Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope

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aerosol148

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Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« on: January 10, 2020, 02:25:38 AM »
Hi strangers,

I've been reading OOTF for years now and I guess it's finally time to try out the forum.

I don't know how to even start talking about my situation. My wife and I are both 29, married for 7 years. The past 4 years she was in grad school, then she got a cool job in a strange new city so we moved there, then within a few weeks she lost her job and her entire life consists of sitting on the couch. So here we are in a strange new city where we don't really know anyone, and her mental health is spiraling out of control.

For year she's been very challenging. She could be sweet and cute one moment, raging and terrifying the next. In the beginning I just chalked it up to a hair-trigger temper. This morning she was great, helped me get the kids to school, we ate breakfast together, but now she's just spent a few HOURS screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing things and talking about how she wishes she were dead and how awful she is and so on. I really don't know how the neighbors haven't called the police on us.

When she's lucid she thinks she has BPD, I'm wondering about bipolar, we both wonder about C-PTSD. But just from reading the material here on OOTF I can definitely say she matches a LOT of criteria listed in the AVPD and DPD pages at the very least.

We've tried medicine. A few antidepressants did nothing or had bad side effects, and now she flat-out refuses to take any more. I just paid $400 to visit a new psychiatrist who seemed really great, but in the end if she refuses then no one can force her.

We've tried therapy. The problem with that is she's convinced herself that therapy is a useless tool for weak-minded fools, and every time she goes she has a panic attack and freaks out and ends up running away. By my count it's been around 8 therapists just in the past year. Even if I go with the same thing happens and she'll spend the next few days in an extremely depressed and hostile state.

It's hard on the kids too. How do you explain to a 4 and 5 year old that their mother who is currently flinging stuff across the living room is just "sick"? How do you model good emotional regulation to them when their own mother is undoing all that work? I feel like a single dad 99% of the time, and I do pretty much everything to take care of them. How are they going to grow up to be good partners to their own spouses?

She has no friends here, and has made no effort to make friends. She says she believes everyone is secretly evil and hates her, so why bother trying to make friends. She comes from a horribly abusive family which definitely plays a huge factor in it, but in the end that means I am 100% her only family, her only friend, and her sole support system.

I talked to the local crisis team about hospitalizing her. The problem is she knows that if she refuses to admit she's suicidal, they can't do anything. Her therapist told me today that the therapist thinks she should be hospitalized but she's good at knowing what not to verbalize, so they can't do anything about it just yet.

I want to stay, but that means she needs to accept help and open up in therapy. Given the way she reacts to therapy now, I don't see that happening.

I want to leave, but that leaves her with nowhere to go, no money, and a certain death sentence even if at her own hands.

And as for myself, I have a great therapist, but he's been able to offer zero advice for this situation. I went to a local support group meetup which was really good while I was there but also no good advice about what to do.  I've made a couple friends here but none of them have any idea how to be supportive in this situation, so I'm alone with it all.

So I'm here because why not. And if you made it this far to the end of my wall of text, thank you!

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2020, 06:02:49 AM »
Welcome!

You sound very self aware and you seem to understand your situation very well. I am glad that you are getting therapy for yourself. You seem to be in caretaker mode for your wife.  Have you read the book 'Stop Caretaking the borderline/narcissist' by Fjelstad? I found this book very helpful as it focusses on what the non-PD can do and how to work on yourself. I found it hard to accept that I was enabling my NPDh behaviour and contributed 50% to our situation with my enabling. I am not saying this is the case for you, but maybe you could look at your own behaviour and what you could change.

As there are children involved your priority should be on the safety and wellbeing of the children. Are the kids safe if you leave them with your wife? What can you do to ensure they are well taken care of?
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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aerosol148

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Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2020, 09:27:58 AM »
Have you read the book 'Stop Caretaking the borderline/narcissist' by Fjelstad? I found this book very helpful as it focusses on what the non-PD can do and how to work on yourself. I found it hard to accept that I was enabling my NPDh behaviour and contributed 50% to our situation with my enabling. I am not saying this is the case for you, but maybe you could look at your own behaviour and what you could change.
I have not read it, but the description looks interesting so I just ordered it. Thank you for that suggestion. My therapist has been great at helping me but the outstanding question remains about how to either fix or leave the situation.

As there are children involved your priority should be on the safety and wellbeing of the children. Are the kids safe if you leave them with your wife? What can you do to ensure they are well taken care of?

That's my biggest challenge. Some days she's a great mom, some days she seems to forget there are kids. I do 99% of the work of raising them. Overall I also don't want them growing up in a home where anger and rage and hostility and death threats are the norm. I rarely go out anymore because if I do, I don't know if she's in a state where she can handle them, or even if she is then I don't know that she'll stay that way. I can't hire a babysitter because there aren't any who can also cope with things if she has an episode. So whenever I go out I either bring the kids with or drop them at a friends house, but mostly I just don't go out.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 10:22:16 AM »

.... And if you made it this far to the end of my wall of text, thank you!

That was no wall of text. That was sharp, clear, and poignant. I am very sorry for what you are facing. There is nothing more important than being self-aware. As painful as it is, you see clearly what is happening at a young age. Even your wife's clarity during times of lucidity is a good thing: a valuable grain from which to work.

I am so sorry there are kids involved: I know how much harder that makes everything.

On the PD parents board, there are a lot of stories about a PD mom and an enabling dad. Sometimes it is the abusive or alcoholic dad and what-are-you-talking-about mom. Please take a moment to be kind to yourself, and realize how great it is that you see what is happening, are being honest about it, and are seeking assistance and considering real, substantive options.

Your kids will never be on this kind of forum saying "dad always told us we were too sensitive, and that we had to understand mom," or "dad told us it was our fault, and mom wasn't like this before we were born." That is not ever going to happen because you are here, you are self-aware, and you are going to project manage the hell out of this problem. I have no idea how it will work, but you can do it.

I want to say thanks to you for having your eyes wide open and trying. You are going to make it through this. There is no simple path, and probably not a pretty one. But there is a path that is honorable, and that gets you in a better place. You will find it.

Good luck to you. Be good. Be strong.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 10:24:19 AM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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FogDawg

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Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 01:45:46 PM »
Your kids will never be on this kind of forum saying "dad always told us we were too sensitive, and that we had to understand mom," or "dad told us it was our fault, and mom wasn't like this before we were born." That is not ever going to happen because you are here, you are self-aware, and you are going to project manage the hell out of this problem. I have no idea how it will work, but you can do it.

I fully agree with Starboard Song on this. I wish that I would have had even one halfway sane parent who cared enough to protect me and not an undiagnosed narcissist (there is no mistaking that is what my father is) and an enabler who let everything repeat even after apologizing and being given another chance to set the situation right. Continue to consider your children's needs and they will likely become capable adults without all kinds of issues bogging them down and, therefore, no need to visit (marvelous) sites such as this to come to terms with what was wrong growing up. They are fortunate to have a father like you, aerosol148. You have my respect.

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guitarman

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Re: Long-time lurker, first time poster, at the end of my rope
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 06:56:02 PM »
Welcome. You are not alone.

I have an undiagnosed BPD/NPD sister and although our situations are different I can identify with much of what you posted about.

I’m glad to see that you are trying to get support for yourself. It is so important. Unfortunately specialised BPD support for carers is often difficult to find.

One person I found online who has helped me is the author and counsellor Kris Godinez. She specialises in Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and shows how targets of abuse can cope better.

She gives regular live talks most Sundays on her YouTube channel called “We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez”. I hope that you find them of help to you.

Whatever happens please stay calm. I know it’s not easy.

I hope that you are able to get the right support for you and your family.

Keep strong. Keep calm.

Best wishes

Guitarman
"Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace." - Dalai Lama

"You don't have to be a part of it, you can become apart from it." - guitarman

"Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can." - Anon

"If it hurts it isn't love." - Kris Godinez, counsellor and author