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Relationship Communication

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I think what they wanted was someone that would always side with them and never show that they were upset. If I set a boundary say something like please send me a "I'm okay but I need space text." When they would cut communication for a week or more without warning I was told I'm not being consistent.
THIS post is solely in support of supporters and much respect for genuine supporters ( since they suffer just as much )
To support and to tolerate are chalk and cheese.

THE quote, quoted above is what most supporters desire. Nailed it.

IT IS unfair on the supporter as much as it would be justified by a sufferer.
Yes, it is a coping mechanism.
Yes, sufferers can feel paralysed and unable to respond.
Yes, the need for space is respected and acknowledged by supporters.
On the flip side however - supporters are left assuming, with zero closure and " telling ourselves stories" about the many possibilities of danger the sufferer could be in. Report it for a welfare check perhaps ?? Make things more complicated ?Point being - is this situation then NOT traumatic for a supporter?
Unless held at gunpoint ,gagged and bound - everyone has a choice to communicate. Whether it be a parent/child, husband/wife, employer/employee, friend/sibling- and responsible adults conscious and breathing if they choose to can communicate.

Trauma begets trauma ??

Communication is the key - whether a relationship or global organisation. Communication is also a CHOICE.
We don't live in medivel ages - Can't meet? Call.
Can't call? Text.
Cannot Text ? Email.
Can't email ? Use snail mail.
Cannot front up ? Send a messenger( not a Pigeon)
Cant show up ? Use a mutual friend.
It is ironic that in a world of such convenience the inability to communicate creates inconvenience .
And thus the Contact /no contact saga continues ...................

So I've read alot in the fourms and along with my time with my ex that was working through her past trauma. Has said that consistency is a big big key. I totally agree with this and tried to be as consistent with her as possible when we were together.

So my question is how do you stay consistent every single day. It makes me feel as supporter that I have to be perfect 100% of the time and not have a bad day ever. Which i understand is not realistic. In some odd way it almost feels like toxic relationship in some respects for the supporter.

Maybe this is just coming from my last relationship where I felt I was walking a tight rope every day and the slightest wrong answer or behavior ment she would pull away.

Would love some thoughts and ideas.
This is said gently and with much respect @ southwest - try not to let the big bad wolves of your past ,prowl and remain in your future. The TIGHT ROPE was a season- the future could be solid ground . IF you let it.

<ModEdit> Misattributed quote @Tinyflame instead of @southwest, fixed.
 
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@Sideways - hmmmm, how would you like your response interpreted please?

@Sideways is making a point that communication is not that easy if somebody is in freeze/flight mode. Sometimes they just shut down. If they can’t handle their own emotions how can they be expected to handle somebody else’s? Which is basically what is happening if people expect communication at all times in order to be soothed or comforted.

With that being said, if somebody cannot function enough to give a wee bit of a heads up to their partner that they’re not dead in a ditch when they disappear, then they’re probably not healthy enough for a relationship. That’s the absolute bare minimum standard for a relationship.
 
how would you like your response interpreted please?
In your post, you detailed simple ways for a person with ptsd to reach out and let you know what’s happening.

But, Avoidance isn’t just a thing that sufferers tend to do. It’s one of the criteria to actually be diagnosed with PTSD. Avoidance - to the point that its causing problems with relationships or work - is part of the minimum threshold to be diagnosed with ptsd.

So, suggesting that a sufferer could simply choose a different method of communication as a way around their symptomatic avoidance, is a bit like saying to someone with the flu: instead of coughing, could you just not cough? Or saying to someone with schizophrenia: instead of having hallucinations, could you just not have hallucinations?

The short answer? No.

If it were that simple, they wouldn’t meet the criteria for PTSD.
 
With that being said, if somebody cannot function enough to give a wee bit of a heads up to their partner that they’re not dead in a ditch when they disappear, then they’re probably not healthy enough for a relationship. That’s the absolute bare minimum standard for a relationship.
Thank you - that is gpure genius- your way of articulating and resonating the a gentle point ( which was never meant to offend anyone on the planet )is profound.Thank you.
Absolutely right - to an extent where they have voiced troubling facts and thus - yes you would think they have self harmed or in a ditch.
Totally agree = bare minimum standard for a relationship.

In your post, you detailed simple ways for a person with ptsd to reach out and let you know what’s happening.

But, Avoidance isn’t just a thing that sufferers tend to do. It’s one of the criteria to actually be diagnosed with PTSD. Avoidance - to the point that its causing problems with relationships or work - is part of the minimum threshold to be diagnosed with ptsd.

So, suggesting that a sufferer could simply choose a different method of communication as a way around their symptomatic avoidance, is a bit like saying to someone with the flu: instead of coughing, could you just not cough? Or saying to someone with schizophrenia: instead of having hallucinations, could you just not have hallucinations?

The short answer? No.

If it were that simple, they wouldn’t meet the criteria for PTSD.
Hi Sideways -None of the post was meant to offend. I hear your opinion and see your angle.
We are all on this forum as a community , some of us new - all -learning, adjusting and cheering each other on. Self growth. All healing . All navigating the nuances and idiosyncrasies.
Nobody here to bring another down. Sad that offence was taken or perhaps words misunderstood.
 
Nobody here to bring another down. Sad that offence was taken or perhaps words misunderstood.
I don’t know what you mean. I wasn’t offended. And I have no idea how that relates to the conversation.

I simply pointed something out, to consider, when supporting someone with ptsd.

Which is, Avoidance is a symptom of a mental illness. You can’t just ‘do something else’…because, that’s the illness.
 
Sticking my pinky toe in…Just my personal perspective.

Unless held at gunpoint ,gagged and bound
For me, this is exactly how it feels.


Communication is the key - whether a relationship or global organisation. Communication is also a CHOICE.
We don't live in medivel ages - Can't meet? Call.
Can't call? Text.
Cannot Text ? Email.
Can't email ? Use snail mail.
Cannot front up ? Send a messenger( not a Pigeon)
Cant show up ? Use a mutual friend.
It is ironic that in a world of such convenience the inability to communicate creates inconvenience .
If I happen to be in a hermit mode and read this I would probably have immediately put you on ignore.

Forceful behaviors/speech send me flying at the speed of light in the opposite direction. To me this just says ‘sure I have a choice… do it your way or get lost’. Not to mention that list would be extremely overwhelming to me. Too much, too many words, too many choices along with the implication of ‘do it or else’ that I would read into it. And since words can be difficult there would be almost no way I could communicate any of it, especially if I felt pressured.

When I avoid (go hermit) words are almost impossible depending on what triggered it. Even emojis are too much, especially if they show emotion, like the hug, smile or kiss etc…. and it never stops with that one simple text… to use your phrasing… Words beget words. Words are the last thing I want.

However, yes, I agree, there is a need for communication. My hermit modes can last hours all the way up to years. I figured out what works for me. Well, my sister helped a lot (understatement of the century).

We figured out I was ok with punctuation and some symbols. If she all of the sudden doesn’t hear from me then she just sends a (?) before initiating any words. If I am hermit then all I send is a period (.) Then she would send <> To me, and my love of mathematics, this is just less than/greater than signs, nothing dangerous… to her it was a hug.

That was it... our own bizarre form of Morse Code. I am thoroughly embarrassed, humiliated and ashamed to admit one time this lasted about 2 years. (This was way before I had a diagnosis.) Every few days in our Discord server:

?
.
<>

Healthy? Unhealthy? I have no idea. Probably not, yet, not knowing any better at the time, it worked. Now that I have a diagnosis maybe I can change that… (defending myself…moving on). I am sure it drove her batty but she knew I didn’t like it either. At the same time, she knew I was alive and I knew she cared about me without using emotions that were too much for me.

Agreed, a sister is not a significant other, but the point is we found something simple to work for the both of us.

Again, this is just me and my perspective 🙃
 
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Sticking my pinky toe in…Just my personal perspective.


For me, this is exactly how it feels.



If I happen to be in a hermit mode and read this I would probably have immediately put you on ignore.

Forceful behaviors/speech send me flying at the speed of light in the opposite direction. To me this just says ‘sure I have a choice… do it your way or get lost’. Not to mention that list would be extremely overwhelming to me. Too much, too many words, too many choices along with the implication of ‘do it or else’ that I would read into it. And since words can be difficult there would be almost no way I could communicate any of it, especially if I felt pressured.

When I avoid (go hermit) words are almost impossible depending on what triggered it. Even emojis are too much, especially if they show emotion, like the hug, smile or kiss etc…. and it never stops with that one simple text… to use your phrasing… Words beget words. Words are the last thing I want.

However, yes, I agree, there is a need for communication. My hermit modes can last hours all the way up to years. I figured out what works for me. Well, my sister helped a lot (understatement of the century).

We figured out I was ok with punctuation and some symbols. If she all of the sudden doesn’t hear from me then she just sends a (?) before initiating any words. If I am hermit then all I send is a period (.) Then she would send <> To me, and my love of mathematics, this is just less than/greater than signs, nothing dangerous… to her it was a hug.

That was it... our own bizarre form of Morse Code. I am thoroughly embarrassed, humiliated and ashamed to admit one time this lasted about 2 years. (This was way before I had a diagnosis.) Every few days in our Discord server:

?
.
<>

Healthy? Unhealthy? I have no idea. Probably not, yet, not knowing any better at the time, it worked. Now that I have a diagnosis maybe I can change that… (defending myself…moving on). I am sure it drove her batty but she knew I didn’t like it either. At the same time, she knew I was alive and I knew she cared about me without using emotions that were too much for me.

Agreed, a sister is not a significant other, but the point is we found something simple to work for the both of us.

Again, this is just me and my perspective 🙃
Thank you SHAYLEE - there is a LOT of insight here for those who are puzzled and lacking awareness of how limited
" communication" can get in your situation. All your points are valid and respected - intact very,very educational.And heard with much empathy and sympathy.

Also - I would "have put you on ignore"is fine ( as a you being a sufferer) understandable - as much as another person( a supporter) may not necessarily want to be around where they are "not wanted".
So Sorry to hear you have been through this with your sister - but you found compromise which is great - in partnerships, marriages and relationships it can be slightly different.

Example - scenario- a woman missing for days ( had PTSD , CPTSD diagnosed ) does not reply to her spouse or family . ALL assume she needs space. But lo and behold she is found murdered. This is another one( Depression, PTSD, CPTSD) male, who did not answer or reply for days - and had suicided.

It is a sensitive area and there is much debate that can be had. It is okay to go hermit, MIA or have space - nobody is opposed to it . It is obviously a very real thing.
However, CARE and LOVE should not be misread as INTRUSION and DISRESPECT and being a pain the A**se.
 
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However, CARE and LOVE should not be misread as INTRUSION and DISRESPECT and being a pain the A**se.
Oh, they can absolutely be both, or be pure intrusion & disrespect, or worse.

Speaking from both sides of the line, here… but mostly as a supporter.

If my sufferer is having a bad day, or fighting for control, or sparks are flying off of them as they attempt to just make coffee & a beeline back upstairs?

My giving them space? IS a loving act. As well as a show of faith/trust/belief in them. Any attempt on my part to insert myself in the clusterf*ck that they’re currently dealing with? I might as well slap them in the face, or shit in their coffee.

My attempting to interact with someone fighting for every last scrap of self control? Isn’t about showing them love, and care. Love and care would be leaving them alone… until THEY are ready, willing, able to interact. Or think they are. Snort. Which is not quite the same thing, and often results in “Well, that got dark fast,” and a return to isolating.
 
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Oh, they can absolutely be both, or be pure intrusion & disrespect, or worse.

Speaking from both sides of the line, here… but mostly as a supporter.

If my sufferer is having a bad day, or fighting for control, or sparks are flying off of them as they attempt to just make coffee & a beeline back upstairs?

My giving them space? IS a loving act. As well as a show of faith/trust/belief in them. Any attempt on my part to insert myself in the clusterf*ck that they’re currently dealing with? I might as well slap them in the face, or shit in their coffee.

My attempting to interact with someone fighting for every last scrap of self control? Isn’t about showing them love, and care. Love and care would be leaving them alone… until THEY are ready, willing, able to interact. Or think they are. Snort. Which is not quite the same thing, and often results in “Well, that got dark fast,” and a return to isolating.
Love the wit and how you get your point across. Again -thanks for insight . Quite cool to expand the two cents( knowledge ) I have as a supporter ;-)

May I ask why you believe they are being “misread”?
Of course you may ask. Thanks for the question @Shaylee- see below- I refer to Friday's first sentence (response to thread just after yours). Friday has a great way explaining things.Please read the opening sentence from Friday .

Precisely why time and time again , as a supporter and an observer ( NOT a bystander) I see CARE, CONCERN, COMPASSION and LOVE, towards a sufferer perceived as annoyance, intrusion and disrespect.
Thus what is received is a complete skewed and misinterpreted version of what is offered and extended.

Lets agree that this is a multi facetted topic - really not that straight forward .

As an example we know that an injured animal retreats.Yes?
However, they have no means of communication but for body language( non-verbal cues)
"Human equals danger - retreat !!"
It is a defence mechanism. However, with the human race we are blessed with the ability to speak and voice things within reason and within a sensible amount of time.

As a hypothetical scenario - your best friend( person or dog/animal )of five or ten or twenty plus years goes MIA.
And some of us have ONLY pets as best fiends. Love ,compassion and care apply to humans and animals the same.

a) is it best to ignore if no contact rule is established ( no justified valid reason for going no contact)if gone AWOL
b)get a welfare check , call the pounds, hospitals or the vet or animal shelter
c)send a search party
d)give it a week at the most to hear back and give up on them
e)leave them alone in an act of love
 
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