Irrational angst and paranoia

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Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Wint » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi all

Thankfully I’ve had little or no need to post in Problem Pages for quite some time, and previous advice has always been very sagely, helpful and appreciated. However, I feel that perhaps some of the hurt and suffering caused during my previous relationship (the one I posted about here - http://www.problempages.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=18023&p=197185#p197185) is now causing me a degree of emotional difficulty dealing with my current relationship.

I won’t bore you all with the ins and outs of my current love life, but suffice to say, and even after only three and a half months, I can safely say I’ve never been involved with someone who makes me feel so happy, secure, loved and appreciated. We have so much in common it’s frankly unbelievably (albeit in a very good way), and the only minor issue is distance - I live in Liverpool, she in London. Still, a two hour train journey every week or so isn’t an obstacle to the connection we have, and I have every hope that the two of us have a long and bright future ahead.

Needless to say, and all this happiness aside, I’ve noticed that as I become closer and more attracted to her, so too have I become more aware of how vulnerable I feel, and how much the relationship relies on mutual trust. Of course, this goes without saying, and she’s given me no reason to doubt her in any way whatsoever, not even for a moment. However, and due to some significant breaches in trust during my previous relationship, there are occasions when I find myself doubting my current partner, feeling slightly paranoid/anxious, or even looking back at previous experiences and superimposing them upon our relationship as a sort of ‘rule of thumb’ i.e. if this happened in the past, what’s to stop it from happening now?

For instance, just earlier this week, my partner went out for a few drinks with some friends in London, and due to the hours she works, we tend to speak on the phone in the evenings or at night. Before she left to meet her friends, we spoke on the phone and decided to speak some more later on when she got home. As is often the case, a few drinks became much more, and we ended up only having a very brief chat at about 1am whilst she was still out. She then rang me in the morning before I left for work at about 10am to say she’d spent the night at her friends house (late night transport in London being what it is) and was just on the overground heading home. It was genuinely lovely hearing from her first thing in the morning, and I left for work with a big smile on my face.

All well and good then. Nothing to worry about. However, and after an hour or so, in my head all I could think was that she’d spent the night with someone else, either at her friends house or that she’d used her friends house as a cover for spending the night with someone elsewhere. Of course, I appreciate just how ludicrous a notion this is. I have absolutely no reason to doubt the authenticity of what my partner has told me, and I’m genuinely furious with myself for being so sceptical and suspicious of her. I can only imagine that because my previous partner went behind my back in a similar fashion (albeit she didn’t tell me she’d stayed out for the night with another man until several weeks later) that I now have some sort of insecurity pertaining to lack of trust in a partner when they’ve had a few drinks.

Granted, I hadn’t slept well the past few days before this incident, which can quickly contribute to angst, insecurity and paranoia. My previous experience in a damaging relationship has also - eventually - led me to seek help from a counselling service, and I’m hoping to arrange my first session tomorrow at an appointment with my GP. In fact, this was even something that my current partner suggested I pursue (we’ve spoken at length about my previous relationship), further proving how much she cares about me and our relationship. I guess in making this post, I’m really only seeking to reinforce what I already know: I’ve suffered emotional trauma from a previous relationship and it’s now bleeding into my current relationship. That said, any thoughts or ideas on paranoia or insecurity would be greatly appreciated. I really hate feeling worried, especially when the fear has been conjured by nothing but dark, random thoughts linked to another, unhappy time in my life. I dearly love my current girlfriend, and I’d hate for my past to somehow jeopardise what we have now.

Thoughts and input, as ever, much appreciated.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Tucco » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:52 pm

Hi Wint,
straight to the point; all relationships start out as a gamble (of sorts) and after a while you decide whether to go for it or not, if as in your case you decide to go for it you have to trust your partner, now then if it goes wrong what is the worst that can happen? Answer you break up and move on, now if you become Married or have Children it becomes more complicated than that but basically that is it.
The way I look at it is this; If someone you love and trust betrays you then it is their loss and they are not worthy of you so move on, also it helps me to remember the following; "what is meant for you wont go past you" saves me a lot of worry that one.
Good luck, I hope all works out for you.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:19 pm

You are doing the right thing seeking help
It's worth remembering that someone who sets out to cheat doesn't usually tell you where they are
She could have lied and pretended she went home, you would have been none the wiser
Don't make it difficult for her to be truthful or she may start to tell silly lies, then one day you will catch her out on that and think it's something bigger than it really is
Life is for living so live it to the fullest

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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Wint » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:37 pm

Thanks guys.

To be honest I'm more concerned about my irrational thoughts effecting my actions than I am her behaviour. She's been an absolute saint and in truth, there's no reason I should feel like this. I've thought everything through and taken this as a strong indicator that it's me that has to start trusting her for the relationship to have any lasting potential, which is motivation enough for now, although I think getting professional help and advice is the way forward.

Cheers
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Minna » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:02 pm

Hi Wint. One thing that strikes me from your first 'entry' is that you think, even subconsciously, that your girlfriend could have been capable of getting drunk out of her mind (or even half sober) and had casual sex with someone she had just met in a bar! Sounds like you don't have a very high opinion of her morals??!!

Shame on you, Wint! You know she is much more of a lady than that, I'm sure!! Now get yourself together and be happy with the love you have found - tell your bad thoughts to take a hike!!

Best wishes for a happy future.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby David020549 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:10 pm

Wint
If I read the story correctly, you have had a few pleasant weekends with this lady and now you are being jealous and possessive and want to own and control her. She is not your partner in any sense and you have no right to make any comment or judgement on who she chooses to socialise with, the best way forward for you both is to break it off. Paranoia like this will surely destroy and relationship so either get help or stop trying to form any serious relationship.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby rufio89 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:26 am

Hi Wint.

I would say that I wholeheartedly disagree with some of the other posters.

You're doing the right thing, you're getting help, you're aware that your thoughts aren't rational. If this woman is the person you believe her to be, I'm sure that given time, you'll learn to trust her and relax into the relationship.

Communicate with her, tell her you have trust issues and that you sometimes get insecure and paranoid but that you're aware it's your problem, not a fault of hers and that you're doing everything you can to manage it.

You're on the right track. It takes time to undo damage done by bad relationships. I had a terrible on/off relationship for a few years and now I've been with a fantastic guy for more than a year, but it's an ongoing battle in my head to remind myself that he's not like my ex. Those thoughts are quiet now, and easy to shrug off - it's very easy now for me to remember how awesome my other half is, but at the beginning it was a nightmare and I was constantly doubting him and myself. I've been very lucky (as it sounds like you are too) in that he's a very understanding and patient person.

Keep on going, good luck with your counselling :)
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Bel Bel » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:14 pm

I agree with Rufio
Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step and getting help is a positive way to change things for the future
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Wint » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:58 am

Thank you Rufio89 and Bel Bel :)

I've generally had some very good advice from posters on this website before, hence it does strike me as a little odd that when asking for help and advice, some people seem more driven to pour scorn and essentially deride someone such as myself who's clearly just looking to overcome emotional damage.

I've been able to obtain a referral from my GP for some counselling, and have done some serious personal work on my inner thoughts and feelings since originally posting. I'm not sure if this will make sense to the rest of you, but I've found that if I almost step out of myself - as if my issues were those of a friend rather than my own - and then address the problem as a third party to my insecurities, it's actually been a great help. I'm generally a very logical, rational and reasonable person, so it's been very cathartic to almost laugh at myself (albeit playfully) for being so worried. In essence, this is just another one of life's challenges, and one that I'm not going to let get the better of me. I am insecure, but even being aware of that helps massively. My girlfriend is an incredibly supportive and caring person, and what we have makes me very happy. Sometimes I think it's the notion of losing it that scares me more than a lack of trust, but better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully some counselling will set me right.

Thank you again
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby rufio89 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:44 pm

I think that makes perfect sense - and the last bit makes sense to me too - now Ive finally relaxed into the idea that my boyfriend isn't going to leave me for someone else, now when my anxiety hits it's that something is going to happen to him and I'll lose him that way instead.

I suppose for both of us it's going to stem back to self esteem issues - the fact that you say you tend to laugh at your own problems reinforces that so maybe self-esteem issues are another area you need to look at.

Glad you've made a GP referral and I hope it doesn't take too long to come through.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Minna » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:02 pm

Hi Wint. I have re-read your original entry after reading your comments above, and want to apologise for my reply to you. It was stupid of me to be flippant. You're right, you really don't need criticism at this time from someone who doesn't know you, but counselling to help you through this will be helpful.
I do wish you all the very best - you look like you are moving in the right direction to dealing with things.
Apologies once again and good luck.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Wint » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:21 pm

Thanks Minna, I appreciate the sentiment.

Unfortunately, I now have a brand new problem. My girlfriend went out on Friday night to have "a few drinks" (something I regularly hear from her before she then stays out for 12 or more hours) before indeed cheating on me. I've been meaning to post here about this since I found out about it, but as I'm sure you can imagine, I've kind of been on auto pilot most of the week.

In brief, she alleges that she kissed a guy on Saturday morning, late am, back at her friends house: the house I happen to be helping her move into tomorrow. She phoned me on Saturday afternoon, but didn't tell me about it at that point as she was apparently incredibly nervous about how I'd react. In fact, she claims that she was so anxious that she had a panic attack and threw up (she did in fact mention being sick when she phoned me on Saturday afternoon). In the end, she didn't tell me until Sunday night at about 6pm, after she'd been on what was essentially a 48hr bender to try and block out what had happened. I've questioned her about it quite extensively since, in as polite a manner as possible, and she assures me that all she did was kiss this guy.

I'm a very forgiving person and a big believer in giving people a second chance, hence I've not broken up with her. Truth be told, as soon as she told me, I knew I wasn't going to break up with her, and if she really did just kiss this guy, then I know it's something I can forgive her for eventually. However, what with my previous life experience, I'm still finding it really hard to believe her version of events. Not specifically because I don't believe her, but because I seem to have developed an almost irrational fear of being lied to. For instance, I'm worried that she'd rather frame what happened in a way that limits the damage, or that she's omitting vital information so that I don't break up with her. I've of course said all of this to her, and she's continued to assure me that it was just a kiss and that she's immeasurably sorry and ashamed.

As such, I now seem to go to very dark emotional places every now and then. I’m so used to seeing destructive or selfish patterns of behaviour in exes that I find myself looking for deceit (i.e. what might have "really" happened etc) in absurdly mundane events, whilst also trying to identify patterns in my girlfriend that don’t really exist, probably for no reason other than that’s how I’ve learnt - albeit incorrectly - to make sense of things in the past. The ridiculous thing is, it’s as if I can’t take my own advice: if this were happening to anyone else I’d be telling them not to make generalisations because every person and every situation is completely different.

I want nothing more than to be strong, work at forgiving my girlfriend, and move on. In her defence, she's determined to seek out therapy herself, and I think she might even be more upset about all of this than I am. In her own words, she simply can't understand why she'd jeopardise something as important to her as our relationship. I'm just finding it really hard to accept that she only kissed this guy, even though I know that probably is all that happened.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby snail » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:38 pm

Well, I suppose she didn't have to tell you at all, so that is one positive thing. I don't think she is likely to have done more than kiss him - if she had sex with him and she didn't want you to know that, surely she would just say nothing at all about any man?

It is a bit worrying though that she did it. You do need to get to the bottom of that.
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Re: Irrational angst and paranoia

Postby Wint » Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:55 pm

That's a very good point. In fact, and unless she's fabricated it (which I very much doubt), she tells me that her friends were apparently trying to convince her not to worry about it and to just not bother telling me. If that's the case and she still told me about kissing this guy, I think it's reasonably safe to presume that she's telling me the truth. Unsettling about her friends moral stand point on this however....

We've spent the last 6 days together which was a little difficult at times but really nice and very healing nonetheless. She's determined to get therapy and try to adjust her behaviour. I just hope she follows it all through because if anything like this happens again, I really won't be able to forgive her.
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