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Thread: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    373

    Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    Ok.... so I am in the grip of desperate ruminative OCD-based regret. Basically, I have had a horrific year, I have had a terrible time with a relationship. I fell madly in love with someone who turned out to have a serious personality disorder, and ended up being horribly emotionally abused. I have been to hell and back.
    I can't chart the course of our relationship here, but one of the things that happened was that he suddenly - no warning at all - abandoned me. He refused to talk to me, refused to give me any explanations. From showering me with love and asking me to marry him, he suddenly treated me like his worst enemy. It was horrific. It went on for six months. He and I are now back in contact, but not in a relationship.

    Anyway, last night I was going to bed, feeling pretty normal, and not too bad really, when all at once I remembered an incident from my past. It happened twelve and a half years ago, when I was in my early twenties. I met a man at a language class, and he asked me out. I found him attractive, but I was very shy with men then - I had no real sexual experience and was, I think, afraid of my own desires. He was an Iraqi Kurd, a doctor. I did find him physically attractive. He asked me out and we went on a date to a local pub. We chatted, and I liked him and warmed to him without feeling really 'in love'. As we were leaving he kissed me, and was very 'romantic', paying a lot of compliments etc. I remember feeling very much 'in a whirl' when I got home.

    Over the following few days he bombarded me with text messages and calls, wanting to go out again. I had cold feet about it all, and wanted to meet him during the day, so that I could get a feel for him in a less obviously date-like setting. I suggested we meet for lunch, but he only wanted to have dinner with me and do 'romantic' things. He kept on at me, and I kept hedging. I didn't stonewall him, but I kind of kept him at arm's length.

    Then one morning, only a few days after our date, I got an angry voicemail from him, saying he was really frustrated with me and my lack of commitment and responsiveness. I remember feeling upset and frightened, but also sorry for him. And then - this is the thing I really regret - I got my mother to call him and tell him to leave me alone. I really, really wish I had not done this. She told me later that he had said to her that he didn't want to upset me and he only wanted to be my friend. This really cuts through my heart now. She also said that at the end of the call he said to her to tell me that he wished me all the best in life. I never heard from him again.

    For twelve years I didn't really think any more about this. I didn't see it as a major trauma, and I didn't think about how I must have made him feel.

    I don't feel bad because I think I lost the love of my life. I don't think that he was, and I don't think that he and I would have made a long-term relationship. I feel bad because I think that I was cruel and insensitive. I didn't know then how much it hurts to be ignored by someone. I wish I could turn the clock back. If I could, I would ring him up and say that I just wanted to be friends, see him sometimes and see where it led to. I would not have ended it like that.

    I feel obsessional because I don't know what happened to him, where he is, or how his life turned out. I can't trace him, and even if I could, I don't know what I would say to him after twelve and a half years, and one date! He may not even remember me. I expect he is married now.

    I feel so guilty when I think of him saying he just wanted to be friends. I don't think that it was true, or he would have agreed to have lunch with me, but still I feel awful. I think that having had my heart broken, for the first time in my life, last year, has taught me a lesson about respecting other people's feelings. I wish he was still in my life as a friend.

    I try to comfort myself by thinking that maybe it was all for the best. He was very pushy and possessive and he did frighten me a bit when he got angry. It's possible that it might have turned into a bad relationship. Perhaps I was just listening to my feelings at the time. But I think he did genuinely like me. I'm sure I hurt him. Then again, I think, well, if he really liked me, he would have waited a little while and tried again. My mother wasn't angry with him, she didn't tell him to stay away or else, so he might have approached me again if he had wanted to, and he never did.

    Anyway, I am in a horrible obsessional loop with this. I know that I am probably projecting my pain over last year's relationship on to this thing that happened so long ago. But I feel so guilty I don't know how to cope. It's hell. He was really nice, just forward and pushy, which was probably down to cultural differences. I was, at that age, very timid around men and maybe a bit prudish, scared of men and so quite ready to find reasons to write them off.

    I had all this grief bubble to the surface last night. I couldn't sleep, I sat crying for ages. I said a prayer for him and asked for forgiveness. I know that this is probably projected from the pain of being abandoned myself (in a far worse way than this). How do I forgive myself and accept what happened?

    Thanks for reading. x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    382

    Re: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    When I was a naive 20 yr old I went out with an Iraqi man for a short while. He was manipulative & pushy but in a quiet way. I dropped him after a few dates, as he was becoming rather controlling. I consider your Iraqui doctor to be chauvinistic & to use pressure tactics for a 2nd date is unpleasant & off putting. It drives the other person away. Perhaps he was not used to being turned down by a woman. In my view he spoilt things for himself . As for saying he only wanted to be your friend - well, thats what they all say!! (especially when unsuccesful!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    1,498

    Re: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    Zingara - what you did is pretty much what I would have done. He was too pushy. And you know what, even if he wasn't, for christ sakes, it was one date. I date people frequently and if there is no second date, whatever, we weren't right for each other. Saying stuff about commitment after a first date is scarily weird. You did the right thing to not contact him again.

    You were inexperienced with men and you got your mum to help. If this happened again now, you would deal with the situation with insight grown from experience. You did not have that insight back then - you couldn't have done anything differently.

    If someone is not right for you, it's not worth continuing to date them. We have precious few hours in each day. Why waste them on people you don't really like? And why waste hours on new 'friends' that you don't truly enjoy the company of, when you could be spending time with genuine friends?

    I think you did the right thing, and you will be able to forgive yourself. You've built up this incident in your mind. I know how that feels. But you're right, he probably has forgotten about you.

    When I was about 20, I went on two dates with a guy and then refused a third date by text because I didn't think it was a big deal. He must have been much more into me than I realised because he was ultra upset. I apologised but knew that I was doing the right thing to let him down now. I saw him years later on the tube and he emphasised his having a girlfriend now - probably to try and show me (and satisfyingly prove to himself) that he's moved on. I don't think I even mentioned having a boyfriend, so I could let him feel even better about having a girlfriend. He was fine. And I'm sure this guy will be fine too - as fine as his weird control freakish commitment scariness will allow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    373

    Re: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    Thanks so much to both of you who replied.... I genuinely felt calmer for reading what you said. You make some really good points and it helped me to know you'd had some similar experiences. I have been beating myself up about it, but maybe I was just listening to my own instincts about him - there were some red flags in his behaviour. Leaving me an angry voicemail after just one date was a bad sign.

    Thanks once again - you've really helped me. x

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    1,498

    Re: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    Glad to hear it

    I would not see someone again if they left me an angry voicemail after one date. What a weirdo x

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    382

    Re: Please, please, please help me - I feel desperate

    Neither would I. Who wants to go out with a dictator!

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