Found out what his problem is...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Found out what his problem is...
40
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 8:39am
Found out what the problem w/ my boyfriend is. 2 of his sisters told me about it this weekend.

He has Tourette's Syndrome. Apparently, it was diagnosed when he was a child. He's still got it, but he's in total denial - which I guess is a symptom. He won't do anything to help himself, because he's afraid of letting someone/something control him (such as doctors/medications). As a child, he was put in an institution for his out of control rage - his family believes that something 'bad' (some form of abuse) may have happened to him there because of his absolute fear of getting help.

Because of his imbalance, his level for tolerating alcohol is VERY low - which is apparent from the way in which he acted that night the stuff hit the fan...and again on this past Friday night - we had a great night...went out to dinner, rented movies and got some beer...he drank 12+ beers then turned into a monster. Nothing violent - just ranting and raving about anything and everything. I got sick of it, started to leave. He begged me not to go...Another symptom, according to his sister, is a fear of commmitment AND a fear of being alone.

The first night, which was May 21, I told him I thought he had a chemical imbalance - just from the way he was acting. No one had told me ANYTHING about his Tourette's before this, so I had NO WAY of knowing that he really DID have one! This past Friday, he jumped my case - kept demanding I tell him who told me that because there is NO WAY I could have thought of it on my own. He badgered me for 2 hours - I kept telling him the same thing - that I've seen 'chemical imbalances' in other people and thought his actions mirrored them...He swore up and down that 'someone' had been talking about him - again, the paranoia (another symptom).

Now that I know he's got a 'chemical imbalance' - I feel like I owe it to him to help him get the help he needs. His sister and mom are working w/ me on this. We are on the lease for our apartment for one more month. I figure I will give him this month to determine what he's going to do - if he does nothing, then I will move out. At this point, he is still planning on moving out, but has no idea when (lack of income from no job, no job because he doesn't want to be controlled, VICIOUS CYCLE)...I figure 1 more month is long enough for me to try and help him - if he won't help himself, I guess all I can do is say that I love him, I care for him, but I cannot put myself through all of this.

Have any of you dealt with anything like this?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 10:05am
Bluntly put, you're a fool.

He's already decided what he's going to do - nothing. He's going to drink, he's going to party, and he's going to rant and rave, while remaining unemployed, or always on the brink of financial distress. That is how he's lived up to now.....and that is how he'll remain living.

This entire family was so relieved to see your "in love" state that they cared nothing for your long term security or that of your child. So glad they were to be rid of the liability of him that whoever will have and whatever will become of him - as long as they're not impacted more than they wish, or involved more than they desire - they're fine with it.

That's "typical" of people who refuse to enable the self-appointed destruction. That's healthy, normal, right, and actually "loving" - although in a codependent state you don't perceive it that way.

So, what you're signing on for is osmeone who can't control him, has a legitimate "reason" for his inability to do so, with no good reason for his unwillingness to treat his condition other than his own fears, paranoia, and unwillingness to do so - and you and your daughter are going to live with the consequences.

Also, it doesn't sound like tourettes if you ask me. It sounds like an alcoholic. Tourettes he'd be unable to control what he says and explitives would be fluent in his speech, along with rather "inane" statements or words at inappropriate times.

This sounds more like someone who has had a mis diagnosis based on limited ability to receive full analysis. And behaviors are very mirror image symptomed and they've come up with the first of many potential diagnosis and yet, becuase there has been no treatment, there is no assurance that diagnosis is correct.

So, you can sit there and remain impacted by his attitude, his behavior, and his unwillingness to deal with the problem....realize at some point the impact will overwhelm your resources and your ability to remain emotionally stable and you'll eventually end the liason becuase it'll be too risky to remain in. It won't eliminate the guilt.

I'd highly recommend you get to a 12-step program for Codependents Anonymous CoDA. You're wanting to rescue him to perceive yourself as worthy...and when this fails you'll consider yourself more inadequate, inept, and unworthy than ever before.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 10:32am
Poor child, who & what she is being forced to live with all because "mom" wants to maintain her *love* life (such as it is). Yes, heres (another) fixer upper & violent & abusive to boot as you posted a few days ago. Clearly from *this* post somehow you feel better that he has an organic diagnosis rather than *just* being arbitrarily violent & abusive.

Congratulations on such a great find, obviously there is high self esteem at work here. I would advise though to be sure to save money for the therapy that is inevitable later on in life for the *child* being forced to live in such a dangerous & dysfunctional situation.


Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 10:41am
First - I already FEEL like a fool. I know that much. I just can't help but care about him. I'm not a 'dog eat dog' type woman who can just turn her back on someone who needs my help!

Second - he's not an alcoholic...he drinks, yes, but does not 'party' or go on 3 day benders. When he indulges, he usually has 1-3 beers...at times, he's gone overboard, but hell, so have I and I am not an alcoholic.

Third - until you can show me your medical degree, don't try to tell me that you know all the symptoms/conditions of Tourette's. It is different from person to person and changes as that person grows from a child into an adult. As a child, he had fits of rage and was institutionalized for them. He refused treatment then and still does. He is also depressed and suffers from OCD as well.

I've given him ONE MONTH...we just paid our June rent. He is supposedly moving out and if he doesn't, my daughter and I will. I care about him, I cannot stop that. I will not turn my back on him. But, I won't let myself be injured or psychologically damaged anymore.

I'm just relieved to know that he DOES have a problem that can be maintained or stabilized w/ meds, IF I could only get him to see that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 10:48am
For the upteenth time - he has never ever done anything to injure my child. He's never had a 'rage' or gotten violent or anything that would *HURT* her. Do you honestly think I would STILL BE THERE if he had?

Yes, I feel better that he actually HAS a diagnosis for what is wrong with him! That allows me to research it, investigate it and know what to expect. Even if we break up, I will still remain this man's friend and he will need all the help he can get.

You seem to think my daughter cowers in fear from being with him or that he's inflicting 'abuse' on her. Hmm, funny. Should have seen the 2 of them yesterday when the 3 of us went canoeing and rescued a baby deer that was stuck in some swamp-mire. Yup, lemme tell ya, my daughter was just TERRIFIED of this man who waded through knee-deep mud to save a fawn. Oh, and the fact that she hugs and kisses him goodnight? Oh, I'm sure that's a reaction to the 'abuse'...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 10:53am
To point something out with simplicity- you've said this diagnosis and condition leaves him unable to control his rage....and you're accepting of that reality as a part of the diagnosis.

And in the same breath you're going "he hasn't hurt my child yet and never would". That isn't a realistic perception...if you truly understand and accept and believe that he's unable to control his actions, decisions, and words in compromised physical/mental states of which you have no control, or no ability to predict so that your child is guaranteed to be out of harms way.

So, which is it? Do situations or drinking or whatever triggers his actions, decisions and words - is that outside the realm of his ability to control no matter what he does as per his present lifestyle and perception of the situation and his responsibility to it?

Or, does he control his actions, decisions and words and simply is deciding to "unleash" because he's got the option?

You can't believe both - but you're claiming that you do.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 11:29am
I'm familiar Tourette's Syndrome, I know someone who has it and have done a lot of research on it. What I'm wondering is does he have the symptoms of tourette's syndrome? THESE symptoms outlined by the Medical Association that are the primary symptoms of TS:

Facial tics (repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal (phonic) sounds which can include inappropriate words and phrases). The primary symptoms are facial tics -- involuntary eye blinking, nose twitching, grimaces, sniffing, shoulder shrugging. In some cases, also head jerking, neck stretching, foot stamping, body twisting and bending. May utter strange and unacceptable sounds, words, or phrases. It is not uncommon for a person with TS to continuously clear his or her throat, cough, sniff, grunt, yelp, bark, or shout. May involuntarily shout obscenities (coprolalia) or constantly repeat the words of other people (echolalia). May touch other people excessively or repeat actions obsessively and unnecessarily (like handwashing). The secondary symptoms of tourette's are obsessive-complusive disorder which is doing things repeatedly like frequent handwashing, checking locks; sleep disorders; learning disabilities; attention problems; and in a few cases impulse control problems which could lead to aggressive behaviors. Does your bf have the primary symptoms? The tics? Paranoia, denial, not doing anything to help himself, acting like a raving lunatic from a low alcohol tolerance, ranting and raving, fear of commitment and fear of being alone, badgering you for 2 hours, refusal to work because he doesn't want to be controlled, isn't on any lists I've ever seen of the symptoms of tourettes. Those are all symptoms listed of abusers though. Tourette's doesn't cause people to abuse others. Some severe cases of Tourette's causes rage outbursts. If your bf is constantly twitching about, yelping, sniffing and things like that then I might believe that his rage outbursts might be related to Tourette's. But if he doesn't have the primary symptoms of Tourette's, then I don't buy it.


Edited 6/2/2003 2:19:00 PM ET by sweetdreams893
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 11:56am
As far as the 'tics' go - he doesn't have what I'd call a "tic", but he does have a major habit of tapping his foot repeatedly - like constantly in bed or just sitting around...He also clears his throat alot and rubs his hands over his face/goatee constantly. He doesn't 'utter' strange things, but I've seen him talking 'gibberish' to himself on occassion - I thought he was just singing to himself (which, hell, I'll do that if I get a catchy tune stuck in my brain)...but he wasn't. He uses obscenities ALOT - but not 'disfunctionally' - like just randomly screaming them out. From what his sister told me, the alcohol 'enhances' his problems - maybe it's not 'Tourette's', but that is what they were all told when he was a child. As far as OCD - he can be very 'anal' about things at times...like one night he stayed up until 5am sorting baseball cards! Just kept stacking, unstacking, piling, unpiling, etc. I've also seen him wig out over some small ass stuff - like if someone moves one of the bookends on our mantel, etc. It's obvious to me that he's got some sort of chemical imbalance - like I said, I was told it was Tourette's - whether or not it is, I am not sure...I just know that something isn't right. And it's sad, because I really wish he'd do something about it - he could be such a great asset to society if he would!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 12:12pm
It's possible he may have minor symptoms of these conditions, but since I'm not a doctor, it's tough to say. I myself do a double or triple check to make sure the stove is turned off or the candles are burned out, I twist my hair or bite my nails occasionally,etc, etc....All that aside, the bottom line is, he doesn't seem to be trying to help himself. I'll bet as sometime in your life you have dealt with an abusive relative/friend/boyfriend and you might have tried to help. Did it work if they didn't want to get help? If he is willing to deal with his problems, then you might have a shot, but if he is voluntarily drinking knowing that is exacerbates his symptoms, then you probably don't stand a good chance of helping him yourself. It just cant' work no matter how you love someone.

I think you know by now that that fact that you moved so quickly in this relationship has left you in a position of just now discovering things about him that you might not be able to deal with. Give it the month you need, but I really hope you can learn something form this situation. Take the time to get to know someone. If he is the one, you have the rest of your life to move in, get married, etc. Is this the man you really want to spend the rest of your life with when you post a pretty dramatic message weekly regarding your relationship? Sounds exhausting to me!

One last thing. You get pretty defensive when you post a problem on this board and people try to respond with their advice. You have a rebuttal for just about every post, including this one I would imagine. I'm wondering if you're not hoping that someone might agree with you and help you along the way in this relationship, but it seems that pretty much no one has thought there is much hope. Now you can ignore everybody, or think hard about why that is. In the back of your mind are you getting defensive because you know deep down inside this isn't the best man for you? Just something to think about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 12:20pm
A typical problem with codependents is falling in love with the potential of someone and acting on these feelings while denying the reality of them and their impact on you, your future, and your potential.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 12:29pm
The biggest 'problem' I see with him is that HE doesn't THINK he HAS a PROBLEM! Thus, when he drinks, he feels good - until he gets to that 'point of no return' where he starts to get those rage-like symptoms of badgering, belittling, and just plain talking gibberish.

He won't acknowledge the fact that he's even GOT a problem. He's told me himself that he's been suicidal in the past - I wouldn't want to live with myself if my leaving him caused that to become a reality. Part of me wishes he'd just LEAVE - go on a LONGGGG road trip and 'find' himself or whatever. He has no kids, no wife, no job - nothing tying him down or holding him back - I know I wouldn't stand in his way if that's what he wanted to do.

I feel like I cannot breathe. I'm on eggshells 24/7 and feel so much anxiety that I am about ready to get myself a prescription for something. I feel like if he would just *POOF* disappear - and I wouldn't have to run into him anywhere - I would have this huge relief off my shoulders.

Erin, I agree with you - I'm in love w/ 'what he could be' - because that is what he WAS when we started out. The thought of losing him and then seeing him happy with someone else down the road makes my heart ache. I keep trying to make excuses for his behaviour, all the while, he's blaming me for causing it.

Honestly - if you ask someone "will you be home for dinner" - do you see that as a form of 'control?' That's part of HIS issue w/ me - he says I 'control' him...I don't stop him from doing anything - hell, he's home alone all day and has all that time to do whatever he chooses. Lately, all he does is SLEEP because he stays UP until 3-4am...then he bitches because he doesn't have time to do the things he 'wants to do'.

I guess part of me is realizing, slowly, that this isn't the 'end all to be all' relationship. I don't like being alone, but I don't like feeling this way either.

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