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having thoughts ... bmom
August 14, 2007
3:32 pm
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bmom74
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I have been doing so well and feeling good about where I am at these days. But, it seems like yesterday and today I have been thinking about the ex alot. I do not pine for him or have to fight to keep from calling him, but I do think about him. Why?? How could I miss someone who just used me?? The biggest thing is it bothers me that he acts like he hates me. When I had to meet him at the bank over the weekend, he was civil but looked at me like I was a stranger and someone he was never close to. I was the closest person to him for so long, it hurts me to know that he thinks I am so awful or whatever .. not sure of the right words to use here. I know he just used me and I have learned so much from all of you on this board but somehow I still wish things were different between us. How could he hate the person that did so much for him and who still has his son?? I have not had alot of enemies in my life so maybe it is just that I do not know how to handle it. Will this get better??

August 15, 2007
3:11 pm
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taj64
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Hi. This stinks for you however, not to say I told you so or anything but having absolute no contact is very important in getting over a self destructive relationship. And that means all contact. It was not in your best interest to take on his son. It may have been good for his son but not for you. As a result you end up experiencing the high and low like this. You see him, felt it was right and ok with it, and give it a day or two you are down in the dumps and wondering the same old question, what you could have done to make him love you. What could you do to make this right but honestly it is not about you but what he wants. He is frowning becauce he just wants to move on and you don't let up. It is awful hard to take but you give so much to someone that is not even your kid and you are not taking care of your own needs. If you are going to have him in your home, then you are going to have to come up with a way to tolerate what was expected, and that is to have to deal with an ex. Only in this case, you did have a choice. In my opinion, no it will not get better, it might get worse. If you give to much to others and don't do what is right for you then there will be resentment, and other negative feelings. I doubt he thinks you are awful but he showed his true colors in that parking lot that day when he said those awful things to you. See it for what it is, and not ever have hope to reconnect with him. You are saying on one hand that you are not pining away for him but underneath it you are, you are hoping he changes his mind. The reality is that you know you will be in contact with him and it is inevitable. You will fight this battle until it is sucked out unless you put your needs first. I don't think you are being totally honest with yourself. The fact of the matter is that he has to be forced into seeing you and he doesn't like it as he does not have the feelings for you, he said that. I really think you are holding on to the crumbs here that is being offered. I don't think it is worth the price of your happiness to keep stalling this. How are you going to get over him by having him a part of your life even from a distance? This guy did use you and he knows it, that is why he doesn't want to see you. I wish I had better to offer you except to just keep on talking better to yourself and do the things you need to do to move on. Taking on someone child this way is by seeing your other post you are set back and in that hopeful place again. There are people in this world who do use and do take advantage of others and at their own expense, wallet and emotionally. Why should you care about what he thinks of you, why would expect him to be any different today than yesterday. He had to be nice when he lived with you and to be honest when he was living with you he wasn't nice at all. Most people are usually nice when you first meet them anyway. This is a very hard lesson to learn unfortunately. I'd turn this feeling around and take care of you and how you feel about you, not what he feels for you. You don't owe him anything and nothing. Be very careful to focus on you and let him take care of his son. You don't need to take care of this man anymore, he is out of your life and you don't really need to take care of his son either. I mean if you do take care of him, you need to do without strings attached otherwise you are subconsciously having a reason to be in his life even if it is not what you wanted but something is not always better than nothing. It is settling big time and settling for his crumbs. If this was any other kid and not his would you still take him on? Maybe but who knows. I think it is self destructive though as you are still beating yourself up when you meet up with him. First you are high, then low again. See a pattern? Patterns with these men, don't ever change. And change is inevitable for you and change requires some fear at time so face it. What are you afraid of if you let this son go to someone else, like his father? His 17 and can make up his own mind about where he goes. It is nice gesture but not if you are going to mope around and wonder when it will change. It won't. This man is who he even told you who he is and what he is showing. When a man tells you how he feels whether or not it is in your favor, no matter hard or delightful, listen up and believe it. Don't make it to be something it is not. Go on with your life, and live it beautifully. You will find another guy someday only you have to close the door on this one and slam it. He did NOTHING for you but cause you pain and misery. there is not anything to love about this man.

August 15, 2007
5:22 pm
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Honolulugal
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I must say, Bmom, Taj makes really good points.

It's true, the ups and downs will keep on comin'. Only one way to stop them. No contact.

Maybe when you look at the Ex, you do so with an expectant glance? Like you are taking his temperature? I know I was always really tentative with my exN til I saw how he was going to treat ME. Then I would adjust accordingly.

Then, I said "screw THAT!" I will be whom I am and if he doesn't like it (when we'd run into each other), hit the bricks, dude! Oddly, this was exactly what made me feel better and also made him look at me in a different light.

As to the boy being with you, if you make this important choice of keeping him in the house, you canNOT make anything or any future convos with the Ex, about the boy. As Taj says, no strings. If you've made that choice, which I think you have, you cannot expect anything from the Ex, just because the son is with you. You've taken it on, and now, you own it.

Does this make sense to you?

H-gal

August 15, 2007
6:07 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Taj, I would love it if you were my therapist in the real world.....I mean I would love it ! horsefly

August 16, 2007
10:31 am
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bmom74
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Thanks, Taj. I have read your post over several times. You made so many good points, I wanted to really be able to think about them. Actually, I will probably go back and read it a few more times. You are very wise sometimes.

I understand everything you are saying and understand that taking on his son was my choice and I need to realize I took responsiblity for that. You also say he does not want to have contact with me and he looks at me the way he does because I just keep going back. I am confused by this and was confused Saturday when he insisted we both be at the bank at the same time. I had told his son I would go by the bank first to sign the paper and he and his Dad could go by after me and sign it for it to be notarized. I know people do this all the time. As a matter of fact, my ex-husband and I both went in separately to get things notarized several times when we were getting the divorce. So, I did try to suggest we work things so as to not see each other. Why did he insist that not be the case?? Does he just want to rub it in my face that he hates me??

You are also right that I cannot move on and meet a nice guy until I SLAM the door on this one. How do I get my mind to SLAM that door?? I feel like I have almost closed the door but I cannot seem to SLAM it shut. I have definitely made progress over these past two months but he is certainly not out of my mind completely.

To H-gal .... I think you are right. I had not thought about it but I am always really tentative around him or when things involve him. I DO wait to take his temperature. I say this but I have only really seen him once in the past month or so but last Saturday I was definitely waiting to see what his temperature was... even though I am not sure I realized it until you said something. How were you able to say "screw that" and just be who you are??? I am not sure I know how to turn off those expectations of taking his temperature and just being myself. My normal self would be friendly and nice to most people I would come in contact with just because I enjoy being that way. However, I don't feel like I can be that way around him because he would take that as me trying to get back in with him. But, that IS me normally so how can I be me but not seem like I am trying to win him back??

August 16, 2007
10:45 am
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Dear Bmom, I have been keeping up with your post for awhile. I don't know it just jumped out and graped me. I understand you are in a complicated situation. I admire your strenght. I see that you are just trying so much to do the right thing. I also admired Taj's energy in sorta in out.....I wish you all the best Bmom......you deserve it. horsefly

August 16, 2007
12:14 pm
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bmom74
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Thanks, horsefly. I am trying to do the best I can especially with people like Taj from this board who give me help. It is a tough battle sometimes. I am not sure what I would have done without the people from this Board. They have given me strength I thought I never had.

August 16, 2007
12:21 pm
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horsefly
this is off....be on this forum for years....not just since last year..we can email each other Now? that Nappy is long gone....
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Bmom, I understand. I feel the same way too. Take Care, horsefly

August 17, 2007
11:51 am
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bmom74
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I am working it today .. trying so hard to turn t his over to God and forget about this guy that never was a friend to start with....

August 17, 2007
12:56 pm
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StronginHim77
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bmom -

I found myself applauding, while reading Taj's post. Yup. Taj has powerful and direct insights (and -- I suspect -- gained them the hard way).

Alarm bells went off when I read this in your response: "...So, I did try to suggest we work things so as to not see each other. Why did he insist that not be the case?? Does he just want to rub it in my face that he hates me?"

Let me point something out here.

#1 - Why do you care what his motive is/was? HE IS HISTORY.

#2 - Why did you give in and meet him? Why didn't you draw the line

August 17, 2007
1:01 pm
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StronginHim77
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Shoot. I always manage to hit "SEND" before I am finished. Ratz.

My concern is that you are still obsessing about what he is thinking and feeling about you. LET IT GO. It doesn't matter what he thinks or feels. You are done with him.

Also, draw some firm boundaries with this guy. "No" should mean "NO." He has your number, all right. With you, "No" means "push her buttons, till she caves and does it MY way...gives me what I want, etc."

See it?

Lastly, I have a legal concern about you housing his minor child. I don't know if you live in the United States, but you could have some legal ramifications for taking in that boy without being awarded legal guardianship. You cannot even authorize emergency medical treatment for him without a NOTARIZED consent form from one of his birth parents and/or legal guardians. I would hate to see this come back and kick you in the tail.

Also, if the boy were injured -- for any reason -- on your property or while in your care, you could be facing tremendous liability.

Please consult an attorney about this?

- Ma Strong

August 17, 2007
1:03 pm
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StronginHim77
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P.S. In my home State (Florida), you cannot even register him for school, sign his school releases/report card advisories or authorize him for any field trips, etc.

How are you going to circumvent such legal entanglements without maintaining contact with his father?????

- Ma

August 17, 2007
1:36 pm
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bmom74
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Hi, Ma. I do the same thing ... hit send before I have checked to make sure all typos are gone. I cannot tell you how many posts I have sent out here that have typos in them. You send yours before you are finished posting but I send before I have read it through carefully.

As far as wondering why he wanted to see me at the bank, I guess I was just wondering out loud. You are right. I cannot stop wondering sometimes and am still obsessing ... but truth is, I cannot kick this kid out, Ma.

I really did not think even about sticking to my boundaries of us meeting separately there because I almost thought it would appear I was overreacting and he would pick up on that. You are right. In retrospect, I should have just said no.

So, you are saying I am putting out the message that no means no only until he pushes the right buttons??
Not trying to be dense here, just want to make sure I understand. Soemtimes I know I seem "thick" but I really try to comprehend what people on here tell me sometimes but because I don't always think that same way, I have to get it clear!!

ha-ha ... I guess I am kind of "thick" after all!! 🙂

August 17, 2007
4:23 pm
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bmom74
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Is it normal to go through this kind of grieving process? My therapist says that is exactly what I am going through is a grieving process. I know he is a jerk, I knew he used me, believe me, I know all of that. But he was such a part of my life for so long, I feel a definite hole in my life.

I know this is not what you guys want to hear ... but I am just being honest.

August 17, 2007
5:02 pm
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taj64
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Hi! What exactly are you grieving over here? What does your therapist say about taking on this man's child knowing how obsessed you are with this man? What about your kids? Aren't they wondering why you are doing all this? How is this affecting them? I don't think kids are dumb. They don't like to see their mom used and since he was living with you, it has to affect them in some way. I think you have to think the whole picture here. You said you have been grieving. You will be grieving as long as this guy is in your life. I don't really understand how an obsessed person ever truly gets over a person unless that person is removed out of their life and permanently. I think your motives for taking this son's child as your own, is causing damage to you and your progress. There are also legal concerns as well. I am going to tell you that the father needs to step up and you are indeed enabling this man again even as he is supposed to be out of your life. It might seem like you are being a martyer by saving this boy but he really isn't yours to save, he is almost grown, and i know you don't want to hear it but if I say it will come across as cruel and that is not the intention but on your part it is being manipulative to take him on. You don't see it that way but that is the way it appears to be. You are making it so that you do see him, if you truly want to recover that is you put yourself first and let this father be a father. It is not your job to take care of him, your ex, anymore. You are still doing that by taking him on. Your grieving would end a lot quicker if you get this man out of your life once and for all. YEs grieving has to take it's time but you also have to be responsible here and let it go. I doubt your kids want you to be grieving this long. They need a mom around, one that is not sad all the time. What do your kids think of all this, do they talk to you? I don't know but this hole could close up if you let it go. And letting this boy go back to his dad who needs to take care of him isn't really kicking him out at all, it is forcing the dad again. It is an ugly situation here and I don;t see how taking the son in is benefitting you at all. It keeps you tied to the ex. There would be no need to meet up at the bank or hear the gossip, or give reason to have that phone number handy. Yes I agree with what Strong has said. Sometimes it takes it to be tough and do hard work and make tough decisions. The son would be better off with his father even if it not exactly the home you think he needs. I see pure manipulation in order to hang on and by manipulation I don't mean it to be cruel but however subtly it is, it could very well be trying to control the situation because you don't want to ever let this man go. You are prolonging your grieving. It is painful to get over a man but in the long run you were never going to have this man for yourself. Pull the bandaid off quickly and you will heal faster. Let it sit under a bandaide and the wound will fester and be slow and sometimes get infected...see what I am saying. Stop being a martyer and go on. You deserve better once and you might do better when you start to believe it. no man is ever going to be attractive until you feel better. Not that that is a reason to rush it but mostly you need to feel better for yourself, don't you want to feel better?

August 17, 2007
5:38 pm
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StronginHim77
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bmom -

You are putting out the message that (1) you still want to be connected to him in any way possible (thus, you continue to house his minor child); (2) you still yield to him and do whatever he asks/needs; and (3) you still desperately want to be "the fixer" (someone who is needed, useful, compassionate, etc.). I can say these things to you because I have done the exact same thing in my codependent interactions with my ex's.

This is the ESSENCE of codependency.

You will not recover (or even truly begin to grieve -- and thus begin to recover), until you gather the courage to be the "bad guy," hand HIS responsibility (HIS SON) back to him to handle (as he SHOULD) and sever all contact with him and his toxic family.

Codependents are caretakers to the EXTREME degree. We take on the burdens of others, often to THEIR extreme detriment. (Why should they both growing up and assuming their adult responsibilities, if we do it FOR them?) And just because you believe you will provide the boy with a better, healthier environment does not justify separating him from his birth family. NO MATTER WHAT. Even government agencies today make every effort to keep children with their birth families. There are reasons for this. In the long haul, you may be causing more damage to that boy than good.

His father has one last chance -- one final year -- to step up to the plate and father that boy...and you are stealing that opportunity from both him AND the boy by your codependent need to walk in the caretaker role.

- Ma Strong

August 18, 2007
9:49 am
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bmom74
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Hi, Taj and Ma. Wow, I thought I was doing so much better but after reading your posts, I am still more in the essence of codependency than I thought. You have given me alot to think about. I have lot to sort through.

August 18, 2007
10:23 am
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AQueen
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Strong and Taj-Excellent excellent posts. You are both able to explain in simple easy to understand words what codependency is and how it pertains to her immediate situaiton.

BMom-I strongly encourage you to really read their posts and take the advice to heart. If you want to heal you will do the right thing for YOURSELF. It's not about doing something to help someone else or make someone else's life easier, you must must do it for yourself. Good luck. I've been there and I'm telling you there is healing and recovery. BUT you have to take that final step and cut all ties.

AQueen

August 20, 2007
11:31 am
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bmom74
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Gosh, I really thought alot this weekend about all of your posts and what you said. It was a tough weekend ... I was very depressed. I know what all of you are saying. I truly do. But, how can I kick a kid out of my house????? I know what you are saying about he is bad for me as he is a connection to the ex, etc., and maybe it is a manipulation on my part ... honestly, I still do not have a handle on that part of it ... but I feel like a really, really bad person when I think about kicking this kid out. Not to mention my son will hate me for doing it. I did talk to the ex's sister over the weekend to ask her to give me an idea of when the ex will be moved and when he will be taking his son with him. She said they were hoping for September 1st but looks like it could be the 15th but she did assure me his son will be out in September for sure. I know you all are right but just not sure I can do this ...

August 20, 2007
12:44 pm
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taj64
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You have a lot to weigh. Feeling bad about what others think is part of codependency. I do that a lot with my own kids. I usually do end up putting up with their needs and wants ahead of my own, and sometimes against my own judgment. And when others make comments about what i do with my own kids, I also take that too much to heart. You can only do so much and that is what you are doing. If is too much to kick him out then don't do it. But there is a price to pay as you will have to deal with his father. And I think it a good idea to devleop a thicker skin so that every bit of dealings with him, don't send you to grieving corner every time. I doubt your son will hate you though. I think it is a codependent trait to think or know someones feelings and take it as our own. IF this is temporary thing to have him there, then just be aware you could be prolonging your grief even more as long as you know this and prepared to deal with it as opposed to keeping his son and hoping this will change into something into better terms or being friends even, settling for something because that is all that is left. Sometimes it is better to put something on a shelf and leave it there. It is more empowering to take charge of your own life than to have eveyrone dictate it for you. SOme hard choices but sometimes it is hard road to recovery and lessons are learned the hard way. Eventually you learn though. You should not feel bad though, ever about what is right for you. That is part of shame. Personally this situation is not changing because communication is not going on with anyone including the son, your son, the ex and everyone involved. It is all guessing. You are playing a waiting game to see what others do or what others feel, somehow feeling powerless. somehow you are cutting yourself short of your own needs. Probably going to take you a lot longer to get over the man. Eventually you will though. Just remember this is your home and your house. Try to make the best of it without having to compromise your recovery. If the son is going to stay, then you may want to think about having no contact with him at all, no reason and let the son since he is old enough to address to his father what he needs, he is 17 and capable of asking.

August 20, 2007
3:56 pm
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bmom74
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Thanks, Taj. Great post and very thought provoking as usual. I am still working through this ... it is very tough. I will keep everyone up to date. Just need some time to process all this right now. Thanks so much.

August 20, 2007
5:25 pm
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StronginHim77
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bmom -

Breaking out of the codependency mindset is always tough, but it gets easier with each step we take. If that makes sense. Your self-esteem and self-worth didn't get pulvarized overnight and recovering them won't happen overnight, either. However, it is like shifting a car: nailing first gear is always the hardest when learning to shift. Second is much easier; third can be a challenge, but fourth is then a piece of cake.

Making healthy choices in our personal relationships works the same way. As you begin breaking out of the codependent mold, overcoming that need for the approval of others, overcoming that need to "do the right thing," overcoming the need to "fix" things and be well thought of...those early choices and actions feel awful. They make us uncomfortable because we are not used to taking care of ourselves. We think of this as "selfish" and wrong, somehow. It doesn't feel comfortble or familiar. It feels WRONG.

But that is the essence of recovery. Realizing that we have been conditioned and programmed into unhealthy behaviors and relationship dynamics by our upbringing and RE-programming ourselve, one single decision at a time.

You can do this. You have already begun. I know it FEELS and SEEMS wrong to you, but that is because of your "conditioning." Hope this is making sense.

- Ma Strong

August 21, 2007
10:08 am
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bmom74
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Yes, it makes sense, Ma. Tough ... but yes, make sense. There were not any Coda meetings last night so I went to an Al Anon meeting. I just felt so alone. Right now I am not sure where I belong ... I am severely CoDependent but I also have an adult child who I believe is an alcoholic so I thought this would help... however,so many people in these meetings seem so strong and I feel so NOT strong for lack of a better word. I have only been doing this about 7 weeks now and I heard people talk last night about still reverting back to Step 1 after a year. I didn't feel so badly then but it is still tough. I feel like I don't belong anywhere. I feel like I have been trying so hard to get past this stupid guy who only used me to start with and I am still struggling after 7 weeks to get over it ... why??? Shouldn't I just be able to get over it and move on? Honestly, I still love this guy after he treated me terribly and only used me ... I am a smart person with alot going for me ... why can't I get over this???? Some people, even with his son there, would have been able to be tougher and harder than I am and could have housed his son without thinking about him or caring one hoot about what he was doing after he has used them so badly. I want to be one of those people. I am reading your posts over and over again and they are therapeutic for me. But I am disappointed in myself I cannot seem to be further along than this. The people in this meeting last night were so wise and had gotten their lives in order. I feel like a total outcast.

August 21, 2007
1:01 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear bmom -

You are NOT an outcast. Again, don't trust those feelings. They are coming up from that deeply wounded child, hiding within your heart, buried in your memory banks from childhood.

Everyone learns to walk by taking that first step. Everyone learns at his/her own pace. Everyone stumbles, staggers, trips and struggles to master a basic skill of life.

You have come SO FAR. Don't sell yourself short or downplay your tremendous progress. I remember where you were in your earliest postings on these threads. DO YOU? You now understand codependency. You have taken a huge stand for yourself by getting the toxic ex out of your life. You are still addressing what I would term "the aftermath details," but you have stepped onto the Path of Recovery and are firmly launched in the right direction.

Take courage and pat yourself on the back a little, too. This ain't easy, but you are DOING IT. You are facing Reality. You are wiser and stronger and deeper than you imagine.

And I am very proud of you. Without a doubt, you are one of the shining stars of these threads.

HUGS.

Ma Strong

August 21, 2007
5:21 pm
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taj64
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I agree with Strong 100 percent. What she says ditto for me. In time you will feel better. 7 weeks might seem overly long but really it is just your sad feelings that take longer than expected. They say it takes about 2 years for someone to overcome divorce so for you this is a big deal and it is going to take longer than 7 weeks. As long as you let it go, and stay focused on your recovery you will reach that point you will feel better. The love you have for him will fade, it will pass, just let it. Keep yourself out of his life even if it is hard. it is gonna be hard. Nobody said it would easy. There is light but go toward the light, and remember he is not your light. focus on today for tomorrow. less on the past. the only reason to remember the past is so that you don't repeat it. if you keep going back to him the way you do, it all just repeats itself in a vicious circles and circles do not end. the outcome is going to be the same, never different. So you need to change only what you can do and I believe that is exactly what you are doing right now. Change is not always seen right away, takes time to notice the difference. Just like an antidepressant needs lot of time to feel the effect. Keep at it, you are doing great. Even if you don't think you are, you are.

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