Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by cloud9, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. cloud9

    cloud9 Well-Known Member

    Recently, I’ve been part of volunteer training for a crisis helpline. We’ve been discussing the concept of loss which is a situation that we may encounter as helpline volunteers. After diving into the topic and reflecting on my own life, I started to see how it applied. To my surprise I also saw how it applied to situations I would not have considered to be a loss. Loss isn’t necessarily just a death of someone close to you. It can certainly stem from other areas in one’s life: loss of friendships, a home etc. Essentially any major change in one’s life can be viewed as a loss and trigger the grieving process.

    I want to apply what I learnt to an important area of loss of my life. The ending of my relationship over a year ago was significant to me. It triggered other losses as well which ultimately had a greater impact on me. What did I feel? I suspect a lot of you have also gone through a similar grieving process.

    Grieving Process

    Shock - I was expecting it to end at some point. It felt unsustainable, but nevertheless, the breakup induced a strong response in me. I remember the tears. I cried a lot that day. There really was nothing but intense sadness. Nothing else mattered.

    Denial – I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to think about it. I believe I spent most of my time here. I could forget it and stop processing it by shifting my focus onto something else. It was a terrible way to cope, but it kept me going in a demanding work environment. I worked twelve hour days, I worked weekends. I was inefficient, but it killed a lot of time. If time heals all wounds, then I was trying to burn as much time as I could.

    Anger- Ahh, my uncontrollable outbursts. Sometimes I wonder if my family could recognize an unusual turbulence in my moodiness. Sometimes when you’re hurt, you want to hurt others. I was very snippy. I was really mean at times. Sometimes I felt I was justified. I was terribly hurt. Anything said to me or done to me that hurt even a little set me off.

    Guilt – I was brooding here for quite some time as well. I’m not sure if I’m in the clear from here though. I blamed myself. What could I have done differently to change things? Should I have been more open, more communicative? What did I do to make her fall out of love with me? Or at least to the point where it was bearable for her to just let me go? I obviously didn’t have any answers, and I was never satisfied with the answers she gave me that day she broke up with me. Thinking about this brings back unsettling feelings. I’ve studied a lot of science and accounting. Ultimately, there’s an answer, a why for everything in those subjects, but here I just couldn’t get one. I had to learn to live with this uncertainty, forever. I hated it. My therapist just told me that at the end of the day it didn’t matter why. In the end she checked out. The way I would eat, or the way I sneezed would have been a problem for her if she stayed. Once somebody checks out of the relationship hotel, nothing will change that.

    Blame- I tried placing blame on others. My anger was aimed at her initially. Why wasn’t I worth it for her? Why didn’t she want to place any effort to make things right? I’ll never know - another tough pill to swallow. I blamed her close friends as well, thinking they must have convinced her that I was no good. Of course thinking along these lines didn’t exactly make me feel better.

    Rationalization – In trying to view the breakup from a point of view other than emotions, I decided it was bound to ultimately end. Its ending was an opportunity for me to do other things. I would learn and grow stronger from it. I’m not sure I believe it, but I need to tell myself these things to feel better.

    Integration – a better word than acceptance. This is where I try to rebuild aspects of my life. As I mentioned earlier I lost a lot of friends along the way and some I really didn’t want to lose when on the brink, but ultimately you can’t avoid collateral damage. I’m in this phase now. I know I need friendships, but that takes a lot of leg work and effort. It’s a struggle, but I’m trying. I’m trying to pursue a new career. I’m trying to correct the things in my life that weren’t working well before. I still find it hard to stick to this path. I still think of her. There are times where I let my mind wander to a time we were still together, happy in each other’s company. It’s like a movie or video game escape, only when it dawns on you that it is no longer real, it hurts a lot. I still miss her.

    Did you all experience a loss in a similar fashion?
  2. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write this. Yes, the stages of loss. Hopefully we have all been through all the stages and not gotten stuck at one of them. When we can successfully go through the stages we can move on, as best as possible. With some losses, life will never be the same. We get from day to day best we can. eg the loss of a child. The loss of a dear loved one complicated by other past wounds that we kept inside.

    Thank you again for writing your experience !!!