Relationship Dating combat vet who ghosted

Buttercup

MyPTSD Pro
So true @sadgirl. It's very overwhelming. In my angry moments, I call him out on it and hold his feet to the fire. I'm sure he hates it, but it's my way of getting out what I need to say and if he never speaks to me again be damned. I personally think he needs to know how those actions affect me and can make a person feel.

But this is my relationship and I know it wouldn't go over at all with others. I do think he ends up processing and thinking about what I say in my messages eventually. Even if it takes weeks! But yeah, he pretty much hates it. So I am working on it. May continue if I or see decide to keep at it. I know i havent decided this yet.

Sorry @sadgirl , I know this is so hard and you seem to be really working hard to keep moving forward. Come here to process, but i have found coming on here too much can keep me attached and empathize too much. Can keep you hanging on if you're not careful.
 

Freida

Sponsor
@Buttercup @sadgirl @WTF Happened
Reading back over these I'm wondering if you have been a victim of the dreaded "Anniversary reaction". If you haven't I'd suggest you research that topic --- it might have some explanations for you

Short version -- AR is the time of year when you re-experience the event. And by re-experience I mean relive it. It's like a flashback but not quite. In a flashback you lose track of where you are. In an AR you remember the feelings -- even if you don't remember the exactness. Think of it like PTSD on steroids

Here's how it works for me...
A lot of us have more than one and they can last anywhere from a few hours to months. It all depends. I have one in January and I'm already jacked up about it this year so the next six weeks will have days that are going to be hell on everyone who has the misfortune to cross my path. I KNOW this going in this year because I have been doing counseling for the last 3 years. Three years! Just to learn that it happens. I still have no idea what to do with it how to stop it or what happens next.

Each of us have different mal adaptive coping mechanisms to deal with an AR. Me? I'm a ghost. I get into that mindset and I'm gone. YOU DON'T MATTER TO ME. I don't mean to yell but I really don't think you are getting that. Text, call, bug me all you want --- the ONLY thing I'm thinking about is how to get away and be safe. It is the only thing that matters. You take my attention off that and I'm going to be pissed that you are putting me in danger. The demons are real. I may be trying to protect you by keeping you out or you may just suck to much energy out of me trying to cope with your neediness when I'm trying just to stay alive. But either way during that time I am drowning and it feels like you just want to push me down further. And nope - it makes no sense.

It's also kind of frustrating because I see you articulating what you go through so well, I see your self-awareness, and I see you returning to the love and support of your partner.

That's because you are seeing me now after years of marriage counseling and 20+ years of him being there when I get around to coming back. You aren't seeing the year I got on a train to another state instead of coming home from work. Or when I ran away to a resort and blew our mortgage on spa/casino tour. Or when I told him I had tickets to Asia and would be gone for two weeks. Or when I would come home and tell him I wanted a divorce - -just because it made me crazy to look at him. Even after all this time the best I can agree to is that if I take off I have to check in with him once a day. Once. A. Day. A text that says "I'm alive"

If you are caught up in an AR -- well....crap. i don't even know what to tell you. Hopefully someone else can weigh in and see if that sounds like what is happening.....
 

Buttercup

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @Freida your posts help me so much.

I do get it. Meaning I get how me barraging with texts can make him feel threatened or attacked and overwhelmed and I know that is when he blocks. When he can't handle any more of me!

But like I said, in the very beginning moment of an avoidance episode, I'm not thinking about that. So those are the times I get out what is kind of raging inside of me. Then I will leave him to himself for however long he needs.

I know it has taken you a long and difficult road to get to the place where you can send a daily text, and that helps to understand just how you (he) can't really help but to do that.

It really is a hard situation.
 

sadgirl

Not Active
Reading back over these I'm wondering if you have been a victim of the dreaded "Anniversary reaction"

@Frieda, that occurred to me. Others have posted about this. I didn't know him long enough to know what anniversaries might affect him. I do know about some things that happened during his service, but I don't know the dates. I'm going to read more about it. Thanks for mentioning it.
 

Lbee

New Here
So, I'm reading this and other threads. I see dozens of people experiencing this same scenario: intense connection for 6-8 weeks then nothing, or a serious decrease in contact. Lots of feedback from sufferers and supporters alike. I'm a supporter. The relationship started like everyone else's here and then he had to leave for another job in another state. Sounds fishy, I know, but I visited him there. It's a real thing. He wasn't feeling great. Has some stuff from injuries that flairs up and, of course, he doesn't sleep. Lack of sleep was exacerbated by the new work situation. Before my visit we couldn't wait to see each other. Constant contact. All day, everyday. He said that he was surprised and grateful that he could still connect. Even professed serious like, after asking if he could say something without scaring me off! Ha! And the physical aspect of the relationship was pretty amazing for both of us, as far as I could tell

Since I came home, two weeks ago, I've initiated every call. Had days with no contact at all. I see that this is common and it may be the end, but damn I'm sad!!! What is it about the 2 month mark? This man is special. I so want to understand what's going on. And I'm scared to death to press him.
 

Buttercup

MyPTSD Pro
Oh yeah @Label don't press him. The best I can offer is, if there is still communication from him, no matter how small, then it's not over. Or not necessarily over, I should say.

However, this is one of those times when it is very important to be veerrryyy patient. Don't let your emotions and thoughts get the better of you.

And pull way back on initiating contact. Then see what happens. And it could take a while.

This is the best I can offer if you want to pursue anything with him. And also if he also wants to pursue things of course.

Additionally, guys from the general population tend to do this too, so may not even have to do with PTSD. Read anything on male/female differences in communication and relationship styles during this time period and you will see it can be very common.

It was when i found my situation wasn't matching those "normal" dating issues that i found myself here.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
Have any if you read about the stress cup. Definitely something you all should read. A relationship (of any kind) is stress. Good stress is still stress!

Some people deal with it with drugs, sex, alcohol, self harm, fights, gambling, shopping, avoidance etc. etc. and some people isolate. They're called coping mechanisms.

My veteran is 51yo. He had a slew of relationships through the years and I'm sure his ex's would describe it just like you are. It wasn't until he was in a (another) VERY dark place where HE finally reached out for help. He went years, decades even avoiding what he went through and was going through.

Now, he works very hard at his recovery. And it's hard as hell. War was easier for him. Therapy brings it all to the surface. This is going to be a lifelong process. There's no cure for this sh*t. But without therapy there's no way he could be in a LTR. Untreated PTSD imo is impossible.

Good luck to all of you.
✌ & ❤ to you and your Veteran!
 

Lbee

New Here
@leehalf and @Buttercup I've just started trying to educate myself. The stress cup makes sense whether you have ptsd or not! We all hit a wall now and then. And I've considered that this just might be the way he is, as well. But he's very honest about his ptsd. His symptoms seem to be pretty classic. He was seriously injured and spent a long time in the hospital. He's been in counseling. It's been 10 years since he's been out of the military, which I know doesn't necessarily mean anything. He's back there every night. He doesn't drink or take drugs. It's just the whole 180 that has left me stunned.

Thank you all so much for your advice. This whole get your heart broken thing totally stinks. It's very helpful to hear from those who have gone before me. And if there are any sufferers out there who can shed some light on the 2 month thing, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Thanks again!
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
@Label. "He's been in counseling". So he's not actively involved in therapy?

Deal breaker for me.

Also PTSD is also a cyclical disorder. People can do really well for a while then. Boom. Right back where they started.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
And @Buttercup. You CAN'T rage at someone with PTSD. It only adds fuel to the fire.

And if you "rage" at people, you may want to address that! It seems you may have an anger problem.

I may be wrong. This is just my 2 cents.
 

Freida

Sponsor
He was seriously injured and spent a long time in the hospital.

if he was in a military hospital that's a whole new trauma. They are not like hospitals in the "real world" Military hospitals are underfunded and understaffed and staff are sent from base to base. Some of them have medical training but most don't match what you find in a real world hospital. They may or may not get a choice about where they are stationed and they can't just quit so if they are not happy they will/do take it out on the patients. Sometimes people get lucky, but most often not so much. If he spent time in one... well that's gonna be problematic
 
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