So my story is that I broke up with my ex in November last year after 3 years of being together. I didn't feel comfortable in this relationship anymore and wanted a way out of it. There were many thing wrong in our relationship but i ignored them for almost 3 years. Now i really regret being with him for so long because i made so many mistakes that are hard to fix now. When we saw eachother last time we both said that even though we broke up we still can and kinda want to be friends but we need some time first. Then in December he sent me christmas wishes, I send them back and we talked for a little while. We both agreed that it's still to early to become friends again and i said that it would be better if he reached out to me first when he feels ready, because in my mind he was hurt more by our break up. He agreed. And after that short talk i had a mental breakdown. Talking to him just reminded me of those regrets and mistakes i made and how i feel about them. We haven't speak since then. I haven't worked it out yet. I still feel bad about all of it and i think i have a long way ahead of me. My ex has birthday next week and i think i should send him wishes. But i don't feel ready to talk to him yet. I feel like i'm gonna have another breakdown if i text him and i have a hard time even without that. On the other hand i'm scared that if i don't do that he is going to send me some angry messeges and i would feel even worse.
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When you step out of a toxic situation or relationship, you start to see it all more objectively. You’re still de-toxing here, so going back to the source of the toxicity is raising alarm bells in your head for very good reason. It’s completely okay if you aren’t ready to talk to him at all yet; you’ve got a lot of processing left to do.
Remember; you both agreed that he will reach out if he feels ready to talk, so I say this should count in that. If he gets huffy, then gently remind him that you both agreed to this and you didn’t want to overstep boundaries. It really sounds like you were also very hurt in this relationship, but you are prioritizing your ex’s feelings over your own; yours also matter.
I have some articles that explain the aftermath of breakups from toxic relationships:
In summary, it’s going to take time to heal from everything. It’s okay if you decide later on you don’t want to talk to him or be friends. It’s also okay if you do decide you want to be friends. The important thing is to give yourself time and space to process everything because rushing things like this leads to problems down the line. It sounds like you and your ex are working on that communication, which is a good thing! But please take care of yourself, too.
I’ve also got some books that discuss boundaries, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, and lasting effects of trauma:
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay in or Get Out of Your Relationship- Mira Kirshenbaum
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma- Bessel van Der Kolk
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty- Manuel J. Smith
I don’t want you to downplay your own feelings here because they also matter.
A very heartfelt answer, @Drew Simels . Hello, Mary! This is Jude. Our peer counsellor, Angelica, will get back to your shortly.
Hey, Mary M... I'm a member, here, at Asking Jude, not a peer counselor. I relate, easily, to this particular 'ask,' as I have had many disappointments throughout life, including relationships, so... based on everything I have gone through, I think you have to send him a letter, in writing, explaining what you have said, here, in your 'ask' and that you feel that it's best to move on -- and that you don't expect -- or, for that matter, want -- any more communication from him. I can tell that the emotional apect of a relationship cuts more deeply for you, compared with other people your age. I wish you luck. A peer counselor will get back to you...