|Subj: Not Sure Where to Turn
To: Dr Irene
It has been two long months since I left my home. I was living with a man for three years
there. We had a great relationship, so I thought. Never fought over money, sex, we had
plenty of space. Until one day, after a series of explosive arguments, he finally told me
he was unhappy with life and unhappy with everything in it. He needed space because he
felt he was dragging me down with him We took a trial separation during the first month,
but things were progressively getting worse. So we ended the relationship. I would like to
say that during the whole time, I sought therapy, which I still go to weekly. My boyfriend
attended some sessions with me and it was addressed to him that he has a lot of emotional
baggage and should seek some sort of help. I am sad to say that he has not taken the
initiative to get himself the help he needs. He has closed himself off more and becomes
more angry and distant as time is going on. I want desperately to work this relationship
out. I feel I love him deeply and I can't go on without him, nor do I want to. I can't
sleep at night nor get through the day without suffering anxiety attacks and crying spells
when I don't know where he is or what he is doing. I have come to recognize several things
about the relationship. It was very verbally abusive, I have suffered several instances of
him saying that I am childish, over dramatic and over emotional when it comes to my
feelings. All I really want is his understanding and support, some way to get through to
him. I realize the best thing for me to do is probably to move on, but I just don't feel
like I can. I don't know how to stop thinking about all of this, some days I just wish my
mind would stop sometimes. I don't feel like therapy is enough and I don't know what to
do. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
I am sorry that things turned out as they did and that you are feeling as badly as you
are. I am also glad you are in therapy. You need to figure out what happened.
Your boyfriend may or may not be verbally abusive. He may simply be depressed.
Dissatisfaction with life, irritability, and withdrawal also characterize depression, a
treatable disease. Or, perhaps he is abusive as well as depressed. Or, maybe something
entirely different is going on. Medical conditions can bring on the behavior you describe.
Here are some broad possibilities:
1. All was fine in the relationship until he was stricken with some condition which
2. All was fine in the relationship until he realized that for whatever reason, you were
not the right woman for him.
3. All was not right in the relationship and you ignored the signs.
You are likely to remain off balance until you can obtain some closure on what actually
happened. Were you ignoring the writing on the wall, or was there no writing? You may want
to ask your therapist for some input.
I suggest that while you figure out what happened, you do something about your depression.
I agree with you that therapy may not be enough. Although you don't say how long you've
been feeling this way, you complain of inability to sleep, crying spells, and anxiety
attacks. In my practice, you are a prime candidate for medication, and I would refer you
to a psychiatrist or an internist for evaluation. You'll figure out what's going on and
put your life back together more quickly if you first alleviate the depression (depression
is a physical illness!). You don't mention if your therapist has suggested a medication
evaluation, but be aware that many non-MD therapists have a bias against medication. If
that is the case, talk with your internist as well.
About your boyfriend... There is not much you can do right now. Get yourself together and
take it from there, if you still want to. And remember, things happen exactly the way they
are supposed to.