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Let's not cry

Uninstalled WhatsApp. Probably an "all or nothing" response to things, but I might as well expand upon my reasoning. The only person I speak to on there is Meg, and I'm tired of feeling like I'm waiting for responses. Not sure how, but now she's not working, her replies seem to be even slower. It's now getting to a point where she reads messages and seemingly decides not to reply. Doesn't feel good, yet it could easily be explained a way. She told me numerous times she doesn't like spending lots of time staring at a screen. Nevertheless, the waiting conjures anxiety, depression, anger and a litany of unpleasant emotions.

Truth is - she's done nothing wrong. It's my issue with people taking ages to reply. That's my burden. I'm making it difficult and unpleasant on myself. Personally, I do think replying in a timely way is common courtesy, and yet over the years I've befriended so many people who take prolonged periods of time to reply to me. I've said it numerous times - truth is, instant messaging isn't for everyone. It's my main form of communication and socialising, so I guess my approach is biased. I told her on FB Messenger to drop me a line when she wants to meet up. But going forwards, at least for now - I'm going to sever contact with her via instant messaging outside of arranging to meet up in real life. I just can't process the waiting in a healthy way, and after months of it - I'm exhausted. Thing is, as soon as I told her - I was flooded with guilt. Felt like a bad friend etc. Thing is, she was understanding, and she had a feeling when I told her I was uninstalling WhatsApp - that I was possibly doing something of that nature.

If I'm being brutally honest - these faults all lie with me. My anxiety, co-dependency, clinginess etc were all making waiting in between messages and conversations literally painful. Problem is, this has been a continuous theme in every single relationship for 18 years. The fact I got on, and liked Meg more than anyone I've dated before meant that this co-dependency burnt brighter than ever. The blame all lies with me, which really sucks. Being stuck in an 18 year loop of unhealthy attachment. It's why I've been contacting therapists in recent days. I'm looking into EMDR therapy as it's supposedly very effective and doesn't need prolonged treatment sessions. It seems like past traumas are firing off time and again, every week, and in every relationship it gets so much worse. Honestly, it's deeply unsettling, and I can't continue living like this.

Me and Meg met yesterday evening for a couple of hours. I realised then, that I'm doing ok in her presence. It makes me wonder "what all the fuss is about" when I'm not around her. But then the tension of waiting for replies builds. Huge peaks and troughs. Massive build ups of inner tension and turmoil which batter me on a daily basis. It's been like that since the first time I started messaging her. 133 days of it, and I can't take much more of it. At least yesterday, the sexual tension has all but gone. Truth be told, a lot felt like projection when it came to attraction when we dated. Simple fact is, we met when I wasn't feeling good. The spark, and someone liking me took over - and I pursued it. Same as with Kristy, and Stephanie, and Katie, and Emily, and Lucy. My self-esteem is that low, that when someone shows an interest in me, I get tunnel vision. Still, even if I look to Meg now and feel less desire and attraction - it doesn't alter the fact our intimacy and the sex was absolutely mind blowing.

We spent Saturday together, and towards the end we repeated something that happened the weekend before - I dreaded her hair, as she lay back on me, with a pillow on my lap as I was sat cross legged. Perhaps this is just situational. If either of us were in a relationship - I'd argue that sort of behaviour isn't acceptable. Maybe that's just me. If I was to walk into a room and see my girlfriend laying on her back in the lap of another guy - how'd I process that? Emotions would be intense, and my self worth would plummet. Anxiety and fear would surge. I'd be a mess. Truth is, neither of us are in a relationship - but I fear it's blurring the lines between what is and isn't acceptable when just being friends. The hugs have shortened in duration and intensity too. I think the adjustment to friends is starting to work.

So why has the adjustment period felt so rough with Meg? Well, we went from dating to friends with no gap inbetween. No time apart to truly process or grieve the breakup. In fact, we met up again within 48 hours of the breakup. We first met on 5th July. We knew neither of us were in the right place to date, yet, on the 21st July we decided to make a go of things. I think rushed is the best way to describe the relationship and subsequent friendship after our breakup.

Communication was good in person during our relationship. But it wasn't fully open. We'd touched upon co-dependency, but I never aired how truly integral it is in my life and relationships. I've noticed that since we've broken up, communication of an in depth nature about the 2 of us, tends to have been relegated to online chats only. We did talk candidly when I spent the weekend on site in Oxford, and the sexual tension in the air on our last night was so intense, it ended in a discussion - which somehow made the feelings worse.

Feelings. Let's be honest here - waiting for someone to reply feels like crap. The longer I wait, the more crap I feel. Keeping busy always felt like a distraction at best when we dated. I was filling time until we spoke or met again. Unhealthy.

And now? Same feeling. Fact is, I enjoy my free time more when I'm around her. I don't enjoy my free time as much when I'm on my own. Unhealthy. This needs work and addressing. I think less time dedicated to instant messaging will certainly help.

I've distanced myself from the few real life friends I have, because being in their company wore me out, and made me feel a variety of negative emotions. Unhealthy. Need to find ways to find new friends. Not sure how.

I never bothered with WhatsApp before meeting Meg. Keeping it after the breakup, and still relying on checking it numerous times a day. It's a mess. She ended up hiding her status from me, so I couldn't see when she was last logged in, because again - delayed replies was making my brain fizz, and negative emotions would spiral. Problem is - I'm still there. Stuck in this circle. She did that change after we broke up - and part of me thought it would've helped so much when we had been dating. Ah well.

My last therapist was right - I really do give too much of myself to other people. With Meg, it's uncanny - I've really messed myself up. I felt like I was waiting for replies from her within hours of first meeting her and getting her number. I installed WhatsApp on my phone just to speak with her, and began feeling negative emotions build with longer and longer delays in her replying.

This has become unhealthy and obsessive. In her company it feels calm and chill. But the instant messaging side has to change. This new routine will take some getting used to, but it needs to happen. It feels rather "all or nothing" again, but I know it's a necessity. I can't healthily process these gaps inbetween us talking. So let's just meet in person when we can, and leave it at that. The distance will help me acclimate to being single, and allow both of us to live our lives.

I reach out to other friends online, but their response times are usually worse than Meg's. My free time feels hollow. I try doing stuff to enjoy myself, but depression is rife - things feel forced. Not sure what I'm living for to tell the truth. Wayward, and without purpose.

Recent updates I've had got Meg excited, but I wasn't feeling much at all. Getting accepted in this exhibition, getting news on my van, hearing back from this dog walking charity that there's someone who needs my services where I live. Good things which aren't really providing much positivity. A brief flicker of light, but not enough to brighten up whatever cavern the flame lies within. It's certainly cold and dark in here.

"Stop giving other people your power." is what my therapist told me. She told me to take power back. Truth is, I'm so sick and tired of feeling like I'm waiting. I hate it. This loneliness is too much at times. Of course, if I enjoy someone's company I'm going to crave it. Problem is "all or nothing" approach again. I don't do anything in half measures.

I need to work out how to live my life again. Might sound melodramatic, but in all honesty; since 5th July - I've been living for her. She didn't ask for it, it's just where I put my self-worth. In fact, she regularly reminded me to do my own thing, be my own person, and to not give too much to her. And yet so much of my time, focus, attention and affection was bestowed on her. Again - the way we clicked made my co-dependency work overtime, and now it's left me exhausted and unsettled.

I can't keep doing that to myself. I was right when I first met her - my gut said don't go there. Neither of us were ready for a relationship. She was fresh out of a breakup with her on/off boyfriend, and I knew I had a lot of work still to do on me - as none of my relationships have been healthy.

Ach. We'll get there. I don't know where "there" is though. Maybe I'll find it when I hit the road in my van. It's just about finding love for myself I think. I need to learn how to truly care for myself, and stop giving myself to others.

I am enough.
I am worthy.

I hope one day I truly believe those statements. Thinking that makes me want to cry.

Let's not cry, not whilst you're still in work.

Ed

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Raggamuffin
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