I'm trying to find the healthy path to recovery after a recent breakup. Problem is, I have absolutely no self-esteem, and so I tend to turn everything into an attack on myself.
We broke up because I had to relocate thousands of miles away to help take care of an elderly family member that's gotten to the point where they need help with everyday things. I secretly hoped I could find some way to make things work, if I could get enough money set aside to hire a caretaker, but in the months we've been apart she's already happily moved on to another relationship. I was pretty crushed, and I don't know how to handle the constant heartache I'm now carrying around with me.
I know this sounds mean, but it's hard not to feel like I was replaceable. I know it's the more mature thing to accept a breakup and move on in a timely fashion, but my mind keeps using the fact that she's doing great with no regrets as fuel to reaffirm all the negative beliefs I had about myself. That I didn't deserve her, that she's be happier with someone else, that eventually she'd get tired of me and discard me.
She'd never do any of those things, of course, and so I'm caught in this weird paradox; I hate myself, and so I want to believe the worst about the situation because it would back up my internal negativity, but to do so would also be to unintentionally slander a person that I still care for a great deal, and someone that certainly has no ill will towards me. As a result I have no real outlet for my grief. I'm sad and angry and I don't know where to direct it, and there's also nothing I can do to make myself feel better.
Am I just not worth being sad over? It's hard to think I had an exaggerated sense of self-worth when I didn't consider myself worth anything to begin with. How long is too long to spend grieving over someone? Is six months a long time? Short? I have no frame of reference for this. Am I a bad person for wishing I had more time to try and make things work? Am I a bad person for not being satisfied with my decision to give up a relationship to take care of my family? What's wrong with me?