How Do You Get Over a Toxic Ex?

Nuance

Learning
So I have C-PTSD from attachment, developmental, and medical trauma and have a physical disability. This relationship did not do my PTSD any favors.

I got out of a toxic relationship 5 months ago but I am still struggling. Even though there weren't acts of physical or sexual violence, most people who hear the story, find it psychologically and emotionally disturbing. My male therapist said my ex was emotionally disturbed, psychologically unwell, and probably dangerous.

  • My ex used to say things like if I didn't listen to him, he would probably hurt me in the future and then later on it became if we didn't break up, he couldn't ensure my physical safety.
  • He said he was always afraid that he was going to hurt me.
  • He said he felt the urge to dominate women but that he feels calm and comfortable with men. (He has never had a intimate relationship with a man.)
  • He said that if he got his gay sexual needs met, he wouldn't be violent anymore. (But he's actually more aggressive towards men.)
  • He said he physically attacked his dad to "protect our connection".
  • He said he wouldn't have always been so angry if I had given up my friends.
  • He said I was the reason for his disconnection from other people.
  • He said he was afraid that he was sexually attracted to me because I look like a little girl.
  • He said I was like the mother he never had. (He has a mother with severe mental issues.)
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
With time and distance, first.

Then depending on the ex.

The first year isn't even remotely over enough... much less just five months. That's very very fresh and just barely out-time.

And, nothing about you or nothing you did is to blame for the fact he is a lying, threatening, manipulative, twisting shit, predatory, parasitic, exploitative piece of slimey scum.

You did nothing wrong.
His mother did nothing wrong.
His choices and words are just his to own. Just his to clean up, too.
 

Lumos

MyPTSD Pro
First, congratulations on getting out of it. Second, it takes Time and good support. Sounds like you have a good therapist there and he's right about what he has said. I was in an abusive relationship for many years. It took 3 years to feel completely over it all. But even with that, once every few months there will be a longing for the nice side of my ex. But never a longing to go back. I challenge those thoughts by reminding myself of all the abuse, all the bad times, how scared I was, how miserable I was (and would be if I went back). It's also worth noting that when people do go back, they often end up being abused even more severely (it can take several weeks or months for the abuser to snap, they pretend they'll 'change').

Aside from that, sounds like he has internalised homophobia/biphobia, his aggression towards men is probably a way of showing his frustration that he likes them (twisted, I know). But it's his problem now and he really should be in therapy. The other things he's said are also really very worrying, I hope he does not have any children or vulnerable people in his life.
 

NatBird

MyPTSD Pro
@Nuance
I'm sorry you've had this experience but glad you are physically at least out of it. Thanks for starting this thread. I have much to learn about this myself. Hope you find the answers that come helpful/supportive
 

Nuance

Learning
@Lumos I can't imagine years of that type of abuse. Sorry to hear that. I was only in it for 11 months and it shook me to the core.

Yes. I foolishly went back twice. Each time he got more violatile. He told me that he fantasized about physically hurting me anytime he got angry. He also fantasized about throwing his ex's body into the river. So who knows what would have happened in the future. I don't think he's safe for anyone: male or female.

Yes. He probably does have internalized gayphobia or biphobia with a heaping scoop of misogyny. He told me he was resonating a lot with Onision (a YouTuber who is accused of grooming underage girls) and I got the sense he could relate a little to Ted Bundy and looking up things on how to be a "virtuous pedophile".He was clearly conflicted. It makes me sad to think a lot of people who were physically and sexually abused on here had abusers with a similar mentality to my ex. I just really lucked out that he didn't take things further.
 

Lumos

MyPTSD Pro
Ah, I am just glad I got out, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. And I feel more and more like myself the more time that passes. 11 months is still a really long time to put up with the abusive things you mention he did. It's important to take good care of yourself and I hope you have some supportive people in your life.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
This type of psychological warfare in relationship is so dangerous and so detrimental that I honestly do not know how an adult can hear these things and even stay but I know how a child may feel and just die or dissociate to survive in sort of zombie like I did.

I think if I were in your shoes, I would focus on what my feelings were to hear those words and sentiments and stay and if I still feel that way; so more or less, focus on my feelings about what happened to me RATHER than what he did or felt or said....maybe if it is useful to you, write a story of what he said and how you responded then or even felt then and how you would respond or feel today and get some gratification from the difference or release sadness if there is no difference like you missed him as a person you used to know and love. In short, allow or entertain to grief this part of your experience. It meant something but it took something and you are here to tell that story today.

I do not believe time heals as so often said cause if that was the case Post of PTSD would not exist.

I feel what you do with the feelings you disowned when you were with him is a good start.
 

Nuance

Learning
This type of psychological warfare in relationship is so dangerous and so detrimental that I honestly do not know how an adult can hear these things and even stay but I know how a child may feel and just die or dissociate to survive in sort of zombie like I did.

I think if I were in your shoes, I would focus on what my feelings were to hear those words and sentiments and stay and if I still feel that way; so more or less, focus on my feelings about what happened to me RATHER than what he did or felt or said....maybe if it is useful to you, write a story of what he said and how you responded then or even felt then and how you would respond or feel today and get some gratification from the difference or release sadness if there is no difference like you missed him as a person you used to know and love. In short, allow or entertain to grief this part of your experience. It meant something but it took something and you are here to tell that story today.

I do not believe time heals as so often said cause if that was the case Post of PTSD would not exist.

I feel what you do with the feelings you disowned when you were with him is a good start.
Thank you, I really do need to focus on myself. I essentially stayed because of my own unresolved trauma from childhood.

I thought I had been doing so much better, quit therapy, and my blindspots got the best of me. I didn't want to "abandon him", and be "a failure" by giving up on him, and felt excessively scared for my future like I was going to die without him (during my trauma, my survival was completely dependent on others especially with my physical disability.

I fully intellectually understand now how distorted that thinking truly was and have since gotten back into therapy with a trauma specialist. My trauma is centrally relationship-focused (attachment) and I struggle a lot with "fearful-avoidant attachment style if that sheds any light as to why an adult would stay in such a dynamic.

Also, I appreciate the suggestions. I realized that I didn't really love him but he really triggered my PTSD in a way that I never experienced before.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @Nuance it takes great strength to leave a abusive and dangerous relationship. Congratulations!!, you should celebrate! These people damage us. Your ex sounds like a very unstable and dangerous person. All the best to you . S3
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
I'm still not 100% over my ex bf that I broke up with two years ago. It's not intense, and it's getting better, but I'm surprised how much the break up lingered for me. He wasn't as "bad" as your ex, but I think the reason for my being still stuck a little is because he kicked up some old triggers and insecurities. He had c-ptsd and was unable to recognize that his feelings from trauma were affecting his reactions to me. So he reacted big to every little annoyance. I was left feeling that I was a really bad person. I think a part of me wants his clearance that I wasn't a bad person after all, and that it was him. But he was never going to give me the recognition.
 

Nuance

Learning
I'm still not 100% over my ex bf that I broke up with two years ago. It's not intense, and it's getting better, but I'm surprised how much the break up lingered for me. He wasn't as "bad" as your ex, but I think the reason for my being still stuck a little is because he kicked up some old triggers and insecurities. He had c-ptsd and was unable to recognize that his feelings from trauma were affecting his reactions to me. So he reacted big to every little annoyance. I was left feeling that I was a really bad person. I think a part of me wants his clearance that I wasn't a bad person after all, and that it was him. But he was never going to give me the recognition.
That sounds quite difficult. The lack of acknowledgement can be soul-sucking and excruciating, but being acknowledged has another set of problems. It's all just sucky.

My ex did admit to abusing me but it kinda felt like a tinge of rationalization and I felt angry that he knowingly hurt me.
 

Nuance

Learning
UPDATE: I wrote a couple of open letters on a forum my ex frequents and he sends me a long-winded video message of how he's terrified me exposing him because I know about him than most.

I replied with a message, saying work on being a better person and if not, people will eventually see through you without my interference.

I left it at that...saga over. But I did save the video pretty much admitting to shame and not wanting to be exposed. It felt good for all the shit he put me through.
 
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