Joy sucking black hole - Mild Trigger warning: language, sex

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voicelessagony2

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My boyfriend is a * (That's my resentment talking.)

He is a workaholic, he is easily triggered to anger, and he expects me to be grateful for his "help" which he delivers in a continuous stream of criticism. He NEVER initiates physical contact unless it's for sex every other month, late at night, when we are both nearly asleep.

He has no vocabulary for encouragement; it seems to me that every statement out of his mouth hole is negative and/or critical. All of my statements, actions, and decisions are questioned, disputed, or opposed. He never criticizes my appearance, but he also never compliments me. I wish I was wearing a wire 24/7, so I could compile it and play it back to him, and of course he would have an epiphany and snap out of it and be happy and positive forever! Ha! Sorry, back to reality.

I still love him. As shaky as this relationship is, it is still by far the most stable one I've ever had. I've never had these "school girl crush" type of feelings last more than a couple of months, let alone nearly 4 years.

There are also financial, logistical, and emotional circumstances keeping me here for the time being. I have no money, no friends, I live 1400 miles away from family, and I don't think I'm recovered enough (from codependency/love addiction/abandonment issues, etc.) to be single yet.

The fact that I literally cannot run right now might be a good thing. I am being forced to learn adult relationship and communication skills;  my upbringing taught me nothing but suppression and avoidance. 

So I'm trying to recover from CPTSD in an emotional vacuum. Day after day, month after month, I work to build myself up bit by bit. Two steps forward, one step back. I'm a natural born optimist, but I still have to dig deep to keep going. It's exhausting. I have tried repeatedly to talk to him about stuff: why I felt I had to stop everything to pursue mental health, the progress I'm making in that direction, what type of emotional support I need from him, etc... and every single time, the conversation ends up in a fight.

A few days later, I strike up a conversation feeling positive and optimistic; (temporary amnesia makes me forget how badly this always goes) but he shoots me down and I end up feeling defeated and misunderstood by him. If I show any sign of being angry, sad, or upset, he makes it clear that it is my fault; he has a very high opinion of his ability to communicate well, so if there is a problem, it must be me.

A few days ago, as an experiment, I tried something new. I made a sincere effort to find compassion for him, to counteract the resentment. My perspective changed immediately. I saw a little boy, neglected and probably abused more than he can admit. His anger is clearly just a cover for sadness. He is deeply unhappy, and he is in denial about it. 

I don't know what to do, but for the time being, while I'm working on recovery and starting a new job, maybe the best of several less-than-ideal options is to keep myself in a place of compassion rather than resentment, as much as possible. Maybe, if I can learn how to be compassionate to someone like him, then I can learn to have some compassion for myself, and begin to dissolve some of the self-contempt and self-disgust I've carried around for most of my 47 years.   

I'm already starting to feel a little less like a victim. He may or may not ever be ready to address his sadness, and nothing I do or say can make him want to. But choosing compassion feels healthier and empowering.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 03:33:19 PM by Kizzie »