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

Thread starter #49
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?
Thanks for this suggestion, my mum and dad weren't together, but maybe I can think of something similar. It's just the logistics, if he goes out he'll have the car so I won't be able to take anything anywhere. I'll probably have to talk to a friend or my dad somehow ahead of time and see if I can get them to come pick some things up if he goes out again sometime. Ugh, it feels so complicated. I think I have to stop thinking about all of the steps, and just think about the first couple at first. I keep getting overwhelmed by all of the details. I'm sure he'll feed the rabbits but I don't think he'll give the sick one her meds :( He has such a hangup about meds he gets angry at me if I accidentally leave them out on the bench even though they're for the rabbit.

Everything is replaceable but you. Can you squirrel some money away, just for you, without him knowing?
This part is actually ok, I have money because I'm good with it and I've always kept an 'untouchable' buffer because I wasn't prepared to go broke over all of this. I'm most worried about losing my mum's clothes, and old photos and things because those aren't replaceable. I know they're less important than me, but I'm still devastated from losing her and would be devastated if I lost them. I have her ashes too so I'd need to take her with me.


[The bunnies] are better off with you safe and able to get them later than you being harmed.
Thank you for this, it's a valid point. I really don't want the sick one to just die without her meds though, so I'll see what I can figure out ahead of time while I'm planning.


He's not stable enough right now to be able to handle the kind of conversation you want to have about his PTSD symptoms.
Man, it's such a rollercoaster. He's very smart, lucid, reflective and insightful about what's happening when he's de-escalated, but when he's escalated I know this is true. I think that's part of the reason his psychologists have not been that helpful and have thought he was better/doing fine enough to reduce his appointments. He's very articulate as well, so I feel like they're probably just as easily fooled into thinking he's largely not a person in deep crisis, just having a few issues, because of how well he seems when he's well. And they never see his meltdowns of course. I have been surprised that they eased off on treatment, but then I don't know for sure what he tells them, so yeah.

Taking a bit of untangling in my mind. I've read a lot of other people's posts on forums like these over the years looking for clues, but I'm so glad I decided to post my actual situation this time and get direct feedback from you guys.
 
#50
Thanks for this suggestion, my mum and dad weren't together, but maybe I can think of something similar. It's just the logistics, if he goes out he'll have the car so I won't be able to take anything anywhere. I'll probably have to talk to a friend or my dad somehow ahead of time and see if I can get them to come pick some things up if he goes out again sometime. Ugh, it feels so complicated. I think I have to stop thinking about all of the steps, and just think about the first couple at first. I keep getting overwhelmed by all of the details. I'm sure he'll feed the rabbits but I don't think he'll give the sick one her meds :( He has such a hangup about meds he gets angry at me if I accidentally leave them out on the bench even though they're for the rabbit.



This part is actually ok, I have money because I'm good with it and I've always kept an 'untouchable' buffer because I wasn't prepared to go broke over all of this. I'm most worried about losing my mum's clothes, and old photos and things because those aren't replaceable. I know they're less important than me, but I'm still devastated from losing her and would be devastated if I lost them. I have her ashes too so I'd need to take her with me.




Thank you for this, it's a valid point. I really don't want the sick one to just die without her meds though, so I'll see what I can figure out ahead of time while I'm planning.




Man, it's such a rollercoaster. He's very smart, lucid, reflective and insightful about what's happening when he's de-escalated, but when he's escalated I know this is true. I think that's part of the reason his psychologists have not been that helpful and have thought he was better/doing fine enough to reduce his appointments. He's very articulate as well, so I feel like they're probably just as easily fooled into thinking he's largely not a person in deep crisis, just having a few issues, because of how well he seems when he's well. And they never see his meltdowns of course. I have been surprised that they eased off on treatment, but then I don't know for sure what he tells them, so yeah.

Taking a bit of untangling in my mind. I've read a lot of other people's posts on forums like these over the years looking for clues, but I'm so glad I decided to post my actual situation this time and get direct feedback from you guys.
even people that are really unwell can fake it. I'm really smart aswell, I can go from one room being in a complete headf*ck to speaking to some one else and being really smart and intelligent and saying 'I'm fine'. that's not normal. And I admit that I have major mental health issues. Just take one step at a time.
 
#51
Man, it's such a rollercoaster. He's very smart, lucid, reflective and insightful about what's happening when he's de-escalated, but when he's escalated I know this is true.
Yeah. When someone goes from a calm-ish state, to fight or flight/super deregulated state, the rational parts of the brain actually shut off. When I've been in my own deregulated place, I have learned I have to step away from all conversations 'cause I'm just stupid and there is no point until I'm back in a better space - and it's on me to get there.
He's very articulate as well, so I feel like they're probably just as easily fooled into thinking he's largely not a person in deep crisis, just having a few issues, because of how well he seems when he's well. And they never see his meltdowns of course. I have been surprised that they eased off on treatment, but then I don't know for sure what he tells them, so yeah.
Possibly. I've been able to come across much more stable than I've actually been by speaking well. This is why it will help if you can give them details he's not likely to give of any safety issues. I'm not a big fan of police or mobile crisis services, but threats to kill self/others is exactly the time to contact them.

Ultimately, the best mental health team in the world can't save him from himself. He's got to be willing to cut the crap and engage help. Right now, what he is doing is working just well enough to avoid engaging that help. Facing consequences of not getting help might give him the opportunity to better understand the need for help. He may also not change. But you will have given him the dignity of making his own choices for his own life and recovery.

It's kind and loving to step back. Don't forget that. Whenever you do get out, he'll try to convince you that you are horrible for it. It will be nonsense. Don't be surprised. Often when someone starts setting boundaries and stops enabling, the person will try to guilt them and shame them and lead them to feel horrible. If that happens, it's a sign you are doing a new and a healthy thing. Unhealthy people don't like others choosing health and safety. Keep choosing health and safety anyhow.
 
#52
because I'm trying really hard to check myself and work out if/where I am at fault so I can own that and focus on what's not fair towards me.
^This is a really good way to turn yourself crazy. Look, you did a lot of things to prepare for the journey. You forgot one thing & he went off about it.

It's great you want to own your own short-comings but it seems he's more than ready to tell you about them anyway. That's not helpful and it's not fair either. It was his email and if he truly needed your help then he could have nicely reminded you. All the rest of the emotional garbage is just that - garbage.

I feel bad that I didn't remember about helping him with the email, but I don't really understand how I can remember something I've forgotten? I forget all kinds of things that are important to me because it's hard to remember anything.
^So you're well and truly into second guessing. I say that because when one becomes so anxious about getting everything right, fearing the consequences all of the time, things start being forgotten or go wrong. It's not a case of double-checking where you prompt yourself because you've got time. It's a panic response because you don't want him to go off.

feel like I've lost all perspective on what's reasonable because things have been like this for so long.
^Yes you have lost perspective and that's normal when over time, things have slowly been deteriorating. But part of you is still in there saying hey! Listen to that part - it's trying to pull you out - it's your instincts telling you that you've got to look after yourself.

Is this something a healthy relationship could just have had a 2 second conversation like: "Oh, we forgot to check that email last night." "Oh, I'm sorry I forgot about that let's do it right now before we go see your mum", "Thanks"?
^Yes! 100 % or even less. Like, "hey I'll pull up that email while I remember'. (him speaking) Cos you do know he didn't forget, he was just waiting for you to forget. Then that gives him a reason to find fault. omg... I've been there.

We've been together for 13 years, since we were 21.
^So you're still so young! Young enough to leave and build the life you want.

Or, young enough for him to get appropriate treatment and stop behaving like you're responsible for his predicament.

But at the same time? You're too old to put up with this anymore!

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.
^You've started acting like a mother figure. Protecting him from all the obligations and responsibilities that he acts out on and declares that he finds too much. When we are facing insurmountable problems that get us in a pickle, it's nice to have a temporary reprieve from the day to day. But's it's only ever healthy for it to be very temporary.

In a normal and healthy relationship partners will often do things for each other because it's easier or whatever.

But this seem to be a big thing in your relationship. You give and he demands. He demands and you give more.

He's not a child. As a previous member here suggested he's definitely acting like a child; trying to appear vulnerable and helpless to get what he wants. There's always a payoff for this type of behaviour. Can you identify what it is?

He knows you fear the repercussions of his temper/behaviour if you get anything wrong. He pays you back by tantrums and threats if you deviate from his needs. You suffer in some way if his needs are not met. He knows you're sensitive. He knows your buttons. Whether or not it's mental health or just him being a selfish prick or both mixed together, it's too potent and unhealthy for you to handle alone.

Could he actually have the same MH dx as his mother?

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, pull the rug out from under him. These are hte kinds of things it's hard to put into perspective without any other relationships to compare with etc.
^Well I suspect that you might be anxious for a little while because yeah he's going to have to take responsibility for himself. And you're going to have to wean yourself off being his stand in mother/provider.

When you leave, he's going to need to behave like an adult. That's not too much to ask of a grown up adult male is it?

I think you've been manipulated and to an extent brainwashed into thinking that you really are responsible for him. Do you see that even though it may have happened over many years it's still manipulation?

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.
^It's probably not the ptsd though. I'm a sufferer but I'm now managing well. :rolleyes:

What I mean is my ptsd doesn't take me over and turn me into something I'm not and never will be. It's a monster illness but not like what you're describing. I'm sure you've seen people getting caught up in the legal system because they've done something heinous and they're pleading in self-defence, 'the ptsd made me do it'. That's not true, it's in fashion right now but it's like being a drunk and saying the alcohol made me do it. He makes decisions every time he unloads on you, not the ptsd.

Tbh I'm more likely to retreat very swiftly if things get stressful. It's a coping method that I've developed rightly or wrongly but it avoids escalation and that for me, is important. I know people can act differently but he seems to be dominating, controlling and threatening. Is he like that with other people too or does he save it for you? I have a hard time understanding how that can be attributed to ptsd. But I stand to be corrected if anyone wants to suggest otherwise?

Whatever the reason for his difficult behaviour, he gets what he wants doesn't he? You give in because standing up to him is too risky, difficult, tiring and he always gets what he wants in the end? Or you pay a big price.

Take ptsd out of the picture for a moment. Is his behaviour justifiable and acceptable? If not, then even with ptsd, it's still not.

^Not wanting to rock the boat is another way of saying you don't want to crack any of the egg shells you're standing on while navigating your way through a day with him. That's no way to live.

Spend some time apart and encourage him to get help for himself while I get help for myself.
^Good idea but mostly that you'll get to spend some time not worrying if he's eaten etc.

If he can get the munchies and head on down to the shops to buy chocolate... he can look after himself.

I'm certain you'll gain some perspective on what is and isn't your responsibility when you've had a chance to rest. But it may take a long while. You probably habitually worry about him and breaking a habit takes a lot of effort and time.

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.
^Collect all of your sentimental stuff and important legal documents. Idk.. is he watching what you do a lot? If not, grab a box and take and pack them quietly. Keep it in the boot of your car, take it to work or drop it off at a safe place on your way - pop stuff in there randomly & find a friend or neighbour who can collect it.

I don't think you can have the discussion that you'd like to have with him unfortunately.

It's a great idea to be able to give him the rationale behind your actions but I think he's probably going to pull a really big stunt the moment he twigs that you've got intentions on leaving.

So, in the absence of much other information, I'd say no, don't have that discussion with him before you've left. It's well known that the most risky part of any abusive relationship is when the victim is leaving or trying to leave. Don't give him the opportunity.

In saying that though. Once out, contact his therapist, gp & even the local police to let them know that you've left and briefly that he's spoken to you about suicide, suicide by cop etc. Then stop. Just stop trying to save him. Time to look after yourself. :hug:
 
#53
Ugh, it feels so complicated. I think I have to stop thinking about all of the steps, and just think about the first couple at first.
I understand. I left (an abusive person), too. There are moments where it all just feels utterly overwhelming and impossible.

But it is possible.
You can do this.
And you are doing a seriously awesome thing for your own health and safety by doing this.

Small steps. Keep chipping away at that mental to-do list.
We're right behind you.
 
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