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General A question for anyone having to live with CPTSD

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Heisenberg

Learning
My beautiful ex-woman has CPTSD. I tried, and tried and I tried some more. I loved her, I was practical, etc.. No doubt you've heard this all before! Eventually I no longer had the emotional strength to deal with the constant verbal attacks and destructive way she lived her life but there is something that I need to know that will help me on my own journey to health after the damage the relationship caused and I genuinely hope someone will be able to help me understand.

Her home situation was not ideal. Her 90 year old mother, who was responsible for a lot of her childhood abuse, lives with her. Her eldest son is a 34 year old stay-at-home who is never going to get his shit together. There is also a younger son who is ASD, has drug and alcohol dependency issues and is always in trouble. In addition there is also the friend of the first son who also shows no sign of going. I moved into the home I rented for me and my partner but she discovered she doesn't like change so she left and went back to the house full.

FINALLY here is my question!

Given that everyone in her house has her in a permanent state of stress for one reason or another; Why does she attack me???

Her eldest won't look after his dog - she attacks me!

Her youngest is in trouble for drugs again - she attacks me!

She NEVER has a go at the others. It's always me, and she has gone way too far in her actions resulting in police being called when I have done nothing, my things being bagged up and me told to leave because her son stressed her etc..

I desperately need to know why. Why me? Why not the others?

I'm in therapy myself now after the 'trauma' (According to the therapist!) of the relationship, and understanding why would really help.

Thank you 🥺
 
Mod Note

Aloha @Heisenberg!

I’ve moved your thread from the Sufferer side of the Forum to the Supporter side… as there are different rules of engagement in the two different areas… even if Sufferers are being directly queried, over here we must still abide by Supporter House Rules >>> Announcement - Sufferers: You MUST read this thread, prior to posting

We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread!
 
Do you know for certain that she doesn't go after the others as well?
I lived in the house with her and the others and I never saw her do it to anyone else. I also asked them if she ever did attack them and they confirmed she had not.

The way she loses it was really always scary to see. Her voice changes to a much lower pitch and she speaks in a hiss like way in much the same way as children might play at being a witch. She hunches over like an old woman and points to show her anger. She also frequently tells me that she hears my voice even if I haven't said anything or am not even in the house and her anger has come from what this voice has said.
 
Since I told her that I had to end things because of her anger towards me she has sent so many abusive messages including threats to call the police again! I should add that I was already arrested and put in police cells for seven hours because she told them I assaulted her twice. The odd thing is she swears she said nothing but the police are actually investigating this as if it really happened and have not dropped it! I mean, seriously, I would never hurt her and have never hurt her yet they may actually put me on trial. The nasty messages she most recently sent basically said she wouldn't help me in court at all now. The only thing I'm guilty of is being naive regarding how destructive she is and I'm quite possibly going to be dragged through court!
 
She NEVER has a go at the others.

Then there is very definitely choice involved in whom she is targeting.

Sometimes that choice is malicious

- Many people coming out of abuse have a core belief that they only way they can be “safe” inside of a romantic relationship, is to take on the most powerful role they know / have had modeled to them, IE hurt others before they can hurt you… OFTEN, but not always, coupled with a core belief that they are the victim, and could never be an abuser… no matter how many people they’ve abused, nor how badly.
- Many people with PTSD, are also assholes.
- Some people with PTSD are straight up abusers… and like most abusers, have their preferential victim pools.

Sometimes that choice isn’t malicious, but math, alongs the lines of “One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic”

- By prioritizing the important people in their life (which would mean you are not important), or people they are morally opposed to hurting (which would mean they’re not morally opposed to hurting you), as they create groups of people to keep their shit together around, to spend energy keeping themselves in control around …and everyone else can suck it.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with PTSD, or their trauma history, and is just who they are.

If there was NOT choice involved (either malicious or collateral damage), then they’d also be popping off / losing control in a variety of settings, with a variety of people… not targeting one person, or specific people.


I'm in therapy myself now after the 'trauma' (According to the therapist!) of the relationship
People with PTSD often treat others badly, which is wrong, and needs to stop.

Treating others badly is not limited to, but also includes straight up abuse & domestic violence.

It’s worth mentioning: Not everyone who has been abused, or has become a victim of DV, will go on to develop PTSD… there are dozens of disorders, conditions, and problems that result from trauma… but PTSD is one of those possibilities. If you, or anyone else, develops PTSD from abuse/violence at the hands of someone with PTSD? That is NOT “secondary PTSD”.

Secondary PTSD is when partners/spouses/family develop the same symptoms of their sufferer without trauma. Like startling at loud noises, avoiding crowds, etc. PTSD, in and of itself, doesn’t care what diagnosis your abuser may or may not have. Whether it’s an earthquake, a car accident, easily understandable &/or immediately forgiven assault (like a toddler who stabs you in the neck because you didn’t know they had a knife and they don’t see the difference between a blade and the stuffed giraffe they regularly whack you with), or an asshole who delights in your pain &/or the power they have over you.

Whilst not all trauma causes PTSD, what does cause PTSD Is trauma.


Since I told her that I had to end things because of her anger towards me she has sent so many abusive messages including threats to call the police again! I should add that I was already arrested and put in police cells for seven hours because she told them I assaulted her twice. The odd thing is she swears she said nothing but the police are actually investigating this as if it really happened and have not dropped it! I mean, seriously, I would never hurt her and have never hurt her yet they may actually put me on trial. The nasty messages she most recently sent basically said she wouldn't help me in court at all now. The only thing I'm guilty of is being naive regarding how destructive she is and I'm quite possibly going to be dragged through court!
Make sure you give a complete transcript of those messages to your attorney.

If you do not have an attorney

1. Get one. ASAP.

2. If you cannot afford an attorney, at least shell out a couple hundred dollars for a consultation with a reeeeeally good one to find out

- if you should “just” hang onto the record of those messages for your public defender, or if you should present them to the police immediately, before they complete their investigation without all the facts.
- If you should file for a restraining order / order of protection against her, or if her continuing to incriminate herself in writing is in your best interest

They maaaaaay also want you to counter sue &/or press charges &/or testify against her for false allegations, defamation, etc. (It depends on the region if your claims would only be taken seriously if you’ve taken legal steps; IE ‘Why should we believe you that she’s done these things if you haven’t even bothered to file?’; or the opposite, and they’d be dismissed for looking like spite. Toooootally depends on the regions own judicial biases, and only an attorney will know. IF SO? / Whether they ask you to take an offical route -or- as you to document-document-document & keep quiet until your court date? AGREE. Courts of law are not based on common sense, or masters degree in law followed by bar exams so tough many with the degree don’t even pass it.
 
Then there is very definitely choice involved in whom she is targeting.

Sometimes that choice is malicious

- Many people coming out of abuse have a core belief that they only way they can be “safe” inside of a romantic relationship, is to take on the most powerful role they know / have had modeled to them, IE hurt others before they can hurt you… OFTEN, but not always, coupled with a core belief that they are the victim, and could never be an abuser… no matter how many people they’ve abused, nor how badly.
- Many people with PTSD, are also assholes.
- Some people with PTSD are straight up abusers… and like most abusers, have their preferential victim pools.

Sometimes that choice isn’t malicious, but math, alongs the lines of “One death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic”

- By prioritizing the important people in their life (which would mean you are not important), or people they are morally opposed to hurting (which would mean they’re not morally opposed to hurting you), as they create groups of people to keep their shit together around, to spend energy keeping themselves in control around …and everyone else can suck it.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with PTSD, or their trauma history, and is just who they are.

If there was NOT choice involved (either malicious or collateral damage), then they’d also be popping off / losing control in a variety of settings, with a variety of people… not targeting one person, or specific people.



People with PTSD often treat others badly, which is wrong, and needs to stop.

Treating others badly is not limited to, but also includes straight up abuse & domestic violence.

It’s worth mentioning: Not everyone who has been abused, or has become a victim of DV, will go on to develop PTSD… there are dozens of disorders, conditions, and problems that result from trauma… but PTSD is one of those possibilities. If you, or anyone else, develops PTSD from abuse/violence at the hands of someone with PTSD? That is NOT “secondary PTSD”.

Secondary PTSD is when partners/spouses/family develop the same symptoms of their sufferer without trauma. Like startling at loud noises, avoiding crowds, etc. PTSD, in and of itself, doesn’t care what diagnosis your abuser may or may not have. Whether it’s an earthquake, a car accident, easily understandable &/or immediately forgiven assault (like a toddler who stabs you in the neck because you didn’t know they had a knife and they don’t see the difference between a blade and the stuffed giraffe they regularly whack you with), or an asshole who delights in your pain &/or the power they have over you.

Whilst not all trauma causes PTSD, what does cause PTSD Is trauma.



Make sure you give a complete transcript of those messages to your attorney.

If you do not have an attorney

1. Get one. ASAP.

2. If you cannot afford an attorney, at least shell out a couple hundred dollars for a consultation with a reeeeeally good one to find out

- if you should “just” hang onto the record of those messages for your public defender, or if you should present them to the police immediately, before they complete their investigation without all the facts.
- If you should file for a restraining order / order of protection against her, or if her continuing to incriminate herself in writing is in your best interest

They maaaaaay also want you to counter sue &/or press charges &/or testify against her for false allegations, defamation, etc. (It depends on the region if your claims would only be taken seriously if you’ve taken legal steps; IE ‘Why should we believe you that she’s done these things if you haven’t even bothered to file?’; or the opposite, and they’d be dismissed for looking like spite. Toooootally depends on the regions own judicial biases, and only an attorney will know. IF SO? / Whether they ask you to take an offical route -or- as you to document-document-document & keep quiet until your court date? AGREE. Courts of law are not based on common sense, or masters degree in law followed by bar exams so tough many with the degree don’t even pass it.
Thanks for that Friday. I'm over in the UK but courts and the police are pretty much the same the world over. The first lawyer I had was worse than useless so I now have one who is a self confessed police hater and prosecution hater and loves nothing better than to rip them apart in court!

This whole episode has left me wondering why I even bother to be a nice, loving guy but that's who I am. I'll never understand why she chose to hate me like she did but I guess there's no diagnosis for just being a nasty person! It's made all the worse since I discovered I am a Heyoka Empath; that came out in counseling and really explains the level of hurt and the confusion between her saying she's frightened and me cutting right through her BS and experiencing her pure rage as though it were my own.

I'll never know why she turned on me but I would sure like to ask her one day...

How are you doing Friday?
 
I'll never know why she turned on me but I would sure like to ask her one day...
Things like this really worry me. This woman attacks you and seems like she has been a nightmare for you to deal with and she could seriously put you in jail or stick you with a record or even just keep you tied up in court and paying lawyer fees for years and she is constantly abusive in her communications with you. You are in serious legal trouble and had to get a lawyer and are being investigated by the police because of lies she made up about you. You don't need to ask her why she turned on you; you need to just get away from her and call it a day. She's mentally ill and abusive and a liar and it's clear that she views you as a 'safe target' to take her aggression out on. Perhaps she is just not a good person and cannot handle a romantic relationship at all.

You say you desperately need to know why she attacks you and not the others and you feel like you need to know to heal, but the answer is usually simple. I used to wonder "why me" as a child when I was being abused and the answer to that is simply that "I was around and available. I was the safest and easiest target."

Also, the dynamic between a parent and child will never be the same as the dynamic between two people in a romantic relationship, and it shouldn't be. It's not surprising that she reacts differently to you and treats you differently from her sons, whether they stress her out or not. I cannot have children because of the abuse that I sustained as a child, but my sister's only child has been like a son to me. No matter how stressed out I am or even if I'm feeling suicidal and incredibly keyed up, if my nephew calls me, I will plaster a smile on my face and pick myself up off the ground. And as much as I love my own partner and baby him, if it came down to a choice between him and my nephew, my partner would be out. No one loves everyone in their life in exactly the same way.

On top of that, if your ex has CPTSD from being sexually abused, how she views stress from a romantic/sexual relationship is going to be vastly different from how she views stress from other sources. I know that, for me, I often view men wanting to have sex with me as extremely dangerous and if I'm in a bad place emotionally and someone even tries to flirt with me or hit on me or compliment me, I view it as aggression and it disgusts me and it makes me feel very ready to fight.
 
Things like this really worry me. This woman attacks you and seems like she has been a nightmare for you to deal with and she could seriously put you in jail or stick you with a record or even just keep you tied up in court and paying lawyer fees for years and she is constantly abusive in her communications with you. You are in serious legal trouble and had to get a lawyer and are being investigated by the police because of lies she made up about you. You don't need to ask her why she turned on you; you need to just get away from her and call it a day. She's mentally ill and abusive and a liar and it's clear that she views you as a 'safe target' to take her aggression out on. Perhaps she is just not a good person and cannot handle a romantic relationship at all.

You say you desperately need to know why she attacks you and not the others and you feel like you need to know to heal, but the answer is usually simple. I used to wonder "why me" as a child when I was being abused and the answer to that is simply that "I was around and available. I was the safest and easiest target."

Also, the dynamic between a parent and child will never be the same as the dynamic between two people in a romantic relationship, and it shouldn't be. It's not surprising that she reacts differently to you and treats you differently from her sons, whether they stress her out or not. I cannot have children because of the abuse that I sustained as a child, but my sister's only child has been like a son to me. No matter how stressed out I am or even if I'm feeling suicidal and incredibly keyed up, if my nephew calls me, I will plaster a smile on my face and pick myself up off the ground. And as much as I love my own partner and baby him, if it came down to a choice between him and my nephew, my partner would be out. No one loves everyone in their life in exactly the same way.

On top of that, if your ex has CPTSD from being sexually abused, how she views stress from a romantic/sexual relationship is going to be vastly different from how she views stress from other sources. I know that, for me, I often view men wanting to have sex with me as extremely dangerous and if I'm in a bad place emotionally and someone even tries to flirt with me or hit on me or compliment me, I view it as aggression and it disgusts me and it makes me feel very ready to fight.
I guess with unexpected flirting the person doing the flirting has to accept that it won't necessarily be the right time for the person he or she is attempting to flirt with. How do you feel about being flirted with when you are expecting it, enjoying the attention from someone you are comfortable with?
 
I guess with unexpected flirting the person doing the flirting has to accept that it won't necessarily be the right time for the person he or she is attempting to flirt with. How do you feel about being flirted with when you are expecting it, enjoying the attention from someone you are comfortable with?

I have to be the one to initiate it or it infuriates me, honestly, and I've felt that way my entire life. I like to choose and pursue and then I like when the person flirts back, after I've already decided on them and made my intentions and hopes obvious. I cannot stand feeling stalked, pursued, or manipulated, particularly by a man, and that's how I feel when someone else intitiates and then doesn't back off when I am clearly not interested. As soon as my current partner had his breakdown and pushed me away, all of his friends started trying to hit on me, even the married ones, and I felt like I had been thrown to the wolves and I'm still sick over it. I see men as overwhelmingly predatory and opportunistic and they rarely prove me wrong (and I'd say that a majority of women who were sexually assaulted and abused feel this way). Men act like I should be flattered by their attention when I just want to be left alone and then they keep bothering me after I've made it clear that I'm not interested, trying to get me into bed with them when they know that I am vulnerable. It's like they think that I am stupid and they need to pounce on me while I'm already heartbroken and 'weak' and there's a race to see who gets to me first. There's one guy that isn't even that close to my partner who, after I rejected him, told me something like, "Your partner told me that you're his crazy ex-girlfriend and he wishes you'd just leave him alone and you're humiliating yourself, so why would you be trying to hold on to someone who just disrespects you and doesn't want you at all?" That is a cruel thing to say and I knew my partner wouldn't have said such a thing to this man in particular because they aren't even close (and, when I asked my partner directly, he denied it and was furious and wanted to know who said it). I ghosted all of these guys on Facebook, literally just stopped signing in, and now one of them downloaded another app to contact me on and sent me a picture of himself twice and keeps saying, "When am I going to get a picture back?" and asking me to video chat, and I still haven't been responding, but he won't go away. And I'm in the horrific position of not wanting to burn all of these bridges in case my partner gets better and wants to stay together, but then again, he wouldn't want to stay friends with any of these people. I shouldn't be having to deal with any of this, though, and it's amazing how insensitive these men are being, but sadly not surprising. A lot of times a man is like I'm flirting with you, I'm pursuing you, you should be grateful for my attention, and it's terrifying and it's harassment and there's nothing enjoyable about it at all. I feel forced to respond and I know I'm not going to respond favorably and then they are going to freak out. I flatout told a man that I'm not interested in him or dating at all recently and that I don't consider myself single and he called me a "stupid bitch" and was like, "You'll learn your lessons the hard way, stupid Taurus. I won't fight for someone who won't fight for me." That was someone that was a 'professional' acquaintance at best. Men don't like to take no for an answer and they act like they're entitled to you as a person and they don't handle rejection well. I hate all of it. If my partner and I never get back together, I have no plans to date again. I used to tell my partner that being in love was terrifying because it's like you rip your heart out of your own chest and put it in someone else's palm and beg them not to smash it or drop it and just try to trust them. It was an uncomfortable feeling for me, being that vulnerable, and I won't repeat the gesture anytime soon. If my partner does want to stay together, I now need lots of therapy and we would need couple's counseling to work through how much his sudden abandonment has destroyed me as a person.

Anyhow. I liked it when my partner and I were good together for the 8 years before his breakdown. I liked him complimenting me and flirting and touching me. I did choose him, though, and felt an odd love at first sight feeling with him. When I trusted him, I felt positively about him flirting with me. I would not like it if any man just started flirting with me, though, and I'd feel suffocated and scared. One of the nicest things about being with my partner was actually that when we were together, no other men dared to approach me or try to flirt with me or even look at me. It contributed a lot to my feelings of being safe when I was physically with my partner. That is sad in and of itself. Like, as a female, I feel the need to have a man to protect me from other men.

Question... when you went to hug your girlfriend and she interpreted it as assault, was she already having a panic attack or did she try to push you away or did you refuse to let her go? Or was she simply triggered by you approaching her at all?

I've definitely had moments where I would do anything to get away from a man and out of his arms. I wouldn't call the cops on him and lie about him assaulting me, but if someone tried to hold on to me and not let me go, I would start fighting and I wouldn't be able to tolerate them. Feeling trapped by a man is definitely a huge trigger to me.

I hope that something here answered your question or made sense. From the perspective of someone who has CPTSD from being sexually abused.
 
the popular consensus among my pros is that "transference" is what causes me to attack other people instead of the people i'm REALLY mad at. innocent bystanders are far less likely to hit back than the blatantly guilty. innocent bystanders are more likely to be helpful, as well. the attacks are a cry for help. works in progress on finding more civilized ways to ask for help.

for what it's worth
i have 10 siblings. of the ones who stayed with the family circus, i often wonder if they stayed because of the addiction factor. in general, humans don't gravitate toward what is good for us. we gravitate toward what is familiar.
 
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