Recently Discovered Former Partner is an Addict

helbredelse

Learning
I posted before in other threads that my fiancé left me out of the blue about six months ago basically telling me that he's been unhappy for months, he wanted to live on his own, to not be in a monogamous relationship, and to go back to a certain lifestyle from years ago before we were together. I didn't see it coming. That event triggered a bunch of my deep core issues/trauma, caused more trauma for me, and so on. To say it's been really rough for me, feels like a huge understatement.

I recently discovered he's an addict. More specifically without going into details and from what I understand from my therapist, it's a type of sexual addiction rooted in deep childhood trauma. So while it explains a lot, it also hurts a lot. The type of lifestyle he left me for is actually a stressor for me because someone tried to force me into it when I was a teenager and certain evens from that traumatized me. So it hurts on different levels. Although "hurt" seems like a cute word for how I feel. I'm not sure what the right words are.

A long story short, I saw with my own eyes recently that a woman from that lifestyle claims to be living with him. She came across as very aggressive, mean, and just a "nasty" type of person. She looked to be old enough to be his mother and well, I have a lot of not nice words to describe her that I probably shouldn't get into. She said she lives there now with him and she came across as very condescending which didn't help. So much for being on his own. My therapist told me that he even though he says he wants to be on his own, he can't be. He "needs" to be with someone. When she answered the door with a collar on and this smirk, I completely lost it. I thought he would answer the door. I didn't know someone was living with him. I went over there to give him back something I thought was important. He never once said one word. I know he was there because I saw him briefly on the balcony but then he went inside. I think he was behind the door. She did all of the talking (threats). When I saw her, it was like someone else took over me and I went into a rage. I know now that was the trauma and it took me back to when I was a teenager and was traumatized from what someone did to me. The collar, the black hair, and that smirk just sent me over the edge. It felt evil, if that makes any sense, and that I had to destroy "it", not her... "it". Luckily the police were not called and no one was injured despite her threats. I ended up at a good friend's house and had a really good and very long talk. I also had an emergency session with my therapist.

I'm on new medication to help reduce the intensity of the rage-y episodes hopefully making them more tolerable so I can process and deal with it all in a healthier way. I've also gone 100% no contact with him as of yesterday. I have no reason to ever talk to or see him again. That includes all phone numbers, social media, email, and so on. I have an agreement with a good friend that I will call her immediately if I ever feel an urge to go to his place ever again. My therapist mentioned trauma bonding and to not get sucked into his vortex of "bad stuff". So I have a lot more work to do on myself.

I suppose it's good that now I seem to be crying a lot more instead of raging. I've learned that my rage is masking my grief, pain, and hurt. So when I feel rage, I need to try to bring it back to my heart and find out what I'm really feeling. So far it's been a lot of grief and it really hurts. I also have a burn journal for writing down the really bad stuff that's been resurfacing lately that probably shouldn't be in my normal journal. So I can at least get it out of me.

I have to accept that I have lost him for good. I know that I need to learn from this so I don't repeat it. He made his choice and there is nothing I can do about it. I know he has some serious health issues and he may only have a few years left. He seems to be self destructing based on what I know. If that is how he wants to spend it, then I can't stop him or do anything about it. I have to "cut the cord" completely to save myself from being sucked into that mess because it will destroy me if I let it. I also have children to raise and protect. They have no idea and it's probably best they don't know. All I've told them so far is that he won't be in our lives anymore and they seem okay with that so far. Thankfully they are not his children.

I've also learned that I'm addicted to emotional pain which is why I seem to keep subjecting myself to being around him when I know he's not good for me anymore. Got to love trauma bonding and biochemical addictions (hope those are the right words) from 40 some years of abuse and trauma. I've been journaling and going to a support group weekly as well as other things these past months. I've started listening to music with certain frequencies to see if it helps with calming and sleeping.

I'm not really sure why I'm even posting this here other than to get it out and to not keep it locked up inside. I suppose I need to just keep taking it one day at a time or even one moment at a time. I know grief is messy and takes time. It feels like I'm grieving an entire lifetime, if that makes sense. I wish it didn't have to hurt so much. Thank you for reading.
 

Friday

Moderator
reduce the intensity of the rage-y episodes hopefully making them more tolerable so I can process and deal with it all in a healthier way. I've also gone 100% no contact with him as of yesterday.
Good on.

The type of lifestyle he left me for is actually a stressor for me because someone tried to force me into it when I was a teenager and certain evens from that traumatized me. So it hurts on different levels.
This is a big deal.

If he’d left you for a billionaire heiress, or to join a commune in Fiji, or taken vows in the priesthood, or to play video games in a basement, or whatever? It would STILL hurt, but from experience, but it’s also a helluva lot easier to “grant” other people the right to make decisions in their own lives, for their own reasons… as it doesn’t have the crazy-making of old unprocessed trauma attached. Old trauma just GLOMS onto shit, making connections that don’t belong there, bringing past present, making things personal/possessive that aren’t, imbuing a life or death intensity that is almost impossible to ignore. It’s seriously wacky, because the thoughts/feelings are very real, and very visceral… even though they’re total bullshit.

It’s like if someone left you for your best friend (without your blessing) …that’s different than if someone leaves you for a stranger… as there IS a connection with your best friend. That’s just been violated/betrayed.

But triggers, stressors, old trauma? The connection is in our heads, it’s not real. No matter how real it feels.

It’s super crazy making, right?!? 😵‍💫

So seeeeeeriously good on you for recognizing & reality checking & taking steps back… rather than leaning into it. 😁 🥳 😍 Cuz that shit ain’t easy, and you’re not only recognizing it, but taking steps to cut yourself off, if/when it sneaks up and bites you (like callin your friend rather than being the crazy ex going after the new GF).

Respect.
 
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helbredelse

Learning
Thank you! So if I understand correctly, my brain is making connections that aren't really there because of the old unprocessed trauma. My ex fiancé and whatever he's doing now is not related to my past trauma. My brain saw "x" and interpreted me as being in danger or something because it was reminded of what happened in the past. I need to work on changing those connections basically rewiring my brain. So continuing to work on processing the trauma should help with that, right?
 

helbredelse

Learning
Thank you! To be honest, I already had done a few things that made me look like the crazy ex. I'm not proud but I do understand what happened and why. It's so completely unlike me. Old trauma is brutal and there seems to be a lot of it. I can't change the past. All I can really do now is to work on myself and stay completely away from him.
 

Friday

Moderator
Thank you! To be honest, I already had done a few things that made me look like the crazy ex.
TBH? How would any of us know we ARE triggered, &/or over the line… if we don’t hit crazy, at least once, first?

Me, I’m extra slow… I usually have to repeat the same mistake a few (zillion) times before I realize… Oh. Oh THIS. Again. >.<. Dammit.

Once we know we go there? Then, yah. Predictable is preventable, and we can work on not going there next time. We probably still WILL go there, again, at least a few times, because that’s how learning works. But the upside of practice is getting better/faster at recognizing it & recovering gracefully.

You caught yourself really fast on this one.

Seriously well done,
 

helbredelse

Learning
Thank you again. I am feeling better. I tend to beat myself up over this stuff sometimes. Instead, I need to be more gentle with myself since it isn't easy and it takes time and work and I am making progress. Yes, it happened. No, I can't change the past. What can I do? Work on recognizing the feelings so I can hopefully catch it sooner each time. There were a lot of other times when I've done the same thing over and over again until it finally dawned on me what I was doing was because I was in a triggered state. So I am starting to feel better about catching this one pretty darn fast considering how badly this could have gone. I'm not normally a violent person. I'm usually the quiet, calm, responsible one that everyone looks to in a crisis. So for me to start pounding on a door and screaming profanities, it's really uncharacteristic and a bit scary. Plus I'm a small person and most people seem to treat me like I'm harmless.

We knew each other for ten years. So saying good bye to ten years of friendship is hard too. I'll try to be extra gentle with myself.
 

helbredelse

Learning
Long story short, with my therapist's help, I've realized he's very likely a sociopath which makes it that much more important that I go 100% no contact. I've ordered a book she recommended that will hopefully help. It's a bit mind boggling but now some things are making much more sense. She had mentioned it before but now it's really sinking in.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
Some people simply cannot be alone. They exit one relationship and immediately enter another. I have known a few people like this, including an old friend and my most recent ex. The friend hasn’t been single more than a few days in her entire adult life, I kid you not. She’s now in a long term relationship so I’m glad she’s settled down. My most recent ex was much the same, but he gave a song and dance about how he wouldn’t officially be with someone else until the old relationship was over, which was BS as it meant he was always looking for someone new when he was at the end of one relationship, and wouldn’t end it until he found someone new. It’s been 3 months since I’ve seen him so it wouldn’t shock me if he was engaged at this point.

People make fun of me for having a life that’s been 99% single, but I just turn it around and say it’s sad you can’t stand yourself so much that you cannot be alone. But, anyway…
 
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