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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: Triggered Lately  (Read 1490 times)
cosmonaut
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« on: June 03, 2014, 10:53:13 PM »

I've been triggered lately and I can feel myself sinking again.  I'm not a mess, but I definitely feel I've backslid a bit.  The ruminations have been steadily increasing the past few days.  I'm preoccupied.  Brooding.  Irritable.  Troubled sleeping. 

I can identify a couple of triggers.  The big one, however: I saw a picture of her.  On Facebook.  One that I hadn't at all expected.  Someone we both know posted it and she was in the background.  I went cold when I saw her.  All the emotions came flooding back.  I haven't seen or talked to my ex in 5 months, and it has been agony for me.  We have been absolutely no contact.  All that time I have thought of her every single day.  She's never really gone from my thoughts;  even when I am busy with something else she's sort of always there waiting just off stage.  She haunts me.  I have so desperately wanted to know if she is alright these long past months.  If she's ok.  There is genuine cause to be concerned - she has more problems than I can count.  I have prayed and prayed for just one call, one letter, one text from her.  Just to know she's alive and ok.  And now there she was.  Alive indeed.  Staring away from the camera - caught accidentally in the frame.  I couldn't stop staring at her.  I can see the scene in my minds eye as clear as if I was looking at it now.  It has seriously triggered me.

 

I just can't even believe how crazy this entire experience has been.  I can not believe how deeply this woman got into me.  She hasn't left a part of me untouched.  It really feels like I have lost a part of myself in losing her.  Sometimes, I feel like I am starting to let go, and then something like this happens and I wonder if I am really getting anywhere at all.

I've been thinking tonight about The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway.  I think Hemingway would understand all this.  He would get it.  So, I have been thinking of this passage from that short story.  It seems to sum up so much of what I am feeling.

Excerpt
He thought about lone in Constatinople that time, having quarrelled in Paris before he had gone out.  He had whored the whole time and then, when that was over, and he had failed to kill his lonliness, but only made it worse, he had written her, the first one, the one who left him, a letter telling her how he had never been able to kill it... . How when he thought he saw her outside the Regence one time it made him go all faint and sick inside, and that he would follow a woman who looked like her in some way, along the Boulevard, afraid to see it was not she, afraid to lose the feeling it gave him.  How every one he had slept with had only made him miss her more.  How what she had done could never matter since he knew he could not cure himself of loving her.  He wrote this letter at the Club, cold sober, and mailed it to New York asking her to write him at the office in Paris.  That seemed safe.  And that night missing her so much it made him feel hollow sick inside, he wandered up past Maxim's, picked a girl up and took her out to supper.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm looking for in posting this here.  I don't expect anyone to have any magic answers.  I suppose I just needed to get this out.  I haven't told anyone, except all of you just now.  Detaching from a BPD ex really is a difficult road.  Even when I think I realize how steep the climb is, I am still often surprised at just how hard the way really is.

Thanks all.  The storm will eventually quiet.  We'll get through this.  Together.
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 11:03:49 PM »

Cosmo,

I feel for you man. This is one of my biggest fears. I dont' know how long it will take to stop missing my ex, but it better not be too long.  I keep replaying all the abuse I got from here to stop missing her. I know, she is having the time of her life with some other dude now or just sleeping around with a few. I am the only one to blame for getting myself in this relationship. I sort of new her and her behaviours and I still went for it. It is pretty tough, but really there is no other option to keep going forward.

be strong . I have been going to the gym quite a bit and taking my anger out on the weights. that seems to help a bit.



I've been triggered lately and I can feel myself sinking again.  I'm not a mess, but I definitely feel I've backslid a bit.  The ruminations have been steadily increasing the past few days.  I'm preoccupied.  Brooding.  Irritable.  Troubled sleeping. 

I can identify a couple of triggers.  The big one, however: I saw a picture of her.  On Facebook.  One that I hadn't at all expected.  Someone we both know posted it and she was in the background.  I went cold when I saw her.  All the emotions came flooding back.  I haven't seen or talked to my ex in 5 months, and it has been agony for me.  We have been absolutely no contact.  All that time I have thought of her every single day.  She's never really gone from my thoughts;  even when I am busy with something else she's sort of always there waiting just off stage.  She haunts me.  I have so desperately wanted to know if she is alright these long past months.  If she's ok.  There is genuine cause to be concerned - she has more problems than I can count.  I have prayed and prayed for just one call, one letter, one text from her.  Just to know she's alive and ok.  And now there she was.  Alive indeed.  Staring away from the camera - caught accidentally in the frame.  I couldn't stop staring at her.  I can see the scene in my minds eye as clear as if I was looking at it now.  It has seriously triggered me.

 

I just can't even believe how crazy this entire experience has been.  I can not believe how deeply this woman got into me.  She hasn't left a part of me untouched.  It really feels like I have lost a part of myself in losing her.  Sometimes, I feel like I am starting to let go, and then something like this happens and I wonder if I am really getting anywhere at all.

I've been thinking tonight about The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway.  I think Hemingway would understand all this.  He would get it.  So, I have been thinking of this passage from that short story.  It seems to sum up so much of what I am feeling.

Excerpt
He thought about lone in Constatinople that time, having quarrelled in Paris before he had gone out.  He had whored the whole time and then, when that was over, and he had failed to kill his lonliness, but only made it worse, he had written her, the first one, the one who left him, a letter telling her how he had never been able to kill it... . How when he thought he saw her outside the Regence one time it made him go all faint and sick inside, and that he would follow a woman who looked like her in some way, along the Boulevard, afraid to see it was not she, afraid to lose the feeling it gave him.  How every one he had slept with had only made him miss her more.  How what she had done could never matter since he knew he could not cure himself of loving her.  He wrote this letter at the Club, cold sober, and mailed it to New York asking her to write him at the office in Paris.  That seemed safe.  And that night missing her so much it made him feel hollow sick inside, he wandered up past Maxim's, picked a girl up and took her out to supper.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm looking for in posting this here.  I don't expect anyone to have any magic answers.  I suppose I just needed to get this out.  I haven't told anyone, except all of you just now.  Detaching from a BPD ex really is a difficult road.  Even when I think I realize how steep the climb is, I am still often surprised at just how hard the way really is.

Thanks all.  The storm will eventually quiet.  We'll get through this.  Together.

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corraline
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 11:16:50 PM »

Here for you cosmonaut   

I feel the same way too. The part where i feel like he is always with me every day in my heart and my head , wondering if the pain of him not being with me anymore will ever cease to exist.

I guess it's all part of the grieving process.

You'll get through this cosmo

another poster said to me recently ... . you are stronger than you know.

i believe this to be true for you too.

take care of yourself especially now.


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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 11:28:03 PM »

I've been triggered lately and I can feel myself sinking again.  I'm not a mess, but I definitely feel I've backslid a bit.  The ruminations have been steadily increasing the past few days.  I'm preoccupied.  Brooding.  Irritable.  Troubled sleeping.  

I can identify a couple of triggers.  The big one, however: I saw a picture of her.  On Facebook.  One that I hadn't at all expected.  Someone we both know posted it and she was in the background.  I went cold when I saw her.  All the emotions came flooding back.  I haven't seen or talked to my ex in 5 months, and it has been agony for me.  We have been absolutely no contact.  All that time I have thought of her every single day.  She's never really gone from my thoughts;  even when I am busy with something else she's sort of always there waiting just off stage.  She haunts me.  I have so desperately wanted to know if she is alright these long past months.  If she's ok.  There is genuine cause to be concerned - she has more problems than I can count.  I have prayed and prayed for just one call, one letter, one text from her.  Just to know she's alive and ok.  And now there she was.  Alive indeed.  Staring away from the camera - caught accidentally in the frame.  I couldn't stop staring at her.  I can see the scene in my minds eye as clear as if I was looking at it now.  It has seriously triggered me.

 

I just can't even believe how crazy this entire experience has been.  I can not believe how deeply this woman got into me.  She hasn't left a part of me untouched.  It really feels like I have lost a part of myself in losing her.  Sometimes, I feel like I am starting to let go, and then something like this happens and I wonder if I am really getting anywhere at all.

I've been thinking tonight about The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway.  I think Hemingway would understand all this.  He would get it.  So, I have been thinking of this passage from that short story.  It seems to sum up so much of what I am feeling.

Excerpt
He thought about lone in Constatinople that time, having quarrelled in Paris before he had gone out.  He had whored the whole time and then, when that was over, and he had failed to kill his lonliness, but only made it worse, he had written her, the first one, the one who left him, a letter telling her how he had never been able to kill it... . How when he thought he saw her outside the Regence one time it made him go all faint and sick inside, and that he would follow a woman who looked like her in some way, along the Boulevard, afraid to see it was not she, afraid to lose the feeling it gave him.  How every one he had slept with had only made him miss her more.  How what she had done could never matter since he knew he could not cure himself of loving her.  He wrote this letter at the Club, cold sober, and mailed it to New York asking her to write him at the office in Paris.  That seemed safe.  And that night missing her so much it made him feel hollow sick inside, he wandered up past Maxim's, picked a girl up and took her out to supper.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm looking for in posting this here.  I don't expect anyone to have any magic answers.  I suppose I just needed to get this out.  I haven't told anyone, except all of you just now.  :)etaching from a BPD ex really is a difficult road.  Even when I think I realize how steep the climb is, I am still often surprised at just how hard the way really is.

Thanks all.  The storm will eventually quiet.  We'll get through this.  Together.

Trust me, I can relate... . and Ive read most of Hemingway's novels. Thank the gods you didnt let her recycle you 4 times like I allowed. And I know you KNOW its better that you have had no contact. This is ALL in your head, because like mine... yours is giving you about as much thought that she would a toaster.

Get seriously angry again... . remember what she did to you. Remember it.

“Some of think that holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it’s letting go.” – Herman Hesse

“I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays, no just for tomorrow, but in the here and now. Keep moving and forget the post mortems; and remember, no one can get the jump on the future.” – Carl Sandburg

“Don’t allow someone not worth it to have the power to occupy your thoughts. If they don’t find you worth the effort or the time, why should you waste yours?” – Donna Lynn Hope

“What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else.” – Stephanie Klein

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” – Walter Anderson

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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 12:31:07 AM »

I don't have much by way of advice but have some hugs from me, dude. Hang onto the thought that you'll work through all the discombobulating bits eventually. I guess it is all part of the process.
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 01:06:02 AM »

Cosmo, I was triggered this past weekend by friends who monitor my uBPDx's FB slamming her and talking about the foolish things my replacement was posting, and then saying how my Ex was posting all the great things he did for her (I guess public devaluation of me, though I blocked her back in Nov because I was sick f seeing the not so subtle devaluations of me in between her posting pics of our kids). It was guys getting together, I couldn't stop the short exchange. They thought "slamming the ex" helped me, but it did the opposite.

I felt super depressed the entire night, especially hanging out with the intact families with kids, unlike mine. I never felt so freaking alone  :'(

As tough as it is, accept those feelings; the wounds are still fresh, and wounds they are. Eventually, our wounds will turn into scars, and we will own those scars as survivors. As you say, we will get through this. Together.
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 01:32:08 AM »

Facebook is a scourge for the recovering isn't it? I wish I could let it go forever but I'm scared of losing contact with many people.
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 01:57:17 AM »

Hi cosmonaut,

I'm sorry. Your going through the most difficult part of detachment. This is excruciatingly difficult.  I can relate, the ruminations, worrying if she's going to be OK, missing her, couldn't read, couldn't watch TV, I had bronchitis for 2 1/2 months, all I could think about was her, she was the one that had initially cut me off and went no contact. Absolutely painful to stop talking with someone, as if you ceased existing, I didn't realize how connected I was with her.

I just can't even believe how crazy this entire experience has been.  I can not believe how deeply this woman got into me.  She hasn't left a part of me untouched.  It really feels like I have lost a part of myself in losing her.



You are grieving cosmonaut. I can relate to this. I had never felt a pain as deep as if it penetrated right to my core.  Most painful experience in my life, only overshadowed by the death of my mother.  

I wonder if I am really getting anywhere at all.



You are healing. Stay the course  cosmonaut, you will be OK. It gets better.

Excerpt
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you." - Rumi.

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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 04:32:26 AM »

I just can't even believe how crazy this entire experience has been.  I can not believe how deeply this woman got into me.  She hasn't left a part of me untouched.  It really feels like I have lost a part of myself in losing her.  Sometimes, I feel like I am starting to let go, and then something like this happens and I wonder if I am really getting anywhere at all.

It's been really weird processing all of this and moving through the stages. I'm about 6months NC and I'm finding it sad when I feel like I AM moving on and letting go even though all I've been hoping for is for the pain to go away. It's so sticky. Like emotional fly paper. When i feel like i'm actually turning my back on having her decision to drop me from her existence and what that created in me emotionally, I feel guilty because I feel like I'm becoming cold and calloused like her. Logically I know this isn't the case as I've actually been FACING my co-dependence and getting to the reality of the situation. I think the more i let go, the scarier it is to think that I need to stand on my own and be defined by nothing but my own actions and the feelings that I choose to embrace and cultivate through healthier endeavors rather than the feelings she "created" in me.

Feels like even when you're winning you're losing. I've never really been physically beaten badly, but i would imagine this is the emotional equivalent of taking a major ass whooping that you kind of deserved or at least didn't do everything you could to avoid, and coming out of it realizing it doesn't kill you but that you don't really want to repeat it ever again due to how long and uncomfortable the healing process is.
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 04:42:28 AM »

Facebook is a scourge for the recovering isn't it? I wish I could let it go forever but I'm scared of losing contact with many people.

At first i was so hurt and upset that she and most of her whole messed up family de-friended me on FB but there are so many parts of her "splitting" that I'm grateful for, because i would never have had the sense to do it myself. Which has been a creepy part of this too as her detachment behavior is in many ways the healthy way to let go and move on. It's like using snake venom as the antidote to a self induced snake bite. It works.

One of the last things she said to me was, "This is for the best, you'll see." Ugh, she's so right, but so wrong.

A thought I keep having when i think about all of this is "yeah i'm being forced to grow into a stronger person because of this, but couldn't i have got the encouragement to grow from a loving person and come out just as strong without all the chaos and pain?"
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 05:50:05 AM »

I just want to say that I identify with all the posts on this page. Thank you everyone for being so honest and posting your real feelings without any false bravado.
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Should I stay or...
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 06:53:38 AM »

Hi Cosmo,

I felt the pain in your words, I'm sorry you were reminded of her and it stirred up all of love's emotions again. As I read your post it reminded me of a Jackson Browne song, Fountain Of Sorrow:

Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer

I was taken by a photograph of you

There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more

But they didn't show your spirit quite as true

You were turning 'round to see who was behind you

And I took your childish laughter by surprise

And at the moment that my camera happened to find you

There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes

Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small

Though it hasn't really been that long a time

What I was seeing wasn't what was happening at all

Although for a while, our path did seem to climb

When you see through love's illusions, there lies the danger

And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool

So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger

While the loneliness seems to spring from your life

Like a fountain from a pool

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light

You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight

You've had to hide sometimes, but now you're all right

And it's good to see your smiling face tonight

Now for you and me it may not be that hard to reach our dreams

But that magic feeling never seems to last

And while the future's there for anyone to change, still you know it seems

It would be easier sometimes to change the past

I'm just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you

In my lessons at love's pain and heartache school

Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you

There's this loneliness springing up from your life

Like a fountain from a pool




Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light

You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight

You've had to hide sometimes but now you're all right

And it's good to see your smiling face tonight

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light

You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight

You've had to struggle, you've had to fight

To keep understanding and compassion in sight

You could be laughing at me, you've got the right

But you go on smiling so clear and so bright

These lyrics have helped me through the pain and sorrow of a lost love, I hope they are helpful for you as well... .
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 09:28:17 AM »

Triggers are part of the Trauma-Bond and PTSD.  A soldier from IRAQ might respond strongly to a garbage can on the side of the road, because of the fact that they might have to avoid IEDs.

The triggers get better over time if we work at recovery.  Going to therapy and doing mindfulness meditation work with a local group has helped me a lot. 

I've learned that it's not being triggered that counts.  Everyone has triggers. Getting triggered is neutral, neither good nor bad.   It's the how we respond to the trigger that determines in the long run if we will recover or if it will get worse.

I try to respond to the triggers with recovery.  Even if the response is simply to take a deep breath, lean into the pain, say a prayer for myself and my ex, feel the emotion, and do my best to work through the grieving process.

It's not easy, but it has helped me to be a better person than I was before the interaction.

T

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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2014, 11:02:24 AM »

I truly feel the pain here as well.  I really think it might be some sort of PTSD.  I think a certain about of "triggering" is normal after a breakup, but the amount of it that we have all experienced with these relationships goes beyond the normal I think.  For example I was driving down the road last week and thinking how great I was doing and how I think I could handle running into my ex without any problems now.  Than about 5 seconds after that thought I saw a car and thought it was her.  I had the feeling come over me that everyone has had (the feeling right before you get in a car accident).  IT WASN'T EVEN HER CAR!

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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2014, 12:44:15 PM »

Triggers are part of the Trauma-Bond and PTSD.  A soldier from IRAQ might respond strongly to a garbage can on the side of the road, because of the fact that they might have to avoid IEDs.

The triggers get better over time if we work at recovery.  Going to therapy and doing mindfulness meditation work with a local group has helped me a lot. 

I've learned that it's not being triggered that counts.  Everyone has triggers. Getting triggered is neutral, neither good nor bad.   It's the how we respond to the trigger that determines in the long run if we will recover or if it will get worse.

I try to respond to the triggers with recovery.  Even if the response is simply to take a deep breath, lean into the pain, say a prayer for myself and my ex, feel the emotion, and do my best to work through the grieving process.

It's not easy, but it has helped me to be a better person than I was before the interaction.

T

I totally agree, Tausk!

3+ years post-breakup, 2+ since I've seen/had any substantive interaction with him, going on 17 months NC, having moved a 1000 miles away and blocked every possible means he can make contact or I can even hear about him from anyone else ... . I still find myself triggered far more often than I'd like to be/wish I were.

With the help of my therapist (and, of course, all the information, advice, comments, and support I get here, too!  Smiling (click to insert in post)), I've gotten pretty good at not being as freaked out by it as I was before. I step back, take a deep breath, open myself up to it, lean into whatever I find there, wait myself out until I stop intellectualizing/distancing myself from what's really going on, feel that, process it, and, if necessary, use SET or even DEARMAN to help myself let it go.

It's only been by doing that consistently - not ignoring, avoiding, dismissing, marginalizing it or making myself feel guilty/ashamed of still being triggered in the first place - that I've been able to get at - and actually validate for myself - all that deep/dark fear upon which my entire relationship with my ex was actually based.

Two things that have really helped make dealing with my triggers in this way more effective than I think it otherwise would have been for me.

First, regardless of how freaked out I actually am, I force myself to step back - ask myself if this is a good time for me to deal with this (sometimes it isn't) - and get my own permission to do so (which doesn't always happen, btw!). Just validating the fact that I do have a choice makes a huge difference: acknowledges and reaffirms that I and my feelings, thoughts, needs, desires, comfort and safety do have value and deserve to be taken into consideration at least, if not most importantly, by me - which, of course, is and always has been a big part of my problem in the first place.

Second, weird as it may seem, I always sit down to do it. Always. Thought this was the stupidest thing my therapist ever suggested, but, by golly, she was right (as usual). By sitting down to deal with being triggered, my brain makes an association between the two that - I don't know - allows or helps it get ready to do that - or maybe it recognizes that sitting down is the first sign that help/relief from what I'm feeling is on its way, so it starts to relax a little and calm itself down. I don't know. Something CBT related, but really helpful in the long run.

It is a process. Don't know if I'll ever stop being triggered, but I'm definitely grateful to have been given the tools to deal with it a lot better than I ever did in the past.

Is there a pattern to what you feel/where your thoughts go when you're triggered? Thinking about that - instead of what/why you were triggered in the first place - might be a way to start turning this around for yourself.

Hang in there. All the best,

TC

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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2014, 01:18:48 PM »

Thanks, everyone.  I appreciate the support.  It helps to talk with people who can really understand.  That's something I don't have otherwise.  My friends don't quite appreciate how deeply this has affected me, and they don't fully understand why this has been so traumatic.  Even my therapist doesn't fully get it.  I suppose one has to live it to know it.  Anyway, thanks.  Wish I could buy all of you a beer.

be strong . I have been going to the gym quite a bit and taking my anger out on the weights. that seems to help a bit.

I don't know how long it's going to take to stop missing my ex either.  I suspect in some way I will always miss her.  I love her, and that is not something that ever completely dies.  Still, eventually the hurt will subside, and I need that to happen.  I  hope it will be relatively soon for both of us.

Yes, working out has been very helpful for me too.  Staying busy helps.  It's when I'm alone with my thoughts that the pain is worst.

I feel the same way too. The part where i feel like he is always with me every day in my heart and my head , wondering if the pain of him not being with me anymore will ever cease to exist.

Thanks, corraline.   

I do think I will always carry my ex inside of me.  She was a very significant part of my life for a time.  I love her.  I expected to marry her.  That, at least, I know was real and it happened.  I don't think I will ever forget her or the way I cherished her.  Maybe you feel the same.  I do worry, however, that maybe I won't be able to move on, and that is a frightening thought.

Honestly, I don't want to give up on us.  I want to work things out together.  I don't want to give up on her.  I just don't have any choice in the matter.  She's made the decision for us, and she refuses to try.  I pleaded with her to not give up on our love, to work with me to get through this.  I promised her I would help her in whatever way she needed to overcome the issues she was having.  If she needed me to change, I would.  She said she just can't do this anymore, and she doesn't even want to try anymore.  That this has nothing to do with what I did or didn't do.  She said she was sorry, but she wasn't going to change her mind.  She begged me to just move on.  I don't expect this will change or that she will come back.  I think things are too messy now and there's too much shame.  In some twisted way, I think she felt like she was saving me from herself.  I don't think that she really understands what love is.  She doesn't get that when people love you they aren't going to give up on you no matter what.  She doesn't understand that.  People don't just move on and forget someone they truly love.

Trust me, I can relate... . and Ive read most of Hemingway's novels. Thank the gods you didnt let her recycle you 4 times like I allowed. And I know you KNOW its better that you have had no contact. This is ALL in your head, because like mine... yours is giving you about as much thought that she would a toaster.

Get seriously angry again... . remember what she did to you. Remember it.

I know you can relate, Split black, and I appreciate your support and understanding.  In some ways it might be easier to have no contact, because I know, for certain, that I would take her back in an instant if she asked.  I know that may be so sick of me, and in some way I know I would be setting myself up for even more heartbreak, and yet I know I'd do it.  I know it.  So, I suppose that has made it easier.  In some other ways, I think it is harder.  To just have someone you love disappear in the blink of an eye - gone forever - has been extremely hard to take.  It has broken my heart.  Shattered is more like.

I am angry.  A part of me is furiously angry with my ex.  You are right:  she isn't giving me a thought.  She's throwing me under the bus, because she refuses to face her problems.  This is not the way you treat someone you love.  I understand that she has a disorder and she is very sick, but that does not entirely absolve her either.  We talked so many times about her need to get some help, but in the end she just wouldn't ever do it.  I think she's afraid.  She's afraid to face all that pain inside, and afraid to let anyone else see it.  It's easier to just run.  I gave and gave and gave to her.  I did so willingly.  I held nothing back.  It was a gift and it was done in love.  I am so angry with her, however, that the one single thing that I asked her to do is to try.  That's it.  I asked nothing more.  She refused to do even that.  Yes, I am angry with her.

I don't have much by way of advice but have some hugs from me, dude. Hang onto the thought that you'll work through all the discombobulating bits eventually. I guess it is all part of the process.

Thanks, RedSky.  I am hanging on.  This too will pass.  Eventually.   

I'm sorry. Your going through the most difficult part of detachment. This is excruciatingly difficult.  I can relate, the ruminations, worrying if she's going to be OK, missing her, couldn't read, couldn't watch TV, I had bronchitis for

2 1/2 months, all I could think about was her, she was the one that had initially cut me off and went no contact. Absolutely painful to stop talking with someone, as if you ceased existing, I didn't realize how connected I was with her.

The pain of this has been surreal.  I can't believe how much this has rocked my world, and how unexpected it has been.  I never dreamed we would come to this.  I thought we were completely committed to each other and we would overcome anything together.  I didn't realize the she is unwilling (incapable?) to do that.  I'm sorry to hear about all you went through.  It does sound very familiar, and I can sympathize with how searing the pain is.

Cosmo, I was triggered this past weekend by friends who monitor my uBPDx's FB slamming her and talking about the foolish things my replacement was posting, and then saying how my Ex was posting all the great things he did for her (I guess public devaluation of me, though I blocked her back in Nov because I was sick f seeing the not so subtle devaluations of me in between her posting pics of our kids). It was guys getting together, I couldn't stop the short exchange. They thought "slamming the ex" helped me, but it did the opposite.

I felt super depressed the entire night, especially hanging out with the intact families with kids, unlike mine. I never felt so freaking alone   :'(

I know exactly what you mean.  I've felt the very same way in a group of friends that are all happily coupled up.  Painfully, acutely alone.  That's been triggering for me too.  I'm sorry you are experiencing that, man.  It's horrible.  I know.  :'(

I also very much dislike when anyone attacks my ex.  It touches off something inside me.  I suppose I still feel fiercely protective of her.  As angry as I am with her, it is a deeply personal anger, and not one that I take any comfort in others joining in.  My feelings are just so complicated about all this.  I know what you mean, though, about good intentions only making it worse.

At first i was so hurt and upset that she and most of her whole messed up family de-friended me on FB but there are so many parts of her "splitting" that I'm grateful for, because i would never have had the sense to do it myself. Which has been a creepy part of this too as her detachment behavior is in many ways the healthy way to let go and move on. It's like using snake venom as the antidote to a self induced snake bite. It works.

One of the last things she said to me was, "This is for the best, you'll see." Ugh, she's so right, but so wrong.

That's quite profound about the snake venom analogy.  I know I couldn't have stayed no contact with her if she hadn't forced it.  I care about her too much.

I too think that my ex felt like she was freeing me by breaking up.  She was definitely being selfish too (she said that herself), but she also pleaded with me to let her go and not give up my dreams.  She kept saying she's just too messed up to be able to have a relationship and she's sorry for all the pain she's caused me.  She has no idea what real love is.  That love us constant even in the worst of times.

I just want to say that I identify with all the posts on this page. Thank you everyone for being so honest and posting your real feelings without any false bravado.

I too appreciate everyone's honesty and openness.  It does help to know I am not alone.  It gives me strength.  I think I'd be a total mess without you all.

I felt the pain in your words, I'm sorry you were reminded of her and it stirred up all of love's emotions again. As I read your post it reminded me of a Jackson Browne song, Fountain Of Sorrow

Thanks for that, Should.  It does speak to what I am feeling.  Appreciate it, man.


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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2014, 01:54:50 PM »

Triggers are part of the Trauma-Bond and PTSD.  A soldier from IRAQ might respond strongly to a garbage can on the side of the road, because of the fact that they might have to avoid IEDs.

The triggers get better over time if we work at recovery.  Going to therapy and doing mindfulness meditation work with a local group has helped me a lot.

I think you are right, Tausk - this was/is a trauma-bond and I'm fairly certain I have some sort of PTSD.  This was not a normal relationship and it has not been a normal break-up.

Yes, working in therapy is helping.  We are dealing with many of my FOO issues: my NPD mother, distant father, my feelings of invisibility as a child,and  my own invalidating childhood environment.  In some ways, I don't know that I am so different from my ex.  Perhaps it is a matter of degree, more than a clear cut distinction.  I have my own abandonment fears.  Like her I wear a hard outer shell to protect the painfully sensitive inside.  I've even asked my therapist if I might be BPD.  She's assured me she doesn't think so, she's certain I'm highly codependent.  Yet, I think my ex and I did have a certain understanding of each other and it helped to form our incredibly loaded bond.  The trouble now is how to break it.

I truly feel the pain here as well.  I really think it might be some sort of PTSD.  I think a certain about of "triggering" is normal after a breakup, but the amount of it that we have all experienced with these relationships goes beyond the normal I think.  For example I was driving down the road last week and thinking how great I was doing and how I think I could handle running into my ex without any problems now.  Than about 5 seconds after that thought I saw a car and thought it was her.  I had the feeling come over me that everyone has had (the feeling right before you get in a car accident).  IT WASN'T EVEN HER CAR!

I thought I could handle seeing her too, let alone a picture of her.  I've been a little surprised at my own response.  The effect this woman has on me is unreal.  It's crazy, isn't it?  I think it has shown just how attached I remain to her, and it is proving to not break easily.  It's not something I can just turn off.  So, I know exactly what you mean.

With the help of my therapist (and, of course, all the information, advice, comments, and support I get here, too!  Smiling (click to insert in post)), I've gotten pretty good at not being as freaked out by it as I was before. I step back, take a deep breath, open myself up to it, lean into whatever I find there, wait myself out until I stop intellectualizing/distancing myself from what's really going on, feel that, process it, and, if necessary, use SET or even DEARMAN to help myself let it go.

It's only been by doing that consistently - not ignoring, avoiding, dismissing, marginalizing it or making myself feel guilty/ashamed of still being triggered in the first place - that I've been able to get at - and actually validate for myself - all that deep/dark fear upon which my entire relationship with my ex was actually based.

Two things that have really helped make dealing with my triggers in this way more effective than I think it otherwise would have been for me.

Thank you for those tips, talithacumi.  I hadn't heard of the sitting down before.  I'll have to try it.

Is there a pattern?  I'm not sure.  I've noticed specific triggers.  Certain dates, places, songs.  Also seeing other happy couples.  Weddings.  Also, another very powerful and very negative trigger are any news stories about abuse, domestic violence, or some other things.  That really gets me agitated.  Angry.  My therapist suspects it's some sort of secondary trauma from watching how overcome and hysterical my ex could get about some things from her past.  Seeing how profoundly it affected her and how traumatized she was.  It left a mark on me.  If a story comes on the news I'll change the channel.  I'll stop reading a news story about it.  So, I guess anything that reminds me of her.  Maybe that's the pattern?
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2014, 02:23:21 PM »

The pain of this has been surreal.  I can't believe how much this has rocked my world, and how unexpected it has been.  I never dreamed we would come to this.  I thought we were completely committed to each other and we would overcome anything together.  I didn't realize the she is unwilling (incapable?) to do that.  I'm sorry to hear about all you went through.  It does sound very familiar, and I can sympathize with how searing the pain is.

I'm also sorry for you cosmonaut. In bold, I can't articulate this any better brother. This is exactly the space I was in a year ago, it almost brings tears to my eyes reading your post because of how painful it was, in 40 years I never encountered anything like this. Pain day in and day out, non-stop. These wounds will heal cosmonaut, they will make you stronger.
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2014, 02:38:36 PM »

I truly feel the pain here as well.  I really think it might be some sort of PTSD.  I think a certain about of "triggering" is normal after a breakup, but the amount of it that we have all experienced with these relationships goes beyond the normal I think.  For example I was driving down the road last week and thinking how great I was doing and how I think I could handle running into my ex without any problems now.  Than about 5 seconds after that thought I saw a car and thought it was her.  I had the feeling come over me that everyone has had (the feeling right before you get in a car accident).  IT WASN'T EVEN HER CAR!

I do this too. Doesn't have to even be the same color. Brings up unconscious resentment and repulsion, but it doesn't last as long anymore. It's especially a trigger for me because her car payment was literally the ONLY thing she ever stayed current with even when she was getting evicted w her 2 kids right before Christmas. All part of her image while she ignored everything good in her life.

I wonder how long it will take before i just see them as another car and not feel it in my gut.
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2014, 11:09:07 PM »

"I truly feel the pain here as well.  I really think it might be some sort of PTSD.  I think a certain about of "triggering" is normal after a breakup, but the amount of it that we have all experienced with these relationships goes beyond the normal I think.  For example I was driving down the road last week and thinking how great I was doing and how I think I could handle running into my ex without any problems now.  Than about 5 seconds after that thought I saw a car and thought it was her.  I had the feeling come over me that everyone has had (the feeling right before you get in a car accident).  IT WASN'T EVEN HER CAR!"

I thought I could handle seeing her too, let alone a picture of her.  I've been a little surprised at my own response.  The effect this woman has on me is unreal.  It's crazy, isn't it?  I think it has shown just how attached I remain to her, and it is proving to not break easily.  It's not something I can just turn off.  So, I know exactly what you mean.

Cosmonaut...

In reading these posts above and others in this thread it is amazing the understanding we all have on this website.   It is very similar to my AA meetings... . which tells me that we have outright addiction to these people.  It is the same.  The pain of this is worse than drugs or alcohol withdraw and it lasts a lot longer.  The shared pain is our bond here and it let's us all help one another and heal.  People who have not been through it cannot really understand.
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