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Relationship Questions

Embarrassed and Ashamed of My Weakness

About two months ago I ended a long-term relationship with a woman and by extension with her son. I ended it due to her addiction to crack cocaine. Despite the addiction, I stuck with her for another year after discovering it. (Although I did move out and into a different house during that second year). She was losing the battle with it and I had became a giant enabler. And during the relationship she did very nearly every negative thing that someone with such an awful addiction can do: From cheating, and stealing, to surrendering custody and visitation with her own son. And finally, in recent weeks I have discovered that she has chosen to terminate a pregnancy (probably a pretty good choice regardless of the readers' political or spiritual views). The child may or may not be mine, and is probably devastated by all of the crack in the mother's body. Although this was not my first serious relationship, this is affecting me very deeply. And this is where my question comes in. I stayed very strong while with her, taking each challenge in stride. Every decision I made was thoughtful and done calmly with strength, and I dare to say courage--right down to dealing with her dealers and getting her son safely away with a stipend. I stayed strong while living apart from her as well. I even remained strong after breaking up with her during her most serious relapse. But now, suddenly I find myself unable to cope with anything having to do with ending the relationship and it gets worse. I lashed out verbally at perfect strangers, hurting their feelings very deeply! I have been behaving irrationally in my dialogs with others, and am saying things I deeply regret. Mostly by making poor choices about who it is appropriate to talk to and with whom I can share information. I have not done anything harmful beyond these hurt feelings. I just feel that I am losing control of my thoughts in this time of depression. It is as though I am saying things like a person who simply needs to be heard and does not care what he or she says. This has never happened to me before, and I am embarrassed and ashamed of my weakness. I am also afraid of this weakness, as it reminds me of a person I knew a decade ago who was very mentally ill. I have become some sort of provocateur. Is there any easy advice that can help me control my thoughts, and words and actions during this time of grief? I cannot stand the idea that I will continue to harm others with my words. And I am terrified by the loss of control this represents. Where will your response be posted? Email?



  • 'Anne' is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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