Toxic ex still haunts me

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Hel
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Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:24 am

Heads up, this is kind of a rant in the beginning.

I keep having these dreams where I'm talking to my ex-boyfriend, and even worse, I'm apologizing fro the mistakes he made! Like, he's the one who manipulated me and played with my emotions. He's the one who initiated everything then called it all off. And his "apology" was complete BS. He left me feeling violated and upset, and as though I had done something wrong. It took me months to realize I hadn't.

Now I'm with my new boyfriend who is wonderful and romantic, cares about me, and lets me be myself. But deep down I struggle to realize that he is a completely different person than my ex. I always fear that one day he'll toss me aside like an old toy, just like my ex did. Logically, I know this won't happen. (My current boyfriend is always saying how lucky he is to be with me, and planning romantic things for the future, etc.) But I just hate that these trust issues are still there. How do I let go and trust my boyfriend completely? There's no reason for me not to. How do I stop thinking about my toxic ex-boyfriend? It's really messing with my head, and I don't want it to mess up my current relationship either.

Sam W
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:16 am

Hi Hel,

It can really suck when a toxic ex is taking up space in your mind and energy you'd rather be directing at other things. Have you spoken to your boyfriend, or other supportive people in your life, about how you're feeling? Sometimes just processing or sharing a frustration or fear out loud can make it easier to combat.

Too, can you give me a sense of what you usually try or do when those unwanted thoughts about your ex pop up?

Hel
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Location: Austria

Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:02 pm

Yeah it really makes me upset when I think about my ex. I’ve spoken to my parents a few times about it, and they were understanding. I want to talk to my boyfriend about it, and I almost did today but then someone we both know died so I think I’ll wait a bit longer before talking about my ex, which is also a heavy topic for me. Do you think it’s appropriate to have that conversation over video? Since I’m seeing him in a month or longer.

Usually when I think about my ex, I just try to focus on things that are going well for me e.g. my current boyfriend, new friends, etc. And usually that works and my mind is clear for the rest of the day - it’s my dreams where my ex features most. I tried to learn how to lucid dream to control it but I was only able to once or twice. How do I fight my subconscious?

Mo
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Mo » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:12 pm

I think it would be okay to have that conversation over video, if it feels comfortable to you to have it that way. I can understand why it might feel hard to bring it up when something big and tragic happens, but it sounds like this is a source of ongoing stress for you, so I do think talking with him about your experiences and feelings around your ex sounds like a good idea.

In terms of your dreams, that's a lot harder! I don't think it's possible to control the content of your dreams for the most part; some people have luck with lucid dreaming abut it does seem to be easier for some folks than others, and I don't think anyone can ever be in full control of their dreams all the time. If you wake up from an upsetting dream about your ex, it may help to have a little ritual you can do first thing, where you do something a little energizing to shake yourself out of sleep and remind yourself of the distance you have from him now.

Hel
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:27 am

I'm inclined to talk about it over video too. I think that all this stuff about my ex definitely still upsets me. I feel like my boyfriend has the right to know about the relationship I was in before him, so that he can understand me better, and help me feel better, of course. I think I should wait until later this week or next week, but I'm more prepared to talk about it with him now.

Any tips for starting this conversation? It's not a very pleasant one, and I just want it to go smoothly.

Sam W
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:59 am

It might help to start out by writing out the gist of what you want to say to him; that way, you feel a little more prepared for the conversation and you have a sense of what way of starting it off feels right to you. More generally, do you feel like you want to give him a heads-up that you want to talk with him about something kind of heavy (and clarify that it's not a break-up conversation, just so you don't accidentally cause both of you more stress)?

Hel
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:20 pm

I guess I mostly want to talk about what my ex boyfriend did to hurt me - emotionally speaking. Just so my current boyfriend understands why I act a certain way in our current relationship, and so he knows how to best help me feel safe and loved. (I know he’s already trying very hard.)

Good idea to write down the gist. I think I will give him a heads up in a day or two, perhaps right before we talk. (And so he knows I am not breaking up with him.) Or/and maybe I’ll ask when it’s best to talk about this heavy subject.

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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Sofi » Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:00 pm

It's definitely a good idea to talk to him about it so it's not heavy on your mind anymore and it should ease a lot of the stress. Also, as you said, it's important he understands the 'why' behind some things that may affect him so that he can support you as best as he can. I want to give you props for suggesting asking him when is the best time to talk about this. Often, we get wrapped up in something like this and are eager to let it out so we forget our partners also have emotional needs around when they can give us the support we need. You are taking this into consideration and giving him the autonomy to decide whether he has the energy for an emotional conversation in that moment or not, which is awesome of you!

Hel
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:06 am

Thank you for sharing some positive thoughts on this! I just want to make sure we're talking at a time that works for both of us so we're not weighed down any further by this topic. I'm just uncertain when to suggest talking about this, since it's so soon after the death I mentioned. I don't really know how he processes grief so I'm giving him some space, but I don't know how much time he needs. It's a little frustrating, since my ex boyfriend has been on my mind for a long time and I need to get it off my chest, but now there's this whole other thing to stress about. I'm wondering if waiting until the weekend or next week is more reasonable. But my current boyfriend says he's doing okay...

Sofi
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Sofi » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:30 am

If you're feeling hesitant, like maybe he's struggling more than he's telling you, it might be a good idea to give it another week or so (if you feel you're able to wait more). You can also ask him - something along the lines of, "I know things are tough right now so I don't want to add any stress to you but I have something I'd like to talk about. Don't worry, it's not bad news or anything negative about *us*, just something I want to get off my chest. Do you feel ready to have a possibly emotionally charged conversation, or should we wait?" That way you're letting him decide.

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
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My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:11 pm

Okay, thank you, this seems like a really good way to say it. :) I’ll try this.

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
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Location: Austria

Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Hel » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:34 am

Update: I used the outline for starting the conversation like you suggested, and he was ready to talk right away. I told him about my ex, and he was very understanding, and he helped give suggestions for venting my feelings out. <3 Thank you guys for all the advice! Just wanted to share my success story.

Sam W
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:56 am

Thanks for the update, I'm so glad it went well!

Mo
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Re: Toxic ex still haunts me

Unread postby Mo » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:18 pm

That's wonderful to hear! Thanks for letting us know.


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