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#403406 - 07/12/12 01:56 PM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
This is very insightful, and I thank everyone who has posted.

Looking back, I see the damage I did as a result of my own recovery work. It's clear that I've taken out my own "brokenness" on my partner due to my own trust issues.

GH - the "massive dump" hits way home with me. Beyond the general crudeness of which I'm a HUGE fan, I kept cleaning up all the crap around our relationship and so lost myself. I'm wondering if he'll ever wake up and see the crap for what it is. For now, no such luck, but I don't have to keep adding to it.

Scotty - Womderful that you can post that as I am going to pretend like its my P who said it to me for now. wink

Disappointed - I love your hope! I do wish that there was a way for my P and I to share our recoveries and discoveries as a means by which to bring us closer. I tried to fix him for years, then it turned into (I think) my trying to control him. Big whoops! I'm not sure I would have ever been able to keep from hitting triggers. If you find the gal that can work for you, will you see if she has a brother? smile

Dark - Your post helped me GREATLY. I don't know how to react. When my P took his personal space, I was horrified. It's helpful to know that this isn't about me. I'm as lovable as you are and my partner is. I can't be expected to do a jive when I barely know how to keep rhythm. Luckily, I have this to discover a bit more of what is mine to worry about and what is not mine. There's a different way to look at how I take my own inventory here, and I'm so relieved for that.

KMC - I can keep taking time for me and stay off my partners back until/if that time comes. Again, it's not ME - such a relief!

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#403427 - 07/12/12 05:11 PM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1938
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Haps.

As with lots of things, personal space is very much a case of recognizing what is enough, what too much, and what not enough, which can vary hugely betwene different people even without abuse.

For instance, one of my best friends who has a truly successfull and working mariage once really offended his wife because she came left him alone for a week, and when she asked him if he'd been lonely his instant response was "oh no, not at all" where upon his wife was greatly upset and asked "didn't you miss me?"

He had to then explain that while yes, he did miss her, he felt nothing the least bit wrong in being on his own for a week, something that for her would've been quite a trial.

some people, like myself and my friend are just natural intraverts, are quite happy by themselves, and need a certain amount of time alone, away from others, even those they love. Indeed, I've often notice that in couples one will be an intravert and the other an extravert, who naturally relaxes by being around others and needs to be with other people to feel complete. This is certainly the case with my parents, my mum like me is a total intravert. She has social skills, can be around people, but she needs a certain amount of time alone, away from others both physically and mentally. This has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with relaxation.

the problem however is that like anything else, once abuse gets involved a natural intraverted tendency can go way too far, ---- perhaps the same thing is possible for extraverts and that's where you get people who want to spend more time with strangers than their loved ones, I don't know.

but certainly for myself, and I believe for other abuse survivers, being alone can be something that gets taken to extremes, especially if the actual physical proximity of others and things like touch are uncomfortable, as is the case for me.

i often find myself I will have a tendency and a desire in dark moments to totally isolate and not see or speak to anyone for up to four or five days at a time, and I need to physically make a lot of effort to remind myself to phone my parents, see my friends etc. At the same time however, I do need to remember not! to become addicted to isolating, something which is often pretty difficult to do.

This is nothing to do with not loving someone or disliking them, just again something else about a certain personality trait in survivers that can be taken to more extreme levels because of recovery. Indeed, it's not just survivers, a friend of mine who suffers from purely chemical depression has a separate bedroom from her husband, not because she doesn't love him, but because she simply needs! physical and psychological space alone during her down moments.

I hope some of this is vaguely helpfull.

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#403432 - 07/12/12 05:59 PM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Dark - Not vague at all. Very clear. Had my P told me this, it would have sounded like an excuse where I am in relation to our communication. Imhave a heavy psych background, and this makes great sense. I kinda wish my codependent butt enjoyed more "me" time to recharge - would keep me much safer, I think. (Who needs rescued?!?! Never mind - I'll find you!)

It seems like any time I want to do an extrovert thing (like hang with the neighbors for a chat on the stoop), he's right there. When he wants to do an extroverted thing, tho, I'm no where in the picture.

Any insight on that??

...Picking out the personality vs. abuse traits seems the key here. :-/

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#403563 - 07/13/12 09:12 PM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1938
Loc: durham, north england
I have no idea on why when one person is being extravert the other isn't, that just sounds a little like personality awkwardness to me.

I will say though that often having! to do something extravert during an extremely down moment is a very real and complete strain.

For instance, one of the worst periods I remember with my recovery ewas new years eeve of 2008. As is usual my parents and my brother had been invited over to a massive party at a friend of hours.

This was the point when I was really prone to fugues, moments when my depression got so extreme I'd have so much mental white noise going on in my head that I could barely concentrate enough to stand upright, indeed these fugue moments were one of the most terrible experiences i've had connected with recovery.

So, there is me, having trouble concentrating on even where I was, just wanting to lie down in my room and listen to music until the fugue passed being forced to engage in a large room full of people, play party games etc.

I managed, indeed I don't think anyone there even noticed, however on the way back I was feeling so draned and devorced from things that I could barely give rational responses, a state made worse by the fact that my brother and my parents were totally happy and relaxed with life, while I was just struggling to stop myself shutting down completely.

I gave some fairly short responses on that car journey, just because I was so out of it I didn't want anyone! speaking to me at all, and of course felt guilty for doing that.

That was one of the worst extravert experiences I've ever had, and while my mumm was fairly certain nobody at the party knew how i was feeling, it had a really bad affect on me for that night and the next day. The only saving grace was that being a new years day I didn't have! to see anyone.

So, that might explain why your partner is sometimes less than enthusiastic about being extravert on occasions, though why your extravert moments don't go together I have no idea.

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#403600 - 07/14/12 09:23 AM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
I'm so sorry about your experience, and thanks for sharing. It does sound familiar, though. There are many times in the car that I want to connect around what happened and my P shows no desire. He's also said that he needs to "conserve his energy" at times which seems to fit here as well.

So, again, this isn't about me, is it? Hard not to take things personally or be hurt when there seems to be no desire to foster a deeper connection. :-/

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#403601 - 07/14/12 09:36 AM Re: What would survivors ask of partners? [Re: Haps]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1566
Glad to hear you are taking time for yourself. Space is important as is keeping boundaries--boundaries help sustain a relationship and allows it to grow and hopefully heal. Once boundaries are destroyed or more importantly not respected, damage is done. If our perps had respected boundaries I believe many of us would not be here today living with the abuse as a survivor or supporter.

Keep well

Kevin

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