What makes rejection take on a life of its own is feeding it with our judgement of ourselves. We could kill a rejection stone cold if only we'd pour some reality and self-compassion on it.

A few months back when I began to come to terms with the fallout with my father after my wedding, someone told me that raking over and reliving a rejection again and again is like repeatedly going back to look at your own vomit. Yuck! – this is exactly what Miss Nia my three-year old would say, probably while cutting her eyes or putting her hands on her hips. The crude image stuck with me and when I felt wounded, that image popping into my mind helped bring me back to base and to remind me to say something kinder to me or to ‘object’ with something realistic.

Yesterday while writing about why we feel so wounded by rejection, I came up with the most common that I come across which included stuff like:

  • Because you felt very deeply for this person and it wasn’t reciprocated or appreciated.
  • Because you put up with what you would normally regard as unacceptable behaviour and it still didn’t get you the relationship you wanted.
  • Because you feel that you were very much yourself with this person and that it wasn’t ‘acceptable’.
  • Because you weren’t yourself with this person and it still wasn’t “good enough”.
  • Because you changed to be what you think this person wanted or needed you to be and that still wasn’t good enough.
  • Because you silenced your needs, expectations, and wishes, even when your soul ached and you felt like you were being suffocated and you still didn’t get the love and the relationship you wanted.
  • Because you knew that this person wasn’t a healthy choice in relationship partner and you in fact knew that you were compromising your values and this person wasn’t even worthy of your time and yet… they’re treating you like you’re not worthy of their time.
  • Because it feels like this person gave a better relationship in the past to someone else or that they’re now being the person or giving the relationship that you wanted to someone new.

  • Because you’re convinced that you did something to ‘make’ them behave a certain way or for the relationship that you thought was on offer to be retracted and that you’ve not been given enough of a chance to make amends.
  • Because you’re hurt and disappointed and you associate and equate these feelings to rejection.
  • Because you don’t like and love you (self-rejection) so if they don’t, it’s a double-whammy.

As I stared at the full list of twenty, something struck me: none of these reasons are fundamentally about you, as in, I get it about being hurt and disappointed, but they’re not rejection of you.


If you feeling rejected is about the other person’s behaviour / feelings which belong to them, they’re not rejecting you.

If you feeling rejected is about this person not being or doing what you expected, wanted, or needed in spite of you engaging in people pleasing behaviour, they’re still not rejecting you because you weren’t being you anyway. How can somebody reject who you are and were, if you weren’t being this anyway? It’s like being angry at someone for not accepting a misrepresentation of you.

If you feeling rejected is about you deciding that this person has the power to determine your worth or giving away power to get them to love you or because you don’t want to basically own your own and step up, they’re still not rejecting you. You’re giving this person the power and it is you who has decided that the meaning of whatever they’ve been and done is a negative indicator of your worth, but self-worth like self-esteem has the word ‘self’ in it for a reason – because it comes from you so you actually have a choice about how you choose to value you and you don’t have to give people power that they don’t have a right to. Have you noticed that you can’t go around telling people what their worth is? And that’s not because of your own worth; it’s because it’s not your place and you don’t have that power and neither does this person who you’ve granted this level of authority to.

If you feeling rejected is based on a foundation of false beliefs, they’re still not rejecting you because if you were being more realistic and truthful, that rejection would change, shrink, and possibly even disappear. Even what you might feel is a ‘small’ element of distortion can cause rejection to hang around for a long time. If there’s high self-blame, you’re not being truthful. Fact. If you were, you’d own your own and let them own theirs.

The impact of rejection is wholly and solely driven by what happens between the event or a person’s behaviour / what they say and your interpretation and any judgment(s) that you make about you.

What makes rejection take on a life of its own is feeding it with our judgment of ourselves. We could kill a rejection stone cold if only we’d pour some reality and self-compassion on it.

Give yourself a gift this year and stop judging you and start judging the situation – they are not one and the same thing. You and whoever they are, are also two separate entities – love is not a merger or even loss of identities.

Observe the situation, observe another person’s behaviour, observe how you feel, what you think and what you do without judgment.

Ease up on you. Love you. Take care of you.

Your thoughts?

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241 Responses to Give Yourself The Gift of Self-Compassion: Stop Judging You & The Rejection Will Subside

  1. lawrence says:

    Jeez. How can your father not appreciate how special his daughter – you – are? I don’t get it. You’d think most parents would kill to have such an intelligent, thoughtful, and beautiful daughter.

    Maybe that sentiment is powered by my own longing for a daughter that never got fulfilled. But still…

    Hang in there, Natalie. I hope you can find peace with this using your own insights, but I know that our rational mind can easily be swayed by the pure pain of this kind of rejection.

    Best wishes,

    Lawrence ;)

  2. Ms. Option says:

    I’m feeling so rejected again today. I read the posts but I’m not getting it..how is it anything but them rejecting you? They are rejecting what you offered, the relationship with you, spending time with you, everything. I don’t know maybe I’m not enlightned enough. I just don’t get it.

    • louise says:

      Ms Option..this was a tricky one for me to..Lets say you are busting your own boundaries for them doing things you dont want to do to get them to commit,love you,marry you whatever..and they still dont want you then they are saying no to what your offering not you as a person..I was with someone for 3 years and he ended up leaving me and moving on with someone else within 2 months..Now that stung big time..However it was the sustainabilty that he couldnt keep up with..I had decided to stop busting my boundaries and stick with my values after being messed around for nearly 3 years and what was the result? he couldnt sustain a healthy relationship only a relationship where he got to call it on his terms..so i see it as not a rejection of me personally as these where the qualities i had that he said he fell in love with,but simply not being able to sustain it over a long period of time say like forever.!! I was married for a long time previous to this relationship and i would say that it was pretty great but i suffered with depression and was unhappy, but my ex husband would have done anything to make it work,we had a child too,but there was something in me that wasnt happy,didnt know what i wanted was unwell but i wasnt rejecting my husband he was pretty great it was to do with me..Try and look at it if you can that its not you they are rejecting but responsilbility, commitment,honesty and sustainability..

    • K says:

      Option,

      I don’t know how long you’ve been out of your relationshit, but unless you’ve traveled a bit down the healing path, it would not be surprising for you not to see it just yet. Other than reading this and other blogs and info about relationshits, AC’s, EUM’s, until you learn more about you, you won’t see it.

      My ex didn’t reject **me** per se, it just felt that way, because I had already rejected me by getting into the relationshit in the first place. When getting involved with AC’s and/or EUM’s, you’re already settling for less than what you’re worth and are being set up to be rejected.
      There was a post that Natalie wrote that struck me and I can’t recall the title of it, but I have often thought of it since the break up with my last psychopath and in talking with one of his targets that caused the break up: There ARE healthy men and women that have healthy BOUNDARIES and the see red flag behavior and know when to FLUSH. Having healthy boundaries means we also have a high level of self esteem and will be able to see AC/EUM behavior immediately, hence warding off any future “rejection” because in flushing, we are choosing OURSELVES and not being up for an inevitable rejection.
      You cannot be in relationshits with ass clowns and EUM’s and expect NOT to be rejected.
      So it isn’t a rejection of you, from them, it’s a rejection of yourself for putting up with them and/or choosing them. Getting into these relationshits means we are at a deficit. You need to find out what it is so that next time, if an ass clown/EUM comes waltzing down your path, you can kick his ass outta the way!
      You’ll choose you. When you choose you, Option, you avoid rejection every time. :)

    • Anna says:

      @ms.option I understand what you mean. It helps me to think of it like this-Imagine someone you think extremely highly of. A friend or family member or maybe a celebrity or public figure you admire. Now imagine someone rejecting their love. Would you think any less of them because that one person doesn’t want them? Does it make any of the wonderful qualities you see in them and the warmth and happiness they give to others any less true just because this one guy/girl out there doesn’t want to have a relationship with them? Of course not!

      Our ego may be hurt, but it’s our job to nurture ourselves & remind ourselves of all of our good qualities. If those lovely qualities were unwanted by someone, well, that’s their loss isn’t it? They are qualities that ARE treasured by your other friends/fam, will one day soon be treasured by someone special, and should always be treasured by you. After some reflection on your good points & what you want to give to someone you love you may have second thoughts about this person being good enough for you or worth your time & gifts!

    • natashya says:

      ms. option, i used to feel the same way (and on my bad days, i often still do), but perhaps i can help you make you look at the situation in a different way…

      my ex EUM really wanted to be in a relationship again after he split up with his wife 3 years ago. he had been ‘looking for a while’. he heavily pursued me and hooked me and in the beginning, things were very good indeed. i thought i had won the fabulous guy lottery.

      however, when i was ready to cash in my ticket, he started to withdraw from me, slowly but surely, taking a part of my self esteem with him every single day.

      when he dumped me, it left me bewildered. he wanted to be with ‘someone’ so badly, and there i was, offering him a relationship and things had been great. i did not understand why he preferred to be single over being with me. it was hard not to take that personal.

      however, 3 months later, i realise that his issues are HIS. this man is so EU, he is not capable of being in a mutually loving relationship at all. he likes the IDEA of it, the validation of his ego, and without a doubt also liked spending time with me. BUT (yes, there it is) he also knows that he cannot meet my expectations. i would expect him to be present and to participate. he simply isn’t capable of that. and that’s where it ends.

      he is full on back on online dating sites, which i must admit still hurts me a lot sometimes. it feels like he’s just rubbing it in that he still wants ‘someone’ but not me. however, i also do know that if he did get involved again, it’s very likely that he will play out the same scenario, or will find someone who doesn’t expect any, or very little, commitment from him.

      if we do have low self esteem, it’s very easy to take the blame, to not feel good enough, to take everything so personally. but really, some things are really not about us but about THEM.

      • Jemma says:

        Thanks natashya, Thank you. Post of the day :-)

      • Confused123 says:

        WOW. Natashya:
        Thanks. That was Awesome.

      • tracy says:

        Yes, yes, yes! I have been with this man. So damaged. Yet he pretends so badly that he’s better ‘in a relationship’ than not. He claims his undying love, yet when you NEED some of that love, to get you through a tough spell, he’s nowhere to be found. He just can’t do it. He plays the roll. When he dumped me, after I’d played the wife roll/surrogate stepmother roll for so long, he was immediately on-line, if he wasn’t before we broke up. Yet nine months later he came crawling back because he’d be rejected over and over on-line, and I guess he figured my self-esteem was so low I’d take him back. Well, it wasn’t. And I didn’t. But he was so damned pathetic on the second go-round, that I was almost stunned that I put up with his crap the first time around!

        Like you said, it all goes to low self esteem. When I met him, I’d just been dumped by someone else and I thought the ‘cure’ was to get back in the saddle.

        When you look back on old relationships that didn’t pan out, it’s so much easier to see why you are better off without them. This guy was INCAPABLE of an adult relationship. He was a boy in a middle aged man’s body. And not even an interesting boy at that. My major regret is that I put my family and my children through pain/suffering/boredom having to deal with him.

        • natashya says:

          yeah, the being back online immediately is really the only thing that still bothers me about the ex EUM. he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship (which was true, him being horribly EU) and dumped me.

          though i was sad and confused about it all, it was something i could accept as i wasn’t happy about the lack of affection, care and respect. he told me was still in love with his ex and couldn’t give me what i wanted and needed (again, all true)

          what hurt me the most is that he was right back online with a vengeance. when i asked him, he said he was just looking for something ‘casual’. he just wanted to have a bit of fun.

          i KNOW this has nothing to do with me. i don’t want something ‘casual’. i don’t want to have just a bit of ‘fun’. yet, when he told me that, he did make me feel as if i wasn’t ‘fun’ enough.

          he wasn’t a bad guy, but like you said… a boy in a man’s body. for a while, i was hoping he’d miss me and come back. but he hasn’t. i’m actually grateful for that. i’m at the stage now that i know i deserve so much better than someone whose heart is still tied to someone else, so i wouldn’t take him back anyways, but i must admit, i miss our adventures, our conversations, hanging out together etc. but he’s not the one for me.

          • Silhouette says:

            What i struggle to accept is that not all people are good people. It’s sometimes said that it is the behaviour and not the person who is bad. Fair enough, this may be correct and i hope one day to be able to understand this idea. Not all people are true to their word, live with integrity and follow through. Not all people are there when we need them. I know i have a responsibility to myself to stay away from these types of people. They make me question me. They make me doubt me. We have the right to surround ourselves with the people we choose. The ones who stick by us, who are there for us and the ones who make us feel good. Now it’s up to me to start by being there for me, to stick by me and to make me feel good.
            Eugh, back online the minute they tell you they don’t want a relationship with you. Happened to me one week ago. Actually no it didn’t, he was already back online before he broke it off! Classy. I choose to see this as a blessing in disguise. This man is not a person i need in my life. His behaviour may be bad or he may be bad but after 5 days NC i’m not interested in dwelling on it. Maybe his next victim might better match with his value system….or maybe not. A classic man child.

          • Bob72 says:

            I got the exact same line, “I want to have fun and not be involved in anything f***ing serious” and it made me feel the same way… I wasnted to tell her so bad “Sorry I wasn’t fun enough for you.” I didn’t though, just said goodbye. I am sure thats what she is looking for in all honesty, but I don’t think thats how it will pan out for her because of the way she ran things up on me so intense and quickly – if she ends up feeling anything for the casual guy.. and then he will rip her heart out or she will feel too close and cut and run again. And the cycle will go on. So yeah it hurts and it makes me feel less than what she wanted and rejected too, but I do know its all about her, and nothing about me. Its her way, its not going to change until she comes to terms with herself. I am lucky I am out I really am – and I am most upset for her kids, they are just along for the ride in all this. I don’t know that she is bringing a constant parade of guys into their lives, but after all she brought me in their lives really quickly and I lasted longer than most from what I hear – and I know what she says and what she does are two different things. So who is to say she is just repeating her exact same pattern that she did with me, and maybe even with guys before me since her divorce? Her and her friends say I am the only one who ever got so close to her… I don’t know that I believe it anymore.

            And it doesnt matter anymore because its all over now… and it was her and not me. I pray for her and her kids to be happy… thats it.

          • tracy says:

            I never understand the guys who say they don’t want to be in a relationship, but they want YOU to behave like you’re in a relationship. The want the benefits without the responsibility. Guys like this, who are funny, fun to be with, sometimes can’t pull out the grown-up tools when it comes down to it.

            Definitely- finding them on line with a vengeance does hurt. You feel so friggin’ disposable. But they have no compassion or empathy. They’re like three-year-olds…they want what they want, when they want it, the other parties be damned. Be glad you aren’t with this person, even if you miss the ‘good times’…you can have good times with lots of other people who won’t break your heart.

            • K says:

              Tracy,

              Very good point. As well as some others here have made: Online dating is DANGEROUS. It’s full of predators. It’s interesting that many of you here have said, “he was online right away, before we broke up,right after we broke up” because that’s the EASIEST place to score victims. I would NEVER, EVER online date.

              I think there are better ways to meet others. Just like assclowns/EUMS’s enjoy texting, they also enjoying dating sites. It’s shallow, impersonal and they can create whatever mirroring or persona YOU want. It’s so scary how many survivors I have supported that have been cruelly burned by someone online.

              Predator heaven.

          • Iain says:

            The articles in the links below provide a useful perspective on ‘emotional unavailability’ and how to relate to such people. The website as a whole (and associated videos) is worth exploring and I’ve found it useful in understanding the behaviour of myself and others.

            http://sfhelp.org/gwc/wounds/bonding.htm

            http://sfhelp.org/cx/apps/unavailable.htm

    • Snowboard says:

      I think Natalie does a good job breaking down how what we perceive as rejection can be more accurately understood as simply a range of different factors of the situation coming to the surface. In your case, your flip-flapping MM isn’t rejecting anything specific about YOU; he is simply a mess and doesn’t have a good quality relationship to give to ANY woman. Feeling rejected by him is the same as feeling rejected by a mailbox for not providing you with a caring relationship; both are equally incapable of it.

      • Bob72 says:

        LOL a mailbox :)

        And Natashya, wow you really make me feel good, and to see how far you have come just in the little while I’ve been on here – very proud. Me and you have a very similar story and its good to see we are coming to the same realizations… I am happy for you, and glad I am not the only one in the world that thought he won the lottery then had the winning ticket incinerated when it came close to time to cash it in.

        • natashya says:

          i know, bob! you’re doing well, too. i read a book recently called ‘men who can’t love’ by steven carter and it quite accurately described what happened to me this summer — and to you, too with your girlfriend.

          these people aren’t necessarily fullblown assclowns, but are commitment phobic EUMs/EUWs who probably deep down really do want a relationship but can only handle something ‘light and casual’ and will freak out when they are expected to actually participate in a mutual relationship.

          while they push us away, they thread the assclown waters, but i think at the end of the day my ex and yours were just EU. it’s a shame, but hey, we’ll get over it.

          wishing you, and everybody else here at this wonderful community, a happy, healthy and mindf*ck free 2013!

    • Grizelda says:

      I know what you mean Ms Option — it’s a difficult one to internalise.

      Try this? You walk into a greengrocer who only sells carrots and cabbages. He’s gleefully showing you his wares, and they’re okay if you like carrots and cabbages, which you do. He’s a nice guy, and he really knows his carrots and cabbages. But you set out that morning to get some nice crisp apples. You ask him if he has any apples. He says no, there aren’t any apples, but then he gives you longwinded stories about how he used to have apples for some other customer, and she adored his apples. They were the best. And he was so happy giving her apples all the time. It was wonderful. And then one day she decided she hated his apples and stomped all over them and went out the door to the guy selling oranges across the road. His heart was broken. So that’s why he no longer sells apples — he can’t bear to. It hurts too much. And so, for you, just carrots and cabbages, alright? He tells you maybe there will be apples some day. In fact, maybe tomorrow, if you come back. So you keep coming back day after day, week after week, year after year, and he keeps describing the apples he doesn’t have, and still he gives you carrots and cabbages which are looking more tired, boring and unappealing by the day. Still, you’d really like to have the apples he’s been talking about. You’re starving for an apple. You do everything but back handsprings to try to get him to give you apples. He says that you deserve the finest apples, and he was thinking about apples just the other day and how he might get some for you… next week. Next week you turn up and find his shop is closed. Just as he’s locking the door for the last time, he tells you he’s off to buy an apple orchard with someone else. No hard feelings, eh?

      He’s not rejecting you. It’s the carrots and cabbages that can’t sustain you and he knows nothing else but carrots and cabbages. What about the apples? All lies. He never had any apples and it was all a story just to keep you around and to see what you would do. The apple-loving customer was a fabrication, or a conflation, of a few former customers who got tired of his cabbages and walked away. And no, he’s not off to be the owner manager of an apple orchard. How can he be, when he’s never encountered an apple in his life? There is no apple orchard. He’s just setting up shop elsewhere to sell… you guessed it… more carrots and cabbages.

      • Sophia says:

        Wow Grizelda
        So well put.

        Intention, attention and focus are the keys.

        Let’s not settle for carrots and cabbages when we really want and deserve a crisp apple.

      • natashya says:

        brilliant, grizelda!

      • Jemma says:

        I’m printing that off :-)

      • Sunshine says:

        Marvellous, Griz!:))

      • courtney says:

        Brilliant, Grizelda! Natalie’s post and your analogy really does put rejection in perspective.

        I’ll always remember the words that my last EUM told me: “You deserve the best, I am sorry I can’t give it to you.”

        It’s a succinct way of realizing it’s not all about you. Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of what you want and deserve in a relationship. It simply means the other person doesn’t have the capacity, for whatever reason, of giving it to you.

      • sushi says:

        Grizelda, awsome!
        I had some of them trying to convince me that the cabbages were in fact apples and I was crazy and oversensitive to the (bad) smell! Cripes, I`ve been with some prime specimens in my time.

    • Sadder but Wiser says:

      Another way to look at this is the “ice cream analogy.” A wise friend told me this and it helped tremendously when I was feeling rejected. In fact it helped me more than another other single piece of advice. Let’s say you are chocolate ice cream, in fact you are the best quality chocolate ice cream possible. Absolutely top of the line. And yet some people just prefer strawberry. Has nothing to do with you and your quality at all! Has nothing to do with you not being “good enough.” Nothing. If they prefer strawberry to your luscious chocolate, it DOES NOT diminish your quality one bit. You can keep offering your chocolate, and they may even wish they liked it – but they don’t. Maybe they don’t even know why they prefer strawberry, they just do. How many of us can say why we like one thing over another? Or are drawn to one person and not another? We just know that we are. Means nothing about the worth, the value, the quality of the other person.

      If you try to change your chocolate into some kind of strawberry clone to please the strawberry lover, you’ll end up with an unpleasant and inedible mess. So be yourself in all your gourmet chocolate glory – there are plenty of people who adore chocolate and will value the top quality that you are. Hope this helps!

      • Sunshine says:

        Hehehe, brilliant! Looking at it from this angle does help a lot. Thanks, Sadder.

      • Tulipa says:

        Sadder but Wiser,

        I dreamed all night about ice cream trying to decide what variety I was.

        I really relate to what you wrote only it seems there are people out there who say they like your variety of ice cream and dip in only to find they do prefer something else so off they go but when they still don’t know back they come back for more of your ice cream.
        Totally confusing because at the bottom of it all they have no idea what they want or like but they are happy to mess you about.

        • Sadder but Wiser says:

          Oh yes, that’s so true. I forgot to put that in my post. We would all be spared SO much grief if the strawberry lovers would just politely and respectfully decline our chocolate offerings. But so often they don’t. They pretend to like our chocolate and are willing to spoon it down like no tomorrow because they’re enjoying the fringe benefits (some whipped cream, nuts and a cherry) – but in reality they are always on the lookout for that big scoop of strawberry.

          And again, this dishonesty on their part and willingness to use us while waiting for something “better” to come along speaks volumes about their own lack of character and integrity. It does NOT diminish our own value. And if they just don’t know what the hell they are doing or what they want, that’s not our problem. Let ‘em sample somebody else’s desserts while they’re trying to figure themselves out! Our chocolate is a treasure that we need to dole out carefully. We need to do a better job at weeding out those who do not genuinely want who we are and what we have to offer.

          • Kit-Kat says:

            SBW.. You are so right with your post. Someone with integrity & lack of character is not someone I want in my life. I am upgrading my AC/EUM detector to a newer model. It obviously wasnt working anymore:)

          • natashya says:

            “(some whipped cream, nuts and a cherry)” – this had me in stitches. brilliant!

    • grace says:

      Ms
      When are YOU going to reject the notion that being the OW is simply not good enough for you?

      • Ian says:

        I’m not buying this. As if every time someone rejects you its because they’re somehow at fault for not appreciating you? Maybe they’re a great all round person and they just don’t like you. Bad luck.

        • Jemma says:

          I think you’re missing the point. In fact and I’m sorry if this goes against the grain but I’m here to get away from guys and bad feelings and tbh reading unpleasant and sometimes unneccesary comments from men is a bit like being in an AA meeting and being surrounded by alcohol. It isn’t helping anyone. A bit more sensitivity and tact wouldn’t go amiss or keep damaging thoughts to yourselves

        • natashya says:

          just because you like strawberry ice cream, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with chocolate ice cream. just because you like apples, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with oranges. just because somebody doesn’t like you, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

        • Claudia says:

          No Ian.

          My case as an example:
          My ex wanted a maid, not a wife. He didn’t appreciate me obviously, not because I wasn’t good enough, but because I didn’t suit his purposes. Does that make him an all round better person? Does that make me an all round better person? Is being a maid for a man bad?

          Aren’t the first two questions irrelevant to calculate my worth?
          Isn’t the last question relative? (his new girlfriend LOVES being his maid, so to her, there’s nothing wrong with that)

        • Mymble says:

          Ian
          Most of the ACs/EUMs under discussion were not great all round people. They did stuff like future faking, blowing hot and cold, flipflapping, lying, cheating, disappearing, reappearing , being nasty and spiteful, downright sadistic etc etc etc. And the point of the post is no one deserves that and and if you have it done to you it isn’t about you. There is a problem with the person who does it. Even if you have a ” normal” breakup it still doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
          The problem is that for many of us who have been subjected to damaging hurtful behaviour, we start to feel that there must have been something wrong with us when actually the only thing wrong was that we didn’t show them the door the minute they started up with their crappy behaviour.
          All round great people? You’re having a laugh.

          • malaise says:

            I agree. We’re talking about relationships where there’s alot of mindf*cking, manipulation, emotional unavailability and compromising of self involved, NOT healthy relationships.

            Each person had their own part to play of course, but Natalie’s post is about being realistic and having perspective about it, and not distorting what happened to serve our own self-loathing or self-delusion. How did you treat this person? How did they treat you? With love? Care? Respect?

            If these men were “all around great guys” who just didn’t like us, then why not dump us right away? Why keep us around for a mindf*ck rollercoaster ride of lies where they say they “like” or even “love” us but treat us like garbage? If the woman will stick around for the mere crumbs of affection, as long as she’s taking the crumbs why offer the whole loaf?

            Um, because they’re not capable? They don’t love this woman but love what they can get from her: sex, ego-stroking, to distract them from looking at their own issues.

        • Grizelda says:

          Ian that’s just abrasive. Why don’t you take your all-round-great guyness and go find some other website which has articles and comments that fit a bit more with your persuasion. I think sosuave.com would be of terrific interest to you.

        • grace says:

          Ian
          An outright rejection isn,t so bad, it,s when they come back for round two or three. That doesn’t make them a great person.
          And what you say doesn’t apply to children who get treated in a less than way by their parents. Bad luck indeed.

          • Ellyb says:

            @Grace: I totally agree! To wit, I’m absolutely sure each and every one of “the world’s most eligible bachelors” ($$$$, good looks, great style, educated and so on) would reject me. In most cases, I wouldn’t even get close enough to them to ASK. I don’t care.

            What used to bother me in the past were those guys who weren’t all that special but who love bombed me in the beginning and then suddenly “cooled off”, leaving me wondering: “Was it something that I did?” “Do I have some hidden flaw?” “Why oh why does he reject me now?”

            And I agree even more about the parent/child thing, Grace. Of course, parents can easily act as if they were “way way way above” their children for the simple reason that they are big, strong adults while their kids are small, vulnerable and dependent. But being treated in such a manner is a traumatic experience for any child.

        • natashya says:

          it’s not about an outright rejection. most of us are here because we got love bombed, future faked, fast forwarded, promised the sun, moon and stars and the prospect of a future and a real relationship and we got used, abused, strung along, abandoned, dumped, confused and it left us depressed and bewildered about what we did wrong, why we weren’t good enough, and what the hell just happened.

          a lot of these ACs/EUMs/MMs didn’t outright reject us because they were decent people. no, a decent person does not do these things!!!

          i’m not saying all these ACs/EUMs/MMs are cut from the same cloth — there’s definitely gradations of assholery, but they do have one thing in common: lack of integrity.

          • K says:

            Natashya,

            They also have a lack of empathy.

            It’s pretty simple when I read the outright assholery of many of these posts and the assclowns in each one: Healthy people don’t do that. And not to that degree. There IS a spectrum of assholery, but more often than not, an AC is not into making the major CHANGES in his life needed to correct his behavior, nor to have any guilt or remorse for having caused extreme PAIN to someone else. These guys KNOW what they’re doing with Fast Forwarding, future faking, love bombing etc. In fact, love bombing and the pity play are the two BIGGEST red flags of an AC and a clear sign of a lack of empathy. While it feels oh so wonderful to us, to have our egos stroked in such an intense and flattering way, it’s actually dangerous.
            Then you have those very RARE AC’s who realize that their behaviors aren’t working for them, ie: no successful relationshits, or perhaps they hurt one too many, or suffered some serious set back that makes them do a life review and kick in some effort for change, but it’s the exception and not the rule.
            I have asked myself the same question over and over…having done some of the SAME things AC’s have done in my efforts to distract myself from ME, what was it that led me to the PAINFUL decision to change my behavior and really look at myself? CONSCIENCE.

            That’s it, oh and with that comes empathy.

            It took my last AC ripping me a new asshole to figure out that something about ME was allowing this EXTREMELY disrespectful, abusive behavior out of men. It wasn’t them, it was ME. They were just being what they already WERE, ASSHOLES.

            I have been caught up in the rejection thing and wondering why it appears he’s changed with someone else and telling myself, “Yes, what a BITCH I am! Why wouldn’t I want for HIS Happiness?” what a crazy thing to think. I’m projecting normal behavior onto someone who is NOT NORMAL.After such horrendous behavior, let’s be real, I’m not well wishing an abuser. Nor will I keep silent about it either. Unhealthy men cannot be suddenly healthy or happy in other relationshits, within just a few weeks, days, months or even a year or two. I think about all of the PAINFUL hard work and effort it has taken just to reach the point where I’m at right now, and it’s been TWO YEARS.

            Do you know an AC who has taken the time for real change? If they’re overlapping, and you see he’s “so happy’ with someone else after he treated you like trash, you can BE SURE he has not changed, but that YOU have. YOU were not rejected. And when you make efforts to change, you’re choosing YOU.

            Purdy cool, huh? And yes, you are just THAT special. :)

            • Kit-Kat says:

              K… The sad part is there is always the next victim who isnt BR educated. Although, I dont want to ever experience sadness/heartache like I did again I am thankful for all of you who’s post inspire me, give me hope,and educate me..Its priceless to me. I just wish I was much younger & figured it out. But, as they say its never too late to teach an old dog new tricks..ha,ha

              • K says:

                KitKat

                You don’t have to necessarily be BR educated. There are many sites that talk about these behaviors, but really, it comes down to having healthy boundaries, values, morals. There ARE healthy people out there who would take one look at our former AC’s and RUN. They see the ridiculousness of these men.

                But for whatever reason, we missed it. No/low boundaries, low/no self esteem.

                I’m staying OUT of relationshits until I can pull myself together. After thirty years of assclowns, I’m pretty much done with relationships now.

                I’m proud of myself for the ability to recognize AC behavior IMMEDIATELY. I have been approached by men, but they were AC’s and it was FLUSH immediately. Sticking to my boundaries and values and saying NO to assclown behavior has helped A LOT with my self esteem.

                I will NEVER repeat my past actions when I had no boundaries, no self esteem.

                Loving myself means being ALONE for awhile.

            • tired says:

              bang on . the ex mm hasnt changed for new ow , i waked away and the wife rejected his lying arse to . so in a couple of months or yrs he be the same ac lying arsehole to her .bang on again they have empathy or conscience at all .it was always about him and his ego . ive seen the light and blocked him on fb im free ,it took nearly losing my wonderful loving father to see that .happy xmas to all you brave strong girls and boys ‘. keep strong xx

              • Victorious says:

                Well done Tired! So proud of you. You know he will keep doing the same thing over and over again, and wondering why his life feels strangely unfulfilled and shallow. Best of everything to you in 2013.

                • tired says:

                  you to victorious . i feel strangely okay.the addiction to look is still there but i really really want the shallow creep gone .

        • K says:

          Ian,

          Am I to assume that with all this empathy for those here who have been very wounded by clear assholery, that your perspectives of these abusers is one of being a great all round person?

          Interesting.

          If it were a “healthy” person doing the “rejecting” perhaps your statement might have more genuine content than the hyperbole that it really is.
          :D

          • Ian says:

            @K “Am I to assume that with all this empathy for those here who have been very wounded by clear assholery, that your perspectives of these abusers is one of being a great all round person?”

            Well doing that would give you a very easy straw man to shoot down.

            Postulating a healthy person doing the rejecting is kind of what I did. So I guess we agree.

            • Victorious says:

              Ian do you have a brother called Roberto?

            • jujube says:

              I smell a troll. If you’re such a great all around guy with healthy relationship habits, then I guess you’re above BR hey? Why bother reading and posting then if you’re so enlightened? I’m sure you have alot of insight to offer all of us. I mean judging by the arrogance of your posts I’m assuming you believe you’re the healthy one, correct me if I’m wrong.

            • Revolution says:

              Ian,

              I get it. Sounds like you misread the post at first and thought it applied to everyday Tom, Jane, and Harrys, and not the nefarious men/women we are talking about “rejecting” (read: freeing) us by knowingly using cruel and unusual underhanded assclownery. Am I correct? I think I get it. No troll here from what I can see. Think we can put down the tar and feathers, ladies and gents.

        • tracy says:

          It’s not that no one is allowed to reject you. It’s the matter that someone would lead someone else on in regard to their intentions. In my (far too many) years of on-line dating I have gone on many first dates that never went past the first date. Did I feel ‘rejected’ that a guy didn’t ask me out for a second date? Only if he was very vocal about saying how great I was, or making some kind of plan for another date, or some other kind of move that indicated interest. If none of these things happened on the date, and I never heard from him again, I just assumed he didn’t think I was his type. But the fact that no suggestions of future dates were mentioned was the key.

          But when you are with someone for a longer period of time, and HE brings up the topics of living together, possible marriage and THEN rejects you because he has now downgraded you and decides he just wants “a bit of fun” or some other bullshit, or just disappears, THAT is what most people here are dealing with.

          • Silhouette says:

            Hear, hear. That’s precisely it, Tracy. I’ve had dates where the guy has been nice enough to call or text and say it was fun but we won’t be meeting again. Did that upset me? No, i was thankful i had spent some time with a decent, honest man. Chocolate and strawberry, apples and oranges. It’s when he promises the sun, moon and stars, hooks you in, line and sinker with the extremes of future faking and then freaks out and can’t believe what the hell he’s got himself into.

            • malaise says:

              I think this is what Natalie calls blowing hot and cold. The moment they realize you’re about to leave all of a sudden they want you, act hurt and rejected and try to guilt trip you when initially they didn’t give a f*ck, and make promises or proclaim their feelings and try to flatter you, all to suck you back in.”Maybe he really likes me?” you hope. Once you’re back in though it’s back to the same old douchey behaviour and you’re wondering just what the hell happened and why you’re still here.

              There’s absolutely no consistency. First they don’t care then they do care, they understand, then they’re angry at you, they want you back, then they hate you, they treat you nice a few times then treat you like sh*t the rest of the time. If you weren’t crazy before you certainly will be after dealing with this person.

        • Snowboard says:

          This is where Sadder But Wiser’s “ice cream analogy” comes in. You can interpret a person’s preference for strawberry over chocolate as rejection of chocolate, or you can learn to accept that everyone has different taste, and thus keep looking for someone who likes chocolate. Regardless of the dictionary definition of “rejection,” what we tend to mean when we use that term on this blog is the pain of being deemed inadequate, unworthy, second best.

      • Learner says:

        grace, excellent question.

        ms option, being an OW is hell on earth. To go along with Grizelda’s analogy, step AWAY from his carrots and cabbages. They will give you gas of the worst kind!

        Reject the man that you perceive as the rejector, and show yourself some compassion and acceptance, as Nat suggests here.

        • Sunyata says:

          That matches my experience.
          The only thing that broke me of being attracted to the man with a wife AND a live-in gf, was to really really feel my feelings all the way through, without judgment for anyone,
          and to invite into my awareness how his gf would feel if she knew what was happening.

          It only took one episode of being on my knees sobbing in my kitchen and ending up at a friend’s house crying for my mommy, to break me of that. I even dreamed I told him on the phone, “I’ve had enough of the pain.”

          I finally finally FINALLY realized that feeling bonded and committed to an untrustworthy, uncommitted man is a hellish, nightmarish kind of pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

    • Fearless says:

      just catching up with reading some posts…

      Ms Option, the rejection is all on your part. It’s like wanting to buy a house that is *not* for sale and then feeling rejected when your every offer is turned down…or…. it’s like seeking water from the empty well and feeling rejected by the well when you get no water.

      This man is not rejecting you, you are rejecting you. Once you see this you will walk away. Good luck.

    • sushi says:

      Ms. Option,
      they are rejecting your values, mutual relationship, honesty, having to be accountable ect. Very often it doesn`t matter who offers it to them. When I eventually left my AC`s and EUM`s I was essentially rejecting their behaviour because it was not in line with my values, not because they were them. I didn`t leave one AC who treated me badly to accept another AC to treat me in the same way, well in the end I didn`t. Once I stopped trying to make them change their values and accept mine.

  3. E says:

    Natalie!!!! you are a gift!!!!Thank you! I believe in you! I can relate to this…my biggest heartache in life is my father’s rejection of me…his disapproval and constant degradation! It is like a demon! I love him and hate him all in one big package. If he were any guy I’d tell him to F**K off…but he is my dad:( Self judgement is the biggest fear along with rejection from others. I am isolating to steer clear of hurt. I am giving and loving but seem to get thrown under the bus too often…. Working on my boundaries and letting GO!!!!! Letting go of guilt and shame….Men disappear from my life because I show my heart too soon…can’t take this much longer….I prayed that my only Christmas gift this year would be self love,inner peace and divine boundary control:) Merry Christmas to you…You are an inspiration! and I say let your dad go! He is not worth the suffering! A distant love is sometimes better than a close love….I feel your struggle….bless you beautiful woman!

  4. Joker says:

    Long time reader, rare responder.. but NML, what a gift you are to me and have been for years now!

    Plenty of other people have said it before, but your posts hit JUST when I need them! I’ve been caning myself for a few weeks now about my own unavailable behaviour in response to a new possibility… until just a few days ago, I put into action the gift of which you speak! Cutting myself some damned slack!

    How could he possibly be rejecting me if what I represented was not in fact ‘me’!? And the weird thing is he’s NOT rejecting me.. it’s my brain working overtime, finding drama, self doubting, second guessing and all round making a total c*ck up of what could possibly be lovely.

    I’m gifting myself a reprieval! I AM in fact pretty awesome, I’m just going to continue being so without all my mind junk going on!

    Merry Christmas NML, to you and your beautiful family!

  5. TigerAnn says:

    Wow. The best christmas present ever. Again: thank you so much Natalie. Love.

  6. K says:

    Insightful post, Natalie.

    The rejection of my own psychopathic father, has followed me all of my life and in my choice of past partners. Ironically, they all rejected me too. It was a playing out of the original rejection that was never “fixed”.

    I think the outright rejection of a child from a parent, is one of the most painful things anyone can experience. The good things I should have gotten, the foundation for knowing what love was, what it was to be in healthy relationships and not to barge into adolescence and adulthood with so many deficits, is absent.
    It takes, I think, a combination of miracles and courage to see the rejection for what it was, having nothing to do with us personally, and separate it from who we are now.
    The last time I had a “meaningful” conversation with my own father, was when he invited me out to dinner one night at the coast 90 miles from where I live. I drove there, got a room, and was really excited (fantasy) about spending one on one time with my Dad. We went there often when we were growing up. He is wealthy and goes there frequently, last I knew…
    Anyway….at dinner that night, he got himself drunk as a skunk rather quickly (he was alcoholic), and said to me, “Annie, I will never be the father you want me to be, I never should have had children. It was a mistake”.

    I stayed silent. I knew it was true. It was probably the most honest comment he ever made to me, but at the same time, it was devastating, and yet freeing. I got my validation. My father was shit and he knew it. It was the closest I would ever get to an apology for the pain he caused in my life by scapegoating and abusing.

    After dinner, we went across the street from the restaurant and watched the ocean for awhile. My heart was aching because I knew that my father was the KING of the reset button. This would be forgotten tomorrow. He asked if I would have breakfast with him in the morning. I told him I would, but I knew I couldn’t stay….and he would be too drunk to have remembered that he asked.

    So the next morning, with my heart in tatters, but knowing what the answer was and what I had to do, I packed up early and went home.

    I never heard from him again. I have seen him once, in passing, the last four years.

    Even though I know it wasn’t a rejection of me, but who my father really was, the pain of that would be something I’d carry through my continued relationshit with my ex until we broke up a couple of years later. All of the “rejections” add up. THe common denominator in my relationshit choices was always me. ALWAYS. NOT THEM. I made sure (subconsciously) that I’d choose men who would reject me, just like my father did. In looking back now, I see my behaviors in all of those relationshits that wasn’t a real representation of me, because I was going into the relationshits as UNWORTHY. Already at a deficit. My own finger was on the rejection button right out of the gate. Whether I was married to a psychopath, or an OW of one, it was all the SAME.

    I was rejecting ME, through them….

    • Lilia says:

      K,
      I can relate so much to what you describe. Only my own father would never admit that it was a mistake for him to have me, that would destroy his exalted image of himself.
      But the truth is, he has abandoned me emotionally and physically over and over and over again.
      These last weeks I´ve been feeling the weight of his abandonment. I can´t cover it up anymore, can´t convince myself that he doesn´t know how to be there for me, that he is suffering, that I should really not be hurt or mad because it´s all a misunderstanding and deep down, he has good intentions. Because the fact is that he doesn´t! I´m not at all a priority for him.
      And that hurts so much. It´s almost easier to reject myself, as I´ve always done – and as the ACs I got involved with have done.
      Now I´m completely at a loss as to what a committed, constructive relationship would look like. I can´t even imagine myself having sex again, it seems so invasive.

      • Bob72 says:

        K…. /Hugs, you and I have the same issue at the core, and we have ended up in the same cycles because of it. I am glad you finally got your “closure” from your father… and you know your pattern and why things always seem to end the same way. Its so sad, but so powerful all at once. I am really happy for you.

        Lilia… I will tell you a little secret that I know to be true – and this from someone who hasn’t seen or spoken to his mother in 20 plus years. You think your father doesn’t care, doesn’t give a crap about you, doesn’t see the wrongs he has done to you… and honestly he may not at this moment, BUT he will, as God as my witness watch because he will, or does already. It is his great loss and will be his great sorrow he will never escape from, it just takes time for them to realize sometimes. Shallow people or people who think too much of themselves have a hard time owning their own issues or mistakes – but they all have an awakening I promise you.. call it Karma, divine justice, whatever you want, it will happen and he will see.

        My mom had no time for me or my sister – I was born solely as a ruse to keep my dad from leaving my mom due to her pertying ways. My dad was fed up with her and wanted out, so she said she was pregnant and my dad being the traditional guy he was raised as stayed with her, and then she hurriedly sealed the deal and actually got pregnant. My sister followed less than a year later – a 16 year old mom with two kids who was a kids herself and cared nothing but for her own agenda.

        I never had a mom growing up – I ended up getting the quintesential eveil stepmother – beatings and verbal abuse included. My dad was never around as he was an over the road truck driver (yes, he owns alot of this too because he allowed all this – I learned that years later from alot of therapy as I never blamed him). I spent the rest of my life, even up until now – gaining my self worth from “saving” women that had some semblence to my of my mom, totally subconciously. I am attracted to young, outgoing, fun, socialable girls – as anyone would be right??? lol duh.. but it goes much deeper than that for me. I have to step in and make their life stable, give a home to them and their kids and make a perfect life for us all – much to their dissappointment at times or I actually do then I cut and run – like my job is done or I am bored because I have no value anymore once I have made the life for them – and become attracted to another person of the same caliber that smiles at me just right. And when I get rejected my world comes to an end – because I am piling the loss on top of wounds so old I don’t even know what they are anymore – but it comes from not having a mom.

        Anyway, for you… my mom has another son, he is my half brother, 8 years my junior. I see him once in awhile, even though I have no interest or desire to see my mom ever again. He is not a grown man, and still lives at home, has never had a real job, and his mom is taking care of his kids he had at a young age. My sister and I are both pretty successful, work hard, and thought we both have issues we both have a whole lot of good things in our lives as well. And my half brother – every time he sees me – tells me how much my mom misses me, loves me, and wishes things were different. He tells me I should get in touch with her, he says I should call her and gives me her number. She comes to Chicago once in awhile to visit others and asks them all about me. I will never hear from her and I know this, and like I said I dont care to talk to her because its water under the bridge and I have no feelings whatsoever either way towards her… but she won’t act like she cares because she is ashamed. She blocks it out as best she can and she goes about her life, but it creeps in on her, and it will for her whole life.

        Dont reject yourself – and you were never rejected.. you were temporarily forgotten about or raised by someone who didnt have the capacity to care – its not about you though. I know it hurts when you feel someone doesnt want you believe me I do.. and no one has ever went to the lengths I have to be a hero to the special person in my life and to watch it fall down despite that is such a crushing defeat to someone like me… but know, deep inside where the light is, that you are worthy. You leave a mark on everyone you touch because you are an incredible person who cares – and they can deny it or be shallow or forget all about you it may seem, but no one really can. They did you a favor by leaving you alone – they werent worthy of you and just didn’t know it or didnt want you to know it. Most people end up seeing in time, and those that don’t I truly feel sorry for because their life is a waste.

        You’ll find your way.. look at people you know who have relationships you admore and learn from them.. watch your tendencies, and most of all find a way to love who you are – somehow. Your dad does not direct who you are, you are great despite him, and he is the one who is sorry.

        • K says:

          Bob,

          Wow, that’s quite a history you have!

          I’m not in that place anymore, Bob.

          I’ve been NC with my entire bio fam now for four years. Holidays are painful still, as are birthdays, but I don’t want them in my life.
          I’ve learned that coming from a psychopathic, pathological home, that whatever role is played, will ALWAYS be played unless the entire family dynamic changes.

          I understand the scapegoat, golden child roles. My sister was extremely successful professionally as was my brother. I come from a relatively wealthy, upper “crud” family. I learned that you can have all the success and money in the world and it doesn’t bring love nor happiness, rather it was a smoke screen in hiding all of the abuse and dysfunction.

          I no longer feel the *need* to rescue, even though I provide support to survivors of personality disordered people. It’s much different than “rescuing” or “enabling”. I was good at that, much to the detriment of myself, but in my fam of origin, appeasement and “fixing” were mandatory to my survival.

          If you know that you’re continuing your role, the idea is to STOP doing it and do something completely different. This is a HARD thing to do, albeit the hardest thing you will ever do because the things we do that were roles from childhood are played out over and over until we realize this is what we’re doing.

          So now that you know, Bob, what is your plan of action? I understand where you are, believe it or not….and while you know a lot about your behaviors, that hardest thing you will ever do is to change them. I see how your upbringing, that was rather traumatic, has a lot to do with your behaviors now, as well as your choices.
          Even though all of that trauma happened to me, I’m no that little child anymore and I don’t have to respond to life as though I’m still that traumatized child. that’s hard too, and it takes a lot of work.

          I think you can do this. It’s just a matter of when your feet are going to follow your words. :)

      • K says:

        Lilia,

        I think when we tell ourselves that they rejected us or didn’t love us because they were hurting, drunk, absent, whatever the case may be, we provide excuses for them, and in doing so it eases what the reality of the rejection really is: My father never loved me. He was not capable of it. He had a disorder that prevented it. There was no excuse for the treatment I received. None. There is no way I can, nor should I, make it right FOR HIM, merely because he’s my sperm donor and someone I call “parent”. I think, again, one of the hardest things to do is to admit that they just DID NOT love us. When I first began to say that to myself, it was crippling at first, because it called into question my ENTIRE existence…

        And because of it I had to build from an entirely new foundation without knowing how and this is where therapy has helped tremendously for me…because I wasn’t given the tools to know what a healthy relationship looks like I was at a LOVE deficit. Hungry for love…and that created the dependence upon my abusers.

        It’s hard to start all over, literally from the foundation up. Lilia, are you completely lost as to what a committed, constructive relationship looks like? Think about it. If you’re working on and loving you and YOU are getting healthy…then you will KNOW what a healthy relationship looks like because you won’t be at a deficit within yourself or love hungry. :)

        The sexual part of it, that for you seems so invasive…I get that too. I suffered tremendous sexual abuse at the hands of all of my abusers, BUT, I haven’t given up hope that someday, MAYBE, I will know that sex is like in a loving relationship. Sex was a dependence for me too. It was how I learned to show love or that this is how men showed love. It wasn’t. Anyone can have sex, even great sex, but respecting, loving and caring about the person you’re having sex with, is where it’s at.

        It won’t seem so invasive when you get back to yourself, Lilia. It really isn’t that big of a deal.
        I’ve reached the point where I’m good without it and actually, it feels great to have that kind of control in my life now. I’m worthwhile enough that I won’t just give myself up to someone sexually any time soon. Sex is WAY WAY overrated. I think being a survivor of sexual abuse, contributes a lot to that overrating too.

        You’ll be okay. :)

        • Ellyb says:

          I can relate to the sex issue! When I was a teenager my school bullies used to tell me I was asexual and that I was going to be a nun.

          I felt “caught” because I had a long history of sexual abuse at home and certainly did hate sex and desperately wanted to be free from it! As an adult, however, I desperately tried to prove my bullies wrong by forcing myself to have sex with guys even if I absolutely didn’t want to.

          That way, I also tried to “fix” my childhood trauma through repetition, I guess. Of course, this didn’t work. I was just perpetuating the abuse.

          Now I believe it’s ok to be like a “nun” by not having sex. It.is.absolutely.okay. It doesn’t make me “ridiculous” or “bully-worthy” or anything!

    • Revolution says:

      Wow,

      Thanks for sharing your (sad) story, K. It was very hard to read as I have a similar story with my dad. Even creepy too, as I just realized you are my namesake! Anyway, big hugs to you. We’ll get through, won’t we?

    • Selkie says:

      K,
      I had a similar last meeting with my dad. Back story: We starved as kids, had no bathroom, holes in our shoes, no heat sometimes, and had to endure vicious fights between my parents and my dad cheating on my Mom over and over. As a teenager my dad slept with a high school girlfriend of mine. Then slept with a girl younger than me that used to ride the school bus with me. After several years of not speaking to my dad he invited me and my son to dinner with him when I was back in the area visiting my mom (they were divorced by then, than god). I hadn’t quite let go of the fantasy of having a dad yet. He showed up to pick me up in his sports car, dressed all nice and talked about himself and how much his car cost, how much money he made, etc., the whole dinner. He didn’t ask about my life, my son’s life or my husband at all. I remember sitting in his fancy car looking out the window away from him thinking, ‘who is this person…he is a stranger to me’. I flew home to another state and never heard from him again either. It’s been maybe 15 years now. I feel nothing for him anymore. No pain when I think of him. I only feel some uncertainty of what to do when he dies. Do I attend his funeral? That is only my guilt talking, not my heart. I do get sad that I don’t really have a dad anymore, but my life is better without him in it. The way he was when I was a kid messed up my flight out of the nest. I flew all crooked my whole life without even knowing it until the last few years when it all started making sense to me. I’ve picked bad men my whole life, I rejected myself too through the choices I made…..but I didn’t know any better really given the broken tools I had. Now I try to fly right, and it takes effort, but letting him go was the first step as hard as it was. It’s not an easy thing to cut a parent from your life, but sometimes it has to happen.

      • K says:

        Yes!

        I need to clarify that I’ve been NC with my entire bio fam for four years now. This happened a long time ago now…

        Something you said struck me: He didn’t ask you about your life or your children. Mine didn’t EITHER. It was a clear show of lack of empathy for me, as his child, as well as a lack of empathy for his GRANDCHILDREN. THAT blew me away..he has six grandchildren and doesn’t even know them, nor has any desire to know them. When I was pregnant with my sixth child, he told me if I had more children, he would not be contributing to another “trust fund” for it and would subsequently remove the rest. Money was a big deal in my family and they made the mistake of believing it was for me too. I could have CARED LESS. Ironically, this is what helped me to get out from under their power. It’s all they cared about, money, success and image. I didn’t fit in.

        Ironically, I chose men just like this, whose smoke and mirrors were behind money, success, purchases, nice homes and cars.
        My ex’s were just like my father too. They never, EVER asked about me or my feelings or life unless it was to MANIPULATE to get what they wanted out of me.

        I understand what you mean about flying right. I don’t blame myself for not having the tools to fly right in the first place, but I am sure am ANGRY about it. I’m 49 now,not a spring chicken anymore, and wasted YEARS on assclowns in my efforts to fly…I can’t take it back and I can’t undo what’s been done. THAT really sucks for me right now and where I find myself in process.

        But I’m grateful too, even if pissed off, that I have awareness now because it allowed me to make new choices that have been very hard and painful, but I know will be better for me and for my kids (who are mainly grown now) and my grandkids.

        I don’t think I’ll ever have another relationship though. I think it’s past time for that for me.

        I grieve that too.

        But I’m not sorry I cut off ALL the toxins from my life. Not at all. Breaking ranks also allowed me to learn a new role: how to be ME.

    • Mymble says:

      K
      I have a similar story and have had many moments like the one you’re describing. Certain relatives say to me “oh your father loves you to bits” because when he is drunk or feeling emotional he says such things. However he abandoned us as children and I have experienced years of being ignored or abusive behaviour so I know that whatever he, in the moment, says he feels doesn’t mean a thing.
      I don’t actually think he cares about anyone very much; the last time I spoke to him he was talking about going off to live in Kerala in India which apparently is a marvellous place. I asked him what about his 14 year old son (my half brother) and he said in a contemptuous tone of voice “oh he”ll soon be away.
      I’m not changing my life for HIM!”
      Heaven forfend that he should actually be present and available for any of his kids. He only “cares” for people who are useful to him (the wife de jour happens to be looking after his needs)
      Anyway it mostly doesnt “hurt” because it’s pretty much what I’ve always had from him (though some good childhood memories from befre he ran off to the other side of the world) but I do wonder
      if this is the source of my underlying sense of hopelessness, failure and unloveableness. I either deliberately choose men who are into me but I’m not into them (“safe” but unsatisfying) or disastrously fall for someone who cannot love me back (the MM). One of the things with him was I was so so jealous of his kids – he was such a great father to them – I felt like a beggar at the gate when they had all the riches of a loving home and family – how wonderful to be them. To have a father who loves you and that you can look up to. That gives you practical help, good advice, is there when you need him! That thinks you’re great! That carries pics of you in his wallet and on his phone! Wow.
      I don’t want to wallow in self pity but
      I wonder is it possible to be a strong and healthy person after this? What made my father like that? Is it inherent poor character (genetic), or damage done to him in his childhood? Does this dysfunction get handed down through the generations? I see in one of my children some personality traits that worry me and remind me of my father, I do try to talk to him, gently, about these things but he is oblivious.

      • K says:

        Mymble,

        My father was like this because he has a personality disorder. He is incapable of love. Of course, as a child I didn’t *know* this, but felt it. His words didn’t match his actions. To this day, he still tells the same hairdresser that we share for the last four years, how much he loves me and that our NC “never should have happened the way it did” implying I was to blame for all of it, never taking accountability for the fact that he’s a psychopath and sick as a dog. Of course not, they never do. My grandmother was of the female psychopathic persuasion, and with money in the hands of any psychopath, O.M.G, watch the family jump to meet their every whim and need. My grandmother caused TREMENDOUS pain to her children and to her grandchildren. It’s not hard to figure out where my father got it. He was also very abused as a child, but many are abused as children and don’t grow up to harm others intentionally, that’s why the pity card doesn’t work with me. I don’t feel sorry for my father. His brother and sister did not turn out that way, although they had extreme deficits in other areas, they still could love, still coudl have empathy. My aunt died several years ago, very young. I do believe my Grandmother created so much stress for her, the reasons she died were inevitable. That’s the insanity that these people cause to others. I don’t allow survivors to *feel sorry for* abusers. They don’t deserve it and they don’t ask for it. It’s one thing to forgive when a survivor is ready, but to pity is dangerous.

        I think it’s handed down organically, and that a poor environment exacerbates it.

        My son has a personality disorder too. One of the reasons I think it is hereditary. I did not provide a nurturing environment for my children, being focused on the AC’s and even so, and with the traumas they suffered, I was constantly putting them into therapy. While this was beneficial to all of them, to my youngest it was not. Having raised six, he was the only one who showed CLEAR empathy deficits and conning behavior from a very young age. I wasn’t aware of personality disorders at the time, and even with all the therapy, it didn’t take long to realize that something was really wrong in that the therapist didn’t peg it down either. He just BS’d them.

        I don’t know how old your child is, but therapy is not a bad idea if you see behavior that is of the red flag variety. I think it’s normal for teenagers to blow off their parents, but there is a very huge difference between a child who is being rebellious because he IS a teen and those who show CONSISTENT alarming behavior.

        It’s always worth checking out, because if your child is young enough, there might be enough time to intervene.

        It’s SO GOOD that you’re paying attention to this. That is a sign of a GOOD Mom. :)

        You CAN be a strong and healthy person after all of this. It’s just a lot of work, Mymble. Just because your fam was nuts and you made some choices as a result of that, does NOT mean you can’t flip the switch to something better, different and healthier for you AND for your kids.

        I think my awareness has had benefits to my children, even while I emotionally neglected them for the AC’s. I have had the opportunity to have conversations with all of them about MY behavior and OUCH!!! It hurts and it’s SO SO SO HARD not to be defensive, ugh! BUT, it’s so worth it because I can give them what wasn’t given to me, LOVE!!! It’s never too late to show it, even if you felt it before but your choices said they may not have felt that so much, ya know?

        YOU could be changing a generational pattern. How COOL is that?

        At least that’s how I choose to see it now. Trying to make meaning out of these experiences is really important. I think changing a dysfunctional pattern has huge meaning. And it starts with YOU.
        :)

        • Mymble says:

          K, Thanks – that’s interesting. LOL to the hardresser story, it’s a joke isn’t it?
          All they need to do is pick up the phone and make a sincere effort! Bit no, they’d rather whine on to a third party.
          My fathers mother was indeed a dreadful woman – an alcoholic – whom my Dad hated like poison. He had nothing to do with his parents and hadn’t seen them for many years when they died, didn’t go to their funerals. I know that – and yet his sister had exactly the same parents and is okay!
          You’re right of course we can only keep trying to do our best for the kids, and to live a decent life, what other choice is there?

          • K says:

            Well, when they WHINE to a third party, it validates them. Even if the third party is UNRESPONSIVE and just nodding yes/no, uh huh type stuff. An assclown will go on and on and on…and is so narcissistic as to believe that whomever he is telling his pity story to, that people actually find it earth shattering in some way lol!
            It’s the narcissism, the extreme entitlement that gets to me every time. They really believe they are worthy of special treatment. My father is no less. And it’s true, he does tell our hairdresser, his sad stories and paints himself in glowing pictures about how charitable he is. Too bad he doesn’t do that for his child.

            I’m so glad to be away from that poison

  7. Revolution says:

    Oh Natalie,

    I second Lawrence’s sentiments. Here’s to hoping that you have a “father substitute” in your life somewhere who appreciates all that you are. Damn, woman. Just damn. That was beautiful. That lovely heart and fierce mind of yours really crank out some good info for us all. Thank you.

    And I’m officially giving myself the title of President of the Miss Nia Fan Club. Give Miss Spunkiness some love for me. ;)

  8. Selkie says:

    I talked about getting dumped here a lot after it happened, and it DID help to dissect it and get commenters opinions so I could get a grip on the reality of it and work it out in my head, but I think continuing to talk about it so much just keeps it present in my mind. It’s like suddenly I don’t even want to talk about him anymore other than the occasional reference to the experience as it relates to a post or what another comment has brought up. This is a good thing, and it feels so freeing to just let it go. The ruminating has stopped for the most part. It took me over 10 months with complete NC even though the relationship only lasted 6 months. The heavy feeling of rejection has lost it’s grip on me I think and I see him as just some regular guy now who had his own set of issues instead of up on this pedestal looking down at me. I gave him that power too long in my head. Okay Ladies, but I do have to say what I think kept me hung up on it so long and it’s a little weird. I got the shits ( he heard me fart in the bathroom!!! Wait…Girls don’t fart! right? Horror! ) at his house after eating bad popcorn the weekend before he broke up with me. I also snored a tiny bit ( seriously, a tiny bit ) one night which aggravated him and he got all cold and floppy on me, and I started to get a cold sore on my lip. Oh, and he saw my homeopathic medicine for a budding ‘girlie’ problem I was getting and visibly recoiled from me, no hugs or snuggles that night for me. All these things in a week or two, then the old dumpage. Believe it or not, I felt so weird and embarrassed after the break up it bothered me for months, like he was disgusted by me and that these things lended to him not wanting to see me anymore. I felt like such crap (sorry bout the pun) over this. Honestly, I felt like I had drove him away with being so ‘undesirable’ and this made the rejection sting more than it needed to. I’m human. If these things bothered him enough to change his mind…..he can go wash his hands for the 1000 time and line up his sock drawer a little more to perfection. It’s officially off my chest now. I think that was the last of it ( smiling ).

    • Grizelda says:

      Selkie, haha! Don’t give yourself a complex! If it were true… if!… then he’d be obliged to part ways with himself whenever he’s in the privvy and it sounds like he’s being accompanied by The International Silver String Submarine Band.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Selkie.. Enjoyed your post. Made me smile a bit. Yes, we are all human, have some really good qualities, some not good but we are what we are so take us as we are or leave..
      Sometimes we dissect every single thing we did in the relationshit, maybe it was this, maybe it was that, but in the end it is what it is and honestly it just wasnt all that to begin with. We were riding high on the hopes of possibilites but in reality they just arent that special and we deserve more… Happy Holidays to you !

  9. Singleagain says:

    It’s uncanny and amazing how your posts always seem to speak to my mood or feelings I’m having on that particular day. Thank you, thank you.

  10. Valley Forge Lady says:

    I hear and see all of the of the pain of rejection that is expressed here. This has been my history too. But the gift of insight that I now have and wish to share is that these poor souls never had what you wanted them to give you. All they could do is to take from you or disappoint you. My expectations for them were to high and unrealistic. I kept thinking if I give more I will eventually get what I need emotionally. They never got it and never gave it. They are now and always will be emotionally bankrupt. And we stand aroung like drama queens and beat ourselves up because we made bad emotional investments. This is stupid and a major waste of time.

    My former loser husband walked out on me and our fabulous daughter. He has never stepped up for her and it is a major loss for him. My daughter is smart enough to know that she is not deficient. And is actually relieved that she has not had to deal with his emotional limitations on a daily basis as she grew up.

    You can’t get blood from a stone or love from a sick person. Stop punishing yourself for other people’s limitations. This is so liberating.

  11. Snowboard says:

    Beautiful post, Natalie. For me, the Internet, perhaps more than anything else, allows me to indulge my sense of rejection, because it has become so easy to “keep tabs” on people we should be able to forget fairly quickly.

    Tonight, on Day #5, I broke my 90-Day No Drinking Pact. I would very much like to get back on the wagon tomorrow… I hope I have the strength. My little brother is a severe alcoholic and has spent the last few years in and out of treatment centers. My older sister suffered with severe anorexia for 10 years. I have OCD. Addiction is a serious problem in my family, and I need to get on top of this stuff.

  12. High Anxiety says:

    As 2012 comes to a close, I must admit that the messages put forth on Baggage Reclaim are at the top of my What-I’m-Thankful-for list. I found this site earlier this year and have been reading now for at least six months. Natalie, your posts have forced me to take several long hard looks at myself:

    I have been guilty of unwittingly (?)misrepresenting myself for various reasons and in various situations. On top of this, I have been ticked off when those relationshits fell apart. Finally coming to terms with the fact that I had been misrepresenting myself has been the ultimate reason I have stopped beating myself up over the fact that I have failed to get what I thought I wanted…

    When analyzing the various situations through the BR lens, I have concluded that many times the other party and I did not share similar values.

    I have been emotionally unavailable to men who treated me with love, care, trust, and respect from the get-go. I have found the wherewithal to own my own behavior and take action so that I might one day live as authentically as I possibly can.

    I had few boundaries when I came to BR, and this continues to be a problem BUT… I have implemented three boundaries since I have learned better:
    1.) No calls from “gentleman callers” or most others between the hours of 9PM and 9AM.

    2.) If someone says or does something to upset me, I do not complain about it to someone other than the person in question. I bring it up to the person soon after it is said. For example (and I think many BR regulars will LOVE this), a man is interested in dating me. He sometimes tells me that he wants to get married and have children WITH ME at some point in the future. I told him that I *hate* when he says this stuff to me and that IMHO he is faking a future with me for whatever reason… So, I suppose I call bluffs now :)

    3.) “I’m practicing celibacy.” Though I am apt to change my mind if I see fit, I am currently practicing celibacy because the emotions I feel following sexual activity clouds my judgment and causes me to go off to LaLaLand (through fantasizing too often). I dream of the perfect relationship (which doesn’t exist) instead of keeping my feet planted firmly in reality. This is unacceptable, so I have implemented a boundary to keep myself from going there.

    So, short list, but I am so proud of it! I wrote all of that to write this: Thank you Natalie and EVERYONE that contributes to Baggage Reclaim.

    You all have saved me from the brink of insanity, and I truly appreciate it.

    • Hopelessly incorrigible says:

      Your comment about you being emotionally unavailable to men struck me, as I have felt the same way. Now that I am finally opening my eyes, I have realized that there were good men in my life and I blew it. I wonder if they felt about me as I did about my EU man. And am I treating them the way he treats me? Fortunately I have remained friends with some of them and am happy that they moved on to great relationships. Now it’s time for me to do so as well.

      • K says:

        Hopelessly,

        I would like to encourage you here. I too, have been guilty of EUM behavior. Since my last disordered assclown, I have come to a great awareness about my behavior that has hurt MANY people. I WISH I were in a place to make amends with some of them, particularly my ex MMassclown’s now ex wife. But some things are better left unsaid because it might hurt more to bring it up to someone who has moved on. I hear she is very happy now, where she was miserable in the marriage and I am HAPPY FOR HER. I hurt my children while in relationship with my ex AC’s. I’m still working on amends because it takes TIME.

        But ya know the difference between what we were doing and what they CONTINUE to do? Empathy and conscience. You said you are friends with some of these men. That tells me right there that while you may have exhibited EUM behavior, your ability to maintain the friendships in KINDNESS, and happiness for them, screams anything but EUM to me. True EUM’s and AC’s whether women or men, are incapable of genuine friendships unless it’s for fallback situations.

        I think the fact that you’re questioning your behavior, also tells me you are not a true EUM. There is a big difference between this behavior being an entrenched behavior accompanied by others horrendous behaviors too, going straight to character, rather than deficit caused. Does that make sense?

  13. Maria says:

    “Because you put up with what you would normally regard as unacceptable behaviour and it still didn’t get you the relationship you wanted”

    I did this in my last relationship which lasted 3 months. I met him online and even from the first few messages and first phone call I could tell his interest was limited but as he kept trying to move things forward eg. suggesting we should meet up, I thought he might be interested. I really wish I had paid attention to my gut which was telling me he wasn’t right for me. Anyway everytime I tried to end it he would come on strong and in the end he was the one to end it. I will never second guess myself again.

  14. Sunshine says:

    Wow, I really needed to hear this because I totally relate to all the reasons for feeling rejected that Nat has listed. That’s me, in short. Trying really really hard not to make it about “me”, but the thing that stings the most right now and I’m still struggling against with great difficulty is that he is now with a different girl, living a life that I wanted! I just can’t seem to move past this despite all the comments I read here … I’m simply not getting it. I keep seeing it as a big rejection of me and choosing someone else over me. She’s now enjoying all the benefits — instead of me:( I know, rationally I know I’m like a stubborn kid, not “wanting” to get it. I think this is what keeps me hanging on, preventing me from moving on and focusing solely on myself. It’s like I don’t “want” to let go … It just doesn’t make any sense … Maybe it’s all because this was the first serious relationship for me (despite of me turning 32 next month) and it’s just that much harder? This is also accompanied with a lot of self-blame: why didn’t I have more boyfriends when I was younger, because that would give me more experience to cope with breakups at a later age?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling much more stronger now but it still hurts, I don’t know ….

    • Bob72 says:

      Hi Sunshine… My ex is seeing someone else too, and probably was less than a month after we parted ways. In my head she is now giving the relationship I wanted with her to someone else too. The reality is I don’t know that at all, and its extremely more likely that she is giving the exact same relationship I had with her to someone else. And it will be great and wonderful at first, just like it was for me, and then it will fall apart – just like it did with me. And with the little bit I have learned about it from others (which if you are finding out stuff please stop lol.. its no good. I’ve quit this too) the relationship isn’t even as “good” as the one I had with her… she doesn’t bring him to her house, just stays over at his place, the kids arent involved, shes just trying hard to keep it as casual “fun.” She apparently wasn’t ready for what was on offer when we were together so is trying to keep it light and I think more for sex and ego stroke than anything.

      So no its not better for them now.. but it IS better for you, because ou are out of that and are able to find someone who wants to be with you for real. It hurts, I know that like I know anything, and its easy to feel less than or rejected. I am the king of feeling like that lol… There’s a post on here somewhere of what EU people are really rejecting, and its true so find it and read it, because its not really you at all. And watch and see, at some point the new relationship will take on the same characteristics of your relationship with them – simply because theres no way in hell they have changed their behavior bouncing to the next one so quickly, and people usually choose the same type of people time and time again until they change. If it does end up working out its because the person they found has something that makes it work for them.. and it might not be something you would want to give or even could give – its not always good. Maybe they are doormats, maybe they put up with loads of BS… you get it.

      You are lucky, as much as it hurts know this. I hurt too, but I know I still am lucky to be out of something I did not have the guts to get out of myself. Wish them well, and find someone better when you are ready.

      • Sunshine says:

        Thanks, Bob! Yes, when I’m “ready”, although I’ve no idea when that is going to happen:) I think that in my case it really is more of a matter of him wanting strawberry icecream and me being a chocolate one:) this is what he chose after being fed up with chocolate icecream:) I don’t know, like someone here already said, in some ways it is better not to talk about this too much because you then have them in your thoughts all the time. And it seems I’m an expert in ruminating as it is:) I just need to accept that it is going to hurt for quite some time, but in the meantime go on with my life because he cetainly doesn’t give a damn about me! Anyway, appreciate all the advice I can get here. Thank you:)

        • K says:

          Sunshine,

          I think you have a point about ruminating. Talking about it all the time, at first, is necessary to process it all. But after a time, there is a switch to working on ourselves. Lots of folks get stuck on the ruminating, instead of working to move past it. There are a few reasons for that which I think Nat outlines really well.

          I write about disordered AC’s and support survivors of abusive AC’s. I”m not sure I’m going to continue with this for much longer because I would really like to move on from it and see what else I can do with my life.

          Sites like this are very critical in understanding your experience, as well as yourself. They are LIFE LINES to people and it’s needed. But there does come a time to move forward.

          That’s what I want for the survivors I have supported. That they STOP talking about the AC’s and become more invested in their lives. Some, once they move forward, I don’t hear from again. This makes me HAPPY because they MOVE FORWARD. It’s the greatest gift for me in what I do. watching others grow and move on. :)

  15. Claire says:

    Wow ..thanks for this!! I am a massive fan of this site ,but never do I usually post !!
    I have been tearing at my soul trying to come to terms with the rejection I am feeling…all of the list you mentioned is me !!! Apart from my ex has not met anyone else he has became a recluse and watches porn all day ,after working 15hr shifts ! He said he prefers being miserable errr ok and I think I have problems???
    He said he has not moved on from me and thinks of me daily ,but cannot give me what I want …jeez I only want normality ,not a lot to ask for ,but I guess it is for someone who isn’t normal..
    I am slowly realising that this is his problem and not mine ,somedays harder than others I guess and I do wonder if I had no expectations ,kept my mouth shut and asked for nothing ..then all will be well ,but if he wants that type of woman they would be empty vessels and that is not me !!
    I am a strong ,independent,loyal,funny and “normal” healthy woman with needs and wants !!!AND if he hasn’t the bollocks to handle that then more fool him ….thanks Nat for this post xx

    • natashya says:

      claire, when men tell you they can’t give you what you want (and i got served that one as well), believe them.

      you want normality, he wants to be miserable. he can’t give you normality. his limitations are not a reflection on you. it’s HIM!

      did he also tell you ‘it’s not you, it’s me’? if so… believe him! it’s HIM!

    • Espoir says:

      HI Claire,

      I’m glad that Nat’s post inspired you to post – it feels so good to get it out of you system…
      Same here after 4 years, I’ve heard exactly the same excuses as you did and in his case is not a new girl – it’s pot (some porn too, for sure)
      I’m proud to say that I’m 2.5 months NC (with no slips)and so greatful to realize that he’s the one who’s missing out.
      Thank you Nathalie and BR posters and readers – Merry Christmas to all of you and may 2013 bring us love, serenity and light.

    • Confused123 says:

      Claire:
      “I do wonder if I had no expectations ,kept my mouth shut and asked for nothing ..then all will be well”

      I did this in my relationship with the Ex-AC. Guess what? Me wanting nothing, saying nothing still did not work and he could not or did not want my love.
      Plus, can you really live like that? I could not. I was miserable having no expectations ,keeping my mouth shut and asked for nothing. In many way I realize as I type this to you that I gald I’m out. It was emoitonally exhausting.

  16. Claire says:

    Thanks Natashya..of course he has said that lol he said he prefers to put his wall up ..
    Very sad existence and not one I want to be part of ,he daren’t allow happiness in his life nor love ,that would make him vulnerable and open to emotions he cannot control !!!
    I suppose because at the beginning he sold me the line ,the massive promises blah blah and we hang onto that ,because I would never make promises I cannot keep so find it hard to believe I made such a poor judgement and bought his BS….
    But yes it is him and not me !!!x

  17. Tanzanite says:

    Hi Natalie,everyone.

    In every day life when a crime is committed we want the person responsible to be punished,it’s human nature.

    We expect the person who has broke our heart to at least take responsibility for their part in it,to be genuinely sorry, but all too often we are on the receiving end of appalling behavior and are made to feel it was our fault.We see the person responsible has moved on sometimes before it was over and appears as happy as Larry and nobody has paid for this emotional crime,so we think we should pay.

    I have made sense of it all now but I would like your advice on something that happened a couple of days ago.

    I was going to the doctors the other day because I have suffered ill health since my dalliance with the EUM (anxiety and thyroid disorder,depression etc)I was walking along when I noticed the EUM on the opposite side of the road taking his daughter to school.It was purely coincidental and I had no idea his daughter was at that school but it felt like I was emotionally punched.( my time with him was 3 years ago )

    It wasn’t a complete shock because I had seen him with another woman and a baby in a pram a few years earlier and I was convinced it was a baby conceived while we were supposed to be together but seeing him take her to school proves there was an overlap.He nearly died when he saw me and then he looked away and carried on.

    I sat in the surgery with a pain in my chest and my anxiety levels on the ceiling and these are some of the things i thought.-

    When he used to say-” no matter what ,I will always love you” was it because he was always in a relationship with someone else ?

    I couldn’t see him much because he was committed to someone else ?

    I couldn’t meet anyone he knew mum/sister /friends etc because they knew the mother of his child or children ?

    At the time I pulled myself to pieces wondering what I had done to turn this man who was once in love with me away .

    Up until the day he left he was still saying he couldn’t love anyone else even though he had impregnated someone already. He was either very confused or totally without conscience.

    Then I thought OMG does he think I am following him ?

    All these thoughts whirling around my head had made me quite ill over the past couple of days.

    So what do I do ? I pass judgement on myself.

    You stupid stupid cow !

    My life was almost destroyed and apart from you lot and a few friends nobody else knows.

    I have have never followed anyone in my life or made any calls since I went no contact.I have no problem with him being happy but I just wish I wasn’t so sad.

    Just feeling down at the moment.

    any help appreciated.

    • Sunshine says:

      I can’t really offer much help except for wishing you to stay strong and look how far you’ve already come since the breakup with the EUM. I know what you mean about the sadness, because it’s happening to me too. But damn, girl, we have to stop with the sadness and get angry! Enough of the suffering!:)

      Hang in there xxx

      • Tanzanite says:

        @ sunshine

        I think you could possibly have nailed it.I think I have bypassed the anger stage which doesn’t mean I didn’t feel it,I just buried it.I looked at myself and my past ,made sense of it but didn’t express appropriate anger.( I’m typically British-stiff upper lip )

        I have no desire for revenge or for anyone to be unhappy but have you any ideas on how to release anger in a healthy way?

        I tried screaming into a cushion but it was pathetic.

        • Victorious says:

          As a fellow Brit, have you tried writing it. The Unsent letter can be very powerful. Or even journalling. I did that for many weeks and it really helped. Or *mildly embarrassed* I found having revenge fantasies quite catharctic. I made up scanrios where ex narc was really unhappy, rejected, sad, arguing with his family (actually they weren’t very unlike his reality probably) and this made me feel better. I know it is pathetic and childish of me but it honestly did help. I also imagined that he was thinking of me with a great new boyfriend and that he was really jealous. I wish you all the best.

        • Sadder but Wiser says:

          I discovered more about anger this past year than in my entire life – and the first thing I discovered was that I had no idea how to express it properly. But my therapist encouraged me to try different things, no matter how ridiculous they sounded. Screaming into a cushion did not help me either – but taking a large stick and beating it against a stone wall while cursing up a blue streak did! And I hardly ever swear! But once I got started, and just let it out, boy that felt great. I also pedaled my bike as fast as I could, and with each stroke I just repeated “F**k you, F**k you” like a mantra (aimed at the ex) and felt more and more powerful as I went faster. The trick is to let everything out without any self-judgment or analysis.

          I also learned that I can express anger best when it’s coupled with ‘determination’. For most of my life I equated anger with the rage of feeling helpless, out of control and frustrated beyond belief. (That’s the only way it was expressed in my family.) That was an awful thing to witness and to feel, something to be avoided. But I learned that anger is actually an ally and an incredible source of energy. So, if you can, practice using anger to energize your determination in all your activities, as in: “By God, I am going to climb up this f’ing mountain!” or “By God, I am going to get this damn project done once and for all” or (more appropriate for our situations here at BR) “By God, I’m not going to let this asshole ruin one more minute of my life!”

          • Sunshine says:

            I agree with Sadder: saying something like “By God, an asshole like this isnt’t going to ruin my life!” definitely helps. Or “By God, I can make it! I will find someone soooo much better than him and be happy again”:) xxx

        • Sunshine says:

          Hmmm, I’m still trying to get really angry myself, but can’t really say I’m making much progress:) As I’ve posted here before, this anger stage is really not happening for me in the way it should because all I could really feel up until now was sadness. But it helps to remember all th really bad things he did to me, all the assholery he pulled on me. That makes me angry, even though for just a short while:)

          • Revolution says:

            Ladies,

            Re: the anger stage.

            Gather ’round, for this is my one gift here on BR. Lol, no but seriously…

            Always been a hothead on a controlled burn (maybe that’s typically American? Not sure. Though I’m first generation in the US, so who knows where it originates….)

            Anyways!

            I have always channeled my hurt and vulnerability and feelings of helplessness into anger, so it’s my “go-to” emotion. The one I feel comfortable feeling and expressing (in a moderate way, of course. Im not getting into fistfights at malls or anything). What my problem has always been is trying to integrate the sadness part of the “stages” of grief, as I am WILDLY UNCOMFORTABLE being in such a vulnerable state where I feel no way out. At least anger pushes me to ACTION, even internatally.

            Anyway, my POINT is that I’ve had to LEARN to strengthen this side of me, the side that bypasses the hurt and goes straight to anger. I’ve had to learn to sit with the hurt and feelings of uncertainty and defenselessness that it brings up. Hella-uncomfortable, but I’m not dead from it, you know? So maybe what you ladies can do is find a way to *sit* with your anger. Or if it doesn’t come naturally, then hang the stiff upper lip and coax that bastard out. Then you can deal with it on your terms and in a controlled environment.

            I have found that i can temper my temper by(as one of the commenters suggested) mixing it with something positive and non-violent. Like putting my kick-ass stilettos on and looking FIERCE. Feeling sexy (NOT sleazy, BIG DIFFERENCE) makes ME feel powerful and in control. Which helps me deal with my feelings of vulnerability. For you guys and your anger, maybe you need to find a way to feel safe to feel the anger thoroughly. Find an environment where you can express it and KNOW that it will be controlled and contained so that you can go to town.

            Also, exercise helps. When I was younger, I used to go hiking while cursing at the poor mountains. I hope to God no one heard me. The mountain lions probably needed PTSD treatments after I was done. ;)

            • Revolution says:

              Oh for the love of God, “internally,” not “internatally.” Though I probably WAS angry in the womb as well. ;)

            • Victorious says:

              Happy Christmas Rev and thanks for this. It made me smile as putting on my stilletos and a tight (but knee length) pencil skirt also makes me feel powerful and in control. I think that is a big part of the recovery for me is feeling in control of myself again. When I was deep in the relationshit I had lost sight of myself and he was pulling my strings like a professional puupet master. Thanks so much for all I have learnt from your posts these past few months. You have helped me so much.

              • jewells says:

                My 2 cents on the anger thing – as women we are generally taught that anger is ‘unladylike’ and ‘unacceptable’, so we stuff it and remain in ‘sadness’ and manifest ‘depression’ and helplessness. So of course most of us haven’t got much of a handle on what to do with it, if we did experience expressions of anger it was probably in unhealthy forms. Time is now to learn to utilize this emotion to motivate and push us through to a better life!
                (I had an ex EUM from years ago tell me that the reason he remained distant was because of my ‘anger’ – nope, he just couldn’t handle a woman having that emotion in response to his assclownery)

    • Mymble says:

      Tanzanite
      I am sure he is well aware you’re not following him, why would he think that if you’ve stuck to NC. it’s merely bad luck you encountered him. It’s horrible seeing the proof and evidence of what you suspected all along. Like having your nose rubbed in his insincerity. But the thing is who really knows what he thought or meant at the time. Trying to derive meaning, rationality and purpose behind their utterances and actions is impossible, because it was never there. He probably didn’t have a clue what he wanted; he wasn’t all in with the babymamma or why would he have got with you? It is the very irrationality of the behaviour that keeps us hooked in anxiety and rumination.
      I read a Buddhist parable that illustrates this perfectly. Youre in a boat on a misty lake. Out of the fog comes another boat and rams into yours, nearly capsizing you. You get angry and start to shout at the other person. But then you realise there is no-one in the other boat. Your anger disappears. There is Nobody there. In a sense other people are empty boats; there’s no-one directing their behaviour and they do what they do for reasons they don’t even understand. If they can’t understand themselves, what hope have you got?
      Those rare people who have a higher level of consciousness don’t treat others like this.
      I’m having some very down moments too, due to being ill with novovirus and various other personal issues beyond the scope of this blog. And my thoughts wind back to the MM far too much but it’s just wanting consolation really.

      • Tanzanite says:

        @ Mymble

        I’m glad I saw him now because now he knows that I know the truth.It’s done with.Why was I worried about what he thought when I could back it up with appointment records ? I was shamelessly wanting a little bit of validation the final proof it couldn’t be anything to do with me and if it wasn’t for her and the child he would be with me.-pathetic.

        I always seem to be biting the bullet for someone else s appalling behavior but how many bullets can you bite before you choke?

        Like you, my ill heath started with the EUM and one thing links to the other and I keep going round in circles.

        If you want to talk about anything get my email address of Natalie(no pressure) if you need a release.

    • Grizelda says:

      Tanzanite -

      You don’t need us to tell you how he used you. That’s obvious and clear. Men who behave as parasitically selfishly as he did, and show a watertight propensity for enormous deceit as he did, have no conscience. None. Let me repeat it more explicitly so you really get what I’m saying. The man is missing the prefrontal lobe brain wiring that constitutes a conscience. Having no conscience isn’t a mood that comes and goes — it’s permanent and lifelong. Now think for a moment what that means, if he doesn’t have that sophisticated little mechanism that punishes you severely, for example, when you transgress social codes, you hurt people’s feelings, you damage people, or you even think of cheating or stealing something. If you act against your conscience, you feel nauseous, panicky, sick and broken. A conscience ensures you learn from your transgressions, you cut them short, you apologise for them and make amends, and you never do it again.

      ‘No conscience’ however doesn’t translate to ‘no problem’. It translates to all sorts of problems that manifest in his behaviour each and every day. The behaviour that he showed towards you once-upon-a-time continues in different formats towards his family, his work colleagues, his friends if he even has any, a string of OWs, and so on. His look of horror, when he saw that you spotted him with his school-age daughter, was the real face behind the mask that he wore when he was with you. He has lots of other masks he slips on and off, by the way — for group situations, for elderly parent visits, for work — they always do. However by the time he is of pensionable age, he will have alienated absolutely everyone he ever encountered in his life. That’s what happens to people like that — they crash and burn sooner or later. That poor little daughter of his. K, here on these comments, can tell you what having a dad like that is like.

      If you think I’m jumping to conclusions about the man, then please do prove to me that he has a conscience and the normal palette of human feelings based on his many noble and self-sacrificial deeds. Not based on his words, as those are clearly valueless. His deeds. All of ‘em.

      With this in mind, how can you feel a pang of sadness that you parted ways? What, you wanted to marry someone like that? Why? Do you aspire to be a controlled automaton of a wife whose husband manipulates her every move, demands compliance at every turn, while he slips off and on various masks like some kind of creeptastic master of disguise before he disappears off on ‘work dinners’ and ‘conferences’ when you know he’s going off with random women? You want to live with someone like that? You cannot fix him. You cannot manage him. You cannot help him. Cutting him out of your life was the only thing that saved you from that fate. This is not something you punish yourself about. When you cleanse yourself of your simmering feelings for him, it won’t matter if you bump into him in public, or you work at the same place, or he sits in your damn lap. Understand and come to terms with what he is, and your feelings will fade away like the illusion he was.

      • Chrysalis says:

        Grizelda, brilliant post. I WAS married to a man like that. I am still affected by him. These people should come with a health warning.

      • Tanzanite says:

        @ Grizelda

        You described him so well I thought you knew him.

        I just want to say one thing though.I don’t want him. I’m sad for other reasons. I can’t seem to move from treading water and I am really trying.

        I hope he is treating the baby mamma well and it’s a good thing he has stuck with his daughter.I hope he does right by them.I hope he has changed.I wouldn’t wish the feelings I have on anybody.

        When you referred to K I thought you knew him.If I hear someone else with the same initial or name it makes me feel uneasy.( That’s if that is his real name )

    • Chrysalis says:

      Tanzanite, I feel for you. I really do.
      “We expect the person who broke our heart to at least take responsibility for their part in it, to be genuinely sorry”. That line so resonates with me as my ex husband (who I was married to for 23 years) point blank refused to acknowledge he was having an affair yet ran for the hills shortly after I confronted him. So yes I get you when you say “he was either very confused or totally without conscience”. Because I feel the very same about my ex. At the end of the day I believe it boils down to values. If you do not have shared values (honesty, integrity, trust, loyalty, openness)well I believe you are on a one way trip to unhappiness. Unfortunately some people are unscrupulous in that they will tell you want they think you want to hear so they can manipulate a situation to their own gain. It certainly sounds like he was married or living with someone else while he was simultaneously carrying on a relationship with you. You sound like a caring, decent person. You have behave honorably after your break up. Focus on you. This man did not deserve you. You have had a lucky escape. It might not feel like it because you are feeling so sad

      • Tanzanite says:

        @Chrysalis

        He once asked me what I wanted in a relationship and I said- mutual respect he agreed.

        No matter what I keep coming back to no conscience.

    • Victorious says:

      Tanzanite, if he thinks you were following him after 3 years NC then that says a lot about his mental state! It is really unlikely he would think such a thing, so put that out of your mind. It must have been HORRIBLE for you seeing him with his child. However, you know that he is a two timing douchebag and the woman who he impregnated doesn’t exactly have a catch does she? I bet after he dropped his kid off to school he slunk off and met his latest OW. You don’t really want him and you certainly don’t need him.

      • Tanzanite says:

        @Victorious

        I don’t want him and don’t need him that’s true and I agree with mymble it’s the fact I didn’t end it sooner that burned a hole in my soul.

    • K says:

      Tanzanite,

      What an ass. I just read Griz’s post below and everything she said is true about his not having conscience, the behaviors so predictable as are our RESPONSES to it.

      These guys are not disneyland dad’s. My ex psychopath use to say, “I’m a terrible husband, but I’m a great father”.
      What a bastard. Cheating on the children’s mother does NOT make you a great father, however, this is how someone with a lack of conscience THINKS.
      Your spinning is making you sick, honey.
      Proof positive of just how TOXIC they really are…
      I had a similar experience last year, a few days after my ex psychopath remarried. He saw me as I was getting ready to pull out onto the main drag in town in my car. When he saw me, he turned his head toward me like he had whiplash, like in FEAR. He decided to play intimidation games in his car, while I was minding and doing my own business with laundry. Anyway, I IGNORED him. He has done this another time this last summer too with his wife in the car, again INTIMIDATION…because he FEARS me. He knows that I know WHO he is and he knows that I speak up about it. If any of his ex’s or the new victim were to come to me to ask about him, I’d let it roll. Abusers love silence. I won’t give it to him.
      So, my point being, he probably knows that you know. And Griz is right, they wear SEVERAL masks. The mask he wears for you now, is one as if he doesn’t know you, or that you are some familiar face from the past that he was never intimate with, that he barely recognizes. That alone shows you that he hasn’t changed. Normal people don’t do that. Nothing about them is at all normal and I feel sorry for his baby mama. What a nightmare. He probably has trouble remembering which OW is which **sigh**..

      Anyway, when we try to make sense of someone without conscience, when we have one, EMOTIONALLY, it’s a no win situation.
      But it’s really not about HIM, T, it’s about YOU now.
      When we feel like shiat about ourselves, we will continue to believe it was us, when it wasn’t. It’s easier to be a victim of them, then it is to learn to love ourselves. That’s your job now. The problem is complicated in your situation (I understand this because I have been in ill health too), when we have health problems, financial problems, especially AFTER these relationshits. It can just feel like a major injustice upon injustice, upon injustice..
      But really what it is, is we feel like failures. Like what they did to us is our fault. It isn’t though. Abusers are abusers and they will do it to ALL in their lives, but we really do have to question what’s going on within when we would WANT someone like this? Or are longing for them. This is DEPENDENCE, not love. Not misunderstanding and the dependence factor is WORSE when you’re dealing with mental or physical health issues.
      The best thing you can do for yourself is to try to find a way to let go of the dependence. Try to look at what it is that creates it, this longing, questioning and wondering because really, the psychopathic bastards BEG us to figure out why the hell we would have taken these people without conscience and beat the shit out of ourselves with them? AAACCCKKK!!!

      As far as his “happiness” goes, that’s another thing we misinterpret. He’s happy when he has someone who will eat his neverending, copious amounts of spoonfed bullshit and behavior. They are happiest when they are TORTURING victims, T. that’s what happens with people who don’t have conscience. They are giddiest when they are destroying someone.

      I know it’s hard to see, but you are blessed. When you start to feel better about yourself and ask yourself the hard questions and work on that, slowly your self esteem will rise and you won’t give a rats ass what Mr. Without Conscience is doing and it won’t matter if you were to see him again.

      • Victorious says:

        I can’t believe I am going to tell you all this but after reading what K and Griz have said about the many masks, I figure it might help someone else, maybe someone who reads and doesn’t post.
        At the deepest point of my madness over the ex narc, I actually thought he was twins. For a good 3 or 4 minutes I thought I had cracked the mystery of why he not only BEHAVED differently, but also he LOOKED different. Seriously. His FACE LOOKED DIFFERENT depending on whether he was being Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde. I even have photographs to prove this.
        Ok, so he isn’t twins, he’s just a regular narc asshole, but when I told me counsellor about my feelings she said she has a client with a form of split personality and that she looks different depending on which “person” she is that session.
        They really do wear many masks. They are scary. This is what helps me stay NC.

      • Tanzanite says:

        @K

        I have never been so unwell and this is the most prolonged experience of stress I have ever felt in my life.

        I used to really want to know the truth but everything I have found out is through me going about my normal business.

        It’s funny when you said he probably can’t remember the OW name because he could remember but kept sending the text to me instead.

        I don’t want a person like him I was stuck on the future faker I completely fell in love with the man that didn’t exist.My self esteem wasn’t that bad until I met him.I struggle with the fact I can’t cry.I struggle with the fact I have no interest in relationships and more the anything else I am out of patience with myself.

  18. grace says:

    Tanzanite
    Some seven years after I left the abusive ex I saw him at an airport. I was immediately pleased to see him and wanted to run up and say hello.
    I stopped myself and he passed by.
    I could have spent a long time wondering about my reaction. I did not. I put it out of my mind and went my way.
    Put this out of your mind and concentrate on getting well.
    He nearly died when he saw you? Well, that is the best any of us will ever get from them. That they know what they did was wrong and leave you alone rather than try to apologise, explain, or be your friend.
    Let it go.
    My life has changed so much for the better, not because I analysed shit to death but because I stopped myself from doing just that. I had anxiety, heart palpitations, depression, the lot. I know you can,t just turn it off but that is the ultimate goal, to stop. You cannot analyse it right down to the nth degree for satisfaction. Well, you can if you want but it would take longer than the rest of your life.
    It,s like trying to give up smoking by continuing to smoke and analysing why you do it. Just quit it, you start to feel better, you look better, you feel free of it, and it hardly matters anymore why you did it.
    I don,t look back much these days, mainly at times like this to share. Despite all the counselling and analysis, ultimately, I can only say to myself, with humour and compassion – “what was I thinking?!”

    • Mymble says:

      Grace
      I understand what you are getting at but, you didn’t “just stop analysing shit” actually wS there not many years of doing just that, not to mention therapy? You may say now that you should have just right away or very soon just stopped, but if you had been able to do it would you not just have, like, done it? Did it just not occur to you? In hindsight it is very easy to say “Duh, just stop feeling sad, already!” and feel somewhat impatient with people who aren’t “getting it” but what people are actually experiencing isn’t so easy just to stop. Some of us are walking the walk externally but the internal experience is different.

      • Ellyb says:

        @Mymble: You’ve definitely got a point. Grace, I don’t disagree with you either, but I think when you want to stop smoking, the important thing is to STOP it. Whether you keep analyzing why you’ve smoked for so long or not is unimportant. I think if you stick to no smoking no matter what your mind is doing, then the analyzing is going to stop on its own sooner or later.

        I think it’s impossible to stop analyzing through willpower. Likewise, you can’t stop analyzing an unhealthy relationship while you’re still in it. You can only leave the relationshit and let time do the work.

        If you leave unhealthy relationships behind (which often includes cutting off third parties who justify BEING in toxic relationships) and focus on more healthy examples instead (that is what makes BR, similar blogs, books and therapists so important), then your thinking is going to change over time. In retrospect, it often does look easy, and saying “what was I thinking” is easy too, but it is hard work and takes a lot of courage.

        • Sadder but Wiser says:

          A warning about too much analysis: There’s a time for everything. A time to feel the pain and deal with it, a time to tell your story again and again, a time to analyze what the hell happened in the relationship, a time to look back at your childhood traumas, a time to rely on the wonderful support of sites like this – and also a time to let it go. I think all too often, though, we can get stuck in the endless talking about, thinking about and analyzing our relationship disasters to death. Yes, it’s enormously healing and necessary to share our stories – and also dangerous if it goes on too long. I catch myself doing this more than a year after the break-up: “Oh, I just thought of another thoughtless thing he did, I can’t wait to write about it.” I’m going to stop doing this now. I’m done with it.

          I wanted to share this quote by Emmett Fox as some food for thought:

          “Don’t be a grave robber. Let corpses alone. In due course, nature disposes of such remains if they are left undisturbed. Every time you dig up an old grievance or an old mistake by rehearsing it in your mind, or still worse, by telling someone else about it, you are simply ripping open a grave – and you know what you may expect to find. Live the present. Prepare intelligently for the future – and let the past alone. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Let the dead bury their dead.” Make a law for yourself today that you are not going to touch mentally any negative thing that has happened up to the present moment — and keep that law. Life is too precious for grave robbing. The past is past – liquidate it.”

          • Ellyb says:

            I believe overanalyzing can become avoidant behavior if it goes on for too long. When I find myself stuck in “analysis paralysis” regarding my past, this often means I’m avoiding some problems in the present, such as interacting with unhealthy people, failing to enforce boundaries, failing to stand up for myself, engaging in people pleasing behaviors and so on. Once I decide to change my present behavior, the urge to analyze subsides.

            Do you know what is at the root of all this? I think it’s making excuses. What we call “analyzing” really isn’t honest analysis. If we wonder “Is he happy with her now? Is she happy with him? Did I do something wrong? Why did it all go awry?” we’re really avoiding the notion that he is an ass. It’s that simple. Anyway, if we’re making excuses for abuse in the past, then it’s easier for us to put up with abuse (or any kinds of boundary busting) in the present.

            For example, I have observed many women in here cut off their toxic exes, but stay closely involved with their equally toxic families of origin. Unresolved workplace issues (a problem for me) or toxic “friends” can have the same detrimental effect on us. It can keep us from truly moving on.

            If we manage to put an end to this sh*t in the present (no matter how difficult it is), then we are often able to stop making excuses (“analyzing”) for past abuse.

            • Little Star says:

              EllyB, you are spot on and I agree with you 100%. I am currently reading a book “Positive thinking” and it’s says there: “If you cling on your hurts -carrying around that “chip” on your shoulder, you are actually allowing those people or events to continue hurting you”…We have to push ourselves and STOP all communications (FB/emails/phone), otherwise we will be always stuck:(

          • grace says:

            Sadder
            Funnily enough those words from Jesus did come to my mind when I commented originally but I wasn’t sure if they were relevant, so thanks for the quote.
            I saw my mother today, the formerly abusive one. she seemed quite mellow and content.we chatted. I asked if she was happy. she said, yes and that made me happy too.

        • grace says:

          Mymble and ellyb
          I said what i said to tanzanite because this break up was three years ago. I think that,s long enough to not let a chance encounter derail a person and I think it only did because she is unhappy. That,s what needs to be looked at, not the analysis of a relationship after three years of NC (well done for that btw)

      • Lilly says:

        Mymble & Grace, I’m walking the walk right now. Putting into practice everything I have learned over the past months, but I’m really suffering. He’s made it so easy for me to just go back. I’m fighting with myself. I wish I could let it all go and I’m trying hard, but it’s so difficult not to analyse everything. Questioning what his motives are and slipping right back into fantasy land again. How can I let go internally?

        • Ellyb says:

          @Lilly: You will be able to let go internally one day if you stay strong, stick to NC, learn to enforce healthy boundaries with everyone else in your life, take care of yourself and seek support in the right places if needed (with BR being such a place I think).

          In my opinion, “letting go” can’t be forced. It is something that happens naturally over time if we don’t thwart the process by returning to the source of our pain.

        • Sunyata says:

          Lilly

          If you really sink deep into your feelings and let yourself feel it all the way through, you won’t have to let go. You’ll finally get so tired of the pain even the thought of throwing yourself on the sword one more time will send you in the other direction.

        • grace says:

          Lilly
          NC him.
          I know it seems too simple to be the answer to your pain but, yes, it is. 90% anyway if you do it “properly” and don’t use it as a time to obsess about him constantly, ahem, which is what I did. That’s what took my recovery so long, I wasn’t doing anything useful. When I found BR I moved along relatively quickly.
          Friend of mine had a terrible “boyfriend” then an abortion. He still had the nerve to sniff around after her. She had counselling which had no effect whatsoever because she was still entertaining her ex’s pathetic messages. She cried for a year. Then she went to another country to work in an orphanage, came back, met a nice man, and is now married and pregnant.
          The returning sweetheart/MM tormented me for months until I nuked him on FB. Yeah, it was only a FB posts, what harm could it do? A lot apparently. I nuked it and met my boyfriend a year later.
          Distance.

    • Tanzanite says:

      Thanks to all the ladies that have replied you have helped me more than you know.I wanted to respond to you all personally but i’m full of a cold and haven’t got the energy.

      Love to you all xxxx

    • Tanzanite says:

      @ Grace

      I can’t imagine ever wanting to run up to him and say hello.I would just settle for feeling nothing when I see him.

      I know what you’re saying is true but sometimes I can’t stop the thoughts.

      I have been successfully paying my mortgage for 5 yrs but my building society wont let me have it in my name because according to them I can’t afford it.

      It’s frustration more than anything else.

      I can’t seem to recover the situation even though I try really hard.

      @all the ladies who have helped

      I feel much better I just needed a good talking to I don’t want to speak to soon but I think I’m done with it.I feel like a radiator that has just had some of the air released. xxx

      Thank you

      love to everyone

  19. SM says:

    Nat I dont know how you do it post after post. I think the biggest one on here for me is being with someone who wasnt even worth my time (or anyone’s for that matter) who acted like I wasnt worth their time. People like that act that way towards everyone. I was thinking about my father this morning before I even read this. I laid down the gauntlet with him about 20 years ago so his ways no longer affect me. I remember when we were growing up and my mom didnt drive, she would have to ask the neighbor to drive us places, supermarket, girl scouts etc.. because my dad refused to do anything that didnt benefit him…what an azzclown. Anyway kudos to my mom because even for all her faults (she was lining them out for me last nite), she was always there for us and worked overtime to make sure things happened for us. I remember one time we went to Disney with my dad (one of the rare times he did anything with us), he ran off the whole day to do his own thing leaving my mom with 3 small children 5 and under to deal with. What an azz! At least he stays out of our business, always has, we have to track him down to get together for holidays. His rejection of us and any of those ac’s rejection of me, is all about them. I think they treated me as ‘unworthy’ because they knew deep down that they were the ones unworthy so they projected that onto me. I know one thing though, I am not unworthy, my coworkers love me, my friends do too and all of my family members enjoy hanging out with me and I love all of them too even my dad in small doses. So there! Take that any man who has ever thought I wasnt ‘worthy’ of him. Since I started reading this blog 18 months ago, I have come a long way and have learned to love myself. I now see in me what others do and I take it to heart like its the gospel because it is!

  20. Sandy C. says:

    This was an intelligent post and I appreciated it. It helped me take a fresh look at how I give others my power whereas I tell my clients to not do this!!! Social worker heal thyself lol

  21. Sunyata says:

    “Because you put up with what you would normally regard as unacceptable behaviour and it still didn’t get you the relationship you wanted.”

    Hahahaha, that b*stard, how dare he!!!

    Feels so good to be able to laugh about it now.
    He fell so hard for me so fast and then started in right away with “polishing” me, if I would only just be this certain way and do and say these certain things, THEN we could finally have that magical relationship carrot he would dangle eternally in front of me.

    By the time it was over, I was so completely different than the woman I was in the beginning, neither ONE of us was interested in me.
    I morphed into exactly what he said he wanted and needed and guess what? That wasn’t it.

    He doesn’t really want what he thinks he wants and that has nothing to do with me.
    I love me, I feel so so so good about me these days.

  22. Ms. Option says:

    Thanks everyone, you helped clear up some things and help me look at it in a different way.

    Grizelde, your analogy was great and also made me laugh.

    Natashya, he is the same way. Always promising it was going to be well worth it but every time the future got here he backed off with an excuse.

    Snowboard, you also made me laugh. You are right he is capable of a relationship as much as a mailbox. He even made a comment to me one time when he had me believing we were about to move in together, he said “You’re not going to get upset when I come home from work and go to bed and sleep from 3:00 pm til 11:00 pm, are you? It’s what I do.” He said I hope you won’t take it personally. He works days. So I guess that’s what his wife deals with.
    Sadder, yep he prefers strawberry, in this case strawberry that is a felon and addicted to pills, but I guess chocolate is just to rich for his appetite :)

    Louise, K, Anna…thanks for your encouragement and clarification. I will read your responses again and again until hopefully I get it.

  23. tiffrbug says:

    Thanks for posting this Nat! Every bullet point felt like it was speaking to me directly.

    I was recently supposed to grab a beer with my ex. I thought it would be fine because I have healed, learned, and grown from the experience.

    Of course, last minute, he cancelled on me. Something came up. What did I find myself doing? Apologizing for his behavior! I said, don’t worry about it, I know you are busy, I am here to be a source of peace and joy, not to add stress. This is true, but really? It is almost like I am over-understanding of his behavior. Maybe because I had to do this to cope with it in the relationship?

    He replied that it’s fine, something came up, and he would call later. He, of course, didn’t! Before I had learned to love myself, I would have been devastated. This time I see it clearly. He cancels on EVERYONE if something work-related or more enjoyable comes up. He just has no qualms about it, or making someone wait forever. He has always seen his time as more valuable than everyone else. It is not about me.

    This time, I was smart enough to realize that it’s not about me! I am pretty damn awesome! He is just a self-righteous person who thinks the world revolves around him. That is who he is. I am blessed that he doesn’t want to spend time with me, because I have more time to enjoy myself and for others with similar values. :)

  24. espresso says:

    “Because you silenced your needs, expectations and wishes, even when your soul ached and you felt like you were being suffocated and you still didn’t get the love and and relationship you wanted.”
    This was me and I am still not out of it. I had a real epiphany in therapy a few days ago when she said once AGAIN that I needed to just be confident that the decisions I made were the right ones – that it is good that I am no longer silencing my needs – to myself above all.

    That what I feel is honest and true to myself and that I don’t have to self justify this or try to talk myself out of it. And I feel yes, this is the key!!! But I still feel very sad at times and the intensity of this frightens me…
    The gift of self compassion. I am going for a run in the cold outside and then am going to read this…over and over again.

  25. miskwa says:

    Tanzanite
    I really relate to what you posted. Yep, I do wish the karma bus would run over my AC. Not just the very public and humiliating rejection of me and complete disregard for my feelings but also that yeah, he gets away with murder both in his personal and professional life while lil hardworking, authentically living, BR reading Miskwa who is enforcing boundaries, demanding respect, not settling for anyone “less than” winds up very tired and very alone. Just spent some time with a gf that he drove out of town years previously and was wondering “when does this ever end”? However, time to kick myself hard in the butt, work harder, train harder, and hope all of us have a better 2013.

  26. simple pleasures says:

    I ended our first “relationship”, and he probably
    thought I was rejecting HIM. I wasn’t, more than anything I wanted to be with him. I was rejecting the status quo after 6 years. He ended the second “relationship” after 6 months. At first I thought he was rejecting ME. But he wasn’t he was rejecting a
    RELATIONSHIP because he can’t.ever. Our behaviour has little to do with another person. It has to do with our needs met/unmet.If you are lucky enough to meet someone with similar needs (wants a trusting, respectful, mutually committed
    progressing caring investment where you are concerned about what the other person THINKS and FEELS) chances are you and the other person will not be rejecting. You’ll be accepting yourself, the other person, and a UNION, which is a RELATIONSHIP.

  27. Jennifer says:

    I have been struggling with how the ex went back to the ex he constantly compared me to. I feel less than, like I’m not as good as her and don’t measure up. It’s eating away at me. I feel, so…rejected. I know this is stirring up a deeper rejection. My father left my mother and I when I was a baby and blamed it on her (she was a diagnosed schizophrenic) and I’m sure me. He’s a terrible and cruel man. He’s charming so he gets away with so much. Just like my ex. I have had to cut contact with my father for my mental, physical and emotional safety.

    • Claudia says:

      It’s liberating when you can just laugh at yourself and say:
      God, was that stupid! And then just dust yourself up and leave it all in the past, where it belongs. :)

  28. miskwa says:

    Ian
    Tis fine if someone doesn’t like me or ANY of us fantastic babes on BR. If you do not like someone, you DO NOT pursue them, sometimes for years, you do NOT sleep with them, you do NOT tell them you love them. Read these folks stories, it’s not about not liking someone you just met, it’s about stringing folks along promising a relationship that never truly happens. I too do not like some people, therefore I leave them alone.

  29. Tulipa says:

    If I wasn’t feeling the rejection from the ex eum I would be struggling with no contact.
    I am oddly at peace after months of back and forth up and down.

    I can see his behaviour towards me was is to do with his own issues but that sting of rejection is keeping me moving forwards.

    I don’t think it has quite clicked for me the second part of the article but I will keep reading it.

  30. Magnolia says:

    ms. option and others,

    This post made me think of the quote “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” by Eleanor Roosevelt. For the longest time I did not get it! I was like, “I can tell you that other people made me feel inferior! Without my consent!” I was thinking about all the bullying and abuse in my childhood etc.

    Now I understand that I was a child, and as a child I gave “consent” to things (i.e. entertaining the bullies’ – peers and adults – characterizations of me) before I had been taught any self-esteem, boundaries or skills to defend myself. (It’s kind of like if someone had sex with you as a kid, it’s still rape even if you said, at six, that it was ok for them to touch you, right?)

    But becoming an adult is being able to say, no, that’s not okay. I don’t okay YOUR idea of me taking over MY idea of me.

    Now that I’m an adult, well over the age of consent, if I let someone else’s opinion of me take over my opinion of me, I’ve consented to allowing that.

    Same with the rejection issue. If someone rejects you, but YOU don’t reject you, then it doesn’t hurt nearly so much. If you have your own high self-esteem, even if someone rejects the “real” you, then that indicates that they weren’t a good fit for you and who wants that?

    On the other hand, if someone’s rejection of you leads you to think, yeah, I suck (you rejecting yourself), then that self-rejection is the real tragedy.

    What took me forever to feel out what this business of “being me.” When I watched my mother deny that she was okay with something over and over, when clearly she didn’t want it, I never knew that this is her “not being herself.” I thought it was her being her, her doormat self.

    But when being you IS being a doormat, then you definitely have a pattern of self-rejection at the core of your self (which is confusing, but if you follow me, you see what people mean to be out of touch with your ‘true’ self).

    The core of us, that feels yes to things and feels no to things, that is what needs to be honoured. Yes, it sucks if someone rejects us: my exAC didn’t like my honesty, my standards, my unwillingness to like his harem, etc. He didn’t like the real me. So I tried to become sporty, cool, laid-back woman to avoid that truth.

    How much better things became when I decided I liked my honesty, standards, etc and stopped morphing into someone fake whom he wasn’t treating well anyway! He could keep rejecting me from the other side of a wall of NC, and I started the work of learning how to stop rejecting myself.

  31. Hopelessly incorrigible says:

    Your advice is so eye opening and what I need to hear. After being with someone for so long, I feel like I have lost track of myself and that I have allowed his actions/reactions to control my happiness and self confidence. I hide it well from others and it makes me cringe to hear compliments from people, because I know how un-together I am inside. Thank you for you words of wisdom.

  32. lo j says:

    When I read what Ian posted, I was thinking, “Yeah … feeling rejecting by someone who was just a good guy who wasn’t interested. That could happen.” Then I looked back into my dating history and the good guys who weren’t interested left a little sting. Not a heart twisting wringing pain. Sorry, Ian. Doesn’t work that way. Good guys don’t future fake, disappear, cheat, flip flap, etc etc.

  33. lo j says:

    Nice Sadder but Wiser. I am an analyzer by nature. But now, after finally working through my past, my energy is freed up for analyzing and coming up with solutions for patient care at my job, analyzing my patients to motivate them, analyzing how to more efficiently create my next crochet/craft project then I do it, or by watching the news/reading etc and analyzing how I’d solve the world’s problems. (Until my head hits the pillow then I’m out like a light.) Most, except for solving the world’s problems, I just accept that I can only apply my beliefs to me, is very constructive and proactive. Not ruminating and without an end. So I still get my analytical fix. :-)

  34. Lady Lisa says:

    Another great post, Natalie! I can identify with almost every reason why one feels, experiences and internalizes rejection. I’ve told myself that if I want closure, I must give it myself. If I want to stop feeling like I’ve been rejected, then I must choose to think differently. It’s a challenge to suddenly switch gears when you’ve been so accustomed to believing that you did something horribly wrong or that there is something horribly wrong with you to have been the recipient of said rejection. But I now understand – with the gift of this blog – that self blame is also how one stays stuck in a current emotional state. It’s how we don’t allow ourselves to move on, make different choices, take bigger risks, and do the necessary work to move forward and deal with the personal baggage that keeps you from what you say you want and need. I see this so clearly now. I see that I’ve been living in fear. That I’ve been EU. That I have attracted and created some of my really negative experiences. That because I was not clear, because I didn’t ask for what I wanted, because I had no boundaries…damn this a big one for me…I suffered needlessly. I’m taking responsibility for my actions. I don’t want to sound like I’m letting the men off the hook for their actions, I’m not. I’m just seeing my negative thought patterns and lack of self-esteem has manifested in my personal life.

    I still struggle with letting go. The pseudo ex still sends me text messages out of the blue. The last one was wishing me a happy holidays. I haven’t responded and I’m feeling guilty about that. Why should I feel guilty? I know that these messages mean nothing. And whenever I have believed the opposite, I’ve always ended up being disappointed, hurt and resentful. He’s in a relationship with another woman. They’ve been together for 6months, and they look so inlove. Yes, against my better judgement, I continue to check-in on them on FB to find the loving, happy couple pics. I know this has to stop. So why is he still texting, being “nice” when he’s with someone else? I allow this question to sneak up on me. I know it means nothing. A text isn’t an ” I love you” or “I miss you” or “I’m sorry for not choosing” or a “I’m sorry for hurting you”. It’s just a text he wanted to send. And it hurts, it angers me, it warms my heart, and it try’s to convince me that maybe he’s not such a “bad guy” after all. Then I plant my feet back in reality and remind myself of this: if he wanted you, if you were meant to be together, you’d be together. He’s sending a text, not giving love, care, support, respect or being in your life. You must pay attention to the ACTIONS not the lazy communication. You must MOVE FORWARD and let this stay where it is. He never worried about YOUR feelings, why are you worried about his? And this is where I get stuck. If he can be in love and have a new relationship where he’s doing all the things with her that he didn’t want to do or couldn’t do for me, what DID I do “wrong”!? He obviously knows how to care! Ugh! How distructive are these thoughts. I’m tired of feeling this way. It serves no purpose. I need to get over myself and continue doing my work. Putting the focus on me, and continue digging out of this comfortable comfort zone with flat screen tv’s, lazy boy chairs and every possible ice cream flavor that exists. If I want to find the love, care and relationship I deserve, I must BE the thing that I want. The work is hard, dammit! And at the core of it, is just my desire to experience authentic love with a loving partner. People are loving together all around me. Getting engaged, finding new love, staying in love… I want this too. I want this too. I deserve it. We all do. And it has to begin from within. This I know, this much is true.

  35. Lady Lisa says:

    Another confession: the “relationship” I had with the pseudo ex was all in my head. He never persued me, never told me he loved me, disappeared frequently and pushed the reset button every time. He did call and text – mostly text, slept with me, future faked and never called me back when he said. Yeah…this is a no brainer.

  36. natashya says:

    lady lisa, you already have a great sense of self awareness and insight into what happened. don’t respond to his texts, go/stay NC all the way.

    as for snooping on facebook. block him and her. don’t look. this snooping online is the emotional equivalent of self harm. out of sight will eventually turn into (mostly out of mind.

    and you don’t know ANYTHING about their relationship. facebook is deceiving. most people only put up happy stuff and lots is exaggerated.

    if he treated you like an option, he is lacking in the decency and integrity department. unless he does work on himself, he hasn’t changed. you just don’t get to experience this, you only see shiny happy facebook nonsense.

    i think most of us here have struggled with ‘letting go’. don’t beat yourself up over it. when you stay NC and divert your focus back onto where it should be: YOU, you will find that you will let go, little by little. letting go isn’t just something you do from one second to the next. it’s a process and part of healing. it takes time and effort.

    i have been NC for a month now and it’s amazing how much difference just 4 weeks of no contact has made.

    • Sunshine says:

      Have to share this about FB snooping:) Of course I blocked my ex as soon as we split up, but we have lots of mutual friends and the other day one of them liked his new profile photo showing him kissing his new girlfriend. The photo practically jumped at me on my News Feed page. Wow, did that sting! What I’m trying to say is that sometimes you just can’t block all the info about their new life. In a way it brought me back to reality: he’s moved on and you should too!! But it does hurt of course. the jerk!

      My mum’s comment the other day: “You can’t be single now for the rest of your life because some asshole did this to you!” She does have a point, doesn’t she? But it takes time to really get this …

  37. lo j says:

    Oh EllyB, you are so much more insightful than I. Though I wouldn’t label my friends toxic per say nor my family (eh … debatable) I wasn’t insightful enough to go NC with them, or rather, didn’t see the need or the harmful effects of their association. But as I came into my own, established boundaries, I actually think I’ve become less aggressive really, a lot of my friends, and my mother, have kind of fallen by the wayside. We certainly don’t share the same values anymore and have little in common. I’ve trusted myself and validated myself so much more so as of late. Its nice.

  38. Kitty says:

    This is a great article, I can’t believe how much of it hit home to me. Thank you for this much needed boost before Christmas…

  39. lo j says:

    And then there are some who like banana splits … several different flavors at the same time! That’s when it really gets messy!!! ;-)

  40. Lizzy says:

    I just shuddered when I realised it was six years ago today that I last saw or spoke to Mr Narcissist AC. We’d been split up for two years after a 10-year relationshit which ended when he proposed but then gradually pulled the rug out from under me in an extremely weaselly fashion. But as soon as we split up, he did a 180 and started acting like Mr reliable nice guy (aka Mr manipulator) and we were ‘friends’. Two years later he’d slipped back to his old ways and sulked through our Christmas Eve lunch – when questioned he admitted it was because he didn’t have any money and that I would have to pay for it. I suddenly saw the light: he was a sulking, scrounging, manipulative, cowardly loser and I had to get him out of my life once and for all. So after a blazing row in the street, I went NC, Christmas Eve 2006. I didn’t know what NC was, I just knew he was poisoning my very soul.
    Without him in it, my life slowly improved but it was when I discovered BR in August 2010 that I began to make sense of what had happened, why I’d let it happen and learnt how to go about becoming someone with boundaries and self-esteem who wouldn’t give someone as f-ed up as my ex-AC so much as the steam off my pee.
    When I stopped judging and rejecting me, realised I mattered as much as everyone else, flushed anyone who treated me in a less than manner, started saying no to things that weren’t in my interests and generally started caring what happens to me, good things started happening. Thanks Natalie from the bottom of my heart – 2012 was the best year I have ever had. I would not be saying that if it wasn’t for you, I’d still be running round in circles judging and rejecting myself. Season’s greetings and a brilliant 2013 to all, especially Natalie, your fella and gorgeous little girls xxx

  41. lo j says:

    Lilly … Grace is right. TOTAL NC. No excuses. No work stuff, delete emails, texts, numbers, IMs, block FB, email accounts everything. Burn letters, whatever attachments, cards, tickets, stubs, etc. if that will help cut loose, too. I did that, sort of as a “letting go” ritual. (I did keep the Ray Bans. Still haven’t worn them.) It does help. Distance will clear your head. NC will get you out of fantasy land. Reach out to someone who can sit with you as you just cry. Or just cry. Or bang your fists into a pillow and scream and get out that anger or whatever you feel, just FEEL. That’s what you are avoiding by holding on to him. Let him go, Lilly. You will be just fine. Let him go.

  42. Getting it! says:

    Ladies and gents!

    Firstly, Merry Christmas.

    Secondly, leave Ian alone. Not ‘cos he’s right (or even ‘cos he’s wrong) but because It really doesn’t matter what he thinks.

    It. Really. Truly. Does. Not.

    You don’t have to justify/explain your experiences or emotions to him.

    Be peaceful and let those people who don’t want to be peaceful or contribute to the peace, go.

    • Ian says:

      I agree that no one need justify themselves to me but why doesn’t my opinion matter?

      I think the misunderstanding here is that it appears that everyone but me is assuming that this blog post is about being rejected by a-holes. I read it as being about rejection in general!

      So everyone’s like, ‘you’re saying that these c**ts are great guys? Oh you terrible person.’.

      No, I just assumed that its a post about rejection in general and appears to be arguing that rejection as we normally think of it doesn’t really exist. Hence my ‘reality check’ type statement.

      Can anyone point out where in the blog post it says its exclusively about a-holes and psychos?

      • Mymble says:

        Ian,
        Read the post *again*, then.
        It clearly mentions unacceptable behaviour, suffocating relationships, unhealthy choices, etc.
        What is your interest in the topic anyway?

        • Ian says:

          Yes of course it mentions unacceptable behaviour. But not *exclusively*.

          I was interested in managing feelings of rejection.

          What is your interest?

          • Just so you know, I’m off on my Christmas break and so while I be approving comments, I won’t want to be reading any antagonism and it ends here. This is a respectful, supportive community of people and the guidelines are in place to ensure that the vulnerable are protected. I don’t want to feel that by giving the benefit of the doubt, that this is flouted and then people are antagonised, and then they’re jumping in too. Antagonism is not what people are coming here for. Nuff said. Merry Christmas. Read the commenting guidelines.

      • grace says:

        Ian
        it doesn’t matter if they are an ass or a great person, it,s just their opinion. I know it hurts but we don,t need to internalise it and think we,re no good because a relationship didn,t work out.
        The post applies whether or not he is an ass. Even a great person,s opinion is just their opinion, so what? And often it,s not even that they don,t like us, it,s just a big mess that no one is handling with any clarity. it,s not as simple as x didn,t like y and buggered off.
        Nat is helping us to see that these situations don,t reflect on our value as human beings.
        it,s the asses who cause the most harm though with cheating, lying, indecision, exploitation, disrepect and mistreatment and the fact that they just won,t go away even after the rejection. it,s not surprising that many are sharing these experiences. It can be overcome though, absolutely, and the way cleared for new and better.

        • Ian says:

          Wow, thanks for your reply grace.

          “Even a great person,s opinion is just their opinion, so what?”

          For sure but the post reiterates several times that the rejecting opinion that the other person is expressing is ‘not about you’.

          I’m all for dealing with rejection in a healthy robust way but I’m not convinced that this isn’t denying that a real rejection has taken place.

          I think it would perhaps be more truthful to admit that one has been rejected, for whatever reason no matter how unjust, but that one has then got to be careful in deciding how much the rejection reflects on one’s own value.

          Not a lot in many of the cases in these comments. Thus this post may apply whether he or she is an ass but perhaps more when the person is an ass.

          Would an ass that’s been flushed and read this article be entitled to claim it ‘wasn’t about me?’.

          • jujube says:

            Sooooo you’re saying that you’re *not* an ass, but “behaved” like an ass and got dumped, but it wasn’t because you behaved like an ass?? Maybe I’ve had too much eggnog but that doesn’t make sense.

            If you behaved like a jerk, then yeah, you need to take ownership of that. No one deserves to be treated like crap.

            I don’t know what your history is but if you treated this person in a less than manner then yeah, it probably has alot to do with them leaving you. Maybe they didn’t tell you so because they were too scared. I know I’ve been in that spot, afraid to speak up because he would then call me “uptight” or “too sensitive”, or a “nag”.

            But in healthy relationships you should be able to tell the other person when they’re hurting you without fearing their reaction, or that you’re going to be dismissed. Maybe that’s how she felt? But yeah, treating someone badly isn’t the sure firest way to get them to stay with you.

          • Teddie says:

            I agree, flushing is rejection too. And once in a while, we all find ourselves flushed, for whatever reason.
            What hurts though, is when the flush is only partial: certain bits of you are flushed, but the other person is happy to keep some others, such as the booty bits.

          • Blessing in Disguise says:

            From my experience, I suspect that the person I had to flush for their disrespectful behaviour never really perceived it as rejection. I did explain the reason to him in general words without laying the blame but I think the reason was OBVIOUS and my statement was only necessary as some form of courtesy. What was I to conclude from his consequent disappearance? I doubt he really reflected on my actions or his own. I am sure he rationalised them though with great success. For these people either nothing is about them or everything is about them. But most likely they are in denial.

            • Sm says:

              No truer words have ever been spoken Blessing. They don’t reflect at all, that’s what separates an EU/AC from a healthy stable person. They just consider it normal behavior like ‘well I just wasn’t feelin it anymore’.

            • jujube says:

              Exactly. A healthy person KNOWS when they did something wrong and hurtful, and is capable of contrition…see K’s post on EMPATHY and Grizelda’s on having a CONSCIENCE, two things which genuine asshole to the core guys do not have. Because if they WERE capable of self-reflection and empathy they wouldn’t continue to treat women with the same childish, manipulative, and basically emotionally abusive behaviour.

              They just tune out and ignore whatever they don’t want to hear to keep their fragile egos intact. They actually believe they’re amazing good guys which is the insanity of it all.

              My ex never apologized for his cruel treatment, not ONCE, and in fact tried to turn it around on me when I dumped him. Classy.
              If you’ve ever had one of these spin doctors go to work on you, you’ll actually start to believe that you’re the bad guy and that they are the victim. Which is exactly what they want- so they can believe there’s nothing wrong with them and continue with the same behaviour.

              If you deliberately hurt someone to suit your needs…sorry that doesn’t make you a good person. It doesn’t matter if you were “nice” to her intermittently, that’s what actually makes it harder to get over and even more gross and manipulative.

              If you’re a good guy and like someone you treat them with respect, end of. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship. But it seems like the very guys who shouldn’t be in relationships, can’t ever be alone- they always need someone to make themselves feel better, so they use people, which isn’t right.

              • SM says:

                jujube, you are right about them only listening to the parts they want to. Once when I broke up with the biggest ac ever, I told him off for like 15 minutes about all the azzholish things he did and then walked out the door and didnt contact him again. About 2 months later, after he calls and texts me several times, I pick up the phone. Do you know that he didnt even realize that I broke up with him, even though I said I never want to see you again (the only time I ever said that him)? He thought he’d been on a break all this time and that it was his choice that we werent seeing each other. I could tell by his reaction that he really believed that. Unbelievable!

                • jujube says:

                  “He thought he’d been on a break all this time and that it was his choice that we werent seeing each other. I could tell by his reaction that he really believed that. Unbelievable!”

                  HA! This exactly happened to me! Tried to creep back in my life after silence for months. Who knows what he was getting up to during that time, probably trying to mack on another member of his harem. He thought he was just “giving me time” to cool off and “get over” my issues. “Are we cool now?” UGH.

          • jujube says:

            “Would an ass that’s been flushed and read this article be entitled to claim it ‘wasn’t about me?’.”

            Not so much. So the ass got flushed and feels rejected about it? Well he WAS rejected, as someone who behaves like an ass should!

            Does treating someone bad make him a bad person? Maybe not. But certain behaviours cannot be justified. Some people really are just assholes with a seriously flawed value system and way of looking at the world. They don’t think they’ve done anything “that bad”, when in fact they have crossed the line.

            If they treat someone like crap time after time, is it entirely unfair for them to be judged as being not that great a person, and thus someone we shouldn’t be with?

            How else do we gauge who a person is if not by their actions and treatment of others over time?

            But there’s always a chance for redemption, and owning our mistakes doesn’t mean we have to be defined by them. Everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow into better human beings, if they’re willing to put in the effort.

        • malaise says:

          If it were as simple as, “I just don’t like you” then it probably wasn’t a long relationship, because you don’t d*ck around with someone you don’t like for a prolonged amount of time (unless you are a d*ck).

          If I go on a few dates with someone and we get along decently, but he decides not to take it further because he doesn’t like me romantically, fair enough. It’ll sting a little, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I wasn’t what he was looking for for whatever reason and he had the integrity to tell me so rather than string me along. But if you’re seeing eachother for more than a few months, even years, and then suddenly turn around and leave “just because” you don’t like me, then I’m confused. It’s not a one glove fits all solution.

          It’s about seeing the situation for what it is based on what happened, not what you *think* the other person thinks about you.

          For example, treating someone like a booty call or being the booty call and expecting some kind of healthy, amazing relationship to miraculously spring from it, or expecting it to continue in “casual” no-strings-attached mode indefinitely, is just unrealistic. Accepting disrespectful treatment time after time, yet thinking they’re going to one day change and all of a sudden be prince charming is unrealistic.

          And yes, there are definite asses out there. You treat someone like sh*t but then try to turn the tables around on them? That’s pretty gross. You don’t reciprocate the same feelings, but continue to keep them on a leash and let them get invested regardless because you like the ego-boost, sex, convenience and distraction of it? I think that’s the definition of USING somebody, which is about as low as you can get.

          It doesn’t absolve us from getting willingly involved with such people and being a part of the twisted dynamic, but there’s some definite predatory aspects to these assclowns.

        • beth d says:

          Exactly and great point Grace. They do all these unacceptable behaviors and don’t go away even though they know it is hurting you!! Soul less creatures. I am actually starting to see my ex as a predator! 10 years with this man and loved him to death but he couldn’t even love me enough to let me go when he knew he couldn’t give me what I need and knew I was struggling with moving on. It is the ultimate selfish behavior when a man does this and causes confusion, obsessing and a heavy heart! Yes it can be overcome but I have finally learned only through NC! You can’t let them in on any level even the pretense of friendship.

      • Revolution says:

        Hi Ian,

        Guess I was right in my assessment! :)(Kindly read my earlier comment to you.)

        Your opinion *does* matter. Even if it had been dissenting, it would have mattered.

  43. Roseanne says:

    Very timely post for me, Natalie, thank you. I was laid low, made ill by recently being dumped by my long term partner, and then one of my closest female friends, completely out of the blue, and having done nothing to deserve it. I just cried and cried every day. Then a few days ago I found this page… and it hit home. It wasn’t what THEY did to me that has made me feel suicidally depressed. As Nat says, it’s my acceptance of their judgment of me as a person they no longer want in their life. The main problem is that my self esteem just isn’t strong enough to over-ride their judgment of me. I feel that I am a good person, worthy of friends and worthy of love, but I don’t believe it strongly enough to genuinely feel that I don’t care for their opinion.

    • natashya says:

      roseanne, i’m sorry this happened to you. you state that you feel you are worthy, that’s a good start, even if you feel overwhelmed by sadness and depression right now.

      i don’t know what your story is, but a good way to start getting your sense of self back is to go NC. removing yourself from the source of pain is crucial and HUGE. it may not feel like it right now, but the pain will subside.

      it was only 3 months ago that i seriously thought i was not going to survive my break up, which left me without a job, without a home and without any hope, but i am still here and feeling so much better already and sometimes even laugh again. if somebody would have told me that 3 months ago, the only laughter i could have imagined was me laughing in their face. hang in there – xx

      • Roseanne says:

        thank you Natashya… I must come on this site more often to draw strength from all my sistas out there. I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you :-(

  44. Gina says:

    Thank you Nat and the rest of the BR posters! You do not realize how much your comments have helped me to re-focus my thoughts. The bible says, ” Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—is anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8.

    I cannot change the past, but I refuse to let it mess up my present and my future. Therefore, I have chosen to surround myself with people who are happily married and have been so for many years. Men who show themselves to be wonderful, devoted, caring husbands are my role models for how a good man is supposed to treat a woman and how a loving relationship is supposed to be. I cannot change the abusive behaviors of my late mother and father, and I refuse to let them reach out from the grave and steal my joy, so I am seeking out older couples in the church who have healthy, loving relationships, and who are nurturing, with the intent of being welcomed as an “adoptive” daughter. Finally, I will only choose to pursue friendships with people who are able to be a positive and uplifting presence in my life. Anyone who shows me who they are the first time will be kicked to the curb so fast, their head will bobble back and forth like one of those bobble head dolls.

    Wishing you all a positive, happy, and uplifting New Year! XO

    • Revolution says:

      Gina,

      That’s one of my favorite scriptures and, ironically, the one I’ve been thinking about the most lately. Funny you should write it here. Thanks for the reminder to continue to focus on good things. Wishing you and yours all the best.

    • Rosie says:

      I love your post, Gina. I live in the U.S. Your Scripture quote reminded me of a story I heard about how employees of the U.S. Mint are trained. To recognize counterfeit money, they aren’t exposed to counterfeit. They are immersed in real money. They eat, drink, sleep, memorize every detail of the “real thing” so that, when a counterfeit crosses their path, they spot it immediately.

      Your surrounding yourself with healthy relationships and thinking on the good, you’re immersing yourself in the good. When a counterfeit crosses your path, you are going to spot him immediately or, at least, fairly quickly. I don’t know if “bad” will come to mind should you meet a counterfeit, but I think there will be a “not for me” feeling that will present itself fairly quickly.

      • grace says:

        Rosie
        I love that.
        I was talking to someone who trains bank staff. He tells them if they aren’t sure about any banknotes, to close their eyes and feel the paper.
        In the end, your instincts will show you what you already know.

  45. Laurie says:

    Merry Christmas BR! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, though I’ve still been avidly reading :) The rejection I’ve been struggling with over the holidays has been my ex’s friends *rejection* of me. I don’t know if any of you can relate. Even when things were going good between us, I never felt like his friends liked me or included me (it was really his girl-friends rather than his guy-friends).

    I think I might have been able to accept my ex’s rejection of me if it hadn’t been compounded the rejection I felt from his friends. Somehow it validates his rejection. I think this “ick” feeling has been triggered by an influx of Christmas party photos which were posted on FB–pictures of all my ex’s friends hanging out and having a great time. I know it seems childish, but I felt so hurt: What’s wrong with ME? Why don’t you like ME?

    Granted, I understand that after a break-up, people take sides. My friends certainly took my side, and quite frankly, my friends don’t really care much for my ex and were encouraging me to break up with him. I understand that. I think just realizing that his friends never liked me in the first place, and judged me (I feel) without really getting to know me—that’s what really hurts and makes me feel insecure. I feel like perhaps they know something about me that I don’t know myself—you’re a horrible girlfriend, you’re not worthy of love, etc.

    I’m SO glad I got into Natalie’s self-esteem course. I think learning how to really accept myself and being the person that I feel good about will make all these forms and variations of rejection less debilitating. I just have no idea how to get there at the moment!

    • Victorious says:

      Laurie it sounds like maybe you escaped a harem set-up and myabe that is why his female friends didn’t like you? Did it ever feel like that? Anyway, you would be MORTIFIED if any of your friends were still hanging out with him I am sure, so you cannot expect his friends to want to come out to play with you. If they were never very welcoming or accepting anyway -then why would you want or need their approval anyway?
      Lastly, GET OFF THE FACEBOOK ALREADY!! Please do yourself a favour and block him and his friends from your FB. That way you can move on far more quickly. Wishing you all the best for 2013.

      • Laurie says:

        Thanks, Victorious! One of the first things I did was unfriend him and all the rest of his friends. The pics were posted by mutual friends, which is pretty annoying. I NEVER check his page or his friends’ pages. I’m thinking about coming off of FB altogether.

    • Sm says:

      Laurie something similar happened to me only from the ac’s family. After meeting them for the first time, I really liked them and they seemed to like me, as I went out the door they even invited me for coffee the next morning. The very next weekend I saw them again at the ac’s invitation. It was apparent their attitude had changed, I couldn’t figure it out other than the AC must have spoken some untruths about me because he was about to kick me to the curb. As a matter of fact he kept texting someone the whole time, I didn’t notice until his dad pointed it out. Anyway it did really bother me, so I understand you completely. It really upsets me that this jack leg talked shizz about me that wasn’t true especially since he was a total azzhole. I will never be put in that position again, I will walk away from these people with my nose stuck in the air. On a side note the funny thing is that the AC said his previous girls always broke up with him after meeting his family, now I know why, it’s because he turned the family against them and why stick around after that.

      • Laurie says:

        Thanks, SM. I’m sorry you experienced that with your ex’s parents. Here’s to 2013 and increased self-esteem & not giving a flip about the judgements of others!

  46. Ayr says:

    At first I wasn’t able to see the message in this post. I get it now all of these posts are helping. I get how he was rejecting the idea of being with anyone since he hops from woman to woman. We have been in a “friendship” for five years so I guess I thought I was different.
    I’m only on day 5 of NC but I realize that I need to get busy doing something else. I’m trying to figure out what would help me heal and keep my mind off of him. All I do is think of hIm especially since he still calls eventhough his calls are blocked so I can’t answer. Ready to move forward trying not to look back. You all are so helpful
    Thanks

    • Sm says:

      Aye that just goes to show that he doesn’t even care about his friends either. If he can treat you like that then he doesn’t really care about his guy friends either.

  47. natashya says:

    it’s *just* a day in december and it’s almost over (in europe)… breathe.

    i’ve been lucky to be able to celebrate x-mas with my entire (small) family today, which hardly ever happens as i’m usually abroad. i’m grateful for that.

    this morning i got a merry x-mas message from the ex EUM, sent with kisses. it was easy to ignore and go about my day, cooking for my family, but the emptiness is hitting me now. hard. we were supposed to go abroad together to celebrate xmas and ring in the new year.

    i haven’t really missed him much lately, or cried. but today i’m feeling it again. i just had a little cry in the bathroom. ugh.

    i need to breathe through this. can’t wait for 2013. i usually don’t care about stuff like dates, but i really do want to leave 2012 behind and get a fresh start. i can do this.

    thanks again, all for your support. i can’t stress enough how much this community means to me.

    • Silhouette says:

      Stay strong Natashya! You’ve come so far. If it helps, i’ve been thinking today of three people who i hold dear and are in a tougher position than me. One is suffering with cancer, one has been left by her husband ( he has been diagnosed with depression )and has kept her in limbo for 18 months by refusing to work on treatment and another who has gone through a terrible ordeal while working as a peace keeper in Asia. If i think of these people they help me to put my AC in perspective. It’s been nearly a week since he dumped me and like others, BR has helped me get through this past week. HE has not contacted me BUT last night i received a text from an MM who pursued me. It said, “Merry Christmas, i hope Santa is kind to you!” x I ignored it. I also had an email and then this evening a call from another AC. I really couldn’t muster the energy to answer after working so hard this past week. Hang in there, we are all in this together. Distract yourself this evening in any way you can because tomorrow is another day closer to 2013 and to a new beginning.

      • natashya says:

        thank you, sil. i actually had a really good day with my family. we don’t exchange gifts and we don’t make a big deal out of it, but we enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal together and it was lovely. i actually think it was this loveliness that made me miss him. some sort of melancholy.

        yep, we’ll get there :) xx

    • Sunshine says:

      Hang in there, Natashya, you’re doing great! Really, you’re doing so much better than I was at this stage! For me just looking back at how far I’ve come in these two years (yes, it’s been that long) gives me strength. And yes, the day is almost over here in Europe:) off to bed. Tomorrow’s a new day :)) Love to all xxx

  48. Rosie says:

    Oddly enough, what helps me hurt less is simply accepting that I’ve been rejected. I still hurt, mind you. I hurt A LOT! But I noticed that my continually analyzing if it was really him or me, obsessing about him, hoping for a “rejection retraction” is really about my staying in denial that I’ve been rejected and about my staying in fantasy that the relationship isn’t over when it is. When I find myself dwelling/obsessing about my latest rejection, I tell myself (even say it aloud), “I accept rejection.” I’m not a psychologist so I don’t know why, but I noticed that the obsessive thoughts stop or, at least, lessen and I’m back in reality, including the reality that he is no longer in my life. This frees my mind from the desire to dwell on him and to think on what I want to be more important in my mind–setting career goals, calling a friend I haven’t talked with in a while, etc.

    I wish I knew how to accept the reality of the situation years ago when an ex-boyfriend I thought I loved broke up with me. He was an EUM (as was I but I didn’t know it). I stayed in a fwb “relationship” with him post break-up for two years! All because I couldn’t accept that I had been rejected and dumped.

    Also, it seems that there is a belief that high self-esteem = no pain when one is rejected. I don’t think this is true. When a person likes/has feelings for another person and the feelings aren’t returned, it hurts! We had feelings for this person and the person didn’t accept our gift. I think it’s normal to feel hurt when we are rejected and I think it’s ok to call it what it is–rejection. Where self-esteem comes into it (I think?) is knowing how to accept rejection, knowing what to do with these hurt feelings (if anything needs to be done) and knowing how to move out of that hurt place (and to stop seeking acceptance where none exists).

    My opinion only and this is just about my own (recent) process, not advice for anybody else.

    Peace on earth and good will to all! :)

    • Lilly says:

      Ellyb, Sunyata, Grace, loj,

      I agree that complete NC is the only way out of this pain. I’m just waiting for the galley proofs for our manuscript and that will be the end of our working relationship. When the loose ends are tied up I won’t have any reason or excuse anymore. He emailed me wishing me a Merry Christmas then dropped a bombshell that he was bringing his “little” family to my State for a holiday in two days and would I like to meet up with him one morning for a few hours! WTH! In a knee jerk reaction I told him it wouldn’t be a good idea because I still have feelings and asked him to stop playing with them as it hurts. It’s coming up to one year since I lost my son. I’m working through the grief and accepting the loss, but still struggling with my feelings for him. This feels like torture, but I’m holding on and although it might not sound like it I am reading and taking in all the comments. I’m staying strong because of your help, but today I’m crying again.

      • Rosie says:

        Lilly,

        “In a knee jerk reaction I told him it wouldn’t be a good idea because I still have feelings and asked him to stop playing with them as it hurts.”

        In my inexperienced opinion only, although no response would have been the best, your response really wasn’t that bad as long as you leave it as is. You told him why it wouldn’t be a good idea and stopped communicating with him after this, correct? Again, as long as you leave it as is, no harm no foul.

        He may not care about your feelings but you care enough to do your best to protect them. This is good. The best protection, though, is staying far far away from danger. Do not, I repeat–do not–re-enter the snake pit. Leave. Snake. Alone.

      • Learner says:

        Lilly,
        I am so sorry to hear you had a difficult day today. Where does he get off travelling with his family and wanting to sneak in a “visit” (booty call?) with you? It’s OK that you responded, especially if its the *last time* that you respond. He has no business knowing what effect he has on your feelings. He trampled on them so please do not give him a chance to hurt you again. Now that your manuscripts are in the galley proof stage, the end is in sight for the work you have to do with him. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. His last excuse to contact you. Your ticket out of OW hell. Please run with it, knocking over a few grannies as you escape (to quote our lovely Grizelda). Lets aim for an AC free 2-0-1-3. Hugs and strength to you lil sis xo

        • Learner says:

          Oops, maybe Grizelda said pushing a few grannies aside as opposed to knocking them over. We don’t want anyone else hurt over this! Sorry.

      • grace says:

        Lilly
        Emails about his family and your feelings are outside a working relationship.
        As others have said in itself it,s not a big deal but seems that you have frequent, even if it,s slight communication with him, and it does hold you back and is hurting you.
        He simply has you on a longer leash and you need to cut yourself free.
        It was only when I stopped all the emailing, texting, and defriended them from FB that I was able to make big strides. Until then, it was like you say, torture.

      • runnergirl says:

        Lilly, stay strong and stay focused. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son. It’s okay to cry.

    • Rosie says:

      Uh…I meant that I was an EUW not an EUM.

    • Sadder but Wiser says:

      Loved your post, Rosie. Very wise!

  49. Learner says:

    Natalie
    Christmas Day is just coming to a close in my time zone. I wish I had read your Christmas message earlier as it had some great advice that goes along with having some self-compassion. As far as missing the exMM, well yes, I did, but not a lot. It’s the first Christmas in the last 5 that I didn’t hear from him. That should be fine since I have been NC for almost 6 months.
    The problem was that I focused so hard on this being a great Christmas for my daughter that I think I may have put too much pressure on both of us. At a family gathering she said something a little snarky to me, and it really hurt! I told her privately that it hurt my feelings, and tried to deal with it maturely. But I was still so upset that I had to go outside for a long walk to maintain my composure. I know the rest of the family wondered where I was and I felt like a loser causing this tension. It feels like all I am trying too hard now with her, maybe trying to make up for the time that I was EU. I felt like things were going so well, and now this. Can anyone relate?

    • runnergirl says:

      Hey Learner,

      Hopefully it is the morning after in your time zone. I can relate. Fortunately, my daughter was on the other end of the continent while I was going through my drama-rama and since she’s been home I’ve been trying to set boundaries as well. If you were upset, you were upset. That’s all. The end of Natalie’s post can be applied to any situation: “Give yourself a gift this year and stop judging you and start judging the situation…” You aren’t a loser for having feelings and you weren’t the only one taking a walk yesterday. And, good for you for staying NC.

      • Learner says:

        Runner, thanks for your reply. I had a chat with my daughter and she told me her side of things. I guess she had some hurt feelings too, and I am glad she was able to express that (the next day-better late than never). It’s scary to realize just how much of a doormat I really have been all my life. I feel confident at work, but in my personal life I have not been assertive at all! So much to learn even at this stage of life! I continue to be thankful for your support runner – I know we are supposed to “self-validate” but it sure does feel good to receive some validation of experiences from those who can relate. I will reread the last part of Natalie’s post that you mentioned. Thank you, thank you, thank you.xo

  50. Lilia says:

    K, Bob72, Ellyb, Revolution, Selkie, Mymble,

    Thank you for your insights on receiving crumbs and worse from parents. As I read through your stories and advice, I was saying Yes, yes, yes! in my mind, because I recognised every single thing you described.

    Now, while my father is celebrating with his partners´ grandkids in another part of the world instead of with my children I had this Christmassy epiphany in which I realised that he is and has always been a perfect AC with me. It all matches – the FF, blowing hot/cold, crumbs, general unavailability disguised as cool dad-ism, verbal and emotional abuse. Unfortunately, I suddenly also remembered physical abuse, when he beat the crap out of me once when I was 17 and we were supposed to be having tea. He never ever even apologised for that, never acknowledged it was wrong, just told me it was my fault because I had been disrespectful and left me completely bewildered (as ACs tend to do).

    It was a bit sad to realise that the true and worst AC in my life is my father, I don´t think anyone comes close to the damage he´s done to me. But then I thought Why not flush HIM?
    And that made me smile.
    I´m not sure how that would work, as it´s obviously more complex with a parent and you can´t get a new one (btw there´s been some talk of Natalie getting a new father figure, I´m doubting if that´s a good idea, perhaps it´s better to be your own caretaker and emotional support at this point in life, no?). But it does make me happy to imagine that I am able to pull that handle, even on my father and even if it´s only in my imagination.

    K,
    As for the healthy and loving relationship, I did have one in my late teens and it had that feeling of ease that Grace describes. But I always assumed things were like that because we were extremely young and innocent, and that it couldn´t last. In fact, this guy is now a swinger and I´m very happy not to have continued with him.
    I still dream of how he used to be, though. I´m no longer in love with him but I would like to feel like that again with someone.

    • Mymble says:

      Lilia
      Just about what you said re the teenage bf. I also had a very good relationship with a man between the ages of 17 and 21 and it seemed to me for a long time that I had let a great thing go (I ended it).
      However my therapist had a few really interesting things to say about that, and in particular that I was a much less complicated person then. By inference it isn’t possible to “feel like that” but I hope for myself and you that life holds something different and better.
      I put “the relationship” on a pedestal for many years to the extent that at a low point a few years ago I made a half hearted attempt to win him back! AC behaviour! He sensibly but kindly gave me the brush off, thank goodness!
      Having thought about it again, he was a nice guy and it was an good relationship, but it wasn’t stardust, rainbows and unicorns and we had our low moments too. I now no longer miss either him OR the relationship, and feel the lighter for it.

    • K says:

      Lilia,

      I truly do think it’s a blessing when we really realize that their behavior has nothing to do with us. That the basis for the atrocities and abuse were at the core of their character…it will NEVER change. Disordered assclowns are many. They are without empathy and without conscience.

      Putting it simply, healthy people with healthy boundaries do NOT treat their friends, spouses, partners and ESPECIALLY their precious children as our AC disordered fathers did.

      It’s a TOUGH reality, but it’s true. The sooner we accept it, the sooner we can work to grieve it and be FREE of it. What he did, does now, has NOTHING at all to do with you and does not define you

      He’s simply an assclown. And the blessing is that now you know the difference, so you can work on your own life and build a better you. :)

  51. Teddie says:

    Lilly, you could have just said outright: “no, thanks, I’m busy”, no need to give reasons or to plead with him not to torture you. Really, he is a sadist, and enjoys every minute of this, believe me!

  52. lo j says:

    Lilly… you can knock over my granny.

  53. lo j says:

    Learner … I am still so proud of you!!! About the daughter thing, how old is she? And yes. Absolutely. I spent some time trying to “make up” for the past w the kids, especially my 20 year old. But stay in the present … its your reality, its healthy, its the only thing you have any control over. You can apologize for the past, explain you just weren’t “there”, but that you’re “present ” now and doing your best. And when youre in the past, kicking your ass, youre not in the moment with her now. Quit beating yourself up … you did the best you could. Really. I KNOW you did some really awesome stuff too. Remember that, too. FYI … my son, who is a teenager, typical, and pushed the limits because that’s what they do, occasionally threw the past back at me in order to not take responsibility for certain things. At first, I
    Bought into it. Then I saw it for what it was. Very difficult to establish boundaries/recognize boundary crossing manipulation etc with our babies, especially when its a new concept for us. You’ll make mistakes, but its okay. Yes, Learner, I remember this VIVIDLY! Hugs to you!!!

    • Learner says:

      Lo j,
      Thank you so much for this. My daughter is in her late teens. She doesn’t seem to like he fact that I am “working on myself”..she would rather believe that everything is just fine, I think, and doesn’t want anything to need “fixing”. You are so right about the boundaries. I really have had very few, even when it comes to her. I have let her choose what she wants for dinner, what music we listen to, the list goes on. I am finding my voice now and it’s a big awkward adjustment all around! It’s a relief to know I am not the only one experiencing this! Hugs back to you xo

  54. lo j says:

    Jujube and SM. I have an ex who claims to have loss of memory. He can’t remember why we broke up (years ago) and has periods of time in his life he can’t recall at all. He says. Its a good thing I have a memory like an elephant.

  55. Roseanne says:

    Well I am now coming to the end of two utterly miserable days alone. Nobody wanted to be with me over Xmas, not even family. In the many hours I spend alone day after day I mull over again and again what I have done to “deserve” to be alone, yet I can find nothing… genuinely, nothing. I am careful not to hurt people. I am not an embarassment. I don’t get drunk and dance on tables. I have been a good, loyal and generous friend to dozens of people over my life, and yet, here I am in my fifties, with literally nobody to spend xmas with. I try to hold on to Natalie’s words, but how can I refuse to accept people’s judgment of me when it’s the whole world telling me that they don’t want me, don’t want to spend any time with me, or even phone me? You’d have to have an ego the size of a planet to hold on to the belief that you are a worthwhile person while the whole goddamned world is telling you loud and clear that you are not. I have never felt so worthless and frightened in all my life.

    • Doubtful says:

      Roseanne. We all struggle to find our worth inside of us, whether we are surrounded by people or on our own. You could be with 100 acquaintances or with one genuine friend or by yourself. In each case, you are the same person with the same worth. You ARE worthy by the simple fact that you are here on earth and that you are you. At different times in our lives, we are all alone. But still, we are worthy. I am sorry this time is difficult for you. Sending you ((hugs)).

    • Magnolia says:

      Roseanne,

      I am sorry to hear you’ve been so miserable. Can I ask how much effort you put into securing some holiday time with people you care about?

      I’m lucky to have family to visit but because I live a plane ride away, planning to be with them required a reasonable amount of forethought, and deciding that my need to be around people at Christmas was more important than saving $700+.

      I can imagine if I had stayed in the city where I currently live I might have had no one to spend Christmas with, or at least would have had to ask to spend time with very new friends.

      I can also foresee a time when my parents won’t be around and I will have to rely on friends for Xmas get-togethers. I’m thinking about it now, to think about which relationships I want to cultivate that carefully.

      If you “have been a good, loyal and generous friend to dozens of people” and these people are not ones you are close enough to ask to spend some holiday time with, then are you being “loyal and good” to the right people? I hear a bit of feeling as though you deserve a certain kind of relationship because you have been “good”; NML has written about this – you need a balance of both being giving AND being discerning about who you give to.

      I hope you are feeling better today and hope that this site can help support you. Perhaps this year is the year to take stock of your relationship habits and decide to give to YOU, and look ahead to what kind of people you want to spend next Xmas with, and consider strengthening those relationships if you have them, or finding them if they don’t yet exist in your life.

      Being alone is not necessarily the world telling you you’re not worth it, though I know it can feel that way. I often ask myself why someone like me is alone, but I know that I have made many choices that have isolated me. I continue to privilege work over building friendships, and see that as necessary right now, but I do pay a price for that.

      In any case, it’s all up to us to figure out how to feel good about our own lives – I know that the worst of the pain can be the feeling of not having any control over the things we want most in life. Stick with us at BR, and you’ll get a better sense of what you can control (yourself) and what you can’t (others). That in itself will be empowering and allow you to create the relationships you want.

      Do something lovely for yourself and treat yourself with kindness!

    • Laurie says:

      Hey Rosanne,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling so miserable. I think it’s important to know that there are a lot of people who find the holidays incredibly difficult and are estranged from family and even friends. I spent the last three Christmas holidays with friends because I was estranged from my family. You aren’t alone in your “aloneness”.

      I would highly recommend the book “Safe People.” The book lists characteristics of safe vs. unsafe people, how to find safe relationships, and how to avoid isolating yourself. I’ve found it incredibly useful in my own life. There ARE safe people out there and safe relationships to be enjoyed. We don’t have to be alone, but sometimes we need help identifying how we isolate ourselves, and how we invest our energies in relationships that aren’t good for us and will ultimately leave us feeling alone. A disclaimer: the book is a Christian book, but I think it provides useful insights even if you aren’t a Christian.

      It can get better!

  56. trueheart says:

    I can’t believe I have missed this wonderful site till now, & found it only accidentally. All girls should be given a copy of Natalie’s books at school, seriously. It could massively cut down domestic abuse.

    I just wanted to say that beware of men posting comments, when all they want to achieve is that all these women’s attentions turn to them. I’m sure there are some who just bask in that, & getting the chance to wind women up. When that happens, please just IGNORE them, it’s same old same old. Don’t give them the satisfaction or time of day. Your comments here are so valuable & don’t deserve to be thrown off track.

  57. natashya says:

    trueheart, there’s a few men posting here about their experiences with female assclowns and EUWs. i personally value their posts as much as the wonderful women posting here.

    and i agree about nat’s stuff. this really should be taught in schools.

  58. trueheart says:

    Roseanne, I’m so sorry you’ve had a bad few days. I’m also in my fifties & been alone this & previous Xmases, & I’ve had to learn to value myself so that I can put my own interpretation on it, & not let society tell me that being alone this time of year is a measure of my being a ‘loser’.

    In my mystification as to how this has happened to me of all people – a funny, often happy, creative person! – I turned it on its head & experimented with the thought that “This is exactly what I want!” That led to me taking responsibility for this state of affairs, appreciating the benefits to me of not having to put up with the pressures & ghastlinesses of Xmas expectations, strains & bitternesses, as TV dreams of Xmas prove not to materialise.

    I’ve not been excluded, I’ve excluded myself! Yes there are some family sadnesses in my life that have partly been a factor, but getting together with people at Xmas doesn’t solve that. Check out how people look after Xmas when the dream has collapsed: they look much more realistic, no longer patronising to me for being alone, & looking as though they had a worse time than me, (who at least got some cleaning & tidying done!)

  59. Lilly says:

    Learner, Grace, Rosie, loj, Teddie,

    Thank you for your responses. He and his family are staying in accommodation not even 30 minutes from where I live. I may be overreacting because of events of the past year, but I think he is being very cruel. I know he has every right to holiday where he wants, but why choose my state (on the other side of the country)and why so close to my home? He will be here on the first anniversary of my baby’s passing. He didn’t care then and he obviously still doesn’t and I don’t care that he doesn’t anymore. He is here for two weeks and that makes me very uncomfortable. I’m anxious and teary, but it will pass. I’m strong enough not to meet up with him, but it still hurts. Grace, he does still have me on a leash because I can feel it, but as soon as the manuscript is finished I will NC the cruel bas….d. Teddie, no doubt he is enjoying the effect this is having on me and I’m feeling a mixture of pain and anger right now. Learner & loj, I have almost got that ticket in my hand and those grannies better watch out (sorry!) because here I come! Rosie, I have just pinned “Leave.Snake.Alone” on my wall. It is a perfect description. Thank you again ladies, xxxxxx.

  60. Lilly says:

    Learner,

    I agree with Loj and I’m so proud of you too. We started this journey on the same date and you have sprinted so far ahead of me, but I’m trying to catch up! I’ve also had a problem with boundaries with all sorts of people in my life, but not anymore! 2-0-1-3 WILL be AC free, love to you my NC sis, xxx.

  61. MC says:

    Hello ladies
    It’s very nice to read your comments and experiences, I’ve been reading BR for nearly 8 months and it has helped me SOOO much… I was at my breaking point literally… with a thousand questions as to why I have been do unlovable all my life, I just wanted to die honestly. One night after crying my eyes out I was googleling in my Iphone How to move on from hurt, and that is how I found this site, I wish I had done that way before… I found here the answers to those questions… and found here the friends and advise that I so needed and no one gave me.
    I met a “really nice” guy almost six years ago, he was the most charming guy ever, he gave me attention and was pretty much always there for me, I thought I had finally found a good guy since all my life I had only been with jerks. (im 30 btw). Just so happens that this Mr. nice had just come from a broken marriage few weeks after I met him, I was 25 at the time… young, beautiful so needed of love.I knew from where he has come from and thought I was the woman he needed: BIG MISTAKE!!! As the time passed by we became “close” or that is at least what I thought… I now see how wrong I’ve been all this time, I put all the excuses for him and all goes to HE IS UNAVAILABLE!! he hasn’s let go of his previous relationship, he sill in touch with her everyday… he says they are friends, but she call him baby. Now that I see the mess that I am and I getting to know and understand what is going on without feeling that is me doing something wrong it’s so hard to cut contact since we have a 23 month old baby. I feel so depressed that is affecting my health…
    Thank you all… and happy Holidays

  62. Amina says:

    This site has been so amazing for me. I cant remember what I googled to come across it, but it was something to do with the guy I was seeing.

    He stopped contacting me about March of 2012. We had been communicating for 3 years now. It had been plenty of hot and cold. Its a long story, but I was definitely the OW. At least I later became that, in one of his disappearing acts he got a girlfriend on me. But I fell for the lets be friends, and later the you are my best friend. Which all led to the trap of being the other girl, hoping he will leave if I act great enough and lots of hot and cold, excuses, and crap about if the timing were different.

    Only for him to pop up on facebook with a new girlfriend a few weeks ago, while completely ignoring. I was so used to the hot and cold, I just knew he would come back again.

    Its amazing how so many stories are similar. At times, I think I am trying to pathologize him as EU to feel better, but it looks as if these behaviors are the real deal. And he still wouldnt give me an explanation. Just blocked me when I said I wanted to slap him in his face for the bitchmade behavior.

    Anyway, the struggle now is that I dont want him, dont think I loved him, but cant shake the rejection feeling.

    I am hoping down the line he does the same to this new girlfriend, even though that is cruel.

    However, this blog has been amazing, and just when I was feeling low about rejection, I read that he isnt rejecting me, because the me he knew, is the me I pretended to be, to fit into his life.

    I am not a girl who disregards the feelings of other women and lowers herself for a man, but that is what I made myself for him.

    I am not a victim, and what goes around definitely came back around for me. But its still hard to shake the feeling.

    And I still pray a bus hits him!

    Thanks for the site and the wonderful insights ladies.

  63. wren says:

    I think this post sums up my biggest problem. I totally get what you’re saying because with something I am not insecure about, like my singing for example, I genuinely don’t mind or care if someone doesn’t like it. I’ve had enough really positive feedback over the years and I know I’m good. Plus, I like the way I sing. It’s my style. If someone doesn’t like it, then I am able to think without any difficulty that they just don’t happen to like my style, but that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with it. This post has reminded me of that and it points out why I’m getting so worked up over my latest ‘rejection’.

    I’ve been reading all the while but not commenting. I managed to do about six months NC (almost to the day, now that I think about it!) until I saw my epiphany ex EUM at a friend’s Christmas party back in the country I used to live with him. It was actually nice to see him and he seems to have ‘changed’ at least a bit although I’m not holding my breath. I saw him again and then he told me about his new girlfriend, I have to say I did find it hard but I got over it pretty quickly. I mean, what’s changed? I still don’t want to be with him, he’s still no good for me, and I don’t need to feel bad about myself for the fact that he’s moved on with someone else.

    However, I have developed feelings for a friend who also lives in this country. Basically I somehow managed to fall in love with him while I was away and this was massively reignited by seeing him. I told him I had feelings for him but that I didn’t want to do anything about it because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. He said, that’s okay because I’m asexual now (?) However we hung out and I stayed at his house, we cuddled but nothing more. (Even though I would have loved it…) Thing about him is he is so ambiguous. Sometimes he’s being very flirty, and warm to me and I think that he has feelings for me. Other times he doesn’t respond to my messages, at all, or for days. Then I feel like I’m annoying him and he’s finding me smothering or something. Not being able to see inside his head I’m making this all about me and how over the top and annoying I am. I’ve felt a real sense of rejection since coming back from holiday although there shouldn’t really be any reason for that. When I left all my friends made a massive outpouring of love for me, including him, making me feel loved and valued. However I sent him a whatsapp asking for his email address some time ago (so I could send him some new music I’ve made) and he hasn’t responded. I swear the feature that whatsapp and facebook have now where you can see that the person has read your message is increasing my sense of rejection. When I see that someone has read my message but is just not replying it makes me feel like what I said was tiresome or just the fact that I’m contacting them is tiresome in itself. I have a hard time putting myself in other people’s shoes although I know I should. Thing is that I love getting contact from friends so I can’t imagine that some people find it bothersome and can’t be bothered replying. The only nasty thought that comes in there is the people I can’t be bothered replying to are the people I don’t like very much. So anyway, sorry for this jumbled rant. I don’t have any clear proof of anything but I just feel this vague and gloomy sense of rejection regarding this friend. I know it could be about what’s going on with him at the moment (he’s been partying a lot and I think it’s had a toll on him) and even if in the worst case scenario he doesn’t like me, he finds me tiresome, and he’s secretly thinking to himself “geez, get the message and leave me alone!” then it doesn’t mean that I am not a loveable and attractive person. It just means that for whatever reason he doesn’t feel like that about me. The biggest problem is I am applying my own self rejection to the gaps where I don’t understand what’s going on. I need to get on my own side I guess. Okay that’s the end of my aimless ramblings.

    • grace says:

      Wren
      It seems you fell in love with someone you weren’t actually seeing in person? I know it happens but not as much as we seem to think and in this case your fantasy has run away with you. He can,t reject you, you haven,t even been dating.you are also very ambiguous, you told him you didn,t want a relationship and are upset that you,re not in a relationship.
      Until you can go out there with some certainty and next to no fantasy, I would say that it,s too early to date. Not that you are even dating.
      And don,t try to have a relationship, courtship or whatever via Facebook.
      If you genuinely want to pursue this in real life, call him, meet up and tell him that after some thought you would in fact like to get to know him better and does he want to go out for dinner, on a proper date?
      And don,t have sex.

      • wren says:

        Thanks Grace. Yes it is all very ambiguous, including my own behaviour. I have always had a soft spot for him and I guess once I was single again it all came out. I had seen him some months ago and that’s when it started but somehow it grew in absentia. I know pretty well that he is not a viable relationship candidate. When we talked about what happened in last relationships he said ‘I didn’t do anything wrong.’ Hahahaha – someone who says this has no clue and has done zero looking inside. Plus we live in different countries. Plus he’s already a bit hot and cold and we’re not even dating. It’s funny, because I can see my mind working – old mind, and new mind fighting it out. Old mind says, yeah maybe he won’t be long-term partner material but, but, but, his eyes! His deep and mysteriousness, his off the chart handsomeness! I just need to spend some time with him and see what happens. New mind says, look what happened last time you ignored the red flags and ‘saw what happened’. 2.5 years and a broken heart later….

        Must… fight… old mind’s… urges……

        • Wynne says:

          RED FLAG ALERT: If a man tells you he is asexual and you yourself are not, RUN in the opposite direction. Either he is indirectly telling you he is not attracted to you, or he is really asexual. Either way, NOT acceptable for a long-term relationship.

  64. Sassy says:

    Very well written and sooooo true!

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!

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!