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Thank You All Ahead of Time
March 4, 2005
1:56 pm
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Mecca
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I want to begin all this by saying "thank you" to everybody who has been posting on other threads, because reading them has already helped me a great deal.

I've actually spent a long time reading books about relationships, and give some really good advice to OTHERS. I've not been very good at taking my own advice, however. I was with my girlfriend (yes, I'm a man, which I think makes me a minority here) for over six years, and it has hurt me horribly bad for her to change and evolve past me while I try to convice her of "what we have." (Doesn't that sound pathetic?)

I go through cycles where sometimes I'm glad she's gone and I can move on, and sometimes I feel a strong sense of abandonment and start feeling lost and panicky. I won't share anymore of my thoughts for now, because when I re-think them to type them out, I get embarrassed at how silly they sound.

I can see already that this site is going to be HUGELY helpful in getting over this, so thank you guys in advance.

March 4, 2005
1:59 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi Mecca: Welcome. Don't ever feel silly about what you want to say. Sometimes getting these things out is cleansing plus allows others to give some insight and you end up w/ dif perspectives on things. Whenever you feel comfortable, share what you would like to. SD

March 4, 2005
2:03 pm
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chickyfighter
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Mecca, don't feel bad, thank you for sharing. I am new to this 3days to be exact. I have also felt hugely helped by reading these threads. I don't feel so pathetic anymore, most of the time anyway.

March 4, 2005
2:51 pm
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Mecca
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I get aggravated with myself because of the huge disparity between what I "know" and how I act.

For instance, I say to myself, "there are a LOT of people who have went through what I am going through," but then I still sometimes feel hopeless and not understood. It is ridiculous how many times I go from one paradox to the next. Coming to this site and reading all the other stories should clear that right up except that, once again, I already knew that other people go through this.

March 4, 2005
2:52 pm
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Mecca
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I guess the worst one is this . . . I've never had trouble meeting women. [Please nobody take this as me being arrogant. Arrogance is the farthest thing from what I'm feeling. I just can't think of any other way to describe this confusion.] I can talk pretty well and, when I go to social settings where single people meet each other, I always notice women (and men, for that matter) staring at me. In spite of this, when I start feeling insecure about her not wanting to be with me anymore, I start having these feelings like I'm f*cked and will be alone for here on out. Sometimes I go even further and say that, although I dated and had relationships with a LOT of women in earlier years (more than I would usually care to admit), now I'm in my 30s and those years are done. Even though my brain can rationalize that these feelings are pretty unrealistic, they seem SOOOOOO real and scary when I'm having them. If I could get over the fear of being along that I think is triggered by these thoughts, I think I'll have taken a huge step towards being past these feelings.

Does any of that make sense, 'cause sometimes I feel like Rain Man!!!

March 4, 2005
3:01 pm
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chickyfighter
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I don't know if I am correct to assume but it sounds like maybe it's what I go through. I am also not arrogant but I have no problem dating, it is just the ones I have truly loved that push me away. I sent this same thing to seomone yesterday. I found out that I may be abandoholic. Check it out:
Abandoholism is similar to the other ‘oholisms, but instead of being addicted to a substance, you’re addicted to the emotional drama of heartbreak. You pursue hard-to-get partners to keep the romantic intensity going, and to keep your body’s love-chemicals and stress hormones flowing.

What makes someone an abandoholic?
Abandoholism sets in when you’ve been hurt so many times that you’ve come to equate insecurity with love. Unless you’re pursuing someone you’re insecure about, you don’t feel in love.

Conversely, when someone comes along who wants to be with you, that person’s availability fails to arouse the required level of insecurity. If you can’t feel those yearning, lovesick feelings, then you don’t feel attracted, so you keep pursuing unavailable partners.

You become psychobiologically addicted to the high stakes drama of an emotional challenge and the love-chemicals that go with it.

Abandoholism is driven by both fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment.

When you’re attracted to someone, it arouses a fear of losing that person. This fear causes you to become clingy and needy. You try to hide your insecurity, but your desperation shows through, causing your partners to lose romantic interest in you. They sense your emotional suction cups aiming straight toward them and it scares them away.

Fear of engulfment is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It occurs when someone is pursuing you and now you’re the one pulling back. You feel engulfed by that person’s desire to be with you. When fear of engulfment kicks in, you panic. Your feelings shut down. You no longer feel the connection. The panic is about your fear of being engulfed by the other person’s emotional expectations of you. You fear that the other person’s feelings will pressure you to abandon your own romantic needs.

Fear of engulfment is one of the most common causes for the demise of new relationships, but it is carefully disguised in excuses like: "He just doesn’t turn me on." Or "I don’t feel any chemistry." Or "She’s too nice to hold my interest." Or "I need more of a challenge."

Abandoholics tend to swing back and forth between fear of abandonment and fear of engulfment. You’re either pursuing hard-to-get-lovers, or you’re feeling turned off by someone who IS interested in you.
Let me know if it helps.

March 4, 2005
4:22 pm
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Mecca
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I'm sitting here with an empty feeling in my stomach, because I feel like you've just discussed almost my entire adult dating in one post.

I'd like to know more about this and, even better, how to address it. Any ideas?

March 4, 2005
4:42 pm
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chickyfighter
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Mecca I woke up one night ~3 yrs. after my divorce and realized why I clung so hard to my marriage I was afraid to be abandoned like my parents had left me when I was a baby. Granted they came to the USA leaving my sisters & I w/my mothers side of the family being tossed from one aunt to another and to our grandparents and never formed a bond w/anyone except maybe my eldest sister. All I knew was that I felt never wanted. When I was a reunited w/our parent at 8 y/o my sister did not get along w/ my mom so my mother literally separated us out of jealousy. My sister was old enough then to join the military and I felt abandoned again...so anyway, I don't know the answer to how can we stop, but I am beginning to discover my pattern and I am aware of it now. I read a book that was more light to this issue called: " A Journey From Abandonment to Healing" by Susan Anderson.

March 4, 2005
4:48 pm
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Mecca
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The confusing thing is that I actually wasn't abandoned as a child. When my father passed away in 1993, my mother and father had been married for 43 years. I was kinda spoiled and coddled as a child. I've heard many stories about how others were abandoned by family/parents in their childhoods, and that would make more sense out of this. I was much more fortunate than that, though, so it still leaves me lost.

March 4, 2005
5:04 pm
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chickyfighter
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During your adult life, maybe you had many emotional rejections or somehow you began to equate insecurity w/love, it gives you a high, at least as first, you see it as a challenge w/women who are not easily accessible emotionally? That is all you have known maybe? I am not sure what to tell you, read the book, if you say the other stuff I sent you struck familiarity then it is worth investigating for your sake.

March 6, 2005
7:51 am
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CODA_Mom
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Hey chickyfighter & Mecca,

I've been reading with much interest your posts and am finding it hard not to put in my two cents' worth...

chicky - thank you for your very insightful comments about "abandonoholism". Though I've never heard that term before, you've described abandonment and engulfment to a tee.

Mecca - You pointed out in your last post that you were coddled and spoiled as a child so could not understand where the abandonment could be coming from. Just wanted to point out that being spoiled may seem on the surface to be a protective factor for a child, it actually works against the child forming a healthy bond...the child gets what they want at the sacrifice of what they need. What they need is "tough love" from their parents, i.e., boundaries on their behavior to teach them respect of others' boundaries, or to say "no" to things in order to teach them delayed gratification or impulse control. The abandonment may be caused by a doting parent who equated giving things or praise with giving discipline (discipline as instruction, not necessarily punitive measures such as spankings)...kids want and need restrictions because it makes them more secure, sorta like a guard rail on the highway where their are cliffs. They become secure because they know their parents are in control and not they themselves.

Allow yourself time to grieve for "what could have been"...allow yourself to feel the anger and sadness...if you rush too quickly into another relationship you will short-circuit the grief and carry it over into the new relationship. Thru the grief and sadness you will grow and learn more about yourself. I don't know of any way to grow stronger and wiser except to go thru suffering, including the pain of rejection/separation. When your grief and sadness starts healing and you begin to personally grow, be willing to take another risk on another relationship, but not until you feel strong enough to handle another possible rejection.

Regards,
CM

March 6, 2005
8:45 am
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hopeful for change
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I've read the post and found this intriguing. I have major abandonment issues. Never heard the term you used, but know all the symptoms you are describing.

I have found that I am majorly codependent. I have focused my life on everyone else, and tried to be Mrs. perfect wife, perfect mom etc. I mean how could they not love me and give back to me what I need and want. The trouble is I always pick the ones that can't give it back, and then beat my head on the wall for years. Like their love and approval makes me or breaks me.

I am still in a marriage with an practicing alcoholic, but I am changing and I feel great. If my husband left, it would probably be the best thing, because then it would be taking that burden off my shoulders, if that makes sense. I love him, but its clearly not ever gonna work.

I just don't wanta get through this and do the same thing again.

March 6, 2005
10:09 am
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eternaloptimist
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Hi Mecca!

I am a man on this site and I'll chime in. I understand what you are going through. I have had the exact same thoughts and feelings you are having.

I'm not sure how long you have gone being alone, but I have been alone for about 6 months since my separation, and it has been an interesting ride for me. It has taken me a while to learn about who I am. I was afraid to be alone. I thought I needed to go find someone to replace my wife almost as soon as she left. I took a few steps back and reflected on my past.

I have always gone from one relationship to another. That is my codependency at it's best. I used to feel I needed someone around me all the time. Someone I could take care of. I am learning now that I have had failed relationships because of that.

Now I am in a mode where I would like some company now and then, but I am growing to like my free space. I have re-connected with a bunch of old friends, and feel like I have taken control of my life. It always used to be a secondary thing...taking care of myself. I always thought if took care of someone else, I would find happiness. Not the case.

I met a girl a few months ago. She has been just a friend to me. She calls me every day and wants more, but I have been honest with her and told her I'm not ready to go any farther than friends at this point.

It's tough for me because my nature is too latch on and go for it. I am at a point now where I am going to have to tell her to back off a bit. It's going to be tough because I don't want to hurt her.

Sorry for the winded post here. I am wondering how long you have been alone. One thing to remember...you don't "need" this person. It could be all her for leaving and have nothing to do with you.

Maybe she is insecure because you are so social in public. Maybe she feels unworthy because of the looks you get in public? Just a few thoughts.

Eternal

March 7, 2005
7:18 am
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chickyfighter
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Hi guys, I thank you for the insights. I am beginning to wonder if I am codependent...I told a girlfriend of mine briefly about my thoughts, that maybe I am codependent, b/c she knows about him, not to the T but mostly. She has a background in psychology, but anyway she said we all hurt when we love and feel rejected, and break up, etc. so...Are all abandonholics also codependent?
I told you guys that I was afraid about the weekend b/c that is when he is not working so much and is in town from business trips right? Well I did so good Friday when he called, but then I thought since he is so proud he would not call back after he felt rejected from me saying I was staying in for the night. Well he called again Saturday but missed the call, but did not call him back. Sunday after Sunday service I decided that I was going to be an adult about it and not avoid him if he called again...and just be loving but let him know what I was feeling, not expecting him to understand but just to let him know I was angry. He called when I was out w/a girlfriend and my boys (whom he has not met b/c I don't allow anyone to meet the boys unless it's a good relationship, and this one started off by me asking for no strings attached). He was mad he asked what was going on what had he done to me, why was I avoiding him? I did not tell him anything but said maybe I would call him later, he said go-ahead finish dinner, & that he may be around, that he did not know. I got pissed b/c he did not give me a straight answer so I said "don't f*** play games w/me." and he said, "don't talk like that in front of the boys", and I said "Those are not your boys so whatever!" (Knowing very well that I was wrong, and he was right, but he is not a part of their lives so F him I thought). Anyway, I said whatever and hung up, b/c he said "this is the part where you are supposed to hang up like telling me what to do...
Anyway we met later on and I told him I missed him, he was unsure b/c I had avoided him, and I told him that it was b/c I am mad; he asked, "what did I do?" I said, if you have any conscience you'd know what it is you do that is so wrong!!" We joke around about stuff, I hate to argue, yet I like to express myself, so he asked me later on while we were out why did I put w/him, was it b/c he could be worse? and I said "heck no! Believe me this could not be worse." (I have never experienced nor would I put up w/drug abusers, alcoholics, violence, yet the ones I put up with is cheaters, or in his case players b/c I knew from day one and agreed that I did not want any attachment).
I am sorry I am long winded today, but is it me? is this codependence? We never have drawn out fights. At the very beginning I think he was used to fighting, but I told him that I did not believe in saying stuff out of anger b/c the power of our tongue was meant to uplift not destroy and so after that he has chilled his temper, I think I am uplifting overall, we bring out the positive in one another, except for the part where he is w/other people.... I am crazy huh? We are never verbally abusive, we use the f word when we are angry but not calling each other names, we can never stay mad at one another...I went through a phase after my divorce where I wanted nothing but physical relationships w/o any bonding... and then it got old and I felt empty so I left that frame of mind, but gees I don't get it...I felt ok seeing him last night. I think him knowing I can do w/o him and avoiding him was good. I have a life outside of him, and I like that. We shared thoughts. I expressed to him how I thought he was stupid b/c he did not do what was right knowing very well he had a wonderful woman who loved him and would do anything for him, who is very spiritual, (ok except for having sex w/him outside of marriage, sorry, guys! not perfect), intelligent, beautiful inside and out yet he did not appreciate her enough. That he was so lucky to have me to begin with, and he smiles and agrees, and said "I know I am lucky baby," and I felt better even though he may not honor it w/actions at least w/words he agrees. I told him that I was w/him only b/c I loved him and I had faith (Yeah, I pray he will wake up b4 it's too late and I get tired). I don't feel like I need him like I did a few months back; don't get me wrong I do miss him when I am not with him. There are times when he is cold, he has tried to push me away yet he always lets me know he wants me there...(I did not have that w/my ex, he always pushed away and wanted me gone so he could go w/his other women, maybe that is why I care, b/c although he is not faithful, he always makes me feel wanted regardless) (I do feel crappy and needy when he pushes away though)... but even then, my mind is clear enough to know I don't need him I just want him, and I can control my impulses, but I guess the part I have not figured out is why is it that I am with him if he does not want me like that, and it does not feel good to know that he does not want a relationship 9 months after we started seeing each other, but I have to be honest after my divorce, I don't want a committed relationship I just want a monogamous one. I left after having sex b/c I have work to do. I know he is seeing other people, he makes me sad b/c he is in a crazy place...I am sharing thoughts, I am still glad he is leaving to Sweden in April...shed light please, anyone?

March 7, 2005
8:40 am
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chicky,

Sorry I don't have the whole story, but from what you have told me I gather that you were angry with him at the start of the weekend because he had cheated on you? And you are saying that he is a player?

I picked out this sentence from your post:

He "makes you sad because he is in a crazy place..."

If you haven't read Melodie Beattie's book, "Codependent No More", I think it would help a lot...she mentioned on p. 54:

"...Out of habit, some of us may have developed an attitude of attachment--of worrying, reacting, and obsessively trying to control. Maybe we have lived with people and through events that were out of control [which you did, my note]. Maybe obsessing and controlling is the way we kept things in balance or temporarily kept things from getting worse. And then we just kept on doing it. Maybe we're afraid to let go, because when we let go in the past, terrible, hurtful things happened."

*** You cannot make his life determine whether or not you will be happy or sad.***

I would question whether or not he is right for you because the relationship triggers so much worry and confusion. Learning the fine arts of detachment (letting go of others in love) and setting boundaries (learning where the other person leaves off and you pick up)helps a lot.

I can fully understand why you would be afraid of abandonment because of all that you went thru while growing up. Rather than looking to others to never leave you, learn to look to both your Higher Power and yourself to always be there. Calm the anxious child within yourself with positive affirmations that you can make it on your own, if needs be.

Sorry I got so long-winded, there is more that I wanted to write but didn't want to take up too much space.

Regards,
CM

March 7, 2005
8:42 am
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willitgetbetter
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Hey Mecca,
I'm a guy as well and I know exactly what you are going through. Never feel embarressed here, thats what anonimity is all about. Please say what you feel, I have and it really helps. There are some great people here, so say what you feel.

Will

March 7, 2005
9:26 am
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chickyfighter
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Coda Mom, thanks for the insight. I am a control freak, I can't control it all, and I hate it...I have work to do so later for now guys, I love you all for being so attentive, is this also codependence? lol...I want all of you to know that I prayed for all of us yesterday, and since I discovered this sight 5 days or so ago. I believe in the power of prayer more than you all would know so you all are welcome to join me in praying for one another, if there are specific prayers for the week, or day, let me know, I only say a general prayer for us all....Many blessings to all!

March 7, 2005
9:49 am
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Good morning all, Chickyfighter, thanks for the offer to pray for us. Please add me and my son to your list. I am currently involved in a 40-day intercessory prayer for him, and I definitely believe in the power of prayer. Yes, I agree with Mecca that this site has been a life saver in recent days. It's just so therapeutic to sit down and try to organize one's disorganized and "stinking thinking." So many times we all know in our hearts what has to be done -- It's just a matter of making it happen. Believe me, I have been where a lot of you younger people have been with your relationships. Oh, how all feelings of rejection would hurt -- think you're gonna die. I'm now in a wonderful, loving relationship of 12 years, so hang on. There's hope if we work on our on inadequacies. Now I must deal with the codependency associated with my grown son and letting him go. When I was out chasing relationships many years ago, I neglected my parenting, and I am paying the price now. I overlooked bad behavior many times just so I could go out during week-ends and have my fun. Enough already. Thanks again to all of you for listening and caring. Have a good day.

March 7, 2005
9:46 pm
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Paddy, thanks for your words...I have 2 sons, and I am also afraid each day to be a mom like mine, or worse. I always tell them that I love them and I try to make sure we hug one another at least a few times each day, and I tell them that I am not perfect and that if I ever hurt their feelings to please tell me. I am strict b/c I want them to know that life has rules and our actions have consequences yet I want them to know that it is important that they are able to express any emotion b/c I was not allowed to when I was growing up. I tell them that it's OK to be angry w/me sometimes and not agree w/me but that at the end we must always be there for one another b/c we are forever bound in our hearts and that I would love them no matter what they did or said, but I want them to learn to make good choices and so on....They are straight A students, and their teachers are always praising them but I am scared to mess up and get caught up chasing a dream to have a family w/a fantasy man who may not even exist...

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