Thursday, February 25, 2016

Microstory 264: Perspective Thirty-Nine

Perspective Thirty-Eight

Not long ago, my wife was diagnosed with what our current health professionally prefers to call emotionally unstable personality disorder. This means that her behavior changes on a regular basis due to intense feelings of neglect and betrayal. She is constantly worried that people around her are either purposely making decisions against her best interests, or simply that they will leave her. But then she has these moments, sometimes that last for months, where she is extremely happy and affectionate. I’ve always known that she was different; I dated her for long enough to see these transitions, but I wish we had had the official diagnosis for longer. If I had understood more precisely what she was going through, I could have treated the situation better. I should have treated it better either way, though, shouldn’t I have? I learned little tips and tricks to make sure that she was as comfortable as possible. I was usually able to subside her massive depressions and suicidal thoughts by saying the right things, but I know now that this was not enough. I was encouraging these feelings and just waiting for them to go away rather than dealing with them and actually helping her through it. If she was treating someone poorly, I wouldn’t just straight up let her do it, but I would mirror her thoughts so that I could slowly redirect her to a more healthy outlook. Our daughter has always felt the worst of it, and she’s never known why. We raised her completely erratically and unreliably. We’ve let her do what she wanted, we’ve punished her severely, we’ve just left the care to herself. That wasn’t right because it made her think that she was doing something wrong, and that she could never be sure what was going to happen to her next. I intend to work as hard as I can to not only help my wife feel better, but also ensure my daughter’s happiness. I’m looking into some options to help us become a better family. I think everyone could do with a little therapy, but I also have this idea to institute mandatory family game night. I hope I’m making the right decision this time.

Perspective Forty

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