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#67441 - 08/24/03 11:00 PM frustration, anger, disgust
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
OK, just need to vent again & maybe you guys have some kind of insight that will help me deal with my situation.

A brief summary of stuff I've already posted: I am planning to move. My bf has had his ex come & go while I left town so she could move stuff out of the house where it has been for the past three years since they broke up (didn't want to be around while she was here). My bf has talked a bit about considering moving & joining me, but it has not been anything concrete.

So, I came back from my trip & my bf (I'm calling him that because we spent time before my trip & related as bf/gf, using those words and defined our relatinoship that way) didn't talk to me for several days. He didn't give me any indication of what happened with his ex, & he wasn't open to discussing anything about what I found out while I was away (I was looking at houses & looking at possible jobs in the town I'm moving to).

I am REALLY angry. I asked him about the ex & he said that they didn't have sex (he is currently feeling like he can't deal with sexual intimacy, which is a new phase for him in recovery) but they slept in the same bed together. I was controlled in my reaction, but it really hurt me that they were sharing that kind of intimacy. His attitude toward me is so extremely disrespectful that it is as if my feelings are of no importance at all. I told him I was angry and upset about how he is dealing with me.

He had therapy & called me the next day because he was going out of town for the weekend. He told me that he is working on setting boundaries in his relationships and gave some examples of recent situations where he needs to not do things he doesn't want to do. One of those is not calling me because he doesn't feel like it.

So, I've been back a week, talked to him twice, left town to give him space to deal with the ex without having to deal with me losing it (because I would), and he is basically telling me that calling me is an obligation & if I expect it, it is a boundary violation. Well, I just don't see why, given the way we relate to each other (usually talk every day, see each other every few days) I am just supposed to NOT expect to talk. I expected a conversation about the situation with the ex to clarify where we stood with each other & see where we go from here.

Instead, I find out that I am violating his boundaries by having ANY expectation at all! What about dealing with a relationship?! How is it a boundary violation to want to relate and have my feelings and needs matter? I feel like he is using his therapy to reinforce the dysfunction instead of dealing with things in a healthier way.

I wouldn't be so confused if the time we spent before didn't involve close personal discussions & warmth between us. Before the ex got to town & I was away he was calling and asking me to find out some info on the town for him so he could seriously consider moving. His sis just told me today that he said something to her about me involving him in my house shopping 'as if' he was going to move -- with that kind of sarcasm, implying that I am pushing for that. HE was the one who asked for the info, HE has made comments about what house I should get 'because it has to be a place he'd like to live', and HE was the one saying he might like to move there.

So, I'm furious & I feel like I am going crazy for believing anything good that comes out of his mouth. I feel disgusted with myself for having any hope left about him/us because it has been such a roller-coaster for so long. I am hurt by his behavior, but I'm mad at myself for getting to a place where such incredible disrespect for me has been possible. It is like all my understanding is just proof to him that I am a chump & then he makes fun of me to his sister!

My anger feels healthy, like I am finally saying enough, I won't be the punching bag for his problems with his family, ex, and the other users in his life. But I also feel frustrated & like I want to show all these people that I am not a psycho, that HE is the one making me thing he cares, that I call him because HE acts like we have a relationship that he wants. How am I supposed to know when the tides will turn, when my caring becomes an 'obligation'?

So, what am I supposed to do with this?! You guys have helped before by talking about how you got through this stuff, how you overcame those dysfunctions, how it isn't the partner's place to try to change things for him, & that walking away is sometimes the best thing to do. I am really taking that all to heart, but how do I not hate him for this? I feel like he is giving me all the limits he should give the pushy selfish people in his life -- I am an easy mark because I DO back of when he asks me to, I DO try to respect where he is in his therapy & if he is feeling overwhelmed & can't deal with stuff, I DON'T tell him what he should do with his life, I DON't require ANYTHING from him at this point. It just feels like he is playing out some kind of sick game where he is pushing further & further with this crap & then laughing at me when I am still around supporting him when he needs it. But how can I just not talk to him when he calls & is feeling awful & asks for my support? I mean, I am wanting to tell him at this point to go call the ex, his sis, or those lovely friends since he treats them all better than me BECAUSE THEY ARE PUSHY & NASTY TO HIM!!!

Oh, and to top it all off, his father was just accused of molesting his niece, which points the finger more at him as my bf's perp (he still doesn't have any clear memories), but my bf has been spending more time with him lately as well & seems totally disconnected from that reality.

Aghhhhh. I am disgusted with myself for even worrying about that given his behavior toward me. Am I such a schmuck to believe that he is correct when he is seeing things as a survivor and is open & kind & that it doesn't reflect who he really is when he acts like a jerk because of his abuse? I don't want to not believe that, but he is using it against me. How can he tell me that he was sleeping in the same bed with his ex without expecting me to get mad? How can I be this close confindant to him -- on any level, friend, lover, gf -- and be treated as though I am pushing myself on him, expecting too much, foolishly thinking we have a relationship (because HE calls me his gf, HE talks about moving with me, we together have warm caring moments together...), and just generally being a nuisance in his life who should go away and leave him in peace?

So, in the long-term, I am moving, moving on with my life, seeing my own friends, cutting ties with our mutual friends so I don't hear this kind of stuff, getting a new job, getting more involved in my own family (good stuff happing there -- I'm going to be an aunt!). In the short term, I'm confused. Should I change my phone number & tell him to leave me alone? Should I keep supporting him when he needs it? Should I even bother to discuss any of this with him or point it out when he does call? I feel like the 'healthy' thing to do is process through this stuff together by talking & discussing & resolving, but I don't know if I am just setting myself up to be a victim of more disrespect and rudeness by even trying.

Thanks for listening.

-BB.


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#67442 - 08/25/03 05:01 PM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Ok, now I feel a bit like I am having a conversation with myself...but I wanted to add to this post because the real struggle is when I feel like I do now -- I am losing the anger & feeling all that other stuff. I feel sad, sympathetic towards him, a sense of loss, a desire to talk & discuss, upset that I have expectations that get disappointed (shouldn't I know better by now?), questioning my own behavior (was I really supportive? Maybe I thought I was but I was not helping...maybe I can't give him (anyone?) what they need, maybe I am so messed up that I think I'm researching SA stuff for him & focusing on his needs for him but I'm really just avoiding looking at myself & my own problems, maybe I AM pressuring him for more committment when I ask (in reply to him saying "maybe I'll move too") "Oh, do you think you'd like to move? Do you want to take a trip & check things out?" etc. etc. etc.

I think I'm better off not calling him -- wait for him to make contact if he will, but the struggle NOT to pick up the phone is starting again...

We didn't say we weren't going to talk, we didn't say we were backing of, we didn't discuss any change in our relationship -- I just told him I was mad because I thought he wasn't being kind or respectful with me & that I think I deserve kindness, respect, consistency, caring....He didn't ask for space, but I know that when he hears "I'm angry about....." he pretty much (consistently :rolleyes: ) disappears for a while to let the 'storm' pass.

OK, I'm off to see my therapist, that is enough for now.

-BB.


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#67443 - 08/25/03 05:29 PM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I can just imagine what would happen if I shared a bed with an ex !

time to move on I'd say, at least move on and let him decide where his future lies.
Maybe with time to reflect he'll figure out his priorities ?

SA is confusing to us, but it shouldn't over-ride common decency to others, although it often does.

But ultimately you're right to consider yourself first, it's what we all have to do.
And even a loving relationship has to be based on that I think.
We put ourselves first, but if our wellbeing and happiness is tied up with someone else, and theirs with ours, then that's what we do. But it has to have a benefit to us.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#67444 - 08/25/03 07:13 PM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
BB,

No, you're not having a convo with just yourself - never fear :p

I read and empathized so much with you, but I really didn't know what to say that would help, so I didn't reply. I'm sorry if that made you feel like you were talking to yourself.

I always hate to be negative, but it does sound like you are being used a bit here. Does he by chance also have Borderline Personality Disorder? I have heard that dealing with someone who has this is enough to make you think that "you" are losing your mind. (Come here/Don't leave me, Somewhat manipulative/charming etc)

Sounds like you need to go on with your move and job change - if he comes along fine. But really, it sounds like he doesn't "know" what he wants, and he doesn't know who the enemy is either. Maybe that is a part of the boundary-sorting out -- figuring out WHO to let in and who to keep out???

Of course, me telling you to let go and see what happens is sort of the pot calling the kettle black -- I've been told the same thing and it's hard to do.

No doubt that we end up questioning our OWN sanity. WHAT am I doing this for? Am I NUTS?? Who in their right mind would put up with this?? Does that mean that "I'm" pathological too?? But,If WE let go, then who else will they have?? (Is it a savior complex, or is it just plain love? - this is the crazy making thing that was talked about earlier)

I don't have answers, but I have ears, so keep posting

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67445 - 08/26/03 12:05 AM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
More thoughts here....

I also think that you are more than entitled to your own anger and frustration here. I think Lloydy said something about being called on it when he was acting like a jerk.....

But if we call them out on it, doesn't that make it seem to them like WE are the bad guys? When do you stop making excuses for rotten behavior?

I don't know.

But something I have figured out these past few days is that you, me, we ARE entitled to our feelings... confusion, anger, hurt, disappointment, whatever. We didn't get a whole lot of say in the matter, and end up being dictated to as to whatever is good for the survivor (DO this, DON'T do that, Accept this, Understand that). But nobody seems to say HEY, it's okay for us to feel hurt, get pissed off, bang our heads against the wall or whatever. Where are OUR feelings validated in the whole deal?

Hang in There.

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#67446 - 08/26/03 01:53 AM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
"When do you stop making excuses for rotten behavior?"

Excuse me for entering into your conversation, but rotten behavior is never excusable. It may be understandable, but rudeness, disrespect, bad-mouthing, etc. shouldn't be excused or even overlooked because it is a form of abuse in that it is meant to diminish the humanity of the person it is directed towards. If your bf calls you tell him very briefly how hurt you are. Also tell him that you believe you've reached a point in your relationship where you need some emotional distance. If you want to "be there for him," let him know he can call you if he needs to but don't be a doormat for him. Sleeping in your bed with an ex-partner is a no-no, whether or not there was sex. So make your move and feel good about it. It's a very imaginative and courageous thing to do. Congratulations.

This is a good place to vent. I've done it too.

Mary

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#67447 - 08/26/03 08:53 PM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks guys for the replies. I even start to question my reaction to the sharing the bed scenario when things get this mucked up – maybe I’m overreacting, or maybe I’ve lost touch with reality. That is why I keep going through (in my mind & in my post) the state of the relationship before this happened. There have been times when it wouldn’t have been so far out of line -- I mean it is always out of line, but there are degrees of betrayal & degrees of commitment. I really had a different impression of how things stood before my trip & coming back to this has been a real shock.

I just read an article about secondary victims & the importance of supporting the supporters through the recovery process. I think that is easily overlooked (well, actually the article stated that it is often overlooked) when focusing on the survivor’s recovery. I think for me I also put pressure on myself to be healthy & ok with stuff, so I feel like being so reactive and emotional either means that I am involved in an inappropriate relationship or overreacting to something,

Frau Doctor, I love this psych round – but could you please diagnose ME?! I’m so tired of figuring out his stuff. But if I don’t figure it out it is even more devastating & confusing…. I don’t think he has full-blown bpd, but he has certain traits. I have read up on it because of the on/off stuff & there are definitely some parts of his relating that fit the DSM criteria. Definitely this stuff about telling the other people around me & making it look like I’m the one who is being inconsistent and unreasonable seems really borderline to me.

Dave – thanks for your comments. I think that using the SA as a reason to be unreasonable & ‘over-ride common decency’ is something that does happen. & what he is doing is not even holding himself accountable after the fact – no concern or apology or interest in how I feel at all. I don’t really have a choice given that except to move on. Each time I move in that direction, we get a little closer & he tries a bit more. Perhaps a real break will give him the time & space to evaluate if it is worth the effort to be concerned about someone other than himself.

Mary – please don’t feel you need to excuse yourself. I appreciate all comments and advice. I think I need to hear some concrete examples like those you gave of how to handle this. I am feeling so overwhelmed & when he initially told me about it I really didn’t know how to react. Now I have some time to get my thoughts together & figure out how I want to handle it.

He still hasn’t called & he has been back for 2 full days, but I am losing the desire to pick up the phone here, which is good. I feel like I deserve to take a break from worrying about the state of our relationship & the state of his recovery. If he wants to deal with the state I’m in, then he can call & we can see what we see. Otherwise, that is where I plan to devote my energy.

Of course, I imagine I’ll be posting again soon about my frustration & worries…

Thanks again.

-BB.


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#67448 - 08/27/03 12:55 AM Re: frustration, anger, disgust
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
"I feel like I deserve to take a break from worrying about the state of our relationship & the state of his recovery."

BB--

Take that break, which you so well deserve. We're haveing a long weekend so take lots of long walks in the fresh air or go swimming--at least do something outside. It never fails to restore my depleted soul. Maybe it will do the same for you. Best wishes.

Mary

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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