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What if you absolutely can't move on?


Yuki
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Hi everyone.

I had a very short relationship and was broken up with quite suddenly more than a year ago. To this day I just can't deal with it. I've done everything in the book - no contact, made new friends, found new hobbies etc. - but many days I still cry a lot. I just drove home practically wailing, I miss him so much.

I talked to many people about this and nobody has any advice left for me, as the usual stuff is just not working. I also spoke to two different doctors but they both said it "can be normal for up to two years". I really have my doubts about this because it was so short, perhaps not even a proper relationship, and I'm still craving him so much it's affecting my daily routine.

Some people suggested contacting him as the no contact route doesn't seem to be working very well for me. Also, the breakup was so sudden (we literally went from walking hand in hand through Paris to never speaking again) that it perhaps made it even more traumatic. I considered this but the idea of contacting him gave me both stomach cramps and a headache - probably because I know he could potentially hurt me even more.

I don't think I'm depressed because I don't have any self esteem issues and I do feel a little better every now and then (from what I've heard depression is pretty much constant) but it still lingers no matter what I do. I would really appreciate any advice you could give me. Thanks a lot in advance. :)

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Hello, and welcome to the community, Yuki. :)

I just drove home practically wailing, I miss him so much.

I'm sorry for your pain and sadness. :( Loss can be very difficult for me too. Are you able to identify what it is that you are missing? What needs did he fill for you?

I really have my doubts about this because it was so short, perhaps not even a proper relationship, and I'm still craving him so much it's affecting my daily routine.

When you say craving, it sounds like a strong need. If you are able to come to understand what the need is, there may be other ways to have those needs met. Perhaps through other friendships or new romantic relationships or something you can come to understand and connect with in yourself. Maybe, too, the need may have a deeper meaning aside from the want itself. Did you explore this in therapy at all?

Also, the breakup was so sudden (we literally went from walking hand in hand through Paris to never speaking again) that it perhaps made it even more traumatic.

That can be very challenging to deal with, especially if there are unanswered questions and expressions left unsaid. It always helps me to fully express my feelings and to ask any questions I might have by journaling or talking with a friend. Grief can bring up so many different emotions. Old pains may be mixed in with the new as well.

I hope you will be gentle with yourself and continue to reach out for support. i'm sorry this hurts so much. Take care.

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Hi IrmaJean, thank you for your reply. You sound like a nice person.

Therapy is very expensive around here so I haven't tried it. I did try an online therapist once but I didn't feel she helped me at all. She kept asking questions and more questions but never giving any advice or explanation. It wasn't cheap either and pretty much wasted money.

I can't exactly pinpoint one particular thing that I am missing so much. It's a combination of lots of different things. Interests we shared which nobody else I know (outside of online friends) ever cared about, actually being attracted to him (it's very very rare for me to like a guy), things like that.

You referred to a potential new romantic relationship to fill those needs. Assuming I would find someone else I'd even want to be with, I feel genuine fear of letting myself be that vulnerable again. I've spent one too many nights crying on the living room floor. It's been so long and it still happens sometimes. And next to that I just don't want to. I cling to weird things like, if I can never kiss him again, at least I can make sure he will always be "the last person I kissed"... I don't want to let anyone else take that place. I know it sounds a bit messed up.

I've talked about it with numerous people already and it hasn't helped me very much. I suppose I could give journaling a try but I'm not sure how to go about it and what to write. I also think it will only trigger even more tears. How should I get started?

Also, what is your opinion on contacting him? Could it fix whatever seems to have gone wrong in my healing process, tie up loose ends if you will? I've been considering this for so long now as it's probably the only thing I haven't tried, but it makes me very nervous. Short term it probably wouldn't do me any good, but since I can't seem to handle it this way, perhaps..

Thanks a lot again!

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I did try an online therapist once but I didn't feel she helped me at all. She kept asking questions and more questions but never giving any advice or explanation.

There are different therapy orientations and some discourage offering clients advice. If you are able to find affordable therapy, you can try different therapists until you find one who is a good match for you.

Everyone grieves differently. It helps me to express my pain, feeling it as I do, so I can eventually let it go. So writing, talking, journaling are all helpful activities for me after a loss. Maybe something else works better for you. What do you feel would help you through this? What helps now?

You referred to a potential new romantic relationship to fill those needs. Assuming I would find someone else I'd even want to be with, I feel genuine fear of letting myself be that vulnerable again.

I can understand your fear of leaving yourself open to being hurt again. Taking risks, even safe risks, can be frightening, but there is also the potential for great joy when we take them. It is not the time for this while you are still in so much pain over the loss of your previous relationship, though. It would probably be best to work through this first, I would think, before you consider dating again.

Also, what is your opinion on contacting him? Could it fix whatever seems to have gone wrong in my healing process, tie up loose ends if you will?

I don't think I can answer that for you. You know yourself, him and the relationship you shared. What do you feel would be best? I have often seen it suggested to write the person a letter without sending it, just to release the feelings and have the chance to express oneself. What do you think?

Take care.

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I have a tendency, from personal experience mostly, to question every (!) sentence I tell myself that contains an absolute.

So, what if you can move on, just not absolutely, and maybe not yet?

In a way, you're in a contradiction: you don't want to get back with this guy because he might hurt you again, and you don't want to try with someone else because they might hurt you just as badly. To me, that sounds like the critical thing here is the hurt, not the guy, and that you might conceivably be obsessing about the hurt instead of trying to heal. That would be supported by the idea of trying to keep the old relationship, and its hurt, alive by not kissing someone else.

There's another point that you didn't mention: what your prior relationship experience might have been. Not to mention how your parents related, which is where we learn a lot of our "skills", even if it's by counter-example.

And, I'm not really asking for information, like your online therapist did; I don't much believe in online therapy. You're the one who's exploring this. All we can do is support you in your quest.

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Hi IrmaJean,

I don't think therapy is an option for me. As I said, not only is it expensive, but I am trying to hide my condition from my parents because they would become OVERLY worried and as such make it worse.

I can distract myself a little through hobbies, I would say that works best. But it's not a cure, it just temporarily hides the symptoms.

The underlying reason I want to contact him is pretty much this. Do you know that feeling people have just after a breakup? Like maybe the first 1-2 weeks, when they are absolutely craving to talk to that person? I still have it. I still feel it every day. I've always been fighting it out of fear that it would get worse, but it's starting to be such a raw hurt. It's something I've been living with for so long now. I guess I finally want to give in and give myself that relief I've been desiring for so long. But it probably also proves that I haven't moved on at all. I just want to walk up to him, give him a big hug and not let go for hours.

Hello malign,

It's interesting to hear your analysation of my situation. This is actually what I wanted out of a therapist: their view of the situation and why I am behaving the way I am. If they're only going to ask questions, I can do that myself. :)

As you might have guessed I don't have much experience in relationships. As I said before it's extremely rare for me to be interested in someone, mostly I just don't care. I was in love only once before and that was with a guy I never actually met but knew through the internet. I know it doesn't sound "real" and in a way it probably wasn't, but I do remember my feelings for him were as strong as they are for this guy now. We talked all the time, sent each other gifts, did some webcam stuff etc. For some reason I got over that nicely. I still talk to him sometimes and never feel awkward.

My parents were each other's first loves and have never had to deal with this. They do know about the breakup of course (although they don't know I'm still struggling so much), but they were clueless on how to help me as they'd never been through it themselves.

Thank you for trying to help me. I'm quite desperate so I just checked this forum at my workplace.

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I struggled for years at one time just to move on from a loss of a friendship. I can understand how hard this must be for you. :(

I guess I finally want to give in and give myself that relief I've been desiring for so long.

So your yearning to connect with him right now is where the pain/want is? I have a great deal of trouble with separation myself, so I can definitely relate. For me, I think a lot of it is about how I attach in my relationships. Did you feel secure in the relationship? If you are having difficulty separating from him, reconnecting will likely only offer temporary relief that may worsen again upon separation.

Can you think of what might happen if you do let him go? What will be lost or missing? I guess I also ask a lot of questions...

Another thing that helps me (and it may or may not help you) is to connect with the loving parts of myself that cared for the person. Your love and gifts are always with you.

Take care.

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I'm sorry to hear that, it must have been a very special friendship to you. Can I ask what happened? Did something happen to that person or did s/he choose not to talk to you anymore?

The pain is complicated and probably not limited to just the one thing, but I've always missed him. If I let him go, I also let go of the only person that made my heart beat faster, the only one that actually shared my obscure interests which I always need to experience on my own now, simply the only person that felt like the male version of me. I don't feel I can let go of something so special. I have a long history of being bullied at school, having no friends whatsoever, and although this is far from the case at this point in my life I just can't accept having to let go of someone that meant and means so much to me.

I just typed out a template e-mail which I could potentially send him. It gave me a little peace of mind. I struggle with pretending like the other person doesn't exist and this would be the first step to changing that. But I am also afraid it would be no more than temporary relief. Then again, I sit around crying every day. I hardly get any relief as it is. It's a complicated decision though. I really wish I could give it a shot with the chance of turning back time in case it turns out to be a horrible idea. Sadly life doesn't give us a rewind button...

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Did something happen to that person or did s/he choose not to talk to you anymore?

Neither. It was complicated, but neither of us really wanted to end the friendship. Yes, it was a special friendship to me. I don't have any sisters and she felt like a sister to me. I couldn't really get out of the grief until I went to therapy. I really just needed a safe space to express everything. After a month or two of talking, expressing my feelings both verbally and in writing, I began to feel better. I was very fortunate to find a therapist who was a great match and who accepted my insurance.

If I let him go, I also let go of the only person that made my heart beat faster, the only one that actually shared my obscure interests which I always need to experience on my own now, simply the only person that felt like the male version of me. I don't feel I can let go of something so special. I have a long history of being bullied at school, having no friends whatsoever, and although this is far from the case at this point in my life I just can't accept having to let go of someone that meant and means so much to me.

I hear you. Sharing oneself with another who understands and sees you can be quite wonderful. Don't you think, though, that you deserve having that returned to you? This man has chosen to leave the relationship. I know it hurts and I am so very sorry for your pain, but you can't hang on for both of you....

It's good that you found relief from typing out the email. I don't think you have to pretend he doesn't exist any longer, but perhaps you do need to find a place to let him go. It helps me to connect with my feelings. You can remember him and your love for him as you continue on with your life and feel new joy and new love. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you and who shares your feelings.

I'm sorry you are hurting. Take gentle care and be kind to yourself, if you can.

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