“Depression and anxiety can strongly distort how you view your partner. Anxiety, about getting close, can make the relationship uncomfortable and have you searching for what's "wrong" with it.” I was so relieved to a) find your site and b) read that, because the past couple of weeks have turned my life upside down with depression and anxiety and changes in my thinking and feelings, which have been very distressing. But I do recognise that this has happened before, where people have shown me their feelings and I have, interpreted it as feeling trapped, withdrawn after the honeymoon period and wanted to remain single as seem to stay on more of an even keel that way.
I’ve also spent huge amounts of time trying to workout ‘what’s happened, how have my feelings changed overnight as we were in an amazing place the other week and I even told him that being with him felt like being home and I felt calm. I had was smitten, couldn’t wait to spend time with him and even talked of the future and felt very optimistic (even though I did have these moments of ‘do I love him or am I just very fond of him). The when we returned from out holiday, pretty much hours after returning home, we were meant to go out for dinner/cinema and I suddenly felt very claustrophobic. He asked if he should go and give me some space, I didn’t know what to say and felt guilty. He did stay but he calmed me down by taking me for a walk, running me a bath and cooking dinner and I felt so overwhelmed and kept thanking him in tears for how he handled me – in fact I’m welling up now thinking about it. I have since experienced depression, crying for days almost grieving for the relationship, focusing on feelings of shame about past behaviour and worrying that I’ll never live a normal life, self worth, then been obsessed with either searching for those feelings, worrying about if they will come back because I so want them to or writing it all off because, well I must have just changed my mind about it all, dwelling the periods where I felt doubt, worrying about losing my freedom and independence and choice. I’m guessing that trying to force feeling or worry about not having them, isn’t going to help matters? I have to admit, I sort of forced myself to see him last week and I felt nothing but calm with him and let him just look after me, in fact I was acting quite needy, wanting his comfort.
During the initial depression, I spoke to an online psychotherapist, who connected it all to me having Borderline Personality Disorder, those symptoms he identifies match the ‘clusters you talk about on this site’. I was also very honest about not feeling loved, being rejected by my father and being scared of him. I do today have a much better relationship with him and in my own way I think I’ve or given him as why stay bitter; it will only eat me up. My first relationship was also an experience of intense emotions (prince charming) followed by a cycle of being pressured, jealousy, emotionally blackmailed and the centre of someone’s happiness and obsession, which is a lot to cope with in your mid-teams. I blame myself for this partly, because the more jealous or suspicious he got, the more I would repel and seek attention elsewhere.
This courtship hasn’t been without its challenges...when we first met I’d already written of a relationship because he was gong travelling for several months and had plans to do more. Then the night before his flight went and our built up feelings for each other came spilling out, I then wrote him off again when he left, telling him not to feel like he had to stay in touch as he’ll soon forget I exist he’ll be having so much fun, don’t feel obliged. But he did, throughout the whole trip, making it clear he wanted to catch up when he got back. It was a huge build-up and again the anxiety of waiting to hear from him, checking his fb page took over. When he returned we were on cloud nine, but I still had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that he was soon to go again, as he had planned to go to Oz for a year. In fact I avoided the subject and even the mention of Oz from anyone made my stomach lurch. But then for some reason I decided that what will be will be and I’ll just enjoy his company, perhaps he’ll even change his mind if he falls in love with me, in fact I even stared to question if I would feel bothered if he went. While we were on holiday, he told me he couldn’t see himself going now and he couldn’t leave me.
I recognise this pattern. In my early twenties I spent time with someone that didn’t feel threatening and intrigued me, he kept me at bay for ages and I think I saw this as a chase, because once ‘together’ I lost interest. He split up with me because I’d turned cold, but somehow we got back together for the few years. Looking back I dealt with out break-up terribly, feeling completely abandoned and bitter, letting anxiety rule my mind. I also have a history of reacting to problems with extreme anxiety, blowing everything out of proportion and panicking.
There are subjects I am going to work through, in ‘where to start’ and ‘improving relationship’, particularly the acceptance and assertiveness advice, that I’m going to read. I wish I could digest in all in 24hrs so I could fix everything, but I guess I’ll have to have some patience and look at it almost like a project, allocating time to it. I am also going to find a therapist.
I’ve been so honest with my partner, even telling him that I found this site and that I think I’ve identified the trigger for all of ‘this’. He doesn’t quite understand as he doesn’t believe he has ever put me under any pressure. I said I agree, it’s just the anxiety I create by not being assertive and not really knowing how to deal with someone having unconditional love for me, it makes me want to bolt and question my feelings, self worth etc I thought this might scare him off but in fact he said, it is worrying but he’s not going anywhere and that he’ll stand by me. This made me vow to myself that I will commit myself to this relationship. I asked him if he’s ever had doubts about his feelings and he said never, that he’s just been going with the flow. That sent alarm bells through me because I thought, well there we are, he’s just more into me then I am him and it makes me feel guilty and question whether I am leading him on.
One of my friends says, admit that he’s not for me and move on. But then my sister says, that can’t be the case as I was so happy, and if my feelings are so conflicted and upsetting me so much.
I had a moment yesterday at work where I suddenly felt really happy, like a ray of sunshine had just broken through the clouds and I smiled thinking about him. I holding on to that right now and I are seeing him this evening. I’m going to just try and relax and enjoy his company.
I will help myself, but please help me...I am doing the right thing, is this going to be an uncomfortable journey? Why had this happened?
I have taken some anti-depressants from my doctor, just to try and help with my mood while I process all this – is that the right this to do?