Relationship Relapses (possible triggers)

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Relationship Relapses (possible triggers)
« on: November 18, 2015, 03:18:22 AM »
Hi all,

Anyone here had experience of being within a relationship and getting a handle on their emotional flashbacks when it's the relationship that triggers them?  You know how in relationships where you're triggered there's always that impulse to run?  Well, I did that when I was married.  I believed that the problem was with my partner while another part of me knew that was projection, but I got so weighed down with the increasing triggers that I just couldn't stay anymore.  It was overall a good relationship.

I was single for three years and in that time I did a lot of internal work, started doing art therapy, etc.  I was miserable a lot at that time, but I was also less triggered. Now when I look back on that time, and on how things were for the first year with my current partner, it seems like this rosy wonderfulness. It feels like a form of catastrophising somehow where I paint the past so rosy - I guess 'cause the past is safe, compared to the present?

Anyway, so when I got involved with my current partner it was all great for the first couple of years. I moved in with him a year after we first started seeing each other and I was honest with him about my worries of internally collapsing again. 

I have chronic fatigue syndrome also, and my symptoms stabilised when I was single to the point where I was working part-time. Even though I was coming home and flaking and not doing much else, I seemed to have had this idea that I was entirely recovered from CFS.  It seems weird to me now, but my experience of CFS was rather traumatic, being so vulnerable and oppressed, and so I guess I was happy to tell myself I was recovered so I could get some distance on it.

When I moved in with my partner my CFS symptoms returned.  I think it was a combo of doing too much physical exertion when moving, combined with my fears around "losing my independence", combined with my brother trying to kill himself two weeks after I moved house.  That was four years ago, and now my health has stabilised beyond last year when my partner thought i should be in a nursing home.  But still, I am quite limited in many ways.

My emotional flashbacks have started happening so much over the last couple of years that it's really hard not to consider leaving (though I have hardly any money). I don't even WANT to leave, but the constant retriggering is doing my head in.  I have had a bit of an improvement since I started re-taking lamotrigine (prescribed for CFS but also for PTSD - bonus). But the ETs are still coming and often out of the blue without knowing what's triggering them.

I feel like I'm in a hole. I am very motivated to get my life on an even keel but the combo of everything is just so hard to bear that sometimes I just want my life to end.  I've worked so hard facing things with courage, and I'm in this hole. Part of me I think is angry at myself for getting myself in a relationship again. I'm certainly more confident and less panicky and more able to know what I want when I'm single. But I went into this relationship knowing that this situation could happen and wanting to really learn how to minimise this flashbacking, to work with it when it happens, to stay with my Little Susie and comfort her, etc.  Little Susie and I have grown a lot together over the last 7 years :) 

Sorry for the long-windedness!  I guess I just need some encouragement, tips, that these ETs can be minimised. I know they can on an intellectual level - this is for my central nervous system :)