This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Brittany Foster 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #12241
     Kathleen Sheffer 
    Participant

    Hey guys! I’ve been offline for a bit for medical appointments and my own emotional health. My boyfriend of eight months broke up with me on Tuesday night. There are factors in his life out of my control that he has to deal with on his own. We had no problems in our relationship and I feel no anger toward him. I was typing a post about all the ways he supports me and my health just before he broke things off. Needless to say, I was blindsided. I’ve never ended a relationship at the peak of its trajectory without any hint of decline.

    What I’m worried about is how this will affect my physical health. I’m figuratively heartbroken, and have reason to worry the emotions can produce physical symptoms. The last time I went through a dramatic breakup was in February 2016. My ex moved out of our shared apartment in April 2016, and in May 2016 I had massive hemoptysis that led to my heart-lung transplant July 1, 2016. I literally had my heart replaced after that figurative heartbreak.

    So, here I am again, two years later, in shock. Despite all the work I’ve done to grow into a better partner and to choose a partner who is kind, observant, generous, and devoted to me, I have to start over on my own. This man has helped me reframe my self-image, build confidence as a creative entrepreneur, and calm my anxiety. Multiple times he has come over to my house when I am having a panic attack to hold me and stop my spiraling. We are both still very much in love with each other, but his current life circumstances prevent him from continuing to give me the relationship I deserve.

    I know I am strong enough to handle this and that I will get through it, but I want to minimize the effects on my physical health.

    Have you experienced a bad breakup since your diagnosis? What did you do to cope with it and maintain your health?

    So far I’m resorting to humor: How ironic is it that I had an echocardiogram the day after he dumped me? I was honestly disappointed that the monitor showed my heart is still all in one piece. Haha!

  • #12244
     Brittany Foster 
    Keymaster

    Hey Kathleen,
    so sorry to hear about the breakup. I have only had one boyfriend my whole life (we have been together for 5 and a half years) and have never had a breakup but have gone through very emotional arguments. I know that for me, whenever we argue or need space from each other I immediately think that he doesn’t want to be with me because of my health. Even if that’s not what the argument is about. I feel like I constantly tell him all the things that I can’t do like having children of my own etc and remind him that my condition isn’t going to get better. With me reminding him of this during an argument it’s as if I’m saying “do you still want to be with me?” thinking that there’s no way anyone would want that. It’s like I expect that to be the reason he would leave so I try to make it easier by initiating it and getting it over with. (when in reality he doesn’t want to leave me because of my health and has reassured me of this).

    I constantly tell him, “this is NOT a choice for me, but it can be for you.” Because honestly, I wouldn’t choose this life. The fact that I let this effect me so much and let my health conditions give me amo for arguments isn’t good and is definitely an insecurity that I’m working on. Arguments in general really effect my physical and mental health. I become easily angered and depressed and take out that anger on myself. My heart rate increases to the point of putting me into an arrythmia, my breathing gets worse because of stress, and over all I just feel awful. Even after after I know he chooses me I still ask myself “but why?”

    I realize I’m rambling right now but just know that your worries about your physical health during heartache are definitely valid. And of course it will play with your emotions ! Always here for you if you need to vent it out.

  • #12246
     VK 
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Very interesting, and somewhat sad stories at times. I really, really hate conflict but hate dishonesty as well, probably because to make a long story short I grew up around verbal fights and lies.

    It took me forever to find myself a steady partner because of my fear of conflict and I somehow feel glad I spent so long looking after a few poorly orchestrated flings in my teens and 20s (though I wasn’t as ill back then).

    I had serious conversations with my current GF and made it pretty clear I didn’t want to spread the genetic problems I have. She isn’t exactly 100% happy with the idea of having to adopt, and who knows, that might break us up in the end… Hopefully that won’t happen but if it does I’ll report back on any EKG results.

    • #12249
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      VK,
      I can see where you are coming from with any types of conflict. I also grew up around different forms of conflict mostly verbal and arguments that involved a lot of yelling and name calling. From these experiences I have learned what I will allow and what I would never tolerate in my own relationship. I’m glad that I took this as a learning tool and used it to set boundaries instead of following in the footsteps of what I saw around me. It took therapy for me to realize that the type of interactions I was witnessing was not okay. For me, it was my “normal”. It’s good to know we have the power to choose what we want in our life out of a partner. I hope yours will be understanding about the need for adoption. I am right there with you!

  • #12266
     Kaye Norlin 
    Participant

    Giving you long distance hugs, Kathleen, Brittany, and VK. I have a very supportive family life now- married for 34 years. Boy, when he vowed for better or worse, he had no idea!!!!! It hasn’t always been that way for me. In my late 20’s a man I adored walked out and left the key- no warning! I drank for a bit, then sought counseling which saved my life and gave me a new focus and future. I too had some serious trust issues with men, from my childhood and from him. funny, but a year or so after he left, he wanted me back; by then I found my voice and my spine again.

    We all deal with loss and grief differently. I got busy, got help, found people who believed in me, and worked a lot. I watched comedies and sad dramas when I wanted to feel sorry for myself so I gave myself an excuse to cry. I’ve never been much of a crier but I have had some brilliant meltdowns. Maybe therapy works for you; and I would highly recommend occasional binges on excellent ice cream.

    Kathleen, I am going to sound like a broken record but massage, meditation, yoga, living in the moment, and pizza and ice cream (or whatever your favorite indulgences are).

    Brittany, you have a boyfriend who loves YOU. Someone once asked Emma Van der Klift if she loved her husband Norman Kunc in spite of his disability (cerebral palsey); she looked confused and then said “No I love him because of his disability, and his humanity, and his caring, and…..”. My daughter uses a wheelchair and has had boyfriends; I hope she finds someone like that in her life; so far the ones who count don’t see the disability… and the others aren’t worth a second thought or a breath.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Kaye Norlin.
  • #12269
     Kaye Norlin 
    Participant

    I am doing this again because I am not sure it is going through- I don’t see it posted.

    Giving you long distance hugs, Kathleen, Brittany, and VK. I have a very supportive family life now- married for 34 years. Boy, when he vowed for better or worse, he had no idea!!!!! It hasn’t always been that way for me. In my late 20’s a man I adored walked out and left the key- no warning! I drank for a bit, then sought counseling which saved my life and gave me a new focus and future. I too had some serious trust issues with men, from my childhood and from him. funny, but a year or so after he left, he wanted me back; by then I found my voice and my spine again.

    We all deal with loss and grief differently. I got busy, got help, found people who believed in me, and worked a lot. I watched comedies and sad dramas when I wanted to feel sorry for myself so I gave myself an excuse to cry. I’ve never been much of a crier but I have had some brilliant meltdowns. Maybe therapy works for you; and I would highly recommend occasional binges on excellent ice cream.

    Kathleen, I am going to sound like a broken record but massage, meditation, yoga, living in the moment, and pizza and ice cream (or whatever your favorite indulgences are).

    Brittany, you have a boyfriend who loves YOU. Someone once asked Emma Van der Klift if she loved her husband Norman Kunc in spite of his disability (cerebral palsey); she looked confused and then said “No I love him because of his disability, and his humanity, and his caring, and…..”. My daughter uses a wheelchair and has had boyfriends; I hope she finds someone like that in her life; so far the ones who count don’t see the disability… and the others aren’t worth a second thought or a breath.

  • #14085
     VK 
    Participant

    Update: I need an ECG done now… haha… More reports on alone and disabled to come, fortunately I’m used to it!

    • #14087
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      VK,
      I’m sorry that you now need an ECG. What are they looking for or have they been noticing changes? I’m sorry you are feeling alone in this and that is not something that is fun to be “used to”. Just know that you have our online support and the support of this community if you ever need to vent or bring up topics here ! Please keep us updated.

    • #14094
       Kathleen Sheffer 
      Participant

      Soooo sorry, Vik! I’m here to listen (read) if you want to talk (write) more about the circumstances of your breakup. It’s so important to have friends help you through this period. I grew much closer to my friends through my breakup (which has turned out to be even more complicated than I originally thought, but now we are are effectively back together, but dealing with the drama that is his life right now). They texted me when I was used to texting him all day long and kept me busy with distractions. Do you have friends you can turn to in this difficult time?
      Hugs,
      Kathleen

      • #14097
         VK 
        Participant

        @kathleen-sheffer

        I’m a disabled graduate student (that’s a 60-80 hour/week commitment when the work and study requirements are combined) which leaves me with zero time outside of studying, working, self-care, and sleeping, so no opportunity for friends outside of work/school. Especially when the self-care department still needs to be improved!

        I’m lucky that I have a few friends (work/school colleagues of mine who I’ve become personally close to) to turn to. They are all very supportive of my situation because they know my ex (and to be honest, some never really liked her to begin with).

        Thanks for your concern (also @brittany-foster !)

      • #14101
         Kathleen Sheffer 
        Participant

        My sister is getting her PhD so I know there’s very little time for life outside work. Her friends are all other students in her lab, so I’m glad to hear (read) you have some friends at work too. The good thing is you are super busy and will be distracted by work! Also great that there are negative things about your ex – that can help sometimes.

  • #14092
     VK 
    Participant

    The ECG remark was a joke about having a broken heart. =P

    The breakup is still relevant though, I knew that the one thing her parents prided themselves on was having no physical illnesses in the family. I’m fairly sure they didn’t want another one.

    • #14113
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Sorry about the EKG joke going over my head ! I’m not too swift lol! … In other words I can’t even imagine how terrible a breakup must feel and as Kathleen said, we are always here as either a forum community or a private message away if you need to talk and vent it out. I have had numerous arguments and big blowouts with my own boyfriend over medical related things that sometimes are just my own anxiety and worries really getting the best of me. Even after fights like this, it leaves me feeling terrible physically and mentally.

      The family doesn’t seem like the type of people that would be supportive of what you are going through. If the family isn’t on board and isn’t supporting the relationship and treats those who have physical illness as a “problem” then they’re the ones who need to re-evaluate. I’m sorry you had that experience and felt that way. What a crappy situation 🙁

  • #15622
     Tien Nguyen 
    Participant

    Hello All,
    This is my first time posting on any forums. I was in a very serious relationship for 4yrs. And she broke up with me a few weeks before I was admitted t9 the hospital and was to told that I have end stage PAH. And that I had 6 months to live unless I did something about it. So I asked what kind of treatments were there and the doctor said there were no treatments or procedures at this time but you’re more than welcome to stay as long as you’d like just as long as your insurance is willing to pay for it. Needless say, I was scared yet 😠 angry. And there was so many other emotions that I felt and the events that unfolded after would take me days to write. So I’m just gonna get back to the breakup part. The time that I needed not just someone but my partner, and she was gone. I thought we were okay but I guess Not. I haven’t spoken to her since the day she called me to tell me that I’ve been distant and not the same person she fell in love with. And that it was over. I want so badly to call or message but I don’t think I’m over it yet cuz I see pics of vacations and events and I miss it. Til this day, I can’t listen to the radio or any music cuz I hear the words and it just kills me. As for support, I have my friends but sadly I disowned my family cuz of so many reasons that others can’t understand why they did what they did. So it’s just me and my two girls for the past two difficult years and I’m still as lost and confused as the first day I was diagnosed. But I can totally relate to what you’re going through and I wish it was easier but I also can’t imagine it getting much worse. Lol I better shut up now. But if anyone would like a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. I’m here (for now). And I have plenty of dad jokes that aren’t funny if you every want bore yourself to death. Lol
    Hope things get better for everyone. I think u can locate me on fb with my email
    [email protected]

    • #15644
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Hi Tien,
      That sounds like such a difficult breakup. It must be so hard when there’s no specific thing you can point the break up to and when there isn’t much closure. I know that if that ever happened to me it would cause me so much built up anxiety and stressful emotions. It’s even harder to deal with the emotions of a breakup while also managing the stress of this illness. I can only hope that you are putting your physical health first and trying to take care of your mental health through all of this. Are there certain things that help you when you find yourself thinking about your past relationship? Have you considered therapy or are you currently seeing a therapist? I know that personally, it has helped so much just to talk to someone who doesn’t have personal ties to my relationship. I hope you know that the forums can be a great place to connect with others too! Thank you for sharing so much about yourself.

  • #15647
     Tien Nguyen 
    Participant

    Brittany, ideally i would say that yes i am taking care of myself to the best of my ability. But honestly, it’s not even close. My thing is that i can take care of others a lot better than i can for myself. I know it’s a sad excuse but it’s the only one i have. It’s almost like I’m sabatoging myself. I tend to miss my medication until i start to feel really sick. I’m trying to work on getting better but its a mental game that i play with myself. I realize how bad that sounds but that’s how i feel. I have a therapist but it doesn’t help me with much. I think I’m dealing with this breakup pretty well, even though everywhere i go reminds me of something about her. Of course i miss having someone when im feeling down but it’s so difficult to start a relationship because things are so complicated. There is so much backstory that i need to tell you guys but my brain is starting to shut down. But i think that events like me being homeless when i got out of the hospital and my family selling my house after they found out about my diagnosis because they didnt want to deal with all the hassle later. Smh i shall finish this later, sorry

    • #15649
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Tien,
      I’m soz sorry that there is all of that on your plate and I wish you didn’t have to deal with those added stressors. I can understand what its like to battle with yourself mentally about taking your medications. For me, when I was experiencing those feelings it came from a place of a desire to have control. Taking or not taking medications gave me a false sense of control that I so desperately needed when I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed. The irony of it though is that by not taking my medications as prescribed I was doing more damage to myself and causing my own discomfort. In my head it seemed easier to manage if I was the one causing it. I know this thinking isn’t exactly logical, but at the time it served a purpose. Something that helped me through this was pinpoint that need for control and control other things in my life that were healthier. It helped me to have a schedule for each day, a plan, helped to talk about feelings of anxiety or depression or write about them, distract my mind with reading or mindless television, and I made a promise to those I really cared about and those who loved me to take my medication until I eventually started to take them for ME. Get or even make some type of pill organizer so you can have a visual reminder or even start with making a checklist of medications and a daily schedule. Hold yourself accountable or have someone help you stay accountable. You can do this! I truly believe you will find what works for you.

  • #17638
     Oleh Korniienko 
    Participant

    Try to think positive.You don’t have no choice.
    Be brave and take your hill.Just do some different interesting things maybe.
    Work harder,just dont let your head be empty.

    • #17648
       Brittany Foster 
      Keymaster

      Thank you for your input on this! Doing things to keep your mind and your body busy can be very helpful. Especially in times of stress such as a breakup.

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