“Can’t Get Him Out Of My Head”

by Annie Kaszina on August 7, 2008

Dear
Annie,
I have just split from a mentally abusive relationship. In fact I only
discovered that it was abusive last week. Everything you have sent (in The
Seven Things You Need To Know To Truly Heal) sounds so familiar. My ex has done and said 99% of what you
predicted. The problem is is that I am still in love with him. But I hope I can
change that. My daughter has a bond with him and he sees her regularly, we
broke up last week for the – I dont know how many times. I am nervous as I feel
she would resent me if I stopped her seeing him. With him being around the same circle of friends I’m worried it
will prove almost impossible to keep him out of my head.

Martha


Hi Sharon,

Since 99% of what I have predicted has been spot on, let me predict
some more.

Don’t worry about your daughter seeing your ex, her adoptive
dad.  That will work out.  Give her time to discover how she truly
feels.  But don’t saddle yourself with yet more guilt about what you can’t
do and offer and be for other people.  Actually, you do very much more
than you think you do.  It’s unlikely she has experienced the spectacle of
your constant break-ups without suffering, and you may well find that she is
grateful for the space that you have created.

As regards you still being in love with him and unable to get him
out of your head, yes, I hear that.  I hear it all the time from women in
your situation.  What it is really about is you desperately wanting to
feel loved, needed and validated.  Somehow you need his love right now –
or you think you do – to feel any love for yourself.

Sorry to tell you, but that really isn’t healthy.

Better news is that it passes.

 As you start to look at the bad times, of which there are rather a
lot, you start to think: "How could he?"

Well, he did because he could.  It was that way round.
He knew exactly how much he could get away with and he went for it.  (Sure
sometimes he overstepped the line, but abusers are far from perfect.)

Then you start to think: "Why did I let him?"

Now there are lots of answers to this, like you felt so lost and
lonely and bad about yourself. But because you did, it doesn’t mean
you have to ever again.

You can start to learn how to do things differently.

Yes, it’s a pain that he won’t oblige by falling off the face of
the earth right now, so you don’t ever have the problem of seeing him
again.  But it’s not going to happen.

And it is a sort of gift.

What you can do is start to observe his behaviours – they will
range from hurt, to angry, to Mr Nice Guy, to Mr "Just Give Me One More
Chance", to threatening. And start
to see him for the clone he is.  (See Things Abused Men Say on my website)

Then you can start choosing your response to him.  Behave
differently to the way he expects and he will be BAFFLED.  It’s actually
funny to watch.

So good luck.

I know you are going through a hard time, but where you can, laugh
at/with yourself – lovingly – and laugh at him, detachedly.  He
deserves it.  And laughter will start to lift your mood. It’s way better than the heavy, sad emotions
you’ve been practising for so long.

And if you need more help, which you might well when the dark
emotions set in, hold the thought that 1-2-1 coaching really can get you back
on your feet fast.

Warm wishes,

Annie

Previous post:

Next post: