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Afraid of being alone

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Hedwig posted 4/9/2020 14:31 PM

I just broke off my relationship of 2,5 years, A happened after 1 year, tried R for 15 months, decided it wasn't gonna happen and now I'm here.

We never lived together, so with this whole shelter-in-place thing, I am especially afraid of being alone. After D-day, I had friends come over, I could go to my parents, work, there was a lot of connection and distraction.

Now I'm here by myself. I just talked to a friend over the phone which helped a lot.
Would love any and all replies.

TheLostOne2020 posted 4/9/2020 14:55 PM

You are in a tough situation. This COVID thing is a very tough situation to get through. Put separation/breakups on top of that and it's a pressure cooker. It will eventually end though.

Hedwig posted 4/9/2020 15:00 PM

Thank you, TheLostOne2020, it sure is! I was starting to deal with the whole covid situation and now this. I know it was my own choice but I couldn't keep on going any longer and I sure as hell didn't want to stay just to have some company while in quarantine. (We were the only people we visited, other than that we were socially distancing as we should.)

I'll just keep posting and reading here, videocalling with my friends and family and keep taking care of myself.

The1stWife posted 4/9/2020 15:10 PM

Tell yourself you would rather be alone than with a guy who doesn’t value and respect you.

It may be a bit hard now. But think about being alone 4 nights a week and home w/ your children while he’s out at the bars until 2 am.

Is that how you see your future?

This solo period is temporary due to the pandemic.

Your solo period if you stay with him could be decades.

I dated a guy like him. Sports and sports and drinking were his top priorities. He didn’t have 1 beer. He drank until drunk. Every time. 7 nights a week practically. I saw my future and said “I’m sorry but this is over”. I’d rather be alone than live like this.

BearlyBreathing posted 4/9/2020 15:40 PM

Hi Hedwig

Alone is actually nice but may take a little adjustment. One thing I loved immediately was I no longer had to worry myself sick about where he was or what he was doing. That piece shut off more easily than some others.

You were advised to keep a list of the shitty disrespectful things he said and did— keep it handy.

As for how to fill your time?
Long walks or yoga or whatever works for your body and mind
Bubble baths
Books and or drawing— art therapy is great
Zoom happy hours and long calls— reach out to your whole network. Circle those wagons!
Call your distant elderly relatives who are trapped at home.
Cleaning (organized house is cathartic to me)
Journal
All the shows and movies he hated :-)

IF you feel you need more, look in to online IC. Some of us love it and many are doing it now with the Covid thing.

You are doing great. You will be okay. Keep to NC as much as you can— it’s hard to break the habit of him, but NC gets you through that faster and is sooo helpful.

(((Hedwig)))

Snapdragon posted 4/9/2020 18:08 PM

I am especially afraid of being alone.

I'm sorry you are feeling this way. Can you please expand on this? What exactly are you afraid of?

BentandBroken posted 4/9/2020 18:31 PM

Hi Hedwig. You are not alone in your struggles. Besides the normal anxiety that comes with the dissolution of your relationship, there's all this free floating anxiety connected to COVID. I recently posted on another thread about how this quarantine is the first crisis I've faced without my partner, my best friend, my team mate who always had my back. (Of course, this guy hasn't existed for a while but my heart doesn't quite know that yet.) Yes. It's hard to be alone right now.

I'll just keep posting and reading here, videocalling with my friends and family and keep taking care of myself.

Since COVID hit I have been spending a lot of time on this forum. Maybe too much time. It seems to help - spending time in a community with people who share your sadness and grief and truly understand where you are emotionally.

I worked with my IC to develop a list for myself to address my anxiety during quarantine. It comes down to staying busy and engaging in self care. Lots of the suggestions have been posted already. Here are a few more:
-Make a schedule daily, or at least a list of things you want to accomplish
-Engage in some kind of calming activity daily. For me it's yoga; others prefer meditation, light reading
-Exercise. Even if it's only 10 minutes of marching in place.
-Find something that makes you laugh every day. Maybe it's crazy cat videos on YouTube, or a silly puns web site. There are stand up comedy specials on Netflix and Amazon. Find your funny.
-Explore ways to give back. Check on an elderly neighbor (in a safe way), offer to shop for someone (if it's safe for you). For me, it was overcoming my shyness and posting on this forum offering my limited wisdom to others.

Be well and good to yourself. I will look for your posts.

Hedwig posted 4/10/2020 02:03 AM

Tell yourself you would rather be alone than with a guy who doesn’t value and respect you.
It may be a bit hard now. But think about being alone 4 nights a week and home w/ your children while he’s out at the bars until 2 am.

Is that how you see your future?

This solo period is temporary due to the pandemic.

Your solo period if you stay with him could be decades.

I dated a guy like him. Sports and sports and drinking were his top priorities. He didn’t have 1 beer. He drank until drunk. Every time. 7 nights a week practically. I saw my future and said “I’m sorry but this is over”. I’d rather be alone than live like this.

This helped a lot The1stWife. My xWBF didn't have 1 beer either, he drank until drunk. It used to be exactly like you said, 3 or 4 nights a week. This only changed after the affair. Then after the initial period of not drinking it was maybe once a month/every six weeks? I don't know, but even on normal friday nights, when we were hanging out with friends, I would see him go through his amount of alochol really quickly and I would ask him 'are you drinking away your feelings?'

I don't ever have to do that again.

Btw, to respond on the question you ask in my previous topic: Hedwig is not my real name, it's the name of Harry Potter's owl


Alone is actually nice but may take a little adjustment. One thing I loved immediately was I no longer had to worry myself sick about where he was or what he was doing. That piece shut off more easily than some others.

You were advised to keep a list of the shitty disrespectful things he said and did— keep it handy.

That's actually one of the things I loved about the covid situation. He couldn't go out with that one cheating friend (I really hate that guy) anymore, so no anxiety while sitting at home anymore.

As for how to fill your time?
Long walks or yoga or whatever works for your body and mind
Bubble baths
Books and or drawing— art therapy is great
Zoom happy hours and long calls— reach out to your whole network. Circle those wagons!
Call your distant elderly relatives who are trapped at home.
Cleaning (organized house is cathartic to me)
Journal
All the shows and movies he hated :-)

IF you feel you need more, look in to online IC. Some of us love it and many are doing it now with the Covid thing.

You are doing great. You will be okay. Keep to NC as much as you can— it’s hard to break the habit of him, but NC gets you through that faster and is sooo helpful.

Thank you for these suggestions. Especially the art one, I have done some reading on self-care lately and the part about 'creating' really spoke to me. I used to do some graphic design, maybe I can do something similar on paper, handlettering or whatever.

I have let things at home slip for a week or two now, going through all of the emotions of deciding what to do, so there's a lot of cleaning to do. I luckily still have my job, so that can keep me busy for a portion of the week.

I contacted my IC yesterday to see if we could do an online session, I hope we can do that next week. She has been a tremendous help through everything starting 15 months ago.

When I left his apartment yesterday, everything in me screamed to go back and have him comfort me, which is what we did after D-day. This time it's different. I have learned to heal and be comforted in other ways, even when I'm tempted to contact him and bring up memories of the good times.

At some point I'm going to have to take down the pictures of us together but I can't do it, yet, even if it hurts a little to see them. I did turn around one of them, so it was facing the wall. One step at a time.

I'm sorry you are feeling this way. Can you please expand on this? What exactly are you afraid of

I used to see him 4/5 times a week. To be fair, it hasn't been like that for a while now. It was more like 2 or 3 times a week lately. I am afraid of having this gaping hole in my time where activities with him used to be.

I love quality time, which I have not been getting with him for quite some time now, to be honest. (I have to keep reminding myself of the situation like it was the last couple of months, not the fairytale moments we've also had). But seeing that I love quality time, I love spending time with people, which is so hard to do now with Covid. But I've called my best friend three times this week, for almost an hour each conversation, so that's one way of getting that quality time.

Another thing of alone I'm afraid of is not having him sleep next to me, not waking up with his body next to me. I'm not talking about sex, just spooning him or him spooning me. But then again, we haven't slept next to each other for almost two weeks now, so I had some time to get used to that.

Hedwig posted 4/10/2020 02:19 AM

Hi Hedwig. You are not alone in your struggles. Besides the normal anxiety that comes with the dissolution of your relationship, there's all this free floating anxiety connected to COVID. I recently posted on another thread about how this quarantine is the first crisis I've faced without my partner, my best friend, my team mate who always had my back. (Of course, this guy hasn't existed for a while but my heart doesn't quite know that yet.) Yes. It's hard to be alone right now.

I already had such a hard time after the first week of shelter-in-place because I usually look forward to spring and summer, it's when I can recharge after winter, the sun is good for my vitamin D and my overall well-being, the warmth is good for my skin, my SAD disappears and I get to have a long vacation in a beautiful country (perks of not having kids). Now I just went from a seasonal depression to a quarantine depression. So that was hard to deal with. And now I have to do it by myself. But just like you said, I have to keep reminding myself that my partner wasn't my partner anymore, not for a long time. We were not in this together anymore. My teammate already checked out before this crisis, it had gotten so bad that the fights were only added stress. I enjoyed my days without him more than my days with him. It's just daunting to know that they're all going to be without him from now on.

Since COVID hit I have been spending a lot of time on this forum. Maybe too much time. It seems to help - spending time in a community with people who share your sadness and grief and truly understand where you are emotionally.

My IC told me that it's one of the most beneficial ways to get help, so I'll spend some time here. If you feel it's too much, I hope you'll do whatever works for you instead.

I worked with my IC to develop a list for myself to address my anxiety during quarantine. It comes down to staying busy and engaging in self care. Lots of the suggestions have been posted already. Here are a few more:
-Make a schedule daily, or at least a list of things you want to accomplish
-Engage in some kind of calming activity daily. For me it's yoga; others prefer meditation, light reading
-Exercise. Even if it's only 10 minutes of marching in place.
-Find something that makes you laugh every day. Maybe it's crazy cat videos on YouTube, or a silly puns web site. There are stand up comedy specials on Netflix and Amazon. Find your funny.
-Explore ways to give back. Check on an elderly neighbor (in a safe way), offer to shop for someone (if it's safe for you). For me, it was overcoming my shyness and posting on this forum offering my limited wisdom to others.

Be well and good to yourself. I will look for your posts.

I love the 'find your funny' and 'explore ways to give back.' The netflix comedy specials are hit or miss, sometimes they are too triggering and sometimes they're just gold (Taylor Tomlinson, love her!). We have an organization in our neighbourhood to connect people who need help and who offer help, so I'm definitely going to check that out.

Thank you so much! Your comment saying you will look for my posts really warmed my heart

Hedwig posted 4/10/2020 02:55 AM

You were advised to keep a list of the shitty disrespectful things he said and did— keep it handy.

Hey, Bearlybreathing, you mentioned this. I don't recall getting this advise. Can you elaborate?

The1stWife posted 4/10/2020 04:49 AM

I love Harry Potter’s owl. Like your sense of humor too.

Post here as often as needed. We will support you the best we can.

You will rock this b/c you sound like a smart girl. You value yourself. You made a hard decision. You faced it and accept the pain you will face now.

Just give it time. You will heal. You will get past this pandemic and realize you can count on yourself. You will see your strengths. You will survive!!!

TheLostOne2020 posted 4/10/2020 07:04 AM

I always think it's better to actually be alone than it is to be with someone and feel alone.

Reminds me of the Stabbing Westward line:

If I must be lonely I think I'd rather be alone.

Hedwig posted 4/10/2020 07:39 AM

Thank you so much, The1stWife. Your comment brought me to tears. I actually have a stuffed snow-owl, got it from the xWBF, sleep with it every night since I got it, not willing to let that go just yet. Might sound childish, for me it's the pet I never got to have (and now might! He is allergic to cats)

I know I will survive, I have survived worse, it's just the journey to the other end which I know sucks.

Thelostone2020, I agree...at least that way I don't have to be loneley AND compromise on shit I'd like to do!

BearlyBreathing posted 4/10/2020 09:39 AM

Oh sorry! Just write a list with the shittiest things your WS did . From the lies to the disrespect to the physical acts.
When you feel soft and like you want to cave, just reread it. It will help steel your resolve when your head and heart start arguing.

Hang in there- you’re on your way.

Hedwig posted 4/11/2020 05:38 AM

Started clearing out some of his stuff today and wow, it hurts. Especially the things connected to good memories. I decided to do only the bathroom stuff for now, because I can't bear to do it all in one go. Somehow it feels weird/wrong to remove everything that reminds me of him, as if our relationship never existed. Did any of you feel similar? How did you deal with that?


A more general question: do people usually just post in one topic whatever update they have or stuff they're going through or do people open up different topics depending on the subject (e.g. clearing out stuff)?

Bearlybreathing, that's a good idea, thank you. Just like writing down the reasons I stopped smoking, to remind me when I think I can have 'just one, what could it hurt'?

The1stWife posted 4/11/2020 06:03 AM

Here’s something you may not have realized.

You had a relationship with a guy. But you were alone. After his drunken affair or ONS or whatever was going on, he didn’t do anything to make amends on a permanent basis. You were alone.

He decided he had to stop drinking on his terms and resumed his alcohol consumption. You were alone in that front.

He “missed” hanging around his drinking buddy. Yet again you were not his priority and you were alone.

You spent more time arguing. You were wasting time and energy trying to get him to change. He abandoned the idea of a loving supportive relationship. Your ideas and values didn’t mesh. You were alone in your relationship you just didn’t realize it.

Don’t romanticize your past with him — yes there were good times but the past 15 months you spent in “reconciliation” were not good. You were alone b/c he abandoned you b/c his commitment showed he was only willing to do things that benefitted his lifestyle. On his terms.

His drinking was always going to be an issue in your relationship. Sorry to say. Alcohol was his love.

Cephastion posted 4/11/2020 06:08 AM

Started clearing out some of his stuff today and wow, it hurts. Especially the things connected to good memories. I decided to do only the bathroom stuff for now, because I can't bear to do it all in one go. Somehow it feels weird/wrong to remove everything that reminds me of him, as if our relationship never existed. Did any of you feel similar? How did you deal with that?

The way that I feel about it is that we become connected, interwoven/intertwined, and joined to the other person and those things which relate and remind us of them and our own degree of investment of ourselves and our time and hearts and minds into them and the relationship. The more fully we invest ourselves, the more difficult it is to detach and/or to see them detach against our will.

I struggle with codependency because of my FOO issues and so forth, but to me it's not unlike cutting off my own skin or digits with a dull knife and absolutely NO anethesia/pain killers involved.

Just because an amputation or even just a digging out of the bullet/shrapnel might be necessary to save the rest of my body from infection and gangrene setting in, doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt like hell to have to cut on my already-injured and wounded body to save myself from total loss.

I figure that the reason that it doesn't hurt THEM at ALL to throw us and the relationship away is mostly simply because they weren't really very invested to begin with and so to them it's simply literally no great loss at all.

By sharp contrast to us, they hardly feel a THING, because they are dead to the relationship and to the betrayed spouse in their own hearts and minds already and simply don't feel any more sense of loss or pain any more than they would with clipping their fingernails or hair or pulling off a scab.

BentandBroken posted 4/11/2020 19:57 PM

Hi Hedwig. It sounds like you are taking control and moving forward. Your strength is impressive!

Started clearing out some of his stuff today and wow, it hurts. Especially the things connected to good memories. I decided to do only the bathroom stuff for now, because I can't bear to do it all in one go. Somehow it feels weird/wrong to remove everything that reminds me of him, as if our relationship never existed. Did any of you feel similar? How did you deal with that?

Very brave of you. And this part can be very healing while also being very difficult. I reacted a little differently. I removed most of the things that reminded me of him and especially those that reminded me of the trips we took with his first AP and her husband. Also things that reminded me of the "precious us." I couldn't look at them without breaking down in painful sobs. Framed pictures of us dancing close and smiling at each other at DD's wedding 3 years ago. A big nope for me.

I did not do this packing alone. It was pre-quarantine, and I had a friend who made gentle suggestions to keep certain things and I do not regret her advice. We created a "Not Just Now" bin to store some things that were painful to look at presently, but things I would be glad I kept in the long term.

So my advice is to keep the things you want to keep. Put them aside, out of sight if you need to. I couldn't get this done fast enough, but it sounds like you wish to take it a little slower, and in stages. Listen to your gut, and be gentle with yourself.

BentandBroken posted 4/11/2020 20:01 PM


Just write a list with the shittiest things your WS did . From the lies to the disrespect to the physical acts.

Hedwig, you might enjoy a thread in the Separation/Divorce forum called "Things You've Lost But Won't Miss" on Page 2. One of my first posts was in that thread. It was the beginning of my list and I keep adding to it.

Love the Harry Potter reference, btw. I'm also a fan. Be well.

Ripped62 posted 4/11/2020 20:11 PM

I understand....

Early on I had to adjust to being alone or the thought of being alone. After divorce, I realized this was a precious gift. I greatly enjoy my time alone. It is very gratifying to be able to go my own way and be my own person.

Social isolation because of infectious disease takes its toll on all of us. These are difficult and trying times that we can work through together.

I hope you do not mind a virtual hug.

(((Hedwig)))

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