First, I’m so glad I stumbled upon this site and hope wholeheartedly that this outcry (my only option at this point) will not go unheard or unanswered. I warn you now that this is a long one. Right to the thick of the matter:
I’m a self-diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic (I have never had enough money or been brave enough to actually see someone to have this diagnosis confirmed or denied). I could include how I came upon that self-diagnosis, but that story doesn’t really suit the issues at hand which all stem from sex — rather, the lack thereof. My girlfriend/ex-fiance of almost four years has a past filled with physical abuse both sexual and otherwise, has been declared SMI by the state, and is currently enrolled in a drug/therapy regimen through state services. Because of her history of abuse, she doesn’t like sex. I love her very much, but I communicate love and closeness through touch more than anything, so sex is a huge part of a relationship to me. Recently, after many tumultuous weeks of an on-again/off-again pattern with our relationship, we are together again. Because of the recent emotional roller-coaster ride, I feel very insecure about the renewed status of our relationship and feel that sex would seal the deal and ease my mind. She refuses to have sex, presumably because of her fragile emotional state, and I fully understand and support her in that decision and made that fact clear to her. Despite the rational part of me understanding and accepting said decision, my paranoia kicks in every single night when she calls to say goodnight to me. I listen intently to the silence coming from her end of the call searching for any indication of someone else being in the room with her because, the way I figure it, if it’s not with me after four years, it’s probably with someone else. I just don’t know what to do, or how to deal with these emotions, or even what’s happening with me. I would greatly appreciate any insights you have into the matter and any advice you can offer. Thank you in advance.
There are two important elements to your question. First, there are free clinics in your area and I would highly recommend getting on the list and getting a more accurate diagnosis rather than rely on your own evaluation.
The reason this is important is that if you are operating under the assumption that paranoia is part of your personality then it changes how you approach this situation. We don’t want to take away the anxiety in one area only to have it get focused on another. What you really want to do is find out if this is a generalized response — or is it specific to the relationship.
I’ll answer this is if it’s specific to the relationship because it sounds like it is.
It seems fair to say that with the struggles each of you bring into the relationship intimacy may be a challenge for both of you. I would talk about your insecurities with each other. The discussion should be a move toward building a stronger foundation with each other.
Wishing you patience and peace,