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One last response--your letter was very helpful, though I think I would feel better if I could think of something I could have done to have reacted more constructively. My ex is dead. He did not do well without me. All I can think of is that I wouldn't leave myself in such a financial vulnerable position, I would have sought professional help. Maybe the lack of support reflects who those people are--but I can't help but remember the lines like "you just don't deal with it at well all"--and that from someone I thought was a friend--though not a close one. I'd like to think that people were different, that this doesn't reflect a universal condition of kicking the one who is down--but though unreasonalble I find at times I think of others with the same contempt I think they showed to me--a mistrust and disgust that is harmful to me as well as to them. I realize that this is only for short term counseling so I will not be asking for any more feedback after this.
You can try to think of things that were more constructive to do during that time, but so can anyone else who has been through a difficult time like you were. Almost everyone looks back at a bad time and thinks, I could have done something else to help myself or the situation. At this point, you did what you could to cope. That is all you could do. And those that were so cruel to you during that time were not real friends. A friend doesn't judge, they only support. You deserved better.
Thanks Kate, I appreciate your help--though I do not believe everyone in my position would have reacted as I did. I'll keep your replies.
Unfortunately I am very unhappy with the way I reacted at the time, and the problem is that I would feel better if in hindsight I really could think of constructive things that I could have done to avoid having so much damage at the time, and for quite some time later. Given the extent of my depression, and financial trouble at the time, if faced with the same situation I'm not sure if I could handle it much better now. It happened so quickly--one day he loved me, the next day he did not, rather than a collection of things little by little. If at least I felt that I learned how to help myself, it wouldn't be quite so disappointing. What was perhaps worst of all, is that I am self employed and it crushed my career for some time. Things are much better now that I can work again and I have someone wonderful to love--but that doesn't necessarily mean that I've learned or grown stronger.