08-10-2019 07:22 PM
You deserve that @Faith-and-Hope . As women, self sacrifice fits like a glove and it is modelled to us by the previous generations, unless the women in the family are very self-focused, which also can happen a lot.
Narcissism is on a continuum. We are all self focused and we are all looking out for ourselves, but if your husband experienced the top end in his childhood from his parents that would have completely warped his thinking and changed his sense of identity in a bad way.
You grow up with a heady mix of feelings of worthlessness but also having to be the saviour and self sacrificer... you begin to believe that your worth is only realised when someone else is taking from you and it becomes a pattern. Expressing your needs can result in rage and aggression from the self absorbed parent. You end up feeling empty and you don't know why.
I feel for him if he was subjected to that, its been really interesting how many people on the ward have vocalised similar home environments and personality in at least one parent.
I hope that your marriage can come back to life but it does take two to do that.
09-10-2019 08:33 AM
I believe continuum applies to a lot of things @Corny and you mention people taking from you.
I believe that in order to thrive any living creature both gives and receives and if that cycle is broken/out of balance then there are negative consequences.
I believe as people we too are hard wired to give, but also to recieve. Put somewhat simply problems occur when what we have to give is plundered or we in turn demand more than is ours to take.
I think to some extent we all like want to know why something has happened and we think that will help give us closure, it may for some, but it often does not. Even if we know why, the injustice of the imbalance of giving/recieving can still eat at us. Knowing someone's circumstances if they have taken from us or who have failed to give in the manner we are hard wired to do may help explain a situation and perhaps modulate/exacerbate our response toward the offender.
Again, very simply put, I think though that even if we know the why, it does not fix the damage that has been done. This is not a simple thing. It is often multi leveled and multi faceted. When things are broken, there is no pain free solution. However, to effect a remedy to the extent it is possible (there will likely be scars) one needs willing participation.
I guess in these forums, rather than look at what is broken, I try to focus on the things we can do and encourage the disciplines that when applied will help us live better in spite of any diagnosis that we have, mental health or other (and yes it is tough going to do this).
@Corny In what areas do you feel you need gentle encouragement that I could help you with?
10-10-2019 09:02 AM - edited 10-10-2019 09:12 AM
Thank you @Darcy for your kind words. I agree with you that lots of medical conditions and personality traits and styles occur on a continuum. With Google all the search algorithms are generated from America, so the results we receive and what we read, are all biased towards American knowledge systems, and their cultural and social values. People use terminology from the DSM to diagnose or describe themselves before they even step into a doctors office, and I think that that disadvantages people with the chronic and severe mental health conditions if Google is creating a situation where every single person can say they have a disorder.
I guess one of my problems is that I know logically that we are all wired to receive, the give and take, and mutual care is what creates connection, friendship and intimacy, but my up bringing trained me otherwise. I won't bore you with my childhood stuff, but my father's personality was very domineering to say the least, and learning to receive when he was so successful at making me feel utterly worthless, undeserving and unworthy is a tough task for me to turn around. He was very manipulative, aggressive, demanding and self focused.
You said, "put somewhat simply problems occur when what we have to give is plundered or we in turn demand more than is ours to take", the problem with people like my father is that they always manage to find someone who supports, validates and is complicit in their demands, giving them even more strength to do damage because they get enablers like my mother on board to legitimise their behaviour. It becomes normalised.
I don't discuss my father's narcissism anywhere really but with some friends that get it, and on this forum. I find I can't because the term is used very flippantly and mainly in the context of romantic relationships where one partner says they are an empath and go onto Google and describe how they escaped and broke up with their narcissistic wife/husband/partner. My sibs and I could not divorce our parents, we were in captivity and from birth this affected our sense of self, and our ability to receive.
Narcissism is a continuum also, my sib was emailing me some of Trumps posts from Twitter about "Presidential bullying" that were just hilarious & we were cracking up, because a narcissist feels bullied by just about everyone that doesn't give them their way or questions their behaviour, but my fathers narcissism was much more nuanced than the stereotype of Trump. He also still had his own personality, and he was abusive, not all NPD sufferers are, but he was.
I guess I am just trying to retrain myself in some way. To learn that I have needs also, and that I am worthy of having my needs looked after. I know I do a great job of looking after other people, I'm just not that great at looking after myself and feeling like I deserve to.
I will get there @Darcy.
There's lots of grief that comes with having a MI, a friend was saying how robbed he has felt and that we will never reach our potential. I found the bluntness and frank way of saying the blooming obvious very refreshing. It made me realise that I have to carve a new life for myself and focus on what I can do and can enjoy. If I focus on everything that has been taken away from me or I missed out on, it just becomes unbearable and despairing.
Do you mind me asking di your husband develop Bi2 later in life or were there signs in his teens or 20s?
10-10-2019 12:49 PM
Yes, it was simply put and there are other many intertwined issues which which include but are not limited to selfishness, power and greed, once again on a continuum. I quote Dr Tim Jennings "Love can only exist in an atmosphere of freedom. Violate freedoms in relationships and three predictable and damaging consequences will occur.
- Love is damaged and eventually destroyed.
- Rebellion (desire to break away and get free) is incited
- Individuality of the one dominated will be eroded and eventually destroyed if the violations do not end."
Yes, I believe that it was not until I faced the reality of our situation and stated the obvious as you put it, that I was then able to come to terms with what had happened and get on with life.
Mr Darcy showed mild anxiety/ OCD symptoms, starting with one and then adding to it, has a collection happening 😵 all of which individually are not adequate enough for a true OCD diagnosis (to use the word of the monent - above normal on the "continuum"). In his 20s it started with lining things up, in his 30s added hand washing, in his 40s word pronunciation and in his 50s what he refers to as 'flashbacks' concern over seemingly benign things like dropping (+ scattering contents of) a bag of peanuts in a shopping centre and getting the car bogged in an unsealed driveway in the 1980s but are possibly a reflection of deeper issues.
In his early 40s things went down hill with a possible trigger subsequently identified. he had one episode of going AWOL - 2 days/ 1 night. After this he started therapy. In his late 40s he was started on meds and became hypomanic. We moved interstate as he was keen to do so. A couple of years on, In his early 50s he became more acute going walkabout a few times, in between the docs were upping doses, adding or changing meds. Despite this he became increasingly suicidal and delusional /psychotic. He was acute for a couple of years and an attempt in his mid 50s resulted in a long hospital stay. At the time on the advice of a pdoc I looked things up, reported things I did not know were symptoms and that is when BP ii was included in the list of "diagnosis hypothses" which included cluster B/C personality traits, MDD and GAD. Since being on BP meds he has been stable with mood and that diagnosis has remained. He is still anxious and has an ongoing medical issue relating to his attempt.
When looking things I came across a website thay gave me hope uniCorny, it spoke about living well in spite of a diagnosis. When I faced reality and activated appropriate responses, things changed. We now have a good system in place and with a bit of support from myself Mr Darcy has been managing quite well. We are now in transition and setting up new supports with our move ... hoping these will be adequate and Mr Darcy will remain in remission from the more debilitating symptoms.
11-10-2019 10:51 AM - edited 11-10-2019 10:54 AM
Your poor husband must have been so frightened @Darcy, how scary for him. Psychosis is harrowing.
I guess that would be classified as late onset? Bipolar 1 & 2 & schizophrenia are in my family so I still get anxious that I could still develop either. Some people can present with it around menopause years. I don't really suffer from health anxiety, but every now and then I have a jolt of anxiety about developing Parkinson's Disease. My grandmother got it before she was 50 I think it was, and it has also sprung up on the other side of the family, it is a horrible disease. I read that people with PTSD are at a %30 higher risk of getting it.......I do my best to live a lifestyle that minimises my risk or at least may delay onset through nutrition, and a anti-inflammatory diet, and I was running before I injured myself, but the biological lottery has a mind of its own. I can only do so much, but it is normal to worry about yourself when you have been in hospital so long.
The progression of your husbands condition sounds similar to quite a few patients I have met on the ward. I must admit I have been uneducated and haven't had any exposure to people with OCD until this admission, but it can be quite psychotic like, or does seem to be the brain revving up to something more severe like full blown psychosis. Two guys on the ward, their psychiatrists have diagnosed them with Bipolar and OCD, and Schizoaffective & OCD, so the ODC has been added as its own separate condition. One of the guys was telling me that before he got Bipolar the OCD came first, after he was set on by 7 males walking home late at night and attacked with weapons. That trauma unravelled some chemistry and he was never the same since.
It's interesting how much traumatic stress is hidden within statistics. You read articles that say something like, "millions of people experience trauma everyday but only %x of people will develop PTSD", but being on the ward, hearing patients stories, they may not develop PTSD, but they can develop another MI that is stress induced. On the ABC program that was on a few years ago, I remember there was a women that developed Bipolar in her 40s after her brother's suicide. Its scary how vulnerable we all are, but I guess we are vulnerable to lots of illnesses.
Even though your husband has stabilised I am sure that he has had to deal with really difficult emotions. And having a physical reminder of his attempt on his life would bring on shame and guilt.
I guess whats difficult in my situation is that my parents did a lot more than "violate freedoms in relationship", they definitely did that, but they didn't even treat me as a human being, my most basic dignity was destroyed, and as you say, the "love" and my "individuality" was destroyed, and I don't know who I am anymore.
The first hump is to feel worthy of love, but it feels the hardest challenge, I don't know if I will get there in this life time, it has been entrenched in me from such a young age, and apart from my parents every single person in my life from the bus driver in my local town, to doctors and authority figures high up have let me down somehow or betrayed me. I have always felt like a mistake.
Its just been soul destroying and I don't think I will ever recover. I think there is no shame to walk through life with life long wounds, and that it is OK to die with unfinished business in your heart. There is so much pressure to heal and fix every area of your life, but I feel more freedom if I accept the wounds will always be there but learn to ride the waves of emotions that come with them. I don't know if that makes any sense, but fixing mode of thinking hasn't worked for me, and neither has more knowledge.