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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or, in my case, DP and pending divorce.
I met my current wife waaaay back in high school. Friends for years, best friends really, we eventually became college roommates. At some point one thing led to another, and we were more than just roommates.
Not long after, I was involved in the auto accident that resulted in me becoming DP.
I remember asking her, telling her even, to stop loving me. That something had snapped in my muddled little brain and she should find somebody else. She wouldn't listen to me. I think she was under the impression that everything would somehow be all better soon.
Well, "soon" came and went, and I was still wacky. She claimed the only difference she could see was that I tended to be more quiet than before. A side effect of being lost in space you know. Anyway, more things led to other things, we got married, had kids, etc. etc.

I think it must be terribly difficult being married to someone like me. DP'ed. I do tend to become quiet at times, complain all the time about the oddness of the sensations - the fear, and also seem to employ potentially dangerous distractions. Always looking for new ways to distract myself of course.......... Combined with the simple fact that often times I cannot feel my emotions for my wife, well, things aren't always so good at home.

Somehow she has managed to stick it out for a long, long time. That time may be coming to an end, however. We are openly discussing the pros and cons of divorce. The weird thing is - we are still friends. In fact she told me the other night she isn't sure she could make it without that. We have been best friends for so long, she doesn't know if she could go on if she lost that. I understand the feeling completely. I think the two of us may be soulmates.

With all the significant potential changes a divorce would bring, my DP is setting new records. I am also feeling intense sadness, although it only lasts a minute or two before the DP arrives to rescue me. Can always count on that.

It ocurrs to me that I don't know how to end this post. I guess if I have any point, it's the obvious - being DP/anxious can have negative impacts on a relationship with another person. I love my wife, I know I do. But I can't always feel it. Because of that I don't show her enough. She doesn't feel loved by me. I honestly believe that if it wasn't for my DP we would not be having problems. I mean, we were the couple people would have voted "most likely to succeed" back in the old days. Such good buddies...........such good lovers.

O.K. I'm sad now. At least I'm feeling something other than fear for a change.
 

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SC,

Well, I feel for you. I really do. And in a sense, I can understand how you feel. Sometimes I have a hard time feeling emotions for my girlfriend. Though I know I really do care for her. I still don't know if she is THE ONE for me, but honestly I don't know if I will ever know if I found THE ONE. Because I feel so numb when it comes to those types of feelings.
So in a sense I do know how you feel.
My two cents is this....if you are such great friends and feel you are soulmates then why think about a divorce? If you told people that the one you are with is like your best friend and you feel you are soul mates, then they would never, ever think about the word divorce as it relates to you two. Secondly, what would you solve by getting a divorce?
Just a couple of my thougts. Take care and hang in there.

Kelson
 

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sc..... i am sorry that your relationship seems to be ending.....its a hard deal, i know my partner finds me extremley hard[even though he tries to be understanding] cause i am quiet,subdude and really can feel or show any good emotions.....and i can see it must be hard on our partners aswell as us....cause i think our conversations do mainly revolve around ourselves with every thing been so weird.....i feel like i am extremley selfish and self centered with dp....i really dont like myself and dont understand why anyone would.....

...anyway if you and your wife are still best mates maybe there is hope.....maybe seperating short term would do you both some good,,,,it might make you yourself gain some sense of the actual feeling you do have for the lady...

....i think i might have rambled enough....i hope everything works out for you sc....i really do
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think dp has been the reason for many of my broken relationships because I just couldn't show my feelings for her appropriately. It seemed as though i was in the spotlight and everything seems forced. I truly did have feeling for all of these girls, but when I know i needed to show it, it was just another surreal, difficult experience.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It might be due to dp, but it might not.

Too easy to assume that when one has dp, all those kinds of losses, problems, etc. are the result of the symptom.

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I understand you.

I really hope all will be for the better. You deserve that.

Do what you think is better for you.

Thinking of you,

Cynthia xxx
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it certainly isn't helping. Sure, those problems may have existed despite the problem, but once again dp blows them way out of proportion. :x
 

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Yep, DP is a problem in my relationship too. Not saying that we have don't have other problems. But when I have my DP, I can't explain how I feel, so that makes him feel frustrated because I am upset, frustrated, shakey, ect... He doesn't know what to do, so it pisses him off. (It's just the type of person he is) When I have one of theses days (like today) that I just am complainey, don't feel good all around, out of my mind...he don't get it and when I say something and he gets all pissy, then I get all pissy, then the next thing you know we are fighting. (It just happend a few hours ago) I don't really have a day go by that I "feel good". I usually am always in pain, physically and emotionally and he doesn't get it, so it causes fights because of the miscomunication. so just know that you are not alone in this. I've thought of divorce MANY times. But like Kelson said, "What would you solve by getting a divorce?". Think about what you would gain/lose and go from there. And if you have any suggestions for me, please let me know. I'm in the same boat, except that I haven't filed for divorce yet. :?
 

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Is it the dp/dr or is it the depressive/anxious state we are all in, that screws up our relationships? I truly believe the dp/dr wouldnt exist if we werent in a miserable psychological state. In my case its certainly my constant state of anxiety that inhibits me from having healthy relationships.

Joe
 

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I can still feel for people, but my problem is my anxiety. It's too hard being in a relationship. It's too hard explaining why I am the way I am without feeling uncomfortable and therefore making the person around me uncomfortable. I'm kind of a recluse and have my idiosyncracies as a result of panic disorder and it's gonna take a really special person to understand it and want me regardless of all of it. It's just too hard right now. I can't go through the drama and the arguing and all that. I'm sure I'll be single for a looong time. :roll:
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey sc and all,

Thanks for starting this post. I had asked sc if he could give me some feedback about dp/dr and relationships. I am not dp/dr but I am in a relationship with someone who is not yet diagnosed but seems to really resonate with a lot I'm reading here.

What I am trying to learn is how I can support him best and somehow manage to keep this relationship.

When my boyfriend is 'normal' he is extremely supportive, constantly checking in on how I'm doing, very connected and completely adoring. But then one day, the first time I told him I loved him, something clicked in him and he got really distant. At first he didn't really explain but then, a day later when it seemed to be getting worse, he explained it to me on the phone. As we were talking he explained that something was just starting to warp, that this happened to him sometimes, and that if it continued he'd probably be out of commission for as long as a week. It seemed to just hit him like this bomb or something, and within minutes he said that he had to get off the phone, that he couldn't talk to me in that state.

Since then, he's explained this to me more -- that this happens to him maybe once or twice a month and can last a few days, a week, or when he's really bad a couple of weeks straight. He seems to hate it. He says that it's as if during these times he's not really himself. He can function, but he can't really concentrate on anything that is emotional or serious, and he's aware that he's not really present, that he's 'spacing out' when he's talking to people, and that the only reason he really communicates with people in these times is because he has to to keep his job, to function, etc. He says that in the most extreme moments it even seems to alter his appreciation of spatial dimension -- not a visual things so much as that everything around him seems to be really far away. He doesn't talk about being particularly down or anxious at these times, in fact he says that for as long as he can remember he hasn't experienced emotional pain but for a couple momentary glipses of it in serious breakups. He says that he almost always numbs out any pain he might experience and goes into one of these states.

But during these times he doesn't really want to be around me. He says that when he's in this state he's convinced that he just can't connect with people at all and that is dr state is actually reality. Because he knows that he can't behave as he normally would, he doesn't want any contact with people who expect or rely on his emotional side, and he absolutely can't handle any thoughts of who he is or any reasonable life decisions. I think that this may be largely why he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. He also has memory problems, where he can't really recall what it was like to be normal when he's in his dp/dr state, and vice versa. So when I asked him the other day, "Do you remember that you love me?" His response was, "It's in there somewhere, I know that I do, that I did, but I don't feel that I love you now. I'm sorry." He seems compassionate when he says this, but I know him so well that I can tell that he's only half there. He just acts different. There's something missing from his eyes.

When I begged him after a difficult interchange to say something nice to me, to help me feel better and let things go on, he tried to think of something for a couple of silent minutes. Finally he came up with something. A few days later he admitted, sorrowfully, that when I asked him that he drew a complete blank. He seemed extremely exhasperated and annoyed by this. When he's in a normal state he can't stop telling me how fortunate he feels to have me, how amazed he is that I am his girlfriend.

Obviously this is hard. But he is such an amazing person that I want to be able to find ways to cope with this if possible. I myself tend to be needy, because of my own personal issues, and so sometimes I think this is a challenge to help me learn to put space into a relationship.

I've been trying to cope with this by giving him space, because it seems that's what he needs. But it's weird because in his normal state he calls me every day and wants to see me at least 4x a week. So it's really kind of weird coping with this alternate schedule. I asked him if he needs physical space and he said yes, so when we did see eachother while he was in dp/dr land I tried to make sure not to touch him or kiss him as much. Today I just broke down and said I was not going to call him until Thursday. We usually talk every day but he's not recovering from this state (it's been 4 days now) and it's also hard on me wondering each time I talk to him what it will be like.

So, I have some questions for you guys that are in relationships, if you wouldn't mind helping me out. I know that we, as your partners, can't take your experiences away. Although having said that once I did really do that for my boyfriend. He said he was starting to 'shift' one day and as I recall I talked him down by reassuring him that he had not done anything wrong and that I was ok and safe and I didn't need him to change in any way. Weird.

And before I state my questions I have to say I'm not sure how anxiety plays in for him. He doesn't talk about anxiety but he does seem to have issues in terms of constantly feeling like he's doing the wrong thing and that people have high expectations of him that he's not living up to. I suppose every on of us is different in that way. But he's a pretty calm guy in general and doesn't seem to worry, though he does seem to ruminate. In this most recent episode he said that he spent a whole night at work in a dr state and the whole time was saying to himself that he couldn't believe how immature he was and then he couldn't possibly be in a serious relationship like this and function, that he was kidding himself by doing this, that he wasn't that kind of person, etc. Of course it's great of me to hear this being completely in love with him. God this sux.

So here are my questions:

1. Should I stop telling him I love him and that I care for him and generally expressing support while he's in his states? Does telling him these things reassure him that I'll still be there for him, or remind him of his inability at that moment to return my affection and frustrate him? The last time I told him I love him there was a *huge* silence on the other end. I cut the silence off by saying, "It's ok," to let him know he didn't have to say I love you back. Seriously, a week ago, he was the one saying I love you first.

2. We've agreed that perhaps when he gets like this he should just set his boundaries and we should not hang out at all until he gets better. Does anyone else use this technique? Are there pitfalls?

3. Is there anything that anyone knows I can do to help him get out of one of these sooner? This may sound weird but the first time this happened I actually got him out of it by telling him I decided that I wasn't sure I loved him after all. Somehow that made him feel less threatened I guess. But it would be silly to do that now because we've been telling eachother that we love eachother every day for the past month.

4. Are there things that people know of that actually exacerbate the dp/dr? I know every person is different... He told me recently that he finds it ironic that dp/dr can be caused by use of just about any drug besides alcohol. Alcohol is the one drug (besides valium that he once took) that he says actually makes him feel real. Because of that he sometimes feels he uses it too much... But I'm more asking I guess about things I could do to make him worse, that I should avoid.

5. Is there anything else at all anyone can give me as advice on how to be the partner that someone with dp/dr would really love to have? I know that I can't convince him that being in a relationship is better than being alone, that he has to decide that he's not going to let his problems take away that kind of joy from his life. But if there's anything I can do to demonstrate that this could possibly work, I'm willing to consider it.

OK I'll stop typing now lol. Thank you guys so much for whatever feedback you can give.

Love and luck,
H
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On the chance this one starts to drift too far afield, just wanted to thank you all for the replies. Except for Janine of course - whose common sense never ceases to annoy me..... (yes, me and my wife were never exactly the perfect couple; yes, I have told her more than once that were it not for my DP I think we may have split up long ago - we both have very strong personalities (kinda weird considering I am DP) and I have a feeling that had I been less focused on my "problem" all this time we would have argued ourselves to death long ago; yes, I have a propensity for other.........stuff. Stuff that she doesn't approve of; etc.)

Anyway, wish me luck on this. Hopefully we will stay together. Otherwise I may be looking for a place to crash. And for more than just a weekend.
Hey........maybe I could like stay with each of you for a week or two. Or three. Maybe set up some kind of lottery to see who gets me first...........
 

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SC,

You can come to Ohio and play some bball with me. Maybe we can get SoulBrotha to fly in too and the three of us can run the streets looking for pickup games and people to beat!!

Kelson
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SC,

I'ad accept you in my Canadian home, but you would have to tough my boyfriend, my little son who runs all the time in the house and my hamster who wakes us at night because it's the time for him to play! Not to mention me, who complains all the time :shock:

You'd probably run home yelling..... argh!!! I go back home! :D

Cynthia xxx
 

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Sc, that's a great idea about doing the rounds - you could compile a profile of each us as you go and produce the world's most comprehensive research on Dissociative Disorders to date.

Hope

I want to try and help you answer a couple of your questions - I have a really understanding boyfriend so I could tell you what helps and what doesn't.

'Should I stop telling him I love him and that I care for him and generally expressing support while he's in his states? Does telling him these things reassure him that I'll still be there for him, or remind him of his inability at that moment to return my affection and frustrate him?'

Well, it seems to me that from what you've said, he has some issues surrounding all this anyway. Its a difficult one because if it actually triggers his dp then it is definitely an idea to hold back with the gushing 'I love you's' whilst he is like that. It sounds like he may feel as though he doesn't deserve your love. I don't know, I'm not a therapist so I may be barking up the wrong tree. But what you say about him being so hard on himself definitely indicates some issue with his self worth. But then I'd say most of us here have that to some degree - it comes with the territory. I also wouldn't act as though you don't love him because that would confuse him too, especially as it is inconsistent with what you have said the day before. He knows you love him but he cannot connect to that emotion. I know the feeling well. The major thing with dp in a relationship, well, for me anyway, was an overwhleming feeling of guilt, that I couldn't be the real me. So any sexual advances or deep and meaningfuls/arguments would spend my head spinning because you aren't sure how to react. Chances are I would appear to react in a normal way, just I felt as though I was acting a part.

On the whole rec drugs are a big no-no. A lot of people find alcohol a relief, myself included. But self medication often leads to addiction so watch out for that.

On the whole, the general thing I would recommend are to be consistent in your attitude towards him and your relationship. I think he is confused, not about how much he loves you, but has some issues with what is expected of him emotionally and may feel unable to live up to it. Just make sure there is no pressure. He may then see that it is not a threatening situation.

Also, if he needs his space, give him his space but let him know that you are there for him and to help him if he needs it. Don't forget that you suffer with some of your own issues so don't forget to look after yourself. Otherwise neither of you will be any use to each other, so don't be afraid to tell him something he may react to, if it is at the expense of your own mental health. Occasionally it helps to engage in a discussion about that kind of stuff as it reminds you that there is someone else other than you, and brings you out of your introspection. Just not a huge argument or anything!

Mainly, when in dp, just reassure him that he needn't feel bad or pressured or guilty about what he can and can't do.

Never say the words 'Snap out of it' :)

Hope this helps, Hope!! :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hopealso,

Your boyfriend reminds of myself. The same thing, only on the other end.

He has been hurt before, has tried to make others understand and they left him. If you want this relationship to go anywhere you have to connect with his de-per side as well. It?s protecting him from love, the pain of abandonment. Instead of saying you love him, show him by being there. Just your presence, absent of any affection will work wonders. Eventually he will grow comfortable enough where it won?t happen, but it will take time. His scars are deep. Don?t force anything, just be there with quiet small talk and realize that physical affection may be just as difficult as telling you he loves you.

Don?t view dp as a villain. It?s the only thing that?s never left him. Friends, family, God, his own ego/intellect, everything but the de-per has left him naked and alone. Polymnia protects him, you must understand this and earn the right to not be considered a threat.

The world is far larger than any one person?s perception. Don?t judge him, leave your prejudices behind. Patience and understanding, don?t pity him.

There is hope, I promise. And if you succeed the world will melt, everything will melt but your love.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dear Hope:
Just a word of caution. You obviously love your boyfriend very much, and your desires to help are well-placed.

BUT....you're trying to do too much.

Again, your posts are wonderful and you clearly have thought all the relationship issues out thoroughly. The only thing is that you're not leaving room in the relationship for HIM. You seem to be trying to "fix" the two of you to such an extent that you're pushing him out of the dyad.

Even if someone is VERY ill, or has debilitating symptoms, it's still a relationship of two equal people. Nobody can solve the pain for someone else and no one can "do" the Right Things to MAKE the other person respond the way we want them to.

If he has to limp along in the partnership right now, let him limp. Better to have his input (or even his genuine detachment) than to take over for him and make yourself the relationship captain.

He will HOLD onto his symptoms much much longer if he feels like you're trying to change him (even if he wants to be changed). People need first and foremost to know they are in control of their own lives.

Love him, offer to be an ear, and ask him for his own thoughts on himself and the two of you. Then step back. You will never succeed in "fixing" him, or providing a perfect environment in which he can heal.

You're just two people doing the best you can. Love each other and never try to be his therapist.

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Um.......I always hate to go after Baker, what with her being such a font of knowledge and all, but this topic has turned toward something that I do happen to know about. Relationships. And DP. Which I guess is what it started out to be anyway.

You cannot "fix" him. I have no way of knowing if he is DP/DR, but even if not - assuming he's human he has some sort of issues. He does, you do, I do, everybody does. In his case, they are HIS issues. You can try to accept him, support him, etc., but there is a point beyond which you will not be able to understand him. Because you are not him.

Me and my (still current) wife have been in continuing discussions. Trying to lay everything out on the table. Turns out that, for her, me being DP is not the biggest problem here. It's other stuff that's bothering her more. It also happens that I don't think she's perfect either. Talking in detail about things has brought up all sort of things about her that I don't exactly love. But these are not things that I should try to "fix". Just like she isn't here to cure my DP. I joke with her that I should have married a psychologist, just for the free therapy. However........that would NOT work.

Relationships that work are based on acceptance, and whatever level of understanding can be achieved. We are individuals, with all our individual little quirks and annoying traits. My job when trying to be in a relationship with another human critter is to know that. To know that this other person is not me. If it turns out that I am unable to accept this person for who they are, faults and all...............then it's time to move on. Find someone I may be more compatible with.
As far as being with a person who has a whopper of an issue such as DP, the best you will be able to do is try your best to accept the situation, and offer support if requested. Unless you are DP yourself you will not be able to understand it. You, as a mate, will not be able to make it go away, you will not be able to make it all better.
 
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