The trouble with loss
So recently I’ve been falling to pieces, and as a result I’m trying to excavate my thoughts and feelings as part of personal growth.
The full extent of the loss of my relationship with Ches has come to a cresendo in the past few weeks, she took my silence about my unspoken desire to reconnect and rekindle our relationship upon arrival in Melbourne as ‘I don’t care’. I failed to communicate this as at the time I was still wrestling with my demons and the dust hadn’t quite yet settled. But I had realised that I couldn’t continue on with her in LDR (long-distance relationship), and after talking with several people I concluded that I would do whatever it took to be with her - which if that meant moving back to Australia for her - I was happy to do so.
Her revealing that she was dating someone new devastated me, but I was naive to think that I could inflict so much pain and anguish on someone, remain silenct, and expect them to still wait for me. Hearts are made to be broken, and I broke hers, and now mine is crushed. Just because I broke up with her doesn’t mean I don’t feel hurt, pain, saddness, anger, guilt and longing. I don’t want her to suffer and she deserves happiness. Even if that’s not with me.
My fear of emotional commitment and planning things with a partner , and to allow myself to be vulnerable, comes from my childhood experience of experiencing so much loss. For the first fifteen years my life was characterised as a series of loss events. This was identified from reegaging with a therapist. I took to step to see a therapist late last year but my thoughts and feeling were so chaotic that even though I found it helpful and insightful I wasn’t able to fully engage. I would of loved to have continuted seeing the therapist but we struggled to find a time that worked for the both of us. But in order to move through my limitations I contacted one of their recommended alternatives and saw the new therapist yesterday.
She was kind and thoughtful, emphatic and to the point. I found her easier than the first therapist to chat with, but also I’m in a much better place to accept my limitations and loss and am willing to try for personal growth.
We spoke a lot about loss in my life and the affect it has on my ability to be vulnerable, particularly when placed in a romantic situation which requires vulnerability as my survival instincts are triggered. Growing up in a broken family, in which my father left at an early age, coupled with multiple moves as a young boy set in motion early a sense of loss. Additionally, my brother and sister suffer from ADHD and Aspergers syndrome respectively, which meant that a lot of attention growing up was on them, which required me to be self-sufficent and independent at an early age. I also didn’t have the ability to create lasting friendships at an early, as moving so much meant leaving friends behind. So I never had the chance to establish lifelong friends which contributed to my sense of loss.
This has resulted in what I have titled ‘emotional anxiety’, which mean that placed in a relationship with some I care about or have fallen in love with, I fight a battle in my head about whether what I am feeling is actually real (as opposed to lust or longing), or instead get worked up about that idea ‘that it is only going to results in loss anyway’, so why should I bother loving if I am going to end up hurt. The tragedy is that the reality is self-fulfilling, I do end up with loss by the result of the pushing & pulling I do with that person and am then not only absolutely devastated, but also guilt ridden because it’s my fault. Also, more importanlty, I’ve hurt the person I’m not supposed the most.
My goal from here out of two-fold; firstly, learn to accept loss and accept my vulnerability in a relationship so I can break the cycle of hurting others maybe actually finding my happiness and peace with someone else, and secondly, to work on my ‘mindfulness’ in order to quieten the stream of thoughts that can in order to make day-to-day living and work tasks easier and more meaningful.
Most importantly, the key is to communicate better. I lost faith in myself and in my love for Ches, and I’ve lost her. If I had communicated my fears earlier I might not be in the situation I am now. But that’s not the case, so I have to accept the situation, be compassionate, and allow Ches to find the happiness and fulfillment she deserves, and finally try to find meaning in acceptance and imagine a more hopeful and bright future for myself.
“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then play better than anybody else.” - Albert Einstein