Dealing with Depression/girlfriend trouble

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hI my girl friend was in an abusive relationship right before we started to date. This pass it was going so well she gave me a key to her apartment but the next day she said we need a break. First off i dont know what a break is. It came out of no way. She has said in the past that she does not deserve me. I stayed calm since we have been dating but when she said we did a break out of no i over reacted and took myself out of the apartment. Now we are not talking for the past few days. I am giving her space but tonight i am really lost in what to do.

Answer
Hi Cory,

I will respond to the statements individually to give you a full answer to your situation.

hI my girl friend was in an abusive relationship right before we started to date.

Abuse has a tendency to cause the mind to cling to the abuse and create hyper-sensitive reactions to similar events, whether those events are real or imagined, that cause the victim to relive the memories of the abuse. If the relationship that ended is fairly fresh in the mind the person may not be fully able to deal with any new relationship in an open and unassociated way to the past abuse. Her reactions towards you and your relationship may be fuelled by the abuse and generated in such a way as to mask who the reactions are truly meant for.

This pass it was going so well she gave me a key to her apartment but the next day she said we need a break. First off i dont know what a break is.  

She is sending mixed messages "here is a key", " we need a break". This is a sign she is not settled in her decisions. This pattern may have existed before the abuse. Since there is not enough information you have no way to know this. Over time as more information is released you may get a feel for what was going on in her previous relationship.

A break means, she needs time. She is still not fully committed to the new relationship. Her guard is up due to the abuse she suffered and she may not be over that relationship fully in her mind. Just be respectful and give her space. Be patient and seek to understand rather than respond from emotion.

It came out of no way.  

This is the reaction I am referring to when I say do  not respond from emotion. Try to feel what she is feeling. The best way to do that is to practice "active listening". This will develop empathy within you and you will be able to feel what she feels and by doing that you will understand better what is going on.

Active listening - Ask you self one of two questions as you listen to her story;
1) What is the content (of what she is saying)
2) what is the feeling?

Content - repeat in your own words what you  think she is saying, she says, "we need a break"... you say, "You are not ready to commit to a long term relationship and need time to think this through?"

She will do one of three things, confirm, deny or elaborate. This is where you want her in the conversation.
Confirm - Yes! That's exactly it!
Deny - No! That's not exactly what I mean!
Elaborate - What I mean is that I am afraid of men and I need a break from them!

Feeling - you say, "you are feeling hesitant about forming a new relationship?"
She will again do one of those three things above. But the doorway to communication and understanding is forming through active listening.

She has said in the past that she does not deserve me.  

This statement I hear low self worth. That may be a part of the abuse she suffered where she may have been constantly put down or belittled. her self image is affected in a negative manner.

It could also be a sign that she is trying to tell you something about herself. She may not trust herself to maintain a loving or singular relationship.

This needs to be explored more fully as to the content and feeling.

I stayed calm since we have been dating but when she said we did a break out of no i over reacted and took myself out of the apartment.  

Again, do not react from emotion. Learn from this. It achieves nothing but producing a pattern within yourself that will reflect negatively upon your relationships and communication style.

Practice active listening and let go of EGO which is what causes emotion to rule! Ego is that thought in your head that says things like, "how can you do this to me?" Anything that tries to preserve the "I" in all things is ego. Ego gets angry, attacks, defends, throws things, walks away. Not-ego, listens, talks, strives for understanding.

Now we are not talking for the past few days. I am giving her space but tonight i am really lost in what to do.

She is probably just as lost as you are. Have patience, Time has a way to deliver things on its own. Let her  have her space.

In the meantime, wipe! Do not follow thoughts that lead you away from reality. The events as they are happening now. If she is not present do not think about her. Let it go. You are creating your own suffering by giving into thoughts of things that do not exist in your current environment. When eating, eat! When walking, walk! No more, no less! wiping the mind leaves a blank slate on which to write the future. Your present state is controlled by the thoughts you focus on. If you focus on sad thoughts you will become sad. If you focus on happy thoughts you will be happy. You are the master of your own destiny and thoughts you give power to are the key.

Dealing with Depression

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Amper Sun

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Depression, anxiety, self esteem, guilt, loss, grief, spiritual uncertainty!

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Thirty years treating individual, families, at-risk-youth in counselling and psycho-therapy.

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Master Practitioner of Counselling and Psychotherapy - M.P.C.P. designation.

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