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Thread: Post-traumatic stress after breakup ?

  1. #31
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lucha
    New thread. A few weeks ago I posted about the woman I dated for half a year, who had relapsed into alcohol abuse and became a completely different person. She went from sweet, compassionate girlfriend to almost pure evil, constantly engaging in sarcastic and ironic demeaning comments, pushing me away and pulling me back in, late night phone call rants about what an awful person I am for stating and maintaining my boundaries (told her I was by no means ging to continue this relationship if she did not seek help for her substance abuse, but I did wanted to support her as a friend and maybe help in facilitating her contacts with her previous psychologist/doctor). Also rants about how I probably already had a new girlfriend or should get one, about my lifestyle, about my personality. About my inability to ‘argue’ and how diplomatic I always remain. I was called a selfcentric person who was and will be never there for her, would never be able to maintain any longterm relationship and if I so much as mention any of this to her doctor or counselor, she would ‘literally murder me’.

    After that no contact for ten days now. Initially I was doing okay, felt kind of numbed and seemed to not experience any emotions regarding the breakup. I did not cry or felt angry or dissapointed or anything for that matter. I did feel fear.

    Right now I still feel numb, I have been having trouble concentrating and sleeping and have been experiencing vivid dreams that seem to get worse every night. Last night I had the most terrifying nightmare of my ex who transformed into a monster that was chasing me and trying to kill me. I woke up feeling extremely anxious and even a little paranoid and for the second time in my life ever had to take Alprazolam to calm down.

    As I work in the medical field myself I know these could be symptoms of ptss. Or maybe just symptoms of a bad breakup?
    There was never any actual physical trauma, only the threat of ‘if you talk to my doctor I will murder you’, said in a complete rage through a phonecall and of course the weeks of demeaning phonecalls (emotional abuse?) previous to this.

    I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this after a breakup!

    (I of course try to maintain no contact. But we live in the same city and I find myself anxious to even go out - what if we bump in to eachother?)

    Worth mentioning we are still facebook-connected - but I dread blocking her out of fear for ‘waking the beast’... we are now completely silent with eachother and I fear removing her as a friend or blocking her will cause a new rage.. I can almost literally feel her enormous anger towards me at this moment.. I know her as a very, very resentful person (which was a red flag early on in this relationship, I know).

    Any tips on how to navigate this?

    Ps: I have been seing a therapist since 3 years every month, so will of course talk to her about this as well.. but I’m interested in other people’s experiences with this and also a little overwhelmed by this dreams I keep having...

    Thanks!
    I think you are doing the right thing by staying out of contact. And I totally get why you've left the facebook connection intact.

    My impression is that the ptsd was probably triggered by this most recent breakup, but that it is also related to some underlying issues--possibly some events in your past.

    You talk a lot about addiction in these threads, and minimize the fact that you were in a relationship with an abuser.

    Have you had an abusive parent or relative? Were any of your previous girlfriends abusive?

  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    I think you are doing the right thing by staying out of contact. And I totally get why you've left the facebook connection intact.

    My impression is that the ptsd was probably triggered by this most recent breakup, but that it is also related to some underlying issues--possibly some events in your past.

    You talk a lot about addiction in these threads, and minimize the fact that you were in a relationship with an abuser.

    Have you had an abusive parent or relative? Were any of your previous girlfriends abusive?
    My mother has a personality and probable bipolar and eating disorder. She divorced my father around 8 months ago, after years of walking on eggshells around eachother.

    They did not however abuse any substances and have not ever been physically abusive towards me or eachother. Emotional abuse, yes , a lot (manipulating, gaslighting, demeaning comments, drama and verbal agression, the could shoulder treatment,..) all normal stuff back then!
    I realised this was not how a normal mother-child interaction is supposed to go around two years ago with my therapist.

    By now I have gained sufficient independency to maintain a low-profile, superficial connection with my mother who I can now say has a mentall illness, but is still my mother who I love. I have reached ‘acceptance’ over this...

  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Have you dealt with your issues and what you are attracted to?
    Trying my best to deal with them. I have not yet been able to change who I get attracted to... which makes me think now maybe is the time for a lot of self reflection and remaining single...

  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Do you think you've got a good therapist?

    I'm no expert, but I feel confident in saying this cuts way deeper than trusting instincts. This is about understanding why some of your most basic instincts are compelled toward, rather than repelled by, damage and dysfunction.

    I'm curious: when things were "good"—i.e. when she took it personally that you were a doctor who "only" could see her 2-3 times a week—what was your instinct there? Was it to think she was "right" in her assessment of things? Or was it to think you could "do better," either by communicating better or making more time for her?

    Most adults would be completely turned off by someone right there. It seems you were turned on, much the way you're turned on right now. Figure out why this sort of thing turns you on and you may find your less beholden to certain instincts and can cultivate different ones.

    What would different instincts look like right now? A shrug, basically. Six months with a loose cannon that are over. You go out, go grocery shopping, knowing the odds that you'll ever see this person are slim and knowing that anything you get from her is just going to be a little tantrum that can be ignored.

    But, as others are saying, I think you want the tantrum. I think you miss the beast. I think if you look at even the good times with clearer eyes that you'll find the moments of connection were forged in slightly less extreme versions of what you're feeling right now: anxiety, discomfort, fear, and a desire to keep the beast sated rather than just calling the beast a beast and moving on.
    I think I don’t want the tantrum, but it is all I have ever known as a child.. I think this is my definition of ‘normal’ love instead of giant red flags and alarmbells.. when something like this occurs (tantrum, drama, manipulative behaviour) I tend to indeed think it has something to do with me (as this ex girlfriend also put the blame on me, even for her drinking ).

    I’ll take this as a lesson to try to trust my instincts and try to walk away immediately next time when I’m with someone displaying this behaviour..

    So, I’ll try to just carry on with my life and stop the overanalyzing about the drama and not posting new threads

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lucha
    I think I don’t want the tantrum, but it is all I have ever known as a child.. I think this is my definition of ‘normal’ love instead of giant red flags and alarmbells.. when something like this occurs (tantrum, drama, manipulative behaviour) I tend to indeed think it has something to do with me (as this ex girlfriend also put the blame on me, even for her drinking ).

    I’ll take this as a lesson to try to trust my instincts and try to walk away immediately next time when I’m with someone displaying this behaviour..

    So, I’ll try to just carry on with my life and stop the overanalyzing about the drama and not posting new threads
    I’ve said this on this board before my counselor told me flat out, she’d Be shocked if I didn’t end up in a toxic relationship. Chaos is what i knew and recognized from my childhood so it’s what I looked for in a partner.

    Now don’t get me wrong my ex was abusive, not excusing him at all, but I never would have found peace with that relationship had I not been pushed to acknowledge my demons, how I played into our dynamic and fed off the drama, because I did.

    No time like the present, take control, first things first for the love of all that is holy unfriend her. The dysfunctional Stockholm syndrome excuse you are giving does not mean you get to allow a person you define as your abuser in your life, cut all ties, now. Like I can’t even begin to think how you could even sort of begin to move forward if you have convinced yourself it’s ok to continue on with this person on your social media out of fear, you can’t heal as long as you perceive yourself as under her thumb, take your power back, step one unfriend her, step two, and this may take time, live your life! Quit fearing leaving the house due to the slim chance of bumping into her, if she does anything to you, guess what? She is as much of an adult bound by law as the next person, you feel in fear of your life you call the cops, tell yourself enough no more, take your life back.

    You can do this!

  7. #36
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    My heart goes out to you Lucia. Any breakup hurts, but watching someone devolve into alcohol abuse while blaming you for that can certainly do something to your head. Might you consider attending one or more Alanon groups to gain some insight and regular support from others who’ve lived through this? Nobody has mastered the vision, the tools and the techniques to navigate away from nasty drinkers better than those who’ve done it. While I don’t knock writing with us, finding helpful people local to you might benefit you in lots of ways, including bolstering a feeling of safety in numbers.

    I hope you’ll stay in touch and not be discouraged away from posting here. We’re not always polite, but I believe we all mean well.

    (((HUGS))))
    Cat

  8. #37
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    Saying you have PTSD over a breakup is an insult to veterans and people who are victims of real crimes and serious accidents. You can call it subjecting yourself to her abusive nature, for sure - but voluntarily trying to help someone battling alcoholism and dealing with their abuse over the phone surely is upsetting, and you are grieving the end of the relationship, but its not PTSD. You are having dreams that are playing out your fears. I think that you should avoid her old haunts and "places you went together" for a short bit until you can handle catching a glimpse of her. I would get a restraining order if she is deliberately seeking you out.

  9. #38
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    You can choose to remain attached to someone you shouldn't because of "what if". It gives you "permission" to continue to interact. Because, in all honesty, you don't want to detach. You still "hope".

    So you use "what if" as your excuse.

    I doubt you truly think any of these things will actually happen, but it sure allows you to keep interacting with her.
    I was waiting to see if someone else would say what I was thinking...

    Even if you aren’t physically interacting with her you are using every excuse in the book to stay attached... and projecting a whole bunch of unknowns into this situation.

    It’s simple enough to block and ignore her... and if she gets angry, so what? Let her get angry, and do your part and walk away from the situation.

    If it escalates then call the cops.

  10. #39
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    Seems like the situation has sorted itself out.

    A few days ago she reached out, asking if I would consider meeting up, not to argue but to just spend some time.
    I told her with everything that’s happened I hesitate to take that offer. She ensures me she stopped drinking, is now taking Antabuse (disulfiram) again and is back in therapy. She thought maybe we could be friends, as she didn’t regret the time we spent together (she put a heart at the end of this sentence).

    Told her I was happy to hear she took this important step, I also did not regret this relationship and maybe down the road when more time has passed (it’s been only 2 weeks) we can maybe meet eachother again or remain friends, but right now I am still processing all that happened and I am not ready to meet. I asked to give it some time.

    She then blocked me on all social media.

    It stings.. But also takes away the doubt of “do I need to block her”.

    So maybe it is true, I wanted to maintain that connection to maybe reconcile further down the line.. when she has been sober for a substantial amount of time and when communication between us can happen with mutual respect.

    No doubt I’ll get harsh reactions again over even considering rekindling things with this person, but I cannot lie: I loved this person and struggle to completely let go of her.

  11. #40
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    Oh yeah Lucha you’re gonna get a ‘harsh’ comment from me.

    You always do this, the dramatics and extremes, look at your posting history

    Like another poster said do you know how insensitive you’re being towards people truly suffering from PTSD and trauma?

    Doesn’t seem like you have either seems much more likely you’re a codependent with a flair for dramatics.

    You sat here and said you were afraid to leave the house out of the debilitating fear she caused you...when really, you were just hurt over the breakup...

    Not ok

    Stop with the dramatics Lucha, talk to your therapist about these extremes and how you perceive normal situations as these epic meltdowns.

    My biggest question, the biggest plot hole for me, how have you been in school for this long, you’re already a Dr and you stated you were in school for psychology as far back as 2017, so it’s been some years, and you’re in therapy... how can a person with that much knowledge and ability to be self reflective state these things... makes zero sense to me, I hope you explain...

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