Other Anxiety/Numbness/Relationship Trauma

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Ruhi

Hey, I’m a 17 y/o female. I was just doing some googling to try to find a reason/cure as to what I feel right now and I found this online forum page. Hopefully there are some people who relate to me on here. Here is my story.

I used to be the most emotional person a year ago. I saw so much beauty in the world. I was always nostalgic. I had dozens of crushes and intense feelings for many guys. Then when summer came around, I got serious with someone who ended up breaking my heart two short months later because he wanted to explore his options. I was obviously very hurt but my first instinct was to jump right into another rebound relationship with another guy who had been trying to win me over for months. I thought that it would be the most secure course of action and I’d have a supporter who wouldn’t let me down like the other guy because he seemed to be so obsessed with me. It’s probably the stupidest decision I’ve ever made, I should’ve stuck to focusing on myself like I promised I would but at the time all I wanted was comfort because I wasn’t strong enough to get it from relying on myself. So in August, I began my relationship with this new guy. Let’s call him S. I was still so hurt by the previous summer guy, I definitely wasn’t completely over it when I got into the relationship with S. All I wanted was someone to unconditionally care about me without considering the fact that I wasn’t ready to care about someone back. So I forced my feelings. I said yes to being S’s girlfriend even though I didn’t really feel any real emotions when he asked. I just kept assuring myself that they would just appear with time as soon as I got further into the relationship. Soon, I did feel some things during the relationship. It was definitely not as intense as the previous one but a little spark was still there. Everything felt so muted, it was so unlike every emotion packed crush I’d felt before. I still felt like I was just saying things that people are obligated to say in a relationship without actually saying them. But S was taking it really fast and I just didn’t want to let him down. Soon, though, I realized that it was not healthy so I had a difficult talk with him that we needed to slow things down. There were many ups and downs that occurred between us in the first three months because of my lack of real feelings as well as insecurity from my previous heartbreak. But it didn’t stop there. In the month of October, we both finally developed slightly deeper feelings and were more or less content together (with the exception of an argument here or there). But there was something else that played a role in my emotional downfall which led to my current state.

The one thing that was detrimental to this relationship and me was my anxiety. I have suffered from social anxiety since middle school but last November it hit me in a way that it’s never hit me before. I felt anxious and spiraled even when I was by myself. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been locked up at home, not exposed to the real world, with seemingly endless time on our hands that paid a factor, or maybe it was just my overworking mind and its deep dark spiral that caused it, but my anxiety overtook my mind. I was in a whole different otherworldly place. I wasn’t even able to connect with my family members. I completely cut myself off and lost touch from the world unwillingly. I was so deep in my own mind that I was in constant suffering. I lost all hope and experienced a wide range of issues. Dissociation, isolation, depression, suicidal thoughts, irritation, aggression, etc. My biggest fear is that phase reentering my life at some point. But anyways, unfortunately it hit me at the same time i happened to be in a relationship, with S.

I considered S to be my safe place when I experienced this anxiety. But obviously he didn’t completely take me out of the place I was in. He didn’t even understand what I was going through. I still felt completely overwhelmed and inferior by talking to anyone, especially him. I felt like no matter what I said, he would one up me, or step on me. I felt so intimidated by him and after three months of our relationship passed he completely took advantage of my anxiety based insecurities. The fact that I couldn’t defend myself, be direct/clear or control my anxiety and plus the power rush I gave him was a stepping stone for him to become toxic. I know people say that after three months people show their true colors, and boy, did he. He was always insecure, so as soon as I gave him the leeway he needed to take advantage of me, he quickly grabbed it. He turned completely toxic at the time that I needed him most. It was probably because he didn’t fully understand nor care about my anxiety and how uncontrollable it was for my mind but he became the most manipulative person I’ve ever known. After that I stayed with him for three more months, which became probably the most devastating emotional trauma I’ve ever experienced. He showed me the most manipulation, empty promises, disrespect, gaslighting, and insults I’d ever experienced all while I was in the most fragile state I’d been in. Every conversation we had was either an argument or a forced civility. All while I kept trying to convince myself that I could still rely on him because I had no one else. He completely took advantage of me and my anxious state and every time I’d express how hurt I felt he would flip it around on me and degrade me, and find some way to make me believe it was supposedly my fault that he acted the way he did. I was already at my lowest and he pushed me down lower than I’d ever been. Throughout those three months, I couldn’t see anything clearly. All I believed was that one day he’d hopefully change and care about me the same way he used to. I thought that if it was possible before it could be possible again. But I should have left at the earliest time possible. Because the more I stayed with him, the more I let him eat into me and destroy me slowly, and the less he cared. Every time I opened his message my stomach would drop. But in the state I was in, I wasn’t strong enough to let go of somebody who I believed was my support despite how suffocated I felt with him. I took three breaks in total over the course of the relationship for my sanity but I couldn’t bring myself to leave completely.

It’s been a month and a half since I officially left him. For good. My intense anxiety started to fade at the start of this year and by the time it was mid February I was more than ready and had prepared myself enough to let go of that 6 month long hellfire of a relationship. The one benefit I had on my side was that I never had strong emotional feelings for him. It was more of just a dependency and a craving for affection and care which I never ended up receiving from him. Once I was more in my senses, I came to terms with the realization that he was never going to give that to me, and it was easier to let go of false hopes. I was still mentally scarred, had a low self esteem, and felt a complete lack of emotion overall but I knew he wasn’t going to contribute anything to fix it. My best shot would be to go through it alone and build myself up.

It’s definitely proven hard for me. Anxiety is not an easy thing to experience, no matter how severe. There are so many other conditions and symptoms related to anxiety that your mind may revert to as a coping mechanism. And I’m familiar with a quite a few of them, physically and mentally. I still suffered from dissociation which seemed to replace the anxiety in the weeks following the breakup, but soon I reverted back into my normal life and the dissociation was replaced with regular anxiety that I’d face in school, except with my family instead. This kind of anxiety is what I’m suffering with currently. It’s the mildest form of social anxiety comparatively to the other anxieties I’ve felt, but sometimes it causes me to not be able to be in the correct mindset to necessarily say the right things. I don’t know if I prefer this or the dissociation. The dissociation is a convenient escape from facing anything that my mind thinks is dangerous but at the same time it lessens my chances of making connections with my family. With the mild anxiety it’s harder because I’m forced to be in the moment and face my fears but at least it allows me to make an effort.

I don’t doubt the fact that I’m definitely making progress mentally from the depths that I was pushed to by S. But the issue I’m facing right now is my complete lack of emotion. I feel a sort of numbness in the emotional aspect. i feel like I could never feel love for or care about somebody again. Even just vibing by myself is more difficult. It’s just not the same. I used to be a lot more receptive to emotion and it just makes me dissapointed that I can’t see the world the same way again. Where did the beauty go? Where did the nostalgia go? Why won’t tears come to my eyes anymore? Where did those passionate, intense crushes go? I feel like letting somebody else in is definitely out of the question, but really, shutting my own emotions out? How do i reactivate them?

This is all just effects of the relationship trauma I faced coupled with my anxiety but I really hope that one day I’ll regain my feelings. I felt so much more free before when there were so many possibilities.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I was just doing some googling to try to find a reason/cure as to what I feel right now and I found this online forum page. Hopefully there are some people who relate to me on here.
This is a forum focused on PTSD. Many members here can understand feelings of anxiety, dissociation, and depression. But what you're describing isn't PTSD.
The one thing that was detrimental to this relationship and me was my anxiety. I have suffered from social anxiety since middle school but last November it hit me in a way that it’s never hit me before. I felt anxious and spiraled even when I was by myself. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been locked up at home, not exposed to the real world, with seemingly endless time on our hands that paid a factor, or maybe it was just my overworking mind and its deep dark spiral that caused it, but my anxiety overtook my mind.
Bolded the likely cause. It's a pandemic. it's f*cked up a lot of people. Not surprising that your anxiety intensified.
I used to be the most emotional person a year ago. I saw so much beauty in the world. I was always nostalgic. I had dozens of crushes and intense feelings for many guys. Then when summer came around, I got serious with someone who ended up breaking my heart two short months later because he wanted to explore his options. I was obviously very hurt but my first instinct was to jump right into another rebound relationship with another guy who had been trying to win me over for months. I thought that it would be the most secure course of action and I’d have a supporter who wouldn’t let me down like the other guy because he seemed to be so obsessed with me. It’s probably the stupidest decision I’ve ever made, I should’ve stuck to focusing on myself like I promised I would but at the time all I wanted was comfort because I wasn’t strong enough to get it from relying on myself. So in August, I began my relationship with this new guy. Let’s call him S. I was still so hurt by the previous summer guy, I definitely wasn’t completely over it when I got into the relationship with S. All I wanted was someone to unconditionally care about me without considering the fact that I wasn’t ready to care about someone back. So I forced my feelings. I said yes to being S’s girlfriend even though I didn’t really feel any real emotions when he asked. I just kept assuring myself that they would just appear with time as soon as I got further into the relationship.
I feel sorry for the guy. You rebounded into him, didn't really care about him, and if I'm reading the timeline right - started living together in the middle of said pandemic?
He didn’t even understand what I was going through. I still felt completely overwhelmed and inferior by talking to anyone, especially him. I felt like no matter what I said, he would one up me, or step on me. I felt so intimidated by him and after three months of our relationship passed he completely took advantage of my anxiety based insecurities. The fact that I couldn’t defend myself, be direct/clear or control my anxiety and plus the power rush I gave him was a stepping stone for him to become toxic.
Yeah, you. might want to rethink who the toxic one is, here. He's not responsible for your feelings of inferiority, you know. You admittedly had those before the relationship started.
He completely took advantage of me and my anxious state and every time I’d express how hurt I felt he would flip it around on me and degrade me, and find some way to make me believe it was supposedly my fault that he acted the way he did. I was already at my lowest and he pushed me down lower than I’d ever been. Throughout those three months, I couldn’t see anything clearly. All I believed was that one day he’d hopefully change and care about me the same way he used to. I thought that if it was possible before it could be possible again.
So the relationship went from starting off bad to becoming worse.
It’s been a month and a half since I officially left him. For good. My intense anxiety started to fade at the start of this year and by the time it was mid February I was more than ready and had prepared myself enough to let go of that 6 month long hellfire of a relationship.
Six months.
The one benefit I had on my side was that I never had strong emotional feelings for him. It was more of just a dependency and a craving for affection and care which I never ended up receiving from him.
Re-read the part of your post I quoted, above. Can you see how you were as responsible for the breakdown of those relationship as he was?
But the issue I’m facing right now is my complete lack of emotion. I feel a sort of numbness in the emotional aspect. i feel like I could never feel love for or care about somebody again. Even just vibing by myself is more difficult. It’s just not the same. I used to be a lot more receptive to emotion and it just makes me dissapointed that I can’t see the world the same way again. Where did the beauty go? Where did the nostalgia go? Why won’t tears come to my eyes anymore? Where did those passionate, intense crushes go? I feel like letting somebody else in is definitely out of the question, but really, shutting my own emotions out? How do i reactivate them?
You never got over the breakup that started the rebound with S. You didn't take the time to process those feelings (as you said, above). So, you're probably dealing with a lot of that now. Give it time.

Yes: anxiety is awful, I don't dispute that. Relationships can be really rough, and breakups can be depressing and upsetting. A pandemic puts everyone on their back foot.

All that being said: either you're a troll coming onto a PTSD forum and whining about your bad relationship habits in order to get a rise out of folks, or you've just wandered into the wrong room. I suspect it's the latter.

Locked.
 
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