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Author Topic: Does anyone panic? Get terrified and desperate?  (Read 1771 times)
Emelie Emelie
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« on: April 21, 2014, 10:40:41 PM »

First of all I want to thank all of you who so kindly welcomed me back to this board.  I appreciate your support more than I can express.  I've started a new topic because I'm looking for advice on this.  Clearly I have some abandonment issues of my own that came to the surface in this relationship. 

I flat out panic.  It hits me like a ton of bricks.  I get overwhelmed with the pain and the grief and I lose it.  I feel terrified and desperate.  Of course all I want to do is run to him, talk to him, which I did plenty of times last time, which only makes it worse.  But I want to do anything to make the pain stop.  Anything.  I want him so badly I can't breathe.  In those moments I can't cope.  I want to keen like a lost child.  My former T explained that it was my inner child.  That I had to reassure her that she was safe and I would take care of her.  I've tried.  Can't seem to make that work. 

And I have to go NC this time.  I have to.  He texted me last night.  Apologized for the hurt he caused me.  Told me he loved me.  Of course I think it means he's reaching out.  Replied with my own apology and told him I loved him too, always had.  No response.  He was apparently feeling some guilt and dealing with it.  So I texted him today.  Told him there was so much good stuff in our rs.  That's what I wanted to remember.  That I wanted him to find peace and happiness.  But we couldn't be "friends" this time around.  I would always care about him but it would be best for me if he didn't get in touch.  I said goodbye.  I wanted to be kind and loving and feel good about a "last communication".  But I also need to END it.  Stop hanging on to whatever it is I'm hanging on to.  Stop obsessively checking my phone to see if he's called or texted.  I deleted all of our texts... . almost two years worth.  "Unfriended" him on FB.  (He won't notice.  He's rarely on there.  But I couldn't seem to stay away last time.) But I'm afraid I won't be able to not contact him.  In those moments of panic.  And the panic attacks frighten me.  Really frighten me.  Has anyone experienced anything like this?  Any coping advice?
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LettingGo14
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 10:48:38 PM »

Yes.  I have experienced moments like this.  Only two things really helped in moments of agony:

1. Coming here, and realizing I was not alone.  Realizing that many people faced the same, or worse.  Posting, posting, posting.

2. Practicing meditation and mindfulness -- TOOLS: Triggering, Mindfulness, and the Wise Mind

I'm sorry you are dealing with all of this now -- however, I hope you can be compassionate with yourself.  It's a process, not a switch.  And, our hearts take time to catch up with our heads.   Although, sometimes our heads mislead us (so trying to feel the feelings and not re-tell the story is also important).

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Emelie Emelie
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 11:29:05 AM »

Thank you Letting Go.  I will stay active here and read what you suggested on Mindfulness.  And am trying to practice Gratitude.  That does help me when I'm facing challenges.  It's when I'm in panic mode that I have the problem.  I told a friend it's like I'm an addict and he's my Heroin.  I know how bad he is for me but when I'm "jonsing" I only want the pain to stop.  I'll do anything for the pain to stop.  I feel like I just cannot handle it.  But I'm going to try. 
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Popcorn71
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 03:25:07 PM »

It's when I'm in panic mode that I have the problem.  I told a friend it's like I'm an addict and he's my Heroin.  I know how bad he is for me but when I'm "jonsing" I only want the pain to stop.  I'll do anything for the pain to stop.  I feel like I just cannot handle it.  But I'm going to try. 

I know exactly how you feel.  I have never in my life been so 'hooked' on  anything. He is stuck in my brain and it's driving me mad.
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WhoMe51
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 08:05:56 PM »

Emelie,

I have been there many, many times. Every time she would split me black and break up with me I would go through this. My life was so enmeshed with hers that I didn't know who I was by myself. And she knew this. She would wait a few days or a week and then she would make contact and I would go running back just to get my fix. I would try new things to make it better with her but it was never enough. This last time I told myself that I don't care what I have to go through, I'm not going back. And it's tough when you make that decision. But I owe this to myself. I want to learn from this so I can be in a healthy relationship. This last split was because my dBPDgf wanted me to put my 14 yr old son with his mom(I have custody of him) so that she and her kids could move in with me. I told her I wasn't doing that. What kind of message would that send to my son. I will not do that.

During these times when you are panicked with feelings of fear or anxieties that seem to take over your mind and body, be gentle with yourself. Do something that will be just for you. Go for a walk. Drink a cup of coffee. Watch a funny movie. Do something just for you. Because you deserve the best.
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blissful_camper
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 12:43:28 AM »

Yes, I experienced this too.  I experienced it to the point that I felt disoriented at times. Just really afraid and anxious. Have faith that this will pass. 

Things I did to cope with the panic:

I extend my arms out in front of me and move my wrists/hands as though I were flicking water off of my hands.  While doing this I visualize that I'm moving the panic, fears, and negatives emotions out and away from me.  I exhale while making those motions.

Nature calms me so I wander out into it to find beauty.  I go for a walk with my dog, visit a horse (bring apples, carrots).  Animals have a calming effect on me.   

Driving on backroads with stereo blaring.

I cut back on my coffee consumption. 

I remind myself that everything in my life is as it should be, and I trust that. 



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Banshee
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 02:35:38 PM »

Excerpt
I know exactly how you feel.  I have never in my life been so 'hooked' on  anything. He is stuck in my brain and it's driving me mad.

This is me... so very much where I'm at...
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12BarBlues

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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 10:39:38 PM »

Great advice and strategies listed here already. I'll just add that when I was in this state of mind I would equate contact with slitting my own throat. I knew if I reached out to her and let the poison in my mind it would not only make things worse but set me back to square one. These emotions are so heavy that your body is literally responding to them... . your heart is racing, there' a feeling of dread in your stomach... . we've been there!

Keep writing on this board or reading others stories. Try this: sit down at the kitchen table and write out the core thoughts running through your head in one column and emotions you are feeling because of them in another. You will become aware of what triggers your fears.

Dig yourself out and develop some new thought patterns. By doing this you are actually feeling your way through the pain instead of letting it linger or pushing it down for later consumption both of which are counterproductive to your detachment. Then the next time you get a text or the ruminations run rampant in your mind, you will have some emotional pathways to find your way out of the forest. Over time these become automatic. 
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2014, 11:02:08 PM »

I can relate Emelie.  Every time I got rid of another channel of communication, it was one step closer to getting her out of my life and letting her go, and it hurt.  I no longer got those daily phone calls first thing in the morning, something I looked forward to immensely in the beginning, and when those stopped it hurt.  Unfriending her on Facebook hurt, canceling her access to my Netflix account hurt, little hurts all the way through, but the right thing to do.

It is like letting go of an addiction, much more difficult than a 'normal' relationship.  The important thing for me, as I intentionally felt everything, was to not communicate with her in any way.  I stayed strong by making a list of all the unacceptable things I had put up with in the relationship, I needed a lot of paper, and just read it to confirm my decision.  Getting fully associated with how I felt when whatever happened really worked to shift my focus, and with time the emotions waned and the processing worked.


I agree with 12bar: it's important to feel everything, and create new meanings for them as you process.  You will probably find that as you give it distance without communicating the emotions will wane and what things mean will change, how you view yourself, him and the relationship will change, you will probably even find empowering meanings out or what went down, and be better for it.  But it's important to put one foot in front of the other and take one day at a time to begin with, knowing that the hardest part is at the beginning.  Take care of you!
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seeking balance
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 11:27:35 PM »

But I'm afraid I won't be able to not contact him.  In those moments of panic.  And the panic attacks frighten me.  Really frighten me.  Has anyone experienced anything like this?  Any coping advice?

Sometimes I think we are so traumatized that we tend to go to our own extreme and black/white thinking.  I know that panic - what helped me was to really look at reality of it.  Was I afraid I couldn't contact my ex or was it the hurt of the relationship truly was over... . because I knew too much now to go back.

Once we open ourselves up to this world, I find it very hard to put our head back under the covers... . it has all changed - and that is sad and downright scary... . bpdfamily.com makes everything change.

Reality is  you will be able to contact him if you need to = FEAR, False, Expectations, Appearing, Real

But, things have changed and that really is sad and scary = you have been given good strategies in this thread too.

Letting go can feel overwhelming.

Peace,

SB
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Faith does not grow in the house of certainty - The Shack
toomanytears
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 11:41:49 PM »

Great advice and strategies listed here already. I'll just add that when I was in this state of mind I would equate contact with slitting my own throat. I knew if I reached out to her and let the poison in my mind it would not only make things worse but set me back to square one. These emotions are so heavy that your body is literally responding to them... . your heart is racing, there' a feeling of dread in your stomach... . we've been there!

Keep writing on this board or reading others stories. Try this: sit down at the kitchen table and write out the core thoughts running through your head in one column and emotions you are feeling because of them in another. You will become aware of what triggers your fears.

Dig yourself out and develop some new thought patterns. By doing this you are actually feeling your way through the pain instead of letting it linger or pushing it down for later consumption both of which are counterproductive to your detachment. Then the next time you get a text or the ruminations run rampant in your mind, you will have some emotional pathways to find your way out of the forest. Over time these become automatic. 

I'll second that. I've been through various stages since I split from my BPDh last August and frequently get sensations of breathlessness and panic. We've been married 31 years and although we had a rocky marriage due to his BPD I thought it was based on the deep love we had for each other. Not a bit of it, I found out in January this year that he's been living a double life running around with other women - probably for years. It's been a horrible shock on top of all his other behaviours and I'm just trying to work through it day by day. I can't even seem to get comfort from my beautiful kids (S21 D26) because they are such strong reminders of the family life I thought we had . I still spend far to much time thinking about my h and not enoughttime reflecting on all the amazing kindness and support I've had. I have to keep replacing my negative thoughts with new experiences and feelings and it's a struggle. These boards are the very best therapy. As soon as I start to wobble I find comfort and sanity here. Thanks EE for starting this helpful post.Smiling (click to insert in post)
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fromheeltoheal
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2014, 11:51:44 PM »

bpdfamily.com makes everything change.  Yep, and thank god for that.  My perceptions of the entire relationship changed once I learned about BPD and read story after story that could have been my own.  And all of that gave me the strength, grounding and sanity to stay away.  You're in the right place Emelie.
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HappyNihilist
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2014, 12:12:38 AM »

Emelie, I'm so sorry. I know you're in a lot pain right now. I completely understand the feelings of panic and addiction, the desperate need to make the pain stop.

The "bad" news is that you can't make the pain stop, not entirely. The good news is that you can use that pain to help you heal. And it will eventually get so much better.

Identify your own triggers -- what makes you want to contact him; what emotions you feel at the time; what you can do about these triggers (some you maybe can avoid; others you will need to re-frame for yourself).

When you feel panicked, do something for you. Come to these boards. Take a walk. Meditate. Grab a paper and pen and start writing down exactly what's going through your head. Call a friend. Go for a drive.

Let yourself feel your pain. It's OK. You're in a scary and hurtful place. Keep yourself focused on yourself -- feel what you need to feel, do things for YOU.

Remember - he can't take your pain away for you, and never could. But you can reclaim control of your emotions and mind by focusing on yourself and healing.
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