June 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm #402967
You are welcome as always.
“Things were fantastic in the first year and I honestly dreamt about marrying her one day. After the first year everything that was great turned bad” (original post), “in the first year I managed her through an intense depression and supported her finding a psychiatric clinic..” (most recent post)-
– so the first Fantastic year was one in which she was Intensely Depressed?
“in the first year she would talk with me about her jealousy and fear about me cheating on her, but that was fine with me because this showed that she reflected about herself and cared enough to talk about it in a respectful manner” – reads like the first year was fantastic for you even though she was intensely depressed and jealous because she talked about her feelings with you in a respectful way, not in a way that threatened or distressed you (?)
“but with the decline of the relationship these talks of reassurance slowly turned into straight up accusations when I wouldn’t tell her beforehand that I was going to see friends or family on days we spent separately” – in the second year the peaceful talks turned into accusations that distressed you; she longer treated you respectfully.
“While I can’t help feeling sad for what you went through in your personal struggles, I really admire the confidence with which you can talk about it now and share your insights… I also really admire how proud of you sound of yourself when I read this” – thank you, I appreciate your empathy and kindness!
Can you tell me more about what was Fantastic in the first year with her?
anitaJune 24, 2022 at 2:17 am #402979
,,so the first Fantastic year was one in which she was Intensely Depressed?”
her state of mental health wasnt evident at first. while i knew that she was struggling with something, her depression became apparent around half a year into the relationship. later on she would be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and/ or co-dependent personality disorder.
was i wrong to want to be with her? should i have broken up when these issues became clear?
,,reads like the first year was fantastic for you even though she was intensely depressed and jealous because she talked about her feelings with you in a respectful way, not in a way that threatened or distressed you (?)”
yes. i felt valued and respected as she opened up to me.
,,Can you tell me more about what was Fantastic in the first year with her?”
the time we spent together felt great, it didnt matter if we went out to meet friends, went on a date or spent the day just the two of us. we could talk hours about random stuff, our experiences or things we both enjoyed. the sex was great. as time went on and her mental health became more of a topic i admired her strength with which she would fight on for herself. we made plans for the future and talked a lot about what we both wanted to do in our lives. as for me, i just felt valued for the first time in my life, when she used to be deeply interested in me as a person. i also couldnt help but feel hopeful about all the promises she made to me about ,,always loving me”, ,,never lying to me” and so on. even though i had to slow things down a lot, for example her wish to move in together, it still felt good as a compliment.
this relationship never had a chance to work, right?
EdJune 24, 2022 at 2:33 am #402980
* i just loved the way she would laugh at dumb jokes. how she told me things would be okay when i had a bad day. how grateful she was when she didnt know what to do and i helped her out. i admired her bravery when she opened up about her past or moved on to change things about herself or her appearance.
she didnt make me complete or whole or happy by herself, but having her in my life just made me feel special and i was so grateful to have someone so ,,perfect” in my life and her saying she loved me.June 24, 2022 at 3:38 am #402982
I am just struggling to understand where and why things went wrong. How we started as a couple all people around us were jealous of and went to her gaslighting me, telling lies about me to people we both knew, how she started accusing me of only using her for sex after i begged her for months to talk to me about herself again and her shitting over my feelings. Like for example one evening i asked her to just stop telling me about all the great things she would do with her new friends for just this evening. I wanted to enjoy cooking with her and spending good time together just the two of us like we used to. She said ,,okay” and an hour later she pulled out her phone to show me photos of her latest adventures. When i asked her why she did that she said that she wanted me to be happy for her; the background being that i told her honestly how happy i was for her that she had a good time with new people the first 5 times she showed me the same pictures.June 24, 2022 at 3:41 am #402983
I am sorry for venting so much. Answering your last questions just brought up a lot of feelings.
I hope i didnt digress from the things you wanted to talk about.
EdJune 24, 2022 at 9:54 am #402988
“I am sorry for venting so much” – I read your last recent post before reading what came before, so I didn’t read your venting yet, but I am fine with you venting at any length! After all, I tend to post a lot, sometimes very long posts, so you deserve the same opportunity. Next, I’ll be reading your recent posts this way: reading a few sentences and responding before reading what’s next, then read a few more sentences, respond, etc.
“her state of mental health wasn’t evident at first. while I knew that she was struggling with something, her depression became apparent around half a year into the relationship. Later on she would be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and/ or co-dependent personality disorder. Was I wrong to want to be with her? should I have broken up when these issues became clear?” –
– (1) No, it wasn’t wrong and you weren’t wrong for wanting to be with her, and you weren’t wrong for not breaking up with her once her issues became clear, (2) Having a girlfriend who fits the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is the worse experience a man can have: a woman’s BPD behavior in a romantic relationship is a nightmare to a man who is decent and unlucky enough to be in this situation. (I am aware of the term codependency, but it is not a personality disorder, at least not according to the DSM- the American Diagnostical Manual of mental disorders).
BPD people are known to be black-and-white thinkers and behave accordingly to that thinking: moving from love to hate in ways that are very distressing to their romantic partners who are victims of BPD-abuse, really. In your original post, you wrote: “her being empathetic, honest and understanding turning into anger, lies and emotional distance” – from Love to => Hate.
Her last act of Hate against you (still from your original post): “she wrote me a top 10 list of things she hated about me”.
Back to your recent posts: “I felt valued and respected as she opened up to me… the time we spent together felt great, it didn’t matter if we went out to meet friends, went on a date or spent the day just the two of us. We could talk hours about random stuff, our experiences or things we both enjoyed. the sex was great” – according to the black-and-white thinking characteristic of BPD, and resulting extreme behaviors: at first- I imagine- she looked up to you as someone who can save her, idealizing you, so she was anger-free and loving. But it was not a mature kind of love, but the love of a young girl looking up to an adult with the unrealistic expectation of being saved, of being made whole and healthy. It was only a matter of time before her unrealistic expectations would not come to be.. and at that point, she’d get hateful.
“As time went on and her mental health became more of a topic. I admired her strength with which she would fight on for herself. We made plans for the future… as for me, I just felt valued for the first time in my life, when she used to be deeply interested in me as a person” – you didn’t know, had no way of knowing that she valued you as someone who can save her, an impossibility for you or any man in a romantic relationship with her (!)
“I also couldn’t help but feel hopeful about all the promises she made to me about “always loving me”, “never lying to me” and so on. even though I had to slow things down a lot, for example her wish to move in together, it still felt good as a compliment” –
– I don’t think that she took it well that you slowed her down, that you didn’t move in with her immediately! I can sense her anger building right at that point, and always loving you turning to=> always hating you.
“this relationship never had a chance to work, right?” – not when considering her BPD diagnosis or features of BPD.
“I just loved the way she would laugh at dumb jokes. how she told me things would be okay when I had a bad day” –
– she was happy for as long as she (unrealistically) believed that you were able to save her. Her love for you was conditional on being saved (made to feel whole and healthy), and hell was to break loose when she’d realize that you didn’t save her.
“she didn’t make me complete or whole or happy by herself, but having her in my life just made me feel special and I was so grateful to have someone so ‘perfect’ in my life and her saying she loved me” –
– here is the difference between you and her: you were happy in the relationship even though she did not (and wasn’t able to) make you complete or whole or happy, but she was not okay with you when she figured that you failed (although no man would succeed) to make her complete, whole and happy.
“I am just struggling to understand where and why things went wrong. How we started as a couple all people around us were jealous of… how she started accusing me of only using her for sex” – I bet (?) this happened after she told you that she wants the two of you to move in together and you did not make it happen.
I hope to read from you soon.
anitaJune 25, 2022 at 8:40 am #403017
Thank you for your clear words. What you wrote fits what i experienced and the things my therapist at the time told me.
I remember a conversation i had with her, she asked me if i needed her and i said that there are moments in which i do, but i would never want to need her because that would be unfair and cruel to her. She replied with a confused ,,but i need you”.
I really miss her and the good times we had. In some way i wish that i would be the one who fucked things up, so that i could recognize what i did wrong and be better and start again. But i slowly understand that its not that simple and how she treated me just killed me over time.
It really hurts that she hated me, but when i think about it i realise that this would explain so much.
I just miss her and what we used to be so much.
You are right with your theory, not exactly the way you theorised, but each time i slowed things down, moving in together, marriage etc., she would get upset and distance herself more and more from me.
I still feel like i did everything wrong, like if i had been kinder or stronger or if i had less mental health issues i would have been a better partner. But this is my depression and ptsd speaking i guess.
I am trying to find a therapist.
Thank you again and i hope you are well.
EdJune 25, 2022 at 10:33 am #403020
You are welcome.
“I remember a conversation I had with her, she asked me if I needed her and I said that there are moments in which I do, but I would never want to need her because that would be unfair and cruel to her” – this is making me think that one of your parents perhaps needed you too much and it made you feel very badly (?)
“I really miss her and the good times we had.. It really hurts that she hated me… I just miss her and what we used to be so much. I still feel like I did everything wrong, like if I had been kinder or stronger or if I had less mental health issues I would have been a better partner” –
– I thought these things myself in regard to my mother: I really miss her! It really hurts when she hates me! I did everything wrong! If I was kinder or stronger, if there was nothing wrong with me, I would have been a good daughter!
“I am trying to find a therapist” – if you would like, you can let me know about your search, maybe I can help you choose a therapist whose best for you.
anitaJune 25, 2022 at 4:10 pm #403029
When I read your recent post, the one I replied to (right above), it seemed to me that you felt down, discouraged. You wrote: “I still feel like I did everything wrong, like if I had been kinder or stronger ..” what I hear you saying is something like: what’s the point of the explanations, the understandings… when I feel (and think) the same as before.
I just came back from a walk in this very warm/ hot day (not too hot for the walk) and I thought about it. It occurred to me that if you found a meaning to the better understanding, a meaning in understanding people and life better beyond feeling better, that could give you… a motivation to move on, in a certain direction toward a meaningful goal or value.
anitaJune 25, 2022 at 6:13 pm #403030
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anita,</p>
In my life i have been and still am needed a lot by different people, my mother included. While there is joy to be found in helping others its still a lot of pressure. As i said i dont want to need people, i want to want people in my life and i want to rely on them. Like when im asking for help i want to be supported and when im not asking for help i just want to feel accepted the way i am. If i really need people i have been hurt and disappointed so much that i realised that needing people can kill you. I want to need myself and i want to have people in my life that i can rely on, because ive run enough into knives you didnt know were there. I know this sounds kind of harsh, how do you feel about this?
How did you overcame your intense feelings of loss and pain regarding your mother? Acceptance as a process? Time?
I thank you for your offer to help me regarding finding a therapist. I dont really know what you mean by that?
You are right, i have trouble regarding meaning and purpose right now. Before i was content to just live and feel free and let the future and its challenges show me the way and enjoying the good things i had in my life. These days im struggling to find meaning in the things i experienced, in myself or future in general. Could you explain your thoughts about that topic a bit more?
I also have to add that my feelings and thoughts have changed over time. Especially since i found someone who was really interested in listening to me in a personal manner, not judging me and giving the most helpful advice and perspectives in years (you of course).
EdJune 25, 2022 at 7:17 pm #403031
“I have been and still am needed a lot by… my mother…I don’t want to need people, I want to want people in my life and I want to rely on them…. I just want to feel accepted the way I am. If I really need people I have been hurt and disappointed so much… I know this sounds kind of harsh, how do you feel about this?“-
– what this suggests to me is that your mother needed someone/ anyone (to listen to her, to do for her, to give her.. whatever it is), and you just happened to be there. She needed someone/anyone; she didn’t need or want you. She didn’t accept you for who you are, didn’t love you. You naturally needed your mother but she hurt you and disappointed you and you learned the painful lesson that you can’t rely on her.
“How did you overcame your intense feelings of loss and pain regarding your mother? Acceptance as a process? Time?” – I learned that her lack of love for me was nothing personal because like in the case of your mother (as I understand at this point), for my mother I was a someone/ anyone. She didn’t care to see who I am. I don’t know if she was even able to see me as I was. She had no concern for how I feel or what I think. In summary: she didn’t SEE who she was rejecting and shaming. Nothing personal. (In the past I took her behaviors very personally, concluding that I deserved her rejection and shaming).
“I thank you for your offer to help me regarding finding a therapist. I don’t really know what you mean by that?” – you are welcome. If you provide me with information about a particular therapist (I don’t mean a name or any other identifying information), I can help you evaluate if a particular therapist appears competent, hard-working, empathetic and knowledgeable in areas that you need help. You should evaluate a therapist’s competency based on her/ his website, then ask her questions based on her website and on what you need from therapy. I can help you with the questions and with evaluating her answers.
“You are right, I have trouble regarding meaning and purpose right now… Could you explain your thoughts about that topic a bit more?” – meaning has to do with values, so the question is what do you value most. It is something that we can explore here.
I read the last part of your post- how precious! Reading this made me feel good, thank you!
anitaJune 26, 2022 at 6:17 am #403035
I guess what you wrote about the relationship with my mother reflects into my relationships with women in general? Because of what about the experience with my mother you gave, i guess i can see parallels regarding my romantic relationships.
Thank you for explaining your own experiences again. I slowly understand how you developed your realisations about them. So if i understand correctly, you understood that you were objectified by your mother? Just the way you said that she didnt SEE you as a person, a daughter, a loved one and more like a nuisance which wasnt worth dropping the facade and wasnt worth becoming part of her anima?
I understand what your offer of help means now. I will share information about candidates. Sadly the last ones i visited were problematic, one straight up started blaming me and the other one wanted me to drop my medication. I will keep your advice about competency in mind.
Values is an interesting topic, considering my struggle my with self-worth, i can see the irony in this. But i understand why you feel the connection between meaning and values.
I hope youre having a nice weekend with pleasant temperatures for your walks.
EdJune 26, 2022 at 7:47 am #403038
I hope that you are having a nice weekend as well. It’s another summer day here (the daily summer weather started less than a week ago).
“The relationship with my mother reflects into my relationships with women in general?” – no doubt, and the woman’s relationship with her mother reflects into her relationships with men. The primary caretaker (usually it’s the Mother) is the most powerful person (a God like) in a child’s life, and it is during childhood that the brain is formed. So, the mother is Formed into person’s Brain during childhood (a scary and unfortunate situation for many).
Notice, it’s not a gender thing: a woman’s relationship with her mother reflects into her relationships with men even though men are of a different gender. If your father was your primary caretaker, he would have been reflected into your relationships with women.
“So, if I understand correctly, you understood that you were objectified by your mother?” – (objectified: degraded to the status of a mere object or treated like an object). I was going to say yes, but then rethought it: no, she repeatedly treated me like a person that she hated. I don’t think she hated any object that much or for that long. She knew I had feelings and enjoyed hurting my feelings.
“Just the way you said that she didn’t SEE you as a person, a daughter, a loved one and more like a nuisance which wasn’t worth dropping the facade and wasn’t worth becoming part of her anima?” – you ask good questions, Ed, questions that make me think (thank you!). Yes, she often saw me as a nuisance, but she did drop the facade/ Persona for me when she expressed her hate for me: her hate was her anima. With other people her facade was on to the extreme: she was the nicest, most generous, kindest, most loving person in the world. (There were a few times when she got so angry with a few others, that she dropped her facade and gave them a bit of hell).
“Sadly, the last ones I visited were problematic, one straight up started blaming me…” – sadly indeed, there are lots of incompetent/ low quality therapists, this is why I offered to help you evaluate a therapist before seeing her or him, asking questions, etc.
“Values is an interesting topic, considering my struggle my with self-worth, I can see the irony in this” – Maybe you would like to answer this question: what is it that you do value about yourself?
anitaJune 26, 2022 at 1:43 pm #403103
after reading about the role of my primary caretaker i will have to think hard about what that means for me, like how many and which parallels there are.
Thank you for clarifying what i got wrong about your experiences. I just got the impression that your mother was kind of playing games with your feelings exceeding just hating or hurting you. Like you said in posts before, she would also use her mask/ persona to seem loving to you (good food, caring when you were sick) and then crush your hopes to enjoy your pain. By saying ,,becoming part of her anima” i was inaccurate, i thought more of her accepting you as a meaningful part of her life, not seeing you as a plaything. I guess one could see that as a push-pull dynamic? Which i guess made it even harder for you to think and feel straight. Ive experienced some similar situations so i was interested if these were comparable. If youre uncomfortable writing about this, please tell me of course.
Regarding therapists i sadly cant share anything specific, my next appointment will be with a specialist without web-presence. If you have general advice id like to hear your most important pieces.
I used to value my ability to be empathetic and to be brave enough to accept criticism and grow with it. I dont know if these were ,,good” values, but i was proud of them because i worked hard to achieve them. After being alone and secluding myself for most of my time in school i chose to explore my understanding of emotions to be a better friend for those who wanted to connect on a deeper level. Criticism used to make me feel like trash, but later i discovered that if i would better myself, i could feel proud of myself for growing. After my recent experiences in the relationship i kind of lost connection with those values, them feeling burnt out in all the confusion about myself.
EdJune 26, 2022 at 1:54 pm #403105
I just noticed that you submitted a post to me, just as I was to submit to you the second post of the day. So, before reading your most recent post, I will send what I prepared. Later, I will read and reply to your most recent post:
In your recent post, you asked me: “So, if I understand correctly, you understood that you were objectified by your mother?” –
– it happens that even though I heard a particular word many times, for many years (ex., objectified), and knew what a word means, I lose the connection between the word and the definition and so, I look it up. This is what I did in my last reply to you, I looked it up and added to my post: “objectified: degraded to the status of a mere object or treated like an object”. I answered your question based on this simple, literal definition.
Interestingly, after I submitted the post to you I read another member’s post, and that member mentioned the word “objectify“, in the context of the sexual objectifying of women. Next, I looked into a study on the topic, and 2 hours and 13 minutes after submitting the post to you, I submitted a post to the other member on the topic of sexually objectifying women.
As a result of the latter post, I now have a more comprehensive, less literal understanding of the word. I will now use the definition of sexual objectification to the context of a child’s objectification: A child’s objectification by a parent occurs when a part of the child’s whole being is isolated from the totality of the child and treated like as an isolated part, one not connected to the whole.
I will now answer your question: “So, if I understand correctly, you understood that you were objectified by your mother?”-
– yes: (1) She isolated the part of me that needed to be (reasonably) fed and focused on that part as if it was the only part that made me who I was, isolating it from the rest of me, not caring to notice any other part. She unnecessarily forced fed me when I was a baby, causing the baby that I was great distress. She witnessed the baby’s distress (she told me that later in life), but continued to force feed me regardless.
Later on, as a child and onward, she regularly over fed me, insisting that I eat more and more, even though I expressed distress over it many times. No matter my distress, she overfilled my plate and then.. more. She isolated my digestive system from the rest of me, and the rest of me (the expressed distress over being over fed) was ignored and dismissed, repeatedly and for many years.
(2) She isolated the part of me that loved school and bragged about my study habits and grades to everyone who’d listen, causing me great embarrassment because she exaggerated my grades to other people and because she went on and on bragging.. but she didn’t express to me any pride in my studying… it was all for other people. She exaggerated and misused part of me selfishly, ignoring and dismissing my distress about it.
(3) She repeatedly told other people that I didn’t like boys, that all I cared for was school. But I didn’t tell her that I didn’t like boys and she never asked. She made it up, she invented a part of me that didn’t exist and bragged about it.
There are other examples, no doubt, but enough for now.
Back to the study about sexual objectification of women, in the conclusion, it says: “The current literature makes it clear that sexual objectification is both directly and indirectly linked to various mental health distresses and disorders in women, including anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and reduced experiences of flow and productivity” – same can be said about a child being objectified by a parent: it leads to various health distresses in children, anxiety, depression, disordered eating and (in my case) greatly reduced experiences of flow and productivity, effects that extend to adulthood and not uncommonly increase and get more complicated in adulthood.