Years ago I joined this forum as a way to find acceptance as a naive adolescent who needed an outlet. Unfortunately, I made a mistake a shared this site with someone very close to me. That person was, for lack of a better term, my boyfriend. For two and a half years I had struggled with a relationship that I did not want to be in, as I am a self identifying straight male. My partner tricked me into being in a relationship with him, by threatening suicide, and other scare tactics. There are days I felt like I was being raped and abused. But for whatever reason I felt as if I had loved him. My partner however was dying from a disease onset from birth. Every decision I made made me feel guilty, as if I couldn't leave him, and I couldn't live my own life. When he found out about this site he joined in a jealous rage which eventually lead to my evacuation. I was scared, scared of him dying, scared for my future, and frightened that I would never get a normal life. Well to make an incredibly long story only an eye strain to read back in 2004, our relationship ended. I had escaped and things initially blew up and all hell broke loose. Luckily I moved away, went to college, graduated got a job, grew up and ultimately moved on. My life although not perfect, has been quite mundane. Six years have past since my last interaction with him. My ties had been severed and even the world of Social Media, which thrived almost immediately after our relationship ended never reunited us. Well I have learned that his illness has finally killed him.The death. Well it hasn't really affected me. I don't feel bad. But I have been struggling because I feel like I should feel bad. I feel guilty that I don't care. When I heard the news of his death I felt a weight lift off my shoulders, I felt free and that a burden has been lifted. (For any of you "Dexter" fans, its like my dark passenger left) But shouldn't I feel something?I have spoken with a couple friends who I have confided the story in and they all seem to think that my lack of feelings towards him is normal. But I can't help but feel that my reaction is wrong, are you not supposed to feel bad when somebody has died? And worse why do I feel good about it?Yes I realize this kind of creates a paradox since I feel bad about feeling good, but hopefully someone out there understand what I mean. I don't know if I'm looking for reassurance or to have some sense slapped back into me, but I just needed to rant, and ironically with his passing, A2A feels safe again.
A Delayed End
There is no right or wrong way to feel about something. We feel what feel and that is an end of it. Feelings are the result of complex often competing emotions that while within us are just as often beyond us. What your feeling is simply the sum total of your experiences especially as they relate to, and of, this individual and in addition there is your own coping method.
If you feel relief, you feel relief. Don't beat yourself up about it. From the sound of it this person was not particularly nice to you and he used his illness as leverage to gain some advantage and control of you. I imagine that is the reason you feel "good" is that because in the back of your mind you had a fear that if this person was ever to come back in your life that he may, once again, use his illness to manipulate you for his own purposes. At least that's the way it sounds to me.
There are people in this world we don't like, worse they are people in the world we like that mistreat, hurt and use us, and there is nothing wrong with being relieved when we aren't plagued with them anymore. Hell, there's a good number of people who's passing I won't bemoan and who I'm sure won't care when I die. That's just life.
There is no punishment. There is no reward. There are only consequences.
I agree with Scotty's wise words. Even for people you are close to, reactions to their death vary widely, both between different people and for the same person at different times.We tend to think there is a 'proper' way to react from what we see in movies. But that is only acting, and it is a convention only. The ancient Greek stage devised conventions as to how actors would act so they could be interpreted by people in the back row, and though these have been modified later and especially for movies, they are still only conventions, a million miles away from how people really behave.I am very glad you now feel free to live your life.
I'm happy you were able to break free from that and can finally breathe again. The type of behaviour he was showing is not acceptable and its sad he had to guilt you into staying.
Just know you have another family here who loves you and will always be here for you.
Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.
Thanks everyone. Your posts really helped me put things into perspective. Its always good to know I have a place to turn even after all these years. I am doing much better and not beating myself up about not feeling anything any more. I'm just letting my feelings come naturally now and if I never feel anything about it then so be it!