Help me bounce back from an emotionally abusive relationship.
February 23, 2011 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I just left an emotionally abusive relationship. And I feel... off. Help?

I'm a 22 year old female who just decided to leave my 26 year old boyfriend of 6 months. We have broken up multiple times before, and the relationship had degenerated to a really bad level. For background information, I survived a lot of childhood sexual abuse and family chaos, followed by a physically abusive relationship from ages 19-21.

He pressured me into a committing to a relationship with him very quickly, but I liked him and it seemed like he wanted the best for me so I went with it. Various troubling warning signs appeared relatively early: small put downs and complaints about me, my appearance and my attitude; blaming me for his lack of affection and our non-existent sex life; treating me and talking to me as though I'm stupid (FWIW, I'm a grad-school bound student that made Phi Beta Kappa now graduating early; my intellect is one thing I'm not insecure about).

I did bring up my concerns about these things more than once, but he tended to deflect the conversation or answer my questions about why he was doing these things by either listing things I do wrong or stating that I don't "deserve" affection, sex, or whatever I felt was missing because I do too many things wrong. Part of the time I bought into these ideas. The other part I didn't, break up with him multiple times. But after a few days he always called me very apologetic, promising things would change, finally giving me the affection that he had been withholding, and I came back. Over time it got worse and worse, with him randomly accusing me of seeing another guy, telling me I shouldn't talk to my friends about this because its bad for "us", mocking my sexual preferences, and stating that only if I don't "start a fight" for two weeks would he then think about sleeping with me again.

I'm in therapy and that's going well and very helpful. I KNOW I'm not coming back this time. And I KNOW I'm never letting this happen to me again. But I right now I feel... off. It's hard to describe, but I just feel really weird in an unpleasant way. Not exactly sad, but somewhat anxious that's only a matter of time before he reappears and attempts to reenter my life. I feel strangely empty at the same time, sort of disappointed this how things turned out, and kind uncertain about how to proceed.

The rest of my life is actually going great right now. It's just this thing that is lingering over me like a storm crowd. What can and should I be doing to work on healing and recovering? How can I get myself feeling relaxed and good again?

Any advice is really appreciated.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if this is the most helpful advice but I think you need to grieve the relationship. There must have been something good about him despite all his faults and even if you know breaking up is the right thing to do, and I think it is too, you're giving something up. You probably need to allow yourself to be sad and grieve the possibility you saw in him while keeping in mind that it took a lot of courage to leave.

I think that if it were me waiting for a man like this to come back I would feel like it was a test hanging over my head and that he was in some way in control because he gets to come back and make you reject him again.

Take care of yourself you've done the right thing and you should be proud of it you deserve someone way better than this.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:24 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

In a weird way, instability is still a form of stability. You know that even if something goes completely haywire, you can come back again tomorrow and stay in the cycle because it's something with which you're familiar. You've created a new "normal," no matter how removed from real life it might be, and it will take time to go back.

You also have a big hole in your life where all of your coping and avoiding and walking on eggshells used to live, and nothing is popping up to fill it just yet.

Finally, you're not used to paying attention to your own wants and needs first -- and trusting yourself to do the right thing.

It'll take time, but it'll come. Be gentle with yourself.
posted by Madamina at 8:25 PM on February 23, 2011 [10 favorites]

Be very happy to be out of this relationship. I was married for 23 years to the man you just described. Be thankful you were smart enough to see the light. You may feel "off" for a while, but given time, you will realize you did the best thing, for all the right reasons. No one needs to live with that abuse. My best wishes for the next phase of your life, and be happy. Take care of yourself.
posted by wv kay in ga at 8:42 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only person who can make you feel better in the short term is him. And he's not going to. Keep repeating that to yourself until your brain and heart are on the same page about it. Then grieve a bit that it's not going to happen and move on.
posted by fshgrl at 8:45 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Any kind of relationship, good or bad, will take time to get over, so just give it time.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:47 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You sound a lot like I did after leaving a similar guy. I still have good and bad days (it's been a month or a few months, depending on when you define the actual breakup.) I think we've been in the no-contact-whatsoever phase for about a month though and I know exactly what you mean about fearing contact from him. The anxiety about him trying to re-enter your life. I think it's just a sign that you realize he doesn't respect you, or your needs, specifically your need to be left alone. My ex was sending me a lot of emails so I added his email address as spam and now empty my spam folder without even looking in it (because he guessed I wasn't reading his emails, he started sending them with the message in the subject line, argh!)

Anyway, like I said, I felt/ feel the same way you are now. I tried to define what was causing it, maybe that will help you. Part of me just felt ashamed for allowing myself to be treated like that. Part of me was just emotionally broken down from trying to please him. Whenever he was angry, I just absorbed it in order to try and keep the peace somewhat. I was just emotionally exhausted and felt used up and sad and lonely. I also did some therapy and one of the big things I realized was- I felt like this guy was such an ass, and yet I wasn't good enough for him- what's wrong with me? it made me feel like less than shit. but of course, it isn't about me, it's about him. and he wasn't putting me down because he actually thought he was better than me- he did it because he felt inferior to me and needed to drag me down.

although its somewhat helpful to understand all these things, i absolutely know that it doesn't necessarily take away the shitty feelings you have. For me the best relief has been hanging out with my new-ish friends- I have made a lot of new friends recently who don't know him, and it's been a great distraction. i'm still not doing awesome. but it's getting better every day, in very small increments. the moment i felt the best was when he had not contacted me in a couple weeks and i was able to start pushing him out of my mind and focus on myself. then, bam, him trying to contact me led to the shitty depressed feeling again which lasted a while. i think for me, the solution is just trying as hard as i can to keep myself insulated against him contacting me. it's hard, because even if i don't read his emails or texts, just seeing that he's sent one makes me feel ill. i think once i feel secure that he is 100% out of my life, i will be able to relax and return to normal. but like i said, it's happening in very small increments. every day that goes by i feel a little bit more like myself, and feel that i am returning to normal. he messed up my sense of self, which is what i assume he did to you. oh also i found it helpful to listen to the music i liked before we were together, especially the stuff he hated. (of course we were together for years so it was a lot more of a rediscovery than yours might be!)

and although i feel a little weak admitting this, it also helped a bit when i started flirting and dating again. deep down i don't think i'm quite ready for it, but it does sort of help to fill in the self esteem my ex destroyed. (i guess i feel like i should be able to do this on my own . . . but it probably doesn't hurt to get a jump start right?) anyway feel free to memail me and we can chat on AIM if you want to commiserate more.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 8:49 PM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Congratulations! You've done something really hard. Maybe the offness is an understanding that you are different now. You don't feel the way you used to because you have changed and you're in a brave new world.
posted by Sara Anne at 8:59 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

You know if this is starting to feel like a "pattern" for you in dating, then talk about it in therapy and maybe take a break from dating. Being single ain't that bad. Give yourself a little attention. Pick up a hobby or something. Always met my best matches when I wasn't looking.

Besides that, thank God you got out of that shit relationship. The feeling of remorseful anticipation and uncertainty is probably a residual state that you are in attributable to the shocking amount of possessive, self-absorbed, argumentative attention this person had enveloped you in. Mockery, deprivation.. these are forms of negative control that do not belong in a loving relationship. Sorry that our ex-boyfriend's an emotional retard.

The Power of Now has an interesting section on Love/Hate Relationships that sounds a lot like what you were stuck in.. a relationship with negative destructive cycles that increase in frequency and intensity over time. Maybe reading that will help put some words to what you just went through, and give you comfort.
posted by phaedon at 9:14 PM on February 23, 2011

When I left a similar situation, my trust in my own judgment and my self esteem were shattered. After all, I thought that the relationship was a good idea to begin with and had just put up with being emotionally and verbally abused. Could your feeling "off" be related to something similar?
In any case, congratulations for getting out of that relationship and for being in therapy! Therapy, reflection on what red flags you should look out for in future relationships, and throwing yourself into your hobbies (bonus points if any of them are physically demanding) should help you feel better, but it will take some time.
posted by Logic Sheep at 9:16 PM on February 23, 2011

I suffered childhood sexual abuse and neglect, and I am currently going through something similar with my ex, who was/is abusive to me in the same way (except that he never apologizes, even when he tries to convince me to make up). For two years, I was told I was stupid, spoiled, selfish, that I am doing everything wrong, etc. I can count the number of times he has called me beautiful on one hand. Whenever I was happy or excited about something, he tried to bring me down. I think I ended up crying at least once a week over the entire two years that we dated...

Despite this, I did care about him, and he did try to support and "improve" me (always wanting the "best" for me), so I can't fully hate him. I think in some twisted way this is what "love" is to him, and that he truly believes that he is loving me and helping me by treating me this way. However, I know in my mind that this love is not what I need for health and happiness.

It is often said that survivors of abuse often seek to replicate the feelings they experienced in their childhood home. I think that possibly since I spent most of my childhood feeling unloved and striving to receive affection and love (but never really succeeding), that I now feel most comfortable and "at home" with people who provoke those feelings in me.
I agree with the comments above that it will take some time before you feel comfortable, and if you are like me, you may have to fight your tendency to choose this type of person again. I often mistake anxious feelings for sparks.

Some animals become so used to being tethered that eventually you can remove the tether and they will not run away. I feel like I have just been untethered and don't know what to do! When you are used to being pulled back, it is alarming to no longer feel that tug. You have freedom, but you don't know what to do with it.

When I start missing him or become tempted to get back together, I think about how he would treat our potential children and how traumatizing it would be for them. While I can and did deal with him alone, I would never let a kid be treated like this.

The following books have been helpful to me so far:
- How to Break Your Addiction to a Person, by Howard Halpern
- Why Men Love Bitches, Sherry Argov (encouraged me to hold any potential lovers to a high standard; if they treat you like crap, they should be instantly disqualified)

I am not close to being over it all so maybe I am not the right person to give advice, but I think you are doing well so far and should keep doing what you are doing. Spend time with people who treat you well and get used to how it feels. Think about what you will not accept in a relationship, and also about potential warning signs of people who would try to control you. Reject those who try to make you feel bad about who you are. Accept yourself as you are, and find people who can appreciate it.
posted by koakuma at 9:28 PM on February 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

Congratulations on taking care of yourself and getting out of a relationship that was not good for you.

I hope that you can talk about the "off" feeling with your therapist. It seems natural to me that there would be a period of transition or negotiation (or as SpaceWarp13 says, grief) after the end of the relationship. You invested some time in the relationship, took some chances on it, and felt optimistic about it at the beginning. It turned out not to be good for you, which is a big disappointment. At the same time, your ex-boyfriend probably "did something" for you—there was something you got out of the relationship, and some reason why you went back to him several times despite experiencing the earlier forms of abuse. Turning your back on that would feel like a loss, even though you know you're better off without the ex-boyfriend and his cycles of abuse and apology. You might want to use your time in therapy to figure out what, exactly, you miss from the relationship, and what it would feel like to get that again but without the abuse.
posted by Orinda at 9:46 PM on February 23, 2011

To feel relaxed and good again, masturbate and exercise a lot, and to feel better sooner, cry really hard - to the point of exhaustion - even take a sick day and whatever. Listen to really good music. Sleep whenever you can.

The "off" you feel is the disruption in your daily pattern of abuse and negative self-talk. Without constant reinforcement, those things dissipate, letting you re-learn yourself... give yourself the time and space now to let that happen rather than seeking out that negativity again.

That means don't talk to or fuck your ex and probably don't fuck another guy for awhile. Though it feels good to be wanted, it might end up not being what you needed and make things worse.

Oh and I've been there. Be your friend, don't be his friend. Tell your friends not to tell you about him and don't ask about him. Indirect contact/knowledge is toxic.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:54 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're used to feeling poised to react to him. You're both still poised (that's the anxious feeling he'll come back) but also aware you don't have to be (that's the hollow feeling).

Great work! Good luck with this transition.
posted by salvia at 11:11 PM on February 23, 2011 [5 favorites]

somewhat anxious that's only a matter of time before he reappears and attempts to reenter my life

Based on what you've said about recent history, that's not just anxiety; that's a well-founded fear. So you'll need to make a solid plan for what to do when, not if, he does this. I recommend something along the lines of "You had your chance. You had more chances than you deserved. Fuck off."

I feel strangely empty at the same time

Well, yeah. As long as the relationship kept going, you would have had some tiny spark of hope that it would work out OK. Now it's over, you don't have that any more. That's a genuine loss, and it's going to take you some time to come to terms with it.

sort of disappointed this how things turned out

Absolutely justifiable. Nothing wrong with that at all. You deserved to be treated with respect, it didn't happen, and that's disappointing.

and kind uncertain about how to proceed.

Best thing would be to commit to spending time not dating anybody else until you feel good and ready to jump back on the merry-go-round. It's going to take you some time to lick your wounds and get over this whole thing, and you really need to allow yourself that time. There is no need for wallowing in misery or rending of garments, but you might care to allow yourself a little private weeping - not for him, though, he's not worth a sniffle! - but for what you could have had if he'd turned out to be a man instead of just an arsehole.
posted by flabdablet at 11:37 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

New-won freedom is like an empty house for you alone. You'll have to live there for a while in order to fill it with yourself. And in the beginning it can feel hollow, undeserved, like it's not gonna last etc. That, plus the hurt of a left relationship makes one feel "off." It's temporary, if that helps.
posted by Namlit at 2:10 AM on February 24, 2011 [4 favorites]

You may be lucky enough not to have to ever talk to him again, but when I know there's a chance I might possibly encounter someone I had trouble with in the past, I try to prepare myself by remembering a specific (but somewhat minor and ridiculous) instance that is representative of that person's negative side. By creating a sort of controlled memory, when I'm suddenly doubting myself this reassures me that I made the right decision to stay away from that person, and also keeps me from letting down my guard while they play the apologetic kiss-up role. The guy might be acting super nice, and if find that I'll begin remembering and dwelling on what I liked about them I then just bring up that representative memory and snap back into wisdom. For example, I had a boyfriend that told me I'd never be a good mother. How mean, especially since we had talked about having kids. Or I think of the time I found out a guy had racked up thousands of dollars of credit card debt, but had been lying to me about it for years. Not the meanest or worst thing that's been done or said to me by far, but when I had to talk to that person several months ago I spent a moment remembering that very specific comment or action and it helped prepare me for the conversation. Find strength in good advice your friends have given you, too, such as if you've ever described a situation to them and they all emphatically say "that's not okay!!" I can still hear my friends saying that when I was trying to justify what I guy had said or done to me as just he was having a bad day, or something like that. My advice is to go to your group of friends and really lean on them, if you you're close to them already and trust them. You might find you'll end up becoming even closer with them, and you'll feel much stronger with friends standing behind you and believing in you. Stick with the therapy if it's working well for you, the most important thing is to know how to keep from getting in the same kind of situation again.
posted by belau at 4:59 AM on February 24, 2011

You feel off because your life has been a pattern of abuse and're not being abused. Even bad habits and patterns are still comforting in a way because it's your definition of "normal." Now that's changing and it's bound to be unsettling.

As for your specific discomfort about him reappearing in your life, assure yourself that what you are doing in the mean time will keep the pattern described above from continuing -- therapy and a growth of your self-esteem will make your automatic reaction to him repulsion instead of stupidly thinking things have changed. The same is true for whatever other jerk may substitute himself for your ex, thinking that you are still someone an abuser can victimize.

But we know better now! Congratulations for the hard steps you've taken and good luck going forward.
posted by motsque at 7:11 AM on February 24, 2011

I have been in these -exact- same shoes. In fact, I could have written this post! All the signs are there: the put-downs, the comments, the making you feel embarassed/not good enough about sensitive issues, the not "allowing" you to break up with him, the getting too close too fast...and it will only continue to get worse if you allow him to re-enter your life.

I'm not sure where you're located, but in the US, you're allowed to break up with someone.

DO NOT allow him to re-enter your life. Don't try to be nice, don't try to avoid conflict - just don't do it. I delayed my break-up for a year and it was a horrible mistake. Things got worse. He seperated me from my family and friends. He eroded my already eroded self-esteem. He stole all of my energy. I started drinking to cover it all up. I lost a ton of weight. Eventually the straw that broke the camel's back was when things turned physical. So, realizing this now is a good thing.

Emotionally, I've moved on and have recovered although I still have my moments where I'm still picking up self-esteem shards. However, I know exactly how you're feeling and it takes a little time to acknowledge and get over. There really isn't a timeline for these things, but for me I think having emotionally checked out that last year helped me move on quickly, AND with massive amounts of therapy. Get therapy. Talk to your friends and family about it. The more people know about this, the more support you will get. You might lose some friends, but if people can't see through the web of lies that I'm sure he's been weaving, then that's their own issue to deal with and not yours. Get angry at him - and shut him out and move on with your life. It's ok to acknowledge how you're feeling and to stew about it - it will help you move on. However, you will not move on by allowing him to leech himself back in.

Making these realizations is HUGELY important and a giant step. Nice work. Feel proud of yourself for this! Good luck!!
posted by floweredfish at 9:09 AM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I feel you. I really do, except our relationship lasted two years, after an even longer period of friendship. I remember, at one point, sitting in my therapist's office after I had left him, crying my eyes out about an interaction I had had with the new boyfriend, telling her about how strange and anxious and weird it made me feel. And she pointed out the obvious to me, which was that based on my life experience with abuse and dysfunction, it was to be expected that normal and healthy behavior would feel foreign and bizarre to me. Which it did. Greatly.

I spent a lot of time wandering the city, feeling off and empty and like I was stuck in a maudlin montage in the middle of a slow, depressing movie.

And even though that was a year ago and things are about a thousand times better, there are still moments when I feel that I have slipped into that same film. The thing is: when you are wrapped up for so long in crazy, but are also an intelligent person, it's easy to have a lot of cognitive dissonance that you need to work through. Every thought in your head can feel contradictory. I remember feeling so happy and comfortable with the knowledge that the new boyfriend would never, ever be the type to say the mean things that the ex had, but was also fairly convinced that there was no way in hell that he loved me, because he never did any of those things that I had associated with (doomed, dysfunctional) love, like launching into insane jealousy and controlling me. I was also so happy that we could sit and talk without things dissolving into a major dramarama, but I was also so goddamned bored because we never fought, which I felt meant that we had no passion between us. And as much as I was relieved to have left the ex, I missed him terribly, because there was about 7 years of history we shared that was gone, thus leaving a huge void in my life.

The contradictions totally sucked, but what I realized at some point was that the thing that hurt much worse was beating myself up for feeling so twisted and contradictory. At some point, I just had to accept that the situation was what it was and that I would feel bored and empty and relieved and happy all at the same time for a long while. And that made things a little easier.

It also made things easier to deal with when he did try to make his way back into my life, because it definitely was a huge mindfuck to be so strangely excited to get a call from the man who had brought out his firearm the day I left him. But because I had those months of accepting the contradiction, I was also able to accept what it was and realize that I was strong enough to proceed: to cut off contact, to call a friend, to have someone hold my hand as I filled out the restraining order, and to just talk the whole thing out.

I guess the thing is: if you're anything like me, I can totally understand the emptiness and contradiction and urge to judge yourself for some or all those things. And, if you're anything like me, you might be worried about doing something impulsive and destructive to deal with the boredom left by his absence, while also worried that you won't do those impulsive things, which sounds so awfully boring. I guess the only thing that I can say is: I'm sorry. And it's okay to be messed up for a little while. It's also okay to talk to a friend about it, or to mourn the things you miss, or to feel all crazy convoluted. Just try to accept that this is the rainy portion of the montage when you walk around all sad under your umbrella, and that (at some point) the scene will segue into some sunny bit where you laugh spontaneously over a cute puppy and aren't really worrying about much beyond the moment you're in.
posted by sock puppet of mystery! at 2:46 PM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, on a practical note (though it might make some cynical mefites laugh out loud): I read TONS of the human relations questions during that time. Everything. On any topic. No matter - I read them all. And it was a relief to me because I got to see the multiple ways that people negotiate relationships, and to familiarize myself with these negotiation tactics, because I felt that when I found myself in a relationship again, I would have a backlog of communicative strategies in the brain that deviated from my dysfunctional default. Just knowing that there were different ways to work relationships out made me feel better, even if I would never use them, because then I knew that there were obvious alternatives to manipulation and abuse.
posted by sock puppet of mystery! at 2:52 PM on February 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I read TONS of the human relations questions during that time. Everything. On any topic. No matter - I read them all.

God! i did the exact same thing. i agree, as much as some people hate the Human Relations category, I've found it to be a better cross-section of functional relationships than society in general. As in, posts about good relationships give me the confidence to set the bar high because I know it can happen. And when it comes to posts about crappy relationships, people are always quick to chime in and point out when something is seriously Not Right. For some of us, these boundaries have been hard to define. Hearing other people sound off on it really does help. Now that I'm back into dating, I actually feel more comfortable and confident and determined to be myself and stick to my guns and not settle for someone who isn't right from me. That's right, folks, all that from reading HR on metafilter. It even made me interested in giving OKC a try, something I highly doubt I would have done had I not been exposed to its success stories that I've read on here. (In fact I just started using it yesterday and I already have a date this weekend with someone who sounds way cooler and smarter and nicer than my ex was.) Point being- reading tons of old stuff on Metafilter totally does help. Even if it does nothing more than provide an excellent way to distract yourself for hours on end- but it's great for that too.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 3:37 PM on February 24, 2011

I don't know how you can get over the 'off' feeling. Just wanted to congratulate you for being aware of the situation you were in and having the courage to leave.
posted by xm at 6:54 PM on February 24, 2011

This is like the being kicked by a giant problem, only more so.

You've had a recent ongoing experience, preceded by a lifetime, of people systematically doing you emotional harm. Of course your emotions hurt. I'm sorry to have to tell you that they probably will for a while. But it won't be forever.

An especial reason why it won't be forever is because at the age of 22 you've already learned to detect and avoid these people. Just as another bunch of data points for you, here's an article on very early warning signs - ways to spot an abuser before they even get the chance to mistreat you. Mind you, the last person I met who was like this was especially good at hiding - put up a fake front for a long time and his prior history earned him the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, he was cut off the second time he misbehaved.

Anyway. Part of the problem is that abusers take up your full attention and heighten your emotions in a way that some say is neurochemically addictive. Now they held your attention and heightened your emotions in horrible ways, and you don't want any more of it, but what do you pay attention to now? What's going to excite you now?

This is where glib suggestions like "get a hobby" may or may not help. Well, they will help, in that Positive and Feelgood Activities sow seeds for the future and usually make you feel at least a bit better in the short term. What's really helped me, I've found, is when a hobby gets me and grabs my attention almost in spite of me, but if that doesn't happen I can't force it. So, if you have to, find a hobby and force yourself to bloody well have fun if it kills you, accepting that it may not make you feel better as quickly as you would like it to.

I like the suggestion to read loads of human relations posts. That will definitely help you think it through.

Other than that, I would suggest that you expect this to take some time, in the same way that healing from a serious back injury would take time.

Also remember that at an early age, you have knowledge you can use to protect yourself and others. This is an exceptional time of opportunity, compared to even twenty years ago when information was not so readily available and, apart from a very few books, was limited to peers and professionals who were as likely to revictimize them as not. So I just want to say thank you for sharing what you know with us. You've probably helped a lot of people that you'll never even know about.
posted by tel3path at 9:15 AM on February 25, 2011

Chiming in late here, but wanted to add... definitely take the time to grieve what the relationship meant to you. Also seconding: the weird feeling is probably your reaction to the growing you haven't been able to do before in a healthy environment for this kind of learning. Your stress management system is still reacting in the way it's been trained: continue anticipating the worst.

The adage that time heals rings true because it is only with time that those systems can un-learn old tricks and make room for learning new ones. In short: you are too used to things going wrong to know how to feel when they go right. The good news is you're already working on that.

Part of letting go of any relationship is grieving the dream you had built with him (places you were going to go, things you were going to do together, etc.). Something about your ex made you believe that the future could be good - including emotionally and intimately. It's a HUGE hit to your selfesteem to realize that particular good future is no longer going to happen.

It may be worth thinking about all the good things you saw becoming achieveable for you when you thought it was going to happen with your ex. Your ex inspired hope in you that was previously dormant - it was probably part of the excitement you felt in being attracted to him. Think about how you could still achieve some of those things on your own. It will allow you to honor the good you did have with this person even though it didn't work out and help you let go of some of the shame that comes with leaving a shitty person. Good luck, anon.
posted by human ecologist at 1:12 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Help me identify this piece of comic art.   |   Jam Sessions at Jazz Fest Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.