PTSD from last relationship breakup :(

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2012
PTSD from last relationship breakup :(
Sun, 11-03-2013 - 1:12am

My on-and-off boyfriend of 9 years broke it off last year in August and it was incredibly hard on me.  We were living together, I truly believed this was it and we would eventually get married.  Without elaborating too much, the breakup came as a big shock to me and I literally had a nervous breakdown from it.  He left for a week and left his loaded 9mm for me (for protection) and I had never felt so suicidal and desperate before in my life, the anxiety attacks I was having were crippling and all I could do that week was panic and cry and throw up and wonder what I was going to do... 30 years old, had lost my job a year prior so I was in college full time and collecting unemployment.  I literally had constant anxiety for a week straight and couldn't function, and I couldn't tell anyone how bad it was because I was even afraid of myself.  If anyone reading this has ever suffered from anxiety attacks, they are terrifying and horrible and I can't help but think the only solution is death, but I would never do anything to harm myself.  I have to remind myself it will pass.... Well it's now been well over a year since the breakup.  The anxiety came and went for a long time, and I thought it was gone completely until I started dating again.  I started seeing a man on a regular basis and I started to develop feelings for him, which in turn started to give me massive anxiety attacks again :(  While he was with me I had 2 anxiety attacks and not only was it humiliating to confess to him, it is extremely depressing for me to think that I may have to live the rest of my life with this crippling anxiety.  That man has since decided that I am not ready for anything more than friendship.  He was very understanding and comforting when I had the attacks but he's not looking for a woman with man is.  Well that was about a month ago.  Since then I started to see a new man and I spent the night with him last night... I woke up at his house and I was fine initially, but then anxiety kicked in... It seems the moment I start to like a man, I start having panic attacks.  I am so terrified of having my world turned upside down again.  I don't want to get hurt again.  I long for the companionship of a man in my life and the affection and everything, but I am absolutely terrified of being hurt again and this fear is now ruling my everyday life.  I don't want to live with this anxiety :( I am scared now that I will never be the same, and that I will never be able to love again. It's so depressing :( At least this new guy also suffers from anxiety attacks so he totally understands but it felt pretty lame telling him this morning that I was having anxiety and that it was because I like him.  I can't believe this.  I was in counseling for a few months to try to address this but since I got a full-time job (THANK GOD) my counselor had to end the sessions because she doesn't work after 5:00.  That was a big blow, just when I thought I was getting somewhere....  I don't know what to do now. I like this guy, I really liked the last guy.  I am very ready to have a man in my life, but my mind and heart are ruined.  So sad....


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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 11-04-2013 - 4:02pm

  It sounds like You are over involving your emotions.  The anxiety attacks can be calmed down effectively with several types of medication i recommend something like Valium since it can be used at the time of the attack rather than taken daily.  However, counseling would also help since the anxieties seem to be event triggered. 

   Also it seems that you are 'other centered" using a relationship with a man to validate yourself and using him as the pole of power.  That would certainly trigger problems.  learning to be in your own power would help a lot.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 11-05-2013 - 9:58am

Oh I know it's not entirely healthy. But it's now I've always been, since very young,  and I won't be changing any time soon at the age of 43. One of the reasons for this could be that I'm a twin and life alone is unfathomable and pointless to me.  Biologically pre-programmed, so to speak. I'm not thinking as far ahead as which one of us, him or me,  will go first. (I do hope it's me!!|)

As far as OP, yes, absolutely, I do agree that she has to get herself into a healthier mental state to go back out into the world again. Medication, therapy, both. Understanding that she can't subject herself to this kind of treatment by any  man ever again.

 What I don't agree with is the notion that we have to somehow get ourselves all sorted and stable and happy to start dating again after a bad break up. That we have to read self-help books and go to endless therapy sessions for years and years until we're all 'repaired' again. Life just isn't like that, full stop.  Noone ever really recovers from terribly painful break-ups, especially if it was a very long term r-ship,  UNTIL AND UNLESS they get themselves into a new great one  that lasts. Noone's ever 'healed' through and through. If we all waited until we were to start dating again we'd all be single for the rest of our lives. Everyone's emotionally damaged, to an extent, after a certain age, because thing happen to people, and there's no way to ensure that nothing bad ever happens to us.  What heals damage - in my opinion and more importantly experience - is a new great start which develops into a happy 'forever'. At least that was the case for both myself and my sister in our lives.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Tue, 11-05-2013 - 2:27pm


I totally agree with Music........... although it can happen it is not possible to attract a healthy mate if you dont get emotionally healthy on your own and have time alone and find out who you really are and know what you want.. We can all attract the wrong type. that is the easy part but how many people really attract the right one and so quickly....

Not saying its not possible but Julia you must be the exception to the rule.. I am sure your guy is not perfect although the way you talk about him it sounds like he his. Unless you are just accepting him for what he is or lying  no one is perfect. He must have some flaws and so do you.. I guess you both live with them..and are willing to put with it.. because no one relationship gets away with not having any problems.. If and when problems arise the couple either sorts it out or they drift apart and break up...

Most people I find just bury their heads in the sand when problems arise and that is why most people stay together. They just ignore the hard core problems and live with them....

Me being my age and having experienced two failed marriages, relationships, flings, affairs, watching other couples and staying alone I think I know what the deal is.. Not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but trust me experience is the best teacher.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 11-06-2013 - 8:02am

Free, all I'm going to say is this: my dh and I are two very imperfect unhealthy (emotionally, somewhat mentally lol) people who are 100% perfect for each other as human beings and intimate partners. Our r-ship is not perfect, but it is as near to perfect as I've ever wanted a r-ship to be. We have issues sometimes which we resolve - quickly and without drawn-out arguments  -  together, as a couple, a team, friends and partners. I didn't do 'law of attraction' stuff either. I just got lucky. I wish you the same kind of luck.