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Piecing things together

Thread starter #613
Marriage issues have stabilized so I can work on my stuff better.

Triggers
People honking at me or thinking they are honking at me
Making mistakes
People behind me in lines, if I feel that I am not going fast enough for them.
People I am close to being in a bad or withdrawn mood
Teasing even if good natured, almost always feels abusive
Last minute plan changes
Yelling
People not answering a message from me
Unstructured social situations
Holidays
Sex
Unresolved arguments

Probably more, just been reading forums for complex PTSD and relating to what others share. I sometimes forget that what I experience is from trauma, surprisingly.
 
Thread starter #614
TW self harm

For the first time I wanted to cut myself. Triggered by attempting to have a calm, mature, collaborative solution focused conversation with a partner who just keeps telling me to "stop!" He doesn't want conflict but doesn't want to collaborate either. I don't really know what options are left when you take both of those away.

I scared myself in that urge to cut. I know non suicidal self harm can be addictive. I don't want to get into that cycle. I was really tempted.

So I called a crisis line and a little bit of empathy from a stranger helped a lot. I must be especially starved for empathy if a five minute dose of empathy helps that much.
 
Thread starter #615
I told him I called a crisis line to avoid cutting.

I wish I hadn't told him that.

In my head it would show him the gravity of our situation, but I'm realizing it won't have that kind of impact. It's just one more way I'm hopelessly irrational and abnormal. I told him because in the moment I was hoping he'd feel some compassion and understand that silencing every effort I make at constructive problem solving is hurting me severely, but he's past the point of noticing that or caring about it I think.

I should have kept my business to myself.

I also told him I'd been feeling suicidal lately. He's like what do you want from me. I'm like nothing.

I hate to be that female but if you can't figure out how to respond to a partner expressing that they are in an emotional crisis over how you are showing up in the relationship then I will definitely not be explaining it to you because that just makes me feel even more alone.

I did hit my head on the wall a few times last night. I never engaged in SH like that before this relationship. I get so frustrated and feel so stuck sometimes.
 
Thread starter #617
@HealingMama ... didn't you get a divorce lawyer?
I did a consult. She talked me through the options. But he and I were getting along after that as he FINALLY was willing to have a calm discussion of the latest issue, and it's in the middle of a pandemic so I didn't pursue it further. It's harder to have backup childcare where we are located during the pandemic so it's a bit more of a threat to my job for him to move out. If we can have a functional relationship I don't want to break up my family. My son will see his father so much less if we split.

And over the July 4 break, he agreed with the idea of divorce and basically I realized that I don't really want one once I got his buy-in which is ufked up on my part probably. That, and starting meds I realized a lot of the issues we were having were from my depressed mindset so I was again trying to do all I can to fix things before we split so I won't be haunted by self doubt the rest of my life.

If we can make what we have work I would much rather do that. But there's just so much damage now, I'm not sure we can.

I may suggest a trial separation where he stays close by. Part of my reservation is he's said previously he will move several hours away, making it all more final.
 
Thread starter #618
I am thinking of trying DBT. I have a lot of bits and pieces of what they teach but have never gone through the process. Part of me finds the 24/7 availability of the therapist super appealing as when I am triggered I don't want to wait for someone somewhere to remind me of the resources I have available to make new choices. I need someone there for me right then to help trigger new behaviors. Or at least I feel like I need that. I don't have the level of self control I want when my amygdala is in charge of my behavior.

I'm afraid that they will steer me away from the full DBT process in favor of more individual work because I said I'm high functioning and don't have substance issues or suicidal gestures. I might be high functioning but I have pieces of self that are very much NOT high functioning and I need an approach to treatment that can help those parts of me too because when they switch on I don't know how to access my usual resources.

@Sideways didn't you go through DBT? Is there much difference between individual DBT and the comprehensive program?
 
didn't you go through DBT? Is there much difference between individual DBT and the comprehensive program?
I've done DBT in its adapted version, within a group, but not the traditional method of 6 months straight, regular contact with a T, etc. Same content, but with a different structure.

I did it that way because I've always had at least 1 T of my own, and the traditional courses tend to require you to stop working with other Ts for the duration. How much each course provider sticks to the original course approach varies.

There's definitely benefits of doing it in its intended format. The structure being a big part of that. Everyone is going to have resistance to at least parts of the content (like the mindfulness content, and practicing that - a lot of folk seem to be really resistant to practicing mindfulness regularly, for a significant period of time for some reason), and the 6 month commitment, and required homework is a way to overcome that.

Tbh I think the structure might be helpful for you. Like you said, having someone regularly checking in with you can be an incredible source of support. It's also going to push you through those periods where you come up against content that you've covered before in other contexts - you'll be required to stick with the commitment regardless. And that's a commitment you're making to yourself, as much as anything - to work on a core set of issues for a set length of time, knowing in advance there will be reasons to abort. That's an achievement, all by itself, you know? Sticking with it, seeing it through. It goes for 6 months (traditionally) for a reason, because even where a person knows the content, committing to practicing it for that long has huge benefits.

I was concerned about how you wrote about commenting to your partner about your SH thoughts. I wasn't sure how to comment without it sounding negative, rather than supportive. This would give you someone who you can not only talk to, but wants to talk to you about it, and (far more importantly) knows what to do about it (which your partner doesn't).

Knowing content, and having experience at applying particular skills, are 2 seperate things. The traditional DBT structure will give you the experience, which is the crucial part.
 
Thread starter #620
How much each course provider sticks to the original course approach varies.
According to the clinic website, they will collaborate with an outside T, but I'm not feeling particularly wowed by my current T anyway. My previous one was awesome but waiting 3 weeks between appointments doesn't work for me right now.

Tbh I think the structure might be helpful for you.
I agree. I find routine soothing anyway, and I think that I could also really benefit from being in a group because I have a TON of internalized shame about some of my patterns, and if they conduct their groups properly, it should help me release some of that. Also, as you said, the support. My partner was a good support to me in the beginning but he's just saturated now, and unable to consistently respond in ways that help me continue to heal.
I was concerned about how you wrote about commenting to your partner about your SH thoughts. I wasn't sure how to comment without it sounding negative, rather than supportive. This would give you someone who you can not only talk to, but wants to talk to you about it, and (far more importantly) knows what to do about it (which your partner doesn't).
I don't mind if you sound negative. What was your concern? Neither myself nor my partner are ultimately emotionally safe for each other, despite our best efforts to be. We were also finishing up a really bad fight when I told him about the SH, so I wasn't expecting much from sharing. He minimizes things significantly, which means I usually have to maximize them to feel like he is taking them seriously and the result is, according to him, everything is a super important issue, therefore nothing is. I don't know if he even fully processed what I told him. We were both pretty broken at that point.
Knowing content, and having experience at applying particular skills, are 2 seperate things. The traditional DBT structure will give you the experience, which is the crucial part.
Yep that's what I am thinking as well, if I can make it work in my schedule I will prefer the comprehensive approach. I really need to be saturated in a new mindset. I am good with the mindfulness (although struggle to do it when triggered, even after meditating for over ten years now). I was reviewing the general DBT approach the other day and a dialectical statement that I came across hit me so powerfully and has been so useful that I recognize the value of diving deeper. "You're responsible for hurting me, and I'm responsible for my happiness." Maybe that isn't technically a dialectical statement but it came from a DBT person, and I've found it super helpful as I work to be more regulated. I've had so much damn therapy - this is one approach I haven't tried yet. So why not. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
 
What was your concern?
You and I know SH back to front and inside out - particularly the motivation (getting rid of painful emotions, primarily), and also reaching out afterwards (real human connection and, most often, someone to reassure us that we're okay, and that we're loveable, and loved).

We're both also well versed in the reality of SI, and the very dark, lonely reality of that.

For the vast majority of the population? This does not compute. No matter how close they might be to someone who self harms, or how much psycho education they're given? Their perception is, too often, very different.

To the person supporting someone who SHs, and then is told by that person, "I've just SH'ed", or for the person supporting someone dealing with SI who is told "after our conversation, I wanted to suicide"? It doesn't matter how many times it's explained to them, it feels like manipulation. It feels like emotional blackmail.

Those conversations are incredibly delicate. Your partner doesn't sound like he's on the same page as you emotionally at all. He handles emotions differently, and he doesn't understand where you're at emotionally. If that's the case? Handling those conversations, either about SI, or SH, is an art all in itself.

This isn't me saying "you shouldn't have said that". I take the don't-say-anything route and it's isolating as hell, and keeping your mouth shut isn't necessarily a better way to go.

But being mindful that, for a lot of people, sharing that information has to be done carefully. If your relationship is already in the "repair" phase? It's too easy for him to take that as something entirely different to what you were actually saying. For him? What he may have heard (distinct from what you said)? May have been "You made me suicidal during our last conversation".

I've had a lot of people, who don't get it, construe me sharing where I'm at as emotional blackmail, or manipulation. And while that's definitely not where I'm coming from, it doesn't change how much resentment can build as a result of those conversations.

For people who aren't trained how to respond to something as serious as "I've been suicidal", it can go all sorts of wrong.

So, again, not telling you that you did something wrong, shouldn't have told him, or should have handled it differently. Just, you guys have been struggling for a long time, and the last thing you need is him deciding that you're emotionally emotionally manipulative, simply because you're sharing emotional information that doesn't compute for him.
 
Thread starter #622
So, again, not telling you that you did something wrong, shouldn't have told him, or should have handled it differently. Just, you guys have been struggling for a long time, and the last thing you need is him deciding that you're emotionally emotionally manipulative, simply because you're sharing emotional information that doesn't compute for him.
That makes sense. I know in the past I've had the presence of mind to explain in the moment that something he did triggered existential terror due to (specific traumatic loss) and I am sure he thought I said it to manipulate him. I definitely see what you're saying and I don't want to add that dynamic to what is already a complicated and fraught situation.

I mean, he overdosed when his ex said she wanted out... but he told her later on that he just did it to manipulate her... so it's possible that he thinks that I'm doing the same thing. Good food for thought.

I normally do not tell anyone anywhere about SI or SH urges, it's really hard to share even with a T. I'm always worried they will misconstrue what I am saying, jump to conclusions etc.
 
I definitely don't have the answer. If you figure out how to tell someone without them taking it the wrong way? Let me know:)
I'm a supporter, not a sufferer, but I felt compelled to respond. My partner deals with both SH and SI, and we've talked extensively about both. I know she doesn't want to die, she just doesn't want to hurt. She described it as emotional pain so sharp, so intense, that it becomes physically painful as well, and in those moments she will literally think of anything to make it stop. As far as SH goes, having control over a physical pain you can manage to distract you from whatever is going on inside that feels unbearable. Both SH and SI make sense to me in these contexts, and I'm sorry for anyone who tries to open up to trusted people and is met with judgement or lack of compassion. We're not all like that, and I hope you find someone in your life who takes the time to listen....really listen, and educate themselves so they can be healthy support. You're all so brave and strong for working towards living healthier, happier lives. I know it must be exhausting and excruciating at times.
 
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