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    • #144769
      orchid7
      Participant

      I weirdly feel less confident and more insecure now I am not with him. Although I was unhappy and although he was nasty at times about the way I look (detail removed by moderator) etc., a lot of the time he would give me extreme praise about my looks and myself generally. Even though he didn’t act like it or respect me he would make me feel like I was the most wonderful person in the world. I understand it is a manipulation tactic but then that just makes me think well none of the nice things he said about me are true and then I feel deflated. It’s like even though I know it was manipulation I still miss him saying these nice things to me but I feel pathetic for thinking this. Just feel like my confidence is at an all time low now I am not with him and I miss how I felt about myself in the relationship. But then again I felt awful too whilst with him and inadequate and boring and ugly etc. It’s so confusing and I am frustrated at how my confidence has taken a fall. I have started to date a little and where I am used to such extreme praise and flattery from him when I don’t get this from someone new I feel terrible. It’s like I want to let go of the bad things he said to me but that means I have to let go of the nice things too. Anyone else felt like this? How do I work through this x

    • #144774
      longjourneylife
      Participant

      You need to learn to love yourself first. Then it doesn’t matter if you get a compliment or not, you’re just happy in yourself. Sorry can’t advise how to do that as I find compliments really awkward, I don’t like them off anyone, they make me suspicious, like, what do they want?! But look at your name, @orchid7 a unique, precious flower, lucky #7. Good luck and be kind to yourself X

      • #144792
        orchid7
        Participant

        Hello thank you for your reply. Oh I feel so far away from that but I can work on it xx It’s getting used to healthy people I suppose too x Thank you x

      • #144887
        Sunshinegirlie
        Participant

        So right now it seems you are struggling to break the trauma bond. Which is 100% understandable and really hard to do. I think I was able to break my trauma bond because my ex rarely said nice things to me. I don’t actually have a lot of good memories to trap myself in thinking I made a mistake. But the thing is you DID NOT make a mistake by leaving. Whether you realize it or not but you actually took the first step in your healing and self love journey. You finally put yourself first. You realized it wasn’t safe/healthy to stay with him and you left. I get it tho and I understand that leaving was definitely the easy part, it’s the staying gone and away that’s the HARDEST part. I literally cried and cried and forced myself to block him on everything. I even changed all my passwords to emails, Facebook, etc etc along with changing my phone number. Changing my phone number had a huge blessing that I didn’t realize right away. Since it was literally a brand new number he couldn’t have known about it shut off a lot of anxiety. I never worry when a new number from the state where he lives calls me because he can’t be him at all. It also erases all temptation of texting/calling him because 1. He doesn’t answer numbers he doesn’t know but 2. It would literally hand him a way to contact me. I force myself everyday not to think about him because he doesn’t exist in my reality anymore. What does exist in my reality is ME. I’m the most important thing in my reality just as you are in your own reality. You have got to put yourself first and continue to put yourself first. It feels selfish but honestly it’s not at all. You matter so much more than what you think. Surround yourself with people who support you and only do things to encourage you to heal and grow. It’s a hard process learning who you are but it’s still worth it. My counselor is amazing and reminds me every time I see her that I’m so much stronger than that I ever thought and guess what so are you. It took incredible strength to walk away. No one can take that from you. I tell myself everyday “I got this” and “this too shall pass”. My favorite quotes. Keep up the good hard work. Each day that passes without him is a day you become a little more stronger and things get a little more easier. We all have bad days which is normal and understandable. Just try not to let it become more than just a singular bad day occasionally

      • #145342
        orchid7
        Participant

        Hi Sunshinegirlie. Oh I needed that reminder… yes u are so right the staying away part is difficult. It’s like a soon as I get a wobble I think I can’t do any better than him and I’ll never make it on my own or build myself up again to how I was. Thank you for your support I needed to hear that xx

      • #145481
        Sunshinegirlie
        Participant

        That’s actually quite normal to feel like that after leaving the abuser. Your confidence will come back. It literally takes time and healing. He love bombed you really hard and that’s why you feel worthless. But sweetheart, you are NOT worthless. It takes incredible strength to leave an abusive relationship. You are amazing and deserve to be happy and treated right. I totally understand that trying to date again and not being told all those wonderful things right away and constantly feels weird. But it’s normal and healthy. It’s NOT normal to be constantly complimented. We all have bad days and that’s normal too. But keep trying. You need to continue staying away from him and not having any kind of contact. He’s not good for you. Start some new hobbies or pick up an old hobby and do what makes you happy. Start taking mental trips to your happy place and I mean a literal place not your bed or his arms. Like your favorite vacation spot or some hiking trail that brings you inner peace. I started doing yoga and meditating to help find inner peace

    • #144775
      [email protected]
      Participant

      Reading through this felt like you was writing about my relationship with my ex. Went through exactly the same thing and sometimes look back and even feel bad as I think about the nice things he said and think oh perhaps he wasn’t that bad. I’m still on a long journey to recovery and processing things. My ex could say the nicest things and make be feel amazing but then say the cruelest things. You are right it’s all manipulation and positive reinforcement to keep you in the relationship. I’ve come to realise that some narcissists are actually really insecure. He probably looked at you and wanted to be more like you in some ways . My ex would really compliment me but it was the way he said it that made me feel like he was kind of jealous of me. He said he always felt insecure about himself. I feel like you and do sometimes miss when he complimented me but then also remember how unhappy I was and how he would make me feel. Also we tend to hold onto the good things they say more intensely as it’s a great lift after the cruel things that have been said. All part of the positive reinforcement. You will get your confidence back. Just remember that when you date… it will be different.. it’s not that your not all the nice things that your ex said, as I’m sure they were all true it’s just that these people are not trying to manipulate you. I’m coming to learn and it’s taken a lot of time that my relationship wasn’t healthy,- it was intense and he was quite overbearing at times. Its just getting used to something that we are not used to. But keeping it firm in our minds that what we were used to wasn’t right or part of a heathy relationship. You will find happiness again with someone I’m sure. Someone who will compliment you and make you feel great without being put down. Good luck with the dating. You deserve every happiness and you will get to where you deserve to be.

      • #144795
        orchid7
        Participant

        Hello thank you for your reply and thank you for sharing the same experiences you have had. I am looking with rose tinted glasses I think and just thinking about all the nice stuff and not the reality of how I actually felt I suppose x Hard to give yourself a reality a check. And that is so true the things he would compliment me about are the things he would also get the most irritated by ! Sick people . Oh this is a long process x

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