July 2, 2022 at 11:40 am #403387
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Dear anita,</p>
I will now stop posting questions you cant answer. Sorry.July 2, 2022 at 12:26 pm #403388
“Sorry” – no need to be sorry, you did nothing wrong to me.
“I will now stop posting questions you cant answer“- of course I can’t read minds: I can’t retroactively read her thoughts (what she thought in the past) any more than I can read her thoughts now, wherever she is. Also, I never communicated with her and all I have is a 3rd person’s limited account of her. But I believe in the accuracy of the quotes you provided (her words said to you), and I know a thing or two about human motivations and behaviors, and therefore I can come up with possibilities and how likely this or that may be true.
“Then why didn’t 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” – likely because she didn’t know and couldn’t predict that at a later time you would want her to.. retroactively say this or that. At the time she had different thoughts in her mind and a different clarity than what you would have like her to have. 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.
It’s something like this: you can come up with fictional characters to a fictional story and proceed to develop a plot: it is you, the author, who decides what each character thinks, feels, says and does. 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. (In reality, you can’t adequately author what you think and feel, how confused or clear you are at any time, can you?)
“I only wanted to know what was going on, why would she hand me that list instead?” – likely because it was very difficult for her to tell you, and easier to list what she wanted to tell you and hand you the list. Handing you the list does not mean that she thought less of you, or that she wanted to hurt your feelings.
“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.
“Why would she tell her friends about how she was feeling but not me?” – Likely because it was easier for her to talk to them than to you. 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.
“I would like to continue our conversation“- fine with me!
anitaJuly 2, 2022 at 3:57 pm #403392
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.
EdJuly 2, 2022 at 4:10 pm #403393
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.
EdJuly 2, 2022 at 4:37 pm #403394
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?July 2, 2022 at 4:38 pm #403395
*EdJuly 2, 2022 at 4:41 pm #403396
*once again sorry for questions you cant answer.
I would really appreciate your input.
EdJuly 2, 2022 at 7:49 pm #403397
I just returned home and will need to get back to you Sunday morning, in about 11 hours from now. I wii attentively read and reply to you then.
anitaJuly 3, 2022 at 7:25 am #403399
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.
EdJuly 3, 2022 at 7:29 am #403400
I’ve been working on a reply for some time, be back to you in an hour or so.
anitaJuly 3, 2022 at 8:45 am #403401
June 29: “I am desperate for a judgment about my past… I am desperate to know if I did wrong and deserved what I experienced, or if I am allowed to free myself and move on… only I can decide that” – I hope that you decide to free yourself and to move on.
I hope that you decide to free yourself and to move on even though you didn’t understand everything right and even though you didn’t do everything right.
No one understand everything right and no one does everything right every day, day after day. If the only way for a person to free themselves and to move on was to always be right and do right… then no one will ever be free and no one will move on.
In the relationship with your ex, she did some things that were right and other things that were wrong, and you did some things that were right and other things that were wrong.
On June 18, in your original post, you wrote: “During this relationship I was in therapy because of my chronic depression and ptsd“-
– during the whole relationship you suffered from chronic depression and from ptsd symptoms. This means that your ability to have a healthy relationship (with any woman) was greatly compromised.
On June 23, you wrote: “In the first year I managed her through an intense depression and supported her finding a psychiatric clinic”, and yesterday, you mentioned self injury aka self harm: “helping her regarding her habit of self-injury during the first year“) – for a whole year, and likely longer, she suffered from intense depression and self-harm. This means that her ability to have a healthy relationship (with any man) was greatly compromised.
“I am afraid of me being wrong all along.. I feel so unsure about whether I understood things right or if my ex was right and I got everything wrong“-
– it is not one way or the other: you were not wrong all along, you didn’t get everything wrong, and same is true for your ex. Your excessive fear about being wrong causes your thinking to be distorted (it is called all-or-nothing thinking, or black-and-white thinking). Accurate thinking needs to be balanced, which in this case means that both of you did some things that were right and other things that were wrong.
When you wrote about your ex that she was “passive-aggressive, controlling and full of lies“, you were under the influence of all-or-nothing thinking, and therefore your view of her was extreme: that of an almost evil person.
I think that during the relationship you were often confused (“a constant state of confusion“, you wrote)- not because of who she was- but because of your c-ptsd, but you held her responsible for your confusion in the following two ways: (1) you incorrectly accused her of gaslighting you, that is, you accused her of purposefully causing your confusion: “She chose to lie to me for a year… gaslighting me“, and (2) you kept asking her to clarify your confusion even though it was not in her power to do so: “I asked her for so long (1 year) what she was discontent about, regarding the relationship or myself”.
“but she did hurt me” – at times maybe she was rude and hurtful and therefore caused your hurt. I want to point to 2nd distorted thinking called emotional-reasoning: what it means in this context is that sometimes, maybe often (I don’t know the frequency), you felt hurt even though she was not rude or hurtful, but because you felt hurt, you believed that she was rude and hurtful, and therefore, that she caused your hurt.
Your most recent words: “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” – I hope that this sentence means that you are indeed freeing yourself and moving on. Remember to take what you positively learn with you as you move on!
anitaJuly 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm #403429
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,
EdJuly 3, 2022 at 6:30 pm #403449
You are welcome and thank you for your appreciation and kind words. I wish you all the best as well!