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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: After that phone call, it literally felt like a spike straight through my heart  (Read 2676 times)
Whatwasthat
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« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2013, 03:12:49 PM »

  Harm. Lots of   to you!


I understand why the trip feels scary. But it's great that your GP and T are both in favour. Also remember the trip isn't such a big deal - it's just one stage in your ongoing process of dealing with the trauma and entering recovery. Maybe try not to build it up into too big a thing in your head.

There are bound to be good things about going away for a few days - and not such good things. That's all fine. You'll have times I'm sure when you'll be helpfully distracted by the interesting and new things going on around you. (Do remember not just to go to old, familiar places full of memories - that's not such a good idea). If you're feeling really 'down' at any point - you could just say to yourself - 'OK - that was to be expected - it's not possible to just leave home and for everything to suddenly feel OK - I'm in a vulnerable state right now and I'm challenging myself by going on this trip - but it was a brave and positive step to take and there will be helpful things and people that will come along and distract me and improve my mood before too long'. And then you can write a post to tell us all about it... .   and also re-read some of the great support and encouragement you've received on these boards.

You talk a lot about people posting on these boards who you feel are still recovering 2 or 3 years after the end of their relationships - and you say you don't want to be like them - because you perceive them as being trapped in an endless nightmare. But from what I read that's not how it is at all. People do - on the whole - make substantial, gradual  progress. They may well have rough patches and times when old memories might come back to them some time after the event. What they don't do is stay endlessly in a crisis state. I know it feels like it's never going to end when you're in it - but that is just one of the awful tricks our brains can play on us when we're in an 'emergency' situation. But that's not the reality - keep reminding yourself of that.


Looking forward to those postcards!

WWT  

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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2013, 04:40:59 PM »

 Harm. Lots of   to you!


I understand why the trip feels scary. But it's great that your GP and T are both in favour. Also remember the trip isn't such a big deal - it's just one stage in your ongoing process of dealing with the trauma and entering recovery. Maybe try not to build it up into too big a thing in your head.

It does feel scary. I feel anxious. I never had anxiety issues until I met my ex. Nor had anxiety issues for exams, or during other r/s. It all happened when my self-confidence got broken and I react like a 2 year old from time to time yelling for his mother, while, well, I never had the assistance of my mother.

Than one would wonder, after loads of conversations with the shrink and the doctor, maybe they were underlined. Maybe they were always there? My therapists and doctor disagree. My ex agrees.

I mean, I normally would love to travel. I do, really do. F*ck it wherever. And now, anxiety. What if they don't like me? Fear of rejection. I've never witnessed those feelings. Nor in childhood or in puberty. I was always an acceptible guy with friends. A variety of friends. Never bullied. Always fun. Good grades, good in sports. Even at one time dating the best looking girl at school.

Excerpt
There are bound to be good things about going away for a few days - and not such good things. That's all fine. You'll have times I'm sure when you'll be helpfully distracted by the interesting and new things going on around you. (Do remember not just to go to old, familiar places full of memories - that's not such a good idea). If you're feeling really 'down' at any point - you could just say to yourself - 'OK - that was to be expected - it's not possible to just leave home and for everything to suddenly feel OK - I'm in a vulnerable state right now and I'm challenging myself by going on this trip - but it was a brave and positive step to take and there will be helpful things and people that will come along and distract me and improve my mood before too long'. And then you can write a post to tell us all about it... .   and also re-read some of the great support and encouragement you've received on these boards.

I will visit old places, for the sake of the fact that now in my memory, i've put them on a pedestal. They shouldn't be. Life continues. Life goes on, and I have to move on. I need that spark again whatwasthat. That spark, in my engine. I really need it. I feel so empty, I feel so numb. I hope to regain my spark there but also realize the r/s wasn't as romantically awesome as it should be. She treated me like junk.

Fact of the matter is. I could visit her. But im pretty sure everyone here would say... . NO HARM ... . DON"T DO THAT.

Excerpt
You talk a lot about people posting on these boards who you feel are still recovering 2 or 3 years after the end of their relationships - and you say you don't want to be like them - because you perceive them as being trapped in an endless nightmare. But from what I read that's not how it is at all. People do - on the whole - make substantial, gradual  progress. They may well have rough patches and times when old memories might come back to them some time after the event. What they don't do is stay endlessly in a crisis state. I know it feels like it's never going to end when you're in it - but that is just one of the awful tricks our brains can play on us when we're in an 'emergency' situation. But that's not the reality - keep reminding yourself of that

I just feel stupid that from time to time I seem to lose control over my emotions. Again, this is not something 'normal' for me. My head are not my thoughts. However, from time to time I just let it go. I am to hard on myself. I am.

My former colleauges are telling me, why are you not coming back to work?

My dad disagrees on my trip, he think's it bollocks, stop crying and start working again.

My ex tells me that any feeling of 'feeling empty' is just stupidity. Take a good night rest and work again, whats wrong with you?

My friends are telling me, your missing out on the rat race of life

The people who help me professionally tell me to move out the country; seek yourself again harm. Again, I don't feel like I have a lot of support. That hurts.

Going to my 'old' place now, will be visiting a lot of places i've been to with my ex. They will now be alone or with a bunch of couch surfers. I was so afraid for rejection that I actually booked a hotel alongside my couchsurf experience just in case they won't accept me.

I will definitely show you some photo's of my road trip, not that most care, and it more or less turns into a diary from my point of view, but I consider it my path to hopefully a better life. A new life, a life where I see purpose again.

What do I do if I ran into my ex?

I will deliberately face the places we have been to. Why? Face your fears. My goodness, I might end up in tears, or I might think, ... . was this all? Was this it? Was this worth it? All those tears back in Holland?

You guys have been of great assistance. I don't deserve your help, but sincerely appreciate the emails and support. Your helping a 25 year old maintaining a bit of balance in his life.

I hope this trip will smash me out of the crisis state. I really hope so. I also hope I deserve so. All I want is just to purely help people in life. Assist people. I know with my abilities I can be of assistance.

I might take the bible with me.

There will be a time where I will stop playing the victim here. I am not a victim, I allowed myself, deliberately to be in this mess, i'm an adult and should be able to sit through this without self-harm.  (although I wish that my gf will endure the same one day). It also what my shrink told me, your ex gf won't understand what your going through until she will once go through it herself. When I ofc. told her this she went berserk.

I wish I was just raised in a family, with a mother and a father, 2/3 kids, where I would have a brother and a sister. And just become a carpenter within the same town, get married there, drink beer on the couch after I get home and have 3/4 beautiful kids.

Rather than flying through Europe for financial business, constantly working and considering yourself a European.

My ex told me many times, I worry you are going to be as bad as your father, as lonely as your father and as screwed up as your father. As he is the only one (as my mother is mentally ill) that hurt immensely. My father is a typical loner, but very clever. Wouldn't say monk, but wouldn't be far of it. My mother lives in a psychiatric institute and other than that, i've had 6/7 other mothers and fathers (foster ones). I lost count. So ofc. i've always the feeling, gotta fight for myself to get somewhere... .

Meaning I was afraid I might be suffering from all sorts of disorders and mental illnesses, also in regards of my mom who is locked up. Even had a MRI scan of my head.

Result?

None ... . superbly healthy brains and clever intelligent boy.

Love you guys!   Within 24 hours, Harm will be somewhere on a couch, far far away from here.
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P.F.Change
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« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2013, 10:01:03 AM »

Excerpt
I wish I was just raised in a family, with a mother and a father, 2/3 kids, where I would have a brother and a sister. And just become a carpenter within the same town, get married there, drink beer on the couch after I get home and have 3/4 beautiful kids.

Rather than flying through Europe for financial business, constantly working and considering yourself a European.

I really understand the wish for a "normal" FOO. That's one thing I have had to grieve and accept that I can't change. And, in many ways I have had to learn to parent myself and meet my needs in other ways b/c they aren't capable. In your case I think it is probably the source of most of your core wounds, this particular exGF just poked around in places that already hurt. You will recover from both things if you want to keep doing the hard work. It really will not feel this cripplingly hard forever, that part is only temporary. This work is a lot like exercise, the first day you ever go to the gym you are going to be sore and fatigue easily and think you will never be able to finish even a short set. But if you keep going, you get stronger every day and things feel easier.

But I'm really interested in this dream of becoming a carpenter. That sounds like a lot of fun. Have you always had an interest in that? I think it's important to do things you *want* to do. It sounds like there have been a lot of "have to"s in your life, and those can really weigh you down.

You are sounding in much better spirits than you were last week. I am really excited for you to get to go on this trip and will look forward to your updates. Safe travels!

PF
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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2013, 11:44:00 AM »

Excerpt
I wish I was just raised in a family, with a mother and a father, 2/3 kids, where I would have a brother and a sister. And just become a carpenter within the same town, get married there, drink beer on the couch after I get home and have 3/4 beautiful kids.

Rather than flying through Europe for financial business, constantly working and considering yourself a European.

I really understand the wish for a "normal" FOO. That's one thing I have had to grieve and accept that I can't change. And, in many ways I have had to learn to parent myself and meet my needs in other ways b/c they aren't capable. In your case I think it is probably the source of most of your core wounds, this particular exGF just poked around in places that already hurt. You will recover from both things if you want to keep doing the hard work. It really will not feel this cripplingly hard forever, that part is only temporary. This work is a lot like exercise, the first day you ever go to the gym you are going to be sore and fatigue easily and think you will never be able to finish even a short set. But if you keep going, you get stronger every day and things feel easier.

But I'm really interested in this dream of becoming a carpenter. That sounds like a lot of fun. Have you always had an interest in that? I think it's important to do things you *want* to do. It sounds like there have been a lot of "have to"s in your life, and those can really weigh you down.

You are sounding in much better spirits than you were last week. I am really excited for you to get to go on this trip and will look forward to your updates. Safe travels!

PF

Thank you. I'm currently at the airport awaiting my flight (leave in 50 minutes). I feel anxiety throughout the bone. This is what I normally used to do but I even associate airfields with my ex and it turns my stomach upside down.

I literally got shivering anxiety all over me. What if the couchsurfers won't like me? What if they aint there? What if I sink the moment I see the old places again? I do know in regards of codependency that this trip is the first thing I actually do for myself since my break up and to 'face' the pain. Not to walk away from it.

And hopefully, day by day, the pain will become a bit smaller and smaller ... . but the hurdle to do this. Big. Very big. My body tells me to go home and stay in bed ... . and then I go do something this crazy?
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« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2013, 12:11:52 PM »

When I get a case of the "what ifs," two things help:

1)make a plan for each one, and

2)replace the negative thinking behind them with positive.

For example, if my what-if is: "What if I have a panic attack in the middle of the grocery store?"

I can plan: I can take some deep breaths, leave my cart (trolley?) right where it is, and walk to the restroom or outside until it passes. Then, I can decide whether to finish shopping, check out, or just drive home and rest, depending on how I am feeling."

I can think: "I will be ok. Chances are pretty good that I will not have a panic attack, but even if it does happen I know I can take care of myself. I am a good person. Everyone feels ill from time to time, so it is not bad if I feel anxious in the store, or if someone sees me cry, etc."

I think this trip will give you lots of opportunities to see how capable you are. Even when you might feel triggered, you are going to take care of yourself. And you will be creating lots of new, positive associations with the places around you. I am really proud of you for trying this--I hope you are giving yourself credit.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

We   you, too!

PF

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« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2013, 01:12:33 PM »

I feel with you about the deep wish to have just a normal, healthy FOO. 

I hope all goes well with travelling, you are in my thoughts.



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HarmKrakow
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« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2013, 06:43:13 AM »

Just a sign of life here, the moment I have time to write an entire essay here I will. I've endured so much last 50hours from the worst bottoms and complete and utter despair and contact with ex to immaculate joy to utter numbness.

By all fairness I drank water from the kitchen and forgot I was in Eastern Europe, and suffer the physical consequences at the moment. I hope to either tomorrow or today write my report here, because I think it might shed some light and help for others while i've had my worst moment in life just a few hours ago, middle of the night, in an old communist area on a railroad track from the 30s crying and just having the worse feeling to couch surfers coming along after hearing my story to the place of my ex.
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sad but wiser
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« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2013, 09:54:54 AM »

It is brave to face what causes you so much pain.  It is empowering to know you can.  It is inspiring that you found some joy in this.  It is good to find you posting.
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« Reply #68 on: April 21, 2013, 04:38:33 PM »

Just wondering how your trip is going and how you are doing. Saying prayers for you.

PF
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« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2013, 08:36:44 AM »

  Hi, Harmkrakow!

I got your PM and wanted to say it is wonderful to hear from you. How cool that you made new friends on your trip! I bet that feels good.

You asked a lot of good questions. It would be great if you are willing to cut and paste your message into a new thread here on board. I find the collective wisdom on the boards to be very helpful.

It sounds like the most recent conversation with your ex has left you feeling confused. This is a really common feeling for anyone who is interacting with a pwBPD. Their view of reality is vastly different from other people's, and is often inconsistent. The rest of us end up doubting our own perceptions and feelings because they are so insistent that theirs is "right."  Based on what you wrote to me, it sounds like your ex is projecting her own fears and insecurities onto you. You do not have to absorb them.

In another thread this week, I told the host, "Be careful asking the blind whether that color looks good on you." A person with BPD is *not capable* of giving you accurate feedback about your mental health. It's probably not a good idea to ask your ex for her opinion about you or the work you are doing to heal, and if she gives it to you without asking, know that she is not able to see things realistically. You have people on your team who are trained and objective--your T and your GP. You also have us.

Support groups like bpdfamily.com have helped literally thousands of people recover from abuse and mental health setbacks. We need a safe place to tell our stories and receive support and validation. This is a very important aid to healing. One thing that makes bpdfamily.com work is that we encourage anonymity, so that we can feel free to be honest about what we are feeling and talk openly about our experiences. If your ex knows you are posting here and your username,  it will not feel like a very safe place to reach out or be honest. Any of the Moderators can help you change your name so that you can continue posting safely. Just PM one of them.

It really is great to hear back from you! I hope to see a new thread from you soon (this one is already at the 4-page limit), maybe even with a new username.

PF
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« Reply #70 on: April 23, 2013, 02:44:30 PM »



Staff only


This thread has reached the page limit and is now locked.  Feel free to pick one of the topics from the thread to start a new one.

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