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Garden variety heartbreak grief


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I waited to let the dust settle, and i reached out and tried to mend the rift. My ex remains fearful, being with me has been an emotional rollercoaster for him (I read somewhere all relationships ebb and flow but in relationships with people who have Cluster B personality disorders or insecure attachment styles these can be magnified. That's me. Hopefully the second one not the first one.)

A few days have passed now and he remains silent. Those who said he did not want me in his life anymore called it accurately and it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.

I've been desperately journalling. Work is too busy to organise some decent social distractions (although last night I caught up with a colleague in order to pick up some gear and made a pointed effort to not overshare my own woes and instead ask him how he was going and the ensuing conversation was good, and for the duration I forgot my pain.)

Sometimes I remember to channel my thoughts into listing things I'm grateful for.

I'm not having trouble holding onto the compassionate understanding of why my ex left, or even why I reverted to trying to use him like a floatation device (I have always done this, that's all I know. I know I need to not do that but I don't know how) and that makes me even more sad). I'm just So Sad.

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Sorry for your pains 😞 .. Yes, hurting sucks!  I'm done with getting involved again.. I just don't have it in me anymore, lol.

Is okay to grieve.. give yourself time.  Low expectations and yes, journaling can help.

Have you looked into some sort of prof help in dealing with your own issue's?  So you're not so.. clingy, is it?  Too dependent?

IF this is what's causing issue's, is best to try & work on all of that so it won't end up affecting relationships down the road.

One day at a time... tc

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Apt with the psych was lined up for last week but she had a family emergency. 
 

She referred me on to someone who can see me 10 days from now. That’s admittedly still a pretty quick turn around but it feels like an age and it felt awful on the day. I’m still carrying all this pain. 
 

This will be my third attempt with a psychologist although the first two were I guess more so for depression and failure to recover after the last serious break up (which with more recently things learned might indeed have activated whatever trauma gave me this stupid attachment style in the first place. I took that break up really really badly. 
 

Sometimes I just feel fine, acceptance. Start dreaming my best future flying solo. And then boom overcome with grief again!

 

And I’m thinking about something he said last time I saw him, only children can’t regulate their emotions. Condescending. There’s something said in a calm voice that’s a dagger. 

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1 hour ago, 1a1a said:

This will be my third attempt with a psychologist although the first two were I guess more so for depression and failure to recover after the last serious break up

Go to a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Get some tests done. Rule out physical causes. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist. You may need both body and mind support for chronic depression.

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5 hours ago, 1a1a said:

only children can’t regulate their emotions. Condescending.

Agree. It is condescending. 

You just broke up with your ex however. I'm not seeing where there's a need for a psychologist. Why not see a doctor for depression and anxiety? It seems great anxiety was what shook you quite badly in your previous relationship.

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5 hours ago, 1a1a said:

Sometimes I just feel fine, acceptance. Start dreaming my best future flying solo. And then boom overcome with grief again!

This is progress, actually. It's not a setback, it just feels like one.

Grief has us moving from states of 100% lousy toward 90% lousy then 20% good. The good becomes a teaser that we start striving for more of--and then we're at 30% and 40% good.

But the falls back into lousy are just temporary dips. Rinse repeat, but nothing can take your progress away from you.

If you can make it a goal to adopt the life skill of resiliency, you'll train yourself to view every pit you climb out of as mastery over climbing. This helps to take the fear away that we're at the mercy of those pits. We are not, it only feels that way at the moment.

Head high, honey. You can do this.

Edited by catfeeder
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7 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Agree. It is condescending. 

You just broke up with your ex however. I'm not seeing where there's a need for a psychologist. Why not see a doctor for depression and anxiety? It seems great anxiety was what shook you quite badly in your previous relationship.

Regular docs aren't specialists at monitoring the effects of meds they prescribe. Psychologists can do that.

Talk therapy addresses root causes, not just the symptoms.

Edited by catfeeder
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I hope you feel better. It might also help to start using more basic common sense language for yourself to describe your feelings and perspective. My sense is that reverting to ten dollar words and psychological analyses might enhance the anxiety sort of like worrying that a hangnail is a sign of a staph infection that may spread because of something you read about how certain people are more susceptible to infected hangnails and you might be one of them which is why you need to run to urgent care instead of washing your hands of it literally.

Sure you might react differently and more strongly and you may have a mental health issue but all you describe seems typical of breakups especially where one or both choose to stay in touch and rehash and hope for reconciliation.  All the best to you and hope you feel better. 

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This has been a very calming set of replies to read, thank you. 

I really like the framing of the pit as a strength training exercise!

I had the referral to the psych in my back pocket since an incident last year where I lost my temper at my housemates mum and yelled at her (she is Very annoying and she doesn’t listen but she still doesn’t deserve to be yelled at and I’m aware that by the time I’m yelling, I’m not in control anymore). So there’s always that, seeking the tools to act differently when distressed. But also, in those two weeks where I felt shut out, when I didn’t hear from my ex it’s like my energy bar would deplete and when it ran low I’d feel really sad. When I couldn’t get hold of him the bad feeling intensified. When connection was established it would vanish. But that’s not healthy. As I read somewhere your partner should be your accomplice not your floatation device. So, there’s digging into that to be done. And my absolutely disasterous dating history since my last major relationship ended. The pattern is always the same, object of my affection is not interested and yet I hold on. With my ex it’s a variation on the theme but the theme is still there, object of affections is a bad fit (who has given up and doesn’t want this now) and still I hold on. 
 

Today I feel neutral. Last night I was chanting under my breath ‘this is what he wants this is what he wants this is what he wants’ when my mind tried to gravitate towards him (from that other thread I did make myself a set of positive affirmations, ‘I am brave, I am growing, I am loved, I love unconditionally, I trust this is right’, I’ve been using that too).

 

I’ve changed his name in my phone to ‘name wants this’. He called me just before. I’m still thinking about how he doesn’t seem to love who I actually am (like he’ll mope in his room looking at pictures and reading old texts and listening to a recording of me singing a song about loving someone who’s far away. But me as I live and breath, he’s chosen distance and silence!) And he doesn’t seem to respect me or how I live. So I see name wants this pop up on my phone and think, perhaps I can strive to be a low contact friend, (like how I eventually ended up being with the last ex. We don’t hang out but if one was stranded and called for help the other would come). I pick up the phone, he wants to borrow my van to move furniture. Well you can but you’ll need to unload the current contents and load them back in when you’re done. Alright. We’re going to do a car swap tomorrow. Feel, still neutral. It’s too visible now the things he has said and done that make me feel like it’s not the actual real me he loves. Holding those thoughts in my head along with the idea that a person who naturally wanted to communicate with about the same frequency and see each other as regularly as I do even when they’re really busy! would be better suited to being my partner. Also someone who answered my bids for emotional connection. Name wants this does not. You would have to reply to messages to acknowledge the bid in any form at all.

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10 hours ago, 1a1a said:

He called me just before.

If he is hurting/rejecting you, it may be better to do without the background noise and simply delete and block him and all his people from all your social media, contact lists, messaging apps and devices.

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11 hours ago, 1a1a said:

This has been a very calming set of replies to read, thank you. 

I really like the framing of the pit as a strength training exercise!

I had the referral to the psych in my back pocket since an incident last year where I lost my temper at my housemates mum and yelled at her (she is Very annoying and she doesn’t listen but she still doesn’t deserve to be yelled at and I’m aware that by the time I’m yelling, I’m not in control anymore). So there’s always that, seeking the tools to act differently when distressed. But also, in those two weeks where I felt shut out, when I didn’t hear from my ex it’s like my energy bar would deplete and when it ran low I’d feel really sad. When I couldn’t get hold of him the bad feeling intensified. When connection was established it would vanish. But that’s not healthy. As I read somewhere your partner should be your accomplice not your floatation device. So, there’s digging into that to be done. And my absolutely disasterous dating history since my last major relationship ended. The pattern is always the same, object of my affection is not interested and yet I hold on. With my ex it’s a variation on the theme but the theme is still there, object of affections is a bad fit (who has given up and doesn’t want this now) and still I hold on. 
 

Today I feel neutral. Last night I was chanting under my breath ‘this is what he wants this is what he wants this is what he wants’ when my mind tried to gravitate towards him (from that other thread I did make myself a set of positive affirmations, ‘I am brave, I am growing, I am loved, I love unconditionally, I trust this is right’, I’ve been using that too).

 

I’ve changed his name in my phone to ‘name wants this’. He called me just before. I’m still thinking about how he doesn’t seem to love who I actually am (like he’ll mope in his room looking at pictures and reading old texts and listening to a recording of me singing a song about loving someone who’s far away. But me as I live and breath, he’s chosen distance and silence!) And he doesn’t seem to respect me or how I live. So I see name wants this pop up on my phone and think, perhaps I can strive to be a low contact friend, (like how I eventually ended up being with the last ex. We don’t hang out but if one was stranded and called for help the other would come). I pick up the phone, he wants to borrow my van to move furniture. Well you can but you’ll need to unload the current contents and load them back in when you’re done. Alright. We’re going to do a car swap tomorrow. Feel, still neutral. It’s too visible now the things he has said and done that make me feel like it’s not the actual real me he loves. Holding those thoughts in my head along with the idea that a person who naturally wanted to communicate with about the same frequency and see each other as regularly as I do even when they’re really busy! would be better suited to being my partner. Also someone who answered my bids for emotional connection. Name wants this does not. You would have to reply to messages to acknowledge the bid in any form at all.

Keep telling yourself it’s over, nothing to do with what he wants. What he wants no longer has any bearing on you moving forward. It’ll also motivate you to move on and not remain friends, lending things or being involved with one another. 

I understand it’s very hard to do but do it anyway. 

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13 hours ago, 1a1a said:

I’ve changed his name in my phone to ‘name wants this’.

That's a good technique. In my opinion, at least. 

I did something similar, once. But I changed his ringtone.

When things were (seemed to be!) going really well, I had it set to something cool. But then came a point where I was deep in but realized he was no good. I had to do something to help me break it off.

So, I changed his ringtone to this.

I can't tell you how helpful that was! 😅

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I thought I’d have to see him today to get the last of his furniture out of my house. I was feeling pressure to clean (because my lack of housekeeping is one of the many many many many many things he was compromising on to stay with me). Then I got called into work. Relief. Can’t be today then. Don’t have to worry about the cleaning quite yet. 
 

And today is almost over and I haven’t heard from him. So. Good thing I wasn’t waiting around for that. 
 

I have been reminded over the last few days that there are other people in the world I could be attracted to. Not at all even a little bit ready to try and connect with someone new but I guess that’s a relief. 
 

And still stupidly hopeful. Or at least open to reconciliation (but I’m not the only one who’d have to change some things). And then I get thinking about how many things about me he wasn’t really thrilled with and it’s a long list, I need more than one hand. Maybe he was being overly optimistic about how high a price of admission he was willing to pay the entire time we were together. Then I think he probably definitely fell in love with an imagined version of me. Because as the real me unfolded he complained and ran away. 

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Let him arrange a very specific, mutually convenient time and day to collect his things. You don't have to clean, but you do have to give him written notice to collect his things by a certain date.

You don't have to be a storage facility. Change the locks. Be present when he is there, otherwise if things are taken, lost or damaged during the time he's collecting his stuff, you have no recourse.

Let him get his stuff out asap so you can move forward.

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Throw money at the problem. Hire someone to move it out of your house and deliver to him. The end.  And will save you hours of time hurrying up to clean.  Clean for yourself at a pace you can manage. Not for him. I love how plainly you described this situation - common sense stuff not pie in the sky psychological abstractions where you twisted yourself in a pretzel.  I hope today is better.

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*beams at the praise for plain speaking* well it’s the truth of it isn’t it.  The day after posting was relatively inoffensive. But then today I am sad again but it’s like I want to cry but I don’t quite make it over the edge. 
 

The items remain uncollected, the silence remains unbroken by both of us. I’ve mentally put it on ice. It’s really weird having him go silent this long though, unprecedented. Serious change in feelings I guess. The whole time he’s known me he’s thought I’m the one! Like a bolt of lighting, love at first sight thing. And I know from my own experience that feeling is a goddam liar! Guess he’s realising the same now. And how silly was I to believe him ever. 
 

Today for the first time in a really long time I wished someone would hold me. But I don’t have that kind of relationship with anyone so I remain an island. Lonely island. 

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I'm sorry you feel sad! He is your ex so his silence is normal. There is no pattern from when you two were together because you are not so telling yourself that he's acting differently isn't really consistent with you moving on.  Bolts of lightning are awesome.  And in fact the bolts can help people through tough times -the bolt-memories - but, only if there is still a foundation of love, trust, respect, compatibility - it's a great reviver at times of doldrums as long as the core foundation is still there.  

Some relationships last, others do not for a huge variety of reasons.  To outsiders it's often "but they were sooooo perfect together!!!"  Like the myriad posts I see on Facebook (see I can use big words too LOL) by this woman in her early 40s.  J.  J is/was married to S.  J and S have two completely adorable young boys.  Both are really attractive, highly educated successful professionals.  Countless family photos of their travels.  As she  told me two years ago when we became friendly, he cheated on her twice -meaning two affairs I think with the same woman -a former coworker. After affair number one I believe they divorced then got back together and had their second child.  After affair number two perhaps they separated for awhile? But now they are back together and look married but I do not believe they remarried.  She's painfully thin and I can't help but think part of it is from the stress of being with him and never knowing really if he's straying.  We only spoke of this situation bac then.

They were very very much in love once.  They each thought each other was the one.  You'd think that was still true with all the braggy photos of their perfect coupledom and family.  Hmmmm.  And there are many who are not lying -who are really happy together and for many years.  Their facebook posts are exactly as it is.  I'm just saying harping on someone who knew you were the one, who felt the bolt of lightning as if it's shocking that that changed - it can change.  Or it can't.  No guarantees.

Ways to lessen the risk for sure - by focusing on people who are single, available, compatible in values and otherwise, etc - but no guarantees.  Up to you whether the risks are worth it. I respect those for whom the risks are not worth it.  They personally were and are worth it for me.  I would not take any more risks with your ex.  Sunk costs, sunk investment of time, move on so you don't waste time from here on out.  Hire someone to take the stuff to his place.

I hope you feel better!

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My Aunty gave up on love before I was even born, that’s over 35 years of her life alone, resigned to stay alone, and although she made the most of it I believe she was lonely. Never will I ever choose that path (even if the ones that don’t work out are brutally painful coming apart). 
 

You know that Gotye song about being cut off by your ex? That’s been in my head the last few days. (Except I appreciate that cutting off is actually a much more effective way of healing but the ‘now you’re just somebody that I used to know’ line hits home either way. )
 

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I think you need to give yourself a closure on all of this. He can always demand a van for something, call or even come to collect his stuff. But does it matter?

He has proven to be a very bad partner. He could say how you are perfect for him or how you are meant to be. But again does it matter when in reality he didnt treated you in that way? I know that you are still at "bargaining" and that you still have some way to go. But if you are expecting some closure from him, nice words or something, you need to realize that they wont come. If its obvious to you that he doesnt care, neither should you. Sometimes its like that with people. People that we thought they care a world about us, just prove with actions that they dont. And that is OK. Hurts, yes, but it just proves that we dont need them in our lives at all.

So you should push it by yourself. Block him. Mail him his stuff. Consider that chapter over.

Is it going to be easy? No. Unfortunately for us emotional people, it hurts that somebody we thought the world about isnt going to be the part of our lives at all. But its something that needs to be done in order for you to move forward.

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