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I want to get over my ex-girlfriend

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:04 pm
by Randam80
I think I have to get this out of me. I’m struggling. I’ve met a wonderful woman, she is kind, generous, caring and sweet. She also gives great oral sex, but that’s not really a consideration to be taken into account! She ticks so many of the boxes it’s unreal. Plus she likes me (!), and not only is she willing to accept me for who and what I am but also accepts that my past is less than savoury. She is a wonderful woman, and far more than I deserve.

Trouble is, I can’t stop thinking of my ex.

I was with a troubled girl, named T. She had issues, she was suffering from PTSD, taking anti-psychotics and other drugs. She was also self-medicating with alcohol, weed and the occasional bit of cocaine. We had our troubles including me getting arrested after a particularly heavy day of drinking (I got a broomstick to the head and 2 glasses thrown at me, and it was me that got arrested because I am male). Thankfully, nothing more came of the arrest and no further action was taken. Trouble is, instead of me helping her get better I made her worse and vice versa.

Thing is, I have issues too. I suffer from depression and drink problems. In retrospect, I’m now in a position where I could help her. I’ve kicked my demons to the edge of the earth over the last year. I don’t drink, I don’t sniff and I don’t have the troubles I used to. In a way things ending with T have been a very good thing for me. I’ve really been forced to look at myself long and hard and make the changes that were necessary. Some changes have had to be quite brutal. I have dumped a lot of my so called “friends” who were not interested in my well-being, and although my life is a lot lonelier, I can genuinely say it has changed for the better. I’m dry, and class A free.

The way things ended have always bugged me, and I guess I just haven’t dealt with the emotions or the grief. Instead I started smoking a lot more weed in the evenings (not a great strategy I admit) and at weekends I try to have my daughter even when it’s not my weekend so that I am constantly busy and not having any time to think about T. It was easier to squash the emotions down into my stomach and let them turn to hate and rage.

Her PTSD was centred around how her mum died on holiday when she was 19. All on her own she had to repatriate the body, deal with the funeral, get re-housed etc. It was coming up to the 6 year anniversary of her mother’s death and she wanted me to be with her at her home. I had to be at my flat on the Saturday morning for a gas inspection, so I decided to have my daughter Friday night and Saturday daytime. I invited T to stay with me that weekend, but she didn’t want to because she didn’t want to be around my daughter (due to her mental wellbeing). That afternoon after dropping my daughter off I rang T to see how she was but no reply. I was particularly tired that day, so I text her saying I hope she is ok, and I’ll see her the following morning. To that she replied that I should not bother coming back and I am a wasteman. I did not see her after that episode and the last bit of contact was me collecting my things from her house in a black bin bag left on her porch.

Thing is now I see that when she needed me the most I wasn’t there for her, but that wasn’t the way it was. All I could see at the time was someone who wanted to wallow in her own self-pity. I thought I had given her the opportunity to create new memories rather than wallow in old ones. I saw someone that wasn’t willing to try to change.

After that I went into self-imposed exile. I decided I needed to make the changes to my life that I wanted to happen with someone else. I couldn’t afford to wait for someone to help me. I had to help myself.

I moved to W******, so that I could give my daughter a nicer place to stay (and me too for that matter). I moved into a 2 bedroom house with a little garden. In part this was so that I was out of R****** and away from the pubs, drugs and distractions, I changed my phone number, cut myself off from social media and got stuck into my Buddhist faith.

Thing is, I’ve now met someone. She’s wonderful, but all I can think about is my ex. It feels like cheating in a way. When I think of being held, I think of T. When I think of being touched or making love, it’s T I think of, T that I crave. I find myself thinking of T at random times of day, partially because I picked up a couple of habits from her when it comes to “billing zoots”, and also my favourite t-shirt and hat are reminders of her.

I want to be able to move on from this, it has been over a year now since I picked up my black bin bag, and I want to move on. I want to fall in love with my new lady, but I can’t get close. I feel like I am still very much in love with T, despite the fact that apart is most probably the best way forward.

Re: I want to get over my ex-girlfriend

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:14 pm
by reckoner
That's quite a brutal end to the relationship and I quite understand why you're struggling to get over your ex. It is horrible when you experience a shift in perspective that makes you understand a mistake you've made. I wonder if guilt is driving your ongoing feelings for her; imagining kissing and holding her basically being a pleasant distraction from the unresolved guilt of how things ended.

The harsh reality I see from what you've said here is that I don't imagine there's any chance whatsoever that she thinks of you with the same fondness that you feel for her. On the contrary, I'd say she probably regards you with bitterness. With regard to the help you feel you could offer her now, I can imagine what her response to that might be: in a nutshell, you missed your chance, by a significant margin.

Maybe - maybe!! - there's a case for penning her a letter to apologise for how things ended and that you have a better understanding now of what she must have been going through and that you regret not being there for her when she needed it. If you did this, I think it should be to gain a sense of closure, address your guilt and apologise, and nothing more. Because I think there's also a very strong case for leaving her to get on with her life without dragging up what must have been an extremely upsetting episode.

I think you should focus on feeling gratitude for having found a great girl who can give you the opportunity to never repeat the mistakes you made in the past. One big potential one is that you experience another shift in perspective in the future that makes you regret not making the most of the chance you have with her now. Good luck.

Re: I want to get over my ex-girlfriend

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:05 pm
by Tarantula
Even though the person you're with is better and healthier for you in every way, a part of you will always want to go back to the crux.

It's the same part of you that became addicted to substances. It's the same part of you that drives you towards temptations that you know will set you backwards. This part of you is not your friend. It's your saboteur. It's the part of you that would love nothing more than to see you go down a familiar path to nowhere good. This is the path that life put you on from a young age, and which you must resist at all costs, lest you repeat their mistakes. Nothing is worth that.

You are likely suffering from a distorted view of what the T relationship was really like. Although yes, you could have handled that particular weekend/episode better, I think your mind is clinging to that one event to try and convince you that there's good cause to go back, that maybe even you SHOULD go back. Don't listen to it!

You want to go back to T because deep down, a dysfunctional relationship is what you feel you deserve. Who are you to have a mutually fulfilling, stable and happy relationship with someone great? Well, we are what we do, and if you do find yourself going back, only for the whole ball ache of that old relationship to occur all over again - all the things your current state of mind doesn't want you to remember - then you would be declaring, by conduct, that that truly is what you deserve. So this is a self esteem issue as much as anything; why don't you think you deserve a good woman or real intimacy?

That's not to say I think 'T' is bad. I think she is someone who has suffered greatly, which is very sad... and she has a responsibility unto herself, just like you, to aspire to be something greater than a product of her unhappy life experiences. Whether we, as humans, truly can consciously choose to supersede our pasts or if we are ALL just deterministic products of the past no matter how much we might strut around thinking we 'earned' the right to be wherever we are in life - is another question. But if we do have capacity to change ourselves and move away from our pasts (and I believe we do, given the right circumstances), then that's your mission and you need to do it for you and for your daughter, importantly. Or else where does the cycle end? Your thoughts and desires for T represent a deviation from that mission; that part of you wants to go back to what feels familiar, because also

on some level you're scared of having a really good relationship with an emotionally available woman. Because then what if it goes wrong? It'll be more of a loss because it was more of a risk. If you stay with your current lady, then you'll be opening yourself up to intimacy, rather than a needs-exchange which is what you had with your ex ('if you fix/save me then I'll love you), and intimacy is scary business I know, I know. At some point, if you get close to someone, you're gonna feel vulnerable and all kinds of uncomfortable because their presence in your life will challenge deeply-held beliefs about your core worth. Much easier to revert to standard procedure; being with someone who is emotionally unavailable due to their own issues, so that, despite all the dramarama and broomsticks, there's no chance of real closeness and being seen.

So, how to get over your ex? As someone in a similar-dynamic situation as you (but without the substances; rather it's unhealthy patterns of behaviour that are my addiction; I'm with a wonderful man but often wonder if I 'missed something' with an ex with whom I had a destructive relationship, and I wonder if 'things would be different' now that I'm in a 'better place' which ironically is only thanks to the current man's good and wholesome influence, etc etc), I can only tell you what helps me.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind helps me. So what I've told you - that it's all a trick, that your mind is playing games because it feels uncomfortable in this new environment of healthy relating and wants to send you back to old ways, even though they were unhealthy - no, actually it's so tempting BECAUSE they were unhealthy and that represents a self esteem issue that needs addressing. Otherwise, what will be the outcome? You need to think through it carefully. You might want to believe there's a chance you and your ex could reconcile and magically have a healthy relationship, but you already know that's BS. If you went back, it might be nice for a week or two or whatever, and it would feel like a drug rush of gratification to be back there... until all the old problems re-emerge and then you will be kicking yourself that you went so far backwards, and for what? You would've given up a potentially good love for the old crux. This will reinforce a pattern of self-loathing and on and on it goes. No, it stops now. It stopped a year ago actually. You've done well to break out this far - that's more than many do - keep making choices your future self can be proud of.

So remember the bigger picture and remember your responsibilities, unto yourself to do better than your past, and to your daughter who is learning from your example, whose own relationship behaviour will be shaped by you. If you keep these things in mind, then at some point the desire to just go back anyway despite ALL THESE REASONS and all this insight, will feel stupid and inappropriate. It'll be like nah mate I think I'll leave that alone...

then peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs, sometimes T will be all you can think about and at other times you will pat yourself on the back for not giving in. It has only been a year, after all. Don't be so hard on yourself. A lot of drama went down; it takes time to heal from that and, moreover, a sustained time and effort to undo all the deeply-entrenched psychological mechanisms that led you to making those choices in the first place, where a person who loved themselves enough would make different choices. So again with the self esteem - if you knew your own value, you wouldn't want to go back and, again, not because she's 'bad' but because the bottom line is you trigger each other and enable each other to not improve yourselves. So it was good that you left

and I agree with reckoner that MAYBE there's a case for writing her a closure letter to apologise for not handling that one weekend as well as you could have - but, if you think she will perceive that as mind games; as you testing the waters with no real intention of going back, and when you're in another relationship anyway - then don't go there. It could make things worse and trigger her abandonment even more. It is what it is, and it was what it was. Forgive yourself, forgive her, and let it go as best you can because the stakes are high and real.