Damn, I'm back at it with another one on here.
The same girlfriend from my previous post from last year broke up with me a couple weeks ago, and it was all my fault. She said this has potential to just be a break, but I feel like telling myself that is only a means of getting my hopes up, only to be crushed later on. The reasons she gave broke into a few main things:
1) I had not spent enough time with her for about four months. This is true, I neglected her a lot. I have reasons for it, but these reasons don't excuse it. I prioritized spending time with my friends over her. I was trying to graduate and had tunnel vision, and began using some really bad coping mechanisms to deal with my stress. I have always had a bad relationship with gaming, but after this I am ready to admit, I have a gaming addiction. It is being handled right now, but I'd find her asking me to hang out, and I'd say that I was too tired, just to find myself playing video games until really late. I basically turned into a boyfriend over text and calls, and she'd only see me on our school campus sometimes. Our schedules did not line up very well, but I still could have put in some effort to clear out some time for her. She put in much more effort into the relationship for the past four months than I did, and I think she is very valid in saying that I was negligent.
2) Communication was an issue, and I was not improving on things I said I'd work on. I would often say, "I'm working on it," but not take the action to back it up. It is hard to have self-awareness when you're drowning, but some of the things she asked me to work on were really so easy, and they really did not see a lot of improvement. I told her that in some cases, (we're both teachers) when things aren't working for our students and we know they're putting effort in, things have to be explained differently, so I felt a little blindsided by the whole situation because I didn't realize that not much improvement was being made. In terms of other communication problems, I'm really not good at talking out my feelings on the spot; I like being able to digest how I'm feeling and think about it, but it was so excessive to the point that I would just stonewall her and never follow up with anything because I was so anxious about how she'd feel about what was going on in my head. I realize that it was anxiety controlling me, I doubt she would have had much of a problem with how I was feeling, nonetheless, I stonewalled her.
3) This is one that is a bit frustrating to me, but it is representative of a larger issue in my mind. I fell a bit behind this semester, which I should have been taking quite seriously since it was my last semester of my undergrad. I'm a very straight-C student, I hate school (ironic that I'm a teacher), and it had me so fucking burned out. I've had a shit few years at my uni, and I was completely over it this semester. However, in the beginning of the semester, I said that I was going to try to end on a high note, not skip classes, get behind, etc. This was something I did not follow through on. She told me that she felt she was more of a mother than a girlfriend because she'd have to push me to get my schoolwork handled, to the point where she was stressing and worrying about me so much that she was worried about if she'd even be successful this semester. I don't know man. I understand completely that I did not follow through on ending on a high note. I was all talk in that scenario. I fell off pretty quickly, would sleep through classes, and be upset with myself for it, complain to her, and ultimately, it is my fault if I don't go to class. However, I realize that because I was gaming so much, it was cutting into my sleep, making me not go to class. What frustrates me is that the stress she said she was experiencing on my behalf is self-inflicted; though I did fall behind, I'm a big boy, and I don't need her to mom me to get my shit done. Everything else, however, I understand in terms of her frustration.
She brought these concerns to me about two weeks before she broke up with me, but by then, I really think it was too late - resentment had built up, and no matter how hard I tried for those two weeks, it never could have been enough. She made self-fulfilling prophecies about certain days we had planned out not going well, and they didn't go well. She took issue with everything that I did in terms of planning dates for those two weeks, despite the fact that I was trying to make sure the plans were okay with her, she said they were, and then changed her mind last minute. She began putting space between us, despite saying that she wanted to try to make things work. When she broke up with me, she said she couldn't do it anymore, and that she needed a "pause." We talked a few times since then, and each time I laid my cards out on the table even more for her.
In my defense and in refutation to the above points:
1) Stress does some horrible things to people. It can put blinders on people, block self-awareness, and cause some bad habits to arise. I lost all self-awareness because I was just trying to power through. I was drowning. I was taking an excess load of 22 units (10 classes), preparing for a huge music recital, working 32 hours a week between two jobs, and driving about 100 miles a day between school, work, and home. The time simply spent AT school in lectures was about 24-30 hours, plus homework added on a lot more hours. Driving 100 miles a day in southern California is usually 2+ hours behind the wheel, 5 days a week. On the weekends, I work at my restaurant job. I calculated it, and if the week was going well, I'd have about 5 hours of free time a day... At absolute most. Because of this, I started putting things off to play video games, and lost so much sleep and energy over it, as well as putting off schoolwork, and time to be spent with her. When I say it was an addiction, it really was. I would have so much mental energy occupied by it, and there is an anonymous meeting group website with a 20-point checklist to self-test for addiction - I ended up checking off 16. They say if you check off 8, you may have a gaming problem. So yeah, I have a fucking addiction. On top of that, the stress has deteriorated my memory to the point where I do not remember so much of what she'd talked about with me. She brought things up to me that I straight up do not remember, and it was never because I wasn't listening to her, I think my mind was just so all over the place that there was no way I could have worried about anything other than simply finding time to breathe. My order of events is out of whack - if you asked me when specific things this semester happened, I would not be able to tell you in order when they happened. Stress shot my memory out, and I didn't realize it until she brought all of this to me.
2) Again, because of the sheer stress, it was really hard to put work in on myself. My self-awareness was so clouded because I was drowning that I couldn't worry about improving on things she'd bring up. Even simple, "I don't like when you ____," were really hard to manage because I just couldn't breathe.
3) Again, I think she added so much stress onto herself unnecessarily, but I'm powerless to that.
My defense has also allowed me to formulate a plan of improvement that I told her about. In terms of my gaming problem, I have gone to some anonymous meetings on Zoom with an addiction group. I have begun to plan out my time a bit more mindfully to do things that I enjoy outside of sitting down and spending far too much time gaming. I have a therapist that I am working on it all with, too, to find better coping mechanisms for stress. Furthermore, so much stress is now gone from my plate since I am done with school now. In just a week since being done, I feel like I really am able to breathe and spend much more time doing things that I enjoy, and have a much better grip on things. Communication is tough, but I think self-awareness is a hell of a thing. I have done a lot of reflection on how I can do better, and I have identified why I think I am so bad at communicating sometimes. This one is not as easy to work on, because it is usually in on-the-spot situations in terms of relationship stuff, so even though I know what needs to be done, I think the test of if I am improving on it will be if I am in one of those situations. In terms of the stonewalling, I know it was a problem now, and am accepting the fact that I should have just been more open with her in the first place, but if this really is a break, I will just have to be more open.
She said she wanted to move at .25x speed if we were going to try to make this just a break. I don't know what the fuck that is supposed to mean - it just creates anxiety and questions. I don't want to suffocate her by asking for clarification, she wants space, but I don't know how much. She said she doesn't want to go no-contact so she can see that I'm working on stuff, but balancing giving space and trying to show improvement is so difficult for me. I told her the only way I could adequately show that I can dedicate time to her now is by dedicating free time to her, because I'll just be giving my free time elsewhere if she doesn't want to spend time with me, so I don't know what else I can do really. It seems that even though she said she wants to keep contact to make this a break (potentially), she is trying to cut herself off. She isn't going to my graduation, which I understand, we aren't technically together, but to me, if the roles were reversed, I'd go to her graduation to at least support a friend.
I have so many frustrations with this too. All of the problems I have are so fixable. Most of what she brought up is pretty much solved at this point - it was just a matter of getting to the end of the semester, and in the other cases, having the self-awareness to get control of myself. I feel like I stood by her in her worst times (see my above posts in this thread), and she couldn't even stand by me when I was drowning in stress. No, relationships aren't transactional, but there should be some sort of reciprocation, and I feel like I didn't get that. No trust was broken, nobody cheated, excessively lied, abused, or was toxic with the other party. Those are issues that are hard to impossible to work out. This shit is so damn simple. Spending more time with her? Done. I have Tuesday-Thursdays free ALL DAY now, and my days on the weekend are flexible because I don't work all day at my restaurant job. She felt like a mom? Okay, guess what, I have no more deadlines with school. I'm much better at handling adult shit than school shit - I found a new therapist on my own when I needed one BEFORE it was too late, I make appointments for myself at reasonable times, handle work stuff well - it was just school that was in the way, and seemed to be the biggest deal because it was a majority of my time. Communication again is a bit tricky, but we are all human and will always have stuff to work on, regardless of if we are in a relationship or not.
So, I sat on a rock today in my happy place to reflect on myself, and partially this situation. I identified why I have certain behaviors, and have thought about what I can do aside from the things above to improve things that are all separate. I got a better outlook on myself, and am not doing so bad in terms of how I feel about myself right now. The only thing is, I'm so anxious because of this situation, and destroyed. I am destroyed that I do not have someone who I thought I could spend my life with, I am destroyed that I caused this situation, and I'm anxious because I don't know if this will really be just a break or not. I asked myself whether it was just a relationship I seek, or if it is her. I was happily single for YEARS before I met her, I didn't want a relationship at all. It is her. Despite my frustrations, I think this is figure-outable. I just don't know what to do in terms of her. I have myself mostly figured out.
The last part is that I have had some... harmful ideations to say the least in terms of this. I don't think I'd act on anything, but I am slightly disappointed in myself for letting something like this get me to this point. It is just a breakup, and I realize that. But I have never felt the way I do about this breakup, and I've been through some FUCKED UP relationship stuff. It just fucking hurts man, and I don't know what to do. If it is going to be a break, then great, it's just I feel like the anxiety from the uncertainty may actually fucking kill me before we could even get back together.
Note: I wrote this really hastily, so if anyone actually does want to talk any of this shit out and you have questions, lmk.