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Relationship Problems


kategrl
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Hi everyone, I'm new here...Sorry for the long post, but mental health issues are a stigma at home so I don't have people to turn to. :(

I'm 20, and go to college currently. I have known I've always suffered from high anxiety and perfectionism issues, but have only been going to therapy/working on myself for the last month. I dated this guy for 2 years who's depression has recently come back. We were very different from each other, and often had communication issues, especially with boundaries (both our first serious relationship). We always seemed to work through it, however. This semester he had a lot of school work piling up, he's a RA at school so he has odd and long hours, works multiple jobs, etc. I started to feel him shutting me out (wanting to hang out less, talking less), but didn't want to talk about it. Then, he suddenly broke things off with me. Two weeks prior he was crying about me, saying how he never wanted to lose me, and loved me forever, only to change. When he broke up with me (which was long winded), he yelled, said tough things to me (I was manipulative, hurtful, a problem, snobbish, racist, and more), then cried, then said he was "being unfair" to me, then got aggressive/angry and stormed out. I waited a month to contact him, and things were going great with light contact for a couple weeks, until he suddenly got cold/angry again (I'm not certain what I did) and refuses any form of contact with me. He doesn't do things he used to like to do anymore (theatre, lectures, events), does not go to any of our friends' parties, and has shut everyone else out except a couple family members and 2 friends (neither of which he sees much.) I don't know when this started to happen, but some of his recent blog posts have shown that his depression came back. He has a history of self-harm, but unless he shows to be suicidal or homicidal my college can't get involved. I know I'm being selfish for wanting him in my life, but I'm also very concerned for his happiness and well being.

Do you guys have any insight or help for me, and some suggestions on how I can reach out or repair things? Anything would be appreciated, really. I just feel lost and alone.

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Welcome to the community, kategrl.

When we're very young we learn how to get our needs met through the attachment style we develop in our first relationships with our caregivers. Those patterns of relating and coping tend to also be present in our adult relationships. Some people may desire a lot of closeness and attention while others may need more space. It's possible your friend is isolating due to a bout of depression, but it's also possible that he needs space right now in order to cope.

I understand you want to reach out and connect, especially if you are concerned for his well-being, but possibly this space is what he needs right now? If he knows you are available to support him he may decide to reach out to you... or he may not...

How can you take care of yourself through this? Are you able to comfort and support yourself? I'm sorry this is hard. :( We are here to listen, if expressing yourself helps.

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I'm having a really hard time. I'm working on mindfulness, meditation, positive activities, talking to my therapist, and working out, but at random points in the day at random times I'll break into tears. We used to hang out nearly every day, and were in constant communication. He always told me how much he loved me, and I'm so frustrated for things to have changed so suddenly. As pathetic as it sounds, I just feel like less of a person.

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I'm sorry you're hurting. :( It's always okay to cry. It's a loss and you're grieving. I hear you that it's frustrating things changed. Sounds as though you are taking positive steps to take care of yourself. Can you be very gentle with yourself too? I struggle with separation and loss too, kate. It helps me to try connecting with my own light. That's something that stays with us, always. Our own light and love... Another thing I try to practice is imagining a place in my mind where I can take care of my hurting parts. What comforts you? Can you offer that to yourself?

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