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VIDEO: "What is parental alienation?" Parental alienation is when a parent allows a child to participate or hear them degrade the other parent. This is not uncommon in divorces and the children often adjust. In severe cases, however, it can be devastating to the child. This video provides a helpful overview.
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Author Topic: How to get distance from their problems  (Read 407 times)
Ozzie101
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« on: April 05, 2021, 10:01:10 AM »

I know there’s an element of codependency in my relationship with H (and I’m sure a lot of other relationships here too). I’m a fixer by nature (again, not unusual) but I’m struggling a bit at the moment.

My H has a major fixation on weight. It’s the first thing he notices about a person. His mother pretty much drilled into him that fat people are unattractive, sloppy, gross, etc. Now, one of his closest friends is morbidly obese so he doesn’t take it to her extreme, but it still had an impact. Before I met him, he was overweight but worked hard and lost it and kept it off.

Now, thanks to multiple factors, he’s gained a lot back. His clothes don’t fit well anymore. He was on a medication that increased appetite and, unbeknownst to me, he was staying up eating half a bag of chips at night. He took a break from his obsessive weighing several times a day. And with working from home in sweatpants, he didn’t have a chance to notice his pants were getting a bit snug.

His obsession with his weight has been an ongoing thing over the years. When he gets really panicked about it, he aims his cannon at me. It’s my fault for not telling him he was gaining weight because other people would have. I honestly didn’t notice. I should have stoped him from snacking. I didn’t know he was.

I try to be helpful by just asking him what I can do or what he needs from me. Problem is, my very existence is annoying. I’m a naturally slim person. I pay attention to what I eat, but don’t have trouble keeping trim. He mostly eats very carefully (consuming fewer calories than I do — except for the slip-up in the last three months) but still can’t seem to lose weight or keep it off. Part of that is bring over 40. Part is probably genetics, as his bio family are all bigger people. He’s talked to doctors and weight-loss experts and none can find anything wrong with him.

Anyway, it gets to me. I understand his frustration. His discomfort. His wish that he could eat what he wants. But it feels like I live and die by his scale reading. By his passive-aggressive comments. By his irritability when he decides to just stop eating.

It’s also a bit triggering for me as I have a sister who was anorexic in our teens, leading to some fairly traumatic experiences. But, in general, I don’t really notice or care what someone weighs as long as they’re happy. He’s not.

So what are some tips on disengaging in a healthy way while being appropriately supportive? I’ve got a lot of other stress and my own feelings about various things that I struggle with. I really don’t feel like I can keep on the level of feeling management I’ve been maintaining with him.
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 10:32:39 AM »

First of all, you cannot help him with this matter. This is entirely his responsibility. All you can do is to tell him you love him.

Getting out of codependent habits require us to be aware of what is ours to do and what is theirs and detach emotionally with kindness.

Give him lots of attention when he’s being pleasant and remove your focus when he’s not. Think of it this way: “You get my full focus when you’re being kind and lovable and I’ll remove myself when you’re being unpleasant.” Simple operant conditioning.

It’s easy for me to do this because I live on acreage and have lots of outside tasks with the animals. For those who don’t have these excuses, there’s laundry to be done, kitchen to be cleaned, numerous household tasks that must be repeated on a regular basis.

Do not stick around and listen to grumpy gripes. That’s not behavior you want to reinforce.








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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 10:46:58 AM »

Very true. When he asks me to read about a diet plan he’s found or something, I’ve done it. That seems benign enough. And he’ll say he knows this is his to deal with.

I tell him I love him. I try to be empathetic but with appropriate distance when he needs to vent.

Then I also get hit with “I know how I am. I know if this doesn’t happen, how I’ll react.” (Meaning: if the weight does come off fast I’ll go off the rails and be a monster.”)

I think where I get worried or tied up in things is that I know from past experience that his frustration and irritability often come in the form of lashing out. So, I guess, it’s really tied in to my other relationship problems. We got into a habit of him using me as his sounding board or his person with whom to vent. Some of that is normal in healthy relationships. The thing is, his venting goes beyond the normal. His feelings are outsized. A seemingly minor matter can blow up into a crisis leaving me fully drained.

That’s what I need to really focus on. I have gotten a lot better at separating his from mine and ours. Just not perfect. And his view doesn’t seem to have changed much. The last several months he’s been better able to keep from going off the deep end, thanks to a good relationship with his T and to his abstaining from alcohol, but I know these major stressors really put the pressure on.

A part of me just wants to tell him “Don’t tell me about your weight struggles or give me scale updates. I don’t want to hear it.” But I also don’t want to be uncaring or dismissive.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 10:53:51 AM by Ozzie101 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2021, 03:38:00 PM »

There’s a lot of room between saying, “Don’t talk to me about it” and reading a book on a new diet plan.

You can say something like, “I trust your judgment about that diet,” and as long as it isn’t substituting Snickers Bars for meals, you wouldn’t have to intervene.

We think we’re being supportive and helpful when we’re codependent. In truth, what we are doing is keeping our partners from taking steps they need to mature.

Your husband sounds like he’s stuck in childlike patterns. He expects others to rescue him, take responsibility for his own issues, and fix things for him.

If you let this go on in the same way, you will build resentment, leading to contempt. It’s time he learns to stand on his own two feet.

You don’t need to function as his sounding board beyond a very brief interlude, say 15 minutes. You can excuse yourself by saying, “I’m getting stressed out thinking about this. Let’s continue the talk tomorrow and maybe I’ll have a fresh perspective.”

What I hear from you is that these rants are not productive discussions. So why even listen to them? You have better things to do with your time. And that gives him a chance to learn self soothing skills, a behavior he needs to model for his son.

The less you listen to the complaints and vents, the more you will find him attractive. As it is, you are currently posting on the Conflicted board. We want you to genuinely feel like posting on Bettering.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2021, 05:12:26 PM »

Very much agree. Thank you for the redirection (on multiple levels). There are definitely childlike patterns in place. So often he’s very competent and responsible. But when he freaks out over something...

It’s the disengaging I struggle with. While it’s improved, I still haven’t managed the art of stepping away — without him following me or preventing me from leaving.

But I’m rereading posts here and developing plans and scenarios for how to handle it better.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 07:03:40 AM »


If you google for bpdfamily validating questions...I think you will find some really good threads and lessons (one in particular...but there are several good discussions).

As Cat said...big gulf between hit the road pal...I ain't listening and being his therapist and feelings manager.

OK....let's focus on the times he wants you to read this and that...

Does he seem normal or a bit on edge..like teetering towards dysregulation?

Here is my idea.

blah blah I'm fat..read this and save me blah blah

You make it obvious you are listening..pop out a validating question or two (if you notice in that thread...lots of it is "handing it back to them" )

Then be agreeable...sure babe I'll read it and we can talk more soon...disengage.

You know what..skim it and then look for opportunities two give him two choices...where he will pick "not talking about diets"

"Hey babe...I read that information.  I'm up for chatting about that or (fill in the blank)."

idea number 2...probably best to use both of these some...

Claim you don't have time and invite him along on something he likely doesn't want to do

"Sounds interesting...I'm about to go (blank)..want to come along?"

Thoughts?

Best,

FF
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 09:43:10 AM »

Perhaps it would help, if he got involved with a diet/fitness app.  There are a lot to choose from.  Losing wt. is really about the basics: calories in versus calories out.  Some apps. have features where people can make posts for accountability, vent and ask for help.  Lots of them have features to monitor your calories count and activity.  If he wants to lose a pound a week, then he can aim for a certain calorie count and a certain activity level.

This could give him a way to channel his obsession with weight away from you.
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 10:57:10 AM »


Yeah...I mean that it the simplest thing.  Accountability group/person/app THAT IS NOT OZZIE!!!!!!

Best,

FF
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Ozzie101
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 11:31:29 AM »

He’s tried a couple of apps. So, yes, he’s familiar with them.

The problem we encounter when I use validating questions (when he’s teetering on the edge) is he will respond with “Ehy are you putting this back on me?”

When I detach with empathy (“hmm, let me think about that and get back to you” or “I’m going to do x now”), he responds with anger that I’m not helping or I’m putting other things first.

It’s a tantrum-style reaction, I know. Kind of an extinction burst. Usually the only thing that calms it down is for it to run its course and/or for me to go to bed. Eventually he stops.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 11:48:50 AM »

The problem we encounter when I use validating questions (when he’s teetering on the edge) is he will respond with “Why are you putting this back on me?”

“Because you are fully capable of dealing with this and I have confidence that you will.”

When I detach with empathy (“hmm, let me think about that and get back to you” or “I’m going to do x now”), he responds with anger that I’m not helping or I’m putting other things first.

“You’re right, I’m not helping. You are well equipped to handle this yourself and you don’t need my help.”

What do you think about trying responses similar to the above?

I would bet that your attempts to soothe and placate him are feeding into the tantrum.

People with BPD can be very adept at spotting a patronizing attitude, even if we attempt to wrap it in helpfulness. And how can one not feel disdainful when asked to participate in a recurring problem where the other is refusing to take responsibility for himself?
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 01:26:08 PM »


I think you will have to play around with the direct response (like Cat suggests) or the indirect hand it back to him response.

They may both work well..but at different times.

For the indirect response...use "befuddlement".


blah blah blah..why are you putting this back on me?

"oh sorry...(pause)...perhaps I misunderstood.....what was the question you asked again?"

Maybe he really didn't ask what he wanted to ask.  If he asks again...the same way, switch to the direct.

Switching gears.

I wonder if there is history here where he roped you into a response he "wanted" or "needed" (unhealthy response).

Thoughts?

Best,

FF

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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 03:29:03 PM »

I actually have tried those — some of them today. For “I believe you’re capable and I have faith you can” he just got more angry. For befuddlement, he responded with both “you’re not stupid” and “are you just stupid?”

It’s very frustrating.

Today he really melted down over various stressors. He snatched my phone and refused to return it (eventually did). Kept saying he wishes he were dead. Grabbed my jacket sleeve. Blocked my path.

He finally calmed down and became more rational. But he told me that in the past, he’s been with people who “managed” him better. Who intercepted things before they triggered him. Who ran interference and managed his stress levels. I told him I can help with things but I can’t and won’t manage his stress for him. He can only do that himself.

He really needs help. He has a therapist. A psychiatrist. I don’t know what else to do. I know I can’t fix him. But I don’t know what to do.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 04:09:24 PM »

I actually have tried those — some of them today. For “I believe you’re capable and I have faith you can” he just got more angry. For befuddlement, he responded with both “you’re not stupid” and “are you just stupid?”
 

So...you know he calms down and explains himself later.  Maybe even a mistake on your part to say you will help (not sure..just consider this)

Maybe stand up to him. 

"No I'm not...and won't be talked to like I am.  I'll be in the living room when you can speak to me with kindness.  Enjoy being by yourself until then."

Let him do what he does.

OK...so now you have had the nice conversation..he explained himself.

"So.... honey I appreciate that explanation.  What are you going to do differently to help this situation?"

Keep handing it back.

Best,

FF

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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2021, 04:18:26 PM »

I have refused to discuss further. And I’ve definitely stood up to him. Often, that doesn’t work because he follows or won’t let me leave. Or it just has no impact at all.

The “what are you going to do differently?” is a good one to try.

My fear is that when I do similar things, he doesn’t respond well. He will either get angry (why is it always my fault?) or frustrated (this just puts more stress on me! Why are you turning it on me?) Basically, we can’t have a discussion about his handling of things. It just seems to make him defensive. I’ve been trying different approaches to hand it back and he just won’t accept it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2021, 04:59:09 PM »

What happens when he gets angry? Do you back off?

And him preventing you from leaving? Wasn’t that something he was doing a couple of years ago?

Are you afraid he will get violent?



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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2021, 05:18:22 PM »

How I react to his anger depends on the tone and circumstances. I usually get cold and detached. When I’ve gotten angry back, it has been ineffective.

Blocking is something he’s done before. It came back in December and then reappeared today.

By DV definitions, he has already been violent. Blocking is violence. Taking my phone. Grabbing me as if trying to hold me somewhere. I broke free pretty easily so, given our size difference, he must have not been that “invested.”

Today was probably the worst instance. A maintenance man was actually here for part of it and seemed concerned. Even with a stranger around, H acted that way.

I don’t know. I felt better for a while because he seemed to understand and regret what he had done a couple of years ago. Now he seems more defensive and like he’s trying to argue it away or deflect. Even if I say “I have things to work on myself” he complains that he’s the only one “wrong” or the only one having to work.
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2021, 05:36:27 PM »


Hey...can you go over what happened today.

Lots of details. 

Is this before he calmed and was remorseful?

What part did the maintenance guy see?  What did he do?

How long did this last?

I know it might take a bit..but try to do as much he said she said as you can.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2021, 08:51:50 PM »

We closed on our new house yesterday.

I got a call this morning from him that he’d found out the sellers of our house had gotten estimates from the contractor for the electrical work they’d agreed to do but that the electrician hadn’t been there or seen the inspection report. (The estimate had a pretty detailed rundown so it looked ok.) H’s fear was that it would end up costing more than the estimate — money is being held by title company.

I came home around lunch. I work in the office Tuesday mornings. When I got back to our apartment, the maintenance man was outside having removed the malfunctioning washer and about to take in the new one. H had locked the deadbolt when he saw me pull in. I knocked, called and texted him to let the guy in. He did.

With a bystander there I felt safe to go in and get some things. I could tell something was wrong, obviously. He stormed back in and I had to get the dog out of the way of the repairman. I walked into the kitchen and he started ranting about the house situation. He kept telling me he hadn’t logged on and done any work at all because he was dealing with house stuff,

I said I could take that over and give him a break but he said it was too late for that.

I can’t remember what he said next or I said but suddenly he reached out and grabbed my phone. At that point I saw past him into the bedroom and could see the dresser had been tipped over. I looked back at the serviceman and asked him to call the police. He nodded.

At this point I was afraid what he might do to himself or to anyone/thing.

He refused to give me the phone. I kept calmly asking for it. He demanded I talk to people and have them leave him alone. That I deal with stuff. That I put my car in my name. That I do everything immediately. I said I need my phone to do anything.

He pushed past me out onto the balcony and threatened to throw it (third story). Then he started crying and said he wanted to jump.

Then he stormed back inside. Still refusing to give up the phone. He righted the dresser. I turned to walk out of the room and he grabbed my arm, then my other sleeve. I broke free. He sat on the bed and gestured for me to come to him. I refused. (Later he said he had been trying to have a romantic moment.)

The maintenance man slipped out. I’m guessing he didn’t call.

H finally cooled enough to give my phone back.

But there was a lot of calling me names. Telling me he was forced into buying the house. That I made him do it. Do he was getting out of it. He only took the new job because of me and he hates it. He doesn’t like me. He hates me. He hates my family. I’m a $&:35)?;$’jfc )5$?);;,. He wants a divorce and his lawyer will destroy me.

I said very little. But eventually I snapped and yelled back at him that no one forced him. That his reactions are a choice.

I’m sorry a lot is fuzzy.

He got upset again later. Then, tonight, I found that my glasses were not in their case. I’m practically blind. I put them on first thing, then take them off when I put in my contacts. There is no way they’d be anywhere else — especially not without the case. H and SS helped search the apartment. H kept telling me it ticks him off when I act like this — like I think he did it.

I do think he did. I honestly can’t think of another explanation. And he’s hidden things of mine before (my purse, my works computer) when upset. But I wasn’t going to accuse him. Not in front of SS he’s Heard- enough today.
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2021, 09:43:00 PM »

Details matter.

Because this is far, far more serious than your first description.

He is decompensating. This is beyond his usual dysfunctionality.

Can you flag his therapist and psychiatrist?I

What do you need to feel safe? (I would not feel safe in this circumstance, with this level of irrational behavior.)

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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2021, 07:02:22 AM »


Double yes to flag his therapist and psychiatrist. 

When are you guys predicted to actually move into the new home?


One of the reasons I asked  was I was getting a weird vibe about it maybe being more serious.

So....let's agree on decompensating.  I think we can also agree that the destabilizing thing is the home situation.

We can expect some improvement when its over and you are moved in.

That being said, going from an apartment to a home is more complicated.  Had you also gone from a home to an apartment..is the apartment a middle step?

Please don't take any of the following as criticism or blame....we do want to find places where you have influence.

Let's go back to you come home and you observe your H "lock the deadbolt".  At that point..you pretty much knew it "was one of those days"..right?

I do think a call is/was appropriate....but if you could do it over, I would suggest just going out for lunch..going for a walk.

Did anything good come out of you entering the apartment after his "signal" that he should not be around you?

It's been a while since I've used this...and it's not mine...I don't remember who asked it to me (probably Grey Kitty..but that's a guess). 

"When someone tells you that they are not able to communicate with you...why not believe them?"

We know your hubby lacks reasonable communication skills, yet it seems obvious he was "telling" you something by locking the door.  It appears he continued to "tell" you something.

It can be hard to read the tea leaves and figure out what "he really means".

Circling back:  Please communicate with therapist and psychiatrist.

Best,

FF

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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2021, 10:28:08 AM »

Oh yes. He and I talked now that he’s calm and he approved my talking to his P. He also asked me to listen in on tomorrow’s T session (not participate) because he’s afraid he may not be explaining things well enough. He’s told them about his rages and blackouts but they kind of shrug it off. That indicates to me that they may not be getting a clear picture.

The apartment is a middle step. We had to be out of our old house a month before moving into the new one (it sold before we had one to buy). Our realtor helped us find a furnished corporate apartment for the month. It meant our stuff could stay stored with the movers.

You’re absolutely right about going in. At the time, I thought I would be safe to go in and grab a couple of things and leave while the maintenance guy was there. But t didn’t end up going that way. Another lesson learned.

I have an overnight bag in the trunk of my car. In future, I will take my glasses and any other items I may need (that don’t have duplicates) when I leave for work every day. I’ll check in with him in the afternoons before heading home to see if he sounds ok. If not, hotel time.

He and I discussed this this morning. He said he wants to not have the episodes at all but barring that, he wants to be able to call or text and tell me it’s a bad day and to stay away. I agreed to that. I told him I love him but incidents like that do real damage to our relationship and I will remove myself. I will come back but I can’t be around at those times.
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2021, 11:55:16 AM »

H made an appointment (virtual) with his P for Monday so I can tell him what I’m witnessing and what my/our concerns are. Here’s hoping he is helpful and receptive and doesn’t wave it away.
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2021, 12:45:53 PM »

I’m guessing he’s painted a very different picture for his psychiatrist and therapist than what you deal with.
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2021, 12:48:35 PM »

Why not contact the psychiatrist on your own, prior to the appointment? I did that with my husband’s therapist and gave him an overview of what I’ve observed. He was very grateful, since my husband can present so well. I’m sure it saved him a lot of time, hearing from me that there was quite a different persona at times.
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“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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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2021, 01:03:29 PM »


One of the remarkable things here is that at some times your hubby seems very open and aware. 

Other times that is completely closed.

Probably a good idea to ask the T and P how you can determine that much more quickly.  Seems to me that when he is closed...boundaries and distance are really the only option.

Best,

FF
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2021, 01:07:48 PM »

It could also be that this is the P's approach, even if they have a clear enough picture of what's going on. I talked to my wife's T on a couple of occasions, and my T also talked to hers. At the end of the day, it didn't really matter. Her T believed that the way to deal with my wife's rage and suicidal thoughts was to talk about the underlying issues that she thought led to the behaviors. Maybe there's some universe in which that approach works, but I don't think there's much evidence in this universe that it does, yet many P's and T's hold onto that. I think the more successful, evidence-based approaches deal directly with the behavior. I think it's a good idea to sit in on the session and talk about it. I'm just throwing out there that it might not be that the P doesn't know what's going on, but that they just have a certain approach to it. And that would be a whole different conversation that might be more difficult since your H seems to like this P well enough to keep going to sessions.
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2021, 01:22:22 PM »


Maybe that's a direct question to ask.

What is your clinical approach to this issue?  How long do you expect this approach to take to see results?  What will "results" look like?

etc etc


Best,

FF
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2021, 02:49:11 PM »

Those are all very good suggestions and I will think about the best way to implement.

Cat, that’s my suspicion: that he hasn’t given an accurate picture. I didn’t tell him I thought he had been lying or anything. I told him I thought it might help for them to hear from someone who is actually witnessing these episodes and who can remember them (H claims to pretty much black out). According to H, he’s been told “oh, blackouts and rage are normal trauma reactions.” Maybe. But the type and intensity are not acceptable or safe. If it continues, he or I could end up hurt.

Yes, FF, at times he is very open and agreeable and concerned. He genuinely wants help and input. Other times, especially when moody or on edge, the slightest hint of wrongdoing or accusation (no matter how it’s framed) causes him to shut down or lash out.

I may have to sort of “read the room” that day. He’s said already, several times, “I know I got mad once before when you talked at my T session [this was 2 years ago]. But I understand now and I really want you to feel like you can tell P what he needs to know.” We’ll see.

H isn’t terribly attached to either P or T at the moment. He’s been through multiple Ps and Ts in the last few years. He does like these two so far. I just hope they’re able to be a little helpful.

My T has, in the past, offered to reach out to H’s people to give them a heads up about stuff going on but that was a while ago. I have an appointment with mine next week and we may talk about it again. She knows H’s current T pretty well.
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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2021, 05:03:13 PM »

I shouldn’t be surprised.

So, the therapy telemedicine call was supposed to be at 3. I worked in the office this morning and when we spoke early, things seemed fine. Then he calls. There’s an issue with the electrician going to the new house today (the seller scheduled it and then wasn’t there to meet him — we’re not in the house until next week). I told him I’d take care of it.

Our elderly dog kept coughing and interrupting some meetings.

Then he called the clinic about this afternoon’s appointment and they said it was in-person. No, he booked telemedicine. This has happened before with them. Their system is a problem and it takes major effort and patience just to get a human on the phone.

This sends him over the edge. He apparently spent a lot of time talking to people to work it out. They’re not set up very well and communication has always been a problem but I’ve also heard from H that he got flagged as a problem patient after multiple stinks. I got confused stories from him but it sounded like they said they’d change it in the system for today, though the doctor might not see it.

Anyway, his stress level was through the roof so he told me he was packing up and going to go out of town for a few days. I said fine. It may help him to get away a bit. I told him for the appointment, I would call in and add him to the call. I called. Left a message. At 3:20, H called. He’d had his appointment and thought I was on the line like I said I would be. (I tried. The doctor called H back - patient on record - but no one added me in.)

He sounded like he finally calmed some and him taking initiative to leave and do what he needs to self-soothe is good. But I can’t help but feel I got shut out. He acted like he wanted me there to participate. But maybe he panicked. I don’t know. He said he told the doctor and the P wants to try him on a drug that should make him very sleepy/knock him out when he gets worked up. He’s not optimistic.

I just don’t know.

I told him that while he’s learning his new job, he can lean on me more for some of this stuff like the house issues. I can handle it. He complains that he’s spending all day on things and neglecting work. Because family is more important. I suspect he’s feeling insecure and stressed and that’s 1) causing him to get more worked up and 2) using that as an excuse or cover for his job fears. The things he’s talking about aren’t high enough priority to cancel an important meeting or difficult enough to take three hours on the phone.

He backed off some of his stuff earlier (like wanting a plan to put them out of business, wanting my office to punish his former therapist who happens to work in a different branch of my organization just to send a message).

So, we’re still where we are. Though, like I said, if he’s removing himself to self-soothe that may be a positive step.
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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2021, 05:57:20 PM »

It sounds like he's extremely rejection-sensitive, or mistreatment- sensitive. As if everything is a personal slight that needs an extreme reaction from him and others to right the wrong.

Perhaps you can do as Cat suggested and contact the T or P on your own.

I bet he doesn't tell them the details of his scorched earth reactions. "Stressed" or "worked up" doesn't give them a full picture of what's actually being said and done by him.
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