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Feeling a bit down and anxious today.......
June 28, 2007
11:02 am
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Lisa Ann
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I think one of the hardest things is letting go. Like I had said in my previous post yesterday, I broke up with my boyfriend last week because I found myself becoming way too needy and totally obsessed with him and his life. I don't want to lose him either. But, I am struggling with how to try and still date him, but not be as serious as before. Is that possible? I need time to focus on myself and learn more about me and who I am and what I really like to do. But, I don't want him to go off and find someone else - which I know he would not do for quite a while. But, what if??? I know everyone is going to say that everything happens for a reason, and I know that, but I'm just struggling with the fact that I still want him to be in my life, but at the same time I want to grow individually. Is that possible? Has anyone ever had that happen to them where they had to let go and do some growing on their own, but were still able to maintain a relationship? I'm just struggling a bit right now - feeling a bit down and really starting to miss him.

June 28, 2007
11:10 am
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risingfromtheashes
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For me, the answer was no, I couldn't.

I thought my BF was the ONE for me.

And wanted to keep him around...but also knew I had to work on me.

I found it very hard to focus on me when he had needs too. Plus, because I was focusing on me, or trying, I was always worried of what he was doing and how he was feeling...and felt bad if I was neglecting him in some way while dealing with my own stuff.

It's hard to put the priority on you AND be in a relationship.

Plus, even if you back off and just "date", it's hard...you want the confidence that he's going to stick around, but since you aren't spending the time together like you used to, it makes you feel insecure...you end up wondering what he's going with his free time, who he is seeing, what he is thinking....which totally takes the focus off of what you need to do.

Plus, your body/mind/soul, yearns to be with him more, like "before"...it screams out that this lack of time with him is unfair....you should be moving forward, not back.

My ex TRIED to be sympathetic...but he kept telling me that we were moving backwards and that didn't feel good.

The only real way to focus on you is to have no distractions in your life...things will get better faster that way.

That was my experience anyway.

June 28, 2007
11:15 am
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Lisa Ann
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Thanks for the information - that is what I truly believe too. I was just hoping someone could tell me of a situation where they were able to do both and it worked. I would just love to know that there is a possibility that could happen. This is so tough, why can't I just let go of my insecurities and move on with life. How do I do that? What are some good ideas to help build my self-esteem and become more secure with who I am and where I am going in life? Why don't I take compliments well? What can I do to help myself change this way of thinking?

June 28, 2007
11:32 am
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risingfromtheashes
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First of all, are you in counseling? it may help.

Next - I found that figuring out where my low esteem came from - what caused it...helped me fix it.

For me, I found that my source of grief came from my childhood, from how my dad treated me and how my mom played a role, as she was the silent passive one that allowed all the crap to go on.

I had to figure out what the "messages" dad put in my head were, so I could change them.

Maybe it wasn't your dad, but someone close to you, some loved one...who chipped away at your esteem. Often tho, it's someone in our immediate family.

Reading helped me...like codependent no more and women who love too much...helped me figure out why I was choosing the men I did, where the malfunctions in my logic were and how to fix it.

if you are codependent, the coda meetings are a blessing...if alcohol or drugs brought you to this point, then those meetings will help...if someone you love is addicted or an alcoholic, then al-anon would help, or adult children of alcoholics.

meetings are free and you don't have to believe in god to benefit.

Also - part of recovery often involves finding your "identity"...or even creating one. Often we have no identity because we define ourselves by who we love...like "his girlfriend" or "her husband"...that kind of thing. We need to learn what kind of hobbies and interests we have...and try new things...explore the world and see what WE are all about. Get involved in things outside what we already know. Take classes, get involved in volunteering, etc...find hobbies, clubs or groups to get involved with...exercise.

When we get involved with a partner, we often throw aside our own interests to spend more time with our partners...we take up their interests...we say "well, I am trying something new"...good, yes, but we lose our own identity and hobbies as we do that.

Hope this helps.

June 28, 2007
11:38 am
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risingfromtheashes
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also, one of the things I found, and many others have too.

as you go thru recovery, you may realize that your relationship with him wasn't all peaches and cream that you thought it was...that it really had it's issues that you couldn't see while you were involved in it.

so, here you would be, trying to stay involved with him, only to find out he isn't as healthy as you suspected and you need to let go after all this.

that's waht I found with my ex...he was trash...and once I took off the rose colored glasses, and saw him for the con he really was...I was thankful I let him go.

But all the time while I was with him, I defended why I SHOULD be with him, how he was wonderful.

he wasn't. and only until I had the time to myself to separate fact from fantasy, did I see the truth.

while I was busy trying to keep him in my life, he was busy trying to keep me confused...keep me off balance...keep me sick...so I could NOT see the truth...he liked that I was easily confused...cuz he could bend and twist thigns and make me doubt myself.

So, it's best if you have nobody doing that to you...not to say he would...but many partners get uncomfortable with changes you make...so they try and get things back to the way they used to be. where THEY were comfortable.

June 28, 2007
11:43 am
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Lisa Ann
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Wow, are you a counselor, by any chance? It's amazing listening to you. I am in recovery from alcohol myself. I have been sober for 5 years and I do attend AA meetings, which I know I need to start attending more. I have also just recently moved into an apartment that has a workout facility in it, so I am planning on starting an exercise routine almost daily. I also plan to open up an Ebay store, which will be time consuming, but I can run it at my own pace, which will be really nice, to start out.

One thing you said really hit home, the part about trying new things, taking up our partner's interests. I look back at the things we were doing, and it's amazing, but that is exactly what I was doing. I love to play volleyball, and I wanted to teach him how to play so he could play with me. That way he would be there with me when I would be playing one of my most favorite sports. He is a good tennis and raquetball player, so I decided to learn how to play. He also loves to fish and hunt, so I have really started to love fishing - hunting, I'm not so sure about, but I wanted to to, just so I could be with him. I do love to fish though, I have always loved to do that.

I am seeing a counselor, and I actually see her tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to visiting with her about these things and kind of getting some guidance on where to start to peal away the layers that go down pretty deep - I'm assuming.

I also like what you say about something happening to me when I was younger. I'm not sure what it would have been, but I have struggled with insecurity from the time I was very young. I struggled with leaving home and starting school, I had a tough time in 4th and 8th grade, and then when I graduated, I wasn't ready to leave home.

You have given me a lot of things to think about and I really really appreciate that. Thank you so much. I'm really looking forward to finding some new interests of my own - who knows who I will meet.

Thank you!!!

June 28, 2007
12:05 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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no, not a counselor...but said that I missed my calling.

I like doing it by choice, that way I can disconnect if overwhelmed, not forced to do it day in and day out...I would grow to hate it.

Peeling the layers back and figuring out what gave you those insecurities is important.

You can't know how to fix something if you don't know what broke or how it broke.

I think you are on the right track.

I think it's great you wanted to learn new things with your boyfriend...but equally, he should have tried your stuff...and if not, then you should have kept up with it on your own. It's about balance, and not losing your identity or yourself in someone else.

Alot of times we do it so we don't lose them...so we can spend more time with them...we justify it, saying we WANT to learn new things...but in reality, we do it to be around them more...to ease our insecurities.

I would guess that the same reasons that made you drink were the ones that made you clingy. You just medicated yourself in different ways...first the alcohol, now with attention from your partner. As long as you have someone else or something else to focus on, you don't have to pay attention to your own problems, pain, issues, troubles...it's always easier to focus on someone else...it's easy to fix them, help them, love them.

But giving ourselves the same level of attention, love and commitment is so much harder...and usually because we have been taught in childhood that we aren't worth that time and attention, that we aren't worthy of being loved or cared for. Or that it's important to care about others, and put our own needs aside. That we shouldn't be selfish.

how many times do you see a parent telling their child "quit cyring like a baby"...it's telling them that WHY they are crying is not important and to just stop doing what they are doing. Instead, it should be asked "what's bothering you child?" and work thru it with the kid. EVEN IF it doesn't seem important, to the child, it may be everything. Those kinds of things tell children their feelings don't matter.

sorry, rambling.

sounds like you are on the right path.

June 28, 2007
12:10 pm
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Lisa Ann
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You are not rambling at all, in fact, I think I might have an idea of what some of the problem is, and I'm really going to focus on this with my counselor tomorrow. One of the things I remember as a child growing up was that I was a very emotional person. I would cry very very easily - at happy and sad events. I'm still a bit that way, but not quite as much. Anyway, I remember my mom saying things to me many times when I was crying - things like, why are you crying now? She would act embarassed because I was crying. She made me feel like I was dumb for crying at things I did. Don't get me wrong, my mom and I have a much better relationship now, but I think that might have done some damage. I can't quite figure out how they are related to each other, but I wonder if that has something to do with it. Make sense?

June 28, 2007
12:15 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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sure....it's called emotional unavailability.

Mom's are supposed to nurture you - instead, she told you to quit it - not validating your feelings. Making you feel bad about them.

Was this the only time she let you down? What was your dad like?

My dad was the cold one - he doesn't "get" why people cry...he numbs his pain with alcohol...so, when we cry...he tells us we are being immature crybabies...making us feel worse, instead of better. His thing was "stop crying, get over it already". Totally invalidating how we feel.

Yes, it truly has a connection.

And usually, this isn't the only example of how a parent doesn't nurture their kids and how they are "unavailable" to them - giving them an abandonment complex...fearing losing people later in life...so much that we cling to them and do anything to keep them.

OR

if our parents didn't give us enough love...we walk on eggshells, afraid of disappointing our new partners, so we give them everything to make sure we earn their love, win their love and do nothing to lose it. We try to make up for the love we didn't get with our parents.

June 28, 2007
4:54 pm
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Lisa Ann
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My dad and I are a lot alike. We are both very emotional people and my mom would also talk bad about my dad's crying. She would make him feel bad too. She seemed very cold when we were growing up - she never showed that side of her until we got older. She would get mad and she would be very happy, but I didn't see her cry much.

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