As I mentioned in the last post, my girlfriend and I are in a loving relationship, but what I really don’t like is the violence.
It is important not to see myself as a victim, because I’m not. But at the same time it’s important to keep my eyes open and be conscious of what is going on. And that includes episodes that I know I’m not supposed to bring up with her.
As a codependent, my tendency is to defend the version of the truth that my personality disordered partner can tolerate.
However, as part of my healing process it is important that I be outspoken and address reality rather than the official story of our relationship.
So I will relate to you the latest outbreak of violence, which happened about five days ago. I don’t feel comfortable writing about it or even thinking about it, so I will relate the facts without going into the feelings.
Ok here goes.
I was sitting on the couch in the evening with our two months old daughter lying next to me. She had been crying a little bit, and I was holding her little hand as she held my finger tightly. She had stopped crying since I connected with her. I was breathing with her. As a codependent/empath I can feel people, or at least I like to think so.
At this point my girlfriend entered the room from the kitchen. She had shouted to me to take our daughter in my arms when she was crying. Now as she entered the room she did not focus on the fact that the baby wasn’t crying anymore, and that I was holding her hand, but on the fact that I wasn’t holding her in my arms as she had told me to.
“You can help out if you want. If you don’t want to, that’s fine too,” she said.
I didn’t know what to say to this.
“Now you see me,” she said. “But it is likely that soon you won’t see me anymore.”
I still didn’t know what to say. I kept holding baby’s hand, and I noticed that baby was still calm.
“I thought I could rely on you to watch her while I cooked some food. But it seems you’re not even willing to do that, you fucking useless lazy bitch!” my girlfriend said, giving my leg a hard kick.
I immediately kicked her leg without thinking, from where I sat on the sofa. It wasn’t a hard kick, and yet it was a meaningless act of retaliation. I guess if something was going through my head it was my earlier decision to no longer allow the situation to happen where she would be aggressive and I would be the one apologising. I had decided not to let violence be worth her while.
“You kicked me!” she exclaimed. “After my operation. You bastard!”
She leaned over to pick up the baby.
“Don’t pick her up,” I said, composing myself. “She’s calm.”
She ignored me, unclasped baby’s hand from my finger and picked her up. Baby started to cry.
She carried her into the kitchen. I sat there, doing my best to continue what I was doing, and to remember where I had got to.
She soon appeared again.
“You know what I’ve been thinking,” she said.
“I think you’re a schizophrenic. You live in your own world. You don’t care about me. I don’t even think you care about your daughter. You have diagnosed me with some psychiatric disorder. What was it you called it? Well I think you’re a schizophrenic.”
It is true that I had told her six months ago that I think she has BPD. But I had waited for months for the right moment to tell her. We were on vacation, she was relaxed and listening to what I said, and I had a sympathetic Youtube video prepared, made by a sufferer of borderline personality disorder, explaining how it feels to have the disorder. My girlfriend watched the video and said, “I feel exactly like that girl. I think I have what she has.”
So not only had she agreed at the time, but also my motivation had been to find help for her, so that she would be better and the baby would be better.
She left again with the crying baby. She soon returned and repeated that I was a schizophrenic. Baby started crying hard, and she started rocking her in her arms, saying:
“My god I’m all alone. No help. I have to deal with everything alone. God, what have I done to deserve this hell?”
I asked her to give the baby to me. “I’ll stay with her,” I said. I wanted baby to be able to relax and stop crying. I wanted my girlfriend to feel better. For my own sake I also wanted some peace and quiet, staying alone with the baby with my angry girlfriend in the other room.
“You no longer have the right to touch this child,” she declared. “You no longer live here. Go and sleep somewhere else. Why are you still here? Fuck off!”
I went to my room and packed my bag with the most necessary stuff. But I couldn’t make myself leave. So I stayed there in my room and tried to focus on reading something.
A while later I heard baby crying hard. I went to the living room where I found her in the pram. I picked her up. Then my girlfriend appeared.
“Didn’t I tell you,” she said. “You’re no longer allowed to touch her!” I didn’t really know what to say. “Give her to me,” she continued.
“No,” I said.
“Do you really want me to stab you?” She asked.
I decided I didn’t want any more escalation, so I gave her the baby.
“Now fuck off,” she said.
I went and got my bag and went to the apartment door. Pretty soon she was with me.
“I can see you’re not feeling well,” she said. “So you can stay the night. I don’t want you on my conscience if something bad happens to you. But tomorrow you’ve got to leave for good.”
“I’m ready to leave,” I said. “Do you want me to leave? Just say the word and I’m gone.”
“I don’t care what you do,” she replied. I know her well enough to know that that meant she wanted me to stay.
So I went to my room (I have my own room now). I was exhausted from lack of sleep and emotional aggravation.
I put my metal laptop stand on the floor just in front of the door. The door opens inwards, so I would be woken by the light metal scraping against the floor if she were to enter. I wanted to have a couple of seconds’ warning just in case. It might seem exaggerated, but I just didn’t feel 100% safe.
A couple of minutes later the door did open, noisily blocked by the laptop stand. She shouted a few things at me, demanding that I unblock the entrance. I didn’t comply.
She left but came back a few minutes later to push the door open hard and shout some more and tell me to clear the entrance. “You’re ruining my floor!” she shouted, as she realised that her pushing might harm the floor.
I went to bed with my trousers on, so I would be ready to jump out of bed if necessary. This does not necessarily mean that there was any real danger. It could also be my own childhood trauma activating, with me reliving the fear I felt as a child.
However I fell asleep almost immediately, and slept for nine hours. That is really a testimony not only to how exhausted I was but also to how accustomed I have grown to these episodes.
The next day things were back to normal. That’s why it’s a good thing that I’m writing this done; I am actually shocked by my own account. It’s as if we have a silent agreement to treat these episodes as if they didn’t happen, and part of me seems to believe that it never happened. So when I write down these details it’s almost unbelievable to me.
For the next couple of days, people remarked on how rested I looked. They told me I usually look so tired but now I looked great.
“I don’t know what you’re doing,” someone said. “But keep doing it.”