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Navigating Difficult Relationships and Healing from Past Trauma

WithHart

New Here
Hey everyone,

I'm reaching out to this group today in search of support and understanding. I want to share a part of my personal journey and seek your advice on dealing with some difficult circumstances.

In my upbringing, I was both subjected to and witnessed emotional abuse and experienced physical violence in my home. My so-called parents never showed me love or affection, and it has left deep emotional scars that continue to affect me today. As a result, I have been diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), and in my life, I have also experienced multiple abusive relationships, where I have been the victim, never the aggressor.

Currently, I am in a relationship where I am enduring emotional abuse, including verbal attacks, manipulation, and belittlement. My spouse consistently engages in passive-aggressive behavior, often viewing themselves as the victim instead of recognizing the harm they are causing. Their anger and frustrations are frequently directed at me, leaving me feeling constantly on edge and invalidated.

Although I thought I had learned from past relationship mistakes, it has become evident that I am repeating patterns. This realization has been disheartening, as I genuinely believed I had grown and evolved. It's a painful reminder that healing is not a linear process.

It's important to note that my health issues began prior to my current relationship. I have been managing multiple health conditions, including MS and thyroid disease, for some time now. Interestingly, there is no history of MS or thyroid disease in my immediate family, which suggests that my MS is likely influenced by environmental factors rather than genetics. Only recently have I come to understand that my CPTSD may have played a role in the development of my MS, as trauma can have a significant impact on physical health.

In recent events, my spouse accused me of competing over a headache, even though they mentioned having one first. This misunderstanding highlights the communication challenges we face and the difficulty in having a healthy conversation.

Both my spouse and I work from home, which adds another layer of complexity to our dynamic. The constant proximity and blurred boundaries can intensify the emotional strain and make it even more challenging to find a healthy balance.

I'm reaching out to this group because I believe in the power of support and empathy from those who have experienced similar hardships. Any advice, insights, or suggestions on navigating this difficult situation, healing from past trauma, and prioritizing my well-being would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Your understanding and support mean a lot to me.
 
Welcome to the community!

Currently, I am in a relationship where I am enduring emotional abuse, including verbal attacks, manipulation, and belittlement. My spouse consistently engages in passive-aggressive behavior, often viewing themselves as the victim instead of recognizing the harm they are causing. Their anger and frustrations are frequently directed at me, leaving me feeling constantly on edge and invalidated.

Although I thought I had learned from past relationship mistakes, it has become evident that I am repeating patterns.


So are you looking at trauma informed couples counseling, separation, divorce? Where’s your head at?
 
hello hart. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.
Although I thought I had learned from past relationship mistakes, it has become evident that I am repeating patterns. This realization has been disheartening, as I genuinely believed I had grown and evolved. It's a painful reminder that healing is not a linear process.
it took me a goodly while to get past that disheartenment. it still bites my attitude more often than i'd like, but i am starting to believe that i really have grown and evolved. it's just an ongoing process and i just ain't done yet. great works of art are never finished.
Both my spouse and I work from home, which adds another layer of complexity to our dynamic. The constant proximity and blurred boundaries can intensify the emotional strain and make it even more challenging to find a healthy balance.
even before hubby retired from his onsite corporate gig, overexposure was one of was one of the meaner dogs in my own matrimonial closet. no matter how much i love a person, place or thing, too much of anything is too much. since he retired, i have worried on occasion that i might graduate to husband-beater. hubs and i have been coping with the overexposure factor with mindful acceptance. it happens. no need for waltzing on egg-shells or dramatizing. just increase social distance as needed.

anyhoo. . . welcome aboard. hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
 
Welcome to the community!

So are you looking at trauma informed couples counseling, separation, divorce? Where’s your head at?
At this point, I'm exploring different options and considering what would be best for my well-being. Trauma-informed couples counseling could be a valuable resource to help address the dynamics in our relationship and promote healing. However, I also recognize the importance of prioritizing my own emotional and mental health. Separation or divorce may be necessary if the emotional abuse continues and affects my overall well-being, but it is the last thing I want to do. It's a complex decision, and I'm taking the time to carefully evaluate my options. I appreciate your support and any insights or experiences you may have in navigating this situation.
 
Learning communication skills has been incredibly helpful to me with managing relationships through my recovery.

The process of learning how to express myself assertively didn’t just tell me how to get communication back on track when one of the parties is being passive aggressive (my family’s favourite!), it was part of what taught me how to even identify what it was that I needed to say. Immensely helpful, and time well spent with psychologists along the way.

There are basic principles that you can learn about how to communicate effectively, which are easy to learn, and fairly simple to practice in real life, as a way of figuring out what to say, and how to say it, so that the conversation is productive rather than destructive.

The other thing that I often turn my mind to when dynamics are getting difficult is the Karpman drama triangle. There’s a couple of my very close relationships where the other person pathologically perceives me as either their hero or their enemy, because of their own mental health issues. Learning about that (also a psychologist), and how to stop leaning into those roles, and defining a different role for myself whenever that was cropping up - super helpful.

It helps to have a T who can not just teach you about the theory, but then help you apply it as lived issues (like the seemingly no-win headache conversation) crop up.

Those types of skills have endless application in other settings, so they’re definitely a time and cost investment that have payed dividends for me, and made some seemingly toxic relationships work.
 
hello hart. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

it took me a goodly while to get past that disheartenment. it still bites my attitude more often than i'd like, but i am starting to believe that i really have grown and evolved. it's just an ongoing process and i just ain't done yet. great works of art are never finished.

even before hubby retired from his onsite corporate gig, overexposure was one of was one of the meaner dogs in my own matrimonial closet. no matter how much i love a person, place or thing, too much of anything is too much. since he retired, i have worried on occasion that i might graduate to husband-beater. hubs and i have been coping with the overexposure factor with mindful acceptance. it happens. no need for waltzing on egg-shells or dramatizing. just increase social distance as needed.

anyhoo. . . welcome aboard. hope you find stabilizing companionship here.
Thank you, arfie, for the warm welcome and your understanding. It's reassuring to connect with someone who has experienced similar challenges and has found ways to cope with them.

Finding stabilizing companionship in this forum is invaluable. Your presence and insights contribute to creating a supportive environment. Thank you for extending a welcoming hand, and I hope that together we can navigate these challenges and find solace in shared experiences.

Learning communication skills has been incredibly helpful to me with managing relationships through my recovery.

The process of learning how to express myself assertively didn’t just tell me how to get communication back on track when one of the parties is being passive aggressive (my family’s favourite!), it was part of what taught me how to even identify what it was that I needed to say. Immensely helpful, and time well spent with psychologists along the way.

There are basic principles that you can learn about how to communicate effectively, which are easy to learn, and fairly simple to practice in real life, as a way of figuring out what to say, and how to say it, so that the conversation is productive rather than destructive.

The other thing that I often turn my mind to when dynamics are getting difficult is the Karpman drama triangle. There’s a couple of my very close relationships where the other person pathologically perceives me as either their hero or their enemy, because of their own mental health issues. Learning about that (also a psychologist), and how to stop leaning into those roles, and defining a different role for myself whenever that was cropping up - super helpful.

It helps to have a T who can not just teach you about the theory, but then help you apply it as lived issues (like the seemingly no-win headache conversation) crop up.

Those types of skills have endless application in other settings, so they’re definitely a time and cost investment that have payed dividends for me, and made some seemingly toxic relationships work.

I am currently facing challenges with communication. To prioritize my well-being, I am actively focusing on self-care and maintaining good health. I am fully aware of my health issues. Recently, I have come to understand that PTSD alone is an incomplete diagnosis. I have been diagnosed with CPTSD, which has had a significant impact on my health. One of the effects is that I tend to shut down and engage in self-deprecating behavior for extended periods, even after my spouse has stopped.

I am currently reading up on CPTSD and somatic therapy as they seem to go hand-n-hand. I have never heard of Karpman drama triangle, but I will do some research on it. It sounds useful. Thank you so much.
 
Hey everyone,

I'm reaching out to this group today in search of support and understanding. I want to share a part of my personal journey and seek your advice on dealing with some difficult circumstances.

In my upbringing, I was both subjected to and witnessed emotional abuse and experienced physical violence in my home. My so-called parents never showed me love or affection, and it has left deep emotional scars that continue to affect me today. As a result, I have been diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), and in my life, I have also experienced multiple abusive relationships, where I have been the victim, never the aggressor.

Currently, I am in a relationship where I am enduring emotional abuse, including verbal attacks, manipulation, and belittlement. My spouse consistently engages in passive-aggressive behavior, often viewing themselves as the victim instead of recognizing the harm they are causing. Their anger and frustrations are frequently directed at me, leaving me feeling constantly on edge and invalidated.

Although I thought I had learned from past relationship mistakes, it has become evident that I am repeating patterns. This realization has been disheartening, as I genuinely believed I had grown and evolved. It's a painful reminder that healing is not a linear process.

It's important to note that my health issues began prior to my current relationship. I have been managing multiple health conditions, including MS and thyroid disease, for some time now. Interestingly, there is no history of MS or thyroid disease in my immediate family, which suggests that my MS is likely influenced by environmental factors rather than genetics. Only recently have I come to understand that my CPTSD may have played a role in the development of my MS, as trauma can have a significant impact on physical health.

In recent events, my spouse accused me of competing over a headache, even though they mentioned having one first. This misunderstanding highlights the communication challenges we face and the difficulty in having a healthy conversation.

Both my spouse and I work from home, which adds another layer of complexity to our dynamic. The constant proximity and blurred boundaries can intensify the emotional strain and make it even more challenging to find a healthy balance.

I'm reaching out to this group because I believe in the power of support and empathy from those who have experienced similar hardships. Any advice, insights, or suggestions on navigating this difficult situation, healing from past trauma, and prioritizing my well-being would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Your understanding and support mean a lot to me.
Thanks for your post. I understand you completely. No one has the right to verbally or emotionally abuse you. God knows I do that all on my own. Since my diagnosis I’ve noticed that I have pulled back from my spouse. They have an expectation of the old me. The new me with CPTSD is needy, needs validation, and has zero self esteem. We’re in counseling. Our therapist suggested that we write in notebook. I write in it about how I feel about issues. They write back. However, I am not being emotionally abused. Do you feel your marriage is worth saving? You’re in my prayers.
 
Hey everyone,

I'm reaching out to this group today in search of support and understanding. I want to share a part of my personal journey and seek your advice on dealing with some difficult circumstances.

In my upbringing, I was both subjected to and witnessed emotional abuse and experienced physical violence in my home. My so-called parents never showed me love or affection, and it has left deep emotional scars that continue to affect me today. As a result, I have been diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), and in my life, I have also experienced multiple abusive relationships, where I have been the victim, never the aggressor.

Currently, I am in a relationship where I am enduring emotional abuse, including verbal attacks, manipulation, and belittlement. My spouse consistently engages in passive-aggressive behavior, often viewing themselves as the victim instead of recognizing the harm they are causing. Their anger and frustrations are frequently directed at me, leaving me feeling constantly on edge and invalidated.

Although I thought I had learned from past relationship mistakes, it has become evident that I am repeating patterns. This realization has been disheartening, as I genuinely believed I had grown and evolved. It's a painful reminder that healing is not a linear process.

It's important to note that my health issues began prior to my current relationship. I have been managing multiple health conditions, including MS and thyroid disease, for some time now. Interestingly, there is no history of MS or thyroid disease in my immediate family, which suggests that my MS is likely influenced by environmental factors rather than genetics. Only recently have I come to understand that my CPTSD may have played a role in the development of my MS, as trauma can have a significant impact on physical health.

In recent events, my spouse accused me of competing over a headache, even though they mentioned having one first. This misunderstanding highlights the communication challenges we face and the difficulty in having a healthy conversation.

Both my spouse and I work from home, which adds another layer of complexity to our dynamic. The constant proximity and blurred boundaries can intensify the emotional strain and make it even more challenging to find a healthy balance.

I'm reaching out to this group because I believe in the power of support and empathy from those who have experienced similar hardships. Any advice, insights, or suggestions on navigating this difficult situation, healing from past trauma, and prioritizing my well-being would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Your understanding and support mean a lot to me.

I have an extremely similar situation to you, with only two major exceptions. (1) My partner is the one who has the major physical health issues including thyroid. (2) While my childhood was highly traumatic (including witnessing physical violence, and the threat of death) I also had love and affection from both parents, interspersed with rage and neglect. Quite a cocktail.

I am impressed by the eloquence and lucidity with which you write. There is a side to you which evidently has its shit together, and you can take immense strength and courage from that. It's going to be a great resource whether you opt for therapy alone or together, or self help.

My advice in a nutshell. If you are seriously contemplating separation, a few sessions of couples counselling no way contradicts that as an option. It should either help you separate in a less stressful way than you otherwise might, or it should help you carry on together with less stress than you currently have.

That said, it might also make things temporarily even more painful in the short term to get that long term improvement.

In the meantime, just having a couple of weeks apart will change your world. I know that because like you two, we both work from home too. It's enough to drive any of us crazy, let alone the CPTSD that we also have. Go get some sunshine, and work remote. Change is as good as a rest.
 
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