Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues

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WarmMuddle

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Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« on: September 06, 2016, 07:33:48 AM »
Hi, everyone! I'm a long-time member of OOTF, but got referred over here.b

Long story short: my enabling parents prioritized my older uBPD sis's needs and wants over my own - to the point of leaving me alone in the house at a young age when sis pressured them (via fits) to take her on roadtrips.

Fast forward to present: I've worked hard on my cPTSD over the last several years and only now realize that a year ago I got super triggered by my husband's inconsiderate behavior (he came home at 5AM from drinking with coworkers) in combination with his depression symptoms.

He's accidentally stayed out that late once before and I was able to stay level-headed while placing a boundary, but he started showing LOTS of symptoms of depression (sleeping 12 hours a day, complete loss of interest in hobbies, etc.).

I now realize something about my husband's depression (the emotional abandonment?) triggered abandonment issues in me. Has anyone else experienced this?

I'm working through these issues and seeing my T in a couple weeks, but I'm looking for more specific ways to work (if there are any). I've been doing EMDR at home like my T taught me, I've been (successfully) reevaluating the pain I feel from my husband's innocuous behavior (e.g., watching a TV show without me when he didn't even know I wanted to watch it), reminding myself the pain is actually from my FOO, reminding myself that I did NOTHING to bring on my parents' maltreatment and it wasn't my fault (and the same goes for any maltreatment my husband engages in), and reminding myself I'm a strong and capable adult who doesn't NEED a partner. Anything else?

Thank you for reading/listening.  :)

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 11:01:39 AM »
Hi WarmMuddle  :wave: and welcome.

As a long time bachelor I can't say I have experienced what you are going through at the moment, but I wanted to say hello nonetheless. And welcome.  :thumbup:

I hope and wish this community will be of aid in your process.

In time, have a look at our Guidelines for All Members and Guests as they differ at some points with those at OOTF.

 :hug:
Dutch Uncle.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 05:05:51 PM »
hey, warmmuddle,

after reading your post several times, i have some questions based on some similar behaviors of my narc ex (i'm not suggesting your husband has npd).  in my case, he basically 'checked out' of our relationship and parenting duties.  while he didn't stay out all night, he also did some questionable things, such as suddenly becoming interested in being on stage (community groups) which would keep him away from the house/me and the kids because of both rehearsals and performances.  when one ended, he began looking and auditioning for the next one.  before that he took a second job which kept him away for the better part of the weekends.

most every sat., he would go back to bed by 9 a.m., sleep for several hours.  sun. afternoons were filled with football games at which he raged when he didn't like something he saw on the field.  i excused these behaviors for awhile, until i saw them for what they were - he was avoiding me, our children, the problems, the responsibilities.  during the week, he went to the office, so he was home very little of the time.

i'm wondering if the pain you're feeling is actually from your foo or from your present situation.   being abandoned in the here and now is a real thing, too.  'accidentally' and 'innocuous' sound like you're making excuses for or trying to lessen the impact and reality of his behavior.  in my opinion, no one stays out all night by accident.  i've engaged in that behavior myself, had a hub who also did it.  there were no accidents involved. 

and, is watching a show without you, even if he doesn't know you want to watch it (i'm seeing a red flag there as well) truly innocuous?   why isn't he letting you know beforehand, especially if watching tv is something you two regularly do together?

is your husband aware of his depression, if that's what it really is?  does he want to do something about it?  have the two of you spoken about it, both the depression and the behaviors, openly and honestly?  is it time for some couples counseling?  i guess these questions respond most directly to your question about what else to do in the present situation.

i believe that when you mentioned that your husband is engaging in maltreatment toward you, that you are correct.  regardless of what happened with our foo, maltreatment in the present is also painful, hurtful, and wrong.  may i suggest that the pain and hurt you're feeling is from the present way he is behaving, and such behavior is the actual problem rather than triggers to your past. 

one thing i learned about c-ptsd is that we who suffer from it tend to repeat relationships that feel familiar.  it could be that that's the case here - you have been repeating a relationship of maltreatment and are beginning to see that more clearly.  it seems that you have done an awful lot of work on yourself to get this far, and i give you lots of credit for that.  thanks for being here and posting.  my questions and opinions are just that.  maybe i'm way off base.  just some thoughts that came to mind. 

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WarmMuddle

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Re: Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 09:41:59 PM »
Hi, Sanmagic7.

I can't thank you enough for sharing your thoughts. They've actually given me a lot of clarity, though probably not in the way you'd expect.

Firstly, to address your well-founded concerns: We've been seeing a therapist for 2.5 years now and the T's been recommending my H take antidepressant supplements the whole time. H's also changed in a lot of ways outside our relationship: he never makes time to see friends, rarely walks the dogs (he used to daily), rarely cooks (something else he used to do daily), rarely washes his car (he used to weekly), and has lost interest in most of the TV shows he used to love. When he's not at work he sits in the dark and plays video games and often "forgets" to eat meals or shower.

In his defense, related to his worst offense: I've talked to several of his coworkers (both male and female) who've also accidentally stayed out all night after the business owner (who I'm pretty sure has NPD) starts drinking with them in the office at 2pm and keeps giving/buying them drinks even after the bars close. This guy is seriously a NIGHTMARE, but that's another long story.

But your post made me realize: THIS is why I got so triggered! I dated lot of PDs before my H and between that and my sis I know how normal they can seem at first. And these changes in my husband really worried me for exactly that reason: "Is this the real man I married? Was everything before a show?"

BUT since H has started his new job (he's still at the old place half the week) he's been so much more like his old self again! It's been startling, but also encouraging. To me its the strongest proof that he really is the guy I married and that he's been depressed, rather than revealing his PD.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 09:46:02 PM by WarmMuddle »

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sanmagic7

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Re: Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2016, 09:53:11 PM »
so glad to hear that he's beginning to perk up.  and, glad you got some clarity, even if i was completely off target!  sometimes that road is full of switchbacks - but, the main thing is that in the end, we are able to see what truly is.  really glad for you that you're getting your real husband back.  yay!!!

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WarmMuddle

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Re: Husband's depression triggered long-forgotten abandonment issues
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 01:24:34 AM »
sometimes that road is full of switchbacks - but, the main thing is that in the end, we are able to see what truly is. 

I need to re-read this a few times to remind myself to give myself a break! Here I was thinking, "I've worked so hard on this before - the fact that it's coming up again must mean I did something wrong." :/
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 01:26:28 AM by WarmMuddle »