I haven’t posted here yet this year. I haven’t needed too… or the triggering-ness of this forum was outweighing the benefit but now the benefit outweighs everything. I need a place to be heard and try and get my thoughts together. I’m not sure what’s going on with myself and I need to nail down the factors.
Around 2 years ago I was filling out the trigger logs from Bodily Harm and for the block about what you’re trying to communicate I would feel stumped. It didn’t feel like I was trying to communicate anything. I wonder if it was possible that I wasn’t trying to communicate-that my SI was serving some other function. But I’d write down the seemingly irrelevant thought that kept popping into my mind “I want out”– that’s what my logs say again and again. I knew I felt caged, but what did I want out of? Life? It seemed impossible that I wanted out of my marriage.
Fast forward to a the last couple weeks and I’ve asking my husband to leave and meaning it. Through therapy (can’t recommend dbt enough) I’ve figured out that I’ve been passive. And the more I try to assert myself the more resistance I get from the environment. When the urges came on a couple years ago they felt like the outside force that found me–I’d been free from them for years but it was like I’d run away and they had hunted me down and now I had to do what they said. I’ve never been able to shake this deep feeling that there is an inevitable course of action that I must follow out. But over the last year I’ve really been listening to what my therapist has to say about free will and that the inevitability isn’t real. But I’m really, really not doing well right now. Last week they told me it was time for the next step. I’m resisting but I feel wrecked and out of control. But I’m not. I’m in control. I haven’t done anything.
And I know what they wanted. They wanted me to stop pushing my husband away. But now they want me to push him away. I want to just do what they want so they don’t hurt me. I feel like I’m dying. But I’m not. I’m OK.
But I’m very confused. Years ago friends marveled they we never fought. And we really never did. I didn’t see that it was because I let him have his way. He’s 18 years older and we married when I was 21 and a mess, looking for a protector. But I didn’t pick a very capable protector. Though the relationship did stabilize me. But now I’m in my mid 30’s and my needs have changed. I really wanted the relationship to change with me….. then I just reached a sort of wall where I didn’t want it change with me. I’d had enough.
As I began to insist on going to bed earlier than he wanted me to he starting going out to bars late at night then started smoking (both radically against his own moral code) and it was painful to see him violating himself. And he thought it was my fault- that I’d driven him to it. Perhaps it was the alcohol but the fights began escalating. How much violence it too much violence? Pulling my hair “you stupid b___”? Pinning me down and letting me up? Threatening to rape me but not doing it? Daily it was getting worse but all staying just this side of the line where I would call the cops, or where it would make sense to do so. I’m so wounded by these fights. I’m not good at moving past things.
When I started telling him I really wanted him to leave he began to change. The last week has been stable but the problem is that I’ve already reached this point where I was ready to let go. But he entered AA and is really, really, really working to meet me. I half feel like a sucker who just signed up for another screaming ride around the ferris wheel.
Meantime, I’m feeling abandoned by the marriage therapist. Husband has been trying to quit marriage therapy for a year but the therapist dealt with it by kind of ignoring him. Then husband kept just not being able to make it and the marriage therapist said he thought we should stop couples work and focus on our own issues. This just as things were moving toward violence. I wonder if his saying no more couples work is what prompted me to say no more marriage. They got sort of fused for me. But I also know that whatever I do I have to do on my own.
My passivity–my big revelation is deigned by husband because he construes it to mean he is Bad. I don’t even get that connection but honestly doesn’t see the big dynamic this we’ve had. I’ve been learning about how sensitive I am to invalidation. Having my reality deigned feels life threatening to me.
I just don’t really want to resist the urges anymore. It feels like everything is crashing on me and I need a release. If I keep going with these thoughts I’m going to talk myself into giving in so I’m going to stop. I’ll use medication to get through the night. I keep making it through with medication, exercise, distraction. I feel desperate and flailing and I want to scream for someone to please, please have mercy and help me and it feel icy to know that I’m going to have to depend on myself.