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Author Topic: Perplexed and confused and sad  (Read 113 times)

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Relationship status: Who knows
Posts: 5

« on: February 28, 2021, 06:00:50 AM »

I’ve had an on/off relationship with my friend for almost 4 years.  This is the only way I can define it.  He would never define it as that and has always referred to it as is just being friends.  My friends and family all assume we are in a relationship.  For the most part he has  always been clear that he doesn’t want a relationship with me, predominantly because of the way I look I think.  But he has told me he loved me (and hated me) at times and we have slept together for the last 4 years pretty consistently.  He even recently talked about me moving in with him, and couldn’t see himself living with anyone else.  I’m his next of kin on his records, and I’ve been his main support person and sometimes carer for the last 4 years. For my part, I have always tried to finely balance the role of friend/partner/carer, tried to be clear that I am not his carer and when I’ve tried to enforce ‘friend’ boundaries he has often struggled with this; and me too as it is so very confusing.

He has a diagnosis of BPD, anxiety, depression, a long term health condition with chronic pain and fatigue which means he can’t work and a gambling addiction. Being part of his life has not always been easy, especially when he was deep in periods of gambling and he’d blow literally every penny he had.  

At times it has been difficult to cope with his emotional ups and downs, these might result in long conversations where he just calls me an endless string of unflattering names accusing me of being lazy, selfish and cold for not helping with something; and on the other end of the scale telling me he can only see a future with me and to be with me is the most important thing.  There have been times when he has made a couple of suicide attempts and I’ve had to call for help, times when he has threatened suicide (this usually blows over in hours but I always call for help), times when he has been really poorly due to physical health problems and I have had to look after him; and times where we have spent the most wonderful weekends and holidays doing things together.  Generally we speak every day (if I’m not blocked) and he’s the last person I speak to at night and first person in the morning.
When we met we lived in the same city but he was only there temporarily and moved back to the capital as he inherited a property there.  I moved back to be with my mother after my father died.  I continued to visit him either weekly/every other weekend despite the 200 miles travelling distance.  He occasionally visited me but he isn’t well liked by my family and friends who think I would be better off without him in my life (he thinks it’s my fault they think like this, I think they’ve just seen me upset so many times from things that have happened they just want me to put myself first and think about my own well-being).  Covid has made it harder to visit and apart from a couple of months last Summer when restrictions lifted, I’ve remained at home and not travelled.  He resents me for this as he feels I should travel to offer him care and be a carer for him, he often tells me this.  

I work in mental health and took a more senior job about 6 months ago, alongside this I started studying for a further qualification and this change, along side Covid has meant I’ve not had as much time to support him with ongoing  matters that he has.  Most of them are out of my knowledge base anyway but he refuses to pay any professionals to help.  He is in the middle of selling his house and had talked about plans to move nearer to me and he had asked me to live with him, something which I’ve been on the fence about as I don’t want to be a full time carer for anyone, and have said this.  Covid has been positive for him in that he hasn’t been able to gamble as venues are shut and overall he’s been much happier.  He feels all of his difficulties are due to a change because of his physical health difficulties and a specific medical treatment he had, rather than anything to do with mental health.  I think some of them maybe, but not all.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been under a lot of  time pressure with my new role at work, and studying and supporting him.  This has left me little free time, and has led up to recent events.  He needed to complete some legal paperwork, which could have serious repercussions if he didn’t and wanted my help.  I’ve had that much work on including coursework deadlines for my study, I’ve not had much free time.  This has become a problem for us.  He says he feels like I don’t give him the time he needs, and I think there is some truth in that at the moment as I am trying desperately to get all of my own work done.

Last week was my birthday, he sent me a gift, which got lost in the post, which has caused an additional stress for him as now he needs to make a claim for compensation.  When he gets anxious he often starts asking for gifts he has given me back (anything to do with money is a trigger for him) saying I don’t deserve them, last week he asked me to pay him back for my birthday presents.  I pointed out that I didn’t have the gifts and I didn’t ask for them, that I was sick of this behaviour and I couldn’t speak to him that evening as I was upset.  I transferred him the money and told him never to give me a gift ever again.  He also asked me to return the gift his mother had sent me, with a note saying I didn’t want it because he knew she would be upset at it being returned.  After we exchanged words, he blocked me and we’ve had no contact since, apart from once when he sent me a message saying because of my selfishness he hasn’t been able to deal with his legal matter, and asking me to send him a copy of all of our chats, photos and videos as he doesn’t have a record of them all (he has sold his phone multiple times whilst gambling and often loses data that’s important to him); and he transferred the money I gave him back to me.

So, I’m left here being blocked.  He’s done it frequently to me before (usually once every couple of weeks) and has usually unblocked me after a few days but this time it’s far longer than before.  It’s hard when he cuts contact and I’m always left wondering whether it will be the last time I speak to him.  He has hardly any friends because he does this to others a lot. It doesn’t change the fact that I worry about, care about him and want the best for him.  But at the moment I find I just don’t have that much energy to put into someone else, all my energy is concentrated on my new job, study and getting through lockdown and looking after myself.  I feel awful because I know he’s lonely and isolated, with no friends to spend time with; and I know he’s lost and overwhelmed and anxious about everything that’s going on around him.  I feel like I’ve lost all of my ability to be empathetic and compassionate in this relationship sometimes.  Sometimes I feel like I need a break.  I don’t always respond in the best way I could, especially if I’m tired or have something stressful that I’m trying to deal with myself.

I’m literally sat here waiting to see if he gets back in touch, not knowing if he will.

Sometimes I just wish I had someone who could prioritised me in the same way as I prioritise them.

This has already been a longer post that I’d anticipated, so I’m sorry for that.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 06:16:28 AM by MinkyB » Logged
This is a high level discussion board for solving ongoing, day-to-day relationship conflicts. Members are welcomed to express frustration but must seek constructive solutions to problems. This is not a place for relationship "stay" or "leave" discussions. Please read the specific guidelines for this group.

Cat Familiar
Senior Ambassador
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner
Posts: 5801

« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 11:48:58 AM »

What are you getting out of this relationship? It seems like everything is focused on his wants and needs, and he has little empathy for you or concern for what you need.

“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

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Relationship status: Who knows
Posts: 5

« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 05:23:08 PM »

What are you getting out of this relationship? It seems like everything is focused on his wants and needs, and he has little empathy for you or concern for what you need.

It’s hard to know sometimes.  I do sometimes wonder whether I’m just so used to this being the status quo for so long that I don’t know any other way to be now.  When we last spoke he told me he was ‘moving away’ from people like me, whilst still trying to ask for my help. He said people who work in mental health are ‘frauds’, it’s OK if that’s his opinion but actually I’m not a health care professional involved in his care - I am a friend.  I find these things hard to hear and feel invalidated as such.

I find that hurtful, that somehow I can be of use when he wants me to support him with stuff, but equally he wants to put distance between us.

There are good times, but they are so few and far between now.  To begin with, they were more frequent but as he has struggled it’s for harder for us both I think.  I have a compassion fatigue.
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorced
Posts: 622

The surest way to fail is to never try.

« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 05:35:58 PM »

There are good times, but they are so few and far between now.  To begin with, they were more frequent but as he has struggled it’s for harder for us both I think.  I have a compassion fatigue.

Hi Minky -

As someone who fits your professional profile and much of your personal profile let me say straight out that I am not wanting my story to be your story.

Let me also say that I'm sorry you find yourself where you do, but I am happy you have found us. You will find some pretty cool people here.

I have read what you wrote - and personally - when someone comes on here and "writes more" than they expected that is a sure sign that they've been sitting on stuff waiting for the right time, and most importantly, a safe place to speak.  One of my previous supervisors used to say that pastoral care was a case of sitting with someone long enough until they worked up the courage to - ask the questions they knew they wanted to ask - to get the answers they knew were there - so as to do the things they already knew they needed to do.

One of my current supervisors says to us that in mental wellness, if we as caregivers are working harder than our clients, then there is something wrong.

I know that a personal intimate relationship goes deeper than the helping professional/client relationship. But ... I think you get where I am going.

I don't know what the future will hold for you - and you are on the "bettering" board.   So I hope as you wait, the answers come clearer.

In the meantime, I think these last three sentences that I have highlighted say an awful lot. You sound like a very kind and compassionate person.  I am sure you will end up knowing what is best if you offer yourself some kindness and compassion.

You find lots of that here. 

Hang in there. Stay safe.

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