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I can't believe I feel this horrible.

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Charity411 posted 8/28/2014 14:37 PM

And I don't understand why. My place of business moved to a new building this year and last week a co-worker was back at the old building and noticed I'd left behind an old briefcase so he brought it back for me.

In it was a file I kept on an ex-boyfriend who stalked me for five years after I ended our relationship. I saved all the letters, cards, notes and emails from him as evidence of the harassment. In it was a 7 page typewritten letter to me attempting to win me back during that time. For some stupid reason I read it. I had completely forgotten about it.

I am amazed at how much it affected me. He starts out praising my beauty, intelligence and integrity and then slowly starts going into everything that's wrong with me. How I'm a people pleaser, I try to be perfect, how maybe it's my Catholic upbringing and even viciously attacks my family members. He aludes to friends of mine not really liking me and this goes on for page after page. He then shifted to how I need him because only he can really love such a flawed person.

I intellectually know it's a bunch of crap. So I don't know why I feel like I got gut punched all over again. This is a person who took advantage of me financially, almost got me sued, and actually got me entangled in his bankruptcy proceedings to the point where I had to spend $2,000 to defend myself or lose my house. He still does nothing for a living and everything he owns is in someone else's name because he owes so many people so much money he can't have any assets and he's in his late fifties. So why on earth would his opinion of me matter?

I am baffled and ashamed I had a relationship with this person. I was in such a bad place mentally after my husband left me that when this neighborhood bad boy hit on me I saw it as a compliment. I was going to tame the bad boy to prove to my ex that I was loveable. Reading that letter brought it all back and ten years later I'm near tears and I feel unloveable all over again. I don't even know why I'm posting this. But I guess I just have to let it out of my brain.

Forged1 posted 8/28/2014 16:57 PM

In it was a 7 page typewritten letter to me attempting to win me back during that time.

There's only one thing to do with that. Use it as toilet paper. And then do what one does with used toilet paper.

I don't even know why I'm posting this.

You're posting it because something from a very long time ago hurt your feelings, made you feel bad for a bit and you ant to let go of that feeling.

D'you know what that is? That's normal. That's healthy. That's a good thing. It can't actually hurt you anymore.

better4me posted 8/28/2014 20:59 PM

your suffering from some ptsd symptoms: Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event. Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again). It's natural to feel guilt and self-blame about these kinds of trauma. It's an old tape playing in your mind.

Remind yourself of how far you've come since then, remind yourself of some of your recent accomplishments, remind yourself about what you've learned since then. Remind yourself about all the people (friends and family) who find you lovable. All these things will help you get this stuff back in perspective and "out of your brain".

((Charity)) I'll bet after a good night's sleep things will look different!

doin just fine posted 8/28/2014 21:22 PM

I am baffled and ashamed I had a relationship with this person. I was in such a bad place mentally after my husband left me that when this neighborhood bad boy hit on me I saw it as a compliment. I was going to tame the bad boy to prove to my ex that I was loveable.

And you've learned something. Hold your head up. You aren't in that place anymore.

[This message edited by doin just fine at 9:23 PM, August 28th (Thursday)]

doin just fine posted 8/28/2014 21:22 PM

double post. in all this time, first time.

[This message edited by doin just fine at 9:23 PM, August 28th (Thursday)]

Charity411 posted 8/29/2014 08:06 AM

Thank you all for your very insightful responses. You are all exactly right. And I guess I never thought about PTSD being a possibility in this case. But that makes sense. This manipulative letter was only one tiny piece of five years of him intensely stalking me after I ended the relationship. It was relentless. I'd wake up and find him standing in my room. He'd watch my office window at work. He'd have people make appointments to meet with me in my job capacity and then he'd show up instead. He was arrested for harassment at one point. I ultimately got a restraining order and even then 8 months into it he took me to court to try to have it rescinded because he wanted to buy a semi automatic weapon and couldn't get a foid card with an active restraining order. He represented himself so I had to be cross examined by my own stalker. I was a basket case. But the judge sided with me and the order remained in place.

I haven't given all of this much thought for years so I was stunned by the intense feelings of dread this letter brought back. I got some sleep and woke up resolved to go through this file and put everything through the shredder at work. I'll only keep a copy of the legal documents because from time to time he attempts to contact me. I need to keep proof that this is unwanted contact.

Again, thank you all for your kind responses.


nowiknow23 posted 8/29/2014 08:45 AM

((((Charity))))

norabird posted 8/29/2014 09:53 AM

Of course this upset you! To have someone attack who you are--someone you at one point trusted enough to be with--it's awful. It cuts deep even when intellectually and logically we know there is nothing true in the accusations, and they only reflect poorly on the person making them. That's what you would tell a friend who experienced this but somehow it's harder to tell ourselves.

I am glad this chapter in your life is closed but not surprised that facing this evidence again has made it fresh. Be kind to yourself.

(((Charity)))

Charity411 posted 8/29/2014 10:23 AM

I did go through that file and I shredded anything personal. I only kept the legal documents. It was very cathartic. By going through the rest I was able to put the timing of that letter in context without reading too much of the rest of the stuff. He wrote it shortly after I made it clear that I would never get back into a relationship with him for a lot of very good reasons. I'm sure he felt that was an attack and so he had to make it my fault. In our relationship that had always worked because I struggle with co-dependency and he learned that the more he criticized me the harder I tried to please him. He never expected I'd really break free of it all.

Thanks Norabird. The evidence is now gone. Too bad he wouldn't fit in the shredder.

Forged1 posted 8/29/2014 10:39 AM

Too bad he wouldn't fit in the shredder.

He will if you cut him up into the appropriate sized pieces.

Better yet, make friends with a pig farmer. Very, very hard to get DNA out of pigshit.

Charity411 posted 8/29/2014 10:43 AM

And how exactly would you know that Forged? Nevermind. I don't want to know.

Lonelygirl10 posted 8/29/2014 14:32 PM

I am glad that you are feeling better now! I still wanted to respond because I understand how you felt when you found that letter. I was in a similar situation with a guy who stalked me, and felt the same way when I read old emails months later. I even have a hard time admitting what happened to family and friends, because I am ashamed that I allowed myself to get into that situation.

You survived it though, and you are a stronger person now. Be proud of yourself that you got yourself out of that abusive situation!

Charity411 posted 8/29/2014 16:07 PM

Thanks Lonely Girl. I'm happy to know I'm not crazy. I was really stunned at my reaction. There is so much I never told family and friends either. I'm a smart person but I was so totally stupid when it came to him it was humiliating. That relationship destroyed me far worse than my husband leaving for the OW. So seeing one of the tools he would use to keep me under his thumb was disturbing. It's gone now. And so is he thank God. Well not really. He still lives here and I ocassionally run across something about him because he is running for Congress believe it or not. No party wanted him, and he couldn't get a fraction of the signatures he needed to run so he's launched a write in campaign. It's the town joke.

better4me posted 8/30/2014 17:49 PM

he is running for Congress believe it or not

Ashland13 posted 8/30/2014 18:17 PM

I'm sorry.

Perv continues to do this if I let us communicate, so I know a little bit of what it feels like.

One day I actually asked him, "why do you think you are better than me?" I got silence back.

These are very personal things to criticize and that's a known thing. He wanted to hurt you where it would hurt a lot and I'm sorry. It's petty, IMO (in my opinion).

Lonelygirl10 posted 8/31/2014 16:12 PM

I'm a smart person but I was so totally stupid when it came to him it was humiliating. That relationship destroyed me far worse than my husband leaving for the OW.

Yeah, I get that too. I'm completely over the cheating part, but it's still hard to move past the stalking and manipulating part. I think it's natural to want to blame yourself somewhat for allowing it to happen. But it's really not your fault at all. You weren't stupid. You were just in a bad place, and you got yourself out of it. That's something to be proud of yourself for now.

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