MDAO Forum

Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 02, 2015, 04:16:11 pm

Title: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 02, 2015, 04:16:11 pm
Hey everyone,

So recently my fiancee (been together for 9 years) confided in me that there have been times when she is scared for her safety and mine. Most notably a year a bit ago we had argued over adopting our first kitten, which was very important to me. She wanted to wait 5 months and I was being borderline irrational about it. I just needed something to take care of and feel like I was needed in that visceral way...she didn't understand the dark place I was in, and even though I write and read for a living, I am pretty terrible at explaining how I feel. She just couldn't see how 5 months made a difference but it was life and death in my eyes....

I don't remember much of the time period other than that. I was very angry (it usually reflects inwardly) and empty, numb, lost you name it...not sure if the details are suppressed or I just don't have any memories other than that. But she says she was truly scared. Now I'm not upset that she was scared for my safety, since that is more plausible to me. the part that is tearing me up inside is that the person that I care about the most in this world didn't recognize me for who I was and that I would actually harm her. I`ve been trying to shake it but I can`t get over it.

Need some help here...
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: paulm on July 03, 2015, 12:15:05 am
Hello GrizzlyManTooth.  None of what follows is a criticism and you may not react like I do. It's just how I have scared my wife (and others)

 I can''t speak for anybody, but over the years I've scared a fair number of people including my wife unintentionally. When I'm having an episode I can get obsessive and even though I may think that I'm arguing in the same logical and reasonable way, I've came to understand that this is not the case.

 I can be obsessive and refuse to let a subject go, dragging it on for hrs or even days. I can think that it's so important to me that my wife should give in no matter what her feelings.  When I get that way I never see the other persons point of view. Also blowups can happen really quickly when I'm like that.

 Fortunately I rarely get that way anymore, but when I used to, my sudden forcefulness would come as shock to my wife as would my insistence on getting my own way. 

 I'm sure that if I had recordings of those times and a video of my facial features when I got going in an argument I would be afraid of myself. Not because I'm ever going to hurt anyone, it's just such a huge change over what I am normally like.

 I would never harm my wife and in 40 + years I have never laid a hand on her or abused her in any way. But I can how the sudden change in my demeanor,  reasonableness, body language and facial expressions would have (and did) scare her.  Usually in the aftermath, I would reassure my wife that I would never hurt her and I would ask her exactly That it was that scared her.  Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 03, 2015, 01:15:29 am
Hey paul, thanks for the response. and yeah I understand how I may have been drastically different than I usually am...It's just I am the same way as you in that I would never harm her or any woman. I absolutely despise the idea of domestic violence in any form. And she knows this, but I guess what I am having a hard time with is that I can reassure her afterwards but it's the knowledge that I now have that there is something inside of me that she knows is there that doesn't fit with the rest of me. It's the idea that she almost has to be "on guard" with me just in case type of thing that hurts. But at the same time, as you said, from her point of view it completely makes sense. it just kind of sucks and it's a complicated part of our relationship that I didn't anticipate having to live with.
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: paulm on July 09, 2015, 04:27:07 am
Hello GrizzlyMantooth. If it's any consolation after 4 decades I'm still trying to figure out our relationship LOL.

 On a more serious note, the older we get the more we change, both the wife and I. I mean we both have aches and pains in places we didn't even know could ache, our priorities have changed, and even our personalities have changed with aging and experience.

 So life is a constant state of change. In order to stay together, you either have to adjust to those changes or be willing to live together miserably. And It takes both parties to make those on going changes. Not necessarily right away, but over time.

 My wife is no longer physically afraid of me, even though I'm still quite capable of flying into a rage that would frighten someone who didn't know me, because she knows from experience that she has nothing to fear.

 Conversely, while my wife is a wonderful person, she has an extremely difficult time saying that she is sorry for something she did wrong. Which once upon a time used to really bug me. Now I just tease her about it and say " come on now dear I know if you really try hard you can pronounce the word, just sound it out " I' soorry " It doesn't bring a laugh out of her, but it does relieve my tension. On the other hand she sez I say that I'm sorry to easily, better that I not apologize and make fewer mistakes.

 Enough rambling for now. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: Soozan on July 17, 2015, 07:32:33 am
Hi there! Sorry I have been off the board lately, been busy with work, but just came to visit and found this post, had to reply, ... I too have had people afraid of me but I think it is part and parcel of having the diagnosis... no matter what... goes on in our minds that we would never hurt anyone... the fact that we can be deemed "unstable" i think has a lot to do with it.

Grizzly, my heart goes out to you about not being able to get a kitten right away, I felt the anguish you had and its unfortunate that your fiance could not understand what you were going through. I am lucky that my husband is also bipolar and can relate to what I go through and lucky that we both stay medicated and equally lucky that usually we don't go through depressive times at the same time ... although ... I too am a cat lover but my hubby can't stand cats, so I will never be able to have a cat but we do have a dog, whom he tolerates, so I guess there always has to be compromise in any relationship. You said that was a year ago .. I hope you did finally get that kitten!

The label does have us at the mercy of preconceptions, as with anyone else with a disability and I guess that's what we have to live with and it sucks. it's hard when we can't have someone look into our heads and heart and be able to see what we are about. I don't get violent physically but my mouth still spews some pretty awful things when I get angry and I guess that makes anyone afraid of what actions are behind it ... I need to work on that ... even with the meds some things still break through .... damn meds can't solve everything I guess.

- Soozan
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 20, 2015, 04:24:25 pm
thanks for the messages guys, sorry for the delay was on vacation across the country for my little sisters wedding. I thought the trip went pretty well considering the stressful nature of going back to family and wedding stuff, but when we got back yesterday my fiancee confessed that I had been rather distant and sometimes she couldn't find me around as I appeared to escape things. After thinking about it I guess I was a bit but it wasn't apparent at the time. I guess my standards are a little lower at the moment, if I don't have a panic attack it's more or less a success.

I'm much more relaxed now that I'm back in Toronto in my niche with the kittens. So hopefully I can come back down to earth a little more...

hope everyone is doing well!
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: paulm on July 23, 2015, 12:40:19 am
Hello GrizzlyMantooth. I tend to disappear to when I face things of a stressful nature. Have fun with your kittens. How old are they?Take Care. paul m.
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 23, 2015, 12:57:24 am
yeah I spoke about it with my shrink today and he kind of made sense of it to me. and my cats are still quite young, the oldest is just over 2 years and the youngest is just turning 1 this week...hopefully he calms down a bit from here lol
Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: Dragonfly on July 27, 2015, 07:44:15 pm
Hi GrizzlyMantooth and Paul,

I too avoided situations that I felt would be stressful to me because of my mental illness. My husband would go a lot on his own, although my daughters or son or both would be with him. My husband enabled me not to go. I am not blaming him. He was always very protective of me due to what I went through with my illness. I must say that it always hurts when people say well my husband had such a rough time with me. I agree with that and I feel very bad about that. I must say though that I supported him with his problems.

I have been gaining much more confidence lately. I am not so panicked and stressed as I used to be. My husband passed away 4 years ago. I now for the first time in my life have lived alone. I realize since I am alone I have to try and get out and handle situations on my own with a lot of support from my kids, extended family, health professionals, etc. That is slowly starting to work.

Of course, now I am not alone anymore. My son has moved in and has the kids at certain times. I enjoy it. I must admit that I get extremely tired sometimes. When I am tired I have to be very careful. That is when I become negative. I don't want to snap at my son and grandchildren. I have to tell my son that I need some space and maybe more help. I try to remove myself and take a break.

GrizzlyMantooth I adopted two kittens probably about a year after my husband passed away. They are now around 3 years old. I enjoy them so much. The cats are so lovable. My whole family loves them too. My grandkids are very good with them. I wouldn't miss them for the world even though they are very active.

My persective has changed since my husband passed away. Certain trivial things don't really matter. The prescious moments with my family is what counts.

I think I have gone on long enough.

Title: Re: loved ones being scared of you
Post by: GrizzlyMantooth on July 28, 2015, 12:01:18 am
Hey Dragonfly,

It sounds like you've come a long way and that's great to hear. When someone says I'm distant I find it amusing a bit when I'm not aware of it because I am usually thinking I could actually use some time alone, I never feel like I've already had that alone time.

I still have a problem asking for time alone or admitting I need some time alone. I think I struggle if that is me actually needing it or my depressed self trying to withdrawal more from reality and relationships. I guess that will come in time...

All the best