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New Carer Trying To Find How Best To Help Him Without Destroying Self In The Process.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Chantico, Jul 26, 2007.

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  1. Chantico

    Chantico Member

    Hi, found this website about a week ago, and after joining got a little over-excited at having found someplace where people understand and have posted several times but have neglected to introduce myself. I think it was Jim who prompted me to do so.

    I suppose I would be described as a primary carer (I think I would be anyway) to a guy who we think has PTSD.

    I've had a long history of physical and mental/verbal abuse at the hands of my peers in school, from Primary school throughout Secondary school, but the worst of it (at least the physical stuff) stopped when I joined Karate when I was approximatly 14.

    The bullying ranged from people stealing/breaking my posessions, groups of boys chasing me round the school when they could find me throwing rocks and sticks, people tripping me up and pushing me down flights of stairs, following me to unnerve me, spitting on me, barring me in rooms for stretches of time, being attacked/beaten up at least once a week, even went through a period of everytime I entered my tutor room, chairs would be thrown at me.

    By the time I reached the end of 6th form (college) I realised that most of the people I ended up close to had tales of childhood abuse or other forms of damage. People I had known and been close to for years were suddenly telling me these horrific stories about what had happened to them.
    Then, when I got to uni last September, within a week of making friends with some people, the exact same stories came out.

    Because we were all living so close together, and because it was a new environment, things got bad pretty quickly, and because I was the first person to take action by checking vitals and stuff when my flatmate collapsed, soon everyone assumed I would take care of their problems, which I tried to for months before it basically burnt me out at both ends - I ended up trying to look after people with eating disorders, people who collapsed about 3 times a day, suicide attempts (kicked in a door) massive self-harm, hearing voices...a fair bit more.

    By the time it got to second term, one of the people I had been looking after...well, in the first term we got close - intense emotional attraction which we then realised was physical as well, a fair bit before it turned out that he was collapsing etc too.

    Anyway, we ended up together, him being my first boyfriend (at the age of 20, sad really), I lost my virginity to him. And I think that's where things went wrong. We ended after six days when he had been ignoring me for a few days, but stuff kept on happening between us.

    I've realised now that it was an abusive relationship, which is a very hard conclusion for me to come to.

    Basically I was his verbal and emotional punchbag, and for a few months he really treated me like sh!t.

    I excused him for it though - what was what I was going through in comparison to what he'd been through - there were more important things going on, why did I feel I had a right to be upset?

    Anyway, throughout that particular time where I allowed him to abuse me, his blackouts were occuring so frequently, ranging from at least once a week to every day at one point. It was just him passing out, it was him thrashing around, talking or crying out or weeping whilst unconscious, phantom pains happening which would fade within minutes of him waking, and then often waking up not knowing how old he was or where he was. The youngest I have seen him is age 7, and despite not knowing what to do, have managed to keep him as calm as possible throughout - even offering him to take hold of my wrists at one point so he would know I couldn't hit him as words wouldn't convince him that I wouldn't hurt him as I was 'a Big person' (I'm actually smaller than him) but I've seen him all ages through to about 13.

    The strangest thing is that even when he thinks he's 10, he's able to tell me my name, after the first few blackouts that I witnessed. He's told me he feels safe around me.

    I would assume that because he was so emotionally dependant on me he had to find a way to distance himself from me, so for months he was slagging me off to friends, which was driving them away further.

    He was pretending he was fine, so he didn't have to admit to anything, yet was so scared of everything that was happening, and kept coming to me for help. If ever his treatment of me got so bad I decided I wasn't putting up with it, if ever we had an argument, he (who basically lived in my flat because that's where I and the social group was based, even though he technically lived in the building opposite) he would try and remove all his stuff from the kitchen, assuming we could no longer be friends, that I hated him, that he had no friends left. The blackouts would worsen, his self-harm urges would increase, and I would be in an emotionally vulnerable state as well as feeling guilty and trying to take full responsibility for his mental state.

    Sometimes he would wake up unable to speak, angry at me for witnessing his vulnerability but scared that I would leave him on his own.
    The confusion and fear of the blackouts started leaking out into everyday 'normalacy' to the point where he thought he was going mad, but refuses to get professional help. My mum is luckily a GP and gave me a tentative diagnosis of PTSD, which I started researching, (Outlook South West was one website that helped) and realised that it fit perfectly. I know diagnosis aren't as cut-and-dried as all that, but he has all the symptoms and a lot of the behaviour is the same, so I figured there could be little harm in getting him to read the symptoms.

    He read them at my insistance, nearly blacked out, kept protesting that he was fine - by this point, after months of looking after the 'fine' person, I had had enough, and told him he bloody well wasn't fine, and unless he enjoyed the blackouts he was going to accept that he had them and that alcohol was a trigger.

    He was bad for the rest of the day, I ended up sleeping the night on his floor (and again later that week) because he was so worried that if I left that night I was never coming back, but it finally got through to him. He accepted he had a problem. He accepted that alcohol 'made his head go bad'. He worked out when enough was enough.

    He ended up staying at mine over the Easter holidays (it's not fun having someone you love passing out on the phone and waking up to beg you to make the blackouts stop), we ended up getting back together as a couple, and the next couple of months he blacked out about twice, a vast improvement.

    We broke up for the summer, there have been some complications in our friendship with his ex-girlfriend suddenly getting very posessive and jealous despite the fact that she cheated on him and dumped him in the first term, slapping him and trying to attack me. But the way he's been talking he still wants to be with me. I don't know what to do with that, due to a lot of things, but I do know he needs my friendship, and as I've been learning by braille so far, I need to know whether or not to push him into getting help.

    He's under the impression that because he;s been 'okay' for a while, that it's passed and he doesn;t need to worry, but I know (because I've seen it) that any emotional problem makes him start blacking out again. I don't want to push him if he's not ready, but if I leave it, it'll never get better, he'll never be ready, and he'll ignore it for as long as possible - any new thing that happens, he will pretend that he's okay because he's been in a good headspace for so long etc.

    I know that him getting help or reading up on it will make him feel worse for a while but better in the long run - the last couple of months, because things had been so bad before hand, I wanted him to have a break, have a respite from his demons, but that time of peace can't last forever and is starting to show cracks already, with still about 2 months to go before we're back at uni and I can help him, but I don't want to push him, don't want to take control of a situation which should be under his control. I don't want to make him feel like he's had his choice taken away from him, but I don't want him to suffer any more and don't want him to keep ignoring the fact that he needs help.

    Also, turns out I could have secondary trauma from being so deeply involved. I've looked into it and am trying to councel myself out of it - don't know how successfull that will be. I've already failed my first year at university, I don't want this disorder to be my life, but I will not be another person to hurt him. I won't abandon him, but I can't have a repeat of the entire thing - it nearly destroyed me - I ended up with two pregnancy scares (he took advantage of me being blind-drunk one night) and ended up letting him use me for sex, while immediatly afterwards asking me for help in getting this other girl to be his girlfriend.

    I've felt so cheapened, like such a whore, and I still do but I'm struggling my way through that.

    I don't want to end up like other people I've seen on this board, still bound to someone who treats them like sh!t because they feel they have the duty to look after them, after years and years of it.

    I'm trying to find my feet, find my boundaries, work out what the right course of action is, find out how best to help him without being destroyed in the process.

    And want to know if anyone has any advice.
    Yours sincerely
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  3. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    First welcome to the forum.

    Now, first you put yourself in the position of the "white knight" there to rescue him and everyone else, then you say you let him do numerous mean things to you.. and then you say you see the "other people" who are stuck with someone who treats them like shit.

    So you set yourself up to get hurt, you know your letting others mistreat you, and then you put all of us PTSD'ers together as basically scum? Nice.

    A) screw your head on straight.
    B) If you know your letting someone hurt you, then you know you have the power and control to say no. Just get out and stop making excuses so that you can complain about it.
    C) If you really loved this guy, you'd let him go.
    D) We are all not the same and that last little referral was insulting to say the least.
    E) If you believe you have secondary trauma, then why aren't you taking your own advice and maintaining self care and getting help?

    Personally your post sound more like a sufferer than a carer, there is more complaining about how rough it is for you then anything else. Try being a sufferer some time.
    Also, your posts are way too long for 99% of us to try and read and remember.

    That's my take on it.
  4. Chantico

    Chantico Member

    If you don't like the length of my posts, don't waste your time. Simple as.
    A summary of the situation, I figured, was the best way to introduce myself, as I was under the impression that this board was the place to do it.

    I find your assumptions a little...demeaning, as it seems to me, seems, mind you, that you took a dislike somewhere at beginning and ignored what I was trying to convey. If I have not conveyed what I meant to, then for that I appologise.
    Scum? Where did I say that? As previously stated, I know a lot of people with very similar pasts. I am very close to these people, and in my opinion they are the best people I know, with strength and maturity and understanding far beyond their years. I am constantly amazed at how someone could have gone through so much and still come out of it able to laugh, love, be.
    Don't misconstrue my words and assume things that aren't true. PTSD'ers, in my experiance, are some of the most incredible people and I am privilaged to know them.
    That doesn't stop what happened with an individual from being intensely emotionally and mentally detrimental to me. You chose a stance where there is no side and proceeded to dismiss all the rest I had to say.
    And given that you know nothing but the brief outline of the situation from me, I would thank you to reserve judgement until you know the full story. I feel what I feel, and your prejudices wont change it. Interesting to note how all of my friends, many of whom are PTSD sufferers themselves, are angered and apalled by the treatment I was given and accepted.
    When mentioning the desire to not end up like some people on this board, that was not a general statement. That was a referal to two or three posts I have come across in which the primary carer cannot take the treatment they have been dealt any longer, after years of it, but do not know what to do about it and were asking for help/advice.

    The same as I am doing here, in terms of help/advice. For him, not for me.

    White Knight? That may be a fair accusation, that may not be. Basically, a friend comes to me in tears or angry or upset and needing to talk, I do not turn them away, but sit and listen to their problems, offer what advice I can, tell them where they might fare better from looking if I have no idea how to help them - I don't pretend to know things, and several times have said 'Look, I really want to help you, but I have no experiance with this. Tell me what to do and I'll do it - cup of tea, flowers, chocolate, but there is nothing I can say to help you here'. And when I found friends unconscious in my corridor, I didn't just walk on by (as I witnessed some people actually do).
    I was concerned for them, so when no-one else looked to be sorting out the situation, I did my limited best by checking their breathing, pulse, any cause, then put them in the recovery position.
    So sue me for doing that, and if that makes me a so-called 'White Knight' then so be it.

    Also, you haven't heard me.
    A) I have no response to. It's a matter of personal interpretation.
    B) When I did (finally) accept/realise that I was being hurt, and yes, emotionally abused, thankyou - even in his own opinion, unprompted and spontaneously voiced, I put my foot down, realised what I was prepared to take and what I wasn't and started to tell him when he was being unfair rather than just excusing him ("What do I have a right to feel hurt when he's been put through so much?") It wasn't a complaint, it's been already dealt with, by me. It was outlining the situation so people would better understand the situation, hopefully giving them the chance to give more accurate advice. But it ended up a situation of being swamped. As I said, new envirnment, new friends, everyone connecting really strongly with everyone else, first years at uni in the first couple of weeks. Once I had unwillingly taken charge of one scary situation, the next time it happened didn't seem so scary. As I kept my head, it reassured people, who then kept calm, which enabled everyone else to think clearly. But they got used to relying on me too much, and I got used to assuming I had to sort things out. It wasn't a deliberate decision, it was something that just happened to a collection of frightened young adults.
    Sorry if that offends you.
    C) I do love this guy, which is not for you to question. And if you didn't read (which you can't have) we split up, for that reason. Because I refused to make a decision about us, take that responsibility, when he didn't have the confidence to think about what he wanted. In the end, after two weeks of me asking him to tell me what he wanted ("I want to do whatever you want to do" was not an acceptable response, in my books) he ended up saying "Damn you woman, you've made me think about what I want for a change," before telling me he wanted to break up 'for the summer'. We did not discuss a future for us, and yes, I was upset, cried on his shoulder for a bit, but then congratulated him for respecting me enough to be honest with me, and for once thinking about his own needs.
    So I haven't let him go eh? Don't pretend to understand things you don't.
    D)As previously stated, the last referal was to a specific incident, and I find it insulting that you jumped to conclusions and launched an attack before getting your facts straight. I did not group 'you all' (when did this become segregated? We're all people here, PTSD does not define who you are.)
    What IS insulting is that you're almost insinuating that I should put up with whatever he decides to throw at me because he's suffered. Now that's offensive to both me, him, and everyone who has PTSD. I found myself making excuses for his behaviour for a long time, stood by him when no-one else would, but then realised that by making excuses for him I was diminishing his responsibility in life, which increased the feelings of powerlessness he had.
    And since I've started to calmly tell him when he;'s being unfair and what is not acceptable, he's actually improved. Whether that's sheer circumstance or not, perhaps a part of it is because he at last had a line to follow? Just a theory I would hope to be discussed by people who know what their talking about - all I have is theories, not being a sufferer myself, merely a concerned friend who has been doing everything in their power to understand and help him.
    E) What do you think I'm doing on this board if not 'taking my own advice' and figuring out what help is needed? It was only through reading a self-help book that I even realised secondary trauma existed.
    I'm still trying places for help, but also am confident that it's a passing phase. And also? Don't have that much faith in places that could help - the most impressive example was when my friend and I went to the mental health clinic in the university town to get help for her (hallucinating, suicidal, severly depressed, collapsing, other things too,) and after telling the people there everything (including the fact that voices were telling her 'the devil's in your blood, you have to let the blood out to get the devil out') they told us they would be in contact ASAP and to go and keep ourselves occupied. oh they got back to us alright. Phoned my friend and told her to 'go for a nice walk and she'd feel better soon.' This was AFTER we went to the university councellor for help, who when they had all the information, decided to move her because she was 'upsetting her flatmates'! No, we went for advice on what to do if it got worse, not to get rid of her. Which was AFTER we had gone to the doctors about her collapsing 3 times a day. To which they told her to breathe into a brown paper bag.

    Yeah, I have reasons for not putting much faith in the people who are meant to know about it.
    Which is why I'm here. Asking for advice from people who know what they're talking about because they've lived it, or witnessed it happen to loved ones.

    So for the (apparently) 1% of you who have managed the mammoth task of reading my post. I did not come here to complain. I came here to ask for help, ask for advice, so I can do the best by this young man who I happen to give a sh!t about. The details I have given are there in case they help tailor the advice to the situation. If there is anything you can tell me, I would be most grateful. If you're going to tell me to 'get over it and stop complaining' then I'm sorry for taking this to be a place where I can seek help from unbiased, knowledgeable people.
    I'd assumed that trying to help my friend was a good thing. If your advice is to stop 'Playing the white knight' and sit back and watch him de-rail again, well, I'm sorry, screw you. I will not let him self-destruct. Especially as he's told me he thinks he may have killed himself if I hadn't been there for him.

    Any actual advice please? Attacks welcomed too, if it makes you feel better.

    You've also managed to say that 'sufferers = complaining about how rough it is', unless that was a mistake and you never intentionally linked the second clause of that sentance to the first.
  5. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    I am not certain which others you are referring to Chantico, but for myself as a Carer, I am not "stuck" with anyone, nor do I feel a "duty". I love and care about my PTSD sufferer. Part of loving someone is not permitting them to get away with bad behaviour or mistreat you, regardless if they have PTSD or not. If you have been mistreated by this person, then you need to look to yourself, examine why you are still present in his life. It appears you have allowed the abuse to continue for some time, and you must accept responsibility in that. It is not all your friend's fault. You are an adult. No adult is "destroyed" by another person in the manner you are describing, without giving their personal consent.
  6. Damiea

    Damiea Well-Known Member

    I believe she is just stating that she is strong enough and willing to put up with some abuse for a bit.. if there is hope he can get through this. I think she is saying that she understands sometimes if you let it go on to long the love and careing for the person who needs you becomes a "duty" rather then something you do to suport a loved one. She is really just asking for help in pointing out a direction to take with him.. push him to get help right off.. or any other tecnique to use to get him to accept that he needs help. I also think she is posting such long post becouse maybe she doesn't have many if anyone to talk to about the stuff she is dealing with on a day to day basis.. and the relef you feel when you start typing .. and stuff just keeps coming out. Just my thoughts seeing how this touched me and I had to post a reply.
  7. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Before this gets out of hand. Bec posted an opinion. Many people have different points of views and opinions and that is why this community thrives. Different angles. But to say screw you to someone because you don't like their opinion (even if it sounds harsh) that is what is called a personal attack here. Please lets not lose sight of issues and do not tell people, editor or not, screw you because you don't like their point of view.
  8. Chantico

    Chantico Member

    Veiled, you are right. Thankyou - I should have kept a better hold of my temper.

    And Becvan, I would like to personally appologise for the comment Veiled highlighted. I should not have said it, and I am sorry for it.
    I felt like you had miscontrued what I was trying to say, and perhaps the fault lies with me for not being clear in what I was saying.

    I'm not hear to complain. Yes, he did subject me to emotional abuse, took advantage of me. I didn't realise it at the time (couldn't happen to me, right?) in part because for a few years I've been standing up for myself. Took me this year to realise that I only stood up to people who declared themselves my adversaries, and would do anything, accept anything from my friends.

    Took me a while to realise that the way I was being treated wasn't okay and was hurting me. And him. Took me a little while longer to figure out how to notify him when he was out of line because I was so scared of accidently triggering him, or upsetting him - I had seen him so vulnerable and have a bit of a mothering streak in me, so was literally trying to sheild him from anything that would upset him, which took me a while to realise I was doing. He didn't take advantage of me on purpose, and I didn't let him on purpose. It just happened. I hope you can all understand that and stop 'having a go' at me for it. I learned from the mistakes, and it wont happen again to that extent.
    Hey, never said I was bright, right? I'm also pretty damn good at pretending I'm okay when I'm not.

    Becvan, what you said to me felt like an attack, and maybe I'm guilty of miscontruing what you said. So if I'm wrong, I appologise. I do feel you miscontrued what I said. But I've spent all year fighting with people who tell me to just leave him alone and find people who aren't screwed up to hang round with. People who have told me he was taking me for a ride to get attention, people basically verbally attacking me for sticking by him and doing my utmost to help him because 'he's not worth the hassle', according to them. But I ignored them, went with my gut instinct - I spent a couple of months so scared of what he would do to himself if I left him alone for long enough that I simply...didn't.
    He just felt so...fractured. It's hard to explain, but I could tell what mood he was in just by being in the same room as him, or talking to him, or looking at him. He's a good actor, and oddly it seemed no-one else could - they started paying attention to how I was behaving to work out how he was feeling.

    I appologised a couple of months ago to him for the amount of time I had spent around him, making him eat, making him get out of bed, do his laundry, hiding his knives or scissors if I sensed he was in a particularly bad way. He turned round and thanked me for it - told me he was glad that I did because he 'genuinly doesn't know if he would be dead or not by now if you hadn't'.
    That terrified me, but relived me at the same time. Relief because my gut instincts were right and I followed them, not other peoples advice (too bloody minded to listen to other people for long) and that he was in a good enough place to be able to say that. Terror because what if I hadn't? What if I had lost him by not believing him, as so many others did?

    But he is worth the hassle, he is worth so much, and to come here and ask for help only to have my first response like yours, Becvan - I think your words and theirs blended and in retrospect I can see I got too emotional in my response to you and said unfair things to you - full defense mode, if you know what I mean. It felt like an attack.

    So, I'm asking if we can start afresh. It was an abusive 'relationship'. I have not detailed the majority of it here, because it now no longer is, through both our efforts. Me and him have talked about what happened, and although parts of me are still upset about it, I understand most of it now and it's for me to work through in my own time. I'm not asking for help on it. I know how to handle it - heaps of writing in my journal, and talking to close friends who understand the situation, until it stops hurting.
    That is not what needs adressing.

    What I need, is someone who knows what they're talking about, to advise me. In my experiance it is such a fraught, delicate situation, and once I did start having a clue what was going on (long before I cracked a book on the subject as I didn't know what it was) I seemed to be able to help him okay. When I didn't realise he had regressed and didn't stop him from looking in a mirror. When I didn't realise he was physically reliving an event and thought he was having a convulsion and nearly called the ambulance. When he was thrashing around so much he nearly hit his head so I held him to stop him from hurting himself/falling off the bed but it scared him more because I was restraining him.
    There were no books to tell me what to expect or do. Nobody else I could talk to about it who could tell me what to do. He refused to talk about it, or admit it was happening.
    He's in a much better place and I know how to handle the immediate side of things now, through trial and error.

    I know every situation is different, and he's not yet ready to talk about it as often as perhaps he should, so until he gets to that stage I have to seek help elsewhere - I think I've described his current state (as far as I can gauge over phone/msn) and if I haven't I will if asked.

    I just want to know if anyone recognises his current state and can advise me on how best to help him. What is he feeling? What is he thinking? Is he likely to go downhill again like he did recently when his ex-girlfriend slapped him for me visiting him, tried to attack me then stopped him from contacting me for a week?

    If it's the last thing I do I will see him better. I know I cannot 'fix' him - he has to do that himself, and first he has to want to do that, which means accepting he has a problem instead of ignoring it. He's started to accept it. I just need to know where to take it from here.

    I don't put much faith in the mental health service in Britain, as I have previously stated. But if there are any books that can recommended, or confidence building techniques you can suggest?

    We've developed a couple ourselves - including when he's being indecisive, I will step back and refuse to make the decision for him, so he has to make the decision - I think that this helps him rely on himself more, and realise his opinion is worth voicing, gives him a feeling of greater power rather than taking the easy road of having all decisions made for him which also leaves him less open to taking the risk of responsibility.

    And another in which (we both hate our sight being taken away from us) he will cover my eyes with his hands - I tend to freeze and am always close to panic - I can't talk during it, and talk to me gently during it until I relax a little, and afterwards I will gently rest the tips of my thumbs on his eyelids until he relaxes a little - it's a trust building excerise you might say.

    I've been teaching him some grappling techniques and self-defense moves, and he's a fast learner and although he still freaks out if he accidently hurts me, he no longer freaks out when I win.

    So, I'm sorry that things got off on the wrong foot. I don't need advice on how to handle me, I'm doing that.
    It really is great to be here and to realise that he is not alone, and there are people who can help.
  9. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    Chantico, thank you for the apology.

    I am very blunt sometimes harsh. It's not meant as an attack, I just say it the way I see it. Plain and simple. Remember you are dealing with approx. 2000 people with PTSD here. Outside the carer's section, most of us are sufferers.

    I still can not get through 99% of your posts. LOL, they are just too long, too much.

    So I'm not replying to 3/4 of it, cause my brain just goes mushy trying to read it.

    Thanks for the apology and no problem on the fresh start.

    As for advice, I still say let him go. Any relationship that has gotten that abusive is broken. Friendship, relationship whatever. Only he can fix it, only he can make it better. That is what I'm referring to in my first post. You can't be a white knight (and I know your smart enough to already know this.. just need someone to kick you in the pants here) and fix him and your relationship needs to stay distant until he decides to get off his ass and get better. Plain and simple.

    Pretty much the same thing from the first post. LOL

  10. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

    Yes you are absolutely correct Damiea, taking care of a partner can become a duty rather than because of love and care, especially if a couple is married for a lengthly time and one of the two is ill. However caring for another adult simply because one feels one has no choice is an unhealthy and miserable existence. My husband of 35 years is a recovered alcoholic. Had I simply been with him all these years out of duty, pity, a sense of needing to care for him and so on, today I would be a very miserable woman indeed, and I would have no one to blame but myself. As Bec says, sometimes it is best to let someone go, not only for one's own sake but for the other person's best interest as well.
  11. Cole

    Cole Active Member

    Hi Chantico

    Welcome to the forum. I am Becvan's carer. Her bark is really worse than her bite!! But really, if you want some seriously good advice, listen to what she has to say and take what you need. I know that our suffers can be difficult at times but there are simple ways of dealing with it so that you can keep control of yourself and retain your identity. Anger never works. What you are doing may be one of the most difficult journeys of your life. It is all or nothing though if you can't deal with it you do need to leave. By the way Bec's right about the posts unless you are posting for the carers to read, try ot keep it short or you'll lose the point of what you are trying to say to them and you will get frustrated replies.
  12. Chantico

    Chantico Member

    Pretty much the same thing from the first post. LOL


    But so much more palatable when worded like that ;)
    Becvan - I have concentration problems too (ADHD) and even I baulk at reading my posts sometimes. So before this gets too long for you, have you tried fish oils or supplementing your diet with Omega 3? I will tell you, I noticed a great deal of improvement when I took them. My thoughts were a lot clearer.

    Must get on them again.

    Damiea, thankyou. Yes, that is a pretty good summary. It's good to know someone understood what I meant straight off - I was beginning to lose hope in my diplomatic skills for a moment there! :D

    I am quite a strong person and can (and have) put up with a lot, just need time to bounce back I suppose.
    And yes, it is so good to be able to talk to people who know more about it than me!
    One of the reasons my posts are long is because sometimes I forget I'm writing to other people, and it becomes an exorcism of what is in my head - my own therapy, if you will. I start typing, all the bad comes out. Or the good, depending on what's in my head at the time :)
    And also, I'm a highly exciteable creature!
    I'm so new to this, only really was exposed to this in the last 7/8 months (I knew two other friends blacked out but never witnessed it or knew why) and suddenly I was plunged into this whole thing, and I couldn't just leave him to face it alone!

    At the moment i'm pretty much of the opinion that I'll put up with whatever I have to if it helps him get better, but I also realise how unhealthy that could be so am trying to figure out what boundaries can't be crossed. Boundaries are pretty high at the moment - the last betrayal nearly was too much for me to bear - I couldn't eat for 3 days and couldn't stop shaking with this consuming rage/tears for 2+1/2, however much I councelled myself.
    I wont see him til September, so will hopefully recover by then.

    He is starting to take steps - he's read a few chapters on my book on childhood abuse, is making a big effort to quit smoking...baby steps.
    I'll insist he finishes the books when I next see him and am around so if it triggers him I can pick up the pieces. It's still a fairly one-sided relationship. but he's making a lot of effort. He could make more, but I daren't think about that (don't feel worth more, besides, if he's not ready, he's not ready)

    But, despite what I want (i.e. to be back together with him) he's going to need to prove he's making an effort. If he wants to be back with me, he's going to have to convince me it wont be a repeat, that we wont sink into old patterns and bad habits.
    I just hope I can stay strong enough to refuse him.

    I realise that my comment about my fears of realising several years down the line that I'm trapped in something detrimental didn't come across as I intended, another appology I would like to make.
    I re-read it and realised that it would be very easy to take offense from it, however, that's not how I meant it.

    I simply meant that if I don't do my utmost to help him get better, and do the right thing, if he doesn't suceed in healing himself, I know me well enough to know that I will keep trying to be there for him, and my fear is that it wont work and he'll end up one of those people who are not okay, miserable and unable to cope for the rest of his life, and damaging all his relationships, and keep damaging himself.
    I know that I won't abandon him, I won't let him face it alone unless he asks/needs me to. But that does mean that because I love him, as a friend and more, if I am unsuccessful in helping him, then I could end up with a future like one's I have read about, and that scared me.
    So, sorry if it came across how it wasn't meant to. It's a convoluted thought process to articulate, it was just something that struck me as a possibility and scared me. Not much actually scares me, but the prospect that however much I try to help him wont be enough, that however much he heals wont be enough...well, I'm sure you can understand.

    Sorry for not explaining it better. I hope that helps you to understand.
  13. Chantico

    Chantico Member

    Thankyou Cole. Difficult? I'm only just learning how fraught it is!
    I will try to keep my rambling posts much more concise in future - another symptom I had to have explained.

    There's just so much to say, learn, ask!

    I may be out of my depth, or young and foolish, but I'm going to see him through this!
    I won't be yet another person to hurt him or abandon him. I just wont do it. So if i'm not strong enough now, I'll find a way to make myself strong enough. He's not going through this hell alone.

    I'll keep my anger in check. I can promise you that he has never seen my anger, and with all that's happened and I've still not shown him my anger, I doubt he ever will. He's seen the after-effects of it, but I've never even raised my voice around him after the first time I had an arguement with a friend and witnessed his reaction to the arguement.
    I guess I'm so tightly in control around him that the tension comes out elsewhere.
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