fear of boyfriend

littlestars

Learning
Lately I've been extremely nervous, anxious, and paranoid. I'm afraid of my boyfriend. I keep feeling like he is going to start acting like a couple of my exboyfriends. I keep saying "I'm sorry" constantly... I keep crying out of nowhere. I keep thinking everything is wrong when there is nothing bad happening. It's basically like seeing things that aren't there, but these are intrusive thoughts and feelings. It's like my gut/intuition is on mute and my imagination is showing me nightmares. There is no reason for me to think anything is wrong because everything is okay. Also, there's no reason for me to be afraid of my boyfriend. He's the most gentle, loving man I've ever met and date. I don't know what's happening to me but I would like to be my "normal" self before is developed. I can't figure out why any of this is happening.
 
I can't figure out why any of this is happening.
Well, if your previous boyfriends caused you trauma, your brain is automatically going to go to "boyfriends=trauma." Because your brain assumes that your boyfriend is going to hurt you to the point that it's serving up intrusive thoughts and nightmares, it's not going to be as easy as just going back to your normal self or thinking your way out.

Do you have a therapist?
 

littlestars

Learning
Well, if your previous boyfriends caused you trauma, your brain is automatically going to go to "boyfriends=trauma." Because your brain assumes that your boyfriend is going to hurt you to the point that it's serving up intrusive thoughts and nightmares, it's not going to be as easy as just going back to your normal self or thinking your way out.

Do you have a therapist?
That makes sense. I do have a therapist. I'm going to talk to her about this next session (next week). In the meantime I'm fighting my anxieties and trying to convince myself that my nightmares aren't reality.... they're so lucid and feel real. Even when I wake up it feels like the nightmares actually happened. I'm also not used to healthy relationship. I keep waiting for something to go wrong. My therapist always tells me to look for the good. Look for the evidence. I know I'm safe with him, but I do feel like boyfriends=trauma. My boyfriend is really sweet and gentle with me. I feel ashamed of all of this.
 
I feel ashamed of all of this.
How you feel is how you feel. Your brain is acting on its own logic - and it makes sense if all of your previous boyfriends have given you nothing but trauma.

You brain is trying to protect you.

Even your shame is a very typical feeling for those of us in this situation. Your brain doesn't want you to think too hard about this, just to get away. You're not doing that, so it's sending shame at you. And your previous boyfriends have probably encouraged that feeling of shame so you would be easier to exploit, so now feeling the shame is second nature.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I feel ashamed of all of this.
Shame is a big one for me personally. There's a whole heap of things that, rationally, I know I don't need to be ashamed of, but it follows me everywhere. I've found addressing 'shame' directly in therapy very helpful in the past, because when I looked at shame more broadly, I found that it was actually influencing a whole heap of different parts of my life.

trying to convince myself that my nightmares aren't reality.... they're so lucid and feel real. Even when I wake up it feels like the nightmares actually happened.
Just a heads up, it may not be relevant. If you're finding that your nightmares are particularly lucid, it's always worth raising that with your doctor. There's a fairly long list of things that make nightmares more lucid than usual, and they're things that you might not consider (for example, nicotine patches are an absolute shocker).

If there's an easy way to reduce how lucid they are, it's always worth asking the question.
 
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