Trying so damn hard to say goodbye to each other (FL 8)

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10 thoughts on “Trying so damn hard to say goodbye to each other (FL 8)

  1. Oh Ann!
    I’m sorry you felt that way. I agree with you, it sounds pretty similar to what M is experiencing. Reading your story about how you missed love from your parents… Yes, I thought I recognised that pattern in your latest post, the doubting that you are not settling. I feel the same thing, I know I don’t want to ever go back to a sexless, disrespectful marriage. But I wonder every day if I am not going back to my old patterns of wanting to please just to get that little crumb of attention I crave.
    Seeing where you are now makes me happy though. Because I think you are realising, truly realising, that though these thoughts are real, happen, you can take them for what they are, related to your childhood, and thus to take with a healthy distance…
    May I recommend again that book I just read? The emotionally absent mother, by Jasmine Lee Cori. I know it talks mostly of mothering, but I think it can also be applied to other important figures in our lives. I know it does for me too…

  2. I’ve got a book recommendation for you too: Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. It talks about adult attachment patterns (anxious – secure – avoidant) and I’m finding it very interesting and insightful.

    On the basis of this post (since I’ve only recently started reading your blog), it sounds like you may be vulnerable to what they call “the anxious-avoidant trap” – which amounts to being drawn to the sort of person who brings out the worst in you in a vicious circle of withdrawal and clinginess. (It also explains why it’s so hard to break up.) Anxious-secure is a much better match, and they do a good job of explaining why.

    Dawn D, I ran across The Emotionally Absent Mother some time ago. Haven’t read it yet but I was thinking I should. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    • Yes, I enjoyed it. I still need to do lots of the work she suggests, but… it’s a good book!
      As for Ann… I think this relationship has been over for a long time. It doesn’t represent where she’s at right now, i don’t think, from her latest posts… 🙂

      • Yeah, I realize that FL is old news but as I understand it, these patterns generally have very deep roots. Knowledge of your attachment type is power. I think that knowing why it went sideways with FL can provide some insight into how it’s going with Fox.

        To anxious types, connecting with avoidant types tends to feel like the way it’s supposed to be, despite the crazy-making emotional rollercoaster. Apparently, anxious types tend to associate those ups and downs with romance and love, when it’s actually anxiety from the attachment system being engaged, which is not good.

        In contrast, secure types may appear ‘boring’, but they can be tremendously warm and nurturing, which is what anxious types need. I think Fox sounds like a secure type, which would be good news.

  3. Thank you for sharing these emails with us…..yes, it’s exactly where I am right now except I don’t have anyone telling me to stay. I have to listen and get it through my thick head.
    I understand in reading your mails how you must feel while reading mine. The longing comes through and it hurts to see a friend hurt so much. Thank you my darling 💖

  4. Damn, Ann. I saw so much of myself in these excerpts. I have similar patterns but I’m not sure where they came from / why I have them. My parents were apparently happily married until they divorced when I was a teenager… but neither of them were emotionally present. (I later learned it was probably due to my mom having a string of affairs.)

    I had a happy childhood but I did feel that I was on my own most of the time and especially as I got older. I moved out on my own at age 17 immediately after I finished high school.

    I have always described myself as “fiercely independent” but, for the first time ever, I no longer see that as a positive thing. I am too used to being on my own, especially emotionally, that I never even realized that my marriage was unhealthy. I was alone even when partnered.

    And, like you and FL, I feel like I am addicted to Texas because of the feelings I feel when I am with him. I felt loved and cherished. Like the most important person in the world. He was present and could give me what I needed, but I wasn’t ready. And now it’s gone.

    Maybe it’s all superficial. Maybe I need some intensive counseling.

    I am so glad to see that you made it through to the other side. It gives me the consolation I so desperately need right now.

  5. The irony of it all is that getting used hurt, but the attention didn’t, and for some reason, the latter trumped any emotional damage the former did. Boys who were emotionally unavailable were highly attractive, and nice guys – guys who were really into me and put me first – bored me.

    Which goes a long way toward explaining (1) your difficulty in disentangling yourself from a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man (Tony), and (2) moving ahead, fully engaging with (and accepting of) a ‘nice guy’ (Fox); no?

    Food for thought.

    Sometimes we repeat patterns because they become comfortable in that they are What We Know, even when the experiences wrought from the repetition are Not Good. Breaking away from those habits is difficult – sometimes to the point of painful – even when we know that the changes we’re initiating with our new choices are better/healthier.

    It’s not easy.

    But nothing worth having or doing ever is.

    Thank you for sharing this glimpse backward. I hope it will help shed light on the path you take as you step into the future. <3

    • Oh yes; indeed. I have been trying to break these patterns for two years. Despite Tony, I have said no to men I wouldn’t have many years ago. And giving Fox and my relationship a real chance is also about breaking these patterns. It feels great to be able to move past some of these old wounds.

  6. Wow. Thank you for writing this post. I’ve been there. To the readers, thank you for recommending the books. I have some reading to do.

What do you think?