I received a comment on the blog today from a woman who was confessing she had contacted her ex and didn’t understand why she had when she knew what the outcome would be. Why did she continue to torture herself?
In an attempt to find answers she had gone to a counselor and afterwards had suffered pangs of guilt and was fighting the need to contact her ex and his family.
Many people, including the victim do not understand the emotions the victim goes through. This is all very normal.
There is nothing “wrong” with the victim, it is all part of the healing process. I thought my reply to Alice may be of use to others, so here it is;
Please do not beat yourself up over contacting him. You learned a valuable lesson and won’t do it again. Sometimes we need a reminder of how bad it was. I slipped up a few times myself, called and then beat myself up for it, “How many times does he have to kick me in the teeth before I stop torturing myself??!!!” I finally got to the point where I was able to fight the urge to call. I still got there urge once in a while even a couple of years out but I knew it would pass and I would ask myself what I expected to happen if I did call. Even IF by some chance he was pleasant, I didn’t want him back, and it would only confuse me. I knew any contact would eventually end in me getting hurt.
I was also accountable to the people here, how could I preach no contact and call him? So if being accountable to us here on the blog helps you stay no contact, by all means be accountable to us but no one can judge you for it.
As for the counselor session making you feel guilty and like reaching out to him and his family.
For one thing talking about the relationship is going to bring back old feelings, stuff you may have even pushed out of your mind and it is going to bring on what I call a “healing crisis”.
You may feel as bad as you did when you first split or even worse, just try to be patient with yourself and ride it out.
Your brain is having to process the whole relationship from start to finish in order to finally deal with it and file it away.
While in the relationship you didn’t know what you were dealing with, now with the new knowledge you have about who and what he is your mind is reviewing events through new eyes, without the rose colored glasses. Things you though were true were lies, you will have new realizations and aha moments.
The human brain can only process so much pain so more than likely your brain didn’t acknowledge some painful experiences because it was overloaded and in survival mode. As you heal and are strong enough to handle it your mind will allow these buried memories to surface so you can deal with them.
You may think it is better to just leave them buried but they will surface at some point, maybe 10 years from now at a totally inappropriate time. You could be in a new relationship and something triggers you and bam! You can’t stop crying or you are angry for no reason. Better to deal with it now.
Just know that it will pass and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up. Don’t tell yourself you “shouldnt” be feeling that way, just feel them and release them. Cry, punch a pillow, scream…….. whatever you need to do and then go for a walk or soak in a tub.
Write a long letter to your ex expressing what you are feeling. Hand write it because your hand will get tired before you ever finish it. Then leave it for a day and reread it. I bet you will have revisions, add to it and erase some of it. Leave it again for a day and reread it again.
Do not ever send it to him but maybe give it to your counselor to discuss.
The first time I went through a healing crisis it scared the cap out of me. I thought I would never heal and had not made any progress. I felt like a big wave at the ocean had crashed down on me and was sucking me under and I panicked, thrashing around, gasping for air. And once I stopped fighting it I was able to ride the wave, breath and it would pass, taking with it a lot of my pain and leaving behind and sandy beach with little treasures (new insights, new strength, like an awakening) like the ocean does. The ocean always leaves behind new treasures when it rolls back out to sea.
These waves of healing may come as a gentle wave sometimes and at other times knock you right off your feet but they always pass and they always take garbage when they go and leave you refreshed and with new insights.
I started to look forward to them because I would feel so much better afterwards.
I hope this helps.