Communication Issues

James and I have been having some communication issues over the last week and I am going to talk them out to try and make sense of them. I will add my thoughts on where I/we went wrong, along the way.

Last Saturday we attended the wedding of one of my friends, and we had a lovely day. On the way home, at nearly midnight, I asked him whether he wanted to have a chill-out day the next day, maybe watch a couple of films, and have a roast dinner, to which he agreed.

In the morning I woke up, and called my Mum to arrange picking up the dog (he had stayed with them overnight). I suddenly had a good idea – my Dad often cooks amazing roast dinners on a sunday, and many times I/we have come over for that. I asked her if they were doing a roast, and they were, and she asked if James and I wanted to come. I said I would check with James, but I was sure we would be there, and arranged a time.

When I told James, he seemed put out, and said he didn’t want to go. I said to him he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to, and that I would go on my own. In the past, I have worried about coming across as needy or clingy, so I made a special effort to appear aloof, and not concerned that James didn’t want to come.*(see comment in a bit)

I left, and went for lunch, acting as normal as I could. I spent a few hours at my parents, as I was working on a craft project for James for our one year anniversary (the 28th! Pleased we have made nearly 1 year!). Also, a friend from the wedding yesterday was visiting Bristol for the weekend, and was just down the road, so I popped in to see her on the way home. All in all, I was out for about 4.5 to 5 hours.

When I got home, James was visibly pissed off. I asked him what was wrong, he replied that he was fine. I asked him if he wanted to watch a film, he said it was too late and he wasn’t in the mood. So, I tried to continue to act as though I wasn’t bothered and switched on the TV. He went upstairs and stayed there most of the night.

So, I couple of comments and observations from writing that first part out:

I could have handled this better. If I had arranged to have the day in with James, I should have done that, not gone out for most of it. I believe he has a valid reason to be angry with me for this (especially as I went to see a friend as well as my parents). However, he should have told me that he was angry and the reasons why, instead of telling me he was fine but then acting like he was angry.

If someone tells me they are fine but then goes on to behave in a way to suggest otherwise, I get very confused. Living with BPD and the inability to read situations and people is difficult enough as it is. It is hard to believe what someone is saying when they are acting in a completely different way.

Anyway, the next morning, I got up and went to work. Throughout the day, I sent him several messages on facebook messenger, asking if he was okay, and what he was up to. All of his responses were short and distant, all one word. In the afternoon, I had a chiropractor appointment straight from work, and then from that, straight to a friends house for a meal (that has been arranged for a while). He asked me when I was due home, and I said around 10pm. I asked him if he was okay (maybe I should make a mental note to stop asking him if he ok when I think something is wrong and then appear needy or pushy) and he got angry with me, and told me he was, and that he hated having conversations over messenger, and that he felt that was how we spent most of our time talking nowadays. I told him that I wasn’t trying to set the world to rights, just checking in with him and letting him know I was thinking of him. He backed off then, but I still knew something wasn’t right.

That evening, I left early so I could get home at a decent time, but when I arrived home, he was watching a documentary and after saying Hello, pretty much ignored me. I went to bed, and fell asleep before he came up to bed.

Tuesday all day, I didn’t contact him. He said he didn’t like talking over messenger so didn’t want to rock the boat. I booked a doctors appointment, initally to talk about some pain I have been having in my leg (muscle type pains, possibly related to the chiropractor) but while I was there, decided to bring up the issue of my periods. Since I stopped the pill at the beginning of December, I have had nothing at all. I have been charting my temperature to try to find out what is going on, and as far as I can see, I am not ovulating. I am very concerned that this is because of my poly cystic ovary syndrome, and that it will mean I can’t have children. The confusing thing is, before I went on the contraceptive pill Dianette when I met James, I had regular periods. I am hoping that my lack of ovulation and periods is due to the pill coming out of my system rather than the fact that my PCOS has got worse.

The doctor gave me a prescription for a tablet called Metformin, and said it should help bring my periods back. I was pleased about this, but also very upset at the prospect that my PCOS may have got worse in the last 8 months and potentially now I could have issues with my fertility. It makes me feel inadequate and broken, a feeling I have struggled to fight for most of my life.

When I got home, he wasn’t there, so I decided to go to Tesco and buy some bits to cook him a meal, and make an effort. I decided on Cauliflower Cheese, and spent some time cooking it all. When he got home, he told me he wasn’t hungry, and didn’t eat any. Secretely, I went into the kitchen and cried, but not in front of him. I was hurt that I was trying to make an effort, but everything I did or said seemed to be wrong. After I had eaten, I went up to bed, and watched TV. I hoped he would come upstairs to talk to me and sort things out, but he didn’t. I so badly wanted to talk about what had happened at the doctors, but I didn’t feel as though I could approach him as he was being so surly. He eventually came to bed and I asked him to hug me, but it was a very half hearted hug.

On Wednesday, we didn’t speak during the day again, and in the evening, I went to pole.

(Little Random Pole Update, things are going really well!! Here’s a pic! This move is called a cross ankle lay back)

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When I got back from Pole, he seemed fine and happy again, and I was so relieved. He offered to cook me some pasta, and I accepted. While he cooked it, I sat in the kitchen with him and we chatted. I told him we were planning to do another student showcase at pole, and that I had booked an extra session the next evening to practice.

Almost immediately, he changed, and became short with me, almost surly again. I tried to ask him questions about his day, but again, I got one word answers. In the end, I went to bed. This prolonged cold shoulder treatment was really starting to upset me and make me feel very uneasy. I hate arguments and try to sort them out as soon as possible. Quite early on in our relationship, I realised that he recovers from a relationship in a different way to me – he needs to time to think things over and get back to normal, and I have worked hard to respect that. I have changed my behaviour to reflect his needs – instead of desperately trying to sort things, I give him the space he needs. This is directly against the needs of the Borderline (trying to make sure people are not going to leave you)!

While in bed, I started having really bad cramping in my stomach (supposedly a symptom of the new tablet I had been given). When James came up, he was still frosty. Again, I asked him what was wrong. Finally, he started to talk to me.

He told me he never sees me, and that he thought we were going to spend Sunday together. I asked him why he didn’t tell me this on Sunday, so we could have talked about it. He didn’t answer. I told him that on the Tuesday when I WAS in all night, I chose to spend the night on my own upstairs because of the way he was making me feel. Immediately, his defensive response was “Oh, so it’s all my fault then”.

I don’t understand why he couldn’t just listen to what I was saying (That this situation was my fault by going out on Sunday, but I wished that he could have told me what I had done immediately rather than dragging it out for 4 days).

I went downstairs to go to the toilet, and retrieved the anniversary present I was working on when I was at my parents. This is what I made: (This isn’t the actual one, I don’t have any pictures of that, but this is where I got the idea from!)

I was originally going to give it to him on our anniversary, but I felt as though I needed to give it him to show what I was doing for all of that time, and to try to make him happy again. I feel sad that I felt I had to give it to him before I wanted to, and not in a nice way (I was hoping perhaps a meal, rather than because I felt I had to make it up to him).

He loved it, and he seemed to come round, but by this point I had started to feel upset, and sorry for myself over the whole situation.

Thursday (yesterday) things seemed better. He stopped in to my work while he was passing, and brought us all cake (it is a running joke in the office that the girls know when we have had an argument because he brings cake!!). He still wasn’t 100% himself and seemed a little sharp, but perhaps I was being over sensitive and paranoid.

Last night we had a nice evening, we had dinner and watched some documentaries together. I still feel upset, and can’t seem to shake it. I feel uneasy about the fact that he took so long to tell me what was wrong, and the fact that we seem to find it harder and harder to communicate. Obviously, communication (or lack of) is one of the symptoms of Borderline and so I feel I need to work really hard to work on this area, and it feels hopeless when James doesn’t seem to be making any effort at all.

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2 comments

  1. Were there things you could have approached differently? Certainly. Do we, as women with BPD, deal with things in different ways than most men are accustomed to? Certainly. But is this all your doing? Absolutely NOT.

    Relationships require effort from both people. From what you’ve written here it appears as though James isn’t always as willing to put forth the kind of effort that he probably should. I think it’s good that you’re continuing to make efforts to improve things in yourself that you feel can stand some improving – but he should be doing the same.

    At the end of the day all any of us – BPD or not – can do is try to be a better version of ourselves Today than we were Yesterday. And it really sounds to me like that’s precisely what you’re doing. Hang in there.

  2. Thank you, a very intuitive comment…. and you are so right!! xx

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