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I am in way over my head. Does anyone know of a place like this?

S

spacial_rendering

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I was a psychologist, once upon a time. I've seen the inside of a lot of hospitals and I've seen the way mental patients are treated. I didn't like it, myself but the system works for countless people. It would not work for him.

I had quit the practice for personal reasons. When I met him, he seemed perfectly normal and happy, despite his long psychological history that claimed otherwise. I should have taken the hint. We've been together for quite some time now and I fully understand how his history unfolded. I happened to meet him on a very long upswing.

He is a very rich man. He is also very damaged and I love him dearly. I would keep him here forever if I believed he could survive it but I have things in my house such as a stove, with which he cannot be trusted. He isn't suicidal. He puts it like this:

"These things are exciting. They exhillarate me. They make me happy. And (me), you and (his child)... no matter how perfect my life is, no matter how truly fulfilled I should be, there is that void. It follows me, everywhere. It haunts me and the little things that I do to top that off have nothing on you."

He smiled when he said this. I have been trying to help him for a while. We've tried medications, therapies. We are still trying. He is very resistant. Even when he is seemingly happy, he is injuring himself severely. I believed I could help him. Love conquers all, of course. This has not been the case.

He is a very particular person. If we are to put him away, I'd prefer the sort of place that you read about in novels that don't seemingly exist. He would require an illusion of class an elegance. Is there anywhere truly like that; where rich people go for vacation when the stresses of daily life become impossible to endure; an asylum of sorts that looks like a luxury hotel?

He is far more likely to respond when he believes that he is genuinely cared for. He will not talk to his psychologist. I am the go-between. He talks to me and we go into therapy together. I relay what he has told me and it is very rare that he will add anything further for her benefit.

He operates best when he is at least under the illusion that he is in control.

He has severe Obsessive Compulsive disorder, he is vegan and he tends to get very upset when he can't count out the exact nutritional content of his meals because he is so afraid of death.

Committing him anywhere would be an extremely painful task. Committing him somewhere where I know he will not be happy would simply break my heart into about ten thousand pieces.

This can not be short term. This will need to span for months, if it is to make any difference. He's been in and out of local hospitals and he always comes back worse than ever. Tile floors, restraints and hospitals in general tend to set him off. He is a torture victim who suffers severe PTSD and hospitalizations in the normal places tend to register for him, as another traumatic event.

He is in his early 20's. We are in Northern Illinois.

I know I sound awful and corny, but I am out of options. I am in far over my head. He trusts in me to cure him but I don't see that as being possible. Never, in my career, did I see anyone so deeply fractured. Usually, once you've tried everything, something has given at least a hint of results. For him, this is not the case.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hi special_rendering and :welcome: to the forum.

If your partner is a 'very rich man' can he not afford to go to a private hospital through his medical insurance or pay for it all himself? That is perhaps more luxurious in setting than a standard hospital? There are many across America I am sure or perhaps he can try one overseas?

However I wonder what he feels hospital will achieve? Yes he may be able to avoid the stresses of life in a relaxed setting, but the things that may be likely to really help him, the therapies and treatments may also be offered on an out patient or day patient basis.

I sometimes think that taking time out of life to resolve your issues is not so beneficial. Because problems usually exist in real life. When I have gone into hospital, yes I may have seemed to improve whilst there but when back in the real world I realise that my problems are still there waiting for me, that hospital provided a falsely secure environment and I made no real changes in my life and that true recovery really begins at home.

In all honesty I can not see the point of attending a psychologist session with him when you are the only one talking. Does this really achieve anything? Why is your partner making you do the talking?

I ask this because in my opinion whilst you are doing the talking he is managing to avoid confronting his own feelings, which kind of negates the whole purpose of therapy? Is this what he is trying to achieve?

I also wonder if your partner has some strong narciccistic tendencies that may be affecting his life and preventing from accessing therapy that might need to be addressed. And I really don't think that you speaking on his behalf is going to help with that. I would perhaps look into this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

But the above is not a diagnosis, just a thought that arose in me from what you have said.

I am not criticising him, trauma and the effects from it can not be underestimated and I can understand how hospitals can reinforce that trauma, I have had similar experiences. Perhaps if that is the case hospital is not the way forward at all. I think in order to truly engage with a therapist it is important that you feel safe, trusted and somewhat in control, perhaps hospital is not the most conducive environment to inspire that kind of relationship.

To be honest, the only person I believe who can 'cure' your partner, is himself. No one can do that for him. All the therapy, hospitals and love in the world will not work if HE does not take responsibility for his OWN mental health. Of course this does not mean taking the responsibility for his trauma what he suffered was probably very wrong, BUT it is up to HIM now to try to come to terms with it however unfair that may seem.

In all honesty, I would stop attending the sessions with him. If he is relaying things to you to tell the therapist then he can write it all down on paper and give it to the therapist himself. I don't think you should be there with him and I am surprised that the psychologist is allowing this to continue. I fail to see how this could therapeutically help him. If he feels that the therapist does not meet with his expectations then perhaps he needs to find another one, or examine why his therapist does not match up to his expectations with his therapist. Perhaps it is something he can work through, and might help him to recognise and come to terms with some of his issues and learn to access the help that is offered rather than dismiss it.
 
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S

spacial_rendering

Guest
He desperately wants to get better but he refuses to make any effort toward doing so. He is very upset that his new therapist "didn't do anything" after only one session with her. He expects pills to miraculously cure him. He is looking for an easy answer that doesn't exist and believes that two days is a long time to wait for a medication to "kick in."

His true problem is in the fact that as he is, he cannot even be trusted at home, alone. I've taken a lot of time off of work in order to watch him on days when he hasn't seemed well and its becoming very unhealthy for me as well as it isn't helping him. He expects me to magically cure him at this point, despite that I've repeatedly explained that this isn't possible. I've told him that he can get better but its going to take a lot of time and commitment on his part as well. He understands that it isn't appropriate for me to be his boyfriend and his psychologist and yet, I find myself playing that role because he doesn't take very well to anyone else.

I attempted to make it clear to him that this was becoming overwhelming and it resulted in a speech about how he's not good enough for me. I found myself searching for him throughout Chicago for 4 hours and finding him, crying in an alley at about 3:00 in the morning.

I realize that hospitalization would delay his life and isolate him but as we stand, he has just well as quit school because he finds it too stressful to go in, he is dependent on me for everything and he's still having panic attacks, despite every medication and every therapy we've tried. He is an extreme danger to himself on top of that.

I would be tempted to call him a narcissist if it weren't for his endless capacity for love and his selflessnes, which will only show its face after he's deemed a person to be worthy of it. He actually identifies himself as a housewife.

His medical doctor actually forced him into therapy after his "incident," which left him in very bad physical shape. He lied to the therapists. He played the role of an entirely different person. Today's session went quite well from my perspective. I made clear that he is a victim of severe and prolonged torture and she didn't allow him to change the topic to anything bizarre. He explained the events that led up to it without any prompting from me. He insisted on lying in my lap the entire time but I feel that this was a definite step in the right direction. (If you're a Peanuts fan, you may think of Linus and his security blanket.)

We'd just had a long conversation in the car about how much he is relying on me and how unfair that is to both of us.

For the same reason that I refuse to act as a therapist to him, I fail to see the logical next step. I am far too attached. I haven't anything resembling professional distance and I am not going to play pretend that I do. He has good days and he has bad ones. Today was a very good one. That doesn't mean that he won't be completely off the wall or injuring himself, tomorrow. I met him on a very long upswing. He was either perfectly normal or manageably ill for the first seven months we were together. Things progressively deteriorated to where they are, currently.

I am in very far over my head.
 
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iffybob

iffybob

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yeh, well.....

You dont say how he was traumatised, if it was group thing ie army, maybe thats the way to go, group treatment.

Many here , including me tend to think we are alone in the way we think and feel, this is because we mostly live in isolation, even if we live with others.

feeling or knowing others understand and not just know, can lift some of the burden.

If you insist on packing him off, you may need to talk to his theropyst, lists of institutions are not always published, and the prof may have more info than you.

He also needs to "work" at his theropy, you can not do it, it wont work.....
 
S

spacial_rendering

Guest
Yes, I stated that I cannot do it and I've explained it to him in great detail.

I do not "insist" on packing him off. I would prefer not to and in fact, I wrote that original post not long after he took a towel and boiling water to his chest and back to the point of being covered in blisters. I was quite overwhelmed at that moment.

He was alone when it happened. His tormentors were a very large group and the duration was an entire month. He was truly singled out by people who had very big problems with him.
 
iffybob

iffybob

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Feel

I know that feeling pain for long amounts of time changes the reaction you have to it, I dont feel pain properly any more, he may be able to block it, but still get the biological reaction to it, the adrenalin and the rest, that make make him feel some relef from the emotional pain. I this is the situation, then it is not good, I have probs empathising others pain becasue of the way I deal with it.

He was alone when it happened. His tormentors were a very large group and the duration was an entire month. He was truly singled out by people who had very big problems with him.
This does not explain anything I can work with.

I was tramtised from a young age I grew up with it, to me it was a norm.

What you may be dealing with is shock, a total disasosisation from his norm, to an extrem, it may take years of residential care for him to recover and recognise his behavyour, you can not do this alone.

Am I right in understanding that he has never threatend you or others .....?

( excuse my spelling, I am not that good esp with the long words, I have spelt them phoneticaly )
 
S

spacial_rendering

Guest
You are very right. That seems to be it. He gets his rush but the actual pain is so little that he can pick at it with sterile tweezers in order to treat himself. He is very knowledgeable in the area of first-aid.

He was molested as a child, whenever his father wasn't home and he eventually developed an affection toward the man who molested him. He suppressed that and nearly forgot about it after it stopped happening.

Later, he was abducted by a large group, presumably a gang, who kept him tied up for a month and tormented him until he was nearly dead. they said this was "punishment" for things he's done in the past.

Afterward, he was obsessed with finding and killing the people who did this to him. That desire faded away and is currently non-existent. He is now obsessed with moving on and he wants to jump into plans for the future. He has never threatened anyone else.
 
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S

spacial_rendering

Guest
Important point:

May I also re-emphasize that I am not trying to treat him in a doctor-patient manner. I am encouraging him to get help and I am enforcing what his therapist tells him. I am making an effort to show that I am his boyfriend, not his therapist. Even in a less severe case, it would be unspeakably unwise to play both parts and I am fully aware of this.
 
iffybob

iffybob

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He may feel that he deserves this, and there for reluctent to let it go.

Does he know the "actual" reason why they tourched him or not.

Does he feel he deserved it.

The original abuse, if it was not treated, could also be feeding into how he feels now.

He may feel that if he self abuses, he is in controle, and maybe he will not be further abused by outsiders, outside his controle.

As far as he see's it , he is maintining controle over his life, and stopping doing what he is doing would be releasing controle to others.

This is all speculation, I am a mental health sufferer, as many are on here, but we do have first hand understanding about how these things come about, we dont just know we are.

But from what you are saying, he needs to break the cycle, and since that cycle includes his current environment, out of that.

Getting him to the point where he realises that he does not have to tourcher himself, is something that is going to take a lot of very hard work.

Personaly I think you are right, an institution is the way to go, with a long periode of inital assesment, a few mounths not just a few days where he could fake out the staff by acting.

In England, we have a "Danger to themselves or others", where you can be commited to a "place of safety" , he is clearly a danger to himself. do you have somthing simalar where you are.
 
iffybob

iffybob

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my reply was before I read you edit and additions
 
S

spacial_rendering

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He knows why they chose him. He does not feel he deserved it. He realizes and tells me that they are truly evil people. He occasionally mentions a regret that he didn't kill them "When he had the chance," when a good friend of his made the offer to assist him in doing so. He sees himself as a hero.

The original abuse, if it was not treated, could also be feeding into how he feels now.
That is also very true. The effects of the original abuse didn't show through until after "the incident," as he calls it. He found himself in bed with a different man every night while jumping from one disastrous relationship from another. I actually ended that cycle by refusing to have sex with him under the pretense that there is much more to a normal relationship. He thanks me for that every day, insisting that I showed him what love really is. I believe him.

He self abuses for a rush, which is the same reason he does just about everything he's done to harm himself.

But from what you are saying, he needs to break the cycle, and since that cycle includes his current environment, out of that.
This was an entirely new environment for him, at first. We live in what was originally my condo, so he doesn't have any previous associations with it. I met him five years after "the incident" and question how he's lived like this for so long.

Getting him to the point where he realises that he does not have to tourcher himself, is something that is going to take a lot of very hard work.
He isn't trying to torture himself. He's actually trying to feel better. Apparently, self-injury does that for him.

Personally I think you are right, an institution is the way to go, with a long periode of inital assessment, a few months not just a few days where he could fake out the staff by acting.

In England, we have a "Danger to themselves or others", where you can be commited to a "place of safety" , he is clearly a danger to himself. do you have somthing simalar where you are.
We have that here, but the challenge, if I were to go that route, would be finding a place where he would be comfortable. If he isn't comfortable, it will not work. Hospitalizations have always made him worse so I am hesitant to take any action. In that direction. If there isn't a suitable place for him, it would actually be more damaging to commit him. Though I understand that it can't be 100% comfortable to get better, he needs to be catered to in certain aspects. He needs to have control over his diet and he needs to be allowed to cut and dye his own hair as he does that as an odd sort of coping mechanism and unlike the rest of his coping mechanisms, that one actually seems to help.

Hospitals set him off in a very big way. The last time he was hospitalized, they put him into restraints very similar to the way he was tied down during "the incident." I didn't know him at the time, but it is well-known throughout his family that he came back worse than ever and it took a very long time to get him even back to the point he was at prior to the hospitalization.

Traditional hospitals are massive triggers for him.
 
iffybob

iffybob

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I can see the probs you have, but without his allowing others to help him, to let go of some of his control and accept other ways, is the only way forward, I am not sure how to go about this.

A thought I had was.....

I understand you have an association called the "VA" Veterans Associarion, that help ex-milatary people deal with the after effects of wars and the like,

This is similar to what you are describing, it may help to contact them and ask if there is a person in your area that could possibly help him.

They will prob have more experience than a general shrink........

I need to end here, I am not feeling well, and need to go to bed.

It has nothing to do with this coversation, I hope I have helped in some way.

Good luck ....... boB
 
S

spacial_rendering

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I found, back in my years of being a psychologist, that a lot of professionals believe in "treating" coping mechanisms. You cannot attack or attempt to treat self-injury. You need to find the cause and kill it, while replacing it with a less harmful coping mechanism.

There are certain mechanisms that don't need to be touched. It does not harm him or anyone else that he's aware of the exact nutritional content of every meal or that he enjoys changing his hair. These sound like small things but they mean the world to him and it makes him unspeakably anxious when he can't do them. I saw plenty of cases like that in my practice and I find that those little quirks fade away throughout the course of treatment and that attempting to prevent them from happening while someone is still in need of them will only cause further stress and eventually, harm.

I don't think there a hospital on Earth that would be adaptable enough to cater to his many quirks. I should mention that he also enjoys cleaning. He doesn't trust anyone else to clean his bathroom, for instance. My condo, which used to be quite the "bachelor pad" in its way, is currently absolutely spotless. He will not settle for anything less. Attempts to change those things, will destroy his trust in them and only cause more harm. He needs to be allowed space to be unusual in order to be comfortable and if he is not comfortable with a treatment, he will not allow it to work.
 
iffybob

iffybob

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can you get some one to visit your home, to treat him.....?

You are right about the non-destructive coping mechs, you should if pos keep them for as long as he needs them.

Query - If you worked as a psychtheropist, you must know this stuff, or is it not the area you worked in........?

If you just need to talk it through, thats ok.... no prob

A lot of seriouse truma people do not come back from over the edge, they have to build a completly new life, not based on "before" foundations, to disconnect from what lead up to it, in a way dis-own there prev life, and view it like reading a story of some one elses life.

This takes a while and prob more than one complete break down ....

even then, falsh backs and nightmares are the norm, I live with this situation, even now after 20 years of on/off treatment I still need top-ups...

I am not trying to put you off, but you must know how this plays out, you must have seen it in your prev job.......

..... there are some situations and resons "why" they end up locked away and medicated.

If you could remove the self harm, that would alay most of the concerns you have, but how you convince him is a case by case, and play by ear, path....

I dont know how far you can go with this, unless he can learn impulse control..!
 
S

spacial_rendering

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can you get some one to visit your home, to treat him.....?
As far as I know, that isn't exactly within the norm and he doesn't seem to mind trips to an office, as long as he has a safety blanket.

Query - If you worked as a psychtheropist, you must know this stuff, or is it not the area you worked in........?
I know plenty of it, but therapists are not magical people. It is far easier to treat someone when looking in from the outside. I am very involved with him and this has clouded my normal judgement and it has made a perspective view of him virtually impossible. This is also the reason that, as I stated above, I leave him to current professionals. I cannot be his boyfriend and his psychologist at the same time. That simply is not possible or wise.

He is currently attempting to do just that. He has an entirely new life with me and with his son, who he didn't meet until well after "The Incident." He has had more than a few complete breakdowns and is medically lucky to be alive for what he's done to himself.

I witnessed my share of it, but I have never seen a case as severe as his. I have seen self-injury. I have never met a man who has thrown himself off of a bridge, in front of a semi and survived. He is truly outside of the box. That is exactly one of the situations and reasons why they end up that way. I am very surprised that he isn't "locked up" but he seems to have improved a bit since his first breakdown.

boB, if you are not feeling well and you believe that you need to go to bed, please do. Choosing to ignore your needs will not help you, any. The first step to mental health is physical health.
 
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