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Philippa Courtney



Why Can't I Get Him Out of My Mind?


Dear Philippa,

We only dated for seven months and he was somewhat abusive and very controlling. But now that it's ended I can't seem to get over this guy. I keep wondering what he's doing and I cry. I know I have low self-esteem. Is that why it's so hard for me to get over him?

�Gail, Albuquerque, NM


Dear Gail,

You don't have to have low esteem to have trouble getting over someone. And who says the significance of a relationship has to be measured by longevity. So don't beat yourself up for what you are feeling. It's understandable that you are hurting because you miss having a relationship. Note, I didn't say, because you miss him. The fact that he was abusive and you miss him disturbs me. Does it disturb you?

I don't know anything about your history, like whether you have been in this kind of a relationship before or if you were abused as a child? But when you mention having low self-esteem and describe this relationship, I want to first give you a big hug and remind you what an amazing woman you are and how you need to see that in yourself. My next reaction is to suggest you may want to find a counselor, and/or a support group led by a counselor where you can safely work through these issues.

It may seem difficult, if not impossible to imagine yourself empowered, but look at Tina Turner and her years of abuse and how she found the courage to rebuild her life and recognize her greatness�and that lady is still the hottest thing in rock and roll.

You are setting yourself up for failure if you expect that you should just bounce back from meaningful relationships without any pain. Everyone has his or her own time clock for healing. If we don't give ourselves the time to heal we keep dragging the old baggage with us to the next relationship.

One thing I've learned is that when you have the courage to open your heart to allow love in your life you also open your heart up to the possibility of pain�they both enter through the same door to the soul. Instead of medicating ourselves with sex, food, or drugs to avoid feeling the pain, we can choose to see pain as a normal part of growing. All our experiences, both joyful and painful, are here to teach us.

Maybe your pain is an alarm going off, wakening you up to take the necessary action so you can learn to love yourself and allow yourself to be more loved by others. It took great courage to write this letter. This is your first step to becoming the strong woman you were born to be. Focus on that strength and find the support you need to reach out and take that next step.




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