Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => Romantic Relationship | Detaching and Learning after a Failed Relationship => Topic started by: Skippy on December 01, 2005, 12:24:55 PM

Title: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: Skippy on December 01, 2005, 12:24:55 PM
I feel like I'm in BPD detox or something (I don't drink so its my impression of detox). 

Nightmares every night. 

Flashbacks to the most wonderful moments of the realtionship - almost as if she is a goddess.

I'm second guessing the BPD... .

I feel we still have a chance to work it out (but she seeing somebody).  There is no we.

Problem is, I can't enjoy anyone or anything in my life right now... .nobody compares to her wonderful memory.

Are hallucination's next?

Detox.  It feels like detox.

God help me, today.  This is not living.  I just want some peace. I can even find it when I sleep.

What is the physiology behind this.  What are my emotions trying to do?

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: blade on December 01, 2005, 12:53:23 PM

I am sorry you are having trouble... .I know the those detoxing obsessive feelings when I have been NC for over a month twice in my relationship with my uBPDgf. I do get re-engaged back in, and I do love her and and miss her and her child so much when we are broken up. But, part of me is so glad she re-engaged me, and another part knows eventually the other shoe will drop again, and I will be thrown back into hell all over again.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: Sapphire on December 01, 2005, 12:56:17 PM
I go through that too, Skip, and it sucks. ? Some of the nightmares I've had a real doozies; I wake crying & sweating.

I guess we're going through some kind of withdrawal, like withdrawing from a bad drug. Like you say, detox. I couldn't enjoy anything for a long time either; all my happiness was based on my ex, and how happy he made me at one time. But then he took my happiness away, and started to put me through hell. After awhile, there was more hell than happiness, and I realized the "fix" I was getting from him wasn't enough anymore. It's like being addicted to a drug, and the only way to get over it is to go cold turkey. It's the hardest thing you'll ever have to do, but in the end it'll be worth it and you'll be healthy again. But not if you allow yourself to stay "hooked".

I thought at one time there was hope for me and my ex too, and I didn't want to give up either. But then I realized how mentally ill he is, and I had to accept it and let go. Because I knew if I didn't, he would eventually destroy me. It wasn't easy, but going through "detox" isn't. It takes time for those "withdrawals" to subside.

But if you keep going back for your "fix", you'll never recover... .

Give it time Skip; I promise you, you will start to heal. You have to keep in mind that you were involved in an emotional & mentally abusive relationship, and the scars take a long time to heal.

Hang in there,



Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: MoGlo on December 01, 2005, 01:01:27 PM
Your wishes and dreams are fighting the reality. ? Skip, if she's with someone else nothing you can do or say will change it. ? That's the choice she has made and you have to accept it. ? Even if she were to call tomorrow, you have to keep in mind that she is with someone else by her own choice. ? Calling or contacting you at this point means nothing other than simple contact.

I know it's awfully easy to focus on the good things when they're gone, but you have to remember what really happened. ? Go back and read your posts, and the responses to them, for reinforcement. ? It will help you focus on the realities instead of the what-ifs.

It does get better. ? And yes, it does take time. ? Look for other ways to spend that time, whether with family or friends or doing something new you've never tried before.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: moesha on December 01, 2005, 01:19:13 PM
Skip, did you talk to your MD about this? 

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: badlt on December 01, 2005, 04:17:09 PM

          Part of how we got into relationships with our BPD's was selective perception and memory. Seeing the parts we wanted to see, ignoring the others. It is that way of thinking that prevents us from moving on.

          When we look down the road to other potential relationships, we need to do so with eyes wide open- acknowledging both their good qualities and faults.

          I have had other potential relationships with women who had great qualities- and a fatal flaw I couldn't get past. We can dress it up, gloss it over, pretend it doesn't exist- at our peril.

          At some point, we have to decide that certain facts or behavior are "deal breakers". We have to assume that they will not change, and decide if they are qualities we can or should live with.

          Think objectively for a moment. Create a fantasy woman. She has everything you want, but also has one little problem. Like for instance, every Saturday night she insists on having an orgy with the bowling team (without you!). Or once a month, gets drunk and trashes the house and breaks things over your head. Or maybe has a little problem where she runs off for a few days occasionally and goes on a crack binge. Otherwise, a perfect angel. Objectively, would you tolerate the behaviors, in exchange for the good times? Only you can answer that question.

           As most veterans here can tell you, it rarely changes.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: mark on December 01, 2005, 07:24:18 PM
well badlt there's no doubt in my mind about that selective perception.  i've said before, when i first saw that title, "i hate you, don't leave me," it was near the end of the relationship, and all i could focus on was the "don't leave me" part.  i was telling myself, oh, that's what she's REALLY trying to say.  the other part says "i hate you" -- duh!  and that same selective process must be continuing every time that i feel loss and get sad about the good times -- because the bad times were literal insanity.

skip -- for what it's worth, i continue to admire your honesty and openness in expressing the pain.  i know at times it's like going through a fire.  hang in there.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: hurtinohio on December 01, 2005, 08:27:29 PM

I am going through the same things that you are right now, and it is a daily struggle.   Everyone who cares about me is worried to death, and that is not fair to them.

My whole life I have been an extremely unemotional person, and now I find it hard to make it through a week without tears.   I am praying more than I ever have in my life, and it is my saving grace right now.   

It's almost impossible for me to think poorly of this person, in spite of the fact that she has practically taken my life from me.  Without my faith, she would have succeeded.  I will tell you this though, you MUST force yourself to think of the many hurtful things that I know you must have been through.  I have been through them all and then some.   It doesn't have to take away from what you two had together, but it will help you put things in a better perspective. 

Like all the other posts have said, unless they hit rock bottom, and have a true desire to get help, you could be angel sent from heaven, and they wouldn't want you. 

Don't tear yourself down - forget living day by day, just live hour by hour.  If I can do it, so can you. 

Pray daily.


Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: mark on December 01, 2005, 09:05:22 PM
sorry for you, hurtinohio, but glad you found bpdfamily.  we're all tryin' to get past the pain of this bizarre disorder.  take care. 

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: hurtinohio on December 01, 2005, 09:35:26 PM
Thanks Mark.  I need every positive thing that I can get right now.  Someday soon, maybe I will tell my story - right now it's still a little too painful.

A lot of days it's one step forward and two back, but as long as I get that one step forward, I will keep plugging away.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: JoannaK on December 02, 2005, 10:12:56 AM
Dear, dear Skip----

I wish there was something that I could do or say, that any of us could do or say, that would help you to get over this.  I would suggest that you remember the painful, difficult times... .write them down if you must (as hurtinohio suggested), and pull out your list whenever you feel that you are being flooded with positive memories.  But remember that the positive memories are real, and they were a part of your relationship. 

I do agree that you might wish to talk to a doctor about a short-term course of anti-depressants to help you through the next weeks and months. 

It's also clear that you haven't given up on the relationship yet, you aren't angry, and those two things are also a key to healing.  You are still hoping that somehow, someway you can get back together with her and "prove" that you are really a good guy who is worthy of your love.  It's a dangerous position to be in, skip, as you are very vulnerable to her... .in memories or in reality. 

She took your love, your caring, your good intentions, and she turned them into something bad... .she twisted your love so that you doubted yourself. 

I don't know what else to write, Skip... .  You tolerated abusive behavior from this woman for a long time.  As she became more abusive, you continued to value someone who didn't deserve to be valued due to her treatment of you.  That is true of so many people here.  People who are abusive don't deserve our love, they don't deserve to be on the pedestal upon which we place them, but somehow our minds don't let us see reality.

Oh, Skip, just keep living your life.  I came to a point in my marriage in which I realized that if I wanted to be again treated the way my exh treated me in those early, heavenly days, I would have to get rid of him and find someone else.  You haven't come to that realization yet, Skip. 

Please, please, just keep putting one foot in front of the other... .friends, work, activities, etc... .all of the things we've said before.  I'm thinking of you... .

Hurtinohio, Welcome to bpdfamily!  There are many people here in the same pain that you are now feeling... .Good luck to you.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: moesha on December 02, 2005, 11:04:19 AM
Skip, when I broke up with my first long-term serious bfriend (not a BPD) I went thru hell.?  I started having full blown panic attacks, nightmares, a nasty case of acid reflux.?  I thought I was losing my sanity.

My reaction to this break-up is what motivated me to go to therapy for the first time in my life.?  I discovered that (didn't have to dig too deeply given the drama of my abusive childhood) that my extreme reaction to losing this relationship was rooted in much more primal stuff.

I can just about guarantee that what you're going thru is connected to so much more than what you see on the surface.?  This woman is not some goddess, so special that the loss of her makes life no longer worth living. Your pain, confusion and depression is your "stuff".?  She's merely a trigger.

The healing process can be slow, painful and repetetive.?  I know it was for me.?  It's like peeling an onion... .just when you think you've reached the last layer, there's another one to peel.

I remember listening to the Peter Gabriel song ":)igging in the Dirt" back then, and relating to the feeling of digging into my past, into my psyche, my heart and soul, to find and heal the places I got hurt.

Digging is dirty, backbreaking work.?  But you gotta dig to get to the treasure.?  and the treasure is there, Skip.?  You'll find yourself again.?  I did.?  and it's worth fighting thru the feelings to get there.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: John Galt on December 02, 2005, 11:17:32 AM


I think you must go through the stages my friend.I think you must recognize them and realize it will get better.

Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.

Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.

Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.

Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.

Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.

Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.

Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward

These are the steps for accepting death but it is the death of this relationship as well,I guess.

I know this is really simplistic of me and I am not trying to downplay this but workout,exercise lots.You start to feel better,your brain gets clearer,you will sleep better,punch a bag,run,lift weights whatever.All of it,some of it.

Best of luck my friend,


Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: Skippy on December 02, 2005, 12:47:13 PM
Thank you everyone for you comments.  It was a bad day, has been lots of bad days since Thanksgiving... .

Marc(ruthless)... .I appreciate your greiving model (Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining stage, Depression, Testing, Acceptance)... .It is very helpful to understand this.  I think my problem is that this has been unraveling for 2 years, break-ups, deal breakers, re-engaging to the point that you begin to accept the stages as part of normal.  I have been through all of these phases, some several times... except 1, anger.  I think this is the RISK OF RE-ENGAGING.  I accepted the unacceptable as normal and I think my coping mechanism just dried up.  I thought Egghead said it so well.  He talks about his coping mechanism being gone.  Hell, I can't read the title of his post "My Goodbye" without feeling some hurt.


Joanna. Do I still have hope?... .how could I?... .2 years of a women who has admitted that she took efforts to hurt me because I was happier than her... .who has blackened me in her familiy and the 2 boys that were deep in my heart... .that is seeing someone else, I suspect that is married... .I don't know, BUT I DO.  She is balckening me (not just moving on, but trying to make everyone see that am bad and she must), she is pursuing a married man more than he is her (she is working it), I realized some very important things that she has lied about... .so this is done... .BUT then something reconnects me to her (nightmare or a flashback) and I think maybe she will just go through this and then come crying back to go back to our dream (2002-2003)  I won't marry her now, my reality won't let that happen (although I got real close) so I don't know what this is all about.  Just being on bpdfamily estalishes some kind of reconnect.

MoGlow.. Got meds, just working too hard, taking them irregularily but missing once in a while.  Surprise... .nightmares.  The drugs help.

Badit... .your fantasy story is right on the money.  Of course I'd walk away from it... .have many times.

Blade, Mark, Hurt, Shattered
... .thank for your words.  It's what keeps me going right now.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: badlt on December 03, 2005, 01:20:01 AM

        Let me tell you a little story.

I was married to a BPD for 16 years. Things turned to serious hell, and I filed for divorce. Coincidentally during that time, I met a woman at my workplace. I'd see her maybe once, twice a week, and we'd talk. Great conversations. A fascinating person. I was feeling a thrill I hadn't felt in many years.

         Cut to the chase. As the time approached that either me or my exBPD would have to leave home, I asked the woman out. Long story short, she jerked me around a bit, and then backed out. I was devastated.

         I wallowed in misery for a while. In the course of my healing (during a very crazy and violent separation from my ex, pre-divorce) I started reading. A hugely important book I read was "The 6 Pillars of Self Esteem" by Nathaniel Brandon. It's a thick book.

        The most important thing I got from it was the phrase "self esteem embraces the truth". He went on to say that people of low self esteem cloud themselves in illusion. I saw myself in that. I had fallen in love with a woman I barely knew. Because I did not know what love is, or how long it takes to find it in a person.

         So there it is. Illusions, or choosing to see only the good in someone, and not the bad, cause us pleasure in the short term, pain in the long term.

         It was a lesson I wished I had learned a long time ago. I have been granted many wonderful gifts in my life, including 2 kids from my BPD ex. But I have suffered greatly from choosing not to see, as well.

          Take the opportunity to learn the lesson and make the rest of your life better. It is a slower path, but a happier one.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: lennic on December 03, 2005, 08:27:18 AM
God there are some wise folks walking the corridors of this space.

Well said badlt... .well said.

Denial... .the adult's pacifier.


Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: webster on December 03, 2005, 12:47:47 PM

How about changing your external environment (even for a while - suggest a long holiday in foreign territory)?

This time in your life maybe an opportunity for some serious strategic life changes ito career and/or domicilium changes. This in itself will bring new challenges to focus the mind.

A deliberate shift out of your norm should do wonders for the subconscious.

web?  ?

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: Sybgow on December 03, 2005, 01:11:08 PM

You're not alone.

MANY here have been in the same boat.

"Truth," "Illusion," "Grief,"... .?  "Fantasy," "Bizarre."

I would LOVE it if my unfortunate, crazy, lost wife were to get it together and come back to me, whole and sane.

It WILL NOT happen.

I've had dreams, fears, and quiet sad little hopes.

Doesn't help.?  In fact, it slows down MY progress.

I haven't been able to do it, but in spite of that, I'll give the advice I haven't been able to follow-----------LET IT GO.

Easy to say-----------hard to do.

?  ?  g

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: Skippy on December 03, 2005, 04:46:00 PM
"self esteem embraces the truth". He went on to say that people of low self esteem cloud themselves in illusion.

So there it is. Illusions, or choosing to see only the good in someone, and not the bad, cause us pleasure in the short term, pain in the long term.

Very powerful statement.  Thank you.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: John Galt on December 04, 2005, 11:39:14 AM



Anytime anyone quotes Nathaniel Brandon,I must step in and give kudos to his ''greatest teacher'' Ayn Rand.

There,I said it,


Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: fghjk1111 on December 05, 2005, 11:17:35 PM
Hey Skip, hang in there.

I had the same thing happen to me. For example I one time had a dream of my cell phone vibrating, me answering it, and it was my boyfriend. He would say he would be over shortly in his pleasant voice. Then I would continue the dream by dreaming that my buzzer for my apartment was ringing, just like the good old days. They weren't nighmares per say but they seemed so real of the good times we had. I became afraid to sleep. It was freakin aweful, I was in my personal hell. I would only doze off a couple of hours a night after several drinks. I did this for several weeks.

Things mellow out, they really do. My biggest help was to constantly read about BPD and threads on this sight, The Nook.

Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: shellshocked on December 06, 2005, 07:20:33 AM
As sadistic as this may sound, I've gone bad and started marking a calendar with all the blow ups, rages, break-ups, etc. that filled my relationship with my ex.  It takes some time and every day I recall something new or more details of an earlier recollection.

After a while it starts to add up and when I get those longings, I go to that calendar and remember, not just the good times (I can't deny those because there were good times!) but the bad as well.  It is the memory of those bad times that sober me up quickly.  Doesn't necessarily remove the hurt I feel at the moment but does place things in perspective.

Something like this may or may not work - it does for me.  Just a thought.


Title: Re: Flashbacks, Nightmares
Post by: moesha on December 06, 2005, 10:35:45 AM
Shell, that's not sadistic.  It's a good tool for keeping yourself grounded in the truth, and not idealizing or fantasizing about the "good times".  Smart.