How do I un-traumatize myself?
April 18, 2011 3:19 PM Subscribe
I tried to break up with my boyfriend over the weekend, and it didn't go well. I've agreed to give things another shot but I don't think I can get over what happened during the breakup.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (198 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Caveats: This happened at his place; I was staying over and he was my ride home. This went on for a few hours. I'm 20 and he's 24. I'm a girl. He'd told me about being suicidal in the past but said he was passed that, and he hadn't given me any reason to think otherwise. He isn't having these feelings anymore.
I asked him to sit down and suggested we break up. The normal crying, anger and bargaining ensued. The thing I can't get past is he was briefly suicidal, and it scared the living crap out of me.
I got up to use the bathroom and shower and heard banging around in his room. I went back in to see what was up because I was afraid he might be suicidal and sure enough he'd gotten out his pistol and had it lying beside him with one round in the chamber.
I tried to get it away from him and he eventually ejected the chamber so it wouldn't accidentally go off and hit me, which scared the crap out of me because I briefly thought he'd pulled the trigger. I spent the better part of the day trying to take his guns/ammo but it didn't work because I don't have a car or a place to hide them. Instead I just sat in the room with him.
I told him how scared and hurt I was later on that day and he's apologized several times and agreed to get therapy but I can't stop thinking about it. I can't begin to describe how scared I was and I can't stop thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't decided to skip the shower and see what was up. I almost didn't do it.
I've asked him what would have happened and he said he didn't know. I tried to get him to say he didn't really mean it and was just upset but that doesn't appear to be the case. I can't stop crying thinking about what might have happened and I'm afraid of what will happen if things don't work out.
I haven't told anyone except a few close friends. I know this sounds silly, but I didn't call the police because he's a gun hobbyist and I didn't want to take that away from him unless I was really really sure.
Before this things were fine. I only wanted to break up because I wasn't feeling a spark/chemistry. He pointed out that it'd taken me longer than six months to feel that spark with other people, and since I tell him he's the first person I've dated that treats me well (true) he at least deserves that much. I agreed with that reasoning, which is why we're trying again... not because of the suicide thing.
But now, I don't know how to feel. I'm torn between feeling loving towards him and being extremely angry. I feel hurt, upset, angry, not only about the incident but also that I had to wrestle with him multiple times to try to get that thing away. I'm a musician and it bothers me that I hurt my hands and potentially risked a career trying to help him. Which is a totally weird feeling to have amongst the anger that he'd whipped out the gun in the first place but there it is. He's asked me to give him two months and if this hadn't happened two months would be fine. I can understand the pain and anger. I can work through that just fine. Even if he'd just told me he was having thoughts, ok, I can deal with that. But add on getting out the gun and not giving it up and it's just so... I don't even know how to describe how I felt. My feelings for him right now are so ambivalent that I worry I'll spend the next two months just trying to get over this one thing.
Has anyone been through this? Does the reliving the incident/fear go away? Is it normal to be this emotionally affected? I've read about things like this happening and most people seem more able to chalk it up to faking and walk away than I was.