I say how I feel. I say I am not alone. Because, I am not and you are not alone if you feel this.
There are teenagers that feel this. There are adults that feel this. There are friends whose family members feel like I do. There are singers, actors, rich people, poor people that feel like I do.
Grief for the end of a relationship is exactly like grief over a death. At the blink of an eye, one minute you can be holding each other. Then the next minute they can be riding away. You may never speak to them or see them again.
Here is a connection, a special empathy, someone who relates. Thank you for your feedback on grief over the end of a relationship. Many people struggle through this, if this is you, remember you are not alone:
As you say, you were looking at it through the rose coloured glasses. Yet you acknowledge that this is the denial phase of grief. I think you've hit the nail on the head. You are missing a fantasy, something that didn't exist. You are missing what could have been, if he had of changed. But he didn't. When I broke up with my ex, I was too heart broken to admit that we weren't that close, and she wasn't all that into me. I felt that a strong bond had been broken and that a huge part of my life had gone away. Now years later, I can say that we really didn't know each other very well, and my ex wasn't all that into me, and that is ok. I worshiped her at the time, but now I can see that I worshiped a fantasy, I had objectified that person, added magical qualities, idealised them. I grieved for the fantasy I had created in my mind. Now I can see the reality: two people who really had nothing in common.
I am past the grief now, and truly wish that person well. After overcoming the hurt and resentment, I was able to use the relationship experience as one of the best life lessons I've had. I learned so much from that person, from that experience. They are an important part of my past now, but not for the reason I first thought. I thought they would provide me with my "happy ever after". Turns out they provided me with an opportunity to heal from some painful childhood trauma. I'm able to be grateful now.
I identify with you when you say that you are grieving over 20 or 30 years of pain. In grieving my first relationship break-up in recovery I had to grieve all that I had numbed out in my addiction. It all comes up. It is so new to feel the pain and to see it as a natural part of life instead of trying to find something to take the pain away. You will be stronger for it. And you are becoming a role model for your children. They will learn how to handle the tough stuff that life throws at you by walking through it and not running from it.
You acknowledge your successes "I own my own property and manage it along with a full time job, raised 3 kids on my own, financially supported the 4 of us for 12 years",yet you say it all pales into insignificance in the face of a relationship break-up. The title of that book "Why do I Think I'm Nothing Without a Man" popped into my head. Clearly you have been judging your worth on whether you are in a relationship or not, and not giving yourself credit for all your amazing achievements. Perhaps this experience will teach you that you are awesome just the way you are and that you don't need a relationship to fulfill you. You don't need to ride another's coattails.
Feel the feelings and hang onto your goal: This will lead me to being the woman I always wanted to be. A mature, serene, giving and loving woman with the courage of a lioness.
Perhaps you'll come to see that you've been a "mature, serene, giving and loving woman with the courage of a lioness" all along, but you just didn't see it, so you saught out relationships to give you what you thought you lacked. I encourage you to find in yourself what you have always saught in relationships. I think you'll find its already there, just waiting to be awakened and recognised. Then you will enter your next relationship feeling whole and enough just as you are.
#grief # breakup #relationships #fantasy #journaling #courage #serene #loving