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Trouble letting go of toxic relationship


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Dear lord...when will the invasive, obsessive thoughts stop?

 

Therapy should be walking you through that, are they not addressing all this?

 

Look you have some issues to face. I’m anazed you don’t think you have self esteem issues.

 

Your relationship with her caused them to manifest, her existence didn’t create any of this it just caused it to come out.

 

You just have to power through the obsessive thoughts. Keep busy, you’re withdrawing cold turkey.

 

If it helps keep writing out what you want to say, don’t send of course but sometimes it helps to get it out

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Dear lord...when will the invasive, obsessive thoughts stop?

 

When you make a habit of quickly dismissing them and getting up and doing something that will change the loop going around in your head starring her.

 

Stop basking in your reverie of her and instead bask in self help and doing things that will make you the best you that you can be, do fun things with friends and family and leave mental pics of her in the dust. Doing that takes having mind over matter. You have 100% control over your own thoughts so change them.

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Therapy should be walking you through that, are they not addressing all this?

 

Look you have some issues to face. I’m anazed you don’t think you have self esteem issues.

 

Your relationship with her caused them to manifest, her existence didn’t create any of this it just caused it to come out.

 

You just have to power through the obsessive thoughts. Keep busy, you’re withdrawing cold turkey.

 

If it helps keep writing out what you want to say, don’t send of course but sometimes it helps to get it out

 

Not really. Therapist recommended changing ADs for obsessive thoughts.

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When you make a habit of quickly dismissing them and getting up and doing something that will change the loop going around in your head starring her.

 

Stop basking in your reverie of her and instead bask in self help and doing things that will make you the best you that you can be, do fun things with friends and family and leave mental pics of her in the dust. Doing that takes having mind over matter. You have 100% control over your own thoughts so change them.

 

Thanks, that was helpful :)

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Here are my thoughts in addition to everyone else's wisdom.

 

There are different types of love out there.

 

There's the pure and true "If you love someone set them free, if they come back it's meant to be" type of love...

 

But there is also another kind of love...

 

There's the icky, romantic, obsessive, dramatic, fight to get someone back type of love too.

 

And even though the relationship isn't totally healthy...you can still be in love with them. And it hurts to be attached to them and they bail. Even if it is for the best.

 

I'm not in the same camp that a lot of people are in that...you don't have to have low self worth to put up with BS from someone. You just lack experience in dating someone like that.

 

This sucks now, but I promise you, that you will be a much better man for your future gf's getting this experience.

 

Stay strong man. It can take a long time for the heart to heal.

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Here are my thoughts in addition to everyone else's wisdom.

 

There are different types of love out there.

 

There's the pure and true "If you love someone set them free, if they come back it's meant to be" type of love...

 

But there is also another kind of love...

 

There's the icky, romantic, obsessive, dramatic, fight to get someone back type of love too.

 

And even though the relationship isn't totally healthy...you can still be in love with them. And it hurts to be attached to them and they bail. Even if it is for the best.

 

I'm not in the same camp that a lot of people are in that...you don't have to have low self worth to put up with BS from someone. You just lack experience in dating someone like that.

 

This sucks now, but I promise you, that you will be a much better man for your future gf's getting this experience.

 

Stay strong man. It can take a long time for the heart to heal.

 

Thanks, dude. Being ignored and then blocked hurts pretty badly. I could never do that to someone, even if it's for the best.

 

I think my self-worth is pretty high. I mean, we fought a lot because I didn't take much of her BS, which was nearly constant.

 

The good times were an extreme high that got me hooked and I kept chasing that dragon. I also dreaded the idea of being single again and going on a bunch of first dates (I was single for 4 years before meeting her). Not exactly a good reason to stay with someone, but it's not about my self esteem.

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I think my self-worth is pretty high. I mean, we fought a lot because I didn't take much of her BS, which was nearly constant.

 

The good times were an extreme high that got me hooked and I kept chasing that dragon. I also dreaded the idea of being single again and going on a bunch of first dates (I was single for 4 years before meeting her). Not exactly a good reason to stay with someone, but it's not about my self esteem.

 

You're not going to love what I'm about to write, but do know it comes from being in your shoes here and there.

 

You took a lot of her BS, because that's her deal and that was the deal between you guys. That's what "worked" along with everything obvious. You simply don't get to where you are right now without taking it, eating it up, over and over. Fighting about "not taking it"? In those moments you may have felt you were standing up for yourself, but no. Not taking it is just, well, not taking it. It's being too bored by it to even react in any other way but a shrug. What you were doing, really, is giving her exactly what she sought: attention and validation and power, which she got by knowing she can rile you up.

 

You don't get into this stuff without some frayed wires in the self-esteem circuitry. You. Do. Not. In the very best of times, it still sounds like she was firing complaints and criticisms at you, keeping you "on edge," as you put it, from day one. Well, those criticisms only land from a stranger, even a very hot one, if you're open to them—if some part of you feels you're deserving enough of them to link them to love and affection.

 

And that's self-esteem stuff, you see?

 

It's basically someone finding the little part of you hates yourself—we all have one of those, some more than others—and playing it like a fiddle. Combine that with sex and you have something very intoxicating—or, for emphasis, inTOXICating. Those "extreme highs"? They feel extreme because you were beaten down to begin with. They are, in a healthy relationship, not "highs" but the baseline. Great sex, the feeling of being seen and adored, fun nights where the world melts away—this is entry point stuff, not the summit.

 

If you can find those places inside of you where your self-esteem is bruised—we all have them, no shame—people like this simply lose their power and stories like this aren't so epic and you don't need break your brain to make sense of the twisted feeling in your heart. You get there first, you learn to respect that vulnerable place in yourself, and you (a) tend to it and (b) find yourself attracted to people who don't play it like a fiddle, but who respect it as well. That's real vulnerability, not the illusory vulnerability of drama.

 

I'm not saying all this to break it all down to some issue of self-worth. Romance is weird stuff, ambiguous and governed by its own logic, and I'm sure there was some kind of genuine connection there in the fun house drama. There always is. And, hey, great sex with a hot person is a very real draw, powerful enough on its own that you don't even need a story to explain it.

 

But do know that statements like "my self worth is pretty high" and "it's not about my self-esteem" are generally statements made from someone with some self esteem/self worth issues to explore. It's like the kind of people who talk a lot about how they're "so over" their ex—well, no. If you were over it you wouldn't be talking about it.

 

I hope that doesn't come as an attack. Like I said, I've explored this stuff hard in myself, and continue to. It's rewarding. It shifts the paradigm. It doesn't mean you have to suddenly identify as "damaged" (you're not), and nor does it mean you might not find yourself attracted to some of these qualities in someone again (you probably will). But it shifts things, and when you get a taste of this you just kind of walk away—after a week or a month, not 5.

 

Anyhow, a few cents to spend as you wish.

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I'm not in the same camp that a lot of people are in that...you don't have to have low self worth to put up with BS from someone. You just lack experience in dating someone like that.
... and therein lies the rub. If self-esteem wasn't low, then you (the general you) wouldn't go back five or six times. Once would have been enough of that dynamic, at the most twice and then it would have been over for good for anyone whose self worth didn't need a top up.
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You're not going to love what I'm about to write, but do know it comes from being in your shoes here and there.

 

You took a lot of her BS, because that's her deal and that was the deal between you guys. That's what "worked" along with everything obvious. You simply don't get to where you are right now without taking it, eating it up, over and over. Fighting about "not taking it"? In those moments you may have felt you were standing up for yourself, but no. Not taking it is just, well, not taking it. It's being too bored by it to even react in any other way but a shrug. What you were doing, really, is giving her exactly what she sought: attention and validation and power, which she got by knowing she can rile you up.

 

You don't get into this stuff without some frayed wires in the self-esteem circuitry. You. Do. Not. In the very best of times, it still sounds like she was firing complaints and criticisms at you, keeping you "on edge," as you put it, from day one. Well, those criticisms only land from a stranger, even a very hot one, if you're open to them—if some part of you feels you're deserving enough of them to link them to love and affection.

 

And that's self-esteem stuff, you see?

 

It's basically someone finding the little part of you hates yourself—we all have one of those, some more than others—and playing it like a fiddle. Combine that with sex and you have something very intoxicating—or, for emphasis, inTOXICating. Those "extreme highs"? They feel extreme because you were beaten down to begin with. They are, in a healthy relationship, not "highs" but the baseline. Great sex, the feeling of being seen and adored, fun nights where the world melts away—this is entry point stuff, not the summit.

 

If you can find those places inside of you where your self-esteem is bruised—we all have them, no shame—people like this simply lose their power and stories like this aren't so epic and you don't need break your brain to make sense of the twisted feeling in your heart. You get there first, you learn to respect that vulnerable place in yourself, and you (a) tend to it and (b) find yourself attracted to people who don't play it like a fiddle, but who respect it as well. That's real vulnerability, not the illusory vulnerability of drama.

 

I'm not saying all this to break it all down to some issue of self-worth. Romance is weird stuff, ambiguous and governed by its own logic, and I'm sure there was some kind of genuine connection there in the fun house drama. There always is. And, hey, great sex with a hot person is a very real draw, powerful enough on its own that you don't even need a story to explain it.

 

But do know that statements like "my self worth is pretty high" and "it's not about my self-esteem" are generally statements made from someone with some self esteem/self worth issues to explore. It's like the kind of people who talk a lot about how they're "so over" their ex—well, no. If you were over it you wouldn't be talking about it.

 

I hope that doesn't come as an attack. Like I said, I've explored this stuff hard in myself, and continue to. It's rewarding. It shifts the paradigm. It doesn't mean you have to suddenly identify as "damaged" (you're not), and nor does it mean you might not find yourself attracted to some of these qualities in someone again (you probably will). But it shifts things, and when you get a taste of this you just kind of walk away—after a week or a month, not 5.

 

Anyhow, a few cents to spend as you wish.

 

Wow, a lot to chew on in this post. Believe me that I'll be rereading and digesting what you've written in the coming days. I'm so very appreciative of the generous time and thought you've put into it.

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I've started listening to this audiobook "How to Be Single and Happy" by Jennifer Taitz and it's already helped shift my thinking so much for the better. I've realized that a good chunk (almost all?) of my despair about this relationship ending is more about my misguided self-talk about singlehood and togetherhood than it is the loss of her per se.

 

I highly recommend it to anyone going through a breakup. Don't be turned off by the gimmicky title. Also, its description makes it sound like it's exclusively for women, but most of it is applicable to everyone.

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Good to see you're digging in. Sometimes we have relationships that are kind of a sh*tshow, but they trigger us to do some needed, often overdue, exploring. Speaking only for myself, I've found a lot of solace going down those paths, feeling the obvious stuff you need to feel, but trying to get to the root of things a bit more.

 

A lot of relationships are fueled by a fear of being single, and once that fear is softened you find yourself making different choices. But also? When we're talking about dramatic, turbulent relationships I think there's often something else going on: a desire to be distracted by your life, to find meaning in a lot of shallow noise and whiplash to avoid whatever is stirring in the depths.

 

For instance? When I was younger (27ish) I got into what was a pretty toxic dynamic. Details are irrelevant now. Lasted three years, and we both chewed each other up pretty good. I was in the midst of a pretty massive existential crisis professionally—which cuts deep into my personal identity because of what I do—and I basically wanted to do anything other than face that head on. The relationship, with its ups and downs, constant loop of distrust and drama, provided a kind of permanent escape hatch. That, far more than the sex (extraordinary) or a fear of being single (low grade for me), is where the glue was. Eventually the thing I'd really been avoiding—myself—was just screaming to be tended to, and so, eventually, the escape hatch became the spotlight: time for some self surgery.

 

Anyhow, forward march. I'm sure you've still got that part of you itching for a text or a poke—learn to acknowledge it, and then move forward. Don't give it power. At the end of the day when you're measuring interest and affection through texts and social media it means you're probably in something where there just wan't nearly the depth required for sustainability.

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Good to see you're digging in. Sometimes we have relationships that are kind of a sh*tshow, but they trigger us to do some needed, often overdue, exploring. Speaking only for myself, I've found a lot of solace going down those paths, feeling the obvious stuff you need to feel, but trying to get to the root of things a bit more.

 

A lot of relationships are fueled by a fear of being single, and once that fear is softened you find yourself making different choices. But also? When we're talking about dramatic, turbulent relationships I think there's often something else going on: a desire to be distracted by your life, to find meaning in a lot of shallow noise and whiplash to avoid whatever is stirring in the depths.

 

For instance? When I was younger (27ish) I got into what was a pretty toxic dynamic. Details are irrelevant now. Lasted three years, and we both chewed each other up pretty good. I was in the midst of a pretty massive existential crisis professionally—which cuts deep into my personal identity because of what I do—and I basically wanted to do anything other than face that head on. The relationship, with its ups and downs, constant loop of distrust and drama, provided a kind of permanent escape hatch. That, far more than the sex (extraordinary) or a fear of being single (low grade for me), is where the glue was. Eventually the thing I'd really been avoiding—myself—was just screaming to be tended to, and so, eventually, the escape hatch became the spotlight: time for some self surgery.

 

Anyhow, forward march. I'm sure you've still got that part of you itching for a text or a poke—learn to acknowledge it, and then move forward. Don't give it power. At the end of the day when you're measuring interest and affection through texts and social media it means you're probably in something where there just wan't nearly the depth required for sustainability.

Thanks so much for posting again. Your self-awareness and the obvious work you've put into yourself are inspiring.

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Well, I broke NC to share a song with her that reminded me of her. She proceeded to tear my heart out.

 

She's already with someone new, 2 weeks after we split, and saw fit to send me a picture of them together. That's about as low as it gets. I don't understand why she wants to hurt me like this or how anyone can do something like that.

 

She said she doesn't care for me at all anymore. Freaking hurts like hell. I don't understand how she went from saying she was hurting too and would miss me 2 weeks ago to treating me like I'm scum.

 

Moral is don't break NC.

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Well, I broke NC to share a song with her that reminded me of her. She proceeded to tear my heart out.

 

She's already with someone new, 2 weeks after we split, and saw fit to send me a picture of them together. That's about as low as it gets. I don't understand why she wants to hurt me like this or how anyone can do something like that.

 

She said she doesn't care for me at all anymore. Freaking hurts like hell. I don't understand how she went from saying she was hurting too and would miss me 2 weeks ago to treating me like I'm scum.

 

Moral is don't break NC.

 

Sorry for the pain, sincerely.

 

But I can't say any of this shocks me, not you reaching out, not her response. Shock therapy, you could say. Truth is, and I know you won't like reading this, both are equally manipulative, selfish, driven less by genuine affection than by hurt and a desire to alleviate hurt by hurting another.

 

Push yourself to zoom out a few inches from where you are right now, and I think you'll see that this little moment is just an extension of the edgy way you two connect, and have always connected. She's basically a revolver with which you play Russian roulette: spin the cylinder, put the gun to your head, pull the trigger, and see what happens.

 

That alone is thrilling, feels like life and death rolled into one, addictive stuff, a dangerous game that feels profound. When the trigger just clicks on an empty chamber (i.e. when she is remotely kind) the relief is profound, drug-like. When the bullet comes out (when she bites back, as she did here) the pain is profound, drug-like. The bullet, the empty chamber: they are the same thing here, an artificial delivery system for profound feeling.

 

You want to keep the lens trained on her for a bit longer? Okay, I'll indulge. You want to know why people hurt people in this manner? It's because they're hurt themselves—because hurt people, well, they hurt people. This woman is deeply hurt. It's not mysterious or special. It is damage, unprocessed, and if she wan't hot and occasionally very into you you wouldn't care about it all one way or another.

 

And here's the thing: she knows that. She knew it before you met her. So she sees right through the song, sees what is beneath the gesture, sees what you're really doing, which is seeing if you can still elicit feelings in her as she does you. You're trying, in a way, to remain under the skin of the hot minx she both hates herself for being while really hating that she can't figure out another way to be because dudes like you (and the one in the photo she sent you) validate and reward the hot minx stuff.

 

I know I might sound a little harsh. But I'm on your side. I can tell you're just too smart to even fully believe the victim narrative you just put forth. You did not do something kind only to have your heart ripped out, good as that story is. You had an agenda, were seeking something, and, in ways, you got what you wanted—the familiar blade, just the wrong side, the one that cuts.

 

So the question becomes, per other posts by me and others: Why do you need a gun to your head to feel something? What is going on, inside you, that feels you need to be punished? What is the thing you are so scared of or loathe so much about yourself that you seek this? Whatever that is, she has the upper hand because, for all her turbulence and self-centeredness, she understands yours more than you do. Her understanding is intuitive, instinctual, primal. But it's real. Until you understand it yourself you'll find yourself in this moment—with her, with someone else.

 

So, sure, we can make the moral here that breaking NC is no-no. Fine. Heal, feel, get strong again. But do use this space to dig in—to find your own hurt so others can't latch onto it in destructive ways.

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Sorry for the pain, sincerely.

 

But I can't say any of this shocks me, not you reaching out, not her response. Shock therapy, you could say. Truth is, and I know you won't like reading this, both are equally manipulative, selfish, driven less by genuine affection than by hurt and a desire to alleviate hurt by hurting another.

 

Push yourself to zoom out a few inches from where you are right now, and I think you'll see that this little moment is just an extension of the edgy way you two connect, and have always connected. She's basically a revolver with which you play Russian roulette: spin the cylinder, put the gun to your head, pull the trigger, and see what happens.

 

That alone is thrilling, feels like life and death rolled into one, addictive stuff, a dangerous game that feels profound. When the trigger just clicks on an empty chamber (i.e. when she is remotely kind) the relief is profound, drug-like. When the bullet comes out (when she bites back, as she did here) the pain is profound, drug-like. The bullet, the empty chamber: they are the same thing here, an artificial delivery system for profound feeling.

 

You want to keep the lens trained on her for a bit longer? Okay, I'll indulge. You want to know why people hurt people in this manner? It's because they're hurt themselves—because hurt people, well, they hurt people. This woman is deeply hurt. It's not mysterious or special. It is damage, unprocessed, and if she wan't hot and occasionally very into you you wouldn't care about it all one way or another.

 

And here's the thing: she knows that. She knew it before you met her. So she sees right through the song, sees what is beneath the gesture, sees what you're really doing, which is seeing if you can still elicit feelings in her as she does you. You're trying, in a way, to remain under the skin of the hot minx she both hates herself for being while really hating that she can't figure out another way to be because dudes like you (and the one in the photo she sent you) validate and reward the hot minx stuff.

 

I know I might sound a little harsh. But I'm on your side. I can tell you're just too smart to even fully believe the victim narrative you just put forth. You did not do something kind only to have your heart ripped out, good as that story is. You had an agenda, were seeking something, and, in ways, you got what you wanted—the familiar blade, just the wrong side, the one that cuts.

 

So the question becomes, per other posts by me and others: Why do you need a gun to your head to feel something? What is going on, inside you, that feels you need to be punished? What is the thing you are so scared of or loathe so much about yourself that you seek this? Whatever that is, she has the upper hand because, for all her turbulence and self-centeredness, she understands yours more than you do. Her understanding is intuitive, instinctual, primal. But it's real. Until you understand it yourself you'll find yourself in this moment—with her, with someone else.

 

So, sure, we can make the moral here that breaking NC is no-no. Fine. Heal, feel, get strong again. But do use this space to dig in—to find your own hurt so others can't latch onto it in destructive ways.

You sir are a sage.

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Those "extreme highs"? They feel extreme because you were beaten down to begin with. They are, in a healthy relationship, not "highs" but the baseline. Great sex, the feeling of being seen and adored, fun nights where the world melts away—this is entry point stuff, not the summit.

 

Really great stuff here, Blue

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