Originally posted by Angelina:
my first real boyfriend, just didnt know how to just walk away from not only a man i love, but my best friend. he is so not just about abuse, actually, its all the cool and fun dates and stuff i remember about him, not all our bad times, but it seems that all he remembers is our bad times of intimate uncomfortable moments he states, he never once said that he cherished all the cool hikes and visits and meals and talks not regarding abuse we had, that is what hurts,
Man, i will never meet such a cool man.
This sounds like my first breakup experience.. maybe if I share my experience you will see that you are not alone???
Anyhow.. I first had my first real breakup when I was 22 (June 27, 1992 to be exact!! I still remember the day!!) I too dated my first bf for 4 years (age 18-22, he was 19-23 when we dated) we dated all through university and broke up a month before my graduation. He ended it by telephone - we were apart because he was still living in the town where i went to University and he had a job, but I didnt.. and I ran out of money and had to move home with my parents (the fact that he didnt want me to live with him SHOULD have been a big clue of what was to come eh??) I too was devastated - all that time together and he was not even going to be there for my graduation!!
I thought that we'd be together forever, that he was THE ONE and my life was SET. I had never loved anyone like that before, I had never slept with anyone else, he was THE ONE. And it ended very similarly - he wasn't a SA survivor but he grew up with alcoholic parents (his dad eventually died in an alcohol related drowning about 6 years after we broke up) and when we broke up he DID really turn on me and started to view me as a crazy woman too!!
I had a hard time letting go and am not overly proud of the way it ended... I tried to keep contacting him, I tried to beg him to come back, I even stole my mom's car and tried to drive to the town where he was living (5 hour drive) to beg him to come back any way I could.. I got caught by my parents when I called home 2 hours into the drive who threatened to call the cops and pull me off the road if I didnt come home.. so dont worry about feeling like you went "overboard".. I'm the queen of acting pretty insane when I"m hurting!! Its normal to feel so much pain..
I try not to beat myself up for the nutty way I've acted during breakups (gee I wonder why he thought i was a crazy woman hmm??
) But as I look back on that it was a pretty big indicator of how insecure I was, how I really needed to work on MYSELF and learn to conduct my life and my actions with dignity and SELF respect.. and I really have worked on that since that time. It was also a symptom of the painful home that I had to go back to live in when we broke up - that BF was really a "shield" against the insane abusive home life that I was enduring for so long, and here I was a university graduate, no boyfriend, no life, no job having to go back home to my parents again. I looked at my ex as my "escape route" and when he left, I had to go back to that hellish existence again. It was so awful!!
So I not only had to deal with the loss of the boyfriend, but to dive into some serious adult-children-of-alcoholics issues, some psychological/verbal abuse-survivors issues, to START build up my non-existent self esteem, I really started the long road to recovery that I still find myself on, 12 years later.
For me the hardest thing I found with my breakup, besides being back into my whole family abuse scenario thing again, was the whole "shift" from being "on the inside" to being "an outsider".. I was invited to his family parties, part of his "family and friends" and then all of a sudden I lost that part of my life.. and because I shunned all that was mine (family, friends, etc. because they were all so unhealthy) I had to rebuild a new life for me totally from scratch.
Another hard part of the breakup was when he told me that he wasn't happy for "three years" (we dated for four years) but dammit he never TOLD me what was wrong.. I just sat there thinking that there WAS something wrong and he kept denying it.. and then I started to believe there was something wrong with ME because I was so confused.. getting some pretty bad treatment, much less than I deserved, which eventually drove me into accepting it (my home life experiences also helped me accept shoddy treatment) and believed that I didnt deserve any better. I wound up SEVERELY depressed which was the main reason for him leaving - that I was too "depressed" (duuh! no kidding!).
Ultimately, we never got back together. He moved to another town, did a Master's degree. I got a job in another town and started working. I saw him a few times here and there but he never even tried to make contact with me, never gave me any resolution, he pretty much avoided me like I had done something TO him!! I totally know what it feels like when all you did was try to care and he treats you like you are some kind of disease. Its bizarre. HE"s the one who dumped me so why is he acting as if I hurt him??? And the few times I contacted him all he kept saying was "we have to move on with our lives"... and all I could think of was the good times, how much I'd miss him, etc. etc!!
When it all ended I too thought I was gonna die. I fell into a deep depression too and I also was treated by a psychiatrist (AND an outpatient nurse) and was given antidepressants, etc. What was hardest for me was that I had NO life of my own to go to - I was just finished university, looking for work (and in 1992 there was scarce work for any recent graduate, there was such an economic recession on coupled with massive shifts in government - was hard to find a job ANYWHERE even with a honours university science degree).
So - in the process of getting counselling they also set me up with a job counsellor.. as a way to help me pick up the pieces of my life and get out of my hellish home. I was put on a "placement" work program for a not for profit agency and eventually worked that into a full time career for 7 years. Now I have a big time policy career that I probably wouldnt have had if I'd stayed with my ex... I make enough $$ to have a car and a house, I'm engaged to a great, wonderful man who's waaay better looking and waaay nicer and waaay more fun and creative than the first ex and am I am forever grateful with the way things eventually turned out. It has been hard, but the results so far are ok. Doesnt mean I still dont have "issues" but I'm a lot more self reliant than I ever have been.
However, the meantime between that breakup and now was not a cakewalk.. but I learned so much about myself through both the pain and the personal triumphs and was able to gain so much experence and confidence about myself (I moved around a few times, dated several others, got a graduate degree, learned a second language, travelled to Mexico and Ireland) that I doubt I would have had if I'd stayed with my first bf. My life would probably never have gotten off the ground if we'd stayed together!!!
RE: your medication - be VERY careful with any medicaiton you are given - if its a tranquilizer medication it CAN be addicting (HORRIBLE withdrawal) and it can start to mess up your moods long after the pain of the breakup would normally start to subside. My dad was given tranquilizer medication to address his anxiety when he eventually quit drinking. However, he was on this stuff for 10 years. The health effects of taking this stuff for too long, and then the horrendous withdrawal symptoms literally just about killed him. You should NOT take tranquilizer medication for any longer than 2 weeks. Please make sure you are SURE what you are taking and if it is tranquilizer medication, that you dont get hooked. Antidepressants are another story - you can stay on them for months or years, but they also have their side effects and must be managed properly. Do NOT mix them with alcohol, and if you dont feel you are doing any better then please talk to your doctor. There are all kinds of horror stories about young people taking antidepressants and getting more depressed, rather than less. Pleas also ensure that you are taking the anti-D's in COMBINATION with therapy and not as a substitute.
Back to the breakup - although things are much better now, I did take awhile to get over him... .. but that was now SO long ago that I can attest that you WILL get over it if it does end permanently. I even saw my first ex at a friend's wedding a few years back with his wife and newborn baby son and I can tell you that I had a moment of shock/terror, but after that subsided I was never so glad to be with the current guy I'm with.. SA issues and all!
If your bf (ex) doesn't come back I GUARANTEE you WILL meet someone new.. somone you might even have more in common with, who knows. Probably you'll be a bit wiser on the potential pitfalls of being in a relationship with someone who has not resolved some major personal issues (I thought LONG and hard about getting into a relationship with my current guy knowing about his SA and past alcoholism issues and believe you-me I didnt rush into ANYTHING).
I know right now you remember the good times but after awhile you will get some perspective from the situation (time and space does that to one's brain) and maybe you'll be able to see some of the not so good things - the way he talked to you in a hurtful way, his inability to form a relationship with you (a major barrier to a relationship obviously! Thats one of the absolute mandatory requirements to make something work!) and maybe you will see that this relationship at this particular time in his healing would have been difficult.
All of us partners on here can totally attest to the fact that relationships with survivors ARE difficult even when the partner is far along in their healing journey and committed to us and committed to staying together, let alone when he is so early in his healing process.
Also I dont know how old you are but one thing I know about guys.. many of them, SA or not, aren't really in the mindset or the maturity level to want to stick to a long term, committed relationship until they are in their late 20's or early 30's. Its tough because I think we women are on a "mission" ... the "oh my gawd I'm almost 30 and I'm not married and I dont have kids.. whats wrong with me" stuff.. we hit our "midlife crisis" early, and guys really sense that and its disturbing for them.
I was in that mode for years.. until 30 came and went and here I was still single!! Then it was "oh well I'm still young and fertile and what was the big fat deal anyhow??" At 34 I'm still single (but am "attached" and am getting married in 6 weeks!!) and have had miserable luck with a few guys (have had a few breakups of which we are speaking). I just found, that most guys I met in my 20's were interested in a good time rather than a girlfriend. And those few that were interested in a long term committed, girlfriend relationship just didnt have the maturity level to match with me. It was tough. I also had some major issues of my own to work through related to my own abuse history.. which made dating hard to begin with, and I chose some pretty unsavory characters to be involved with for awhile. And I got my heart broken AGAIN a few times in the process. But looking back I really needed that time to get my own head around being the best person I could be to be in the relationship that I am in now with all its challenges.
Relationships are NOT easy.. you have to give so much.. not only to yourself but to another person, and it takes so much energy. It can be hard at the best of times let alone when you are handling major life-shattering issues such as dealing with the aftermath of sexual trauma.
So, remember, timing is EVERYTHING.. also in relationships one can waste a lot of energy trying to control a relationship.. and they are just NOT controllable. I learned the hard way through a few long term relationships to take as much of a "hands off" approach as possible.. to take care of ME and allow the guy to come to ME instead of me always trying to chase him.. I dont think many guys like to be chased, I really think they still get all happy with the "thrill of the chase" even when they are all (or almost) old married guys!! Its much less stress on us to always feel we have to make the "relationship work" .. it takes up too much damn energy!! And in some ways we can setup our guys for underfunctioning in the relationship and start to feel all burned out and tired if we constantly feel we have to do so much to "keep it together". The best relationships are those where both partners are contributing, both partners are obviously committed, and isnt that what you really want? For the guy to come around? To KNOW that he really wants to be with you without you feeling like you had to egg an "I love you" out of him??? I know that I feel a lot more confident and secure in my current relationsnhip.. I have many times taken a "hands off' approach and waited to see if he'd come back.. and he always does.. even with the fights, even with the SA distancing/intimacy issues.. he's always there.
Good to see you are going to counselling.. I am sure that you will start to fill your time and space with things that are of interest to you, that make you happy OTHER than a relationship. Even in a relationship its important to have a slice of your time that is truly YOUR OWN. It is hard though... I too dont feel quite right when I'm totally unattached.. but around age 30 I did learn to finally embrace it. And it was when, for the first time, I finally was having fun being totally free and unattached was when I met my current bf/fiance!
And the rest, they say, is history!