My partner has extreme (and untreated) anxiety, depression, and an unbelievable amount of insecurity that makes her jealous, petty, confrontational, and not-at-all trusting. She’s come from a rough past, with abuse, and despite it, or maybe in spite of it, has achieved great, great things professionally.
We’ve been together less than a year, and I’m at the point where my fight or flight response is teeter-tottering back and forth faster than I can handle.
I admitted to myself today that I am afraid of talking to my girlfriend. Afraid if I don’t say the exactly perfect thing, I am going to set her off and then “well here we go again” I spend the next 24-72 hours in full retreat, apologizing for slights that didn’t happen, defending positions I never had, and fumbling over remembering and explaining words I never spoke (or at this point, don’t even know my ass from my elbow as I get in full panic mode.)
I’ve convinced myself that “this isn’t really her” and that once this phase is over, she’ll be better
After that night, it was clear that while I was taking care of certain tasks, I had no idea how to really help. Books on caregiving don't really...