Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Do relationships make me go insane or am I unhinged anyway?

(17 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Fri 24-May-13 16:16:27

One relationship actually did wind up with me in a psychiatric ward following severe abuse. Ever since then I feel tht whenever I get involved I end up going a bit mad. The last one finished as he couldn't cope with my anxiety. I have no idea why I was so anxious; him or just the pill I was on.
I would like a relationship in the future but not if it makes me feel completely nuts. I'm not always totally rational when alone but the way the last one ended made me feel like I am a fruit loop basically. I am going to be alone for some time until I feel more balanced.

springymater Fri 24-May-13 16:42:30

Are you still having therapy? Assuming you had therapy in the first place - I certainly hope so if you ended up in a psychiatric ward!

I'm sorry you've had such a terrible time with the psycho. You say you have no idea why you are so anxious in a relationship - erm, really? You really have no idea why you're anxious in a relationship? Darling, join the dots...

You probably need ongoing therapy to process the appalling relationship, as well as looking at your past, as well as working on your current anxiety in relationship. ime therapy is for the long haul when you've had a shit time xx

superstarheartbreaker Fri 24-May-13 22:34:19

I think that I'm confused because my last relationship ended as I flew off the handle over something really stupid. I then got very anxious and the anxiety scared him off. The relationship wasn't right for many reasons but really highlighted my general instability and needyness. The wierd thing is that I took two days off work during that relationship due to upset; one day when he said he needed time to think if he could give up weed and another day after the relationship ended. Both were on the 18th of the month.
I went online to google the side effects of the pill, Levest, that I was taking and many women said the same thing; they were anxious, clingy, completely bonkers. I am off it now but I am worried that my past plus any chemical imbalances that I have do not make me relationship material. I have had cbt but I might try that rapid eye movemnet therapy thing or whatever it is as it seems to be more effective. Shite relationship finished 10 years ago. Surely I should be better by now?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 25-May-13 07:54:39

"The relationship wasn't right for many reasons"

This is the point to focus on I think. When something isn't right but you persist in trying to make it right or trying to ignore what is wrong, what you end up with is the frustration of trying (and failing) to fit a square peg in a round hole.

It's like buying something in a hurry and compromising. It's not quite what you want and you think 'I'll try to live with it' but, every time you look at the object, it annoys you because you know it's not right but it's too late to take it back for a refund. You might even 'distress' the object because you don't like it. The day it goes into the charity bag or the dump is a good day

You are therefore not nuts, unstable or needy, not 'chemically imbalanced' and you should not think of yourself as 'not relationship material'. What you are, however, is too willing to a) entertain a relationship that is clearly wrong in the first place and b) allow it drag on way beyond when you should have called time. If you want to work on anything, therefore, it's to be a lot more selective and to be a lot more ruthless about ending something promptly.

calmingtea Sat 25-May-13 08:08:34

I like what cogito says. And agree you need to work on yourself, on your self esteem, your relationship with yourself, look at what your needs and wants are. Once you are much happier with you, you will stop compromising in relationships and not hold on to dysfunctional partnerships harmfully long. It is ok to remain yourself in a relationship.

Personally, I would not do CBT (quick fix for depression) or EMDR (for PTSD). I would get a really good psychotherapist and work on you and your issues, and why you react the way you do in relationships.

calmingtea Sat 25-May-13 08:09:42

Another place you could try is [[ CoDA] groups, which work exclusively on relationships with yourself and others. And are free.

MarshmallowRoot Sat 25-May-13 11:23:20

I agree wholeheartedly with what Cogito says. The relationship was wrong, not you. I bet there would be nothing "wrong" with you if the relationship you were in was stable.

On the subject of Levest, this is the old Microgynon 30. Same thing, different name. I was an absolute maniac on Microgynon 30 - I actually tried to throw myself in front of a bus and smashed a mirror over my sister's head shock. Before I started taking it I had depression but was OK, not a homicidal / suicidal maniac! 2 days after I stopped it I was back to normal again - very strange! It actually was probably the reason I conceived my daughter the year after - it scared me off hormonal contraception for years after. I'm now on Mercilon no problems.

I wouldn't blame it all on the pill, as your relationship you say had problems. But it could have made you feel worse about the whole thing. You need to feel more stable in yourself. Counselling has helped me do this.

badinage Sat 25-May-13 11:37:43

How's the treatment for your bipolar going?

I would have thought that this is more likely to be a factor than your pill, especially as during this last doomed relationship and the ones before it, you weren't getting any treatment for it.

Your radar about blokes is really bad and remember, this last one was so awful you had a thread about it and everyone said 'dump'. But you stuck it out and it only ended because he dumped you. This bloke was a complete loser drug addict who smoked while caring for his very young kids. Before that, there were other losers you've had threads about.

Get as well as you can and stay off blokes and worrying about relationships with them. Fill your life with other things, build up your radar and stop thinking you need to be in a relationship to complete you.

Hissy Sat 25-May-13 16:01:11

If you haven't done the Freedom Programme, try and get yourself on that. It's not a magic bullet, but it's a good way of starting to unravel the things you have survived.

I agree with the therapy idea too, at the same idea too if you can.

Change the pill you're on, make sure that horrific ex STAYS an ex, focus on getting to know yourself, and learn what all your good points are.

It's totally to be expected to have some residual soft spots where you are going to get triggered, but by doing the FP and therapy it'll give you distance and perspective to know youcan handle this.

springymater Sat 25-May-13 20:34:41

Cbt? rapid-eye whatsit? Is that all ?? shock

Dear girl, if you've had a shit time (and you clearly have) you can't get sorted with a quick fix. Yes, cbt give you some good skills, but they are not in the place of digging deep and getting your shit sorted once and for all. Which takes time. Like, years.

I say 'once and for all' but ime there's no 'all' about it - once you're broken you will never be whole in the way you were before. I'm sure you, and people, will howl at that and protest. You will never be the same as before - you will be different and, depending on how well you engage with your recovery, you will learn myriad skills to successfully keep you afloat. But only if you do the work. You can't go around it, you have to go through it. If you try to take short cuts you're on to a loser.

You say after 10 years you 'should be over it by now'. Erm, no. It stays with you always, in the same way that a badly broken limb would stay with someone - you learn to live with it, it becomes part of you, you make the best of it, you learn to live a better life than you would have if the awful thing hadn't happened.

imo, abusive relationships don't come from nowhere - there's history somewhere along the line. That's what therapy is for, to plumb the depths to address, challenge and bring to the light erroneous beliefs etc.

Seconding trying CoDA to address your relationship stuff.

ElectricSheep Sat 25-May-13 22:11:11

I've heard so many people say the pill affects them really badly. I'm sure the pill on its own is responsible for a lot of babies being brought into this world. grin

Put it behind you and try to focus on your feelings and instincts next time you are in a relationship. If you sniff out any major concerns or just don't feel happy/right then dump fast, don't hang about to see if you can change/change him. Oh, and try the coil maybe?

springymater Sun 26-May-13 01:04:37

I wish it were as simple as 'putting it behind you' Electric !

The trauma of an abusive relationship is immense (hence superstar ending up in a psychiatric ward) - aside from being off your head with the pill, or whatever.

You can't shrug off trauma, unfortunately.

springymater Sun 26-May-13 01:09:35

Your feelings are shot to pieces and your instincts up the spout. You can quibble over small things but can miss the huge things by a mile.

I don't think you're getting how deeply traumatising domestic abuse is Electric ?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 26-May-13 07:35:36

Defending Electric somewhat. Whilst it's not necessarily possible to put something behind you, especially a traumatic experience, it is possible to make conscious decision to approach something differently as a result. The type that wears their heart on their sleeve and goes into a relationship guns blazing naively, for example. They might consciously decide to be more cautious. Someone who finds abusive personalities initially attractive might ask friends for their honest opinion about a new prospect before embarking.

Past mistakes can't be undone or forgotten but they can be avoided in the future provided the person sees it for what it is - a mistake - rather than some fundamental personality flaw that they have no control over. Which is the struggle the OP faces.

Hissy Sun 26-May-13 08:33:23

Unless a victim of an abusive relationship actively deals with the fallout, AND explores the cause of the circumstances that led them to be vulnerable to abuse, it's never going to go away.

I've heard of victims 25yrs AFTER they got out STILL having issues that needed to be resolved.

The ONLY way to prevent this from happening again is to face it. To be relentless about finding why it happened to you, and finding ways to never allow it to happen again.

That will give a kind of confidence shield that abusers can see, and stay well away from!

nerofiend Sun 26-May-13 13:54:53

Dear OP, I have also always had trouble feeling comfortable, safe and stable in relationships. I've been with my DP for 15 years now and it has been tough because I find the whole couply thing quite hard to sustain.

Looking back at my life, I think a lot has to do with the fact that I was the only child of divorced parents. I've been always very attentive to other people's feelings and needs, always tried very hard to please everyone.

This resulted in me being very needy and clingy in relationships, and in difficulties setting boundaries and protecting myself, so people tend to take me for granted. I was very scared of relationships because I couldn't face abandonement. So I had my first proper relatioship at 24 with my now husband.

I wouldn't say he's perfect but I always felt I could trust him, I could rely on him. He's a solid rock in my life, though I still have lots of ups and downs.

Maybe you need to look at your past. Where do those feelings come from? Why are you so anxious? There's always a reason why we are the way we are. We need to understand first why we react and feel in a particular way. Once you understand the why's, you can start to make changes in the future.

You also need to learn to set boundaries, and to make sure people understand from the beginning that you are not going to take abuse from them, whereas this is physical, emotional, or just silly day to day mind games.

Not everybody can afford to go to therary. I could never afford to complete a long treatment, which is what I probably need, but I read a lot about psychology, and the dynamics of human relations. Tbh, books have helped me a lot more than counselling.

I read a book that answered a lot of questions for me in terms of how to set safe boundaries and get to know yourself and what you want out of relationships and life. It's called:

Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

It was a great eye opener and it saved me millions in counselling.

I am a firm believer that the mistakes of the past can fully enrich your future, and that you can use all negative past experiences to avoid the same traps in the future. It's like cultivating a garden, you need waste and crap to fertilise the earth so as to make plants grow bigger, but you also need to do a lot of weeding, and keep always working on it smile

springymater Sun 26-May-13 15:46:47

At the moment I'm paying £5 per session for therapy. It's a charity and I thank God for it.

However, I believe that if you've been horribly messed up by life then therapy is an investment and an essential expense eg people go on holiday, buy a car, build an extension. imo therapy is up there with those expenses and, for a while, can even take precedence over them.

That's not to say that reading isn't one of the essential resources too! I think therapy is, at times, and for a time, essential too because sometimes we are blind to certain aspects and it takes someone else to point it out. eg I have been having a very troublesome relationship with a friend and it took the therapist to point out the [unbelievably acute!] similarities to a close family relationship that has caused me a lot of pain and damage. For all my reading and skills and experience, I missed it and it took someone - who is trained and also on my side - to point out the obvious.

I had a big tranche of therapy over 15 years ago and due to a very challenging situation, I am embarking on therapy again. It's more like a top-up really. I absolutely don't see it as a luxury but essential.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: