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SnowyBliss

Change And Confronting Immense Shame

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Hello fellas,

 

Long story ahead. I have experienced depression and anxiety since I was 8 (now 26). I sometimes go through really tough times, and I'm not really looking for advice. I just hope someone out there is wiling to hear my story.

 

So, a few years ago, I fell for a woman pretty hard (I'll call her Susan). She reciprocated the feelings, and we ended up being an item. Then, one night about a year and a half ago, she was hit by a car. Due to her injuries, she struggled to even get up in the night to use the washroom. At the time, she was living with my family in my home, so I became the primary care taker. Her mental and physical state were not in a good place. I would keep my phone next to me at night while I slept (she slept in a separate room) so I would be able to answer the phone in the middle of the night to escort her to the washroom - she couldn't go on her own. I helped her bathe and helped her with her recovery as much as possible (ensuring she kept moving, taking walks with her while she got used to a walker, etc.). I helped to make sure she was fed, and gave her financial support whenever possible. I made sure she contacted her lawyer when she needed to, and set up her doctor appointments. After a few months of this, we decided to break up. It was mutual. Our relationship had changed - it was now just far too one-sided. I was like a PSW, not a partner. It was a sad moment.

 

Fast forward to the past couple months. She has moved out on her own, and she can walk on her own just fine. She finished school and got a job right out of the gate. She and I remained close friends the entire time (even being intimate at times - I know that's not always a good idea, but humans don't always make smart decisions). We still enjoy each others company a lot, but the sex and intimacy has stopped almost completely.

 

So last night, for the first time in a long time, I had the chance to make love with another woman I will call her Jane, and I did. It was strange. We had been drinking (there was consent among both of us to engage, no worries there), but I could not... get it up. It could have been the alcohol, but I think part of me was ashamed for what I was doing. I tried so hard to enjoy it, but I just couldn't get into it the way I would have liked to. It was embarrassing, to say the least. Jane was super nice about it, and didn't shame me at all. Still, I woke up today feeling a panic attack coming on. As stupid as this sounds, I called Susan and told her what had happened. Despite us being broken up for a long time, I felt as though I was cheating on her! She did not feel that was the case, and I went to her place, where she and I talked about what had happened. She was not angry, and she didn't shame me at all either. She hugged me as I cried, and we ended up watching cartoons for a couple hours. 

 

Susan doesn't hate me, and neither does Jane. Yet I feel such incredible shame for what I've done. I have been on the verge of tears all day, and I lost the motivation to do almost everything. Last night was an attempt to try new things - to have my needs met, but I feel as though I wasn't able to retain my dignity in doing so. It's so strange - no one is upset with what I've done, and yet I hurt. I figure I have residual feelings for Susan. I guess I invested so much into that relationship that I feel as though anything I do with another is a betrayal.

 

Thanks for reading my story. I just needed to tell someone. I am going to try my hardest to manage and cope with this pain. Having someone respond may help.  

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Hi SnowyBliss and Welcome to DF  :welcomeani: 

 

​Well from your lovely story I would rate you as an excellent, compassionate, loving and caring person. Those ladies are lucky to have you in their lives. I do not know many people who would take on a caring role as you have and in your own home. That is so  humbling for me to hear someone who is so selfless and willing to take on such a huge responsibility for another person who is not a family member.

 

You have nothing to reproach yourself for. We all have times when making love does not turn out the way we wanted. We can be tired, down, worried or just not in the mood or whatever. This is just one of those things.

 

​Listen you are a very strong person with a very caring and loving attitude and you put that into real practice.  You have excellent social skills. So do not beat yourself up about this one night problem. Just put it behind you and get on with your relationships. I guess neither of the ladies are in the least bothered by this as they both realise what a prize you are.

 

Best Wishes

 

Jim Bow 

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Hi Jim Bow,

 

I'm speechless, really. You have no idea how your kind words have just made me feel - I'm tearing up as I type! 

 

I have a tendency to not share my life with others - only under the cloak of anonymity here do I feel comfortable sharing such a personal tale. Only the closest members of my family and a few friends know that I took her in and watched over her, so I rarely here such kind words regarding what I did. To me it was the only thing to do - never would I let someone I care so deeply about suffer alone. That being said, thank you from the bottom of my heart, I'm truly overwhelmed. 

 

Life happens and relationships change. It is a normal, often painful, part of life, and appreciate you taking the time to read my story of change. I feel much less shame for what has happened thanks to your comments (although some still lingers - something to work on). 

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Welcome to DF, snowybliss!  :hugs:   I agree with jimbow15, you sound like a very compassionate, loving, and caring person.  The devotion you showed Susan is tough to let go of.  It sounds like loyalty and devotion might be strong personality traits for you, and that might be what's making moving on so difficult.  Give yourself time to grieve the change in your relationship with Susan, please don't think you have to follow some sort of time table or set pattern.   :hugs: 

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Thank you 20YearsandCounting, your kind words mean a lot.

 

Susan and I are obviously still close friends, The struggle is to learn to adapt and only invest the same amount of energy into the friendship as she does, instead of going above and beyond. As of now, Susan and I are agreeing that the relationship has radically changed, and that it's okay to take the time and space to grieve. I determined that I still do have residual feeling for her, but with the understanding that a relationship that we had before is not really possible. Despite knowing this, it still hurts. We have come up with a plan that includes ensuring more space between us. Basically, it means seeing each other much less. She's my best friend, but I acknowledge that because I love her so much (as a friend first and foremost), it's important to follow these guidelines and boundaries.

 

It doesn't make it any easier, but I hope I'm taking the right steps forward. My goal this weekend is to avoid calling her and focusing on work, personal projects, myself, and other relationships that provide emotional support, such as my siblings. 

 

I'm in a tremendous amount of pain, I won't lie. I hope I am going in the right direction. I have experienced both depression and anxiety for so long that I think I may have developed coping methods and plans that are less self-destructive than previous methods and plans (though I have had a couple drinks tonight to relax - working on that one). 

 

What do you guys think? I try to be confident in my actions, but in the mire of depressive thoughts I often reach out for validation.

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snowybliss,

It sounds like you have developed a pretty healthy plan.  Good for you for reaching out to expand other relationships.  I think the tendency would be to shrink back, which isn't healthy.  And unless you struggle with alc*h*l*sm, I think an occasional drink to relax is okay.   :hugs: 

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