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#354579 - 02/23/11 01:55 PM Ex-bf and flashbacks
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I recently found out that my ex partner of 9 years has been "secretly" seeing one of my (our) old friends.

In all honesty, I have no idea as to the actual nature of their relationship, but finding this out by gossip has triggered me into a very deep rooted, possibly the very basic root, of my flashbacks.

The deterioration of our relationship can reasonably be blamed on both of our addictions. His turned him into someone I didn't know anymore not to mention I was triggered and afraid of him. Emotional numbing took me over and all of my decisions about us became completely mechanical. After realizing that I no longer could trust him, I had no choice but to end it. He showed little reaction.

I have since moved out and am dealing successfully with my alcohol problem, but since he still lives in the house with the same stressful job he maintains his terrible addiction (meth).

We both still love each other VERY much but we cannot go back to how it was. I think everyone will agree with me on that. Things really started to take a turn when he called me a couple months ago and told me he wants to quit the meth. I told him he has my absolute support in any way I can provide it. I didn't expect it at the time but this started me thinking about how things were before the addictions. I started to really look forward to seeing him and spend time with him when he could find time. He was letting himself fall behind on work to be able to spend time with me.

About two weeks into this newfound hope, various friends started telling me things that he had done with other men behind my back while we were still together, but never told me about any of it. Perhaps I was overly verbal with my friends about my new hope and thus prompted them to warn me, I can't tell for sure. This was very painful to hear, but excusable since they were right after I had told him about something impulsive that I had done with another guy while under the influence. As far as I'm concerned his going out and messing around was cathartic and quite forgivable. What I don't like is that he kept it from me while I was promptly honest about my mistakes.

The REAL hurt came from finding out that he has been seeing a friend of mine (ours, but I've know this guy for 10+ years) and hiding it from everyone, yet everyone knew there was something going on. Its also one of the guys he got physical with while we were still together but never told me about. One of our friends called him on it and my ex told him that he doesn't want me to know about it.

Okay, here's the problem. This situation has triggered a very deep flashback. I spend most of every day trying to suppress thoughts and images of them together, and I try with all my strength not to analyze and assume what might really be going on between them. As you might guess, its impossible to not be reminded of it.

The reason this is a flashback root for me, is I immediately remembered so many times throughout my youth having a deep crush on someone heterosexual (my abuser was hetero) and unavoidably finding out about him (my crush) having sex with a girl. It was most painful in high school when the guy I was crushing on (who I naturally made my "best friend" just to be around him as much as possible) for more than two years called me to tell me about having sex with a girl friend of ours. I've never felt a pain so deep and so long lasting in my life. It is this very pain that I am flashing back to.

I find myself second guessing everything I do, I am plagued with thoughts of insecurity, everything I say (to my ex) or do is reviewed with scrutiny and second guessed. I can clearly see the illogical nature of this, but since we are no longer a couple it is inappropriate for me to bring it up with him. So now the inability to verbalize my feelings about this has left me with this same horrible feeling of pain, worthlessness and insatiable longing. Sometimes I get so confused I can't even tell if I am flashing or if my instincts are telling me something valuable. I don't want him to know about all of these dark feelings but I can sort of see that it may actually be a healthy option in this situation, but in the past it has not been an option.

UGH!! Sorry for the long story but I had to get it all out.

I am so lost and confused. Can anyone shed some clarity on this? I thank anyone in advance for their comments.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#354637 - 02/24/11 02:44 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Only we can fix ourselves and, yes, the help of others is essential in healing, but at the end of the day it's always up to us. Sounds like you made the choice to deal with your alcoholism and end an unhealthy relationship, not easy, you deserve a lot of credit. Your ex-partner is still immersed in his addiction and all the dysfunction and trouble that goes with it, like being secretive, dishonest and manipulative. Your sobriety and all the hard work you've done are in jeopardy as he pulls you back into the madness that is his life. Cutting ties to him and refocusing on your new life, your sobriety and your healing from csa is a better way to go. Take time to step away from the craziness and to find your center, that lost feeling and the confusion will go away and you'll feel in balance again.

Wishing you the best in this, I know it's difficult, but you've the strength and heart to move forward.

Gary


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#354672 - 02/24/11 10:43 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks Gary.

It really helps to hear my personal accomplishment(s) emphasized like that. I was doing just fine keeping a safe distance from him and not allowing him to pull me back into anything. I guess the problem is the flashbacks causing me to try to reach out for an "instant fix" of my dark feelings. I realize that talking to him does not help at all. I just end up over analyzing his comments coming to any conclusion that fits into my "fear formula". That is something I have NEVER found myself doing with him before in all of our years together. I guess that's just the nature of the beast (flashbacks). We will see whatever scares us the most.

This is entirely within ME and no one else can take these feelings away. I must own these feelings, there is just no other way.

I have no intent of returning to the alcohol, the blackouts and the bruises were just too much to handle.

I guess what really helped remind of what path I need to be on was your validations. The secretiveness, dishonesty and manipulations are just completely unacceptable, plain and simple.

It would be great to hear from someone who was in a relationship with a meth addict and has witnessed similar behavior.

Thanks again!

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#354677 - 02/24/11 11:06 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Hi well I am sorry for the stuff you are dealing with. I do hope you can find someone who treats you better.

I was in a bad situation with someone who said they wanted me to be in a relationship. It never really was one, but that is another story.

Hugs Peace Joy and Love,

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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#354729 - 02/24/11 07:25 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: cbfull
... I can clearly see the illogical nature of this, but since we are no longer a couple it is inappropriate for me to bring it up with him.So now the inability to verbalize my feelings about this has left me with this same horrible feeling of pain, worthlessness and insatiable longing. ...


sounds quite complex. dealing with your own childhood abuse recovery, dealing with addiction inside a relationship, dealing with the ending (possibly) of that relationship, which, being gay is i think harder to do in the first place.

wasn't quite sure about the flashbacks, maybe we have different definitions? this was bringing up that teen memory of a guy you liked who ended up with a girl... which left you out in the cold since we guys can't compete with a woman... am i right?

_________________________
Jeff

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#354754 - 02/24/11 08:52 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: westchesterguy]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Jeff,

Yes you are right! Flashbacks for me are entirely emotional. I left some stuff out because my story was getting a bit lengthy.

The high school situation left such an emotional scar because I continued to pine for him even several years after that incident. I was depressed all the time, I kept trying to change myself to be like him. That's quite a long time to be having feelings like that, four or five years.

A couple years after that, in college, a roommate started making regular comments to me that were filled with sexual innuendo. I immediately sank bank into the depression and internalized it completely. I kept telling myself that I was weak for not "making a move" and every moment of my days became a calculation of when I might have another opportunity to right the situation so I could stop beating myself to pieces. I realize now just how incredibly creepy he was.

Here's where the "trauma" settled in. One night we (there were a total of 4 roommates) had a big keg party and at the end of the night this really trashy girl would not leave. She clearly wanted to have sex with him and he told me he didn't know why she was hanging around. This confused me because they both went into his room. I laid in bed staring at the ceiling listening for any clues as to what they were doing. The whole time I was thinking that this incredibly dark and fearful feeling was going to make me insane. I was sure of it. I just kept waiting for insanity to take me, and I was terrified to my very core. On top of all this it was my junior year getting my chemical engineering degree so I was constantly overloaded with classwork. I just couldn't focus on my schoolwork. I don't know how I ever made it through and graduated.

I am flashing back to that same dark place. Im handling these feelings much better now, but I still struggle with terrible confusion and low self-esteem which didn't start until the flashback started. I never know if I am saying the wrong thing, or whether or not I should be ignore my ex (which doesn't sound healthy), how much support I should be giving him to help him get off the meth, especially since I told him I would give him 100% support.

I know for a fact that he has been clean for almost a week. The first week is the hardest part. He just barked at me in a text for not giving myself to his dilemma 100%, so I played it cool, waited a little while and then just texted "r u okay?" and he's holding out. I have to believe that it can't be all about him. I already beat myself up for sending that last little text, but I am letting myself off the hook because he needs help. I don't know when he'll realize that he barked at me unnecessarily but I can't be sitting around waiting for him to tell me how he feels.

I better stop here.

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#354756 - 02/24/11 09:05 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
devon0 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 45
Loc: TX, USA
CbFull, fwiw.... I found that flashbacks, although painful and disturbing, were an indication that I was not where I should be. They come up when I'm in a situation that reminds me of things I am trying to get past. In a way, they became a signal flag to me that I needed to get out of the situation I was in. I hope this is helpful.

_________________________
A life worth living.

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#354759 - 02/24/11 09:19 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: devon0]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
I think I understand what you mean devon0, and I agree. The last time I was in full flashback mode was with a coworker at my last job. I posted plenty about it on this site. In that situation, I wanted this very attractive man to be sexual with me, even though he is not gay. I found myself planning my day around when I go to his office for a visit, any I was literally *high* when he was nice to me, but then I would crash into terrible insecurity when I thought he was ignoring me. What a horrible roller coaster ride that was.

Does that sound like what you mean by being in a situation you need to get out of?

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#354769 - 02/24/11 10:05 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
devon0 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 45
Loc: TX, USA
Ding! LOL.

_________________________
A life worth living.

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#354774 - 02/24/11 10:50 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: devon0]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Thanks! I guess I'm struggling to try and understand how much similarity I should expect out of my current situation, given that this time the person is actually gay.

However, there are apparently still some similarities. Most importantly my ex is emotionally unavailable to me because of his addiction. Feel free to suggest other similarities, I think an outsider's perspective would be helpful.

I have to admit I am somewhat ashamed that the overwhelming feelings of insecurity that resulted from finding out about secrets he has been keeping from me, has caused me to become somewhat aggressive about reconnecting with him. That is quite unfortunate. I have to give myself credit though, in reality there was no real harm done by attempting to express my feelings, no matter how impulsive they were. What's important is that I realize that I am putting myself at risk to be hurt even more.

Clarity is such an unbelievably important thing for any of us to have. We all need it and I believe that we should strive for it any way we can. That's why I like to say that slow, deep breaths are how I give hugs to myself.

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#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.

Top
#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.

Top
#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.

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

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 45
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

Top
#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.

Top
#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.

Top
#355044 - 02/27/11 09:25 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Okay fellas, that's it I surrender. I can't do this by myself. I don't wanna try anymore its too much to manage without the help of a professional.

Thanks to the suggestion of checking United Way, I found a couple places nearby that look promising. One of them boasts EMDR. I need to do this right.

Thanks

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#355073 - 02/28/11 01:42 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Best of luck with your new job, that indeed can be a very good thing to focus on.

Gary


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#355102 - 02/28/11 12:44 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
P.S. I didn't see your last post, good luck too pursuing therapy, you deserve to feel better.

Gary


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#355115 - 02/28/11 01:57 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Glad things seem well.

and flashbacks can happen once twice or many times, or you can get flashback on different parts of abuse.

There is no one way to get flashbacks.

_________________________
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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#355265 - 03/01/11 04:51 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: michael Joseph]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: michael Joseph

There is no one way to get flashbacks.

Well said. We all experience them in our own unique way. Once triggered, my flashbacks recur on a daily/hourly basis, and just will not leave me alone. This continues to the point that it takes a massive toll on my self esteem, and I all but completely lose touch with my own identity. I catch myself doing it everyday now.

I had a thought today that perhaps now would be an excellent opportunity to start taking notes of my destructive though patterns, and later rereading the list to replace each one with an appropriate and realistic substitute. It has worked wonders for me in the past, haven't really felt the need to do it again... until now.

I find my thoughts being pulled into approval-seeking patterns. I remember literally years spent approval seeking in the past and it got me nothing but deep relentless pain. I estimate that I have probably spent a total of 10 years of my life seeking approval of someone emotionally unavailable. That's a heck of a long time spent rejecting my own identity. The resulting damage is unquestionable.

_________________________
Craig

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

Top
#355282 - 03/01/11 07:34 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
craig hope u r doign well

and flashbacks are not too severe
or reaccuring

_________________________
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

Top
#355291 - 03/01/11 09:20 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: michael Joseph]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
A therapist called me back today for a brief phone interview, and she is trained in EMDR. She is very thoughtful and even gave a list of questions to ask my insurance company once I start work.

Oh yeah, I couldn't start work today because my HR person has been out sick and nobody can find my pre-hire paperwork. Ugh!!

Thank you for the great suggestion Gary, I found this therapist through the United Way website!

Craig

_________________________
Craig

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

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#355322 - 03/02/11 08:52 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
A couple very important things came to me last night while I was trying to fall asleep.

1) He is being so nice to me because he desperately needs to alleviate his own feelings of guilt over how he has/is handling everything, especially the secret relationship.

2) It appears I have a terrible tendency to become frozen in the denial phase of grief. I take any communication and only look for reassurance of love and/or possibilities of whatever it is I need to see to allow me stall pain/sadness/anger/acceptance.

I did some googling and found a few threads from some fellas wondering if there is any future with their meth addicted partner. The outlook is not good. I suppose if my ex were some kind of screw up it might not be so bad (what do I know anyway), but he is VERY intelligent, very ambitious, and nobody understand each other like we do.

Its a terrible terrible loss. I wish that drug would stop destroying lives.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#355334 - 03/02/11 11:36 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Glad I was able to help. Hope that you can start your job soon, as you've said, work can be a healthy distraction. The therapist sounds promissing, would she be available/affordable prior to the insurance kicking in? Insurance and healthcare, such a complicated matter in our country, too bad as too many are in need and suffer, but that's a whole other issue...

Years ago, when I was actively alcoholic, I was in a relationship with another alcoholic guy. Long story short it was a disaster on so many levels and was just a train wreck so many, many times. There was also attraction, connection, love and good things too, but mostly it wasn't right or healthy. After many breakups and separations we each moved on and that process itself was very hard, but it was what we needed and a better choice for both of us.

I'm sorry that you've been going through your own hard time, but I know you can make it through it. Hang in there and keep focused on working your recovery, you'll get where you need to be and life will get better. Your ex needs to work his own too, if he's able. Sadly you're right, meth is very destrutive and leaves it's users and others so damaged. As you say "It is a terrible, terrible loss". It's noble that you want to help him, but he needs to help himself, others can't do that for him, including you. As you've said, he's smart, so I'm sure he knows what needs to be done to get better. Even then, as you know from your own experience, recovery isn't easy and takes a lot of time, so there's a long road ahead of him. Somewhere, far along, on that road there may be a place for a renewed romantic relationship together, and maybe not. Seems there's a lot of work to do first though.

Again, I think you're on the right track, stay with it and things will continue to get even better for you.

Gary



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#355343 - 03/02/11 12:45 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: 1.healing]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Gary,

Thank you for relating. I too was abusing alcohol as a result of losing my job, also being lost and afraid as to how to deal with my meth addicted partner. I described my alcoholism to the new therapist over the phone, and sure assured me that under the circumstances it seems that it was not an addiction but abuse. The fact that I was able to quit once I got out of the situation and begin to heal emotionally is what tells her its not an addiction. The reason she needed to make that differentiation is that she does not provide counseling for addiction. Her clients must be facing their trauma without addictions.

That was very reassuring because I have managed to quit all of my addictions since I got out of that house.

There's another important piece that I have not been sharing, mainly because its shocking and I didn't want to draw focus away from my present crisis.

In November of 2009, after a day of heavy drinking, my ex decided to take some action. He was high on meth, and decided to pick a fight with me. He began taunting me repeatedly, and then when he saw that he was getting the reaction he wanted, he got in my face and was shouting "come on! You want to hit me? Do it! I dare you!" I gave him an open-handed slap (it was a hard slap) and then went to bed. I was awaken by handcuffs and being read my rights. I spent 24 hours in the county jail and was forced to move out due to a restraining order.

What a horrible, horrible thing for him to have done. There's only one thing that makes me feel like there is hope for all that has transpired. If he can get off the meth, I can forgive him for all of it.

Him telling me he wants to quit opened the floodgates for me. Last night I began to suspect that he was relapsing, and a strange feeling of indifference came over me. I knew that if he is using again, there's no point in worrying about any future we might be able to have.

_________________________
Craig

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

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#355407 - 03/03/11 06:53 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I've responded twice now and both posts disappeared, so this one I hope gets through.

I relate and have been in similar situations. The important thing is to learn when we make mistakes and move on to do better next time. You've already been doing better under your own steam and I hope that continues for you.

Have a good one today!

Gary



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#355642 - 03/05/11 02:31 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
devon0 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 45
Loc: TX, USA
No offense intended against your former but in my experience, drug users tend to only be nice when they want something from you. They use people because their real friend is "drugs" and they don't have the ability to care about other people anymore. Get the distance and keep it. You've been through enough already. You don't need another problem.

And glad you're getting some relief.

_________________________
A life worth living.

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#355860 - 03/08/11 12:18 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: devon0]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
Its funny you should say that. I have been killing myself trying to please him. The fact that the person he is "seeing" now is extremely passive and a user too says plenty.

I just realized tonight (after many tears) that I am trying to go backward in our relationship to what we used to have. It can't be done. There is only right now.

I have made such amazing personal growth since he had me thrown out of the house a year ago, there's no way I can go back. It never really occurred to me that he has not grown at all. It is becoming clear that he is stringing me along by trying to act like that person he used to be because he is overwhelmed with guilt (he has admitted the feelings of terrible guilt). Last week when I confronted him about his secret affair with my friend, he actually tried to pass the guilt onto me! He said, "You haven't been around". I lost it. I tried not to yell at him so he would stay on the line with me but it was difficult. How can you tell someone "I've moved on to someone else because you've not been around since I had you arrested and forced you to move out".

If ANYONE hasn't "been around", its him!! The only person I see is a meth-addict trying to get redemption.

Its going to take a whole heck of a lot more than a bunch of guilt-driven texts and phone calls and a few weeks of supposed sobriety to make up for the pain and anguish he has caused me, my family, and my friends. On a side note, I am constantly shocked when I run into friends and they all say they don't like him at all.

I know you guys understand how hard it is not to get confused and pulled back into the self blame. I'm trying my hardest and making a little more progress everyday.

Enough for now. By the way my first day at my new job was great!!

_________________________
Craig

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

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#355913 - 03/08/11 12:49 PM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: cbfull]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Craig I am glad u r doing better, and nice to read your last post

keep working on things and hugs

MJ

_________________________
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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#355989 - 03/09/11 02:19 AM Re: Ex-bf and flashbacks [Re: michael Joseph]
1.healing Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Me too!

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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