I ran into my abuser today and now I'm a complete mess. *trigger warnings*

I'm so mad at myself I can't quit crying. I already have enough on my plate as is. I have C-PTSD AND Stockholms syndrome, and am currently a live-in full time caregiver to my greatgrandmother with demintia, that is a daily struggle in it's own, this person was my fiance we lived together for about two and a half years. He was 27 I was 16 when The relationship began. I knew very early on I needed to get out but I was beated, humiliated, and terrified.

The break-up lasted about another 2 years of stalking,rape,physical and mental abuse restraining orders,jail time etc. every time I tried to leave I was beaten or strangled badly or had a gun put to my head or threats to kill my family. The whole situation haunts me every single day as is. I have good days and bad days but he's never truly out of my mind he controls so many aspects of my life I've tried therapy, I take medication I've been doing well. I saw him at the store today he smile at me and tried to speak to me as if nothing happened I ran out of the store like a little bitch in tears and I'm just so angry this stupid man has and Feel like forever will have control over my life. Our town is fairly small and he warned me I would have to leave or he would haunt my life forever, he's gotten me fired from jobs,tarnished my name in our community, I'm a basically a hermit because of the control I allow him to have over me. I need help. I'm so broken right now as if years of work have all went out the window the moment I saw his face. I know he is a coward of a man why can't I let his control over me go! I'm so angry at myself everyone around me believes I'm stupid they laughed at me even my mom. Sometime I feel so insane because no one around me will ever understand what Is going on in my brain. I feel so hopeless right now. I had such a great life before him and now here I am self destructing all over again and I HATE myself for it but I don't know how to stop. 😢😢😢

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  • TimidTina,

    I am very sorry you have been triggered. I felt the same way when I saw the perp/s who caused me harm, it is normal. Even now, years later it still effects me. Not as bad as before and not as long. Just seeing a picture of perp makes me jumpy and my heart race. Try taking those deep breaths, listen to music 🎶 , read a book 📚 or anything to take your mind of the perp. Sometimes, I try sleeping it off. Praying you are able to find calmness.

  • Thank you very much, music has been helping. I still don't think I'll be able to get any sleep tonight but sure hope so !

  • I'm sorry this has happened but the therapy will not be undone by this one incident. You are very hard on yourself. Someone once told me it was as if I had joined my abusers the way I used to talk about myself. I think running and bursting into tears is a normal reaction to such a terrible triggering, I do not think you are a little bitch for doing it but those are the words or similar that you have used. A normal reaction for me if I were to see any of my abusers would be to freeze then scream at the top of my lungs we all react differently. I think perhaps if you look at what happened and then realise that in that moment that you ran and cried your were looking at it as if in trauma time. The good thing is it sounds as if you can tell you have made a lot of progress in therapy or otherwise you wouldn't have thought it could all be undone by seeing your abuser. Act with compassion towards that very frightened or terrified traumatised self. You deserve it the compassion I mean and look how far you have come I mean it's not everyday you are so severely triggered. You did the right thing getting as far away from him as quickly as your could well done! Again look at what's happened with compassion towards yourself.

  • You are so right, before this man I was confident if not conceded and now all I do is bully myself the same way he use to. I've taken a Xanax and some time to analyze the situation. Every since my diagnosis I've felt as if something was wrong with me and I was never going to get better. I'm completely embarrassed about having ptsd I feel like i failed, like my brain wasn't strong enough to handle a bad situation. I've tried and tried to change my negative thinking because before the ptsd I was such a positive person(for the most part) lol and now I'm just so different and I have such a hard time accepting that. I guess seeing him made it real for me. It made me realize how much I've changed since the whole situation. I had so many goals and plans and now I live in fear of everything. Seeing him made me miss the person I was before ptsd. I'm having such a hard time excepting who I am now vs. Who I wanted to be so bad. (If that makes sense)

  • What helped me was thinking about what I had been through and then taking myself out of it and saying if anyone went through what I did how would I feel about them? Would I feel they were failures because their brain was not able to deal with the trauma they suffered? No of course not I'd feel very sorry they had to go through what they did and I'd be in awe that they are still alive to tell the tale. Sometimes removing ourselves and wondering with curiosity how we would feel about someone other than ourselves who went through and reacted in a particular way. Would we feel compassion towards them and if so then why don't we feel compassion towards ourselves? Only a few years ago I used to think I should be able to deal with everything I have been through...on my own I should be able to overcome it. Of course that sort of thinking is flawed for many reasons. Now I tend to look at it with curiosity and more compassion than in the past. I am in awe of the me who survived everything she has.

  • You are still that person, but it sounds like you are very hard on yourself. You are a survivor. Are you in any in person support groups for people who have survived like you have? There are recovery learning communities in various parts of the country.

  • Hi TimidTina,

    It's a normal human reaction to flee from someone who tried to harm you in the past. Don't beat yourself up for that. Also to cry, shake, feeling fearful...these are all ways of dissipating shock and trying to come to terms with seeing him out of the blue. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that, you were only 16 and teenagers are impressionable at the best of times. He sounds controlling, hard and cold as well as being a violent man. Don't blame yourself for not getting out sooner, I know I stayed in a relationship way longer than I wanted to. You are still young and you will overcome this. CBT can help you with getting outside and to stop fearing what people are thinking of you. You simply can't control that. It helped me to stop second guessing people and to quiet those thoughts that tell you everyone is looking at you. Also consider some bodywork to get the trauma out of your system. Dan has had great success with TRE (look it up in the forum) and also EMDR can help too. For now though, be kind to yourself, nurture that frightened part of yourself, she needs you right now.

  • Your mom laughed at you when you had been abused???? I don't get that. Also, how did she let an underage girl date a 27 year old? Plus, how could he get you fired? Did this "man" ever get charged for the abuse? And did you ever put charges against him? I hope so!

  • I had a terrible home life growing up, my mom was always off with her heroin addicted boyfriend(who overdosed and is dead now) my father is a piece of work also a drug addict. Being with this man was my attempt to break free from the hell I was already living in, nobody was around to stop me or even cared enough to notice. I didn't know anything about the legal system at the time and I was so scared. I pressed multiple charges on multiple occasions and restraining orders but nothing seemed to work he got assault by strangulation which should have been a felony and somehow he only served 3 months for it and was free again. It seems like he always wins.

  • I am so sorry you went through this.. In the place of fear, maybe find your anger. Your outrage. Dig deep .. & be the parent to yourself that your parents wouldn't.. Get angry enough to stick up for yourself.. & fight back at him & his influence .

    Taking care of a dementia patient is very tough & even worse when it's a family member. It could be very depressing and stressful but I understand your sense of obligation. It's ok to make plans & think of what comes after.. If that means leaving & moving to a new location to be free, don't be afraid to do so.

    You need to be at peace. & right now you probably feel trapped. That's very tough.

  • I'm deeply sorry for your situation. It must be truly unbearable to be in a small town [any town] where you are constantly faced with the fact that you could unintentionally meet/bump into an abuser at any time.

    I find it hard to believe why this man is still allowed to walk free and worse, that it is not him whose reputation has not been tarnished. I really hope that folk around you DO KNOW the real facts and are behind you, even if they allow this creep to walk the streets still.

    Is there any support system in your area that you can turn to?

    Take good care of yourself.

    Just remember - you are no longer his victim. You broke free from him.

    It is of course going to trigger so much seeing him again. But remember - you left him.. and you made it...

    Don't let him allow you to think anything else. You've done a lot of great work from the sounds of it; and today is a terrible, yet temporary incident.

    You are safe again now. x

  • TimidTina1009 I'm so sorry that you are suffering so much.

    I moved five hundred miles away from my abusers. I went away to college and that's how I got away. That was my launching pad.

    Is there anyway you can move away?

    That just sounds so difficult to be in the same area as him,

    I hope that's okay that I suggested that.

    Even if you move away you still take all the feelings and how you feel and having to heal because that just sounds so difficult.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this and I wish he was locked up somewhere.

    Take care

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