“My ex thought he was “normal” and I was making things up.”
THIS is the problem! In my husband’s mind he wouldn’t be bothered if his long-distance mom didn’t call him on a holiday, so the fact that she’s hurt that he didn’t call her on Mother’s Day means that SHE’S the one with the problem. And he’s not the slightest bit worried that we’ll over-draw our banking account in a couple days (while he’s had a $1K check on the fridge for 2 months) so the fact that I’m losing sleep over it means I’M the one with the problem.
I’m a pediatric healthcare provider so I’ve done a lot of studying about “denial,” which is so often used as a blanket term, while some people DON’T WANT the diagnosis to be true, others CAN’T ACCEPT that the diagnosis is true, yet others DON’T UNDERSTAND what the diagnosis means. This seems totally different than any of those – it’s more like the condition PREVENTS my husband from being AWARE of his symptoms and their consequences!
I’m trying the “tough love” approach used with addicts while still keeping his chaos from affecting me. So far that means separate bathrooms, separate closets, and now separate bank accounts. But I’m wondering if he’ll even be able to see how “rock bottom” is a consequence of his symptoms since his symptoms limit his executive functioning (which is how we see cause-and-effect). 😕