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General A question for anyone having to live with CPTSD

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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.
I think we have similar views on the exquisite vulnerability which is genuine love. It is almost a form of sacrifice. I do think it is the natural way for the woman to choose the man and if people examined their own relationship they might find it's true of them too.

What happened regarding the hug?
The landlady had not gotten back to her after the oven broke and stopped cooking properly. It had caused us to both have food poisoning a few days before. She started showing all the signs of an impending explosion so I hugged her and gently put my head against hers. She pulled away and started swearing and saying really nasty things; now all directed at me not the landlady. I let her go and asked her to stop her verbal attack as this is one of the boundaries. She carried on with the verbal assault (sorry, but it is the only way to describe what happens) escalating the anger by the minute. I asked her to stop and when she didn't I said "Please stop behaving to me like this or I am going to have to ask you to leave the house until you can treat me in the way you like to be treated". I remember saying it calmly and clearly. She then totally lost her shit and called her son to pick her up and take her back home. I was arrested three days later.

A month later she wanted to meet and was extremely apologetic and admitted I had done nothing. We met at the house and I told her I didn't blame her even though I am still on police bail. We stayed together for a wonderful weekend. On Monday I called her, having spoken to a magistrate friend who told me she needs to tell the police she is unwilling to give evidence as she knows nothing has happened. She wanted to know what he said so I told her. She completely freaked out at this and didn't speak to me for two days. Something similar happened a few days later and she blamed be for pretty much everything from the meteor that killed the dinosaurs to the assassination of John Lennon. She has calmed down by the next weekend when she came to see me but kept telling me she was in a bad mood and wanted to tell me all the things I had done wrong then decided not to. She left Sunday morning and her son has upset her so I got the usual attack over the phone. Tuesday she ghosted me and I texted her saying that everything that was happening was making me feel less secure in this relationship than I felt was okay and could we please communicate better. She called and lost her shit again. It started happening almost every day from them and by the day before yesterday I had enough...

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.
That's interesting. I did feel that she sometimes considered I was a soft touch. But then she would be perfectly loving, maybe for as long as two weeks...
 
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 🥺
Did you ever ask her "why do you attack me?" and did she ever answer?
If you didn't ask, maybe ask, even now, after it is over? If she has c-ptsd, she should be able to give a very straight answer to that question when she isn't triggered. I believe. And then, after she answers, don't get angry with her, just ask "what could I have done differently? how could the verbal attacks stop?" Again, hear her answers without judgement. Maybe you could get a few answers, even if you don't like them? Her reality is not necessarily yours. But if you accept her answers, and don't judge nor her, nor yourself, you might manage to come to a place of peace? What do you think?
 
Did you ever ask her "why do you attack me?" and did she ever answer?
If you didn't ask, maybe ask, even now, after it is over? If she has c-ptsd, she should be able to give a very straight answer to that question when she isn't triggered. I believe. And then, after she answers, don't get angry with her, just ask "what could I have done differently? how could the verbal attacks stop?" Again, hear her answers without judgement. Maybe you could get a few answers, even if you don't like them? Her reality is not necessarily yours. But if you accept her answers, and don't judge nor her, nor yourself, you might manage to come to a place of peace? What do you think?
I did that several times but she never gave a straight answer. I told her I would be happy working together with a therapist with her (when she and the therapist wanted me there too for some sessions) so we could find out how to navigate this thing together. I was going to pay for it as the NHS is notoriously slow. I'm not sure what else was left. The frequency of the outbursts were increasing because she was stressed about the police thing hanging over me. I generally tried to not focus on that but when she really pushed me I would calmly remind her that it was her who called them! And I do mean calmly. I HATE irresolvable conflict and this was definitely so. After the last days of hateful texts and threats to call the police again I just want peace and if that means no contact then so be it. Of course I am very sad that we are over and I'm still shattered by the TIA that happened last Friday (the neurologist mentioned stress) and I need a long, long break from her behaviour.

What do you reckon to the lack of a straight answer?

I should add that her stay at home son has been stirring like f@ck as he wants his mother to stay exactly where she is both physically (and I fear emotionally too).
 
I did that several times but she never gave a straight answer. I told her I would be happy working together with a therapist with her (when she and the therapist wanted me there too for some sessions) so we could find out how to navigate this thing together. I was going to pay for it as the NHS is notoriously slow. I'm not sure what else was left. The frequency of the outbursts were increasing because she was stressed about the police thing hanging over me. I generally tried to not focus on that but when she really pushed me I would calmly remind her that it was her who called them! And I do mean calmly. I HATE irresolvable conflict and this was definitely so. After the last days of hateful texts and threats to call the police again I just want peace and if that means no contact then so be it. Of course I am very sad that we are over and I'm still shattered by the TIA that happened last Friday (the neurologist mentioned stress) and I need a long, long break from her behaviour.

What do you reckon to the lack of a straight answer?

I should add that her stay at home son has been stirring like f@ck as he wants his mother to stay exactly where she is both physically (and I fear emotionally too).
I cannot know. She might be too stressed. She probably should have been taken out of her situation for a while to stress down. I know that isn't always possible, and I don't think it was your responsibility. if she wouldn't work with you, or was clinging to bad patterns, there isn't much one can do. at least not from within the relationship. if you still love her, and don't want to give up on her, and believe it can work if things changed, you can tell her to fix her situation before you try again, but it seems to me it is too late, maybe? I am anyway really sorry you had this experience. it isn't easy. I was in a similar situation some time ago, but inverted. I was accused of being verbally abused (I have a c-ptsd diagnosis, too), but in my case, he was the one not wanting to work with me, nor go to therapy and he wouldn't stop doing things that triggered me, like being flaky and vanishing or doing exactly what I asked him not to do, so I constantly felt triggered around him. I believe he had major anxiety issues, and I was the bread winner, so I was very stressed with a lot of responsibilities, and him not working. I did tell him that I was unhappy, but I wanted him to talk with me about it. instead he just vanished. I don't think I was verbally abusive, though maybe I was at times, when he went missing, for example. I still today don't know who's to blame. I am questioning myself a lot, given how he blames me, and me alone, except when he is down and says it was never my fault, but my instincts on this matter are damaged, so I no longer can tell. I might seem to take her side, in the other answer, but I don't think our situations are comparable. it is hard to deal with relationship trauma. I think we just have to forgive the other part and say "they didn't have more to give" and "it wasn't enough for me".

when communication fails, it all fails. Hug.
 
We don’t always get closure. Sometimes we just have to make peace with ourselves. Why did she lash out, threaten, and make false accusations about you? Because she is not the right person for you.

You KNOW she is not good for you. You can’t change her with love. That shit is for fairy tales.
 
I cannot know. She might be too stressed. She probably should have been taken out of her situation for a while to stress down. I know that isn't always possible, and I don't think it was your responsibility. if she wouldn't work with you, or was clinging to bad patterns, there isn't much one can do. at least not from within the relationship. if you still love her, and don't want to give up on her, and believe it can work if things changed, you can tell her to fix her situation before you try again, but it seems to me it is too late, maybe? I am anyway really sorry you had this experience. it isn't easy. I was in a similar situation some time ago, but inverted. I was accused of being verbally abused (I have a c-ptsd diagnosis, too), but in my case, he was the one not wanting to work with me, nor go to therapy and he wouldn't stop doing things that triggered me, like being flaky and vanishing or doing exactly what I asked him not to do, so I constantly felt triggered around him. I believe he had major anxiety issues, and I was the bread winner, so I was very stressed with a lot of responsibilities, and him not working. I did tell him that I was unhappy, but I wanted him to talk with me about it. instead he just vanished. I don't think I was verbally abusive, though maybe I was at times, when he went missing, for example. I still today don't know who's to blame. I am questioning myself a lot, given how he blames me, and me alone, except when he is down and says it was never my fault, but my instincts on this matter are damaged, so I no longer can tell. I might seem to take her side, in the other answer, but I don't think our situations are comparable. it is hard to deal with relationship trauma. I think we just have to forgive the other part and say "they didn't have more to give" and "it wasn't enough for me".

when communication fails, it all fails. Hug.
That's sad and very human at the same time. How are you now?

I'm amazed that the human race is still here given it's well crafted ability to destroy itself! If we could conquer jealousy and blame, maybe we would be in with a chance.

A hug back to you...
 
That's sad and very human at the same time. How are you now?

I'm amazed that the human race is still here given it's well crafted ability to destroy itself! If we could conquer jealousy and blame, maybe we would be in with a chance.

A hug back to you...
Thanks. I am not doing so well, to be honest. I am back on this forum because I have been spiraling downwards for 5 months now. I am questioning myself a lot. Was it me? I just wanted a calm and sweet relationship. Why didn't it go that way? Was it me? How can I not know? What happened? I am so stressed with this spiral of thoughts about what I did wrong, when I don't know. I don't get it. So yes, I relate to your need to understand.....
 
I think we have similar views on the exquisite vulnerability which is genuine love. It is almost a form of sacrifice. I do think it is the natural way for the woman to choose the man and if people examined their own relationship they might find it's true of them too.

What happened regarding the hug?
The landlady had not gotten back to her after the oven broke and stopped cooking properly. It had caused us to both have food poisoning a few days before. She started showing all the signs of an impending explosion so I hugged her and gently put my head against hers. She pulled away and started swearing and saying really nasty things; now all directed at me not the landlady. I let her go and asked her to stop her verbal attack as this is one of the boundaries. She carried on with the verbal assault (sorry, but it is the only way to describe what happens) escalating the anger by the minute. I asked her to stop and when she didn't I said "Please stop behaving to me like this or I am going to have to ask you to leave the house until you can treat me in the way you like to be treated". I remember saying it calmly and clearly. She then totally lost her shit and called her son to pick her up and take her back home. I was arrested three days later.

A month later she wanted to meet and was extremely apologetic and admitted I had done nothing. We met at the house and I told her I didn't blame her even though I am still on police bail. We stayed together for a wonderful weekend. On Monday I called her, having spoken to a magistrate friend who told me she needs to tell the police she is unwilling to give evidence as she knows nothing has happened. She wanted to know what he said so I told her. She completely freaked out at this and didn't speak to me for two days. Something similar happened a few days later and she blamed be for pretty much everything from the meteor that killed the dinosaurs to the assassination of John Lennon. She has calmed down by the next weekend when she came to see me but kept telling me she was in a bad mood and wanted to tell me all the things I had done wrong then decided not to. She left Sunday morning and her son has upset her so I got the usual attack over the phone. Tuesday she ghosted me and I texted her saying that everything that was happening was making me feel less secure in this relationship than I felt was okay and could we please communicate better. She called and lost her shit again. It started happening almost every day from them and by the day before yesterday I had enough...


That's interesting. I did feel that she sometimes considered I was a soft touch. But then she would be perfectly loving, maybe for as long as two weeks...

I can't remember if you've said, but has she actually been diagnosed with CPTSD? The angry outbursts and dramatic mood swings make me think bipolar or borderline and that she needs to be medicated. If she won't get medicated and get help, this up and down cycle and you going to jail and having to beg for help to get out is going to keep being your life. Just chaos and getting abused and constantly being afraid, stressed out, confused and uncertain.

I know it's hard, but I hope that you stop meeting with her and stop communicating with her. She is abusing you and putting your whole life at risk. You sound like you handled everything calmly and respectfully, and that you respected her boundaries and asked her to respect yours and that it just doesn't matter what you do. It's not your fault and there's nothing that you can do with someone who is mentally ill and who refuses to get help and enjoys taking things out on you instead.
 
I can't remember if you've said, but has she actually been diagnosed with CPTSD? The angry outbursts and dramatic mood swings make me think bipolar or borderline and that she needs to be medicated. If she won't get medicated and get help, this up and down cycle and you going to jail and having to beg for help to get out is going to keep being your life. Just chaos and getting abused and constantly being afraid, stressed out, confused and uncertain.

I know it's hard, but I hope that you stop meeting with her and stop communicating with her. She is abusing you and putting your whole life at risk. You sound like you handled everything calmly and respectfully, and that you respected her boundaries and asked her to respect yours and that it just doesn't matter what you do. It's not your fault and there's nothing that you can do with someone who is mentally ill and who refuses to get help and enjoys taking things out on you instead.
She was diagnosed years ago with Schizotypal and roads are a trigger back to a car accident she was in. She refuses to cross roads on many occasions and, whilst it is totally impractical, I can understand why. Because of the Schizotypal she hears voices, sees connections between things, receives special information from people, objects and feelings etc.. The anger pattern began about three months into our relationship and completely out of the blue. It turned out to be my voice saying unpleasant things to her. Obviously I was unaware of this. Everything about the anger pointed towards BPD. She also has graves (thyroid) disease, which we thought might be responsible for the mood swings but as her thyroid has markedly improved her moods have got much worse. During the month she was away from me she was diagnosed with CPTSD. I'm not surprised as her parents were terrible people who should never have had children and her brother would physically beat her from the age of 3 to 11. So she's had a rough life that's for sure. I am beginning to realize that it's not what happened that's the most important, it's how we deal with it. I was homeless three years. I had a horrific motorbike accident. My mother was a relentless bitch. My wife took her own life, but somehow I muddle through and am a pretty normal guy. Is that down to luck with my otherwise pretty shit genes? Is there a genetic element or is it down to the person or, which says more about me, am I idealising her?

I will not see her again even though it hurts like hell. At least I will feel better after therapy...
 
Thanks. I am not doing so well, to be honest. I am back on this forum because I have been spiraling downwards for 5 months now. I am questioning myself a lot. Was it me? I just wanted a calm and sweet relationship. Why didn't it go that way? Was it me? How can I not know? What happened? I am so stressed with this spiral of thoughts about what I did wrong, when I don't know. I don't get it. So yes, I relate to your need to understand.....
I wonder if I am in the midst of similar feelings as you even though the situation is a little different. It sounds like our partners have brought us to the same place of questioning, what if's and trying to make sense of the senseless even though you know and I know it will hurt us more. Love has a terrible dark side when half of it is suddenly taken away. I have discovered from this place I HAVE to move on and rebuild or even rediscover who I am. I also realize (gulp!) that this involves being on my own for probably quite a long time which, right after a split from a loved one, seems an even darker place. Psalm 23 almost seems appropriate here!

What can you do to stop your own situation hurting you so much? Whilst I don't know you I can see and feel from the words you use and how you write, and the fact you have been bothered to offer me some heartfelt help, that you are a decent, good, and kind person who doesn't deserve or need what you are going through...

I've also learnt that having CPTSD or PTSD is not what makes you a bad or nasty person, it is the person you are.
 
I wonder if I am in the midst of similar feelings as you even though the situation is a little different. It sounds like our partners have brought us to the same place of questioning, what if's and trying to make sense of the senseless even though you know and I know it will hurt us more. Love has a terrible dark side when half of it is suddenly taken away. I have discovered from this place I HAVE to move on and rebuild or even rediscover who I am. I also realize (gulp!) that this involves being on my own for probably quite a long time which, right after a split from a loved one, seems an even darker place. Psalm 23 almost seems appropriate here!

What can you do to stop your own situation hurting you so much? Whilst I don't know you I can see and feel from the words you use and how you write, and the fact you have been bothered to offer me some heartfelt help, that you are a decent, good, and kind person who doesn't deserve or need what you are going through...

I've also learnt that having CPTSD or PTSD is not what makes you a bad or nasty person, it is the person you are.
I have been down this road before. I was severely abused in a short, but horribly destructive relationship in 2013, causing my ptsd (cptsd) diagnosis.

I've learned a few things since then.
Number 1 - happiness is a choice. In that lies that nobody can take away my happiness. I can choose to be happy every second and every moment of my life. I am a happy person, and I allow myself to be happy. I never judge myself for feeling happy about the silliest things, even in the midst of disaster. :-) I have no trouble being happy, even when life is hard. THAT is a gift I'm happy I have. :-p
Number 2 - I cannot drink caffeine or aspartame as both ruin my mental stability. I have been on caffeine lately, so I am off due to that too.
Number 3 - One must move on, and not linger in old wounds. But it is easier said than done, so I allow myself to explore thoughts more than what is healthy, I cannot easily let go of questions like "why did it happen?" and "what went wrong?", it seems. I guess this is the core of trauma, btw - to not let go. But unlike in 2013, when I didn't dare to cut contact with my abuser, I have this time cut all contact with my ex. I read something you wrote somewhere about not being over the person but knowing that the relationship is over. That. Took me forever to understand, so well done!

Why? you asked. Because it happened, is the only answer you'll ever get, I believe. Probably nobody wanted it to happen, but it did. And now it is too late to change it. It already happened.
 
She was diagnosed years ago with Schizotypal and roads are a trigger back to a car accident she was in. She refuses to cross roads on many occasions and, whilst it is totally impractical, I can understand why. Because of the Schizotypal she hears voices, sees connections between things, receives special information from people, objects and feelings etc.. The anger pattern began about three months into our relationship and completely out of the blue
So she's on the Schizophrenia spectrum? As in, she has ongoing psychosis?

Based on the behavior you've described, she is not going in and out of being ill, depending on whether she's triggered or not.

She's ill, full stop.

There might be PTSD somewhere in there, but it's probably not at the center of what's going on. You're letting yourself seriously minimize the situation by focusing on CPTSD and interpersonal conflict as the key problems.

Are you getting support for yourself? You mentioned being in counseling...
 
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