16th March 2021 at 8:05 pm #123367
Recently, my partner mentioned he sometimes avoids (detail removed by moderator) dealing with his trauma. So, it seemed a conversational “in” to try and explain to him that he sometimes sweeps traumatic things in the relationship under the rug of my brain and says (detail removed by moderator), but things are not resolved, and that this makes me feel emotionally abandoned on certain topics and things in the past for him are in the present for me.
He then tried to shut me down in mid-stride, asking/telling (“Please stop talking,” but with a “we’re done” type of tone) me to stop talking. Which was literally the thing I was trying to say sucks for me.
So, according to him, he told me to stop talking because I was “looping” – as in said the same thing three times in three different ways within a timeframe of several minutes. Which I likely did, because that is literally how I think/refine my thoughts/try to express nuances of a thought in part because I know I express myself poorly and that it is hard for me to get my point across. I also don’t feel like I’ve been able to express what I am feeling until I have described it a few ways, because I feel it a few ways. And he demonstrably didn’t get my point, given he shut me down again.
He says this looping is not (detail removed by moderator) when I say he doesn’t seem to understand something.
Is this a thing? My instinct tells me he just has a hang-up, but the voice of doubt is frantically wondering if I am being abusive just by communicating my thoughts/emotions in a looping style? Or for not wanting to force myself to try and communicate even less effectively by not doing it, and/or not wanting to cut myself off in the middle of trying to express something because the receiving party finds the details/refinement loops superfluous?
He also claims I only do this when I am upset, and not when I am calm. It is exaggerated when I am upset because I am struggling to make my point, but I know I think this way all the time with refining loops (it is a very autistic thing, and (detail removed by moderator) – it is a core component of how I do my day job effectively and work on my creative writing), and I am pretty sure I regularly express myself this way in any mood. But now he has me wondering if I am nuts for thinking that.
Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on this, I’d be appreciative.
16th March 2021 at 8:43 pm #123368maddogParticipant
I have no idea what Looping is. It sounds more as though he’s trying to shut you up as you try to make your voice heard and make different attempts at expressing the same thing.
Do the people you work with find you easy to understand? How about your friends?
It sounds as though he may be blocking you when you’re upset. These people can’t stand any hint of criticism. Please don’t blame yourself for this. His problems belong to him, and he’s the only one who can sort them out.
If his behaviour is making you feel uncomfortable and disrespected, it’s time to move on. Horrid for you.
16th March 2021 at 9:30 pm #123370HawthornParticipant
I agree with maddog. You are clearly very articulate, the issue is not with how you are able to express yourself or explain how you’re feeling. The issue is with him and his desire to criticise you so you feel small and are easier for him to control. Listen to your instinct about this, it is correct. This is his issue, not yours. Trying to explain this to him is pointless, he doesn’t care. It doesnt matter how you say it. He will use any excuse to pick at you. That is not what a healthy, respectful relationship is about. That you are not neuro typical is not the issue, if it wasnt that he would find something else. Well done for reaching out, it’s not easy to accept that things are going wrong in a relationship xx
16th March 2021 at 9:41 pm #123371EggshellsParticipant
Well, if he recognises that you are saying the same thing 3 times then he clearly understands what you were saying the first time then recognised that you repeated it in a different way for the 2nd and 3rd time. So perhaps the question you need to be asking is “if he understood what you were saying the first time, why didn’t he respond appropriately the first time?”. Perhaps if he showed you a little genuine understanding, you wouldn’t feel the need to keep repeating it.
It sounds to me like he just wants to shut you up and he’s gaslighting you to achieve that. That isn’t how a healthy relationship should work.
16th March 2021 at 9:51 pm #123373
Hey Eggshells, I think it is a little more complicated than that, but it is hard to explain. For me, it is more like I am layering on nuance, or trying to show different aspects of my emotional experience with the rephrasing–or sometimes revising/refining to more precision as I speak. I feel like everything I add either clarifies what I said or adds new information.
He can’t respond the first time for the simple reason that I’m not done talking. If I just say the first bit, and then stop, it’s like it is missing context. Like a rough image that has not finished rendering. So, I try to render it clearly and then get a reply. It isn’t like I’m doing this for an hour before he cuts me off. Maybe a couple of minutes. I feel like I should be able to finish expressing my thought fully. He says this is not how people talk.
The very fact that he cut me off while I was speaking about not being listened to tells me he didn’t get my point at all. Though he attributes that to stopping hearing me and feeling resentment because my looping is annoying.
Another way to put it would be to say that yes, noticing I am looping at all does mean he gets that I am providing variations on a theme. But that does not mean he understands the theme, even though he can identify it exists. It also means that to him, nuance is irrelevant, even though to me, it is not.
Also, my rephrase above is an example of the type of “looping” I do.
16th March 2021 at 9:43 pm #123372
Thank you both for your replies. I guess I am worried that I am browbeating him or something, at least that is the impression he gives me.
“Do the people you work with find you easy to understand? How about your friends? ”
I’ve had social difficulties with other people too, but usually a complaint that I am “cold,” likely a reference to my flat affect/tone/general awkwardness. I don’t think anyone else has specifically mentioned the looping as an issue. But then again, I haven’t had to struggle to explain myself much to other people in a long time either–not since I was a borderline teen with lots of drama =D I still have borderline and narcissistic traits that can be problematic, which is another reason I worry about my behaviours. But I guess I don’t remember anyone making this complaint even back then, and I was pretty toxic as a teen. So that may be some perspective.
“It sounds as though he may be blocking you when you’re upset. These people can’t stand any hint of criticism.”
That is definitely true. Alas, I am apparently a nag for continuing to re-hash what is in the past for him.
“If his behaviour is making you feel uncomfortable and disrespected”
He says this is what I do to him.
“That you are not neuro typical is not the issue, if it wasnt that he would find something else. ”
A lot of ASD traits can be mistaken even by a reasonable NT person for other than what they are (i.e. mistaking a shut-down for a cold shoulder or a meltdown for a temper tantrum, or poor theory of mind for willful misunderstanding), so that has really complicated all this for me.
16th March 2021 at 10:02 pm #123375maddogParticipant
You’re doing so well in reaching out. It’s harder recognising abuse when our earlier lives have been complicated. Abusers love this kind of thing. Please contact your local Women’s Aid.
There are effective treatments Borderline Personality to make it more manageable. Whatever difficulties life has thrown at you is never an excuse for being treated badly.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.