Friday, August 3, 2012

Lucid Analysis - Trials in Therapy : Never doing that again

Ugh. It’s been a terrible week for me. Terrible. My awful week started last Thursday. 

Thursday: Tech Boy and I took Friday off from work to go to the Mayhem Tour (think Slayer, Slipknot, Motorhead, As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, etc.). Thursday night we drove out of state to visit his friends who we were then going to the concert with the next day. We had horrendous storms Thursday evening. We attempted to tailor our driving schedule to miss the storm. Yeah, that didn’t work. So.

I have some legitimate PTSD when it comes to driving in inclement weather. My brother and I were in a very bad car accident when we were at University. For years afterward it was very difficult for me to drive, especially for me to drive with other people. I’ve gotten much better in the past couple years. Really, I have. When the weather is bad and I’m not driving however… I still have severe anxiety, I jerk involuntarily, my heart races, and I feeling like I’m in impending and immediate danger, especially when someone drives too fast, brakes too slowly, takes turns too quickly, hydroplanes in a lane filled with water nearly giving me a bloody heart attack. It’s not funny. It scares me out of my mind. So by the time we got to his friend’s house (who lives with his parents and brother that I’ve never met) I was incredibly stressed out. Of course I had to supress this because I didn’t want to look act like I just had a panic attack to some guys parents that I’ve never met.

Starving. Couldn’t get food until much later. Also, exhausted. Exhausted, starving, stressed, and panicked. Yet, I pulled it together. Later we met a couple dozen of his friends at a local bar. I wasn’t drinking. Didn’t want too. Didn’t want to make my emotions worse. I think this was responsible of me.

Some of his friends are okay. Some of them I’m not interested in. Some of them I flat out want nothing to do with. In a nutshell, some of them think racism is “funny”, but I’m not amused and I won’t pretend that I am either. (Here's the long version). I was in a really sticky position because I have very strong beliefs on this. I won’t just keep my mouth shut to make it less awkward for the assholes makings me uncomfortable. On the other hand I was in an unfamiliar environment. I didn’t want to alienate myself from his less repulsive friends or embarrass him. Not to mention he was drinking A LOT. And smoking. So he was outside for a smoke half of the night leaving me alone at the bar half the night. Cuz yanno, it’s fun to sit by myself in completely unfamiliar places surrounded by people I’ve never met before. Wait.

By the time we got back to the place we were staying he was super frisky. I just wanted to sleep. For the first time ever in our 10 month relationship I declined sex. He immediately got really defensive. We got into a big fight about his friends. He flipped from let’s have sex to you hate everyone. He accused me of not liking any of his friends. Which isn’t true. Some of his friends are okay, others are not, mostly I haven’t had any significant amount of time to get to know them  yet because I have severe trust issues and it takes a long time for me to warm up to people. I did have another legitimate problem with one of his friends from back home because that friend told me to my face I only got my high level engineering position at a respected institution because, and I quote, “I have tits”. Not because I have multiple engineering degrees, not because I had years of experience in my field, not because I’m I fucking rocket scientist, nope, I have boobs. Totally can’t see past these puppies. Yeah, little pissed about that one, and no, I don’t want to hang out with that jerk.

Seriously. During my fabulous adventures in Abusive Relationship Land I’ve learned that my life is better when I don’t surround myself with assholes. A lot better. Choosing people that don’t invalidate you, who have positive qualities and energy, that are supportive, and appreciate you for you, not just what you can do for them, are the kinds of people that are important to have around. Times a million for those of us hypersensitive to negative emotions. I didn’t just spend the last few years purging my life of the destructive relationships I’ve had to start introducing new ones. No, I won’t.

So he promptly passes out cold and I spend the next few HOURS crying, hyperventilating, wanting to flee, break up with him, never speak to him again, certain this is never going to work. Ever. Until somehow I manage to fall asleep for 3 hours because we had to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to go drink beer in a parking lot hours before the gates even opened. Awesome.

Maybe I’m getting old. Drinking shitty beer, with crappy people, in 100 degree humid weather, when I’ve physically nauseous from stress and anxiety isn’t exactly what I consider a party these days. Crazy. I know.

Fast Forward a few hours. I did eventually have a few glasses of wine because it got to the point where I needed help coping. I didn’t actually want to drink. I wanted nothing to do with alcohol. There was no other means for me to escape though. And miraculously, it helped. I started to instantly feel better as soon as my brain started shutting down. Not good.

So we were standing around outside, not near the mosh pits, not anywhere near the bands on stage, in a nice rec area, when some clod of a drunkard is fucking around with his buddies and smashes into me, stomps on my ankle, and knocks me around. Yeah, I screamed at him hard. I didn't even think, I just exploded. Fortunately Tech Boy's buddies just thought I was hardcore for not being a pussy, so I guess that worked out.

Finally it’s time to sit down and watch the main stage line up. I was exhausted, stressed out, unhappy, all the while trying to pretend that I’m not absolutely and utterly miserable. Tech Boy had gotten up to get me water. I took two sips of it when someone behind me throws their nearly full 24 oz. can of beer hits me with it, hard, knocking my water out of hand and bruising me pretty good. Not five minutes later someone in front of me threw back their cup of beer and completely doused me in the face, all down my clothes with beer. I held it together for a bit longer but as soon as the music got really loud and everyone around me was on their feet screaming to the bands, I lost it. There was just no holding in the misery after that and I sobbed uncontrollably until the last band was nearly done.  The girl next to me noticed but I waved her off. Tech Boy standing next to me didn’t notice at all. I was falling apart right next to him and he didn’t notice.

I was in a crowd of thousands of people and there was not one person with me.

By the time we got home Saturday I was barely able to deal with humanity. We were supposed to go to a tattoo convention – the one thing I wanted to do that weekend – but I just couldn’t. I was so sad, and so frustrated, because I really, really wanted to go, but I knew I was beyond my ability to deal with crowds. So bummed out.

That was the point where I finally had to tell Tech Boy just how upset I was. He knew I had been unhappy but he’d been hoping I would snap out of it and cheer up? Right. So I had to tell him. At the concert he had apologized for our fight the night before. But he didn’t realize just how awful I was really feeling and he seemed genuinely upset by it.

Know how I talked about psychosomatic illness earlier this week? Yeah that happens to people without mental health issues too. He made himself physically sick because he felt like he’d failed me as a boyfriend. So he says. He was my host in an unfamiliar place and he essentially abandoned me. He immediately started trying to make up for it even more. Being extra cuddly (which he is normally), staying over more, wanting to get my friends together to go out East to the wineries… I just want mellow though.

And honestly, I’m still in kind of distanced place. I was so upset, and so hurt Thursday night. I really wanted nothing to do with him anymore. It got a little better the next day and has been getting better slowly, but I’m still a little uncomfortable with him. It’s taken me days and days to de-stress from those two days. Therapist could very easily see how I was distant and detached in therapy. I’ve felt distanced from him, guarded, not as comfortable. It’s happened before. It takes time to get back to a better place, but it always feels like something has broken a little. My feelings never quite go back to the place they had been previously. There’s always some loss. Right now I’m really confused and doubting whether this is a relationship I need to be in.

His drinking worries me too. Not the everyday, just having a few beers, but when he has A LOT to drink like 15-16 beers, that’s when things get bad for us. The only times we’ve had any real conflict, only time he’s hurt me or been cruel, has been when he’s had an excessive amount to drink. I can't always be sure I'll be safe with him at that point. That's a problem. 

Therapist thinks I need to talk to him about this. About his friend that insulted me as well. As my significant other he shouldn’t stand for people insulting me. She thinks he needs to make better choices regarding his friends and who he brings into our life. I don’t know what right I have to ask him to choose anything. I’m not going to tell him who or who not to hang out with. He can do what wants. That doesn’t mean I have to go with him though. Which he’s told me is frustrating for him. He wants to include me in hanging out with his buddies, but I don’t want to compromise myself by being around people that are shitty to me. I don’t know what to do about it. Therapist thinks I really need to talk to him about it though. 

...I don't think we're having enough sex.
“We need to talk”. Does that phrase ever signal anything pleasant? No one says, “We need to talk… I made too many chocolate chip cookies and I just can’t figure out what to do with them all.” It’s always followed by anxiety and usually a lot of tears on my part. Ugh.

I like him a lot. Most of the time he’s really good to me, and I know he cares about me. Right now I’m confused. I feel distant.  It’s hard for me to reconnect when I’ve had such a hard disruption in my feelings.

Therapist pulled out her Wheel of Something or Other. She asked me to describe how I felt about him in our relationship when I was so miserable. "Elsewhere". That’s the only word that came to mind. I’m pretty much his first real girlfriend so he hasn’t ever learned all the social cues that couples develop and carry with them. I just don’t know if I can deal with having to teach him, which sounds condescending, and isn’t how I mean it. I don’t expect anything to be perfect, but while he’s discovering what it’s like being in a solid relationship, I’m getting hurt because he stumbles pretty bad. I’m trying very hard to communicate what I need, and let him know when things aren’t okay, but it’s hard to prepare for things I don’t know if he knows or not.

I also feel guilty when he feels terrible for making me feel bad. How’s that for sense? I empathize with his distress when he distress me and don’t want him to be distressed because I feel guilty for not being “tough enough” to deal with it without being hurt by it so he doesn’t have to feel bad. I’m pretty sure somewhere I think it would be easier to be a robot, but I suspect sex wouldn’t be so much fun.

I’ve been so numb and detached. I retreat to a place inside where people can’t approach me. Every time it feels harder and harder to reconnect. 

Therapist asked about xRoommate and if we’ve been keeping in touch. We have, quite a bit. She left for the vacation we usually take together last weekend and will be gone through the 14th. I’m not going on our vacation this year to avoid a lot of unnecessary anxiety and because I’m the Maid of Honor in Zoe’s wedding (my best friend –also BPD – form University). I need to be back with her the 10th – 18th for the Bachelorette Party, wedding rehearsal, making the wedding [cup]cakes, and of course the wedding. We have lots to do so that’s where my vacation time is going. And to be true, I am REALLY, REALLY looking forward to it. I’m so excited.

I’m going broke trying to make every last little obsessive detail perfect for her.

But I miss that I won’t get to see xRoommate. This annual vacation is time I really enjoy spending with her. Especially since I hate that I don’t feel quite so close to her, even though we still talk and hang out. It’s just, the same old issues. I don’t know how to fix it. When I don’t see people, I start to lose my sense of permanency in their lives. I hate it. It isn’t quite so bad with her or her boyfriend. I really love them. And they are really good about reassuring the strength of our relationship. It helps. I just want to wake up one day and not feel like I’m hanging onto the people I care about by a thread.  Especially when my brain knows the feeling is bullshit!

Distance, it’s everywhere right now.

 Something else. There’s something important that Therapist and I discusses and for the life of me I can’t remember what it was right now. I specifically remember thinking I needed to remember it for this post. Damnit. Check back later. Maybe I’ll remember. 

1 comment:

  1. As a regular lurker, and someone who has been through all of this and come out the other side, I'd like to offer some input on this issue. I can only go by what you have written, but from what I am reading, your relationship is starting to sound unhealthy and on the verge of becoming codependent. First of all, the heavy drinking and then being mean thing is an issue and will absolutely continue to be. If you are going to take the view of "Well, he's a really nice guy who's only ever mean and does things during sex which make me feel upset when he's drunk, and it will eventually be okay because I will convince him to stop drinking so much", you are fooling yourself just like every other woman who has ever said the exact same thing.
    Secondly, you should be with someone who has his shit together already and doesn't have to be "taught" how to be in a relationship. You are not this guy's mommy and it is not your job to teach him social skills or how to be in a healthy intimate relationship with another person. He should have learned that all before, and if he didn't that is his problem. Let him go learn some skills and then come back to you when he's ready.
    You are also not responsible for his emotional state, so there is no reason for you to ever feel guilt over his feelings. He is a separate person and a big boy. My therapist would say that feeling guilty for someone else's feelings has to do with underdeveloped ego boundaries and not seeing that you ultimately hold no responsibililty or control over anything inside of the mind of someone else. If he let's you down and feels negative feelings about himself because of it, those feelings come from within him and are solely his own to sort out. I don't know your past too well but if you are anything like me, maybe when you were a kid your parents were not able to meet your needs sufficiently because of their own issues, but you believed that maybe it was just your fault for being too difficult or sensitive, or that it was actually your job to parent them and make sure they didn't feel too bad, or that if you could just try really hard to explain and teach them the right way to meet your needs, that one day they would do it right and you would stop feeling let down. Maybe you learned that if you want someone to love you, it is your job to bend yourself to them, worry about their feelings before your own, and be understanding of all THEIR problems, deficiencies, and struggles rather than going into the relationship with firm expectations for what you want others to offer YOU, and settling for nothing less. Bottom line, you deserve to be with someone who you don't have to teach how to love you properly or make excuses for. Someone who is already emotionally strong, stable, mature and well-socialized, who doesn't upset you when they are intoxicated, who knows how to handle his own failings without coming apart at the seams, and who will be there for you and attuned to your feelings and needs just because they care, without you having to kick and scream trying to show them how. Maybe I am totally off the mark, but this guy is starting to sound like he is definitely not that person. Just two cents worth from an objective stranger with nothing to lose or gain.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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