It sounds like he is still processing his memories. His triggers may be at the forefront right now. If that is the case, it is a very difficult time for significant others.I'm trying to leave it a little open so that others dealing with it can use the thread too, so it's not just about my scenario.
But since you asked - the trifecta of child abuse for him (INFJ) - for me, just verbal/emotional. No more details about it than that - the one person who knows him on the site already knows that but yeah...It feels awkward talking about it at all. He has gone back into therapy, but very recently. I met him about a month after I had run away from home - he told me the way I was coping with it gave him a new perspective and spurred him to get help. And sometimes he tries to make it as if he wants to be healthy for my sake, but I try to discourage too much emphasis on that. He said he might go back on anti-anxiety meds too.
We talk a lot since we're both dealing - him more. I have to tell him it's not whining and that I respect his willingness to be open fairly frequently. He also gives me articles his therapist gave him, & books that were recommended, emphasising this is for me to deal with my parents since he is paranoid about 'burdening' me with his problems. But he does things like try to talk himself out of this relationship by, for example, attempting to convince himself he is gay - which he knows and admits isn't true - and then starts crying about how this would hurt me. Imagining crazy scenarios. I don't really want to play a role in the ways he tortures himself, but it can happen. I feel like just by existing I am pressuring him and I don't know how much of it I can actually affect and help with, and how much is just his fear of intimacy & not my place to manipulate.
I know it is his fight, but I want to be as helpful as I can, especially since he is so used to helping others and not himself. Just to consistently do something right & be there for him so he knows he can trust and has a right to ask me for support and help when he needs it. I think things are ok so far - he sent me a cracked-out e-mail about the love and support I give his inner child when he had a high fever and all - but I want to get an idea of red flags, potential issues, success stories and experiences others have had to see what I may be missing, depending on what people are comfortable sharing. And this is the first serious relationship I have been in - second total - so I have fewer reference points for what is normal and healthy than some, especially given my sorry excuse for a family.
There is a lot, so I think it would be more effective not to respond individually.
First - I didn't call the e-mail cracked out, though he did - had a high fever from mononucleosis and it was interesting...it seemed politic to treat that one seriously and just address the sentiment. There are times when he will joke/dismiss feelings if he feels they are too intense/awkward and I may sometimes play along (we laughingly call each other smarmy bastards, for instance), but not with that one and ones that seem to really need validation.
Taking care of myself...less a priority these days, now I got out. I know they say not to compare experiences, but I can tell my own were less severe and had less impact than many. Not to say that they could be ignored entirely, but that I can manage to deal on my own for a while. I wouldn't mind some therapy to clean house as it were, but I think it will be ok to wait until I have more savings. But yeah, I do get that if I don't do it myself, he will try to do it for me even if I tell him not to - although that hadn't occured to me so much re his therapy, so thank you for that idea. There are definite codependency issues.
I would be more worried if he were less responsible, but as long as I have known him he has been making a concerted effort to get better. Certainly he will trash his previous responses and judge himself on that, but the fact of the matter is he got past that. He might end up back there for a bit as he deals with things, but I'm really not that worried - it'll be part of a process going in the right direction. He has yet to blame anything on me, which is pretty astounding, particularly with NF-NT thrown in there.
It's hard to explicitly state boundaries, but I do defend them by nature and haven't as many issues as some in walking away. Although I really don't want to. You are right- I should probably see if I cannot make them more concrete, though.
Definitely open communication has always been a huge thing with us. We just don't shut up. It helps.
As much as I try to be accepting of him & his feelings, I can't help call him on some things, though. More of the 'that's a double standard that harms yourself' variety. 'You do realise you deserve better, right?' Or sometimes it'll be 'yeah, that's a perfectly normal self-defeating thought.' I cannot say nothing, so I try to be strategic & incline it more positive. It's hard not to say things sometimes. Not judgement, but understanding is equal to analysis for my brain.
Despite everything, it still feels like a healthy relationship. The troubles are all out in the open and in the process of being handled. I don't think being INTJ precludes the ability to give emotional support either - it's not so hard when there is a valid purpose. He has no complaints, anyway. Only person in the world who ever called me warm&caring and said I had a strong human connection...& we have an e-mail thread with enough hearts to make a Care Bear vomit. He has already told me he feels safer than he ever did, feels like he came home, feels like this is what family should be, so many compliments that I am not used to that I paranoically wonder sometimes if he's just being clingy. But I think it means it is on the right track.
It'sj ust, particularly being NT, one gets reminded all the time of one's capacity to cause pain. & then I get this hyperawareness of all the ways I could theoretically screw him over massively without even trying or even knowing. I need to anchor what I am doing somehow outside us two, esp since I know there are things he would let me get away with that shouldn't happen.