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Ending of a Relationship

12 Aug

For survivors of mental illness, they say journaling is a way to help you heal.

Here’s my effort at catharsis…

My girlfriend of nearly three years, and I, just parted ways. We’ve broken up several times before, and each time have gotten back together. This time is permanent though <<insert audience laughter here>> because of how things have progressed. Here are my thoughts through the process:

Moving On-

  • Remember why the breakup happened in the first place. There was a breaking point for me. A straw. A tipping point that once reached, ensured that things were not going to continue from that point on. It was a recurring theme that (I felt) I didn’t deserve to endure, and I couldn’t endure in the future and for the rest of the relationship. Remembering this tipping point became my first anchor point.

  • Make a list of anchor points. This was the first thing I did. I made a list. I know that there are going to be days when I’m sad and want the relationship back. I also realize that that is not a healthy choice, so to help me remain resolute, I wrote a list of things that would keep me steadfast. Especially on the weekend. Out of respect to her I won’t list them here, but these are largely negative things that have pushed me away over time. When you’re sad your mind wanders back to the good times you both had, or all the things you miss about that person. Keeping a list of anchor points helps me keep things in perspective. Don’t fume over the bad things and don’t forget the good things, just be real with yourself.

  • Disconnect from their social media world. I find that when I have a break with someone, I need to cut ALL ties. Cold turkey. I don’t want them coming up in my news feed. I don’t want to see that they’ve liked my posts. I don’t want to see their Pins or comments come up on my wall. It makes me anxious and makes my adrenaline race. It makes me start to miss those things I mentioned above. My ex blocked my texts and blocked me on Fb so she won’t even come up in searches. There are also apps that block their texts from coming in, and you can delete their numbers from your Contacts list, but I haven’t done. I’m the type of person that can’t “just be friends”. To me, that’s a crock of she-ite. Maybe we can in the future, but not at this time. It’s too painful. It’s too real. And it’s too raw to be your friend. It’s too tempting to want to go back to something that is so raw, familiar, even if it was largely toxic. To resist the temptation, I don’t put myself in the situation in the first place, and have done what I could to avoid it.

  • Get out. I’m an introvert and like my alone time. This can become unhealthy since I also live with major depression. I have to be careful that alone time doesn’t turn into isolation. I know that I need to step out of my comfort zone and start doing things, especially on the weekends when I don’t have my daughter. Those are the worst. Make plans – in fact make a Plan B in case Plan A falls through. All too many times I’ve found myself sitting at home crying with the lights off and the shades dropped because I didn’t have a backup plan. It just turns into a deep dark pit from there. Make sure you weekends are chock full of being around your friends. Tell them what you’re going through if you have to, but make sure there are no cracks in your time or if you’re anything like me, you’ll be sitting around and that’s when the loneliness will hit. We don’t like loneliness. It is the enemy right now. One of the things I am going to try to do is join a gym down the street and get back into shape. Being out of shape has brought me down mentally and exercising again and losing some weight will be good for both my mental and physical health. Another great way to get out is to join a Meetup singles group, though I’m not sure if this applies to readers outside the US.

  • Go on a date when you’re ready. Get to know other people. Spread your wings. You don’t have to jump right into another relationship (in fact you shouldn’t) but there’s nothing wrong with getting back out there and getting to know people, and building relationships. Go on dating sights and meet people. At this point it’s about survival and staying busy, not finding your soul mate.

Red Flags-

I’m not going to go into much detail here, again, out of respect.

  1. We both live with mental illness. Maybe a relationship where both partners survive with mental illnesses can work out. On the other hand, maybe it’s not a wise choice in the first place. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that we both have demons we live with. I also know that we both needed LOTS of patience and empathy to date each other – we didn’t necessarily have those two things all the time. WE can’t rely on others to fix quell those demons, we have to do that on our own. The other person isn’t going to fix us. We have to be able to manage who we are within the relationship.

  2. Trust issues.  You shouldn’t have to suffer for someone’s (trust) issues from a prior relationship. If that person feels the need to go through your texts and social media IMs and you haven’t done something deserving of that (let’s be honest here), then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside of the relationship. If a person sits outside a friend’s house of the opposite sex because they think there is a secret affair going on, then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside the relationship. If a person calls a neighbor to see whose cars are at their partner’s apartment, then there are trust issues that need to be resolved outside the relationship. To project past trust issues onto your partner is emotional abuse and unfair.

  3. Others. In hind sight, there are many signs that you can probably now see that should have been red flags: multiple marriages, anger issues, physical and emotional and verbal abuse…the list could go on for each of us. It’s important in our closure that we notice these things (and write them down if necessary) and try our best to avoid them in our future.

Do you have any suggestions on how best to move on, or red flags that you’ve experienced in your relationships? Would you be willing to share them with the rest of us?

 

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8 Comments

Posted by on 08/12/2016 in relationships

 

Tags: , ,

8 responses to “Ending of a Relationship

  1. KatieComeBack

    08/14/2016 at 18:53

    My advice is “pretend he’s dead.” Which means you have to block, delete, and shield. But for me that was the quickest way to move on – seal that door off so I had to use another.

    Also, sign up for a few volunteer activities. Meetup may have some, but injecting some good into the world HAS to help….someone, even if it isn’t you at the moment. It gives your use of oxygen some obvious purpose….

    Hugs. This is super hard, especially when the end was just the pause button before. BTDT.

    Liked by 2 people

     
  2. Matthew Malin

    08/13/2016 at 23:54

    I’m so sorry to hear of this my friend. I know it is hard. you’re not alone. I recently ended a relationship and while it was not as long as yours, I understand the pain. Keep strong, friend. I’m here if you need me.

    Like

     
  3. hazelhillboro

    08/12/2016 at 23:06

    I sometimes write letters and then never send them (don’t ever send them!!). It’s good to get out what you would say if you could say anything, and they don’t have to deal with that or respond because they never get the letter. Strangely cathartic.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Surviving the Specter

      08/13/2016 at 12:53

      Yes! I’ve heard of this, too, hazel’. Such a great coping strategy. I’ve done this with emails and just addressed them to myself so that way if I actually did hit send by accident, it just came back to me anyways. Thank you for sharing, my friend X.

      Like

       
  4. gingersnap74

    08/12/2016 at 18:26

    This is never easy for any party that’s for sure. I’ve been on the back and forth roller coaster many times because it’s human to want to see something through and believe we didn’t fail at a relationship. I’ve never believed in failures in a relationship anyway. It’s all a learning experience. This is part of your journey through life and I agree with the post above…single for awhile is not a bad thing. Sometimes you have to close doors so better ones can open. Good for you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and staying busy. You know I’m always here for you! Unconditionally!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Surviving the Specter

      08/13/2016 at 12:51

      Thank you Chelise. You’ll always be my angel. I appreciate your supportive words and you know they mean more than the world to me. X

      Liked by 1 person

       
  5. morgueticiaatoms

    08/12/2016 at 18:06

    And maybe being single for awhile is fate’s way of saying, your time is coming, my friend.
    This is where the “patience is virtue” thing comes in and I have none so I am obviously left out but still…YOUR time could well be on its way.

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • Surviving the Specter

      08/13/2016 at 12:50

      Like good wine, those things that are most worth it may take time to yield. Miss talking with you my friend. Good to see your “eFace” X

      Like

       

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