Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

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My Boyfriend With Ptsd Just Left Me

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Loladolo, Sep 1, 2011.

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  1. Loladolo

    Loladolo New Member

    Hi, Im new to this forum and Im seeking help to understand a PTSD person

    My bf is a person who suffered a serious family situation in his childhood, then he had an abusive marriage (in which he was abused emotionally, physically and still is because of the kids). But he left this situation. Now he wants the kids for good, and he is in the process to make this official.

    We met about a year ago and there was instant sympathy which he expressed straight away. I didnt care much on that point. This year we started to know each other better, chatting occasionally, and we started to date.
    Straight from the start it was very intense. We both were a bit shocked because no one of us expected nothing serious would ever come out of this. He told me a lot about his life, but left out the childhood part. I couldnt understand why would someone spend so many years with an abusive wife if he is not dependent upon her. I missed the puzzles so the construct of a situation I had was incomplete. I have myself some insecurities and i have trusting issues, so when I met him I couldnt really know if I could trust him. I was on guard.

    I recently knew what really happened from the very beginning, in his childhood. He didnt told me that, but Im glad to know. Now everything he does and has ever said makes sense.
    Everything he told me from the very beginning was the truth.

    He opened a lot and straight away. He would tell me what he feels and does, and only sometimes he would by the way mention some of his paranoia which i didnt pay attention to at that point.
    He wonted me to meet his family, he introduced me to his kids and friends. We dated and he was and still is a most wonderfull and gentle person I know. Then one day we spent together, with the kids. When we got home we talked. He said it was so normal, like the most normal day in his entire life, and he's not used to normal. And he shut himself out. I didnt know he had PTSD at that time so i didnt really understand his fear of a normal situation. We talked that night, and not knowing how to deal with it I pushed it somehow telling him I will help you to solve the situation, you should do this ... and so on... It was so stupid. It was gentle but it was just too much. He said he is constantly feeling so guilty. I think he is drinking a lot and he would sometimes say to me Im so happy with you I have to drink to forget.

    After that day he just closed for me. He was avoiding me. He avoided physical contact, chatting, he just disappeared. He would call me to come over (with some friends) then he would ignore me for the whole night. Or we would be on a party together, he would ignore me for hours, then at the end he would hold me tight and kiss me.

    He openly said to me he is not ready for a relationship. He has so many things to solve in his life now. He has the fear of disappointing me, of him being disappointed, of closeness, of him being addicted, of me getting nuts and changing because im with him, generally of failure because he doesnt trust the fact any thing can last. He said everything around him falls apart. Then we made love and he told me he will come to my house, but never did.

    Is there any way I can help him. I love him as a person. I left him his space, but I suffer every time I see him because I see he cares for me and holds himself back cause he doesnt want to involve me in his messy life.
    I know Im not there to fix. But I would like him to know that Im there to support. He hurt me terribly when he shouts me out like that, I was in shock cause I didnt know all of his story. Now I understand, i left him his space but i really would like to share myself and my love with him. He thinks he has nothing to offer when in fact he is the first men ever that broke my fears of closeness, that made me feel I was worth loving. Now Im frustrated seeing I can do nothing for him.

    If letting him go is the only way to love him, I will do this
    It will just break my heart if I see this men breaking to peaces in front of me
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  3. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me

    Hi Loladolo,

    Welcome to the PTSD Forum. There is a lot of information on here you may find helpful, especially in the supporters section. The more you understand about this disorder, the better it will be for yourself and your BF.

    Wishing you the best.
  4. Loladolo

    Loladolo New Member

    Thank you,

    I feel so guilty because I didnt know about his traumas. He was talking to me and he told me his feeling but without a context it didnt seem so bad as it really is. What he was really telling me were his psychological wounds, which I didnt took so seriously. Now im ashamed. I didnt know why of this on-off behaviour so I just ignored him too.

    If I only knew all of it before, it would have help me to deal with it, but I dont know if the result would be different

    Now he's gone and I wonder will he ever come back?

    Should I contact him or this will make him push me farther?
  5. Navy Spouse

    Navy Spouse Active Member

    Loladolo, I think all of us who are in a relationship with someone with PTSD have said the same words. "I wish I knew before" You can't blame yourself though you had know way of knowing. Read all you can on this forum and check out the section that suggest books on the subject. Its all very confusing. He felt safe with you and "normal" with you and it sounds like it triggered his PTSD. Thats the hardest part to understand is the pushing away of the person they are the closest to. I'm new to all this too. (2 months) My husband is suffering after returning from Afganistan. We are now living apart after being married 17 years. It is heartbreaking. From what I've read and experienced the best thing to do is give them space. It's so hard! I talk to my husband everyday because we have two daughters. I try to let him call though. I don't very often call him. If I do its something important, not just to chit chat or I'll share something funny that the girls said or did.

    There are alot of girlfriends on here asking the same questions you are. I'm sure you'll hear from some. Just read and educate yourself as much as you can but don't let it take over your life. Sorry you have to be here.
  6. Zipperhead

    Zipperhead Well-Known Member

    Do we pull away? Yes, but it is not because we don't want what your giving. We pull away because we fear what will happen when you reject us. A preemptive strike. It's easier when we are in control. If we don't let you hold our heart strings, then you can't squeeze them. Then we twist our reality to make it look like we were protecting ourselves from the obvious distruction. Then we use the resulting crash to justify our feelings. See, it was not going to work after all.

    When he invites you out, he's reaching out. He wants it to work, but is afraid to fail. This is not the time to give him space. Be there, show him that you're there for him. The next day, he might need some room, but not then. We are not easy to reach. We find fault in ourselves, and others. We are afraid to share ourselves, and afraid of being vulnerable again. We're sorry. I'm sorry. I wish I could tell my wife that. Someday, I'll be ready to expose my weaknesses to her. For now, I too am running. Just try to make sure he knows where your at, incase he falls. He might just fall on you next time.
    jenkins123, Junebug and LoyalOne like this.
  7. Navy Spouse

    Navy Spouse Active Member

    Zipperhead, I hope you keep posting on this sight. I think it helps carers to hear from a sufferer. I'm interested it what you write because It may help me with my own spouse. Whether you realize or not you're moving in the right direction. When I first joined this forum and read some of your earlier post, I thought wow, this guy is tough and he thinks all of us wives are the enemy. LOL Anyways I can see you're really trying and someday you will be able share with your wife again. Keep sharing here for now!
    ClairBear226 and LoyalOne like this.
  8. Zipperhead

    Zipperhead Well-Known Member

    As I write, my grip on reality changes. I guess I stopped thinking at some point, and just started reacting. When I write, it forces me to think. My perceptions have change, ALLOT. It's not that I had control of my emotions before. I didn't have emotions before. I was a robot, programmed to react and drowning the odd feeling at the bottom of a bottle if it dared invade my reality. I have found tears in my eyes allot lately. I have the shakes and my chest feels like someones sitting on it. And all because I have decided to deal with my demons. It's like my body saying "don't do it! You're not ready." But I know my wife is done. If I don't do it now, she won't be waiting at the other end.

    I am a coward, afraid of losing my kid, and allowing people to trample over my emotions for fear that if they don't, I'll lose it all. I'm too afraid to keep going without my family, so I'm letting the shrinks have their way in the vein hope that it might change something. I suppose I can be proud that this is NOT the easy way out. I'm going down swinging. But I lost the battle to maintain my dignity. I lost the battle to maintain my pride. I am in it for the ride now. Letting others steer me through the maze. An emotional rollercoaster from hell. If this rollercoaster crashes, I'm done.
  9. Navy Spouse

    Navy Spouse Active Member

    Zipperhead, You're not a coward because a coward would let everthing be taken away. You want your family and you're fighting for it. I wish you didn't feel that you've lost your pride and dignity. You shouldn't be ashamed of getting help. If that's what it takes to get yourself better for your family then let yourself be "guided through the maze." At the end of the long road when your family is together because of you receiving the help you needed you'll again have your pride and dignity. You'll be proud of yourself for getting the help instead of staying "tough" and letting things fall apart. You have your son, he's your pride.
    Junebug likes this.
  10. jenkins123

    jenkins123 Active Member

    Hear, hear to what Navy spouse said re your post Zipperhead. Such raw insight from sufferers like you is so helpful to supporters, and I do hope that one day you are able to tell your wife the "I'm sorry" that you want to. She probably knows it anyway....
  11. Andi

    Andi New Member

    Zipperhead thanks for taking these steps... it is a strong acknowledgement of hope that it is offering others... this is such a gift... and it is also an acknowledgement of the amazing strength that you mightn't feel you have.
  12. Andi

    Andi New Member

    Thanks for your post about pulling away Zipperhead... My husband is running... I feel comfort in knowing what I am to do.

    <Quote removed by Amethist>
  13. Andi

    Andi New Member

    I too am feeling the love from a distance Loladolo.

    He is so lost at the moment, though I have been told not to get pulled into this emotional roller coaster. This for me is so hard, I love him so much and he is the father to our children.

    <Quote removed by Amethist>
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