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Caught in an emotional loop

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Cinnamoon, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. Cinnamoon

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    Hey,

    So lately I'm feeling totally and utterly lost. A note before I continue - I've posted about this issue before. Multiple times, so I'm entering the massively broken record zone at this point. I am seeking mental health help, because I feel like this is just as much a mental health problem as a situational problem, but I'm honestly struggling so much right now and feel alone even though there are some lovely people around who sometimes support me. Some of them I talk to, some of them I push away, but the issue remains and has remained this entire year. I feel like this last week in particular, I'm almost at breaking point emotionally. I really need to get things out in their entirety, because I honestly don't know how to move beyond this feeling and this person. I can't just block and walk away - this whole encounter has made me feel extremely mentally unwell and I'm really, really struggling right now.

    That being said, here goes.

    I've always struggled with my mental health, but lately I'm losing grip on things. I'm not a risk to myself, but I lie in bed almost every night completely unable to sleep, sometimes all night long, just feeling totally overwhelmed, alone and hopeless.

    In 2020 me and my ex broke up - it wasn't my choice. We'd been together two years, and it took me ages to get over. He was my first and only relationship or intimate thing of any kind, and this completely devastated me. Throughout this time, before and since, I can't really say I've had any friends. I have people I chat to, mostly by text, but I either have to do all the work, or they just lose interest in me after a while. Or sometimes, admittedly, I just push them away.

    For about six months after my breakup though, I was doing okay. Until I met a guy, a guy in an open relationship. Who hinted at a lot, seemed so excited to want to know me and even be my friend, sex or no sex. Who said he was going nowhere, who offered me a fwb thing but suggested he valued my friendship more. Who also completely abandoned me. And honestly I think it's the promise of a friendship of some kind I miss more.

    Long story short, I felt used. I developed such hard feelings for him, and when I told him, he distanced himself completely from me. He lied, manipulated me, pushed me away, and I took it without confrontation because I thought I deserved it. This was between January and about March this year, but still I hold on. I've been unable to meet anyone who affects me the same way since, he still replies if I message albeit with an extremely low amount of effort, and I just feel so lost and abandoned, like it's my fault, nobody can love me or like me, I'm always the one holding on, caring, making the effort and like nobody else cares at all. Obviously he has a long term partner so I would never have meant as much to him as he did to me, and rightly so, but he never specified the bounds of the relationship even though I asked, and even though he never really cared I just find myself caught on him and this whole situation - probably because it hits all my insecurities and self-doubts. The way I'm caught on it changes - I miss his friendship more than the intimacy now, although I would like more intimacy in general. But the hurt remains, and even grows over time.

    He basically said that as long as I didn't tell him I was madly in love with him, I wouldn't mess it up. To be fair I did tell him I had strong feelings and a huge crush on him, but afterwards he slept with me anyway even though I physically struggled to hug him or look at him because I didn't know how to act, didn't even ask if I was okay, and then told me we should meet up again by text afterwards only for me to never see him since even once. And I know I won't see him again until the day I die.

    So many factors contribute to this. He's a high flyer, with an amazing career. He seems so together in looks, personality, just enthusiasm for life. The fact he kept a long-term relationship together for many more years than I could, and did both casual and serious better than I did, made me feel so insignificant next to him. And since him, my depression has been a million times worse - all year long. I'm none of those things, I'm a total and utter mess. I have nothing going for me, when it comes to the ideals of apps and social media. I'm basically nothing.

    I speak to therapists, to other people, to family. But when I'm sitting alone at night, every night, unable to sleep with him and other things on my mind, I just lose all hope. I become numb. I imagine him with his friends, his life, his boyfriend, and yes I know his life will be far from perfect like anyone's. He will have issues, have struggles, has worked damn hard to get where he is. But all I can focus on is how inadequate I am next to this person who didn't even need to move on, because we never really had anything to begin with.

    I feel wrong for caring, being sentimental, being so introverted and boring. I know my life isn't over, but honestly it feels like it is. Before him, I was coming to terms with being alone. But the promises he hinted at - helping me with my career, being a friend, being there when I needed him - have not only shattered, but shattered a part of my soul too. I didn't even want to be with him, but I caught feelings when we slept together and when I reached out my hand, he took it only to toss me over the cliff edge, where I'm still tumbling down to this day

    I feel defeated, like I deserve to feel defeated, like there's nothing to my life and that I can't escape his shadow - someone to whom I don't even exist. Who doesn't think about or care about me at all. Who just continues to live his life, while I rot away in the shadows.

    It's almost unbearable.

    Don't get me wrong there's other issues. Failed jobs, other failed friendships, a complete lack of ability on my part to have a healthy relationship at all. Despite this I try my best, even getting out of bed can be a challenge some days. I just feel so utterly useless and worthless, and this guy has brought these feelings to the fore for such a long time that I can't seem to get them under control again, no matter what I try.

    It feels like this encounter has finally broken me.

    There's a new guy who I think has already become bored of me. Most people who do end up talking to me on apps I just don't feel any kind of connection with, and I've lost the motivation and the ability to keep conversations going. I'm just really not okay.

    I hyper-focus on this person because the whole thing hit a nerve, but I seriously feel fundamentally broken now. Fundamentally alone despite the therapy and attempts at meds. Not sure where to turn - because I feel this constantly, no matter how reassuring the conversations I have about it may be. I've messed up new connections and old alike, because of how despairing and desperate I feel in general. It's taking me over.

    I just can't escape this all-encompassing, shattering feeling. It's too much.
     
    #1 Cinnamoon, Sep 21, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  2. quebec

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    Cinnamoon.....I wish I could wave a magic wand and fix all of this for you...but we both know that won't happen. I can't even give you a 5-step program to get your life back on track. That's something that you have to work out for yourself...I know that it seems impossible right now and I have to agree that If I were in your place I'd likely feel the same way. I was in a very dark place in my life when I was about 22 and because of it I turned my back on my sexuality and quite literality forced myself to forget that it ever happened. That eventually lead to a near death experience. I couldn't face reality so I pretended it never happened, forgot it and suffered 40+ years of self-hate and depression. I don't advise that course. The only thing that worked for me, that has allowed me to understand and deal with all of the pain of my past has been to find a therapist. A therapist who works with the LGBTQ Community. In my case, he also happens to be gay, but that's not a necessary requirement. I've been seeing him since 2015. With his help and the help of the wonderful folks here on Empty Closets I have been able to work through all of the pain and anguish that nearly cost me my life. There are some things that we just cannot "fix" on our own. I broke my left leg three years ago and I didn't choose to just stay at home and let it heal. I went to the Emergency Room and then into surgery to have it fixed, put in a cast and finally healed after two months. Our "emotional broken legs" require the same kind of treatment. We just must find the right kind of help to help us heal. Sometimes a person will have seen a therapist before and it did them no good...that's no reason not to try again...there is a therapist out there who is the right one for you. Check with local LGBTQ Support groups, they often have lists of therapist who have proven to be exceptionally helpful! :old_smile: Cinnamoon, I write this to you because you are my brother...we are both members of the LGBTQ Family. When I finally accepted that I am and always have been gay, I broke down in tears. There were a number of reasons...one of the biggest was that for all of my life I had never felt that I belonged anywhere...I never "fit". On that day I came to realize that I did fit, that I did have a "family" and you are a part of that family too. I care about you, the whole family here on Empty Closets cares for you and we want so much to help you in any way that we can. So go ahead and share what's on your heart...we will listen! Go ahead and vent your frustrations...we will be there for you. Remember...YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
    #2 quebec, Sep 21, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
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  3. Cinnamoon

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    Thank you for replying. And thank you for making it so heartfelt. I honestly feel so overwhelmed and so numb at the same time lately, but I really appreciate everything you've said, and I'm so sorry you've had to go through such a tough time too.

    Therapy has been messy for me. Money is a worry, I only work part-time, 20 hours a week. I'm searching for full time roles and I can always ask for a few more hours if I have to, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a struggle. One therapist I talk to charges just under £50 for an hour, she has been amazingly helpful but she isn't specifically used to working with the LGBTQ+ community as far as I know. Another therapist I recently finished having some subsidised sessions with charges almost £80 an hour, and seems to think I'm somehow able to afford that. As lovely as she is, I'm not, and I think she's even less LGBTQ+ focused than my other therapist. Saying this, both are lovely, but I have no idea if either of them are for me or if I should keep looking, and I'm bleeding money at the moment, fast. Maybe I should cut my losses, look for something low cost or a support group, but honestly it's a struggle.

    It's almost like I'm having too much therapy and not enough of the right kind at the same time, I'm just desperately chasing any kind of help without analysing whether it's actually useful to me.

    But yeah, cost is definitely a major, major issue.

    I've been trying to make new connections on an app beginning with g, but obviously that's not going well - it's not about connections at all. I've thought about bumble etc, but my fear of photos and mental state stops me from trying. I feel comfortable being gay, just not comfortable socialising or meeting others even though I'm excruciatingly lonely.

    I know therapy can really help, I'm just making a lot of bad decisions right now and money being the issue it is, it feels like my options are quite limited.

    I'll keep looking though. And thank you so much for sharing your own story, and for your support.

    My heart and soul hurt a lot right now, but I'm trying to fight my way through it, even if it doesn't feel like I have much strength left at all sometimes.
     
  4. TinyWerewolf

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    Well this is the perfect time to lean on us then, we're here for you. I know we've spoken about this, and I'm so sorry that this hurts you. I don't have much helpful advice other than this: give yourself time to heal before dating again. You may wind up in more and more unsustainable relationships, making yourself even more unhappy. Take the time to work on your anxieties and reflect, I promise in the long run it will help.
     
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  5. Cinnamoon

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    Thank you. He's ended up being such a trigger for me, even when we don't talk, and I hate it. I'm so impatient for something good to happen that it consumes me sometimes. It's one of the most painful things I've ever gone through, because it makes so many of my issues so much worse and plays on so many of my weaknesses. I wish I'd never met him, but I can't go back and change things now.
     
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  6. mnguy

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    Hey I feel your pain and I'm sorry. You sound very passionate and so many things going on at once I'd be stressed and depressed too, so I think your response is typical. I thought you were going to say that you sleep a lot since that's what I tend to do more when feeling so shitty. I really hope you can start sleeping better so you can have some peace from life's pains. Ideally I hope the pains are resolved and you want to be awake and find a way to be happy. Hang in there if you can. They claim it's better to love and lose it than never at all, but that doesn't sound true in your case, which is what I suspected, but never confirmed. An old friend on here used to tell me chin up all the time so I'll pass that onto you, for what it's worth.
     
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  7. quebec

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    Cinnamoon.....I am so glad that anything I wrote helped you. I mentioned contacting a local LGBTQ Support group to find a therapist that specializes in working with our community. They will also often offer special rates. Anyway...it's sure worth it to check it out. Your other therapists sound nice, but having someone who really does understand the problems and difficulties that come along with being gay would be a lot better. These LBTQ Support groups also tend to have groups that meet together to share and support each other. My therapist had a group of men that met once a month. It was the very first time that I had ever been in a group of guys that were all gay! :old_smile: At first I didn't know what to do or what to say, but after a few minutes I warmed up to it and it turned out to be one of the most exciting and profitable experiences that I had ever had!! Believe me, it's worth it to check it out and find out if any of this exists out there! Sometimes you just have to be proactive and work out things on your own! :old_big_grin: The results can really be worth it!
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  8. FireFox

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    Cinnamoon, some really great advice from everyone, I can't add anything else of value because I'd be repeating what has already been said but what I will say is remember what Quebec said 'You are not alone' even if you feel like you are please always remember that :relaxed:
     
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  9. Cinnamoon

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    Thank you for all your responses, and sorry I stopped replying. I've been overwhelmed lately, with a new guy too, I seem to get feelings too quickly and can't seem to be able to stand just being on my own. I can't relax, either want people too much or push them away, and just feel like a general lonely mess. I hate being like this.
     
  10. Gleek99

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    I went through something similar 3 yrs ago, and although we didn't sleep together or anything, I was in pain for a long time. It came in waves, some months were alright and some were dark. I couldn't stop thinking about how great it would've been if things were different and we were together. I kept replaying everything that COULD have been in an alternate reality. I thought I had missed out on the love of my life simply because I didn't know if I could ever love again.

    What got me out of it was logic, and grounding myself in reality to see what ACTUALLY happened between us. It was then that I saw her faults. I blamed myself for years, and I had to realize that she was NOT perfect. Neither of us was. But I only saw this because I found a therapist YouTuber named Dr. K (HealthyGamerGG)

    That really helped me. I finally was more clear-headed because I gained the ability to kind of put myself into others' shoes and try to see from different/outside perspectives.

    I do the same thing as you to this day. I tell myself I'm smaller than everyone around me, I'm not as good as them or I'm not worthy of happiness. There's something we have to realize though. We all have flaws. We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves.

    The guy I like rn has a lot of qualities I am working on growing within myself. Maybe try taking things you like about other people, like traits, and try them out. Evaluate what it is you don't like about yourself/what you think is inferior to the guy you fell in love with for example, and test if they're true.

    There are things about myself that I hate, and run from because I don't want them to be true but... they are! They are true! So how can I improve in that area or how can I change that? We can't run from who we are, we have to first acknowledge it and then evaluate how we're gonna grow from it and become better and happier people. Recognize when and why you start to slip mentally too.

    That's my 2 cents. I feel that we are very similar and maybe this will help you in some way.
    Thanks :slight_smile:
     
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  11. Cinnamoon

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    Aw, I'm sorry you had to go through that. Tbh I like somebody now, somebody new, but I worry I'm incapable of true love too.

    I was paying for therapy until recently and I literally bankrupted myself. I can't pay anymore, but therapists on youtube and psychology advice online sometimes helps me too.

    I do try to see from other people's perspectives as much as I can, I think that's an important thing to do generally in life but especially when it comes to relationships.

    I guess I feel totally broken sometimes though. I don't really have in person friends, a lot of my interactions with people are dysfunctional. I'm too shy for apps etc, and groups aren't really my thing. I'm looking for new work but my job is antisocial too which doesn't help. I'm trying my best generally though.

    To be honest I can feel myself falling in love again, slowly. The new guy I like has so many qualities I like. I find myself taking things I admire from all the people I've liked and picking qualities I want to encapsulate in my own life, which helps me feel like a slightly better person. And I'm slowly shifting from being lovesick into wanting to be their friend, which might be less healthy in some people's eyes than cutting them off but I do value the guy who hurt me as a person, unromantically.

    Tbh I feel like we're similar too, your advice helped me a lot! I was kind of tempted to reply by pm, but I know that can be kinda awkward if uninvited. But I so, so appreciate your advice and from the limited interactions we've had on here, you're a joy to talk to. It's so reassuring coming across other people like me out there, makes me feel much less alone. So thank you.
     
    #11 Cinnamoon, Oct 24, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
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  12. quebec

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    Cinnamoon.....Just thought I'd check in on you. I've not forgotten about you and was thinking of you just now. I hope that things are a little better and that this new friend of yours works out. How is the job situation? I hope that you have a really good week! :old_smile:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  13. Gleek99

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    Well, it sounds to me like you've more than gotten your foot in the door of healing and getting past the mental anguish. So that's something to be proud of!

    Another thing that helped me is getting into a job that fit me better. I worked customer service (cashiering mostly) for a handful of years and hated having to put on a face for people for 8 hrs a day. I got a warehouse job (loading trucks, which is a good workout too) about a year ago now and have made a few work friends :grin: It's mostly banter and yelling at each other but I enjoy it.

    So yeah.. Idk how you've felt about work in the past but maybe get a more social job, at least being within close proximity to other people, and try that out.
     
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  14. Cinnamoon

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    Thank you =) I have a few interviews lined up, including one I had today. My family aren't particularly supportive and I'm quite sleep deprived this week but I'm determined to keep applying.

    Haha, well I hope I've started healing anyway =P

    I'm looking for other jobs now. No idea what to do but I need something full time. I'm thinking of further study too but it would only be part time and I need a full time job for independence at this point. I work in a shop at the moment, overnight, I like some of the people there but mostly it's pretty isolating. I do like the physical part of it though, I'm not really a gym person so I'm kinda worried about getting a more sedentary job.

    Thanks for the advice ^^
     
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