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Depressed after leaving toxic relationship

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  • #403341
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ed:

    Are you okay with continuing this discussion?…  can’t pay you any more in return for your work than expressions about my honest appreciation” – yes, I am okay with continuing this discussion. The only payment I expect is my own learning which is something I pay myself (it is my brain that’s doing the learning). You don’t have to pay me anything. I would like you to keep being your honest, genuine self because it’s best for you and for me, in the context of this thread.

    When I submit this post, the paragraph above becomes public record and you and I will hold me accountable for what it says.

    gaslighting was pretty common with my parents. it would start with little lies about food… my parents ate it and told us that it was never there. Promises my parents made but then denied ever making. Accusations or hurtful things they said but then also denied ever saying”

    “She would also deny having said certain things in arguments or altering them slightly to make them sound less harsh. For example at one point, she admitted to let off steam by being mean or aggressive to me and when I later wanted to talk about that she pretended to be unsure about her having said that… telling people we both knew at the time how irresponsible I was concerning my mental health..”.

    “I am afraid of me being wrong all along… Writing about these things just makes these moments so real again and I feel so unsure about whether I understood things right or if my ex was right and I got everything wrong”.

    My input: it takes courage to do what you did here: to talk about what’s causing you self-doubt and distress. Addressing issues that cause us distress is difficult and should be done with care, in small portions and gently.

    In my experience with my mother I was heavily gaslighted (truth denied, lies told, false accusations thrown about and more). As a result, in my interactions with people as an adult (I don’t remember earlier), I was hypersensitive to inconsistencies in what people said and did. When people were not exact in what they said, if what they said over time had any inconsistencies, I was immediately suspicious that they were lying. I didn’t understand that everyone’s memories are imperfect and that at different times people remember different aspects of the same experience, so you get slightly different stories in regard to the same experience.

    What do you think/ feel at this point? (If you feel distressed at this time, please take a break and distract yourself with something positive (positive distraction), ex.: taking a walk, a shower, listening to music.

    anita

    #403344
    Ed
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    i felt very distressed before.

    Are you okay with continuing this discussion?…  can’t pay you any more in return for your work than expressions about my honest appreciation”/ “When I submit this post, the paragraph above becomes public record and you and I will hold me accountable for what it says.” – i hope me writing this doesnt bring any legal trouble, kind of sounds like it if i interpret it correctly? i had a bad moment of self-hate and correlating stress when writing this, no legal harm intended.

    “My input: it takes courage to do what you did here: to talk about what’s causing you self-doubt and distress. Addressing issues that cause us distress is difficult and should be done with care, in small portions and gently.” – thank you and you are right. i learned this just with my previous post (small portions and gently).

    “When people were not exact in what they said, if what they said over time had any inconsistencies, I was immediately suspicious that they were lying. I didn’t understand that everyone’s memories are imperfect and that at different times people remember different aspects of the same experience” – i understand. i often feel the same way, especially when stressed.

    Ed

    #403345
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ed:

    You are welcome.  “I interpret it correctly“- no, there were no legal trouble or legal harm on my mind when I read your earlier post or when I replied to it. I happen to have a way of legal-sounding, exact kind of writing sometimes, born out of my need to be exact and very clear, but all I was thinking was about making  you feel comfortable posting.

    What was that moment of self-hate that you had, I wonder.

    anita

     

    #403364
    Ed
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I was worried for a moment that talking about ,,paying” even in a self-pitying way was a problem when saying this on a free forum.

    My moment of self-hate was a feeling of ,,stop annoying anita with your drama when she already helped you so much and move on with your life.”

    Ed

    #403366
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ed:

    She already helped you so much“- but I didn’t help you so much. If I helped you, I helped you a tiny bit a little bit. You are not annoying me and you are not presenting me with any drama: your life is not drama, it’s real and it’s important.

    I was wondering (it often happens that I wonder, and as always, you are welcome to not answer any of my questions):

    (1) when you were diagnosed with c-ptsd, what did the professional who diagnosed you tell you about your particular c-ptsd situation at the time (at what age were you diagnosed)?

    (2) About your ex-girlfriend: was she diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (bpd) or with codependent personality disorder (from the ICD-10), or is it something you came up with?

    (3) A well-known symptom of bpd is inappropriate, intense anger that can be difficult to control– what did her anger look like when she was with you: did she scream at you, break things, storm out, call you names, threaten you.. what did she say and do that you’d call inappropriate, intense anger?

    anita

     

    #403368
    Ed
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    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.

    Ed

    #403369
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ed:

    You are welcome. When asking if her diagnoses were “something you came up with”, I meant to ask if you figured that she fits a diagnosis vs her being professionally diagnosed.

    For a while, I took her bpd diagnosis to mean certain things about her, such as that she raged at you and was therefore a-girlfriend-from-hell, but after getting some details from you about what she actually said and how she actually acted, I started doubting the bpd diagnosis, and I understand why the second therapist doubted the bpd diagnosis. I know that professionals routinely give mistaken diagnoses, and diagnoses that other professionals disagree with, so in the future when interacting with members, I shouldn’t assume that a diagnosis given is necessarily correct.

    I asked you three days ago what was on her list of things she hated about you. The first item on the list that you gave me was: “She told me that on weekends, I shouldn’t sleep longer than until 11 am” – now that I am thinking about it, how is that a hateful item? Or an unreasonable item… maybe it was better for you to  not sleep longer than 11 am. Maybe she was motivated by concern for you and by wanting to spend more time with you on weekends. That’s not hateful, is it?

    Another item on that list: “My ex felt pressured about me asking her how she was doing, especially her mental health. She refused to tell me anything about her feelings and called me her ‘therapist‘” – again, how is that hateful? That she felt pressured- she can’t help what she feels. And it’s her right to not answer your questions (just as it is your right to not answer mine).

    Another item on the list: “my ex pressured me extremely to get more therapy.. She told me that my problems with suicidal thoughts would make her anxious” – .. again, I don’t see how this is hateful. It makes sense that she’d feel anxious when you expressed suicidal thoughts, and that she wanted you to get help, doesn’t it?

    anita

     

    #403374
    Ed
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    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”.

    Ed

    #403380
    Ed
    Participant

    * the content of the quotation marks are direct citations of her words when she gave me her list.

    #403381
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ed:

    I don’t think that you are going to like the content of this post. Please stop reading it if it makes you feel too distressed, and if you choose to end our communication as a result of this post, I will understand. I am posting this because it may be helpful to you if you are able to consider it.

    I read your recent posts and your conclusion at the end of your longer post in regard to your ex: that she was “passive-aggressive, controlling and full of lies“- I am sorry, but from what you shared, and from what I understand in regard to what you shared over time, this is not a true conclusion.

    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” – 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.

    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, often over the course of the day. People are not always clear about what they feel,  or about what they think because of overwhelming needs and distress.

    People engage in wishful thinking: maybe she wished that “everything would be fine” and therefore told you that everything would be fine. It is not likely that in her mind, she thought something like: everything will NOT be fine, but I will tell him that everything will be fine so that he’ll get very hurt when he finds out otherwise. She was probably needy of you, afraid to lose you, wanting you to feel better, wanting to feel better herself, so she told you that everything would be fine.

    It was most likely not a lie or a false promise, but her wishful thinking and wanting to feel better.

    She told me each time that everything would be fine when it was clearly not“- I don’t think that her mind was clear enough to look into the future and figure that everything will not be fine! Depressed and distressed, she probably had difficulties figuring out what she was feeling. How could she tell you clearly what she was feeling when she wasn’t clear herself?

    “I even thought ahead and asked her if she’s fine with me sleeping longer than her, she said no problem. And then this was an item on her list” – 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 always understood that she was anxious about my suicidal thoughts” – but you didn’t give her credit for being human and therefore not thinking clearly when anxious and depressed herself.

    “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’“- but that way toward you was not destructive way (“her anger wasn’t destructive“), so you stated yourself.

    Yesterday you wrote: ““She chose to lie to me for a year…gaslighting me about everything going wrong“- 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).

    I wrote to you yesterday: “In my experience with my mother I was heavily gaslighted (truth denied, lies told, false accusations thrown about and more). As a result, in my interactions with people as an adult…  I was hypersensitive to inconsistencies in what people said…  immediately suspicious that they were lying”. Your reply: “I often feel the same way, especially when stressed“.

    I wonder if you see a connection between the fact that your parents really did gaslight you (“gaslighting was pretty common with my parents. it would start with little lies…  promises my parents made but then denied ever making. accusations or hurtful things they said but then also denied ever saying“, July 1) and what I believe to be your inaccurate projection of their behaviors- their gaslighting- into your ex-girlfriend?

    anita

    anita

    #403382
    anita
    Participant

    *Excuse the second anita (it happens when I close a post with my name, then go back and edit, then back to the end, I forget that I already closed the post, and .. close it again)

    #403383
    Ed
    Participant

    <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>

    #403384
    Ed
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    You cant answer that question, i know.

    I would like to continue our conversation.

    Ed

    #403385
    Ed
    Participant

    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?

    #403386
    Ed
    Participant

    Why would she tell her friends about how she was feeling but not me?

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 88 total)

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