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Daughter broke up with boyfriend and I'm the one depressed! - Page 29

post #281 of 509

Dear Coffeeluvr:


Thank you for sharing your story.   I don't want to give you false hope, but many high school sweethearts reconnect in adulthood---so it might happen with your daughter---but you might be safer not expecting it, and just dealing with the situation as it is right now.   It sounds like they both need some freedom to explore relationships---and yeah, maybe some hookups---with other people.  Maybe this is something that they both missed in high school, so they need to do it now.  It sounds pretty normal to me---but exasperating and heartbreaking for you---I know.  You described so accurately how these kids become part of your family---and then all of a sudden they're not around---and we have no control over it.   Make no mistake---you ARE grieving.   I am sorry that your therapist has not been helpful.  They do bring their own preferences and biases to the table---no matter what their training says to do---and this is unfortunate.   I have not really talked to my therapist about this, either.   I just sensed very early on that she thought my feelings were silly, and not meaty enough to explore.   So I have found a lot of comfort from this blog---and it sounds like you have, as well.   It sounds like you are already trying to take care of yourself, by journaling---which is really good, isn't it?   Every morning, I turn on my "happy light" and do my journaling in front of it.   (The light seems to have helped with the crying jags...)   One thing that really helped me, was to be more "mindful" of my feelings.   Rather than try to distract myself from them---which never really works---they just came back stronger and with a vengeance---I just sat calmly and described what I was feeling---the physical and the mental manifestations of my hurt.   (I hope this doesn't sound too woo-hoo...)  Just take good care of yourself---exercise---eat well---and connect with the people that you love, and love you back!   Good luck to you.   It DOES get better....



post #282 of 509
Dear Catsndogs,

Thank you for your kind thoughts and support.

I wanted to let you know that I completely understand about succumbing to the urge to lurk on social media. I monitored some stuff religiously, but I quit last month. I also felt that while it was great to learn a little bit about what was going on in his life, it oftentimes left me more angry. The little data I could collect only led to more speculation, which hurt more. Plus, we all know that social media postings are nowhere near an accurate representation of anyone's true self. My daughter definitely markets herself constantly with a more positive spin than what is really happening in her life.

One of the things that my therapist tells me is that I have to forgive myself. And I think that does help a little.

I agree that journaling is wonderful. Sounds like you have a very healthy ritual for that smile.png

I hope that since my daughter's ex is now in a relationship, he can move past being angry with my daughter and get his pride back. But, as you and I discovered, monitoring their social media keeps one attached and makes letting go a lot harder. I wonder how viewing my daughter's snapchat story all the time affects her ex?

His new relationship did set me back quite a bit. I knew he would find another girl, but it was still a fight/ flight response. But, then I started looking at it from a different perspective.... I would definitely warn my daughter from getting too attached to a guy that consistently monitors his ex's snap story. Not to mention the holiday "whatever" with the "friends with benefits" girl. The guy I knew wouldn't do that.

I agree with you about distractions. They make time go by, but they don't help with the emotions. My heart stops physically hurting temporarily, but it does come back far worse. I also don't agree that this pain necessarily makes one stronger. I would never say that to my friend whose teenage son committed suicide at 15. You never get over that-- you just continue on. All that talk about the scar being stronger than the original wound -- I just get better at building walls.

One thing that is funny-- my daughter's ex would be astonished at how I've felt about this. He often wondered how I could be so non- reactive. He would ask if I ever got emotional about anything. I'm in the medical field, so I have to control my emotions.

You might mention it to your therapist again. Mine doesn't get it, but she's trying. The social media component is interesting to her. It was easier to "forget" past relationships when I was in college. Now it's a different thing altogether. I think that's partly why the attachment occurred with this guy. Constant knowledge of his life, and I had to accept that he was aware of mine.

My parents never met any of my boyfriends, except for maybe 5 minutes.

Anyway, thanks again for your support. It really does help very much:)

post #283 of 509

Dear Coffeeluvr:


I am fighting a very strong urge to go back on Facebook to do some more stalking.   Last night, I went to dinner with a friend, and I thought I saw the ex there, sitting at the bar talking with one of his buddies.   I was uncertain, but he caught me staring at him a few times---so if it wasn't the ex---I made a totally innocent guy very uncomfortable.    I want to check out his FB page for pictures to see if it really was him.   I am trying very hard NOT to do that---mostly because I know that it will wrench my gut if I see things that I don't want to....  So I agree with you---social media can be a curse.   And I agree with you, he would be amazed at how much this has affected ME.   (I am amazed at how much this has affected me...)  


Maybe you're right, maybe I should try talking with my therapist about this again.   I just "hinted" at it initially, just to feel her out, and she seemed pretty dismissive, so I didn't pursue it further.   (Maybe I really need to figure out why I "hint" at things with the woman that I am paying to listen to me and help me....)   There seems to be a lot of shame around this topic, that is why I felt so fortunate to find this blog.   There is not a lot of information out there specifically relating to this issue, yet it seems to be affecting a lot of people.   I suppose that maybe someday, there will be a DSM diagnosis just for us, and maybe support groups, too!  (I'm saying this kinda tongue-in-cheek...)  But for now, a lot of people are probably suffering in silence over something that is very real...


I had to smile when you said that your parents had limited exposure to your boyfriends---ditto for me!   My parents knew two of my boyfriends---one that I was engaged to and then broke it off---and then the one that I actually married.   But parenting is certainly a different ballgame these days.   I think our kids talk to us more than we did to our parents---and with social media---maybe we know way more than we really need to....


Anyway, thanks again for sharing and helping.   I appreciate it.   



post #284 of 509
Hi again,

I fight the urge to lurk many times during the day. I've read that our brains get a bit of a rush when we do the social media thing because we are having a little bit of a connection with the person we miss. It is very similar to fighting an addiction. I only avoid his facebook stuff now because I feel a little nauseous with the post of the new girlfriend. I've given myself the goal to not check again until the end of the school year to see where it stands and if he's even coming home for the summer. Not sure I'll make it though. Spring break might be a weak spot.

There was a day last spring where I lost it emotionally and told my mom everything. The boyfriend had stayed at her house a few times with my family, so she'd met him. My mom was surprised by how much I knew about my daughter's relationship. She felt badly for me, but agreed that there was no way anyone who hadn't gone through it personally could really understand. She thought it was a lot easier when she was raising us and was oblivious to our partying, etc. I felt I had no emotional support as a teenager, and I didn't want my girls to feel that way.

I think the shame aspect comes from our culture of "just move on to the next thing", and the assumption that we see these guys as our boyfriends. That is so not true. I started feeling less creepy about it after I read an article about PTSD. The idea was that the human brain is still wired to function as relatively small tribal groups. The veterans still yearn for the connection they had and trusted with their buddies. The author extended that theory towards why American women have such a high rate of depression. He saw the connection in that we are still wired to raise families, be a part of our kids' lives and help with the grandkids. The American culture is so focused on success, money, and achievement, but it messes with our emotions and need to create strong family units.

So, I think once we emotionally attach to the boyfriend, we are responding in a way that is supportive and healthy for the "tribe".

A couple of years ago when one of my friends was depressed and wondering what the point of life was-- I answered her that my happiest times were coming home and seeing my daughter and her boyfriend building a healthy, strong relationship. It was my daily inspiration and hope for the future.

I feel less guilty and ashamed now. I blame my brain that still functions on instinct smile.png)

But, in my thoughts, all day long, is constant analyzing and speculation of what her ex feels now and how this will play out. Yesterday was a very sad, bawling like a baby, day. I hope my heart will hurt a little less today....

Take care of yourself. But if you give in to the lurking -forgive yourself.

post #285 of 509

Update on my son!  Everything seems great for 3 months.  I am just starting to let my guard down and let her into my life again.  They are living together.  I spent yesterday with her at a demonstration.  Last night at 1230a I get a call from her to come pick my son up.  She caught him texting a girl from work that he had friended during their summer breakup.  He was drinking so couldn't drive and she wanted him out. When I got there 2 cops are there because she threatened to harm herself and he was worried. I did speak with her and she said he said some horrible things to her.  On the way home he was trying to defend himself and said he hasn't been happy.I am angry with him that he didn't address this in a more mature way and is blaming everyone else. I am hoping we can have a better conversation today.  I am so anxious, I can't sleep, eat, have been sick to my stomach.  The tears haven't started yet but I feel them close. The anxiety is the worse, an overwhelming feeling that there is something wrong.  It hits me from head to toe.  She texted me last night that she loves me but can"t have me in her life.  It hurts too much and I understand that but I am so worried about her. My son thinks I am taking her side and doesn't get that I loved her like a daughter and this is a loss. I had stopped therapy but will start again

Part of me feels like the expectation that some of the younger people feel is that your relationship should be perfect and if there is a fight they don't know how to work it out.  They just leave and look for something better.  My husband and I never fought in front on our son so he didn't see the way we worked out our differences and forgave and moved on.  This generation wants everything

It is hard to see so much love one day and then it totally gone the next.

Hearing from you all helps so much! Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

post #286 of 509

Hi CoffeeLuvr:


Wow---your insights about our brain wiring were very helpful!   It never dawned on me that this is what might be causing my "irrational" connection to my daughter's love life.  It makes total sense.  My daughter is in a relationship with a new guy---who seems very nice, very stable---but I can't get as excited about him as I did the ex.   That made no sense to me, until I read your post.   The ex seems to have more of that "protective" thing going for him---and he hunts and fishes---so yeah, maybe he would have been good for our "tribe."    I'm feeling less ashamed---so thanks for the reframe...


Can you send the title of the article that you read on PTSD---or where you read it?   It sounds really interesting.   Thanks so much for sharing.



post #287 of 509

Dear Blbnker:


I am so sorry that you are going through this!  I don't understand how your girl doesn't want you in her life---if she is living with your son---surely your paths will need to cross from time to time.  I hope all of you can come to some workable arrangement.   In the meantime, take good care of yourself---that's about all you can do---while you support these young people.   Good luck...



post #288 of 509

I pasted a link to the ptsd article. I found it helpful and very insightful.

I also saw my daughter' s ex as an usually well rounded guy. She did too, which she loves and still respects about him. Sure, he can be stupid and obnoxious around his friends. But I got to know very well what he's like away from that. She always said he'll be a great father to his kids and a great husband. She still thinks that, but I think it got too easy for her. She always felt (and was) safe with him. He is physically a solid rock and none of the guys would mess with him (because of his strength, not because of anger issues). He hunts, worked construction, can cook just about anything, has musical talent, and is smart.

When they broke up, she told him she felt trapped. He found that particularly hurtful. I explained to him that what once felt protective now feels suffocating.

I completely understand that at 18 they were way too young and need more life experiences. I was so angry with my daughter because she handled it so disrespectfully. But then, he became too emotional for her and she didn't know how to handle it.

I kind of agree with Blbnker that dealing with disagreements and learning to compromise isn't something done well by younger couples. I know I didn't have those skills at their age. My parents didn't speak to each other for 5 years before my mom finally moved out. I tried to make it a point to coach my daughter on conflict skills. It's just really hard for her and her ex is well aware of it. We had open conversations about all of our " quirks". He, on the other hand, has far more mature skills in that department, and had no problem working on that with her.

I believe that my daughter will search for the "perfect" guy for awhile. She's very competitive, and thinks that the grass is greener elsewhere. I am proud of her for wanting to succeed and be so independent, and I hope she learns that "perfect" doesn't exist.

Meanwhile, I still struggle with generally being angry with both of them--mixed with sadness. And I worry that he will give up on her.

He told me that he wish he had met her after high school. So, I suspect he knew that the timing has to be better.

His thoughts on this were startlingly intuitive/ mature to me. So, I've always wondered if he got advice from someone older. Hopefully, someday I'll get to find out.....

Like you, I will someday have to meet some new guy that my daughter likes. I doubt I will be able to give him a fair shot. Plus, I will never know him like I knew her ex. As she gets older and no longer spends much time at home, it won't be possible.

I'm curious as to why you think you're not as impressed with your daughter's new guy?

post #289 of 509

I am so sorry-- I can imagine how much it hurts to go through this again.

I hope this girl is just overreacting to your son and doesn't cut off contact with you. Many argue that cutting off ties completely is necessary, but I wonder who that helps? Avoiding those who love and support us is dysfunctional, in my opinion.

As long as your relationship with her is separate from your son's relationship, I think it can be ok. If a parent starts trying to manipulate the situation, then it's a problem.

Temporary avoidance is understandable, but permanent removal of loved ones is just harsh.

It certainly doesn't teach our kids hoe to cooperate and compromise......

Take care of yourself...
post #290 of 509

Good Morning, CoffeeLuvr:


I've been asking myself that same question---why I can't get as excited about the new guy---because he seems to have a lot of good qualities.   Initially, I feared that he was just a "rebound" relationship, and that my daughter would end up dumping him eventually.   He seems like a nice guy---and I don't want to see him hurt, either.   But the ex seems to have more of a deep sensitivity that I know my daughter was drawn to---a soulmate quality---and the new guy doesn't seem to have that.   I'm not even sure that she realizes this yet.   When I met the ex for the first time, I KNEW that he would be someone very important in my daughter's life---their connection was almost palpable.   I have not met the new guy yet, since my daughter thinks it's too soon, and that is fine.   So who knows, maybe I will change my mind once I meet him.   I just listen to my daughter talking about him, and sometimes it sounds to me like she is trying to talk herself into believing that he is right  for her.   I hope I am wrong, really I do.   The bottom line is that no matter how "perfect' I thought the ex was---he's NOT that perfect if he didn't want to be in a relationship with my daugher---and that's what broke them up.  So it doesn't really matter how connected they WERE, or what I think.  My daughter has moved on, and maybe he has as well, so I have to stop focusing on how nice it would have been to have him in our family.   Easier said than done....


And thank you for the article link---I will read it for sure...



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