Your ending sentence gave me goosebumps. I am tasting, or at least smelling that "incredible" feeling you speak of now.
God is with us all.
I will start with the codependence stuff. I am surprised none of my therapists have used that word. I think that's how it is in the uk though. They help you using whatever they specialise in and focus is on behaviours and thought processes rather than titles and psychological terms. I have been in and out of therapy since I was around ten and none of it has helped long term.
It's kind of hard to know where to start. I can't afford IC off my own back and have seen just about every therapist in my area anyway. Right through from counselling to hospital therapy for a year.
Is reading on co-dependency a good place to start when you have so much gone on in your life? Or should I read up on other areas too?
Yes, I am a child of an alcoholic but also the child of a brain damaged violent parent. My mum was seriously depressed. I cared for them both and brought up my younger sibling. I nearly died aged 10 following a bad reaction to surgery that meant I had to have parts removed and was in and out of hospital and intensive care and am left with health problems. It all left me an adult at way too young an age. I am bipolar with severe anxiety and social phobia. I was the victim of sexual assault as a young teen and rape and abuse as an older teen. I could go on but you get the point. How do I tackle that lot?
As for therapy, I first had a psychiatrist as a child but my dad refused to let me go past the first appointment, he was worried he would get blamed for my problems. I had social workers. had counselling in school, later in college and later still through my job. I have had CBT, CAT, CFT, other psychotherapies, none of which have helped for more than a year after they end.
H on the other hand was spoiled rotten by his parents. He could do no wrong, never had to think for himself, make a meal, lift a finger in general. He is the golden boy. They weren't there emotionally though and the atmosphere is toxic on his home. Lots of bitterness and grudges, silent treatment and not one of them will ever say sorry or even admit they have done wrong. He can't go to them with problems, they brush anything emotional off. They don't talk about anything unless it's superficial or arguing.
I will start with the co-dependency stuff and see how I get on.
I think I struggle so much with losing that special feeling cos H was the first person to ever make me feel special. I believed him and look what happened.
Olwen, our M has a similar dynamic, though my childhood was nowhere near as traumatic as yours. H lived in affluence, never had to work for anything and even now, his parents show their love by throwing money at us. But that has also damaged him. He was the golden boy and was also under constant pressure to live up to their expectations. It was during this time that he learned to hide and wall himself off.
In contrast, I grew up in poverty. My dad worked an extremely dangerous job that had him away for weeks at a time. My mother had to cope and I think she just shut down a lot of times. I'm starting to see that she couldn't always give me the emotional support I needed.
I think the specialness comes with your own healing. The more you realize that you are special, the more you can let it in and feel it from another person. And the more you see it, the clearer it will be to you whether your H is the one to be able to reflect the wonderful person you are. If not, at least you will have that feeling for yourself and no one will be able to take it away from you, even if extreme pain is there. This is the hope I have for myself anyway.
Even now, there are times I have to look away from H because the love in his eyes is too much for me to handle. And I know that it's something I need to work on. I still have many deep beliefs of my own unworthiness that I know are there.
No way are you a mess! You have survived so much.
We all need a 'bit' of special for our marriage, and all our relationships in fact. Just sounds like your need for special is to make up for some of the [many] emotional deficits of your childhood. But the need for the special you are discussing about your H providing sounds a little like the external validation that WSs are looking for in an A. And we BSs absolutely need it big time after D day - I remember feeling that I wanted to be ADORED. But soon realised that in fact I had to do that for myself, and that my main task was to get myself further up my own list.
None of that is to say that a little bit of external validation is not necessary to a healthy life - it is, for sure. Part of the human condition, that need. In moderation, in balance.
I'm in the UK as well, so know what you mean about the UK (I quite like that about the UK, to be honest ). Are you referred to a hospital for your bipolar condition? Or do you have community care? You could ask for both? (my twin brother , and my father, was bipolar so I have a lifetime of experience with that, and treatment options here in the UK).
Hug to you, you sound resilient, and are on the right track of researching and reading. its a GOOD version of the 180, to focus on your own healing and self-development and not overly focus on
ypur WS or the marriage. To live your life for you, not through another, or the lens of another.
Those posts felt like a great big hug and we all need those sometimes.
Re the bipolar, I see a psychiatrist, my GP and am currently in therapy - compassion focussed therapy - basically to learn to calm my extremes, relax and be kinder to myself. Of course these things never run by the book and the A has been addressed just as much along with the stuff from my childhood. She is trying to help me see that if I had been born into a different family I would have been a different person, possibly without these problems. I genuinely believed it was something wrong 'in' me and not a result of my experiences. I struggle with that every day.
I think at the moment my condition is well managed. When I get a brief respite occasionally from thinking about the A I do feel better in myself. I actually managed to go into a quiet shop with H and DS last weekend. That was a huge step forward as I haven't been in a shop for two years! I still can't go out alone but am managing little visits with family and walks. Prior to diagnosis I couldn't leave the house at all or even have visitors. I would run and hide. So I am making progress although to some it may seem like not much. My mood swings are lots better. I am usually depressed but haven't thought of suicide for at least a month when it used to be daily. No more highs either. The meds have fixed that. I am quite looking forward to my next appointment. My progress has been hampered by the A so it will be nice to say things are starting to improve. They were really starting to worry my depression was so severe, now it's mostly mild.
I totally get what you're saying about learning to find my own special, wow, that could be quite a long journey lol. In some ways I think H is more dependent on me than the other way around. He is miserable if I am, lost if I am not deciding what we are going to do etc. He just sort of ambles around aimlessly, playing games on his ipod or watching tv. I on the other hand have my hobbies, am perfectly happy in my own company and prefer it sometimes. I think the difference is because he is working and sorts the bills etc he could manage alone. His place would be a tip and he would never actually get himself together to do anything but he could cope. I on the other hand can't work right now, can't go out alone and wouldn't know where to start being self sufficient. My place would be spotless though and I would never run out of bread or milk if I did on line shopping or could actually get to the shops lol. Sorry to make a joke out of it but that's our personalities and we always seemed to compliment each other. I guess looking at it now it's not so funny.
I guess I can see for myself what I need to do. I need to know I could manage without him. That's hard with my mental health problems though. They did tell me when we went for STI checks that there is help out there for people like me should I need it if I decided to leave him, that is reassuring.
My first goal is to get well and look after myself. after that I want to be a strong and self sufficient as I can so I know I can cope whatever happens. At the same time I need to learnt to let him in, to let go of the past. It's a tall order but every journey starts with the first step.
I have anxiety (general and social) and rarely leave the house alone. I don't even drive. I had to stop going to my 12 step program because I couldn't handle the panic at the thought of sharing with real life people.
I know it's difficult. But I try to believe that the pay off will be huge if I keep pushing forward.
She is trying to help me see that if I had been born into a different family I would have been a different person, possibly without these problems.
Kay Redfield Jamison's book An Unquiet Mind concludes with her saying that for her the bipolar was so much a part of her, both a blessing and a curse, that allowed he to live life with a certain intensity that she would not be 'her' without it, and would choose to have it rather than not given the choice. My brother felt the same.
Edie - I have read that book, it was fascinating. I noticed you used the past tense about your brother, is he no longer with you? If so I am sorry. I am glad he could see good and not just bad in his condition. I am guessing he had more mania or hypomania than me, was he bipolar 1? Unfortunately for me my diagnosis was 25 years in coming as I am predominantly affected with severe depression. I am bipolar 2. Looking back I have probably only had a handful of hypomania's but plenty of milder 'energy bursts', cleaning the bathroom with a toothbrush aged 11 - weird things like that, I also used to hoover with the skinny nozzle attached on my hands and knees to catch every last bit of the carpet. I go on baking sprees and cleaning sprees as well as online shopping sprees. I also get hypersexual. All stuff that can be explained away as a bit odd so that even I have trouble recognising it as bipolar and not just eccentricity. I don't get the king of the world feeling very often and don't think I have ever had a full blown mania. Many people don't believe I have bipolar, just that sometimes I get full of energy when I am not depressed. It's hard for me to decide if I believe I have it sometimes. So for me I find it really hard to see any positives of the illness. In a way it's like I get the bad (depression) without the 'good' (mania) although we all know the mania isn't a goo thing at all, it apparently feels it at the time and that's why many bipolar's wouldn't get rid of it if they could. Me, I would run a mile given half a chance.
Thanks so much for sharing that, I really appreciate it.
I can't go near somewhere like a supermarket cos of the noise, crowds and bright lights, or a small cramped shop where I could get trapped but this was a large soft furnishing place with lots of aisles and little corners I could hide in. I struggled with the chatter in the background and had to make sure no one came too close but I did it and it's progress
Bipolar II - good! Better than I. !!
Yes, although the depressions are apparently the same I am glad I don't have to deal with mania and all that entails.
Getting stuck into codependent no more and it's grabbed me from the first chapter.
My Mom was overloaded with pain from her D and the full responsibility of providing for 3 boys with a minimum wage job....I remember her coming home very grumpy and agitated, can't remember our "meal time" tradition as it was more a fend for yourself environment, and me being the "responsible one" who was "so mature for my age"....which meant I didn't need nurturing, I could do it myself. Coping mechs installed!
That book was a great read.....parts were as if Janis watched a home movie of my life as I grew up.
I followed it up with "How to Forgive" by Janis Spring.
I did this because as I concluded "Codpendent no more" I realized I had several jobs of "forgiveness" to tend to....and had very little idea on what true, mature forgiveness looked like.
Neither parent ever showed forgiveness or displayed how it looked. In many ways MY parents continued to just cope with life....so there is no guarantee that just because we age we mature what needs to be matured.
Olwen....you are finding a great rail to roll on.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:52 PM, March 19th (Wednesday)]
My mother had to cope and I think she just shut down a lot of times. I'm starting to see that she couldn't always give me the emotional support I needed.
Sadone29......I just started accepting this as part of my history too. I don't condemn my Mom, she did the best she could...but she wasn't always their for me emotionally.
Previously, I put a lot of emphasis on the pain of my Dad totally leaving....but realize now my Mom "just shut down" sometimes too. My wife actually has helped me understand my Moms role in my FOO upbringing.....things I knew, but never sat with and figured out how shockingly non-supportive my Mom was sometimes during my formative years.
Not at all adopting a vicitim mentality....just starting to really accept the truths of my life. I have some truths about ME and what I have done that I never sat down with and saw those actions for the destructive forces they were.
Wild ride, huh Olwen?
Is this what you mean when you said
"I'm a bit of a mess, aren't I?"
The more I unravel, the more I see.........can be exciting, but is a bit unnerving too.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:29 PM, March 19th (Wednesday)]
Blakesteele - I can't get this out of my mind since I read it. Mine our more waking nightmares but all the same, they are debilitating and rob me of whatever power of concentration I have left. I remember holding out hope of reaching the 1 year mark, that things would get better. Still hurts so much, though. What you've written is so true.
The eight most feared words used together in the English language: We need to talk. Th
Sorry for your second recent DD. Early after my DD I saw the interaction my wife had with a former man in the light I SHOULD have seen it in then.....it was infidelity of sorts. Intimate emails that were hidden from me, but we were just engaged at the time. After DD I learned of the deceit that rested in my wife's heart as she told me about how two years into our M this man was still a factor in her heart......cried to her sister about her M and had thoughts about this OM.
But all of that came out my first year after DD....within months of my first DD.
Sucks....but I believe you had a major set back.
My posting if what you quoted may have come across as discouraging.....but I meant to encourage with it.
21 months out and I have forgiven my wife. I still have bad dreams, but am so much better than I was. I am healing. My obsessive thoughts have waned.
Keep the faith brother.....this can be worked through.