Our partner

How to not be abusive?

Borderline Personality Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderators: Echinacea, lilyfairy

How to not be abusive?

Postby raininmybrain » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:46 pm

I've been thinking a lot lately that I feel I'm abusive to my partner. Things have gotten worse since some major stressors have been introduced to my life. We've recently moved to a new country together, and I've started an intensive master's program, which I am not enjoying. We moved into the same building here (though different apartments but it's more like living together, which I have a very hard time with normally).

I tend to blame him more than I need to for problems, and project things I'm upset about or blow smaller issues out of proportion, as is the way borderlines are. I've insinuated at times, after being upset for a while, that I couldn't be with him anymore, or just criticize him more than I need to. Sometimes I yell, or when things are very bad I tell him I hate him, which I always feel bad about. Recently when I did that he actually apologized to me for leaving me waiting in the car for hours after my whole life (passport, wallet, phone, personal stuff) was stolen from our car on vacation, like he can see why I'd get upset so he forgives it, thankfully. He doesn't seem to have a problem with how I treat him, but I apologize and tell him I want to do better but the same thing happens again. We tried one session with a therapist who wasn't a good fit but will go back at some point.

I feel like it may have made things worse when he said "###$ you" to me one time when he completely misconstrued something I calmly said when we were arguing over something. (He thought I was insinuating I would cheat which I won't and he realized later I was saying something totally different). Since then I say it to him sometimes when I get upset, since I feel like he opened that door, and I don't know if him allowing me to do these things makes it worse. He used to argue with me a lot more about things but I would retreat more and had a harder time with it, so now he tends to understand a bit more to just let me go through feeling bad, but every time he fires something back (i.e., this week when I asked 'So you're saying everything I just said is wrong?' he yelled 'Yeah') it gets to where I leave the situation. Not sure if it would be better if I did that to begin with, but it seems better for us to be together when I'm dysregulated rather than me retreating, but I don't know what to do to stop it. A couple of times when I've screamed (not at him necessarily, but just out of sheer anguish when I was completely hopeless) neighbors or cops came to the door (this was over the course of a couple years but it's never ideal to have that happen). They always seem to assume I'm being abused is the weird part, when really I'm just being triggered by the abuse and neglect of my childhood.

My stress levels at having to be around people, a workload that doesn't allow me energy to do the simplest life things like buy groceries, culture shock, and losing all contact with my close friends have all made it much harder for me to restrain myself when I get emotional (at least, around him, where I'm safe to express myself). Maybe when all this is over things can get better, but I don't want to be a bad partner and want to make sure we can be on equal footing and both benefit each other.

Anyone relate? Please be kind in your comments as I already feel like a piece of $#%^ as I write this.
raininmybrain
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:06 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: How to not be abusive?

Postby Wantpeace » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:47 pm

I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you. Big changes has also been a cause of really horrible behavior on my part so I know how it is. Getting married and living with my husband while struggling with the childhood trauma made me act like I was possessed by a demon or something.

I can relate to everything you wrote and I feel most comfortable with my husband which makes me feel ok insulting him and treating him terribly. I don't know how he put up with it for so long but now he just walks away to let me cool off.

The main things that helped me with raging attacks, are medication, therapy, and he and I usually separate from each other when it gets nasty. I have taken a drive, took walks, or he has left the home for a couple of minutes at the very least. Don't let it escalate, if you know you're abusive. Explain this to him that it's for the best. I had to make my husband understand to not try talking me out of an episode.

Medication helps calm me down and I take a very low dose of anxiety medication although I am sure I could do with something for my low moods too. But yea, buspar has helped me get my rage under control, as well as therapy for trauma was very useful. Look into trauma therapy as a possibility so you can deal with the trauma.

If you can find a way to cut back a little bit of all of the intensive work you are doing, then I would definitely recommend that. BPD is hard enough to live with. Otherwise, medication and therapy for your trauma are a good way to start. Find ways to self-soothe, meditate, and take care of your health too. Hope this helps.
Wantpeace
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:30 pm
Local time: Thu May 23, 2019 10:06 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How to not be abusive?

Postby raininmybrain » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:01 pm

Thank you so much, Wantpeace! Yeah, I've been (reluctantly) thinking more about whether to try separating myself in those times more. I'm a little afraid that then we wouldn't work through the problem or we would be too separate if I did that in those times. Or also because I depend on him to help me through being dysregulated. My ex was good at this and was better at validating, wasn't as much of an emotional person, so I feel like he wouldn't make me feel worse as much. Today I just didn't call back or answer when the call dropped (he's away back in the States this week for business), and even though I felt bad, as though I was abandoning him maybe, I felt better very quickly. But I would also really like him to learn how to help me through being dysregulated (there are definitely some times when I need it, especially when I'm more sad than angry, and not at him), so I'm still hoping therapy can help with that. I feel the focus is always on how we as borderlines should change *ourselves*, yet I do need better validation from him too. ...Maybe it's also cause I would feel abandoned when I'm so upset and he's not there.

I used to take antidepressants when I had major depression, and I take xanax for public presentations and job interviews, but otherwise I like not taking medication - supplements yes, and I might look more into ones for balancing menstrual hormone swings.

Speaking of the master's work, I just went to one session of a social impact club at school tonight, to try to make friends and discuss issues I'm passionate about rather than the corporate #######4 I hear all day normally, but rather than being a social event, it immediately turned to "Guys we have so much work to do, we have to start now, let's divide tasks," and I just left. I feel guilty when I miss out on things (cancelled a Spanish tutor lesson less than 30 minutes before yesterday because I couldn't stop crying - actually had to have my partner write the email from NY), and missed a Spanish class and the first networking session of that social impact club, so I kept feeling like a failure or like I missed out, but when I do make it to an event, sometimes it's like, ok this wasn't a big deal after all.

The problem with my business school work has largely been the first workgroup I had (now I'm in a new one, and we get a third in 3 months). They were all around 22 and expected me to be "constantly" available via group text, and even repeatedly chastised me for not responding over a long holiday weekend when I had the flu. People bully each other and are chastised for leaving the classroom during class to use the restroom or get water outside of the controlled breaks. It's crazy to me, but I'm just trying to hang on for the next 6 months. It's nice to hear someone say "do less" instead of "work harder" for once!

I'm glad you've found ways to make things better for you and with your husband. It's amazing there are such great guys out there willing to be supportive, selfless partners. ( : Do you find you feel better when he walks away and you get to cool off, or do you deal with abandonment from that? You sound wise and mature to know that that's what you need though, and that it was your advice to him so maybe that makes it easier?

All the best,
Rain
raininmybrain
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:37 pm
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 4:06 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How to not be abusive?

Postby Pairou » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:32 am

Back when I was really bad, my wife would stay very calm, ignore what I was saying, and remove herself until I calmed down. Then we'd talk it over, like "Okay, this approach didn't work, what can we do differently next time you're upset? This seems to have triggered you, how can we avoid it in the future?"

She is my rock. And I have definitely done my best to behave better towards her. We are a good team now and it's so, so rare that I raise my voice, maybe a few times a year now. I'm also medicated.

You've got a lot on your plate but focus less on how he could make you feel better, and more on how you can keep your situation from escalating. Definitely see a therapist for YOU, and have him come for a few sessions now and then so YOUR therapist can help him with ways to calm you down as well as coping strategies for both of you.
Pairou
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 8:57 am
Local time: Thu May 23, 2019 10:06 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How to not be abusive?

Postby valeriam » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:15 am

I feel like I really need to work on my relationship and how I act out as well.

My partner and I have been together for almost three years and it has been such hard work for both of us, especially because he's a walk-away/time-out kind of guy so that really collided with my dfear of abandonment in the beginning. Now I manage to self soothe when he hangs up or takes a drive, before I used to feel like my life was over and it would send me into a melt down and I would self harm or threaten to.

Now we're sort of past that but my main issue is I get offended by tiny things and am still very insecure. For example, I was getting into bed and my partner asked if I was going to shower before getting in which I translated into him telling me I'm not clean. I ended up crying for an hour and telling him how he needs to apologise and how hurtful he had been - which is how I usually deal with my emotions instead of raging and self harming like I used to. But, still not healthy.

I guess any input from others who have healthy ways of dealing with the interpersonal relationships would be amazing! (I already have an amazing psychologist but other tips and tricks would be extra helpful)

:D
valeriam
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:04 am
Local time: Fri May 24, 2019 2:06 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Borderline Personality Disorder Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 52 guests