November 23, 2020 at 11:26 am #369769
It’s okay to not look forward to the holidays, lots of people don’t: too much food, too many people.. But I understand that you have other reasons to not look forward to the holidays this year. When he told you that he needs to give you a penicillin kiss, what did you say back to him, if anything..?
anitaNovember 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm #369772
I said, “That’s a nice thought. I did take Advil so hopefully it will begin to work soon.”
And, I was being honest, it was a nice thought. I don’t like to ignore such a response because I believe in letting someone know you appreciate their kindness and thought. I guess at times that can work against me. From my childhood, I can remember a handful of times my mother said she loved me, and my dad I recall twice….once when I was a teenager and did that stay out all night and scare them thing (days of no cell phones), and later in life as an adult when he was in the hospital. I don’t do that with my children. I tell my daughter daily that I love her, since she is living with me, and every time my son and I text or talk on the phone, I tell him, or he tells me first, which is extremely cool.
I was COVID tested yesterday. Waiting for my results. I want everyone to know what they mean to me.
Thank you Anita, for your advice.
KatieNovember 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm #369774
Were you tested as part of a routine, all employees in the hospital getting regularly tested.. or do you experience any symptoms???
As far as the guy, I don’t know him, of course, but I know you enough to believe your account of him and it angers me that he is talking from both sides of his mouth and getting away with it. I think that it is too selfish of him to behave he way he does, and for so long.
anitaNovember 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm #369778
I have a few symptoms and thought it best I get tested. No fever and no difficulty breathing, thank goodness. My boss’s daughter tested COVID positive so now my boss is isolating herself at home, just in case.
He goes to his therapy and I’m not sure what is discussed. I do know at my therapy I am reminded of what my past year has been like by my therapist. Has my “boyfriend” changed? I don’t know. I will need to know this soon because with all the other things going on in my life, this is just making things worse. It’s like the whole world is caving in and no one is throwing me a lifeline. If it was just this one thing…the boyfriend thing…perhaps I’d be better able to handle things. But right now I’m feeling a bit depressed, so I’m thankful for the appointment with my therapist tomorrow.
Today is another not so great day. And I don’t feel like doing anything but sleeping. Maybe I’ll get back to that puzzle.
November 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm #369783
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Katie.
Please send me a message when you found out the results, will you? This is a scary situation- I am scared too because I do meet with people outdoors at the local taproom most afternoons (same regulars), and enjoy it very much. I know it would be safer if I don’t- but social needs are strong.
I feel better with you using quotation marks around boyfriend. Maybe better refer to him as ex-boyfriend, or just, an ex, because that’s what he is.
anitaNovember 23, 2020 at 5:48 pm #369795
When I think of my “ex” I think of my alcoholic spouse that died. We were going thru a divorce, but he died before anything was finalized. So, still refer to him as my ex, not my spouse.
I don’t consider my “bf” (how’s that?) to be my “ex”. When he is no longer my partner, I will not have to refer to him at all. I will go through the grieving process, I think I kind of already have begun, but he will just be him…my past. We still communicate, still are in therapy, and I am trying to see where this goes.
I felt much better tonight. My daughter and I did our puzzling, and that’s something she and I enjoy together. I guess we both need to shift our focus, and it may even help with her PTSD. I know it helps with my anxiety and depressive moods.
I tested COVID negative, which was a positive in my day. Although there are days when I could care less if I’m here or not, I know my daughter depends on me, my son would be devastated, and my family would be in pain. At this point in my life, at 58, I was hoping to be living simply and in peace. I think it will be awhile before I get there.
Just keep social distancing and masking. It does make a difference.
KatieNovember 23, 2020 at 6:14 pm #369799
I am so glad and relieved that you tested negative, yes!!!
I will be back to your thread Tues morning. I hope you have a good night. I am feeling better knowing you tested negative.
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 6:04 am #369806
I had a new thought this morning about your situation, let me know what you think of it (I will type as I think): you are waiting for him to return to normal so that what used to be between you and him will return, you are willing to suffer in between what-was and what-will-be-again. So, you don’t tell him that you are suffering, you keep it to yourself, waiting for his psychotherapy process to be complete enough to return him to that Normal.
Similar maybe to the following two scenarios:
(1) your boyfriend and you had a good relationship in which the two of you expressed your feelings, hopes and dreams. He then had an accident falling, and he needs to not move his legs for two weeks while a physical therapist visits him twice a day. After the two weeks, he will be given crutches and is expected to improve onward. You decide to take three weeks off work and take care of him: feed him, bathe him, etc., and then help him on that one week to get used to the crutches. All very generous and loving of you. You do it because you know that you can return to work after the 3 weeks (time off is limited, covered perhaps by vacation time), and you expect your boyfriend to return to Normal, the relationship to return to Normal, to the way it was.
(2) your boyfriend and you had a good relationship except that he had an anger problem sometimes. He then had an accident and fell, and his anger problem escalated, his anger ongoing, because of the pain in his legs. He is expected to recover just as in the first example, but the pain in his legs is expected to be be chronic. You take 3 weeks off work to take care of him, and while you are taking care of him he gets angry at you for anything and everything, so you keep quiet; you feed him, bathe him, and you notice that if you keep quiet and say nothing that sounds like complaining, he is not angry at you. As long as you keep your needs and feelings to yourself and focus solely on his needs and feelings- he is not angry with you.
-In the first example, you get your Normal back. In the second example, you get a New Normal, which is what I think is happening now. You think that you are waiting and enduring a temporary situation, but with a bit of more time, you will get your Normal back. But you are already in a New Normal: as long as you keep your needs and feelings to yourself, as you do, he is not angry (he is not mentioning the past).
His anger is of the chronic kind, it was there from the beginning of the relationship but it has taken over when he had a sort of a fall, maybe on that day that your daughter was drunk and he was afraid that she will drown, a fall that exacerbated his injuries from the original big fall as a child.. there is no way to fix his original injuries, or there is a very small chance to do so.
As you are waiting for the old normal, you may not be aware that a new normal has already been established and if you get back the title of girlfriend with him, the new normal is that of you being a quietly suffering and enduring girlfriend, focused on his needs to .. not be burdened by what you need, and what you feel.
What do you think?
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 6:46 am #369807
Scenario 1 sounds very much like reality. That was very much our relationship, up until a year ago.
Scenario 2 doesn’t quite fit exactly. When we were physically together, he didn’t get angry with me. It was when we were apart, and always about the same issue…the guy in high school (both; the one I lost my virginity to, and the other that molested/raped me). Although I do admit that he depended upon me to take care of him more than I depended on him to take care of me. He had difficulty making decisions, and I always tried to guide him to make his own decision. He wanted my advice on everything.
If we do manage to come back together, I believe he and I will need to address the issues of this past year. We cannot sweep them under the rug, because eventually we’ll trip and fall over that rug. I have told him in the past what I need from the relationship, and he also has asked what I need. But the anger about my distant past is something that I simply cannot understand.
I do believe that something did happen to him when my daughter was drunk and he was afraid she would drown. That was the beginning of the side of him I never saw. Yes, I saw a jealous side before, but it wasn’t destructive as the behaviors that followed that vacation.
I cannot go back to this past year. I have always made my feelings very clear (after years of therapy), but still do have issues with boundaries (left over from my ex). I’m working on those with my therapist.
Funny…the one thing he and I thought about our relationship was that we could discuss anything. Of course, he didn’t want to know anything about my past relationships; nor I his. Unless it was something that was important to our relationship. But time to time things come up. I believed that our relationship began the first time he walked in my door 6 years ago. He felt it began back in 6th grade. And I think that’s the issue and the faulty thinking on his part. He always said that from 6th grade to now he has “connected the dots.” I never could understand that because we both went on with our lives, got married, had children, got divorced. There were no dots to connect.
I do feel like the holidays are taking their toll on me. I’m feeling quite down, and my anxiety in the morning, as soon as I wake up, is sky high. My psychiatrist has prescribed meds for my anxiety, but this down feeling I can’t shake. I’m beginning to understand how my daughter feels. There are days that she doesn’t get out of bed. I feel like I could do those days at times, but I don’t. And, when she doesn’t get out of bed, I’m always encouraging her to get up. Usually going for a ride to get iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts does the trick. I feel alone and have to depend on me to get going.
When I see my son tomorrow, I have a feeling I may just fall into his arms and cry. Not the greeting he’s expecting I’m sure.
KatieNovember 24, 2020 at 7:29 am #369811
If you just fall into your son’s arms and cry tomorrow- let it be. Nothing wrong with it, as long as you don’t cry non-stop during his stay, of course. Express your emotions responsibly, in moderation- the Middle Way between denying and being histrionic.
My comments on different parts of your recent post:
1. “He felt (the relationship) began back in 6th grade.. He always said that from 6th grade to now he was ‘connecting the dots'”; “I believe that our relationship began the first time he walked in my door 6 years ago.. faulty thinking on his part.. There were no dots to connect”- I agree, the relationship between the two of you had its very beginning six years ago, not earlier. The dots he needs to connect are not about you or your past. They are all about him and his past. What he did when he started focusing on your past was to pull you into his maze of dots, placing you there, where you don’t belong.
2. “When we were physically together, he didn’t get angry with me. It was when we were apart, and always about the same issue.. the guy in high school”- this, seems to me is about him having been abandoned or neglected by his mother/ primary care-taker. When you were with him he felt comforted (mommy is at home!) and when you were away, he felt abandoned and angry about it (mommy left me, again!).. and.. where is mommy? – she is with another guy!!
3. “he depended upon me to take care of him more than I depended on him to take care of me. He had difficulty making decisions, and I always tried to guide him to make his own decision. He wanted my advice on everything”- yes, reads like he was looking at you as a mother figure: he depended upon you to take care of him, to guide him.
What do you think?
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 7:52 am #369812
I think you are correct. He felt neglected by his mother; this he has told me. He mother worked full-time, and he was raised by his grandmother, his father’s mother, that lived with them. He never felt a closeness with his mother. And, until we got the burial plots, always told me that when he dies he wanted to be cremated and buried at his grandmother’s burial plot.
He always referred to me as “his home”, which I felt was very affectionate. I felt like he was home to me as well.
I do believe because of his issues, his OCD, indecisiveness, need of guidance, low self-esteem, that he did need someone to take care of him, as a mother would do I would imagine. As he became more forgetful, I would tell him to write things down, leaving sticky notes around as reminders. I had him get a small basket which is where he threw his keys, wallet, Blistex….all the things he would never find in the morning before leaving for work. He always seemed so scatterbrained. I tried to make his life easier. I think I did things another woman probably would never have cared to do; she’d let him figure it out.
So, I do believe there is a lot of weight in what you said.
KatieNovember 24, 2020 at 8:28 am #369817
I am getting to understand him better, and you. The two of you needed that feeling of home, of being together, connected, loving and being loved.
Earlier, he wanted to be together with the one who raised him: his grandmother/home, together with her in death (“always told me that when he dies he wanted to be cremated and buried at his grandmother’s burial plot”). Later, he wanted to be together with you/home in death (“we got the burial plots”).
“He always referred to me as ‘his home’.. I felt like he was home to me as well”. You were ready and prepared to make him your home forever (“I thought he was my forever till the end”), and you were “looking forward to retirement and life together”, original post, Nov 2). But he was not ready or prepared to make you his home forever because he had “dots to connect”.
To connect what to what? – to connect his real-life, past devastating alone/ lonely experience in his original home—> to a calm, together hoped- for experience of home with you in the future. In between those two experiences is the fear, despair and anger of a child left alone for too long.
Nov 2, and Nov 24: “At a time when we should be looking forward to retirement and life together, he’s dwelling on high school, to the point where he’s become verbally abusive. This has all peaked this last year… I do believe that something did happen to him when my daughter was drunk and he was afraid she would drown. That was the beginning of the side of him I never saw. Yes, I saw a jealous side before, but it wasn’t destructive as the behaviors that followed that vacation”-
– maybe the turning point in that vacation was not that your daughter almost drowned, but that he witnessed your reaction to her almost drowning, your great concern for your daughter, your love for her, and .. the thought occurred to him that you love her more, that you don’t love him as much as you love your daughter.. sort of a much delayed sibling rivalry.
November 24, 2020 at 8:48 am #369820
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
Sibling rivalry. He experienced that as a child as well. He is the youngest of 4. Quite a bit of years between each of them (his sister is 71 and the oldest). His 2 brothers, in my mind, abused him. They would tease him, which I guess is normal, but also take things from him (like when they finished their ice cream cone, they would grab his away from him). One incident, his one brother grabbed him by the feet; the other by the hands, and swung him (hammock style) back and forth until they let go and he flew into the wall breaking his toe. He was about 5 at the time. I was shocked when I heard this. Besides the usual sibling teasing that happens in families, my parents taught us to respect each other; no hitting, harming.
He has a great deal of affection for my daughter, but has said some negative things about her. I try to take my daughter to her therapy appointments as a supportive gesture, and he has said at times, “Is G driving to her appointment today or is he waiting for mommy to take her?” (sarcasm)
His childhood must have been pretty messed up. I never realized how much until you bring things to my attention.
KatieNovember 24, 2020 at 9:21 am #369823
With more understanding comes better mental health, so let’s proceed with understanding best we can:
“I try to take my daughter to her therapy appointments as a supportive gesture, and he has said at times, “Is G driving to her appointment today or is she waiting for mommy to take her?’ (sarcasm)”- this is evidence of his jealousy, his anger at you for spending your time and your love on your daughter, instead of on him.
When a child grows up with too little loving attention, he (or she) finds it hard to share loving attention later in life. In the adult-child mind, there is just not enough to go around, so he feels threatened others taking away from him the little love that he perceives as available to him.
As a child, not only did he get too little loving attention from his mother, he didn’t get her/ any adult’s protection either. His two older brothers took things away from him, for example: he was enjoying ice-cream and they grabbed it from him. It makes me think of ice-cream as love: too little of it, and it can be taken away anytime, too soon, when he is unprepared.
His two older brothers one time swung him back and forth, then let go and he flew into the wall, breaking his toe. You were shocked when you heard this, but I am guessing that he told you this story in a detached, no-big-deal manner (?) If so, and I suspect it to be so, he repressed the fear and anger at his brothers, but that fear and anger are not gone.
The fear is responsible for his OCD, his forgetfulness, being scatterbrained (“He always seemed so scatterbrained”), and his anger is responsible for him withdrawing from you, for his occasional sarcasm, and for the times he verbally abused you.
“His childhood must have been pretty messed up”- yes, and unless he heals from it (a long, long gradual process, with professional help), his life will continue to be pretty messed up, and if you are in his life, then your life too will be.. pretty messed up.
anitaNovember 24, 2020 at 9:35 am #369826
The ice cream was love. When we were together, every Friday and Saturday night we would make ice cream cones and bring them into bed, propped up, just chatting or watching tv. I don’t do that now, it was our thing, not my thing.
He did tell his story about his 2 brothers in a no big deal manner. Also, he told stories of when he was very young (3, maybe 4 years old) of being very attached to his father and always following him around, holding onto his pants with his hand. One story in particular sticks out. His dad was fixing a car tire; he was holding onto his pant leg as usual. It was winter, and his one brother threw a snowball at him and it hit him in the face. He started to cry and his father smacked him saying “Stop your whining.” (not realizing why he was crying) Which, of course, made him cry more. He lost that closeness with his father as he grew, and didn’t get it back again until his father was elderly (80’s). His dad passed away in 2014.
As a fixer, I wish I could do something, but I would listen to him and hold his hand. It’s all I could do. The stories never seemed upsetting to him, but they were upsetting to me. My childhood was so much different. I was never hit by my parents, and in turn, my siblings and I never hit each other.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Katie.