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Recovery Group and the Ex

Kintsugi posted 8/4/2020 10:17 AM

Hi all.

Dated someone for 3.5 years and she recently broke it off and asked for no contact which has been really hard. We communicated a few times, mostly on facebook IM (she initiated on one occasion), but each time she has become more stern and all appearances are this thing is done. I'm blocked everywhere and she's pulled her social media accounts.

At one point she said to me, "You do you." She was going to begin going to a Celebrating Recovery group through our church. She feels like a victim and wants to work her resentment, anxiety and hurt through the group. It's an open one hour session of spiritual linkage to recovery and then the men and women break out into their own groups.

Two weeks ago the first in-person session was starting since COVID. I got thinking to myself, I have my own issues to work on, and since it was communicated to me by the ex "you do you." I went to the meeting which she was attending as well. I kept my back to her in the open session, no eye contact that sort of things, but she did (intentionally?) walk directly by me as I was speaking with the chairperson, and I caught a glimpse of her as she went to the ladies room. The next week, she did not attend.

Question... part of me wants to continue attending to focus on my crap and healing and I love the church so I want to remain at that location, and part of me thinks I need to back off feeling guilty about any influence I may have had for her not attending and the impact I might have on her recovery.

Recovery comes first in my mind even in the shadows of no contact. What would you do?

JanaGreen posted 8/4/2020 10:26 AM

Gently, she's asked you not to contact her and you continued to do so to the point that she blocked you.

She feels the need to go to a support group in the aftermath of this relationship and you showed up there. Honestly if I were her I'd feel stalked. You need to back way up. I'm sure there are other support groups you could attend and you didnt even think about it til she mentioned it. I see you showing up as an aggressive, threatening move. Bow out gracefully. Leave her alone.

Chili posted 8/4/2020 10:37 AM

I responded on your earlier thread, so I remember your recent story.

This is my opinion based on my own experiences, so take it for what it's worth:

I think boundaries always win the day. Especially right after a break up or separation. Without them, you get in your own way looking at social media or getting glimpses of her. And it's not really fair to her. It would show a lot of grace and decency and maturity to let her have her own safe space to go to this meeting. I know she doesn't "own" it and you need your own healing, but didn't she give you a heads up that she was going to be attending this group? It's kind of unfair that you inserted yourself into that one particular place where you knew she would be.

Are there not any other places you can go? Divorce recovery or IC or any other support group?

I'm not trying to whack you with a 2 x 4, but I don't think it's fair for both of you to attend. You're spending your time there thinking about how you're sitting and knowing where she is and glimpsing her and looking to see if she's attending. Instead of working on your healing. Do you really think you can fully "share" if she is right there across the room?

It's not space or boundaries or you doing you.

This stuff is hard - I remember thinking to myself that I should maybe accept invitations to family events just so I could "see" my STBX or happen to appear somewhere so our paths would cross. To really heal, I had to shut those thoughts in my head right down.

[This message edited by Chili at 10:38 AM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

newlife03 posted 8/4/2020 11:23 AM

This stuff is hard - I remember thinking to myself that I should maybe accept invitations to family events just so I could "see" my STBX or happen to appear somewhere so our paths would cross. To really heal, I had to shut those thoughts in my head right down.

Wow, this is me to a T right now...I want to attend weekend gatherings with mutual friends so I can see him. He doesn't care if I'm there or not at this point. So why do this to myself??

Back to the main post, I agree with the others in that you knew she'd be there and you went despite being asked to leave her alone. It's hard to step away, I'm trying to do that myself right now and am struggling big time. You're definitely not alone in feeling lost, but a different support group might serve you better.

Chrysalis123 posted 8/4/2020 13:39 PM

Very gently, your decision was not good. Kind of makes you look a bit stalker-ish. You violated her safe space. If I were her I would be afraid of you.

You need to find a different recovery group to attend.

Kintsugi posted 8/4/2020 13:57 PM

Thanks everone, I'm getting the picture. No, I've got it.

No excuses, right feels left, up feels down and wrong feels right at the moment.

My frame of reference was ex's being present in AA and the thought no one should care why someone is there, it's for healing and sobriety first and foremost. I was also thinking our paths would likely cross at church events, so this would be no different. Having few friends outside of work, I wanted to begin getting more engaged at the church to meet new people. And I'll add, I've come to accept there is no hope, and part of me said what the hell, focus on me.

So the question is, do I contact her and let her know I'm backing off, or do nothing and back off?

I'm going with do nothing and just back off because my first reaction was initiate contact to tell her I was backing off.

Thoughts?


[This message edited by Kintsugi at 2:03 PM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

Catwoman posted 8/4/2020 14:00 PM

So the question is, do I contact her and let her know I'm backing off, or do nothing and back off?

Back off.

Do not contact her.

Find your own place of healing.

Most people don't realize this, but a good resource for finding a group is likely to be your primary care physician. I would find your own place of healing far and separate from hers.

Cat

Kintsugi posted 8/4/2020 14:26 PM

Do not contact her.

Find your own place of healing.


Thanks Cat.

I know this adds nothing, but when I walked in the door the first night I did bump into her friend and I said to her, "I'm not here for her, I'm here for me." So her friend can at least tell her I'm not attending.

phmh posted 8/4/2020 19:54 PM

Please remember that actions speak so much louder than words. Gently, you may have told her friend that you were there for you, but the fact that you showed up knowing she would be there? The actions speak far louder. If I were your ex, I'd be pretty creeped out. Stay NC. Is there another church you can attend? (you said you were going to begin to do more stuff, so I assume you're not deeply involved). You will heal and find happiness so much more quickly if you can truly NC.

EvenKeel posted 8/5/2020 09:07 AM

Thanks everone, I'm getting the picture. No, I've got it.
Yeah. I love this board for being able to post stuff that we think we are doing the right thing(s) in our head....then we can see if that meshes with the real world.

I ended up leaving my church because my ex was there. I found it just too distracting (even though we were avoiding each other). I just couldn't sit there and clearly hear the minister's message with my ex in my space.

I tried....I really did.

Flash forward to him bringing his new GF's to church, etc. It was just too much.

There are two sides to this. There is you paying attention to her stating 'no contact', then blocking. Then there is you having to heal from your own side. Can you do this with her in your outlying space?

Find yourself support outside of this church group. If you can't find anything local - there are tons of options online as well (or individual).

She feels like a victim
Do you mean in your relationship or is this something from her past?

She is sending very strong messages to you. Please disconnect with her.


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