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Relationship This is a rant - save yourselves & look away now!

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First off. Keep writing, keep talking. A lot of people here have validated you, which you desperately need in this journey. Secondly there were times in reading this that I felt like you were talking about my daughter. She is 22, has autism. When she is anywhere in her menstrual cycle our conversations sound the same as what you describe here. Her brain that is already a little muddled with anxiety and social misunderstandings becomes ten times more hostile aggressive and seeing things that are not there. I call them the things she has never understood in her calm moments. She accuses me of saying things I did not say, concludes things from my body language and tone that are inaccurate and this sets her off into tirades that I try to correct. Like no, I’m not angry I’m raising my voice to be firm or whatever.
The escalation is always zero to sixty and I get lost in the conversation faster than she does. It never ends well and I go away wondering what just happened. I’ve learned that some things are best kept to myself. I’d say the same to you or now that you have told her about this group and therapy that you now need to set a boundary of off limits for attack and remind her every time she brings it up. Otherwise it makes you second guess if not now eventually. If you are doing a phone call, which I thought it sounded like you were saying at one point, then have a word search handy and do that while you listen and direct a few short phrases her way.that are cooling sticks. These types of conversations are fire meets fire and I’ve learned that less is best and to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible because I have a fairly good run with less, but eventually I explode into what she was aiming for in the first place, to prove I am mad by provokingme to anger?
 
Something that might be helpful to realize about classic borderline personality disordered people i...

I walked away from my family, solely because they were inflicting the victim card on others. It was safer for my own recovery progress, even if it hurt more to silence someone who deserves happiness and peace just as much as anyone else.

As much as it hurt to shut them out, I wish them nothing but the best. I'd still like to throw them into a raging volcano, but sometimes letting others live to face their own personal raging volcanoes is a better form of justice.

That is the difference between "empathy" and "sympathy", @ByrnesT . The first is healthy, and the second is what makes us think we can save a "drowning man". We think we're strong enough to save the world... yet we inevitably realize we're not Superman.

You have my sincere respect and empathy, sir. But the time for blame and shame has long since passed, and your partner/Sufferer is a known quantity who isn't willing to change. You've done all you can, and I have to admit you've done your best.

I also distinctly recall mentioning that in the other thread, too, but it bears repeating because positive self-talk is one of the best ways to win a no-win battle against abusive people.

But there are some battles you simply can't win. This is a hard truth for anyone who has PTSD, and it's a humbling reality for anyone who lives with others with PTSD. It's difficult, and yes we can be arrogant at times. But that arrogance is a burden we carry, not one we should place on others... nor that others should be asked to carry for us.

When your Sufferer asked, "What are you going to do to fix you?", the question was really the same one that I'd ask you:

Why do you stay, if you know this isn't a battle your sanity will win?

@mumstheword is right in saying that there is no excuse for being abusive. Each of us face challenges every day, we all face burdens, we all fight battles.

It's dehumanizing to force others to own what isn't theirs. All really is fair in love and war, and we often run the risk of losing sight of that very fine line. What you're experiencing isn't "in your head", you're not crazy, you're not the bad guy.

But you can't control what others do, you can only control how you react. You're aware of a few things that are non-negotiable, and that's a positive step forward. It means you're starting to re-establish that "three-foot circle". Keep focusing on your own needs right now. Keep focusing on your own health right now.

Confidence isn't about "I need someone", it's about "I'll be fine without them". I'm hearing a glimmer or two of that strength in your words. :hug:

So you have a choice: empathize and walk away, or sympathize and continue being the punching bag?

You deserve happiness and peace, just like anyone else. Do what makes you happy, life's too short to be miserable.

And be thankful for the ones who hurt you.

They teach you more about what it means to be a better human. Wishing you a better week ahead.
 
Without wanting to sound too soft, I’m really overwhelmed by all the support I’ve received in this thread. Even tho no one knows me & I am still quite a new presence on this forum, I sense a genuine concern in all your messages. To have people care about me & to validate a lot of my thoughts has been quite emotional for me right now if I’m being honest. I’ve been swimming against the tide so long & now I feel like by reading your messages all of you are throwing me the life jacket (Tho I have to put it on & inflate it myself I know!).

I won’t pretend I’m not still a little confused about what exactly my feelings are right now. By sharing just a few of my stories here, I feel empowered by the fact that people are endorsing my belief that some of this behaviour has been really quite bad, by anyone’s standards. But on the other side, part of me still empathises with her that she is possibly not well & has not been able to control this. And I suspect that whatever is going on with her still has its basis in her childhood traumas. And my heart still breaks for her having to live through those moments at such a young age.

But then am I sympathising rather than empathising??

And just because she has not been able to control it...that doesn’t mean she can’t.

I don’t know. I guess if I’m being honest with myself I still want that breakthrough moment. I don't want to lose her. I still feel I’ve always seen those glimpses of the person she should have been had it not been for her traumas and I still feel like that person can push through. It may be a selfish & weak thought but I guess after everything I’ve been through, I feel like I’d resent leaving only for her to start working at this & then getting to a better place only for some other partner to benefit. That’s quite pathetic to say I know, but it is true right now. I still know that when we were good, we were great. And I know a lot of that I will never get again with someone else.

But

I’m also questioning things more now. The things people have said in this thread has made me look at the whole situation from a different angle. If she does have something, then it may be different to what i had thought. All conjecture anyway I know, but nevertheless I think it’s still important for me to absorb & consider. I am questioning whether even the short but great parts of the relationship were 100% real or whether they were part of a manipulation, even if subconsciously.

Most importantly, in various ways, I’m questioning why me? Why does she hold on to me only to repeat & expand on poor behaviour? Is it love for me that makes her hold on when she can’t even try control herself? Or have I allowed myself to become a soft target? But the biggest & hardest question of all is asking myself why am I taking all this?

I am asking myself some tough questions and I may never get a concrete answer. But if I’m at least questioning it then it makes me more aware of avoiding repeating it. Whether with her or anyone else.

As I have said, please don’t think of me as painting myself as perfect. I make mistakes & am 100% sure I have handled things all wrong at times.

But if someone refuses to acknowledge, refuses to try, refuses to change, refuses to give back, refuses to support...well, then I have no chance of ever handling things “right” either I suppose.

I honestly thank all of you who have written any form of advice here, from whichever angle you have come from. I honestly can’t put into words how grateful I am to you all & how important it has been for me. I still have a lot of confusion & a lot of questions, but you have all made a difference to me. Thank you.
 
You've done everything but turn yourself into George Clooney. If that is who she likes. Sometimes it is we ourselves who confuse and complicate the situation when the answer is right before us. Not one of us is perfect, but most of us have reacted and behaved with the best of intentions towards our sufferers. And some relationships are just not meant to be. PTSD or not. I commend you for your questioning and introspection. Read your own postings. Your answers are in there. Have confidence in yourself. Love yourself. She can only be who she is, not who you wish she could be.
 
Who can say no to Gorgeous George @nursenurse ?? And that’s coming from a heterosexual male! :laugh:

Yes I think it was @Hojay who said here about the ability to understand our sufferers can be a blessing & a curse. I think my ability to “understand” has led me to excusing what is just a major lack of respect towards me. (I say excuse but in fact I nearly always point these things out to her. But in the end she rarely accepts what happened & we just end up moving forward again in the blind hope things will work out one day.) I guess I forgive someone who doesn’t want to be forgiven because I have told myself she’s got issues & can’t see what’s blatantly happening.

I know that’s not good enough.

Every time it looks like it’s the end for us she’ll tell me “I worship the ground you walk on”, that she’s never been in love with someone before, that she’ll never feel for anyone the way she does for me, that I am “the one”. And all I can think is that’s great, so why doesn’t she SHOW me that? Words are easy, but if you love me why not show me? Even just a little? Maybe it’s her way of controlling me. Maybe she doesn’t even love me. But if I was to ask her why doesn’t she show me, she’ll tell me again how she has given me “everything”. I’m not sure what exactly this “everything” is meant to be.

I am nothing like as demanding as she makes out (“oh you just expect everyone to be perfect like you believe you are!”), I’ve never wanted special treatment, just the most basic respect & common decency. Yet that seems so hard for her to even understand let alone do. Cos of her issues I never expected this to be a 50/50 relationship, I knew I’d have to be the stronger one a lot of the time & that’s fine by me. I don’t want perfect, I want you. But I want you to simply be nice & kind towards me in the way I try to be to you. But then that’s immediately met with the “well you don’t f***ing respect me!” & the “you’re so cruel towards me” etc etc.

She projects all of her behaviour onto me so that she can be the victim & me the perpetrator. And I’m tired of being the bad guy when I know that it is me who is not receiving fair or decent behaviour (...I feel the need to backtrack & explain myself for even saying that cos I can hear her voice telling me “no YOU project onto ME! You think you’re so f***ing perfect! You treat me like sh*t!” I’m really having to fight the urge right now to have to explain how I don’t think I’m perfect. No one here has accused me of that yet I feel I have to defend myself in a preemptive manoeuvre. I’ll fight that urge tho. I have to start doing that [tho by explaining all that, I kind of have don’t it haven’t I?! D’oh!! Next time!!])

I think maybe I am guilty @nursenurse of doing that, of seeing what I wanted her to be rather than who she is. It’s hard to say cos she would jump on that as me admitting I want to change her & control her. The intent is not that tho. I believe in her. I see who even she wants to be, the person she believes she is, I see who she is around most other people, I see who she is without the trauma, and yes I want that. But I want that for her sake more than I do for mine. I want her to start being happier for her rather than this constant paranoia & anger & hurt & all these other negative feelings she lives her life through. And I think things could be so much better for her. But nevertheless, that’s not who she is. That’s not right now the way she sees things. That’s not what she’s working towards. And I guess that’s the only truth that matters right now.
 
Apologies this is definitely going to be an epic rant, incoherent & waaaay too long! I know it may seem...
When we end up feeling crazy in relationship it’s genetslky because something IS wrong. Abuse is not about love. As far as feeling love for the abuser and bully, wounded attachment and trauma bonding can make one think they are in love, but it’s attachment to the trauma. Abusive relationships are gifts to us in that they serve as messengers pointing to what still needs resolution in us from our past that is being played out in the present. It is a form of “undoing” through the outside in a partner but the work needs to be done inside of us. NEVER tolerate abuse in any form. If the person can not own responsibility and accountability then change is not possible. Abusive relationships destroy our mental health and can cause c-PTSD in us! Wounded people are drawn through wounds until you resolve that and shift your own energy. Codependency Support is one tool that helps with establishing healthier boundaries. Often codependent people draw and are drawn to narcissists. Both the codependent and narcissist stem from early wounding in caregiver situations. We all have these traits but they are a problem when they interfere with life by being way out of balance. The answer is to work on yourself. That changes the dynamics of all relationships without having to try to fix them, which you can’t. If we get healthier and our boundaries are shored up then often the dysfunctional abusive relationships fall off as they are no longer our reality. We don’t need them to show us where we are hurting because we dealt with the hurt. We can’t have a healthy relationship outside ourselves unless first we learn to relate in a healthier fashion with ourselves. Boundaries are blurred and emeshment is a part of all abusive relationships. These situations are toxic and dead end unless each person owns and works on their issues outside of the relational issues. Focus on the other is classic codependent behavior and distracts from our own pain. Also traumatic relationships create chemical changes in the brain and the love is really addictive. Pining sway for the abuser isn’t longing but withdrawal much like from a narcotic drug! Treat it like that. And find help with support to help you heal. That is the best way to love yourself which will ultimately be the best way to care about the abuser. Not being a snack or supply for the abuser places the pain they are trying to dump on us back where it belongs, on them. People seek help when they hurt bad enough. Enabling abuse makes us sick and doesn’t serve anyone. There is plenty of information available for self care so the focus is on connecting with yourself in a healthy way. There is freedom from abusers but you have to be willing to take the focus off them and put it on you. Abusers tend to blame which shifts the focus off them. Disembark from the blame-game train before it leads to derailment.
 
Who can say no to Gorgeous George @nursenurse ?? And that’s coming from a heterose...

Those are questions that we ask ourselves, when we "surface" in the midst of a codependent relationship. It's a helluva mind game that has no real winners. Even when you manage to get away from someone like that, you can't really shake off the damage they did to your head (thanks to a lovely thing called "Stockholm Syndrome").

Everyone hunts, @ByrnesT . I know this is going to sound a bit weird, but we're all hunting for something we think will make us complete. Someone we think will make us whole, someone we believe will sustain our pain-body and allow our ego to protect us from being seen as weak. But every single person hunts for that one type of person who made the biggest impact (for better or for worse) on their respective psyche.

There's Oedipal and Elektra... and then there's Alastor and Peona (Greek god and goddess of vengeance.) You're not imagining things -- you're trying to rationalize someone else's irrational behavior, which (while well-intentioned) is even more difficult than proving a negative. I have no idea what your partner is hunting for, and to be honest you're not likely going to have much better luck figuring it out, either. Maybe your partner knew, at one point, but after a while people forget why they're angry and just stick with what gives them any sense of purpose.

The only way to win against an Emotional Mind is to use your Wise Mind. Logic, experience, projects, goals, knowledge, they can keep you anchored in reality like a mountain against the tsunami of rage and pain. Codependent people fear confident people, because confident people don't rely on ego to make life decisions. Codependent people are afraid of what life would be like, if they didn't have the pain-body as their sense of identity.

It's why positive self-talk, positive reaffirmations, positive goals, setting those boundaries, and remembering that you aren't responsible for anyone else but yourself at the end of it all, is so crucial to getting your feet onto steady ground. I'd be the last person in history to claim to walk on water -- hell, I can't even swim! -- but it's because of Jedi mind tricks like those that have helped me stay focused enough to not regress in my own current relationship. It's tough some days, however in order to become the stronger, confident partner I had to forgive myself first, for what I did not know at the time I got myself into a hot mess.

Maybe it's time you cut yourself some slack, too. You didn't sign up for any of what you're dealing with. Don't own what ain't yours. :hug:

If you've got no legal or biological reasons to stay... get out and get somewhere safe. Much love and peace, sir.
 
But if I was to ask her why doesn’t she show me, she’ll tell me again how she has given me “everything”. I’m not sure what exactly this “everything” is meant to be.

My sufferer often said the same thing, and only once admitted that "everything" means - he let me in, let me live with him, allowed me to share his home (his refuge) with him. He let me into his life, and I had to figure out how to either sink or swim. Or leave. That was my other option. That was early in our relationship, and he also promised at the same time he would work harder to make sure I could feel like it was my home too. I think that was the one boundary I actually almost managed to enforce - that I needed to feel safe enough that it was my home as well as his, and that I was not a guest or child, but a fully fledged, voting member of the household. :rolleyes:

He very much could not see for a long time that for him, ANY compromise on his part, he saw as my getting "my way" entirely, and trampling over him completely. And he very often told me that I had to have my way or nothing - it wasn't until we were in counseling that he finally listened (to our counselor more than me) that, no, I was also compromising, and it was rare I insisted on something.

Hell, our move to the town we both still currently live in was a successful compromise - but because I had ANY opinion on it, (and this town wasn't his first pick - wasn't mine, either), he tried for awhile to claim that our moving here was all me, because I "had" to get my way. Yeah no.

So yeah, for my sufferer at least, "everything" means just...being in a relationship with someone, and all the compromise and everyday stuff that goes with that. Just allowing someone to co-exist with him is everything. Asking for actual attention or support - that was asking too much. And, I realize, that is probably A Thing in a PTSD relationship - they're trying to just exist without losing it entirely, so existing with another human being? That takes up all their energy and then some. Even a good relationship is stressful.
 
P.S. That is NOT to say it gives them an excuse to just...exist, and treat their partner like an inconvenience and annoyance (or worse). PTSD is a selfish beast, but that doesn't make the behavior ok. And unacknowledged and untreated PTSD? Not something I'll deal with again.
 
I think he actually appreciates the fact that I shut things down before they wind up and he ends up making an ass of himself. I
Yep! I would much rather have hubby call me out than let me make a total ass of myself. I don't always like it at the time but I appreciate it later

he hates me for it...yet she has also told me she needs someone who’ll do that & loves me for i
I love you/I hate you/stay/go away.....the mantra of PTSD

o wonder she is avoiding therapy. She does not want to feel.
That is probably part of how she got her life together by not feeling.
IT

Not feeling feelings is how most with ptsd survived whatever caused it in the first place. You block terror, pain, helplessness,rage. You shut it all down because to feel means to die. Then one day you realize that is no longer an option. You have to feel. But if you do you will die I don't know about the rest but that is where my therapy consistently stalls

Get out while you can because there is more going on than PTSD.I


Agreed


But on the other side, part of me still empathises with her that she is possibly not well & has not been able to control this. A


Not well yes. Not able to control yes. Refusing to try? Not acceptable

), I’ve never wanted special treatment, just the most basic respect & common decency

Maybe it's time you cut yourself some slack, too. You didn't sign up for any of what you're dealing with. Don't own what ain't yours.

Agreed

And, I realize, that is probably A Thing in a PTSD relationship - they're trying to just exist without losing it entirely, so existing with another human being? That takes up all their energy and then some. Even a good relationship is stressful.

Yes the amount of energy it requires is astounding. This is the part I need my supporters need to accept. It doesn't leave alot for their needs
 
Yep! I would much rather have hubby call me out than let me make a total ass of myself. I don't always...

You only die if you fight the inevitable reality that you have to feel. But that's a decision made by thought patterns trained for survival.

As Bruce Lee once put it, "Feel, don't think."

To think means to base reality on your mind, your ego, your sense of identity. But to feel, the way Lee taught it, isn't a form of capitulation. It's the ultimate freedom from thought. It is you -- the real, pure, higher form of you... that is guided within yourself by your heart.

By letting go of being, and start Be-ing, you stop fighting the storm and become it. You are able to adapt to the environment in which you find yourself.

"I say, 'Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it into a bowl, it becomes the bowl. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

"Now, water can crash or it can flow... be water, my friend." (from an old broadcast interview)

To be water is to be wisdom. Emotion is only the means to an end.
 
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