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Discussion:
Relationship break up
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Several months ago, I went through a break up. The women I was with decided that she didn't want to be in my "family". I have a 16 year old daughter. She said that she'd become depressed and felt suicidal.

The relationship served as an emotional container, or at least I wanted it to. It was the fantasy that she would be able to be there for me emotionally that drove me to cling to the relationship, even though she'd left me 3 times before.

When it was really over, I felt traumatized. I became depressed, lonely, anxious and fearful. Worst of all I felt disconnected from myself and from others. As I look back, the fear and anxiety had been there all along, but I was able to cope because I felt wanted and needed by her. She was a mental health professional and I believed that she would be able to help me manage my emotions.

In reality, the relationship was a source of constant stress, I became very dependent on her because despite her own mental illness; Major Depressive Epidsodes, she had a very down to earth, practical way of being. I was very attracted to this, since my own emotional world was often chaotic and filled with anxiety.

My biggest fear; being abandoned, was triggered. My sleep was affected. I'd wake up lonely and scared and unable to comfort myself. It was horrible. I am doing better with that now, but I still wake up after 4 hours, thinking about her and replaying conversations in my head.

Slowly, I am learning to separate this break up, which was merely a catalyst, from the deeper abandonment issues that stem from the emotional negligence, I experienced as a child.

My days are sometimes filled with anxiety and feelings of hopelessness. I am working with a therapist and learning techniques to self sooth and comfort myself.

Next month, maybe sooner, I am going to see a hypnotherapist to help me feel more comfortable in my skin. Just feeling okay is a major challenge and at times I feel disconnected from my life.

Has relationship break up been a trigger for anyone else? I know that grieving is normal, but this event has opened up some nasty wounds and I 've been in a lot of psychic pain.
Posted on 10/11/07, 09:36 pm
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Reply #1 - 10/12/07  3:49am
" Relationship break up was the catalyst for me but in a different way to yours. I finally left my alcoholic abusive partner and had to start again from scratch. This has been hard but has finally got me to realise that my ability to cope with years of a horrible relationship went right back to the abuse I suffered as a child. I finally got a realistic diagnosis of what was up with me and am, with the aid of counselling and other things trying to aquire the life skills I never had in the past and lose the redundant set of coping mechanisms that cause me distress. "
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Reply #2 - 10/12/07  2:37pm
" The abandonment issue was/is huge for me. Also betrayal of trust, helplessness (because it was irrational), and confusion were overwhelming.

Before we decided to marry, we talked and agreed on all the important things. Because his lease was up a couple months before we were going to marry, I said he could move in with me and my (then 12 year-old) son. Shortly after moving in he said I had forced him to move in with me! I dissociated and became more depressed. After another couple weeks he told me he couldn't have sex - we were having a great sex life until that day. I remember needing to get out of the house and wandering around stores in a daze of dissociation. One by one, he told me all the plans we had made were not going to happen. Each time was another trauma for me. We did finally marry (strange, I know - I think I was doing the clinging you mentioned).

Then after a number of unhappy years with him refusing to be in the same room with me, (before he moved in he took whole days off work to be with me) he said he wanted to divorce me. This was one month after my father died.

I'm still so upset over this I don't know if I expressed it very well. I'm shakey and scared. I may have left out important information.

I'm considering hypnotherapy. I'm quite vigilant, so I may not be a good candidate. Please let us know how it goes. "

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