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Grief Over A Lost Relationship


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I am going to be seeking therapy for this.

They say time heals all wounds. For some of us, that is not true.

I had a two year relationship with a girl when I was in high school. The relationship ended when I graduated and I am not over her.

Since the breakup I have thought about her every day, several times a day. And I daydream about her. And she has always been the exclusive object of my sexual fantasies.

Daydreaming about her gives me the feeling of being loved, wanted, close and bonded. But just as often it makes me feel sad, loss and yearning.

One detail: this relationship ended 27 years ago

Another detail: I have never had a romantic relationship since. Not even one date.

Anyone out there been through something similar? Been stuck and you can't get unstuck? Can't stop grieving the loss? Any words of wisdom?

Edited by y58
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I have spent years grieving and not letting go, not that many admittedly.

 

There comes a point where the real object of the 'love' is yourself and how the love makes you feel. I wonder how much of her you accurately remember and how long a love can go on for without any interaction or real life involvement. It may well be that while you are idealizing who she used to be, she has changed a great deal over 27 years, maybe she would be unrecognizable. I have no idea how to proceed, with therapy, probably.

 

I am sorry you are hurting though, I know you have tried to wait this out.

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There comes a point where the real object of the 'love' is yourself and how the love makes you feel. I wonder how much of her you accurately remember and how long a love can go on for without any interaction or real life involvement. It may well be that while you are idealizing who she used to be, she has changed a great deal over 27 years, maybe she would be unrecognizable. I have no idea how to proceed, with therapy, probably.

All good points. I think you could be right that I have become my own love object and that this is about how it makes me feel, and is not a real love absent life involvement. And it is probably true that she has changed a great deal and may well be unrecognizable. I think you're right on.

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Did a little internet research and came up with a few ideas that sound helpful. From various sources:

 

1. Write down what needs she was filling (This one seems very powerful to me. I actually did start doing that above). Recognize that what's happening is that my emotions are simply telling me that I want to be wanted, loved, close, bonded, and that I want another person to express my affection and love to, and that's the big picture of what is happening

2. Write down how I can fulfill each of those needs myself and that I don't have to depend on another person for that. (I don't understand how I can do this - doesn't it take another person? Can any of you make sense of how to do this?)

3. Write down what you miss and discover that its not the person you miss but the things they did for you and how they made you feel and realize that you can have those things from someone else just like you had them with her.

4. Write down her negative traits. (Wow, all this time I Never even thought of her having negative traits before. Ha Ha! How stupid I've been. This idea sounds very powerful). This idealized picture I have of her needs to come off the pedestal. Really think about and even heighten the flaws.

5. (Not sure about this one...) Realize that she just doesn't care about me anymore and doesn't respect me. Why obsess over someone who doesn't deserve my time and love? She's moved on and forgotten all about me. She's thinking about someone else right now.

 

Anyone else have any ideas?

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I'm sorry you are hurting.  I can relate. 

 

I took care of a baby from almost birth to 19 months, and the only reason I was let go was because I took a laxative once a week.  Anyway, I was with this baby so much (literally about 10-12 hours a day) and we grew VERY attached, more than with her parents.  But that was ok with them. 

 

One day the mother asked me if I was taking laxatives and I said yes, on Friday nights, and she like went crazy.  I was very thin at the time (but didn't look anorexic), and had a reason for the laxatives.  Anyway, I was let go, and to this day feel like I lost a child (my own child).  The mourning is still with me today.  I think of her still every day (she was born in 1995, and I was with her until July 1997) and sometimes cry because I miss her so much.  They never let me say good-bye to her.

 

I don't think I could have had children of my own (if I had) because she was "my" baby, and I loved her so much.  I knew no one could be better than she was and I didn't want to compare with my own child.  

 

She'll be 18 this year, and I think back to what could have been had I got to stay with her.  2 years later we reconnected, in 1999, but her brother was now in the picture.  Her mom said she was never the same after I left.  I tried babysitting with both kids, but felt like I just needed to be with this little girl and give her the attention I did when she was an infant/toddler.  So I didn't babysit. 

 

I do still keep in contact with her but know it can never be like that again because she's all grown up.  I guess my point is I long for the days when I was with her, think about that at some point every day, and still cry, knowing what could have been.

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In terms of meeting those needs yourself:

Setting yourself little challenges and being proud of being more capable.

Having compassion for yourself.

Having an experience of being cared for by platonic friends, family, colleagues etc.

Being able to comfortably do nice things for yourself.

Not trash talking or belittling yourself.

Being committed to take care of yourself/not give up on you when you suffer.

Being able to realistically see your weaknesses without guilt or self hatred.

Enjoying your own company.

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