This is a low self-esteem service to unhappiness - announcement board

Don’t forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I’ll mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives.

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A few months back, I did a session with BR students on why we need to stop engaging. That means choosing what we do and don’t participate in or ‘feed’, including chasing negative thoughts and feeding the worry fish, to responding to futile contact when it’s a shady situation with an ex, to carrying the same baggage, beliefs and behaviours and engaging in similar dynamics and expecting different results. At the time I explained that when we continue to hold on to our patterns of thinking and behaviour and yet experience a different outcome, it’s like getting on a train that’s bound for London Victoria but when you arrive there, you’re angry because it’s not London Bridge… even though this would require you to take a different train that goes on a different line. Instead of getting on the train, you just keep riding the same one over and over again – the disappointment cycle.

Through experience and a level of awareness about our habits, we come to recognise that certain things lead to our unhappiness and yet because we still continue with the same responses to feelings, thoughts and trigger situations, we effectively continue to make the same journey on the ‘habit trains’ and pass through the same ‘ole stations en route. Sometimes we try different ‘habit trains’ (or so it seems) but because we’re still including some of the stations, shazam, we still end up at the same destination.

We continue to people please and then we then continue on to feeling neglected. This in itself prompts negative self-talk and unpleasant feelings. We then try to make ourselves feel better and end up soothing in an unhealthy way, probably on some external solution in the form of another person, or even substances, or just self-destructive behaviour, and then we feel better temporarily and then we feel bad again, ultimately winding up at destination unhappiness.

Are you still getting on the same unhappy train?If we keep doing things the same way then we’re likely to end up with similar results. Sure, we can hope that others will yield and fit in around the way that we operate, but that’s like assuming that what’s ultimately not working for us is the ‘right’ way for others. It’s this idea that we should continue on as is even though it hurts, and that others ‘should’ change to accommodate this.

We don’t have to leap on every thought and treat each one as a fact. We don’t have to feed each thought with further negativity. We could get off that train of thought and catch a connection to somewhere else.

The more we do this, the more we get the message that the route has changed, especially when we gradually start to feel the cumulative effect of treating ourselves as valuable, worthwhile and good enough right now, deserving of our own love, care, trust and respect and are not prepared to ride on the Crumb Express in someone else’s life.

We don’t have to engage in the same old conflicts. We don’t have to engage in the same old comparisons. We don’t have to engage in drama. We don’t have to keep trying to ‘fix’ others as a round-the-houses way of trying to fix ourselves. We don’t have to engage in avoidance because ultimately it only lands us in even more problems. We don’t have to engage in other people’s bullshit.

We don’t have to engage. We are not contractually obligated to jump to other people’s beats, to cater to their drama, to be typecast by our pasts, or to continue a toxic family pattern. We don’t have to engage. We have choices and when we engage in the stuff that runs counter to our happiness, we often end up feeling powerless and having other people make our choices for us.

We get to choose which trains we ride on but first we have to choose and then keep choosing. We have to also pay attention to ourselves and listen and be willing to adapt. 

It takes a lot of effort initially because we’re learning a new route and replacing old habits and sometimes it’s ‘easier’ to be a passenger and ride the train to unhappiness. But if what we’re doing doesn’t make us happy, continuing to do it isn’t going to change a damn thing. If we don’t adapt the habits that inform how we respond in certain types of situations, we’ll continue to use the same thinking and behaviour that has contributed in part to our problems. Ultimately we’ll be presented with situations, ‘opportunities’, thoughts and feelings and each time we’re given a fresh opportunity to react differently or at the very least hop off the train as soon as we recognise that our boundaries and sense of self are taking a knock.

Your thoughts?

Holiday Update

  • We had a wonderful week away in France and Italy. Kids were great on the the long drives and Em and I only bickered once and it was about 30 minutes into the holiday! We drove from here to Charmonix, to Legnago where we stayed on a farm for a couple of days for the wedding, to Verona, to Sirmione (our favourite) for Lake Garda (stunning), cocktails, dinner and heavy rain, to Gardaland (theme park), to Dijon, Reims, Calais and then home. The wedding was lovely if not a tad bonkers in parts – we had no idea that playing pranks is a part of Italian weddings. Think pie in the grooms face, water guns, lipstick on most of the guys.
  • Nia (4) was second last to go to bed. I took Saria (6) back to our room to sleep but Nia insisted on staying with her dad to party. She knew most of the guests by the end of the night and was doing the conga…
  • I think I’m starting to take this relaxing malarkey quite seriously. I chilled out while on holiday and hardly used my phone or iPad, opting to sleep, read, sing, chat and just be silly. Now that I’m home, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to do very much today.
  • I felt like I was a bit ‘past it’ when I had to Google ‘twerking’.
  • Some of you may know from Facebook, that I went to see What Would Beyonce Do?!, a side achingly funny comedy show by BR reader Luisa Omeilan. I met her at a workshop I ran last year when she was brokenhearted and she’s turned her breakup into a sellout show. I found out earlier that she’s bringing the show to New York and LA so I highly recommend that you go if you’re in the US. You will recognise yourself in it if you’ve ever been in an unavailable relationship. I laughed, I sang, I danced, and there were a couple of parts that were so close to be bone, I got a bit emotional. Go!
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243 Responses to Do not engage: why we don’t have to keep riding the same train to destination unhappiness

  1. Lucky_Charms says:

    Last weekend I saw the engineer of the Crumb Express. He looked really sad and I drove by as fast as I could. (He was in a parking lot) I had the most horrible urge to text him. I didn’t and I am really glad I didn’t.
    The route has definitely changed.
    I beat myself up for a while because of this crazy urge to contact the ex assclown. Part of what this post tells me is that situations like this will get easier. Just as long as I don’t go anywhere near the Crumb Express. It wasn’t easier to be a passenger on the Crumb Express, it was just lazier. I am not real sure of where I am in this process, but I know I don’t want to go back. It’s going to be ten months soon. If I had broken NC I would probably have been sucked into some weird drama. Since he liked using the “Outrageous Principle.”
    I feel like maybe the universe was testing me. If I want crumbs I’ll have it with cake, not an assclown. Whew.

    • ShepN7 says:

      Beautifully put Lucky, cake and crumbs is better than crumbs and (ass) clowns.

    • micheyl says:

      Lucky,

      You seem pretty far in the process. Why beat yourself up for a feeling, an urge? You didn’t act upon it. That is a triumph! You are still nc. You can’t control really what your emotional mind is feeling, but you can control what your rational mind does in reaction to those feelings. Bravo!!

  2. colororange says:

    I want so badly to be able to say as long as I’ve been around BR and with all the work I’ve done on myself that I am happy…..but truth is this people pleasing stuff is killing me. It’s worse at work when I don’t jump when I “should have” done something sooner but waited because I was doing something else or I wasn’t ready to yet. I’m struggling with this pretty hard. All it takes is me hearing someone sigh like they’re displeased with me and the overwhelming feeling of needing to do it now takes over. I don’t like making anyone mad.

    • micheyl says:

      Orange – Should’s can be dangerous. Whose expectation is this coming from? Yours or co-workers? Next time you think you should have done something maybe ask, Why? Why should you have? Accept that you are doing what you need to do when you do it. If someone is mad, that is on them. If you are doing what you feel is right then I don’t think you need to feel guilty because something else was put on hold in the mean time. I don’t know what kind of work you do, but living up to others expectations in any capacity is exhausting. Work on making yourself happy first. You need to worry about you.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Orange — I too struggle with people pleasing. Want to know something that helped me enormously?

      “The ONLY person you HAVE to please is yourself.”

      Simple concept, HUGE difference.

      Hang there. Keep repeating this to yourself anytime a “should” raises its ugly, misshapen head and it WILL get much easier to stop the people pleasing train from leaving the station.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Orange. Is it people pleasing? Maybe you just have a bad habit of procrastinating which has been observed by others and then you quickly try to make up for it? That’s possible. Try to figure out what the issue really is. It could be simpler and easier to remedy than you think.

  3. Tasharuu says:

    Well… I know one big ass clown and he will try and contact me every three months or so just cause he wants a hook UP! I fell for the trap but I am over this guy… really I feel nothing for him. I have my co dependance and a part of me just wants to yell and scream at him to end it and say you are a jerk leave me a lone. But I will stay strong and I will just not respond to him when he tries to connect. This is beatable!

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Tash,

      Make it so he is UNABLE to reach you. You have control. You don’t really have to be bothered by him unless you want to be. Block him.

  4. Selkie says:

    “We don’t have to engage in other people’s bullshit.”

    I believe this is my new mantra. When I get tested in the future, I think I’ll say this to myself three times before I react. This was a great post to revisit, full of good food for thought.

    Ha, twerking! I wondered what the heck that was too. It looks like it would throw out my back. (rolls eyes). Miley is trying way too hard to squeeze her talent out of her ass.

  5. Gibby says:

    Perfection!

  6. Sandy says:

    I am still after 7 months having trouble replacing old habits and trying to form new ones, I am still no contact, only two months out of the 7, but I am in contact with his good mate ( he came around to see me!!) so I have had to put my foot down and tell him that I do not want to hear what the AC is up to, easier said then done…I have wondered whether I should just not have any contact with people he knows, but bugga it I get on well with this man..it’s not romantic, we are just mates.

    But I notice I still feel stressed if I even think it may be turning romantic, I go into panic mode and when I realise it isn’t I calm down and just enjoy the friendship.

    It’s a long road and I do get sick of being lonely but until I can change my pattern and realise I don’t have to do what they want if I find it goes against my values and boundaries then I am just going to have to tough it out.

    • Lacy says:

      Sandy Congrats on Nc.I too am a few mths in 3 maybe 4 if he hadn’t. Contacted me on facebook about a card table and mail he had left over here mths ago and still I should’ve ignored it but I blocked him, then he contacted me thru a mutal friend.I’m wondering the same should I delete mutual friends and change my num again cause I believe the reaching out game is not over yet I really hate to I’m on to some different things in life now and people that contact me may be thrown theu a lil loop hole but I guess it would be a minor set back.

      Its easy for him to get to me I really thought hard about engaging more in his smoke screen attempts, but its all negative attention he does not want anything meaningful with me.I am patiently waiting for my real relationship to come into my life.I don’t want some chump that wants to hump me once or twice a week(I’d raprefer it a lil more lol) but not from a chump someone who loves, cares and respects me, a healthy loving relationship.

      I will he responsible for myself in and out of a relationship. I hope the best for any man or woman that is living in limbo, abuse, attached to an unavailble man or woman, I pray for you and me that we remove ourselves completley from the situations mind body and soul and move on to happy healthier relationship with ourselves and eventually a person to share our new life with, Nc for good.

      • Allison says:

        Lacy,

        The real relationship is with you.

        Please focus on your recovery, as you cannot have a healthy relationship until you’re in a much better place- give it a least two years.

      • Sandy says:

        Lacy,

        I hope the best for you as I remember what you said in regards to him sending a mutual friend around to pick up the card table…no contact is very, very hard but it’s something that needs to be done.

        Strangely enough I too feel it’s not over with the AC, apparently he now knows that I am in contact with the mutual mate and he has popped around to see him more times this week then he usually does, I am told he says nice things about me but I really do not care, I am done and dusted with his games.

        Take care of yourself and stay strong.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Sandy,

      When I went NC I had to do the same with his best friend. He and I were pretty good friends, but I knew he loved to gossip. I did not want to hear anything about the exMM and I didn’t him to know a thing about me. The friend felt sad and tried to stop me from cutting contact, but I had to do what was best for MY mental health. I didn’t feel too bad about it either because I had the assurance of knowing there was very little the two of them could discuss about me behind my back, especially since MM kept “us” a secret. He feared the friend would accidentally blab to the wife. It all seems funny now, but it wasn’t funny at all back then. Since your situation is one in which there are several people, you have to evaluate each one and figure out if you can trust them not to bring and carry news about you and what you’re doing.

      • Sandy says:

        Hi Tinkerbell,

        Yes I am wondering whether contact with the mutual friend is worth it, I don’t want to hear about the AC, I don’t ask questions but he just tells me..I am thinking that it may be best to cut all contact, I don’t want him to carry news back to the AC and he is a bit of a gossiper, it’s hard as I lost alot of friends due to the break down of my marriage years ago, people that we had known for years and who I thought would be there for ever.

        But you are right it is my mental health that should come first, it’s been a long hard road to get to where I am today.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Sandy,

          I’m sure you’ve heard, “The dog who brings a bone will carry a bone”. If I were you I’d flush him too. You are not being mean. You just have to look out for your own best interests. If he is a habitual gossiper, and even brings up the ex unprompted, he can’t be trusted with your privacy and desire for peace.

        • MaryW says:

          Sandy, is this mutual friend really a friend of yours? Or more like your ex’s mate? Sounds like this is/ could be a bit … off.

          Yes your mental health is absolutely #1 priority, and you don’t need your feathers to be all ruffled up by someone that sounds like a go-between.

          Could you lose/ sacrifice this “friend” for the benefit of your own peace of mind & tranquility?

          Take care x

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Sandy,

            Also this has nothing to do with your having lost friends after the break-up of your marriage. Keep the two situations separate, because they are. This gossipy guy sounds exactly like the one I had to let go. And, the MM told me at one time that the gossipy one said he would kill to have me. So there could be something personal going on with this guy. I would not trust someone so eager to tell you about your ex when you’re not even asking. FLUSH!

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Sandy, I have a couple of questions. If you are purely platonic, why do you stress out when you think it may “be turning romantic?” Is the mutual friend flirting or coming on to you?

      Also, I saw your reply post to Lacy. If your AC is visiting the mutual friend more often and saying nice things about you that the mutual friend is passing on, you may want to consider setting a firm boundary with the mutual friend that you don’t want to hear about ex-AC in ANY way, shape or form. It’s contact by proxy.

      If that boundary is not respected, I would seriously wonder if mutual friend is really more the ex-AC’s friend and not yours.

      • Sandy says:

        Mary W, LaPinturaBella, Tink and Lacy,

        Thanks for the replies, and guess who rang me on my landline in the weekend?! Yep you guessed it the AC, so two months of no contact is down the tube, I got such a shock that he was on the line..we talked, heard the same shit from him that he gave me before I changed my cell phone number but the difference is I didn’t stress about it and I haven’t given him my cell phone number, whereas before if he said jump I would have asked how hi, now I just feel kind of bemused about it all.

        LaPinturaBella, yes the mutural friend did come on to me, but while I like him, I am not ready, and to be honest do I really want a relationship with a guy where I know I could have contact with the AC…nope, nope and nope again.

  7. 2Fearce says:

    “Ultimately we’ll be presented with situations, ‘opportunities’, thoughts and feelings and each time we’re given a fresh opportunity to react differently or at the very least hop off the train as soon as we recognise that our boundaries and sense of self are taking a knock.”

    I just hopped off the train a couple days ago….had to do the tuck n roll to protect the goods/stick the landing. I shredded all my tucked away copies of the schedule even smone was trying to drag me back to the train. Translation I downloaded 4 different call/text blocker programs while receiving crazy chopper/ gaslighter msgs that had me smh for a minute…. yeah its gonna take an act of God to get thru those bad boys lol

    Most of all I’m proud of myself for opting out of the cycle early on this time. I could have rationalized her behavior n acted lk I had no choice but to be understanding as usual. I’m not sure what’ll happen now but Uhm….. NEXT!

    • Sunyata says:

      aaaaarrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!
      I wish I had though to find a call blocker app before giving my ex the chance to rattle my cage one last time.

      Good thinking!

      I doubt I’ll ever hear from him again, but just in case, I’ll get one.

      Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Copies of the train schedule! Lolz, 2Fierce! But damn, look at all the work you have to do just to stay away from a ride on the Crumb Train. They are so persistent sometimes. Great job opting out early. I’m not ready to date yet, but when I do, I hope I will be as fierce as you.

    • anim says:

      congratulations 2fearce for the successful tuck and roll after hopping off the train. why didnt i think of that?! iam dumbfounded by people who leave but want to stay in contact, be friends or whatever makes them feel better. there are good days when i feel like a rock star and then there are days when i want to run and hide under a rock.

  8. noquay says:

    After an annoying meeting with the at work AC, and a bad summer working with a running coach who really had no respect for me, I am realizing that there will always be folks out there that despise you and there’s nothing you can do about it. It probably has a lot to do with their issues and little to do with you per se. It is hard to avoid all engagement with someone you work with but I tell myself “no matter what you say, he will dismiss you as stupid, no matter what you do, he will never respect you, no matter what you wear, he will always think you are ugly” and then try to let go of the situation.

    • Magnolia says:

      Noquay,

      It totally is about their issues – I know what it’s like to meet people who see something they want to distance themselves from when they see the surface of me.

      Sometimes I feel like such an outsider watching the world of surface people as they prosper and hand each other money and jobs and marriages and boathouses on the lake, talking happily to each other as if I didn’t even exist. I guess I don’t exist for them – but there are all kinds of people who wouldn’t exist for them – Noam Chomsky, for example.

      Olive Senior wouldn’t exist for them; even Toni Morrison has a sobering video online about how the alpha white males of the writing world don’t see her. It ain’t you, Noquay. But you ain’t making it up, either. Them there’s douchebags in them hills.

    • micheyl says:

      I’m sorry noquay,

      it does really have to do with them and not you. But it is so hard not to take things personally. I know I do all the time. Even though it’s good that you can tell yourself things about your co-worker, the things you are telling yourself seem too self-negative like you are to “blame.” No matter what you do he will still think poorly of you. Turn it around. No matter what you do, he will still be an AC. It’s not him thinking poorly of you. It’s that he is not bright enough to see you as you are – smart, respectable and beautiful!

  9. Magnolia says:

    It’s been two weeks since the diagnosis of the tumor and I don’t know that I’ve gotten any clarity. I definitely don’t want to respond with old ways of catastrophizing and making it about “poor me” while at the same time I want to feel my feelings, which sometimes feel like this is a big poor-me-fucking-catastrophe.

    I’m overwhelmed by all the conflicting emotions and by my inability to trust either the medical establishment (as embodied by this one gynecologist and several walk-in clinic doctors) or the alternative health field (who often seem like new-age quacks selling snake oil).

    I just had yet another long, tear-filled Skype with my folks and had flashbacks of the severe depression I was in when I left my long-term partner and sat in front of them crying uncontrollably, not knowing which end was up. My sister is due in three weeks and I practically bit her head off for trying to suggest that “having a baby and a partner” wasn’t “everything.”

    I am also noticing which friends (most) don’t know how to support me beyond giving advice on what actions to take. At least my years of BR allow me to let people be who they are, keep my eyes open, and not make this situation that much more painful for myself by hoping/demanding empathy from sources who aren’t offering it freely. My main source of support is my mom and sister and my main source of understanding is myself.

    What I want to do is smoke the half joint that is sitting in my aluminum-foil,-baggies-and-saran-wrap drawer in the kitchen. Just annihilate all this for a while. But I’m here instead.

    My heart doesn’t really want to get wrecked. I just want some more years, some more time to meet someone and have a baby. It’s so hard to sit with the wanting that and the feeling of near-certainty that it’s not going to happen.

    If any time was the time to try to break out of a thought-pattern for me I guess it’s now, because I’d say my whole life has been a struggle with “wanting that and the feeling of near-certainty that it’s not going to happen.”

    I’m at the part in the Headspace meditations where we notice how much the mind wants things to be different. Ha! Ba-ha-ha-ha!!

    On another note, NML, a lot of us had some catchup to do around twerking. This is what got me up to speed:
    http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2013-08-07/twerking-complete-history/

    • micheyl says:

      Magnolia, you are in a process. Honor and respect your feelings. I don’t feel you are at all being “poor me” about it. Crying is not weakness. It is a way of releasing. Allow yourself that. Be kind to yourself. Nurture yourself. It is good your mother and sister are supportive. Understand that all their words may not be what you want or need to hear, but it sounds like it is coming from a place of love. Grieving is a long process. I have just discovered that myself. <3

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Magnolia…Please don’t feel that you are somehow wrong to be in the midst of a huge “poor me” pity party. What you are dealing with right now IS major. You must feel your feelings and grieve. To not do so is extremely unhealthy. Plus, I think it takes a lot of real strength to go through the emotions, to grieve fully and NOT to just go numb and shut down.

      As for the people who are lacking empathy, perhaps they just don’t know what to say and they don’t want to give you banal platitudes.

      I too had too deal with and grieve the loss of ever having a partner AND a child. For me, it just didn’t happen and I’m now 51 and menopause is definitely here. It (a partner and child) was the one thing I always wanted, but it wasn’t meant for me. My Mom said the one thing that I truly appreciated (she knew how important that dream was to me). “It totally sucks! Grieve for as long as it takes.”

      I’m telling you the same thing. ((huge hug))

  10. micheyl says:

    I had a weird test of the universe myself in the form of a narcissistic female friend. We had known each other since kindergarten (5 years old) and she was always very toxic for me. Just very self-absorbed. She would talk me out of boyfriends because she didn’t have anyone.

    Anyway as the years have gone on I realized she only reached out to me on her terms, she never offered me any true friendship. I went through two divorces without much of a word from her. She always claimed I was her “best friend” but I was always the one to reach out. She has only met my children a handful of times.

    This is so silly, but her mother and her sisters were on facebook so we became fb friends. They were always very kind to me. Well she found out her mother and I were fb friends and she made her mother “Unfriend”me. I was perplexed because she and I had not gotten into a fight, we just hadn’t spoken for years, so I was not sure why she would be upset that her mother and I were in contact over fb. Then she joined fb and sent me a friend request. Well, like this post says – I chose not to get back on that train.

    She then sent me a message over fb berating me for being a horrible friend to her when her father died. Her father was actually quite a good man. I couldn’t make it out of state to his funeral. I wrote a letter expressing how much he meant to me and asked her to share it with her mother and sister. Well, she never did. But anyway, she told me to stay out of her life by stopping being friends with HER sisters on fb. She went on and on telling me how bitter and hateful I am. Well, I thought of all these responses, but decided not to get sucked up in all the drama. So I just fowarded her a link to a mental health website on personality disorders. She then told me I was truly hateful and sad. Haha!! I actually felt good not going down that road. I have felt bullied by this person my whole life! I am so glad I didn’t give in to her drama.

    • Getting it! says:

      But you did get sucked in to the dramas.

      Why send her the link on personality disorders? Whatever the faults of your (ex) friend, sending that link was a pretty nasty thing to do.

      • micheyl says:

        Maybe. That’s your opinion. I wouldn’t call it “nasty” but that’s my opinion.

        • Getting it! says:

          OK – well, continuing in the vein of things I say and think being my opinion(which seems somewhat obvious to me, but maybe not to others)…

          The whole point is not to engage and to not lower yourself to another person’s level. Whether you think what you did was nasty or otherwise, it is my opinion that it was retaliatory and that it kept you engaged in the drama of your friend.

          And, as to Tinkerbell’s comment about what she ‘deserved': again, this is not helpful thinking. Everyone here has an EUM or previous relationships with people who no doubt ‘deserve’ many nasty things to happen to them, but it rarely plays out that way. There isn’t any real way to ‘even the score’.

          Step back, see the crazy and let the crazy be. That is not engaging.

          Just sayin’…

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Getting It,

            This is Micheyl’s issue not mine or yours. BUT,
            Sure, the most decent thing to do is rise above like a phoenix when we’re faced with negative people doing mean things. But this person, as Micheyl describes has been viciously going out of her way to be bitchy. Even trying to negatively impact Micheyl’s FB communications with her ( the protagonist’s)own mother is a display of jealousy and insecurity which went far beyond acceptability. This woman was repeatedly doing things to antagonize Micheyl which may indicate a mental disorder of some kind. I think, regardless of the reasons for the behavior, Micheyl is still human and there comes a point when we’re fed up and have had ENOUGH. We may retaliate whether or not it was the right thing to do. Perhaps, you would have handled the situation differently. Fine for you to think that way when you are not the one going through it. As I said before it’s Micheyl’s issue and after her vivid description of her so-called friend’s actions I think it was disingenuous of you to call it “nasty” especially when she did not ask for anyone’s opinion. She was just letting off steam which we all do on here at times. When I first read Micheyl’s post I thought “I wouldn’t touch this with a 10 foot pole”, but as it went on, here I am putting in my two cents. Again, let us not argue over someone else’s heartfelt feelings on which her comments are based.

          • micheyl says:

            Getting – I don’t think we need to get into a sparring match over semantics.

            Anyway, maybe in acting in my highest good, I would have completely ignored her message. But I am not a saint, I am human. And I am in a process of growth. I did not let her words get to me and make me feel bad about myself like they used to. I have grown in that way. I don’t regret what I did. And if that makes me nasty or a bad person in your eyes – sorry. But I am not going to judge myself for it. I could have written her pages upon pages of what I truly think about her, but I didn’t. I limited and then cut communication. It was not retaliation. That was my way of standing up for myself and I feel good about it.

            If I were able to always act from my highest good, then I most likely would not be on a site like BR. I am here because I am in a process. I come here to read about other’s stories and I don’t judge them. Some are much farther along in their process than I am and some are just beginning. But in my heart I want to support them, because I feel I can relate to them. I also would like support from others without judgement. I realize not everyone will agree with my actions or opinions but I don’t expect to be judged or have words like “nasty” used regarding my actions. If I wanted to be judged I’d go talk to my mother. I am here for support. I hope you understand why I took offense to your words.

            • Getting it! says:

              Micheyl – sometimes support is when someone asks you to look more deeply at your own behavior.

              I never judged you – I just told you directly what I thought of the situation. If you believe someone telling you what they think equates to judgment then you will continue to react in a negative manner. I am not your mother.

              This is all I have to say on this matter.

              • micheyl says:

                Stating something someone did was “nasty” sounds like judgement to me.

                That’s all I have to say.

    • Revolution says:

      Micheyl,

      If you haven’t already, Google “Narcissists Suck blog” (don’t remember the exact URL, sorry) and, if you don’t already have all of the answers on why your friend behaves the way she does, you will after reading through this site. Good luck. And don’t look back. She’s fuckin’ bonkers.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Micheyl,

        I support you. If she did all the crap you talked about I’d say she deserved
        what you did. She’s a crazy beeatch.

        • micheyl says:

          Thanks Rev and Tink,

          I looked up that website Rev and all the characteristics are her for sure. I obviously have a lot to work on regarding my need for outside validation. I spent the whole night feeling horrible about “Getting it”s comment. Maybe she didn’t mean it like I took it. But I questioned myself like maybe that was harsh, maybe I was being immature, yada yada. Then I just thought of the countless selfish fucked up things this woman Narc has done to me from the age of 5 and I thought, no, I was not nasty. If I truly did not think she had a personality disorder then I would not have sent her that link. And no my true intention was not to reach out to help her, but it was an indication of my true feelings of her actions. And did I get a perverse pleasure in that I knew how angry and outraged she would be in my response… yes I did! But I was proud in that I didn’t fall into the trap of trying to defend myself to her which was our drama. She always pointing out my flaws and me trying to defend myself.

          Anyway, yes I get outside validation from your kind words and understanding. I will work on that, but I thank you for them anyway. :)

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Micheyl, see my comment above. This person will take a great deal of patience on your part to deal with. Is there any way you can just go NC since she makes you feel so badly? Understanding she’s a friend from childhood, but one who has meant you no good from day 1 for her own sick reasons which don’t help you at all.

            • anim says:

              Tinkerbell I dont think Micheyl should even consider someone like that as a friend. Maybe someone you have known from childhood but I do not see that as a friendship. We cannot let people just do what they want with us because at the end of the day we are the ones who starts collecting these baggage and they are no where to be found to unload.
              Micheyl I think you did yourself a favor (maybe she too) for letting her know what you think of her unstable behavior.

            • micheyl says:

              Thanks Tinkerbell,

              I appreciate your comment. Yes I am NC with her. She does have problems and I feel sorry for her, but I know if we were in contact it would be toxic. Her younger sister has reached out to me and let me know she is NC as well since she feels abused by her. I guess she bullies their mother in many ways. It is hard for me to understand how she ended up the way she did coming from such a loving family…

              Anyway, this NC will not be hard for me to continue at all! (Unlike EUM):/

    • Anon says:

      Michayl, I love that you had the guts to send her that link, she is MANUPULATIVE, textbook, and it bet that is not the first/last time she will hear it. These people bully nonstop and keep trying to get you to engage in their toxic games. She now knows you know the score… and now, so does she.

      • micheyl says:

        Anon and Anim,

        I don’t consider her a friend. I have asked myself “If I met this person today would I become friends with them?” And the answer is no. In past years I felt obligated to be her friend because of our history, and I also truly cared about her family. Then we just dropped out of contact when I realized I was doing all the contact, so I just stopped. That is why this maneuver was unexpected and brought back feelings of old… So I don’t expect much more of it really. I am definitely able to let that train keep right on going past.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          All’s well that ends well. End of. All the best to you, Micheyl.

        • lizzp says:

          From another perspective – the problem here is that Face Effing Book digital ‘communication’. The consequences for both the manipulative non-friend and Micheyl in communicating in two dimensions are minimal and safe because no-one has had to *face* anybody else. As we know the consequences don’t really have to be ‘faced’, digital communication quite subtly encourages us to say and act in ways we would not do, or at least consider the consequences more, in real life. Digital communication also encourages subtle and barely conscious fantasy building given the lack of bodily cues and facial expressions of the other person that lead to empathic (or not) adjustments in real life.

          • lizzp says:

            I guess in the context of this article I’m now on a sort of roll thinking about what “engagement” actually means in the context of digitalised engagement. I happened upon this you tube video (link below) when reading google news (on the net ofcourse). There was an entire news story about it. When we ‘engage’ via smart phone for e.g. (but fb is pretty much the same right? and smart phones give access to social media sites anyway), the flip side is that it is time spent, *not* engaging with those around us. I understand that Nat is referring here to disengagement via all avenues from people who add nothing to our lives, however how toxic for the human being is it to engage with those who do matter when that is digital? And how toxic for our own sense of connectedness and contact in the world and real others’ sense of connection with us?

            The link leads to a clip called “oh no, I forgot my phone!”

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Hey Lizz,

              How’re you? It’s not the digital communication that is such a problem, it’s the public’s obsession with them. It’s pathetic the way people MUST have their iphones at all times to the point of having it ringing during church service and holding up their Ipads to take photos and their Kindles instead of their bibles when asked to do so. It’s more to show off that they own one than for the purpose of the device. Sad.

  11. Ruth Johnson says:

    Magnolia – My heart feels for you. I’m in a situation whereby I’m waiting (so far 10 months and counting)for an op that I don’t want as I will lose my ‘intact’ body image and a whole ream of other issues that will arise as a result. I feel incredibly alone and not understood…

    And then of course, the AC from 6 years ago made a move on me a few months ago and so I’ve been in a ‘FWB’ situation that’s been completely on his terms, but finally, with the help of Natalie’s insights and a dear friend, it’s over….this time for good.

    It’s so hard to meet someone anyway, let alone when we’re in such a fragile state and it’s hard to change our perception of our reality to a more positive one… but it can be done. Well, I’m only just starting to embark on this new path and embrace new thought patterns but I already feel I’ve made a little headway, though I realise I have a long way to go…..

    Have faith in yrself first and foremost and surely, the rest will follow… Good Luck

    • Magnolia says:

      Ruth, I’m sorry to hear that you have to have an operation you don’t want. These are major life challenges! Not everyone can understand, and I guess we shouldn’t want them to. Thanks for the kind words and good on you for ditching the FWB sitch; it’s got to be good for you all around to be free of that.

  12. Found myself a backbone says:

    Had an awful espisode on Sunday when my ex husbands new wife decided to email my 13 year old daughter and tell her that she’s ungrateful as she had not text her dad for a couple of days that she will have to side with her husband??? And went in to awful stuff about our divorce and what kind of person I am and that she has moved my kids out of their bedrooms as they are only there sometimes, result…., my daughter devestated (again) So I responded calmly asking her to not talk about adult stuff with a 13 year old child and that it was not the best way to talk to my daughter, her response… to send a text to my daughters phone calling me the most horendous names! I was proud I again asked calmly that if she needs to vent could she contact my email address and not send this to my daughters phone. This verbal abuse lasted all night then I received an apology in the morning which I gracefully took and now I have a daughther who does not want to talk to her father and an ex husband sending me abusive texts and angry messages to his daughter, shesh! But this time I feel calm and able to deal rationaly with this behaviour so finally letting go of my anger and resentment. I did however briefly want to reach out to ex assclown???? why, I dont know! but decided this was my own stuff to sort and NC is truly the best way forward as do not need another load of drama in my life.

  13. meandthebump says:

    This is a very timely and very welcome article for me to read, NML! It reminds me of a previous one about putting your hand back in the fire. I have been struggling with thoughts of ‘trying to see the best’ in my ex, and thinking that my values and his values are the same. It is a big wake up call to realise that he is not going to change until he wants to, and that cutting him off is and not engaging is for the best – that that’s not defeat, but takes courage and strength and… boundaries.

    I’ve had 7 months of expecting more from my EUM-ex, as I am expecting his baby any day now. He dumped me very early in the pregnancy and reset himself with a new girlfriend straight away, and has given that relationship/social life priority over any attempts to meet up or support me through my whole pregnancy.

    I am proud to say I have done it alone and am looking forward to meeting my little girl!

    In a last, pre-birth, attempt to give the guy a chance to be a Dad (I was not saying anything about us getting back together), even though he completely abandoned us, I met up with him a few days ago after 7 months of next to no communication (crumbs of text messages like “how’s it going?”, no mention of or interest in our unborn child).

    I started talking about my values, about this new little life we’ve created, that’s about to come into the world. Of how precious she is, and how he has a chance to be there for her and she is his legacy. I said that the door was still open, even though he’d let me go through the whole pregnancy alone. I let him feel her kicking in my tummy. And then he spoke and that’s when I regretted engaging again…

    The EUM-ex got all defensive about his lack of care and concern – he’d sent an email and a few short text messages in 7 months after all! And that’s when he said to me – at 9 months pregnant – that he didn’t want her, I made a mistake keeping her, I should have had an abortion.

    Still, I wanted to see better in him, and asked if he wanted to be at the birth. He said no, it wasn’t important to him and the baby would never remember he wasn’t there.

    I had been wrestling with my conscience about cutting him out of our lives, because I value family, and wanted to give him every chance to be a Dad even if he can’t be a good partner and his actions never matched his words.

    Finally, I seem to have got consistency from him – that he is consistently disappointing and selfish, and we cannot expect anything from him. And that it is detrimental to me and my baby’s wellbeing to engage in this crap. I am getting off that train. I have expected it to go to a different destination for so long, but enough is enough… my baby must come first, and protecting her from the BS is more important that ego-stroking someone who has so little decency and basic care and concern for us! It’s taken me a long time, but I’m getting there and letting go.

    • Selkie says:

      Me and the Bump,

      This guy is really thinking only of himself. Your precious baby is going to affect his life and that is what he is focusing on, not on her. Unfortunately, some men handle an unplanned pregnancy that way. Since he is not carrying the baby, he is able to disconnect and push the whole thing away from himself. This is stressful for you and heartbreaking, I’m sure. As a Mom, you are thinking of how this will affect your little one too. While not having a father in her life is not ideal, you can raise her and protect her from his attitude toward her. She never needs to know how he felt about her in the beginning, and I say in the beginning because his feelings may change someday in the future and he may want to be in her life. He also may never change his feelings but that is out of your control. You gave him an opportunity and keeping the door open, while protecting her from ANY drama is the right thing to do in my opinion. I think keeping the door unlocked, but not open enough for her father to be as source of pain and confusion by his unavailability to her is smart. He may decide that being a father is important in time, and as long as he can demonstrate he is genuine and won’t disappear on her and break her heart, then she deserves to have that in her life. If he is going to create a bunch of drama and hurt her, come and go, disappoint her, then the door can stay shut. If he never wakes up and sees her as his precious gift, she does not deserve to be hurt by this. Keep it between you and him and let her grow up with no sense of negativity in her being born. It’s a tough situation. I was in the same dilemna when I was 17. My child’s father bailed and left us in the hospital when he was born ( he ran off with a friend of mine, ouch). I was devastated. It was a rough start to motherhood but I never let my son feel that pain. I kept any conversation about his father very neutral. I think telling any child that the other parent didn’t want to know them or didn’t want to be a parent is putting a huge burden on the child to feel confused by that, and possibly not good enough. I told my son that his father wanted to be a father but just did not know HOW because he young and not mature enough. My son didn’t feel hurt by this. His father called him one day out of the blue when he was 12. I wouldn’t let him talk to him and told him to think about it more, if he could be consistent and make a decision to be in my son’s life without disappearing again to call back a few weeks later and we would discuss it. He never called back. When my son was around 15 he called again and we went through the same process, this time he called back in two weeks and said he wanted to know him. They developed a relationship but it never became very close. My son felt okay with how their relationship was. I never turned it into an emotional drama about his dad abandoning him and it paid off. My son is grown up now, and when it comes up, we talk openly about it. My son’s ability to forgive and be open astounded me and I was proud of him.
      My heart goes out to you right now. Stay strong for your little girl. I wish you a safe and happy delivery.

      • meandthebump says:

        Hi Selkie, thank you so much for sharing your story, what a strong lady and caring mother you have been. Thank you for your advice on protecting my little one from the reality, so that she may never feel that it was her fault or she was not good enough. She will be surrounded by love from me and my relatives, and it seems the closer the birth becomes the more I am present to her needs and I think the Daddy BS will be increasingly backgrounded as we will be in a more loving space.

        Door unlocked. I like that analogy. Protecting my little one first, but being grounded enough to allow change in the future if it is genuine. It sounds like you handled the father’s return very well, and are rightly proud to have brought up a smart and grounded son who can see what’s what

      • micheyl says:

        Selkie, what a beautiful example you are of doing what is best for your child out of love. I love reading about how you stood tall and strong for your son when his dad first reached out to him. And then asking the same question a few years later. I can only imagine how proud your son is of you too. You sound like a lovely family.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Meanthebump.

      I’ve never been in your situation but I can say that you have great patience. You persisted in giving him opportunities to insult and devalue you. When he said to you that he didn’t give a rat’s ass and that you should have gotten an abortion, why would you then ask him if he wanted to be at the birth? I don’t want to make you feel worse, but PLEASE LET IT GO. If that MF ever changes his mind, it surely won’t be because of anything you’ve said or done. Stay NC. Don’t contact him when your child is born. Don’t give him any more chances to give you a kick in the ass. PLEASE, move on with dignity. Your daughter will be better off with you and you alone, not with him in the mix. Unbelievable cruelty!!!

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Also, post to us when she is born so WE here can extend our sincere congrats and happiness for you. And, since she will no longer be a “Bump” you’ll need a new moniker, something reflecting cheerful empowerment. All the best with the delivery. xx Tink.

        • meandthebump says:

          Thanks Tink! Yes, I think this one last attempt was my way of knowing I have given him every chance and his failure and lack of interest is so blinding that it is time to move on. You’re right, no-one can make him change except himself, not me, not our baby.

          As he’s rejected fatherhood at 37 years old, that’s something that may never change – I just need to not care about it any more. It’s been hard to get that through to my brain, much as I can rationalize it and read supporting articles on here, it’s a long process of coming to terms with something I can’t change, but I’m getting there! Ever faster I hope!

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Bump, please don’t let that lazy, selfish a$$ spoil this VERY SPECIAL TIME IN YOUR LIFE in any way! You offered. Now it’s all about you and your baby. He can be dealt with later, if need be.

      • meandthebump says:

        Thank you Satori. These idiots take up way too much time in our heads! But yes, baby is kicking right now, she must be agreeing with you – I am very lucky to have her, the ex’s BS is exactly that: BS. And I ain’t got time for that now! :-)

        • micheyl says:

          Me & the bump–

          You are very brave and going through a huge challenge right now. I am a single mom and have told my story on a different post. Part of me wishes my ex AC was not involved from the get-go but then I wouldn’t have my 2nd daughter – which is unimaginable. With all his faults, my children’s father (and he has many) he didn’t rebuff me the way your AC has you. He came along grudgingly and not in the way I wanted him to, but if I am to say something positive he showed slivers of love throughout the process.

          Anyway, I think in your case like many others have said, you have given him many chances and he is not taking them.

          I haven’t read this book since I was first a single mother (8 years ago!) but it was recommended to me by a friend. It is “In Praise of Single Parents: Mothers and Fathers Embracing the Challenge”
          by Shoshana Alexander. I remember one of her messages was to surround yourself with your own “family” – find loving people whether blood related or spiritually related to be part of your new family.

          Your little girl is a blessing. I have two and I thank God for them every day. Surround yourself and your baby with love, you don’t need someone who cannot cherish that baby the way you do. xoxo

          • meandthebump says:

            Thanks Micheyl, and I want to read that book, thanks for suggesting it. I am hearing from some amazing single moms on this post, really helping me to be strong x

    • susanna says:

      Me and the Bump,

      I agree with everyone who encouraged you to forget this guy for your sake and the sake of your sweet baby.

      Keep him out of your life–he should be dead to you after his appalling behavior–and your baby deserves better than a creep like him in her life. Protect, care and love your little one with everything you’ve got.

      Hugs to you both.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Meanthebump,

        Some people will say take him to court, make him accept financial responsibility. I feel that action should be on a case by case basis. This guy is evil personified. You were good enough to have sex with and now you’re not good enough to shine his shoes. He may be thinking you attempted to entrap him with the pregnancy which would explain why he seems to hate you now. I am happy that you have a loving supportive family. Your baby will be in a peaceful, loving environment and not ever have to feel that she was not wanted. Even if the S.O.B. changes later he may still be more of a headache that you and your daughter do not need.

        My first husband was physically abusive, forcing me to leave him with our 18 mo. old daughter in tow. It was hard, but I had the support of my mother and moved back in with her. I raised my daughter very well and without his help. I never spoke about him so she never heard that he was evil. Years later when she was 11 yrs old I allowed him to move in with us. It was then that my daughter discovered what a beast of a father she had. It was traumatic for her. Because of my experience, I’m telling you to be very careful in the future where he is concerned. People rarely change significantly, and it may not be worth it to engage.
        Good luck.

    • Getting it! says:

      Me+the bump

      It is hard when we have a picture of how a family should be (or how we dream our family will be) and it doesn’t pan out that way.

      My biological father (who I haven’t seen in over 30 years) was not a bad man. He was an addict and he couldn’t handle the responsibility of fatherhood. He would come in and go out of our lives a lot when I was a young child.

      I will admit that I have very little recollection of him at all but I do think that my lack of confidence and my feeling of not being good enough is the result of these early life experiences. As I have aged, I have learned better coping mechanisms for dealing with these feelings and am far less likely to let them hinder me these days.

      The reason I mention this is that if Bump’s dad cannot be a positive influence on Bump’s life and well being, then it is better for him to not be around at all. In some ways, your decision is far clearer: you know the Bump’s dad is unlikely to be a good father and it is your job to provide your baby with the safest, healthiest and most supportive environment you possibly can.

      I know, by watching my mother’s struggles, that raising children as a single parent is difficult. I have nothing but the most profound respect for all parents (and single parents doubly so). I firmly believe that you can raise Bump (and do a fantastic amazing job of it) without this man’s input. Just think of all the energy you will save from not dealing with this man and how you can add those energies to raising your baby!

      You can do this.

      GI

    • yoghurt says:

      Hiya me

      Nothing to add to other excellent advice (I am not exactly an inspirational model of clever decisions right now) but lots of love and happy-birthing vibes to you. Babies are ace.

  14. noquay says:

    Mags
    Keep the J in the drawer, you don’t need any depressants right now. Yep, you are at one of those ” realizing you cannot have what you want” moments coupled with severe depression from anemia and really screwed up hormone levels. I am glad you have your mom to be there for you, a good many folks lack the ability to empathize, to simply be there. You are smart, Mags, you know you are going to have to deal with this issue, and soon. Meanwhile, we BRistas are here for you.

    • Magnolia says:

      Hi Noquay, yes, I’m stalling. I am trying to buy time to do the most I possibly can by radically cleaning up my diet and reintroducing conscious exercise after years of injury and a year of inactivity. My books on healing fibroids naturally just arrived in the mail.

      I was pleased with myself for turning to BR instead of lighting up. When I first came to BR, I was sometimes reading every night for hours, just to try to distract myself from the pain. It’s good to know that whether it’s an AC or a substance, I have the choice to come to BR and write it all out instead.

      Iron infusions at the hospital start tomorrow. New teaching term starts next week. Feel like everything is moving so fast.

  15. Lara says:

    I’ve been having a rough time these past couple of days. For some reason, I seem to have taken a few steps back. No idea as to why. It’s been more than 2 months since my ex broke up with me, and I hadn’t been online-stalking him until a few days ago. I think it was a mixture of boredom, loneliness, and depression. Yesterday was particularly bad. I met a couple of new people in my department, 3 men and 3 women. I think I was craving for some sexual flirtation / attention from the 2 guys in particular, but for one reason or another, they weren’t interested at all, didn’t even look at me that way. I guess I was seeking validation that I was attractive, etc. Anyway, that really got me down. I was going out of my way to be nice to them (even to the women) and they didn’t even reciprocate a smile. I thought this was a good opportunity to broaden my circle of friends and apparently I screwed it up somehow, because they were just not very friendly with me.

    Then, in the evening, a friend of mine ( a guy whom I talk with every once in a while on facebook), told me that his gf thinks there’s something going on between him and me… he had tried to sleep with me , before starting to date his gf (she’s his rebound, after he got out of a dysfunctional relationship — very dysfunctional because of him, I believe), but I had refused. Anyway, I told him he can remove me from facebook if he wants to. Then I thought, hang on a minute, I think that’s what he’s trying to tell me. He was trying to tell me that he was going to remove me from FB. So I went ahead and removed him myself. He then said that maybe , in the future, we might reconnect. I told him, no thanks, I don’t need friends who disrespect me in this way. What really hurt me was the fact that people always seem to treat me like a toy they can pick up or throw away and pick up again at any point. I have always been a victim of this kind of fickleness, but not anymore. I am putting my foot down and demanding respect, because if I don’t demand the respect I think I am owed, people will keep on yo-yo-ing in and out of my life at whim. I do not regret putting my foot down and rejecting his “offer” for “future friendship” (maybe if things don’t work out between him and his gf, he will come back? It feels like he wants me as a back-up option waiting for him — as a potential gf or as someone to listen to him bitching about yet another of his dysfunctional relationships). Anyway, I think it’s mainly his problem, because he’s such a wimp he can’t stand up and tell his gf that he has a right to choose his friends — male or female — but oh well. Whatever works for them. It’s just that I am sick of being treated like this — it happens so often, that I am wondering if I am doing something wrong? Even if I do stand up for myself with one person, it doesn’t solve the problem, because other people will still try their luck. Am I giving off an insecure vibe that makes people think they can yo yo in and out of my life? I don’t know. One guy even wanted to date me, set up a date with me, then cancelled on me the day of the date, telling me he had discovered he had feelings for this other girl he’d been dating. His words were: “I feel like a douchebag for doing this,” which were the same words used by my friend yesterday. Which makes me think that this is one of those standard lines used by douchebags. It seems that he wanted my approval / validation that he wasn’t a bad guy after all. I hope I didn’t give him that, by telling him I didn’t want to be friends with him anymore — not now, and not in the future. Oh well. My life is very tough and painful right now. I am already bed-ridden with a really bad cold that set in at 5am this morning, and I feel like these things are weighing heavily on me and making me feel worse, and not helping wit my recovery from the cold. I think my immune system is collapsing, due to high levels of work-related stress (also linked to self-esteem issues) over the past week or two. :(

    • Sandy says:

      Lara,

      It’s normal to take a few steps back at first, but then you realise after a while that it is not happening as often and it’s totally normal to want to feel as if you are still attractive to other people. But I found I had to feel attractive to myself first if that makes sense, my ex AC made me feel so unattractive that even though I know I am not I had to try and restrain from validation from other men..I have finally got to the stage where I don’t care whether they like how I look or not as long as I am happy with myself and I actually seem to be feeling more confident lately.

      I used to watch him looking at other women and wonder what it is he found lacking in me, but I think now that it is something lacking in him, he seemed to want the validation of women still finding him attractive.

      With the AC as long as you were compliant, didn’t make waves, lay down and let him wipe his feet on you, pay for things, let him do what he liked then he was happy with you..but I can’t live a life like that.

      Stress will make you sick, you need to take care of yourself..is there anyway you can lighten the work-related stress at all?

      • Lara says:

        Hey! Yeah, this resonated so much with me:

        “With the AC as long as you were compliant, didn’t make waves, lay down and let him wipe his feet on you, pay for things, let him do what he liked then he was happy with you..but I can’t live a life like that.”

        This describes my ex. It’s amazing that so many people have had the same exact experience.

        Work-related stress: it’s been worse than it usually is, because I had a very important deadline to meet, and I had little sleep for 2 weeks. We’re talking about 3 hrs of sleep a day, at most. And I ended up failing to completely meet the deadline. I submitted the work, but it wasn’t complete. It was a stressful 2 weeks, and that really brought my immune system crashing down. I am recovering now. The stress is still there, since I am waiting anxiously on feedback on the stuff I was supposed to submit. Also, I had a very bad day at work today, where I had a run-in with the secretary, and was basically treated with a lot of disrespect by her. What brought about my disagreement/problem with the secretary, however, indicated a bigger clash between me and my employer, though, so that got me really angry. I felt like my skills and my work are not being appreciated. Basically, I was offered a contract that paid only about 1/3rd of what others are getting paid for doing the same amount and quality of work. In fact, I believe that the quality of my work has been consistently better than anyone else’s, and this is all I get in return for it. I feel very unappreciated. So I told the secretary that I do not want the contract, since it is not worth my time. I had to put my dignity ahead of my financial needs. It may have been an unwise decision but I had to do it, for my self-esteem. So stress will not go down any time soon, I suspect. There is now an additional aspect to the stress (financial). :(

    • Rosie says:

      Lara- If you put your foot down and demand respect, all you’ll get is a sore foot. Respectful people will show respect and disrespectful people will disrespect. It has very little to do with you. Disengaging from the drama and dysfunction is to detach from others’ opinions of us. This means standing up for yourself like you did with that guy regardless if he respects you for it or not.

      I’m sorry that your attempts to be friendly with your new co-workers was a bust. Maybe you caught them on a wrong day. I doubt their reactions had anything to do with you, though. If their looks really were looks of disapproval, then so what? You approve of you, right? You are living out your own values, right? You took a healthy risk and reached out. Good for you!!! YAY LARA!!! :)

      Truthfully, when you start clearing out all the toxicity and dysfunction from your life, it’ll be lonely for a while as you build up a more authentic, solid foundation. You won’t fit in with people you used to feel comfortable with and they won’t know how to respond to your healthier ways of interacting. Some of them may come around and “get it”, most will drop out of your life and you’ll be lonely for a while. It’s ok, it’s a process. :)

      • Lara says:

        You’re right! That’s what I meant by putting my foot down, though. Not really demanding respect, but telling people who don’t respect me that they are out of my life: for good. I won’t put up with their indecisiveness about whether or not I deserve their friendship or time, etc. If they’re unsure about whether or not I add to or subtract from their life, there’s no place for them in my life. This is what I mean: I am no longer interested in getting involved in further drama. I am too tired for it. I will cut anyone out of my life who doesn’t appreciate my value as a human being and as a friend. I’ve already made a lot of changes in my life, cut out a lot of people from my life whom I considered friends. It hit me, after my experiences with my ex, when most of my so-called friends just disappeared and didn’t even lend a helping/supporting hand, left me alone on New Year’s Eve knowing that my ex had broken up with me a few days earlier, all that made me realize who my real friends were, and that, really, I didn’t really have any real/close friends. Anyway, I cut out of my life a bunch of them, after they consistently failed to be there for me when I needed them most. Maybe I was being a bit selfish in expecting them to rush to my aid when they probably have their own problems, but I’ve done that for other people, for the very same people who have not done it for me. And I’ve done it in a healthy way, not in a people-pleasing way. I’ve listened to my friends moan and bitch about their bad experiences, etc., and I’ve offered advice, time and again, even though at times it sounded very boring and repetitive. I never ignored them, though, because “there we go again, she’s talking about her bf/ex”, etc. The way they did with me. Even when I didn’t talk much about my ex, but was feeling down, they didn’t want to hang out with me. Anyway, I am getting a healthy sense of boundaries, and I am removing people from my life, when in the past, I used to have a harem of useless people whom I thought of as “friends.” I might as well have categorized them as enemies.

        • Rosie says:

          Lara–I love the way you worded this:

          ” I used to have a harem of useless people whom I thought of as “friends.” ”

          This cracked me up! :) I can relate to your being there for people because it’s your heart, not because you were trying to “win” anybody’s approval and no, it isn’t selfish to expect friends to be friends. Of course, if you were calling them at 3:00 A.M. when you know they have to be at work at 8:00 A.M…but expecting their support and listening ears during your time of need is not selfish. It’s to be expected of friends.

          CONGRATULATIONS on your courage to get rid of deadbeats! :) If they can’t operate on your level then no, they don’t have a place in your life. Carrying around dead bodies will just weigh you down. Keep burying the dead and moving forward lighter and lighter. :)

          • Lara says:

            Yes, you’re absolutely right. I’ve really had trouble understanding where people were coming from, because I always gave my friends all the time they needed if they had any problem. So when they didn’t reciprocate, I wondered if I was doing something wrong, or if I was expecting too much or was acting selfish. But no, I never called them at 3am and asked them to help out. In fact, there are very very few friends that I even share my personal life developments with, and those just decided to cut me off or contact me only when they needed me and disappear into thin air when they didn’t need me, or when I needed something from them. I guess they find me to be a broken record and maybe I was a little bit, at the initial stages of dealing with my ex, but I’ve always been careful not to talk too much about my woes with my ex, because I know it can get a bit too much. Still, these very same friends have talked to me repeatedly about their woes and I’ve sat there and listened time and again, and still would’ve — except now, I realize that I deserve more reciprocity than I am getting, so no, now, I would no longer listen to these people. In fact, I have cut them out of my life, and am looking forward to making more friends. In fact, I have JUST made 3 new friends, by being helpful to one of the newbies in my department. He was asking the secretary some questions the other day, which the secretary didn’t know the answer to, and I was just standing outside her office waiting for my turn, so I thought I’d jump in and offer the help, since I knew the answers. Anyway, after that, he said that he and his gf and a few others (a few of the other newbies) were going out for drinks the following evening, and if I’d like to join them. I said, SURE, would love to! I hadn’t met his gf at that point, and I had only talked to the other newbie guy in passing (the guy who hadn’t smiled back at me), so I thought it was great. We coordinated details via text, and I had a great time last night, with the 3 who showed up (guy and his gf, and another guy). It was good fun, we had a good intelligent conversation that I don’t often find in bars when I go alone, and I just felt good about myself , because I am often seen at that bar alone and everyone who works there thinks I’m a loner, but they saw me with this group of people, so that sorta shook off that image a little bit. Not that I should really care what they think about me, but it just sucks not to have friends to socialize with, and having to go out on your own, because you don’t want to sit at home day after day after day, when you get back from work. At any rate, it was great. I also exchanged numbers with the other guy (he also has a gf), and it was all very friendly. And that guy, I now realize, doesn’t smile much, it’s just his “style”. It was nothing personal, so I should stop being so paranoid and thinking everything is about me. The other 4 newbies didn’t show up, for one reason or another. I suspect, though, that most of the women didn’t show up because they seem to generally like hanging out with guys. I suspect they don’t like the competitiveness of having other women around, be it in terms of intelligent conversations which would mean they would not stand out as “unique” because there are others who are equally intelligent, or in terms of sexual/physical attractiveness. At any rate, their loss. I would’ve loved to get to know them too. I had no bad vibes from / issues with that guy’s gf, who was very sweet and intelligent. IMO, people who are so avoidantly competitive are very insecure. Anyway, I am glad I am not one of those women, even though in the past, I used to be a little bit insecure especially around women, both in terms of looks and in terms of intelligence. But I’ve found some new-found strength and confidence, which keeps increasing, though there may be some setbacks every now and then. Overall, I feel like I’ve made good progress. I have zero desire to contact my AC ex, or the AC who asked me out on a few days a few months ago and then disappeared for 2 months only to reappear a week ago… With time, I’ve gained and keep gaining more perspective and some of the stuff they’ve done seems to pathetically funny and childish. And to think that I let that stuff get to me and get me all stressed and upset and teary-eyed… ugh! I’ve definitely come a long long way. Thank god that I found those pictures on my ex’s phone. It was the biggest punch in the face, and was possibly the only wake-up call capable of shaking me out of my pathetic obsession with my ex. In the end, my gut feeling got me out of that horrible, abusive situation. I will never distrust my gut feeling again, ever. Mind over heart, every day, any day.

    • Mymble says:

      Lara
      Everyone has days like that, minor disappointments and dents to your ego. None of these people were important to you. Do something nice for yourself (that doesn’t include alcohol or spending money, Facebook or cyber snooping your ex). The kinds of things that help, for me are tidying and cleaning, phoning my family, making arrangements to do things, cook something nice, doing my hair and nails, clearing out cupboards etc.

      • Lara says:

        You’re absolutely right. I am feeling much better today, and have decided to put all that behind me. I think part of it was the cold getting to my head. I was feeling very ill yesterday and that really affected my judgment and got me more depressed than I already was.

        • micheyl says:

          Lara,
          Glad to hear you are feeling better! Isn’t it funny these men tell us who they are “I feel like a douchebag…” Did you answer, “Well yes, you are…” haha. My ex EUM, after telling me he still has all this feelings for me yada yada states ‘I feel like a jerk for telling you this.’ I should have said, yes, well you should.

          Anyway, it sounds like you are getting most of the dbags out of your life, romantic and friends. It is amazing when you start valuing yourself how you can look at friends and say HMMMM, really? I haven’t made tons of friends – as a single mom it can be hard. But I find the people I am now surrounding myself really truly care about me. It is a great feeling. Just like with men, we should not accept crumbs in friendships. You deserve respect and good for you for not accepting less. xoxo

          • Lara says:

            Haha, micheyl, yes, absolutely — I’ve had four men do this to me, in the past year. The first was some guy who set up a date with me, only for him to cancel it the day of, and tell me that he’d been dating a girl and that he has JUST discovered he has feelings for her (!). He told me he feels like a total douchebag for having done this (cancelled, that is). I think he missed the point: that he wasn’t just a douchebag for having cancelled, but he was more of a douchebag for having set up a date with a girl, when he had been so far into the dating process with another girl.. Sheesh. I don’t think he got it, though. But I told him: you ARE an *sshole, not only for cancelling on me but for setting a date with me in the first place. You deserve a special place in hell, that’s what I told him. And I also said that I feel sorry for his gf. That was experience #1. Then I met my ex, and the four times he broke up with me, he told me (or acted like) he felt like he was a douchebag. He was too narcissistic to really say it. So after every break-up, he’d keep sending me mssges, saying, “I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I had warned you that my job stops me from having a normal life.” (?!?!! so his job stops him from committing to one person — what sort of job is that, is he a male prostitute/stripper?). With my ex, I never felt like responding, and hoped there really were feelings behind what he was saying, that he really felt rotten for having done that to me. But, I very much doubt it. He just didn’t want to appear like he was the bad guy, which I suspect was the case for all the men who have pulled that “I know I’ve acted like a douchebag but…” card.

            Third guy who did this with me, is a guy I dated a few times, he chased after me pretty hard, had sex with him early on, though, and then he started booty-calling me. I ignored, and only texted him in the morning to tell him I was awake last night when he texted me but was having some me-time at home. I thought that should be enough signals that I wasn’t willing to be booty-called but he tried his luck a few more times without asking me out (in fact, he told me he would text me after dinner with friends, to see if I was up for doing something together, but he then stood me up 5 hours later claiming that the dinner had lasted for 5 hours — when he texted me asking me if I was still awake, it was midnight, and what was he thinking, that I was staying at home and waiting on him all that time he had supposedly been having “dinner” with friends? (probably more like, on a date with some chick and trying his luck with her to see if she’d be willing to take him home)? And besides, texting me at midnight? Really? Anyway, the last time I texted him, he had told me he was leaving for the U.S., and I responded, asking him when he was coming back. He never bothered to respond. For 2 months, that text remained unanswered. Then, out of the blue, last week, lo and behold, he reappears out of thin air. He texts me, saying “I’m sorry I’ve been such a stranger, I haven’t been in Montreal for over a month”. First of all, he hadn’t responded to my text in over 2 months, so clearly, being in the same city didn’t mean he’d text me, apparently. He was passive aggressively trying to tell me that he had been here but just wasn’t interested in hitting me up, because he had better plans / women (I had found his online profile on a paid dating site, trolling for women to have one night stands with). Second, “I’m sorry I’ve been such a stranger”? lol, really? At least have the decency to say “I’m sorry I’ve been such a DOUCHEBAG”. This guy didn’t even have it in him to call himself a douchebag. (Yes, I am a narcissist magnet, apparently). At any rate, I felt like the only fitting response to a narc (just as in my ex’s situation) was to not respond at all, not even to say “well yes, you should feel like a douchebag!” With narcs, it’s particularly pointless to say that, because they don’t REALLY feel like douchebags, or anything else. They don’t feel anything at all!

            Fourth guy was that male friend of mine, who told me that he was throwing me and our friendship away because his gf had asked him to, but that he’d pick up from where he’d let off, if things didn’t work out with his gf for one reason or another. Them he said, “I feel like a douchebag for doing this.” I told him, in so many words, that he was a douchebag. I told him, I don’t need “friends”, not now, nor in the future, who do not respect me. Blocked him completely, so didn’t get any response from him. Didn’t want to see any response from him either. Good riddance. I am done with these sh*tty, disrespectful, narcissistic people. Out with them. They have no place in my life!

            • micheyl says:

              Good for you for being able to recognize it and “flush” these people. I think that is part of the growth. Even though we will run into these people still, it is like a test to see if we can recognize those AC and EUM qualities… and then do something about it.

  16. Wendy says:

    It’s been 38 days since I didn’t answer the EUM phone call and I miss him so bad it’s hard to breathe. We live close by and I have seen him around, passing him in my car…as soon as I feel my mind getting stronger, I see him and my heart aches for him. I miss his embrace and his scent, his smile. I miss him telling me I’m beautiful and going on our adventures together. Letting go of your soulmate because you know he’s an EUM is so hard…

    • micheyl says:

      Wendy, I hear you. I miss the EUM too… But I am so very proud of myself for 9 days of NC. 38 days is amazing and you should feel proud. Can you avoid those places you usually see him? I live in the same small town as my EUM too, but I deliberately am trying to avoid certain spots.

      For a while, I was hoping he was my “soul mate” too. It was easier to believe when we were in an actual relationship than now when he is trying to make me a “OW”. But now with time and perspective I can see that he cannot truly be my “soul mate” as that person would never disrespect me and hurt me the way he has. That person would cherish me, cherish the way I feel about him and want to treat me in ways that make me feel good and loving – not in ways that make me feel anxiety, doubt and worthlessness.

      If he was your soul mate, he would not make you feel badly. And he would be emotionally available. Stay strong girlie. I know it’s hard.

      • Wendy says:

        Micheyl,
        Thank you so much for the encouragement! It’s now been 42 days!!! I cannot believe I’ve made it this long…Something that you said really resonated with me…If he was my soulmate, he would be emotionally available…WOW! Maybe in another life he was my soulmate, but this lifetime he’s screwed up and I MUST, even though it hurts like HELL, let him go…FOR ME! I’m going to drive myself batty, and my close friends and family as well, if I don’t start letting go and starting loving ME! I think what I also need to realize is that letting go doesn’t me I need to stop loving him. I can always love him, but for me and my health and my future, I need to focus on ME and not focus on someone else that didn’t want to focus 100% on me…It’s a slow, painful process, but I’m shuffling forward, lol! How are you doing??? Hang in there! :)

        • micheyl says:

          Wendy, I am glad you are feeling better. :)
          You are stronger than I am! I went about 10 days and then reached out… Had to start over. You are right, I guess we don’t have to stop loving them (until it stops naturally)but still need to focus on ourselves and love ourselves. I am trying. Just had a funk this weekend. Thinking stupid things about what we were doing together this time last year. But we are NOT doing it NOW, so I need to stop dwelling on that shit. Ups and downs – I feel this constant roller coaster. Thanks for asking :0)

  17. MaryW says:

    Today a married man tried to divert me from my journey home to a “last drink” after a professional meeting/ conference. I was attrected. I almost went along – possible new job opportunity & flattery/ ego boost – but NO. There were strong undercurrents of something else, unprofessional, which would’ve surely jeopardised me, personally and professionally. I got the train home (to the right station). Thanks, Nat! X

  18. Able says:

    Just had two beers, feeling vulnerable. A friend works with the ex and told me she was asking about me, “In a bitchy way.”
    I just wrote this not intending to send but figured all you great BRistas (great term!) would get it:

    I miss you.
    I miss child.
    I even miss pet.

    I don’t miss not knowing if you’re going to greet me as a friend, just a friend, or more.

    I don’t miss knowing how much of a relationship we established, yes WE, and hear you deny you ever wanted such a thing.

    I don’t miss seeing you “online now” on match.com.

    I don’t miss hearing you tell me you took down your profile when we both knew that was a big lie.

    I don’t miss the anxiety, uncertainty, feelings of less-than that I ignored as best I could throughout our knowing each other.

    I don’t miss you. I miss what I thought we could have if only you weren’t so stubborn, stupid, and still consumed with/by anger at your ex.

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Able…Good for you for putting your feelings on paper in a concise and clear way. Even better that you are not planning to and will not send it to her. She wouldn’t “get it” anyway.

      Now, to really get it out of your system…I suggest you burn it. Send the words and the feelings out into the Universe. It’s a release and a cleansing of sorts for you.

      :-D

  19. Revolution says:

    Oh hell, Nat. Twerking. Makes us feel old at 35/36, doesn’t it? Whatever the fuck happened to people being up in arms about Madonna’s pointy bra in her “Vogue” video??? Or her “Justify My Love” video? Or pretty much any Madonna video? Did we really fuckin’ need twerking? No one is shocked anymore, huh? Except when someone displays some modicum of common sense/virtue, right? Then we’re shocked out of our freakin’ gourds, huh?????? :) Keep up the good writing/updates, my dear. :)

  20. Rosie says:

    Natalie–My only complaint about this post is that we can’t control everything. Sometimes we are at the mercy of jackasses even when we are doing everything right. I’m still not able to find gainful employment so will have to move back in with my toxic mom in October. I don’t have a car, will have no money for gas if I did and Mom lives far from bus stop. There are no jobs where she lives and no bus goes where jobs are(no money for bus anyway so doesn’t matter). I’m screwed.

    I was driving a loaner car and mechanic was attentive at first but dropped me like a hot potato because I wouldn’t date him. Loaner car had problems and mechanic wouldn’t return any of my calls. The car won’t run now so now will have to quit my present job without replacement job. Since I have to quit, no unemployment check for me so I’m screwed. I am so close to establishing decent credit and now I’m back at the beginning with bad credit again and I owe the IRS money, friends money…I’m screwed. But I’m trying really hard!!!! I want to pay what I owe. I want to work. I want to detach from toxicity, not move back in with a toxic person but I need a roof over my head…Sometimes life just sucks and there’s no rhyme or reason.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Rosie,

      I am soooo sorry for your troubles and my heart goes out to you. I can understand how your problems are compounded on top of each other and required a ton of solutions, not just one. My sister, an attorney has been mostly unemployed for >4 yrs. She’d get a job for a few months and then it would end for one reason or another. Her house is in foreclosure and she is trying to sell, however the basement floods every time it rains. He monthly check doesn’t begin to cover her expenses so she further and further into the hole. She used to attended church regularly and was religious, but she has somehow lost faith since she’s been down her luck for so long.

      I hope things will turn around for you soon. Jobs are very difficult to find here in the US. We’ll be coming up on
      Christmas before you know it. Pray to God vigorously, or if not call upon your higher spirit to have mercy on you. I will be praying for you, too. xx. Tink.

      • Rosie says:

        Thanks, Tinkerbell–I’ll pray for your sister too (as well as pray for you and your situation with your man). My faith goes back and forth from maturity (God owes me nothing. The rain and sun fall on the righteous and wicked alike. I’m not the exception to life being life.) to immaturity (Ok, God, You don’t owe me a job but You’re generous so can’t you just wave your magic wand and make one appear?? Yes, I know there are people starving in Africa but I’m different. I’m special. WAAAHHHH!).

    • Suki says:

      Rosie, I hear you. My only suggestion – remember to problem solve, and to think of alternatives. Your post shows a lot of generalization thinking, where everything is awful [I’m screwed for life]. One of the characteristics of depression is that it prevents you from thinking of solutions. So I hope you can find ways to keep up your spirits – it will pay off in helping you get out of this situation faster. Perhaps there are neighbors that can give you a ride, perhaps there are neighbors looking for some odd-job help [something to get some cash flow], start exercising, dont spend too much time at home with your mum.
      Think of ways to deal with mum when she is being [insert whatever she does that gets to you]. ‘Thanks mum I’ll look into it’, OR ‘I dont think we have to discuss that just yet’ OR etc. Make a playlist of upbeat songs, go for a walk and listen to the music. Cut your mum some slack, she is there for you in your time of need, she is getting older, humor her. Dont look for her to validate you, dont let her criticisms get you down, and stop her from doing those things. ‘Thats too critical Mum, I’m doing my best’ or whatever you need to do not just to shut her down, but to stand up for yourself. Dont get into fights. Ask friends for help – emotional help, go for walks or other cheap times with friends, lean on others, people are helpful.
      So THAT is what is in your control – how you respond to it. The economy is bad, and your home is not in a good location – you can’t control that, but you can control how positive you stay, how much fun you continue to have, how much you continue to trust and believe in yourself, and in how much effort you expend in thinking effectively about improving your situation.
      Good luck, I hope things improve for you soon.

      • Rosie says:

        Thank you, Suki–You are right. My mind is clouded with fear and self-pity, no room for problem-solving. I don’t know how to clean out my brain to make room for hope and problem-solving but I want to. Your practical suggestions are really good! I do have friends where I am now and they’re doing everything they can to keep me here. I can’t stay with any of them, unfortunately, because they, too, are undergoing financial stresses or other life stresses but they are E-mailing me job openings, etc.

        Funny, but since I no longer have a car, I’ve been doing a lot of walking (saving money by walking instead of taking the bus/train if I can) and I do feel better. At the crosswalk, fellow walkers and I often greet each other with a smile, a “hello” or make idle chit chat while waiting for the signal to change and I do feel normal for a few minutes and even a little hopeful.

        Ok, I’ll try to focus on what I can control. Thank you, Suki, for the reality check! :)

    • FX says:

      Rosie, I tend to catastrohize/awfulize, too. The advice here about focussing on solutions rather than the problems is good. I know it’s hard to concentrate and see options and do the legwork when you’re depressed and anxious. I’m going through this now myself with bad financial and legal problems.

      On a practical note, a friend of mine was just telling me about getting around on her bikes one of which is a commuter bike. It’s an electric bicycle that can go 20 miles an hour for 20 miles (more with pedaling) between charges. I don’t know how far your commute is but just throwing it out here. Yes, there would be the initial cost of the bike but if it enabled you to keep your job…? I’m not clear on your “loaner” car situation but it seems there must be other avenues to explore so you don’t have to quit your job and move. Do you have any skill/time you can barter for transportation with a friend or co-worker, even something like babysitting? Are there any properties near you that are for sale and unoccupied that someone would rent to you below market to look after or even an inexpensive room in a home? Just throwing out some ideas because it sounds like moving in with your mother should be avoided at all costs if there is any possible alternative for both personality and geographic reasons.

      • Rosie says:

        Thanks, FX–Car is required for my work, unfortunately, my file needs to contain a current copy of car insurance or I can’t even login to my company’s website. I’m renting a room in a home and just gave my roommate 30 days’ notice so that she can find somebody who can pay. I needed to find another job anyway as my hours have shrunk to 8-10 p/wk.

        But you and Suki are right. I need to shift focus from the problem to finding solutions but how do I do this in my brain? Problem-solving is one of my most underdeveloped life skills. My therapist was beginning to work with me on this before I had to stop therapy for financial reasons. I’ll see if I can dig out my old notes from that session.

        Thank you, FX, and I’m sorry for your financial and legal troubles too. So a shift in the brain from thinking of problems to thinking of solutions is possible, huh? Ok. If you can do it then I’ll try too. Thank you for the hope. :)

        • Suki says:

          Rosie, I’m glad to hear that you have friends close by. Regarding how to get started into problem solving mode … well, change takes time. And no need to pressure yourself into becoming amazing-graceful-together-lady in one day…if you even think that solutions are possible for say 10 days — that will be a start. Not even concrete solutions, just start entertaining the possibility of solutions [e.g. ‘this too shall pass’ OR ‘things will be better soon’ OR ‘a solution is around the corner’ OR ‘lets clean the house, a solution is coming’], and reducing the ‘I’m screwed’ talk [or at least go for a 50-50 balance].
          I’ve been where you are, and keeping the faith is important. A friend told me once to stick the words ‘There’s always a way out’ on your sink mirror so you see it all the time. I did it for a while, its a good reminder.

          • Rosie says:

            Thank you, Suki–Simple positive reminders in my head and posted on the mirror and around my room, huh? Ok. I’ll try it.:)

  21. Genki says:

    Hi Bump, good luck with everything. It will be an awesome and amazing time and u need positive people around u. I recently separated from my daughters father & I think I stayed around for that family connection. However, now that I’ve separated I feel so relaxed, life is so much more pleasant not filled with his lies and rubbish. My daughter & I play together with out his interference, sometimes I think he was even jealous of us when we all lived together & tried to monopolise my time, or maybe I just gave him more time than he was worth. I really think ur daughter will be better off without that tosser in her life, constant unpredictability is a let down & it sounds like thats how it will be with him around, with you & her only it will be more peaceful. Enjoy & good luck either everything xx

    • meandthebump says:

      Hi Genki, thanks for sharing those lovely happy thoughts about the bond with your own daughter – I am so looking forward to that, unspoilt by a resentful dad. I’m jumping off the pain-cycle train right now!

  22. NK says:

    Hi guys

    Great article as always. I wanted to share some news with you. For the last 6 weeks I have been dating a guy. As of this week we are ‘official’. He has been hinting and now directly asking me to be his girlfriend for a few weeks now. I discussed the situation with my therapist yesterday. We both agreed that a shift in my emotional availability has happened and is continuing. It wasn’t too long ago that I was swearing off men, dating and sex and was obsessed with my casual sex tendencies. I used to read stuff on the internet about promiscuous behaviour and fret. A lot.
    Then one day (and I’m not sure exactly when but I know what week it was? lol) I just let go. I left it all behind. I dropped the over analysing and the obsessive behaviour. I told my negative thought patterns to f*ck off and when they did try and come back I’d either go for a walk, talk to a very patient friend of mine or listen to music.I also eased up on myself, my expectations were quite high up until last year and I believe I have changed my opinion of success, reputation and over expectations. I’m not saying that I let go of my goals but I just adjusted them. I looked back at everything Ive been through and just said to myself – ‘whats most important here? in 2011 you were trying to kill yourself and now you enjoy walking in the park taking in the environment…how is that not success?’the simplicity of life just came back into focus. I also discovered my voice. I have always been aware that my singing voice was ok – but up until recently I didnt realise that I had a natural talent to sing – so now I am pursuing this hobby and it makes me very happy. I do karaoke often, Im joining a choir and as soon as I get another job! I am getting some vocal coaching – after I master the basics I plan to write songs and start singing in a band or …wherever it takes me. I just know that it really makes me feel good. My job situation has taken another bump in the road recently but for some reason I feel stronger than ever and I have worked with my therapist to work out why I seem to get on the wrong of management or make wrong decisions and also to accept what is out of my control. Ive had some real down moments with friends, losing a few recently, but I think that my change has pushed this. It’s sad but I need to keep moving on.
    Now, this guy that I’m seeing has helped me face my emotional unavailability. Ive expressed some real fears with him and shown him vulnerability that I find extremely uncomfortable displaying. It often comes out all emotional and scared. Theres been quite a few instances where Ive just gone with it and pushed myself to handle it and he’s reacted in one of the most supportive ways Ive ever seen. The timing of this and the timings of my letting go are no coincidence.
    Thanks for reading!

    • Magnolia says:

      NK, inspiring! I like these stories of being able, one day, to drop the anxiety and the fretting. I remember grace’s phrase: “I don’t do anxiety anymore.” Best warm energy for your burgeoning relationship :)

      • confused123 says:

        Speaking of Grace….Where are you? How are you? Sending a prayer for you that you and doing wonderfully…Hugs.

    • micheyl says:

      NK – Such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your inspirational positivity!

      Thank you for sharing your process of how to get over judging yourself on casual sex patterns. I feel like I am a bit like that now.

      “I just let go. I left it all behind. I dropped the over analysing and the obsessive behaviour. I told my negative thought patterns to f*ck off ”

      It is where I hope to get :)

    • Rosie says:

      NK– Thank you for your gift of hope. :)

      • Karen says:

        Thanks to this site, I was able to figure out why the assclown I dumped last week deserved it. Once I read about assclown traits, I knew I’d find here the rest of what I’d need to get closure, stop ruminating and move on.
        Thankfully, I’ve also had a trusted confidante who has given me comfort, good advice and wise observations.
        Today, however, she sent me a “devil’s advocate” e-mail where she said something I had done to the ex may have been insensitive.
        I pondered her words a while and started getting angry.
        I did not immediately reply because I knew I’d better know why I was upset before I went off on her.
        Here’s what I figured out.
        When I love someone–even an assclown–it’s hard for me to break it off. Then it’s hard for me to stay angry enough to avoid the ex and refuse contact until I know I’ve truly moved on. When my confidante mentioned what she thought could have been my insensitivity, I was angry because the last thing I need is to feel guilty about anything I “may” have done wrong to the assclown.
        After a few hours, I wrote my friend and said I may have been insensitive, but what I need to do right now is worry about myself and my boundaries and let the ex handle her own crap. I know I can either keep my own boundaries strong or let them collapse so I can “obey” the assclown’s ridiculous rules and boundaries.
        There is no WE anymore. I have no duty to tend to any of the assclown’s issues anymore. I neglected myself long enough trying to hold on to this assclown.
        And I have no desire to make amends for anything I may have said or done because the AC’s lies, broken promises and disappearing acts far outweighed any unintended slight I may have made.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Karen those are wonderful healing thoughts. You are absolutely right. The last thing you need is your well-meaning friend to tell you that you were insensitive. As you pointed out it is difficult enough for you to make the break and maintain it without someone making you feel any guilt. I’m glad you would not own it (guilt).

    • PurpleLily says:

      Awh! BIG BIG Hugs NK! Absolutely brilliant :) So proud of you for getting there. Keep at it – you are worth everything spectacular and beautiful!

      “I just let go. I left it all behind. I dropped the over analysing and the obsessive behaviour. I told my negative thought patterns to f*ck off ”

      THIS. This I need to get doing now. Negative thought patterns bring me down. That awful circle of negativity!

  23. noquay says:

    Mags
    What you describe is a lot like what I dealt with when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to hide my condition because I was an adjunct and vulnerable to being let go and loosing my health insurance. Indian Health Service facilities were 150 miles away, a huge distance when you are unemployed. My already fading boyfriend evaporated for good, the few women who knew kind of evaporated too. I had my dog and my cat. I noticed here when I was grieving over the AC, again, it was almost like I was the bad person for feeling sad, that I was supposed to take a huge financial hit and disappear. I don’t get this behavior as when someone is I’ll, their parents die, or some other catastrophe strikes, I make it a point to be there. Folks seem to act nowadays like my flock of chickens, when a bird is sick or hurt, they will kill rather than protect her. Complete self absorption. It sounds though, like you are being proactive, reading up, getting iron, getting on with the semester (my classes started this week). Sadly, I would bet few of my colleagues have read Chomsky, Morrison, et al. From my side of the fence try Erdrich, Alexie, LaDuke. Stay strong.

    • Magnolia says:

      Many people must fear that others with problems will leech on to them or bring them down. Or not, I don’t know. Thank goodness for BR helping me not be so interested in the whys. My friend from my last city, with whom I sat through her miscarriage and then was there through her pregnancy, seems to have forgotten to call since I let her know two weeks agowhat is going on with me. Same woman who was somewhat absent when I was moving away. I need to expect a lot less from people in general … it actually helps me treasure the gems who are out there.

      I have read Erdich and Alexie, but not LaDuke, thanks! And have you read Pema Chodron? Sometimes I feel like life has made me a non-official Buddhist monk.

      • confused123 says:

        Mays:
        I am very sorry you are going through this and you don’t have much support. My heart hurts for you. I send you my love and good thoughts via the universe. If it helps I’ll be there for you online. We all will be.
        I’ll overall a socially awkward person and don’t have many friends. Actually I have more fingers than friends and even those I am wary off since I’ve been burnt by the so-called BFF’s. Pff….I can resonate your sentiment when you write you say that you need to expect a lot less from people…it take so long for the former burns to heal.

  24. espresso says:

    I just came back from a blissful few weeks 5000 kilometres from my ex. I had a wonderful time meeting old and making new friends and walking everywhereand being in a big city again. Even went to an improv comedy class on my own. I felt the old me which has been weighted down by sadness and struggling emerge. It was so good to see the life I will have when I am finally on my own. And I spent time with my youngest daughter who has been hostile to me about the separation. I think we established a loving contact again and although it was difficult and I had to step really back…I am proud of what I did.
    So back to the “shared” house with ex (until it is sold) and all my frustrations. Rosie I really HEAR what you are saying. Sometimes we are trying our best NOT to engage in a toxic situation but for various reasons can’t move on quite yet. Don’t beat yourself up but try to keep just moving forward and disengaging with your mum. Remember you do not have to engage in anything she throws your way. I have put a huge amount of energy into trying to deal with my ex over arrangements and work and have found that writing emails is better than talking as he “forgets” and is being very passive aggressive these days.

    As Natalie says it takes along time to see/change old patterns and I still find I try to placate him. I still am affected by his simmering anger and I still feel guilty sometimes. I am still seeing more and more how this man affected me even though I don’t really want any more “info” It is outrageous that he is not even trying to find another place to live. I wrote a list of what I could “expect” from him in terms of his behavour and attitudes and this might help you too Rosie in order to keep it real. I have had problems really accepting that the man, no matter how superficially “nice” is just a regular old ac. I am 85% there.
    My major goal is to keep driving forward on my own life, seek as much time away as I can and also keep my mood from falling like a stone.
    Magnolia – I have been out of touch with BR and am sending you a big hug. I don’t know everything about your situation but I was absolutely brought to ground by anemia and heavy bleeding a few years ago. Oral iron didn’t even touch it. It took injections in the butt to get the levels back up and when they were I felt a world of difference in feeling I could cope.

    • Wiser says:

      Espresso,

      How wonderful you had a chance to see what life could be (and will be!) like once you are free of all this drama. There are reasons why when people have to “detox” they have to physically go to another geographical location. It’s almost impossible to change those patterns in the same environment, so try to keep that vision of your new life with you whenever you feel like you’re getting sucked in to the toxic quicksand.

  25. Lizbartun (formerly just Liz) says:

    I got a text from the ex yesterday – would my son like to meet up with him to go swimming or something? Pre BR I would have got back on the train of worrying about *his* feelings if I said no and ending up back at square one. I did reply, only because if I’d not replied I’m sure he would have come knocking on my door. So I use it as an opportunity to re-affirm my position – no, and please no more gifts for my son, and please respect my decision). Thank you Nat and the BRistas for helping keep me on the wagon this time x

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lizbartun,

      Hahaha! Yeah, exes can be very creative in extending offers you cannot refuse. But, you stood your ground. Good. Keep it up.

  26. Nessy says:

    After a year of being with a MM from work, trying to break it off then going back, him blowing hot and cold (and then me too) I think I’ve finally ended it.
    After him being cold the past week (not completely, just noticeably different after the last time we hooked up) he overheard me telling another colleague how I had a date that night. He told me he was really hurt and told me nicely not to talk about other guys on front of him because of this. I had nothing to say after all the hurt he put me through (although unintentionally). He’s had me on the standby shelf way too long!

  27. anim says:

    I admire everyone who commented here for choosing to do what is right for them and not the other person. No doubt it takes effort and commitment to stay off the same train. Goin through a 3 week old break up from an unofficial relationship with a co worker (now I know why office romance must be in HR policy). He broke up with me as he was given an opportunity to pursue a woman he had wanted from years ago. In his words “i cannot explain it we connected in the 8 days we have been texting”. Our relationship started as friends that developed just a little over a year. We liked our friendship. Im starting to realize now that he really just saw me as that..friend with benefits. That realization doesnt hurt because I have accepted his decision. Im trying my best to adhere to no contact rule except for work related matters within office hours. But he refuse to respect that. He still expects us to be how we were. I find it unbelievable. Now its looking like Im bitter and rude for trying to keep distance.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Nessy and Anim,

      Please cut off these office romances. Rarely, do they work out and when they don’t you’re stuck with having to see them daily. That makes it MUCH HARDER to initiate NC, and nearly impossible to sustain it. Decide for yourselves,
      “Never again”.

      • anim says:

        Tinkerbell this has been the only time. Decision reached. NEVER EVER AGAIN indeed.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Good girl! As we say in the US, now you’re cooking with gas! And no, you are not being rude. Just smart-er.

  28. Magnolia says:

    The MM at work came by my office some time while I was not around and posted on my door a large photo of me that he took for a news story last year. This was premeditated, there were careful dots of ticky-tack dots on the back of the photo. He knows “something” serious healthwise is up with me and his wife has asked if she can help. He spotted me jogging on the road a couple days ago, and called and left a message today that he admires my courage and that I am “in his heart and thoughts.”

    My mother, perhaps showing her sense of boundaries, suggests that he is someone “who cares” about me and maybe I should just confide in him and his wife and let them in on my story.

    I was annoyed at the photo – as I didn’t see it until another colleague came by and said “nice photo.” How long has a blown-up photo of myself been on my office door, when I’m trying to go for a tenure-track job?

    I thought again of putting it in writing that he is being inappropriate. Again I have done nothing. One part of me just doesn’t have the energy and another part just doesn’t want the drama.

    So I vent here instead. Argh.

    • Wiser says:

      Mags, this guy is creepy, he just is. Don’t even think about confiding in him or his wife about ANYTHING. If he gets a whif that you are vulnerable and scared, that will be like catnap to him. He’ll never leave you alone. I think eventually the day will come when you’ll feel the time is right to put him in his place. But of course you don’t have the energy to deal with him right now. Let it be. Tell us instead.

    • Mymble says:

      Magnolia
      My jaw dropped when I read what he did. Maybe American univerities have a more informal, playful vibe, but I can only imagine one circumstance in which that sort of thing happens at my work; when someone is retiring. I don’t know what you do about it, you have got enough on your plate without having a showdown of any kind with this idiot.

  29. Genki says:

    Hi Espresso, I know what u mean sometimes it’s so complicated to get out if these situations. After the last shouting match with ex, another one where I felt embarrassed by my actions, but felt they were provoked by him, I asked him to move out. Oh I was thinking he’ll take months to sort his shit out & get going, whinge & complain & ask for forgiveness….but I asked him please just leave peacefully. I also mentioned to his Mum & sister could they please supprt my request. And thank god…not really religious but someone must have been helping out….he went within a week. I cannot explain the feelings of peace and liberation I feel. He picks up our daughter from school & drops her to mine so I see him daily. But the lack of fighting, stress, worry, lies is just wonderful. I feel like a weight is lifted from my shoulders. I really don’t know how it finally happened, I’d like to say i finally got a backbone, he says he went peacefully cos he has hope we can rekindle if he changes, and I’ve agreed to go to therapist but the peace is so relaxing its really helping me focus on my things & my daughter. I dXx

  30. yoghurt says:

    Well, I’m back after my train ride to unhappiness and I’m okay. So that’s good :)

    Long story short, Son’s Dad was in the process of splitting up with his gf, slept with me (and I slept with him, I suppose, or rather I LET HIM GIVE ME THE SEX), cue a summer holiday of him declaring undying love interspersed with mad doubt, the odd 24-hour period of pure happiness, the degeneration of my sanity and sense, midnight drunken calls bladibladiblah. Usual schmusual.

    It came to a head yesterday when he reiterated that he needed to be on his own and sort out his own life and head (actually a sensible decision, and based on my advice), I went nuts and he left with both of us in a high dudgeon.

    So I spent last night not really being able to sleep and fuming, and waiting for the waves of no self-esteem and oh-my-life’s-destroyed and why-am-I-cursed-to-be-alone-forever and I-must-be-a-terrible-person-in-some-special-way-that-I-can’t-define to break and guess what? THEY DIDN’T APPEAR. I’m quite sad and sorry that we (that really is *WE* – I was responsible too) doomed it to failure by diving in too quickly at what was clearly a bad time and it’s still annoying that the thing has everything it needs to have legs except, well, legs (and him really wanting it to, which is another everso pertinent requirement!)

    But I feel okay. I don’t even feel that used – I was the one in better emotional shape and usually the more sober, so I was responsible too. I’m sure I’ll have down patches where I’m just sad but in that case I shall just have to be sad until I’m not again.

    I wouldn’t advise this particular experiment but somewhere down the line I seem to have build in a set of points that take me down into siding. Hurray!

  31. Lacy says:

    Really? Ok I resurfaced with a non sexual friend he’s a heavy set guy, I don’t discriminate, he is so nice.Nice guy a has took me out a few times we have a good time.

    So really I’m having fun non sex.So 2 days ago he and I are sitting on the front of my apt I got out od the car with him to talk to my neighbor when I see a car coming thru my alley and the x got out.My neighbor knows the situation between x and me and she said uh what does he want? Same thing I’m thinking so I walked away from my apt a lil so he wouldn’t spot me.My friend start call my cell at this point wondering why now does he see a man at my door.

    I didn’t know what to say and didn’t want him wrapped up in drama so I told him people usually knock on my door cause they have the address mixed up on my block.

    I told him he could come back later because my neighbor wanted me to help her with an emergency.

    The x was still at the door and my neighbor went over and told him he had to leave and how I have paper work that he can’t come near me.She said he tols her he only want to talk and what’s wrong with me that I’m so crazy.Well he wind up leaving so I have been looking for a place just in case but my neighbor said that she thinks he got the pic.

    He looked pitiful I guess after a few mths he’ll be done and focus on his other victims in his hareem.I just want to be happy and all I am with him is happy one miserable the next few weeks.

    • Allison says:

      Lacy,

      When are you going to place a restraining order on this guy? I’m sorry, but you have let this go, way too long.

      • Lacy says:

        Allison I do have a restraining order my neighbor went to him while he was at my front door and notified him that I have papers against him.He went on to tell her that I am crazy and all he wanted to do was talk to me, and he went on and got in his car and left.

        At one point he said he didn’t care about the police that he would come over whene he wants and he said they can’t be around 24/7.He also said that he would do some other stuff if I go to those extremes.I have a restraining order not order of protection he has not put hands on me.Maybe by my neighbor confirming tI’m that I have a restraining order maybe he’s done popping by.

        • Allison says:

          Lacy,

          I’m so sorry, I didn’t know that you had gone that far.

          What are you going to do? Can you move? This guy sounds dangerous.

          • Lacy says:

            Allison this is his game I used to fall for but not anymore.After a while he’ll stop and as long as I’m not anywhere he’s at I should be ok.I think it’ll blow over really soon he has plenty of women, I think he get pleasure out of hurting me I’m not scared of him doing anything physical to me, I’m scared of being hurt more than anything.

            So I won’t go near him and eventually he’ll fade out of my life and out of my mind.I replay over and over being stood up on valentines day when it was him that made the plans, I keep thinking about loaning him money twice and him skipping out on me saying I nagged him so much that he had to get away from me and the excuse when he came back was that I’m his B…. and he shouldn’t have to pay me back money.

            I have a few good memories but I know it wasn’t enough for us to build a relationship.Maybe I wanted too much I paid my own bills once in a while I may have needed a lil help but usually got the run arounds so I stopped asking,a few times I’ve seen he is a good father to his children.Once his baby’s mother was texting his phone for milk it was 2am she was texting he let me read the text, and he said she was making it up to get him to come over.I told him I’d go with him to take the milk but he said no.He has a daughter that he runs for daily she is 4.I believe that if he’s screwing the baby mom he’ll take care of the child, or it could be on the lines of something my niece posted on facebook she said a man will be right to a woman he wants to be with, or maybe as I read here on this site people who are generally good folks don’t go around playing games or pulling dr Jekyll its just not how they operate.

            Idk know I just know I fell in love and got hurt and I want to be a regular person again now.I’m consumed with what if or when he comes showing up again and why he didn’t love me, and why is it he is with several other women and has 5 kids with 3 baby mother why is it he finds the time or need to bother me and why do he think I want tot be Fifth or sixth in his life.

            • Allison says:

              Lacy,

              It’s all about his ego and what he can get from you.

              I don’t think this guy ever cared about you – or any other women – as he is incapable of even caring about himself. I’m sorry to be harsh, but I am only going from what you have written- yours is one of the mostly difficult stories I have read.

              This dude will continue, dipping in and out of peoples lives, and using all the way – This is what this guy does and knows! This man sounds like a sociopath. Sociopaths never change.

              I think you need to further address why you would want someone who is so hurtful and of such low character in your life. It will prevent you from dealing with this type again.

              How many children did this guy have when you first met?

              • Allison says:

                ‘I’m consumed with what if or when he comes showing up again and why he didn’t love me, and why is it he is with several other women and has 5 kids with 3 baby mother.”

                This is very concerning, as you do not see who he is: A bad guy!
                Why would you want someone like this to love you?
                My ex did not value me, but knowing who he is today, I know that I would not want him in my life, in any capacity: he’s bad news, and will never change.

            • Rosie says:

              Lacy–I believe he is capable of something physical. I’m really, really hesitant to mention the incident again as it was something deeply personal you shared but you bled, remember? Then he blamed you because you didn’t enjoy it.

              Please, Lacy, stay far, far away from him! He’s dangerous!

    • Emerlydeyez says:

      This is harassment and stalking. You need an order of protection, restraining order, what ever your state calls them. Save your texts, start marking your calendar these events. I just got a two year no contact order against my EUM/AC, the length of his probation. He cant even contact me on the dating sites as he was trying to do. His ass will go to jail. Who cares how he looks, how does this make you feel??? You have no freedom, this isn’t love its control and it will probably get worse before better

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lacy, Lacy, Lacy. You in danger, girl! This guy is the lowest of the low. But he can’t do anything to you that you don’t allow. Find your backbone and put a stop to his craziness. Do you realize that most battered women have been battered because they never thought he would get physical. And after he repeated this a few times they kept thinking “he won’t do it again”. So they stay and stay until some them are murdered. You are on this road, Lacy. If he ever made you bleed once, he’ll do it again. But you know something? You are more in danger from you own thinking than from him. You are in denial among other very self damaging forms of mind distortion. Are you seeing a therapist? You need help desperately to be able to examine why you have allowed him to still be in your life. You are throwing yourself away on this poor excuse for a human being. You may be young now, but the years add up. Do you want to be so “messed up” when you are 40, 50 years old? Think about it, and start getting your life in order NOW.

  32. espresso says:

    Yoghurt I have been thinking of you over the summer- I am glad you survived what seems pretty emotionally intense interaction. I think your powers of recovery show the work you have done and the insight you have. I hope no lasting damage has been done to your self esteem and to your own life moving forward.

    Despite my growth in insight I just can’t stand being around my ex and seeing my “real life” re-emerge(thanks Wiser) has made it worse. I would like to stay in my town for many reasons but don’t think I can stand being in the same community. In fact ALL the changes are being made by me. Surprise… My ex “thinks” he is helping (he feels very sorry for himself) but he has not lifted a finger to even find short term places to stay. He says “I can’t because I don’t know anybody.” Of course I KNOW this IS him, this is what he is…my bigger question is “how do I manage this – in this environment?” I am doing the best I can…not engaging …walking away from everything but it is tough because my feelings are so much there and can’t be expressed. Genki I am very happy for you!
    So my option is to get a court order to get him out of the house which is serious business and involves a lot of money. Theoretically this is short term and I have some more places to stay as of January until the house goes up for sale. I deserve happiness and not being mired down in this shit.

    • yoghurt says:

      Aw espresso, nuts – the fallout from these things is the worst. It’s bad enough that they put us through it, but then having to pick up the pieces… how soul-destroying.

      On the upside (if it’s such) I suppose it’s good to know that you CAN and WILL be moving on, one way or another. He hasn’t destroyed the happy fun-loving side of you permanently and that’s great. And you will get to the other side of all this hassle.

      Emotionally intense interaction – yep, they always are. But they don’t speak to my deepest inner fears anymore. They’re just the natural result of two rather introverted and analytical characters who’ve had a baby together.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Espresso,

      Let me understand this. The reason why you would get a court order to get him out is so that you can sell it? What is your hesitation? You’ve given him more than enough notice of where you head is at. Hell, you’ve been the one to move out and he gets the pleasure of staying there. So there’s really no need for you to be worrying yourself about him, where he goes, what he does, or whatever. People like that who are leeches miraculously get along when you finally put your foot down. Heck, he can go to a shelter! That’s pretty damn pathetic for him to have to succumb to, but it can’t be your problem anymore. You have got to divest yourself of him. You deserve to have a chance to straighten out your life. As long as you worry about him you will not have that chance. He is sucking you dry. I am speaking from experience, because that is exactly what I finally had to do. I got my no-rent paying cousin out of my house, finally after 2 years of her messing over me. She flatly refused to pay rent after I moved out to an apartment. When, finally, she had no choice but to leave, I heard from a relative that she was in a shelter. It was sad for her, but she had lived in my house refusing to pay rent for 2 solid years because she knew she could. Now I understand she has an apartment somewhere, and we are NC forever.
      Espresso, take your life back!

  33. Miranda says:

    I was in a 6 year relationship with my ex. We broke up.a year ago in which he started dating a girl who was 17 and he was 38. He was dealing drugs and doing drugs during this time. He was arrested 5 months ago for selling heroine. He contacted me while he has been in rehab asking for forgiveness and wanting me to be supportive for him and wants us to be together when he gets out. I am very conflicted because i ask him to tell me the truth about him and this girl and drug use and he wont. I have always believed someone has to really admit before they can move on. Please help

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Miranda…Please don’t consider going down this road.

      “He contacted me while he has been in rehab asking for forgiveness and wanting me to be supportive for him and wants us to be together when he gets out.”

      FACT: When people go into rehab (even if they are married) they are NOT ALLOWED to continue their relationship until they are sober and well on their way to remaining sober. It is required that they focus SOLELY on themselves.

      He is in rehab and asking for your support and planning to get back with you as soon as he gets out? He’s dreaming and most likely manipulating you.

      Please go NC. For your sake and his! He needs to focus on his addiction, working his program, healing and not relapsing. You need to focus on why you were with this guy and are still in contact with him. This is drug dealing and drug addiction…on top of being an EUM/AC.

      Please give YOURSELF time to sort yourself out and to heal.

      • Rosie says:

        Miranda–I was (briefly) involved with a drug addict years ago. It is exactly as LaPinturaBella said. He still has the mind of an addict so is probably manipulating you. He needs to go NC from his relationship with drugs and build a relationship with himself. You’re helping him best and helping yourself best by going NC.

    • Allison says:

      Miranda,

      This 38 year old man broke up a long term relationship to be with a 17 year old. Blech!!!!! This not only shows that he is a cheat, but he is not loyal nor respectful.

      Now we have the bit about being a heroin dealer. Goodness!!!!1

      The bit about leaving you for a 17 year old should be enough, how can you possibly consider a convicted addicted dealer? There is no future in this! I’m curious what this loser was doing before he left you for the kid?

      Don’t you want more for your future? How can you have a family with a man like this? This is a lose/lose, and I would closely examine why you would consider any future with someone who has no character or any sort of value system.

  34. 2Fearce says:

    Miranda,

    No, let him find his way on his own.
    Seriously….no. There’s a reason u broke up with him. (Probably several!)
    Did I mention no?
    Cause…no. just no.

    • Lilia says:

      Miranda,
      please read Christiane F´s book about her experience with drug addiction (this is from the 80s but you should be able to find it at amazon). It is the most enlightening recount about how heroin (and other) addicts think and behave and why they interact with the people they do. It is all about them, all the time, and they develop a great ability to manipulate everyone around them. Please, please stay away from this guy.

  35. 2Fearce says:

    Mags,

    If u can, start walking. It doesn’t have to be long or super intense. Set a timer if u have to & walk 15minutes then turn around n walk home. It’s a small thing but it did wonders for me. Secret is to focus on the path, cars, birds, deer, whatever… If ur anything like me its super hard to get out of ur head…. 30 minutes of it does wonders. I promise.

  36. Genki says:

    Nessy, I never could understand people that stay with an attached person, it’s giving these people way too much power, if they’re still with their partner, even if unhappy, then they’re not gutsy enough to move on & want to play outside with no responsibility for anyones feelings. Years ago I was seeing a guy then a message came thru from his girlfriend…”what the F$&@” I thought & never spoke to him again what a tosser!! Ah actually I think I sent a msg to him saying u are truely strange. I’m am engineer & I work with approx 90% men & I’m starting to realise there are a lot of good men out there, caring, thoughtful, honest…that’s what got me leaving my husband, not because I want to move on quickly but why would I give my time to some man who seriously has not got a clue about what a good person & fun life is? It’s just didn’t make sense to me anymore…..trying to convince him that myself & our lovely daughter are amazing & worth his time, it got so tedious. His mother is lovely sending me msgs seeing how I am doing and saying forgiveness is Devine, it may be, I can forgive but that is no reason to put myself back in the fire…all I want to do is yell & scream & tell his family what a bad person he is but I’m just trying really hard to ignore him & not give any more of my mind, body & soul to him. I just end up exhausted.
    Espresso – like I said it was not easy to get him to move out, luckily we were only renting so that makes it easier than ur situation, I asked him to please go away in peace without drama, and amazingly he did, I promised to go to counsellor if he would leave. But in the meantime Espresso if u are separating yourself mind body & soul I found it made it easier for me when we were still living together, I also tried to avoid talking to him, did not start any conversations, if he started talking to me I did not interact too much, the other night he was dropping daughter off & started to chat & we ended up in a fight…..so I really know that the discussions do not work for us. He is clambering for a return to our old life, which he didn’t give a toss about months ago, he is still an idiot & I feel better with him in the distance. I just carry on doing my own thing, sometimes I ask myself “am i doing this for me?” and if I’m not i generally dont do it. For a while there i wanted to teach him a lesson, make him jealous, etc etc but then I thought of that as a waste of energy. Good luck Espresso. And like all the others out there I wholeheartedly agree that this website & Natalie’s posts are really a source of inspiration and calmness in a sometimes crazy world. Thanks NML

  37. Genki says:

    Good book -” the disease to please,” it’s one of those self help books but it gets you starting to realise that some people will take advantage & u have to look after yourself as #1!!

  38. Emerlydeyez says:

    This is a timely post for me. I have started dating, and have flushed two so far, and it’s really ok with me. Such a learning experience, because the second one did some things, that were amber flags for me, one red flag and instead of waiting to see if maybe things would change I just said not a good fit. bye. I finally had court, and my AC, took the two year plea. He stood up before the judge and lied his ass off. I had a chance to address the court, and when the judge asked if there was anything, I needed from the court, I said a no contact order for the length of his probation, and he granted it. That for me was going down a different road. I stood up for myself and felt so empowered. It’s been a process and slow growth, but being on this site and reading the blogs and everyone’s comments have done me a world of good!

  39. Intothelight says:

    Please help….I was seeing an Married AC for 6 years who out of the blue dumped me because he said “he didn’t want to be in a relationship with not just me but anyone” he went through this whole depression thing. I was a wreck but found BR, downloaded the No Contact rule, got the book, even went on the BR self-esteem course. I was feeling great, he contacted me witholding the number 2 times by phone (3 months apart each time) and I told him to I wasn’t interested in being someone’s mistress anymore, then in Dec he called and told me his mum was ill, I felt sorry and slowly he got back into my life.Now its all gone tits up again and I feel like such an idiot. I dont know what to do, Ive read all the posts, done the course and still got taken in. Now I think “What can I do?’ I thought it would all make me ‘bullet proof’ and yet I still allowed myself to be treated like second best. Our final conversation in which I had the audacity to challenge him on when he was going to come good on his promise that it would be different this time ended with him saying “When you talk to me like this why should I leave my wife for you” TOTAL BODYBLOW! It was like the lights finally came on, he had never said that to me before, like he REALLY wanted to hurt me… I put the phone down and thought Why am I SO STUPID? I feel ashamed to ask for advice. Like Ive had all this good advice and I wasted it. Please help me help myself.

    • Emerlydeyez says:

      We all have had that moment, that it finally hit, sometimes like you said a total bodyblow. But the denial is totally gone. He did you a favor!!! You may not feel it now, but believe me, it just gets better from this point out. that you have to take care of you!!!! WE see things when and only when we are ready to see them. Don’t beat yourself up. Just move forward, NC, stay busy and take care of you.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Intothelight,

      Apparently, you are not that well connected on this blog. If you were, there is no way you would consider taking him back. What’s changed? How would anything be different when he is still married? You are making the choice to be with him. You are not helpless. None of us are. We make poor choices. You can take ourses and read books until you are blue in the face, but you have be make the decision to finish this very unhealthy relationship. You will never win. Even if he left his wife would you trust him? IT does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that what he is doing now, to his wife, he will do to you. HE’S A CHEATER! There have been MANY posters discussing the perils of an affair with a married man. VERY BAD CHOICE. The only person he cares about is himself. Not his wife and certainly not you who he does not even respect. I’m speaking from experience. NC, NOW!!!

    • MaryW says:

      Intothelight, I also read loads on here, got the book etc, tried to do the self esteem course, thought I was ready to date healthily .. and then I ran into a few EUMs (bloody online dating!) and got badly burnt by the last one.

      I am still beating myself up about that – why didn’t I learn my lesson from all the reading and excellent advise? Why was I so stupid? I also felt SO ashamed to admit what I’d put up with: my vanishing boundaries, his behaviour… the whole thing makes me feel sick now it’s behind me.

      Listen, you made a mistake. You are human. But you don’t have to carry on making the same mistakes with him (or other EUMs), you have options, you get to choose whether or not you continue with this chump. I dearly hope you give him the boot and then block him/ change your number/ hang up the minute you hear his voice.

      You let him back in to your life because his mother was ill – that doesn’t make you stupid, perhaps naive. You know what the hook was, you’ve learned something about yourself. You have to put yourself first, before your concern for him or his mother.

      You are on a learning curve, as long as you do strive to learn from this set back. Sometimes that involves one step back before we take forward steps.

      Oh and his excuse for dumping you before… that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship! What about the relationship with his wife? As an outsider, he sounds 100% vile.

      Take care of yourself.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Mary,

        Your style is so patient and sweet whereas I seem to constantly dish out tough love. I guess I feel that the person I’m addressing needs to toughen up, get real, don’t be a doormat, etc. I’ve come a long way from where I was 2 1/2 yrs ago. But, I am not any more perfect than anyone else. I put myself through a meat grinder and everyone else, too. I was really rough on Into, I need to remember that we all “get it” eventually or we never do, and my tough style is not going to make a bit of difference.

        Into, please try to see that this is a big mistake and you don’t have to continue on this road. Being involved with a MM is one of the worst experiences you can put yourself through. You already had the opportunity to see how fruitless it was to be the OW and then you went back into it again because you fell for his sob story. He will always have some way of reeling you in. Don’t fall for it. I hope you will see that soon.

        • MaryW says:

          Hi Tink
          Hope you are well. My style may be a bit too patient and sweet – but it’s how I am trying to be to myself (compassionate). Tough love is equally important. I remember getting fairly equal doses of both, and at first I couldn’t read/ absorb the tough love messages and it was the soothing and accepting words of the likes of Lizzp that helped. But then, the tough love messages sank in when I was ready. So, good cop, bad cop ;)

      • Intothelight says:

        Thanks for all the advice, some of it is hard to hear, but ultimately true. It made me breathe a kind of sigh of relief that I wont have to deal with this on my own now Ive got help from people who really understand where Im coming from. Unlike last time where I was completely shot to pieces I feel nothing, Im numb, I dont feel anything … its true I’d love that last chance to speak so I could have the – Im having the last word now Ive thought of several equally hurtful things Id like to say back, but would I really feel better? Initially, but that would be short lived and deep down I know that NC will have a more effective way of saying what I think than a few well rehearsed words (oh how Ive gone over and over them in my head). Thank you again, your words really came at a good time.

        • MaryW says:

          Intothelight, you are definitely not on your own. Recruit understanding friends/ family as well. Be honest with them. I’ve found that opening up to my friends has really helped (even if I come across as a desperate idiot etc etc). And therapy, to address why I have accepted all of the crap from various EUMs.

          As for having the last word, I know what you mean. I wasn’t mean or nasty with the EX EUM because I actually felt so sorry for him, but I did tell him that he was in no position to get in relationships at this stage of his life (newly separated, very bitter about the ex, workaholic, alcoholic), but I realised it made no difference, so eventually I just went silent.He had the last words, and that didn’t/ doesn’t matter because I was in the position of being in control of my life and I was caring for myself, putting myself first.

          What speaks loudest and clearest is the ACTION of NC and not words (which he won’t absorb anyway; they will be like water off a duck’s back). NC says “GO AWAY, I’VE HAD ENOUGH” louder than any words.

          Stay strong! You had a set back, but you can do it. Wishing you all the best.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Mary,

            Yes! The action of NC speaks louder than any words. It puts them in shock because they can’t believe you’re serious. The, when you remain NC, they want to keep trying to get you back, seeking validation for themselves. But, you must realize that you’ve made a big step and retracting it is a big mistake. I think I will make an effort to be a little gentler, Don’t know if I’ll be successful because this is my personality. And, I’d rather someone tell me exactly what they think, the worst of it, rather than give me sugar-coated BS. But Mary, you are YOU and it comes through very nicely. Lizz is a gem. I don’t know how she got so smart. (Smile).

            • MaryW says:

              Tink, I don’t think you have to make an effort to be gentler, except perhaps with yourself.

              I think the gentler and tougher comments balance themselves out, and all are given with the intention of support.

              I do remember one comment to/ about me right at the start of my most recent fiasco, which took me aback – someone (can’t remember who) said something along the lines of me not being strong enough to step away from the EUM AC, and/or that I was in denial, so there was no point giving me any further advise. I did not like that comment! But it gave me a boot up the arse on some level! And thankfully I did get further support…

              Back to No Contact; I was very lucky – he only resurfaced once via text (even that set me back) – I really feel for all the people here who are plagued by exes, turning up at their front doors, for example.

              Your NC with MM sounds sort of similar to mind, there was no face to face drama/ split, though admittedly there were text conversations before I eventually dropped away.

              Cheers to Lizzp if she happens to read this, and to Intothelight: we are here for you, even if you have another set back. X

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Mary. Thanks for making me feel better. You know, I really do believe that some of us because we have struggled so long with low self esteem, people pleasing, fantasizing, being a doormat, etc. etc. we may have gone to the other extreme and become almost a bitch. That’s not a goal to be proud of either. I notice, not only with myself, but sometime other posters especially those who are farther along in their recovery seem very “hard” and impatient, unwilling to see anyone else’s opinion but their own. Imo, it’s best to strive for a happy medium. You don’t want to be a wishy washy glob that has opinions, no backbone, but yet you don’t want to be callous and unreasonable either. Neither of these qualities are helpful for our growth as sensible, caring human beings who want the best life we can have. I think you and I both admire Lizz because she seems to radiate this kind of persona in her comments. I hope to get there also. I think knowing what you need to do or who you want to be is the easy part. The hard part is LIVING and applying it DAILY.

                • LaPinturaBella says:

                  Tink…It’s a fact, you begin changing and growing and the tendency IS to go too far in the other direction. It’s a pendulum that will eventually stop swinging so wildly and settle down in the middle. It takes time though. So, don’t worry about being a bitch or being too hard. It will balance out on its own. You are, after all, learning a whole new way of being and a whole new way of relating to the world.

                  • Tinkerbell says:

                    La Pintura,

                    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I hope you are right. I fell out with my dear, one and only sister. I was cruel. I’ve always felt that she was the smart one, so capable and confident (the lawyer) and I was the dumb one. I would never stand up for myself in an argument because I never felt confident enough to challenge her. Well, now she is having very serious financial problems. I feel as though I used her vulnerability as a rare chance for me to come out on top after she did something I didn’t appreciate. I am so ashamed now, and I’ve apologized awhile ago but she is deeply hurt and not responding. I’ve tried to explain to her that I’m no longer that someone who can be treated any old way and that she is going to have to learn a new way of treating me. I don’t know if she even wants to. I’m just giving her space and patiently waiting for her to come ’round and at least talk to me. My daughter told me that if anyone ever treated her the way I did my sister she said she “would be livid”. She recently went back to college and graduated with a degree to do family counseling. She’s getting load of practice with her MOM. LOL! I hope your words ring true eventually for me. How could I forget YOU and your wonderful words of wisdom. So many brilliant ladies on BR. That’s why we have all the grief with men and others, friends, family, etc. At least we’re smart enough to know when our relationships are askance. Best regards to you, hugs, xx Tink.

                • MaryW says:

                  Hmmm, yes I do wonder if my comments are a bit people pleasing sometimes. I am a people pleaser. If I remember correctly, you are a RN? I also work in healthcare. It’s ingrained in me to be nice and not cause people undue upset.

                  I don’t want to be a wishy washy glob or a bitch (I’ve noticed I am having very bitchy thoughts about colleagues, family members etc). Hopefully I’ll reach the happy medium that La Pintura talks about.

                  Re your tiff with your sister: whatever happened, I’m sure she’ll get to know and love the New Tink. The assertive and authentic Tink.

                  Anyway Tink, I honestly don’t think you are too tough. Look at Intothelight’s most recent comment; she is grateful for the mixture of tough love and understanding. Both helped her and she is 8 days NC :)

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Yes, Into, silence is golden. When I went NC on the MM, I didn’t let him know a thing. The last time he saw me things were “fair”. We’d had a tiff because his wife called while he was visiting me and I told him to leave the effin phone in his car. The we made up – he thought. That was the last straw. I disappeared and he could not reach me at all unless he came to my door. He’d pulled those disappearing acts on me many times so I gave him a dose of his own medicine. I kinda wanted to tell him all about himself but I felt NC was more effective. Good luck. Flush. We’re here to support you.

        • Lara says:

          Intothelight,

          Go NC and never look back. Please. Listen to all the wise ladies (and men) on this blog. NC is the ONLY way you will have the last word. You will have the last word by moving on to better things in life than getting stuck on a married man who treats you like dirt. Please value yourself more than you do and never ever look back, never regret going NC, never entertain “what ifs” because you probably have already entertained far too many for your own good.

          • Intothelight says:

            Thank you so much everyone … I was really touched by all the responses .. I confess when I first put the post on and saw so many others before mine I thought I might have to copy and paste on another day where it might be at the top and more easily spotted – I was in such a crap place I thought no one might reply. Its been a week now of NC last time I did 7 months but now I have the experience of what happens when you risk breaking it Im more confident it wont happen again. Treat me bad once shame on you, treat me bad twice shame on me was all I could think of at first … the fact that the advice was a mixture of tough love and understanding was exactly what I needed. BIG THANKYOUs all around once again.

            • MaryW says:

              Intothelight, well done on your 8 days of NC! Feels good, doesn’t it?

              Yes, you experienced the “shame on me” but you (we) are learning new habits and behaviours. It doesn’t always happen overnight. No need to punish yourself forever as long as you learned from it x

  40. NK says:

    Magnolia – thank you for your reply. I have never had an illness like yours but I can relate to people around me not ‘getting’ it when I had my suicide attempt. Keep an eye out for those in similar situations perhaps? They will be able to empathise more !

    I’m glad my post is inspiring….:)

    I am still working on my shizzle and perhaps this relationship won’t work out but I know I’d changed before it

  41. 2Fearce says:

    Into…

    Beating urself up isn’t going to help. So u fell for it again…doesn’t mean ur somehow a total waste of space. It’d be worse if u never realized how bad it was n had that epiphany moment.
    String a cpl expletives together, have a girls night in w ur besties n feel what ur feeling-hurt.

    He’s put his cards in the table.. ur move.
    Know better, do better… If u can’t do better rt this instant do the best u can for rt now. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

  42. 2Fearce says:

    Check ur caller ids, update ur call blockers cuz they seem to be coming out the woodwork. Had my moment of weakness, followed by the reality that she is not as great as the version of her in my head. Prob had smthn to do w watching inception. Trying to plant an idea in my own mind… Me. Fabulous. Capable. Talented. Okay a cpl of ideas… N oh yeah that I’m human n prone to stumble…

    Now where did that copy of the crumb express schedule come from?! Don’t worry its burned now.
    I am not the one for all that bs
    I am not the one for all that bs
    I am not the one for all that bs

  43. Peanut says:

    Your are a talented writer Natalie. You write beautifully, and I love that you are keeping up with the blog art. Just Fabulous.

    I have really enjoyed reading the posts from the past, as I didn’t start following BR until about a year and a half ago. And what a time it has been!

    As you know I’m delving into a wonderfully manic, intense, and pleasurable academic journey (there will no doubt be lots of weepy hysterics over art as I tend to do this when moved).

    But in the mean time, I will be reading every post. I wouldn’t miss your material for the world.

    I may not be commenting, but again, I will be reading and thankful for every word.

    Take Care Nat and BR readers! Xx

    • Luisa says:

      Peanut, Good luck with your new project-it sounds exciting! I have been following you, and know that we are thinking of you here at BR and in your corner.
      Hugs

  44. Lacy says:

    Allison when he and I first met in 02 he had 2 boys and I had 2 kids also.He and I went separate ways for 2yrs I moved away got engaged and pregnant with my 3 child my fiance died in a car accident while I was 3 mths pregnant, in 06 of oc.So I moved back to my hometown in dec closer to my fam.

    The same mth I bumped into x he heard what happened and came to visit.He was so nice I was pregnant and he was there for me thru a tragic time.He would bring me ice cream, food, we would sit and talk, and he visited me in the hospital when I gave birth.He has been around my older kids for yrs and my baby since he was born.

    I never questioned his relationship status. I was still grieving my fiance. I wasn’t working and recieving unemployment and my baby recieved insurance for his father’s death.The x he helped me out in that time.

    One night he told me he had had his second child and he wish the woman didn’t go thru with the pregnancy he loves kids but she was a party woman and he didn’t love her he loved me but she was having his first daughter.

    At this point my baby was 2 yrs old.This same night he promised me everything the next day he was gone.No calls for a week then he popped back .My brain was off I accepted his excuse, I had really no morals or expectations of him or any man at that time, which is sad I spoke to my therapist about this a while back and we came to that conclusion.

    When x resurfaced he asked me if he was to still deal with his daughter’s mother and move in with me and pay me rent.I said no but really he gradually moved stuff in anyway. He would come in at 4am sometimes a day or so later.I wind up pregnant and told him about it he left for 2 weeks and I miscarried.

    He came ba k and said he just wanted me to have the baby but he didn’t know how to tell me and he thought I was contemplating an abortion, and he doesn’t believe in that, and he had just went out of to La with A famous singer.

    I didn’t believe him but a few weeks later he came to my job said he can’t live without me.

    Well sorry bout the long story. Just wanted to clear somethings up.

    • Rosie says:

      Lacy–Yes, he was so caring in the beginning while, at the same time in the beginning, he dragged you to the car sales place to have you pay for his new car. Remember? And moving his stuff in after you said no…this isn’t love; it’s control and complete disrespect. My ex-bf (years ago) wanted me to move in with him and hid my stuff whenever I would visit. When I wanted to go home one night and I was sitting in my car, he leaned in, pulled the keys out of the ignition and threw them so that I couldn’t leave. His control became worse and worse as time went on. Lacy…none of this is love. Control isn’t about us; it’s about them. It’s all about them.

      • Luisa says:

        Lacy,
        I am so sorry to hear about your fiancee’s death, your miscarriage, and the way this ex won’t leave you alone. However, I think for many of us readers here, there has been something about your story that makes the hair on my arms stand up.

        I know it’s hard because I am struggling with NC myself, but there comes a point in some stories-where you have to say-ok so if I told this story to my child-when they are old enough to understand-what kind of lesson would I be teaching them? If you have a son do you want them to grow up to be a bully/stalker/abuser to women? If you have a daughter do you want her to call you from her cellphone someday and say that her ex is knocking on their door and she is afraid to get out of her car to go into her own house?

        If you are in a tough situation, with your kids and your finances, there are lots of organizations, battered women’s shelters etc. that can help you to find a new home,give you a safe place to stay, help watch your children while you get your new plan together and get the distance and safety you and your family need from this man. Your therapist should be able to put you in touch with some phone numbers locally, or call
        National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1?800?799?SAFE (7233) in the US.

        Freephone Helpline
        0808 2000 247 in England

        There is no shame in asking for help. You are your children’s only parent. They need you to be the best Mom/Mum you can be-and you can’t be that if you are afraid, confused and constantly hassled from this man.

        Please keep us up to date as you consider your options-you do have some! We care about you and your family, and we don’t want to see anything bad happen to you.

        Take care. xoxo

        • Lacy says:

          Luisa thks for the info I’ve been thinking about what will I do next in terms of healing my soul and clearing my mind.I believe the x will not be coming back by my house because he knows I have papers against him.I am going to try to put all focus on me and being a better parent to my children.

    • Allison says:

      Thanks, Lacy.

      This guy is really bad news. Please be careful.

    • grace says:

      Lacy
      My situation isn’t cut and dried either. My ex and I aren’t back together but we’re not separate either. We see each other several times a week. It probably isn’t a good idea, but I’m happier for it. So I will enjoy it for now. I can see why others might say “walk away” or “flush”. But, and this is a big but, there are no other women and he treats me well. I’d like to think if that changed (it would be completely out of character for him though), I would leave. However, I get that our emotions and feelings are rarely (maybe never!)rational.
      For your situation, this may help give clarity, and I find it quite funny too even though it’s a serious topic:
      http://www.drjoecarver.com/clients/49355/File/IdentifyingLosers.html

      • Allison says:

        Grace,

        Why prolong the inevitable if he’s incapable of prolonging the relationship?

        Aren’t you still in love with man? If so, you are not doing yourself any favors!

        Is he going to deal with the family, or is still going by their wishes? Don’t you feel betrayed?

      • Sunyata says:

        Grace – if you don’t let go, grieve your loss, and move on, where is there going to be a space for Mr. Available in your life?

        • Lilia says:

          Grace, don´t be fooled. He obviously misses you and wants to have you in his life. However, as far as I can see, he isn´t willing to take things further. And he never will be willing, not as long as you´re still around.

          Believe me, I´ve been in that situation. The once love-of-my-life kept me around too when we broke up. Thing is, I was still very much in love with him and willing to wait for him to change. But of course, he never did. Why would he? He never understood he had to make a choice because I just wasn´t going anywhere.

          But no matter about him. The bad thing was that I ended up completely depressed with the setup. In the beginning it was comforting to remain in contact with him and I would feel so happy whenever he came to visit me (which was regularly). But ultimately, it was very damaging to me because I naturally wanted to maneuver a relationship out of the situation. It was very awkward to know all about his life and not be a part of it. Worse was when we did things together with his friends and I would overhear comments about some girl who was interested in him. I knew he wasn´t looking for a new relationship, but I couldn´t avoid feeling like some ugly old cast-off.

          • Teddie says:

            Oh, but there IS another woman! Even though he may not yet know her and may not yet have been introduced to her by his family, the one that is young enough to procreate with, the one he will eventually move on with. And it is not his family, it’s him. Grace, you are better than being a passing time option!

            • Mymble says:

              I was thinking the same thing, and also in a funny way it’s like FWB; the benefits for him, are your time, attention, support, love and affection, all without commitment. He is free to avail himself of all that, until ms suitable comes along, or for whatever reasons he wants to move on.

            • DiggingDeeper says:

              Absolutely agree with this Teddie.

              Grace this isn’t about his family; this is about HIM; he is a grown a$$ man, who has decided that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you; you said it yourself–it’s HIS choice, and it is. I understand you are hurting, but I don’t get how you think this guy is treating you so well because he really isn’t; he is basically telling you that you aren’t good enough to be in a long term relationship with him, but he”l see you 3 times a week if you let him, and personally I don’t think he’s a ‘good’ guy at all–he’s what we call a nice ‘dog’ over here in the states. A ‘good’ guy wouldn’t string somebody along, who he knows is in love with him, and who he knows he has no intentions of marrying, or being in a long term relationship with. He would break it off, and leave it off, and move on.

              And you definitely aren’t looking out for your best interests, you are just living off of a form of short term-instant gratification because in the long run whatever you create now is just going to blow up in your face later.

              You broke NC Grace, just as other people on this site have–call it what it is.

              You have given so many people on this site such excellent and wise advise, and now you won’t even give that to yourself? or take it?

              I just don’t get it… really don’t get being with somebody who doesn’t want you. It just doesn’t make sense to me, and I really don’t get holding somebody’s hand until they meet someone else, and he will meet someone else.

              I remember how hard it was to let go of the AC in my life, but I had to woman up and do it, but such is life–this is absolutely your choice–BUT you BROKE NC Grace, and I hate to say it out of respect to you, but you dear Grace are most certainly a fall back girl, who needs to show this dude your back!

              • Allison says:

                We’ve all been in that place, so hurtful and devaluing.

                I thought the break up was bad, but boy, did I really screw with my self esteem by waiting for him to come around. Thank God, he didn’t- They also lose respect when you stick around!

                If someone does not recognize my value on the first go round, there will be no second chances. There’s a reason why there was a split.

    • Intothelight says:

      Lacy
      I dont know if you read my post before yours about a MM AC who just told me after 8 years when I challenged him after yet another crap excuse of why he could be with just me ‘when you moan like that why should I leave my wife for you’…. the whole thing started after my partner died suddenly – I met his old friend for the first time (the MMAC) in the hospital he spent the 5 wks with me at me partners bedside and within a week was telling me of his failed marriage and how he was going to leave his wife very soon. I was in such a terrible place as Im sure you were, after my partners death any company and distraction was better than facing up to the realities of what had happened and slowly but surely we ended up after several months of what I now realise was him taking advantage of me in a very vunerable state starting a relationship with the promise of leaving his wife. It never happened, he never came good on his word and I got very hurt in the process – there was always a REALLY good reason why he couldnt leave her just at that moment. After 6 and half yrs he suddenly dumped me I went NC for 7 mths then he turned up and told me what a mistake he had made leaving me, how I was his best friend and how he would never hurt me again but do know what after the initial guilt had gone he was still giving me new excuses again (carrot and stick situation). Please go NC with this man dont fall for the sob story like I did because after the honeymoon period (it could be weeks or months) the same shady behaviour will surface. Stay strong.

      • Lacy says:

        Intothelight so sorry for the late comment u may not recieve it,I am struggling tremenoudsl with Nc.I am so thankful to baggage reclaim you and everyone else who takes time to give me insight and advice.

  45. Enough says:

    I have to say that I am very proud of myself at the moment. I have been in NC for a little over a week. Not counting anymore it seems to help me cope. Since then I have reconnected with long time friend of mind. Our disagreement was petty and immature plus we came to a agreement we are too old to be going back and fourth like this. Plus we missed each other dearly and show how our lives just complete.(we have been friends since college) She really doesn’t know I need her more than ever right now in my life. We both struggle with our self esteem but we encourage one another to just stop it and stop caring how other people view us on our outside appearance. We are both learning to love the women we are becoming and that is a big step for me. I LOVE IT!!! My boundaries are set,I have my BR family, and my ever growing confidence. I think I will be Ok

  46. Tinkerbell says:

    Lacy,

    Amazing. He disappears when you get pregnant, then reappears after you miscarry, telling you he disappeared because he actually wanted you to have the baby, didn’t know how to tell you this, because he thought you were considering abortion that he doesn’t believe in? WTF? A load of BULL. And you believe that? When you go to the therapist the focus should be on why you want this asshole, why you are still dealing with him and why you haven’t taken better measures to get him out of your life.
    Stop engaging with him. JUST STOP. Apparently, you are sending mixed messages. It doesn’t matter if he ever treated you well. Those days are over and they are not going to magically reappear. Get out while you can. You have young children. What are you thinking?

    • Lacy says:

      Tinkerbell I disn not believe his excuse for leaving me while I was pregnant.

      He came to my house and I told him how disappointed I was that I had got pregnant and my son qas 2 at the time and I knew I should’ve been more careful. I did start gripping about money and I did contemplate giving the baby up.

      To each its own about the ab issue but I myself don’t see that as an option for me.Not to say adotion is better it depends on the person.At the time of our conversation about me being pregnant we were being around each other but very disconnected.He left that night and I didn’t and I didn’t see him for 2 weeks.

      He said he went to LA with a famous singer.He called and called from different nums and I told him he was no good and his kids were better off without him.My sister said that was extreme.

      He has told me and one or two other people have told me I need to say what I mean.He said I came to him about the pregnancy negatively and regardless to what I think that he’s a good father.He said I when I told him I was pregnant all I brung up was the negative side and that most women find out their pregnant are excited but I wasn’t.

      Well it could he mumble jumble what he told me but its water under the bridge and I learned some things from him.

      I didn’t provoke him to treat me badly its something he was set on doing.
      But one thing I do know is I have negative beliefs about love from before him.What do they call it a self fullfilling prophecy.

      I wonder if Its any good men left, or am I good enough to be loved, scared to love until its too late the person either pass away or moves on to someone prettier, or funnier.

      It was a point when I felt loved in the middle yra of our relationship he told me and showed me.I was still grieving my fiance for the whole 2 yrs the x was being supportive spending time with me and my kids wanting to be closer but I was wrapped up in pity and guilt over my fiance, for the whole 2 yrs he was loving. Its not in excuse for him to give up on me or treat me the way he has but maybe he got impatient and I guess that means he’s not for me.

      I have been wallowing the first therapist said I couldn’t have a healthy relationship with x because I was depressed.First the therapist listened to how the relationship was going with x and he said that’s why I was depressed, then he went on to ask me about my personal life and what I liked and I couldn come up with anything. Ths therapist said a women under 30 should have something that interests me.

      2011 was the first yr I noticed x as a presence in my life really my mind was still on my fiancee that died.I thought about my fiancee from 2006 when he died in the car accident til 2011 was the first yr I can really say I wasn’t in mourning.

      He can say it was up to me to pull myself out of the misery and I didn’t try hars enough.I may have well I did play a part in some of the things that went wrong between me and the x and so did he.

      Now I’m trying to find a way to move on in my mind and heart, I have already rwmoved myself physically out of his way.

      I have a cracked screen I’m working off and I also lost my glasses last week so baggage recalim please excuse the typos in my last comment.Lmao

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lacy,

        Thank you for writing. Please continue working on yourself with your therapist. Mine is female and I find it’s better because she can relate woman to woman. Not so with a man. But if yours works for you, that’s fine. Just take it very seriously and try to benefit as much as you can from his input/guidance. I know how hard it is to continue mourning over a lost love since I experienced the death of my husband after 25 yrs. I attribute that fact as a lot of the reason why I ever got involved with a MM. When we’re grieving we want relief and love. Therefore, we may not be very discriminating about where it comes from. I think you should swear off men temporarily until you have a much better sense of your own esteem and power. Don’t go from one unsatisfying relationship with a man head long into another one without dealing with your issues. I wish you all the best. You will be OK if you really want to be and it will take time. xx Tink

  47. not livin la vida loca says:

    I had to surgically remove my phone from my hand, where it’s been for the past 4 days,in order to write this,(y’know, just in case he calls…)so as you can tell i’m new to this..Unfortunately not new to the break up- make up- break up scenario which has been going on since i discovered the existence of his little mini- me “back home”.
    Well, the thing is, he owes….deep breath…£6000 on my credit card and… bigger deep breath… i just lost my job… so….compounding my unrealistic , rose tinted view of how the relationship actually was AS A WHOLE (yes, Natalie, I’m hearing you) and the edited highlights replaying in my brain, is the recurring thought- what the hell do I do about the money?? Hence gripping the phone for dear life, even though I know i’m inviting more misery if it should ring….Cos I KNOW I’ll answer it -no contact is just sooo damn haaard.. Advice pleeeease (But none involving legal action… or illegal action either come to think of it! Muchas gracias companeras x

    • Mymble says:

      If legal action is not in contemplation, either for emotional or practical reasons (I know that in the UK getting a judgement against a “man of straw” ,i.e., one with no salary or assets, is pretty pointless), then you will have to wave bye bye to your money. Again, in the UK, you might wish to consider bankruptcy as a way to wipe out the debt and start fresh, although there are consequences in doing that.
      I read somewhere that if you lend money to a friend or bf think of it as a gift. If you wouldnt give, then don’t lend.
      And you can’t buy someones affections, quite the reverse. They will probably will avoid you in order to avoid the discomfort about the money, particularly if they’re an AC (which by definition he is, or he wouldn’t have been sponging off you).
      You’ll have to work out how best to deal with your debts yourself.

    • grace says:

      Not livin
      Call the cc company and explain the situation. I don’t know if they can do anything but it can’t hurt.

    • MaryW says:

      Hi, I don’t think it’s going to be possible to retrieve any money from him without a lot of manipulation and therefore dishonesty, since you’ve broken up for good (?). Even then, you’d seriously risk putting yourself through more horrible emotional turmoil. And it would be impossible if you are serious about NC and can’t/ won’t go through legal proceedings.

      I’ve also heard the saying that a loan should always be considered a gift – from Judge Judy (!). I know £6000 is a hell of a lot of money. Perhaps you have to accept this as a very expensive mistake and learn what you can from it.

      Sorry, I know that’s not very helpful. I hope you find a new job ASAP and can then take care of your finances without relying on him.

      • not livin la vida loca says:

        Thanks all for your comments, i think that’s pretty much my conclusion too, except it’s not really bye-bye money, but hello huge debt! Just for other over- empathetic souls out there- take heed of what other people are saying here about loans/gifts… I’m no pushover in any other area of my life, but when ‘a series of unfortunate events’ happens in the life of someone you loved for five years its near-impossible to resist doing whatever you can to ‘make the situation better’.
        Unfortunately, his answer to trying to pay me back more quickly was to start gambling … he really wasn’t an AC before that…or was he..? Hmmm, now you’ve got me thinking….

        • grace says:

          not livin
          It may be worth seeing a lawyer. It’s a lot of money. If it was a few hundred I’d let it go.
          I don’t accept that a debt that will take several years for you to pay off, plus interest, plus the risk of bad credit is something you write off as experience or the price of “making a mistake”. He owes you that money.
          I did walk away from about £2k in a previous breakup, but I did get back £5k through a lawyer. Otherwise, I’d have lost £7k and wouldn’t have been able to buy the home I have now. Hell, no.
          Oddly, when he got the letter from the lawyer, this ex miraculously found the money despite having pleaded poverty throughout our relationship. This ex was physically abusive during the relationship, but I didn’t go through horrible emotional turmoil getting the money back. It was annoying but the lawyer dealt with it. The lawyer cost less than £500.
          It’s not true that we can’t stand up to these people and have to just have to accept what they do.
          I find that when they know you’re serious they aren’t half as powerful as you thought they were. I had a loan agreement, mind.
          Of course, there are situations when it’s simply not worth it, that is your call.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Not Livin,

            I don’t know what amount of money we’re talking about here, but if it’s a very large amount, and you are currently unemployed, I’d go after him through a lawyer. Did you clearly establish that it was a LOAN? The lawyer can handle it. It’s worth it to pay his fee so that you spare yourself the aggravation of personally dealing with this AC.

          • not livin la vida loca says:

            Can I ask if you had any proof that the money was spent by him? I haven’t really got much of that, just about £1000 worth. I’m reluctant to go to a lawyer because a) even when things were going badly he did say he would pay me back…eventually. and b) I’m scared that if i put pressure on he’ll skip the country & go “back home”… last week I went to his work (on pay day!) & he sent the minimum payment out in an envelope with a friend- but that’s not going to work long term, so I’m in a dilemma, stomach tied up in knots the whole time & not sure if it’s about him, the debt or both! Thanks for help…

            • MaryW says:

              Hi,

              This web page has loads of good advice:

              http://tinyurl.com/k6c2tvk

              For example, do you have proof that these were loans/ that he owes you money, through any correspondence?

              I know someone who craftily got the person he’d loaned money to to confirm it via email. Do you have any such emails or texts?

              Whether or not taking legal action prompts him to go back to his own country, isn’t it worth taking the risk? The other option is waiting for dribs and drabs on his pay day, which doesn’t sound like it’ll pay off £6000 in a hurry and will be emotionally exhausting and harrowing.

              I think you should start with seeing someone at Citizens Advise Bureau. There are links in the PDF document above.

              He may decide to go “back home” to the “Minnie Me” anyway – and your relationship is already over, remember.

              Are you scared of cutting all ties? Is his debt to you a tie you can’t break?

    • Allison says:

      Not Livin,

      I am so sorry to hear about your job loss, do you have many viable options or savings?

      Contact is much harder, as you continue to put yourself in a soul destroying situation. This man cannot be trusted!!!!

      How long were you together? How long has he been cheating? Do you want this guy back after he cheated and took your money?

      Why do you not want to pursue a legal avenue, especially after the deceit?

      Please, please, please ladies, don’t loan money to your partners!!!!!

  48. pax says:

    Its been a while since Ilast wrote on here. The past few weeks have been a nightmare. I got back with my abusive ex two months ago and things went well until the same drama and bs started again. To cut a long story short I ended things again and two weeks ago I got back home to find I had been burgled. Reportednit to the police and the next day my ex texts me saying he has my things and he is dropping it off at my house. I informed the police right away and he stared being abusive and harrasing me, making threats towards my work ahd family. The police finally arrested him and he was charged. I felt and still feel violated and angy. I am currently moving house and trying to start afresh, but it is the most difficult situation I have ever been through. He has tried to ruin my life but I am still here, still standing strong. I will not be afraid of him. I got on the wrong train and look where it got me. Ladies please, listen to this post. Stop engaging with fools because the consequences could be disastrous. The police still have my possessions that were recovered and I am going through the court process. Until I move to my new home, I have no peace. I have felt depressed and suicidal but I will NOT let him win. I now have a restraining order against him and he is not allowed to step foot intonmy county….but all this could have been avoided had I NOT GOT bACK oN THAT TRAIN. I will survive. I will learn to trust and love again but now is a time to build on myself.

    Lots of love
    Pax

  49. Swissmiss says:

    Timely post. Ending it with a friend of 20+ years.

    We have had three major breaks in our friendship, all for the same reason…she says insulting things, like calling me ‘harsh’, ‘judgemental’ or ‘cold’, then avoids any attempt at resolution. Last time, she was pushing me to stay with the XMM when all I wanted was to get away from him.

    Customarily, a few days will go by and she will then write, “Are you ok? I am worried about you,” as though I have gone off the rails, asking to be treated with respect. So condescending.

    Ironically, all her FB lists are quotes from the Buddha, how to raise food at home–that whole, “I will teach you how to live” vibe. Too bad she doesn’t know how to be friends.

    So, same old same old. This time I said, “I can’t really see the point of associating with someone who has those opinions of me.”

    And I can’t. Too far beyond the circle of trust.

  50. Magnolia says:

    Quick update re MM at work: he showed up at an orientation event for my faculty (did he need to be there? no), and much as I tried to avoid him he approached me and tried to hand me a bag, whispering, “I have something for you.” It was probably just another muffin.

    But I lost my temper a bit. I told him I don’t want anymore gifts, I don’t want him coming around posting things on my door when I’m not there; he immediately wants to pull me aside. “Can we talk?” he says. “Just let me talk to you.” I shook my head and walked away (though had to stay in the room for the orientation event, that was still going on).

    I decided to leave “the back way,” knowing he’d probably try to follow me if he saw me go up the stairs. I went to our dept office and said I was being bothered by someone and would our admin asst walk me to my office? She said sure and as soon as we stepped out into the hallway, there he was, asking to talk to me. Rather than get upset at him in front of my colleague, I told him I was busy with the admin asst and to call me and I’d let him know my availability.

    He called; I didn’t answer; he leaves a message saying “I’ve given offense and I’m kind of at sea about it.” If at sea means he has no idea why I’m upset, I don’t buy it. So I checked in with my equity rep (apparently our equity person has been fired so there actually isn’t anyone to follow up with if things go really south), showed her a note I’d composed spelling things out, describing his uninvited gifts and drop-bys, and asking him to stop all that and keep things professional.

    He has responded by claiming to just be concerned for my health, but that’s bs because he was like this before AND he actually doesn’t have much information about my health. But he says he’ll respect that he has lost “my friendship” and will keep it professional.

    I had hoped not to get to the point of “putting it all in writing” but I think he knows he crossed the line many times. So let’s hope that works.

    • grace says:

      Magnolia
      He’s completely out of line. Document everything with dates and times.
      Realistically, HR and the like aren’t really there for the employee, they are there to protect the organisation. Unfortunately he may not get the butt kicking he deserves. However, still fight your corner.
      I expect he will back down.

    • Revolution says:

      Good for you, Mags! You did the right thing, ’cause this guy is mucho creeperino. Reminds me of a dude I used to have to deal with at work. I hate that whole “Awww…you’re a little hurt lamb that I must protect/heal” vibe that they give off, when really they’re the wolf just waiting to pounce on vulnerable prey. He doesn’t need anymore information other than what you gave him, which is that you feel uncomfortable with his attention and actions and that he should stop. What else does he need to know? He’s being a “soft” bully, but you’re showing him the door in no uncertain terms. Hooray for you!

      By the way, Mags, here’s a big hug from me: ((HUG)) I’ve been reading your comments on your struggles of late, but just haven’t found much to say that the other ladies haven’t said already. Plus I’m kinda shite at being soft and all (my “gifts” lie more in the “snark” category). But I wish you balance and peace, my dear.

    • Allison says:

      Magnolia,

      Good for you!!!

      What’s wrong with this guy!!!!

  51. Enough says:

    Update on Mr AC he tried to throw a few breadcrumbs yesterday via text twice. A one word text at that texting my name. I seriously can’t believe i would have replied a little while ago “what”. Next he would reply “what is your deal” like its all my fault and again i would go on a long rant about how he has been treating me. For him to only go silent!!!!. This has me so ashamed at myself for allowing myself to fall for this time and time again. Same train leading to nowhere what pains me i knew where it was going and i still paid for a ticket. Well this time i have no use for train rides they make me sick to my stomach and i am starting a low carb diet asap lol.

    • Justplaintired says:

      Enough, your Mr. AC sounds like mines. lol. All it would take was a text with my name to start the conversations. I had to block his number because I knew I’m still vulnerable and would break the NC rule. 2 months and counting of NC.

      • Enough says:

        Tired: I know right!!!! Well at this time i can’t block his phone number due to not having a up to date phone. Can’t change my number at the moment(employment reasons) so I’m faced with having to read his texts cause it will not tell me who it is from unless i open it(ugh!!! i so need a new phone) I can’t wait until i reach 2 months NC I so wonder what my mind frame would be like. I’m just trying to make it a Month! He has a bad habit of popping up at my home. I can truly blame his last visit on myself cause I invited him to see my new niece(excuse). I could of seriously kicked myself in the rump for that one cause when i saw him he acted like nothing had changed and that we have not been speaking to each other for days,weeks,arguments back and forth no sex, nothing!!!!. Then had the nerve to ask for a kiss when he left are you crazy!. I felt nothing for him yes it was good to see him but even that did not last long. I truly saw him without the glasses on. An eyeopening experience really. I truly hope i can keep this NC going. I see i have no problem avoiding his texts its his visits that i will have a issue with. I know i have to be firm and right to the point about telling him he is not allowed to come to my home anymore. Just anxious for the day to come already lets just get this over with!!

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Enough,
      12 weeks NC and I needed to read your comment today as he’s been in my mind some. Thanks for the reminder that any contact (most likely beginning with his “Hey”) will ultimately result in the silent treatment and me feeling ashamed.

      • Enough says:

        Its those lonely late nights especially the weekends when I feel the urge to just say or do something. Its like i’m constantly checking my phone for a text but i know it won’t happen because i know this AC so well he does not contact me on weekends period starting Friday-Sunday are a no go for him. But as soon as Monday hits its back to the one word texts. Sucks that i put up with this crap for 9+ years. I feel the most developmental time in my life was wasted on this AC. I’m 32 going on 33 so you can do the math.

        • Andee says:

          You know when the buddhists say is the best time to plant a tree? 10 years ago. You know what the second best time to plant a tree is? TODAY. It’s never too late and don’t count those nine years as a waste. The time that you are too old to grow and change is NEVER.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Enough.

      Stop feeling ashamed. You can’t change what’s already done. Look at it this way he hasn’t changed (same ole, same ole) but you finally have and you will not be going back to that other foolish person again. Progress made. Congratulate yourself.

      • Enough says:

        I know i should but i can’t help but get real frustrated at myself. I am hurt, betrayed, used, This man has taken so much of my life and wasted it when i truly loved him and gave my all. There have been plenty occasions i should of walked out. I did for the most part but guess what i came right back cause of time and hoping he would change. I never had anyone to really talk to well my best friend told me but i figured how can you give me sound advice when your relationship is not all peaches but she accepted it and still is i may add. I told her about BR and i hope she considers just taking a look. To see how much this blog has helped me grow and motivate me to Get Out!!! This is the first blog that i have faithfully participated in period in all my life especially about my relationship this is a first as well. So help me out here BR. My thoughts may be a out of order and trust i have a story to tell. I am really guys if you are to get this all out finally and make some sense of it all. One day at a time. Thanks

        • Enough says:

          *I am ready guys to get this all out* (sorry)

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Enough,

          We understand. This is the place to come. Gives us all your drips and dribbles or your long monologues, whatever. We’ve been through the same or something similar. You’re just starting so you have a lot to learn. And you will learn, slowly. You will have to deal with all form of input, sweet and gentle, like Mary W, or tough and a bit snarky, like me. But it’s all well meaning. Understand that. Good luck. Knowing your weaknesses and where you falter is half the battle. Applying what you learn is the other half.

  52. espresso says:

    Magnolia
    I think you were very wise to put this all in writing and send it to him. I would avoid any conversations with him in the future and if he approaches you tell him if he wants to discuss something professionally to email you. His long term inability to “hear” you or to respect your messages to him is a form of passive aggression and smacks of entitlement and is something my ex was/is very good at. It sucks and sometimes feels confusing when things are always presented as “nice” or “kind” – my ex is very hostile and also emotionally abusive but he cleans up the house real well.

  53. Sanntay says:

    I am not the same woman I was 4 months ago. I have come so far with healing and forgiving myself for the events of the last year, but now I have to reinforce my resolve as I will continue to deal with the remnants of my poor choices with the coworker. The outcome I had hoped to be spared from has come to pass. I will have to continue working him on a new project. I try to look at the bright side: I am thankful to have another project to go to. His behavior hasn’t changed much. Sometimes he speaks, sometimes not, mostly when he wants something, and I continue to remain professional and do my job. I do not engage. A couple of weeks ago, he sat in front of my desk and tried to talk to me, kind of like old times. As he began his story, I got up and walked out of the room. Fortunately, my boss had walked into the room so Mr. Man ended up telling my boss his story, until my boss removed himself from the room as well. Part of me wants to pull him aside and at least try to clear the air because I don’t want to continue on this awkward/uncomfortable/things-got-weird path that we’re on for another 18 months, but the other part of me is like WHY EVEN BOTHER. I’m not boarding that train. It won’t do any good, and he will probably read that as proving that he still has some power over me (clearly he does as I am still talking about him) thereby giving him the opportunity to reject me again. I won’t waste my time. Eventually all the angst will subside. The stubborn, yet rational part of me wins out, ‘cuz I can continue this dance just as long as he can.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Sanntay,

      Damn! Can’t you ask to make a change or switch with someone? So what if he finds out. You’ve been looking forward to not having to look in his face every day. It’s not fair. Who decides the individuals on each project. Do you all choose for yourselves. Just say you made a mistake. Why do you have to just accept it?

      • Sanntay says:

        Tink: I so loved your response, and want to give you a big bear hug for your passion and support.

        I thought the same thing when I found out… damn, damn, DAMN!!! My heart sank, and I just wanted to cry. Unfortunately, we don’t get much (really no) say in things like this. Our current team was so successful on the project we just completed, and the client wanted that same formula for the next. I do believe that proposing the same team was what won us the job. Considering the fact that there have been recent layoffs at my company, I’m not trying to raise any flags that could potentially put me in a position to be dismissed, you know? Tenure or not, I think to come off as a whiny, immature, non-team player who can’t separate her personal life and her work life would earn me a reputation that I neither want nor deserve. Besides, I feel like it’s not so much about me (as much as I want to think it is), but it’s about the team and the two companies involved in the joint venture. If I suddenly want to jump ship (without a valid reason or back up plan), it may leave a poor impression, which will affect my future assignments. I don’t care about him finding out. I think he gets some sick thrill out of pissing people off and feeling like he has the power to chase people away or get them fired. He has no influence on my position, and fortunately he doesn’t work for my company. Maybe I’m over-analyzing as usual, but I just have to play the hand I’m dealt. I’ll leave it in God’s hands. Maybe He is testing me, grooming me, teaching me (?). Maybe something great will come out of this for me. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to see Mr. Man finally get his comeuppance. I’m gonna TRY to stay positive. I have to. My livelihood, as well as my sanity, is at stake here.

        P.S. I hope you are feeling better and that you and your friend are faring well in the aftermath.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Sanntay. I understand your position. You have no choice in this. But, how long is this going to go on, forever, just because you guys are a good team? Talk about paying for your mistakes! This is too much. Is each project 18 months? God forbid. I need to switch gears because this is pissing me off as much as it does you and I’ve never even met you. Goes to show how you can really form “friendships” on BR. Keep me posted.

          Ironically, I just gave the conclusion, at the top of Natalie’s next post. No hints. You’ll have to read it and comment. xx & hugs, Tink.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            And Sanntay. DO NOT take him aside to tell him off. He’ll know he still has a significant effect on you and then he’ll really step up the attempts to engage. You’ve made a point. God is testing you and surely, there is something you are supposed to learn from this. But what is it, aside from the obvious breach in good judgement? There’s more so you need to figure it out. FOR YOU.

            • Sanntay says:

              Tink: Each project is different depending on the scope. Eighteen months was the duration of this project and is projected for the next; however, I’ve been on projects that lasted up to 5 years. I feel fortunate that I won’t have to deal with this issue THAT long. And I have no intention of trying to talk with him, as I noted it would be a futile waste of time. I can just imagine him going home to tell his SO and they have a good laugh about it. The damage is irreparable, and I’m done with him. I will probably never be able to wrap my brain around his handling of this whole situation, especially considering you have to see the person you wronged EVERY DAMN DAY, but I digress.

              Yesterday, my sister called to tell me she got fired. While I feel for her, I immediately realized that I will NOT be waving any flags to try and get away from this project, ‘cuz it could easily be me in that position.

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Sanntay,

                Right. I hear you. You don’t want to draw any attention to yourself in any way that could negatively impact your job. Hopefully, you will continue to be there until YOU decide to make a change. Who knows? He may not be there all that much longer anyway. People pay when they treat another wrongfully. You may never know anything about it, but this AC will pay one day. I’m glad to see that you’ve been getting much stronger and have shown tremendous dignity while dealing with the situation. Continue believing in yourself, NC him as much as you can and trust that it’ll get better the more time passes. Don’t give him any more power. Take it back. Maybe someday your Mr. Right will show up. By then you’ll be ready and will be wiser in the ways that you conduct yourself with him. Lesson learned.

                I’m very sorry to hear about your sister. There is no right or convenient time to lose one’s job. Maybe better days are in store for her. As for you, stay strong. Do your job efficiently and warily. Good luck.

  54. Magnolia says:

    Thanks ladies, for all your input! I have an email file folder full of documentation of his emails inviting me to “his beach,” etc.

    You know, I don’t necessarily have more friends, or more support, or a better bum, now than when a part of me would have welcomed this attention because it was male attention and more interest than my father ever mustered; I just finally understand that for years I never could tell the difference between indulgent condescension and pity and a healthy interest in me that would become concern if the situation warranted it.

    I can feel how this MM’s attentions are directed at the most vulnerable parts of me – how when he called (with some kind of clairvoyant stalkeriness) right after I got my diagnosis I was almost (almost!) tempted to call him back and let him rush to my side.

    Despite my struggles and some very bleak days I see that I am so much stronger emotionally, now, than I was when I first came to BR. I see, too, that when I am weak and tempted to reach for something/someone unhealthy to help me run from my sadness is the best time to try to settle down with myself, be in my solitude, and get back in touch with why I like me and why I will always be my own first, best rescuer.

    Today I had to go back to the doctor and got the one who is, darn it, pretty effing handsome. He’s supportive of my search to find the best surgeon in the province and he agreed to take me on as a patient so I can have someone consistent monitoring my investigations, treatment, etc (finding an MD in this province is very difficult). Boy oh boy does he set off my fantasy button. “Does he like me because he sees what a strong survivor I am?” “Does he think I’m attractive?”

    Maybe you ladies will find that pathetic or disgusting or whatever but after having gone through so many daddy issues, including inappropriate crushes on a male counsellor, I just have to see that it’s a thing with me. I’ve recognized the pattern but I guess a part of me still wags her tail thinking she found a nice daddy/master who will take her home.

    Something to meditate on over the next days, to feel the feeling, feel the honesty of how indulging the fantasy only leads to disappointment/abuse, recommit to emotional honesty and to reality being my friend.

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Magnolia,

      I am glad you seem to be feeling a bit better.

      I really like this that you wrote:
      “I see, too, that when I am weak and tempted to reach for something/someone unhealthy to help me run from my sadness is the best time to try to settle down with myself, be in my solitude, and get back in touch with why I like me and why I will always be my own first, best rescuer.”

      This is also what I’m learning to do in my life right now.

      And, when I think of the AC/EUM, i now do in fact tell myself he is just a fantasy and that his bearing on my life now is zero. It’s a big step to recognize the fantasy and let it pass by instead of delving into it.

    • Selkie says:

      I don’t find it pathetic or disgusting that you find your doctor attractive and fantasize about him and how he may see you. In his role as Doctor, he is supposed to be caring, concerned, and focused on you while you are with him. This makes you ( us, cause I can see myself feeling the same as you ) feel wrapped in a warm blanket and cradled. No wonder it’s alluring. We want those qualities in a partner ( and a father too ), so to have this man showing he cares feels nice and may be subconsciously soothing old hurts and insecurities. Especially to those of us who didn’t get that kind of care from our fathers. It’s validating. You recognize your pattern, so that’s good. Stay grounded. It’s okay to find him attractive, but keeping emotional honesty and reality at the helm ( like you said ) will prevent it from growing into something unhealthy. I recently had a crush on a man I met who is somewhat of a legend in a sport I play. I went into fantasy land for a moment but came back to earth with a mild thud when I realized I was over placing his importance. The neglected little girl inside felt drunk with validation when he paid attention to me. I had to pinch myself back to reality a few times. He was being nice and did flirt, but that’s all, and I over blew it’s meaning. I let the validation and ego stroke take over for a hot minute, but I’m back on earth again and learned a little more about myself. I need to watch my hunger to be loved ( and for that shitty father void to be filled ) and not let it cloud the reality of things. I still want to be loved, and that’s okay, but my moth to flame approach made me understand my vulnerability better. I think the ability to see these things in ourselves is a great sign of progress. Part of healing these patterns is understanding them.

      As for the MM creepazoid, he will probably visibly back off, but he still concerns me. I have a nagging feeling he’ll try to talk to you again to try and ‘smooth’ things over and make you feel like you over reacted or misunderstood him. I also bet he’s done this before.

  55. espresso says:

    Sanntay
    I am in a similar position in that I have a long established research business with the man I am separating from after a long term marriage. I have put a huge amount into this business, it is my source of income and I am older so need to maintain it. I also like my work and am good at it. I am very concerned about my economic security and leaving the marriage with enough money to survive. So in this sense I am “taking care of myself.” as best I can.

    On an emotional level my preference would be to walk away from everything – well especially contact with him – and if I have to, despite all the losses I guess I will. I have learned a lot about protecting myself and not engaging emotionally. Natalie suggested I have a mediator in my back pocket to keep things on track and I have one….not used her yet but she is on standby. I have done a lot of really painful work around how to detach emotionally….but it mainly has to do with ME seeing things as they are, realizing he will never change and deciding what I am prepared to do (for myself and my future). But he still triggers me – I function best when I just correspond by email and can work from a distance. Can you work from a distance on your project?
    I realize that I still find it pretty stressful though and he keeps trying to break my boundaries as your AC does. Good luck…and as my counsellor says, remember, above all and despite everything we still have a CHOICE.

    • Sanntay says:

      Espresso:

      Working from home would be ideal, but unfortunately, that’s not an option. Of course, I believe there are some elements of my work that could keep me busy at home for at least half that the day, but the company would not sanction that as a regular thing, because not everyone can be afforded that privilege, and most of the files I need are at the office. Bummer.

      Continue taking care of and protecting yourself, as you have been. You seem to have everything in place, and maintaining that distance with your ex will aid in your healing. I know detachment is a difficult process, especially when you were actually married to the person, but you will get through it all and be better for it. Don’t let him get to you, put him on permanent IGNORE. All the best to you.

  56. teachable says:

    I declined an invitation to my maternal Aunt’s 60 th b.day celebration tonight, so as to avoid encountering/engaging with my (highly toxic/anti social & borderline personality disordered) egg donor; I can no longer refer to her as a ‘Mother’. She doen’t & never has warrented the priviledge! She has been continuing to phone me of late. When she does I simply calmly confront her with telling her that her latest example of outrageous (& highly damaging / emotionally abusive & destructive) behaviour will not be tolerated. Amazingly, this has the effect of causing her to excuse herself from wanting to talk to me after all, almost immediately. Things are working perfectly in this regard!! I will never again tolerate crap from my egg donor. I’m far too busy mopping up the mess of the profound damage she has already caused to my psyche!

  57. happy says:

    I dated assclowns and rode the crumb train since I was 15. Just before I turned 30 I realized that the type of man I went for was the type who preferred to stay single and only used relationships for sex and a reason to talk even more about himself to others. I think that for a long time I myself did not truly want a relationship because grown ups had relationships and I did not want to be a grown up (with all the attached responsibility and opportunities for failure). Just before I turned 30 I realized how silly I was and that I wanted a more mature relationship. I have been with the most kind, funny and sexy man ever since. We are expecting our first child now (after almost 3 years) and are really really happy. Realizing that I picked the assclowns in the past and daring to change the pattern that really did not work for me (anymore) was the best thing I ever did for myself.

    • Elgie R. says:

      Thanks, Happy. You threw me a lifesaver today. I have dumped the MMAC but I am feeling mournful today.

      He called me last week, at work, and this time I picked up – something I haven’t done in almost three months. We had our typical pleasant coworker talk – we’ve always had lively/friendly/happy generic conversations….nothing about feelings. We’ve experienced some peer deaths recently, and before hanging up I told him I really like him a lot and did not want to “not know” him. He said he was glad I finally “answered the phone when he called”.

      A few seconds after the call was over I cried a little. But I had no desire to “reset” because I abhor the idea of doing the booty call thing again. Ever. Reading BR has removed the scales from my eyes. When I feel nostalgic, I find it easy to remember what it is REALLY like having him in my life…..a series of unmet needs and desires.. and lots of empty.

      I feel like I am living that song lyric “although you’re someone in my life that I’ll always choose to love, from now on you’re only someone that I used to love”.

      So after that call, for the first time I think, I let go of him. I can feel it on the inside.

      He attempted to hit reset by emailing and vmailing this week. My mind was totally not on him. When I saw my vmail flashing, I was honestly surprised to have a message from him. It was a sullen “give me a call”.

      Makes me sad to feel the death of this non-relationship. Even though it was unsatisfying, it still feels sad.

      I am dealing with feeling at loose ends now. But I am not thinking in terms of absolutes “I’ll never find someone” “I’ll always be alone”….so I think that is a positive sign.

      I also had a cancer scare this week, oral cancer, all things are well with me, and I remained positive throughout the short uncertain period. Certainly caused me to reevaluate where to focus my energies.

      I’m happy to know that a mutual relationship can be found if we stop settling for what we don’t want.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
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