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Moving on. Poss triggers

Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Posts: 876 Part of The Mix Family
Hey everyone, been a while since I was a regular visitor but need some help.

I ended a horrible relationship around this time last year, he was controlling, mentally and emotionally abusive and he forced me or guilt tripped me into doing things I didn't want to do. I was with him for 4 and a half years from the age of 14 so I kinda didn't know how to function when it ended.

I'm now with an amazing man who has helped me move on through the difficult times after the breakdown and he built me back up. We were best friends and we just kinda fell into the relationship and it's wonderful now. He's completely perfect.

Since around easter time my anxiety levels increased and I started struggling again. My mood started fluctuating and I felt pretty shitty a lot of the time and our relationship was affected both on an everyday basis and sexually. It's been kinda hard to pick it all up again since then really.

I've had an unknown illness that causes me pain/discomfort and can be worse on some days and dissappear the next so I'm pretty down and tired from that. I guess that could reduce libido. It's hard because I do want to have a better sexual relationship with him but I'm so tired and stressed all the time. (My uni course doesn't help with this as it's quite intense)

On top of all of this I think the things I experienced in my previous relationship are starting to creep back into my head. I had to work throughout summer with my ex and I've been wondering if that added to the struggles now. I don't get flashbacks to the things that happened, but I do find myself thinking about them a lot. I'm not sure how I can move on and be better or even if it's affecting me. It's not something I ever dealt with or tried to reason out. I was just an object throughout the whole relationship and I was made to feel useless and worthless. But I distance myself from it all so much, I want to break down and cry and scream about everything he did but I just feel so disconnected from all of those feelings and that period in my life.

Sorry for the long post.

What do I do now?


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Annarr!!

    Sounds like you have a lot going on with Uni, being unwell and all these thoughts about your ex and all while in a new relationship too. Wow. It's no wonder that you are tired and stressed all the time. You must be pooped :crazyeyes

    It must have been pretty tough working with your ex over the Summer, so not surprising it's brought back lots of memories.

    You said that you want to be able to move on, and from how you've written your post, you seem to be a really strong, determined and caring person, even if it may not feel like it right now.

    Sometimes when there is a lot going on, it can help to try and deal with things one at a time if possible.

    Is the issue with your ex something you can talk through with your new boyfriend as he was a friend before you started the relationship,,?
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    plugitinplugitin Posts: 2,197 Boards Champion
    Hey Annarr, welcome back - it's been a while since I last saw you around here!

    I was wondering whether you'd considered any form of counselling so you can work through the feelings you're having about the time with your ex and the problems you're having as a result? You could go through your doctor, but there might also be some (free) counselling places for young people in your area who you could also speak to?

    Make sure you look after yourself, it sounds like you have a lot going on *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Annaarr!

    So I have been in a very similar situation to you. About 18 months ago I split up from an emotionally abusive Manipulator who I had only been with for 18 months, but it destroyed me. I then got back on my feet and am now with an absolutely wonderful man.

    I've had some post-traumatic stress like symptoms, and been very weepy at times and at others very insecure. I seem to be much improved at the moment, and these are a few things that helped me:

    1) writing a letter to my ex, which I then burnt. I wrote down everything I wanted to say, nice and nasty, and then burnt it out of my life.

    2) reading about emotional abuse, gaslighting etc and putting names to things he had done to me. Psychopathfree.com was a huge help.

    3) talking about the things that had happened with safe trusted friends, and a counselor.

    4) doing things to build my confidence - joining an exercise class, travelling India on my own.

    I'm sure there are other things I did, and I also have to admit that I would not have been able to work with the guy. Any chance you could avoid seeing him again?
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    Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Posts: 876 Part of The Mix Family
    (paragraphs are respective replies)

    The current boyf knows everything that happened, but it's been a year now and obviously he would like for intimacy to be more frequent, I do too but it's hard for me. He's struggling with being turned down so often, says it makes him think it's a problem with him sometimes, which I completely understand.

    I can go back to uni counselling, I've been thinking about it I'm just not 100% sure how they can help. I'm not sure how to approach it or what to talk about. The counsellor I saw last year wasn't massively helpful either and she was the campus counsellor, it might've changed now though I suppose.

    I'll check out that website, thank you.
    It's hard to talk about it with people, it happened so long ago and I don't want people to look at me and see what happened. The controlling/emotional abuse stayed a secret from everyone apart from maybe 5/6 people for the duration of the relationship and fewer know about the more physical things that went on. Yeah he got fired at the end of the summer so I don't have to see him again at all. He ended up causing a lot of shit for me when I was working with him and things got dragged up and when I mentioned particular things he kept saying that I was 'playing the rape card' etc and I think that was when it got more difficult tbh.

    I worry if I do talk to professionals about it it could go further? I know confidentiality is important and things can't be broken but I don't know if they could break it on this, especially considering he's now with an under 18 and treats her similarly. I don't want it to turn into some big ugly mess, the worst thing would be my parents/family finding out about the things that went on.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With your ex's poor behaviour over the summer, do you feel like he was continuing the cycle of abuse that you were in when together? I would suspect that could be a huge factor in increasing your triggers right now.

    I believe counsellors only break confidentiality if you are a danger to yourself or others. I very much doubt that a counselor would break your confidence in this matter. It can be difficult to find a counselor you mesh well with - sounded like the last was not quite the best for you. Try uni counselling, and perhaps some mindfulness or meditation if they have it?
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    Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Posts: 876 Part of The Mix Family
    Yeah. He was sickly sweet then he would be screaming at me and causing trouble for me. I had to watch him treat his new gf like I was treated then I'd get messages from her calling me every name under the sun and telling me I didn't know what I'd lost. It just all made me feel sick.

    Yeah I'll defo set up an appointment for the new term. I was referred onto cbt after my last set of sessions but I never heard anything so just gave up.

    Thank you all xxx
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Annaarrr!!,

    Sorry to hear you have been feeling this way - having to face your ex again during the summer and him acting the way he used to must've been so hard - and now having uni stress and this unknown illness can't be easy :no:

    Great advice from everyone here and Purple_roo's list of suggestions sounds really healthy and positive. Moving on fully from such a hard time isn't only about dealing with the past, but also giving yourself time to focusing on you and what you need, and rebuilding that confidence.

    As DenB says, you seem really strong and determined in your post and it seems that you are doing the right thing i.e staying aware of what you're feeling, exploring the reasons why you may be feeling this way, and wanting to get better. That's the most important.

    As others mentioned, counselling could really help. There should be no reason why the confidentiality should be broken, and it seems that talking to someone who is neutral and won't judge could be exactly what you need :heart:

    Good to hear you are planning to book an appointment - do let us know how you get on *hug*
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