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Forums / Long term support over the journey / I don't know what to do - a mess of a situation

Topic: I don't know what to do - a mess of a situation

  1. Aaronsis
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    6 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Good Morning Aaron

    How is your day going so far?

    I love the idea of breaking it up into chunks and getting through the day bit by bit, great attitude. Also I hope you get a chance to call your phone counsellor too as she will be a great support.

    You sound so confused and sad and I think that space will really be the solution there, as tough as that will be. But if you allow yourself some time to see your ex you can relax a little knowing "you will never see her again!" which is sometimes a daunting thought. I think a phone call now and then and then perhaps a coffee once or twice a week and then start to lengthen the time, as you want to also give her the chance to be able to be self sufficient too.

    You have been "her boyfriend" for 4 years and have been playing the carer role so it is only natural that you are anxious about what is ahead for you and who you are, but you know what, you don't have to figure it all out today..or tomorrow, just give yourself a chance to get through this time first and make sure you are doing the things that make you happy and smile, like your car and the drives and music and your gig and friends, then you can figure out who and what Aaron is going to be about later on, when you are in a clearer and stronger space, and it will happen too!

    I am glad that you like the idea of a pros and cons list, it will just help you to keep your thoughts in check and remind yourself that there was a reason you broke up, you have done nothing wrong, you were in pain in the relationship, yet there are good things too. I think this is also good to have a purge on paper and maybe just start writing in a book, doesn't even have to make sense but it really helps in getting stuff out and you can be as raw and honest and whatever comes out does, as you never have to show anyone and you may never even read it again, I did this both when my marriage ended and I have one now for grieving my brother, it is so good.

    Well I am thinking of you and stay strong and I hope today brings at least one smile.

    Your friend

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  2. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    6 October 2019 in reply to randomx

    Hi RandomX

    Thank you for your message.

    There's no denying that she has been abusive. There were significant periods where her behaviour caused my existing depression and anxiety issues to spiral out of control. There were times where I was genuinely afraid of her. I often felt like I was treading on eggshells around her.

    We have done heaps of talking over the last couple days. She has acknowledged that her behaviour was wrong. There were particular things about her that she never told me about, some of which gave background to some of her behaviours. She has acknowledged that she has serious anger issues. These have caused her problems in the work place, and I suspect this could be a part of why she doesn't have friends. She also said that she knows she isn't good at being empathetic.

    It was hard for me to talk about anything with her. When I would try and talk about something relating to the relationship that I was upset about for example, I'd be told "don't worry, it'll be fine", or that I was being silly or neurotic. I guess the reason why I haven't totally given up on her is that this is the first time she's seemed to actually hear what I'm saying.

    To her credit she has supported me through some really awful external situations that occurred. I became very sick and lost a considerable amount of my hearing in one ear, as well as any ability to balance- she was there for me every day looking after me. That said, she hurt her ankle and for 5 months I did everything for her. I became a full time carer. So it went both ways.

    You're right in that I'm seeing a really nice side of her now, not the angry/nasty side. She says she's committed to improving things, and is even will go to counselling with me. I suggested counselling for us as a couple at least a year ago and she wasn't remotely interested.

    I'm carrying a huge amount of guilt. I probably don't need to carry that. I've always done the right thing by her and have been endlessly patient when I'm sure other people would have walked away.

    Aaron

  3. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    7 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    Not having the best day. I went to the tea room this morning, that work colleague that befriended me was there. She knew what happened on Friday, she sent me a lovely message checking up on me , offering support. She asked how I was going etc. but abruptly cut of the conversation and left. I guess if she has feelings for me it's hard to see me hurt over someone else, that much would make sense. I'll steer clear of her for now.

    I'm going to leave work a bit early today and ring up the phone counsellor. I'm still so confused and not really with it. I guess I'm rattled by it all, feeling really drained. I agree that space is the solution. I'm not seeing her in person today, will call on the phone but that's it.

    I am going to write out that pros and cons list today. It's good to get it out of my head and onto some paper. Right now I'm losing sight of why I left and I need to hold myself to those reasons for leaving.

    At lunch time I'm going to go for a walk, hoping that will make me feel a bit better.

    Work is good too for distracting me.

    Aaron

  4. Aaronsis
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    7 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Arg tough that you had to see your work colleague this morning, not ideal and not really what you need right now. I am sorry she cut you short after asking how you were and sending you a nice message, maybe she is struggling too with the idea of you are single, but struggling and are there feelings there between you..etc..but now is really not the time to try to work through the issues with her and I think keeping your distance is a great idea. I think just one thing at a time.

    Great that you are keeping busy at work and it is a distraction, good to have some time off from thinking about it and worrying, just what you need really.

    You are doing so well you really are and this is never easy for anyone, so please don't feel like you are not doing this right or well as there are no rules and there is certainly no manual to this. I am so proud of you.

    Calling her tonight will be good, then perhaps leave it tomorrow, but if you can't that is fine too...but I really do believe space will give you peace.

    I will be very interested to know too how your counsellor thinks you can navigate through this too as they are the experts and will give you something concrete to work with.

    You are doing an amazing job Aaron and big hugs for you.

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  5. rhinoceros
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    148 posts
    7 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    Yes, this morning was unfortunate. I'm not really sure what to make of it but I don't really have capacity to think about it. She's obviously hurting and that makes me feel not very good, but she has to understand that these things aren't really black and white.

    It's really nice of you to say that I'm doing well. I'm honestly not feeling like I am but I'm just trying to work through this the best way I can. It's hard to concentrate on anything at the moment. I guess that's what happens when you still love and care about that person.

    I'll talk to her tonight, I said I'd give her a call at about 6.30 or so. I'm going to ring up the counselling service after work, I too am interested in what their advice would be. Like you said, they're no manual for these things.

    I really wish I never developed feelings for that co-worker as I feel it's made this whole thing a lot more confusing and difficult than it would've been otherwise. I feel like no matter what I do I'm hurting people.

    Hoping with speaking with a counsellor tonight I get a bit more clarity.

    Aaron

  6. Aaronsis
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    7 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Aaron you really are doing well and you should know that, break up's suck and they are tough and you are doing the best that you can, if not better. You went to work today, you are thinking about how to do better with chatting to me and with planning a call to the counsellor, you are doing great things.

    I would try not to beat yourself up about your work colleague, sure there are/were feelings there but you both did the admirable thing and called it a day and went your separate ways, please don't regret it as if you remember how wonderful it made you feel, awoke your senses up and made you see that there is caring and kindness in the world, that can 't be bad. I think you just need to deal with one issue at a time and I really don't think she is expecting anything from you at this point in time, she knows you are hurting and has reached out to you, she is probably wanting to be there for you but doesn't want to seem like she is forcing herself on you, just caring, so she is probably feeling awkward. You can just acccept her friendship and kind words but there is nothing to do there, you have not hurt her or done anything to betray her or offend her, Try and just accept her kindness for what it is and just focus on you for now.

    The counsellor might say this to you too tonight but I would try to avoid conversations with your ex now about the future with her, I think you don't want to give her false hope and false indication that you are prepared to work things out, as I think you are still unsure and if you do decide to get some counselling and work it out it will be a nice surprise not an expectation that this is where you are heading, even with counselling you might decide that there is no future, and that is fine, you have given it every best to succeed you really have.

    Just be kind to you...hugs Aaron

    Sarah

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  7. rhinoceros
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    148 posts
    7 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Dear Sarah

    Thank you for your encouraging and kind words. Today has been harder than I expected but I guess break-ups are not good - doesn't matter what I do, it's going to hurt. I have a terrible habit of trying to always please people - I realise now I sometimes say things that I know will make that person happy, but often I have to think about the consequences of that after (and if I really meant what I said).. if that makes sense? It's not a quality I'm proud of at all.

    That's true about my work friend - it was a wake up call and a half. I shouldn't forget that. You're right, I think she's awkward. She knows she can't help me through this break up, and if she has feelings for me still, seeing me hurting as a result of someone else would be horrible. I thought I might send her a message apologising if I made her feel uncomfortable or awkward and that it wasn't my intention.

    I'm going to not preempt anything about the future with my ex partner. I left for a reason and need to remember that. I guess the pain I'm feeling tends to be lessened when I see her. But it's not a good way of dealing with it, and it's almost like feeding an unhealthy addiction in some ways. I have to remember that I left what was at times an abusive relationship. I'm hopelessly sentimental and often I don't see things for as they were.

    I thought the lead-up to breaking up was bad. This part is even worse! But I am so grateful to have your support and virtual hugs helping me.

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  8. Aaronsis
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    7 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hey Aaron

    I just wanted to say something to you about people pleasing cos guess what...I used to be that person too, and it is exhausting!!! I hear you loud and clear when you commit to something and then walk away thinking "why did I agree to that?" or "great, now I have to do that and I don't want to!" or "How can I possibly fit that into my week with all the other stuff I have to do?" It becomes completely overwhelming....well.....this could be an area that you could do some work on and see the massive positives and have a really big win that will also make you feel really good about yourself.

    So how are we going to do this.....ok we could do some role playing and we can even start with a work example:

    "Hi Aaron, I was wondering if you could make 100 copies of this booklet for me as I am flat out and don't have time, can you help me?"

    So your natural default is to say "sure" , inside you are dying as you know you simply don't have time to scratch yourself but you really like this person and want to help...sooo, instead of saying "yeah sure I can do that for you"...you can try..

    " Sorry Matt (just made that up) I can see that you really need those quickly but unfortunately I am not able to help you today, I have a deadline to meet myself. I would like to be able to do that for you but I can't today."

    You have been polite, you have addressed that they are in a mad rush, but so are you and you have put yourself first. It is fine to say no..

    ok so what about for your ex...

    "Please come over tonight after work, I really miss you and I want to talk to you about some things I have been thinking about"....your first response..."arrhh I really care about her feelings so I should go and talk to her, it is the least I can do seeing I hurt her"....but you can try..

    "Sorry Mary (I made that up too), I am happy you have been able to do some thinking but I am not going to come over to see you tonight, I need some space today and I am going to give myself that. I am happy to talk to you about these things but can I take a few days and get back to you then?"

    I am not sure that if this is helpful Aaron but this is what I had to learn and it is so wonderful when you can put yourself first, and you are not hurting anyone or being rude...it is so refreshing...

    Ok..teacher Sarah signing off now...have a great night Aaron.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. rhinoceros
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    148 posts
    7 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    It's a terrible thing, I guess I don't want to disappoint people, but the ironic thing is when you try and please everyone, there's always someone who gets disappointed.

    Your advice is helpful!

    Particularly with my ex girlfriend (it really hurts to call her that actually) - I still like talking to her and hearing what she has to say. She's been sending me text messages checking if I'm okay, saying she's worried about me. We still both love each other lots.

    I had a session with the telephone counsellor last night , that was really helpful for clearing up my thoughts. Going through the whole scenario, right from the start to where I'm at now kind of puts things in perspective. It reaffirmed my reasons for having to leave the relationship and how it wasn't a healthy situation to be in. After that conversation I felt quite at peace with my thoughts.

    Unfortunately when morning comes all that gets undone and I'm back to worrying and feeling lonely. I am seeing my counsellor today ,he's helped me right from the start of this relationship when the issues first started, 3 or more years ago now. I think that will be helpful. These things are never easy I know.

    I sent a message to my work colleague apologising if I made her feel uncomfortable. She was upset that I hadn't contacted her on the weekend after the break-up on Friday. She felt shut out. I feel this is a bit unreasonable and unfair to expect that of me during such a time.

    I'm keeping my distance from her because I still haven't stopped loving my ex girlfriend. It's only been days after all! I don't believe it's coming from a pushy/malicious place, probably it's from a caring place, but it's a complication and pressure I don't need at such a delicate time.

    My strategy today is to try and focus on work - I 'm sure I'll feel less bewildered after my appointment with my counsellor today.

  10. Aaronsis
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    8 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hey Aaron, well we are half way through the day and I hope that you are doing ok. I have been thinking so much about you this morning and can feel how much you are pained and confused. This is not easy and you are doing everything right to get yourself back on track and feel some sort of relief soon.

    I am so happy to hear that you spoke to your phone counsellor and that you have an appointment this afternoon too. All this talking and working through it will be so beneficial, even though it probably feels like nothing is changing at the moment.

    The whole pleasing people thing is a horrible thing and yes you are very right, someone does always get hurt, you....as the person you are pleasing is getting what they want but you are not.

    I can also see your confusion between loving your ex and talking to her and knowing how she is doing and worrying about her, and then her expressing she is worried about you too. It is so hard not to feel torn and just to run back and I am so proud of you for still acknowledging the issues you had and that there were troubles and that is essentially why you broke up. It is tricky to remain that focused and you are doing it, so feel proud. You could quite easily just dump it all on the ground and go right back, but you are not and that take strength Aaron.

    I feel really annoyed actually at your work colleague, that is really lousy of her to put that on you when this is most definitely not the time to be working through things with her. She sounds like perhaps she does have some feelings there for you and thought perhaps that you may go running to her arms when you called this relationship off and is maybe upset that you have not called on her for support. But you are doing the right thing and have apologized if you made her feel uncomfortable which is so far above and beyond what you need to do really. I think just perhaps keep her at arms length for now and she really should not be putting pressure on you.

    Great strategy to focus on work and take you mind off things, even if it is just for a few minutes to give yourself some reprieve..I hope that there are some things and some people that make you smile at work, just so you can feel happy for a moment.

    Have a really great purge tonight with your counsellor and I am sure you are going to feel better, she will also be able to give you some things to do to help with your healing.

    Cant wait to hear how you are feeling tomorrow after your meeting, probably exhausted.

    Sarah

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  11. rhinoceros
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    148 posts
    8 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    I think being pained and confused is normal in a situation like this. Trying to not let it bring me down if I can help it. I'm focusing on doing things one little bit a time. Tonight I'm going to go outside for a run, I used to be able to run 15kms, that was a long time ago, I'll probably barely make 3kms now, but it'll be good to get fresh air.

    It feels kind of like nothing is changing, but I know these things take a long time to sort themselves out.

    I've just had my session with my counsellor - we both agreed I'm not in a fit state to be making any big decisions. I really need to be content on my own before I can clearly think about what I do next. I'm thinking too far ahead (I do this all the time... about everything!).

    I still worry about my ex in a lot of ways, and I miss her terribly. That's normal, it would be unnatural if I didn't. I realise I left for a reason, I spent a long time being very lonely. At times it was really horrible. If we were to make a go of things again, she really needs to get back in control of her life too - she has to learn how to look after herself without relying on me to do everything. That was a bit part of the problem, she was dependant on me doing everything, and I was dependant on doing everything. Not a healthy dynamic at all.

    I too am bothered by my work colleague. I saw her earlier today, she was fine - but I'm steering clear for now. We all have a limit on how many things we can deal with at once - I'm at mine already! She does have feelings for me, and she probably has her own self interests too (as we all do) - but pressure of any kind is bad right now. I've already been under pressure for 3 1/2 years!

    Depending how I feel tonight I will ring the telephone counsellor again - it's good to keep these things in check. I'm also writing down my thoughts etc. even though they don't make any sense, it's just good to get them out.

    I feel pretty tired today but it's been a harrowing time. That's to be expected. I'm hoping getting a run in this afternoon will help with my energy levels and general state of mind. That said I've been known to get cranky after a run, so who knows!

    Hope you're having a nice day Sarah

    and thank you for taking the time to be so generous and supportive with me.

    Aaron

  12. Aaronsis
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    8 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    I am so happy to hear that the cousellor has been good and given you some things to work with, she is so right in that you are best not to make any big decisions right now and give yourself time to heal. Going for a run sounds like an awesome idea for you, for me it sounds like I would need an ambulance!!! In seriousness though I am glad that you feel up to getting some exercise, 15km is very impressive although I would start with something smaller tonight, unless your Forest Gump!

    I know you will still worry about your ex as that is the kind of caring and warm person you are, and that is ok to feel like that. You can't just turn off your feelings in a flash, especially seeings you loved her and for 4 years so this will take some time for sure. I agree it probably does feel like you are not getting anywhere today, but I can see how far you have come and it is wonderful. It will take time though for you to have actual changes in feelings and that is to be expected too.

    I am so happy you are seeking help and talking to people and really being brave about this whole journey.

    Awesome you are writing things down it is so helpful, I do it too and I can't rave enough about how good it is, doesn't have to flow or even make sense just let the words pour out.

    About your work colleague, I think you are doing very well in managing that and if she has feelings she needs to manage that at the moment as you are not really in a position to even think about her right now, I don't even think there is anything wrong with saying that to her too.

    I hear how tired you are and maybe after your run you can jump in the bath and relax and then climb into bed and get some rest. Be kind to you!

    Have a really good run tonight and get it all out.

    Chat tomorrow, tomorrow will be brighter.

    Sarah

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  13. rhinoceros
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    8 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Dear Sarah

    The appointment with the counselor today was helpful. He's known me for well over three years now, so he's in the unique position to be impartial but still know my history well. I feel pretty good this evening - going for a run helped a bit. There's no way I could do 15 kms anymore! I did about 5kms but that was painful. It was nice to get all that fresh air. That in itself helps.

    I called my ex again today- we had a quick chat checking in on each other. She sounds like she is doing better. I'm doing okay, taking time to myself is starting to feel less strange. That said tomorrow morning I'll feel dreadful again, but that will get better with time.

    You're so right, those feelings I have for her will take a long time to change. It's not reasonable to expect them to change instantly. As for my co-worker, I'm just going to not worry about that for now - if she's not happy with the boundaries I've set, that's really not my concern. It's not something I have control over.

    Tonight after going for a run, I actually went out for dinner with my best friend. He's very funny and great at taking my mind off things. Was really nice to joke about all sorts of stupid things - lots of big laughs.

    Right now I'm going between feeling good but then suddenly I feel dreadful again. It's like a yo-yo. But the good part is that I'm starting to feel better so I'm really happy about that.

    I have you to thank for that in a lot of ways!

    Aaron

  14. Aaronsis
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    8 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hey Aaron

    Wow you sound like you have come leaps and bounds and I am so excited for you that there were times yesterday when you felt good, that is so wonderful to hear.

    5km's is an awesome effort and that is brilliant that you felt good afterwards.

    I was so happy to hear also that you felt like your ex sounded ok and that she was doing as well as can be expected as that is helpful to you in your path to move forward to, and reassuring to hear and get validation of what you know, that she will be ok and that she will go on with her life too and she will be fine. I think that is great that she is coming along in her recovery too.

    Well happy Wednesday and I hope you are doing ok this morning, it is my absolute pleasure to chat to you and provide some sort of support to you, break up's are bloody tough Aaron and you have done this like a boss!

    Be kind to yourself as you so deserve it.

    Chat soon

    Sarah

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  15. rhinoceros
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    9 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    Was good to have some more positive feelings yesterday. I'm certainly happy about that.

    Just had an awful conversation with that co-worker. She was annoyed because I haven't been communicating with her. We went for a walk, I was told I've been stringing her along and that she expected so much better of me. The truth is though I wasn't stringing her along at all, I just needed time to heal before talking to her again. I genuinely fell in love with her, but obviously I can't do anything about it, and especially not while I'm still getting over a break up. She didn't understand that and well... let's just say we're not friends any more.

    I think she really hated the fact I still had feelings for my ex. But as we've said before, these things just don't shut off instantly.

    It was the last thing I needed just as I was starting to feel a bit better.

    I guess in a way, I know what sort of person she is and it's probably for the best.

    I think after that I'm going to need to go on another run tonight! I feel awful for hurting her like that, but as the same time I feel like it was really insensitive to expect that much of me at this time.

    Hope you're having a nice day Sarah - it's cold here in Hobart again brrrr!

  16. Aaronsis
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    9 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    OH Aaron, that is most certainly not what you needed from your "friend". I don't want to say that perhaps when your ex was away and you were confiding in her that maybe she had some ulterior motives and I hate to say it but perhaps taking advantage of you when you were feeling very vulnerable.

    You obviously had/have feelings for each other and did the honorable thing and walked away as you were in a relationship, surely she can't expect you to be over a 4 year relationship in one day, maybe she did. I really think you are right and she is probably not someone you need in your life at the moment and maybe later on down the track if you feel you need to you can perhaps address how she made you feel and that you were hurting and she placed pressure on you, not fair! The mum in me is coming out now and I will give her a call...lol

    That is so fantastic you are going to go running again and that you have had some feeling of being on the road to recovery. I am feeling so positive for you and am so proud of your determination to be happy and do some things for yourself for once, good on you Aaron.

    You just keep on doing what you are doing as you are doing all the right things, you really are.

    It is cold in Melbourne today too.....I am lucky enough to be inside but I am looking forward to next week when the sun is supposed to be out again.

    Chat soon

    Sarah

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  17. rhinoceros
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    9 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    It was not what I was expecting from her at all. She was so kind and warm before, I guess I felt a strange comfort during this time that hopefully when I'm ready (however long that would take) I could approach her and we'd potentially have something really special.

    I knew she was hurting at this time, but there was nothing I could do about that. While trying to be there for my ex and at the same time dealing with my own mess of emotions and thoughts, the last thing I needed was getting all confused with someone else I have feelings for.

    I may be naive or missing something but I don't feel like this is difficult to understand? If it were the other way around, I would never put pressure on anyone at such a time.

    It's really rattled me. I guess I'm really saddened and disappointed by it.

    It's freezing here- I'm in an office but it's cold. I suspect they're trying to save money on heating!

    Aaron

  18. randomx
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    2863 posts
    9 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Try to accept for now that it's the way it has to be with office girl. Of course she could understand it but she's obviously also had a few hopes as well and was a bit unrealistic about time you'd need, so she's upset . Maybe just try to let it go for now , look after yourself and l wouldn't be at all surprised if down the track when you feeling better , you two patch things up. Don't push it , just let it go , if that's gonna happen later it will and the timing will be much better . Right now it's sort of a bit of a blessing really because it'll give you the space you need anyway.

    Good luck

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  19. rhinoceros
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    9 October 2019 in reply to randomx

    Hi RandomX

    Yes, just going to have to accept things as they are for now. I too had hopes, but there's no denying she had some unrealistic expectations about the amount of time I need. I sincerely hope whatever happens we patch things up, even just as friends.

    These things need to happen in the right way and at the right time. Right now, it's neither of those things.

    You're so right though, it makes my situation a lot less complicated and gives me space to think about things properly.

    Aaron

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  20. Aaronsis
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    9 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Good Morning Aaron

    Hope today finds you feeling brighter and that your run went well last night, assuming you did another 5kms!!

    Just stopped in to remind you of how awesome you are doing and hope today is better and gets better each day.

    Have you got some plans for the weekend as yet?

    Chat soon

    Sarah

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  21. rhinoceros
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    9 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    Last night it started raining! That's Hobart weather for you. So didn't go for a run like I was planning unfortunately. I did go to the gym with my friend, he's good company. We then undone all our hard work at the gym by getting some fast food.

    That talk with my office colleague really rattled me and caught me off guard. I really wasn't prepared for that. It was good to talk it over and get some perspective.

    I'm seeing me ex on Saturday - we'll go out and get a hot chocolate or something. We've still be talking most days this week on the phone, but the time apart has been good. That said it will be good to check in on how she's going. I'm gigging Saturday night too, so it'll be a bit of a busy day.

    What I will try and do this weekend though is go for a nice drive somewhere. That for me is a great form of therapy.

    I'm feeling a bit brighter today, still a little in shock from yesterday but there's not much I can do about that.

    Aaron :-)

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  22. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    11 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Well today is Friday- usually I really like Fridays but not feeling that way today.

    This sounds a bit pathetic but I really miss my ex in a lot of ways. I guess I'm in a pickle where I still love her and care about her, but despite her promising that she will change her ways, I can't be sure that she'd actually follow through with these changes.

    I spoke to her last night on the phone, she's very sad and misses me. I miss her too. She wants me back, that much I am aware of, but I really don't know if I can go there again. I feel awful as if I'm stringing her along or giving false hope. It's really not my intention at all to do that.

    I suppose these feelings are probably not that unusual for a situation like this. Tomorrow I'm seeing her and I'm going to make a really conscious effort try not to 'people please' if that makes sense. I have an awful habit of trying to make everyone happy, even if it comes at my expense which it usually seems to.

    Oh well - just going to try and do what I can today and be positive somehow.

    Sorry for the whinge - I'm probably not as resilient today, I had a gig last night that went a bit late so didn't get a lot of sleep.

  23. Aaronsis
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    11 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hi Aaron

    Great to hear from you today, even though you are still healing you do sound alot better to me.

    Please do not ever say you are pathetic, you are a person going through a break up and it is going to take time, there are going to be moments of strength when you feel on top of the world and then times when you are feeling sad and vulnerable, that is perfectly ok and is not pathetic at all. Of course you still love each other and it is next to impossible to just turn those feelings off, this break up is a process and is going to take time for you to have those feeling subside somewhat, you may always love each other and that is fine, you may just not be in love and can not have a future together, you can still care for each other and be in each other's lives but just not as partners. Sometimes a clean break where you never see each other again works and sometimes it doesn't. This is the thing, there is no rule book and it is different for everyone.

    I just want you to do what feels right for you, where you are not doing something for the sake of her feelings, people pleasing as we talked about before, but you are being true to you, I think if you stick to that you can never go wrong. I have a saying that "if it feels wrong it probably is"..not my saying but I love it..your gut has an amazing ability to just know and I think trust it.

    You are a very intelligent man and I think you have so very much to look forward to, I think you can even say to your ex that "I hope you feel like I am not giving you false hope, I actually don't know myself what the future looks like for us". I think if you address it with her you are being fair to both of you.

    I am happy you are going to be mindful of what you commit to and say tomorrow and not to people please. I am so happy you are giving yourself permission to be in control of you and your future happiness, well done.

    Hope your gig went well last night, yes lack of sleep does tend to make you a bit foggy in the morning but hey, it is Friday, even though you don't love it anymore it is still a little bit good as no work tomorrow..lol

    Will be here if you need to debrief after your catch up, I think if you are just honest and open you will be fine my friend.

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  24. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    13 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    Had an okay weekend. Saw my ex on Saturday - she's doing okay I guess. I had a gig on Saturday night, she came along to that. While it's a nice gesture, it made me a bit uncomfortable. People obviously still think we are together as normal... She wanted to see me on Sunday, I popped by in the morning but kept it fairly short. She's certain we can work through our problems etc. but I'm still not sure about that. I sort of feel like I'm being pressured and rushed, I know that's not her intention but I think I need to pull away a bit more. I still have ruled anything out, but that said I haven't ruled anything 'in' either so I'm not sure where that leaves me.

    I was thinking about what you said before about following your gut feeling - "if it feels wrong, it probably is". Truthfully I don't know what my gut feeling is telling me at the moment. There is a fear naturally of severing ties with my ex entirely, it's easier to break up when you don't love the person any more. It's hard when you love someone but the 3 1/2 years you were with them was mostly hard work.

    She says she was completely unaware of how unhappy I was and thought I was actually happy in the relationship. I did hide my true feelings but they came out every so-often; I find it hard to believe she was completely oblivious. I was going to counselling to try and cope better with her (and try and help her make positive changes too). I don't believe that's the actions of someone happy in a relationship...

    Re. the work colleague - my best friend suggested I send her a message to clear the air. Just to explain I need time and space etc. and I don't want to rush into anything just yet and how I need to do the right thing. I think it's an 'okay' idea, but I'm actually kind of annoyed with her for putting so much pressure on me. I might do that when I'm less irritated.

    Yesterday I focused on doing things that I enjoy - I did a lot of aimless driving - visited the Cemetary (beautiful gardens, quiet, peaceful), and went on a 1hr run on the treadmill at the gym. Feeling a bit better today.

    I guess everything feels bit unsettled and I kind of feel pressured by my ex to a degree. While I haven't given up on her, I also haven't guaranteed to get back with her, it's not as black and white as that...

    I guess I'm struggling to cope with what everyone is expecting of me....

    Hope you had a nice weekend -
    Aaron

  25. Aaronsis
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    14 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Good morning Aaron

    Apologies for the tardy reply, I was so crazy busy yesterday and I had a date with my son last night..lol It sounds like you are doing well but I can also see that there is uncertainty and doubt and worry as to if you are doing the right thing, I am so glad that you found help in my advice with "If it feels wrong, it probably is", it has helped me gain so much perspective.

    I hear that you are still feeling pressured, that is good that you can identify this and once again I think a little more space as you said will help, you are such a caring and gentle man and I can see you are really wanting to support her, but just remember you are still trying to care for you, so please don't feel like you are being unreasonable if you want space or you need some further time apart, after all, you are trying to make a new life on your own as well as consider if there is a future for this relationship, so give yourself the time and space you need, you owe that to yourself. If you do reconnect you want to go in with 100% clarity that you are making the best decision for you as well as for her, but remember too at this point please focus on you.

    I am not sure what to say about her total unawareness of your happiness, I guess it is possible to go through a relationship with total unawareness of your partners state of mind, but only if you are making a conscious effort to hide or protect it. You had many conversations with her as well as the counselling that you mentioned so I am not sure that she is being perhaps totally honest, or perhaps she truly believes she was unaware.

    The lady at work will be ok and I am sure that in time when you have the strength to address her with your feelings, her expectations as well as her conversation with you, however I think you can just get on each day being polite to her and maybe worry about that another day. I don't think that there is anything wrong with saying "I would really like to have a chat to you, however I just would like some time to do this break up thing and get myself back on track". If she really can't accept that I think you can probably discount any future with this person, just my opinion.

    I hear what you are saying with coping with people's expectations but I think it is totally reasonable to be a little "selfish" for want of a better word as this time is really about you Aaron. People will understand if you just ask them to be patient as you are healing. Chat soon Sarah

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  26. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    14 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    No need to apologise at all! I'm sure you have better things to do than listen to my moaning and groaning! Hope you had a nice date with your son. I often take my Mum out for coffee on the weekends. She is great company and LOVES to talk (and talk and talk) so she distracts me from my own problems.

    There is uncertainty I guess, I suppose there always is with stuff like this. I think I need more space. Articulating that in a way that doesn't cause huge amount of hurt/pain is really tricky. I guess it's that part of me that wants to please people and keep people happy getting in the way again.

    I'm not entirely sure I want to get back with her again, I still think it's way too soon to know. Even now the dynamic between us is still not balanced-I'm fussing over her, checking if she's okay. She's complaining that she's lonely etc. I'm trying to help her feel better by talking through things, listening etc. I have a lot of gigs on this week (tonight, tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday) so that will give me some much needed space.

    Getting back with her again would cause this pain/confusion to stop. But my gut is telling me it's really not what I want. If anything I'd just be prolonging more awful feelings.

    I worry about my work colleague as she's been away from work since last Thursday after she was angry at me. I probably shouldn't worry, but I feel awful that I've cause her hurt.

    Last night I was cranky. It's very rare that I get cranky, but I think lack of sleep was getting to me. I was feeling like my ex was pressuring me, at the same time I was angry about being pressured by the work colleague. Sometimes it gets a bit too much. This must be how a new puppy feels when everyone is trying to pat it!

    Today I think I'll ring the telephone counsellor again as I've let my thoughts/feelings fester a bit too much.My perception of things starts to get a bit warped/distorted when that happens. Some advice about diplomatically asking for space too would be helpful.

    I still struggle with putting myself first. It's something I haven't really ever done, so it's not natural. I feel like most other people don't seem to have this problem (as far as I can tell!).

    Thank you for your kind words and understanding.

    Apologies if I'm a sound a bit incoherent/jumbled - trying to articulate the mess going on in my brain is challenging.

    Aaron

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  27. Aaronsis
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    15 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hey Aaron

    Do not for one minute feel like I would rather not listen to your "moaning/groaning", I am very happy to chat and be on this journey with you to provide a friendly ear and some support, I hope you are getting enough of that from me as I want for you to be happy.

    Last week was my daughter's birthday so I felt bad that my son was sort of swept to the side so I took him out for dinner and a movie, Joker, which was very depressing but very very good. I really try to do that with them as it is so important to have that connection and give them one on one time, like your mum..I chat way too much too.

    I get what you are saying about the pleasing people thing and that you are still trying to care for your ex but remember, you have to care for you too. I agree with you in that it probably is too early to know if there is a future for the both of you and please don't let her 'dumping" on you, for want of a better word push you into feeling like you need to still be her carer or get back with her. You have acknowledged before that the relationship was very much like a carer role and her telling you she is feeling lonely and things like that is not really helpful to your recovery. I think perhaps when she says things like that you can perhaps just parrot what she says and that way you are not agreeing or disagreeing, just hearing her, and also not trying to please her which in turn displeases you. Perhaps something like " yeah, I hear that you are lonely, that must be hard" or "I am sorry you are feeling that way". I think this sort of response will also release you of the guilt or worry that you are hurting her or causing her pain. You are not, she too needs to find a way to manage this break up, just as you are doing, it is not your role to fix her.

    Great you have a lot of gigs on, that sure will keep you busy but I feel like also provide you with an opportunity to meet new people and start a new social chapter in your life with some new friends etc.

    I had to laugh when you said that you understand how a puppy must feel when everyone is trying to pat it, a very good analogy and you are so right, but you know what that puppy does, he runs off and does something else when he has had enough, and you have that right too.

    You are so caring and I really admire your willingness to support your ex but it is time to support you my friend..your time for you to heal too.

    Great to hear you will have a chat with the phone counselor, great idea!

    Chat soon

    Sarah

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  28. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    15 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah - you have been so helpful. It's been a pretty horrible time but your support has made it so much easier than it would've been otherwise.

    I am interested in that movie - I've heard it's a pretty confronting film, but very good too. Sounds like it's very dark.

    That one-on-one time is really important, I agree. That's why I make an effort to see my mum. Mum and Dad are separated, and she's spends a lot of time on her own. Her company makes me happy, so I hope that mine makes her happy.

    I'm in a tricky situation with my ex in that I'm actually doing a gig in Melbourne early in November. Obviously we would've went together to it. She's asking if she's still coming with me. I'm not really sure it's a good idea at this stage. I know I've said I haven't ruled anything out, but I feel like this will really confuse things. I've actually paid for all of it, so the finances isn't really the concern, it's more that I think it's not really right for us to go together with things as they are right now. I need to think about this more, but I will likely have to tell her I'm going on my own.

    The phone counsellor I spoke to today made an interesting point. To paraphrase he described how people who are very caring in nature can be easily manipulated by others, not even deliberately, but my ex knows exactly what triggers me and she is probably using that to effect - not in a malicious way at all but I guess to look after her own interests. I really don't believe she's being manipulative or anything but I think it's human nature to a point and something for me to be aware of. A lot of what she says triggers that 'carer' instinct for me.

    I will have to consider how I will approach this upcoming Melbourne situation. While we are separated and I have told her nothing has been ruled out and that I haven't given up on her, I think I may have to establish some boundaries... while we both still love each other etc. we aren't actually together any more. I"ll have to find a more diplomatic way of saying that obviously....

    All of that relies on me being assertive... something I am well aware I'm terrible at! It just doesn't come naturally to me. Once I've gathered my thoughts a bit more I'll have to think about how to best address this.

    I though the initial breaking up part was hard

    It's just keeps on going and going :-(

    Hope you're having a good day -

    Aaron

  29. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
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    15 October 2019 in reply to rhinoceros

    Hey Aaron

    I am so happy to hear that I have been of some help to you I am really am.

    The Joker was an awesome film, it is such a deep look into mental illness and you get a real understanding of what is must be like for people who suffer. It is tragic, but very good Joaquin Phoenix does the most amazing job of acting and it really is good, but yes, very dark.

    You are so wonderful to take your mum out and have dates with her, she would love every moment she gets to spend with you, you will 1000% make her very very happy. Perhaps don't take her to see Joker tho!!!

    OK so with the Melbourne gig next month I think you already know what you want to do and that is come by yourself and I think that is a great idea. I know you will feel guilty as you planned the trip together but as you know the situation has changed. The phone counselor has nailed it on the head with her knowing how to get what she needs from you and how to make you feel things that ultimately lead to her advantage, but this is not good for you. She surely cant expect you will go and take a trip together when you have essentially broken up...it would involve hotels and spending time together that at this stage you are not wanting to do. It is totally ok for you to say to her that "I know we planned this trip together but the situation has changed and I will be going by myself".

    That is so cool that you are coming to Melbourne to do a gig though, that is really great..good on you for getting out there and still doing these things when you are feeling so all over the place atm, you are so very brave and courageous.

    Yes it does keep going and going but you are learning and growing and this is all part of life unfortunately...or fortunately...these lessons are just making you stronger and teaching you about people and about how to get the best out of you...and you really are doing such a wonderful job and doing all the right things to see that you are getting the help that you need and the tools to heal.

    I am having a good day and thank you for asking, you know what made my day today....eating the new wasabi doritos..lol! You must try them, they are amazing!

    S

  30. rhinoceros
    rhinoceros avatar
    148 posts
    15 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    I am so grateful for your help! If it wasn't for your help, I think I'd be going a bit crazy.

    It sounds like a great film. As I get older I get more and more affected by films etc. so I'm always a bit scared of watching something overly dark/scary/sad but I'll check it out! NOT going to take my mum to see it though! She'd hate it!

    It's so hard to know if I've made the right decision.I find myself doubting my recollection of things, perhaps I was wrong? Did I imagine things? For a long time I believed I was over-reacting to things. In fact I was convinced that I had OCD or something like that. Really I just was very insecure in the relationship and that caused me to become very anxious, worried and miserable.

    I've actually only realised today that I'm still very much in the role of the carer. I'm checking on her, making sure she's okay, asking her if she's been eating etc. It's not as if she's really asking me those things. This is probably my fault to a large extent. I really enable this unhealthy dynamic. I can tell that if I went back to her again, things would just return to the way they were.

    You're right regarding the upcoming gig in Melbourne - it's really best I go on my own. We planned to stay there for about a week, but I'm thinking I'll just rebook the ferry etc. and just go for a couple days instead. I'll have to tell her that I'm really not ready to go on holiday together at this time. I'll probably do that on Saturday, so I can at least tell her that in person. If she takes that badly, I'll feel horrible but I have to do what is right for me. I guess that's what I still struggle with... I don't even know what is right for me as I'm still fussing over everyone else.

    I have to admit going to Melbourne for a gig is daunting - it's been about 10 years since I've been there. With all this turmoil going on, the timing really couldn't be worse. That said, it will be a great distraction. I have a good friend who recently moved there, so it will be nice to see her again.

    This time really isn't very nice but I have learnt a lot about people, and I've also learnt quite a bit about myself too.

    Wasabi doritos?! That sounds great! I'll have to try some... I love wasabi- yum!

    Hope your day is going well Sarah,

    Aaron

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