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PTSD & Relationships

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Nonie, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. Nonie

    Nonie Member

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    Hi all, i'm new here to the forum. I guess i would be considered a carer since i am very worried about someone whom i think may have ptsd. Obviously the right thing to do would be for him to get some help and recieve a diagnosis, but he hasn't yet, and believes he can overcome it all by himself. He (bf) ended the relationship with me, which left me quite a wreck, and not sure what to do. I turn to y'all because i see how much you help one another, and have a great support system here. I have read many of your threads and have gained an incredible insight already, and i thank you all for that!

    My question to y'all as sufferers is about relationships with a husband/wife or a gf/bf.

    What are your boundaries? Is there a difference between the way a husband/wife is treated, compared to the way a gf/bf is treated? Or are the same rules applied to all?

    When would you be certain it is okay to open up to your partner? Is there something you are looking for in your partner that confirms that it's okay to open up and trust them?

    Also, i do understand that the sufferer does push away their loved one in order to protect them and not hurt them. But at the same time, pushing the carer away is also hurting them. My question here is, how does it make the sufferer feel to know that in either option, the carer is going to feel hurt? Are emotions too numb to understand this, or are you fully aware of this? I'm thinking it must be a huge conflict you have on your minds, but i just wanted a little clarity regarding this.

    Lastly, no matter how numb you may feel, or how far you may push your loved one away, are you still hoping that they will still come back to you regardless and show that they care? Or is enough is enough?

    If you have anything else you would like to add in regards to relationships, by all means, please do share. I'm trying to get a better understanding on how you feel on the other side of the fence, since it could help me understand my ex better, and stop me from making any wrong moves.

    Thank you, and i look forward to getting to know you all better.
     
    Rain likes this.
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  3. ovation228

    ovation228 Member

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    My wife moved out as a result of my PTSD. I'm not certain that it was from being numb that caused me to be blind to the pain she was feeling. I think it's more like that signal was being drowned out by the noise of my own pain. I can see where I've pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled. No wonder she had to get out. I wish more than anything that we could remain close while I learn to cope, but I guess it is passed that.
     
    Rain likes this.
  4. ruddy

    ruddy Active Member

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    Nonie,

    Others may have a different viewpoint, but I don't think whether you are bf/gf or h/w makes any difference. The fact that you are on this forum and encouraged him to get help says it all. You care and you are hurting.

    I have struggled with the decision about when/if it is the right time to tell a partner. I was married for 10 years and lived with another man for 9 years, and never told either of them about my trauma. I loved both of them dearly and I did trust them, but . . . I remained silent for 34 years. Shame, guilt, and denial played a big part.

    It is not your fault that he is unable to confide/trust. I have pushed away some of the people who cared about me most. Now that I have started to heal, I am trying to repair those relationships. Some are lost forever, and I accept responsibility for that.

    Take care of yourself.
    Red
     
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  5. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    While this post is more about m/f relationships, it brings up a subject that can apply to anyone.

    I have no clue how to maintain a relationship/friendship. I will allow no one to get close to me at all. I have forced all the people who have dare to get close to me to quit trying to be my friend. I do n ot know how to be a friend and everone scares me.

    I have had friends in the past but only until I felt like they wanted something from me and then I cut all communication and never spoke or saw them again. I would not answer the phone or return messages left on my machine. They would eventually give up on me--so angry and some with hurt feelings--but my sense is OK good I don't have to deal with him/her any more.

    In a nut shell I can't handle nor do I want anyone in or near my life. To me this is so sad but try as I might I just can't let people in.

    Even try to get close to me and I will cut you off. Precise and to the point GET AWAY FROM ME!!! Anyone with imput on this one is well! HERC
     
    Abigail and Rain like this.
  6. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I have had PTSD for most of my life, but undiagnosed until around 13 yrs ago. During that time I lived with a man that had PTSD but refused treatment. So I have been on both sides of the coin.

    It's hard.......It's heartbreaking for the carer, and also very frustrating. They are pushed and pulled till you feel like a tennis ball going over the net. It's not a very nice place to be.

    But... On the flip side...You could be the best carer in the world( I give them all tons of credit) BUT.......Live in our shoes for one week. Feel what we feel, live what we live, see what we see, hear what we hear, go through just one week and you would know the pain, the torture, the hurt, the anger, the frustration, and every other thing that we feel. Some days getting out of bed isn't even an option because it's just to hard to make the decision, or to take the energy.

    We are accountable, or should be for our actions. Having PTSD isn't a ticket to be mean and not be accountable. It's just a question of getting to that point. Some of us don't, we can't for whatever reason. Some of us make it.

    It isn't easy being a carer....But GD it's even harder having PTSD.....

    Herc,

    I will stick my neck out here and the other wolves can pick it clean...... My take on this is that .....You push people away because you are punishing yourself.(for whatever reason) You feel that you are not worthy to have friends or a fulfilling life. Just my take on it.
     
  7. ovation228

    ovation228 Member

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    I feel like this is what I do. I don't feel "worthy" of my wife, family, friends, hobbies, or career so I push them away.
     
  8. ruddy

    ruddy Active Member

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    It's a viscious cycle isn't it? The isolation we create is self destructive; it makes us feel worse (less loved and worthy of being loved).

    Trust is the other component. Some of us have ptsd (in part) because we were betrayed by our "carers" early in life. I am constantly reminding myself that everyone has not and probably will not betray me, and if they do I'll survive and be okay.
     
  9. baileysemt

    baileysemt Active Member

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    Ditto, same here. In my darkest times I didn't feel worthy of even being looked at. If I was in the grocery store and someone looked at me in an aisle, I felt like I was taking things from them that weren't mine to take. I felt like I was an unwelcome and unwanted distraction that person, I was taking up space that was theirs, and I had no right to even stand in the space I was taking up. I felt like I was a disruption to the store, and wasn't worthy of even being there.

    I didn't email or call my friends because I did not want to disturb or bother them. Any call or note was time I was taking from them and therefore WAS bothering them. (in my head anyway)

    The worse the PTSD got, the more saturating and suffocating these feelings and related behaviors became. I felt I really, truly, genuinely, totally did not deserve to be looked at, talked to, and certainly not helped/assisted with anything!! I was mortified to need help. And I did not ask for help, with ANYTHING!! (Bounced over 60 checks and got my checking account closed because I had jello-brain and couldn't figure out how to fix it, and I was also mortified of needing help and I could not ask for it. But how do you explain that to a bank?! LOL -- you can't.) OMG... asking for help with even the littlest thing was "putting people out" to an unbelievable degree. I could not do it.

    It helps a lot to read everyone's feedback and realize that these feelings aren't "just me." I don't feel like a fluke of nature anymore. :) Thank you for that!!

    Bailey
     
  10. vera

    vera Active Member

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    ditto here.

    i even got to a point where a crisis would be over and i would go out for a drink with a friend and in the middle of the conversation i would slip some info on how i had ended up shaking curled up in the local asylum door begging for meds, and they would say "and why the **** didn't you stop by?? i live two blocks from it! or you could have called to let me know you where not ok!" and i would say... "i... don't- know..." and in my head tell myself "yeah, right. like i was gonna interrupt your normal productive life to make you take care of a shaky drooly runnynosed freak. in your dreams"

    it's like.. when i'm ok i _know_ i can call them. but part of not being ok is feeling that i shouldn't. so i never call.

    also, regarding romantic relationships... i have not long ago began to understand some of my vicious structures. if i fall inlove with somebody who's ****ed up, it's very easy for me to let them in. but if i fall for someone who's healthy and leading a productive life, i start thinking that it would be wrong to get my problems in the way. like it would be so mean to them to let them fall for me. i feel i would be ruining their lives with my problems, and they're better off without me. so i run.

    what i mean is... at least in my case (at the present, for i am feeling so much better now - that's why i even dare to post here in the first place) it's not about not *wanting* help anymore. it's about feeling detatched from people to a point where you don't understand why on earth should you give someone a carer position in your life. because... (selftalk:) "who would like you enough to want to pick you up from the floor, give you a bath and take you to bed? it's not a ****ing movie, grow up. here. take a drag. calm the **** down."
     
  11. ovation228

    ovation228 Member

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    Wow... It's like you guys are in my brain and heart. I have had so many of the very same thoughts and feelings and continue to do so to a certain extent.

    It seems like the only people I don't feel this way with are the people I pay... Therapists and doctors.
     
  12. morgan

    morgan Well-Known Member

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    people

    I went through a program for PTSD and I made some friends there but, I'm still having trouble connecting with new people. I know in my head that not all people are bad but, I fear the process of finding out if they're bad or not. So I'm stuck and I'm having trouble getting unstuck. I am in therapy though and that helps some. It's just that first step out the door that I get hung up on. So this is where I've decided to start. In this forum. I went to the chat room and no one was there. So here I am and I'm all out of words. Thanx for reading.
     
  13. Nonie

    Nonie Member

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    Ovation: I'm sorry to hear that your wife moved out. The sentence i bolded above from your post speaks loud and clear...i can see how that could happen...as your thoughts as a sufferer are so muddled, confusing, and all over the place, because you don't know how to feel. It's good that you recognized the push and pull aspect of the relationship. My ex sees that too, and he has told me he knows that i'm hurting as a result of all of this, but he just doesn't know what to say or do.

    My heart feels for you, mate. See, it's people like you who are sufferers and sharing your own thoughts and feelings with people like me (carers) who help us to better understand how you feel when it comes to relationships.

    I will say that there have been times where i felt like blocking my ex bf off totally so that he could never contact me again...but there's a part of me that just keeps digging the heels in, and telling me to stick around. I hope things between me and him do work out, when he comes home.

    Did you hear anything from your wife at all? How are you doing these days?
     
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