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While reading your last post i realised the limits of speaking about complex topics via text. This meaning that there are things i would need to correct, but i understand that its enough now.
I want to thank you again for helping me to understand trauma and ptsd so much better and i appreciate you sharing parts of your own experiences.
I am still grateful for the hours you invested to write long and thoughtful posts.
Its a good thing that you are here to help and support people in difficult times.
Wishing you all the best,
I was actually just like my ex not so long ago. Never letting anyone really close to me, shutting down when i felt like talking about myself would push the people around me away or would make them hate me.
I thought that if i would just be there for my ex, encouraging her to be open and honest and me being accepting of her i could be a better person than the people i had in my life before, who never did that for me.
But i also understand that i had to make that realisation myself, maybe i would have understood sooner if my social background would have been less fucked up, but also maybe not.
And i understand that for the circumstances in this last relationship, i wasnt accepting enough for her. But i also couldnt be, because my limit was reached. I regret not having been able to better support her and to be more accepting. i wish that she would have just talked to me.
I retract every idea of my ex being abusive. Toxic, sure, but you helped me see that there was no malice. I also understand that her keeping things to herself made it impossible for me personally to ,,have” more acceptance, considering how she treated me and making it impossible to understand by pushing me away.
I miss her so much. But i see now that its better this way, because i was not the partner she needed, and she was not the girlfriend i wanted.
*once again sorry for questions you cant answer.
I would really appreciate your input.
I just cant understand how the person you described would accuse me of cheating all the time. Isnt it controlling when someone wants to know where you are and who youre with and wants to check your phone?
Why would this person accuse of me of using her only for sex? or saying that i would not be interested in her life anymore when she locked me out of her life?
Why would this person be the defensive one in arguments, saying things like ,,thats just who i am” when i tried to tell her how distressing it was when she accused me of things instead of talking calmly about these insecurities?
Why would this person angrily accuse me of not wanting her anymore when i wouldnt want to have sex?
Why would she be such a different person with other people around her when compared to being with me?
I just dont understand. Did i really misjudge everything?
you dont have to hurry if you want to reply. i will stay away from the forum for a while, i am unsure about the value of discussing the topic at this point. if you choose to make a post i will read it, i just have to think a lot about what you wrote before.
even though you said that you didnt help me ,,much”, i still feel that way regarding you helping me to understand my search for an answer about me being guilty.
i understand everything you wrote in your last 2 posts. it seems that following your argumentation, i really was wrong all along.
“it seems like you think that all through that one year, in her mind, she was clear about what she was feeling and thinking but she kept it away from you, and in so doing, she was lying to you… all through the year.”
– more context for this is that she started the year and her shutting down by telling me that she thought about breaking up, but decided against it. she promised me to explain this to me at a later date, but never did, even after i reminded her 2 months later. this whole year and her shutting down was difficult for me to see neutral, when an unexplained threat of breaking up was looming over everything.
“But reality is (and it would be especially true to her because you described significant depression on her part), that people’s thoughts and feelings change over the course of a year” “How could she tell you clearly what she was feeling when she wasn’t clear herself?”
– i know this from my own experience and i never expected her to be absolutely clear about anything. i wanted to know how could be there for her.
“Maybe she wanted to please you and thought that she would be able to handle you sleeping very late into the weekdays, so she said “no problem”. Later, after some months of being alone for many hours each weekday, she changed her mind.”
– i dont know if this is important, but it was about weekends, not weekdays.
“but you didn’t give her credit for being human and therefore not thinking clearly when anxious and depressed herself.”
– i gave her so much credit for that, by accepting the difficult things i experienced with her, like accepting her jealousy, helping her regarding her habit of self-injury during the first year, supporting her when she wanted to end her self-proclaimed alcoholism. i didnt judge her for any of that, i just wished for not being judged in return.
“I don’t think that she gaslighted you when she told you that everything would be fine, and similar things she said, because most likely confused, depressed and distressed, she wasn’t clear herself, and she didn’t purposefully tell you something that she clearly knew was untrue for the purpose of causing you to doubt your own reality (which is what gaslighting is about).”
– you are right, i cant determine any malicious intent in her behaving like this. its just difficult to not picture it this way when one asks about things regularly to be sure of everything being good and then being handed a list with the same things you asked about being named.
“and what I believe to be your inaccurate projection of their behaviors- their gaslighting- into your ex-girlfriend?”
– i understand your point. i have had many situations where i asked myself the same thing and reflected about my feelings being true, thats why i tried to talk to her about it. sadly she wouldnt help me to understand things.
“she was lying to you… all through the year.”
– no i trusted her. it was the moment i received the list when my perspective changed and made me question things.
“It is neither possible or fair to .. sort of invade her brain and decide what her brain should think and say at any moment in time.” – i never controlled her. i wanted to know what was happening to her to understand. i couldnt continue the relationship when she behaved like i told without explanation.
“You can author Fiction, but you can’t author Reality: you can’t decide what her feelings and her thoughts should be, how aware she is at any moment to what she feels, and how clear or confused she is at any time.”
– this sounds again like control. i never wanted to decide anything for her and never did. i only asked for literally anything to help me understand.
“Handing you the list does not mean that she thought less of you, or that she wanted to hurt your feelings.”
– but she did hurt me. even when i tried to explain that to her she didnt give any more context or explanation about the list or anything else.
““Does that mean that I was the one who made her depression worse?“- that one, I don’t know. I am guessing that from one point on, you didn’t make it better.”
– i always was afraid of this. i read so many articles about and definitions of bpd and codependent personality disorder, i used many hours of my therapy to consult my therapist how to support my ex with these possible diagnoses. but i got it wrong i guess.
“Maybe when she talked to you before, too often you got defensive, took what she said very personally, and/ or criticized her: telling her that she should have said things the way she did, that she should have said things differently.”
– reading this really hurts. i was always honest about my feelings when we talked about difficult topics, but i never blamed her or criticized her. when i got defensive, i always apologized directly after. i always thanked her when she spoke her mind and explained things that were difficult to her. even when she hurt me with things she said, it told her to not be afraid to be honest with me, because i wanted to hear what she felt, even if it hurt me.
i am very interested in your input regarding these items. please dont mistake the tone in my writing for anger, i am just extremely sad writing this.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anita,</p>
I will now stop posting questions you cant answer. Sorry.
Why would she tell her friends about how she was feeling but not me?
I only wanted to know what was going on, why would she hand me that list instead?
Does that mean that i was the one who made her depression worse?
You cant answer that question, i know.
I would like to continue our conversation.
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Then why didnt she just tell me? Even just saying ,,depression is bad right now” would have made me understand so much and i would not have asked further.</p>
* the content of the quotation marks are direct citations of her words when she gave me her list.
What hurt me regarding the list were not the things that were on it. When i look at each item i understand and understood back then why my ex wrote them.
What made it so painful was that i asked her for so long (1 year) what she was discontent about, regarding the relationship or myself.
She told me each time that everything would be fine when it was clearly not. I even thought ahead and asked her if shes fine with me sleeping longer than her, she said no problem. And then this was an item on her list.
I never pressured her to talk to me about her deeper feelings and i always accepted her boundaries when she said that she didnt want to talk. I just couldnt stand the distance she put between us and never explaining why. Never explaining why she changed, why she didnt tell me about her daily life anymore. I accepted this, even though it hurt a lot. And then me pressuring her is an item on her list.
I always understood that she was anxious about my suicidal thoughts, thats why i was always working and myself and my problems. As i told before, i made big progress regarding that problem and up until now never having ,,super depressive”-episodes again. I never stopped thinking about what to do next regarding my illness and i was always honest to her about that. And then this is an item on her list.
As she told me, the list wasnt just a collection of suggestions for improvement, it was ,,whay went wrong” and ,,why she behaved that way towards me” during the last year. That way being so painfully distanced, passive-aggressive, controlling and full of lies. And this is why it was hateful: a list of things i would have to improve for her to stop being ,,that way towards me”.
Thank you again for your kind words.
(1) i wasnt diagnosed with a specific class of ptsd. My therapist at the time told me that i had it, but because she wasnt specialised i was told to go to a specialist, for which im still searching. She gave me this advice at the end of the therapy.
(2) she was diagnosed with bpd in a clinic, later on she went to a therapist regularly who – as she told me – wasnt sure about the bpd diagnosis and wanted to check that through a longer process and also thought that my ex might have codependent personality disorder. After shutting down communication with me my ex never told what her therapist diagnosed. What do you mean with ,,something i came up with”?
(3) her anger wasnt destructive. My ex was very passive-aggressive and very tense, up until when she would try to start an argument. She did storm out a few times during arguments, but not very often.