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Summary of my problem:

I've been in a difficult relationship the last few years. Let's call her Helen.

We dated for a while, but after some time she left again.

This went on several times: she breaks up with me, came back after some time, I forgive her, repeat. After some time she started to stalk me, wait me at my frondoor, etc.

I was constantly afraid to meet her somewhere. I was scared to go home, knowing her inclinations, I would not be surprised to learn that she is waiting for me inside, creeping under any excuses.

I was used by her as much as possible because of my inability to refuse.

I want to get over it. How can I stop her if she stalk me again and how not to fall to her trap again?


Details:

Helen was a rather strange girl.

In further communication, I learned more and more details about her character and history, and her strangeness became more understandable for me. Helen was a very self-contained girl. She always reacted sharply to the touch of other people. If someone tried to pat her on the shoulder or take her hand in a friendly way at the club, she always dared to scare away or even fight back. I've never seen such a reaction before. Yes, there are people who do not like physical contact, but even in the worst case they just rudely say to not be touched, but to fight so desperately ... This behavior was like the behavior of a puppy who was obused all his short life, and now he fears people and every touch.

Helen did not have any friends. I mean literally, not even one. Yes, I'm also an introvert, I'm not very good with people, and I do not have friends either, but at least there are people with whom I constantly communicate, I go out and spend time with them. Helen had only books and tea. And now me.

But, dammit, I loved her. And I wanted to help her overcome her problems and normally join the society.

When she was a child, her parents used to quarrel a lot. And divorced. She stayed with an abusive mother. She screamed at her. She insulted her with strong expressions. She beat her. She called her muddle and useless, even though her grades were always impeccable. She bought a dog, although she knew full well that her daughter was panicly afraid of dogs. They lived together and Helen had no one to turn to for help. She did not want to go home anymore.

And then, like a bolt from the blue, she proposed to break up. Without explanation. I did not yield to persuasion. We stopped talking.

A few months later she came to the club. Imposed a conversation and offered to resume the relationship. I could not refuse, because I wanted it.
We dated for a while, but after some time she left again.

This went on several times: she breaks up with me, came back after some time, I forgive her, repeat. After some time she started to stalk me, wait me at my frondoor, etc.

Then it all turned into paranoia. I was constantly afraid to meet her somewhere. I was scared to go home, knowing her inclinations, I would not be surprised to learn that she is waiting for me inside, creeping under any exuses. This brought me trouble, so I went to extreme measures. I talked to her. I put the conditions that this time is the last. If she do it again, I will not forgive her anymore. At that moment, I just wanted to get rid of her, because I was 100% sure that it would not last long. Again.

And it happened. She left, less than three months.

I was used by her as much as possible because of my inability to refuse.

I tried to distract myself. I started going to the gym. I tried to get other relationships. But no matter how much I try, I can not feel the mental closeness with other girls.

I want to get over it. How can I stop her if she stalk me again and how not to fall to her trap again?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Anyone who is considering whether or not to vote to reopen may find some of the content beneficial, or not. If you have suggestions on how to edit the question to get it reopened, please do post them as comments here. Thanks. – HDE 226868 Nov 2 '17 at 19:55
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Helen is clearly a very troubled person, and has to find her own path in life, which should probably include some professional help. Many of us have a strong instinct to try and help damaged individuals, however we are often the least qualified people to do so. Sometimes the absolute best thing you can do is point these people to appropriate resources, and encourage them to get help. Sadly, they are sometimes not interested in doing so.

You already seem to realize that continuing a relationship with Helen is not the best course of action for you. You also seem to suffer from a weakness toward her. Because she knows you have this soft spot for her, she will probably continue to push your buttons, and manipulate you into periodically accepting her into your life.

This may sound malicious on her part, and it may very well be (we have no way of knowing), however my bet is that you're probably one of the few people who have ever tried to really connect with her, and she probably equates you with some kind of safety net, or blanket, that she can return to whenever things get too difficult.

That's not a burden easily shouldered, and although you have feelings for her, you probably don't have the expertise to really help her navigate her personal problems. On the occasions you do see her, advise her to get professional help. Maybe research some resources (not the "lock her up" kind), and hand her some print-outs every time you see her.

However, you've also expressed a fear of being stalked, and that she has made you feel deeply uncomfortable. If you are trying to push her away, and she's not taking the hint, knowing that she can manipulate you into letting her back into your life, get the help of a friend in getting her off your case.

If/when you see her outside your building, or know that she will be waiting for you when you get home, and you think you can't tell her off, enlist the help of a friend to do so on your behalf. That friend can simply support you emotionally with their presence while you do the talking, or may do the talking on your behalf if you think you can't get the words out yourself.

Either way, involving a stranger will communicate the message to Helen that what she's doing is not OK, and that the stakes have just gone higher. I am willing to bet that after a few such encounters, she will most likely back off.

As to why you are so taken with Helen and compare every girl you meet with her (negatively), I think you need to examine your own emotions, and state of mind very carefully.

I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that you probably felt quite good about yourself being so needed by someone. You were truly the most caring person in her life, and the one to help her overcome all her obstacles. You'll likely not experience that with other women. In fact, they will most likely want more space, be quite independent, possibly making you feel like a secondary feature in their lives, unlike Helen.

Sort through your own feelings, and consider whether you think it's a good idea to really, truly be the center of someone's life in the fashion that you were becoming for Helen. It seems to have made you uncomfortable, so there were clearly down sides. Start to appreciate those differences in other girls, and I think it will help you move on.

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  • First for all, thank you for your answer. You are certainly right about penultimate paragraph. I think this is exactly my problem, but I never realized that. – Exerion Nov 2 '17 at 14:08
  • Would you like to add any references about 'dependence in close personal relationships' to your this excellent answer? This part is extremely perceptive, psychologically speaking: "As to why you are so taken with Helen and compare every girl you meet with her (...) I am going to go out on a limb here, and say that you probably felt quite good about yourself being so needed by someone. You were truly the most caring person in her life, and the one to help her overcome all her obstacles. You'll likely not experience that with other women." _ OP's comment confirms it. I appreciate and upvote! – English Student Nov 2 '17 at 15:17
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Sometimes it's the least healthy relationships that are the hardest to get over. Some might say that what you're dealing with was a "codependent relationship" where one party is dependent on the other for emotional stability and the other needs them to be that dependent on them to feel "loved"

These situations create perfect storms because both people "need" the relationship to feel whole, so they often go on dysfunctionally for years and often end badly.

The best option here is probably going to be to seek help, if not from a licensed therapist, there are support groups, books, and online resources for this sort of thing.

From the experience of having been in these kinds of relationships I can tell you that there's a difference between being loved and being needed. That's not to suggest that you two didn't love each other, it's just pointing out that being needed taints the relationship and causes imbalance.

From experience I can also tell you that being in a healthy balanced relationship is much more rewarding. In a way it's much more meaningful to know that the person you're with wants to be with you and chooses to be with you, rather than needing to be with you.

Most wounds heal with time, but I'd really recommend finding some support. Even if you manage to get over this relationship with time and distance, people who tend to fall into these relationships often make a habit of doing it. Meaning that the chances of your next relationship being codependent as well are kind of high.

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    Thank you for your answer. I will seriously think about it. – Exerion Nov 2 '17 at 14:27

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