“I brought my mother’s depression. You’ve got your father’s scorn and a wayward aunt’s schizophrenia. But everything is fine. Don’t give into despair, cause I love you honeybear.” – Father John Misty
There seem to be a a few basic expectations for relationships depending on who you ask.
- Need each other just enough… but don’t need each other too much (this constitutes as codependency and is frowned upon by most folks it seems).
- Respect aka be nice.
- Like a reasonable amount of the same stuff. Religion falls here too.
- – In one form or another. (For asexuals this is negotiable) General physical attraction falls under sex.
I suck at number one. When it’s PMDD time… it is like my brain is a ship and everything that had me tied to my port was cut in one fell swoop. All of the sudden I need to know that you’re here. Not just tolerating me. Not just saying something to make me shut up, but here. On my side.
PMDD or Paranoid. Malicious. Depressed. Dependent. I just made that up.
Often, it’s so intense that most people don’t know what to do with me. I lash out in insecurity because I’m convinced everyone thinks I’m ridiculous. My anxiety is so high that I’m sensitive to immense amounts of noise. The thing my boss said to me last week, the way that woman looked at me in the grocery store and my fears about my effect on my kids begin to swirl in front of my eyes. “It’s all hopeless,” I think. I convince myself that this misery is the rest of my life and I am a burden to my friends and my family.
Where does a partner fall in this? When difficulty maintaining relationships is a symptom of your disorder, how do you even keep one around long enough for them to learn? In my ideal world, a partner helps me navigate life. I’m not a full time job. I just need some help getting back on course every once in a while. Once a month to be exact.
When your grandparent with Alzheimer’s begins reacting to over stimulation, do you dismiss them? Do you just sit there while they spiral into destructive behavior? Do you tell them that they’re crazy? No. Of course you don’t. You help them to calm down while you take them into a quiet room or ask people to leave. You hold their hand and remind them you are on their side. When they scream at you that they don’t know who you are and to leave them alone, you walk away for a while… but you come back.
Is that really a relationship though? Can someone ever really love someone like me? Or will I forever be seen as the energy leech they dated one time? It is my hope that there is someone out there who doesn’t feel like I suck out their soul. Someone who knows that my disease isn’t all that I am. I want to write a blog with a happy ending about how I’ve figured out how to relationship with this disease but I haven’t. Thankfully, someone else has!
The Gia Allemand Foundation has a video about relationships and PMDD that I came across about an hour into writing this blog so I am going to link it here. It was so encouraging to hear from Amanda’s husband who talks about having to learn that PMDD wasn’t just this PMS where she could take a Midol and power through. In this video, they share different books and resources for helping people with PMDD build meaningful relationships. They talk about getting counseling as a couple but also as individuals to learn how to cope with what PMDD does to you. I encourage you to check it out!
This disease deserves to be treated with respect. I wish you a partner who not only respects you but respects how this effects you. You deserve love. You deserve good things. Don’t forget it.
Once again, you’re not alone and if you’re reading this and you are spiraling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255