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    • #119553
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am having such a hard time right now. The last I saw of my ex was exactly (detail removed by Moderator) ago when he (detail removed by Moderator) past my house. I had my lights out and was at the window. But my mobile was on and he could have seen the light of it behind the blinds.

      Either way, I haven’t seen a whisper of him since. On (detail removed by Moderator), just after (detail removed by Moderator), he called and left a voicemail, just crying. Then hung up. The thing is, even just seeing him in the road (detail removed by Moderator) or near me, kept a little flame of ‘us’ alive. It was his way of saying “I’m still here, I’m close, I’m thinking of you.”

      Now, the fact that he hasn’t made himself visible or tried to find a way to get near me (like he did with my child, appearing out of nowhere and walking within a metre of us) I now feel, oddly, rejected and abandoned by him. I know this is twisted and in a way it’s his form of rejecting me and he knows I know it. To suddenly go off grid (the longest before was maybe 2 or 3 days), it’s a very clear signal, as I see it, that he is moving on, maybe he has a new supply, maybe he has simply chosen to let go. The silence and absence is killing me.

      I miss the bits of him that I fell in love with. But I also have to accept and I keep telling myself that he never loved me. He got involved with me so that he had food in his stomach and warmth. I gave him money and clothes and food. It was that simple. He got involved with me out of need. He was with his ex at a point when he had money and status. Which meant he was with her because he wanted to be with her. He had money and status and he *chose* her for her looks, personality, HER. She needed things from him and he supported her. For nearly a (detail removed by Moderator).

      With me, my value was purely monetary. That hurts so much. My value was economic. I am having to tell myself that he had no genuine love for me, he couldn’t have done, to treat me with such contempt. He hated me, even said often “(detail removed by Moderator)” like he really resented being with me, period. But I was too high value to let go of. Money, house, he found me attractive. I was good enough to keep hold of. Then, maybe he caught feelings for me, but they were borne of conflict, of challenge. That is an addiction to conflict, but not love. You know when you are loved and when someone deeply resents you. It hurts so much to think this.

      It hurts that he is not showing up. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. I just want to see him one more time, see that he maybe is still thinking of me. I just want to see one more sign that I haven’t been discarded like a rag. He used to say “(detail removed by Moderator)”. He said that because I kept ending it because of his abuse. In his world, true love is enduring abuse and finding a way to make it work. By saying “no, I deserve better than this”, that was proof to him that I did not “truly” love him, ergo, he “hadn’t lost anything”. It was lose lose. If I stuck around, I’d be abused. If I said “enough”, the mental tactic then was “well you obviously don’t love me to be able to walk away that easily..”

      I wanted his love so badly, I miss the silly ways he showed he cared. I miss him. I want to cry. Why am I now missing these little displays of communication? Is it likely he has found a new target? Even in lockdown, is it possible he has found a new supply? Or an old flame? He has been silent for (detail removed by Moderator). No sign. This is HELL. It’s like an addiction and I need a fix. I know he is out there, but he’s not trying to create a connection any more. Maybe the new year was for him a mental new start. I need to find a way to do the same.

    • #119556
      KIP.
      Participant

      Nobody will judge you on here. I can’t explain how much I missed my abuser. I broke my own heart over and over again. Until eventually I was too exhausted to fight it anymore and I just let the pain wash over me. That pain is indescribable unless you’ve experienced it. But its a grieving process we need to go through so that when we come out the other side we are much stronger and wiser. It’s abuse. And that’s why we stay and that’s why we want to go back. Trauma bonding for me was stronger than love. So cry and grieve and have the good memories, they’re yours to keep. But know that this man is delusional, dangerous, manipulating, and will destroy you and enjoy watching his handiwork. All you can do is protect yourself and ride out this storm of emotional agony but you absolutely will get through it. To go back for more will just prolong the agony and give him back the power, deep down if you ignore the fear and threats and brainwashing, what are you really going back for?

    • #119561
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      This was a very important, if painful stage my of my healing process. After months of him trying every avenue to contact me, when he finally gave up I was bereft. While I was occupied with blocking him, trying to go no contact etc I had no reason to grieve him or the relationship. After a week of no contact from him I went through a very low patch. I cried daily or just felt numb for a couple of weeks. Then slowly the clouds began to clear. I found peace. Before that I was still wired all the time, euphoric with my new found freedom. But there is so much sadness. Grieving the loss of the dream you had about what he was like, the life you had planned and grief for yourself for the terrible abuse perpetrated against you by someone you loved best.

      No judgement here or most importantly try not not to judge yourself. Let yourself cry- if anything make time in your day to sit and wallow and cry. You’ve swallowed enough tears. Be very gentle with yourself, this will pass and you will be even stronger and more at peace for it xx

    • #119564
      Hetty
      Participant

      This is so normal. No judgement. It is important to recognise how you’re feeling and be able to grieve. Even when we leave these relationships for all the right reasons it’s still incredibly sad. We don’t just give up the man, we often give up material things and possessions (I left so much in the house) and the fantasy of how we thought life was going to be. I too felt like hawthorn. Wanted him to leave me alone knowing all the while that the day would come when he needed his supply from elsewhere. But bereft when the pleading became less and less.
      Don’t compare yourself to that other woman. My ex did not support me the way he did his ex before me but at the same time she paid in other ways. These men don’t change. There’s no doubt she would have had the same problems but presented in a different way.
      Let yourself cry and feel sad. It will pass. Every tear, every sad feeling takes you one step closer to your recovery. I kind of time limit myself. Maybe half an hour I will have my thoughts then I force myself to do something -log on for work, go for a walk, tidy the house whatever. Try not to think about what he’s doing. There will be no mental new start for him because these men don’t change. Will he be grieving and processing? No. Will he be looking for a new target? Likely. Will she be subjected to the same? Yes. I know it’s hard, focus on you ❤️

    • #119566
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      Yes this has hit me like a wave. Every time you see or hear from them, you know and have that reassurance that they are still trying, they too are thinking of you. Hawthorn, your words brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t feel he tried everything. Yes, he called and left a tearful sort of message, but he seems to have given up remarkably quickly. My mother, unhelpfully, said “well it was only (detail removed by Moderator)..”

      Yes, (detail removed by Moderator) of pretty much living together like a marriage.

      KIP, you said very accurately a number of times, “there are no coincidences with stalkers..” and I could see you were right. I assumed, naively, that his dedication to showing up wherever i might be was somehow indicative of his love for me and missing me. Now, I feel as if he has had a chance to do his grieving and is on the upward curve. I, on the other hand, have been reassured by his presence as “proof” that he wasn’t moving on just yet. His silence for (detail removed by Moderator) has absolutely left me hollowed out. I can’t eat, I can’t think of anything but him, I came *thisclose* just now to walking round to his to see if I could glimpse him through his window. I now am obsessing over him in the way I knew I would.

      I keep thinking of him running his hands over another woman the way he did with me, of her having the benefit of his jokes, his smell, his sex. It hurts so d**n much. He said he “cried for months” over his ex. Me, he has given up after (detail removed by Moderator) weeks. I suspect the new year was maybe a turning point for him mentally. Either way, he has found a way to keep away. If he was able to be seen so many times before, then he was taking the time and trouble to be seen. That means, he is now no longer taking the time or trouble and it is killing me. The world feels empty. All of a sudden, rather than thinking “how the f**k did he find me?” I’m thinking “where is he?”

      He used to say “(detail removed by Moderator)” and I felt it today. Like slow agony creeping over me, that he has let go. He knew he was keeping me engaged showing up, being seen. He knew what he was doing, I’m sure. Now his absence is killing. He will know that.

      He still hasn’t blocked me on WhatsApp, he still has a picture up that was ours. That will be next to go. Maybe at the 2 month mark. Slowly, bit by bit, he is finding the strength to wean himself away from me. I am trying so hard to do the same but I just want time and peace to sob. My child is with me so I have so little time at any point to truly grieve.

      The other realisation I had is that when I met him, I really wanted it to work with him. I was single, free, keen. He said one of the things I said that haunted him was that I was never happier than when things were good between us.

      I think, deep down, I instinctively knew that he was on the rebound, that he still cared about her, and I knew I was a flash in the pan that got serious. I just sort of knew he was toying with me like a cat with a mouse. I kept going back, wishing for his true love and devotion the way he showed her. He pined for her, he desperately wanted her and just her. He never seemed to care for me in that way and now I will never know what he truly felt. I feel deep shame and hurt that, in reality, I really did love him, I really did fall for him, but he was able to keep me at bay. He always did. I was an option, but maybe not his first choice. He implied she was the one that might have been. I have to grieve that truth. That genuine love evaded me, that he was playing and I was in it for real.

      I just want to sob in the dark and sit and let it out and I can’t right now. He will be much better able to move on because he has time to process. I did love him, so much. His humour, his sex, I miss the intimacy, feeling like a desirable woman, feeling close to a man for the first time in maybe (detail removed by Moderator) years. Never in my marriage did I have that passion. The chemistry, the intensity, their smell. The good times. Then it’s just gone in a puff of smoke. He is gone in a puff of smoke and I’m alone wondering what I ever meant to him and what he is doing now. I almost hate him for denying me love that was tantalisingly within my grasp, but now gone. Because he couldn’t, didn’t want, to offer genuine attached love. Always the wall up, the conflict, the abuse. Always. I have so many questions and I just want to cry. My heart is breaking all over again just from his b****y absence. X

    • #119567
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      Hetty, you are spot on. When you feel them letting go, you know it is coming, but nothing prepares you for it. It made me feel almost in a state of panic earlier, like I was starting to shake. He would be like that when we broke up and he would see me, he would start shaking and crying. Now it’s my turn. It feels almost like karma. There I was, complacently waiting for the next sighting, thinking “he can’t move on that quickly, surely..” but these men move on with frightening speed, because they need someone. Anyone. He won’t change, I agree they don’t. She did pay in other ways. She went back after a break up of a few months, only for him to do the final, brutal discard by telling her he didn’t fancy her anymore and had been with other women. He waited for her long enough to do that. He was blisteringly cruel, because he loved and hated her in equal measure. All I am worthy of is a few bike cruises past my house and a tearful call. Then radio silence.

      I wanted to love him. That’s what keeps bringing tears to my eyes. I wanted to love him and feel love from him. I kept going back to the empty well. I wanted him, maybe I wanted him more than he ever wanted me. He kept saying “I wasn’t ready for you”. He had been suicidal over Her. He got involved with me on the rebound and never truly loved me. I feel so physically in pain thinking that.

      Even with the sex, he knew so much more what he was doing than I did. I felt like a naive spinster and it made me realise that I haven’t really lived. I never lived according to desire or genuine love in my past relationships. They were either ‘sensible’ or socially good matches. Rare was the relationship that was based on very simple desire, and that one crashed and burned for different reasons. It broke me for years afterwards.

      I cannot imagine meeting a man now and feeling that sense of attraction and longing. I knew the break up from him would be hard but this is all consuming. This forum is a lifeline for me. Without it, I believe I would reach out to him. I believe that. It makes me sick to my stomach. He got into my head far more than I ever got into his. Ultimately the person who cares least always ‘wins’. I long for the day when he is not at the forefront of every waking thought. X

    • #119568
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      The other thing I keep remembering is how, in the early days, he would lie in the dark after we had sex and sometimes, he would just quietly cry. He admitted that after Her he would cry when he was with other women “because I wanted her”. No man, when he is happy with a woman, genuinely happy, lies in bed crying “because I can’t believe I’ve found you.”

      People cry, when lying in bed with someone, because they are thinking usually of another and wishing it was them, or missing them. No person, free of feelings for an ex, will cry with a new person whom they are happy to be with.

      His heart was breaking, right in front of me. I suspect, it’s because she suddenly disappeared into the ether and he had to struggle with her silence and her absence. I don’t think it ended the way he said it did. I think she upped and left after she grew up and grew tired of him not changing. I always felt with him that I was trying to catch a cloud. I was falling in love with a man who existed on the other side of a pane of glass. He was there, but not.

      I have to pry myself away from my window where I looked for him. A whole (detail removed by Moderator) and not one sign. It is agony. This is the hardest bit by far. X

    • #119569
      Hawthorn
      Participant

      That day will come. It’s so difficult to imagine our lives without them but that is because the abuse switches off the creative and rational parts of our brain. He got an emotional hook into you and that begins to dictate everything. I remember the terror before I left of being unable to imagine my life without him. I’ve always been an imaginative daydreamer and realising how badly my brain had been affected scared me almost as much as he ever had. It was one of the things that propelled me to leave, I knew I wasnt thinking straight.

      You entered your relationship with an open heart and were targeted by a skilled abuser. He is incapable of empathy or love for you or anyone else. These men dont even love themselves, they only love power and control. He triangulated you with his ex to keep you off balance and insecure. These men can only feel secure when we are insecure, they thrive on our distress.

      Try to find some time to cry some tears for yourself. You didnt deserve this and none of this was your fault. There are brighter days ahead for you now, your life with him would only ever have gotten worse.

      Sending love and hugs xx

    • #119570
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I know nobody can answer this with any accuracy, but, will I likely see or hear from him again or is this it now? Is there a good chance he has decided to give up and I can not expect any more sightings? Is this my new reality until the pain lessens? X

      • #119573
        Empoweredhealing
        Participant

        I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear right now but absolute zero contact is what you need for the pain to lessen. Someone told me that it takes about a year of no contact before you feel significant healing. I couldn’t believe it at time. But it turns out to be spot on in my case. I celebrated the anniversary of no contact feeling happy and at peace. It’s really worth it to endure this pain in order to get the rest your life back.

    • #119571
      Empoweredhealing
      Participant

      No judgement from us as we have all gone through this. The truth is this pain and grief must be felt in order to free yourself. Sit with the pain as much as you can, acknowledge it and love yourself through it.
      Byron Katie says “I don’t let go of my thoughts. My thoughts let go of me”. I think that’s the same with pain.

      You’re also tortured with obsessive thoughts about what he’s feeling, thinking or doing. As much as you can, try to notice when your thoughts are in this spiral. Interrupt them in any way you can. These thoughts are fueling your suffering. Challenge the false beliefs that generate them. Byron Katie has a simple exercise (free on her website) that can help. You too can make your painful thoughts let go of you!

    • #119572
      KIP.
      Participant

      In my opinion he’s not finished with you yet. These men have a terrible habit of turning up just when we are getting back on our feet. The thing to do in the meantime is use this breathing space for yourself. To get stronger. To prepare yourself for whatever he throws at you. To put your barriers up. I wore an elastic band on my wrist and every time my mind wandered to him I pinged it. Just concentrate on you x

    • #119574
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I am going to do the elastic band. I have just stood in my kitchen weeping and shaking while my brother consoled me. The words that keep coming up are “it’s not fair”. I had a miserable childhood and an empty marriage. I feel I have been in the wilderness for years and all I wanted – all most people ever really want – is love. I feel I wasn’t enough for him to love, She was, I was an annoyance whom he enjoyed exploiting and bullying. For a while I felt sexy but that was based on his words, not an innate sense of self that I was able to give to him. He used other women including Her from Day 1 to make me insecure. He did it to her. By all accounts she tried to stop him working because she was so neurotic about what he was up to. She “tried to impress” him with tales about her exploits. She clearly was also on the back foot thanks to him.

      My body is literally shaking. I believe it will take a long time for this pain to go away. As spring emerges, another season change, another reminder of him. Valentine’sDay. Another reminder. I just have to keep telling myself he didn’t love me and it is no loss. It is no loss. He never truly loved me. It is no loss. I got out.

      I wish I could stop shaking. X

      • #119575
        Dolly2019
        Participant

        KIP,he still hasn’t changed his WhatsApp profile picture. That is the last ‘tie’. When that changes it will be the final message. I also think he won’t do anything inflammatory like post a selfie because he won’t want me to think he is moving on when it could make me more determined with the case. It’s a random thought but he won’t want to inflame things so he may just leave the picture as an emotional decoy. It’s odd that he has gone so silent and yet that hasn’t changed.

        I hate that I am counting days. They have turned into weeks and soon months. It hurts so much I know I won’t be able to sleep.

        X

    • #119576
      KIP.
      Participant

      The shaking is the trauma and it will pass. I obsessed about the words my ex used for a long time after. But he’s a liar and manipulator and will have said whatever he felt would mess with your head in that moment. It’s lies and delusional nonsense. It means nothing. Try to rest even if you can’t sleep. Try some mindfulness if you can. Drink plenty. You won’t always feel this way and he won’t always have this hold over you. I think we move on from these men but the trauma we retain takes a lot longer. Don’t mix up the two.

    • #119578
      gettingtired
      Participant

      I’m so sorry Dolly, I felt like crying reading this thread. I’m feeling a little emotional today. I wish I could take the pain away for you. You’re very strong and intelligent, that’s clear from your posts. Sorry I haven’t been able to help much but I’m sending a virtual hug x

      • #119583
        Dolly2019
        Participant

        @gettingtired thank you for the hug. This forum is my lifeline. I cannot express the gratitude I feel for being able to talk about this and not feel judged. The shame at what I feel is only self-inflicted. I must grieve and accept loss. Yes, he was a controlling, tyrannical b*****d hell bent on controlling and breaking me. He didn’t succeed. But I must process the shame and pain of knowing I went back to this person, cap in hand each time, hoping for real, authentic love that I was willing to offer him. It wasn’t there. He was an emotional fraud. I called him that. I said he was an emotional fraudster with a game plan. He always said “my greatest fear is that we end without you truly knowing how I feel about you…”

        All empty words. “I’d die for you…”

        Yet he has managed to steer clear of me, managed to break ties already. After messing with my head and showing up, waving. It was nothing but a game of win or lose to him.

        Sorry for all the posts, it’s just I need to let it out, typing helps the tears come out. Little by little each wave of tears helps me on the road to closure.

        X

    • #119580
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      I’m still shaking. This has come out of nowhere. How is it, for (detail removed by Moderator) weeks I have had that near certainty that he would appear like a puff of smoke without me seeing him. Which meant he had to be watching the house. This time I go out, alone to the shops along my route and I am actively dawdling and taking longer, in the hope that he might break cover and appear. It is humiliating and miserable. My brain feels like it’s going into panic mode. This is borderline panic. I feel abandoned.

      It occurred to me, if he saw me at the window (which he must have done, the light from my phone would have been illuminating in the dark) then he will have known I was sitting in the dark looking out for him. That in turn means, that one act of being seen watching for him in a way handed power to him. He will / might have thought “she’s looking for me. She expects me. She misses me.”

      Rational and reasonable deductions which would all be true.

      So it’s possible he will be himself feeling powerful or soothed by my evidence of longing. It may be a bit far fetched but I don’t think so. He will have seen me. Those would be logical deductions. Will he now be luxuriating in knowing he is demonstrating strength by staying away. Could this be another game to get under my skin, to hurt me. The sudden absence when he had been so visible before. I feel I handed him my broken heart on a plate.

    • #119589
      Hetty
      Participant

      I’m so glad you feel able to share how you’re feeling so openly. Get it all out.
      You mentioned going back to an empty well with him. That’s just it, he is an empty well. Not just incapable of loving you but incapable of loving any woman. This is nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. His ‘grief’ at the other woman leaving is just him feeling c**p because she got away. They prefer to discard us. Even if he went back for the final time then got rid he would never truly recover from rejection. These men seek power and control. They can’t handle it being taken away.
      I know it doesn’t feel like this now but if he’s left you alone you’ve had a lucky escape. Or it might be mind games like Kip says.
      This break up has brought up a lot of emotional stuff for me too. My childhood, my previous unhealthy relationship. I never experienced anything like it over Christmas. I thought I was going to lose my mind completely.
      The only way out is through. Keep going. You’ve been amazingly strong to get this far. Keep going. Some days I’ve been crawling, on my knees. But every night me and my son go to bed in a safe, calm and peaceful home ❤️

    • #119598
      Dolly2019
      Participant

      @Hetty, I’m sorry you had such an awful Christmas. It is always a hard time I find, if you are not in a happy place emotionally.

      I found Christmas ok as I was with my family bubble and they helped me recalibrate. But being at home again, seeing empty streets, I feel desperately alone.

      The suddenness of his absence, not even 3/4 days absence but a week, like that, has played havoc with my mind. It is turning in circles wondering who has distracted him sufficiently to stay away. I can’t prove it, I am suffering in imagination. I also know he will likely treat her like dirt and use her as he did me. But it’s still steps forward to heal.

      There is a song I want to put on and cry, but it almost hurts too much to even consider it. I can’t quite believe, it is over. It is starting to feel over in that cold, brutal way that continued silence tells you. I’m not going to be close to him again, hear him making tea, have him touch my foot gently. I am not going to see, hear or feel any of that again. He will close down, shut down and move on. It’s what he does to survive. He’s a parasite in so many ways.

      But showing up, riding past. Even doing that he was building up a dependency on his presence. Then he has the power and control in not doing it any more.

      I wish to god I hadn’t been at the window. Wish he hadn’t seen me. I feel sure that is what did it. He knew I was waiting for a glimpse and it gave him power to stay away. Call it a guy feeling but this is another means of messing with me.

      I just have to let this pain sit with me. It is agony. I was clearing out some boxes and came across something he put in it. All I could think was “he touched this. His hands were on this.”

      It hurts. It hurts it hurts it hurts. X

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