Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 19, 2019 10:33:05 GMT -8
Hey, this is actually my second time on the forum, I last posted over a year ago and looking to rejoin and be much more active this time around.
I haven't looked through my old posts but the problem then is the same one as now, multiplied by innumerable factors. I'm recently out of a relationship that has dominated my thinking and time for a large part of the last five years. I've been through infatuation, love (or at least what I think it was), obsession, depression, anxiety, rage, with mistakes on both sides. But despite all the advice of friends, many of whom I've been embarrassed to even tell I'm still in contact with her, it's a bone I can't seem to let go of.
I'm struggling with being out of contact, not knowing if it's the last time, knowing it's better if it is, fighting constant intrusive thoughts that stop me doing work, studying, furthering my opportunities. Holding onto a lot of anxiety, anger, and despair. I'm mostly just trying to find peace with it and stop the constant need to check up on someone who's already moving on.
I'm hoping that here I will be able to find some closure, and some strategies for dealing with my emotional state. I'm ashamed of the way I feel, and the strength of those emotions. How they're ruining my life. Hoping to be in a place of like-minded people, who I can empathise with and vice versa, and gain and give support to others who need it.
Oh boy, looking at old posts can be eye opening - and sadness inducing.
Has your relationship with this person ended? Are you still in contact with her? By "contact" what do you mean? Texting? Social Media? F2F meetings?
You will let go when you are ready and not before. I am sure you have beaten yourself up enough about it.
I am going to offer you a suggestion. Make a list of all the good things about the relationship. Then make a list with the not-so-good things about the relationship. If the bad list is longer than the good list - you have an answer as to WHY you should not be hanging on.
When the need (and there will be a NEED from your core which you will not be able to control in the beginning - but you know that) hits, pull out that list and look at it. Those are your reasons for NOT constantly checking up on her.
She's moving on - you need to show her that you are too. If not her - yourself.
My feeling is thought-blocking is the most difficult thing to do. My usual course of action was to get involved in activities that I normally would not have. When I broke from my xOM the first time, I transferred job locations and attended a dance class (!!). I also began binge watching television shows. Goodness knows that there are enough shows available to stream nowadays to blunt thoughts and focus on plots not your own.
Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 20, 2019 7:39:34 GMT -8
Thank you very much for the welcome and advice, it means a lot.
We're over as of a week ago. I already know she's back on dating sites through some of my earlier checking. She asked me not to text her last Sunday and so far I haven't, although we're still following each oher on social media and it's been very hard not to check her posts and read into comments about "new friends" and quotes that I read volumes into. She has a history of making indirect posts about me when we've had trouble in the past and part of me is compelled to check in case I miss something designed to cause me pain. Or if I don't look she will block me out of nowhere for not caring enough to view them. Part of me knows that would probably be for the best but it's a hard balance.
The reason why we split is complicated. I have had severe trust issues with her in the past and had trouble letting this go. So I invaded her privacy and went through her phone on a gut feeling to find she was signed up to dating sites in case we split up if we both wanted different things. I found this extremely hurtful that she had no faith in us, and naturally she was heartbroken that I'd behaved so appallingly to find that out.
The relationship between us has gone on much longer than this and we've dated on three separate occasions. I think both of us are dependent on each other, perhaps me more so than her, and are terrified of not being in each other's lives. We've taken each other for granted and treated each other horribly, and some monstrous things have passed between us that I can't seem to let go of. There have been great times as well, but it's a bipolar relationship and ultimately extremely toxic.
Thank you for the suggestion on the list. I'd much rather look at that rather than take the chance of hurting myself seeing what she's up to. Thought blocking has been very difficult. I lose my temper with myself if the thoughts get too much and I can't control them. I've found that if I get into long conversations with people sometimes a minute or two can pass before I remember (I'm ashamed to say that it is pretty much my default mindset all day long).
Here is where the band aid needs to be ripped off. Block her on ALL social media sites. Let her post whatever the heck she wants about you. YOU do NOT have to be a willing participant in her games. She'll be posting into the ethernet and look foolish. She's got her own issues to get through and they have NOTHING to do with you.
DO NOT respond to ANY message she sends. Will she message you after she told you not to text her? IDK. But you are in control of you and your actions.
Get yourself off the dating sites because, you are not in a position either emotionally or situationally, to be looking for your next partner.
No Contact is the way to go here - total and utter NC. I'll give you my favorite quote about NC: NC doesn't open up the gates of heaven to let you in. It opens up the doors of hell to let you out.
You have written that you have "Treated each other horribly and some monstrous things have passed between us". Okay - that's in the past. Hanging on will make it even more "Toxic". I'll give you another insight: Intoxicating has the word "TOXIC" in it. That's why these relationships are bad because of toxicity. And addictive.
Listen, in the beginning you will be going through mental hell about NOT thinking about her. Especially in the beginning. Your mind is still holding on to the "good" feelings she gave you - or any feeling whatsoever. This relationship has been a big impact on your life, hence your thoughts drifting continually to her, her her her and more her. No need to be ashamed about it. I wager many people reading this board could say the same thing - goodness knows I was in your shoes several times.
Have you begun working on the Good versus Bad list? That may take a while to compile - it's good to write it all out. It gives you a VISUAL of the relationship. After you write it you'll sit back and go, "Wow. Things were really that screwed up?"
Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 23, 2019 8:31:25 GMT -8
Thank you for the reply, it might sound silly but I've kept this thread open on a tab in my phone since I made it and it's comforting to know it's here. It's helped me with the urges to check up and potentially hurt myself by seeing something I don't want to. If the urges start welling up then I try to come on here and look around.
I think joining dating sites was a reaction to seeing her on there and knowing she's hunting people within days of us splitting. I got chatting to a couple of people but I know right now I'm only going to bring pain and destruction wherever I go.
I've been avoiding social media for the last few days. It's been about a day since I looked into what she was up to and it doesn't sound like much but I've caught myself slipping and pulled myself up more than once today. I'm proud of myself for that so far. I've deleted her number but that doesn't mean a lot. Hers has been on and off my phone for years and I can enter it anytime I want to. Generally after we fall out it's always her that texts me months later out of nowhere.
The last couple of days have been easier. It's a constant background noise but it's not peaking as much as it was, and the painful thoughts aren't hitting as hard. But I'm cautious of my own reactions. When I tell myself I want to be her friend and am happy for whatever she's involved in I know the mood won't last and the monster will come back out.
I did begin on the list. The good times were harder to write, because my mind kept trying to tell me how I'd broken it and reminiscing about the laughter and the intimacy. The bad column may go on for a while. Just this year alone there's been enough to break my heart about six times over. I know the way it ended was partly my fault, but the lack of trust was nurtured through all the damage and it's going to be interesting seeing all this on paper.
No need to apologize for ANYTHING you are going through. You're not alone in looking at your XPoA/GF's "status" on dating sites. It's a form of self-abuse. You sit and think, "Wow, I am THAT replaceable that she is just moving on SO FAST? What was I - a cheap chicken dinner? I meant THAT little to her, when I made her my life!" I am sure I don't have to add anything to the thoughts that were going through your head thankyouverymuch SexlessW.
Hey, take today. YOU MADE IT TODAY by NOT looking on her social media. FWIW you WILL slip up in the weeks and months that follow. Like they say, ONE day at a time. The last few days, by your own admission have been easier than the prior few days. It's all PROGRESS and NOT perfection. I cannot emphasize that enough.
Have you blocked her on your social media feeds? Or "Unfriended" her on FB (if she and you are on FB)?
Since you have a feeling (don't ignore that feeling - I tend to agree with you about xPoAs contacting us after months of NC - she is no exception) give her number a bad name if she contacts you. "Bad Idea Girl" "Toxic Person Person" "Person Whose Name I Can't Mention" or something negative so that when it comes up on your screen - DO NOT RESPOND.
She can NOT be your "friend" at this moment in time. Put the "friend" idea to the side for a very long time. Friends do not treat each other as she had treated you. I know that the lying, junkie mind is telling you, "Oh, but it wasn't SO bad! Honestly! Now, if I make contact it's all going to be okay and I'll be cool with her chasing other dudes...and all I will have to do is just 'be there' for her..." Those thoughts will lead you back to where you do not want to be.
Oh great! That is good to read. I believe you when you said the "good times were harder to write". I mean it wasn't all contention, anger, fighting - you name it. There WERE good times and that is why people hang on - to have those good times again.
However, when you write "the bad column may go on for a while" - isn't that the truth. By the time the "Bad" column is underway, the "good" column is going to be cowering. Then you will have hard evidence of WHY you are ending this relationship.
Power vibes! Again, post when you are able. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 23, 2019 16:46:46 GMT -8
Well I'm ashamed to admit I've slipped already, about half an hour ago. We're still following each other on Instagram and I went onto her followers list and there's a bunch of new guys all in her area. I expected it but it was still painful to see. I've still got her on there. I think there are several reasons I haven't deleted her. Number one is that if I do it the likelihood is I'm going to get some angry message out of nowhere once she realises. Number two is that I think she will block my number on her phone and part of me is terrified of that. Hard for me to accept that she'll be out of my life forever even though I know it would truly be for the best.
I've been working on the bad column now. It's almost reached the bottom of the page and I'm not done. Quite strange seeing it all appear on paper like that and very eye-opening.
I'm pretty disappointed with myself today. Not broken in half like I would have been a week ago but feel like I've undone some of my progress. Thank you for your support with this. It means a lot to know I'm not dealing with this all on my own.
Time to END your relationship with her Instagram account. There is no need for you to have her account on your feed. Not one. It leads to you seeing things that you don't need to see for your OWN health and recovery.
You are NOT a source of Narcisstic supply. DO NOT fall into that trap. How warped is it that she is SO worried about what you may or may not be doing, that she may send you an angry message over deleting her Instagram account? One angry message - you can live through that. It's a means of control - simply put.
Okay - one slip up does not mean that you're back in full in the relationship. I'm putting my berating wand away (ho ho ho).
Oh my - the BAD list is ready to go ON? I can't believe it (sarcasm intended). Is this when you say, "Yes. It really could be THAT bad." However, it's a good thing you are taking the time to do it.
And no - you are not broken. You're in a phase of being sewed and soldered back together. Piece by piece.
More power vibes. Think seriously about deleting that Instagram account. Again, it's a means to control you.
Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 25, 2019 8:03:14 GMT -8
Well I've actually gone a step further and uninstalled the entire app. I'm not sure if that's winning or losing. I hardly had any followers anyhow and didn't really use it but in a sense I feel like she's won. I've made a promise to myself that if I reinstall it, she's going.
In a sense it feels like one of the last connections we have. I want to sever it but I'm also afraid to in case we never speak again. I feel pathetic struggling with that dilemma while she's out playing the field. We had a similar argument about Facebook years ago when I deleted her off there.
I did come to a realisation recently. I no longer have any idea how to talk to women who are actually being nice to me, even as friends. I'm so used to this cycle of brazen sexual attraction, being lured into a relationship with someone I don't trust, and then suffering with doubt all through the relationship until it explodes and I'm always the bad guy watching her move on. I don't love her and I know that now. I don't think I ever did, or vice versa. It's an addiction and it's the strongest one I've ever had.
I really appreciate the support. Just having someone here who understands has helped so much. I can't talk to people in person about this because no-one has experienced the level of dependency. I also apologise if I should be posting this somewhere else. It's not really an introduction anymore.
Well, there are other places on the board for you to post - I'll find you (ho ho ho). That's okay if you post here or anywhere else. I'm sure you've seen other topics that you have issues with - try starting a post in those topics.
GOOD FOR YOU! Wow. Getting rid of the entire app - no more Instagram for you. That's huge. It's "winning" in the sense you are taking control of your actions. As for her "winning" - was there a contest you both were engaged in? Now you don't get to see what she is posting AT ALL. And for the time being, you will be feeling it - but in the future, once the habit has been established of NOT checking the Instagram app, you won't feel it at all.
Is she still deleted from your FB account?
No, it's not "pathetic" to struggle with the fact that you MAY NOT speak with her again. She's been a large part of your life that you are going to miss interacting with her. It's the FEAR of not speaking to her again which bites into you.
Look at it this way. How many years were you alive that she was NOT part of your life? She is a small section of your life - and there will be other people who are going to come into your life. You lived without her before you knew her; you WILL live again now that you are attempting to remove her from your life.
Are you afraid to mis-interpret signals from women? Is a woman "being nice" to you because she is wanting to have sex with you OR is she being nice to you because she is friendly and not interested in you sexually? Breaking that cycle of "attraction" to the BAD GIRLS is something you can work on.
If you don't have feelings for a person, you don't HAVE to enter into a relationship with them. But you are becoming aware of that.
That's where all the "self work" comes in I am always harping on.
Anyways - I hope other posters can come forward and give you advice too.
Post by wailingwalrus on Oct 28, 2019 11:05:36 GMT -8
Thank you for the support as always. I've managed to keep away from reinstalling Instagram although keeping my thoughts off her new boys on there isn't going so well. And wondering if she has left or will leave a message for me there that I won't see. As for her winning, I meant more that I had to remove an entire social media platform rather than simply deleting her. But to be honest I'm not missing it in any other sense. I'm agonising over what I've already seen, so fighting the compulsion to look again and see worse.
She actually has me blocked on FB so nothing I can do about that. As I said, it's been a long history.
I had a realisation today, and was ashamed of myself for it. I do genuinely miss her, and all the great times we had, but when I look deep down into myself, right now I don't want her to be happy with someone else. I want the cycle back. I want her to suffer, I want myself to suffer in a sense. Just to have the familiarity. I can wish her well in other senses, but there's a lot of territorial aggression and pain left. It's very conflicting. I know how bad she is for me, I can see all she has done, the manipulation, the liberty-taking, how quickly she filled the gap after we split. How much of our relationship is sex-based. But I want to be with her, to be close to her, to make her laugh. Simultaneous repulsion and attraction. I'm getting the urges to try to be her friend again but I know it for what it is.
I think that is a lot of it with regards to other women. I'm so used to this one and her hyper-sexuality. I'm often unsure if I miss opportunities, and whether I even want those opportunities, or if I don't project enough masculinity, I'll be discarded as weak. I feel a constant pressure to be perfect, to be funny, always entertaining. If I'm not impressive enough, I'll lose the relationship to others. I do seem to be drawn to "bad girls", even if it's not a conscious choice. It's something I want to be rid of.
Would you have any beginning advice for "self-work"? That's probably a very broad and abstract question, but I can't keep on with this constant ache in my head. I've begun to mediatate, and this at least calms my body for five minutes haha.
Ha! Pity her "new boys" following and posting to her Instagram account. Think of it that way. The silver lining, for you, is you DO NOT miss Instagram. Gosh, how are you going to survive this world without it? (sarcasm intended). That's your LIFE WINNING HACK.
Even better she blocked you on FB. Think of it as a favor - a painful one, but a favor that is going to play it forward AS the months go by.
You're in the withdrawal phase. The need of actually WANTING and NEEDING (or so your brain says) to keep in contact with her - that's the "lying junkie mind" talking.
What does she add to your life again? Think of it that way. If she gets ticked you are no longer following her - and have removed Instagram - that is not going to be YOUR problem. Let her get angry! Let her have a meltdown! Not. Your. Problem.
What you are feeling is NORMAL. Don't be ashamed of what you are thinking. Missing her? Of course you do. Missing the "great times" - yes you do - because it wasn't all misery. Wanting her to feel pain - like you are - normal. BTDT with my 2 xOMs. I wrote about this (sorry for the plug) in my "I'm Wide Awake" post - never underestimate the pull that sex has on you. When you are without and are used to having sex - not having any, especially with a PoA is tough. Talk about screaming hormones and gonads.
Are you sure she's living the happy go lucky life right now? She may LOOK like it on her Instagram. She's going to go on doing what she's always done and remain static. You, OTOH, are looking at yourself and saying, "This hasn't worked for me - how am I going to change it?" That's dynamic. And it takes strength, determination and hard work to change. Not to mention it is painful.
You are doing great ignoring the urges to contact her. Keep that "Bad" list handy every time you think about it. Pretty soon the memory of the good times gets tarnished with the horrid times.
At this moment in time, focus on Wailing Walrus. What good it is if you are projecting a persona who is NOT you? Our culture has given us warped views of "masculinity" or what is it to be a "man". It's the "hyper alpha" version of masculinity which, I think, harms men (Think MGTOW and red pillers). What is "weakness" in a man? Where is the pressure to be a perfect masculine specimen (as our culture says men must be) coming from? Where does this fear come from inside yourself?
I'm a human being who happens to have XX chromosomes. I know you're a human person who has XY chromosomes. You coming here and speaking of these things, IMO is brave. Not a show of weakness or cowardice.
"Self Work". My path was going into therapy with a therapist who understood addiction - she was in AA. I read Dr. Phil McGraw's book "Self Matters" (flay me alive! He helped me through my Pacific Trenches days 19 years ago). I read Pia Mellody's book and Brenda Schaefer. The ONLY caveat I have is that the literature on this is skewed towards women (there I go contradicting myself about what is proper behavior and projection of FEMININITY).
THEN I got real and found Dr. Howard Halpern. "How to Break Your Addiction to a Person". The Aphorisms and his relationship chart were, to me, game changers. The Aphorisms were tru-isms. I did the relationship chart, plotted out what characteristics in others I was attracted to, and my attachment to my xOM Aspen was right there.
I found this website and a now defunct website called TOW for OPs involved in EMAs. I reached out to people online and am still in contact with a few of them.
I went HARD CORE NC with my xOMs. I did NOT pursue other men while in NC. I maintained celibacy, not difficult in a sexless marriage.
I got maintained my workout regime. I watched DVDs of films and television shows. I went to work and held my head high.
Whew! Sorry for the Wall of Text.
Okay Wailing Walrus - if I can share any other bits of my personal journey, ask. Hopefully other folks can add to this.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 5, 2019 16:31:37 GMT -8
I meant to post last week but a few things got on top of me. Thank you again for the detailed post and advice.
It's coming up to a month since we last spoke now. I figured it should be getting easier by now, but while there are some clear moments, the vast majority of my time is still spent thinking about it. It didn't help that I got quite sick for a while and all I wanted was to reach out. I held out hope that on my birthday she might text me, and lapsed and reinstalled Instagram by that same logic. But through some major effort, I managed to avoid actually going on her profile. If nothing else, I'm pleased about that. My mind is telling me it wants to be her friend again. "Maybe I'll say Happy Christmas" and so on.
She's always been very good at pointing out my own flaws in arguments, and I've been wrestling with the guilt that I do genuinely have jealousy and paranoia issues. Without them, we would still be together. But I've been looking at my list, and the massive pile of reasons why I just couldn't trust her. When I read aloud some of the things I swallowed in and out of the relationship, I'm amazed. If I heard it from a friend for example, I'd be horrified.
The sexual element hasn't be easy either. Whatever else, we always had incredible chemistry, and she's the only sexual partner I've had in a long time. To know she's with others now is none of my business, but it still hurts.
I suppose with interactions with women, I've always felt like I have to impress, say the right thing, make them laugh. Whether I want anything further or not. Probably 10 years of online dating has clouded my vision on it. In a field like that, you literally are competing with other men for attraction and you lose sight of actually being yourself rather than the brightest star.
I appreciate all your advice on self-work as well. I did read your thread earlier in the week and will definitely give my input. If I can manage half your self-discipline, I'm doing well. I have a lot of things I enjoy doing, want to do, need to do. But most of my hobbies are tarnished with a sort of grey filter. It's hard to drum up enthusiasm on most days.
But I have taken some steps. I actually ordered that Howard Halpern book a couple of days ago and am going to be reading it as soon as it arrives. Started a couple of TV shows even if my attention span is shot. Been seriously considering going back to therapy myself, and I'm planning to do something as a reward for the month of NC.
Thank you for your kind words about my "self discipline". Now, I WAS you - I WAS where you are back then. One month NC from my xOMs I hadn't moved on at all. Physically, yes. In my mind - no. All of those scenarios going through YOUR mind right now - "Maybe he'll contact me and wish me happy birthday." NEVER happened. "Maybe he'll contact me and wish me Merry Christmas." Ha! "I'm feeling really bad right now - I just KNOW he'll reach out to me!" Oh wait - I'm NO LONGER waiting because so much time has passed.
It's called "letting go of the Hope". Letting go of the Hope is the hardest part of this process.
I use the term "lying junkie mind", your thoughts looking for a HIT of contact from the xPoA. It's also the ebbing of the bonding chemicals from your mind - those chemicals are serious - and it is painful when the relationship ends. Your mind is literally crying out for contact - to get the "hit" of the bonding chemicals that she gave you. Now, it's so clinical to describe this process as "only mind chemicals". It's an explanation.
Ask yourself why you are ALLOWING her to dictate the flow of your thoughts. Well, that's wonderful she was pointing out flaws in YOUR arguing techniques. Don't allow her to keep dictating your thoughts and how you "argue". That's CONTROLING behavior on her part. She is no longer part of your life. She does NOT get to fill your head with HER opinions. She's NOT THERE right now. You are - and you are in the process of figuring out YOUR situation. She has NO SAY in that. None.
You said you have "jealousy and paranoia issues". You acknowledge this part of yourself. Now that you have acknowledged this, how are you going to change that part of yourself? Do you want to stay stuck in the jealousy and paranoia (I'm thinking mild paranoia - not wearing tin-foil hats and watching the chem trails paranoia - ho ho ho)? If you DO NOT want to stay stuck, moving forward is the ONLY way for you. AND it hurts - God does it hurt.
HECK YEAH you're going to do something for yourself for this ONE MONTH of NC. Don't hold back (said seriously, no sarcasm).
Okay - I'm with you on the sexual part here. I totally GET and UNDERSTAND and have and am LIVING through the same thing. The sexual chemistry you had with her, knowing she is with OMs and you can do nothing about it.
But let's look at it this way. This is TEMPORARY. All of this will come to an end at some future point. IT WILL NOT ALWAYS be this way. When will it start to end, your sad feelings? I don't have a stop date on that. Everybody has a different stop date. Keep that in mind as you continue the SELF WORK healing journey. "This part of my life will come to an end and I will be healthy for myself and others in the future."
Keep attempting to do the activities/hobbies you are trying to do, grey filter in place. Don't be like me who stopped working out (!!!!) and gained 40 pounds (!!!) after my NC with my first OM in 2000. So not worth it. If these hobbies are with other people, keep connected. Sometimes when you are in the sorrow zone, others conversations and issues do not reach you. But listen to other folks IRL anyway. They may be going through things which you can help them with - even if you are in LIGAF zone still.
Hey, what shows are you watching? Hopefully nothing that tasks your mental capacity and has a mild plotline. Our HBO Go subscription ran out so now I am in HBO withdrawal (I've been unemployed since March - long story). Let me know if Howard Halpern helps you. I think I mentioned that most of the literature is female oriented. Howard Halpern discusses a few male patients he had - those stuck with me. READ the aphorisms in the back of the book. I found those so helpful - I posted them to this Board.
Okay Wailing Walrus - you are doing well. NC for one month - that's the start. AND DO NOT LOOK AT HER PROFILE on INSTAGRAM.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 7, 2019 16:04:55 GMT -8
I've never had anyone describe the feeling of contact like that to me before. Because that's honestly exactly how it feels for me. If we've been together and I've been tense and worried, getting a message from her was instantly soothing, and I needed to reply to it ASAP to get more. When it's been months, I always get a spike of excitement, no matter what I'm doing. I was in a sexless relationship myself a couple of years ago, and she texted me out of nowhere. Nothing happened at that time, but I found myself caring more about texting with her than making conversation with the girlfriend. If I've had a bad day, it's been exactly like a chemical reaction. Nothing else has ever made me react like that and I was ashamed and confused why I seem to take it like a hit of a drug.
I find myself acting out imaginary conversations with her constantly. Where I say something powerful, defeat all her arguments, tell her I'm over her. Where I win. Or where we reconcile. This probably saps the most time of my day. In a sense, I think I've pretty much created my own echo.
In the last couple of days I've managed to get back to some of my old routines. Forced myself to work through the thoughts and been pretty productive. I'm trying to congratulate myself on that rather than just telling myself I'm not doing enough. I had a moment today where I realised I hadn't thought about her for several minutes, and I was actually quite shocked. Immediately after I wanted to talk to her but it gave me some hope.
I'm rewatching Star Trek TNG right now, it's quite relaxing. I also started Hannibal on Netflix, which is a bit deeper, but so far I'm really enjoying it. I have trouble doing more than one episode a day with my attention span but I'm finding it helpful. Sorry to hear about HBO though...that's a big loss with some of their calibre of shows.
I'm watching the post for that book as well. I don't read much in the way of self-help books. But the little work I've done in meditation and strategies has opened my eyes a bit to the possibilities and I have a feeling it's going to make a difference in my life.
TREK!!! Oh yes - TNG. Then there's TOS, and don't forget Voyager and Enterprise...and heck yeah are we watching Picard in the new year. Good choice - a positive show with great acting and good story lines. "The Inner Light" is a great episode, so was the one about the crystalline entity. "Hannibal" - did you sew yourself up a plastic killing suit yet? With Mads Mikkelsen (his brother played the Russian president in "House of Cards"), Gillian Anderson, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, you will be careful the next time somebody makes a meat dinner at their high end luxury home. You'll have to let me know how you enjoyed the LAST episode. Are they dead? It remains to be seen...
Sadly, I am STILL in HBO withdrawal. I'll spare you what shows and films I watched. LOTS.
It took me a LONG time to understand the brain chemical process. Dr. Helen Fisher studied the brain chemicals in love and attraction and made her findings widely available. She has given TED talks about it and published a few books. Her first book, published in 1992/1994 was groundbreaking: Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery and Divorce. Then in 2004 her book Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love received lots of attention. I found her work in 2006 and it began to make sense. I don't entire agree 100% with her findings (re: women's sexuality) but what she describes brain chemical-wise - yeah - that makes sense.
Literally you were addicted to your xPoA's contact. Remember the high you felt when you got her texts? Even out of the blue? Being in a sexless relationship or celebrate when you don't want to be is isolating. Now you understand WHY it felt like a chemical reaction when you communicated with her. IT WAS. Same thing happened to me with my xOMs.
Yes - you have FOR THE TIME BEING created your own "echo". The faux convos. Those, in my case, took a long time to quell. IMO it's our way of working through the breakup, looking at all the angles. Once you have said it all in your mind, ran all the scenarios, there will be nothing else to say or do - because - she is not physically there. You will soon run out of energy to keep the echo chamber humming.
GOOD FOR YOU getting back, through the grey fog, to your former routines. And I think it's great that you had even a few moments FREE from thinking of her. See how far you've come in a month? You will get there - and you've gotten this far because...you want to and are WORKING on it.
Let me know when you get Howard Halpern's book. I was like you - didn't believe too much in self-help books, didn't believe in self-work (I was just perfect and my life was so wonderful...yeah it wasn't). Then Aspen. I'll give you a Marcel Proust quote: "These painful dilemmas which love is constantly putting in our way, teach us and reveal to us layer upon layer, the material of which we are made."
Keep your mind open. Maybe one author is "meh" and another author is "Yes! That's it!" And remember an (I think) AA adage: Take what you need, discard the rest.
You WILL get there, Wailing Walrus. You want to move forward and get to a better place. We'll here if you need us.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 11, 2019 11:48:44 GMT -8
Yeah I love most Star Trek. I grew up watching it with my dad and it's one of the few happy memories I have of the time. TNG is a nice easy watch. Apart from when it's Wesley Crusher-centric or when Lwaxanna Troi has an episode dedicated to her. I've seen almost all Trek. Hannibal I'm really getting into. I like to watch it with dinner. Not sure if that means anything.
I think I've been making some progress. I started reading a book I was looking forward to for my NC reward. I've also decided in that time that I can't go on social media at all so even the temptation won't be there. Sometimes I still check if I still have x number of followers (meaning if I lose one I know who) but that's as far as it's gone.
Last night I think was the first I can say for certain that she didn't feature in my dreams. So maybe my subconscious is as tired as the rest of me from thinking about it.
The echo is still there for the moment. I routinely still have conversations in my head, and one or two aloud with myself about it. But some of the subjects are tired and I get bored of them. The big one about her coming after me again and me acting proudly aloof is still there.
I think it's getting a little easier. I still have moments where everything hurts. But I'm not seeking more information so the pain can worsen and that's progress. Thank you for being here, it has made a lot of difference knowing I have someone who understands and I can be open with.
"Shut up Wesley!" Now I know you relished THAT line when Picard uttered it. Although I always wondered what his time with The Traveler was like. Frig, Lwaxana Troi, played by Majel Barret (Gene Roddenberry's wife) - I forgot about her. One thing about Trek - the entire universe is a place where we can go and visit our old friends. Also bring up the folks we watched Trek with - in your case your dad.
Oh, that's humorous! Watching "Hannibal" with your dinner. All I know is, Hannibal has a great kitchen and lives in a fabulous neighborhood in Toronto. And I DO NOT own a plastic killing suit!
Wow Wailing Walrus - SUCH PROGRESS. I am really impressed - no hyperbole. It's easy to get trapped in the withdrawal phase - especially with social media. It's easier to NOT read your book, to check your social media follows, to engage in echo chamber thinking.
Doing the hard work - reading, not engaging on social media, doing the activities you are doing - is beneficial. At some point, you WILL engage again on your accounts and it won't mean anything to you. You'll be another person doing social media postings and conversations. Not a supply for another person (or yourself).
Okay - the dreams. IMO that's your brain working out the relationship. Soon enough - maybe right now IDK - you will cease to dream of her.
So you are at the place where the echo chamber isn't echoing every hour. Congratulations. Marcel Proust had a quote for that - but I'll too lazy to get out my Marcel Proust quotes. Basically he said a subject gets "supersaturated" and there is nothing more to discuss. It's all been said. There is nothing more to learn or find out. The scenarios have been worked out - you moving forward with your head held high and knowledge in your mind - that's exactly where you WILL be.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 18, 2019 9:39:59 GMT -8
Sexlessw - Thank you so much for the support and praise with the progress I had made.
I had a bit of a setback this week when I ran into something online which I'm pretty sure was her parading herself about. I didn't directly go looking, but it's a place I should have avoided, and I knew the possibility was there. So because I have what I believe to be something new, I've been agonising about that. Since then, I've stayed away from anything at all to do with her. It has killed any urge I had to contact her however, so that's a bonus to it.
I'm absolutely aware now that I don't love her or even like her very much. It should be easy to just turn off the addiction by that logic, but it isn't. Been struggling with the echo chamber again, and imagining us not speaking again is still scaring me.
I've been fighting to maintain a working and social life through it. I've just tried to push through with tasks even if I can't focus. I registered with an employment agency today, and I'm trying to expand my social groups. Started working out again. Going to try to get back to my studies as well.
I have the Howard Halpern book now. I'm not sure if I should read it in order or pick out the parts most relevant. But I'm planning to start today and I'm hopeful that it will begin to make the difference.
I've achieved "supersaturation" before, but it always takes me a very long time, and the slightest sniff of new pain sets it back another month. I've taken some comfort in knowing this will fade, and only I control whether I choose to sabotage it.
Making slow progress on Hannibal haha. I want a day where I can just binge TV and not feel guilty or think about anything at all. I envy so much the people that can switch off like that.
Ah, you gained knowledge, saw an issue and GTFO from it. Now, if that's not progress, I don't know what "Progress" means. No need to join the xPoA parade. You're forming your own 5K run. You did great - you didn't fall apart, you didn't reach out and contact her. Instead you acknowledged the post and walked past it.
You don't have to "love" somebody to be addicted to them. You can absolutely HATE somebody or be jealous of them and STILL be addicted to the feelings the person brings out in you. Hate and Jealousy are feelings ABOUT somebody and you can get addicted to that. Think of movie villans (sp) or a villan in a book. How single minded they are - they're driven by hate - and addicted to that hate. Of course if the toxic villans sought help for their addictions, fiction would be a boring place.
GOOD FOR YOU in moving through the mire. Started working out - great. Keep with that. Even if you get your stink clothes on, get to the gym/workout space and stretch on the mat. It's still DOING SOMETHING physical. Broken hearts build muscles (ho ho ho ho). Hopefully the employment agency lines up some interviews for you and you get out of your space. Even if you go on a job interview and don't want the job - it's still doing SOMETHING. Studying is another good thing, obviously.
At some point the slightest sniff of the xPoA will not set you off at all. Sure, in the far future, something might remind you of her, but it won't set you off. For instance, for me, every time I see the Pittsburgh Steelers logo, I think of my first xOM. It doesn't trigger me anymore and my thoughts now steer towards, "I remember watching the Pittsburgh Steelers in the play offs back in 1994..."
Between you and I, when I got the Howard Halpern book the first thing I looked at were the Aphorisms in the back of the book. I had read them before on the Internet, but I needed to see them on the written page. I think the next chapter I read was the "Now What do I do That I'm over the Relationship" chapter. Then I read the chapter on EMAs. Then the chapter on withdrawals. THEN I read the book in order. So, no - I didn't read it in order at first.
What part of "Hannibal" are you on? When I watched the show I thought, "These mass murderers sure take a lot of time and effort to arrange their victims in these artistic sculptures!" I'm one of those who managed to binge out and not feel guilty - that's the addiction part of my brain. I'm slogging through a Sony Crackle show called "Startup" starring Ron Perlman - thankfully I'm on season three of three seasons.
Please keep us updated on your progress. And it's OKAY if you take steps back. WE HAVE ALL DONE IT.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 23, 2019 11:25:18 GMT -8
Well I may have made a bit of a mistake this week. I think I was a little angry at how quickly she'd moved on, and messaged a girl online. Met up the next day and had sex. Don't even know her last name. We chatted a bit after but she seems to be avoiding me now. At first I thought maybe I'd used her a little, but now I think about it she was dropping hints like no tomorrow. It feels a bit surreal, like it didn't really happen. It's not behaviour I normally engage in, and I don't think it was the right call for me.
It did help me a little with my feelings of jealousy. I'm not visualising "S" with other men so much anymore. But it seemed to amplify my emotional feelings for her. When I got home I just wanted to cuddle with her and pour out my heart. I still haven't contacted her. In the last week or so I've been more sad than anxious, but it's been manageable.
I've been keeping up with the productivity in the meantime. Been writing pretty intensely and studying when I can. Been cravign social contact a little bit again, had another weekend just stuck at home. Been 6 weeks now since we talked though and the pain is beginning to abate. I know I need to be careful with that and not contact her over Christmas. Once I pass that I think I'll be safe from teh urges for a while. And we'll see on the muscles haha
I went to the Aphorisms immediately myself. Managed to find a few that made me feel a little better. At first I worried that the advice may be dated considering when it was written, but a lot of it is ringing true with me. I'm going to read some more tonight I think.
I'm halfway through Season 2 of Hannibal now. So suspicion is beginning to fall on him as he kills off half the FBI. Some of the inventive methods he comes up with are terrifyingly brilliant. It might sound naive but I pat myself on the back if I watch more than two episodes of soemthing a day. I resolve to watch more TV. I do find when I can make myself it can distract my attention. Not heard of Startup before. What makes it so hard to watch? I guess Ron perlman can't save everything.
Well I may have made a bit of a mistake this week. I think I was a little angry at how quickly she'd moved on, and messaged a girl online. Met up the next day and had sex. Don't even know her last name.
I call this transference. I do this every time I lose someone to get over the shock. It is a "short term solution to a long term problem" as they say in AA.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it elsewhere." Buddha
It's okay to have a slip up. You would not be the first person to have sex with somebody during this post-breakup nearly post withdrawal phase. I remember somebody saying, "In order to get OVER somebody, you need to GET UNDER somebody." This is how I attempted to get over Aspen with my third OM. Of course, like one of our other members said, many people just crave touch or skin to skin contact. It's hard to live without it. And when you had the sexual component with your xPoA, you were willing to look past a lot of her behavior. Until you couldn't.
This first Christmas/New Years is going to be HARD not to contact her. NOT to send he a Christmas card, a message, a post "Merry Christmas!" You are going to feel it the holiday season. Now, if you have plans for the holiday, like spending them with family, or even going to a Chinese restaurant if you don't celebrate (back in the old days Jewish people in the United States went to Chinese restaurants on Christmas Eve because everything else was closed), do that instead. Even if you aren't big on holiday family events, just show up for an hour or two. It's better than sitting and thinking about what xPoA is doing.
Making progress with the reading and studying. Another GOOD. Now, what is your ultimate goal? Writing is an excellent thing to do, obviously. With the studying, you want to achieve what - a degree? A new job? Speaking of JOBZ how are you faring with the Employment Agency? Have they responded to you for just a smidgen of a holiday job? Being employed is key here - gets you out of the house for a while.
Everything you do has a goal - getting you through this part of you life. Next suggested goal: putting yourself at ease with your dealings with women. And that will be in the far future.
I thought the same thing you did, too regarding Howard Halpern's book. "Oh, this is dated! It probably doesn't apply to me!" But as soon as I saw the Aphorisms posted on the former bbs, I knew it was for me. The Aphorisms are worth the price of the book. As was the guidelines for the Relationship Chart. It's not a book that can be read in one sitting. You're right about that. You may identify with the chapter on withdrawals - I know I did.
Great that you are enjoying Hannibal. How do you like Gillian Anderson? Every time she appeared on screen I'd do some XFiles quip, but by that part of her career she was WAAAY past Dana Scully. Now, how the heck did he get away with killing half the FBI? Maybe because it was filmed in Ontario, Canada and the FBI's outreach doesn't extend past the border (ha ha ha). TV watching can become addictive - it's how I got through my unemployed time. "Startup" is on Sony Crackle, a "free" streaming service. You have to sit through ads during the show. The acting is okay and I liked the characters - and I did make quips about Ron Perlman being in "Sons of Anarchy" and "Beauty and the Beast". I don't know if it will be optioned again for a 4th season. Last episode had the three main characters murdering Mia Sorvino and dumping her body in the Florida tidewater.
Continued Power Vibes to you Wailing Walrus.
Last Edit: Nov 24, 2019 4:04:32 GMT -8 by sexlessw
Well I may have made a bit of a mistake this week. I think I was a little angry at how quickly she'd moved on, and messaged a girl online. Met up the next day and had sex. Don't even know her last name.
I call this transference. I do this every time I lose someone to get over the shock. It is a "short term solution to a long term problem" as they say in AA.
I've done the same with the transference.
wailingwalrus: Don't beat yourself up. Just take it one day at a time. I know this is tough, yet you have this message board as support.
Post by wailingwalrus on Nov 26, 2019 16:45:39 GMT -8
Thanks everyone for the messages of support, I really appreciate it. I'm still unsure how I feel about the whole thing. It was less than a week ago but already it feels like it was from another timeline. The girl in question and I haven't spoken and any attempts from me went ignored. I'm happy enough to write it off for what it obviously was. Unfortunately the effects it had on my feelings for the PoA didn't last.
I saw a picture of her the other day and all I could think about was how gorgeous she is and let regret come over me. But today I did a mental version of the list charting our relationship, like I was explaining it to an outsider. "But wait it gets worse" was a common saying. I'm not sinless but I know why I reacted how I did in the end.
I'm not looking forward to Christmas but thankfully I do have a few offers with family and friends. New Years is taken care of. I'm going to try to lose myself in the events and occasion. Last year we weren't together at Christmas but were sleeping together and did meet up over the holiday, so it'll be in my mind. I am wanting to send her a quick message but either she'll ignore it or we'll go down the rabbit hole again.
I'm actually hoping to make money off my writing. Almost finished with my first novel and a few other projects. Obviously can't rely on this so hoping to go to Uni for a Creative Writing degree. Currently getting the grades I missed out on in school, which will help with that and employers. Nothing yet from the agency so I'm going to try out another alongside. Would love to get something to keep my mind busy.
Interesting theory on Hannibal haha. I wondered why it was always snowing. I did like Gillian Anderson's character, but it's pretty heavily implied that Hannibal paid her a final visit so don't think she's coming back. I need to get around to more TV shows...maybe not that one if you don't recommend.
I find when I get "under" someone new, it can be a mixed bag. Sometimes it boosts my confidence and makes me feel desirable again, and reminds me that someday maybe I'll love someone else again. Other times, it feels like I'm trading my body to just try to get someone to love me, especially when it's someone I don't have much connection with and I do it anyway. It's hard to go without touch, sex, and the possibility of love.
Bunny Ears shares a good point about what you experienced with the gal you had the (for lack of a better term) "quickie" with. Just a need of "being alive", getting it, and then moving past the one time. She is right about going without "touch, sex and the possibility of love" in your life.
Well, your LIST is working. "Eh, yeah, I'm feeling sexually needy but not THAT needy - she's so beautiful, sexual - wait - yeah - no. Let me check that list I worked on...my mind is reviewing the 'bad'...oh NO! That is NOT happening again! Go away rabbit hole!!!" Clarity is showing itself to you. Seeing the improvement here because...you are doing the HARD work.
You have plans for the holidays -now that's a plan in itself. As everybody can tell you, the holidays are hard. "Maybe I should send her a 'Merry Christmas/Happy New Year' card/text/message. I'm going to miss her..." Make new traditions and go with the flow. I just hope there are no family conflicts to deal with - BTDT so back when I was employed I worked DOUBLE SHIFTS on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT for anybody.
More plans for you - writing, doing more school work - you have the time to do the school work you may have neglected in your past. Now that you're older, you will view the material differently. You'll be doing it that because you WANT to (some need too) not because you are being forced to. Think of the course work as a stepping stone to get into your new career.
Yeah - if your country has a tight labor market, there is no reason an employment agency can't get you a job, even handling out leaflets or sweeping a floor. Work is work and it will temporarily take your mind away from xPoA.
I won't give ANY spoilers away about Gillian Anderson's character!! You let me know the story ark you are on.
"Startup" was on Sony Crackle, which I mentioned. Sony Crackle is a FREE streaming service which also has older films and other televisions shows - not just Sony produced ones. Although I sort of got into "The Art of More" which was only two seasons and produced by Dennis Quaid. I binge watched so many television series, I honestly can't recall what they were. I've cut way back. I liked "Penny Dreadful".
Post by wailingwalrus on Dec 9, 2019 16:02:12 GMT -8
Sorry I've been away for a while. Been trying out different things to stay busy.
It turns out the thing with the new girl wasn't a one-off. She texted me out of the blue and invited me over with very little pretence this time. I had more fun this time but very much aware I'm being used as a booty call. Trying not to overthink that. I don't want a relationship with her and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Not talked in a week but expecting she might text me again.
I've been struggling with urges to contact the PoA. I think the time of year isn't helping. It's not just the fact I feel I'm half-expected to say something for Christmas. It's the start of a new decade and the fear that she will start fresh and block my number/social media etc. I still imagine us talking again and what we'll say to each other. I still have a lot of resentment and guilt knocking around in my head. I know if I do say anything it'll be a massive step back and I'm not ready to hear about her with someone else. I guess I'm craving the chemical hit and more and more I think about how much fun she was, how good our friendship was this time last year.
Christmas is still looking quite busy which is nice. No family trouble thankfully and got some stuff planned with friends.
I've been working hard on my writing and homework. Reading a lot. I find myself often just sitting on the bed and thinking about her. I don't even notice much of the time, but when I do I try to force myself to read something, watch tv, play Xbox. I've put in with another agency too so hoping something lines up for me. I've actually done quite a lot but it doesn't always feel like I've done much moving on.
I'm almost done with season 2 of Hannibal now. So just had the revelation that Will kept Freddie alive and fooled Hannibal into thinking they ate her. All the suspicion is on him at the moment and excited to see where it goes.
I might have to look into Sony Crackle. Netflix is plenty at the moment though with how slow I am. I've heard Black Mirror is great to watch as it has no continuity and so you don't have to remember plotlines. Penny Dreadful sounds like it might be up my alley too.
Boy, this time of year is TERRIBLE for feeling the tug of xPoAs/GFs/BFs/Family. You are NOT alone in feeling that tug. "What is she doing? Oh, last year and the year before we did this, that and the other. Gosh, how I miss that!" But if you step back and examine it, was last year's holiday season that great? How about the season before that (if you were with her). What events were really happening at the time? Sure she was "fun" and MAYBE the relationship APPEARED it was going well, yet, you and she were going different directions.
Years ago I remember reading on the other board I frequented, "You don't miss HER. You miss the FEELING she gave you." Hence the fears you are experiencing - about your "future" with her. If she blocks you on her social media, fine. If she blocks you on her device, fine. Now that she hasn't blocked you, that's fine too. Why? Because she is NOT contacting YOU. Either way, keep your dignity intact. YOU are in control of YOU - not her. YOU decide if you look at her social media accounts. But if you do that, remember, that's a hit of sadness. And you are getting through that.
Regarding the new gal - establish boundaries. FWB is all and good, but sometimes our hearts get opened by these FWB situations. Or the other person's heart gets opened and you may feel obligated to be in a relationship you don't wish to be in (projection on my part - the EMA I had with my second OM). I don't think you're hoovering over your device saying, "Text me New Gal! Come on! Give me a text!"
Good for you that you will be having a busy Christmas/New Year's season. Family, friends, you'll be so wrapped up with events & interaction, xPoA will be pushed out of your mind (not entirely, I know that - memories will ebb and flow).
You've done MORE than you did before. Working on your homework AND putting your name with another employment agency. The first one must not have been MOTIVATED to help folks like yourself. Even just READING something for 15 minutes or watching .5 hours of a show, or getting through one act/section of your Xbox game - that is time NOT texting, reading, calling the xPoA. You have made progress.
You will have many times of sitting and thinking of her - she will NOT clear herself out of your brain instantaneously. The relationship was deep for you - another quote from Matt Johnson/The The, "You can't switch off your feelings like you switch off a light". But you ARE making progress. I can see it in your posts.
I will NOT spoil anything about Hannibal. I'll just say that the you will enjoy it. And recognize Mads Mekkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Gillian Anderson in other shows/movies. Not to mention Laurence Fishborne!
If you're happy with Netflix, stick with Netflix. Unless the monthly fee is getting too much. Over Thanksgiving they were offering $1.99/month for a year - I DIDN'T jump only because I watched enough HBO for a year. I'm attending a new class, so I have to study. Sony Crackle was free - but you still have to sit through advertisements (hence it's "free"). I will share with you, tho, I am watching "Beauty and the Beast" on CBS All Access. You know, Ron Perlman. Do you know who wrote episodes for that AND was an Executive Producer? George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones). What the! I will say, Ron Perlman did a great job as Vincent. I didn't think he was that great of an actor, but I was wrong. He is pretty good.
The last season of "Penny Dreadful" was so-so. Look up a bit about it - it all takes place in the late 19th century with the horror folks of the past. Great actors. It aired on Showtime. Rory Kinnear STOLE the show as his portrayal of John Clare, the Frankenstein monster.
I can go on and on about some television shows - so before I go on and on - I shall end this post here. You are doing fantastic - and if you read your thread, see what you wrote on October 19, you will see the progress. Continued Power Vibes to you Wailing Walrus!