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Parable of the Abandoned Panda

Community Member

I have been with my partner for more than a decade. She is my world and is the most perfect thing that exists. I adore her and am madly in love with her. I show her her everyday and do my best to make her feel like a princess. We have always got along great and have built a wonderful life together. We've been through so much together, deaths,job stress, home stress, attempted suicide of 2 of my family but we supported each other and we got thru it. life was perfect for me....

Then in the last year, she has started getting really depressed. Always lathargic and doesn't want to do anything. I am always there to support her as her 'friends and family' are they are only there when they feel like it. I don't mind, I have got really good at locking my own issues away so I can focus on making her happy. As long as she is happy I am happy! I love her so much.

Things got bad when she told me it would be easier if she ended it all. My heart broke. I was there for her And we talked it through and I was able to show her the bright side of life. She went to bed peaceful and happy and I waited till she was asleep, locked myself in the bathroom and cried like a baby. It broke me.we got through it tho and things got better and she was much happier.

Then a few months ago she tells me she is not happy! She wants out. I plead with her not to throw away 10 years of good times for a few sad times. We talk and make a commitment to support eachother like we have always done. Things get better and I'm do everything I can to keep her happy while dealing with my own issues internally.

Then 1 day I get home from work and she's gone. No note, nothing, her stuff is gone an I fall apart. My perfect life crumbles as I am nothing without her. My beautiful princess has abandoned me! After a decade of supporting her, this is all I am worth. I have nothing left, I'm a mess without her! I can't function without her! She's my everything.

I get in touch with her and she says she needs space. I say u can have space but u can't give up on us over nothing! We are so worth it to try and fix it. She doesn't want to try! She's done. She has made up her mind and I cant change it. She chooses her friends over me, I am expendable.

I beg her to try because we are so great together but she doesn't want to believe it.I adore her, she is the love of my life and I would give anything 2 be with her, she is my soulmate. Without her I have nothing. This woman has broken my heart but all I need is her.

13 Replies 13

Good to meet you Panda, though I wish it would be in happier circumstances.

I agree with you that people who are doing it tough need support. But for support and assistance to be effective, they must first be accepted. Obviously, your ex is not ready to acknowledge her issues. Have you tried to copy the K10 test for depression/anxiety (see the Facts section top left of this page). You can also download the DASS test. Perhaps she could be enticed to give it a go and learn where she is at from a neutral source. Perhaps...

Other than that, I agree with the advice above. Insistence will be perceived as nagging, badgering etc...and more bricks will be added to the existing wall. Every added brick contributes to making it more impenetrable.

Sometimes, retreat is the wisest, most courageous option. By no means a sign of weakness as there is no virtue in fighting a losing battle.

Right now, you are grieving a loss. It's OK to feel what you are feeling during this process. However, becoming trapped in it can have dire consequences. So please take good care of yourself. If you see no way out of your grief, please do not hesitate to seek counseling for yourself.

Please understand that we are not here to tell you what to do but only to reveal options for you to consider. To share our own thoughts which come from personal experience.

Your pain goes to my heart because I grew up under the thumb of someone who refused to acknowledge her mental illness. Later, I quit a couple of equally toxic relationships with people who also refused to admit they had a mental condition. Years down the line, they're all still in denial, still running away from anyone who attempts to help. If I hadn't walked away and moved on, I wouldn't be here today, connecting with you.

I wish you all the best.

Oh Abandoned Panda- 
I really feel for you as heart break hurts like Hell. Anyone who has been there knows instantly what you are talking about.. Ouch!

Some of us however are in a better place to manage the stress and rejection than others. What would make one person more resilient in this area than another? Its complex and there is not one thing but I think a number of factors. 

Lets explore some:

- Childhood experiences. So if a child is brought up by parents that give them the sense that they are special, adorable, loveable and have enough talent within them to be happy and loved in this world … that message that “I am lovable and OK” gets laid down in the neural pathways of your brain just as a given . You dont have to keep trying to prove it to yourself or others as it is just a “known“ to you like “the sky is blue” . You just feel it. Conversely, if your childhood experiences are such that you didn’t emerge with that message from your parents or guardians, then you might spend a significant time in your adult life trying to get the message affirmed by others.

- Family of Origin - The way our parents / families modelled how to manage adversity rubs off on us and we can unwittingly learn bad ( or good) habits from them.

- Personality . Some people are just born confident and outgoing . Having a sort of innate trust that the world will like them and forgive their mistakes. Others have an inherently more insecure nature and are shyer and less likely to feel confident in people’s views of them.

- Adult experiences. It makes sense I guess that if your life experience is one of hard knocks and lots of bad luck, it may wear down your resilience. Even the toughest of us have breaking points.

- Mental Health issues. Anxiety and depression , along with a whole bunch of other mental health disorders can interfere with your ability to be able to see things clearly , be mindful of your role in relationship problems, sort out which thoughts are “real” and which may be unhelpful thoughts from an anxious or depressed part of the brain… 

So back to you Abandoned Panda.. I dont know your whole story.. but I feel your resilience to being abandoned is low at the moment. I am concerned that you say "I beg her to try because we are so great together but she doesn't want to believe it.”

I wonder if I was to ask her, she might say that there are things that you may also have  difficulty in believing? If so , then why ? Are some of the factors above interfering with your ability to see some realities of the relationship?

 dont know the specifics of your situation … but sometimes people can really truly believe that KNOW the truth but in fact your own brain is giving you a bit of BS. Like your own brain is lying to you! Its telling you stuff that isn’t true like “ She’s your soulmate” .. when she’s clearly not behaving like one.

So I guess your challenge is to work out how your get your brain to start feeding you the right information . Stuff thats going to make you whole and strong and your best self. You say all you need is her , but actually all you need is YOU to get your brain messages in order and you will feel so much better.

You may need the help of a counsellor to sort it out . Don’t be afraid to get help . Its a brave , strong  and self caring thing to do.

Hi Panda

Thankyou for posting back. You are spot on....there is nothing with hope.

I see Dr Kim has posted too (as a professional) which is great. As one of the volunteers here we only offer our personal experiences so you can benefit from the power of information and support. Our 'opinions' are only a sign of support for what you are going through.

I hope you are doing as well as possible in your tough situation Panda

we are happy to be here for you

My Best


Community Member


I went through a breakup last year (together 6 years), where my partner had depression. I believed at the time that the reason he left me was because he was depressed. I was devastated. Like you, I had put everything into that relationship, I sacrificed so much, tried everything to make him happy and I stood by him in situations when no one else would. It was painful to realize eventually that maybe being in that relationship was the reason he was depressed and that he was doing the right thing for his mental health and his life.

Like you I was very concerned about his well being because of how depressed he was, but what I did was tell him that if he was ever struggling or feeling his lowest that he could always talk to me, even if it was 40 years from now. Then i took a step back, because I knew that being needy only pushes people further away. If he really did want to be with me, he'd figure it out on his own.

As hard as it is, it is selfish to try and make someone stay if they don't want to. Trust me I know the pain rips through your soul to be without the person you love and have them no longer feel the same way.

We can't ever really know the other persons experience of the relationship. Unfortunately in love there is no certainty and sometimes things don't last forever even though we thought they would.

What I am realizing now is that when I look back on that relationship, I was unhappy alot of the time and there were many things that weren't as good as I thought they were, even though I still miss him very much.

It's a very rough journey, but if someone has 0 interest in fighting for the relationship, there is absolutely nothing you can do. Letting go of someone you love is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but if you really love her then you need to. She may come back, she may not. But she has to figure that out on her own.

Taking care of yourself right now is paramount, when you've made another person your entire life and they leave, that's when you really feel that your life is empty, its both scary and painful.

When your life falls apart you panic and scramble to try and put it all back together. Your focus is entirely on her but putting that focus on you is what needs to be done right now. Allow yourself to grieve and be very very gentle with yourself.

I know that none of this is what you want to hear so you will choose to ignore it.

I'm so so sorry that you are going through this, please take care.