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Relationship Is this abuse? If so, what do I do?

#37
I just feel bad that I've enabled this for so long and then it feels like I'm gonna force him out to figure it out alone
There are different ways of doing things.

Recently one of my support workers offered me a place in a respite home because the situation with the person I live with had become unliveable. Hadn't occurred to me. Time out, with support.

Then there's your T. Talking to them about planning what to do (if that involves leaving permanently/temporarily), and the steps involved in that.

There's getting the mental health crisis team involved again. And yeah, them deciding "he doesn't wanna talk, hey ho off we go"? Don't stand for that if you call them.

Then there's (potentially planning with your T) new boundaries to put in place, and how to have that conversation. For example, requiring him to get medical (ie. psychiatric support, and take meds if required) support, and not just therapy support (2 completely different things).

There's friends/family you could go stay with while you figure things out.

There's calling the police next time he threatens you and/or himself.

There's calling time on smoking weed as some kind of 'alternative therapy'. 'Cause it's clearly not helping, and may well be contributing to his current issues. And does he need inpatient help at a dual diagnosis place to get help coming off that?

There's...I could go on.

The situation? Does sound like it's become abusive. And that's not okay. That's going to make you unwell as well. Possibly worse.

But this is occurring in the context of what sounds like genuine and very serious/acute mental illness, with a background of chronic MH issues.

Having spent a long time being actively suicidal? No way can my loved ones be expected to be on suicide-watch. Not for a month, not for a week, not for 24 hours. They can't do that.

But I've also experienced loved ones reaching their breaking point while I've been suicidal, and responding to that with "We're out. Don't call". Those relationships will never be the same. It wasn't just unhelpful, it was a crazy level of making things a shiteload worse for me. And my trust issues with everyone took years to recover from that (still haven't, tbh). Because I was really unwell. I needed help. And there were a tonne of other steps that could have come between being there every day and sudden, abrupt abandonment.

You have a lot of options. You have a T that can help you choose the right (safe) path for you. Start planning. Choose a new path, and use your supports to help you figure out how to change the situation safely.
 
#39
The outburst today is classic lashing out and projection. *You* didn’t forget, *He* forgot. He’s not managing his stressors so he lashed out as a coping mechanism.

Coping mechanisms are not symptoms. They are choices he’s making to deal with a symptom. He is choosing to release his stress by ripping you a new one, and that is not fair. He could have easily dealt with the same symptom by meditating, taking a jog, or going into a room alone to cool off. It doesn’t matter WHY he’s stressed. Taking it out on you instead of dealing with his issue is not OK. He is passing the buck. Personal responsibility is still a thing, even with PTSD.

I just keep hoping it won't be that way, or that if I get him a better psychologist they'll help and it'll be OK
That’s another big supporter trap... waiting for the cure. There isn’t one. He may eventually learn to manage his symptoms. He may even feel better with time... but that’s not a guarantee. He may never be any better than he is now, or he may get worse. You have to decide whether or not you want to be with him as he is now.

But I still have to do my job at some point. I feel bad when I end up not working but not doing what I said I would because we can't actually leave town yet. I can work from home but it's hard to concentrate when he's had/having an episode.
This is another thing thats a no-go. He, especially if he cannot hold down a job, does not get to jeopardize the financial well being of the family because he’s having hissy fits. That counts for disturbing you while working, keeping you up all hours, or making you nuts so you cannot work. Is he going to pay the mortgage and feed you guys? Or is he interfering with the family’s main support? This would have to be another hard line.

He’s sabotaging your emotional, financial, and mental health. That is not OK.
 
#40
It wasn’t until my GP wrote me a referral to a therapist and it said “he emotionally, physically and financially abuses her” that I realised that putting me in debt by threatening a meltdown was yet another form of abuse.
His PTSD causes feelings. But sufferers choose how they behave. Read Sweetpea76’s comments again. That woman knows what she’s talking about!
 
Thread starter #41
Thanks for the feedback and perspective guys, this is really helping me to clarify some things.

I've emailed my therapist to see if she can see me this week. I am a bit uncertain of how to proceed. He's saying he's sick of this life here with me and would rather be on his own so he doesn't have to rely on me and be let down, he just has to rely on himself. I think somewhere he knows he's relying on me for things that aren't my responsibility, but I don't think we can work ourselves out of this rut by staying in the same place. The PTSD takes over too often, and when he's not escalated I'm just so relieved that it's not happening that I struggle to bring anything up and rock the boat more.

Even if what he was saying were true, and I do ruin everything for him, aren't at all in tune with or connected to how he's feeling etc., just have a victim complex, then I would think the best course of action would still be the same thing... Spend some time apart and encourage him to get help for himself while I get help for myself.

The only thing I'm unsure of is Women's refuge sites say not to tell the person you're planning to leave, work out a safe plan first, and then do it. Lundy Bancroft's book said something about (I think) not making it sound final, like suggesting we could do with some time apart to see where we're at, and then have it take it's natural course.

I need to work out who I can try to stay with, and what to do with our pair of rabbits where one needs medication. I'll probably see if the SPCA might take them for a short time while I figure out what to do.

But do I tell him? Do I tell him that I think his unmanaged PTSD is making it too difficult for us to sort out any issues we have and that I think he needs medical help, here are some numbers or I can help get him in touch with someone first, but I'm going to organise to go stay with a friend/my dad? Or do I just organise all of that first and then let him know essentially on the way out the door? I have a lot of my mum's stuff, sentimental things, stored here and I'm worried if I go he'll destroy anything I've left behind. I'll be devastated if that happens to the last of what's left of my mum, so I need to somehow take that somewhere. But he's always home, so it's not like I can pack a bunch of stuff up without him noticing.

If anybody has any advice on how to go about this please let me know... I'm going to talk to my therapist too if she's not too booked up.
 
#42
Id keep him on a need to know basis. You don't have to tell him anything at any point that you don't want too. keep your plans secret and to a minimum. I read your last post and think your reaction is very good and clear. At this point in time life is about protecting yourself and moving forward/away from a toxic relationship. Your being very brave.
 
Thread starter #45
Does he ever leave the house?
Would he, for instance, do a grocery run? That during that time you could gather your sentimental items and those belonging to your mum?
Not very often :( I do pretty much all of that. He might go buy chocolate sometime if he's upset but it would only give me maybe 15 mins. He was working last week doing a few days construction work, but I don't know if or when he'll get more. I'll have an hour next monday if he goes to his therapy appointment. But he doesn't really leave the house for anything (another thing that I don't think is helping him to manage his illness in the big picture). I guess I'll have to try to keep up appearances for a while. Hopefully he gets asked to Gib another house soon.

I'm making a list of things that I want to grab to make that a bit easier. I'm really anxious about talking to anybody but the more I think about it the less I want to keep doing this forever. I've thought about it and I think if he had any other kind of support network, friends family etc., I probably would have left a while ago. But I guess it's not my fault he has isolated himself from everyone for a long time (the family isn't his fault). I don't have a great support network either as I get pretty socially anxious, but I do have increasingly good friends from some of the activities I took up to try to improve that. I'm sure they would help if I can bring myself to ask them.

WLS Online Info Sheets
Thanks I'll take a look at this.
 
#46
Can you tell him you’re taking your mom’s things over to your dad’s so you guys can sort/organize them as a family? Perhaps that can get some of your sentimental items out of the house?

Planning ahead will at least give you the courage to leave if you decide to leave... or have to for your own safety. If you didn’t have a plan it would be just one more reason to stay.
 
#47
Here’s the thing. Everything is replaceable but you. Can you squirrel some money away, just for you, without him knowing? I always had a separate bank account from my daughter’s bio dad, at the time it was for gifts and things. He was emotionally abusive to me, although at the time I didn’t see it. It turned to violence. Once. That little slush fund helped me get out. I had a dog, a cat, a kid, and a pet chinchilla. Eventually got some belongings when he wasn’t there. And thanked my lucky stars that I had finally woken up and smelt the coffee. Telling him ahead, I dunno, In a codependent situation gives him a chance to try and manipulate you back through words and actions. Once you get out and stay away, no communication for a bit, it becomes more clear as to how unhealthy the situation is and strengthens your resolve with a bit of clarity. By all means, get your ducks in a row. Sooner than later. You might find out that for many other reasons, this isn’t the right relationship for you. Good luck! Be safe.
 
#48
I guess I feel a bit responsible as I've enabled him all this time by taking on too many things to avoid him being exposed to too many stressors etc.
Nah, don't take on responsibility for his being exposed to stressors. That's not how management of PTSD works. It's not managed by others removing stressors.

Try to not beat yourself up for the relationship working out this way. It's a tough situation and you are taking courageous steps in the right direction. You have a lot to be proud of regarding how you are making really tough choices.
I feel a bit bad that if I leave I'd be leaving him without some critical life skills, and I've looked at it the other way around to try to check if I've been too controlling there (like if it was the guy managing all the money and then leaving his partner with no financial skills etc.).
He's an adult. If he truly is unable to learn how to pay the bills on his own, or use others to help him learn, then he needs to be in a group home. I'm guessing that's not the case, and he's going to be able to figure this out - or he'll end up getting help he needs to do it. Try to let this go. Don't give him a plan. It's actually better for him to figure out what's going to work for him. You are not pulling the rug out. You are not forcing him to figure things out alone. You are letting an adult be an adult. That's all. It's very loving and respectful to let him figure things out for himself.

Thing is, the current reality isn't working for him either. He's outright saying it in so many ways. With you there right now, he can use you to avoid his stuff he needs to work on. Frankly, as weird as this might sound, it may be the very best thing you can do to help him to take a lot of space from him and stop helping him... if that makes any sesne.
Even if what he was saying were true, and I do ruin everything for him, aren't at all in tune with or connected to how he's feeling etc., just have a victim complex, then I would think the best course of action would still be the same thing... Spend some time apart and encourage him to get help for himself while I get help for myself.
Yep. You are spot on. And what he is saying isn't true! Again, this is hard stuff to walk through, and you are doing so much right.
I've emailed my therapist to see if she can see me this week. I am a bit uncertain of how to proceed.
This is awesome! I'd still work on the plan, and hopefully you can connect with her soon for extra support. Also, find any excuses to bring the sentimental stuff to your Dad's place.
I need to work out who I can try to stay with, and what to do with our pair of rabbits where one needs medication. I'll probably see if the SPCA might take them for a short time while I figure out what to do.
Sometimes there are folks that can be found to foster pets for someone getting out of an abusive relationship. Maybe connect with the local domestic violence shelter - even though he hasn't hit you, this is still abusive, and they may know of other options is SPCA doesn't know of any. Also, rabbits are not too cumbersome of pets and hopefully someone you would stay with wouldn't mind them staying too for a short bit. If anything comes up and you need to get out to stay safe and alive, sans rabbits, do it. They are better off with you safe and able to get them later than you being harmed.
But do I tell him? Do I tell him that I think his unmanaged PTSD is making it too difficult for us to sort out any issues we have and that I think he needs medical help, here are some numbers or I can help get him in touch with someone first, but I'm going to organise to go stay with a friend/my dad? Or do I just organise all of that first and then let him know essentially on the way out the door? I have a lot of my mum's stuff, sentimental things, stored here and I'm worried if I go he'll destroy anything I've left behind. I'll be devastated if that happens to the last of what's left of my mum, so I need to somehow take that somewhere. But he's always home, so it's not like I can pack a bunch of stuff up without him noticing.

If anybody has any advice on how to go about this please let me know... I'm going to talk to my therapist too if she's not too booked up.
Don't tell him right now. The day to explain may come, but not right now. It's ok to come up with a plan, get out, calling a suicide crisis line and asking them to check on him after you move out about the same time you explain why. If you are in the US, you can contact the United Way (211 from any US phone or online) and they may be able to connect you with a non-profit or other group that can help with a quick pack-up and move-out.

He's not stable enough right now to be able to handle the kind of conversation you want to have about his PTSD symptoms. I could only see it happening in any kind of helpful way with you at another place, and then he can't harm you or himself to try to stop you.
I'm making a list of things that I want to grab to make that a bit easier. I'm really anxious about talking to anybody but the more I think about it the less I want to keep doing this forever. I've thought about it and I think if he had any other kind of support network, friends family etc., I probably would have left a while ago. But I guess it's not my fault he has isolated himself from everyone for a long time (the family isn't his fault). I don't have a great support network either as I get pretty socially anxious, but I do have increasingly good friends from some of the activities I took up to try to improve that. I'm sure they would help if I can bring myself to ask them.
If he indicates he has plans to end his life, and certainly if he threatens to kill you again, drop everything and call 911 or the local suicide crisis line. There are text options as well, if you can't call. (Google for the best options in your area.) When someone is openly stating homicidal or suicidal threats in fits of anger/rage./panic, that's the time to get help. I've known too many people in my life who have said these things, no one called 911, and people died within hours. Don't ignore the statements or take them as anything less than legit. Your partner is unwell. The best thing you can do to help is back away and let professionals know what's up.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.
 
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