My Crash, His Crash

RussellSue

Not Active
Yesterday, my husband had superhero confidence, and the track record to go with it. Today, he's a wreck - overwhelmed with work and school, frustrated with all the little things that have to do with our strange little complicated life here in New Mexico, and he feels like a failure at everything he is doing.

What happened? I had a bad day, yesterday.

This has happened 3 times since August. It may have happened before that, too, but I am only now catching on.

Of course, I am talking to him and trying to remind him that he's doing awesome but he is not consolable. I made dinner, got him some tea, sang a bunch of dumb songs and he was cordial enough to crack a smile but he wasn't feeling it.

I know he took a dive in response to my situation, yesterday, which was a pain problem - I didn't even cry for goodness sake. But it doesn't matter. If I crash in any way, he comes tumbling after.

I imagine this is common in relationships but is this something I just need to accept or is there anything I can do to stop him from taking on my junk? He does not get like this on his own and I do feel guilty about it but short of pretending to be alright when I am not (which I am convinced is not healthy for the relationship as a whole), I don't know what I can do.

Thoughts, ideas, arguments???
 

Justmehere

Moderator
r is there anything I can do to stop him from taking on my junk?
I cheer on the boundaries of anyone supporting me. I'll even give them permission to say no, tell them "no is an acceptable response" and encourage them to do what is needed to take care of themselves. If I can't do it in the moment, I do it before / after anything falling apart for me, so then it's ordinary.

I hope you are feeling better today and that he is able to bounce back soon as well!
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
Yesterday, my husband had superhero confidence, and the track record to go with it. Today, he's a wreck - overwhelmed with work and school, frustrated with all the little things that have to do with our strange little complicated life here in New Mexico, and he feels like a failure at everything he is doing.

What happened? I had a bad day, yesterday.

This has happened 3 times since August. It may have happened before that, too, but I am only now catching on.

Of course, I am talking to him and trying to remind him that he's doing awesome but he is not consolable. I made dinner, got him some tea, sang a bunch of dumb songs and he was cordial enough to crack a smile but he wasn't feeling it.

I know he took a dive in response to my situation, yesterday, which was a pain problem - I didn't even cry for goodness sake. But it doesn't matter. If I crash in any way, he comes tumbling after.

I imagine this is common in relationships but is this something I just need to accept or is there anything I can do to stop him from taking on my junk? He does not get like this on his own and I do feel guilty about it but short of pretending to be alright when I am not (which I am convinced is not healthy for the relationship as a whole), I don't know what I can do.

Thoughts, ideas, arguments???
I get bummed when my loved ones are bummed.
 

Friday

Moderator
I imagine this is common in relationships but is this something I just need to accept or is there anything I can do to stop him from taking on my junk?
I have come to learn to ask myself WHY I don’t want someone else (in my inner circle, other circles of hell have different Q&As ;) taking on my junk.

- Am I trying to make their decisions for them?
- Am I trying to protect them?
- Am I trying to protect myself? (Either cannot, or do not want to, deal with the fallout of my actions + their response).


You may very well have different reasons than I do... for my own self, it’s a 3way tie on how likely any of those things are. But they also aren’t the only 3 answers I ever get, they’re just the most common. Like 30/30/30 and the remaining 10%? Spread amongst 50 other possible reasons. That degree of common.

1. The first answer is the easiest one for me to sort. I throw on my control-freak-breaks, take it to the table, and ask them. Trusting their answer is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

2&3. Either of the last 2? I do some creative isolating.

- With kids, that means I usually arranged for them to be gone. Whether it’s a spur of the moment sleepover (this is expected to be a short blowout, 1 maybe 2 days until I’ve pulled my head out of my ass); or pulling out an “emergency” camp outta my back pocket. (I used to have 4 week long camps booked and paid for throughout the year, and then a rather longish list of “in event of emergency break glass” camps... both day camps and sleep away camps). I didn’t have all 52 weeks covered in event of meltdown, but I had roughly half of them covered. Which simplified things a great deal. Either there was already a camp on the books in an amount of time I could hang on for, or there was a “break glass” camp coming in a time I could hang on for, or there were a couple short lists of friends/family to call and arrange a sleepover if I needed it right freaking now.

Middling bad days, meanwhile, I saved the sleepovers & camps for later... and broke out the tent, twinkle lights, and pizza delivery; and sent them to go get in their pajamas whilst I set things up in the living room... because we were about to do a movie marathon.

Middling bad = I can control myself to the degree that I am absolutely unconcerned about the effects I will have on others, but I’m also up to very little more than laying on my belly and being smiley/interested/able to ring 911 if something went wrong; like the house catching on fire, or a kid breaking an arm, or a fever, etc. so forth. IE Bad day to the level of being a responsible adult, just not capable adult. Nothing beyond what a half-smart-dog could be trained to do, is currently in my bag of tricks. School is cancelled, work is cancelled, outings are cancelled, housework is cancelled.

- With adults-only (whether from the get go, or because I’d already sent the kids off on their own adventures) I EITHER...
... gave them a choice: Do you have a fishing trip, boys weekend, music festival, anything that you’ve been meaning & wanting to do, and haven’t quite had the time for? Or would you rather I took off for a few days, & you can have the house to yourself? <<< Because ONE of us is leaving for a few days. >>> If they chose to vamoose? I sometimes stayed, but always always always had a plan to leave in my back pocket in case they needed/wanted to come home before I was reasonably human shaped, again. That way their coming home wasn’t some sort of crisis. (Snort. Learned THAT lesson the hard way!)
... or informed them that I needed to take off for a day or six, so if they’ve been postponing <insert any of the fun options away or at home here> now would be a fantastic time.
...depending on whether I was invested in the answer. If I didn’t care who stayed/left, it was their choice. If I needed to go, I let them know.

Why no option C? I have a fundamental belief that HOME = Sanctuary. I won’t kick anyone out of their own home, unless they’re being kicked out for good. Because nowhere, that you can be kicked out of per someone else’s whim, is sanctuary. So I either gave them a choice to stay/go, or I informed them I was taking a few days to clear my head.

^^^^^^^^^^
None of that freaking long business up above stops people from taking on my junk, and it certainly affects the hell outta them. What it DOES do? Is limit the damage in predictible ways. Because no one is watching their mom/wife/person they love scream, rock, cry, shake, puke, break things, stare at the wall like a dead thing, and all the other super fun adventures in bad days. Instead? They’re off on REAL super fun adventures of their own... and I’m not dealing with the fallout of having hurt the people I love best by not being able to handle my shit.

Not saying that any of this is the “right” thing to do, and there are undoubtedly far better options out there. All this is, is what I did/do, in the same type of situation.
 
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RussellSue

Not Active
I hope you are feeling better today and that he is able to bounce back soon as well!
Thanks! We're both on the mend.

I am just now coming to accept that he has a very hard time with introspection (especially when he feels like I need something) and is not able to tell me when I am stressing him out until it has gone way too far. So, he won't request a break. So, I'm going to have to be proactive about this.

This rates a conversation. In the whole “team effort” & “predicitble is preventable” side of things. Come up with at least a trial-run plan of how to handle things, together, to try for the next time.
I talked to him more this morning about this. He is not quite ready to admit that he has consistently had shit days right after I have but I can tell that he is thinking it through and within a couple of days, he will probably agree with me - that's how it usually goes. Once we have that consensus, I will move forward with a plan. For now, my hope is just to seek support elsewhere as much as possible. He is really busy with school/work right now and that is because he is trying to make sure that we are both taken care of, so I feel like I really need to do all I can to keep from overfilling his stress cup, even if he doesn't realize what is happening. There isn't anything going on with me right now that requires that I have his utmost emotional support. Maybe I will save it up for Christmas break. 😆
 
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