I was raised in a household where my mother was very abusive to my father, and controlling, agressive, etc. She was also abusive to me, but less, at least when my dad was around for her to put the brunt of it on. Now, they have divorced. I live with my dad most of the time but, like many other things am expected by my mother to do, she expects me to come over there, and so I still have to see her, unfortuately.
Anyway, that is not what the post is about. I grin and bear all of her agressive unpleasant behavior, often in silence or she just gets angrier.
I'm concerned about ME. I noticed myself behaving much the way she acts. I am seeing myself being abusive to my boyfriend, a person whom I care very much about. I am controlling, etc, etc. I make a huge effort to not get too angry and I try not to yell but a few weeks ago, a lot of things compiled, and I had two instances of flat out SCREAMING at him.
I know in every way that I am a horrible monster and need to be euthanised or put myself out of my misery now before I make him unhappy. You don't have to tell me that, this whole thing jsut adds to how bad I feel about myself and how much I hate myself.
But, I need your help. I have noticed a few things that trigger this behavior more than others-
~Lack of sleep (HUGE, causes panic attacks etc) ~Depression, which is constant ~Separation, he recently moved away and it really has been hard for me ~Stress ~Fear, more than anything else
I struggle with depression and anxiety even in good times, and a very low self image with serious suicidal tendencies which are perpetuated by others around me and kids at school. I have a temper which I feel like I cannot control and panic attacks are somethng that I have literally come close to blacking out from before (hyperventilating, no air. This was recent).
Off of this list-
Do you feel the need to control people around you, especially those close to you? Yes Does letting others take the wheel in things make you feel profoundly uncomfortable, angry or deeply insecure? Yes Do you betray the trust of others, by sharing very private information or secrets, or by blackmailing in some way? No Do you find it very hard to be patient with, or empathetic to, the troubles of others? Most people. Boyfriend is an exception to the rule- I could hug him and hold him all day, and listen to his troubles. Do you have a hard time handling variance in opinion, or when someone thinks something different than you do, do you belittle, dismiss or attack them? Are you prone to making fun of or teasing people? I rarely attack people, mostly out of fear. If it's someone who's been harassing or taunting me, which is common, and they do it enough or strike a nerve I get really angry, and my tounge stings- I know it does. Usually, whatever I say is based on logic and they're left contemplating it while I snicker in the other room. (IE, calling me a freak, me asking over and over "WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF NORMAL? No one knows, not really.) Being nice frustrates them worse than being mean but some things just send me into black-out rages, where I'm trembling and sometimes forget who I am, although I have a better handle on those now. I haven't gotten in fist fight in years, but I did threaten someone much bigger than me for punching the boyfriend. Do you often feel very jealous or possessive? Yup, all the time. I think it's caused partly by competing with my brother but never being good enough and never having friends. I feel an intense need to feel wanted and it makes me highly agressive. Do you feel your partners must be -- or accuse them of -- cheating, lying or betraying your trust? He has betrayed my trust multiple times. I try to never accuse, but lately cheating has come up in conversation, since his move we have both been worried over it simply because of distance. Have you ever hit or pushed a partner? Grabbed their arm or held them tight while you were arguing? Are you prone to do or want to do things like that when you’re angry or frustrated, rather than talking or walking away? No, but my mother does this stuff to me. I have kneed one in the balls, but he put me into a headlock and I panicked. I felt really bad afterward, as it was a reflex to being contained, and he was hit hard enough that he vomited. :/ Do you ever throw things, slam doors or make threats around your partner when you’re angry? Do you feel unable to manage your anger in any way? Definitly unable to manage my anger, but being physically near my boyfriend helps me to. Over the phone is much harder, and often fighting is over the phone. We have never yelled at eachother in person. Do you or have you ever forced or coerced a partner into having sex with you, or made it difficult for them to say no? Nope. I have had people attempt to have at it with me without consent and have been coerced into sexual behavior many times and I would not ever do that to someone else, it's screwed up. It made a mess of my life to do what I have done, and to allow people to hurt me like they have. I started being sexually active after my best friend died as a way of trying to have someone love me and fill the gap. I was not near as needy before, or as paranoid about loss, loneliness, or anything before loosing him. After that I looked for love in any place and would have given anything, even my decency, my body, ANYTHING, to get it. My current boyfriend has helped me to heal from that mentality and for the first time in my life I am feeling something other than intense pain, or numbness, with sex. I learned to block things out, I could have done anything with anyone, and never felt it. I blocked out immense pain, from cutting myself to mental pain, and learned to put up walls. It's been tough to break them down. Have you ever or do you threaten to harm yourself, your partner, or those he or she cares for if a partner leaves you or breaks up with you? Unfortunatly, yes, I am fairly certain I would commit suicide. I have threatened it before and almost went through with it in front of him, but he stopped me. I've tried probably 10-20 times, right down to planning it out, but then never have the balls to try unless I'm very very angry or very upset (raw misery, fresh wound, etc) However, I would never, ever, hurt my boyfriend. He is too important to me.
He exhibits a few of the behaviors on the list also, mostly the jealousy and being controlling about who I'm with. He also has issues with anger/suicidal stuff, and has self harmed, although we both made a promise to the other not to do that anymore. He also comes from a rather dreadful family, and I never stopped to think he was hurting me, because he isn't. I don't enjoy having arguments to go hang out with other guys but I know where he is coming from and I am the same way. I don't feel hurt or attacked by him, ever, and he makes me feel safe. In some ways I enjoy seeing him get a little jealous, if only because it makes me feel valued.
I need your help coming up with some ways to cope with my rage and fear so that I do not become so agressive and angry with him. I have been working very very hard at trusting him. I try my best to use "I" statements when there's something going wrong and I have been very sucessful in that. It is almost habitual now. Unless I am in a rage and then I don't even remember what I say.. I have lately been able to control what I say somewhat in those situations.
He has been with me for over a year through a lot of bad, bad crap in both of our lives, from drugs to my pets (family- humans are not my family) dying.
I am also considering going to a councillor/psychologist. My doctor suggested it, but I am hesitant. The last one I went to, I was not only forced to go to, but he told me terrible things like "I hope you commit suicide so I won't have to putt up with you!", and he threatened to EAT my pet rat, who is a (non official of course) therapy rat who accompanied me to every appointment.
I am open to suggestions as to how to improve this and I am going to have a conversation with him tomorrow about it, and ask him to help mediate me- if he sees me getting angry, to tell me what I'm doing before it escalates into a problem. Perhaps having that reminder will help me.
I don't think breaking up with him is the answer and it's not one I want to consider right now.
EDIT- Wow, re-reading the post it sounds like I am trying to blame it on other things. I am at fault, for sure, and certain things make it worse. I really, really, do not want to turn out like my mother.
[ 10-14-2011, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: Someone out there ]
Posts: 3 | From: US | Registered: Oct 2011
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We wouldn't call you a monster, and we also aren't going to take issue with you identifying the things that seem to trigger you behaving in these ways, or the history you have that you feel -- and are likely right -- played a part.
I also want to say that it's a big deal to acknowledge you're being abusive. So many people don't. That's just the first step and the ones after -- and taking them -- is vital, but that's a big first step. Good for you, big time.
For starters, it seems really clear you are both in a very unhealthy relationship. I don't think staying in it right now is good for either of you. I know that's never fun to hear, but it's important. And once a relationship has abuse in it, it's very, very hard for everyone involved to rid it of those dynamics. Unlearning those dynamics individually is also very difficult while one is still in relationships with them. I know you said you don;t want to consider it, but we know, from lots of study around abuse that this is a very real thing, that people who are abusive almost never change while still in relationships where they were so. So, staying in this not only seems harmful to you both as it is, it also is mostly likely to enable you to keep on behaving just these ways or escalate further.
I do think you need to get yourself some help. If a licensed counselor or therapist said those things to do, please know that alone could mean they lose their license. That kind of behaviour is beyond unethical, and please know it is NOT how you should figure people in that field behave. That behavior stands totally counter to the professional ethics they are bound to with their license. (If you want to find out how to report that person to the medical board, happy to help you with that.)
I'd be happy to help you seek out sound counseling and anger management help near you. Are you interested in that?
(Also, where you're living with your Dad, is that home safe for you right now, per being free of abuse?)
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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I spoke with him about it today, and he has agreed to help me to work on my behavior towards him. For right now, we are not going to separate. If I see it escalating, or anything else happens, I will talk to him about it and we might, but I am going to try first. There is something to valuable about this person. He's not the first I've dated in any way, nor even more special except in that we get along very well almost all the time and seeing him is enough to make me smile no matter what. He was flat out foul toward me (ignoring me, changing plans at last minute, which is something that I plain don't cope with well at all, which triggered me to freak out, and then everything got worse) for a few months when he became mentally addicted to weed as a way to solve his problems (kicked out of parent's house, struggling to survive away from me and depression/anxiety), and he's been clean for two weeks, and I am incredibly proud of him. Most of our fighting happened during that time, partly because of how he acted, and partly because I never, ever, let the subject drop, and nagged constantly at him to stop because of how destructive I saw it as being. Since he's stopped, I have seen an incredible change in behavior from him, as extreme as I saw when he started it. (It was obvious, and he was hiding t from me because he knew I would be dissapointed and angry.) I called him on it, and he admitted to what was happening, and although I know he felt bad for making me feel bad he wasn't willing to stop until recently.
I quit the coucilling years ago because of how he actes, it's far too late to try and fix it now. It perpetuated my fear of men, which I also think contibutes to a desire for control. I have no fear of my boyfriend, no matter what happens or how angry he gets, but the need to feel safe through excessive control is still there, it makes me feel like nothing will change. My mother is a psychologist. I cannot, and will not, ever trust anyone in the field because of how dreadful she is (I assume she doesn't act this way at work, just home) and how monstrous that other person was.
Supposedly there is a female psychologist nearby. I am considering going there. Right at this moment I feel pretty stable, albeit very sad because my boyfriend left for work and I don't know when I will see him again. It will be at least 2 days, which feels like eternity to me. I will not under any circumstance put myself in a room with a man ever again. The amount of stress simply from going to those appointments was incredible. I had no reason to think he would assault me but I am for some unknown reason utterly horrified of men and being alone near them for the most part. I could not go to th appointments without my rat, he was what made me feel safe.
My dad's is okay, except for the negativity my mother projects around like some sort of poison gas. Talking to her is enough to ruin my day and she insists on calling every day.
I really appreciate your advice and although I disagree with the breaking up thing the rest is very valuable. I think that with enough effort anything can change and I am going to make it happen, he is important enough to me that I WILL whip myself into shape through any means nessecary. Anyone else and I probably would not give a damn, and I am now seeing that i've done this before with other boyfriends, some of whom returned it tenfold. I do think I exageratted a bit, mostly out of self pity. I don't know, though. :/
Posts: 3 | From: US | Registered: Oct 2011
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Off of that list, I am somewhat number one although I try very hard NOT to be. I tend to get very upset over things, anger is less common then flat out crying like I'm two. It makes very little difference now, he's tired of it, and ignores it for the most part although he does try to make me feel better, so I've been doing it less and I'm glad of that.
I am also a little bit number ten. I do not start arguments with him EVER, but I do diss on people he knows. I think my reasons are valid (IE, stoner or treating him or me badly, etc), he does not, and since he told me he didn't like it I try not to do it anymore. I isolated him really badly for a long time, but it's much better now. I plain would not let him see anyone without freaking out. My reason to freak out- everyone he tried to see was a stoner or criminal and I didn't want him exposed to it anymore. I feel like I was right because once he got exposed again he started smoking again. Looking back, I approached it the wrong way- with expectations, and anger. Now, I am approaching it gently, I told him I would support him and not a day goes by when I don't remind him of how proud I am of him. He always lights up visibly when I say that, because he struggles not to smoke, especially when he is sad or anxious. I think my support is what is making the difference this time around, and I am not going to quit giving it to him.
As for the rest of that link, I am none of them that I see.
One last thing. I feel like if I am not having some sort of outburst, we communicate very well. Adults have commented on it. I need to learn to control myself, and I think everything will be okay. Everyone (literally) told me he would never ever quit with the drugs, but I knew everything would be better in the end, and somewhere through my angere, and frustration, I still believed in him if for no other reason than that I loved him so much that seeing him run himself to ruins was incomprehensible to me. He stopped in the end, mostly because of me. (A request for a single day of him not smoking for a very important event in my life. I was so happy, and made it known, when he did what I had asked, that he continued to do it.)
I really, really think that just like with many other things, if I believe in it and want it hard enough it can be done- especially in terms of making changes to myself. I'm not weak-willed by any means, and I need to direct my energy to stopping my behavior instead of being angry. It will be horribly difficult and I know it but if I think about what I have to loose and why I am doing this, I should be able to contain myself.
I also want to say that no argument, even our worst, has ever ended with us angry. Usually, we can figure whatever it is out, even if I have an outburst. Once I calm down somewhat (usually because he is obviously unhappy, and I can't stand it one bit- it softens me and I forget all about why I am angry at all in order to just see him smile again.) it is much easier to work things out. We usually just talk about problems and it works. When I freak out that does not happen but if we can both settle down a bit, we can work it all out and always say we love eachother, even after problems.
Posts: 3 | From: US | Registered: Oct 2011
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