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"Dear John/Jill" letter...Would you respond? 2bstrong
February 21, 2006
1:31 pm
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turnabout
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I think you've managed to OWN how you feel and not apologize for it. That's huge.

Chances are that weeks from now you'll look back (IF you look back) and wish you'd said this or that differently. Them's the breaks. But while perfection is a nice ideal, it's completely unnecessary. Did you say what you needed to say, regardless of his opinion or how he may/may not respond? If so, then you did what you needed to do.

But, as you know I experienced recently, prepare for the contact hangover!

Much love,
TraCo

February 21, 2006
1:46 pm
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2bstrong
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Hi guys,

I WAS upset over the holidays, and I elaborated that it was a "maddening" time. I honestly did not know how to write in detail without it sounding like a rant. I am not going to make excuses for my codependency, because I think I still have tendencies. But knowing how this evolved for me (writing this note) I thought I did ok. He knows me and knows my personality. I feel that I stretched myself a bit with this note.

I will probably think of things that I wish I had said, but I feel ok right now about it. I made my point.

He has already responded with "Thanks for your thoughts, 2b". So that's that.

February 21, 2006
1:52 pm
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Hurts_so_bad
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So how are you feeling now 2b - after you got his response?

The reason I ask is because there have been many, many times when I have "exposed" my feelings to my ex and when I didn't get as positive a response as I had hoped, it would depress me.

I know you said you didn't expect anything from him after you sent the note....I just hope your mind wasn't playing a trick on you.

February 21, 2006
2:03 pm
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2bstrong
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Thanks hurts...

Well, no, I didn't expect any sort of a response. I wasn't sending the note for his reaction. I needed and wanted to express my thoughts. There was no response required. I waited more than three weeks to get myself into a safe zone.

His reply was simply a courtesy and acknowledgement. Email protocol, if you will.

February 21, 2006
2:09 pm
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2b,

I'm glad you said what you wanted to say to him. I know that a detailed, emotional response was not required from him and not what you were looking for, but I think I would have been VERY disappointed with "Thanks for your thoughts"!! It's not the right way to think, but I think I would have (subconsciously) wanted him to put more time/thought/feeling into his response. I would have wanted to hear "You're right! I am a raging commitment-phobe and I did not give you a fair shot!!! It's ME, not YOU!!"...

It's a very co-dependent way to think, I know. I realize you shouldn't need him to validate your feelings, you should not worry about what he thinks about you, or how he perceived your e-mail... blah, blah, blah! BUT... I would have been saddened by his response.

How do you feel???

February 21, 2006
2:20 pm
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2bstrong
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I am not surprised at all by his response. I put the shoe on the other foot. I think I would have done the exact same thing. If I had broken it off with someone, and wanted to move on with my life, I would have replied with a courteous, bland response. I do not feel that I relinquished my power or my self-respect by sending the note, because I expected nothing in return.

I need to move on from him completely, now.--2b

February 21, 2006
2:33 pm
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taj64
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In a way I think you are denying what you really wanted. Why send the letter at all when he reacts by thanking you for your thoughts. That is very non committal, not emotional response. I think you are outpouring your feelings to someone who doesn't give a darn about yours. If you need to express your thoughts, write them out, talk to a friend, talk to us. You get response whether negative or positive. You certainly have a right to be angry and right to have feelings of hurt but expressing them to a person who cannot return them and a coward at that communicate to you that he doesn't want you in his life. I think it is denial because otherwise you would not have sent this letter to him.Im sure he is well aware that he hurt you and still chooses to ignore. Dragging yourself into contact just puts you in same place, disappointment. Accepting what is, might be the key for you, and lead you to other things.

February 21, 2006
2:45 pm
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2bstrong
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Hey taj, I don't think I'm in denial at all. It is what it is. I want nothing more from this man, and I intend to completely move on from this. I don't like when people project their feelings and reactions on to others. I think my attitude is very healthy.

I did not drag myself into contact, I had feelings that I wanted to express, and I acheived that. I gave it a lot of thought, and thanks to the help of people here, I was able to make a draft that I am very comfortable with.

It's actually better that he didn't respond with more thoughts, because that would have kept me engaged. I was ready to send this because my gut is telling me to MOVE ON.

February 21, 2006
2:51 pm
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kathygy
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2b,

in NO WAY was I suggesting this:

"I honestly did not know how to write in detail without it sounding like a rant. I am not going to make excuses for my codependency, because I think I still have tendencies".

all I was trying to do is to identify what 'upset' was for you. It could have been disappointed, angry, hurt, betrayed, abandoned, left hanging, de-valued, etc.

Just saying he knows you does not mean he knows what feeling 'upset' meant for you.

I am trying to encourage you to be more honest about your exact feelings and the degree of those feelings because it is more communicative and much more empowering.

My feedback to you is that it seems that you hide behind more mild sounding words like 'mad' instead of angry, 'upset' which really says very little, rather than what you were trully feeling and also apoligizing for your feelings by saying 'I know you don't want to hear this'. It is much more empowering to state your feelings without care taking his.

Your letter seems to understate the degree of hurt and play down the anger that this man caused you based on what you have said about the relationship before writing this letter.

Being too polite blocks your personal power and deminishes your own respect for the full impact of your feelings. You are not honoring yourself by being too polite and mild.

It just reminds me of the syndrome in this society that 'woman' are not supposed to be angry or assert their power or they may be called a 'bitch'. Rather women are supposed to be 'good little girls and not rock the boat'. Although, this is changing somewhat. Whereas men are allowed in this society to be angry and very assertitive. They are then seen as powerful.

This is not critisim of you but my own observations that I hope might be helpful to you.

February 21, 2006
3:03 pm
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taj64
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Im sorry I didn't mean to sound harsh about it. If it was important to you then only you can make that decision. if it helped you then I would say then something was accomplished. You're right, I should not project my feelings onto others. I just read the letter and that was my reaction. Then you are going with gut feeling that is positive, that this is what you needed to do. I suppose that I have read so many threads regarding closure and learned that sometimes we don't always get closure. Forgiving the person, maybe not forgetting but forgiving and also forgiving ourself. Anger does fade, thank goodness. It is so hard to live with anger. So my statement came out rather harsh without intending it to be. I will use the word "think" often but not the word "know" because I don't really know. Im trying hard to learn better communication. It is always a process.

February 22, 2006
9:19 am
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2bstrong
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Thanks, again for the thoughts, friends.

Kathy, you helped me so much with your direction at getting to acknowledge my true feelings. It will take me awhile (and a lot of personal work) to get to the point where I feel "safe" expressing my feelings (not hiding behind them). In answer to your question about how did I really feel (instead of just upset) I would have to say that disappointed and hurt would summarize them. This situation with Doctor has shown me that I still have a lot of work to do on my own communication skills.

taj--You didn't sound harsh, and thanks for your thoughts, too. Now I'll work on the forgiveness aspect, I do believe I am harboring some anger (as I stated in earlier posts). Most of my anger is directed at myself, I want to be able to let go of that anger, and move on to a healthier relationship with myself. I am admitting that my unhealthy relationship with myself has tainted all of my relationships in my life.

And one last thing: I agree with you about the use of the words "think" and "know" I do the same thing. I really have tried lately to replace them at times with "feel". It is indeed a process.

with love and gratitude, 2b.

February 22, 2006
10:43 am
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taj64
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It is ok to be angry right now. I often feel angry with myself the past 6 months. I didn't know a thing about codependency. My goal is to become a happier person, like myself. When faced with myself, I have to learn to love me again and it is harder than realized. Im still stuck in anger and hurt and disappointment so I can understand your feelings too. So thanks for the tip on the word "feel". That makes sense to me. I also understand that anger, hurt disappointment, and even forgiveness is very much a process. It is not something you just get over in a minute, or days or sometimes even months. I have come to accept what has happened to me so that is one hurdle of many more to come. It is so overpowering at times the wounds I feel. I keep trying to overcome them as best I can.

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