Finally told BF that I have anxiety issues- He says I'm just making it up

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 46
Member
56 posts
Worker bee

stephanie091512 :  OP “lost her shit” because he was missing the entire point of her heartfelt conversation with him. He pretty much told her that her worries, fears and anxiety are fake. Even though he clarified that it’s “all in her brain”, his response is not in the least helpful. He is not being supportive, and on top of that, he feels that her condition is all in her head as if she prefers to not be “normal”. 

That would be enough to send me over the edge too. This is a man she has spent 4 years with…to hold in her anxiety for most of that time and finally come clean, only to be dismissed is heart breaking. I’m sure the wall is fine. 

ETA: if a man hit the wall out of frustration and sadness ONCE because his gf decided that his anxiety was made up, my feelings would be the same. 

Post # 47
Member
10580 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

veleniza :  

Honey, please stop begging.  You’re better than that.  There is a wonderful man out there who will respect and admire all of the hard work you have done to get yourself to a healthier place.  Stop trying to convince your bf that you’re “good enough”. He’s the one who’s not good enough.

You won’t find a good man while you’re still tied to your boat anchor.

He’s terrible for your mental health.  That should come first.  Please start taking better care of yourself.  This guy is gaslighting you. He has you confused and thinking you’re crazy.  You are extremely vulnerable.  Surround yourself with people who will lift you up.  This guy drags you down to his level.

Post # 48
Member
10580 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

raspberrybidet :  

While it’s possible for OP’s bf to become more educated about mental health issues, if he were so inclined, it’s not possible to ‘develop empathy’. That’s one of those features that is factory installed and not available as an aftermarket add on, I’m afraid.

Post # 49
Member
575 posts
Busy bee

veleniza :  I’m sorry that your boyfriend isn’t being supportive. 

Some people have hard time understanding things that is hard to actually see. My sister had anxiety and while I didn’t understand it, I never made her feel that what she’s dealing with isn’t true. I just didn’t know how to really help her. 

Post # 50
Member
2509 posts
Sugar bee

His whole, “It’s in your head” stance is borderline gaslighting and, yes, it would appear that he lacks empathy. And unfortunately, I have NEVER seen a guy develop empathy over time. I’m guessing there are red flags about him that led you to hide this condition from him for over 4 years to begin with. 

I have been where you are/were, minus the substance abuse. I used to have panic attacks during difficult arguments, and (when I was alone) I’d hit my head on the wall, pull my hair, go outside at night in winter in thin pj’s, etc. In hindsight, it was an attempt to externalize (and thus have some control over) the emotional pain I was feeling.

The good news is that you won’t always necessarily be this way. The bad news is that you likely won’t make much progress while in a relationship with this man. He will continue to gaslight you, guilt you, and in general be non-supportive. If you hope to ever get better, you will need to either be single, or to be with a partner who makes you feel safe, who actively supports you – EMOTIONALLY, not just physically. 

My SO knows I can have panic attacks and that I have PTSD. He does thoughtful things all the time that let me know he’s always thinking about this side of me, not ignoring it or trying to forget it like it’s somesort of ugliness in me that he’d prefer to avoid. And when we went to Hibachi dinner with his dad and brother, and the hibachi chef pretended to squirt something at my face that wound up just being cloth, and I burst into tears from the shock and ran to the bathroom to breath through a mini panic attack, SO didn’t treat me like a crazy person. He just explained to his dad and brother that I have PTSD, then came and checked on me, then treated me completely normally the rest of the night, while being extra affectionate. 

^^You need and deserve that kind of support. You deserve to not be made to feel like your anxiety is your fault, or like it’s a terrible thing about you that is hard for others to accept.

Because of SO’s support, I feel safe, which has drastically lessened my anxiety. I haven’t had a panic attack in well over a year, and we almost never argue. The key is that I feel safe and loved – for ALL of me, not just the “happy, bubbly” part of me. He never judges me or treats me like I’m inadequate or a hindrance on him. 

If I were you, I would have a come to Jesus talk with him, give him some time to adjust, but let him know that he either pulls a 180, reads up on your condition, give you 100% emotional support, or you will prioritize your own health and happiness and go it alone.

Post # 51
Member
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Firstly, this is not your fault. You have a disorder, shared it with someone close to you, and they were the one who made it turn bad. You didn’t go into it hoping to fight, you went into it to get support, and that was really brave.

I was in a relationship just like this, and bee, you really need to leave. He is not only not giving support, but he is invalidating something terrible you’re going through, withdrawing, and gaslighting (which is a form of emotional abuse). My ex went from exactly what you’re talking about then also moved to silent treatment. It made my anxiety so much worse and killed my self esteem. The day I left him, I was scared because I didn’t feel sad… by day 2, it was the most free I’d ever felt. I know it’s scary, but please do get out of this unsupportive relationship before it gets damaging.

Post # 52
Member
1609 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

stephanie091512 :  if that’s your response, I don’t think you understand mental illness and need to get some education. 

If a man finally admitted that he has bad anxiety and his girlfriend or wife reacted in the way the ops boyfriend did, and he then hit the wall out of frustration and self soothed using breathing techniques, I would understand. I would say the same thing to him. Obviously the goal is to deal with the trigger before the actions occur but he would still have been following his counsellors advice. This wouldn’t make him abusive and it wouldn’t be a red flag. 

Mental illness doesn’t excuse actions. But the ops actions weren’t abusive and they were understandable. The person in the wrong here is the boyfriend not the op. 

Post # 53
Member
2679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

chocochai :   zombeee :  I never said it was right and I also specified that it’s terrible that he hasn’t supported her in the slightest or even tried to gain a better understanding. If the OP wants to salvage this relationship, I was trying to be positive and point out that this is likely scary for him, as well.

Post # 54
Member
1609 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

veleniza :  I saw this online the other day and thought it was funny and relevant to this topic. 

Post # 55
Member
539 posts
Busy bee

chocochai :  So true. Depression and anxiety are just psychological! 

Post # 56
Member
1686 posts
Bumble bee

That’s a crappy reaction, but it happens. Even you yourself, as the anxiety sufferer, had a hard time believing it until you went to therapy. Is there any way your Boyfriend or Best Friend could go with you to one of your appointments and you all three can discuss what anxiety is, how it can manifest after years of abuse or with hormonal imbalances, and he can learn how to recognize and help you when it comes about?Unfortunately his reaction is not uncommon, it’s just very uneducated. If once he’s educated he still is an ass, then you have your answer. 

Edit: I have anxiety as well and my ex didn’t fully understand either, but he was supportive, and that’s what mattered.

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