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Just need to vent some steam


Carnatic

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Hi. I'm here just because I need somewhere I can get my thoughts out. I've a lot of stuff on my mind but I won't be able to get a therapist as I'm heading to America in 5 weeks, and if I don't get it out somewhere I just end up going on about things to my girlfriend, and being apart is difficult enough without that.

 

OK, so I'm 27, I currently live with my parents in a small town. I lived in a big city for 8 years during which I went to university and started a professional career. I quit that career almost 2 years ago when the stress became too much and continued to live in the city until I met my girlfriend here on ENA. She's from America and I live in the UK, so she came to live with me for 6 months while I worked part time. She went back to the US in January and I moved back in with my parents as going so long without a full time job I had run out of money and couldn't hope to save up to visit her AND continue living independently.

 

This last year I've been having some issues with my parents and how I was brought up, and how this has left me emotionally.

 

When I left my professional job, I think it was a turning point. It was where I started to really do things for myself. Until then I had always been living what I call a 'one track life'. I mean life was just a slog, get qualifications, get a career, get promoted, retire, die. I just didn't really think for myself, I did what was expected of me. I don't know where this train of thought began, but as long as I can remember, I wouldn't say my life was planned out for me, but I certainly saw life as something that happened to me, to which I had no personal input. To give an example of the sort of thing I mean. When I was 14 everyone in my year group did a questionnaire, the results of which were fed into a computer which would then recommend careers to us. Mine said I should be an architect, so from that moment on that's what I was going to be, and that's what I went to university to study. I never once stopped and thought if that was that I really wanted, I simply thought 'I have been told what to do so that's what I shall do'.

 

I was deeply, deeply depressed for nearly my entire childhood. I was about 6 when I had my first suicidal thought and these thoughts remained with me until I was almost 18. I was one of those kids whose exercise books were full of depressing images of people being killed in a variety of novel ways. I spend days on end just sat in my room being miserable and would often tell people how much I hated myself and wanted to die. I had a psychiatrist when I was 9, he would come into school once a week and talk me through all my problems. At the time I just thought of him as a nice man who was interested in me when noone else was, only when I was older did I realise that I was in therapy.

 

I gradually started to think more independently at university but even then it was 8 years before I realised I'd been going wrong my whole life. I can't say how I came to be this way, so I'm not blaming my parents but I think the issues I'm having with them seem to be down to the fact that they had gotten comfortable with me leading this 'sensible' low-risk lifestyle. When I think back to 'decisions' I made back then, I never considered what I wanted, just what other people thought was right for me there wasn't even a thought process as such.

 

What I do know is that for some reason my parents have this idea I was a 'gifted child' I don't know why. I think I was a quick developer, learning to read and write at a young age. But I was a notorious daydreamer at school, I had to be given special attention to stop me from drifting off, and forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. I think my social issues stemmed from the fact that my parents pushed me into activities that they saw as appropriate for my gifted status. Naturally these activities were either solitary, or at least ones that I couldn't really share with kids my age at school. Things like chess (which I was never any good at) and astronomy (I was always fascinated in the visual qualities of space, how big it was and how beautiful it was, but had neither the interest or attention span for any scientific interest)

 

Whenever I try to talk about my issues with my parents they always point out that when I was 7 they let me choose which Junior School I wanted to go to, as though this is proof that I was independently minded. Except, I didn't choose what I wanted, I just chose what I thought they wanted, and they took me to the school I eventually chose and the headmaster showed me around, so it was obvious to me that it was the school they wanted me to go to.

 

This last year, I've felt much more in control of what I want. I want to be a photographer, at the same time I know you can't always get exactly what you want but I at least know and can try and get it. I met the most amazing girl who understands me better than anyone I've ever met. We fell so deeply in love and spend an amazing 6 months living together. I feel bad for her though, because we started going out only a few months after I started to take control of my own life, my parents seem to think that she is influencing me... she has helped but I think they see her as some puppet master, making me abandon the lifestyle they think I wanted and take up a new lifestyle I clearly don't want. She has certainly been immensely helpful in me discovering myself, because we are similar people, I can be myself around her and she always knew about the 'real me' struggling to break out.

 

This week, after a long and painful wait, I was finally able to book tickets to go out there and spend a few months with her. I did this without telling my parents. I mean they knew I was planning on going over, but I didn't ask their permission to book the tickets, because I'm 27 and it didn't even enter my head that I should ask them first. They got very angry and upset with me. My mum started stomping around like a little girl and my dad accused me of being selfish, because if things go wrong they'll have to bail me out. I never asked them to bail me out and I feel conflicted, they're my parents so I can't expect them to stand by and do nothing should anything bad happen to me, but I can't just never take any risks because I feel guilty that they would have to rescue me.

 

I tried telling my Dad that I thought my Mum was so upset because she just wasn't used to me making my own decisions and being independent and he told me that he thought the opposite was true, and that part of the problem is that I'd always been rebellious and fiercely independent as a teenager!!!

 

I really don't see where he gets that from. When I was a teenager, I didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't do drugs, didn't have sex, didn't have porn, never once got angry with them, shouted or swore at them. I worked hard all through school and was never late handing anything in and always got high marks. I never did anything they forbade me from doing, or that they would have disapproved of. I shared in my parents' interests and did all the family stuff with them, I was friendly towards their friends. I didn't complain when at the age of 12 they still thought it necessary to hire a babysitter if they ever left me alone, I didn't complain that I wasn't allowed out of the house unsupervised until I was almost 10. I was financially responsible and carefully saved up my small amount of pocket money, rarely spending it, and even then only on things with their permission. I had a small circle of friends, all of whom my parents liked, some of whom it was my parents idea that I be friends with. I rarely saw any of my friends outside of school, and never sneaked out without permission. I didn't need a curfew because I never went out and I never suggested that I should be allowed to go out. I always agreed with my parents when they talked out how unrestrained other kids my age were, going out drinking etc. I just calmly agreed that these were bad things.

 

Apparently this is their idea of rebellion. I shudder to think what they think I should have been like as a teenager.

 

When I went to university, I slowly started to wake up inside. I had my own place, my parents were hundreds of miles away I could do whatever I wanted. I started to drink heavily, I started smoking pot, I stopped trying with my work occasionally refused to hand work in. I started to lash out at convention, by designing increasingly nonsensical buildings out of sugar cubes and terracotta. I became very lazy and didn't attend workshops, spending my time shopping and drinking. I even started drinking in front of my tutors during lectures. But I feel I became a better person, I failed that year but was happier as a result and slowly began to get more adjusted. I would still be very deferential whenever I was with parents, and I still never openly rebelled against them.

 

Things didn't change that much for the rest of my time at university, and when I left I still didn't have the independence of thought to question going straight into a career university had prepared me for, but the seeds were sown, and I quickly became unhappy in that job. I also began to suffer heavily from anxiety issues and ended up quitting on what was officially medical grounds, even if I didn't tell them that and it was making me depressed anyway.

 

Right now things are looking up, but I have these issues from my past hanging over me. Often it's simply that I feel low self-esteem because of how much I lacked independence in the past, sometimes, such as when I'm with my parents, it becomes a much more pressing issue. Venting here is really a great help to me. If anyone has actually read this all the way through then I'm impressed, give yourself a pat on the back because you now understand me better than my parents do. but really, I'm just all about the venting and getting it off my chest.

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I apologize in advance if you would rather not get comments, but I just want to say that I feel for you. Getting things out in the open is always therapeutic for me and I hope it is for you.

 

I hope you and Jen find a way to be together permanently soon. It's quite clear that you are very much in love and very good for each other.

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I'm not sure if I've really gotten to the bottom of it, but I just feel so empty at times. Like depressed, but also helpless, like there's nothing I can do about my depression and I can't even fully understand this. Then of course I get anxious and I can just feel my whole body wanting to collapse back in on myself like the very act of existing is just too much to bear.

 

I tend to feel guilty too... because really I have nothing to complain about and I have the most amazing girlfriend, and we're just so wonderful together. I don't want her or anyone to think that I don't appreciate her. When I feel so empty in spite of her amazing presence in my life I feel like I shouldn't feel this way.

 

I don't know if introspection is a symptom or a cause of depression. But if I take the possibility that it could be a cause and ask myself what it is that I think about that depresses me then the post above pretty much explains it. Basically I feel like I'm a non-achiever, I never came out of my shell and blossomed and became a fully rounded human being... I'm just a husk. Certainly even if thoughts like this aren't the cause and come after the initial depression then they at least propogate it.

 

It's just all so stupid. Like I said before, my girlfriend is amazing... and other things in my life are great too, I have good friends and time to engage with my other passion (besides Jenn), which is photography. All the silly introspective stuff is about the past. Sure I've nothing really to be proud of in my past but that doesn't mean I can't be someone to be proud of now, and I'll say again that I feel guilty about it because of how amazing she is and how good my life in general is. If anything dwelling on stupid past issues like this will prevent me from living life to its fullest right now.

 

Right now I feel empty, maybe though I'll wake up happy tomorrow, who knows? At least getting my thoughts out helps, and I'm sure I can look back on this later on and follow my thoughts so I'm not constantly losing track of where I was on the long road towards self-awareness. Hopefully things will improve when I'm physically with her, she can make me feel loved so much better in person.

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Being dysfunctional sucks

 

Mornings are the toughest, and I've been feeling especially down and lonely today. I always feel less lonely when Jenn comes online, but I didn't get the chance to write what I felt this morning, and I'm still fairly down even now.

 

Being dysfunctional (in my case being socially retarded, see above posts) sucks, not because it's an unpleasant experience in itself. They say ignorance is bliss and this is probably true, but because of the effect it has on those you love. I'm such a colossal idiot and I just don't know how to socialise properly. I don't have autism or Asperger's, I mean I can empathise perfectly well, I just don't have the knowledge that would be expected in someone my age, due to my lack of social interaction when I was younger.

 

This means it is very easy for me to accidentally cause great offence to people. This in turn makes me depressed when I've upset someone important to me, and anxious because whenever I open my mouth or start typing I feel this huge risk of it all backfiring on me.

 

Today, has been a bad day. I'm depressed about that, I was lonely this morning as I am every morning before Jenn comes online and I'm just bored out of my skull here.

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Still bored... painfully bored in fact. My boredom deserves a post all to itself.

 

Since Jenn left in early January, I met up with a friend for twenty minutes to give him something and have a coffee. Another friend for half an hour for coffee. Then two friends for a few hours to do some hiking, and then a small group of friends for a meal and little night in, nothing big, I was home by midnight. That was about a month ago.

 

That is the total of all the socialising I've done since. And I haven't seen any friends at all for almost a month. Sometimes I lack motivation for doing anything, one time a friend contacted me to see if I wanted to meet a few of them for a drink... I made an excuse not to go and as it turns out it never happened anyway so I didn't miss out. Other times I really want to do something because of how bored I am, but nobody's ever available.

 

Also, what makes it seem worse is that I'm so insecure about how dull my past was, and how much of a dull person I was... and the progress I've been making this past year becoming a better, free-er person is so important to me. When I haven't done anything for so long I just worry that without me noticing I'm regressing back to how I once was.

 

I always feel ashamed to be bored, because I talk to Jenn online so much, surely that should be enough. It definitely is enough, I shouldn't be bored... so why am I?

 

I'm kind of just rambling on in spite of myself now, perhaps because I'm bored. I've been lacking motivation to keep this journal ever since I started it. The reason why is I just feel so ashamed of it all. I mean I'm not facing any great adversity, I haven't suffered any trauma, I have no diagnosis of any mental disorder... I'm just someone who needs to get a grip and stop moaning. OK I guess moaning on here does stop me from moaning at my friends and at Jenn... but I should just stop moaning altogether right? See how good things are and be happy for it.

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Sometimes I have serious doubts about myself

 

I just feel uncertain about whether by writing what I feel I really am telling the truth, or if on some subconscious level I'm just making it all up. I've been called a drama queen in the past and maybe all of this is part of it. Again with the feelings of shame that I have no reason to have all these negative thoughts when my life is so positive.

 

I just wonder if the world around me seems to be going mad is it maybe that the world around me is perfectly alright and I'm the mad one.

 

I worry about the strain my issues are putting on my relationship with Jenn. I mean I must be a handful to put up with, and god bless her she has the patience of a saint. But if my 'issues' are really nothing and I'm just being melodramatic, then really I do have to just stop moaning and start acting like a normal person. I just worry that with all this stuff I'm going to damage what is a really beautiful thing we have.

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Feeling depressed... I miss Jenn so much, and despite having tickets, the coming month just seems like a month of pure hell before we can be together.

 

I don't know how I manage to be such a big rock on the beach of our relationship, I have a poor memory, a short attention span, low self esteem and poor social skills. Disentangling all that is complicated, and dealing with it is difficult... but when we're apart and we can't just kiss and cuddle, the problems I create become even worse.

 

I just feel that she's drifting away from me... I try and be a better person, but I feel I can no more solve problems like a short attention span than an idiot could solve a complicated maths problem by 'simply' becoming more intelligent. The goal seems just that unattainable.

 

I just feel guilty for causing these problems but at the same time helpless because they are caused by aspects of my personality that are beyond my control

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I have a doctor's appointment booked for Thursday. I need a top-up on my anti-anxiety/depression meds.

 

I don't know if they're working anymore, it's difficult to judge how I feel now against how I felt 8 months ago when I started taking them, and how I felt before then, and the stresses and strains on me are different from what they were back then. Also the way they work(ed) is subtle it's not like you take them and then feel their effects. The effects gradually change the way you react to anxiety.

 

But I am feeling very depressed now and the anxiety means I'm constantly restless, pacing around fidgeting, my brain in overdrive trying to disentangle everything and I feel this 'inner crazy' building inside me like I'm getting more and more irrational. So it may be that they aren't working.

 

I don't think there's really anything else that can help though, maybe a higher dosage but I just feel so disillusioned with it all. I've been tried with the 3 main classes of anti-anxiety meds. beta-blockers, SSRIs and now tetracyclics. Other meds would just be more of the same I fear.

 

My doctor is a friend of my parents, my mum looks after his kids, sometimes they all go for meals together. That makes discussing things like this kind of awkward and I find it difficult discussing my emotions with doctors anyway, it's like I sweep it all under the carpet and tell the doctor that it's probably nothing.

 

He suggested before the appointment that I seemed reserved last time and maybe it's because he's a friend of my parents, and if I like I could see a different doctor. I said it was OK I'd still see him, because I thought I'd offend him if I asked to see someone different. I know there's doctor-patient confidentiality and all but somehow it still feels awkward. I'll have to get over it before Thursday.

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I can't handle my mother. She's just being so passive aggressive.

 

All week, since I booked my flight to Michigan without asking her permission to go on the dates I wanted, she's been very moody. Stomping around like a little girl, trying to guilt me. She's won't let me tidy or wash up after eating, because I get in her way and then constantly grumbles about having to do everything herself. Today she asked me what I was doing and when I told her she just walked off muttering about how no-one cares about her. When I asked her what she said, she said 'nothing, just talking to myself'. We never had a 'best-friends' relationship where we talked about everything, but she's been complaining a lot recently about how we never talk to each other ANYMORE, we just sit and watch TV.

 

She's driving me mad, I just want out of here I'm about to have an anxiety attack, I can't handle her anymore. She does a few other things that annoy me. She doesn't believe in privacy. She'll read over my shoulder when I'm on my computer, or on my phone, she walks into my bedroom unannounced she asks what I'm doing all the time, or what I did when I get back if I leave the house. I think it's because she grew up in a house with 10 siblings and so never had any privacy, but in her mind if you want to keep something private, then it MUST be because you are doing something bad.

 

She never used to be so passive-aggressive with me. But then if you read the first post you'll see I was the 'perfect' teenager who never once did anything she would disapprove of. The problems have only started in the last year when I realised I always did things to please other people, never myself and started to have independent ideas of my own. It seems like she is trying to make me feel guilty, like I've gone off the rails or something and I just can't take it anymore.

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I can't sleep and when I can't sleep I get reflective (or is it the other way round?) I've been in a reflective mood and looking through photos on my phone, of Me and Jenn together during those six months in Liverpool, of our flat and just of other things which, by association remind me of the period leading up to, and just after Jenn's arrival.

 

We were both happier then, I even have happy memories of before she arrived when we had that optimism and anticipation of what was to come.

 

Not so much now. So what's changed? Back then was the very start of our relationship, honeymoon period and all that but we're definitely more in love now. We're not together now, but we weren't together back in June, yet we were happy. The weather was better then so that's a bonus, neither of us had any major financial issues either. We were really optimistic back then and that's changed too. Getting Jenn here was difficult and there were uncertainties then, but the uncertainties now seem worse, and it's not just that we didn't know when we'd be together, but that we were let down when we had our hopes up. Now, as then we're counting down the days till we see each other but the difficulties we've been through since then make maintaining an optimism harder. We're more aware of the difficulties we face in making it permanent and I can only go there for three months, which really doesn't seem that long.

 

We've really not handled these issues well. We've bickered a lot when we should be pulling together and supporting each other, we're in this together but we're blaming each other for the little problems that become bigger arguments.

 

Having these journals has helped us get these ideas in the open better. We were so open with each other at the start of our relationship but we've lost that a bit and I think it's because of how all these arguments start, we both watch what we say a little too much because we're scared that any little thing might spark off an argument. Somehow that fear doesn't exist as much here, also all the support we've gotten has helped, and ena is more conducive to going into things in depth than instant messaging, where we're worried that if we don't respond in a couple of minutes we'll upset the other.

 

I have a tendency to blame myself totally for everything. I've done that here too. I have low self esteem and genuinely feel guilt. Also as I said I'm worried about things escalating into an argument so I try to be as agreeable as possible, and in doing that I refuse to accept that Jenn bears any responsibility at all for our problems.

 

But that isn't what Jenn wants. She wants to talk about her issues and the part she has played in this. If I refuse to believe it and then tell her what a terrible boyfriend I've been then it doesn't let her get it off her chest and it makes her feel guilty (even if that wasn't my original intention... low self esteem often leads me to do things that makes others believe that noone could be that self deprecating, and therefore I must be trying to guilt them). I'm not going to go into Jenn faults here, that's not my place I want to support her, but I should support her by listening to her when she wants to give her account of things, not by denying that she has any issues to get off her chest.

 

It's a plus that we still love each other so much, that it's now become a bigger problem that we refuse to let the other take the blame than vice versa. Soon we'll be where we belong in each other's arms again... The weather will improve and we'll have a whole new city to infect with our sickly romance. We have a lot to work on, but having ena has helped us stay together as much as it helped us be together.

 

Anyway, I should go to sleep... All this typing on my phone's making me cross-eyed.

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I've been to see the doctor... and as luck would have it, I had to see a different doctor, so no awkwardness (my doctor was dealing to an emergency).

 

It went well, I re-read what I had written on ena just before going in and told him everything I'd written. He has kept me on the same drug and doubled the dosage.

 

We'll see how it goes.

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Things are better... the new dosage feels stronger, I feel a slight effect from taking them.

 

Me and Jenn have started communicating better. I send her a long email to kick it off, and we've come out of it with more hope for our future, and looking forward to just over 4 weeks time when I arrive over there.

 

I can't wait... we have so much planned already

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A lot of things are starting to become clear to me, where I've gone wrong in our relationship. With these new revelations comes hope and with hope will come improvement. It'll take time but I'm becoming increasingly confident that we can get there. Jackie really talked a lot of sense into me.

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I like Jackie already

 

I can't wait to get over there and be with you my darling and just be able to gradually work on our issues, knowing that we can always stop talking and just cuddle if the going gets tough

 

I love you.

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I'm writing a letter to my mum, to try and make her see sense. I'm thinking I might leave it somewhere she'll find it just after I leave... or post it to her so it arrives after I've gone. I think that doing it this way will force her to think about her response, instead of just getting all upset and then angry at me or passive-aggressive

 

I'm going to try and be balanced in it. I just want to explain to her that I am independent now.

 

This is what I'm thinking:

 

If you were an observer who could go back in time and see me as a teenager, you'd probably decide that my mum's behaviour was normal for the parent of a teenager. She didn't want me to go out, she didn't like certain friends, she was concerned with protecting me. But you'd probably think my behaviour was abnormal, instead of being in conflict with her because I wanted to do the things she didn't want me doing, I just went along with it.

 

Perhaps she just thought that my abnormal behaviour wasn't abnormal at all, it was just who who I was, I was different, I didn't want to do the things kids my age were doing, and now in my twenties we were still in agreement over what kind of lifestyle was best for me. I can say that when I was a teenager, never disobeying her it wasn't what I wanted, I felt left out and distanced from my peers and I was unhappy because I wasn't doing what I wanted to do with my life, but this was all on the inside and I didn't show it externally.

 

If you were to try and say why my behaviour was abnormal you'd go even further back to see me as a child. Instead of playing with friends, I was playing at solitary activities they had encouraged me to do because they thought I was a gifted child. But I never developed socially and instead of peer pressure I had parental pressure.

 

So maybe going back to my adolescence, it's not all her fault, she was being normal and I was being abnormal. So if you could fast forward through my twenties you'd see that because I hadn't challenged her back then, nothing had changed and she still wanted me to behave in a certain way, and because I'd never challenged it, she had built up an expectation that I would behave in ways that she approved of.

 

It must have come as a shock to her when a string of nervous breakdowns and anxiety issues led me to break away from doing what I felt she would approve of and doing my own thing. I'm still at an early stage of self determination, and she maybe got comfortable thinking I was happy doing what I was doing, and now she seems convinced that what I'm doing now, I can't possibly be happy doing.

 

I just need to write this letter to make her understand this... so she doesn't get all irrational and upset because she thinks I'm saying it was her fault, and so that she sees that I genuinely am happy now and all this time, she had no idea how unhappy I was. I don't know what led them to the conclusion that I was a gifted child and needed to be taken away from my peers and given special attention, but this could be a sticking point if she ends up thinking that she made a decision back then that ruined my life.

 

But then if she could see how happy I was now she wouldn't have to think she'd ruined my life.

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A lot of things are starting to become clear to me, where I've gone wrong in our relationship. With these new revelations comes hope and with hope will come improvement. It'll take time but I'm becoming increasingly confident that we can get there. Jackie really talked a lot of sense into me.

 

I love you... I'm looking forward to just sitting on sturgeon beach

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I'm going to go for a walk to find somewhere quiet to meditate, my house is too noisy and the layout of it means that every little movement can be heard throughout the whole house even when the ten million kids my mum looks after aren't about.

 

Things are improving between me and Jenn, I feel like we've turned a corner. We are communicating much better now and talking excitedly about being together soon. I just need to improve my concentration and memory, hence the meditation.

 

I'm still writing the letter to my mum. I'll leave out any reference to my childhood though, because it's impossible to say how any of that might have affected me. One thought that did occur to me though was that, as my GP said to me 9 months ago when I was first prescribed anti-depressants. I have had undiagnosed depression for about 20 years of my life. That's perhaps a much more likely explanation as to why I didn't open up and think for myself in my teenage years like I should have. Not just that I had depression, but that it was undiagnosed, I just felt like life wasn't supposed to be a happy place and was very withdrawn.

 

I have plenty to be happy now... I just need to concentrate on those things. Wish me a happy meditation.

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I feel like my mum just never paid any attention to me when I was a teenager. She's always getting at me for my depression and anxiety. Saying that I've changed, I'm not the happy kid I used to be.

 

I was NEVER a happy kid. I was borderline suicidal (as in I often wished I had the courage to kill myself), I didn't do anything, I didn't know what happiness felt like. She just didn't notice... or she did notice and kidded herself into believing that I was happy.

 

NOW, I'm much happier than I've ever been, I still suffer from depression and anxiety but it's only since I was diagnosed that she's started noticing.

 

I'm just getting sick of her acting like all this is something new. It leads her to think that somehow Jenn is responsible for my problems. I've tried telling her and it's as though she just doesn't listen to me.

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Itdoes really bother me that she thinks I don't allow him to watch his shows (he can watch whatever he wants!!! I just choose to do something else in another room) or partake in activities he apparently used to in the past (I have never told him he's not allowed to do something or even alluded to the fact that I'd ratherhe didn't!). God it gets on my nerves. I am not the devil she makes me out to be

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I think if I can get her to see that I was always depressed but am happy now, then it will help. If it doesn't then we just have to live with it... she might find that she gets marginalised because of it, and if she does then it's her own fault.

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I honestly don't think she'll ever see things the way we see it. She's so set in her thoughts and has been behaving so irrationally. It makes me wonder if your brothers girlfriends really were that crazy and awful.

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Jenn had suggested some time ago that a lot of my problems with concentration, memory etc could be down to ADD. Today I was thinking that maybe IF I have ADD, the anti-depressants I'm taking might be making it worse. That led me to an ADD forum where I found a lot of people suggesting to me there were strong signs I had ADD.

 

So next time I see my doctor I'm going to bring it up, I may be able to get help with something that I'd always considered to just be a negative personality trait that I and those around me had to put up with.

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I have an appointment to see my doctor on Monday so I'll bring up ADD then. I know that getting diagnosed is a long and drawn out process involving psychologists, and getting treatment involves all kinds of things such as risk tests for substance abuse and physical fitness tests. Ugh.

 

I've just been feeling so antsy and restless this last few days. I thought I was over it today but it came back as the day wore on. I don't think it will go away till I'm back with Jenn. I think I'm just in limbo here at the moment. Nothing to do but wait.

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All the fighting and arguing is getting us both down. We just seem to end up arguing so easily, and over very minor disagreements. Whenever an argument is starting it just seems impossible to prevent it, we end up in a situation where there's nothing either of us can say that won't cause offence, and saying nothing just causes even more offence.

 

We depend on good communication I think even more than is normal in a relationship. Arguments tend to start over misunderstandings and other communication problems. It all just seems to avoidable, neither of us treats the other badly we're just both stressed over the problems of the long distance relationship, the lack of moral support from my parents and our lack of finances. We're both in a high state of anxiety and ready to lash out if something irks us.

 

I find myself saying to myself in my head... Why can't we just stop, forget the argument we're in the midst of, accept it was nothing, it doesn't matter, it never happened. But it just seems so unstoppable while we're both so anxious. I'm confident that it will be infinitely better when I get over there and I know it's not long now, we just have to endure it.

 

A lot of our arguments wouldn't have started if we were physically together. Misunderstandings and difficulties empathising with each other will be reduced with the benefit of body language, facial expressions, physical touch and the ability to see the other with our own eyes, see what we're doing, see how much we care about each other. We weren't like this last year before we met, but I guess in those six months together we grew as a couple to the point where we could no longer accept poor quality communication and meanwhile the stresses on us seemed to grow stronger.

 

I accept that I struggle to put words together, I make terrible faux pas I lack focus and concentration and then to compound this I get anxious from the huge effort I have to make to be understood. I seem to exhibit all the traits of ADD and I'm clinging the hope that if I am diagnosed and treated for that things will become easier for both of us. My symptoms, which seem to suggest ADD, are also those aspects of my personality which cause the most tension between us. We're struggling as my lack of attention and poor cognitive skills tear at us and it would be such a relief if some treatment could 'make me better'. I'm not suggesting that some pill or other treatment would fix everything for us, but it just seems like an approach with much potential.

 

I went to the doctor yesterday and mentioned it. In the UK only a mental health professional can diagnose ADD, so he could only refer me to one. He also made a couple of comments. Firstly that in cases where someone has depression, anxiety and poor concentration, sometimes the poor concentration is caused by clinical depression and general anxiety disorder and there is no ADD, while in other cases the anxiety and depression are caused by ADD and there is no clinical depression or general anxiety disorder. He also suggested that the fact I did well at school suggested I didn't have ADD but would refer me anyway, I'm not so sure though, I mean I don't think my concentration was tested much by school, the British school system doesn't seem all that taxing compared to the American one, also I have seen the NHS's list of ADD symptoms and it seems like a description of me, I match every single one.

 

This process will take a while. Certainly there's no chance of it happening before I go to America. However there's a possibility I could be diagnosed by a doctor in the USA, so we'll see.

 

It's difficult to know where and how my problems started and how bad they were in the past. I know that John Donne said 'no man is an island' but before I started going out with Jenn I was at the very least a peninsula. I could f**k things up as much as I liked and it never affected anyone else so maybe I was as bad then as I am now, but didn't realise because there was no-one to be upset by it.

 

This besides, me and Jenn have a lot to get through over the next 15 days and it won't be easy to fix everything, but being together will help, maybe a course of ADD treatment will help a bit further. We do love each other, we're crazy about each other and want more than anything in the world to stay together for the rest of our lives. I see her as my future wife, and the mother of our cats. I see us experiencing new things and new places together and growing old together. She means the world to me and I mean the world to her and we're going to make this work. We just need to endure things a little more.

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