Fannie Fierce

Anxiety Attack

Filed By Fannie Fierce | November 09, 2007 10:34 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: advice column, mental health, relationships

Dear Fannie,

I've got a girlfriend. All the other girls I've dated have been long distance or some variation of not really girls (one closet MTF who didn't want to be seen as a girl just yet, and one FTM). She's understanding, supportive, cuddly, she listens well, etc.

She just got out of a relationship with this guy who was utterly dependent on her. Both of our previous relationships have come up briefly and as far as I can tell, she's still feeling a bit 'used up' from taking care of someone else so much. The thing that bothers me is that sometimes I'm a complete and total moron. I get stressed out or depressed to the point where I'm worthless. Treatment helps it happen less often, but I've yet to reach the point where it completely stops happening. She's made it clear that if she didn't want to stick around, she would be long gone. I don't want her to ever have to see it, but if we're going to stick it out through the long run, she'll probably have to. I don't want to her freak out. I'd only be a worthless pile for up to a week, but it's still not something I can say she'd put up with.

So here's my question: How do I let her know that despite my best efforts it still may happen, without making it seem like I'm a waste of her time? I want her to evaluate whether or not being with me is something she wants to do.

--don't wanna lose someone who loves the Weird that is me

(Note: the above question has been edited down… believe it or not. The full unabridged question is below.)

DWLSWLTWTIM,

Here’s a word of advice. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. I say that in an honest to god, loving and compassionate way. But you have a tendency to talk way too much. Case in point: your acronym has ten words in it.

What you’re really asking is "How do I tell my girlfriend that there are certain times in my life where I need to be alone, and not so horribly offend her that she’ll leave me?" Well… the answer is… to just tell her.

So, your girlfriend just got out of a relationship with a parasite of a boyfriend who drained the life out of her. And you’re afraid that any resemblance that you may have to that behavior will send your girlfriend into an uncontrollable relapse and flee from your arms forever. Give your girlfriend a little more credit here. It’s pretty clear that she’s a big girl and can handle herself. Treat her like an adult and don’t sugar-coat or cushion your revelation. I’m reminded of the advice I gave to FIST, the more anxiety you treat a confession, the more reason your partner will have to be anxious. So take a chill pill - or four - and just be honest.

There’s no shame in needing alone time. In fact, I would recommend it for any couple. If you need a week to deal with your problems, then take a week. She’ll probably be happy that you did. If you’re girlfriend is half as awesome as you say she is, than I’m sure she can survive an entire week without you. If you don’t think that your relationship can survive a week of downtime… you’ve got more problems than your week-long anxiety attacks.

I would chastise you for the mini-bashing of the “not really girls” in your opening paragraph. But I’m afraid that calling you a transmisogynist might send you into a fit of “uselessness.”

I hope you and your girlfriend work out, DWLSWLTWTIM. And as my good friend Mika says, “Relax, Take it easy.”

++
fiercely,
fannie

send your questions to askfannie@belowthebelt.org


The unabridged question is as follows:

I've got a girlfriend. This is amazing and wonderful on so many levels. All the other girls i've dated have been long distance or some variation of not really girls (one closet mtf who didn't want to be seen as a girl just yet, and one ftm). She's got all the important things down. She's understanding, supportive, cuddly, she listens well, and she's capable of having an intellegent conversation for hours, or a completely stupid conversation until we both fall out laughing.

She just got out of a relationship with this guy who was utterly dependent on her. Ok, not just, but it was her last relationship, and the end of it happened within a year. Both of our previous relationships have come up briefly, which isn't a bad thing at all, and as far as i can tell, she's still feeling a bit 'used up' from taking care of someone else so much. The thing that bothers me is that sometimes, i'm a complete and total moron. I get stressed out or depressed to the point where i'm worthless. Treatment helps it happen less often, but i've yet to reach the point where it completely stops happening. She's been around when i've been feeling stressed out or depressed, and she is absolutely amazing about it. She's made it clear that if she didn't want to stick around, she would be long gone, and that she's supporting me and loving me because she wants to, not because she somehow feels she has to.

She hasn't yet seen me be useless. Utterly and totally nonfunctional. I don't want her to ever have to see it, but if we're going to stick it out through the long run, she'll probably have to see it at least once. I don't want it to happen and have her freak out. I'd rather let her know it's a possibility beforehand, and have her decide if it's worth it beforehand. Granted, her ex was completely dependent on her for about the entirety of their relationship, and i'd only be a worthless pile for up to a week, but it's still not something i can say she'd put up with. So here's my question: How do i let her know that while i'm doing everything i can to keep it from happening, it's still something that may happen, without making it seem like i'm telling her i'm a waste of her time? I want her to evaluate whether or not being with me is something she wants to do, not feel like i'm saying it because i feel bad about myself that day?

-don't wanna lose someone who loves the Weird that is me


Recent Entries Filed under Living:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.