Effects of my narcissistic trauma bond and a city I've lost touch with

Nicholas23

New Here
It's very hard for me to convey the feelings I have experienced this past year. I freeze, breakdown, move on, expel the thoughts, and then saturate in them as I watch the sun dip below the horizon again.

I get terrified to dive into just how much my relationship destroyed me. I was with my previous partner for a little more than a year. It was my first relationship. I was a freshman in college and had always told myself that the promises of love and commitment I lacked prior would finally unfurl. I wanted to feel it all. I wasn't desperate, but I was just waiting for the first plausible person to walk into my life. It set me up for failure. It felt like I was walking into the unknown. I only had childish conceptions of what it meant to be with someone or to fall in love and let myself follow the lead of a man I had fallen head over heels for. He was 24. I was 18.

I had all the baseline boundaries set. I knew I wanted genuine commitment and communication. I dreamt of growing old with someone and I was convinced already I would find them instantly. I let my walls dissolve. I opened up the parts of me I felt were always concealed, and I felt like I connected to some part of him. He cheated on me for the whole entire year. He lied and manipulated me every day. He weaved such an intricate sob story of apathetic misunderstanding and child-like dreams. I wanted to be the good relationship he had always wanted. To be different. I dedicated myself to that every day. I reminded myself I was fighting for longevity and connection before I went to bed. I wrote about him in my journals and tried to fight through it all.

As the facade pealed back, I continued to fight. I watched him drink himself away. I'd share the bottle and hope it would open a tunnel between our hearts. But when I left his side, I knew he would receive his necessary attention and affection from the next supply. I'd hate myself for it. Id question what I was doing wrong. Why I didn't deserve to be the one he decided was worth opening up to and working through it with. I had so many long conversations with him trying to pry open the deeper meaning. Trying to pry open his eyes to who was in his arms. He would tell his friends he thought I was so emotionally and logically pure. He would tell me how different I was and that he wanted to spend his life growing and experiencing the world with me. How he'd be by my side through college no matter how it all changed, and how he wanted us to grow together as we built a home in our love for one another.

I didn't understand how someone could become so inverted. He would drown in his alcohol. He would call me shallow. Tell me he felt pent in in our relationship. I tried to understand it and to see him for who he was, and he hated it. It felt like he has started to foster resentment for me. I would try to talk about relational commitment and love and he would tell me how I was emotional. I was hollow. Selfish. Goodietwoshoes. Crazy. They all burned, but I kept fighting. I loved him. I hadn't been with anyone, and I sure as hell wasn't giving up the one I fought so hard for.

He pushed me farther and farther away. Told me how marriage meant nothing. That we needed to sober up from our relationship. Told me how he doesn't think of anyone else romantically like he does me. All that magical feeling was with us. That I was dramatic. Bitchy. A never-ending contradictive battle of words.

I always clung to the future. The possibility that one day it would make sense. That we could understand each other. We would see each other through it all. He convinced me we were on the same page. He told me how he wanted to treat me better. He would do anything to bring us there. Then he told me he didn't think he could be with a man in the long term. That he has thoughts about building a life with a woman, having sex with her, and having children. None of it made sense. The world was upside down. It was all burning around me. The toxic gas filling my lungs as I already gasped for breath. I walked away that night. My friends and family had been begging me to see it. The pain, heartbreak, destruction. I had lost myself throughout the process. I had changed so much. I just wanted his validation. I now a, trying to get through the aftermath. It feels like the sky lost its color. I have been following the no contact approach, but it feels like I feel it completely different then he does.

It feels like I was so replaceable. He was on dating apps within days. Like I never existed. He kept all my letters, notes, pictures, gifts, yet he didn't want to keep me. It doesn't make sense. I've never felt such a strong disconnect from reality and from love and I haven't been able to talk to anyone who has experienced anything to a similar magnitude. My town now feels like an island of isolation. I see him on every wall. My thoughts redirect to him. I cry out for even a single message to light my screen. I want it to all be over. To not feel the weight drag me down. But I can't. It feels like im drowning in my head. I'm seeking therapy but it feels like a part of me has turned off and I dont know how to turn it back on.
 

Nicholas23

New Here
Being cheated on is a nasty experience.

Do you have pre-existing ptsd on top of the tough year you've had?
I had never been diagnosed and never had any really major signs so I don't believe so. I think it truly manifested being alone in my college town for a summer alone with him associating the whole city with him. It is so incredibly hard to even drive to classes or coffee shops now, let alone get a good night's sleep in the same room.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Perhaps reach out to college support services or consider working with a therapist to help with your anxiety. Breakups are hard, but with some in person support you can make sure you move through this difficult period.

This doesn't sound like a ptsd issue, which is good news. But it does sound like there may be depressive and anxiety issues at play. Either way, it's treatable, so you don't need to put up with life being this hard.
 

Friday

Moderator
It feels like I was so replaceable. He was on dating apps within days. Like I never existed. He kept all my letters, notes, pictures, gifts, yet he didn't want to keep me. It doesn't make sense.
I’ve always been a firm believer in ‘the best way over one man is under another’. Other people are firm believers in other methods. Camp de Hagen Das. Singers of sad songs. Petty vandalism. Stalkers United. Girls/Boys Nights Out. Sexual Anorexia. Wallowing. Burning of Mementos. Isms of Various Creeds (workaholism, alcoholism, activism, whatever they’ve decided to throw themselves into). Shrug. People handle endings & transitions differently.

When people break up? It makes sense that the exact same reasons they broke up will indicate they’ll handle that differently, as well.

I had never been diagnosed and never had any really major signs so I don't believe so. I think it truly manifested being alone in my college town for a summer alone with him associating the whole city with him. It is so incredibly hard to even drive to classes or coffee shops now, let alone get a good night's sleep in the same room.
That’s not going to be PTSD, unless you already had ptsd from a preexisting trauma.

If you think you are going to extremes, far beyond the normal human condition? That IS an indicator that something is wrong with you, instead of wrong with your life. That it’s not him, or the breakup, or the heartbreak, but some other condition or disorder making things worse than the event itself calls for, as you’re overreacting due to a condition/disorder & this event in and of itself is no big deal. <<< The problem there, is about 200 different disorders cause massive overreactions to normal life. PTSD? Is only one of them.

So if you think you are overreacting to normal life? I would very strongly suggest a diagnostic evaluation, to find out what -if any- disorder or condition might be exacerbating things.

If you think you are responding in a totally normal, rational, way to heartbreak? That still rates counseling, advice, assistance, support. Some people have friends perfectly suited to being those bulwarks, others hire pros to assist them. No different to some people hire accountants for their taxes, or mechanics for their cars, if they or their friends are not versed in what they need help with.

Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great place to start for all things Mental Health, if you think you’re overreacting.

Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist is a good place to start if you simply want some guidance & assistance during a difficult time.
 

Loveann

Confident
It's very hard for me to convey the feelings I have experienced this past year. I freeze, breakdown, move on, expel the thoughts, and then saturate in them as I watch the sun dip below the horizon again.

I get terrified to dive into just how much my relationship destroyed me. I was with my previous partner for a little more than a year. It was my first relationship. I was a freshman in college and had always told myself that the promises of love and commitment I lacked prior would finally unfurl. I wanted to feel it all. I wasn't desperate, but I was just waiting for the first plausible person to walk into my life. It set me up for failure. It felt like I was walking into the unknown. I only had childish conceptions of what it meant to be with someone or to fall in love and let myself follow the lead of a man I had fallen head over heels for. He was 24. I was 18.

I had all the baseline boundaries set. I knew I wanted genuine commitment and communication. I dreamt of growing old with someone and I was convinced already I would find them instantly. I let my walls dissolve. I opened up the parts of me I felt were always concealed, and I felt like I connected to some part of him. He cheated on me for the whole entire year. He lied and manipulated me every day. He weaved such an intricate sob story of apathetic misunderstanding and child-like dreams. I wanted to be the good relationship he had always wanted. To be different. I dedicated myself to that every day. I reminded myself I was fighting for longevity and connection before I went to bed. I wrote about him in my journals and tried to fight through it all.

As the facade pealed back, I continued to fight. I watched him drink himself away. I'd share the bottle and hope it would open a tunnel between our hearts. But when I left his side, I knew he would receive his necessary attention and affection from the next supply. I'd hate myself for it. Id question what I was doing wrong. Why I didn't deserve to be the one he decided was worth opening up to and working through it with. I had so many long conversations with him trying to pry open the deeper meaning. Trying to pry open his eyes to who was in his arms. He would tell his friends he thought I was so emotionally and logically pure. He would tell me how different I was and that he wanted to spend his life growing and experiencing the world with me. How he'd be by my side through college no matter how it all changed, and how he wanted us to grow together as we built a home in our love for one another.

I didn't understand how someone could become so inverted. He would drown in his alcohol. He would call me shallow. Tell me he felt pent in in our relationship. I tried to understand it and to see him for who he was, and he hated it. It felt like he has started to foster resentment for me. I would try to talk about relational commitment and love and he would tell me how I was emotional. I was hollow. Selfish. Goodietwoshoes. Crazy. They all burned, but I kept fighting. I loved him. I hadn't been with anyone, and I sure as hell wasn't giving up the one I fought so hard for.

He pushed me farther and farther away. Told me how marriage meant nothing. That we needed to sober up from our relationship. Told me how he doesn't think of anyone else romantically like he does me. All that magical feeling was with us. That I was dramatic. Bitchy. A never-ending contradictive battle of words.

I always clung to the future. The possibility that one day it would make sense. That we could understand each other. We would see each other through it all. He convinced me we were on the same page. He told me how he wanted to treat me better. He would do anything to bring us there. Then he told me he didn't think he could be with a man in the long term. That he has thoughts about building a life with a woman, having sex with her, and having children. None of it made sense. The world was upside down. It was all burning around me. The toxic gas filling my lungs as I already gasped for breath. I walked away that night. My friends and family had been begging me to see it. The pain, heartbreak, destruction. I had lost myself throughout the process. I had changed so much. I just wanted his validation. I now a, trying to get through the aftermath. It feels like the sky lost its color. I have been following the no contact approach, but it feels like I feel it completely different then he does.

It feels like I was so replaceable. He was on dating apps within days. Like I never existed. He kept all my letters, notes, pictures, gifts, yet he didn't want to keep me. It doesn't make sense. I've never felt such a strong disconnect from reality and from love and I haven't been able to talk to anyone who has experienced anything to a similar magnitude. My town now feels like an island of isolation. I see him on every wall. My thoughts redirect to him. I cry out for even a single message to light my screen. I want it to all be over. To not feel the weight drag me down. But I can't. It feels like im drowning in my head. I'm seeking therapy but it feels like a part of me has turned off and I dont know how to turn it back on.
I went through something similar. I had to realize it was his problem not mine. That l can't fix him. I can't make him love me how l need to be loved. He would say one thing and do another. Push me away further and further towards the end. We were together 5 years. He has to want to change and see that he has problems. He doesn't see it and doesn't want to change for the better. You deserve to be loved how you need to be loved. Cheating is disrespectful, how he treated you was wrong. That is not love. He may have trouble even loving himself, so how is he going to love someone else. He maybe an alcohol too. That can make people worse on top of whatever they are struggling with. It's not your fault. It took a long time to get over him. I had to cut off all communication with him. Get mad at him and how he treated me. Instead of fantasizing the way he really was. I had to get mad for a while to get over him. To greive him and get past the first long way of pain, broken heart. Take the time to greive and heal. You will get through this.
 
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