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Author Topic: Ex just texted me saying he's scared. What do I do?  (Read 214 times)
WindofChange
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« on: October 13, 2020, 10:17:22 PM »

A week ago he said he was setting a boundary not to contact me anymore. I respected that. Just now he texted me and said, "I'm scared." I don't know what to do with that. Should I text his best friend and ask him to check on him? Should I email his therapist? Call 911? Answer him? Idk what to do. It's 11:15 pm here.
I want him to be safe, but Idk how to handle this.
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WindofChange
WindofChange
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 10:34:00 PM »

I debated for a while and then just responded. He has to have an MRI done tomorrow and is worried about it because of his most recent head injury. I tried to offer reassurance and keep my own feelings out of it. Hard to do, though. I did ask why text me after telling me a week ago in an email that he was setting a boundary not to communicate with me. But I told him I hoped all went well, and ended the communication civilly.
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WindofChange
Ragdolllover

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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2020, 06:11:31 AM »

I’m sorry that nobody was able to get back to you when you needed this support WoC, but it seems like you ended up making the right decision for you.

You just have to do what is right for you, if you are feeling anxious, then you should probably reply to him to help yourself. But if he pushes you too far and makes you uncomfortable, just remember to try and make yourself priority.

Pretend you are speaking to a friend in your position. What would you say to them to offer support and guidance? Easier said than done obviously, as we all know...

Offering advice and support is so much easier than practising it yourself...
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WindofChange
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 06:38:15 AM »

Thanks, Ragdollover. He apologized for texting me and bothering me. It wasn't bothering me exactly, I just didn't understand why he would contact me after the abrupt emails about setting his boundary against talking to me. But it is typical that it doesn't matter how he's hurt me in the past, if he needs reassurance, he will ask for it from me, since I have always provided it. Honestly, my first thought was that he was going to ask me to come over because he didn't want to be alone. And my first impulse would have been to go...because old habits die hard. But then I thought about that. He didn't ask, but I decided if he did that I wouldn't go. I would do what I did, empathize with his feelings of being afraid, and offer encouragement, as if talking to a client (I'm a case manager at a community mental health facility).
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be completely detached, because when he said he was sorry, I asked what he was apologizing for. When he said, "For bothering you." I said, "Oh, I thought you meant the cold, impersonal email." (Lol, oh well. I think I was justified in that small barb.) I did go on to tell him he could get through this, and that then at least he would know what he was dealing with, which is better than not knowing and fearing the worst.
I feel much calmer than I did several days ago. When I start to get upset, I remind myself that this is a person who is emotionally very immature and damaged, and who has probably injured his frontal lobe after years of banging his head against things (walls, cars, furniture) when upset. It's the illness and the head trauma. That helps me not to take it so very personally.
If I were talking to a friend about this situation, I probably would have told her to ignore the text and not respond. Sorry for the lengthy reply. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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WindofChange
Lucky Jim
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 01:53:24 PM »

Hey WofC,

What helps me is to pause and take a step back from the situation, before deciding what to do.  I've learned to disregard my knee-jerk reaction, which is to jump in and rescue.  Now I force myself to pause and look at the situation mindfully.  In general, I make myself wait a day to formulate a thoughtful response, if any is required.  Often, it turns out there is no emergency that requires immediate action.

LJ
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grumpydonut
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 11:50:12 PM »

Excerpt
I just didn't understand why he would contact me after the abrupt emails about setting his boundary against talking to me.

This is a lay person view, so take it with a grain a salt.

Perhaps the reason he contacted you is because it allows him to play the role that makes him most comfortable (victim / helpless child), while he cuts you out because it allows him to play the same role.

I've been reading into a fair bit of attachment theory as of late, and it has led to a few lightbulb moments regarding my ex and why she did what she did.

Their internal struggle of "I hate you, don't leave me" seems more like "I hate me, leave me". Again, hypothesising, but I think the fact that they always bring about what they fear the most (abandonment) yet consistently return to those they abandon days, months or even years later, tells me that while consciously they don't like abandonment, subconsciously being abandoned / or abandoning yet playing the victim - and the feelings of shame and worthlessness that come with these actions - are where they feel most comfortable.

I hear that they don't have an identity. I don't believe it. I think they identify with their weakness and sense of worthlessness.

Sorry, for the rant.
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Ragdolllover

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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2020, 05:06:52 AM »

Their internal struggle of "I hate you, don't leave me" seems more like "I hate me, leave me".

No need to apologise Grumpy, this forum was made for ranting  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

I think this really sums it up for me. That’s what I’m coming to realise happened with my ex.

I ignored the red flags at the start because I’m quite a positive person. He used to say things like, when I am sad, I want to go home because I don’t want you to see me like this. Or he would get embarrassed or angry when he failed at something. I remember one morning making us coffees he broke one of my nice glass mugs. I wasn’t bothered, accidents happen and I loved him, so I would never have said anything to him, but he got so worked up, apologising over and over, shouting at himself, calling himself names. I grabbed him and hugged him and eventually calmed him down... but in hindsight, things like this used to happen all the time. He was so hard on himself.

It’s such a sad illness, and to think, that all this behaviour comes from poor parenting or some kind of trauma... it’s really sad.

I just hope one day he can refer himself for some kind of treatment to get past this shame and self-loathing.
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WindofChange
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 07:02:50 AM »

LJ, good advice. And there was no emergency, he'd had a bad dream and was worrying about his MRI. I have always been a little impulsive, and a little quick to react, rather than respond. I've been working on that over the past few years, especially in dealing with him, and I have gotten better, but still have a long way to go.
Grumpy, I don't think it seemed like you were ranting at all, I appreciate your input. Smiling (click to insert in post)  I've read some about attachment theory as well, and you make valid points.
Ragdoll, it is so sad that these people become so damaged and then often struggle the rest of their lives, causing collateral damage as they go. My ex was physically and sexually abused for six years by his father's girlfriend. She also took him to her male clients a few times the last two years. It only ended because she and his father broke up when he was 12. It's horrifying to think about. He has seen his abuser a few times over the past several years. The last time, he got so upset he had an anxiety attack and passed out at work. It breaks my heart for him.
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WindofChange
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