Wanting to feel safe


Over the last couple days I’ve been thinking about my ex not about getting back together or communicating with them but about where they’re living and like what they are doing and it’s not a matter of me wanting to know because I care it’s about me wanting to know, so I can feel safe and try to avoid those places or just have peace of mind.

A part of my agoraphobia is I don’t feel safe because I’m afraid I’m gonna run into them. I mean it’s been two years and logically I know if they were probably going to do something they would’ve done it already, but just knowing they’re in the same town as me, gives me anxiety. I am working on coping skills with my therapist about how to feel safer to feel better about going out like making a safety plan in case I do see him, you know it probably won’t happen, but having that plan in place will make me feel safe. I googled his name just to see if he was still in the same house and it looks like nothing has changed. I don’t go looking through social media or anything like that. I have him blocked on literally every thing you could possibly think of and that will never change.

I don’t want to reach out to anyone in his family or anyone really, like I don’t want to ask a friend I don’t want to ask any of his friends. I guess I think about him maybe moving. Right before I ended communication he was talking about. Maybe getting a job someplace out of state but again I don’t think that happened, mostly because I think it was a tool to try to manipulate me with him thinking oh, she’ll not want me to go and blah blah blah we’ll that time it didn’t work . when I left his parents kept sending him money even though I told them he would just gamble it away and that’s what he did this was before I cut off all communication. So it does make me think if he wanted to move his family would probably help him but you know I really don’t know I again don’t think he ever wanted to go. He was just manipulating me or trying to.

I mean, maybe I would even feel better if I knew if he has gotten treatment for his addictions or trying to, just so that I don’t feel scared that he’s all drunk and mad and unhinged and unsafe. Because he would go out like that in public. I’m sure of it.

I just wish I had peace of mind. Most days I’m fine, I tell myself it’s been two years nothing has happened and I haven’t heard from him or his family. He hasn’t reached out to any of my friends to see how I’m doing.

I don’t know I had an anniversary this pass month and maybe that’s what got to me.

I have an appointment with my therapist next week but I just feel like I need it to get it out.

Is this normal?….. I just wanna know if I can go out and not feel like I’m constantly on the lookout for him. I’ve even thought of moving before but at this moment I can’t, and I really don’t want to because all my family and all my friends are here and I don’t want him to take that away from me or still being able to control me
This doesn’t always plague my mind, but sometimes every now and then I go down this rabbit hole as usual at night when I’m alone, my brain likes to go there. Agoraphobia is not all because of him, I have body image issues as well, that attribute to that. So my agoraphobia is a mix of anxiety, body image and my feelings of not feeling safe.

Do any of y’all get into these rabbit holes? If so, have you found anything that’s helped
you get out? any tips or tricks or coping mechanisms. Thankfully, I have my therapy appointment tomorrow so I can talk to her about this as well. She knows about the safety and again we’ve come up with plans but it’s definitely gonna be something that’s going to take time.
Is this normal?….. I just wanna know if I can go out and not feel like I’m constantly on the lookout for him
I’m not agoraphobic, so I can’t speak to that piece.

I’m not afraid of wide open spaces, or places/situations. I just don’t have the energy to effing deal with them. So I often don’t, and just nope out, isolating until I’ve collected myself enough to deal with the consequences.

As for the rest? It’s pretty normal for me, when I’m not doing well; both because I tend to isolate in response to stress (or go balls to walls and I’m not really young enough to survive a lot of that!); and because the more symptomatic I am, the less functional. To the point of going for weeks/months without seeing, much less speaking or interacting with another … I was going to say human being, but animals also count. It’s just all too much.

Even when I am doing well I tend to have something of a mental map of where people are, depending on how important they are to me, and in what proximity I am to them. How important someone is? Can be because they are beloved, or they can be enemies, or any of half a dozen other things.

When I’m not doing well my hypervig can sink it’s TEETH into that mental map, and use it to shred me.

When I’m not doing well it ALSO doesn’t really matter if I’m in a house & nope! Not dealing with XYZ right now, today, this week, whatever. Or if I’m sleeping on the beach half a days walk from anywhere. Or anything in between. It can take several days before things like hunger/thirst/etc. drives me up outta where I am to go …do… anything. And forget about anything NOT immediately necessary to life. So whether I’m in an ultra urban loft, or cabin on the outskirts of town, or sleeping under the stars? Sometimes I am just too f*cked up to function. <<< What it takes when I am in THAT place? Are patterns/routines. Things that become second nature/ I can do without thinking. But routines take both time and necessity to build, and desire to keep fluid.

Marry those 2 things together? Hypervig & Isolating? It can take a hot minute to unf*ck. X10 if I’m unwilling or unable to leave -at least for a time- to clear my head.
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Thank you for sharing and taking the time to read my post. 🙏

how do you live with people so I’m not totally isolated unless you’re talking about people outside of my house which then yes I am unless you factor in technology but again that’s not me go outside. 😅

Marry those 2 things together? Hypervig & Isolating? It can take a hot minute to unf*ck. X10 if I’m unwilling or unable to leave -at least for a time- to clear my head.
Yes, this. The two together are a f*ucking hot mess. And of course I’m alone at night when it happens but I’m trying to do better. I actually made plans to go out and meet someone for dinner my old manager or we’re friends This week. She also knows I’m diagnosed with PTSD and she’s very familiar with it and works a lot with a center for women who have suffered from domestic abuse. She is not a victim of abuse, but she had a very close friend that was calling in the middle of the night. She called my friend and they drove her to the center, and ever since she’s been volunteering there . She didn’t know about my PTSD until after she started working for another company. I don’t advertise at work or at all really. I asked her to be my mentor relating to my career, and I wanted to finally tell her that I had PTSD because they were times where my dept they would get together for Christmas parties or some little get together and I would always come up with an excuse so I didn't have go, but I always felt really bad about it. I just couldn’t do it just thinking about it I would start hyperventilating. my department does work from home 24\7 but they try to meet up now and again. I would like to make a note that my ex I met him at our place of work. However, he no longer is with the company because he was fired. He spent all day gambling and drinking instead of doing his job and I was engaged to him and my whole department knew, and I don’t want questions I’ve been able to successfully avoid since. I doubt anybody would ask me questions, but there’s always gossipers..
You asked is it normal, it’d say it’s not unusual. When I split off from a DV relationship I had to stay in the same town and basically went into hiding, however doing so I ended up doing ok for a few months with only visiting indoors with safe people, and shopping the other side of town to where he lived (I was in a regional town at the time); then it caught up with me and I relapsed, though a number of factors were involved. Years later I cut off from my narc and highly emotionally abusive mother for a couple of years and she lived 5min walk from me and my child. To start with going out again I went out at times I knew she rarely did and to a different shopping centre, and changed where I walked the dog. The terror of running into her had been stopping me living, so just those seemingly little things helped. It wasn’t full proof and I still startled when I saw a car the same make and colour as hers, but it did help me get out again. My father pestered including coming to my door and trying to bully his way into my home for a couple of years despite living nearly 2hrs drive away, but he hasn’t tried for a few years now so I have calmed on that front (he’s blocked on phone/email/etc and I’m not resuming contact as he won’t change).
Small steps like things you enjoy that he didn’t, and initially with a safe person might be somewhere to start. Knowing his routines might help, but eventually you need to live your life rather than allow it to revolve around him and the fear of him; easier said than done but possible. Parks, beaches, cafes, just a few things you could try initially as you relearn going outside. Regardless, avoidance is very common after trauma, and wanting to know what/where to avoid isn’t unusual