It took me a while to figure this out and put it in words, but I think I get it now.
I was with my ex off and on for 5 years in a shared workplace. He cheated, lied, degraded me, abused drugs and alcohol, would take off and return without warning. If I dressed up, or if I let go during sex-- he'd get suspicious and disengage. Every time I showed love, or asked a direct question, or expected anything of him he seemed literally frightened and would run. I had a psychotic break the first time we broke up.
I've been away from him for two years, and single for one. I took an entire year off from dating of any kind. Now I'm exploring that again and I feel petrified. When you first meet someone, you can't hold them to promises. Sometimes people ghost, sometimes people date multiple others before committing, sometimes people hold back in the beginning. This is all normal, but it feels like all the trauma I endured from my ex. I find that I don't get excited over people, I just feel dread, panic. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, to find out I've been duped or that someone hotter took my place. I'm getting older and want marriage soon. The dance you do at the beginning of a relationship is supposed to be fun, but to me it feels like I'm suspended in terror. The health and the kindness of the man isn't the issue, its the not knowing, its my insecurity.
Does anyone know how to fix this?
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