Encounter with Ex

My computer has been on the fritz for ages now and I just got it back, fixed and ready to go.  I have tried to go on site when I have a few minutes at work but it is not the same as being able to peruse at my leisure.
On Saturday I was at the mall with my kids and while walking a long I saw my N ex from last summer who I haven't seen since September of last year.  I know he saw me.  He had this little smirk on his face as he walked straight past me and my kids (whom by the way he had known too) like he had no idea who we were.   
My heart started beating like a jackhammer and I was shaking.  I was outraged and upset and finished shopping distractedly.  By the time I got home I had purchased ice cream and ended up spending the evening crying.  I was ignored by him again.  I was the one who was supposed to be superconfident and look at him like he was a piece of dirt and walk right past him but instead I am feeling like dirt again. 
All my newfound confidence just dissolved in a fizzle and I am wondering why I am doing all this hard work if nothing is every going to change with me.  Why can't I just believe in myself?  Why do I think my worth is tied to whether a guy pays attention to me or not?  Will I ever be that confident girl I want to be?
I am so depressed today because I feel like I'm trapped inside myself and I don't know how to get out.
I'm reading books on narcissists, self-esteem, sprirituality, love addiction, anything I can get my hands on. 
One trigger and I'm back in the fetal postiion backing away from the world again. 
I'm scared that I won't be able to change.  I wish I could crawl out of my skin when I feel this way.  I just feel so pathetic.  Needy and insecure and clingy.  Like I am not worth anyone's time or love.  This "not good enough" feeling is always lingering inside me waiting to take over.  I don't care if no one else in the world belives in me.  I just want to find a way to believe in myself.



First off, big huge hug to you. Sorry it was so rough. We all go through these tough times, all of us, even the ones who are really confident in themselves have had bad days where seeing an ex makes them grab the ice cream and cry at home.

That doesn\'t make them any easier at the moment, I know. It does go to show that you are not trapped. I know the trapped feeling. I hate that feeling! It just plain old sucks. It doesn\'t mean it\'s really the destiny, though - or permanent. You are absolutely moving forward.

Just a thought, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with concentrating on all this self-help stuff, learning about narcissism, affects of abuse, how to have better self-esteem, and so on. Sometimes, I really just need to sit back and enjoy life. I\'ll never get to perfection, never. So, I guess in that sense we\'re all trapped - none of us will ever be everything we want to be, we\'ll always still have goals. So, I find I have to make sure I\'m enjoying what I have accomplished and forgiving myself or just temporarily not worrying about how many other things I still want to do.

Again: hugs, sorry you\'re feeling down, and please remember you are very far from being the only woman who has grabbed ice cream and cried after seeing an ex.

Thank you for your encouragement. I agree that I am moving forward sometimes however that one step forward and two steps back means you get where you\'re going pretty slow:)

I liked your advice about getting overwhelmed with all the self-help stuff. It seems every book I read I find something else I want to research or change! It seems sometimes that\'s ALL I think about so right after I read your reply I went and sang (which I love to do) and just chilled with my son and I ended up feeling a little better.

I have a thing with perfectionism too. So it\'s very all or nothing with me. I feel like I fail if I\'m not perfect and I guess you\'re right maybe it\'s more of accepting your imperfections that will help rather than trying to be perfect. Way too much pressure.

Thanks so much for your support!

more ((((hugs))) Arat. It is tough dealing with rejection and the seed of rejection, the beginning of it were there before the XN. it is a good to understand how this works so you do not attribute all of your emotions and experience to him.

It is OK to shake and cry. It really is it doesn\'t make you a weak person or defective. that is one thing to really see and feel. to be accepting of your response... allow it to be OK and support yourself and what your experience is or was.

Actually when stuff like this happens and emotions one thinks or considers totally resolved that it is a great opening into our person. There is no way your emotions based on vulnerability will ever discontinue. it may be the XN today but it will possibly be ZC tomorrow. We are human and we do have the potential to shake with emotion.

Try to see it as being human and not a wrong or imperfection. It would be entirely understandable that you would be triggered.

I remember last August a few days before I stepped on the plane to Hawaii I ran into XN with his current GF and I didn\'t cry like you but I did get mighty shakey. I was interrupted and I was with anxiety.

the best thing I did for myself is hang up the perfection coat since really it is just an illusion and just totally accept and honor my experience and allow the emotions to run their course. I didn\'t hit the same emotions as you did but I did hit emotions I would rather not experience. It did create quite a distraction for which I could have been entirely pissed off about and with a personal criticism but instead I just said ... OK this is what it has to be and I can be OK with it. that took off half the crap that already seemed to be inevitable.

Black and white thinking is a concept that is not to be applied to humanity. It is a neurotic attempt at winning a race that can not be won.

Singing is a grand way to get through to the human part that is expansive and grander then a perfect self which is so very small. Working it out with singing is a marvelous medium for growth. good for you arat.

So, instead of telling the little girl that she should be over her rejection ... give her the right kind of love when she feels rejected. Singing really hits that love. I sing as well for the very same reasons and others. :o)

a singing self is a real self and a perfect self is an illusion.

This was so well put!!! Thank you Pageo! The perfection piece seems to be popping up a lot lately. Must not be a coincidence. I always expect myself to be perfect and beat myself up when I am not.

I will remember this line and write it down to read over and over \"instead of telling the little girl that she should be over her rejection...give her the right kind of love when she feels rejected\" I love it!

Pageo is a special sort of wise ;)

Guess what? Lots of people believe in you ;) ...maybe MORE then you believe in yourself. We can hold that space for you while you grow into it.

I am selfishly really really glad you posted this. In my mind I have gone over and over and over how I would IGNORE xn if I ever saw him on the street or EVEN if he came up and talked to me.

I never factored HIM ignoring me into the equation...hahahaha. Apparently I am turning a little Narcissict myself. So it is really good mental prep work for me to know that he could ignore me. Of course it is exactly what I want. I never want to talk to him again EVER or give him an ounce, not even a teaspoon of narc supply by being nice or mean. I have full plans about acting like he has the wrong person if he should ever talk to me.

What is about that smirk? I can just see xn with \'that\' smirk. It is part of the abuse cycle I think, that know it all look, that you are an idiot and I am better then you smirk.

Anyway today on the WoN board they addressed this very issue. Another gal had the same exact experience as you. Apparently a Narc trademark:


Love you and I am glad you are back!

You always make me feel warm and fuzzy Susy! Thanks for your love. It makes me feel good especially when I feel so down.

I feel better today. The narc experience unsettled me but I was able to distance myself and realize that it is not me, it is him. I feel like I\'m back in that more confident space again. It will take me a while to get in that non shaky place. I am still like wet concrete. Everything makes an impression. I can\'t wait until I am dry than it will take a lot to shake me up!

Such good stuff on the part about it being ok to be shaken up a bit.

I was just thinking yesterday about this concept, in a way. Someone on a different board was concerned about falling for this guy, afraid she might get hurt if she fell in love with him. Of course, I fully support being cautious. At the same time, I thought, \'If you fall in love with a human, you will be hurt. It will happen even if the relationship goes extremely well from now on.\"

It kinda related cuz I picture a few different stages/ways of dealing with being hurt and vulnerable. At one point, probably most in my first real relationship, I was hurt and vulnerable. I let that translate into being overly dependent on the guy - looking to him for too much of me. I learned from this, though (although I did repeat it for a short period during the whole XN thing) and decided to be stronger than that - to keep myself from being too vulnerable. This was stronger, but not strongest. I think I\'ve come past that now, to where I\'m strong enough to choose to be vulnerable. I know I can get hurt, but I also know I can heal. I don\'t want to be cold or overly independent. I want to take the risk, but have my center.
Your XN is probably not strong enough to admit to being hurt or caring - he\'s probably not even strong enough to let himself even care. It\'s a weakness, though - not a strength. You get to live, feel, hurt, and heal. You get to experience actual love. I don\'t think you can do that without being a person who is also vulnerable. That\'s my muddling on the subject, anyhow. Like the wet concrete idea - I would hate to actually become completely dry, unable to have an impression made. Impressions are wonderful; they\'re life. Granted, I want a solid core, but not at the expense of being unable to feel or really experience relationships.

Glad you\'re feeling better.

Oh my...you make such a good point here. It resonates with me. Vulnerability scares me so bad. If I think I am even getting close at all to someone I panic because I am so afraid to get hurt. But you\'re right. I have been hurt in the worst ways possible and I healed (somewhat). I am still able to go on with life and smile. I haven\'t let myself be vulnerable for a long time. But how can you truly love or let someone love you unless you open up. This is good musing material for me....thank you!

Arat... My figurings with vulnerablity is that yes I am vulnerable and yes I am also strong and supported which means that vulnerability is not equal to helpless.

The way i do things now days is in the form of information. For example ... if I am incline to begin a new friendship, relationship with who ever I do not make a single point of shedding my defenses. It comes over time as the person earn trust points. I do have this control or power with my being and my doings.

Interesting how this works because even if what ever information I pass isn\'t really information that makes me vulnerable ... if it feel that way to me then it is.

Example ... I held back certain informations from an Xbf. It really wasn\'t any of his business any way and it didn\'t make me less honest or open or committed just that I tended to keep an eye on my business.

If I felt like i needed to share something intimate I would either wait or not do it keep parts of myself for myself. It is an energy thing. The more I tell about my history the more vulnerable I feel. The more information I give about myself , the more I am spreading that energy out for others... not that others would take advantage of it but for me it was a boundary.

The boundary said that when I feel the other person is capapble of keeping my secrets then I can share. That for me might require a year now days. Depends on the person and the relationship.

But basically it was a way for me to draw a line and a boundary. We do not have ot trust people ... we can wait until we have enough evidence the person is trustable.

Nothing wrong with this... it is your right and it is mine. I stopped thinking i have to prove I am a trusting person and changed it to ... I have a right to my timing and seeing if the person is able to earn that trust.

Trust is earned and not given on demand or because one has to prove they are trusting. Don\'t for get it!

At the same time if you are picking relationships with the same people who were not worth your trust ... that is another topic.

Also if you are still enmeshing with people then the line of differientation needs to develop. YOu do have a right to boundaries and with boundaries and a distinct feeling of self and other, differentiation, there is a lot of solid ground. perhaps you still feel that space where the other person can just do what they do. This is where you reclaim your rights and know that the other person can NO LONGER act abusively or other. Your permission has not been granted. It may have been back in the day but things have changed.

I understand what you are saying here Pageo and it is good advice. Maybe the fact that opening up in the past too soon has led to much hurt when i realized the person I opened up to betrayed me. So maybe it is a little of this and a little of that. I may not be wrong in holding back at the beginning ... keeping my distance a little until I know I can trust that person. It is a fine line for me from being cautious to being afraid. And boundaries are very important and something to work on because I haven\'t been too good at setting them up until now.

This line I like: But basically it was a way for me to draw a line and a boundary. We do not have ot trust people ... we can wait until we have enough evidence the person is trustable.

This is an excellent sentence for me to remember.