometimes wake up in each others beds)"

 

Was he winding up in bed with the others? Or others somehow waking up in bed with him?

 

Yes - in total 3 guys and 3 girls. He claimed he never woke up in any of their beds, but I dunno.

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Yes - in total 3 guys and 3 girls. He claimed he never woke up in any of their beds, but I dunno.

 

Doesn't matter now.

 

I always say, trying to drive while looking in the rear view mirror is dangerous and ill-advised. Looking forward, however...safer and the view is much better.

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Hi Katrina,

Thank you for your response

But yes, whatever label my current feelings could take, I need to accept they are there, almost a constant in my life at the moment. You’re so right that dissing him won’t get me anywhere. And it’s more a reflection of my hurt than anything. We had some incredible times together. Some of the best moments of my life were in his company. Something as innocuous as driving 8 hours to Scotland together would be so enjoyable because we had no one else, no distractions, just each other to talk to and sing with. He was my best friend.

You’re right that I need to fully feel and accept the pain of this loss, rather than burying it under rationalizations. This is something I’m struggling with as I can’t rationalize it all. My mind reaches a mental cul-de-sac and I don’t fully understand what has happened for me to reach this point, or what the lessons are.

 

I’m so sorry to hear of your own difficult relationship, and that it affected you so much. Especially as you were engaged. You’re such an inspiration in that something so very painful was able to be overcome, it just took time. It’s amazing you have a healthy new relationship too and I hope you are very happy together. These stories keep me going. At least I know I’ll get there eventually, even if it sometimes feels like I would do anything to have this person back in my life.

 

I’m starting to live a bit more. I’ve lost the 15lbs that I’d been carrying around. I’m physically fitter than I’ve ever been and happier in my body than ever. I’m trying to meet new people and be around people who are healing, rather than those who attract drama. But at times, all I want is that familiar touch and kiss of my ex. I’ve been on a couple of dates with guys who asked me out (one on the train, one in a meditation group), but beyond flirting, I couldn’t imagine kissing a new person, the idea is almost a bit sad – like ‘here I go, having to start all over again’ but I also need to know there are other, kinder men out there.

 

I love the idea of releasing the pain into the universe rather than burying it and keeping it within me. Thank you for the beautiful affirmations too. I imagine these will be really helpful xxx

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Doesn't matter now.

 

I always say, trying to drive while looking in the rear view mirror is dangerous and ill-advised. Looking forward, however...safer and the view is much better.

 

Yes, I'm not really interested or bothered one way or the other. I doubt he would, but the type of people that he is with are not a good influence. I'm just glad I have nothing more to do with them.

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Thank you for your kind words jen. I have every confidence you will move past this (probably sooner than you think) and will be stronger for having experienced it!!

 

What's that saying "that which does not kill us makes us stronger"? Or something like that.

 

Another truth!

 

Oh and something else I did to help me heal was create a journal. Mine was kept private at home, for my eyes only, but there is a journal section on this forum too.

 

I find writing my thoughts and feelings out to be quite cathartic, perhaps you will too?

 

And re the word "love," I guess what I was trying to say, and you confirmed, it does not matter how we label the emotions. Whatever they are, whatever you feel, they are your emotions, your feelings, and yours alone.

 

I am only speaking for myself, but nothing irks me more than someone trying to tell me what I'm feeling isn't "real," that it's my ego or whatever, or comparing what I am feeling to a famous heroine from a romance novel. Even if it's true, respect that I will, in time, discover that on my own.

 

I am sorry I just found that invalidating and insulting but if you took something positive from it, more power to you! xx

Edited by katrina1980
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My story: 7 year relationship and broken up 2 full years as of today. I'm STILL HEALING. He was married 10 months after the breakup. Be kind to yourself and realize it's not linear and everyone is different.

 

Ouch.......,

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I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

 

Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

 

So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

 

Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

 

Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

 

I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

 

That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

 

Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

 

It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.

Edited by bluecastle
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I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

 

Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

 

So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

 

Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

 

Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

 

I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

 

That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

 

Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

 

It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.

 

BlueCastle..you are an amazing writer..just had to say!!

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I do hope, per what Katrina is saying, that my riff on the ego didn't land as a negating of your feelings or in any way insulting them. Because if there's anything life in general and that last breakup in particular taught me it's that feelings, whatever they are, have tremendous value and deserve to be felt in full. That even trying to corral them with language can minimize them, keep them at a remove. You kind of just have to let them pour through you, as Katrina said, so they can find a way out while informing you in a way that makes room for new ones.

 

Ego is a nasty word, or has come to be one. Makes people edgy, like a part of our body we don’t like looking at. But everyone has an ego—I’m leaning into Freud’s version here, not the Kardashians—and the ego is critical to helping us navigate life. Negating it is as detrimental as negating feeling, since they are not separate. The ego is the thing that solves problems and manages conflict by telling stories, and stories are essentially how human beings survive their days, how we sort through the chaos—the feelings—into something we can manage.

 

So when I say that your “ego is on fire” I am not diminishing the feelings—what you felt for your boyfriend, the pain you’re still in, the mix of affection, loss, history, disappointment, and so on, at the root of it—but to say that you are still in overdrive in searching for a story you can live with, which might mean there are parts of the story asking for attention, a bigger loop than the loop you're in. Feelings, in other words, asking to be seen that are still be blocked by others.

 

Your eyes are still adjusting to the sun, basically. That’s okay, normal, healthy, human, and the last thing to be “ashamed” of. Breakups are pretty blinding, until they’re not. Where there was once a person there is now a void, a real void, and voids are petrifying. Where there was once a clean line between past, present, and future there is now a break. Not only does the key mysteriously not open the door; the house isn’t the same house!

 

Without the ego, all that is basically too much for our gigantic brains and tender hearts to take. We need stories. The idea of “keeping the ego in check” or “acknowledging the ego," or nudging someone to do this, is not about negating feelings but basically checking in on the story the ego is telling, how much it might be glossing over reality to make the present more palatable—which is one of its chief functions.

 

I know that for me, at right around the same time in my breakup as you’re in, “checking my ego” and acknowledging that my ego was just chipping at the wall to give me some footholds to slow the fall, was super helpful. It led to a different stage of grief, a more detailed story. It took the magnifying lens off certain feelings so others could be felt. It did not negate the visceral stuff—like how I could still not ride my motorcycle without feeling a lightness on my shoulders where there was once the familiar weight of her hands—but it allowed me to get a little more expansive, to see more shades of the sun, the contours of the void.

 

That stuff in ways cut even deeper—evoking more hard feelings—than the face that was no longer there, the inside jokes that wouldn’t be shared again, the hurt felt and inflicted, the restlessness during quiet moments, because it brought me back into the thing I still had to live with now that she was gone: myself, where I had been, where I was, where I hoped to go. In obsessing less about her, and in assigning different meaning to the shadow imprint of her, I was able to accept my own feelings as just that: mine, not something she or even the breakup “did” to me, but a chapter in my life that had forever value independent of the story of the relationship. A less fiery ego, you could say. An even more tender heart.

 

Maybe that resonates, maybe not. Maybe it sounds like jargon. I'm not trying to hit any bullseye here really—probably am just trying to say: hugs.

 

It is a journey, and not one to rush, or to judge. The last thing I’d want you to feel is judged or negated by me—since that would be me judging and negating myself, and the wild, ever simmering stew of feelings that equals me. I’m personally a believer that feelings are both like wave and like a root, in that they can crash over us, spin us around, and nearly drown us, but that they can also be examined, explored, and that what is on the tip is often different than what’s down below. Trying to see the whole structure, so you can feel the full spectrum, brings a kind of comfort for me—a steady hand in the storm.

 

Hi Bluecastle,

 

For the record, I didn't think you were negating my feelings at all, it didn't cross my mind. In fact, I thought you were trying to help me better understand them and appreciate that perhaps it wasn't love I was feeling, but attachment. It's most likely a mix of the two. Either way, I know your intentions are coming from the best place and you don't need to think I feel judged or my feelings negated by you - those are someone else's words. I for one find your posts insightful and immensely helpful.

 

I take the ego to mean everything we have acquired. Not who we truly are. The lens through which we view our experience, but it can distort our perception. In my experience, my relationship with my ex was lived out through the lens of someone who had been abandoned as a child and who desperately wanted to avoid a similar experience. Now, feeling abandoned and rejected once again, I need to explore these feelings and hopefully choose a healthier, more supportive partner in the future as opposed to someone who merely replicated the hurt I experienced in my early years. Unfortunately, I am still craving this person - their love and attention, possibly because I know I will never get it, I know he is incapable of loving me in the way I would like and am able to reciprocate. Instead of trying to fill the void with another man who will no doubt cause these patterns to be repeated, I need to build my self-esteem outside of anyone else's influence or opinion, and then hopefully alter the lens through which I view life...

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Hi Bluecastle,

 

For the record, I didn't think you were negating my feelings at all, it didn't cross my mind.

 

 

Yeah, I got that too jen, you said as much in your first response to him

 

And in my response to you, I stated I was happy you took something positive from it!

 

@blue, I was the one who took issue w your comment, not the OP.

 

Perhaps I misinterpreted, and appreciate the clarification.

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Unfortunately, I am still craving this person - their love and attention, possibly because I know I will never get it, I know he is incapable of loving me in the way I would like and am able to reciprocate. Instead of trying to fill the void with another man who will no doubt cause these patterns to be repeated, I need to build my self-esteem outside of anyone else's influence or opinion, and then hopefully alter the lens through which I view life...

 

Here's how I try to process these moments, or how I’m still learning to, for whatever it's worth.

 

First, let's get rid of the word "unfortunately" (hey there, ego! what up?! how's your Sunday?) and make that first sentence a hard, factual diamond: You are still craving this person. Which is normal, healthy, expected, beautiful, painful—and, above all else, true. Three years is three years, and for all the ways it went south, and for all the ways he didn't strum some chords you need strummed, there was all sorts of good and history there in whatever kooky house you two built and shared before it crumbled. Always take a moment to recognize that when these feelings surface, and mourn it, without attaching such a huge story because pain and loss are potent enough stories on their own. Between demonization (of another, of yourself) and valorization (ditto) there is always the softer truth that is more profound for being pedestrian—aka human, vessel of id, ego, super-ego and more—which hurts in a way that no amount of self-esteem and resolved abandonment issues can dissolve.

 

Pain is pain, loss it loss. See it, acknowledge it, no editorializing. Hey pain, I see you, I feel you.

 

So that's one box, and an important one, the dimensions of which get smaller over time and by being acknowledged. Because there is confidence, power, perspective, and self-esteem to be gained in being able just acknowledge that we hurt, that we miss, that we crave—that there is nothing "wrong" or "damaged" by having a capacity to feel the full spectrum of feelings. There is serious strength, in other words, in simply saying, "I am weak right now." Or: "I am really sad and lost right now." Translation to all that: "I am a human who is capable of love and being loved.” And, with that, your worth is affirmed, by you. And your fragility as well—the two things you want seen and cherished.

 

The other box—well, that's an important one too, containing all that thorny and swirling dark matter that was there before you knew him and, lo and behold, is still there. Your sh*t. Ugh. Because there is always—always—more of that than we know and it sucks when it gets stirred, when the smell hits our nostrils right when we thought we were strolling through a rosy meadow. The difference here is that this is not the relationship that is over, but the one you can't end, the one that will always be your most intimate—with yourself. Time to tend to it without proxies, with soft hands and clear eyes. So acknowledge that too, in tandem: Hey sh*t, I see you, I feel you. Breathe that in alongside the pain of the person lost. You can handle it. There is beauty in the stink, there really is. Confidence and calm in learning to inhale and exhale it and, in the process, dissolve it a bit.

 

I could get super personal here, but I’ll resist. For me the first box (sorrow for losing someone, the hurt of pain flung both ways) forced me to open the second box in ways that were long overdue. Faced the big void—the daddy stuff—in ways I hadn’t yet. I could make it all sound complicated, because for me it was, but really what it came down to was something pretty simple: being able to just acknowledge that big void as part of me, not the thing that had to define me. Not a void to stuff (with love, sex, work, success, whatever) or look away from (ditto), but to learn to live alongside, with some grace. “My dad abandoned me and I’ll always be sad about that”—a simple statement that took 37 years to be able to say without reacting to, to stare into that sun without going blind. (If you’ve seen “Pretty Woman” there’s a great scene where Richard Gere says something like, “I spent $10,000 in therapy to learn to say, ‘I am angry with my father, I am angry with my father.’”)

 

Anyhow, forward steps. You’re riding something that needs to be ridden.

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Hi guys,

 

Pretty crazy story but I went to see a medium yesterday. She was incredible, and instantly knew I had experienced heartbreak, validated a lot of my feelings and emotions without me having revealed anything about myself, and indicated that my ex is in a dark place, has run away from a love that scared him because he was unprepared for how deeply he felt and so ran in the opposite direction. I've been feeling more settled as a result.

In saying that, it doesn't change how I feel, which I acknowledge is deep love and care for this person. It can't be helped - it's there whether he is willing to receive it or not (and he is not) but love is love. So Bluecastle, I believe you are right in saying that despite all the issues around it, despite my history of abandonment and his present situation of drug and alcohol use, despite all the stories...we are still human. I love this person and am grieving the fact it didn't work out in the way I might have hoped. Pain is pain, loss is loss.

 

As you said too, the dark and thorny experiences (both mine and his) are the parts that need to be untangled - the abandonment, self-esteem issues and addictions. And I can only be responsible for my own. If I'm right, what you're saying is that there are two aspects to the pain experienced after a breakup. The first is about the inevitable feelings of love and loss, which require no control other than to be acknowledged and held, and the second are the thorny stories that impede upon our ability to choose partners who are healthy and good for us. The latter is the part we can exercise control over. Thank you for this Bluecastle. I will definitely be doing a lot of reflection on this xx

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You miss being in a relationship. You can do that without him, when you decide to move forward and start meeting men and dating again.

No, the comfort and companionship we shared. I was comfortable with him, we had some laughs and I miss his cuddles.
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In saying that, it doesn't change how I feel, which I acknowledge is deep love and care for this person. It can't be helped - it's there whether he is willing to receive it or not (and he is not) but love is love.

 

 

Hi Jen, I'm happy you have finally found clarity.

 

Re the above quote, this is exactly what I was attempting to articulate -- we can tell ourselves someone is all wrong for us, we are incompatible, they don't want what we want, or they're just a d-bag, but that won't change how you feel. The love you feel for this person.

 

People scream it's not love, it's your ego! It's a very common theme on this forum and others. As if that somehow is going to cause your feelings to miraculously change or dissapprar.

 

To that I say very simply -- ugh! Jmo.

 

You asked how you can move on from your feelings, which I still believe is (1) owning those feelings (which you have) , (2) not denying them or suppressing them by convincing yourself they're not real, or he's some sort of horrible person and dissing him, and (3) which is most important imo -- TIME.

 

You will move past this Jen, I promise you! And be stronger and smarter for it.

 

That's the positive you can take from this entire experience, including the pain you're feeling now.

 

I wish you the very best Jen, lots of happiness and peace. xx

Edited by katrina1980
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Hi Jen, I'm happy you have finally found clarity.

 

Re the above quote, this is exactly what I was attempting to articulate -- we can tell ourselves someone is all wrong for us, we are incompatible, they don't want what we want, or they're just a d-bag, but that won't change how you feel. The love you feel for this person.

 

People scream it's not love, it's your ego! It's a very common theme on this forum and others. As if that somehow is going to cause your feelings to miraculously change or dissapprar.

 

To that I say very simply -- ugh! Jmo.

 

You asked how you can move on from your feelings, which I still believe is (1) owning those feelings (which you have) , (2) not denying them or suppressing them by convincing yourself they're not real, or he's some sort of horrible person and dissing him, and (3) which is most important imo -- TIME.

 

You will move past this Jen, I promise you! And be stronger and smarter for it.

 

That's the positive you can take from this entire experience, including the pain you're feeling now.

 

I wish you the very best Jen, lots of happiness and peace. xx

 

Hi Katrina,

 

Thank you for your lovely message. Admittedly, sometimes it's difficult to decipher love from...other feelings. At this stage (7 months later and not having seen him since January), I might have thought or hoped that some of that love would have dissipated. However, it hasn't. I'm concerned for him and love him, though I recognise that I love who I hoped he would be rather than who he is, someone who suppresses his own emotions. It's either very messy or very simple. I can't determine which. Whether love or egoic clinging, it's painful when it's unable to be reciprocated, and when I sit alone grieving a relationship that, at one time, was the most important thing in my life.

 

As you say, time definitely helps. It's given me some clarity to date, it's allowed me to see how incompatible we are and how I am at fault for projecting my idealistic notion of a caring, loving, attentive partner onto someone who is flawed and unable to live up to that. I didn't pay any attention to the red flags. It's been a very reflective and difficult weekend, though it is ending in a place of acceptance. Reluctant acceptance perhaps, but an awareness that I can continue to resist and fight against reality, or give in and accept that he is not meant for me, no matter how strong my feelings towards him are. Thank you so much Katrina, your messages and reflections have really helped me and sometimes it's immensely comforting to know there are other people in this situation, or who have come out the other side.

 

Lots of love xxx

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