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#419550 - 12/19/12 01:45 PM supporter relapse
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 262
Loc: us
I have ptsd and struggled with self harm as a way to contol my panic attacks for many year. After a lot of hard work and therapy I have been able to be safe for the past four years. Over the past 6 months I started noticing myself spiraling. I was having syptoms and thought patterns I hadn't had in years. I've fought it hard got therapy and medication. My H has been making a lot of comments latley about what a jerk I think he is and how I tell people that he's a loser. None of this is true and I try to reassure him but he is just projecting onto me what he feels about himself and there is nothing I can do about it.
I'm realizing now that the shit has piled up over the years. I have so much hurt inside over his drinking and blaming me and distancing.
I could feel myself cracking. I started not being able to sleep and having panic attacks again followed by hour or two long crying jags. I tried every coping mechanism I knew but nothing help sooth the hurt and disapointment.
A week ago I relapsed. H found out he asked why but I don't know how to talk to him about it without hurting him. Im so ashamed and not looking forward to therapy tomorrow. I feel weak and like a failure. My moms words keep haunting me. "How would it have impacted you if I. Had a mental breakdown while you were in recovery?" I know that my actions have hurt H and probably just reinforce what a failure he thinks he is. This makes me feel terrible.
I know how important it is that I keep myself healthy as a supporter this is key. I thought I could do it but now I feel like I am failing us both. I've been trying to figure out what about my situation is triggering me so bad. I keep coming up confused and sad.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#419558 - 12/19/12 02:09 PM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
None of us is Super Woman. We all have our breaking points. Part of surviving as a supporter is learning those breaking points, anticipating them, and changing direction. And that may mean not being strong 100% of the time. It may mean asking for help. I tried to stay strong for far too long and nearly destroyed myself in the process. Reaching out and discovering I had a support system in friends and family saved my life. Continues to do so. I do them no favors in not taking care of myself, even if that means putting my H and his issues on the back burner from time to time.

There's no shame in hitting bottom so long as you do the work to pick yourself back up. So do it. Pick yourself up. Go to therapy. Work out what is going on in your head - not your H's - but yours. Your H is just going to have to fend for his emotionally self. Hopefully he can put some of his stuff aside to help you, but if not, you don't need him to. You have yourself.

Be sad. Be confused. Just for today. Then go to therapy tomorrow and face down the dark and start figuring it out. You CAN do it. We're here if you need to scream at the dark/howl at the moon/rage against life or any other metaphor you want to insert here.

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#419587 - 12/19/12 07:21 PM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
The problem is that it's not all about HIM. (and by that I mean us survivors) He has a bad day and you have to try and make it better. You can't say anything to upset him but those rules don't apply to him. He can fly off the handle and because you are supportive you take it. You fear that giving some of it back would move him further back than he currently is. Because you were trying to be supportive and be as gentle as you can with him he does what he wants and has no boundries. If you try to put some boundries on him (for his own good) then you are a controlling bitch. If you knew what you know now back when his issues were just starting to surface you might have been able to help him better but now he and you are both in such a deep hole that it seems impossible to ever get out.

At least that's how I see it.

It is incredibly distructive on you and it's no surprise you at some point can't take it anymore. And this is why you are always told to take care of yourself first. To set boundries if you can. If you keep giving 110% then eventually there will be nothing left of you. (the law of conservation of energy)

Often I wonder if you just have to take the tough love approach. I'm sure it will work most of the time. The problem is that some times it might just be the wrong thing for that time. You only know if you had the right aswer after the fact.

But then what do I know.

And I don't mean this all to be about you HD001. Just the impression I have for being here a short while. Take care of yourself.

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#419730 - 12/21/12 03:54 AM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
i am glad you posted. i used to your posts frequently and i was on this site twice a day. my H and were doing really well. i also have a history of PTSD, alcoholism, self-mutilation and bipolar. i managed to get myself stable with a great therapist,4 years of trauma work, a new diet, a marriage counselor,new friends and weeding out stressors. though i don't recommend it across the board, i managed to get myself off of heavy duty meds as well.

i thought my H and i were doing great. he made a lot of progress in therapy. we were working on intimacy issues on a regular basis and there was significant progress.

and then we got in a fight...which was quiet but very destructive and it lasted for a month and a half. i spent the whole time trying not "rock the boat" as he puts it...creating a predictable schedule, trying not to set him off, constantly CONSTANTLY CONSTANTLY being flexible,rearranging life so that he wouldn't...so that he wouldn't be stressed i guess.

well, about three weeks into it i started to feel like the negativity and pain was going into me but not coming out again. it was sticking. therapy wasn't helping. not only did we stop having sex, he stopped touching all together. i relapsed after almost two years of sobriety this past weekend.

the meetings have helped. therapy has helped. but it's been really scary to let go of what i thought we were building and let him be...self-destructive himself...it's too high of a price for me to take that on for him.

i'm learning a humbling lesson. i'm empathetic to your situation. i think i've felt similarly and i think it's the greatest pain to be sucked into someone else's hell. for me, i'm just trying to find my core again, i know it's in there somewhere.

keep writing, it helps us too!

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#419834 - 12/22/12 05:53 AM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Double Post, Sorry crazy


Edited by whome (12/22/12 05:55 AM)
_________________________
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Survivors Supporting Each other
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#419835 - 12/22/12 05:54 AM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Guys

I am so sorry that you are all going through this.

I know first hand, how destructive living with a survivor can be then you add into the mix the fact that you too are a survivor, and well that all makes for a pretty explosive cocktail.

We have almost two years of dealing with this in our home and still the nerves are raw. We again have had a fall out of epic proportions and, beside it being very stressful for us, it is also incredibly destructive for our child.

The only advice that I can offer is that you need to learn to not live the Co-Dependent life style, you cannot allow his problems and his bad moods to become your problem or affect your life, easier said than done yes.

The only answer to all of this is that you are either going to have One healthy happy person or two healthy happy individuals, and individuals is the key word here.
Your lives and happiness are so intertwined at the moment that no one is happy. (I say this and I am doing the same at the moment) It is incredibly tough not to take things personally, when he has a bad day not to take his mood and bad words towards you as the fact that he is angry with you, or that it is your fault, or that he thinks you are being mean, or that it is you that has made life unbearable for him. Yes we survivors do this, we blame everyone but ourselves, the whole world owes US.

This is not true, we survivors owe it to ourselves, as difficult as it is, to get over what happened in the past, and most of all to stop blaming everyone ESPECIALLY the ones that have loved us regardless of what we have been through or of what we have become.

I really hope that you Beautiful people learn to become happy healthy individuals, and learn to not take everything so personally, it was not and is not your fault.
eek Now to practice what I preach laugh

Heal well all
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#419839 - 12/22/12 11:18 AM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
Can relate to what you posted HD. Being a survivor and a supporter is a lot to carry, and sometimes I can't handle it all.

Both he and I have our moments of "cracking" where we can't "be strong" for the other one. And one person's coping mechanisms (e.g. distancing, numbing out) are often the other person's triggers (rejection, abandonment).

His self worth might be so low that he has a hard time seeing that you DO care and you DO get hurt by his actions. Or maybe he's pushing your buttons to elicit a reaction, to "prove" to himself that you care.

As for beating yourself up for "not being strong enough" -don't forget how incredibly strong we are as survivors and how much we offer much of the time. We make awesome supporters! Don't forget all the times you have been patient, intuitive, understanding, gentle, and flexible. You're allowed to struggle. This is not a failure.
I was wondering actually whether your mother's comment could have activated some misplaced guilt for you. Something tells me there was an emotional barb in that comment somehow. But I don't know your mother, so I'm only guessing.

Let us know how therapy went, and if you guys have been able to communicate what is going on with each other.

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#420325 - 12/28/12 06:29 PM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 262
Loc: us
Well therapy went okay I guess. I did awesome at least. I went in there and peeled all the layers back. I exposed a parts of me that no one gets to see. I was bawling and emotionally naked but I made myself do it anyway. My H sat there for most of it looking like a deer in the headlights. When the therapist asked him what he thought about the things I said he just said that he wanted to be done.(With therapy) And get out of there. So as per usual we didn't talk about any of his crap. WE just leave therapy and pretend like it didn't happen, because if I bring it up he won't talk about it anyway.
He didnt buy me a christmas present and took off skiing with his family the day after christmas. Yeah my feelings are pretty hurt. I'm tired of him going making up a bunch of crap to support the idea that I think he is a jerk. I feel like he is trying to get me to leave him so that he can prove to himself how unlovable he is. Whatever, I've really had it with him. If he wants to be a coward who lets fear make his decisions for him so be it. I would never treat my him the way he treats me. His selfishness seems to know no bounds. I think that therapy is a waste of time so I'm going to start going without him. I think I'm nearing my breaking point. I'm going to have to change something in order to keep going. I love him so much but I also love myself.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#420345 - 12/28/12 11:08 PM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
wow- great job going to therapy- and i think you have gained some insight-- that you need to move on with or without him. Keep working on you, changing you, growing you. He almost won't have a choice in the process to change as well. when we change and grow we are also a part of the process of the relationship changing.
i am really sorry about Christmas. how disappointing. its hard to feel important and loved when the person who is supposed to be our life partner isn't really participating in the relationship.
join our F&F chat next thursday night! it does help to talk to people who "get it".

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#420403 - 12/29/12 04:01 PM Re: supporter relapse [Re: HD001]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
Well done opening up in therapy, it takes courage, strength and fearlessness to be vulnerable and honest like that. If I were a guy I'd be thinking wow...where can I find me a woman like that?!! hehe. Seriously you must have done some hard work on yourself to step up like that. Sounds like your h. was completely and totally terrified and out of his depth. The running, avoiding, roadblocking are textbook and understandable to a degree, but unfortunately quite toxic and effective in destroying intimacy.

I told my survivor once, "Be careful pushing me away. You might succeed."

I almost stood up and cheered when you said "I love him but I love myself more." We all have a line and it's not our duty/job to be a punching bag, and last time I checked they aren't giving out any medals for putting up with @#$%. It's not wrong to want (and demand) to be respected, valued and treated with dignity and care.

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