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Author Topic: Help, please
Kawani3792
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I'm...kind of struggling about things involving my current relationship and how I enter this relationship brainwise and how my family has affected my brain and attitude towards relationship stuff.

I don't know if any of this makes sense and I'm just, I feel so stupid so often.

My girlfriend and I get into arguments, maybe, once a week, once every couple of weeks? And in the logic part of my brain, that looks at our arguments, I know logically that these are healthy arguments.

Like, we have never had anything that didn't stem from a misunderstanding thing. We have never had anything that didn't end with one of us suddenly 'getting' what the issue was, and realizing what was going on, and apologizing and we both start laughing and everything just kind of...deflates? We don't bring up old arguments, or things that the other person did that bothered us. We don't simmer about something frustrating and then have a blowup later. I logically know that couples are going to have arguments and that overall, this is a fairly healthy model of arguing. Get the issues out, understand them, and end up laughing. We've forgotten what the original issue was, several times.

And we've had times, nearly any time when she's frustrated with me, or I'm frustrated with her, and I'm just...petrified that she hates me, she never wants to see me again, and I voice this, and she sort of shrugs and goes "Of course I love you, that never changed. Why would that have changed?" And I just...


My entire growing up, my parents are and were and just, controlling and yelling and abusive-never physically, which is worse, because it's harder to say that your parents are abusive if they never hit you.

But they screamed at each other, like, personal attacks and cursing and all of the things that my girlfriend and I don't do. My father would come to fists with my brother. My parents used to yell at me for crying and say that I would start bawling if someone looked at me cross-eyed, but I attribute that tendency to the fact that my dad...he's like, the Incredible Hulk, but like, he wants to be the dominant person. If you challenge him, like my brother did/does, then he doesn't allow for, this is my kid, this is a human being 27 years younger than me, this is a child, it's just, submit to my dominance. And it's safer and easier and everything to sob because then you are weaker and you are no threat. The once or twice I ever yelled at him, defiantly, he pulled back his hand to slap me.

They screamed at my brother and I, they threatened, they were controlling and just really, really awful people.


And...I'm starting to put things together. I...does it make sense, that, my brain, especially as a kid, goes "They hate each other, and they hate me, and my brother, because they yell at each other and at us" because it's too hard to still believe that people who would love each other and me would behave like that? Because part of me knows that they probably believe they love me. But a larger part of me knows for absolute fact that they don't love me, they don't want me around except as the polite and predictable kid who does whatever she has to do to avoid getting yelled at.

And then, I'm...I feel like, because every time my girlfriend says, after us being annoyed and frustrated at each other, that she loves me, that she never stopped loving me and why would us being annoyed at each other stop her loving me, I burst into tears and shock and I always feel like, shouting is supposed to mean you hate me. That's how the world works. Yelling means anger and anger means hate. And I try to explain this to her because I feel like it's just that she doesn't get it because she grew up differently, and then I start realizing that more people agree with her than with me.


I'm so scared and confused, and angry, because it's not fair to have been hurt this much. I thought once I got away from my family I would be okay. And I was, I was in college and I was happy, I just had sobbing breakdowns once in a while because apparently all of the 'happy' with my family was actually varying degrees of miserable, but I was healing, and then I got into a relationship with someone I really like, and she pointed out how awful my family is, and I started realizing how much more I'd gotten from them than I had realized.


I know I need a counselor, but I have literally no job and I don't know if me going to a psych person with my parents' insurance would show up on a statement somewhere that they could see. I've seen two counselors, ever, both at my school's freebie clinic, one was a get-to-know-your-issues session where the nice lady wrote stuff down, and one was me spending all day wanting to not exist and having a mental breakdown (this happened to be the day of a paper being due, but the mental things were unrelated to the paper...I just kind of fell apart. I'd entirely forgotten about the paper) and finally going in as a walk-in, and the woman I talked to asked how I was, and I said horrible, and she asked about my classwork, and I remembered that the paper was due, and she spent the rest of the time focusing on me needing to get the paper done and ignoring the reason I went in, which was the wanting-to-not-exist, and I left feeling worse than when I went in. I'm kind of iffy about psych people, they cost a lot of money, I can't afford any sliding scale other than 'free', and I'm no longer a student so I can't access the free student services.

I'm just wanting to know...does this make sense? I feel like I'm making everything up. I'm just trying to come up with a reason for why I do this and the truth is that I'm just stupid or horrible or something. I just want to know that I can fix myself, and that it's not just me, that I'm not naturally broken.


(sorry for what I think is probably Big Wall o'Text)

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Redskies
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Hey, Kawani.

I feel very, very sure that you are not naturally broken, not horrible, and not stupid. Everything you're saying here makes a great deal of sense. It's also very clear that you're not making anything up: for a start, you feel the way you feel, and how does anyone make that up - and secondly and larger, what you're describing in your childhood is a real thing that is very unsurprising if it has an effect on someone growing up in it.

To maybe give you a bit of perspective, in a (supposedly) equal adult relationship, shouting with threats, dominance and control would really do a number on someone on the receiving end of that, or just living in it. Whatever someone doing that believes they are feeling, they are certainly not acting love, and they're creating an environment that is very insecure, unsafe, uncaring and confusing. That's on an adult. Children, especially young children, understand and interpret the world a little differently, typically very them-centric: very naturally, if something around them is wrong, they assume and feel that it is about them. So, if you grew up in an environment of shouting, threats and dominance, it's deeply unsurprising that you would feel very strongly about shouting and feel that it must be because someone hates you. Our emotions and deep inner beliefs often don't stay in line with what we rationally believe or want to believe.

I hear you when you say you probably have a minority view of shouting. That does not, in any way, make your viewpoint less valid. It is absolutely ok for you to feel uncomfortable or distressed by shouting, and given the background you described, we're pretty much in no-brainer territory for why you feel that way. Also, just because a majority of people think a certain way, being the majority does not make them right. People certainly do not Have to shout, and you have a right to feel safe and secure.

It is most definitely not fair that you're hurting this much, and I'm so sorry that you're in this situation. It's not uncommon for people to realise more that things were very wrong in their childhood the more distance they have from it and the more they experience of the rest of the world. If it helps, while I cannot exactly understand your own personal situation because I haven't lived your life, I do understand the broad strokes of feeling so hurt and confused about something like this, and that most of the world does not understand and simply cannot understand because their experiences have been so different. You (and I, for that matter) are not alone with this: there are people who have experienced something similar and who feel something similar.

I agree it would likely be really helpful for you to get some good therapy. Is that something you feel up to looking into? If so, I'd suggest a good opening step might be to contact your parents' insurance company and ask them about their billing and statement procedures.

A second area I'd make suggestions in is around disagreements with your girlfriend. It sounds as if those disagreements are currently playing out in a way that's causing you more distress than they need to. After all, having a disagreement be healthy is not just about the nuts and bolts of how it's done, but about each person's needs and how they feel during and after. Would you like to talk about how you and your girlfriend might modify how you have disagreements so that you feel a little less distressed and more secure, and how you might talk about this with your girlfriend?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Kawani3792
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Re: disagreements, the problem is, for me to feel less stressed, it means basically putting a lid on all disagreements. Which I feel like is a lot worse, in terms of healthy relationship-ness, than me resigning myself to her breaking up with me each time we get in an argument.

She doesn't do anything that would cause me to have any reason to think she no longer cares about me...it's just me.

If you have ideas about how to help, that would absolutely be wonderful. I just, don't know how.


I can contact the insurance company and check that?
Do you know if I can find that information online? I don't do phone conversations well.


But, this makes sense? I'm not just inherently messed up and I'm not stupid and this makes sense?

Thank you.

[ 05-16-2014, 06:30 PM: Message edited by: Kawani3792 ]

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fluorite
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Hey,

I just wanted to chime in here and say that I think everything you said makes total sense. I don't think I have the same past as you but there are some similarities it sounds like, and I also have a really really hard time hearing raised voices.

In terms of disagreements with your girlfriend, do you think it would be possible to say the words but speak them, not yell them? Would that help?

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fluorite
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Oh I also wanted to say that I can really relate to your frustration with people who say that unless there was physical abuse, it's not a big deal. Emotional abuse is a huge deal. Words are so tricky. I learned what some words and phrases meant and it's taking me a long time to relearn what they mean when people who actually care about me say them.

I definitely don't think you're stupid, I think you're smart for figuring all this out.

A friend told me, and this really helped, that what happened will always be a part of you, and that's ok. But with time and work and help it won't rule your life. In some ways healing is never ending, but that's okay too.

Now back to me speaking, I think it's great that you know your girlfriend cares about you even when she is annoyed. I also know that there are things I know intellectually but don't really believe emotionally. It's getting better though.

As for therapy it can really help! But. Not every therapist wil be a good fit. Is there any kind of community mental health center where you live?
Or, is there any kind of lgbtq center even in a nearby city? (From the pronouns in your first post it sounds like you identify as not straight. Hope I'm not making too many assumptions) sometimes places like this will have information on finding free therapy.

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Redskies
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I really like fluorite's contributions here [Smile]

Kawani, what you're saying makes all the sense in the world. There is no reason why you would be "inherently" messed up, because what you're describing in your childhood is amply capable of having all these effects by itself. It is honestly really unsurprising that you struggle with shouting and with feeling any security when there's conflict with someone, because it sounds like your early experiences around conflict as a child were truly unsafe and insecure. Those experiences tend to stick with someone, and it's really not down to the child or the child-become-adult. Bluntly: no, it's really, really not you, it's the crappy experiences you had as a child.

I am not very familiar with US health insurance systems, but you can certainly ask the company and see what they say. I don't know if your company will have the relevant information online, but it can't hurt to look. Many companies now offer some kind of online enquiry service, if that's something that might also work for you.

I agree that shutting off all disagreement is not healthy and would probably not be good for any relationship. I'm hearing how much difficulty you have with it, so, in the here and now, I think it will probably continue to be challenging for you, however kind and secure you and your girlfriend both make it. I do think that there will be adaptions that you both will be able to make so that it's not quite so hard for you, though.

Want to shed a bit more light on how these disagreements have been going, so everyone - us here, and you and your girlfriend - can troubleshoot with some of the most promising-sounding ideas for improvement? For example, when you both disagree, are things framed on either side with any accusation or defensiveness? Do you feel like you're both working together to solve the puzzle of where you're disconnecting, or are you on opposite sides? Do you both still use kind and affectionate language to each other? Any observations about body language?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Kawani3792
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@Fluorite-

You're correct. I usually go with just 'queer' as a sort of umbrella not-straight word, but I'm homoromantic asexual.

I live in a relatively large college town-we have a GSA at the college, but there's no actual lgbt center in the town itself. There's a queer theatre group and an AIDS awareness group, but I'm in Kentucky, we don't really have resources for queer people. Or at least, we don't make them known.

I don't believe there's one in any nearby towns-there are only a couple of large-ish towns in this state, everything around is going to be smaller and more conservative. I also don't drive or know anyone who does-I use public transit and my feet to get anywhere. There are therapists in the area, but the only ones I know of are the freebie school ones, or the reduced-fee ones, where it's cheaper because that's how students wanting to become professionals get their hours in.

On the bright side, I got a call earlier and I've been hired for what's basically a dream job for me, working in one of the public libraries in town, so I can afford things like rent and food and possibly therapy.


@Redskies-

So, first off, my girlfriend has a good long list of mental things-anxiety, depression, Asperger's Syndrome (or high-functioning autism, etc), OCD, ADD...so there's plenty of opportunities to get things mixed up. I have anxiety and depression but nothing else, as far as I know.

In terms of how disagreements go-

Our disagreements, literally every one, has been one of us doing something that doesn't make sense to the other because our brains do not work the same way.

For example, earlier, I mentioned calling some of the people I knew in a town I used to live in. They were supervisors of mine at the library there when I was a volunteer, and I want to tell them that I got the job I was applying for. I like them, and they like me, and I want to tell them. She doesn't understand why it matters to me to let them know, because they don't need to know, and therefore there's no reason to tell them. It wasn't a disagreement, but it's just a situation where our perspectives are different, because to her, there's no reason to tell someone something if they don't have a literal need to know.

But so, there's no accusation or defensiveness-it's pretty much just confusion and trying to explain things. She usually raises her voice when she gets frustrated, without noticing, and I do the same. It's not arguing-that's why I said disagreements. It's like, a conversation between a babysitter and a kid, and the kid wants to go jump in a fountain fully clothed. There's no anger-just one person trying to go "No, this is a bad idea, why is this not getting through to you??!" and the other one saying that it's fun and it's something they want to do and why don't you understand my point?

And then the babysitter finally says something about needing to be home in half an hour and the kid is like "Oh. We have to be home soon. That's why this is bugging you so much, it's not just an irrational thing, you have a point" or the kid says that they had been looking forward, all day, to playing in this fountain and the babysitter is like "Oh. Okay. I didn't know you had been wanting to do this. I just thought, you saw it and you decided to absolutely do this thing and be stubborn for no reason. I'm sorry." and everything makes sense.

I do think it's on opposite sides, but in the same way that the babysitter and kid are on opposite sides-just trying to go "But this makes sense because this and this and here is how it is going in my head!" and "But this doesn't make sense because something and something else!" and going back and forth until we finally get to what the issue is and we both get what's going on.

We definitely do still use affectionate language-neither of us has actually used each other's first name in ages. It's actually a little amusing, to me, that we're both frustrated and confused and going "But that doesn't make sense, love!" "Yes it does, sweetheart, why don't you get it!" And as far as I can tell, neither of us is particularly arms-crossed or like, angry-face...it's more, withdrawing into ourselves, at least with me. I think girlfriend does the same, to a lesser extent. I tend to curl up, hide under a blanket, etc.

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Redskies
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Okay.

Different things suit different people, so feel free to adapt or toss out any suggestions that wouldn't suit you or your girlfriend, and to ask for more.

The first thing I'm going to suggest is a pretty common piece of advice. I suggest you and your girlfriend change some of your language a bit. In your examples above, you wrote mostly "you" statements, with some sweeping whole-world-factual statements, for example "why don't you get it" and "this doesn't make sense". For most people, hearing expressions like that doesn't help them discuss the problem constructively. "You" statements suggest, implicitly, that there is something wrong with the other person's thinking or understanding; a whole-world statement ("that doesn't make sense") suggests that the other person is wrong. I'm gathering from the general picture of what you write that these aren't messages you and your girlfriend are meaning to give each other, but still, the language we use matters, and when we're feeling things we do tend to respond to the actual words that are said. In the examples you give, too, they seem to be framed predominantly "why don't you understand": in a discussion, there aren't really a lot of sensible answers someone can give to that, and it's likely to make someone feel frustrated and like the problem is being labelled as theirs.

Instead, it's better to use "I"-statements. Those might look like "I feel like you're not understanding what I mean", or "I don't understand what you mean" or "This doesn't make sense to me" or "I think this is a bad idea".

You and your girlfriend have a really good thing already in that you know these disagreements are rooted in some missing piece of information about the other's viewpoint. How about using that from the very beginning of a disagreement? Instead of being on opposite sides trying to convince the other person of your own position and implying, whether you mean to or not, that the other person is wrong, how about teaming up to solve the puzzle or the problem of why you feel at odds? Possible language for that might be "I think we're missing something" or "I think we're not understanding each other" or "our brains are being really different again!" For the kid and the babysitter, they'd figure it out faster if they weren't trying to convince each other of their point, but instead trying to find out why the other disagrees.

Might you feel a little better if you both clearly acknowledged these situations as both of you teaming up from the beginning to figure something out? As soon or one or both of you realises that you're out of kilter or the other is seeming to do or say something odd, one or both of you might step back a little and communicate "oh, we're feeling frustrated or puzzled, that means that there's something about each other's viewpoint that we just don't understand yet; ok, let's find what it is". Do you think you and your girlfriend could do that? People come up with different methods for it, for example, some people arrange a code-word or some other symbol that is shorter and easier than saying a whole bunch of words. Perhaps you might also come up with some physical or symbolic ways of showing that you are a team and care about each other - some people might pick holding hands?

Would it help you if your girlfriend said very explicitly something like "I don't agree with you/I don't understand what you mean but it doesn't mean I hate you, I love you, and we'll figure it out"?

It would probably help if you both try to deliberately lower your voices. Any techniques that work to reduce the frustration in these interactions will help that naturally, too.

Would it help if your girlfriend curled up or hid under the blanket with you, or something else that's demonstrably supportive that you can both do? Some people feel better if it's clear the other person in a scary situation is an ally and right there with them.

How do these sound?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Kawani3792
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I do see your point about "you" versus "I", I'd never actually thought about that. When we're having issues, it tends to be thought of, by both of us, as "This is how the world works, and you are not understanding this". But it probably would be better if we were phrasing it as, how *I* am thinking and feeling, rather than what *you* are doing wrong.

We can try beginning from a foundation of "Okay, what's the confusing thing here? Let's figure it out", I'm just a little uncertain. We aren't great at thinking over things logically when frustrated-both of us, if we're too stuck, end up just nonverbal and basically shutting down, system restore for a few minutes. When we manage to catch what's going on in time, there have been times in the past where we realize that it's leading to a disagreement and are like "Hang on, what's going on. What's in your brain, what's in my brain?" "Sweetie that's an OCD thing, that is MOST DEFINITELY an OCD thing." (this sentence spoken during giggles, usually) Basically, our final goal type thing is, what is this attributable to? "No, dear, that thought process is from your family." "That's an OCD thing." "Have you slept? Did you take your anxiety meds? You didn't take your anxiety meds, did you?" "Is this an Aspie thing?" "Yes, sweetheart, that is an Aspie thing, that is not a normal person brain thing."

^It helps both of us when we're able to identify what that thought is from, because then we know why it's there and what's going on and it doesn't have the control anymore, we can ignore it.

But it's difficult unless we catch what's going on before we start getting actively like frustrated and stuff, because we both withdraw and have our own little issues, and it's hard to...I don't know, regain control on it? When I shut down, I'm spending the next hour, at least, fragile and quiet and trying to recuperate and calm down. And she spends at least as long, probably longer, where it's "don't touch me, I don't hate you but don't touch me or like talk to me or anything". I guess...think of it as, like, your computer starting to freeze up. If you notice that it's running slow, you can use control-alt-delete or whatever, close down the windows, etc. It might take a few minutes but it's easy enough. But you have to notice it and catch it. If you don't, and your computer really freezes up, it takes forever and it's annoying and it's just ugh. If my girlfriend or I realize "Okay, what's going on? I think you have an Aspie thought, I think your anxiety stuff is getting the better of you" then we can hit control-alt-delete and deal with the issue and it's quick and painless. If we don't realize, and we're basically debating each other, and then there's too much to keep track of and her "making words with vocal cords" ability kind of blanks out, and I've got emotions and I'm sobbing and have a pounding headache and it feels hard to breathe and I definitely can't speak. We got what the issue was, but it took too long and now we've both shut down and we're recuperating for a while.

A physical thing wouldn't work, unfortunately. She has issues around physical touch and company in general, ranging from "Don't touch me right now" to "Um...I'm really sorry but can you...um..." "Do you need me to leave? Will front room or taking a bath work or do you need me to leave the house?" "Um...maybe go to the store or something?"
When she's frustrated, that gets worse. For a lot of people, holding hands or being close is nice during an argument-for her, it's more stressful and makes things worse.


That's the thing, she literally does do that, from maybe, three months, four months after we started dating, when she was over the new relationship paranoia and I was still panicking any time I said something stupid. She explicitly says "Hey, dear, I don't hate you, I love you, very much. I promise, I don't hate you, I love you very very much and I'm going to marry you and you're wonderful."

She's pretty great.

It does help, once I relax enough to believe her-it usually triggers the sobbing "You...don't actually hate me?" bit, but it is helpful and good.


A part of my stuff with her in specific, I think, is that I have the viewpoint that she only divorces disagreeing with me and her feelings about me because of her mental things, and that at some point, she's going to realize that for normal people, yelling and disagreements and such mean you don't like the person and they don't like you.

I'm reasonably sure, from this thread and from being around other people, that this isn't the case-that normal people can have arguments and stuff and still be a healthy, functional, and happy couple. That disagreeing and being confused about things doesn't actually mean hating the other person. But when I'm worrying, I don't believe that. And I'm okay when I remember that she has these mental things, because then I remember that she doesn't think this way. But-I mean, I don't really have friends or acquaintances or anyone that I talk to on a regular basis that A. Doesn't have mental stuff, or B. I know well enough to know their thought processes about this sort of thing.

So when I forget that she doesn't automatically associate yelling with hate and anger and never wanting to speak to me again...yeah, that's when I panic.

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OhImpecuniousOne
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Regarding catching it in time - do you think that's something you could both work on? I'm presuming here that you don't go from 100% fine to shutting down in an instant; so it might be worthwhile for both of you to try to practise checking in regularly on how you're feeling, so that you can get better at spotting the 'warning signs' so to speak, and can then go and say "Okay, stop, I'm feeling like x so we need to work out why before it goes any further." Or maybe, if you both struggle with that, get into the habit of asking each other, at an interval that makes sense to you, "How are you feeling?", and actually pausing and thinking about it before giving an answer, rather than automatically saying "I'm fine! You?" like we tend to do usually. [Razz]

Another thing which just came to my mind randomly, so please only try it if it actually sounds like a good idea to you, is this: instead of talking back and forth, and repeating yourselves and bouncing off each other; maybe try, when you're disagreeing about something, to take five minutes and separately write down your points of view. Try to be thorough - I use the inquisitive child method, which is to say write down your opinion, then ask why you think that and write that down, then ask why you think the second level of things... and so on until you feel like you've got to the root of your thoughts. Hopefully, you could then compare notes, and find the "key" strange thought which makes it all makes sense.


Like you say, love and disagreement generally work just fine together, and while it's all very well knowing that, it can be hard to feel it. You may just have to keep on reassuring yourself of that until eventually you find that you believe it. But I would suggest that you think on this question - do you stop loving your girlfriend when you disagree, when you're shouting at her and think she's being ridiculous about something? Her answer to that is probably the same as yours!

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Redskies
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Kawani, it's clear you and your girlfriend already do a great job of working well with each other and being compassionate with each other, so real kudos to both of you.

How are you both at knowing and identifying each of your individual patterns and your couple-patterns that play out in the run-up to one or both of you shutting down or you debating each other? The more patterns and signs you can identify, the more chance you have of one or more of you being able to notice them when they start and then finding a circuit-breaker before things get too tough. It's never going to be a 100% science, but reducing the number of times things get tough can only help.

Even though your girlfriend can't be there personally sometimes, there are still a lot of options available to you that could provide you with some kind of comfort, care or reminder in those times, if that's something that might help you? For example, she might write you a message or give you something symbolic that you can keep and look at at those times, or perhaps there's an object/s or some kind of sensory input that would remind you of what she really thinks and that she cares about you, or perhaps there's a particular memory that you could deliberately replay to remind you? Of course, there are plenty of other possibilities too, if this kind of thing appeals to you.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kawani3792
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Member # 48854

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I'm sorry I haven't been here in a while. I've been busy with work, and then we've been working on these things.

I know this probably sounds stupid, but about a week ago, we went out to do shopping, run errands and the like, and we went to the little Disney store in our mall-we've been watching a show together online in our spare time, and she mentioned that she might like having a stuffed version of one of the characters. And the store has a stuffed version of one of the cats, named Marie, from the old Aristocats movie.

And my girlfriend's name is Marie so, I got that, and it kind of actually does help to have it around? It's kind of silly but it is sort of useful to have something there that feels so much like her? Which seems even more stupid because she's literally bought me things, including stuffed animals, here and there since we met, so those should really have more significance than this small stuffed cat that I've had for a week, but it does kind of help.

We're both recognizing that individually...we're kind of awful at recognizing our own patterns. I can tell when she's not doing well, and she can see the same in me, but neither of us is particularly good at speaking up. We're trying to work on both catching these things in ourselves, not just each other, and on actually telling each other "Um, can we like, settle down and watch something?"

We managed to head off stuff the other day from when we were both just frustrated with each other and both of us wanted to keep going...it would've ended up as a big thing, because it was just a stupid conversation where we both misinterpreted something and were already on edge from other stuff, and I managed to go "No, please don't do the talking, I'm just going to turn on the show and we'll watch the show because this isn't important, we both got mixed up and it's not a big deal and we need to just stop the talking for now." And then we sort of slowly settled down over the next hour or so and watched our show and didn't end up screaming at each other. It was really really nice.

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Redskies
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Kawani, no worries about being away for a while - this conversation is for you, whenever you'd like and are able to pick it up [Smile]

The stuffed character cat doesn't sound silly at all! People's brains all connect things in different ways, so if having a stuffed toy that shares your girlfriend's name is what connects for you, then good on you for finding a thing that helps you [Smile]

Of course, having one thing doesn't limit you in exploring other things that might help you feel more secure, so that's still somewhere where you can be creative and try things, as and when needed.

Sounds like working on recognising your patterns and speaking up is a really good thing for you both to be doing, then. Well done on speaking up when you did and beginning to put these changes into place: I'm glad it was so much better for you. From the things you've already written here, you were obviously pretty aware, so possibly I don't need to say this - but just in case: when you or you and she shut down the unpleasant, unproductive spiral, it's important that you both know there'll be opportunities later, in healthier and more productive circumstances, if either of you has anything that you need to say. As we discussed earlier, shutting down communication or disagreement isn't healthy for a relationship. The aim is simply to shut down the misunderstanding-shouting-black-hole spiral so that it doesn't hurt you both and swallow things that you actually want/need to say to each other. It's always ok (other than in a dire emergency!) to delay communication to a time when both people are able to do it better and more kindly, so long as it isn't put off indefinitely.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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