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Miss Havisham complex ? Help

(17 Posts)
2015ontheway Mon 22-Dec-14 23:31:25

I really fear I am going the way of Miss Havisham and don't know what to do exactly (that I haven't tried) to stop myself ending up covered in cobwebs.

It's a long, boring story- and under a diff name and on OTBT I posted a lot about exp at various times: he was a master manipulator and a real charmer but cruel and quite bizarre in some ways- people here suggested maybe a narcissist. Sexually abusive, verbally abusive, prone to weird rages. He was the first person I have ever really loved -despite me being quite old! I was separated when I met him and fell for him very hard.

We weren't together for all that long- about a year and a half. But this is the fourth Christmas in a row that will be dominated by thoughts of him:

three years ago was the only Xmas in the (abusive) relationship.

He dumped me brutally and kind of out of the blue just before Christmas two years ago, then messed me about (rephrase- I allowed him to mess me about) most of the following year. I posted here and had loads of help and good advice (which I ignored, mainly)

Last Christmas he was sort of back in my life a bit as a kind of 'friend' -although it was all a bit of a mess as there was no friendship really and he was with someone else. He kept saying he was obsessed with me and longed for me and I was the only person who knew him and could see right through him etc... Yet you guessed it- was in no way going to be with me.

This year- well I haven't seen or heard from him for a few months now and this year is the hardest of all. I feel like I am walking through total darkness- just absolutely empty and bereft without contact. Every day it is getting worse and thoughts of him/ us/ the past are plaguing me. I haven't contacted him or seen him around and haven't heard a peep- and I have come to terms with that, it's fine- but the way I feel is NOT fine- it's disproportionate and bonkers.

I have tried EVERYTHING to be rid of the thoughts of him: hobbies, challenges, exercise, other men (disastrous), work, focussing entirely on the dcs, writing, travelling about, setting goals etc. rubber band snapping.

I had so much counselling- got me nowhere and when I started to meet him again I lied to the counsellor and pretended I wasn't.

I miss him every day. I think about him within minutes of waking up and I dream about him. He used to say he could hear my voice all the time- I can hear his all the time.

I can't believe that I am becoming such a sad, embittered woman- or so preoccupied and plagued by thoughts of someone who treated me so, so, badly. Not just once, but time and time again.

I am hoping the anti depressants work. But what else can I do that I haven't tried? Is this some kind of complex or disorder? It's like being ill. I just cannot move on. I've been at the point of just wanting not to live because I don't want to live like this- it's stupid.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 23-Dec-14 00:23:50

Did you have counselling with more than one counsellor, or just the one? If it was just the one then it could be the case that s/he was either not a good 'fit' with you or not very competent.
It sounds pretty grim, but every minute of every day without any contact from this scabby little rapist is another minute passed of the journey towards peace of mind and freedom.

ProbYou Tue 23-Dec-14 00:31:56

Miss Havisham, owned her own home, she adopted a child, so had a life. She was an evil old witch though.

You can have a life too, and be a much nicer person.

Drumdrum60 Tue 23-Dec-14 01:35:05

You must have been addicted to the thrill and drama of him. Stop wasting your life. Maybe you can't get over the fact you didn't win him. Are you very competitive?

2015ontheway Tue 23-Dec-14 10:54:30

solidgold two counsellors: one from RC for a couple of sessions but I couldn't do their times, and then another one for longer. I couldn't get to the bottom of it then and I still can't now.
Drumdrum that is the whole point, I want to stop wasting my life. I have seriously tried and tried. It's not that I can't get over not winning him- it's that I can't compute anything that happened. If everything had been clean, clear and normal then I could deal with it better.
Probyou I do try to be a nice person!
I don't know, I think I sort of posted wrongly. I am just at the end of my tether with this- I can't shake off the past is what I mean, and I'm scared that if time hasn't healed the wounds they won't heal.

DingDongMerrilyOnSherry Tue 23-Dec-14 11:16:34

I miss him every day. I think about him within minutes of waking up and I dream about him.

I'm no psychologist but this sounds like you are dreaming about having your ideal perfect relationship. Your mind is creating scenarios that you want to be true. You are working through what you ultimately want from a relationship. All this dreaming is like being a screen-writer of your ideal romantic life.

The big problem is that you've cast the wrong actor in the leading role. OK, so he's the only one you've loved so far so he seems like the obvious choice. Yes, he played some scenes beautifully in the past but he threw in a lot of other shite too.

Other men are available for your romantic day dreams.

Time to cultivate a celebrity crush?

What about going on a Christmas binge movie watch until you are dreaming of your perfect relationship with Cumberbatch, Hasselhoff, Ed Sheeran, Brucie or whoever floats your boat? Notice which romantic movies appeal to you. What do they offer that your life doesn't have? Would it be possible to have that with someone one day?

When you finally work out what you want then you can work on finding it in real life.

Obviously it doesn't involve your ex but it does involve having some of the good stuff again with somebody.

Your brain is trying to tell you something with all this fiction writing. Listen to it.

A hypnotherapist friend explained this to me this a very long time ago because I do this all the bloody time about every bloody thing. If my life is in turmoil I go into another world of a complex imaginary life daydreaming my life away instead of doing what I should be doing. I used to think it was a weakness until the hypnotherapist helped me to see that it was my mind's way of telling me something important and if I paid attention and listened then my mind wouldn't have to keep banging on about it all the time. It was great advice. Pay attention. Listen to what your mind is trying to tell you about your life. Take action accordingly.

Meerka Tue 23-Dec-14 11:41:43

2015 when you've tried everything reasonable and really put your best effort in and it's still not working .... is there any chance of taking the really old fashioned way of curing obsession and travelling the world? (highly impractical maybe, but just if you could!)

Other than that dingdong seems to have put their finger on something. When your mind keeps returning over and over and over to one thing, it's trying to tell you something in its own unclear, inept way.

Rather than counselling, might a trained therapist be an idea?

BuzzardBirdRoast Tue 23-Dec-14 12:01:15

When you leave a particulary dramatic relationship it is a bit like having post tramatic stress disorder, they take a lot more than 3 years to get over.

I still struggle with an abusive relationships from 11 years ago. I don't have counselling but I accept that I won't get over it easily, it was stressful. Time will heal I expect. Three years is nothing, you are looking for a magic cure I feel?

Has either of your counsellors suggested ptsd?

2015ontheway Tue 23-Dec-14 14:07:49

Thank you, that all makes sense. Buzzard the GP suggested PTSD a year ago and to initially persevere with the RC counselling that was in the pipeline at the time.
He had taken up a job at a place I had a lot of ties to and moved during the week to my town. I felt like I couldn't move or breathe for fear of running into him.
I also think maybe PTSD as I had a couple of dates in the summer with a man and ended up having a panic attack after he said he wanted to walk me home.
I hope the antidepressants will help?

Meerka I would love, love, love to travel the world- but two dcs and no pennies make it hard to see how. So I just tried to build in some little mini adventures this past year instead. That did help a bit.

Dingdong what you say is very interesting, thank you- I think maybe I am trying to show myself something but just haven't worked out what, or been able to process what it all means. I was considering going to a hypnotist in my desperation!

BuzzardBirdRoast Tue 23-Dec-14 14:26:26

I expect you also have a Stockholm Syndrome type of thing also. You know he is bad news but something tells you to be with him?

This is when you have to use your head and not your heart. That bit will fade I promise. Although I still dream of being with him, my conscious, awake sense would avoid him at all costs.

I would continue with the counselling though (even though I haven't done it). A different counsellor might be able to see these things in you and help you to deal with it? I think the AD's will work if they stop you feeling so anxious, which is what I was left with from my experience.

Do everything in your power to stop yourself being sucked back in, it will not end well, but I am sure you know that.

Stay strong OP, you owe it to yourself.

juneavrile Tue 23-Dec-14 14:43:00

Also look into SLA = sex and love addicts, it has the advantage of being free and I know people who have benefitted from the group. As I understand it, so meetings are held online which might help if you have kids. It's affilitated with AA / NA so has a one day at a time philosophy I would imagine.

Also consider NLP which can work in as little as one session. It cured me of smoking which still blows my mind.

Do explore every possible avenue - I have a relative who has been in relationship like the one you describe for 50 years. She is now 70 and still where you are mentally and having a miserable time - very depressed, no self esteem and short of support because friends and family just give up.

Best of wishes for you to start 2015 free of it.

gatewalker Tue 23-Dec-14 21:57:32

I would suggest therapy and not counselling, 2015. The fact that you lied to your counsellor about being back in contact is a good indicator of why the counselling didn't, or couldn't work. It only works when you're prepared to share all of yourself -- warts and all -- with the person sitting opposite you. Otherwise you do a dance -- perhaps a little like the on-off dance with your partner.

Therapy is hard. Very hard. You are confronted with yourself, deeply buried emotions and pain, time and again. Obsessive relationship, as dysfunctional as it is, keeps you distracted long enough, and locked into dynamics and feelings familiar enough, for you not to need to have that confrontation.

It sounds like I'm being harsh. I guess I'm being uncompromising, as someone who reads what you've written and relates to it. There is a way through, and it asks for commitment in a way that your partner could never give to you. Perhaps commitment that you've not known before. But it is commitment to yourself above anything and anyone else.

Best of luck.

Suzannewithaplan Wed 24-Dec-14 01:53:52

I have to say I also thought 'trauma bonding' when I read your post OP.
I also thought 'limerence'
there was a thread on it a little while ago.

I'm wondering if it would be helpful to keep some sort of record of your progress, a diary, a chart, something that shows that you are moving on even if only slowly?

I have experienced something along the lines that you describe and I found it helpful to write about how I felt, and to look back and see that I wasn't obsessing as much as I used to.

Twinklestein Wed 24-Dec-14 10:34:48

I would suggest you're lonely and feeling empty and filling up your life with dreams of the Man Who Never Was rather than moving in to engage with a real man in a real relationship.

Emotionally it probably feels a lot safer - it's not real so you can't get hurt further.

I really woudn't suggest swapping one fantasy for another 'celebrity' because at the end of the day fantasy is a waste of time and cannot nourish your life.

It sounds like you've never got to the roots of your obsession, and codependency issues. If it's not yet solved there's still more work to be done. I would try another psychotherapist - find a good experienced one. If money is an issue you could also try co-dependents anonymous.

AskMeAnother Wed 24-Dec-14 17:17:12

You need a blue-eyed Irishman. Its the only way forward.

Especially if the missing man is Sicilian.

WhyTheFace Wed 24-Dec-14 17:28:58

Christmas can be such a shit time to be on your own. I think that's probably part of it TBH.

I crave my XH sometimes. He was an abusive bastard, but I loved him. Well, actually, I didnt, I loved the idea of him, the person I thought he was in my poor addled brain. I romanticised (and still do on occasion) him and our horribly dysfunctional amazing romance. So much passion! Oh it was tempestuous because we were so deeply in love...such bullshit. He was a cunt and I was damaged.

It has taken me years, years to "get over" him. Getting over someone doesn't feel like I thought it would though. It's not as though I never think about him, rather that I don't think about him every day. I know if he came to my door I would turn him away. I can live my life without him and I can fall in love with someone else.

2015ontheway Mon 29-Dec-14 20:14:30

This is all great food for thought, especially the idea that getting over someone doesn't feel the way you think it will- that makes sense whytheface, I have been waiting for a total forgetting and getting frustrated that it doesn't come!

A blue eyed Irishman would be just the ticket askme and he wasn't Sicilian but of the Mediterranean type yes.

suzanne yes I read trauma bonds and it made a lot of sense to me, but then I met up with him again for a 'friendly meal' and promptly forgot everything I had learned.

twinkelstein, I agree that I am sure I need more counselling but I'm not averse to forming a real relationship, I just don't seem to meet anyone in daily life.

Thanks all for the very helpful thoughts. Another poster's thread here about her EA partner is ringing so many bells and the advice being given to her is so useful to read.

I'll get there.....

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