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She's not returning my calls

 
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Kema
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:49 am    Post subject: She's not returning my calls Reply with quote

I've been hanging around here for a while, commenting occasionally on other people's posts. Now I'm in the midst of a crisis of my own. About 2 1/2 weeks ago my girlfriend emailed me that she needed to stop our Netflix movie nights while she works long hours finishing a job. She did put in a little sad face, but I didn't realize she was going to cut me off without any communication all that time, and counting. Except she did pick up once when I called - she sounded friendly but said she didn't have time to call and was too tired when she got home. I carefully let her go back to work after a few minutes.

This is not new - it's the 4th major backoff we've had like this, in our 6 years together, and we have pretty frequent little ones lasting only a couple of days. After the first one I figured out, and she thought I was on the right track, that it's because she was feeling too close and had to push me away. So far she's always come back, but this one is record length now, and I can't stop thinking this will be the time she never comes back.

And I miss her so much. All these 6 years we've just been "kinda going together" as she wanted to stop being lovers with the first backoff. But we would watch the movie in bed and hug and kiss and cuddle a lot and sleep (literally) together, and we've always had a really good time together. It was strange, it felt like we got closer when we weren't lovers any more - like it was safe to do it that way, the Universe which takes away everyone she loves wouldn't catch on, or something.

Well, I'm going to call tomorrow, I need a number for her taxes which I had started online before the backoff. Maybe she'll call back with that. I have a plan for when to call if she doesn't, which adds in just a little peace of mind. I know I can't get through this without a lot of tears. I've laid in a supply of chocolate...

So I just wanted to vent... Thanks for being here. Anybody else I told all this to would say "Run, don't walk, as far away from her as possible!" But really, inside, I don't want to do that, until there's no other option.
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alva1
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey..

just read your post, and it feels painfully familiar. I'm the partner of a survivor. we've been together for a little over two years. she started to do the "back offs" a little less than a year ago. first the physical back off..then less and less time together..then bursts of 2 to 4 day periods of absolutely no contact and no replies. Its worse now than i ever thought it would be. she lets me see her maybe twice a month. we do however talk thru text daily..some days more than others. but she has always come back. in fact my friends and family (who have no idea about the issues she is working thru) think I'm a nutball for sticking around so long. six years is a long time to be a nutball. but I'm committed totally..and am headed that way.

so what happened when you called? has she come back?
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Kema
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, she did come back, but not right then. We had a couple of months with just a couple of rather cool contacts - after a month of that I started thinking it was a breakup for real, and I left all the tax papers at her house and took home my things that I kept there. That got her scared, I guess, and after a couple of false starts she came to put my mother's kitchen shelf back up after having painted the kitchen before the backoff (she's a house painter).

While she was there she said she was sorry, she hadn't meant us to come apart so much, and we talked about it. I think it was partly that she had hung on and not pushed me away for so long, and the plan we used to have, to watch all the Netflix movies together, was just too much implied closeness. Nuts... I loved the reliability... but not at the cost of 2 months apart.

Since then we've kind of been up and down with some very close times and no real backoffs. She says she loves me more often, but we talk less, but email more. I've gone back to picking up groceries for her when I shop, and doing her business office work, which give us excuses to talk and see each other.

I knew already that she believes whenever she gets too happy something really bad happens, and that if she lets the Universe know what she wants, it'll make sure she doesn't get it - that's been her experience, while mine has been that if I let the Universe know what I want, things begin lining up for it to come true. Sigh... sometimes it feels like we waste an awful lot of time postponing joy, but it isn't joy if it just scares her...

Things I've learned, just in case any of them resonate...

Above all I've been learning about my own abandonment issues - just before the Big Backoff my mother told me something that happened when I was 18 months old - just Nothing compared with everything that happened to Sue, but I can see it left its footprints in my own insecurities. Working on that with a couple of good books has made a big difference in my ability to go off and live my own life in the meantime as well as not see everything she does as rejection.

The plan I already had for handling backoffs has been reconfirmed. I shoulda stuck to it when she'd been gone for a month, I just wanted it to stop hurting, but in fact, for me, it would have hurt a lot more to let her go. But basically, I know I can't chase her, she'll only run farther. I have to wait for her to come back, putting out occasional feelers to see if it's time.

I'm still trying to figure out how email fits in, but the original plan was, if she didn't call back, I'd let a day go by without attempting contact and call the day after that. If that didn't get an answer (and she almost always called the day after that second call) I'd let two days go without contact, then three, etc. But that was the only time I'd ever gotten to three. That way, I could put my next call on my calendar, and having that plan made it sort of halfway possible to go off and live my own life. Way better than just waiting, anyway.

She has a hard time with the phone. It's not that she doesn't want to call. If she can pick up at the time I call, we'll have a good chat, but if I leave a message, she may not get back to me - when she says she was too tired to call, which I had trouble understanding, it's more like she doesn't have the energy to face telephoning at all, even to me. Now, if I don't get an answer and I need one, after a while I email. If I don't need an answer I just send her a funny cat picture. So probably e-mail's place in the backoff plan is as just another step in the phone call attempt.

I think her concentration works differently than mine, and I know her sense of time does. At the time she cut me off she was getting panicky about a job deadline. I think in some way, where I can take a break, enjoy talking to her and go back to work, she can't. First, she can't limit the time of the phone call even if she needs to, so then she doesn't dare let it start. So I'm trying to keep them short now, if I know she's working, rather than assume that if she goes on talking, it's fine.

And then, her concentration is broken and she has trouble getting it back, and there are times when she's afraid to do that. She's had a lot of trouble at work with what often seems like self sabotage, and maybe is, or maybe just these different abilities, but last year she resolved to get really serious about building her business, and she may only be able to give mind space to the one goal.

She does things she didn't intend to all the time, or doesn't do things she did intend, and I have to put some value on the intention.

A really good book for us partners is Allies in Healing by Laura Davis. My copy is all underlined and full of page markers of things I need to read over again, in the middle of the night in hard times. What I really like is that this book is coming from the assumption that you want to stay with this person, although it doesn't sugarcoat the possibility that you may not be able to, and has words of wisdom for "How do you know when to throw in the towel?" too.

So I've been another nutball for 7 1/2 years now, and am recommitted - I think from a firmer, less dependent position. When it comes down to it, the only thing I really truly know is that I love her.

Texting daily sounds like a good sign to me. Good luck to you, alva1 - I hope she comes back, and I hope you can find the enjoyment of your life in the meantime - ridiculously hard, I know!
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alva1
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beyond ridiculously hard..totally. picked up that book you recommended today..learning as much as I can is going to help reel everything (unraveling inside me) back in, so im gobbling up any and all information. I want to stop being so consumed..it's not healthy for me, or her. mostly, I look forward to being able to control my own feelings and reactions by keeping a clearer perspective. I'm impulsive and childish at times..over analytical and maybe a little bit needy. figuring out how to best support her has a bonus of helping me fill in the adult size shoes I wear. I'm going to grow..as I continue to stay committed to her and us. it's scary knowing how intense and abrupt her backing away from me has and will evolve into being before life gets better.

I sent her a text and told her about the book I bought. told her that I felt it nessecary to take a more active role in understanding what is going on with us..and how to better communicate with her. part of me hopes she gives me a few days alone with the book and my learning. most of me knows she's gonna be pissed. but i promised myself some time ago not to ever keep things from her. perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it. idk. I guess I told her because I want her to know that giving up is not an option for me. maybe probably..she doesn't need to know..maybe it contributes to her stress level and anxiety. I don't want her feeling like she's causing trouble. because she's not. idk.

she is not speaking to me today. I'm trying not to wait for her..and I can't say it's easy.


I'm glad to hear that you two have found your way back into the groove. I think your patience is your power. if you can figure out how to bottle it up..i'd be your first customer.
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Kema
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're right about gobbling up information. For me, after the initial learning about her, which helped, learning about myself has helped even more.

I know that I have my own need for alone time, that we'd bump into if we didn't bump into hers first. And I believe in each of us having a life of our own, I think it enriches life together. Do you know that poem that begins "Let there be spaces in your togetherness"? I think one grows up with a sort of fairy-tale view of love as total attachment that doesn't really serve in grownup life.

While not often impulsive, I definitely have a little abandoned 18-month-old inside. Not natively analytical but have learned enough to get by, but definitely needy. Learning to take care of my own needs is feeling good.

I haven't mentioned the book, I think she'd feel insulted... could be wrong... it has crossed my mind that it could be good to read parts together and talk about them. But it's a bit reminiscent of all the books I read to figure out how to raise my kids, and she has a real Thing about being treated like a kid. I have shared my discoveries about my own abandonment issues, and she listened and I think has made more of an effort to return calls. I'd like us to think in terms of working together to get over the boulders in the road.

I think you have good reasons for sharing the book, and framing it as learning for yourself should help. You can realize you need to know more about being a supportive partner without it being her "causing trouble", it seems to me.

Another thing I've learned is not to talk about us when she's backed off (if there's any contact at all...), because she'll just say backed off things and contradict them when she gets close again. Not to try to find out what's happening or what she wants, at that time. She's said (when she was back) that she confuses herself and that she didn't know why she backed off. And I've said things - generally a question tying something she had already told me to what was happening - that I think made her realize things about herself - like after the first major backoff, she said she didn't know what happened, and I askied if she thought it could be related to what she had told me about being afraid of closeness. She stopped and thought and said I could be right. But she apparently hadn't put them together. Too busy beating herself up for doing it, I think...

So anyway, have a good learn...
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Maria13
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that your life will be much better. Do not be discouraged.And these girls from Luxembourg will distract you from the problems https://escortluxembourg.info
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