Lightbulb Moment

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Lightbulb Moment
« on: August 01, 2016, 05:01:16 PM »
Hello to all in this forum.  I am new and looking for a place to be heard and be supported.  Like many of you I feel like I am alone.  I have alienated myself, severed most if not all ties to prevent issues at home.  My family is unable to understand my circumstances and do not have the necessary skills to provide the support I need - mostly because they do not know exactly what is going on but mainly because I am ashamed to tell them how bad it really is.  I have considered therapy, but have made the decision that there are consequences if I do.  My partner made the comment yesterday, "my therapist said the same thing to me yesterday about living for today, how did you know she said that?"  This provided concrete evidence that now she thinks that I am consulting with her therapist and if I wanted to find a therapist to deal with my own issues that she would see that I am creating an army to use against her when/if we go to war.

I have been scouring the internet trying to make sense of it all.  It is my only form of therapy at the moment.  I know that there is something seriously wrong with my partner and am suspicious she may have BPD.  She meets 7 out of 7 of the criteria.  To prevent self-diagnosis I have elected not to tell her.  She has been in therapy for "severe anxiety" for 2 years.  I made the mistake of calling her a narcissist and lost my ability to intellectually intervene in the relationship (She made it a point to get tested and her doctor told her without a shadow of doubt that she was in fact, "not" a narcissist).  Though I was wrong about her diagnosis, she now has factual evidence from a Ph. D that tells her the problem is myself and not actually her.

I am writing because my situation seems very complicated at the moment and I am at my wits end. 

I have been my partner for 6 years and together, we have raised her two children (now 12 & 14).  I say the words "together" but in all reality, I have been the adult in the relationship for 6 years raising "our" (her) children - cooking, cleaning, school, homework, etc..  Often times I feel as though I am raising her as well.  My children are very important to me.  I feel as if they do not deserve to be from a broken home.  Either way, I feel like I will lose everything if I leave the situation.

To complicate matters more, my mother had to move in with us.  She was taking care of my grandmother who passed last year.  Once she passed she could no longer afford to live on her own without my grandmother's income, assistance.  The logical step was to have her move in with us until she could get back on her feet.  We had a spare bedroom/living room whereas my brother's house was full and she would have to sleep on the couch.  In February of this year, she lost her best friend to COPD (on Valentines Day).  Come to find out when her friend passed, she (my mother) had 2 strokes.  One was on Valentine's Day and the other shortly after.  She lost feeling in her left side, trouble remembering things, falling down, lacked decision making skills, etc.  I convinced her to go the hospital where she stayed for a week to recover.  Once out of the hospital, I began to take care of my mother like any daughter would.  I helped with her physical therapy, bills, food, etc.  She can now walk despite lack of feeling in her right leg.  She still has trouble remembering, but it comes and goes.  She still lives with us to this day.  I say that....her stuff is here, but she has chosen to stay at my brother's house on the couch instead of being here.  I feel tremendous guilt.

She has spent the last week at my brother's house because my partner went through my phone and found some text messages that I thought were mine and my mother's private conversation.  We were discussing the events that transpired the night before.  Events my mother would not have witnessed if my partner wasn't being loud on purpose to push my buttons.  When I left the house to go get coffee the next morning (after she had lost control), my partner went into my mother's room as she was packing (she was leaving because she felt like she was put in the middle) to try to justify her actions/behavior.  She made my mother feel like she was being attacked.  Due to that, she left and decided not to come back.

Not only did she go through my phone, but she sat on the information for two days.  She waited until we were on our way to CVS Pharmacy before blowing up at me, speaking very ill about my mom, and causing a scene in public.  She told me "I know something you think I don't know."  That's when she told me that she knew about our conversation.  She didn't apologize for going through my phone.  She felt she was vindicated because she found evidence that supports her belief that my mother and I are plotting against her.

The conversation went like this: 

Mom:  "You ok?"

Me:  "Yeah I am ok.  I don't understand how someone can be so childish.  Granted I am not perfect but dang I don't go around making everyone uncomfortable just because I am upset.  She swore she wasn't in a bad mood but she wouldn't leave me alone.  So tired of being her scapegoat."

Mom:  "What happened?"

Me:  "I told her one of these days someone is going to trip over the dogs and bust their head open.  Didn't think I was being rude.  Just thought they should not be chewing bones in the kitchen.  She blew up at me.  Then I told her I liked it better when she was in a bad mood on the weekends.  That is when she stormed off and slammed the door.  I know what I said was rude but it was true."

Mom:  "Oh my.  She can get pretty loud.  I don't see how you can continue living like that if you don't mind me saying."

Me:  "She was loud on purpose.  She knows it embarrasses me and makes me mad.  I know how you feel sometimes I feel the same way.  Then I think about how screwed up the kids would be if I wasn't around.  I know they aren't mine, but it doesn't feel like that to me."

Mom:  "I just worry life is flying by and you aren't happy.  Don't know if she is fixable.  You guys are like oil and water."

Me:  "Yeah I think about that too.  A few years ago I wouldn't have agreed with you but she wasn't always like this.  I know I can't turn back time but at the very least I thought I could give her a chance to see if she could turn herself around.  Though it really seems like I am her trigger."

Fast forward to this weekend, which was my 34th birthday.  We decided to spend it in the city with her and our two children.  It was very scary to me because I wasn't sure what would happen.  For my own sake, I just wanted a couple of days to pretend that everything was ok.  To my surprise, things were a bit better than normal.  Except for the fact that my partner did not give me a gift or even a birthday card.  Our kids went through great lengths to create a gift for me and a home made card.  It was heartwarming to feel so special.  I thought maybe she was saving her gift/card for the end of the weekend so as to not to overdo what the kids had done.  I wasn't expecting much to begin with, but I honestly did think I was going to get a card.  She was asking me to forgive her, to talk to her, to give her a chance the entire week leading up to this weekend.  I guess I expected too much.  I got my hopes up again and I regret it (again). 

I waited until Sunday night just before bed.  I couldn't take the pressure of not knowing any more.  I asked her why she didn't at least get me a card.  I was hoping for some real reason but all I got at first were excuses.  She said we were fighting the week before and she didn't know if we were still together.  She had to go out of town on business and didn't have time.  She didn't think about sneaking off alone while in the city to get something for me.  When that didn't pacify me, she told me she didn't get a gift for me because of the way I had been acting.  She then told me that she was truly sorry and that she wanted to make it up to me.  I told her that it would insult me more because she is only trying to make herself feel better.  I told her what is done is done and that we can only move on.

This is only a snip-it of a full range of a complete cycle of behavior from her (and me).  I have a year's worth of text messaging where I complain about her paranoia and her ability to control me: 

She is jealous of my mother and doesn't allow me to get close.  What little time I do spend with my mother I am blamed for using it to plot against my partner.  She reminds me that it's not fair because her mother has passed and she can't spend time with her own mother.  She says I get to spend all day with her (even though I am actually working) and that at night I should be able to spend time with only my partner.  She doesn't understand why my mother can't just stay in her room.  She told my mother that she cannot be in the living room with us and is not allowed to sit on her pillows. 

When I visit my family she thinks we spend all of our time talking about her.  I am forced to pacify her by telling her exactly what I did with them and what was said.  If she thinks I am being dishonest, I am punished with explosive anger and outbursts (especially in public).

When my family visits me she is worried that she will be made to look like a fool, be the butt of a joke, or that they will see her for who she truly is.  She lashes out at them without just cause.  In her mind they were thinking it anyway so she just beat them to the punch.  She takes innocent words and phrases as a sign that there is some sort of secret conversation going on and quickly gets upset, causing a scene.  When she walks into the room and hears her name, the entire story has to be repeated so she can verify that only nice things were said.  If anything sounds off, well, you get the point.  When I confront her about it after my family leaves, I am told that I am not taking her side, sticking up for her like a partner would, and do not listen to her.

She blames me for the way she acts.  She withholds her "good" behavior until she gets what she wants.  She acts out without caring who is around (even our children) and has actually told me in front of my family "no I will not stop acting this way until you give me what I want."  She misinterprets words and phrases to turn them into a different meaning - usually in a way to support her paranoia. 

She gets upset when she is not invited to do things.  She says that I am leaving her out on purpose or that I have other motives - ones that will make her look like a fool.  When I do invite her, she says she doesn't want to go and when I return I am forced to explain minute by minute what I did, and what everyone said so she can ensure she wasn't the brunt of anyone's joke.  She then makes me feel guilty for spending time with anyone other than her. 

She makes me feel guilty for spending any money out of our joint bank account but is free to do hair, nails, take kids to do something fun, withdraw copious amounts of cash without saying what it's for, and then makes me feel guilty for paying my mother's bills. 

She says I am lucky because I work from home and get to spend all day with the kids and my mother while she is providing for us every day in the office - in all actuality I spend all day working with very little interaction with anyone other than co-workers. 

She constantly thinks her job is in jeopardy.  That she will receive a personal improvement plan from her boss and that other co-workers are out to get her.  She comes home only to open her laptop and continue working.  Then she complains to me that I get to spend all the time with the kids while she is busting her rear working. 

She actually admitted that she says and does things on purpose to bring me down with her - to make me feel as bad as she does.  Then she justifies it by telling me that I too have done stuff on purpose to make her miserable. 

She lies on purpose.  When caught, she denies it.  Even when there is substantial proof (physical/tangible evidence) that she was lying.  When she won't admit it, she finds a way to blame me.  Example:  I made her paranoid because she thought I was going to screw her over.  Therefore, she pulled large amounts of cash to put in her personal bank account for when I leave her. 

When she cheated on me a few years ago, she said it was because I wasn't giving her what she needed emotionally (At the time I had a miscarriage and was dealing with loss).  She has become suspicious of me by going through my phone, requiring passwords to everything, and controlling where I go and what I do.  She often tries to check up on me, though there is nothing to check up on.  I can't handle this relationship, let alone a secret one.

A while back I was hospitalized for reasons the doctors were never able to figure out.  My immune system was fighting something off by running high fever off and on for no reason.  I had developed severe edema and fluid gathered in my lungs.  I couldn't walk more than ten feet without being out of breath.  When I almost passed out because of it, I went to the ER.  They ran all sorts of tests but could never determine the cause.  They mis-diagnosed me with AIDS due to the way my body was reacting.  For the two weeks I had to wait to find out the results of my HIV/AIDS test, I was yelled at for not taking care of the dogs, I was made to feel like I was faking it, and the whole time she was complaining about how stressful it was on her.  For two weeks I was contemplating how I was going to end my life because of this terrible disease I had contracted without just cause.  There was no way I was going to live with this disease.  I finally found out two weeks later that I didn't have HIV/AIDS and to this day, the doctors still don't know what happened.  All my partner remembers is having to "pick up the slack" when I was sick.

It wasn't until recently that I learned she was stashing money away in fear I was going to leave her.  I have to be honest, I 100% want to leave her.  I have changed my bank account over to my own personal.  I have been reading self help forums and educating myself on what is actually going on.  But I am scared to be on my own.  I can't remember what peace was like and the idea of not having drama in my life is frightening.  The silence might actually be too much for me to handle.  I have to walk away from my kids.  I have to walk away from my home.  I have to start over again and the idea is almost too much.  The days in between her rage and angry outbursts are extremely confusing.  I know it is only a matter of time before the cycle will begin again.  I am stuck here until I save up enough money to get out.  I am not young nor do I have the ability to sleep on someone's couch.  I have my mother and the kids to think about.  I wish that I had the finances to leave for good.  Instead, I have to suffer through each episode and play nice until I can finally afford my own place.  I just want all of this to be over.

Thanks for listening.