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Author Topic: Have I become a symbol? - Looking for insight after return of Ex  (Read 779 times)
Mr.R.Indignation

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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 43


« on: February 04, 2017, 09:18:56 AM »

I'll use this as an opportunity to vent. Feel free to ramble yourselves - hopefully y'all can share if you've had any similar experiences!

So I started posting here in... .October? My ex had said she really regretted losing me 'even as a friend' yadda yadda, you can find a rant about it via my profile. I had contact with her for... .probably only about a week or two over fairly consistent IMs and phonecalls before eventually saying 'nope, this isn't right.' I felt pretty used and there was still a lot on my mind.

I was getting sucked in by certain aspects but it was all a little strange, so leaving was easy enough. I did get a little... .sorrowful (privately) about leaving, just because there were still fleeting moments where I could see aspects of the friend I'd had before the bad times. She didn't seem to understand why we could never speak again, but I didn't really explain. There were a lot of 'wait, what, but never-ever-ever?'s and eventually she just casually said 'well, anyway, if that's what you want.' And it was! So I said goodbye.

Here's where it gets a little shameful, although I still feel it was the right thing to do. Around a week after leaving I thought I should probably explain to her WHY I left and actually use the fact that I was never going to see her again to be upfront about things. It'd allow me to get some catharsis and maybe if she took some of it on board it'd help.

Naturally she misunderstood a few points, shot it down saying 'I'm a little hurt you think this about me, I'm pretty sure this is all just the first thing to come into your head' (first thing that came into my head before was taking at her word but that rarely seemed to add up, so y'know). It was surprisingly gentle, and still to this day I am shocked that she said 'I can understand why you'd think I want attention from guys.' When I'd mentioned attention I meant from people in general, but either way, the fact she compromised like that was un-ex-pected to say the least!

I followed it up with another message that elaborated in different, more simple terms and I focused more on my issues than hers (I figured that would be a better approach). She said she accepted and understood why we couldn't be in contact, and I didn't reply because, well... .everything that needed to be said had been said.

Then, Christmas! A whole month had passed with no contact. But low and behold I got the 'Merry Christmas xx.' And like most people who get that message from an ex my 'what the heck?' was subdued by seasonal cheer and the feeling that I'd be a barbarian if I didn't say it back. Of course, after I replied (adding 'and a Happy New Year' as a subtle attempt to hint I wouldn't be saying anything on New Years), she tried to strike up a conversation with me which I ignored.

Another month passes. This time, the message I get is at a crucial point. THE night before, I was talking to my closest friend asking them to make sure I don't contact her around February as although I know better I'd started to build up that positive image that comes from time apart and old memories. I'd kept a picture of the two of us - even if I don't want to look at it most of the time, something about having it existing is a reminder that it was all real, the good and the bad, so it's still around. As I was scrolling through old photos, just after I'd happened upon it and looked whimsically for a minute, she contacted me saying her dog had just had to be put down.

Yikes.

God has a lot of explaining to do.

Where does this timing come from? No kidding, I'm beginning to think I have super powers, because it seems like every time I see a picture of someone I'm attracted to they pop into my life shortly afterwards. Justification for my superpowers existing requires more stories than this one, though. :P

So I replied. Because how could I not? The dog really did mean the world to her, and as it turns out it was very sudden and very harrowing. Fits, paralysis, blood coming from the poor thing's eyes and nose, etc etc.

Of course I knew this was also just a way to get back into contact with me. It turns out a lot of her 'friends,' children in adult skin, have turned their backs on her recently, which could explain Christmas too.

What I really don't understand is that after going to the effort to talk to me, after breaking social boundaries and having to wait until a crisis like her dog dying to get into contact with me, why is it so hard to have any kind of conversation with her?

It's like she gives me half of her stories - the bare bones information so I can be a wheelbarrow for all the crisis in her life - but doesn't actually talk about anything in detail as she'd used to do. Is this a way of staying removed, either for fear of arguments or fear of becoming attached, or maybe just lack of interest in expending the energy? Whatever's said is almost all just a list of bad stuff that's happened and the notes on her calendar unless I further the conversation somehow.

So what's my purpose? Have I become symbolic of positive feelings, so possessing me, despite not having the same level of interaction we used to, is like owning happiness?

I know she tries to stay in contact with other exes too. I'm wondering if she might even be back together with one. However she has problematic dynamics with them that wouldn't resemble the same kind of dynamic we have, so I'm wondering if she comes back to me because even when I've been critical I've consistently been supportive, polite and friendly? In addition she felt closer to me than she has with a lot of people, as that was part of the reason she started getting uncomfortable, whereas with certain others... .well, for instance, both sadly and hilariously she would never even toot in front of them.

She'd mentioned at the end of the relationship that she feels a family type love/bond for me with romantic feelings, which to me sounds like perfect love, but I wonder if to her it meant that we were familiar enough I could no longer be the person to rescue her as the void was still eating up her happiness. Maybe that's why PDPs get involved with abusers so frequently? If they can be the victim and try to fix someone then they have a reason to think they might get happy being with them, even though the person is incredibly unlikely to bring the happiness. In the good stages she'd often say to me 'you deserve to be with someone else happy. Someone who's all happy like you!' Stands out to me now more than then. Would that reinforce the theory?

She said I'm the only person who's understood her. I'm pretty sure she's being sincere given how everyone else seems to treat her. Is she coming to me because I'm the only consistent friend/loved one she's had?

It's all really confusing and it makes me feel a little bad that I want to find an opportunity to leave again. I'd be fine with friendship if I was actually getting something out of it, but as ever it seems the pwPD lassos you not so they can drag you along, but so you know how far away you should be when you're encouraged to follow.

Any similar experiences out there? Why does this happen? Why keep in contact with EVERYONE, when they seem to be more 'spiritually' reliant on you for some kind of happiness? Why try to close the gap only to keep their distance? Why have some level of realisation but not act on it productively?
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valet
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 962


« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 11:24:31 AM »

Why not ask the same questions you're asking about her... .about yourself?

It takes two to tango.
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Rayban
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 502


« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 12:24:46 PM »

Point blank ... .you are available to her. I'm going to be blunt, but she feels shes got you. Game over. 
You are now the guy on the side. She will get to you when she wants or needs you. In the mean time she's out meeting new people.  They will also believe that they are special to her.

Keep it up, and you'll put your life on standby waiting for her, while she is out finding other validation tools.
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Soulcrushed4
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Posts: 52


« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 12:48:12 PM »

From my perspective my ex liked to keep people around as tools in a toolbox to pull out as needed.

Could be an attempt to initiate some form of triangle/jealousy between his latest mark or sell some story about his latest "crazy ex", or appear/feel popular by having people contacting him, or as a bank account or a place to leave/store stuff or to bait or engage with either positively or negatively, or as a way to validate his self sabatoge or victimhood or sense of being abandoned or rejected.

Ie: my ex would often reach out to me and if I was busy with the kids or work off he'd trot to his affair partner indicating he had been rejected by me so it was justified because what else was he to do.

Or he would poke at and bait his ex wife & former mark and then when she finally reacted he could support his supposed "crazy ex" /crazy ex "friend" story - conveniently leaving out his part in initiating the drama.

I don't miss it. Sadly I know I am the one he is now telling those stories about to the next me as he has done for 4 years whenever it suited his purpose.

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Kelli Cornett
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 398



« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 12:57:45 PM »

Why not ask the same questions you're asking about her... .about yourself?

It takes two to tango.


Totally what I was thinking.
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Ronald E Cornett, Kelli Cornet, Kelley Lyne Freeman,

kellicornett@hotmail.com, kelfreemanfreeman@aol.com, kelleyfree@yahoo.com
Mr.R.Indignation

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
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Posts: 43


« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 04:52:52 PM »

Why not ask the same questions you're asking about her... .about yourself?

It takes two to tango.

I do (fortunately) realise I can't have the close friendship back. I know I can't be open with her, I don't think she's going to make me happy just because she's made me smile a few more times. Usually by voicing my concern to somebody else, I'll re-realise pretty quickly that it doesn't make sense for us to talk. It's like seeing a fancy house at a low price - you want to buy it, it's relatively cheap, but you know you can't afford it anyway.

I'm in contact because she seems intent on being in contact, I'm sticking around because I feel there's a grace period after the death, and I want to leave because there doesn't appear to be a reason for me to stay. I guess I still care about her feelings generally, which is the reason a grace period feels important; she doesn't have bad intentions, just bad ideas. As an ulterior motive I definitely want some kind of clarification because I struggle to get a handle on curiosity. After being on the receiving end of the anger the 'normal' behaviour makes much less sense, and I start to wonder about the motivations.

And that's about it for my complexity.

I'm pretty much over the wounds, I'm just not over the confusion and frustration. She said she wants back the fun of the dynamic we used to have and I think that's sincere, but for one thing a lot of that was on the back of romance, and for another it can't work if her contributions typically involve yes, no or one solitary adjective. This is a pet peeve of mine with small talk, so the fact I've been invited to take part in a form of higher exchange and it's happening has me exasperated.

E.g, under everyday circumstances, if I ask you how your holiday was because you've just mentioned having been abroad, don't just say 'good,' tell me what was good about it! Give me an anecdote! Articulate! THIS IS WHY YOU WERE MADE TO DO SHOW AND TELL IN SCHOOL. Why'd you mention being away if you didn't have something to say? Arghhhh!

And that's about it for my complex.

There's no apparent reason she wants to talk to me - she doesn't have any follow-ups beyond the headline statements, she's not looking to share anything she wouldn't over social media. It doesn't even seem like I'm a tool, although I've always felt the below was more or less the reason for interaction.

Could be an attempt to initiate some form of triangle/jealousy between his latest mark

validate his self sabatoge or victimhood or sense of being abandoned or rejected


I'm the only non-abuser she's been with, and her friends are shallow a-holes. The validation is likely to be a reason, and as for the triangle I'd assume she'd contact me as an act of private spite against the people who've hurt her. I guess this is where answering my own questions comes into play? Not so much an 'am I' thing as an 'I am'? I am consistently supportive so it's my fault for reinforcing the behaviour and maintaining a pattern of somehow being responsible for her wellbeing when she feels crappy about her social life.

It's still really perplexing! I call the phenomenon keychaining, because it's not even about being used in any grandiose way, it's about sitting in a pocket and jangling a little. I guess I shouldn't wail about the product of emotional instability not making any sense.

Thanks for the input, folks. That reverse questioning ended up being pretty neat! Reminded me why being firm with boundaries is so necessary.
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apollotech
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 02:57:13 AM »

Hmm, not a symbol, moreso aligned as a usable object.
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valet
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 10:23:22 AM »

I'm in contact because she seems intent on being in contact, I'm sticking around because I feel there's a grace period after the death, and I want to leave because there doesn't appear to be a reason for me to stay. I guess I still care about her feelings generally, which is the reason a grace period feels important; she doesn't have bad intentions, just bad ideas. As an ulterior motive I definitely want some kind of clarification because I struggle to get a handle on curiosity. After being on the receiving end of the anger the 'normal' behaviour makes much less sense, and I start to wonder about the motivations.

I see where you're coming from. I think that all of these things are pretty normal after a breakup. Both people are generally curious, but know that the breakup is for the best... .so they just tend to get sucked up in the rapid pace of life and drift away from each other.

I think that it's noble to want to stay in touch, but not for the reasons you've stated. That is, unless you're willing to confront her about your need for clarification.

I'd urge you to take another look at BPD behaviors and codependency. The two things interact in an odd way that often ends up enabling previous unhealthy relationship dynamics. Same dance, different shoes, so to speak.

Do these trends remind you of anything? Think big picture. You have a big conflict, some type of incident to relieve the pressure occurs, and then things are fine and dandy again. There is a reason why this is more confusing now than it was during your relationship. What is that dissonance saying to you?
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Mr.R.Indignation

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 43


« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 10:16:19 AM »

Do these trends remind you of anything? Think big picture. You have a big conflict, some type of incident to relieve the pressure occurs, and then things are fine and dandy again. There is a reason why this is more confusing now than it was during your relationship. What is that dissonance saying to you?

This gave me a lot to think about. I can't actually recall any direct pattern similar to this one, but I had noted that my three most important guardian figures all gave me the tools to be a tool, so to speak. They all exhibited different aspects of codependency, narcissism or neuroticism. However in this circumstance I don't think that caused the dynamic so much as a selfish need for validation - or as I said before, clarification. I wanted to a. alleviate guilt I still felt, b. know if she really was just using me, all because of c. I want to be able to trust in my judgement.

In addition I don't think I wanted to move on. I was still hoping for a chance at a relationship, as if she'd suddenly have some kind of revelation. She's the only person I've ever seen myself having a future with so presumably that was still tugging at me.

In any case, I'm trusting myself more now, and as far as I can tell I was just a brief stop because she'd fallen out with some people. Conversation eventually died down when she (presumably) got back together with her ex, and the last thing that happened was she sent me a picture of something new she got.

I'm not sure if it was the right move, but we hadn't spoken for a few days, maybe a week, and I realised that I was detached, so I didn't reply. I didn't really have anything to say, and her interest in conversing seems perfunctory at best (she hasn't attempted to make contact since).

In the past I gave her reasons as to why I was leaving and what I thought was going on with her emotionally (little arrogant but it was a last bid attempt to help her out and get her speaking to me honestly), including some unrivalled pathos, but she still came back. She knows how I feel and disregards it every time. I don't have any more to say about why I don't want to be around her, and I definitely don't feel like I have anything nice left to say to give it a bittersweet end. I can be very sharp so any comments I could make now would be hurtful. Thus, left things where they lay.

I do get curious, and still occasionally have the nagging desire to receive some kind of sense of appreciation as a matter of compulsory egotism, that natural 'I get along without you very well, except when soft rains fall and I recall' syndrome. But that's only ever fleeting. For the most part I feel a complete weight lifted off my shoulders. I don't really feel much, if anything, about it/her anymore so I guess I've accepted it and finally moved on.

The way I felt like I was talking to a complete stranger really made me see that I don't actually seem like her as a person, or at least I don't like who she is currently and I don't seem to know who that person is (I wonder if this is because she's reflecting aspects of the person she's currently with?). Her personality seems inconsistent beyond the more neurotic aspects, so yeah. I don't feel like I need her to justify the behaviour because I recognise what it is, and I don't want to be a part of it, so I'm... .not!

And that's that for this chapter. So thanks for being around, folks! These forums have been invaluable in getting through the turbulence.
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