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Trying to get past the confusion and hurt (2bstrong)
June 14, 2006
9:23 am
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2bstrong
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omw--

How are you doing these days, and how is your heart? I have always seen the threads about the C/A and the "N", but have not thought they applied to me or anyone that I was with. After reading and pouring over them this past weekend, I realized that even if the guys that I've been with haven't necessarily been full-blown C/A-N, they have ALAWYS had many of the traits. I've spent the last year or so reading books about commitment-phobics, "He's Scared, She's Scared", "Men Who Can't Love", "The Commitment Cure"...this seems like a pre-cursor to C/A-N, or perhaps a component of the personality. I don't know, lot's of similarities.

I hope you are ok, and was so glad to hear from you...(((((omw)))))

June 14, 2006
9:39 am
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whidbey,

Thank you so much for your thoughts and perspective. I have read your posts from the threads in January, and my heart goes out to you.

Is it possible that the C/A is not aware of what they are doing? Is it their pattern, as it is ours to "run" to them? We aren't talking about monsters, here. We are talking about responsible, functioning people. This has all added to my confusion...is it innocent, or intentional? Doctor was very confused, he told me twice that he thinks in Black and white, he struggled with clarity in the relationship. I was always clear that I liked him, I thought that would help the situation. He also was wrought with worry, worried about getting married, told me he was skewed on marriage, yet asked me if I would sign a pre-nup. I was not confused at all, it seemed easy, we liked each other, we had fun, it was easy to talk. His confusion scared me from the beginning. Sometimes I would look into his eyes and be very afraid.

Anyway, you are very wise, Whidbey. My "tapes" are changing. I have been telling myself that I will be ok, that I am a good, wonderful, lovable person. I can't believe it, but it's helping. I have years and years of tapes to erase.

I have "battered" one friend in particular--a man--who is a great listener and kind, but doesn't understand why I have given Doctor so much power. He is looking at him in perspective of the ten-plus relationship. I have tried to explain that it's different, it was much more intense. I think that is why I came back to the boards with this one, as well as counseling. I took your advice and started writing again in my Journal. I have been avoiding it because there are many, many, pages about Doctor in it from the "glory days"...I did muster the courage to read some of the later entries, and found one of the last ones which read "I need to leave this relationship, God, give me the strength to walk away". That was pretty affirming. But. I still miss him.

My hope is that I can be where you are in a few months, whidbey. As I said, I know where you were at the end of December, and I so much feel what you were going through. You have definitely given me some hope.

Thank you, whid. Blessings to you.

(((((whidbey)))))

June 14, 2006
9:50 am
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2bstrong
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taj...

So funny, I have always felt we were kindred spirits. We are close in age, and have similar perspectives on life. We have been hurting simultaneously, and for very similar reasons. I know that seeing your ex a bit more than a month was so hard for you...toxic contact. I made a note of that, and used it to keep myself from contacting Doctor. I still had his birthday in the back of my mind.

I think the worse part of all of this has been the obsession. It started about a week after I sent the reply to his break-up note. Fifteen weeks of turmoil, talking about it with friends, mentioning it here. I new this was bigger than just a broken heart. Acknowledging that is pivotal in my healing and growth. I have a HUGE fear of letting go. I see that I hang on to many situations that are not good or healthy because I cannot see a future for myself without them. I am going to make this my main work...It's easy to talk of letting go, and I think that's what I have done for the past year.

I had a bit of a rough night last night. I think about Doctor, and wonder if I made an impact on his life at all. I don't even know what to think about that sort of thought! I have been dating a man, and I wonder if I am using him to fill "the void". As you say, maybe I am not ready? I have so much to process. I am making myself do this.

((((((taj baby)))))

June 14, 2006
9:52 am
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Good morning 2B and all! Sorry I've haven't been available much the past week or so. Busy time of year for me. But I wanted to just pop in and say that I am so proud of you. Knowledge is POWER, girl! You are seeking some truth about yourself and about others (doctor) that will help you in the future! It is truly a gift when a light bulb goes off in the brain and we begin to "see" things that we couldn't wrap our minds around before.

You are doing great...this will help you get over the hump and put it where it belongs (behind you)! Keep up the good work, 2B! You rock!!!

Love, Plz~

June 14, 2006
10:36 am
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Sd: How long were you involved with you "Dangerous man"? How did you meet, or, is there a thread here that tells your story? Is that why you started posting here at aac?

BTW: As I said yesterday, I ordered the book that you recommended, and I also ordered "The Emotionally Abusive Relationship" by Beverly Engle. Young and Restless had quoted from that on the "Curing" thread.

June 14, 2006
11:11 am
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Matteo: Do you have any recommended reading? I also wanted to say that I appreciated your analogy:

***You might want to look for the roots and dig them out or you might just cut the weed. But without getting to the roots, most likely the weed will appear where you expect it the least.***

I'm a gardener, so I always go for the root.--2b

June 14, 2006
11:23 am
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whidbey
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2b,

I kept a journal from my "glory days" too. However, what was amazing to me, after I went through The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans and The Betrayal Bond by Patrick J. Carnes (MUST reads, by the way), was when I went back through that journal, I saw so many red flags, I shook my head in amazement. I had so many footnotes and underlined passages of the writings of those days after I read the books, it was unreal.

Yes, it seems that while we spend the time learning about these types of people, we are keeping ourselves enmeshed with them. However, there will come a point where the clarity of it all will come, and you will move on. What I tried to do, while educating myself about these conditions, was to really examine myself as well as to why I continued to gravitate toward these kinds of relationships (although will say, last ex-N seemed to be all my bad relationships rolled into one--talk about one final cosmic lesson!). In other words, instead, when reading about their conditions, asking why, why why are they this way, ask how can I avoid this in the future from ever happening again? What lessons can I take from this experience? How can I strengthen myself as a person? That will take the focus off of the N and onto yourself, not in a self-flagellating way (and isn't that easy to do coming out of this kind of experience???), but in a healthy, self-loving way.

As far as the intentional versus "victim of their circumstances..." Well, I think that is a double-edged sword. I honestly think it is both. I think they probably got that way due to childhood/early adulthood experiences. However, I think it is pretty safe to say that there are a lot of behaviors of which they are very aware, know that they are inflicting pain (though do not empathize with the "inflictee") and do it anyway, knowing how it will end. That is a conscious choice on their part. I also fully believe, especially the older they get, that they know exactly what they are looking for in a potential supply, the weaknesses, needs, etc. and are very experienced manipulators. They are also usually knowledgeable about how they sabotage a relationship, but continue to carry these actions out anyway. I know, looking back, my ex-N actually told me, in so many words when relating about past girlfriends, what he was capable of, almost testing the waters, so to speak, to see if I would run away (and boy howdy, I sure should have). It's the old adage that Oprah likes to cite, "When they tell (or show) you who they are, believe them." That is something I carry first and foremost in my mind and heart and will until the day I die now.

2b, you WILL get to where I am now, the apathy stage. You really will. It doesn't feel like it at this moment, but you will. Keep looking toward that light, and yes, keep those positive "tapes" going in your head! 🙂 Hugs.

June 14, 2006
12:34 pm
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2b: I was with him for a year. He lives in my complex- so I met him here. When we started out, it was every day, every night, and immediate. Getting involved w/ a CA, sex addict, recovering alcoholic, and being available to him 24/7 was a recipe for disaster- mine. And yes, I found AAC because of my obsession with him. I couldn't get out of it. And having him here did not help matters at all. But now when I see him we just ignore each other. I've been w/in feet of him - at the mailbox, passing each other on the sidewalk- and I treat him like a stranger. Its not comfortable, but really doesn't affect me anymore.

June 14, 2006
1:08 pm
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Rasputin,

Thank you so much for your (as always) gentle words. I have been in healing mode, and I get so impatient with the grieving process. I think I am like the athlete who gets injured, but doesn't listen to the advice of the doctor and goes right back out into the game instead of allowing the injury to heal.

Lesson learned: When something seems too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.

I've been reading T.D. Jakes...he's very spirit filled...his book helped me get a grip on my spirituality which was starting to slip away.

Hope you are ok, I know you have been struggling recently, and I send you love....(((((rasp)))))

June 14, 2006
3:24 pm
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Free spirit,

You were the pivot person for me in all of this--no kidding. Your statements on the "Darn!" thread really hit home for me. It felt abusive, and I didn't want to believe that it was...acknowledging abuse would mean that I would have to shatter my image of Doctor.

This statement that you made above is profound: "The relationship distorts our sense of reality and sense of justice. It also causes us to lose ourselves to such an extent that I think it frightens us very deeply. The chaos contained within it is almost impossible to figure out, thus leaving us with no answers." I was definitely frightened by the chaos and the lack of control that I had for my feelings, and the inescapable hopelessness...time did help me, and so did not contacting him. I had to hide anything that reminded me of him. Even the thoughtful Christmas gifts that he had given me only a couple of weeks before he sent the email. (Of course, they were belated because he disappeared/was in&out over the holidays).

His father died when he was 18, he told me that he thought he had never grieved the death. By default, he became the caretaker for his mother. I listened very closely to him when he talked about previous relationships. He told me when we started dating that he wanted to feel "giddy". I asked him later on in the relationship how we were doing with the giddy factor, and he said it didn't matter. He was very critical of his ex-wife, and he often said it was a marriage that didn't count. My brain is still fried about the fact that they didn't have sex during their marriage...but I will never know the truth about that, and I am ok with that.

Sorry for the ramble, free. I appreciate your experience. What was the "aha" moment for you? Was it after the contact in January? You seem very clear headed and strong now. I can see myself moving in that direction.

(((((free spirit)))))

June 14, 2006
4:06 pm
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Dearest whidbey,

I love this: **talk about one final cosmic lesson** LOL! I felt this way after Doctor. I said, ok, God--you must be trying to get my attention. And, I am very familiar with the Oprah quote, I have also read that in one of my self help books somewhere along the way. I found it interesting that you said they may often be aware of how they sabotage a relationship, but continue to act it out anyway. Doctor told me he was "his own worst enemy". He said, "I'm a puzzle, I can't even figure myself out." Me, being 2bstrong, and up for any physical or mental challenge, accepted that as an invitation! Again, when they tell you who/what they are, believe them! Lesson (being) learned.

In a way, it is exciting for me. I am shedding the blanket of grief, and putting on the coat of acceptance. I even feel a sense of relief about it all in this move toward understanding.

I do so much look forward to apathy. I have made great strides in only five days. That gives me so much hope.

Thank you again, whidbey. I am so grateful...and I LOVED the NPD humor today!

June 14, 2006
4:10 pm
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"Being a church goer/attendant does not necessarily make him more decent or trustworthy. Chruches are filled with con artists. "

Ras...scary isn't it?

June 14, 2006
4:44 pm
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(((2b))) hope every day is making things a little easier...keep journaling, and talking this out. Hang in there...

June 14, 2006
4:46 pm
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sd: I don't know where you find the strength or the where-with-all to walk past him! So, one year? It's amazing the impact a relationship like this can have on us. I guess I was in a dead-zone with my ten-plus relationship. It was sad that it ended, but it wasn't as emotionally draining as this one has been.

Here's to us!

June 14, 2006
4:59 pm
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Just remember that even acceptance is a process and boy can it be long. You dont just say accept it. It comes in parts. You know you have to move on, and accept but nobody says you just snap your fingers and it is done deal. And remember, think a year from now, cause you let it go that a year from now it will be lessened hopefully a great deal and then 2 years, almost gone and barely a thought. Change is very hard but it will happen.

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