Piecing things together

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
New parts work progress.

Was reading about types of alters. Read about the Gatekeeper, was pulled inward, and then hello, there's a part out here with me. Came with some perceptual disturbances, gumby feeling on just half of my body.

Unfortunately still not able to communicate but now I know what it feels like to interface with the Gatekeeper.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
My first appointment with the therapist went well. I think she does a great job creating safety.

She described my marriage as an "active trauma" and she is right. There are issues about my marriage I don't talk about here bc I am embarrassed. My husband has legal problems that make finding work difficult. And those problems cause consequences for myself not just him.

I told her that I realize we might need to just end the relationship but I can't follow through because my mind just forgets how awful things get at times.

I mean even if my husband becomes better able to meet my emotional needs again, his issues will still be there. He will still struggle to keep a job, make a decent living, etc. He will still need a caretaker. Maybe a huge part of my problems right now is my marriage not my PTSD (or maybe it's the marriage AND the PTSD).

Finally got some decent sleep thanks to my husband agreeing to handle the wakeups. My son woke several times again complaining of pain and asking for hugs.

We are getting ready to travel this weekend to visit family, including my original abuser. She's become much easier to be around now that she's older and had to rely on other people. I'm going to be sure I've got my Xanax though. She has not seen my son in over a year due to COVID and he likes being around her. I monitor her treatment of him very closely so she doesn't do to him what she did to me. She knows not to do anything like that. It's funny how narcissists change their behavior around people that have leverage against them.

Last night I became intimately aware of how my husband has the capacity to do the stuff I've asked of him, as I witnessed him doing those things for other people. It hurt. I did not protest or even try to discuss it. I just sent a message asking what days next week he is available to finalize our divorce petition. He was thrown off of course as we were getting along.

I do love him. But I don't see how I can do my trauma work as long as the relationship is causing attachment problems and making me feel rejected. He's been doing so many nice things for me, he got me chocolate yesterday, i do see those things.

I explained to him that bc he gets mad and literally pushes me out of the room when he no longer wants to have a certain conversation, I experience a lot of rejection and feeling unwanted, and unless he also makes it explicit that he wants to be closer to me in the good times, the overall message is that I'm unwanted. I need a good support system to work on my trauma history, and if my husband makes me feel unwanted I don't see how that is good support.

(Thinking of what we discussed earlier about independence, I am aware that for most of these conversations, my goal is not to get dependency needs met but rather to address some issue between us. The dependency needs come in after he shuts the door in my face and doesn't also say "this is a temporary thing I need to calm down and then we can finish the conversation.")

I feel like this is a rational evaluation of my situation rather than my usual ambivalence and confusion. I may post in the relationship area for feedback on that.

He could offer practical support by handling more parenting etc, while I'm working through trauma, but I also am feeling like, how can I really show myself compassion and respect if I am continuing a relationship that makes me feel like crap, shouldering his financial burdens and needs, as well as the complications of his legal issues?

I told him I could handle one or two of these but can no longer deal with all three, and I was hoping the emotional stuff could get fixed but it doesn't seem to be getting fixed.

So that's where I'm at. Even if we file the papers we have a year to decide whether we want the change to stick. Maybe if I can follow through on this I'll earn some self respect. And maybe he will decide to look harder at his own shit. Who knows. He was planning to go to some temp agencies today. I hope he still does it. He needs a job whether we are together or not.
You are much kinder than I would have been. I would have told him it's his responsiblity to shoulder and act on all his issues, and for me to shoulder mine, and he still is responsible for 1/2 of the family responsiblities. You have a year to do a lot of thinking, saving up, and planning for potential future change. When I left, I made a written plan and checked it monthly. Good luck with this.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
You are much kinder than I would have been. I would have told him it's his responsiblity to shoulder and act on all his issues, and for me to shoulder mine, and he still is responsible for 1/2 of the family responsiblities. You have a year to do a lot of thinking, saving up, and planning for potential future change. When I left, I made a written plan and checked it monthly. Good luck with this.
Thanks. I need it. I'm already waffling.
He did go to the temp agencies and was basically told they won't try to fill any roles with him because they don't want to damage their reputation since he is a felon. So another door to employment is closed.

I am pathetic. If he went back to being emotionally supportive like he was in the beginning I would put up with all that stuff. Even though it means I am taking care of him financially.

He told me today he's angry with me for sending a message like that right before he travels to see his oldest daughter. Well, I did my best to minimize the conversation. I can't hold my needs all weekend just because he doesn't want to experience any difficult emotions.

My poor husband. No wonder he is having a hard time showing care. I've threatened divorce a thousand times and just did it again. I mean this time I didn't say it as a threat but I understand how wrong it was to throw that at him so much. I'm pretty sure it was mostly from the financial stressors and the Stonewalling though. I never want to be with another stonewalling type.

I am thinking that separating would be good even if we end up staying together. I really need him to stand on his own two feet somehow and I don't believe he will find that motivation unless he has to. Even when we get along well, I don't respect him for not finding a way to make a decent living and just leaning on me when we could live a much easier life if he got a fire under his butt. Admittedly there is a lot working against him, but I can't be responsible for him. Maybe if he moves out, I can work on my stuff and he can work on his and then we can reevaluate. I do feel for him that so much is working against him, but at the same time most of that is his own doing.

I wish I could just take a weekend trip and come back and all traces of him were gone. I'm sure that would make the transition harder in the long run but still, it's the fact you can't snap your fingers and be separated that has made it all drag out.

I worry how will he find housing? Will it be safe for my son? Can he find housing in a decent neighborhood despite being a felon?

So, I think that separating is the only thing we have not done and we need to do it. Now the question is how do I get my entire system to back me up on this?

I think as @somerandomguy mentioned in my relationship thread, it is possible that my husband would move away and see my son less. But if it happens, I will be ok. I'm strong. I have family close by. I can make friends eventually and then maybe trade favors. I tend to do a better job of making friends when I'm not in a relationship.

It's also possible that he will actually end up homeless or in jail again. It's hard not to feel like that would somehow be my fault because I am conscious of how poorly he functions and feel like making him leave is setting him up to fail.

I'm so pathetic. I can't believe this is my life. I look at myself from an outsider perspective and think wtf is wrong with her? Why doesn't she leave him? Why is this accomplished professional married to a felon without a job and questioning herself about getting out of that situation?

I don't know why 😱

I know on some level I deserve better. I deserve to not be in a relationship full of struggles that aren't my fault.

On the other hand, everyone has baggage. I'm almost 40. Nobody will want a 40yo single mother with chronic illnesses and PTSD. I don't want to turn into my mother and just be single most of my kid's life. I don't want him to grow up without any model for a relationship.

What if I'm so terrible that nobody else would want me? I feel like I have a monster living inside of me that attacks when anyone gets close. I don't want to do that to anyone. What if this is the best I can experience for a relationship because I'm so messed up?
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe your husband should be on disability(SSDI)? Whether you're together or not at least it's a stable monthly income for him.
I actually saw once when he first lost his job where he was looking online at that. The amount was very low, not really a living wage. I've thought of that before as he does seem fairly disabled. Unfortunately ADHD isn't considered significant enough to qualify for disability, but he struggles with depression too.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Does he care for your son during all the hours you're working @HealingMama ? Maybe he too is stressed and burnt out? Generally speaking, no matter what the condition disability has a high threshold. But any extra income is still helpful, right? Or perhaps medication?
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
I just looked it up,if his ADHD is severe enough he could possibly qualify for SSDI. Sure it's not a large amount of income but definitely more than the amount not working brings in.

My thinking was since you're already concerned and stressing over him becoming homeless and not being able to support himself,it's an option. In my state there's low income housing for the elderly/disabled. They qualify just by proving they have applied for SSDI. They can live there basically rent free(very low rent) until approved then rent will be based on the amount they receive monthly. Plus food stamps and Medicaid. There's help available for the disabled to keep them from becoming homeless.

He could apply,the worst that could happen would be getting denied. It doesn't hurt to try. From what you have written he does sound severely impacted by his ADHD. And it would be less worry and stress on you.

Another scenario,if you don't split up/ divorce, a monthly check could be something you could count on. Use it towards something significant like rent or mortgage payment,whatever. That's less stress on you knowing whatever it goes towards will always be paid. Then you may not have so much resentment for doing it all yourself.

I have a question though,if he applied and was approved,would him being 'disabled' change the way you think and feel about him? Would that make you want to give up on him completely or would that make you feel that maybe he just hasn't been capable of being who and what you have wanted and needed all along?
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Does he care for your son during all the hours you're working @HealingMama ? Maybe he too is stressed and burnt out? Generally speaking, no matter what the condition disability has a high threshold. But any extra income is still helpful, right? Or perhaps medication?
We pulled out son from daycare when COVID hit and put him back a year later. My husband is very patient generally and seemed to be fine with the parenting although they had way, way too much screentime and it caused a bunch of meltdowns when we had to detox our son from it. You are right there is a high threshold and typically you must persist through at least one denial and my husband definitely doesn't have the stamina and grit for that but I might be able to help him.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
I just looked it up,if his ADHD is severe enough he could possibly qualify for SSDI. Sure it's not a large amount of income but definitely more than the amount not working brings in.

My thinking was since you're already concerned and stressing over him becoming homeless and not being able to support himself,it's an option. In my state there's low income housing for the elderly/disabled. They qualify just by proving they have applied for SSDI. They can live there basically rent free(very low rent) until approved then rent will be based on the amount they receive monthly. Plus food stamps and Medicaid. There's help available for the disabled to keep them from becoming homeless.

He could apply,the worst that could happen would be getting denied. It doesn't hurt to try. From what you have written he does sound severely impacted by his ADHD. And it would be less worry and stress on you.

Another scenario,if you don't split up/ divorce, a monthly check could be something you could count on. Use it towards something significant like rent or mortgage payment,whatever. That's less stress on you knowing whatever it goes towards will always be paid. Then you may not have so much resentment for doing it all yourself.

I have a question though,if he applied and was approved,would him being 'disabled' change the way you think and feel about him? Would that make you want to give up on him completely or would that make you feel that maybe he just hasn't been capable of being who and what you have wanted and needed all along?
I suspect that he would not be able to stay in housing for the disabled for reasons I'd rather not elaborate on.

I also wonder how him applying for disability would affect a potential divorce. We made our own marital dissolution document already, but would a judge think if he's disabled then I have a greater obligation to support him? I mean, I have disabilities too but I can still work (mostly).

I believe that he is very impaired and yes if SS agreed with that assessment, I don't know that I'd want to give up on him exactly. I already know he is in a bad way. I do regularly discover that he's not capable of something I've asked him to do, although it is my understanding that anyone with ADHD can strengthen executive functioning with practice so there is a bit of "yeah it's bad and hard but there's things you can do that you're not doing." So I tend to moralize the situation a bit from that aspect, while I work to recognize when it's symptoms causing friction, I do judge him for not working on coping strategies.

I mean honestly I wouldn't mind helping him out, maybe living separately but close to each other, and if I can help some then I can monitor his functioning and if he's doing ok he could take our son more often and I would get a break. (Our existing agreement if we use it is for him to get our son 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends.) But if I'm not living with him then the consequences of his choices won't feel so close to me. And I could eventually find a partner who is able to actually be a partner. Or look into polyamory or something.

I mean on the one hand I feel guilty because my husband has helped me out no questions asked for my own conditions when they are disabling (except when it looks aggressive towards him). I've been bedridden and he's been ok with that. At one time he picked up another job and told them he had to have a set schedule because he needed to be available to help his wife with chronic illness stuff. (It was really bad at that time.) Men as caregivers seems to be the exception as I've seen many women complain their husbands got mad at them for being too sick to caretake, or even divorced them because they became ill.

And here I am thinking of dropping him but mostly I think it is because I don't know how to be in a relationship with someone that is functioning this poorly without getting drained and interfering with my own recovery.

I think it's as SRG said I'm very codependent. So I don't know how to help through creating space and boundaries for him to figure out his own stuff and it's not always clear what is something he can improve and not improve.
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
Husband and I are getting along again. It is too hard to be around him and not have the comfort and affection that is otherwise there.

I am going to discuss more with my therapist this week how to proceed regarding the relationship. I am inclined to get our divorce papers signed since the appointment has been made, but not necessarily file them just yet.

And use this as a time to both work on our own recovery. I made a list of boundaries for myself that I will work to follow during the separation.

I have this nagging feeling that my husband is playing up his impairments to avoid having to do stuff he doesn't want to do. Could be my attachment stuff looking for reasons to disengage again since we are a bit connected now. But it is definitely there, that underlying fear that maybe he's got APD and is draining me knowingly and lying to my face all the time. And has found out that he can pretend shame is behind all his crap behavior so he just falls back on that explanation.

I haven't written about it here I don't think but we almost split for real when I discovered my husband had lied about starting the process of doing voc Rehab. He said he opened a case but hadn't. He lied about it the day he came home. And he didn't come clean on his own until he had to, because I was involved and things didn't add up. I was so angry I texted his dad to come get him because he lied to me. He told me he lied because he was embarrassed that he had messed up the appointment process.

I can't even remember the details now because my mind forgets all the crap that creates such unbearable cognitive dissonance.

And then I got lulled back into everything.

Maybe I can find a counselor for us that specializes in personality disorders and ask them specifically does he have traits of APD because I really need to know. If he is just playing me then I don't want anything to do with this. The times that I ask for proof of his work search, or accountability in general, it often goes badly. He says the work discussion avoidance is shame but what if it's just "man I need time to get my lie straight"?

I mean I've been in social circles where there was an individual who when you look into their eyes there's this sharp soulless feeling. Like they have put on a costume of a regular person but it doesn't match the insides. And I've worked in a jail before, I could feel the sharpness to some of the personalities and not others. My husband doesn't have that but I am still feeling like there's more going on here than what I am seeing. That day he lied right to my face, he did it convincingly so I can't exactly ask him what else is going on here.
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
I mean no offense but are different parts writing posts or at least influencing them? You sure do flip flop back and forth and all over the place from one post to the next.

You sound so unsure of what you want . Maybe the best thing to do for now is focusing on yourself and not make any major decisions for a set amount of time? As you work on yourself your answers will more naturally come to you I think. It will make the whole process easier for you.

I mean,of course you are free to do whatever you choose. But it sounds like,as an outsider, that you could really use some time to figure things out for yourself . Not what he should or shouldn't do,not what he wants or doesn't want,not anything dependent on him, but YOU.

I feel your inner struggle in your posts. Maybe that's what needs to be worked on first and foremost?
 
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