Home page of BPDFamily.com, online relationship supportMember registration here
January 19, 2019, 05:23:51 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Board Admins: Harri, Once Removed, Radcliff
Senior Ambassadors: Cat Familar, Flourdust, Mutt, Turkish, Woolspinner2000
Ambassadors: Enabler, Feeling Better, formflier, Insom, Only Human, RolandOfEld, WTL, Yellowpearl, zachira
  Help!   Groups   Please Donate Login to Post New?--Register to post Here  
bing
Experts share their discoveries [video]
99
Could it be BPD
BPDFamily.com Production
Listening to shame
Brené Brown, PhD
What is BPD?
Blasé Aguirre, MD
What BPD recovery looks like
Documentary
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: I get a break to be a caretaker...  (Read 391 times)
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« on: January 11, 2019, 10:25:49 PM »

This is mostly just rambling--getting thoughts out and chronicling some of what's going on.

I've had a brief reprieve from the daily drama, though not for particularly good reasons. My wife had a ceramic top to a baking dish hit her right between the eyes a couple of weeks ago (my fault because she had to reach for it because there is not a knob on the cabinet door because I didn't paint the trim in the rest of our house in a timely manner and so she gave up on finishing the kitchen and so there were no knobs which caused her to have to reach which caused the top to fall and hit her head. Ergo, my fault. Got that?) It seemed fine for about a week. Then she started feeling dizzy, unsteady, pressure in her head, nausea, and some stuff dripping down her throat. One night she got up to go to the bathroom and almost passed out, then started throwing up. She managed to call me and I came over. Tried to get her to go to the ER. No go. Stayed with her and tried to get her to go to urgent care the next day. No go. Kept asking for the next few days if she had called the doctor. Finally, for reasons I don't know, she decided to go after a few days. Turns out she has multiple fractures around the bridge of her nose and one eye. She also has a CFS (spinal fluid) leak caused by the fractures. She was supposed to schedule a visit with an ENT, but so far has not. Anyway, after confirmation of a fairly serious injury, she accepted that she needed to take it easy. Bed rest is the recommendation. So she "let" me come home and take care of her for the last week or so.

There hasn't been any crying, which is, I think, the longest stretch of non-crying in the past three years. (And by 'crying,' I mean full body, convulsive, wailing, and screaming crying.) I've made dinners, cleaned the house, walked the dogs, crossed some items off the house project list, and generally did the things I did when I lived there. We laid in bed together, watched some TV, held hands, talked, and generally did things we would normally do, though I did sleep in another room. All things considered, not a bad week, perhaps because it involved me being a full time caretaker.

Predictably, that did not last. She was feeling a bit better physically yesterday, and said half-jokingly that when she felt better I could go back to my other life. Today, I did not hear from her. She finally emailed a few minutes ago. She did thank me for helping, then explained that I can't be at home for all the reasons she has said a million times. She can't be here. The house is chaos. She's invisible. She's a ghost. She's a prisoner. There is no joy. We don't have a marriage. I never address anything. I don't honor her. She is shut down. She's humiliated. etc.

It makes me sad. From her perspective, she has drawn lines in the sand about what has to happen for us to do that, and she is sticking to that, even though doing so (from my perspective) makes her worse off, and makes it much harder for us to do any of the things she says she wants to do (e.g., move, finish house projects, work on our marriage.) I don't know what I can do. It's hard to watch it happen.

So now, per her email, she is drinking and crying. It's a bad (though familiar) combination. I'm back at my office, typing here, waiting and trying to prepare for whatever might happen tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
PLEASE DO NOT TELL MEMBERS TO STAY OR LEAVE!
This board is for evaluating the pros and cons of staying or leaving a relationship. Please focus on evaluating options.
All members should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions
AskingWhy
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 493



« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 12:51:38 AM »

stolencrumbs, I am sorry you are having to deal with this.  You are not rambling, but getting your observations out in the open to try to make sense of them.  I am sorry your W was injured in her accident, and I hope she is getting the medical attention to allow her to mend.  

Even though you say you were at fault for not putting knobs on the doors, IMO you were not at fault for the lid hitting your wife.  She should have exercised caution in getting objects off shelves by using a small step ladder to safely reach items.  You may feel guilty for what happened but your wife is a big girl.

That is like my mopping the floors in the house, and then having my uBPD H slip on the floors after he knew the floors were wet.  Anyhow, that's just my impression.

As you know, this is typical push-you-away/come-back-to-me dynamics of the pwBPD.   You W saying you can "go back to your other life" means that her use for you had ended.  This sound like the NPD side of BPD.  

It's interesting that you said she used the word "invisible" and "ghost."  pwBPD feel they are empty inside.  This describes BPD very well.  BPDs are notorious for lacking the ability to self care or be in denial about a number of things about their physical and emotional health.  

As you said, once your caretaker role was done, your wife pushed you away.  

I am glad you are well aware of the dynamics of BPD.   In the meantime, you should practice self care.  I hope you have a reliable therapist with experience in working with partners of pwBPD.  This is essential.
Logged
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 09:26:04 AM »

Thanks AskingWhy.

I do see the push/pull, though it is perplexing. For most of our life together, I have taken care of most of the day-to-day chores. I did all of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. I bring her coffee every morning, take care of the dogs so she can sleep, run any errands she doesn't want to do. Basically, I did all the things she didn't want to do. That was probably not a good dynamic in our relationship, but I think she liked the setup. And I would still do those things if I was at home. So it's not like she would get nothing out of it, or that she has no use for me. By her own account, she does. She hates having to do all of these things for herself. I can't quite get my head around pushing me away, making her life worse, and then complaining that I'm away and her life is worse. To borrow from Obama, it's like she's made the perfect the enemy of the good. She'd prefer we both suffer than to have a life that isn't just as she wants it. To use the language we use here, she's trying to set boundaries, but doing it in all the wrong ways. It's more of an ultimatum, and its goal is to control the other person--me.

It wasn't until I started learning about BPD that some of the phrases she uses started to make more sense. She calls herself a ghost a lot. She often says she is invisible. She says she doesn't exist. She says she is nobody. This all captures the emptiness and lack of a sense of self.

Oh, and I don't actually feel guilty about her injury. My attempt at humor didn't come through very well. I am continually amazed at the chains of reasoning that lead to things being my fault in her view.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 12:18:13 PM »

It is hard to watch someone go down a self-destructive path when we're willing to help and support them. But, as you realize, this is her choice. Drinking while having the sort of injuries she's dealing with seems more than risky.

You've provided kind and loving support during the critical phase after her injury. I can see you'd like to do more, but she has shut that door.

What can you do to support yourself, given that she is now in the "push" part of the cycle?
Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 01:22:06 PM »

I think the crying is actually more risky, and my guess is that it is one of the reasons things didn't heal properly in the first week or so. It has to increase the pressure in her head, and she also often hits herself in the head when she is crying. Obviously that can't be good.

I'm doing all right. I read someone describe pwbpd as causing "anxious helplessness" in nons. That seemed like an accurate description, and probably the main thing I struggle with when I'm not at home. It just feels like there is something I ought to be doing, but I have no idea what it is. So I just go on about doing other things.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 01:29:25 PM »

You’re probably right about the crying building up pressure in her sinus cavities.

How can we help you deal with that “anxious helplessness”?

And what are you doing for yourself that is fun and enjoyable?

You need to put the oxygen mask on first, before you can help others.  Virtual hug (click to insert in post) Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 02:08:19 PM »

I wish I knew what would help. I do okay occupying my time. I have work, friends, colleagues, students, football games, basketball games, reading, bpdfamily!, etc. I feel like I get enough oxygen.

I just struggle with feeling helpless. I have not heard from my wife today. I emailed this morning, but have not heard back. The longer I don't hear from her, the more likely things will be bad when I do hear from her. And one of the things I will hear is that I didn't do anything today. DO SOMETHING. That's the text/email I get a lot. And she's right. I'm not doing anything (for her). I don't know what to do. So not just helplessness, but also uncertainty. I would really like to stop this pattern--no contact during the day, then a barrage of emails/texts all night. MY T tells me I just ignore them. Turn my phone off. Go do something else. For whatever reason (partly because of suicide threats, though that's probably not the whole reason), I don't do that. And then I wake up the next day and get ready to do it again. It's Groundhog Day, and I haven't figured out yet how to make Andie MacDowell stay with me all night.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 02:24:24 PM »

You're having your own personal "government shutdown" and it sounds like she's not willing to budge.

How would putting a boundary around texts and emails work for you? Something like "I am turning off my phone after 6 P.M. and if there's something you'd like me to do for you, please contact me between 8 A.M. and 6 P.M."

Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 03:22:46 PM »

Wait, are you saying I need to build a wall to end the shutdown?  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

The part I haven't been able to do is actually turn my phone off. I long ago stopped trying to reply in any lengthy or substantive way to the emails/texts, but I do still check them often. Unsurprisingly, when I have not responded, there is usually an escalation.

Part of my problem is this. I don't know what I'm protecting with that boundary. I don't want to get and be involved with emails/texts all night. I don't want to manage meltdowns. But I *can* keep doing what I've been doing. It's not fun, but at least at this point, I don't feel like my well-being depends on shutting off my phone. There may come a point when it does, but I don't feel like I am at that point now. So then I think "why am I shutting off my phone?" To avoid inconvenience, annoyance? I don't know. That's hard--to knowingly do something that will lead to my wife being in more pain and shutting down even more just so that I don't have to deal with it.

So then I think that whatever I'm doing is not actually helping. We've been in this pattern for a long time, and it's trending down. So I'm not really helping things. Maybe (and I stress maybe) I am keeping things from hitting absolute bottom, but I'm not improving things. So maybe I shut off my phone as part of some plan to do things differently and set things on a different path. But that feels manipulative to me.

I don't know. I can step back and see that just shutting my phone off, or even just not responding to emails/texts after a certain time, seems like a really reasonable thing to do. Somehow in the middle of it I can't bring myself to do that.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 04:32:13 PM »

Yeah,  Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) I guess I am suggesting building a wall, but one that is open during daylight hours.

I would guess that your worries and your wife’s late night demands are wearing you down, and undoubtedly  that midnight texting isn’t good for her either.

Perhaps limiting your availability could result in her beginning to be more equipped to manage her own emotions, instead of trying to make you responsible for her feelings.

I’m not well acquainted with your story, but since you live separately I’m wondering if that might become more permanent in the future. If that is a possibility, wouldn’t you want to assist her to become more self sufficient in the meantime?

Have you read about fear, obligation, guilt?  

https://bpdfamily.com/content/emotional-blackmail-fear-obligation-and-guilt-fog
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 04:41:04 PM by Cat Familiar » Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 05:25:42 PM »

Yes, very familiar with FOG, especially the F and O. I think I'm fairly good at seeing all the forces that are in play. I'm not so good at knowing what to do, or doing the things I probably should do.

It definitely wears me down, and my T warns that while I'm doing okay now, that won't last forever. So I know I need to take care of myself.

History suggests what would happen is that she would start making suicide threats. I don't know how to handle that. I guess call the police. That's the advice my T gives. I have not done that. I'm reluctant to do it for a variety of reasons. But given my belief that suicide threats are what are likely to come, it feels like choosing to limit my availability is choosing to precipitate a crisis. Maybe at some point that's just what I have to do.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
PLEASE DO NOT TELL MEMBERS TO STAY OR LEAVE!
This board is for evaluating the pros and cons of staying or leaving a relationship. Please focus on evaluating options.
All members should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions
Red5
`
*******
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1047


Red5


« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 06:04:06 PM »

Excerpt
Yes, very familiar with FOG, especially the F and O.

With me right now, it’s the “G” part.

Excerpt
She calls herself a ghost a lot.

I got reached out to, from a very old freind from back home ... we are talking the first Regan Administration..... I guess bad news travels at light speed .... this person, she is from my ancient past, ... she has been helping me.... to understand (long story) .... and she used the exact same phrase describing my ubpdw...she said to me the other night on the phone ......”she’s a “ghost”....

Wow....

Hang in the Crumbs’

Red5

Logged
Red5
`
*******
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 1047


Red5


« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 06:37:16 PM »

Any suicide threat should be taken at her word.

My first wife did this to me, there were three serious “gestures” from 1995-1999.

Second time (worst) it was pills, I didn’t do anything, her “friends” came over to make sure she was ok, we lived in enlisted quarters on MCAS Beaufort .... she took off one night, and I went looking for her the next morning, found her down by the Broad River in her car, it was August.... it was over ninety by that time, ten in the morning, she was in her night gown, she had vomited all over the inside of car, windows up, ... she was soaking in sweat, and out of it, I thought she was dead....I should have taken her to the hospital.... but I took her home, and put her to bed, and prayed.... she slept for four days....

The time before that, first time.... she took pills, and scratched up her wrists with a box blade, she has passed out, and struck her head on the edge of the coffee table, me and the kids came home and found her ... at the time, S9(autistic), S5, D3.... she had left us all, and shacked up with BF,.... she was gone about three months.... I’d filed for divorce.... she changed her mind....she wanted to come home, love bomb didn’t work, I rejected her....I said no... so she did that.

Last time was in Pensacola.... she took pills, again I just let her sleep it off.

After we divorced, in fact the very day it was final, she did the pill thing again, and her own sister had her “baker acted” ... as she was living in Florida....

My current wife has only once made a “gesture”.... and only verbally ... she calmly said to me one night, it was about a year ago maybe.... “I should just take all these pills (immunotherapy) right now, and then everybody would be rid of me.... so I calmly replied, “if you do, I will call an ambulance”.

She never said anything like that again.

She’s been gone now, forty three days.

Take any gesture, either verbal of actual seriously .... call the ambulance .... make them see the consequences.... it’s vital.

That morning on the boat ramp in Beaufort, back in 1998....I thought that my wife (ex) was dead.... it was the most horrible feeling I ever have had.... before or since.

Keep posting Crumbs, keep us updated, and hang in there!

Kind regards, Red5

Logged
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 07:09:47 PM »

Thanks Red.

She's had one semi-serious attempt a couple of years ago. She had been texting me and it seemed pretty clear she was getting pretty drunk. Then the texts stopped. Then I got a text with instructions on how to care for a particular rose in our garden that she loves. I hopped in my car and started calling. She answered once, but didn't say anything. I got to the house and found her on the floor of the garage throwing up with a plastic bag in her hand. From what I can tell, the plan was to get drunk, then put the bag over her head before she passed out, then...But she drank too much, too fast. Like you, I didn't take her to the hospital. I should have.

Now she tells me in calm times that she wants to die. At this point, it is chronic suicidality.

Thanks for sharing what you've been through, and giving some perspective.  
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Other
Posts: 10809


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2019, 11:00:49 PM »

The beginning of this is to deal with members here who are SI, but towards the end you might find out helpful. 

Suicide Ideation Emergency Protocol

It's scary to deal with this.  I did once when my ex was pregnant with D6. I chose not to call EMS and talked her down. The "almost suicide note" I found on our computer scared the crap out of me,  not to mention finding her in a fetal position on the floor of the bathroom.  That was Christmas day 2011.

A pwBPD feels that their feelings don't matter (hence the validation tools in Lesson 3 at the top of the board). What follows is,  "my feelings don't matter; therefore,  I don't matter and am unworthy of love." I'm paraphrasing a recovered pwBPD.

I'm sorry that I didn't go back to read your post history, but how are the validation tools not working,  if at all?

Someone who feels unworthy of love,  yet makes to us many unreasonable demands,  is certainly hard to deal with. 
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2019, 12:19:52 AM »

Yes, it's definitely scary, and I can't imagine how scary it would be if she were pregnant. Yikes. My wife more or less says exactly what you paraphrased. She says it explicitly. She does not matter and she is an idiot for ever thinking someone would love her.

I don't think validation has helped. Or maybe I'm not good at it. Partly, it is hard to find times when it might even possibly be effective. We don't have many calm moments together. That leaves me with email, which is terrible, and trying to talk to her when she is already wound up, which is also terrible. When I have been able to validate her feelings, it gets turned back around on me. She tells me it is worse that I actually understand how she feels and am still not doing anything about it.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2019, 11:28:15 AM »

So the weekend went about as I expected. Started getting emails on Friday night, ramped up on Saturday night, and last night she told me (again) that she was going to burn the house down. They were sprinkled with wishes to die. Not so much threats, just that she wishes she was dead. Also lots of asking me if I hear her pain. Usually in all caps. I did drive by the house after the threat to burn it down. The house was not on fire. I have not seen her. I have asked to see her every day. Most of the offers were ignored until after 9:00 pm, when the texts usually start. I haven't heard from her today, either. So here I am again, waiting for the nighttime emails blaming me for not doing anything--a charge that sticks a bit because I am, in fact, not really doing anything.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2019, 01:03:54 PM »

That is incorrect. You are doing something continually.

You are trying to talk with her, email her. You are partipating here. You drove by the house last night. You ask to see her every day.

I’m not sure what else you can do. She’s not letting you do much to help her, then she’s criticizing you for not doing enough.
Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2019, 09:06:45 PM »

Thanks Cat. That's actually really helpful. I'm not sure what else to do either. It's hard when the person I care about the most is very sure that there is something else I should be doing. I am, I think, a consensus builder at my core. It's how I manage people, my classroom, committees, and every other relationship I've ever had. I want to get people on the same page, agreed on a course of action, and pulling in the same direction. I don't want to play tug-of-war, but I can't manage to get my wife on board with anything.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Female
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 3812



« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2019, 09:44:08 PM »

Well, unfortunately the people skills you’ve perfected with students, faculty, friends, family do not work with pwBPD. It’s  like having to learn an entirely new language, to communicate well with a pwBPD, and even then there are difficulties because they think so differently than we do.

Yes, when they’re feeling good and coping well, we can think we’re on the same page at times, but suddenly we realize that they’ve misinterpreted an innocent comment we’ve made and then we’re off to the races, and we suddenly find ourselves looking for an offramp before we crash.

You sound like a very logical guy and perhaps your wife cannot easily communicate what she feels is missing. I have a similar dynamic in my relationship, other than the genders are reversed.

It’s a tough situation, trying to figure out a very emotional partner who doesn’t freely disclose what they want from us and what they feel is lacking—as if we should know without being told.

Logged

“The Four Agreements  1. Be impeccable with your word.  2. Don’t take anything personally.  3. Don’t make assumptions.  4. Always do your best. ”     ― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2019, 09:57:46 PM »

Yeah, I actually teach logic. That has always been a bit of a challenge in our relationship, even in the best of times. I long ago learned that I need to turn off the philosopher part of my brain in my relationship with my wife. She's pretty good at communicating what she thinks is lacking--passion, joy, meaning, purpose. I'm not very good at understanding what actions I'm supposed to turn that into, and she can't explain that. I often feel like what she wants is not any particular actions, but for me to be more passionate and be more emotional.40+ years of life suggest that isn't likely to happen.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
PLEASE DO NOT TELL MEMBERS TO STAY OR LEAVE!
This board is for evaluating the pros and cons of staying or leaving a relationship. Please focus on evaluating options.
All members should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions
Turkish
Senior Ambassador
*
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Other
Posts: 10809


Dad to my wolf pack


« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2019, 10:11:17 PM »

The house needed painting. I invited her to Home Depot to help pick out colors.  Seemed not only logical,  but I also thought,  "this is what couples do.  I'm respecting her opinion,  involving her in a major decision which shows I care about her feelings." It took a lot to get her to meet me at the store,  less than a mile away.  She seemed disinterested in picking colors and frustrated in spending the time. 

Later I got,  "you cared more about painting the house than about me!" ??? I missed something there.  I failed to find the validation target.   In retrospect,  the task was in my court. She needed something different.  
Logged

    “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” ― Rudyard Kipling
stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2019, 11:39:18 PM »

There have definitely been times when I've missed the target. At this point, I don't know if I'm missing the target, if the target keeps moving, or if I'm hitting it and it doesn't matter.

I feel like I'm pretty clear on the main issues. (1) Our house does not feel like home to her. It is not "right." And the projects we have taken on in the last year have not been finished, so it also feels chaotic, and she does not operate well in chaos. So she spends a lot of time alone in a chaotic house that doesn't feel like home to her. (2) She does not want to live in the city we live in. She does not "fit" here. She also thinks it's ugly and beauty is very important to her. There aren't opportunities for her to do meaningful work. She is not okay in this town. (3) Our marriage has no physical passion or intimacy, and that is the "glue" that holds a marriage together for her. Those are, consistently, the three things she expresses.

I feel like I really do "get" all of those things. She tried really hard, in her own way, to make being here okay, and to make the house of okay. And it's not okay. I know how important those things are to her, and I really can see the vision she has for her life and our life. And she feels stuck in this life that isn't that vision, and doesn't see any way to make it better. It truly breaks my heart.

But what do I do with that? I talk with her and listen and validate those feelings. I work on finishing things at the house. I look for and apply for jobs elsewhere. I try to spend time with her doing things that couples do. So I don't know. Maybe I'm not hitting the right target, or maybe things have gotten so bad that the target is bulletproof and everything just bounces off. Or maybe I'm using the wrong weapon.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
formflier
Ambassador
********
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 13525



WWW
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2019, 06:51:22 AM »

 I work on finishing things at the house.  

Maybe I'm not hitting the right target

 Or maybe I'm using the wrong weapon.

Hey Stolencrumbs.  I'm not sure if I've ever posted in your threads before.  Do you recall either way?

I like the way you finished your post...posing important questions.  

What if " you were using the wrong weapon"?  

Step back..and step back again to get a big picture.

She is unhappy...you are making efforts.  (am I correct your efforts don't seem to have "payoff"?

What if she was unhappy, you were empathetic and you expressed your belief that she could make changes to increase her happiness?

She is unhappy..she makes efforts.

Do those two approaches seem similar or vastly different to you?

Best

FF
Logged

stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2019, 07:41:24 AM »

Hey ff. I don't think you've posted in my threads before.

Yes, you are correct that my efforts do not seem to have a payoff, at least not in any sustained way.

Those approaches seem very different. Can't both approaches be in play? Again, I might have done it badly, but I think I have and do express that I believe she is capable of making changes to improve things. It is what I really think.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
formflier
Ambassador
********
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 13525



WWW
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2019, 08:29:55 AM »

Those approaches seem very different. Can't both approaches be in play? 

First of all...glad to "meet" you and offer some thoughts on your relationship.

The approaches are very different.  I suppose they both could be in play but I would encourage you to figure out which one is the most important.  "keep the number 1 thing....number 1"!!!!

There is a chance that you missed my main point..so I'm going to make one more attempt with a different example.



Let's say you have a child that is learning to tie their shoes (lets say 5 years old).  They are very frustrated by this.

1.  Say soothing things to them while you tie their shoes and sometimes "help" them tie those laces.

compared to

2.  Express belief and encouragement and be empathetic to the struggle while you let them struggle with their laces.

Now, compare the emotional state of the child after a week of doing this.

Next, compare the emotional state of the child after a couple years of doing this.

Reflect a bit on the "big point" FF is trying to make.

Share your thoughts!!!  Smiling (click to insert in post)

FF

Logged

stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2019, 10:41:09 AM »

Thanks, ff. I'm not sure I see the "big point." I took the point to be about the difference between trying to fix something for someone, or do something for someone, or make someone else feel better and helping someone fix or do something themselves, or help them help themselves feel better. Is that the point?

I don't know about the example, or what the emotional states would be. In the one-week scenario, I'd imagine it would be much more frustrating for the second child. In the two-year case, I'd hope I would've bought the kid some Velcro by that point. But in general, I'm not finding the analogy particularly illuminating. Any help with what you take the "big point" to be?
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
formflier
Ambassador
********
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 13525



WWW
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 11:44:42 AM »


Gotcha...

If we assume that part of BPD is an underdeveloped capability to deal with emotions in a healthy way, then "helping" people deal with them is really keeping them from "maturing" (emotionally speaking).

In your case she is unhappy..you work harder...she is unhappy...you worker harder still to fix house, move, do handstands, talk to the magic unicorn, and get more flying monkeys to show up.

I'm not making fun "of" you..but hoping to do something funny to illuminate a point.  Your efforts to get more flying monkeys to show up are about as useful as  getting a job in a different location.  (if you disagree..please walk me through how you see it)

So...back to our assumption.  If a child is having trouble with their shoes, they need to practice more..  So...if you let them do it (vice doing it for them) in a couple years they will likely be really happy..because they can tie their shoes.

If you keep doing it for them they may "seem" happy, yet they understand all these other kids can tie shoes..yet they can't.  Shame can kick in.

Bottom line:  Think about how you can be empathetic with your pwBPD without actually "doing" anything to fix, or at a minimum make sure she does the vast majority of the work and you are clearly the person that helps after she has done a lot.

Thoughts?

FF
Logged

stolencrumbs
**
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 93


« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 01:51:39 PM »

In general, I agree. And I think if I had had this approach starting five or ten years ago, we'd be in a much different place.

I don't think I can make her happy. I can be part of a life in which she is happy, but I don't think I can fix all that is wrong. I don't think all the things I'm trying to do will actually address the underlying issues. I don't think I can manage her emotions. She needs to be able to do that. I'm on board with that.

I'll try to walk through my thinking on some of this. Let's take moving. I do think that being in a place that she wanted to be would improve things. In a best case scenario, she is not going to like where we live. Moving doesn't mean all the problems would go away. They were there when we did live somewhere she liked. But they definitely weren't as acute. We weren't in a constant state of crisis. Things are really bad right now, and have been for years. If the goal is to help her learn to manage her own emotions, shouldn't I be trying to put her in the best situation to do that, or creating the conditions in which that is most likely to happen? To extend the analogy, maybe beyond its usefulness, if the child needs to get shoes on in order to run from some danger, that's probably not the time to let him figure it out on his own. That's a time to do it for him.
Logged

You can fight it both arms swinging, or try to wash it away, or pay up to echoes of "okay."
formflier
Ambassador
********
Online Online

Gender: Male
Person in your life: Romantic partner
Posts: 13525



WWW
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2019, 03:05:44 PM »

  To extend the analogy, maybe beyond its usefulness, if the child needs to get shoes on in order to run from some danger, that's probably not the time to let him figure it out on his own. That's a time to do it for him.

Yes...you have it.

For you to work this into your relationship...learn to resist "buying into the catastrophe".

Yes..sometimes there is a real fire...most of the time (with pwBPD) there isn't. 

Read your last post again.  How many things did you have listed out for her to do...and for you ("I" in the post).

Here's another good question.  Are you ok with letting her be unhappy?  Especially if she is not taking the lead with her own emotional stability.

FF
Logged

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Our 2018-2019 Financial Sponsors
We are all appreciative of the members who provide the funding to keep BPDFamily on the air.
2020
_EndofLine_
12years
40days_in_desert
99tesla
agapanthus
AKV
alphabeta
anafili
AnalogGuy
Angie59
AnuDay
AskingWhy
aslowrealization
At Bay
babyducks
Baglady
batcon
beatrixkiddo
BeenThereB4
bestintentions
BetterLanes
bgg2745
Bittlecat
Ble55ed
BobbyLongshot
BodieMarie
Boll Weevil
btfly745
BuckeyHusband
busybee1116
Caco Canepa
Cat Familiar
chayka
chillamom
Chosen
chump
Circle
cj488
ClearPath
coworkerfriend
crestfallen72
CryWolf
defogging
devnid
Dignity&Strength
DivDad
Dkandyk
drained1996
Duped 1
eeps
eggshelldad
Ela2011
Elpis51
Enabler
Feeling Better
Fie
Firstintime
foggydew
ForeverDad
ForeverDevoted
Fossil49
Francesca92
freespirit
Gagrl
Gemsforeyes
gettingoverit
gloveman
Good2behere
gorges
gotbushels
Greta1988
Hadenoughtimes4
HappyChappy
Harley Quinn
Harri
heartandwhole
hope2727
Hope80
Hopeful15
Hyacinth Bucket
I Am Redeemed
IamWoman
Iloveher
jdc
JeanGenie
Jerome Finn
JNChell
joeramabeme
jones54
Jonthan
k-bliss
k54
kabunk
Klera
Lbjnltx
Learning Fast
leenlou
Libra
Long_term_dad
Lostinthedesert
Lovelycat
Lucky Jim
mama-wolf
Manifest32f
Maniplus
Maple
maried
Markey
MARS22
MeandThee29
mims
mmelibrarian
mousemat
Mousse
mraa90
mscj
Mustbeabetterway
Mutt
ncDaisy2
needPeace
no_more_guilt
Northern girl
NorthernGirl
Notgoneyet
OffRoad
Only Human
otherlife
Pam Letgo
Panda39
pcglee
peaceandlove
PeacefulMom
Pina colada
pjmanley41
purpletrixie
QBert
qcarolr
Radcliff
Recycle
Red5
Reforming
ReluctantSurvivor
RJ2018
Rocko
RolandOfEld
sadandlonely
SamwizeGamgee
schwing
SCM
Scottie345
scrambledbeans
sdyakca
seahorse
seekerofgrace
SerendipityChild
SES
Shawnlam
Skip
sklamath
Solidshadow
spero
sterlingblue
Stevenson
stimpy
SuCanDo
Sumsaam
SweetCharlotte
Sweetpea18
takingandsending
Tattered Heart
Teno
terranova79
theschnitz
Tinkerbelle
trappeddad
TRB
truthbeknown
Turkish
walkinthepark247
Want2Know
wendydarling
WhatJustHappened?
whirlpoollife
Whoad
WileyCoyote
wilting
WindofChange
Woodchuck
Woolspinner2000
yamada
zemara
Zen606
zoome46

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2019, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!