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#354780 - 02/24/11 11:45 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: devon0]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Hi Craig,

From what you've shared with all of us here, Michael Joseph, Jeff, devonO and myself, it sounds like the flashbacks you refer too are a sort of recurring thing. That these situations involve pretty strong feelings of attraction, of then becoming obsessed with someone who isn't available, which leads to feeling badly about yourself and strong feelings of rejection.

Might you consider working with a therapist on this particular issue, it sounds like one you keep trying so hard to understand and find a resolution to, the frustration and pain you express is palpable. It would be good if you could work with someone who could help you resolve the trauma, I feel like if you could have fixed it yourself you would have already. Sometimes an unbiased person outside a situation is just what we need to see things clearly and get past the hurdles.

On the subject of living with a meth addict or any addicted person, there's plenty of support and understanding in organizations like Al Anon and Codependents Anonymous.

You deserve to move forward and feel better.

Gary


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#354822 - 02/25/11 08:18 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: 1.healing
Hi Craig,
it sounds like the flashbacks you refer too are a sort of recurring thing. That these situations involve pretty strong feelings of attraction, of then becoming obsessed with someone who isn't available, which leads to feeling badly about yourself and strong feelings of rejection.
Gary


Thank God you guys get it. Underestimating the seriousness of this pattern is a mistake I can't emotionally afford to make again, and being able to accept that fact with compassion rather than alarm is progress.

I realized this when I woke up in the middle of the night and started to "spiral" into feelings of panic and darkness. Something different happened this time. I started to feel very angry with the pattern. This anger quickly provided me with the motivation to grab everything that was spinning out of control and pull myself up on top. I just felt like enough is enough. I found myself saying, "I don't want to go back to this place again, and I am choosing not to." It took about 15 minutes and I was able to get back to sleep. Now if that's not using adult skills to better cope with powerful childhood emotions then I don't know what is.

I realize that I am not out of the woods yet by any means. I had an appointment with a new therapist last week but I cancelled because I was getting negative vibes from her practice right from the beginning. The receptionist told me, "You're going to like her. She's good." Very inappropriate thing for a receptionist to say without my asking her opinion. Before I could even request a brief phone interview with the counsellor, I was called and made to understand how much I was going to have to pay for my first session. I didn't like that one bit. Then the recept. told me that I would need to call the day of my appt and make sure the therapist was in. You have got to be kidding me!! When I asked about the therapist's credentials, the receptionist just looked at me and said, "she is a licensed counsellor".

Now maybe the therapist is good but I told her I don't have a job and she still wanted $90 for the first session. Unfortunately I just couldn't get past her "goon"!

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#354845 - 02/25/11 10:06 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
hugs

Flashbacks

meanings from the past
flashing in my face
turn the dam thing off
make it stop

By Michael Joseph

_________________________
Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#354914 - 02/25/11 06:33 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: michael Joseph]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Hi Craig,

Glad to hear that you've been attempting to line up a therapist to work with. Sorry that last weeks experience wasn't a good one, unfortunately those things happen. Perhaps as you search for a new therapist you could look for someone with experience with Childhood Sexual Trauma and one who understands addiction disorders. You mentioned that you're not working and I'm not sure where that leaves your financial and insurance matters. If these are an issue consider contacting your regional United Way office and they will be able to refer you to a therapist or mental health organization in your area which provides services on a reduced fee, sliding scale or perhaps free.

I'm glad that you're moving towards ever more recovery and better health.

Gary

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#354929 - 02/25/11 09:57 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks fellas. I like the idea for calling United Way.

Here's the latest update. It appears my ex is sincere about his desire to have me back in his life. During my meltdown last night I reviewed our texting history and his messages have been consistently bright and uplifting. I went to his house today and helped him move some stuff in my truck, and honestly he still gets a bright and happy look in his eyes when I am around. I asked him why his face is getting all lit up and "moony" and he said that I always have that effect on him.

I don't want it to sound like I'm just on an upswing of emotional fantasy, been there done that more times than I can count. He actually wanted to know why I was being short with him last night. I told him I've been extremely confused and that a couple colleagues suggested I find a way to distance myself from the situation. He didn't ask anymore questions, I told him I've spent over a year being distanced from him and the truth is that's not what I want anymore.

Just as I suspected, this flashback is a deep rooted one indeed. It managed to get complete control of me multiple times.

Don't get me wrong, I am SOOO thankful you guys took the time to offer suggestions and help me sort this out. If it weren't for your help I am certain it would've taken me much longer to get clarity and confidence. Without your help, its quite possible I would not have taken control of my spiraling last night, and would have still been lost in that panicked, terrified, untrusting and paranoid place to this very moment. Had a tension headache in both temples earlier. That's a good sign that the tension is finally letting up.

Thanks again fellas! Hugs all around!!!

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#354971 - 02/26/11 07:19 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Okay, I was wrong, he IS seeing someone else, and I was hysterical just a little bit ago, but I realize that the friendship we have been having lately is what I really want anyway.

Maybe you guys can identify with what I'm about to describe. Before I heard the "gossip" I was really learning to enjoy reconnecting with my ex and didn't really care if he met someone. For some reason when I heard the "gossip" about this friend (who sorta gives me the creeps), everything suddenly changed. I wanted him back with such intensity it was overpowering. It clouded my judgement in a way I previously suspected was possible but could not comprehend.

Is it selfishness plain and simple? Self blame? Pain of rejection? Is it the same for everyone or is it the flashback? So many questions.

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#354978 - 02/26/11 09:31 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
devon0 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 44
Loc: TX, USA
right on, Cbfull. You're doing well. Thanks for the inspiration.

_________________________
A life worth living.

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#354985 - 02/27/11 12:46 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: devon0]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Hi Craig,

As you try to sort out the things happening in your life and all the feelings that go with them, the help of someone with objectivity and knowledge of CSA issues and trauma, may be the most helpful thing to do.

From my experience it's difficult for me to see clear of my own troubles, especially when really upset about something. The objectivity and experience which professional helpers brought to me at those difficult times really helped.

Rooting for and wishing better times for you.

Gary

_________________________
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

George Elliot

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life."

Virginia Woolf

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#354987 - 02/27/11 08:11 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Hey guys. Slept well but woke up feeling horribly anxious. My anxiety medication (clonazepam) is going to be an extremely helpful tool as I work through these feelings. I don't take it very often, I need it to be at its maximum effectiveness for times like these, which is precisely what I keep it around for.

I'm starting a new job tomorrow which provides health benefits, so I will have a lot more options when finding a therapist. I am concerned about the added stress of a new job but I'm going to try my best to allow it to provide much needed distraction. It will not be easy.

I don't know if the person who told me about my ex's lover thought he was doing me a favor or what, but whatever he was thinking was wrong. That's the worst way to find out about something like that, not to mention it is none of his business. I don't know the motivation behind his indiscretion but it has resulted in a relapse of flashbacks for me.

Trying to distance myself from my ex makes it much worse extremely fast. Trying to hide from this is the wrong way to go for me. It triggers the feelings of abandonment and thus adds layers of intensity to my flashbacks. His friendship is invaluable to me and I know he feels the same, he tells me somewhat regularly and I can see in his eyes that he means it. Not to mention it shows in his regular texts to me. That's what matters more than anything else right now. He admitted yesterday that he feels very guilty about it so I hope that's not the only reason he's being so nice to me. The meth habit concerns me that he might still be overconfident with reality, if he stays clean we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm struggling to keep my head above water, but knowing I'm really struggling with unprocessed trauma, helps me to keep an open mind about the possibilities just a little. The sooner I can find a counselor the better. Damn these flashbacks. Nobody needs them or deserves the excessive pain and confusion they bring.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#354989 - 02/27/11 09:28 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Clonazepam has taken full effect I takes an hour to gain full momentum. I feel VERY calm, clear and peaceful. I'm going to need this if he still wants to meet today and get things out on the table.

I don't want to sound like I'm advocating this medication for others, I'm just SO glad I found one that can do this for me.

cool

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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