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General Do men with ptsd want your empathy?

Thread starter #4
The context was something I wrote on another thread. I didn’t want to derail it.

To give the context: I noticed that children often are more empathic than adults - but as they grow up society expects them to become less empathic. To give a few examples: hunting/eating flesh/watching others take part in all kind of “trials of Courage“ (such of funnel drinking, game of knives), watching true crime movies and so.

Men in general, are brought up to be tough and expect toughness from others.

I noticed my vet likes to to tough. That’s the site of his personality he showed me first... when we first met. He can also be empathic but that a site of his personality I only noticed years later when we were already married - because only then he began to talk about some things (like “I wonder how it made John feel when I did this or said that“). I asked him why he all the sudden started thinking about those kind of things. He told me he always did but felt odd discussing it with others before (and that most men never did).

So he likes to be tough and to protect and be the provider.
Sometimes he also likes to have some empathy. When he has a cold he can act like he is actually dying... but only towards me... not at his job... like actually many men. I wonder why the manliest of men actually often act like dying when they have a cold. My pop psych explanation: because they want some empathy and that is a accepted way for them to get it (in addition to ptsd maybe really impairing the immune system. I noticed that people with ptsd get considerably sicker from a cold then others).

Sometimes however he hates it when you show empathy, want to help, think that something must suck for him. For example when he cannot take part in something because of his hypervigilance. He wants you to go out and enjoy it. He is pissed off if people care about his feelings enough to think of things he can enjoy too.. because he wants them to do excactly what they would want to do if there was no individual with ptsd around.

Also he doesn’t hear well and he doesn’t care (or at least thinks of himself as a person that doesn’t care) and he talked to a lady told her he doesn’t care in a casual way and she kept insisting it must suck for him. My vet smiled sweetly as he always does while talking to her. I was also smiling sweetly thinking “Oh STFU, lady“... and later my vet was so angry at how she saw him - like she saw him as a cripple.

Another example: Vet having a bad dream, vet says it’s okay. He doesn’t care and he drinks something (alcoholic drink) which is a way to cope for him. Vet says it’s okay and he can cope. It’s okay like it is.

Vet (when we talked about ptsd a year ago and also before) said a man wants you to be proud of him and to go out enjoy your life + everybody go out enjoy their life because that’s what a man wants.

But sometimes I think he really wants your empathy... sometimes only to be offended five minutes later you gave him your empathy.

I am not sure if my guy, for example when he has nightmares, expects any reaction from me or only “Yep, nightmare. Check“. You know what I mean. Because he is often like “Oh, everything alright. Just had a nightmare“. Only like informing me not like expecting anything. So alright for him and I am just like “Yep, okay“. Not sure what he is expecting.
 
#5
Heh. Kinda had to laugh at this.
That's a super complicated question.
I spend so much time trying to not have or hide feelings that if someone else shows empathy I want to immediately reject it.

At the same time, yes. I think everyone wants other to understand where they're coming from, what they're going through.

I just don't want to talk about it. Or acknowledge it so..... it might be a lot harder to show men empathy well? In a way we're comfortable with.

And I think one of the biggest problems comes from most people confusing empathy with sympathy. And most people aren't really good at showing empathy- it comes across as sympathy. Or worse, pity.

And that a giant hell no.

But do I want people to understand my sometimes ridiculous, crazy seeming behaviour comes from ptsd? yes. Do I appreciate when people are able to put themselves in my shoes and see world and situation for a moment from my perspective? yes.
 
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Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#7
I think from your examples @Never_falter2 there's a difference between empathy and sympathy... and then outright pity.

Which would make sense if one is welcome (empathy), one perhaps conditionally like from loved people (sympathy) and one is hell no, annoying (pity, even worse from strangers - like for being HoH.)

I think you have the same word for different concepts in mind ;)
 
#8
It totally depends on the man, who you are, how the PTSD was acquired, and a million other things. You cannot generalize "men" any more than you can generalize "people."

Also, the same man - the same person - might not your empathy one day, and want it another day. So you can't even generalize individuals on this topic.

While men are usually socialized to act "tougher" than women are, there are so many men, each with their own individual characteristics, that it's really impossible to generalize them even in comparison to women - who, of course, all have their own individual characteristics.
 
Thread starter #9
I just don't want to talk about it. Or acknowledge it so..... it might be a lot harder to show men empathy well? In a way we're comfortable with.

And I think one of the biggest problems comes from most people confusing empathy with sympathy. And most people aren't really good at showing empathy- it comes across as sympathy. Or worse, pity.

And that a giant hell no.

But do I want people to understand my sometimes ridiculous, crazy seeming behaviour comes from ptsd? yes. Do I appreciate when people are able to put themselves in my shoes and see world and situation for a moment from my perspective? yes.
Do you know how to show a man empathy in a way he is comfortable with?

I mean it’s different to see the world from another persons perspective, isn’t it? I think all most people can do is acknowledge the perspective is different. For example: Jim is a vet and John is not a Vet. Can John really see the world from Jim’s perspective? Or Jims wife?
I think that’s asking for too much.
 
#10
I think, sometimes, they just want the comfort, of someone, who loves them, close by, maybe a hug, maybe an ear that just listens and nods and hears and cares.

No judgementalness; if you can't possibly understand, coz you haven't been anywhere near there, maybe just loyalty, reliability and lack of judgement.

How can you "empathize" if you haven't been through anything like he has?

You can go through the motions of looking like you do, but if it's not authentic, he's sure to see through it.
 
Thread starter #11
I think from your examples @Never_falter2 there's a difference between empathy and sympathy... and then outright pity.

Which would make sense if one is welcome (empathy), one perhaps conditionally like from loved people (sympathy) and one is hell no, annoying (pity, even worse from strangers - like for being HoH.)

I think you have the same word for different concepts in mind ;)
In my native language the word we have for empathy (Empathie) includes sympathy so to speak. It becomes clear to me only now that isn’t the case in English. How would you define empathy?
 
Thread starter #12
I agree with the rest of what you said but not fully with this:

I think, sometimes, they just want the comfort, of someone, who loves them, close by, maybe a hug, maybe an ear that just listens and nods and hears and cares.
I think it depends. I think my guy often doesn’t want somebody to listen and hug and care... or not care for his ptsd so to speak... care for other things (for example I brought him a watermelon when he couldnt eat and really wanted one... Thanks @Sweetpea76. I found a way to get one... and it probably was PTSD related but we didn’t mention it).

I think he really doesn’t want people to care for his ptsd makes him feel disrespected and weak. He is more asking for practical help.
I do a lot of practical things for him I probably wouldn’t be doing otherwise (for example: watermelon)... but I think he still cannot/doesn’t want to trust anybody fully with his ptsd or with his feelings... and I don’t think he ever will. I am even not sure if he should, if it would be good for him or just hurt him... or if his feelings are really what me/people think they are like. I wish he was more trusting with that and not always assume people won’t get him even when he explains... and not always assume he is being a burden.

(It’s actually gar more a burden when he is not talking about things and always leaves you guessing).
 
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