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Is seeing an ex you dumped a trigger for you?

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This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

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Is seeing an ex you dumped a trigger for you?

Postby OW7LAW » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:52 am

I have an ex girlfriend who was diagnosed with BPD in her late teens. She’s 21, I’m 24. Although things were great at first, she started to become very vindictive and hurtful eventually she dumped me for her ex boyfriend after sleeping with him so I left her alone stopped contact and blocked her on social media.

I guess she perceived this as abandonment maybe? After that she was extremely angry with me. Over time however she’s progressed from anger, to almost a sadness. Although we work in the same office we’ve had almost 0 verbal contact since then, it’s been just over a year. She’s recently started to communicate with me on a random and extremely light basis.

When I walk into the office in the mornings I’ll say hello to everyone I pass by to my desk including her. When she lays eyes on me though it’s like she freezes entirely. She’ll just give me a blank/sad stare. After a few minutes while me and a few co-workers are talking and having a good time/catching up etc. she’ll come over and it’s like that weird moment never happened lol. I think when she sees me I trigger her. I never abused her and was always supportive, I guess that’s why I’m curious I have that effect on her.

I mean she cheated and dumped ME. I feel like I had reason to be angry and I blocked her so I could move on. I never asked why or for her back, so she wouldn’t have to feel pity on me for hurting me.

Is seeing an ex you dumped a trigger for you? Why?
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Re: Is seeing an ex you dumped a trigger for you?

Postby xdude » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:26 pm


Just a few thoughts from personal experiences (aka not fact, just opinions).

It might be somewhat of a mis-belief that people with BPD entirely forget their previous romantic relationships (real or imagined), though they may put them out of mind for a while. On the flip side, it is also a risk. The current partner may also find themselves regularly facing a withdrawn BPD partner who is emotionally withdrawn, re-thinking/re-living some other past relationship.

My concern for you is where does your curiosity lie. It would suck if you got hurt again.

Just as she might be having flip-flopping emotions and thinking about you again now, the risk is if you allowed her back in, she'd be switching emotions back to her ex, or whoever else she is idealizing, triggered by, emotionally thinking of now.

Triggers is an interesting word too. It means something, but for someone with BPD it could also mean 'I am feeling something emotional for/about this person, so maybe there is something real between us?' It's not the same as healthy 'love' (the meaning of which can be debated), it's more a case of confusing strong emotions in the moment with love.

But the main thing is, please take care of you. You've already been through the painful being dumped on a whim for her ex. It sucks! And the irony is that it's often the person with BPD who abandons those who love them (for reasons that make sense to someone with BPD in the moment). She may indeed be feeling triggered around you at times, but please be careful not to confuse this with she is ready for a relationship that doesn't hurt you again.
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