@Kristin Kallaher@facebook My advice is to get your blood pressure checked before you go!
Hot yoga is great, unless you have weird low blood pressure (or I guess other health issues) and then it's awful and all the "lie down as much as you want and stick with it" advice in the world will not help you.
Polly is spot on.
But LW I want to give you a big hug and be a big gentler than Polly, because what I saw in your letter is someone who believed herself to be unlovable before this vampire. I've been that person, and it makes you so vulnerable. It's totally understandable that, when you believed a false fantasy like being unlovable, that someone like this guy could have a lot of power over you.
It's ok. It's ok it's ok it's ok. You did not do right by yourself but I think you did the best you could. Feeling loved is wonderful and very very powerful. LW I used to believe I was unlovable but through hard work I've proved myself wrong, and I would bet all my measly dollars the same is true for you. You have to start with yourself, like Polly says. It's not easy, but it's the only thing to do. But forgive yourself. Please. Forgive yourself. That person who made a bunch of mistakes is worthy of love too.
Polly you are so wise!
LW, what do you actually want? It seems like you think there is some action that would result in catharsis, which I might guess could involve contacting John. Don't do that, nothing will come of it.
You want the past to be different, but it won't ever be different. You can only forgive, as Polly suggests. You could contact John in a million different ways and never get the catharsis that you want, because he just can't give it to you. Would an apology be enough? Probably not, right? An abject one? A list of the things YOU did wrong, too? Anger? Sadness?
Talking to John will only make you feel sick, and drawn back into the place you don't want to be. He hurt you, and the only choice you have is to forgive him, or to drown in the past forever.
LW, I recommend going to a 10 day silent vipassana retreat. It will be so brutally hard, but it will change you, and you sound like you need to be changed.
Listen, when you're in your early 20's and have been with one person for a long time, you can really forget that you will be fine on your own! After I broke up with my very nice totally wrong for me ex at 24 I had horrific panic attacks and went a bit nuts for a while, and for a while was a huge mess, and then I figured myself out and moved on and everything is much much much better now.
I made some intense and life-altering decisions in that period, and maybe this LW could say I "ruined my life" (eg with more debt than strictly necessary and more money spent on vodka and partying and getting laid than is really reasonable and maybe with some job decisions that I could have made better), but what the fuck is life man? The continuation of that five year relationship and the accompanying withdrawal from the world and self-and-soul-stunting was really a way worse fate.
Yes, yes, yes to Polly's advice. They CAN seem boring at first. They may not be boring, just nice, and normal.
And Tobia... nice normal guys are the kind of guys who let YOU be interesting. Don't you want to be interesting? But be nice. Don't not be nice.
Two big doses of "mind your own business". I'm glad Polly is here to explain it and be gentle.
I read this thinking oh god WHY are this lovely young lady's predictable and boring mistakes posted on the internet in excruciating detail? And then Polly told us why.
Polly is wise, young lady. Look at the people around you, who get what they want and are admired and desired. Do they explain themselves when they ask for what they want? Do they lie about what they want? No, they do not. Just ask for what you want.
And don't talk yourself out of asking for respect and romance because you aren't sure you want to marry some dude. Us younger ladies do that, I think. We are so committed to being non-committal, but we get our feelings hurt. Just cut it out, and go on dates with dudes you may dump one day. It's ok. That's how it works.
Oh LW1 leave leave leave. You may need years to heal, because his roots are in you deep, and when they are ripped out they'll shred you a bit, but leave leave leave.
I've been there. Deep ambivalence. Belief that there is something wrong with me. That I can't commit. That I can't love properly. That without the man I spent 5 years with (without an intense beginning) I would be lost, alone, nothing.
Turns out, all totally not true, I had just spent 5 years with the wrong man. Nothing wrong with him, but my gut said NOPE while my mind said "but what if..." for a long long time. Now I'm actually in love, and while it's only been a year, it's completely different. Totally and completely different. It's my mind that does the questioning while my gut just says YES. YES YES YES. Every day, no questions, yes. And the time alone I spent (several years) was magical. I'm so much more whole now.
Just leave. It will hurt, and it will be so so worth it.
@City_Dater UGH there's a partner at my firm who says he's "playing mom" when his wife goes away for the weekend.