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Author Topic: My Story I just found out I am an LBS

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My Story Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#80: January 06, 2020, 07:57:56 AM
Thank you Whyus.

P had health issues and his mum had just died from cancer - it was all too much.  I miss him. 

One thing about my W's MLC is I really saw how few good friends i really have... it is a tragedy to have lost one to depression.  Makes me realise again how important HS is for us all.  Solidarity is strength.

I believe all LBS who survive the holidays should receive a medal!

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#81: January 20, 2020, 04:21:18 AM
Hi All

Its been a tough weekend.  As my W tumbles towards rock bottom, I dont know if I should pray that she gets there or if she avoids it.

Saturday morning I asked W about her progress with logistics of our separating in the summer, this predictably led to monster.

I stayed pretty calm considering, but did not allow all the blame for our situation to be placed on me and there were a few truth darts thrown.

W says ' I am not leaving my kids'.  The reality of us splitting was discussed and the practical things we need to work on together in order to protect our kids, I cant allow her to be in denial about the realities.  The kids will have questions about the logistics and we need to have answers.

W is self harming again, cutting herself 'to punish myself for what i have done to the kids'.  She returns to doctor tomorrow to get stronger AD meds.

I held her whilst she cried.

 Her behaviour is getting even odder as she approaches rock bottom - sometimes freezing in place for minutes at a time, forgets whole chunks of time/conversations that happened, imagines conversations and events that did not happen, etc.  I dont know if she knows what is real and what is a dream or a lie. 

Most of these symptoms are familiar to me in my professional life where I work a lot with PTSD and associated brain chemistry responses, but the increasing intensity of these as symptoms of an internal crisis are unusual and again remind me how devastatingly unique MLC really is.

When she appears to be in control she is very nice to me and involves me in her life much more than in the previous 2 or 3 years, sometimes she seems entirely well, but these times are rare.

I want to save her from this hell, but i know i cant and know i have to protect myself.  I think I can make it to the summer then i think we have to split to save myself in order to be there for my kids.  Im not sure I belong on this forum as I am too weak to stand past the summer.

I think these things, but the guilt is crushing.

I pray for her safety.  If her behaviour becomes more self destructive I will seek medical intervention, maybe against her will.

 I hope God has a plan for her and our children. 

LW
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« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 04:44:36 AM by Little Wing »

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#82: January 20, 2020, 04:37:13 AM
Im sorry that you are getting to see first Hand what a Rock Bottom couls could look like.

You are in the place, you belong here. Many Arent standing anymore, including myself. Its not a sign of weekness, its protecting yourself from the Damage and getting out of the way! Having a MLC Spouce is the ultimate challenge and not a walk in the park.
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Married - 19,5 Years pre BD
Together - 21,5 Years
Me: 46
W: 46 (Acts 25)
BD 1: 10.01.2017
BD 2: 24.02.2017 OM 28 (now 31) Trainings partner. Is tolerated by LaFamiglia
2 Sons - 20 & 21
1 Dogs and a cat.
Own home . Sold!
Divorce Date 21.08.2018
T1  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8671.0

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#83: January 20, 2020, 08:35:49 AM
Quote
W is self harming again, cutting herself 'to punish myself for what i have done to the kids'.  She returns to doctor tomorrow to get stronger AD meds.

I held her whilst she cried.

From your professional work, you know what this means. To see a loved one do this to herself is horrible, the weight on your shoulders, the empathy and compassion that you continue to show to her.

It is different with "clients". We can detach easier than when it is a loved one.

Never question if you belong on this forum. If this place gives you a place to speak about your situation and if it in anyway helps you, then you are in the right place.

I value your professional experience in this related field and thank you for sharing some of your insights both personally and professionally.

Quote
I want to save her from this hell, but i know i cant

True

 :'(
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#84: January 20, 2020, 09:15:42 AM
I am so sorry LW for how things are.
But I agree with others that you have a place here if you want it.
Standing or not, many of the challenges in rebuilding a life and family and our spirits are the same. And tbh their crisis behaviour rarely magically disappears after divorce so it can help to have somewhere to vent or think out loud.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#85: January 21, 2020, 12:24:10 AM
So today I deliver a seminar to 85 other professionals about brain function in young people who have suffered abandonment, abuse or trauma. 

Feel like a fraud teaching others how to support this type of damage when I have just left W at home sobbing and I am unable to help.

I have worked in this field for 24 years, have been published even, but what I have learnt on HS has been priceless.  I cant understand why there is not more serious research in to MLC as although it has a lot of cross over with my work, it is a completely different beast and as challenging as anything I have ever dealt with professionally.

My thanks and utmost respect goes out to all of you who contribute to this precious resource.

The strength you all show is inspirational.

LW
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#86: January 21, 2020, 01:08:12 AM
.
I have worked in this field for 24 years, have been published even, but what I have learnt on HS has been priceless.  I cant understand why there is not more serious research in to MLC as although it has a lot of cross over with my work, it is a completely different beast and as challenging as anything I have ever dealt with professionally.

I was a skeptic when it came to mlc before I started googling the web for information about mlc, I honestly didn’t think it was a real thing and only some sort of cliche you see in a movie or something.
There are articles and such on the web but nothing much in the way of in depth studies by the medical profession.
I have felt so lucky to have come across “The Hero’s Spouse” and also the “Midlife Club” as the first hand knowledge by lbs has been a real life saver. I was initially amazed at how so much of what I have read in articles and on the forum related to my ww, the things she has done and said read almost word for word from some of the stories here so I find it hard to believe there is such taboo on the subject and that the medical profession is almost dismissive regarding mlc.
Here in Australia I think it is an even less believed by the general population and especially the medical profession, in particular so called mental health councillors and psychologist.

I’m sure if more people in the mental health profession were exposed to mlc first hand through a spouse they would think differently.
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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#87: January 21, 2020, 01:11:09 AM
LW, part of what you are doing today is about a kind of paying it forward imho. Increasing the pool of understanding that helps professionals support the very kind of folks who end up in MLC or those damaged by them. That is not nothing.

I don't have CPTSD. I believe that many 'MLC' spouses do (and I wish we had a different word to describe the kind of psychological unravelling we see and report here as it is a bit of an umbrella term). I have learned a lot from my own experience of PTSD though, of feeling that your mind has somehow become your enemy and how frightening it is to feel unhooked from your own sense of self. It is difficult to explain just how very frightening it is and how 'not normal' you feel, how alone and how hard it is to fight through it. If my PTSD experience has given me even a glimmer of how your w and my h might feel, I have nothing but compassion for them. I hope you can communicate to your fellow professionals that helping these damaged inner children needs us to not feel ashamed of the value of a kind of love as part of the recovery process, that in some ways professional loving attachment is more valuable than the professional detachment of theoretical frameworks. And holding hope when others can't hold it for themselves.

Humility is part of the LBS journey I think. You are not the only person here who has professional skills that turn out to feel as useless as a chocolate fireguard with someone we love. But your seminar today is a contribution, a seed sown, a way to talk as Bessel van der Kolk does about the unacknowledged wider longer and deeper impact of early life trauma that is more than just about one person. And perhaps you will learn things today too from others experiences that will help....if only wondering out loud about 'MLC' and the absence of research. I'm not sure why but perhaps bc of the 'midlife' label, people seem to diminish the significance of the 'crisis' bit when other words and terminology don't produce the same reaction at all. Which is odd and interesting when you think about it.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#88: January 21, 2020, 06:42:41 AM
One reason that I think we do not see MLC being studied by the medical profession is that it is completely acceptable to leave one's marriage and go on to other relationships. Statements such as "we live longer now so it's unrealistic to expect that people will stay together for life" start to sound legitimate to the general population.

As well, many MLCers continue to have very successful work careers. Although some coworkers might sense that something isn't quite right, they are reluctant to say anything, to do anything.

The ability of the MLCer to compartmentalize, to wear that mask, to pretend to be something they are not ( perhaps learned from childhood experiences) allows many to pass off as totally normal....and the LBS, especially is he/she is standing, is the one who is looked at as the anomaly.

"Isn't it pathetic that xyzcf after so many years refuses to date? A lovestruck fool, pining for a man who doesn't want her. Just get over it!"

I would say that many MLCers would fall into the category of dual diagnosis for there are several things going on at the same time, addiction being one of them, depression, hormonal and biochemical stuff. Addiction to work for example is not something that is considered to be a problem, instead, they are looked up to, their success, their financial worth as being a super hero.

As research has shown, the effect of ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are easily seen in people who have identified that they have been physically and/or sexually abused, who have lived in multiple foster homes, faced a serious medical childhood condition when they were very young etc. But for many MLCers, it is not so evident that there was something "wrong" in their family or childhood. And the MLCEr either has buried whatever happened to them deep in their subconscience or deny it's existence completely.

How many people have looked at me when I try and explain MLC, as though I have two heads? There are much more important medical things to research like cancer or heart disease..who would fund the research? Especially since MLCers deny that there is anything wrong with them.

Just some musings as I drink my coffee and prepare for my day.

I would love to be attending your seminar. I too have worked for many years with children who have been damaged and bear the scars of years of neglect/abuse/born to addicted mothers. Good luck and please share if you will, what your seminar was about today.

Little wing, you are helping your wife by staying by her side and accepting what is going on with her. We too are traumatized by all this and we have to dig deep to be able to continue to take care of our families and to do our work. You are not rejecting her...she will know that you are there for her.

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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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Re: I just found out I am an LBS
#89: January 22, 2020, 07:22:08 AM
Hi All

thanks as always for your support and encouragement - it is greatly appreciated.  Having a team on experts on hand is always reassuring when you start to question your own reality!  And HS has a lot of experts, I learn new things here every day!

My seminar went well yesterday.  Mostly what we cover is ACE and teenage trauma and how these events change brain function and therefore perceptions and behaviours of sufferers.

Much of the material would be familiar to HS members - so for example I cover the role of adrenaline and cortisol released by trauma (and triggers of these events) and in particular how this effects the lack of development of long term memories in the hippocampus.  This of course is a barrier to 'putting to bed' traumatic memories and therefore they are easily triggered by virtually any stimulus - sounds, smells or a piece of music for example.  As many of us here know this can be particularly challenging to support when the sufferer is an avoidant personality, which is often a characteristic developed by those with FOO issues or low self esteem as a defence mechanism.

My W's memory function has been poor for many years through her MLC and i believe that her avoidant personality and repression of her feelings about growing older and her unsureness about her role as our children have grown older, has led to her feeling constantly on edge for some years, but not knowing why or how to vocalize this.  This internal pressure has eventually expressed itself in MLC and monster.

Another similarity is when I look at personality changes in those in crisis - one pattern that is common is for avoidant, low self esteem types to swap to high energy, narcissistic and confrontational personality types as a defence mechanism against fear of the future and particularly feeling unable to deal with future demands. They often fear change, but crave distraction.  This personality transition can happen over night and can be shockingly extreme.  Sounds familiar?  Cognitive dissonance is a common side effect of this personality shift and associated guilt  in my W produces an urge to self harm.

It seems to me that some MLCer have trauma that they are aware of, some are repressing some sort of trauma and some are traumatized by their MLT. 

Many MLCer seem to show strong correlation with symptoms and behaviours of trauma survivors.  There seems to be some cases where codependency between partners and emotional support slow down the processing of trauma and onset of MLC and when the 'dam breaks'  the LBS is swept away with the release of pent up emotion.  It is so much easier to be angry than sad.

It is really interesting, (and a little shocking), that so little MLC research exists and I agree that it is partly due to marriage being seen by some as being disposable and temporary and also due to MLC being seen as a joke or something shameful.  MLC is trauma for all involved and is a major depressive episode and deserves to be treated with an appropriate level of gravity. 

I hope that society and the scientific community wake up to this dangerous phenomenon.

LW
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