Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
It sounds like your ex's death has triggered many of the unresolved feelings you had from your time with him. This man was violent, exposed you to abuse and criminal acts and held you hostage. You definitely would have symptoms of PTSD. Repressing them kept you from working through them so when you found out he had died, it triggered your unresolved feelings.
You may also want to consider that you are mourning as well. You were with this man because you felt something for him. It may not have been a healthy relationship, but it was still legitimate. Grief at the news of his death, especially since he hurt himself, would be normal.
So you have both the PTSD and the grief you are dealing with. It would cause you to feel overwhelmed, lost and like you are losing it. But you are not. You are very normal.
There are numerous symptoms of PTSD. They include:
Flashbacks, intrusive thoughts about the event, feeling numb, crying, nightmares, and anxiety.
Grief can cause similar symptoms as well. It comes in stages including denial, bargaining, depression, anger and acceptance. Some people work through all stages and others only through some. The important part is to be sure you do work through your grief and don't become stuck in how you feel.
It is a sign of strength that you are seeking help for how you feel. Therapy is an excellent step in overcoming PTSD and grief. While you wait for your appointment, self help and support are both ways you can start dealing with how you feel. Here are resources to help get you started:
The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula
The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery, and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi
Mind-Body Workbook for PTSD: A 10-Week Program for Healing After Trauma by Stanley H., M.D. Block and XXXXX XXXXX Block
Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
I hope this has helped. I am here if you need to talk further,