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Ex suffered a nervous breakdown 4 months ago. We are just now talking again.


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26 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I used the word "addict". That word can apply to narcotics, alcohol or prescription medication or even food. As I'm sure you know from your professional experience.

As for what the clues were, I remember your previous posts. There have been serious mental health issues along with her refusal to stay on therapeutic medications or attend regular and ongoing professional therapy and self medicating. 

Your family and friends love you. They may have seen disturbing behaviors and emotional distress on your part that they attribute to your relationship with her. And that's possibly why they oppose you reconnecting with her in any way that could lead you back down that path.

Also, I was curious so I went back and looks.  This is the only thread I ever posted about her mental health issues.  And yes, I didn't read it word for word.  But I skimmed through my replies.  There is nothing in there about her refusing to take meds or go to therapy. There also doesn't appear to be anything about self medicating.  Are you sure you don't have me confused with someone else?

 

 

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You're right, I don't see anything about self-medicating, but you did say she wasn't receiving any treatment for her depression or for her (possibly temporary?) suicidal ideation.

Is there any reason other than her being trans why your family doesn't like her and why your friends react so strongly to you reconnecting with her?  It seems like there's a strong negative reaction from multiple people in your world.

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5 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

You're right, I don't see anything about self-medicating, but you did say she wasn't receiving any treatment for her depression or for her (possibly temporary?) suicidal ideation.

Is there any reason other than her being trans why your family doesn't like her and why your friends react so strongly to you reconnecting with her?  It seems like there's a strong negative reaction from multiple people in your world.

Yea, it does say that in there.  But there's a pretty big difference between not getting treatment and refusing treatment.  She did start taking meds when we were together.  She didn't take them as faithfully as she should have, though.  She forgot a lot.  She wanted to start therapy.  I think she was just afraid.  Not saying therapy is anything to be afraid of but a lot of people are scared to go.  Society stigmatizes it.  If you say you're in therapy most people think you're either a nutcase or a criminal who was court order to go.  And she already got enough crap from people for being who she is. 

My family not liking her has nothing to do with her being trans.  They liked her before.  They don't like her now because of what she put me through and what she put my nephew through.  Same with my friends.  They just don't like her because of what she did. 

And if we start talking about getting back together, one thing I want her to do is talk to my Mom and my brother. My brother especially, he's one of the reasons I didn't end my life a couple months ago. 

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I'm so sorry! That must have been, still be, so hard to have the person you love just disappear like that. 

Your question... how do you keep your guard up? I don't know. Maybe it's like trying to push against a river, trying to hold up a guard against all those feelings for her. Maybe instead of putting up a guard, you gotta surf it? Surf the feelings I mean, while guiding yourself away from the rocks. Plainly I mean staying away until you have fully processed all this. I'm just going off my own experiences. When I've tried to guard up against someone's behavior that I love, it backfired on me. And I became a pressure cooker. Sometimes you just need space to grieve without extra work of being a trooper, yknow?! And realistically, you already know she's not ready... It's that pull, and I get it, but I hope you know what I mean. 

 

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7 hours ago, itsallgrand said:

I'm so sorry! That must have been, still be, so hard to have the person you love just disappear like that. 

Your question... how do you keep your guard up? I don't know. Maybe it's like trying to push against a river, trying to hold up a guard against all those feelings for her. Maybe instead of putting up a guard, you gotta surf it? Surf the feelings I mean, while guiding yourself away from the rocks. Plainly I mean staying away until you have fully processed all this. I'm just going off my own experiences. When I've tried to guard up against someone's behavior that I love, it backfired on me. And I became a pressure cooker. Sometimes you just need space to grieve without extra work of being a trooper, yknow?! And realistically, you already know she's not ready... It's that pull, and I get it, but I hope you know what I mean. 

 

Yea I can't even describe what this has been like.  I barely ate anything for weeks and most of what I ate just came back up.  I lost some weight, naturally.  And it didn't help that four days after she left I lost my job that I had been at for 11 years.  I've never loved anyone the way I love her.  And you are another one that used to read my journal on here when I was with her so you get it more than some people. 

Thank you for answering my actual question.  We haven't talked since Friday.  Taking a couple days off from talking to her has helped me.  I know she's not ready and neither am I.  After what she did to me it will take some time to build trust again.  And that's if it even happens at all.  Yea, I will admit I want to be with her again.  But I'm trying to stay grounded in reality and be prepared if that doesn't happen. 

A breakdown like that wasn't something she could control.  But that doesn't mean it hurt me any less.  Mental illness isn't a get out of jail free card.  I have OCD and major depression.  If I hurt someone because of those issues I still hurt them.  Same goes for her. 

Edited by Cynder
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9 hours ago, Capricorn3 said:

Sure, anyone would be attracted to that. BUT, that's only one half of their full picture and it's the other half which (for me) would be a lot more important and relevant.

That's exactly what I was going to say. For me, the other half--the more important, and more relevant half--is them being a stable partner and friend who I can trust to take care of themselves. In other words, an equal. Not a person that I have to look after and make sure they are ok. 

10 hours ago, Cynder said:

What do you think were my clues?

A few things that come to mind:

  • Her depression
  • Her alcohol abuse
  • Her being in a transitioning phase is a red flag in and of itself. It means she is at odds with a core aspect of her existence right down to her own skin, bones, and internal organs. That level of fundamental discomfort is going to cause instability in every aspect of her life. No avoiding it.
  • Your sense of responsibility. Your impulse to defend and protect perpetuates imbalance and inequity in the relationship.

It's good to feel a deep sympathy for her (for anyone who is struggling in some way). It's not good to try and take the burden off of her. Her burden is for her to deal with. And if it gets in the way of her ability to have a healthy relationship with you, you have to acknowledge and respect that. You can't change it.

10 hours ago, Cynder said:

Well, in all fairness your first paragraph could also describe me...

I think that happens a lot when you are accustomed to turmoil and chaos in your life. It feels normal. And when it's absent, you don't feel right. So, you look for it in other people, and foster it in your relationships. But it's ultimately not good for you. Life is truly better without it.

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Why don't both of you commit to better physical and mental health by removing drugs and alcohol completely as the first step? 

Both of you could support each other in the pursuit of better physical and mental health.

You can't change them. But pointing fingers about  "less" drinking and therapy won't help. 

When you lead by example and take better care of yourself in terms of better physical and mental health, you'll have a better shot at more stable relationships, whether with them or anyone else.

Commit to a healthier lifestyle.

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Its a sensitive topic so I wouldnt go around too much into her state of mind. But will go into yours

16 hours ago, Cynder said:

She told some mutual friends that she left because I told her she was beautiful one too many times.  When said friends asked her to explain she said she hates her body and decided she can't be with someone who loves her body. 

Why do you allow this? You realize you didnt do anything wrong? After that she should be begging you to even give her the time of the day. Instead, what did you do? Jumped at the first chance to take her back. Let me guess its because "you love her"? If she ever thought how you feel she wouldnt go without explanation. Ever.

Also, even after all that she cut conversation off. Thus proving once more how much she doesnt care for you. And you are still hoping she will grace you with her presence and somehow take you back. Again, do you realize its her that needs to be begging you, not the other way around? She just wants to feel less bad for going away. She doesnt care about reconciliation at all. You shouldnt allow her that. And yet you still do. So again I am asking why? Grow a spine, dont allow her to stomp you like that. Even if you reconcile she will never respect you enough. If she did respect you she wouldnt leave without explanation in the first place.

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10 hours ago, Cynder said:

My family not liking her has nothing to do with her being trans.  They liked her before.  They don't like her now because of what she put me through and what she put my nephew through.  Same with my friends.  They just don't like her because of what she did. 

How does your nephew factor into this? 

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I'll come back after thinking about the 'guard up' question, but no, it was not too much to mention losing your job. It's factual, and if you can't discuss realistic facts, then all else is pretty irrelevant right now.

I did want to offer what I'd say to my Mom if she responded to my talk with an ex the way yours has. I'd tell her, "I appreciate you caring enough to be invested in how much this breakup has hurt me. So please keep that concern about hurting me in mind when you speak to me, because by showing deliberate disrespect for gender pronouns, you are also showing disrespect toward ME. And that hurts me a lot coming from you."

"Also, you may want to consider how it disadvantages not only me, but you, when you believe that you can impose conditions on my future choices and behaviors by acting out and being mean to me. The message that sends is that I cannot confide in you without consequences, and that is going to make me tell you LESS about my life and my thinking rather than more--so understand that those consequences only harm both ways."

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16 hours ago, Cynder said:

And yea, that's something I talked to my therapist about a lot when we were still together.  The long term risk of being with a trans person...  The suicide rate is high.  And living with someone who has that level of body dysphoria can be exhausting at times.  Plus bottom surgery ruins sex for a lot of them, and thus also ruins sex for their partners.  And also it was going to be really crushing seeing her go all the way through her transition, and then still suffer from dysphoria. 

All that is just so tragic.  I'm sorry.

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To answer your questions, I can tell your feelings are already there by the way you strenuously defend her choices and actions and assign yourself blame (at least partially) for her breakdown.   You want to be with her badly, that much is apparent.  You won't be able to stay "grounded" because of how badly you want her.

All you can do is try to proceed with caution.  Watch her actions carefully; it was easy for her to get you to re-engage with just some texts, so seeing her in person will be extremely difficult for you to resist.  But if nothing changes and she makes no effort to try to get emotionally healthy it will be just more push/pull dynamic.

And maybe she realizes this, which is why she isn't going all in just yet.  She may realize trying to be in a relationship isn't a great idea for her right now.  Her health has to be the priority.

And I think sharing that you lost your job was fine.  It's a fact and one that impacts your life, so I feel like you would share that with anyone who's important to you.

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9 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Why don't both of you commit to better physical and mental health by removing drugs and alcohol completely as the first step? 

Both of you could support each other in the pursuit of better physical and mental health.

You can't change them. But pointing fingers about  "less" drinking and therapy won't help. 

When you lead by example and take better care of yourself in terms of better physical and mental health, you'll have a better shot at more stable relationships, whether with them or anyone else.

Commit to a healthier lifestyle.

I really don't understand all these comments about drugs.  Nothing in my OP says anything about her doing drugs.  I don't get how people pull things out of stuff that isn't there.  

I have made a lot of changes in this time.  I have committed to eating better and going to the gym.  I am decluttering my house.  I meditate regularly and I get plenty of sleep.  She might be doing all this too.  I don't know because we haven't had a chance to talk yet.  

On my phone.  Sorry if this is sloppy.  

Edited by Cynder
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5 hours ago, boltnrun said:

To answer your questions, I can tell your feelings are already there by the way you strenuously defend her choices and actions and assign yourself blame (at least partially) for her breakdown.   You want to be with her badly, that much is apparent.  You won't be able to stay "grounded" because of how badly you want her.

All you can do is try to proceed with caution.  Watch her actions carefully; it was easy for her to get you to re-engage with just some texts, so seeing her in person will be extremely difficult for you to resist.  But if nothing changes and she makes no effort to try to get emotionally healthy it will be just more push/pull dynamic.

And maybe she realizes this, which is why she isn't going all in just yet.  She may realize trying to be in a relationship isn't a great idea for her right now.  Her health has to be the priority.

And I think sharing that you lost your job was fine.  It's a fact and one that impacts your life, so I feel like you would share that with anyone who's important to you.

I will; admit my feelings are already there and that's what I'm trying to stop, I guess.  My feelings being there means I am vulnerable to this kind of thing again from her and honestly I don't think I could handle it again.  I was close to ending my life a few months ago.  Idk if I've really assigned myself blame, though.  I definitely didn't drive her to a nervous breakdown.  Her dysphoria, her drinking, her work situation, and family issues did.  If anything I was the one person in her life who was on her side.  We hurt the ones we love most... I think she hates herself and she saw in me someone who didn't hate her.  So in her eyes I became the enemy. 

Seeing her in person could be like like walking into a lion's den.  She is very seductive and very persuasive.  People have asked me why I need to see her in person, then.  Well, because if she's really as sorry as she claims to be, then she can look me in the eyes and say it.  And she also needs to hear first hand what I went through.  I don't trust anyone now.  I don't even trust my closest friends anymore because of her.  I figure if she could do that to me, then anyone can. 

She might realize a relationship isn't a good idea right now.  I don't know how she has spent the last four months.  She may have spent them soul searching and trying to change for the better like I have.  She may have spent them drunk and sleeping around.  I don't know.  I'm really interested in finding out, though. 

The fact that I haven't heard from her since I said I lost my job does worry me a little.  Like ok... is she just after money and she knows soon I won't have any?  But I also know her job is a really busy job on the weekends and she also catches up on sleep on the weekends.  I sent the text Friday evening when she is normally slammed at work.  There could be a lot of reasons why she hasn't answered.  Either way I think it's a little sus.  Busy or not, most people have a few seconds to send a text message. 

Edited by Cynder
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9 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

How does your nephew factor into this? 

He is 8 years old and he lives with me.  He got close to her too.  So when she disappeared on me, she also disappeared on him.  And he was devastated, too.  For weeks he cried and asked me when she was coming home. 

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7 hours ago, catfeeder said:

I'll come back after thinking about the 'guard up' question, but no, it was not too much to mention losing your job. It's factual, and if you can't discuss realistic facts, then all else is pretty irrelevant right now.

I did want to offer what I'd say to my Mom if she responded to my talk with an ex the way yours has. I'd tell her, "I appreciate you caring enough to be invested in how much this breakup has hurt me. So please keep that concern about hurting me in mind when you speak to me, because by showing deliberate disrespect for gender pronouns, you are also showing disrespect toward ME. And that hurts me a lot coming from you."

"Also, you may want to consider how it disadvantages not only me, but you, when you believe that you can impose conditions on my future choices and behaviors by acting out and being mean to me. The message that sends is that I cannot confide in you without consequences, and that is going to make me tell you LESS about my life and my thinking rather than more--so understand that those consequences only harm both ways."

Thank you so much for paying attention to my actual questions and not just pulling things about drug addiction, etc, out of thin air.  One person here even kind of insinuated that I'm on drugs too.  Uh, no.  I'm not on drugs.  I've done Ayahuasca about 10 times, last time was in the summer of 2020.  I'm sure some people here will have a field day with that after they google it to see what it actually is, lol.  

And I agree with you about my Mom.  At the time I didn't really say much at all because I was just overwhelmed.  But if she brings it up again and calls her he deliberately like that I will say something. 

Edited by Cynder
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17 minutes ago, Cynder said:

The fact that I haven't heard from her since I said I lost my job does worry me a little.

Maybe she feels she has enough of her own issues to deal with.  She can't really do anything to support you through yours right now.

A nervous breakdown is serious.  It's not something you can "soul search" yourself through.  She needs intensive professional help.  And four months is nothing.  I almost had a total anxiety breakdown during the summer of 2020 and I'm only now starting to feel like I am myself again.  And it took 10 months of twice weekly therapy sessions with both a psychiatrist AND a psychologist, monthly visits to my primary physician and medication.  I only just a couple of months ago went down to one monthly therapy session and I went off the meds about 4 months ago.  Four months in I was not anywhere close to being ready to resume relationships or provide emotional support to anyone.

Seeing her in person will indeed be walking into the lion's den.  I think you probably don't care because you want to be with her so badly.  Just be aware that you know 100% what you're choosing to walk into.  Your eyes are wide open. I would guess that's why your family and friends are so concerned.

What will you do if she hurts you again?  Will you be able to pull through?  I hope so. Love isn't supposed to bring you to the brink or send you over the edge.

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11 hours ago, Jibralta said:

That's exactly what I was going to say. For me, the other half--the more important, and more relevant half--is them being a stable partner and friend who I can trust to take care of themselves. In other words, an equal. Not a person that I have to look after and make sure they are ok. 

A few things that come to mind:

  • Her depression
  • Her alcohol abuse
  • Her being in a transitioning phase is a red flag in and of itself. It means she is at odds with a core aspect of her existence right down to her own skin, bones, and internal organs. That level of fundamental discomfort is going to cause instability in every aspect of her life. No avoiding it.
  • Your sense of responsibility. Your impulse to defend and protect perpetuates imbalance and inequity in the relationship.

It's good to feel a deep sympathy for her (for anyone who is struggling in some way). It's not good to try and take the burden off of her. Her burden is for her to deal with. And if it gets in the way of her ability to have a healthy relationship with you, you have to acknowledge and respect that. You can't change it.

I think that happens a lot when you are accustomed to turmoil and chaos in your life. It feels normal. And when it's absent, you don't feel right. So, you look for it in other people, and foster it in your relationships. But it's ultimately not good for you. Life is truly better without it.

We usually don't see the other half when we first meet someone, though.  Someone asked me what I've done about my attraction to unstable people.  Well, when I met her nothing seemed unstable about her.  She seemed to have her life really together and I thought she was out of my league, honestly.  And on top of being such a good person she is also talented and good looking.  I don't know many people who wouldn't be attracted to someone like her.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  No one ever does. 

You see this a lot also with people who get out of abusive relationships.  (And I'm not saying she abused me or anything like that.)  But when someone gets out of an abusive relationship they get all these snide comments and questions from people like, "Oh well if he/she was so awful why were you with them?"  Well, because no one is ever awful in the beginning.  Everyone is on their best behavior at the beginning of a relationship.  And also, people change.  I've never really understood blaming someone because they were attracted to someone who later treated them bad.  It makes no sense to me at all.  Most people aren't gifted with psychic powers. 

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1 minute ago, Cynder said:

Someone asked me what I've done about my attraction to unstable people.  Well, when I met her nothing seemed unstable about her.

Since I was the one who wrote this, I'll address it.

I'm saying you are NOW still attracted to her, are in love with her and want to be with her in a relationship despite knowing she's emotionally unstable and pretty much unceremoniously dumped you and blamed YOU partly because you told her she was beautiful and that apparently is bad.

I have an ex who dumped me via email and immediately moved another woman in with him.  I was in love with him and he treated me like a queen when we first got together.  But after what he did I have absolutely no love for him and wouldn't take him back, not ever.  I know he has a lot of self esteem issues but I don't care what the reason (excuse) was, he treated me poorly and as a result I don't want him anymore.

I'm concerned because due to how vulnerable you are currently, you are in danger of getting badly hurt by this woman again.  And I feel that's what concerns your family and friends who actually know and love you.

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18 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Maybe she feels she has enough of her own issues to deal with.  She can't really do anything to support you through yours right now.

A nervous breakdown is serious.  It's not something you can "soul search" yourself through.  She needs intensive professional help.  And four months is nothing.  I almost had a total anxiety breakdown during the summer of 2020 and I'm only now starting to feel like I am myself again.  And it took 10 months of twice weekly therapy sessions with both a psychiatrist AND a psychologist, monthly visits to my primary physician and medication.  I only just a couple of months ago went down to one monthly therapy session and I went off the meds about 4 months ago.  Four months in I was not anywhere close to being ready to resume relationships or provide emotional support to anyone.

Seeing her in person will indeed be walking into the lion's den.  I think you probably don't care because you want to be with her so badly.  Just be aware that you know 100% what you're choosing to walk into.  Your eyes are wide open. I would guess that's why your family and friends are so concerned.

What will you do if she hurts you again?  Will you be able to pull through?  I hope so. Love isn't supposed to bring you to the brink or send you over the edge.

I never asked for emotional support.  We were trying to come up with a day and time to meet and talk.  Our work scheduled are completely opposite right now.  I told her my work schedule will change here soon because I got laid off.  It was a practicality.  I wasn't asking for or expecting emotional support. 

And I know exactly what a nervous breakdown feels like.  I had one in 2006.  It was around mid 2008 when I finally fell like I was out of the woods. 

I do care, about seeing her in person.  I don't want to get pulled in by her.  For the how manieth time... I do want to be with her but not right now.  I want to be with her when/if the time is right for us.  Maybe I should put that in huge bold red letters, lol.  The fact that people just aren't catching on to that is getting a bit ridiculous. 

I won't survive if she does this to me again.  Which is why i asked how to stay guarded so it doesn't happen.  Once again... not a lot of people seem to be catching on to that.  Idk... when I read someone's post I actually take the words they use into consideration and make note of the questions they are asking.  Maybe I'm just a rare breed. 

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33 minutes ago, Cynder said:

I don't know many people who wouldn't be attracted to someone like her.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  No one ever does. 

.....I've never really understood blaming someone because they were attracted to someone who later treated them bad.  It makes no sense to me at all.  Most people aren't gifted with psychic powers. 

Of course we don't know what's going to happen. And I'm not blaming you for feeling attraction, or for not knowing the future--I think I was pretty clear about that. 

7 minutes ago, Cynder said:

i asked how to stay guarded....  Once again... not a lot of people seem to be catching on to that.

You can't be effectively guarded until you start recognizing and properly responding to the red flags. Until you reach that point, you'll fall back into this hole again and again. 

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7 hours ago, boltnrun said:

The only way I was able to stay "guarded" against my ex was to stay away from him.  Otherwise I was vulnerable to going back to him.  And yes, he did reach out and no, I didn't see him.

This. 

I had an ex who was quite unstable, and I guarded myself by ending it for good and cutting contact. At some point, we have to make better choices for ourselves and not rely on the other person getting better or stabilizing. 

I would advise you to stay away from her, OP. There is very little to suggest she's done any of the intensive heavy lifting (I mean with professional medical and psychological care) that she sounds like she needs to truly address her mental health issues. The risk here is too great and not going to be worth it for you. 

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1 hour ago, MissCanuck said:

There is very little to suggest she's done any of the intensive heavy lifting (I mean with professional medical and psychological care) that she sounds like she needs to truly address her mental health issues.

It's also possible that she is unable to do so, and that she will never be able to do so, no matter who tries to help. Or, she may not want to be helped--that may be her allure. Are you familiar with Siren Song by Margaret Atwood? It's a great, efficient description of this dynamic

Edited by Jibralta
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