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    Community Voices

    Trying not to be a toxic partner

    #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #BPDDiagnosis #Relationships

    I feel guilty when I start to have feelings of anxiety and doubt creep up in my relationship with my partner and I don’t mention it until later if at all because I don’t want to seem like I’m manipulating her. A big trigger for me is if she’s not texting as much as usual; I start to have overwhelming feelings of abandonment. That happened today, and I also felt hurt because I spent time and energy to check in and wish her luck with her doctors appt but she didn’t really do the same for me, I felt like the convo was kind of one sided today. I know that no one can be 100% there in a relationship all the time, and that people have their own things going on, but it still hurt. How do you all cope with these kinds of things?

    Adele Espy

    When Your Chronic Illness, Gastroparesis, Means You Can't Digest Food

    I have severe gastroparesis and intestinal dysmotility, caused by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a genetic connective tissue inherited disease). Ever since 2010, I have not been able to digest food without throwing it up. After exhausting all medications to help me digest food, I had an ileostomy surgery in hopes that my chronic severe constipation would allow my intestines and stomach to work better. The ileostomy relieved the incredibly painful intestinal and colon pain, but it didn’t help my stomach or intestines. In 2019, I had a feeding tube inserted into my upper intestines and was told to not eat by mouth. This helped for a short time, but not without a different kind of stabbing intestinal pain. And it didn’t stop the constant vomiting of acid and bile or any tiny sips of water I drank to wet my dry mouth. In 2021, my gastroenterologist had a central catheter placed in my chest and switched me from tube feeds to intravenous nutrition (TPN: total parenteral nutrition), and inserted a gastrostomy tub e into my stomach for draining acid and bile and whatever liquids I drink. I am being nourished, but I still can’t eat food. I miss being able to enjoy food. I grew up in a foodie household. My mom loves quality cooking. She bakes everything from scratch, and she cooks dinner every night from scratch. She can smell a brownie and know whether it was a box mix brownie (which she will not eat despite her love of chocolate), or a homemade brownie. She is the master of chocolate chip cookies and has baked a batch at least once a week for her entire life, starting at age 12 when she developed a love for baking. She packed gourmet lunches and snacks at school through my senior year in high school. I was fed quality, natural, organic, homemade, local delicious food all my life. In my family, food is love. We have a summer house on a lake in New Hampshire where many of our closest friends live during the summer. It is one of eight camps, and together we prepare and enjoy extravagant meals throughout the season. We have gatherings with everyone and we all cook and bake amazing dishes to be shared. The owners of the houses stand up and toast the now-deceased gentleman who is the reason we all have this amazingly supportive community on the lake. Food is tradition, it is an expression of love, and it is a way we bond and socialize. Ever since I lost the ability to eat, I’ve struggled with my relationship with food and these dinner celebrations. For years I simply did not go to these events. But I miss the social aspect that food creates. I still bake and cook and prepare the meals with my mom, because I can’t stand missing out on cooking and baking with her — it is one of my favorite hobbies. I miss sitting around the table and talking, laughing, and joking with friends and family. I tried to go to dinners for years, but would often wind up in the neighbor’s house, puking in their bathroom. Then I tried attending the dinners and just not eating, but it was torture for me. I wanted to eat the delicious smells I was sensing. I felt so sad every time I watched someone spoon another delicious bite into their mouths and sigh with enjoyment. Then the dessert would come out, and I usually had made it, so I wanted to try it so badly. Most of the time, these dinners ended in me taking home leftovers and dessert, eating in private and puking all night. The leftovers and dessert were not what I was craving though. I was craving the love, the connections, the togetherness, the camaraderie, the celebration, the satisfaction, the peace, the joy, and the jovial conversations. I miss the experiences that food often goes along with. It was too hard for me to sit at a table and watch others eat, so I stayed home and missed out on all of the socializing and connecting that food is associated with. Not being able to eat food doesn’t just impact me on a nutritional level; it hurts my soul to not be able to be a part of the group. It is finally getting a little easier for me to sit with people who are eating, after years of not being able to join in, but it’s incredibly hard, and takes a lot of willpower to resist the tempting smells, and the delicious-tasting food. I’ve been practicing sitting at the table while people eat by having lunch with my therapists and doctors, and other providers who work in the building where I receive psychiatric services for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Each day they have a home-cooked lunch prepared by one of their staff/providers. They all hold hands and bless the meal, and thank the cook(s). I’ve helped the cook in the kitchen twice in the last two months, and it has been so healing to be around food, cooking with intention, and being able to join them at the table while they eat, and be a member of the conversation. Both times I have sat with them at lunch it has been very hard on me mentally. I dissociated, I panicked, I froze, I served myself something little and poked at it – wishing I could eat it, but knowing full well that it would make me sick if I did. But I’m getting better at tolerating being at the table, and being around delicious food without becoming overcome by grief and frustration. As this summer begins, and the meal gatherings and celebrations commence tonight for Memorial Day, I feel more prepared than ever. I know that it is the connection, love, conversation, and joyful energy I long for when we have gatherings. It is not just the food I miss out on. I plan to attend at least a short period of time at as many dinner celebrations as I can tolerate. I need to set myself up for success so that I don’t become overwhelmed and devastated, or fixated on when I can sneak leftovers to my room to eat in privacy, and then pay the price in the bathroom over the toilet bowl. I’m focusing on the people, the conversations, the present moment, and the energy that a gathering of loved ones creates. Since I can drain my stomach contents, I am able to drink clear liquids, so while everyone else is enjoying the food, I can enjoy as many cups of apple juice, ginger ale, seltzer water, and ice chips as I want. It’s not the same as eating food, but it’s as close as I can get. I no longer want to hide from social gatherings in an attempt to avoid the temptation to eat food. This year I am stronger than ever and ready to tolerate the devastation of not being able to enjoy the food, because I will be filled with a deeper satisfaction that comes from being in the presence of those who I love.

    Community Voices
    Community Voices


    I’ve been doing a bit of reflection and thought. Even some shadow work. It’s led me to the realization that I’ve been in an abusive relationship with a covert narcissist for the past 26+ years.

    It’s always been what she wants and dealing with her manipulation and tantrums. I’ve given up careers and dreams for her over the years. I’ve given up my family and more than a few friends.

    I recently started my own business, primarily paid for by my day job. The more I get into it, the worse she becomes.

    The problem is that I don’t make enough to leave.

    I don’t know what to do.

    1 person is talking about this
    Community Voices
    Community Voices


    Any good books or websites to help me deal with fear of abandonment in my relationships?

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    To Anyone,
    I need HELP. As SOON as can be.
    Now let me explain, please read my full story.
    Alright, back in 2006 I was in 7th grade and going to a private school. I was outside with my friends and I was laughing and took a step back and fell off the curb onto my backpack which had a book jetting out and I herniated 2 discs. (I also had servere stomach pains which made it hard for me to eat). I was put on pain meds due to the severity of my pain (young I know) I started missing alot more school then I already was. My mother took me to Doctor after Doctor for help, test after test. Almost every Doctor REJECTED me saying NOTHING was wrong even with physical evidence my back have herniated. In fact one disc swelled up and they said it was just a "Fluffy" Disc. One doctor even told my mom that my pain was from the stretch marks on my back. And these weren't minor hospitals, I'm talking John's Hopkins, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, University of Maryland, Franklin Square, even Mercy.
    In the meantime I did everything I could to try and help the pain. EVERYTHING. I still went to school, even had 2 jobs and went out with friends. I hid my pain as much as I could. Also, during this time, my mother had 2, back surgeries and was working and dealing with my very crazy Schizophrenic grandmother and equally crazy Bipoloar (more like undiagnosed Schizophrenic) Uncle.
    When I was in 9the grade I was diagnosed with a Gallbladder that had stones and would only contract at 2% (normal is 30% minimum). So I had it removed in '09.
    I had to return to public school for 10th grade, I became even more petrified of school then I had been. (I was already on psych meds for depression and SEVERE anxiety) I also was in an abusive relationship, basically a 24/7 suicide hotline, and my GOD you can say I basically raised my Girlfriend from age 13 to 17. Oh yeah, had to keep that a secret and she lived a state away buy I went every weekend)
    On top of that I found out that my girlfriend during a break with my other was being sexualy abused by her stepfather and had to intervene. She's safe now, moved on and married happily.
    But, I digress. I was put on home tutoring, I did go back for 12th and graduated. My GF (that I went back to) left me and put me in a horried place.
    FINALLY in 2012 I found a doctor that BELIEVED me, after I felt hopeless, that did would do surgery. So, I had a Triple Fusion to my L4, L5, S1.
    A year later though, on Christmas Eve, 1 year and 3 days after my surgery, we found out my older twin sisters friends mother died early in the morning due to an alcohol overdose. We then got a call my Uncle had been found dead in his basement and that my grandmother had been on the floor with no food or water for 3 - 4 days. After going to the hospital to fight with them to save my Grandmother's Life, my Dad took me to see his Mother and siblings. We left just to get into a Head On collision. I got ended up with 2 hematomas, liver damage, a large gash from the seatbelt, a cracking fault line on my teeth, I'm pretty sure a concussion, nerve and muscle damage to my arm and a broken sternum.
    Now, I was having trouble after this with finding a pain management doctor after the laws changed. When the clinic I was going to last for 4yrs they wanted me to try other pain meds other then the ones I'm on but one after the other I had an allergic reaction. So I was put back on the meds I am. I went through 4 or 5 doctors at the clinic. The last one I had never made me feel safe. I tried to find a new place but a program called CRISP came about. I was lined up to go to another doctor but because of this system only showing where that doctor works NOW, I got a discharge from the new doctor for "Doctor Hopping". I also got one from a doctor that did my back injections since I was 12. So I stayed with the old clinic.
    Well, over the past few years my pain got worse. The doctor I was with would order 2 MRIs a year. Finally, he said go see my surgeon. I do find out my bottom 2 screws were fractured and I needed surgery since they were moving.
    One month before my surgery my pain doctor "forgot" to send my meds to my pharmacy then went on VACATION!!
    I found a new doctor, they insisted I have a discharge to be seen. So I go. She said either she weens me off or down or go on Suboxone. I agree to ween down. Next week I have surgery. I was put on 15mg morph immediate release every 4hr and 15mg morph extended every 12hrs.
    A week later I see the new doctor 1 WEEK later that cuts we down to 15mg immediate every 8hrs. I begged for holding one month. Nope. And I'm NOT going on Suboxone, it's 10x WORSE!
    I now have seen multiple doctors that want to take it all away.
    I have no doctor and NOWHERE to go. I'm not a drug seeker, I don't do street drugs, nothing. I now am bedbound with my boyfriend taking care of me. I take this medicine to function. And now I can't.
    My normal script is 15mg Morph IR every 6 and 15mg ER every 12.

    Please, PLEASE, HELP! I'm scared, I'm bedbound, I'm in excruciating pain with nothing. I don't know what to do anymore.
    #help #scared #ChronicPain #BackPain #PainManagement #Advice

    18 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    So much stuff!!!

    I have been having a really hard time and it’s been a reallly long year for my family.
    About me I have Fibro, RA, IC/BPS, sciatica AS, DDD, SpinalFusion spinalstenosis etc..

    I have my oldest brother who had a stroke this year. We have always spoken and never had and any issues ( unlike my other siblings that’s another post).

    When I was younger my brother more than once sexually assaulted me.
    I don’t know if it actually considered that
    I was sexually assaulted by my father when I was a child and raped at 15 by an older man.

    My brother who is 20 years older than me tried to kiss me on more than one occasion this was when I was in elementary school. He I found out a few years ago was also along with my brothers and my sister were sexually assaulted by my father as well.

    So the situation is idkw but after he had his stroke I just couldn’t speak to him.
    I did only speak to him because of my mother. I did tell my mother when I was younger and I can only say she made excuses for him and begged me not to not talk to him.

    I love my mother very much and we have a very good relationship except for this issue. So I haven’t spoken to him since his stroke and I feel extremely guilty for it.
    He has been trying to get in contact with me but I have thwarted contact.

    My husband knows and of course he says I should not feel guilty and doesn’t understand why I had been talking to him all these years.
    I don’t know if I should say something to my mom who is 85. I don’t think it would do anything but upset her or cause and arguement. Or bother saying anything to my brother. Which idkw I feel bad saying anything which doesn’t make sense.
    I know I should have gone to therapy years ago but does anyone have any suggestions how I should proceed in the interim ?

    #SexualAbuseSurvivors #SexualAssault #SexualAbuse #SexualAssaultSurvivors #ChildhoodSexualAbuse #SexualTrauma #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth #RheumatoidArthritis #Fibromyalgia #Fibro #InterstitialCystitis #sciatica #DDD #AnkylosingSpondylitis #painfulbladdersyndrome #LymeDisease #ChronicIlless #ChronicLymeDisease #LymeWarrior #Spoonie #PituitaryTumors #PituitaryTumor #SpinalFusion #gastric sleeve surgery #Anxiety #CPTSD #PTSD #PTSD

    8 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Addicted to chaos: Living with ADHD

    Feeling bored is my biggest trigger for turning to substances to cope with the feeling of being bored. Why, because as someone who lives with ADHD I am wired to seek chaos and thrills. Feeling bored is my worst nightmare that causes me to end up self-sabotaging.

    As someone who lives with ADHD I have chronic low levels of dopamine which is why I seek out doing things that will provide me with rushes of dopamine such as (drinking, going out clubbing, using drugs, and getting involved in toxic relationships).

    After many years of battling this insatiable need to create chaos in my life, I finally got on stimulant medications and on mood stabilizers that have forever changed my life.

    Now that I am medicated for ADHD I have better control of my impulses and my medications help regulate the dopamine levels in my brain which causes me to feel balanced.

    Does anyone else struggle with boredom? If so, how do you cope with the feeling?