Spooked by face from past

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percycat
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/27/2008 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
 
All,
 
While driving home tonight, I passed a guy I used to date, who had treated me very badly.  We broke up several years ago, but he tried to keep the lines of interest open for a while after that.  When I repeatedly refused to get reinvolved, he threatened blackmail.  (I was his superior when we began our relationship.)  I was shocked at his insane approach to rekindling a romance, immediately got professional support, and broke off all contact.  The entire relationship had been horrifically dysfunctional, but fool that I was, I made excuses, wanting to believe in the false persona he projected rather than the monster that popped out more and more often.
 
He has a relative living just a block from me, so I guess I'm lucky I haven't crossed paths before this.  Just seeing him has shaken me with fear and stirred up all kinds of imaginings that I'm too superstitiously spooked to want to list.
 
Help me get back to living in the moment, please!  And pray for me to overcome this!
 
percycat
 
 

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 7/27/2008 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Percycat,

ugh, i've been in the situation a few times. All i can say is hang in there. You will undoubtedly overcome this, no question about it. I had to take adivan a few times when this happened. Percy, a lot of things happen in our past and when we get a direct window back into it, it scares the heck out of us. Totally a normal reaction, and you're stronger now because of it. You are no longer with this loser and you will feel better soon.

dan
---
Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, Bipolar II.

"We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves."
- Pema Chodron


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/28/2008 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   

Percycat,

I know how running into someone who used to be an important person in your life can trigger anxiety but take that deep breath and remember it is in the past.

It is over and let go of it.  If you run into this toxic person remember he cannot hurt you it is only the old feelings surfacing so stay in the moment.  Let the thought into your head and then let it pass through and continue on with staying in the moment. You can do this.

I know that going over and over something in my mind after it's happened doesn't do any good. It just makes it worse. I can actually inflate an event after the fact and then it causes me more anxiety than the actual event did.

I have been practicing letting go of the scary thoughts when they happen and most of the time it works, but I know there will always be moments when you caught off guard.
 
Take care my friend.
Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/28/2008 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
All,

I'm seeing my therapist about this today. Thank goodness she could fit me in.

I'm scared that if he saw me, it will trigger his old, awful angry behavior toward me. He never physically harmed me, but the kind of anger and venom he exhibited was palpable. Like I said, my imagination is running away with bad ideas.

Unfortunately, he knows where I work and live. But he's left me alone for this long. Likely he's found several new targets in the intervening years and doesn't give me a second thought any more. Even during our "just friends" period, he'd only call once every couple of months, and it was clear that was because something had triggered his need for company - any company.

My thoughts play on shame: I am horribly ashamed of having allowed this terrible person into my life and of having permitted the violations of trust and decent behavior that were his norm. I don't want to have to reopen that shame by telling any more people in my community or workplace, but if he does behave unsafely, I'll find the strength to do that.

percycat

badfish
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 7/28/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
jus try n stay strong n no matter wht happens dnt let him kno if he affects u.
 


thirstyforchrist
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 7/28/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Percy
You should not be ashamed, he should be the one who is ashamed! Like Kitt said, it's in the past and you are not planning to let him in again so there is no reason for you to be ashamed. Just be safe, and do whatever you have to do at work and in your neighborhood. Your welfare is most important now. You got through this once so if it were to happen again you know you can make it. Hopefully it wont though. So keep up the happy thoughts and stay in the moment. And when those stinkin bad thoughts come into your head just think of how much stronger you are now, and what you learned from all of that. You can do this honny! Love to you!
Rachel
"There is hope for every man, a solid place where we can stand, in this dry in weary land, there is hope for every man... Jesus is hope for every man"  -Casting Crowns


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/28/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Percy,

Please don't let him re-open those old fears and wounds, especially not shame, you should not feel shame. He should. Do not let him have power over you again, Having said that I recently had a very unpleasant blast from the past with an ex, and I couldn't believe how quickly I fell back into old patterns and thoughts, guilt, love, etc with him. He was/is a master manipulator and he almost had me running back with apologies. Sheesh!

I am so glad you have gotten in to see your therapist, I hope she can help you come back to the here and know and not sink back into any negative places. You deserve so much better than that. Know that your HW family is rallying around you okay. We love you.

(((((((hugs)))))))

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/28/2008 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Meg,

I knew you'd have something helpful and comforting to share!

My therapist was a help today, but I've got my work cut out for me. We both believe it's pretty unlikely that he'll take any notice of me. We also both agree that I've long ago taken the right steps to protect myself, so further worry in that direction at this stage isn't very productive.

My recent studies of abusive and narcissistic relationships have given me so much food for thought that I've created a monster. She thinks my not forgiving myself for letting him into my life is contributing to this as well. (Ok, my theory: if I can't forgive myself, that means I have to make him into something so horrific as to be overwhelming. Then I don't have to forgive me...maybe?)

So, my homework is to try to extend compassion to myself about it and hopefully that will put my fears into perspective. Oddly enough, I feel lots of compassion toward other women in the same situation, but for myself, I just keep at the blame, blame, blame for "opening the door" and inviting this toxicity into my life.

*sigh*

Thanks to everyone for your care and support. I really means a lot to me right now!

percycat

Marie-Claire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 7/28/2008 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Percycat... I sooo understand your fears. We had to scoot 12 years ago... and for the longest time , I couln't answer the phone... the girls couldn't leave the house... we were all panic stricken for soo long. With all of us suffering from PTSD, all it takes is some little trigger, can be a smell, taste, someone's tone of voice, the way someone walks etc... and it all comes flooding back along with all the fear and panic. Over the years we've learned to "get through " the 20 minutes, half an hour it takes for our brains to realize that we are not in the same situation anymore... our panick attacks wax and wane... we've learned to live with it and for the most part all 3 of us are doing really well.
I blamed myself for marrying an abusive man ... for years . I felt that I'd grown up with an abusive father... how could I not have recognized the signs. ? My councellor finally said to me.. Mary, you didn't go out looking for someone who would abuse you and sexually abuse your children. These men are manipulative and can spot a potential "victim' from miles away. As women we are taught to look for the best in people so we don't automatically assume someone is going to be abusive towards us... we trust that most people are good and kind . The trick is to forgive ourselves but really there is nothing to forgive... we were duped! If anything we need to be kinder to ourselves, understand that our insecurities led us to accept certain behaviors which might have tipped off a more confident woman.. We need to tell ourselves that we didn't deserve that abuse, that we deserve respect and everything that goes with it. Then and especially NOW. My councellor , psychiatrist told me that trying to second guess myself or blame myself was wasting valuable energy that I should be using to heal and help heal my children. I think seeing your councellor right away was brilliant. It shows how much you've grown... shows that you're not in the same 'place' emotionally that you were when this person was in your life. It shows that you are not willing to accept any "c...p" from this man.
If it makes you feel any safer... you can buy personal alarms that you carry in your purse or pocket. They are tiny little things but boy do they make an awful loud, piercing noise that will attract everybody and their dog within miles. We carried them before we moved away. It did help knowing that someone could come right away, and second that it would probably scare him half to death. If he were to approach you , he sure wouldn't be expecting a painful earful and it would let him know that you mean business when you say "leave me alone... if it ever comes to that( you yell it at him and you bare your teeth... he isn't expecting aggressive, he is expecting nice and submissive like the person you USED to be). But like you say .. .he has probably moved on to someone else at this point.
Hoping you are feeling strong.. Get mad.! How dare he disturb your peace of mind !
I am keeping you in my prayers dear one... and by the way... don't blame yourself anymore! Do you hear me. You have grown and learned from this and that is what life is all about. Your strength for getting through this will help someone else sometime in your life... you can bet on it!
Love and prayers
Mary
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis
 
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/29/2008 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Mary,

Thanks so much for the words of wisdom! You really helped me out a lot!

percycat

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/29/2008 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Percycat,

Compassion is a great way to get over past hurts, but don't beat yourself up if you don't get it done in one day! There is a lot to process, you can have compassion, doesn't mean that the way he treated you was okay and all should be forgiven. Be compassionate with you :-) Hugs honey. You are doing amazing.

Marie,

Thanks so much for sharing that story, you are such an inspirational woman. We don't choose to be abused, but we can certainly attract abusers with low self esteem, or patterns of the past. You are a tough one now! Hugs.

Meg

 


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 

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