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Putting oneself back together again

(38 Posts)
meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 11:08:00

Dear All,

My marriage has ended and we're undertaking mediation to help us agree on contact, finances etc
We are working hard to make split amicable; although it can be stressful as we're still under same roof (financial reasons)

My question is; how do you begin to heal? Sometimes I think the healing starts when we decide & accept the relationship is over.

How do you trust again? What keeps you going? How do you manage the low-level stressors that seem abundant. How do you put yourself back together again?

Like death by a thousand paper cuts at the minute. However I hope for a more contended future, for me, our kids and my stbxh.

I'd really appreciate any pearls of wisdom that will help sustain me over the months ahead.

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 11:38:20

How long does it take? What worked for you?

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 15:40:27

Anyone got anything they'd like to share? I'm going a little bananas and need to stop that asap.


Namechanger2015 Tue 22-Dec-15 15:44:50

I guess it depends on how and why you split up?
My ExH was very abusive, I went to counselling to help me heal, it's been a year and I am still nowhere near recovery, still scared of him and full of anxiety, but I am better than I was. Planning lots more counselling in the new year.

I think it all takes time and pulling yourself up when you really want to be down. It's not easy flowers

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Dec-15 16:19:41

I agree, I guess it depends upon why you split up and in what way you feel you need to heal.

For me it was mindfulness, tonnes of exercise, saying 'yes' to every invitation and not avoiding any of my feelings, no matter how painful.

Namechanger2015 Tue 22-Dec-15 16:57:53

redmapleleaf how did you practice mindfulness? I have seen the name bandied around a lot, but am still not sure what this entails?

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Dec-15 17:16:21

I started with The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress that somebody online recommended to me.

There's also a couple of websites/apps I'm aware of - head space and smiling mind.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Dec-15 17:17:51

Mindfulness entails accepting and making space for your feelings and thoughts rather than becoming them. It means being aware of the present rather than dwelling about the past or worrying about the future.

longdays Tue 22-Dec-15 17:26:20

As the other poster has said I think it really depends on the circumstances of the split.

Its been about 3 years since I split with my ex. I'm only just beginning to feel 'healed'. I felt fab immediately after the split and I was a woman on a mission to finalise my divorce which took 9 months. The process was all consuming and I literally didn't think about anything all else in that time. However, as soon as my absolute came through I just fell apart. After a year of struggling I ended up bawling my eyes out at my GP's and got AD's and counselling. A year later I'm off the AD's and I'm looking forward to life again.

longdays Tue 22-Dec-15 17:30:57

Dealing with low level stress is hard. Things that never bothered me before became almost like climbing a mountain. I tried exercise, taking up craft hobbies (I'm so crap at crochetsmile. I spent ages talking to friends, but most really had no idea what I was going through and encouraged me to try OLD BAD IDEA

Sansoora Tue 22-Dec-15 18:08:08

I dont know the answer to that.

Im almost 3 years into a separation after almost 39 years of marriage and to be honest Im now of the opinion I'll never get over it. But thats not to say Im a defeatist. Its just that after a lifetime there is way too much to get over so Im going to settle for living t best day I can and being happy. I like to say that my sadness is quietly tucked away.

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 20:23:44

Thank you everyone

Married 11 years. Long-term emotional abuse on his part; no physical or mental intimacy.
After years of begging him to work with me on things, I had a breakdown 18 months ago.

Could manage basic functions and that was it. Have had CBT (1:1) for over a year, completed a mental health programme amongst others.

I think I need to work on setting boundaries. Stbxh took advantage (naturally enough) of my inability to assert my needs & wants.

I've changed jobs (was being bullied) and feel pretty isolated there. Probably symptomatic of bigger problems in my life.

I find myself leaking a few years every now and then. My heart aches too sometimes, even though it was me who ended things.

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 20:27:02

I need to heal physically, by losing a lot of weight; mentally by practicing positive self talk etc.

I notice that my moods are pretty up and down. I long to feel close to someone, to be appreciated for who I am. I believe in love, I think, otherwise I'd probably have stayed with him, iykwim?

Goodbetterbest Tue 22-Dec-15 20:42:44

15 years in a relationship with an emotionally abusive narcissist.

Recognising there were his issues not mine helped. I accept he will always be in my life due to DCs. He is still taking advantage, freeloading, doesn't respect my boundaries.

BUT I constantly look forward and not back. I don't go after him to make his do stuff the way I want (like seeing the DCs, where he looks after them, not being entitled as he sees paying maintenance entitles him to being part of my life). I look forward. This is our first Christmas and he will be here for lunch. I will welcome him because I know he will be leaving after a few hours.

I very quickly met someone lovely. I didn't mean to. If I was someone who wanted to take revenge, my life as it is would be just that. I am happy, I have everything I could possibly want, I have love and I am loved.

It's been a year. We told the kids on Dec 27th last year.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Dec-15 20:43:44

I long to feel close to someone, to be appreciated for who I am.

One of the positives I've got out of this process is to become my own best friend, to learn how to look out for myself so that never again will I look to one person to meet my needs in terms of comfort, boredom, appreciation, loneliness etc.

I'm not quite there, and this first Christmas alone is not easy. I'm a work in progress smile

I believe in love

What a lovely phrase, I'm going to borrow it if you don't mind. I guess that I believe in love in too, and if/when it comes along again (in that way) I want to be a happy and healthy partner in that relationship.

lucyjordon Tue 22-Dec-15 20:44:51

I left my abusive ex nearly three years ago. I was completely not in love with him by the time I left, but it still took a surprising ammount of time to feel at one with my marriage ending. I was seeing someone else for a while who I think was feeding my anxiety about my exh. And then, 2.5 years after leaving, i suddenly felt ok with it, my anxiety and fear of my ex just stopped. I also split up with the man I had been seeing, as I could see that that was a kind of transitional relationship. This lead me also to try OLD, which I don't think I am ready for.

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 21:35:16

red you're very welcome 😀

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences with me. It helps a lot although we'd probably all rather we needn't have crossed this bridge!!

It strikes me that although there are as many routes to healing as there are people, (well, almost) the common denominator in all of this is a perfect storm of a rise in self-compassion, circumstances allowing for a material separation and an unshakeable hope in the future.

Maybe I'm on the right track after all, just a little further behind.

lucyjordon Tue 22-Dec-15 22:30:51

Don't under estimate time OP

meoryou Tue 22-Dec-15 22:44:27

Very true Lucy. As time passes I find myself checking for the little things that make me feel better.... More to come!

Goodbetterbest Tue 22-Dec-15 23:10:44

In all honesty Op, I'm pleased - grateful even - to have gone through this. I have my children and I will always be grateful for them. Most of my friends have rallied and those who haven't I've let go. I've learnt a lot and I've come out the other side liking myself.

Muckymoo71 Tue 22-Dec-15 23:12:06

It's naturally gloomy this time of year, not enough vit D and not everyone is looking forward to Xmas. 11 years is a long time and you will feel days when you aren't making progress but you are by not being with him anymore. Just keep thinking that rather than expecting life to change fast, it just will when it's right. There are organisations out there to help you, just pick the phone up.

Imbroglio Wed 23-Dec-15 00:34:05

Time is a great healer.

But I don't think the healing can begin properly until you have your own safe space.

In the interim - exercise, friends, taking time out to pursue your own interests.

meoryou Wed 23-Dec-15 09:55:55

Safe space ... That's it in a nutshell. I expect things will improve once we live separately.
It's v gloomy this time of year..... Was wondering about buying a good multi-vitamin or tonic to help with the physical healing

pocketsaviour Wed 23-Dec-15 10:12:34

Vitamin D supplements can be very helpful in winter and I also have a SAD lamp which I use for an hour in the mornings. I'm lucky to work in an office with a lot of natural light and I try to get out for a walk every day as well. A full spectrum multi-vitamin will also help if you think your diet isn't as varied as it could be. And if you have periods, an iron supplement will also help.

In terms of the mental and emotional healing - I don't think it can really start until you have your own space. And you need to be kind to yourself and give yourself time to heal. Be aware of your own emotional needs and try to fulfill them for yourself rather than looking for a new partner or for your friends and family to fill them.

Imbroglio Wed 23-Dec-15 10:19:43

The other thing that will help is to remember that this time WILL pass. It's like a dark cloud passing, or an Arctic night in winter.

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