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Gah, it's rotten that you can't escape your ex. I really sympathise - I once spent 6 months thinking I could see my ex everywhere, which was fairly unlikely given that he lived in Helsinki at the time and I was in Cambridge. All I can suggest is try to find safe places in town where you've never been with him and are unlikely to go, and navigate your way between them. And wear sunglasses so that if you do see him, you won't have to make eye contact or let on that you've seen him.

Yay for compassion! On the cooking front, is there anything that he couldn't/wouldn't eat, that you could cook for yourself now to make a break with the past? I went sweetcorn crazy after my last break-up smile.gif

And I don't think it's a 'once in a lifetime' thing. It'll be different each time, and it may not have the intensity of the first time, but I reckon it gets soooooo much better.

(((Mooooving On Busties)))

odyssey, I am sorry that you are so upset. I can imagine it would be hard living in a place that you once shared with someone you love(d). I am moving into my own place this weekend without the ex for the first time in two years and I think that is going to be hard as well. It's a place that is brand new and that he has never been in, but it's still going to be sad. That's how I feel about things too - just sad. I know that I am much, much better off without him but every once and a while I find myself waffling, thinking that maybe he has changed and I should give him another chance but in the end it's just too hard and not worth it. I think it's just the fact that I actually really haven't been without someone for any long amount of time for 13 years and it's different, but I'll manage. I actually saw Mr. Ex last night at our old apartment because he was moving things out while I was packing some of my stuff up and I didn't feel any kind of nervousness or anything like that, which I take to mean that I am over him. Eventually things will go back to that for you, too, odyssey, it just takes some time. I hung out with an ex who is just a friend now a few weeks ago and upon seeing him I still got that shaky feeling, even though we are no longer in love and have been broken up for almost four years. It might not ever go away for good, but there is hope.

I guess I just wanted to check in and see how everyone is doing. Persiflager, thank you for all your suggestions here. I know that they are mostly aimed at odyssey but I think that we can all take them to heart, especially about doing things that he would never do. That's a really good idea - good thing that leaves a lot for me because Mr. Ex never did much of anything with me. And I hope you are right about the "once in a lifetime" thing that odyssey mentioned, because if that were the case, my once in a life came and went years ago. But I'm not giving up forever, just for a little bit. I think some time to heal will be just the trick.

Much e-love to all of you. =)
Well, I made it through J's birthday without contacting her and without any major depression. I guess I'd psyched myself out enough that it wasn't such a big deal. I actually had a good day; I spent the whole day hanging out with my aunts. I think they knew I needed some company. We went for a long walk and then we played golf - my first time ever. I was terrible, but it was fun.

Odyssey, how are you doing? That sounds like a really rotten situation. Wasn't he supposed to be moving away? I'm definitely worried about going back to my place. But I forgot that A is leaving this month for a 6-month trip to South America, so I won't have to worry about her, at least. J was planning on going away for a month, too, but I'm not sure when. I'm just going to cross that bridge when I come to it, I guess. The apartment itself is really, really cheap and in the absolute best location in town - right on the ocean, and a 20 minute walk from town. I'm living in the basement of a family friend, so the rent doesn't reflect the market price for apartments. I absolutely could not find a better deal elsewhere. I've thought about moving in with my mom, but she's nowhere near town and I hate that. I'm not going to commit to anything until I go back. If I get to my apartment and just feel like I can't do it, I won't.

Hey everyone, I've been blitz-lurking from a different world, deserted towns and communist-era hotels with internet dripping so slow it mostly teases me to catch snippets of the conversations you are having. (But there is such a thing as tease-comfort, and I'm glad you all are there : )

(((((epinephrine))))) - thank you. Whew. Good news about the crush, and the birthday! You rock.

(((((odyssey))))) - sorry you saw the ex.

(((everyone healing and *getting over this*, yay)))

So odyssey, to chime in with rogue, it is not a once in a lifetime deal, no no no, especially if you're focusing on the sexual magic. If you have no problem putting yourself out there and taking a new relationship out for a spin, you will sooner or later find someone you have similar chemistry with. Don't want to pipe a funeral march to the concept of a One and Only love, but... loves happen. And funny enough, (although it took me a while to be able to laugh WITH that), the law of *my* sex land is, the more tension and non-compatibility I have in a relationship, the longer the wild sex lasts. I was really not okay with this realization at first, but I am beginning to come to grips with it. It's almost like I have to make a decision every time - am I in the mood for having mad magnetic sex and a rip-my-self-esteem-and-sanity-apart relationship or do I need a period of harmony and barely any sex... And guess what, I hated men for it at first, but now I think it's me, not the boys involved, that makes it have to be a choice like that, me with my fucked up bipolar dad history (about whom I may soon have to post elsewhere to gain another inch of sanity...) Still, I have a feeling in a stronger or weaker form this (war as viagra, harmony as loss of sexual drive) may be the rule for most relationships... I'd love y'all's feedback on that!
(There is, I suspect, one yummy exception but I haven't mastered that flavor of lovin yet - I just hope that some role playing/ BDSM may be able to replicate the intensity without messing with the harmony. Anyone?)
Still, it seems that with time I am learning to tone down the sanity-ripping of the intense ones and spice up the sexlessness of the harmonic ones, so hopefully by the time I am 64 I'll have the secret to a perfect relationship and I'll make sure to post it here, ladies;)
And rogue, I had a very intense unhealthy codependent relationship about 10 years ago where the sex between us was fucking divine (don't know if I am over that one yet either). But I am pretty sure I know how and where to find that exact brand of sick boy to feed my phantom wound with, but I (barely, mostly) choose not to. I'd rather learn new ways of feeling pain and pleasure than go back to picking that scar again...
Sorry guys, this is pretty rambly, but I am presently in the land of ghosts and exes and innocence lost so I am entitled to some nostalgia and a license to not quite make sense.
Be well, everyone. Be what you need to be. Here's to your amazing fucking selves,

I haven't been doing much posting because I've been in the lovely lovely city of Seattle but now I am back at school and feeling the sting of breakup exile. Even though I haven't turned into a hermit yet, I do feel like my identity has changed here. I go to a very small college where everyone knows you, at least by sight. My ex goes to school here as does the guy I'm currently "seeing" (although even "seeing" might be an over-statement).

I fell victim to the oh-so-dangerous moving on/rebound sex and now I find myself confused on two different levels: confused because of the residual feelings for my ex and confused because I don't know how to date. My relationship was a four-year long one! I have no idea how to read this guy (who is younger than I am and communicates mainly by text messaging).

Although I feel like it might be smart to be alone for a while, I cannot stand the thought of making the party circuit without my ex, being put on display like that makes me nervous just thinking about it.

I suppose I can find solace in the hope that I'll be in graduate school in some amazing new city (hopefully NYC or Seattle), with a handful of new people to get to know.

I just don't know how to deal with these overwhelming feelings of loneliness, isolation, confusion and self-doubt...

Any advice to offer me? xx
Thank you for all the reassurance and advice, guys. From the heart. It means a lot to me. I love the sunglasses idea! My sister just gave me an old pair of hers so I'm covered on that. I cannot paint my apartment cause my landlord won't allow it, but I'm enjoying using myself as a canvas, crazy makeup and clothes and all that. That's always been my dramatic style and it cheers me up.

Squirrelgirl, are there any small groups you could join? I guess I don't go to parties except with my close friends, but I can imagine how intimidating that could be. Most of my friends at my college are from a small radical mental health group (it's an offshoot of the Icarus Project, if anyone knows what that is or wants to look it up) and they provide a good support system. You could try an acting group, or outdoors, or whatever it is that you're into.

Sevenseconds - for me it's the other way around. The more harmonious the relationship is the better the sex is. Before my ex started being an asshole is when our sex was amazing. Toward the end, when things were rocky, there was kind of a sexual disconnect - he really only wanted to rip my clothes off when he was drunk. For me a good emotional relationship always goes hand in hand with a good sexual relationship, the good sex feeds off the emotional harmony and vice versa. I can't have one without the other. Not sure why that is . . . it makes random hookups very scarce though. I'm pretty exhausted now so I'll write more later!
Hey Odyssey, glad to hear you're doing ok. The sunglasses are a good trick. I use them to avoid making eye contact with people when I'm on the bus (where I spend a lot of time) and don't feel like being disturbed. I've been wearing them more and more lately, even though I'm hundreds of miles from my ex. I never leave the house without them now. I guess I've found a way to be reclusive even when I'm out in public.

I've actually been doing pretty well for the past few days. It's so hard to guage how well I'm doing with these mood swings. Sometimes I feel like I'm healing and I'm gonna be ok, and then something triggers me - a song, a picture, something on TV, something a friend says, another goddamn email - and suddenly I'm blindsided by this wave of resentment and I just swim in it for days, brooding and raging and feeling like a tweaking, wild-eyed, desperate freak. It's very scary for a control freak like me to have no control over their emotions. I feel like, without that stability, I haven't got anything solid to stand on and progress from, and it's so hard to make progress when I'm constantly falling back into that hole and destroying all the peace I've tried so hard to make with all this anger. It's getting to the point where I've stopped trusting my good days. But I haven't had any mood swings for the past few days - any major ones, anyway - and I'm really grateful for that.

One thing I've noticed, though, during my down moments, is that I'm not sad anymore. Not really, anyway. The sadness has faded. Now I'm just angry. Maybe even angrier than I was before, now that less of my energy is going into the black hole of sadness. My mental landscape is very jagged right now.

I've been agonizing over the question of how to deal with the situation I'm coming home to in less than 2 months. As I've written here before, I'm worried that my decision to cut all contact with J while I'm away will just exacerbate an ugly situation. But I've decided to just make a decision one way or the other and live with it. I can't predict J's reaction, let alone control it. I think I'll give her a heads up before I come back to avoid any awkward surprises, but other than that I don't plan to talk to her till I see her. When I do see J again, I'm just going to be as neutral and matter-of-fact with her as possible. I came here to disengage, to untangle myself from the emotional jungle that we'd got mixed up in, and I'm not getting back into it. If we end up having a conversation, I'm not going to discuss the past with her, and I'm going to politely shut her down if she tries to bring it up. I'm not going to get into a discussion about "us." I'm not going to seek closure, and I'm not going to let her try to squeeze it out of me. And if I catch myself trying to do any of these things, I'll know that I'm not disengaged yet, and I'll walk away and keep working on it. I'm planning on getting counselling a couple of times a month. But at the end of the day we have to live in the same small city and avoiding each other really won't be possible. That's a really unpleasant dynamic that I want to avoid.

I'm hoping to get a tattoo next weekend of the quote in my signature. I've been trying to get it done for weeks, but my days off are Sunday and Monday and apparently this whole city shuts down on those days. It took me a couple weeks to figure out that none of the tattoo shops in the city are open on Mondays, though a few are open on Sundays. I'm getting it on my ribs, under my left arm. It just represents everything I'm going through right now, this whole painful lesson I've learned. I've always had trouble letting go. I had to give up a love which was a huge part of me, and which I should have given up a long time ago. I had to give up my security, my dignity, my hopes, my illusions. Now I'm learning to give up my anger and pride. Eventually I'll give up the pain, too, and all that will be left is an invisible scar and this tattoo to remind me who I am and what it took to become that.

I'm glad - well, not glad, but you know - to hear that I'm not the only one who is wrestling with crazy emotions right about now. Ex and I have been apart since the end of July and I still feel odd. I just moved into my very own place for the first time in my life this past weekend and last night I wasn't feeling so much alone or lonely as I missed Ex for no good reason. I was fighting with myself to not text him to tell him this and I am happy to report that my better conscience won out. I didn't. We talk pretty much every day for certain reasons - we still have one month left on our lease in the place we used to share together and my cell phone is on an account in his name - and to be perfectly honest I am not one to be mean to people even when I should be. But yeah, I guess it's good to hear that I am not alone in all this because I'm not the only girl who is unsure of what to do or feel.

epi, I think it's really cool that you are going to get your signature as a tattoo. It's funny because I was thinking the same thing - about getting a tattoo from all this, not your signature though. I don't have any body art right now or anything and it's not that I am against it, I just think that now is the right time to get something to remind me to be strong through everything. I am thinking about getting the Hebrew character for the number "one" tattooed somewhere on by back, just because it reminds me that it is okay to be just one with yourself. I'm not Jewish but I've studied Judaism and my degree from uni focused a lot on military history in the 20th century and I did a lot of research concerning the Holocaust. It just means something to me. I don't know. It would be kind of like my phoenix rising from the ashes, I guess. I'm glad to hear that you have been feeling a little better and that you have come up with a plan to talk to J. It's really hard sometimes to see an ex. I think I am mostly over Ex, but that's because he honest-to-goodness killed out relationship dead. I miss his companionship at times, but not the relationship at all. It was just too horrible.

squirrelgirl, this is just how I feel so obviously I don't expect you to want to follow my advice or anything but I think being alone for a while - at least for myself - is a really good idea. I have honestly been dating since I was 13 - all serious, long-term relationships - and I'm 25 now. I'm going to work on being alone for a bit because I honeslty feel that I need some time to heal and find who I am again; to stop being defined by the men I date. I understand how you feel though, it's hard to be in certain social situations without the person you usually attended with. I think odyssey's suggestion about joining some groups is a really good one and I wish I could take advantage of that as well, but it's hard when I'm not in school anymore.

Well this was longwinded so I guess I'll get going for the day. I'm happy to see that things are improving for us on this thread, even if only a little bit. =)
I'm in the same boat, Epinephrine, as far as the mood swings. Sometimes I feel happy and fine and glad to be alone, and other times (like right now) I just have this dull ache. I wish I could be on the same page as him and just forget our relationship existed, but I unfortunately do still love him. Well . . . I don't think I have anything coherent or intelligent to add, so I'm going to go for now.
I really don't understand my ex. Actually, I don't think I ever understood him. Maybe I thought I did but it feels like he's constantly trying to readjust who he is just enough to make me wonder. Although we're getting along well together and hanging out a little every now and then, I still feel these residual feelings. It also doesn't help that the guy I rebounded with and actually started to like isn't really speaking to me. I feel so lonely, even though I have a good circle of friends to spend time with. Tonight is the first party of the fall and my friends are all going so I probably will too. I'm dreading it, honestly. What if I see him with some girl? Either one of them! I have no idea how I would feel. My self-esteem is already dwindling...
sg! go to the party and ENJOY. Be your awesome self. talk to new people and your friends about ANYTHING. getting out, spending time with other people (at least for me) is really the best thing to take my mind off of former relationships.
periodically, i run into my long-term x on dates. i just smile, wave and keep on walking past without slowing down. smile.gif
Wow, that's a really hard call, SG. I think that you should do what makes you feel the most comfortable. How long has it been since you've been broken up with your ex? I know it can be really hard. I personally am avoiding Ex at all costs because whenever I see him I just get really angry. There's no romantic love there for him anymore, only the friendly kind, but I am still really angry for what he did to us for the past two years.

Like I said, I think you should just go with your gut. As the saying goes, there will always be other parties, right? If you miss this one there will be another one to go to and maybe it will be even better if you aren't worried about running into him - or the other guy as well. When you still have feelings for someone - residual or otherwise - it's still hard to see them with someone else. I personally would avoid that situation altogether.

Good luck with whatever you choose! (((SG)))
{Rogue and Mumble} I did end up going to the party last night and ended up meeting and incredibly sweet guy who I'm kind of interested in. I made the rounds, hung out with alums who had reappeared for the first weekend of parties and eventually made it over to the party where the rebound guy was supposed to be. He was and he obviously saw me, I didn't do a big tacky wave or anything but there was eye contact. He continued talking to a few freshman girls and his ex and didn't make an effort to talk to me. With the intention of going over to tell him to piss off (which I wouldn't normally do but I was sort of intoxicated), I approached him and he made some excuse that he was going to say hey but couldn't find the right moment, etc. I wondered, "How hard is it to break away from one lame conversation and say hello to the girl who had sex with you?" so I left. And I hope I don't see him anytime soon.

I didn't end up seeing my ex last night but I did just see him this afternoon, looking incredibly attractive. Two of his friends complimented me on my dress and told me I looked nice and he said nothing, as per usual. I am so conflicted. I'm still incredibly attracted to him but all of the things I hated about him when we were together surface when we hang out. It's when we're apart that I start to feel wistful.

To be honest, what I miss most is the way he kissed me. I've never experienced a sweeter, softer, more sensual kiss than I did with him. Sometimes I think I would give up a lot of things just to feel that kiss again.
Well, if it's the kissing you miss, Squirrelgirl, you could always try kissing girls! I hear they're pretty good at it...
Hey guys, it sounds like everyone is doing fairly decent so that's good. I have a crush on someone. I don't think it's going anywhere, but still, cool. I went away for a day to go to a black metal concert with a friend, and then I visited my best friend and his girlfriend. It was great. Now I'm back in my apartment, starting to feel a bit crappy, cause I went to put on some pj pants and found my ex's pants & underwear & lingerie he gave me. Ugh. I'm going to go post about my crush now to cheer up. Whenever I'm out of the city, or hanging out with people I like, I feel so so much better about the breakup.
QUOTE(epinephrine @ Sep 12 2009, 08:03 PM) *
Well, if it's the kissing you miss, Squirrelgirl, you could always try kissing girls! I hear they're pretty good at it...

Epi - I have indeed ventured into the world of girl-kissing quite a few times but all experiences ended with less than satisfactory results. I do love women, their bodies, etc. But I think it's more for aesthetics, not for actual attraction. But what the hell do I know, right?
Hey Squirrelgirl, just to clarify, that comment wasn't meant in any kind of serious way, I was just trying to be funny and lighten the mood. I know humour doesn't always come through on the screen, and I hope I didn't come off as insensitive. I'm really sorry if I did!

Glad to hear about the party, though. That feeling that you have to avoid the things you used to do is the worst. It really makes you feel like your life as you know it is over. For the last couple of weeks I was in my hometown I started taking a different route home so I wouldn't run into J and A, and every time I went to the neighborhood grocery store I'd know there was a good chance I'd see her there. And I'll probably be avoiding the gay bar and certain restaurants for months after I go back. It feels really awful, like you've been kicked out of your own life. Don't let this breakup do that to you. You made the right decision going to the party - the best way to avoid that feeling is just to keep your head up and do what you wanna do.
QUOTE(epinephrine @ Sep 13 2009, 11:25 AM) *
Hey Squirrelgirl, just to clarify, that comment wasn't meant in any kind of serious way, I was just trying to be funny and lighten the mood. I know humour doesn't always come through on the screen, and I hope I didn't come off as insensitive. I'm really sorry if I did!

Epi - You definitely did not come off as insensitive! For the majority of my life I have struggled with my sexuality, even when I was with my ex I had feelings for women. If I didn't go to such a small school, I would definitely experiment more. I think it's healthy! But I do go to a very very small school where rumors run rampant and I prefer to fly under the radar, so to speak.

I'm trying not to avoid the activities I usually do, like going to parties with my girlfriends and studying outside my apartment. It's not that I'm afraid to see him, I just don't want to be buzzing around him all the time. And with our school being as small as it is, we do tend to get thrown together a lot anyway.
QUOTE(epinephrine @ Sep 13 2009, 10:25 AM) *
That feeling that you have to avoid the things you used to do is the worst.

I'm really struggling with that too. I'm having to take semi-roundabout ways so that I won't have to walk on the side of the block his building is on, and anytime I leave the house when I know he won't be at work I stare at the sidewalk so that I won't see him if he happens to be out and about. My mom scolded me a bit for that, cause it's dangerous to not be aware in this city. I am doing the sunglasses thing though. Anyway, just wanted to say I'm feeling that too.
I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing at least semi-okay in this thread. It's so hard when a relationship ends that it's really easy to get lost and it's good to hear that we all seem to be holding up well.

SG, I am happy to hear that you went to the party and that it went over okay. Even more happy am I to hear that you saw the ex with his friends and looked fabulous. I don't know what it is but things like this always make me feel really good to hear about. I'm friends with a lot of my exes and every time we hang out - no matter what, and it's not to impress them or win them back or anything - I always look my most smashing. I kind of do it on purpose, just to make them see that yes, it's over, but I'm still hot. And I have this issue with my exes where we break up and the next girl they date always ends up being much less attractive than I am, which I didn't really get until recently because my sister explained that I always date "beneath" me; that I deserve a lot better than I choose and I'm really starting to see that now.

My ex is acting very childish lately. Like, over-the-top childish. He is hanging out with these new friends from work, doing things that he would never-ever-ever do with me (going to clubs, listening to my kind of music (electronica/trance and the like), going out to my favourite restos in town). I don't know why he's doing it or what his logic behind it is and it's infuriating. I had a good male friend come over to visit last night (info also in the portions thread!) and we kind of hooked up - we didn't have sex or anything but there were definite goings on - and I got home from going out today and Ex has de-friended me from Facebook and all that. I don't know. He's just messed up. Just last week he was telling me that I was throwing everything good away and he was upset about it so maybe he's just mad that I was hanging out with this guy last night (I mentioned that he was coming over on FB and all that but I didn't flat out say he was coming over to do things; I don't update the entire internet with my goings-on). But I don't know. I don't know if he's upset because he still has feelings for me or what but I'm just really angry about everything. He was abusive. He called me a "fucking idiot" and a "fucking moron" every day (including on my 25th birthday this past July), wouldn't let me hang out with my friends or family without making me feel guilty, was ridiculously controlling everywhere else in my life and would force me into sexual acts that I did not want to do. He was awful and he doesn't see it. I will never go back to him and he's just got to deal with it but he's still trying to control me and it isn't working.

Bah. Sorry for the rant; I just got in the door and I'm kind of pissed that he's being this way. He really does deserve everything he gets.

But like I said, I'm glad to hear everyone else seems to be doing well. Yay for crushes and I hope you all know that I am thinking about you and hoping all is well. (((Moving On Busties)))
Rogue - I was in an abusive relationship before my recently-ended one and I can understand how it feels to get away from the person but still feel like you have something else to prove. In a way, my last relationship was also abusive. It wasn't that he called me names like yours did, he just said nothing. For two years, I never heard that I was beautiful or that I was a good girlfriend or anything. The few times he did compliment me, I had to urge him on by saying something like, "How do you like my new dress?" or "Notice anything different?" I doesn't matter what anyone says, emotional abuse is just as painful as physical abuse. I'm sure you're a beautiful person who shouldn't be worrying about what an abusive asshole thinks about you.

I'm trying to stay away from guys for a while. No more dramatic parties. No flirtation that goes nowhere. I can't handle it. I'm staying away from my ex as much as possible these days. Whenever I see him, he's a jerk to me. I'm finally realizing how much of a douchebag he really was through our relationship. My friends are coming out of the woodwork and saying how they thought he treated me badly, talked down to me, etc. I know I would've defended him if they'd said something then.

I am so thankful for my friends' support and the support of you ladies here.

hugs all around to everyone dealing with other people's crap.

there are so many dynamics in abusive relationships. i think alot of people don't realize how relationships can change & become unhealthy.

I'm glad your friends are being so supportive squirrel smile.gif
My ex also never said I was beautiful or anything like that, SG. He was so insecure with himself that he wouldn't even kiss me. For instance I would go to kiss him and he would blow in my face. It was just weird. It made me really angry. Everything about him and that relationship just makes me really, really angry.

I am also going to stay away from guys for a while. Well, that's not really true. I am going to stay away from relationships for a while. I've never really been single since I had my first boyfriend, and that was when I was 13 (I'm 25 now, if I didn't mention all this before). So yeah. I'm just going to get back to who I am, what I like, what I want to do, spend some time with myself. I think it's horrible when people would rather be in a relationship just to be in a relationship, even if it's horrible, just because they are afraid to be alone. I love being alone. I have brothers and sisters (step and half who were raised in another home growing up) so I grew up as an only child and I love to be alone. I find it hard to be around a lot of people all the time.

I also thing I am going to invest in He's Just Not That Into You (the book). I know it's kind of gimmicky and sort of like a fad right about now but I've looked through it and it seems pretty accurate. It's all common sense but a lot of women (myself included) just don't understand men and incorrectly read into things men do. I just want to use it to make note of things in my next relationship because there have been warning signs in all of my previous ones and I just ignored them. I'm one of those "need it in writing to fully get it" type of people, so I think it would be a wise investment.

(((Moving On Busties)))
I don't really understand how/why my relationship became unhealthy. He used to be extremely affectionate and always tell me I was beautiful, but by the time we split it had become pretty rare. It seems like he is bipolar but he was never clear with me about whether he had been formally diagnosed or not. Everybody here deserves someone who will be affectionate to them.

I've been depressed lately for some complex reasons that even I don't fully understand. I'm becoming a burlesque dancer, which is something I have wanted to do ever since the first show I saw. Ever since I got a show lined up, though, I've been plagued with doubts. Basically because I know this is something my ex would never approve of, and I think he would lose a lot of respect for me if he knew I was doing it. He's not that sex positive. I guess it just freaks me out because I still love him and I feel like this will clinch our never talking again. It's something that I've really wanted to do, though, and I know I should, so how do I get past these doubts?

Some other stuff is going on too - I've seen my ex on the street a total of 3 times now in as many weeks, so obviously he hasn't moved yet. I hope he does soon but he rarely follows through with things he says he will do, so I wouldn't be surprised if he just stayed. Also, I seem to have lost a close friend because I said some really inappropriate stuff while drunk. I feel like I am always walking a tightrope between happy and depressed and I've fallen on the side of depressed.

That's a shame that your friend isn't speaking to you - how bad was it? Have you apologised? I've said, heard and done some pretty dreadful things when drunk, but with time most things can be forgiven.

Congratulations on getting a show lined up! That's really, really fantatic, and I admire you so much. I think it's reasonable to have some doubts - even the most body-confident dancers must find it nerve-wracking, and especially as it's your first time. Damn your ex for making you feel ashamed of something you enjoy!

Are there any experienced dancers you can talk to? I know deschatsrouge was posting in the newbies thread about her background as a burlesque dancer, you could send her a PM to ask for her advice.
(((Odyssey))), that really sucks that there's weirdness with a friend. I always hate myself for days (or weeks, or months) after a bad drunk. We've all been there. Congrats on the burlesque, though! I know what you mean about doing things your ex wouldn't approve of. My ex was so judgemental of me by the end that I keep catching myself judging myself the way she did, or thinking about what she'd say. It makes me even more bitter. So good for you for doing things your ex wouldn't approve of! I love burlesque.

I got another email from her today, but this wasn't the "Hi, how are you, look how caring I am" email she's been sending me periodically over the past few months. She actually sent it a week ago, but I didn't notice it till now because I finally figured out how to filter her emails into a separate inbox. This time she was informing me she'd sublet her apartment, cleared all the rest of my stuff out and left it with my mom, and will be out of town until early next year. Right now she's on the trip to San Francisco we were planning on doing together. With A. I'm sure they're having a fabulous time and J's thinking about how much more fun A is than me and congratulating herself on making the "right decision." After that she'll be going to Hong Kong - also a trip we'd planned to do together. I'm trying not to dwell, but it did sting to hear about it. It's good news, because now I don't have to worry how I'll deal with being neighbours when I go home, but it was just another slap upside the head with reality. I'm still having a pretty strong reaction to the situation. I immediately felt nauseous when I read the email and was totally out of sorts all day. She also mentioned snippishly that she's noticed I'm ignoring her. Of course she's pissed. I'm not allowed to set boundaries or ask for space. The nerve!

This time, though, I responded. I didn't have to agonize about it or anything - it just seemed like the right thing to do, because it was more about information than being "social." I said I knew she was pissed that I hadn't replied to any of her emails, but that, like I'd said before, having space has been good for me and I wasn't ready yet. I also told her when I'd be back in town, just in case there is overlap. I'm not sure if she's going straight from San Fran to Hong Kong or what. If she does happen to be in town when I get back, I may see her, just to see how things have changed since I left. But I'm certainly not expecting anything from her. I don't expect things to be "better" or "worse," I just want to see how our dynamic has changed after four months with no contact.

Less than a month now till I go back, and with that cleared up I'm feeling a lot better about it. This breakup has utterly derailed my life, and I can't start getting it back on track when I'm displaced from it the way I am over here. I'm still hurting, and really, really angry, but I'm feeling better. I go hours at a time now without thinking about J, whereas I couldn't get her out of my head for five minutes when I first moved away. What I dwell on the most now is how she and I held on to the relationship for totally different reasons; I held on because I sincerely wanted to be with her, whereas she didn't want to be with me, and only held on because she was insecure and couldn't make up her mind and didn't want to be alone. Part of me knew this - I remember posting about it long before we ever broke up - but she'd always tell me otherwise, and I just really wanted to trust her. I tried so many times to get her to tell me honestly if she really wanted to be in the relationship, and she would either avoid answering or tell me, very combatively, that of course she did, and I was the one with the problem since I had to keep questioning it like this. I had to keep putting more and more faith in her to make up for the obvious discrepancy in our feelings. And as she slowly chipped away at my self esteem with her coldness and neglect and belittling remarks and generally shitty behaviour, I stopped trusting myself. By the time I'd had enough, I had such low self-esteem and so little trust in myself that I just couldn't put my foot down and leave. When we finally broke up, I'd put all my trust in her and had none left for myself. I was so, so empty. It was twice as bad as just losing her, because I lost so much of myself. I was just...broken. And it was humiliating. She made a fool out of me. I tried to break up with her once before we actually broke up, and she shut me down. When we actually broke up three weeks later, she was telling me the exact same things I'd been telling her when I was trying to break up with her. The only thing that had changed between those two times was that she'd found someone else. She lied to me because it was easy. She's so fucking weak. I still look back in disbelief that the girl who was so good to me for a year and a half would do that to me. It just turned into such a horrible, abusive relationship. I can't believe I stayed as long as I did.

Anyway, in other news, I did take one more step this weekend and finally got that tattoo of the quote that's in my signature! I'm so pleased with it! Now I just have to figure out how to get tattoo ink out of bedsheets...
Congratulations on the tattoo epi, and well done for filtering her emails and setting boundaries.
epi - that's some tough stuff. you should be proud of yourself for seeing through the crap & not letting it rule your life smile.gif
I think you are amazingly strong, epi, and glad to hear that you are doing better. =)
(((Epi))))You should be proud of yourself indeed!!
anna k
epi, I am so proud of you. You are so strong, and I can see this transformative change in your posts that is really inspiring.

And that is shitty of her to write to you that she's going to Hong Kong, knowing you two wanted to go. My friend's ex-girlfriend did the exact same thing, telling him that she's going to Thailand, where they had wanted to go together. Like tossing in his face that she's moving on, and she getting to go to his dream spot and he doesn't. Ugh.
Good deal Epi! I mean that you are doing so well. J's a loser. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Things are good with my friend and I again. I feel like I'm doing well. I can't say that I can go hours without thinking of him (kind of jealous of you there Epi!) but I don't pine for him like I used to.

I will post more later, I'm quite busy now (which definitely helps).
Wow. Thank you guys so much for all the encouragement and kind words. I don't think I'd ever have survived without this forum. You've all really helped me through this. Thank you.

So I got an email from J in response to mine. She's not pissed, just annoyed. The way she is at everything I do. But, apparently, "you gotta do what you gotta do." I can just see her, like she's saying it to my face. She's rolling her eyes and scowling, and shrugging like she doesn't care. She's pissed. But she's pretending she's not, because to admit that she's pissed would be to admit that she has an overly negative response to me. It always has to look like it's my fault, like I'm the one being irrational. The fact is, she has absolutely no reason to be upset with me. She really can't stand me. Yeah, she is a loser.

Glad you're keeping busy, Odyssey - it really helps, doesn't it? And good to hear about your friend!
Weird happenings today!

I went to a gallery opening and saw my ex, who made some small talk with me and I, being an affectionate person by nature, gave him a hug when I said goodbye. It was a nice hug, not a one-armed "I'm only touching you because I feel like I should but I really don't want to" hug. And he seemed to want to stay in it for a while. He let out this little sigh noise and I asked him if he was okay. I think that was my first mistake. He said, "No, not really" and I, feeling bad for him, said, "Do you need to talk?" Second mistake. He said he was busy tonight but would like to talk later.

Why do I still care how he feels since his actions lately have let me know what he obviously doesn't care how I feel? I highly doubt that he'll take me up on my offer because we rarely talked about his emotional issues during our relationship so why would we start now?

I'm starting to get my life together. And by starting, I mean, still very much at the beginning of getting my life together. And of course, right when that starts to happen, he makes the move to be my friend or be emotional around me, etc.

What the hell is up?

@ squirrelgirl. for me, physical contact - yes that includes hugging - with x-es makes me a bit nuts. that doesn't mean someone i went out with once or twice or had a couple of chats with, but some one i'd been with for along time. i really, really don't like to touch anyone who i used to be that close to. to do so really drains me. but i only touch people who i am very close to.

i know before i mentioned running in to my x and waving & just continuing on by. i don't do this to be dramatic. i do it b/c he is very friendly & will talk to me forever. sometimes i can't handle that.

to me, it sounds like talking to each other is confusing for the two of you at this point. it's dredging up old feelings. but you both know you're not suitable for eachother at this point. it sounds like the break is still fresh and distance is good at this point. if you're in a situation where you feel you have to talk to him, keep it as superficial as possible. everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, but he needs to go to someone else right now.
((mumblestutter)) I know what you mean about the contact. It's odd that I'm so repulsed yet so drawn to him still. I've been doing very well lately at keeping my distance because every time I think he's going to be civil, he just lashes out at me. This instance, however, has me so confused. He is actually seeking me out, trying to have contact with me. I know that he's only doing this because he wants something (he's only ever done things nicely when it meant there was something in it for him) but I don't want to ignore him. I would rather know what's going on than live in a state of oblivion. I know this will probably end in more heartache but if it does, it will only fuel my moving on process...right?
squirrelgirl i know it seems like the "nice" nice thing to do is to be available. but i would really recommend against it. not talking to your ex isn't ignoring him or avoiding heartach - it's encouraging both of you to form healthy connections with other people. for any relationship with an emotional connection, i think partners need time before interacting with each other again -- that's time to clear their minds of each other, time to refocus on their own personal identity & priorities. i've seen a lot of people not take enough time and distance away from old partners & relapse into bad relationships.

hang in there. it helps to keep yourself surrounded by people who are respectful & to keep pursuing things you care about. smile.gif
I've just spent the evening with a couple of friends and my ex (I never posted about the break-up, but it was what sent me here and I spent many hours lurking in this thread). It was absolutely fine! Eighteen months have passed and we're totally just friends now. It wasn't even particularly awkward when one of my friends slipped and called him by my boyfriend's name - in all fairness, they are both very tall. Oh, how we laughed (and then changed the subject).

There is hope smile.gif
Hey, Persiflager, thanks for giving us all hope!

I'm headed back home first thing tomorrow. In less than 12 hours, this vacation from my life will be over. And...I'm happy. I'm ready to start picking up the pieces. This temporary situation I've got over here is starting to make me restless. I called and made an appointment with my counsellor today, but apparently she's very popular and the soonest I could get her was November 4th. I should have called sooner, but since I'm technically not a student at the school anymore I wanted to avoid any possibility of awkward questions about why I wouldn't be free for an earlier date. I can't even lie to a receptionist over the phone. But I'm still a starving student - just between semesters right now - so I don't feel bad using the school's resources! We established a really good rapport and foundation to work on in my first few appointments, and I've done enough counselling to know that that isn't always easy to come by.

I'm not even sure if J will be in town, but I don't think I'm going to try to find out. If we even do happen to be in the city at the same time, she'll be leaving for China before too long. The whole time she's known me I had long blonde dreads; in the event that we do run into each other, I don't even think she'll recognize me now with my new, short, brunette 'do. I don't think anyone will. It's kind of exciting!

I really realized for the first time the other day how far I've come in the past few months. My bad days now are better than my good days were then. Now, if I have a few flashes of anger and regret, I consider it a bad day. Before, if I managed to go a few hours without crying and eat a whole meal without feeling like I was going to vomit, it was a good day. Realizing that totally turned my perception of my "bad days" around - now I see them much more positively. It feels like a breakthrough. I've still got a lot of work to do. I'm doing something I never do and reading a self-help book; it's called The Courage to Be Yourself. It's all about self-esteem and codependency. I've always considered myself a very independent person, but there were clearly some codependency issues in my relationship with J, and before I can make peace with what happened I have to disentangle myself from that kind of irrational thinking. The book itself is revolting - it's all garden metaphors and touchy-feely "inner child" nonsense, exactly why I avoided self-help books in the first place - but the points it makes are still valid.

I still feel an overwhelming sense of anger toward J - I'm nowhere near forgiving her yet - but I'm recognizing that that's natural and I'm just letting myself feel it for now. I'm not sure what would happen if we saw each other. I'm not the type to give somebody attitude (one of my many traits that bothered her, which she called "being too nice and vulnerable"), but she is. I don't have enough confidence to be snotty. But I'm pretty sure that, if anything, this long break from contact will have made her even more bitter toward me. If I do see her, I expect she'll be extravagantly cold. I'm just trying to decide whether the appropriate reaction to such rudeness would be to smile, let it roll off, and refuse to engage, or to call her on it and give her something to think about. Neither of them seems like a good option to me, which is why I'm avoiding her, but it's a small city and shit happens and I want to be prepared. I tried to use the "smile and don't engage" technique when we were together, only confronting her on her shit when it felt right, and it ended up deteriorating into doormat-ism. I'm scared of letting her do that to me again if we should meet. I know it sounds like I'm just trying to borrow trouble, because the actual chances that we'll see each other are small, but these are issues that I actually need to work on. I suck at confrontation. When I confront someone who's being an asshole to me I could just be wasting my breath and exacerbating the situation, but if I ignore it I could be letting them walk all over me.

well, I've written another book about myself,'s everyone else doing? Squirrelgirl, sounds like you're in a similar situation to mine. I'd be willing to talk to my ex if she'd stop being such a bitch. My take is that there's no point in trying to hang out and maintain a friendship if there's tension. You have the rest of your lives to patch things up, if you should decide it's worth it. But right now, that clearly won't be bringing either of you any joy, and you can't control his behaviour, so you may as well leave it alone.

Odysseylily, how are you doing?

Long. Slow. Clap.

I want to commend you all for sticking to your guns & doing what's right for YOU. Because YOU are important & so are your needs, wants & dreams. Keep on keepin' on. Ya'll are strong, warm & in command!
I really don't want to post this but I broke up with him. He knew it was coming and it was really all his fault. I don't know, things were amazing in the summer but apparently he wasn't feeling that "spark" for me. It was the classic "I love you but I'm not in love with you" scenario. That's fine but I'm annoyed that if I hadn't told him to come over today that he probably would have just let it drag on and on. The worst part is knowing that he does love me and the fact that I love him and I actually am in love with him. If we had a big fight or if one of us had cheated it would just be so much easier. I just can't hate him and I hate that. I'm angry at him and I want to write him angry emails but that wouldn't do any good because it would just keep everything dragging on. Hell, it still did drag on. We sat there for nearly two hours, both of us crying. It took so long just for him to get out the door. I know I'm going to be okay this time but the thought of ever trying to be with someone else is torturous. I just want him and I can't have him. Sorry. Rambling.

ETA: I'd appreciate movie rental suggestions. Not just break up movies but anything that is funny and has barely a hint of romance. If that exists.

Well done for making a tough decision, and ramble away all you want.

I laughed til my stomach hurt when I watched 'The Hangover', and it's non-romantic.

I second The Hangover. That movie almost killed me with laughter. I'm trying to think of more movies like that but I'm coming up blank.

I hope you feel better soon.
Ugh, he just sent me a one line email asking me how I'm doing and saying that he just wants me to be happy. I have no idea even how to respond. I feel like sending him a big long email about how I would have been happy if he was in love with me but that I should have broken things off ages ago when he stopped treating me right. I was so happy just to spend time with him because he was great to me while we were together but that was it. I don't even know what to say. I hate that I'm so angry at him and yet I can't really hate him. I can't wish any ill will on him. I still love him so much.

Re: stuff to watch: Eddie Izzard?
I'm really glad you're doing well, Epinephrine. I can relate to that good days/bad days thing. I've been sort of backsliding a little, I think it's the change in seasons but I've been more depressed than usual. Also, I met someone who I fell pretty hard for but it's not going anywhere. I was really excited to have feelings for someone other than my ex, but he hasn't been available to see me in a long while. Also some friends let me know that his group of friends are kind of macho, misogynistic guys. Ugh. If I meet one more guy who uses the sweetiepie-just-looking-for-love facade to mask the fact that he's never going to talk to me again after we have sex, I swear I'm gonna scream.

So. It's just kind of ho-hum, middle-of-the-road here, could be better but it could be worse. I'm doing ok.

And CC_girl, I am really sorry to hear about your breakup. I recommend Buffy, just pick the episodes that don't have a happy relationship in them.
{{{moving on busties}}} CC_Girl, I totally understand your complicated feelings for the former CC_Boy. When E-Man and I ended things, it was very similar. Things slowly but surely get better. Have you put anything away? I have slowly removed a great deal of obvious history from my home while ferreting away the small pieces that will remind me of the good times, someday.
(((ccgirl))) sorry about the breakup with ccboy. It sounds as though you knew it was the right thing to do but it still doesn't make it any easier at the present time. I think that your anger is warranted especially because you were sure of your feelings for the boy and he didn't express how his feelings had changed.

I recommend the hangover....and pineapple express (I remember laughing hard through both of these). On all occasions I recommend mean girls as a good teenage drama movie (never too old for teenage drama) but there is a little romantic action.
From seeing someone mention Eddie Izzard I just remembered that "The Wild" made me almost pee myself from laughing. I know it's a "cartoon" but it's still really funny and light and I don't remember any romances at all. Eddie was hilarious as Nigel the Koala.

Also - I agree with coffeebean. I think you're feelings are entirely warranted, especially if you still have feelings for him but just know that he didn't feel the same about you. It really sucks when that happens. I was angry at one of my exes for a long time for that - and even though we are friends now I still kind of am. He has a girlfriend now who is a real idiot and they have been dating for about as long as we have been broken up (about four years now) and I'm still irked at him for breaking up with me and going out with her instead. But I guess if the feeling isn't there it just isn't there and it sure does suck.

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