Old Love, New Panic

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#1 October 13, 2017 - 7:44pm

Old Love, New Panic

First off, I am so glad I found this site an others telling stories about loving N's. I didn't know what I had experienced until I read so many other peoples stories.
My own is a little different in that it happened to me years ago.
I was 21 and had never had a boyfriend or any kind of sexual or romantic relationship. I was a very shy and quite depressed teenager, and had never had any men take an interest in me. In college I met a guy 10 years older than me through mutual friends. He was in my course and from the day I met him I knew he was fucked up. He always talked about women like they were shit and boasted about all his sexual conquests. But he was also charming and funny and self-degrading and sweet, and went to huge lengths to impress me and get to know me, always texting me to go for coffee and earnestly listening to what I had to say and giving me really profound opinions on everything I said. While I knew he was bad news, I was also flattered and slowly as he wooed me, I ended up getting into a sexual relationship with him. It took about 6 months for us to actually have sex, and somewhere in that time our mutual friends told me he got a new girlfriend. Well, every week there was some story about him with another girl and I never took it very seriously because I saw him everyday, our relationship was more and more intense, and he couldnt get enough of me, calling me all the time. I had never had this kind of attention from anyone before. And so I presumed he would break up with the girlfriend eventually. Which of course never happened. Long story short, this dragged on for over year until he dropped me....but didn't tell me he dropped me, still responded to my messages, still invited me to come stay with him, stil told me he loved me.....but always did a disappearing act when it came to following through with those things.
this was my first experience of love and sex and relationships...and I was destroyed by it, two years of depression and an eating disorder and years of putting myself back together.
Afterwards I had a healthy relationship and moved away and had a lot of other live experieinces. but now I am living back in my home town and I run into him from time to time, and when I do, i have the worst panic attacks. thinking I might see him, I have a panic attack, or seeing someone from the corner of my eye that might be him, I have a panic attack, if I actually run into him, I can't speak or breather. And what I hate most, is he always goes out of his way to say hello, but then doesn't stop to talk, or ask how I am or engage me in conversation. So I have no opportunity to control the situation or decide what to do.
And afterwards I can't stop thinking about him, obsessively, wanting more contact, or more attention. I don't even know what. I know I don't want him in my life, and that he had nothing to offer and yet its this weird addiction I can't shake off.
does anyone have any advice for how to deal with seeing him around in this kind of situation? or how to get over the panic, 7 years later. I feel just as hung up on him now as I did when he first broke my heart. and i haven't had a conversation with the man in years.