Relationship CPTSD situationship broke up with me - confused

I have been lurking around this forum for a week. I've been seeing a guy with CPTSD for about 8 months. Today, our situationship came to an abrupt close after a few weeks of him going low contact without much warning. He blames me on the breakdown, but I am utterly confused by his accusations, and he does not want to elaborate. A little bit of background, it's a long story and I apologize in advance:

On the first date, he told me that he's had quite a bit of trauma but is now in a much better place after years of therapy. I empathized with him, but didn't dig any deeper that day about his trauma. A few months later, we had our first fight, which was over text. I was uncomfortable about a joke he told, and my fault here was that I was pretty harsh on him when I told him so. He automatically went defensive, and said I did not make him feel like he could be himself and that he had to walk on eggshells around me. I apologized for that, and we continued seeing each other.

Another day a few weeks later, he made a joke about eating disorders (also over text), and I told him (calmly) that I used to have an eating disorder and felt uncomfortable about that. He immediately asked me "Why didn't you tell me earlier?" and I said "It never really came up in conversation." and he apologised for it, although he did say that he didn't feel safe and couldn't make jokes anymore if I keep getting offended. He claims his dark humour is how he deals with things and that's part of being him. He also said I needed to be upfront about things that might be important for potential partners to know.

Then one day, I was planning to go over for dinner and he texted me asking me what I wanted to eat. I didn't know whether he meant he was cooking or we were eating out or we were doing takeout, so I asked innocently "What are my options?" Out of nowhere, he blew up at me, saying "I don't like that you frequently evade my questions. I asked you what you wanted to eat, not what I wanted to eat, I'm really busy at work but I'm still trying to plan this and I feel you don't appreciate my effort." I apologised, saying that there were way too many options if it were an open-ended question, and kinda stupidly said I don't really think that much about food because it's a bit of a coping mechanism from my eating disorder (when you have an ED, ALL you think about is food - I'm not trying to justify my stupid answer and I know I need a little bit more help with ED recovery even though it's been years since I've been actively restricting my food intake). Then he told me "Your ED is not my problem to solve. It's on you. Don't make it a me problem. I deal with enough already." He broke up with me over text then.

I was inconsolable but we were still occasionally talking over text after that. I managed to ask for a face-to-face talk. I told him that all our misunderstandings and arguments have been over text and I think it's better to talk it out in person. He at least agreed with that. When we met up, there were a lot of disagreements about how each of us viewed our misunderstandings - it was as though we had two separate realities, but at the end there were a lot of tears (on my end) and we made up. A big part of this conversation was when he revealed his CPTSD diagnosis, and how he suffered for years with panic attacks. I've heard about CPTSD but didn't know anyone who was actually diagnosed with it. He did tell me that while it was something that he would warn potential dates about in the past, everything was under control now and that I didn't have to worry about it. So I didn't really think too much about it. I'm sure that was my error.

We continued seeing each other, and we didn't have any misunderstandings or arguments for a few months after. At this point, we were both seeing each other exclusively but still not in a relationship-relationship. I told him I was ready for a relationship, given we'd been seeing each other regularly. Here, he said he was uncomfortable with that because he wanted to get to know me even more before fully committing to a future together. It was a blow to me, but I wanted to respect his wishes and I stepped back from the relationship label and took it slow.

Then I went on vacation for a few weeks (it was something I started planning for even before I started dating him), but I still tried to at least chat with him over text once or a few times a day. One day we were having a normal chat throughout the day, and he sent me a message that he missed me. I didn't see this particular message until I woke up, and I was on an overnight bus that was driving through areas with no cell reception. It was very rare for him to send me romantic messages (he's more an action person than words person, and he's even told me before that he rather say sarcastic things but do nice stuff) so it felt great reading it. I couldn't reply until the next morning when I got to a town with cell reception, about 10 hours later. And this is where I think I made a mistake here. I didn't reply to the message with "I miss you too". I replied excitedly "I'll see you in 9 days!"

Thereafter, it was as though a switch flipped in him. He would read my messages but take hours, or even a day to reply, and it would be curt replies. Sometimes, he would not even answer a question like "How was your day?". I was very confused, because it was such a drastic shift from saying "I miss you" to literally not replying. I didn't want to bring it up over text (because that's how so many of our misunderstandings started), so I continued sending him messages and checking in with him on my vacation as much as I could depending on how frequently he replied me. I knew I was coming home in a week or so and I wanted to tackle it f2f.

So I finally got home. He didn't even reply to my message that I was going on my long-haul flight home until after I landed, even though he read it almost immediately. I asked him the evening I got back whether I could see him the next day, and he didn't reply my text until the next morning. Then, he said he'd been doing some thinking while I was away and said he was getting more uncomfortable with our situation. I felt terrible but didn't want to aggravate it over text, and told him we could talk about it, and we met up that evening. By that evening, I was a crying mess and I couldn't understand why he felt that way and I couldn't articulate anything. I asked him why he had a sudden shift in his attitude towards me, and he just asked "You really don't know?" and I said No, I don't. And he didn't explain why. He just held me while I was crying and looked sadly at me. I left his place with no more answers, but by that time he had cheered up a lot more and acted more "normal" towards me. I was still confused but I didn't pursue the matter. He even gave me a hug goodbye like usual.

The next day, we chatted for a bit like normal. Then I asked him "How was your day?" Radio silence. The next day I texted him again. He was going on vacation himself the day after so I wished him a good trip. He didn't reply until minutes before he boarded the plane. I texted back "Hope to see you when you get back!" and he gave me a thumbs up emoji. But the last week or so while he was on vacation, he replied to none of my messages. He would just leave me on read, despite me knowing he was online for ages possibly chatting to other people. I didn't understand.

I stopped messaging for a bit thinking he needed space, but I texted him again last night saying I was thinking of him. Today, he finally replied accusing me of only wanting a FWB and not a relationship with him, and even though a FWB situation might be fine with him, I didn't treat him with the respect and communication that even warranted a FWB.

I was so confused. It was so out of the blue. I have literally told him before I wanted a relationship and HE was the one who said "Not yet". How did he turn it around blaming me for not pursuing a relationship with him? And how was I disrespectful? I asked him, but he's not replied.

I was reading this forum and other resources to find out why he's treated me like this. I know CPTSD people might push people that they are close to them, but is it normal that he blames me for things I have not done (as far as I know - he refuses to elaborate). I am very hurt by the accusation that all I wanted was a FWB, something that I feel he made up in his head when the reality is so different and I have been explicit in telling him I want him to be my partner. I know I shouldn't take things personally, but it still f*cking sucks. I'm not a therapist and I know I need more work myself (I see one regularly), but I do feel his CPTSD is not under control as much as he thinks it is. But also, part of me wonders whether I am trying to defend him thinking it is his CPTSD talking when it might just be him treating me badly. I am so confused and I've been crying nonstop since his last message.

I don't know if I make much sense. I don't know if I described the circumstances well. It's been a whirlwind of grief, anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, and everything else.
 
He is weaponizing the idea of safety.

The concept of being safe means that you are not at risk of hurting yourself or other people. THAT IS IT. This is the psych world definition.

If you aren’t safe, it’s hospitalization time, no ifs ands or buts.

The internet comes along and these fragile snowflakes redefine the concept of safety to mean “anything that makes me feel uncomfortable in the least”.

You told him that joking about a certain topic was not acceptable and instead of apologizing, he DARVOs (deny, attack, reverse victim and offender) or at the very least RVO. He turns you into the “bad guy” who hurt his widdle feelings. Oh no!

You made a very reasonable request. Nobody wants to hear hurtful jokes. If he cared about you, he’d apologize and say he’d never do it again, not just complain that he feels unsafe. (🙄)

So going forward, you either have to decide if this behavior is acceptable or not. Can you live with him pulling this crap FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE if he doesn’t change? (I hope not, this is no way to live.)

Yes, this guy is an ass and he’s treating you horribly. He doesn’t even WANT to be in a relationship with you, ok? I mean c’mon, most of society doesn’t say “I won’t be in a relationship until I know it’s going to be FOR LIFE!” This is just his old pull an excuse out of his ass BS so he can string you along.

This is supposed to be the honeymoon period but honestly it sounds like hell. Please get away from him. He doesn’t care about you or respect you in the least.
 
This doesn't sound like a CPTSD issue but a break up and treatment from an asshole.

He kept blaming you. He turned things around on you. He didn't take responsibility. He expected you to treat him in ways he didn't treat you.
That's just someone who is a twat rather than someone with a mental health condition. IMO.

Sounds like a lucky escape. And hopefully you can see/feel that soon.
 
You made a very reasonable request. Nobody wants to hear hurtful jokes. If he cared about you, he’d apologize and say he’d never do it again, not just complain that he feels unsafe. (🙄)

So going forward, you either have to decide if this behavior is acceptable or not. Can you live with him pulling this crap FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE if he doesn’t change? (I hope not, this is no way to live.)

Yes, this guy is an ass and he’s treating you horribly. He doesn’t even WANT to be in a relationship with you, ok? I mean c’mon, most of society doesn’t say “I won’t be in a relationship until I know it’s going to be FOR LIFE!” This is just his old pull an excuse out of his ass BS so he can string you along.

This is supposed to be the honeymoon period but honestly it sounds like hell. Please get away from him. He doesn’t care about you or respect you in the least.
Thank you for your insight. After a day of pondering, my logical side knows it is asshole behaviour, and you hit the nail right on the head when you said he is weaponizing his "safety". It is definitely not something I want to tackle for the rest of my life, and to be honest I know I dodged a bullet here before I invested even more time and energy into this. I'm also so angry he accuses me of not wanting a relationship when he was the one who outright turned me down before.

Then again, my heart still hurts. Every breakup sucks even when you know it's for the best.

This doesn't sound like a CPTSD issue but a break up and treatment from an asshole.

He kept blaming you. He turned things around on you. He didn't take responsibility. He expected you to treat him in ways he didn't treat you.
That's just someone who is a twat rather than someone with a mental health condition. IMO.

Sounds like a lucky escape. And hopefully you can see/feel that soon.
I feel I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to others. My first thought when he dropped the bomb on me was maybe he was symptomatic and therefore pushing me away, but now I see it is less that and more a matter of him just needing a punching bag for his frustrations, and who better than the girl you've seen for 8 months and is still by your side even though you refused a relationship with? I can just blame her for everything!

Thank you for your message. It's still extremely painful to be treated like that by someone you cared for, but I know it will get better.
 
Just to add on, I'd bought multiple gifts for him from my travels and gave them to him the last time we met. One was what I thought was a very thoughtful and unique gift related to one of his favourite authors. He accepted all of them, and thanked me profusely and said that I was extremely kind. Then the next day, the curt replies and the ghosting resumed. It is extremely confusing to blow hot and cold like that when all I tried was to be kind and generous to him. I know better now to avoid situations like this, and rather to find someone who would not take advantage of my care and concern.
 
Thank you for your insight. After a day of pondering, my logical side knows it is asshole behaviour, and you hit the nail right on the head when you said he is weaponizing his "safety". It is definitely not something I want to tackle for the rest of my life, and to be honest I know I dodged a bullet here before I invested even more time and energy into this. I'm also so angry he accuses me of not wanting a relationship when he was the one who outright turned me down before.

Then again, my heart still hurts. Every breakup sucks even when you know it's for the best.
Your heart still hurts and will hurt for a while, you trusted and you gave it. It has been returned to you in pieces - there is much time and TLC to put the pices back together without what brought your heart joy- that can feel like being winded- a gut punch .
Hour at a time. Stay strong.
 
Then one day, I was planning to go over for dinner and he texted me asking me what I wanted to eat. I didn't know whether he meant he was cooking or we were eating out or we were doing takeout, so I asked innocently "What are my options?" Out of nowhere, he blew up at me, saying "I don't like that you frequently evade my questions. I asked you what you wanted to eat, not what I wanted to eat, I'm really busy at work but I'm still trying to plan this and I feel you don't appreciate my effort." I apologised, saying that there were way too many options if it were an open-ended question, and kinda stupidly said I don't really think that much about food because it's a bit of a coping mechanism from my eating disorder (when you have an ED, ALL you think about is food - I'm not trying to justify my stupid answer and I know I need a little bit more help with ED recovery even though it's been years since I've been actively restricting my food intake). Then he told me "Your ED is not my problem to solve. It's on you. Don't make it a me problem. I deal with enough already." He broke up with me over text then.
So it sounds like you two are completely incompatible.

Surface level attraction, nuked by the deeper realities of who the two of you are.
And this is where I think I made a mistake here.
How so?

Being excited to see someone is a totally rational/reasonable response to someone missing you. Wha would be better? Dreading seeing them? Suicidal over being without them? He missed you. You were excited about seeing him. That? Is normal.
but is it normal that he blames me for things I have not done (as far as I know - he refuses to elaborate).
Not normal, but common.

He is weaponizing the idea of safety.
This.

It's been a whirlwind of grief, anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, and everything else.
And this? Is the honeymoon period. Where things are at their best.
 
That's good -- at the very least, that amount of drama within the first few months would be enough for ME to get rid of him. Don't tolerate someone who's more likely to start drama instead of try to understand you.
You are absolutely right. Looking back (hindsight 20/20), I'm amazed at the amount of nonsense I put up with. Conflict is inevitable, but when he was the one who started nearly every fight and he had zero clue (or want) to understand my position, it's definitely not healthy.
Your heart still hurts and will hurt for a while, you trusted and you gave it. It has been returned to you in pieces - there is much time and TLC to put the pices back together without what brought your heart joy- that can feel like being winded- a gut punch .
Hour at a time. Stay strong.
Indeed. It hurts, but only because I put in the time and effort into caring for someone and I got nothing back. But! I now also know I deserve a whole lot better.
 
So it sounds like you two are completely incompatible.

Surface level attraction, nuked by the deeper realities of who the two of you are.
Absolutely. Zero compatibility.
How so?

Being excited to see someone is a totally rational/reasonable response to someone missing you. Wha would be better? Dreading seeing them? Suicidal over being without them? He missed you. You were excited about seeing him. That? Is normal.
I didn't really phrase that correctly. I meant I thought I made the mistake of not saying that I miss him too back, but even if I didn't, it isn't something that someone should blow up at. I mean, I don't know if that is what he is blaming me for (since he is incommunicado), but either way, it is ridiculous behavior from him.

And this? Is the honeymoon period. Where things are at their best.
Yes. I see that now. If this is how he behaves in the first few months, it will only get worse. I'm not quite as upset now after a few days of reflection, I'm actually a lot more relieved.

Thank you everyone for their responses and support <3
 
You are absolutely right. Looking back (hindsight 20/20), I'm amazed at the amount of nonsense I put up with. Conflict is inevitable, but when he was the one who started nearly every fight and he had zero clue (or want) to understand my position, it's definitely not healthy.
It's harder to see it for the forest it is when your face is up against the bark looking at ants. But now you have the experience to see ants AND a forest, so hopefully you'll get to avoid any future discomfort
 
He is weaponizing the idea of safety.

The concept of being safe means that you are not at risk of hurting yourself or other people. THAT IS IT. This is the psych world definition.

If you aren’t safe, it’s hospitalization time, no ifs ands or buts.

The internet comes along and these fragile snowflakes redefine the concept of safety to mean “anything that makes me feel uncomfortable in the least”.
All of the above -
True.
So much truth to this. Thanks @EveHarrington
 
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