PD symptoms exacerbated by stress

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Bo-Peep

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PD symptoms exacerbated by stress
« on: April 07, 2019, 02:42:46 AM »
It's been quite a while since I've visited this site. I remember when I first came OOTF, I thought that the coping mechanisms that I was developing would have to be my new normal. But that hasn't been the case. For one, I feel like a lot of them (grey rock, medium chill, not JADEing, etc) require almost super human strength, are hard to maintain consistently, and cause me more even more resentment than I already have (though they definitely have a time and place, and are fantastic for when you just really need to break a cycle and keep the peace for a while.)

But mostly, I haven't been here much because I haven't needed to be. My uppdh's more sinister symptoms have been in remission for a while.

Unfortunately, his issues have reared their ugly head this week with the appearance of almost every ugly characteristic a pd can display. False accusations, disassociation, catastrophizing, circular conversations, blaming, etc have me desperate, incredulous and trying to understand how I've managed to stay married to this person all this time when he is this disturbed.

And then I realize it's because he hasn't been. At least not to this extreme.

So what's different? A professional disappointment has him reeling.

I'm sure this is common sense. Just like anyone else's bad tendencies, his are exacerbated by stress. It's just so strange how specific his reaction is. Most people get grouchy when stressed. He becomes more paranoid.

He was passed over for something he felt like he deserved and now he's asking me if I'm cheating on him, doubting everything I tell him, telling me to stay away from a neighbor that we've lived next to for years because I casually mentioned that I finally met him while walking the dog today, and so on.

But it has me thinking. In addition to practicing the tools in the toolbox, can doing everything (within reason) to help minimize a pd's stress level help manage the symptoms? Could I try to be more aware of his stress levels to better prepare myself and protect myself from likely flare ups?

Have you noticed such a direct correlation between stress and your partner's symptoms?

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Spygirl

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Re: PD symptoms exacerbated by stress
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 12:40:10 AM »
My stbxh is like this.

Anything negative is caused by outside forces in his mind. He is not ever responsible. Only cheated.

If one of his irrational fears "came true" he would be on the prowl to unmask all the other fears in his head. It was a raging frenzy about every two weeks on average. I was mercilessly mentally and emotionally abused, just as you are.

Except that, they were not fears. They were all irrational conspiracy theories that needed to be proved true to his own mind. It gave him a feelin of being in control. Now that we have been apart for a year and a half, i have come to realize his behavior was to MAKE all of them "truth."

I was accused of cheating on a monthly basis. I was accused, because knowing my personality, if i WAS cheating, i would not be able to lie well. Once he had seen his "PROOF" that i was not at the momemt, he would be satisfied, and give me a little affection. Like a neglected pet.

That crap went on for 10 years. I had a nervous breakdown, left, and got a therapist.
Best thing i ever did for myself.

Its a good thing you understand what is happening. His stress is his to manage. I am sure you do everything possible to make things easier on him, and help him feel secure. Imo, you cannot "MANAGE" a pd.
You can only resign yourself as obedient to them.

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Bloomie

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Re: PD symptoms exacerbated by stress
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2019, 01:06:45 PM »
Bo-Peep - Stress may exacerbate your H's disordered behaviors, but the trigger seems to be ego injury and perceived rejection which you cannot control, change, or cure for him.

The NPD family members in my life do not seem to have a stable sense of themselves and are always looking outside themselves for validation and some kind of sense of themselves. When something is perceived as rejection or being overlooked their ability to cope is limited and they begin to spin. Feelings become facts. Projection and paranoia are the norm as they seek a level of reassurance that we simply cannot humanly give them. They are filled with self doubt and rage and the sense of injustice that they were overlooked for something or by someone they felt entitled to in the midst of their grandiosity. There is a vast chasm of need that no one can fill ime.

Setbacks and disappointments are a part of life and something everyone faces. For the PD family members in my life they are experienced as monumental and due to emotional immaturity they look to others to make it better.  :no:

The toolbox and glossary are filled with common behaviors that can help you right now. Along with a do/don't section for each. For example: False Accusations and Distortion Campaigns is a good one for your situation.

All of the tools you mentioned are meant to be used as needed rather than a constant state of being imv with an intimate partner. They are helpful in times when a PD partner is escalating and acting out like you are facing right now.

Setting appropriate boundaries with logical consequences will move you forward and help you keep your sanity when those false accusations arise. Say what you need to say to redirect your H, one time, and then if he persists in his paranoid accusations calmly end the conversation - as an example.

Good luck with this. I am glad you reached out for support.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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vonmoot

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Re: PD symptoms exacerbated by stress
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 03:40:12 PM »
Quote
Bo-Peep - Stress may exacerbate your H's disordered behaviors, but the trigger seems to be ego injury and perceived rejection which you cannot control, change, or cure for him
:yeahthat:

It is very hard.  We all struggle with it.  No one likes to be the proverbial punching bag.  You are not alone.

For me, I finally had to let go.  I realized that SHE is the one that has no joy in her life.  SHE is the one that can only see the negatives to everything.  That is what I keep in the forefront of my mind.  SHE is the one that is losing out.  Sad. 

I came Out of the FOG last year after dealing with her for 25 years.  For me to maintain sanity, I decided to focusing on joy.  Ironically, the things that bring me joy are things she does not like to do, such as excising, working outside, reading a book, etc.  Naturally, she hates it because it takes the focus off of her.  Anything that takes me away from her brings out her anxiety.  I just decided that I do not care.  I didn't break her.  I can't fix her. I guess the years of drama and threats of divorce have left me numb.

Anyway, stress is definitely a trigger.  Loss of control is a trigger.  They will lash out at those that are closest to them.  It takes time and trial and error to figure out what works.  Also, taking it easy on oneself if they fail in maintaining composure or even sanity.  PDs are masters at finding the button to push.

Hang in there.  You're in good company.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis