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Anxiety & depression in a relationship?

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  • #362469
    Lea
    Participant

    Indeed, he seemed to have negatively judged me because of how easy it was for me to get material possessions, i don’t think it has to do with jealousy or even real negativity. Maybe he thought we were from different classes, me being from a higher one than him?

    About his withdrawing attitude, my mother came up with a new point of view: we talked a lot for one week but lately he became very distant, cold, almost ignoring me. My mother told he that he’s realizing that maybe he still cares about me but as he’s not ready and as he’s supposed to be sure about his decisions, he’s withdrawing again. Also, he’s not mature enough yet and he somehow please himself in this situation, where we “online-flirt”. However when he realizes that things start to be more “intense”, he tends to back off because he scares himself. What do you think about that?

     

    “when she forced him into making her choices, sending him the message that he is not capable to choose well for himself, when she overprotected him, she also weakened him.” => I totally agree with that, moreover, he hates conflicts, especially family ones, he rather accepts something than arguing even if it doesn’t fit with what he totally wants. I would say also that his mother was his main influence according to what i could understand. When he grew up, maybe his only reference was his mother as his father was often on business travel. And therefore, he developed more his feminine side due to an almost missing strong masculine figure? We say that we develop our gender role according to what we see in our family right? Moreover, he has a very big sensitivity (isn’t it a common point with all the anxious/introvert people tho)

    “he chose to be the feminine child that she wanted him to be (not realizing that she wanted him feminine in the sense of submitting to her will, but she didn’t want him to appear feminine.” => I’ve never thought about that, this is extremely interesting and i think it could make totally sens. His mother seems to be the “main” boss at home, the main authority. If so then, to which extent could it affect his way of dating? Which kind of girls is he looking for? The same figure as his mother or the opposite? At first i would have said the total opposite, however I look like a bit like a “bourgeoise” in my clothings (to quote some of my friends who described my style), there is nothing “outlaw” in me, even my studies path is a kind of model (i’m the valedictorian of our promotion), i barely go out and i have a student job.

    #362471
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    “when he realizes that things start to be more ‘intense’, he tends to back off because he scares himself. What do you think about that?”- I agree, that’s what I meant when I wrote to you in my most recent post that he “repeatedly withdrew from you because he is anxious and his way of lessening his anxiety is to withdraw”. The meaning of the word anxiety is ongoing fear with no immediate and present danger. When he gets scared/ anxious, he withdraws. Withdrawing when scared/ anxious is a very common and natural reaction in people and in other animals.

    “he hates conflicts”- maybe when he feels a connection to a woman, he also feels conflict at the same time.

    “his mother was his main influence”, his main influence and his main conflict: pleasing her meant denying himself, that’s a conflict. Fast forward, he connects with you and his conflicts reawakens: pleasing you means denying himself.

    “When he grew up, maybe his only reference was his mother as his father was often on business travel. And therefore, he developed more his feminine side due to an almost missing strong masculine figure? We say that we develop our gender role according to what we see  in our family right?”- I doubt that he applies makeup because he copied his mother applying makeup, or that he wears feminine clothes because he copied his mother’s style. I assume he was aware that he was a boy, that he received messages from his mother that make up and dresses and whatnot is not for boys (you said his family is traditional as far as gender  roles), and he saw his father sometimes, other men in the family, in school, on TV.

    “His mother seems to be the ‘main’ boss at home, the main authority. If so then, to which extent could it affect his way of dating? Which kind of girls is he looking for? The same figure as his mother or the opposite?”- excellent questions. I would say that what he is not likely to be looking for is a balanced, reasonable woman. What he is likely to be attracted to is one of the two extremes: either a bossy woman like his mother or a submissive woman unlike his mother. Children react to extremes by choosing one extreme or the other, it’s part of the all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking characteristic of children.

    anita

     

    #362490
    Lea
    Participant

    “pleasing you means denying himself.” => Interesting enough, many times at the beginning he told me that my desires should be the priority and him could pass in second. And then he started to stop acting like that when i told him many times that it wasn’t how it was supposed to be as we were two and his needs counted as much as mines. I feel like after he got pretty confused about what to do and how to act with me. “I want you to be yourself, don’t be what you think i would like you to be, don’t say or act in a way which doesn’t correspond to your expectations just because you think it would correspond to my desires” i repeated many times. Acting in a way you think it could please to someone could mean hiding your personality (hiding your flaws and your downs) in order to look more pleasant right? Could it be possible he wanted to act like this because he didn’t want me to see his trueself and therefore his mental illnesses?

    I was thinking that maybe the fact that i read through him pretty easily (spotting his anxiety and his main insecurities) could have made him more.. insecure about me actually? I mean, at the beginning it’s normal to want to look at our best, being always on top. And i remember during a conversation at the beginning, i told him i was able to read birthcharts and i was kinda good to read through people. Then he naturally asked me what i saw with him. Maybe he got scared afterward? As he saw i saw not only his qualities but also his flaws quickly, since this moment he stopped trying to “show off” and he started to be less “overconfident” i would say. Obviously i didn’t talk dirty to him, i just talked about his potential anxiety and his need to be seen for what he was capable of.

    “Children react to extremes by choosing one extreme or the other, it’s part of the all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking characteristic of children.” => True, this is why i wonder why he’s attracted to me and why i was the “chosen” one to try something out. His mother is a bit similar to mine (bossy, strict, old-school and with mine we can add a “bourgeois” side) and i kind of hated my social environment for a longtime. I went totally against those social norms i was raised in (i had a period punk, i went on strike with the anarchists, i was part of antifa movements etc..). I slowed down with time but still, i have some rests of these periods of my life and even if now i accept more the fact that i’m privileged, i’m far to be a “stereotype” of my social class. But once again, i shouldn’t feel the need to justify my appearance right?

    I remember something else as well, i understood he got many rejections, actually more rejections than acceptations when it came to relationships, dating and so. He found a few girls for sex but after they refused to go further away with him. Could it be possible that he thought i was going to let him down? That i wasn’t totally serious and that i couldn’t really wanting to be with him while i knew his flaws?

    #362507
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    “many times at the beginning he told me that my desires should be the priority and him could pass in second”- he offered you the version of love he knew from the context of his mother/himself: it was about her desires, her choices, not his. She was first, he was far second.

    “And then he started to stop acting like that when I told him many times that it wasn’t how it was supposed to be as we were two, and his needs counted as much as mine”- you did the right thing to let him know of how it should be: equality within a relationship, but not having experience in equal, or just relationship,  “he got pretty confused”.

    For children- their parents are gods, and what gods teach them is correct. Of his two parents, his mother was the one present at home, and she was the dominant, bossy one. She taught him that what she wanted mattered and that he should come second. That was the version of love he was taught as a child. Fast forward, he is a young adult, you are trying to teach him something different- it’s a bit too late: his best learning years were when he was a child.

    You told him: “I want you to be yourself, don’t be what you think I would like you to be”- he doesn’t know yet how to be himself.

    “Could it be possible he wanted to act like this because he didn’t want me to see his truest self”- I don’t think he is aware of his truest self. His truest self has been in hiding since he was a young child. What you referred to as “his mental illnesses” came about as a result of his truest self being rejected and hidden for so long.

    “maybe the fact that I read through him pretty easily.. could have made him more.. insecure about me actually.. Maybe he got scared.. as he saw I saw not only his qualities but also his flaws quickly”-  I don’t think that his insecurity and behaviors in connection with you had much to do with you and who you are. I think it has to do with his childhood and life before he met you. I don’t think that he was able to assess that you read through him easily when he himself is not able to read through himself.

    “I wonder why he’s attracted to me and why I was the ‘chosen’ one to try something out”- I don’t remember if you shared that he used the words “chosen one”. If he did, then these were only words, expressing his temporary thoughts and feelings, no actions followed, correct?

    “I shouldn’t feel the need to justify my appearance, right?”- can you explain specifically what you mean by “my appearance”, in this sentence?

    “He found a few girls for sex but after they refused to go further away with him”- can you explain what you mean by “go further away with him”? (You wrote earlier that he expressed that he was afraid of commitment, afraid that girls will want to marry him, so there may be a contradiction here..)

    “Could it be possible that he thought I was going to let him down? That I wasn’t totally serious..?”- again, I thought he was afraid of commitment, afraid to be stuck in a relationship, so I don’t understand what appears to be a contradiction here: that he wanted you to be serious/ commitment- serious?

    -if you do choose to answer/ address what I brought up here, please take your time so to express yourself clearly, edit your post if needed, so to make it simple enough for me to understand what you are trying to communicate to me.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #362580
    Lea
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you again for your response which is extremely helpful. I’m sorry for the delay i take to respond, i live in the European timezone and it’s 5:30pm here.

    “he offered you the version of love he knew from the context of his mother/himself: it was about her desires, her choices, not his. She was first, he was far second.”, “(…)but not having experience in equal, or just relationship (…)”, “he doesn’t know yet how to be himself.” => Those parts make a lot of sens, he has a very big desire to please to someone and his way to do it is to almost “erase” his own needs, his own personality. At first i thought it was because he was a very adaptable person type but with time, looking at how he got confused when i asked him to be himself and not an idealistic version or when he had to take a decision for both of us sometimes and now your messages, i realize it was something else.

    ” Fast forward, he is a young adult, you are trying to teach him something different- it’s a bit too late: his best learning years were when he was a child.” => True, but i think he tried to make some efforts in order to “understand” what i said, as i think he sensed he could finally show without the feeling of being either judged or misconceptualized who he was (he sent me pictures of him wearing feminine clothes for example and even when we met sometimes he was dressed with feminine clothes). But i still feel it clashed with something and my acceptance towards him didn’t seem to be enough for him in order to feel totally relaxed. I agree it’s a bit too late for him to change something deep inside but, does that mean he’s stuck in the rock into this conception of a relationship? I was wondering if the fact that he still lives at his parent’s home plays a role and if maybe he leaves the family’s house, he will feel more free and therefore start to feel less stuck to the norms?

     

    ” If he did, then these were only words, expressing his temporary thoughts and feelings, no actions followed, correct?” => No he didn’t but i was just refering to the fact that he said i was the first person he wanted to try something out for serious.

     

    “can you explain specifically what you mean by “my appearance”, in this sentence?” => i don’t have a specific look when it comes to my clothes, i’m pretty classic. But i got a lot of reflexions about it “yes but you look extremely fancy”, “very bourgeoise”, “you must come from a high social class”. And everytime i feel the need to justify my look and i start to tell my background while it’s a bit stupid. I mean, it’s just clothes, it doesn’t define who i am, for who i vote, if i’m a model of virtue etc.. and i think the same for people, they aren’t defined by their appearances, we are more than that and it seems to be a bit superficial to qualify someone according to what he/she wears, at least for me..

     

    “can you explain what you mean by “go further away with him”? (You wrote earlier that he expressed that he was afraid of commitment, afraid that girls will want to marry him, so there may be a contradiction here..)” => The more i write the more i remember some parts of the conversations with him. He spoke it loud that was afraid of commitment (the official reason why he decided to stop with me..) BUT when we talked about our pasts, when i asked him why he never got into a serious relationship he told also that when he met a girl (always from a dating app, i’m the first girl everything happened – from the first meeting to the breakup – IRL) everytimes she never wanted to go further away in the relation with him. So yes, there is a BIG contradiction here i realize it now that i’m writing it down.

    ” I don’t understand what appears to be a contradiction here: that he wanted you to be serious/ commitment- serious?” => Yes, again there is a contradiction. I’m still not sure what he expected/expects from me. He knew i wasn’t the hookup/friend with benefit type and he didn’t play me just to get sex (which is something which barely happened actually).. I told him many times i wanted to take things easy and very slowly. I mean, being serious doesn’t mean you expect from someone a proposal after a few months of relationship.. I didn’t even consider we “dated” for real, we had one real date and after it was just us lost in the blue, going through a pandemic and dealing with his personal issues.. we were far to be a real relationship, we were serious toward each other for sure but after, it requires way much more to really try things out with someone right..?

    #362585
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    You are welcome. Getting to understanding him more and more.. “he has a very big desire to please someone and his way to do it is to almost ‘erase’ his own needs, his own personality”- he is trying to erase his own gender as well, “dressed with feminine clothes”, applying makeup, etc.

    “I was wondering if the fact that he still lives at his parents’ home plays a role and if maybe he leaves the family’s house, he will feel more free and therefore start to feel less stuck to the norms?”- I don’t think it is possible for him to be free while he is still living with his parents. On the other hand, if and when he leaves them, he will still take them with him in his mind and heart wherever he goes. They will still be speaking to him, still approving and disapproving this or that behavior, etc., without being physically present in his daily life. But leaving his parents’ home is the beginning of freedom from them (we are talking primarily about his need to be free from his mother and her input).

    You wrote about yourself: “I’m pretty classic.. look extremely fancy’, very bourgeoise’, ‘you must come from a high social class’.. it’s just clothes, it doesn’t define who I am.. people, they aren’t defined by their appearances, we are more than that and it seems to be a bit superficial to qualify someone according to what he/ she wears, at least for me”-

    You mentioned earlier that your mother is similar to his (“bossy, strict,  old-school.. add a ‘bourgeoise’ side”), that you too hated your social environment for a long time, and that you too went against the social norms you were raised in, having a punk  period, “went on strike with the anarchists.. was part of the Antifa movement etc.”-

    – you do relate to him a lot, don’t you. You are fascinated by who he is underneath his appearance, by his undefined true self that is aching with desire to burst out and assert itself in the world, as in: here I am! This is who I am!

    Am I correct, you have that true self inside you, aching with desire to be seen, heard and known?

    anita

    #362587
    Lea
    Participant

    Yes. When we started to talk, i realized our lives were a kind of mirror. Our very first year at university was chaotic (none of us wanted to be where we were), we tried another study path before finally finding the good one, we worked for one year in a very similar area. Our relation with our mothers is complicated (less for me now tho, with time finally came peace). We related a lot about many things in our lives and in our behaviors.

    ” You are fascinated by who he is underneath his appearance, by his undefined true self that is aching with desire to burst out and assert itself in the world, as in: here I am! This is who I am! Am I correct, you have that true self inside you, aching with desire to be seen, heard and known?”. I guess so. I don’t want to be seen for what i represent. I’m not considered as a “social” outsider but, i’m more than this “good girl”. And just like for him, people tend to stop to what they see because they don’t need more to “understand” what and who i am. With him i felt i could finally be seen as just like me he wanted to be seen for his trueself.

    #362590
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    It is interesting, how you posted almost exclusively about this young man, and all along you were talking about yourself. Not unusual, to see ourselves in someone else, and to focus on that someone else, when all along we are looking for a missing part of ourselves.

    The connection that you feel to him is a connection that you feel to the  part of you that you lost and haven’t quite found yet, still needing to retrieve her and make her part of you.

    “Usually people qualify me as the ‘perfect little daughter, wifey material'”, you put these words in quotation marks because you gave up an important part of your true self so to become a “perfect little daughter” for your mother. The entirety of your true self displeased your mother, so you had to give part of you up, and become a “perfect little daughter”.

    Your mother was/ is “bossy, strict, old-school” mother (“his mother is a bit similar to mine bossy, strict, old school”). At one point, you rebelled against her, but not as Lea, but as Antifa: an anti-fascist political movement.

    The definition of fascism includes words such as authoritarian, dictatorial, forcible suppression of opposition. Antifa is an anti-fascist political movement. You didn’t rebel against your mother’s personal version of fascism: being bossy, strict, authoritarian, dictatorial mother who suppressed the opposition aka a significant part of your true self that inconvenienced her. You rebelled against political fascism.

    You shared that you “don’t have a real father’s figure” and that you therefore looked for a father substitute in men who were in average between 5 and 11 years older than you. I think that your mother, having been present and dictatorial in your life, had way more power over your life choices than the absence of a father.

    anita

     

    #362601
    Lea
    Participant

    Unconsciously and all along when i was trying to understand him, i was trying to also understand myself so. Could we together be able to find our own missing part? Or is this unhealthy to think like that? When i’m with him, i don’t feel intoxicated, slowed down, maybe it’s due to the fact that we are both still looking for our own way through life? I can’t stop seeing me and him as children blocked in an adult’s body now, that’s pretty funny honestly.

    Well, i know for now and for sure there is strictly nothing to hope as nothing has really changed yet (neither from his side nor from mine in our lives in a concrete way). I know we both need a lot of space and time in order to recover physically and mentally from the last few months which were very tough. I guess i also need to frame myself toward him, what you wrote brought new perspectives which make some real good echoes in me and i must think about that.

    I still wonder if he is moving on or if he is doing a “fight or flight” attitude again. Why did he want to keep in touch with me? I really thought he was just being polite until i realized we kept talking as almost usual. Also, i just remembered him telling me the day he decided to stop everything “yeah you will go back to your country for summer and perhaps you’ll date boys from your country”. Did he push me to move on because he didn’t already care anymore?

    ” I think that your mother, having been present and dictatorial in your life, had way more power over your life choices than the absence of a father” => I think so too, mostly in the kind of men i dated previously, they all came from the same kind of social class which made me feel extremely uncomfortable on a middle term to be honest. I never realized i dated men according to what they could correspond to the perfect potential son-in-law for her.. And once again, that younger guy was an exception but still, he was the one i chose.

    #362608
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    “Could we together be able to find our own missing part?”- no, I don’t think so, because you see too much of yourself in him, so much so, that you are not seeing him clearly. You feel strongly that you know his missing part, but you don’t. You are in touch with your missing part, not his.

    We all start the same way, all-loving, all-trusting, soft and vulnerable young children. As we grow up into preteens and teenagers, we diverge. Inside we are still the same, but most of us get so far from that inside, in all kinds of directions. At this point, I don’t think that you are able to see who he really is, after diverging, that is, which started happening in his life more than 10 years ago.

    “I can’t stop seeing me and him as children blocked in an adult’s body”- that every adult’s condition, mine too, everyone’s. It’s just that you noticed this reality in the context of your interactions with him.

    “Why did he want to keep  in touch with me.. Did he push me to move on…?”- you asked other questions about him on your thread, quite a few, because you don’t know him well, you know how he started as a child (all-loving, etc.), same as you started, same as everyone, but you don’t know much about who he became, what motivates him, etc.

    You shared that in the past, you chose men as fitting sons in law for your mother, not as fitting partners for you. But this young man, you didn’t choose him as a son in law for your mother. Instead, you chose him for you. You made progress here, choosing a man for you and not for your mother. I am glad that you made this progress!

    anita

    #364089
    Lea
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you so much for your responses. It helped me a lot, more than i could have ever imagined when i first decided to post here some weeks ago. I didn’t reply before because i needed time to think and process. You brought me some tracks about him but most important, about me. I’m finally starting to feel an inner peace coming. I don’t know if things will evolve with him or no. But for sure, i need to work toward myself first. During the pandemic, my own mental disorders kicked me pretty hard and my batteries are still kinda low (ADHD, dysmorphic disorder and scholar anxiety..).

    Also, we still talk while i thought our conversations would fade away (it’s been two months he decided to stop now) but we keep reaching out aaaand.. he has started a therapy a few weeks ago. He found out that he had OCD (so his anxiety seems to be strongly related to that) + introversion. Everything is new for him as he had barely knowledges about that illness. I was really glad he talked about that with me. And also, after reading many articles about OCD, a lot things he told me, some ways he acted make so much more sens now. Obviously not everything has to be justified through OCD but a lot of questions i had about his past behavior regarding the relationship things are kind of answered now.

    Interesting fact, there is a part of shame involved within this illness. According to what i read, people tend to feel extremely shameful toward themselves if something bad happen (e.g: him getting calling out about his feminine side by his mother, his exam failed, etc..). Also, they would tend to isolate themselves and have a sens of inferiority.

    #364090
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    You are welcome. I am glad to read: “I’m finally starting to feel an inner peace coming”. Anytime that it is a possibility that I can bring you closer to that inner peace, do post and I will be glad to read from you and reply. Also, good to read that he is attending therapy.

    You listed your “own mental disorders.. ADHD, dysmorphic disorder and scholar anxiety” and his newly identified “OCD+ introversion”. Of these,  ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), Body Dysmorphic Disorder and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are officially recognized as mental disorders. I experienced symptoms of all these three disorders and officially diagnosed with OCD a long time ago (I suffered from OCD since early childhood). All these are fueled by too much anxiety that was experienced most often very early in life.

    You wrote regarding his OCD, that you read many articles about OCD, and that what he told you and his past behavior make sense now, in light of this diagnosis (assuming he received this diagnosis?)- if you want my input on the fit between what he told you/ his behavior (let me know what of what he told you and what of his behavior fits with your understanding of OCD), let me know.

    anita

    #364094
    Lea
    Participant

    Thank you a lot Annika. I hesitated a lot before posting my story on a forum and i didn’t really where i could find a place which would fit to what i expected. I’m so thankful to have found this site and mostly you.

    Many people told me that i didn’t have to figure everything out and that i should simply follow my way. There is a part of true here. But this is not how i work. What if a problematic situation could be solved instead of being directly thrown away? What if we just missed out something? What if some behaviors were just driven by a specific situation or a disorder? Nothing is all black or all white after all. I hate the fact that most part of people simply tell me “it is just the way it is, there is nothing you can do, stop wasting your time”. We are so much more complex than our appearances and some people are worth to be “dug down”. Not because we feel the need to save or rescue them but simply because we primarily value them as human being i guess. I need to understand, to solve the puzzle. Maybe it’s a flaw, i don’t really know. In my situation for sure it would have been easier if we had split up after a fight or if the mutual interest (both physical and intellectual) would have faded away. To be fair i don’t really know if i’m being too optimistic or no.

     

    Anxiety kicks really hard in all of these disorders. To be honest, i used to think that it was an independent disorder. I don’t really remember hearing my therapist talking about that when i got diagnosed. (To be honest when i attended my therapy my ADHD was reaching a pic extremely high and i couldn’t focus longer than 5min literally and i was pretty young so..). OCD is also something which is extremely new for me. I had the cliche of the person who spends his time cleaning after her without really understand what could cause that behavior. But now i realize that it’s so much deeper than that (like every mental disorders actually).

     

    “in light of this diagnosis (assuming he received this diagnosis?)” => Yes he did, he has been officially diagnosed OCD last week. I would gladly hear your input about what he said/did.

    So to start off, many times when we talked about more or less imaginary situations, he always saw the negative/worst side of them (e.g: once we were walking and we saw a car randomly doing round trips, he said “yeh it must be a drug dealer and he’s doing that because he’s hiding drugs or i don’t know what..”. Another time we talked about hitchhiking, i told him i practiced it a lot when i traveled around the nordic countries a few years ago. He replied by “ehh.. i wouldn’t dare neither doing it nor taking someone, in the first case i would think that the person won’t depose me where i want and in the second case, i would think that i’m being trapped by different people”. And on a deeper level which affects the relations, “when something with someone could be serious, i automatically think about wedding and i panick”, “i don’t want children because what if something bad happen to them? Or they turn into killer/rapper?”). I’m someone extremely optimistic and i tend to see only the good and positive in people and situations so sometimes when he acted this way i was a bit confused so obviously i tried to make him see the good side of the stories. Although i know sometimes i didn’t have the will to do it so i just embraced the spiral with him.

     

    Second, he had some food-habits at university (nothing concerning, he just liked a lot eating vegetables for his snack-break) but someone told him that it was unusual and that person haven’t seen someone before doing that. He talked a lot of time about that, i was wondering why until i realized he was low-key asking me if i found that weird or no (which i told him definitely no). To be fair it was a part of the micro-attractions i got toward him haha.

     

    Third and maybe the most delicate part concerns the relation itself. He knew i wasn’t really the hookup or a simple fling type. The first time he panicked (“yeah i want to see you but as friend”, “when something could get serious with someone i automatically…”) he was the one to talk about commitment. I told him and i quote myself “i would like to take things easy and just see how it goes at the moment”, never i talked about being committed. And when he decided to stop everything he once again talked about commitment and WEDDING. And i quote myself another time “i didn’t want that you feel it became a burden and it was just about following what you wanted to do, if you wanted to talk and nothing more” (related to his issues showing up). For a longtime i thought “why the hell on earth did he block on that? i’ve never talked about that and.. logically, being serious toward someone doesn’t mean in any way expecting a ring after a few month or whatever..”. Now, what if the idea of commitment became an intrusive thought since the first time he got his panick-attack? Is that even possible? I told him “we talk a lot, there is a good flow between us, i’d like to give a try” and nothing more really commitment related. But i know he overthought a LOT during that short period. What if he couldn’t get rid of that idea of “being in relationship means that we’ll get married but i’m not ready for that but her yes”? To be honest sometimes it feels like, he wants a relationship yet he’s not ready because he doesn’t have the energy for (all his issues and starting a therapy are valuable reasons for me tho..) somehow.

     

    Four, after he got called out by his mother about his feminine side, he talked a lot about his masculinity, saying many times he was a hetero-cis male. But the most important point here is that he became to be physically detached, he started to isolate himself and act in more “bashful” way (he got shy to show some part of his body for example).

    Also, after we got our final grades (me being valedictorian, him not passing), he started to talk about our personal achievements and he had a lot sentences such as “again, i’m sure you have plenty of achievements, merits and good grades to show”, “yeah but also i’m 23 and i still live at my parent’s house” (here this is more about the tone he said the sentence). But i told him that my goals were kinda high because of my final purposes and what we studied was the thing i wanted to work in while he was going to follow another study path.

     

    I think there are more examples but those are the only ones i can think about at the moment.

     

    #364100
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lea:

    “I need to understand, to solve the puzzle. Maybe it’s a flaw”- if it is a flaw, then you and I share the same flaw. I like what you shared in your second paragraph, valuing people as the complex beings that we are, being driven to understand, to dig into the human’s mind.. yes, we do have this drive in common.

    From what you shared I didn’t see clearly that he suffers from OCD: I didn’t notice definite obsessions and you didn’t indicate any Compulsions on his part (the C in OCD), ex: moving an object to the right, then to the left; touching an object a certain number of times.

    I did  notice that thoughts scares him, which is the hallmark of OCD: a thought occurs to us, OCD-people, and we get scared, as if the thought in itself is powerful and poses danger. He told you: “I automatically think about wedding and I panic”- you didn’t tell him that you want to marry him, you didn’t pressure him- it is not you/ a real life wedding situation that scared him,- it was a thought that scared him.

    You told him that you would like to take things easy. You didn’t mention commitment to him, and yet he brought up the topic of commitment and wedding himself- because the thoughts occurred to him and the thoughts scared him, and he rushed to expel those thoughts out of his brain through words, so that they don’t stay in his brain to torture him.

    I’ve thought of OCD, for quite some time,  as a step toward psychosis, but not being quite there- a person in a psychotic episode “hears” a voice (his own thoughts), believing it is someone outside himself who just talked (another person, a god, some entity)  and gets scared. An OCD person hears his own thoughts, knows these are his own thoughts, but gets scared of them nonetheless.

    When you, Lea, think about X, a dangerous situation: imagining the situation scares you, right? An OCD person thinks about X and believes that having thought about X  will make X happen. Believing this intensifies his fear may times over. It took me decades to finally understand and believe that what I think stays in between my two ears- thoughts don’t leave my brain and make terrible things happen in the real world.

    Your other examples show me that he tends to see danger in situations. No wonder, since he sees danger in thoughts by themselves. If only he could understand, like I finally did, that thoughts by themselves have no  power and cannot hurt anyone.

    I think I pretty much touched on the key elements of OCD and how I think he indeed shows the hallmarks of OCD: being scared of his own thoughts, believing (without necessarily being aware of this belief) that thinking X (a bad situation) will make X happen in real life, and rushing to expel the thoughts via words, talking or typing away (sometimes a whole lot),  so to not be left alone with those thoughts, so to get rid of the thoughts by .. sort of, spitting them out as words.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #364136
    Lea
    Participant

    Actually, during the short time we “gave” a try, he never showed any obvious “classical” OCD’s features with me, that’s why when he told me he was diagnosed with that i was pretty surprised until i read more about it. Although it’s been only a few we’ve known each other and we met in particular contexts everytime (dating context) so maybe he paid more attention to his behavior when he was with me?

    This is extremely interesting what you wrote. ” An OCD person thinks about X and believes that having thought about X  will make X happen. Believing this intensifies his fear may times over.” and “that thoughts by themselves have no  power and cannot hurt anyone.”, i think he was already kind of “aware” of that. After his first panic-attack, we talked and when he brought up the wedding/commitment topic, i told him “yes ok but.. you know that it’s not because we had one date and half that i am expecting that we move in together or a proposal? And yeah.. you’re definitely burning all the steps as well..?” he replied “yes know but my brain thinks differently”. Although at this time he didn’t know that this whole mechanism of thinking was part of something scientifically acknowledged. For me (and i think i talked about that in some previous messages) i really thought he had a “simple” anxiety disorder.

    Until i wrote down my last message here, i knew he had a tendency to see the negative side in every situation, but what i didn’t realized was that this tendency obviously affected his vision of me and him together on a deep level. I was stuck to what he told me the day he decided to stop, “yeh but rationalizing everything is my way to feel reassured, i gathered my thoughts about us now and what happened last time we met just ended up nailing the coffin (????? did he really relate the relation with death)”. Because what happened that time we met (or what didn’t happen actually) was the fact that he was physically distant. In the moment i didn’t mind simply because the day before we had an exam the whole day, none of us slept well, we both worked during the week and only a few days passed between the pic of his issues and that day. So basically before we met i told him “yeah it’s just gonna be about chilling and definitely nothing more because i’m gonna be honest, i don’t really have the energy for anything else”. And i mean, sometimes it’s normal not to be in a good mood, it happens and it doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate nor don’t want to be with the person anymore right?

    He never succeed to get rid of that though of “being in relationship means that we’ll get married but i’m not ready for that but her yes” and kept all his fears for him. I remember he once told me “yeah i’m sorry, i acted during a panic-moment, i should have talked more with you but lately my tendency to live and think in my own world has increased” and for me, this could be related to what you wrote “An OCD person hears his own thoughts, knows these are his own thoughts, but gets scared of them nonetheless.”

     

    What could be done in order to make him feel safe? I feel i tried everything but that was before knowing what he has. I can’t fight his thoughts. After he stopped we talked about how i felt and i told him that i never had high expectations. I really just wanted to take things easy because we were extremely fine together and it was just about following his needs at the moment, what he said felt very unexpected as i thought we had a good connection (and i didn’t invent that, he told me exactly the same about feeling connected together). Now that i’m a bit more aware of what he has, i wonder what could have been the final trigger for him to take the decision to stop everything because i also know he tried to fight those ideas, if it wasn’t the case, he would have stopped things even earlier and the fact that he was physically and emotionally distant wasn’t a first. Again and i told him, regarding his situation, that was normal not to feel in a good mood.

     

    Also, what is the relation between OCD and shame? I read that shame comes when a particular event or thought happens and that “individuals may yet forecast shame (Schoenleber & Berenbaum, 2012) if they anticipate being devalued as a person should their fears eventuate. “, also ” The researchers proposed that this elevation suggests that shame-based images and memories may be more vivid for those with OCD than for healthy individuals”(https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/53d5/8491412edf117d8a9b013c61b4aa6ab5c89c.pdf). What if that feeling of shame could have been a trigger? “you did nor said nothing bad” he said when i asked him what was wrong with me. Remember when i said that maybe he felt devaluated because of my language skills, school achievements etc..? What if when he got attacked on his feminine side he stopped feeling “male enough” to be in a relationship?

     

    “being scared of his own thoughts, believing (without necessarily being aware of this belief) that thinking X (a bad situation) will make X happen in real life, and rushing to expel the thoughts via words, talking or typing away (sometimes a whole lot),  so to not be left alone with those thoughts, so to get rid of the thoughts by .. sort of, spitting them out as words.” and after automatically acting in a fight or flight attitude because a danger has been sensed maybe?

     

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