Piecing things together

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry it's so hard right now. I'm not even in a relationship, let alone married, so I have no idea what you're going through.

But, I do know that if a relationship is making you feel like quitting on life? The solution would be to quit on the relationship. Life can be so much more than just anguish all the time.
Thank you. I understand that intellectually. But then I invalidate myself, blame shift onto myself, tell myself I'm being unreasonable in my expectations and then being overly dramatic. These are just passing thoughts, I know I won't act on them. Sometimes I wish I didn't have a child so I could just get out of this mess that way, which is terrible.

It's not the entire relationship that does this to me. It only happens when I am trying and trying and trying to influence my partner to hear me on something and he's refusing to try to hear me. I just get really hopeless to ever have a voice when I most need to feel like I have one. But then when the issue is past and I've gotten a decent night's sleep I can see that he basically tried to listen, bit is blocked by his own righteousness, or defensive ego pride stuff, or whatever. He tried imperfectly, and I was just not able to receive his effort in a way that would help me feel heard.

But it's been months of this, multiple counselors, I don't see how things can improve more than they have, or they already would have. At this point I do not see any evidence of his effort at changing his side of our issues. He just resents me bc I cannot magically stop having a compulsive need for closure.

Anyway. You're right Sideways. I shouldn't be in a relationship that makes me feel like that.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Some observations.

Being in a home where the only other adult who is an attachment figure is isolated, or present but has their face covered by a mask and is feeling unwell, is horribly triggering for someone who has survived certain types of trauma or abuse.

A preschooler sitting next to you randomly being suddenly loud, suddenly touching you, suddenly putting their hands or face right in your face, is horribly triggering.

Apparently I have been "overly sensitive" the last couple of days. This is one of the symptoms of childhood trauma I've not been able to release fully. I am overly aware of others' emotional cues and tend to personalize them.

It's also really friggin lonely isolating extra because there's covid in your house.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Husband lost his job. My autoimmune conditions are really messing with me. I asked my Pdoc for a mood stabilizer I took years ago, and I think it activated my autoimmune stuff so I can't take it anymore.

I am finally on the way to getting started with DBT. I am not sure it makes sense to spend the money if my husband just lost his job, but I also know that when the pandemic is over, I'll be expected to do something like this in person and I don't want to have to do that. I feel dumb doing such an intensive course of treatment when my marriage is the only major issue, but I know if I actually developed friendships and allowed people to get close to me some of these issues would happen in those relationships also.


In other news, my narc mom is being a narc. I cannot help my sister in a hands on way but I can take some of the force of her neediness so I'm trying to make space for that. I can only do what I can do.

Interestingly enough, the meds seem to have cut out my compulsiveness and obsessiveness in several behaviors. Still got conflict oriented compulsiveness but many other areas I'm ashamed to talk about seem better.

I am a bit anxious about husband being unemployed. Last time that happened it ballooned into two years of inertia on his part that I just can't abide again. So far he is working to prove he's going to handle it differently. It's only been a couple of days.

Our arguments can get insane and awful for me, but we have mostly gotten along while being forced to spend almost all our time together. That's not true for everyone. I'm trying to remain balanced in my thinking.

Suicidal thoughts because of conflict is not good and a huge red flag but when I am regulated again I am able to see how he tried to meet the needs I voiced to him at the time, and I was unable to accept any of it in a way that would soothe me. That's a bit different from the story I tell myself when I am triggered.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
In other news, the ability to post from my phone and hit enter to make a new paragraph isn't working like it did before. I have to do extra stuff to pull up the keyboard. I wonder if this is related to the updates underway, if others are dealing with it and if there is a fix?
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Had my DBT intake. Went ok. Therapist is meh but I'm not doing it for a good fit so much as the modality so that's alright.

Things were going so well at home I spoke to spouse and we agreed I don't need the group part of the program. I told them I want the individual with the 24/7 availability if needing help implementing skills when triggered.

Then we had an argument that got out of hand and as soon as it started going sideways he said "I take back what I said about you doing better" which I found incredibly cruel and gaslighty. If he frames any disagreement as a consequence of my issues he's not looking at his part in any fashion.

I was verbally abusive before the argument got sorted the following day and I'm ashamed of myself. I didn't call him a bunch of names but I did say he was acting like a coward, real men don't hide, etc. I told him he wasn't a decent person bc he bailed on the conversation when he could have chosen to smooth things over. In hindsight that was excessive but I'm so tired of him leaving abruptly .

When we calmed down he acknowledged that him leaving like that escalates our issues and makes me want to come toward him and he acknowledged that dynamic is a crappy one between the both of us. That's the first time he didn't blame me for it altogether so that's nice.

He told me that the last three times we had an especially bad argument, he's ended up saying he's leaving me, and he feels like he's getting positive reinforcement because the nature of the conflict shifts after he says that. Idk what to do about that. I don't try to beg him to stay or anything but I switch from angry to sad when it happens. Right when I stopped threatening to end things he starts doing it. Sigh. This is my consequences. I accept these consequences. I wish I had been safe emotionally growing up so I could be safe relationally.

Bleh. I have to say though for my partner losing his job, being in a pandemic etc, we are getting along amazingly well.

Another thing that came out in the intake (which was the most unstructured intake I've ever seen or experience and I don't think I like that) is that most of my life I was engaging in relational avoidance. It's been hard to see myself in the PTSD criteria as I do not present as a single incident or adult onset PTSD sufferer. But the avoidance is definitely there, I just didn't really see it as such until recently.

Oh yeah, my 4yo seems to be inheriting my perfectionism. He tried to draw the letter "c" and after one try where the line was a bit wavy he said "I didn't get it perfect. I don't want to draw my letters anymore." Poor kid. Will be implementing growth mindset activities for sure.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Husband's mental health has been very fragile, and I'm catching his depression. He wants sex constantly, and the stress of being the only income earner plus needing to support him in finding work despite many barriers, parenting, the pandemic, social isolation, and I have no sex drive. I'm feeling more depressed myself, as well. I am reading the book "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" and it's helping me see that my marriage never really had a solid foundation. The good times are just pretty good, but not great. It was only great when we were newly infatuated. There have been problems from the outset. Reading this is increasing my cognitive dissonance about being married, but ending the marriage while he is unemployed seems both cruel and stupid since we are in a community property state.

But I find myself only caring for him as a friend these days. Some of that is because he's always at home, he never leaves, so I never have an opportunity to miss him. He isn't proactively doing anything for hobbies or socializing with friends, so I find myself feeling pressure to be his everything and I just can't. We aren't really fighting anymore, but I don't want to spend time with him either. Everything I am doing is from obligation, or from trying to help him not fall into a pit of despair - and even that, if I'm fully honest, is self-serving. I don't want him to despair because I don't want to have to deal with him when he's like that.

I can't tell if I'm just a really selfish person, or if I am weary of being with a partner who isn't self-responsible, who is very needy and fragile. I'm tired of him having mental health issues which is really unfair since I have my own. I'm tired of having to take care of him, which is unfair since he's willing to take care of me when I need it.

My son continues to want to play very physically, which frequently involves invading my personal space without warning or permission. I continue to find it very triggering.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Now that I'm on depression and anxiety meds, the conflict in my relationship has diminished significantly. But so has the passion and attraction. My body won't respond to my partner anymore. Idk if it's just stress or what but I feel more like friends than lovers.

I tried to discuss with him last night that I feel our relationship is missing something, and always has, and maybe it would serve both of us to be friends instead. I learned more about how my trauma has hurt him over the years. He shared how much anxiety he has now that he didn't have before, and that is basically my fault.

Now that we aren't fighting, you'd think we could just enjoy each other. But everything is now flat, no passion, no spark anymore. Sex is soooo difficult. My body won't respond appropriately anymore. We are getting along well as parents. Idk what to even do. I don't see how I could separate with someone who doesn't have a job, but I feel like that's what we need to do. He agrees our relationship is ufked up. Aside from him not working, he's basically doing everything I've asked for over the years (still conflict avoidant but better), and even with all those things, I feel basically nothing. I think he deserves a chance to heal and find a partner that has stronger feelings toward him. He has a lot of qualities that make for a good partner.

Idk how much of our issues are me and how much are his and it bugs me to not have clarity about that. I think he used to be super loving and I broke it. I pushed him away so much, and honestly some of that was probably appropriate bc he was not being a viable partner for me, but idk how much was valid and how much was my attachment issues.

I'm realizing that I don't know how to love or be loved. For my limbic system love equals threat. I've tried to stop reacting like that, but it's hard to overcome 30 years of conditioning.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Dysregulated. Shame. Fear. I am not good at taking a joke. I am not good at being teased. My abuser's jokes were all criticisms.

Husband: You never worked anywhere where everyone gives crap to each other?

I have but I've never been able to figure out how to join them. I say harsh things accidentally, or just feel awkward. It takes a level of comfort that I don't have until a lot of time has passed. I also feel like some amount of bonding needs to happen to be able to joke like that.

He said he's sorry that my life has been so hard.

And then long story short he said that my feelings were taking too long to resolve. He would rather walk on eggshells than risk having to have a long, emotionally oriented conversation.

I shut down and said goodnight immediately because shit, it hurts to hear that I am too much. No matter how little I ask for emotionally, it's too much for him. I was pretty needy in the past so I can understand if he's burned out but geez, I really ask for very little now, and it hurts that I'm not worth the effort to him anymore.

What kind of growth can you have in a relationship where your partner intentionally chooses to avoid triggering your emotions so they don't have to deal with them?
 
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