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General Do men with ptsd want your empathy?

Thread starter #25
Thanks, I have a hard time with this because I actually have to deal with those feelings instead of just “getting angry “. I want your empathy if it comes with your love. I never feel bad about why a woman loves me. If it means she doesn’t love me because I’m like that then no. So I guess it depends. As long as she loves me then there must be something good about me. Women soothe me. I’m not sure how it is for other men or most men. It gets more complicated depending on the situation.
Thats a cute thing to say. Women soothe you? I like having that power.
 
#26
He would hate, hate, hate that - at least if he knew the reason that they did it because of his limitations - because he is like that.
:) yeah, we're saying the same thing. Just confusing the word empathy because of the different language/definition.

poorly it is second nature to check on them. It is not a pity party. It is a loving act of concern.
yup for sure could be. probably is. not arguing that. but as a male with ptsd (which is what she's directly asking about) this question comes off as pity- to me at least. And to her vet it sounds like too. 👍🏻
 
#27
:) yeah, we're saying the same thing. Just confusing the word empathy because of the different language/definition.


yup for sure could be. probably is. not arguing that. but as a male with ptsd (which is what she's directly asking about) this question comes off as pity- to me at least. And to her vet it sounds like too. 👍🏻
I do, occasionally, ask my guy if he's ok, when I can see that he's not.

He doesn't get offended by it. He knows it's because I care about him and he understands "the feminine mind", he knows we're not the same.

He usually nods ok, whether he is or not, but will, sometimes, sound off about whatever it is that's burning him, at some stage.

I think he's better off for doing it, and it's always gonna be on his terms.

He hates that he's been so terribly hurt and ill treated, and hates talking about it, for the most part, but he also knows that I'm trustworthy and that "a load shared is a load lightened" but it's not stuff he talks about lightly.

I don't pity him, NEVER pity him, I admire him, tremendously, many wouldn't have survived what he has and I tell him as much.

He's also, not in therapy and I doubt he will, too many poor experiences trying to get systemic help have left him more distrustful than ever.

I'm it, and I suspect, that's the way of it for many blokes.
 
#28
Empathy is what gave me my first taste of healing from trauma, so yeah, ...I like empathy. I don't however like pity. My dad had love and pity confused and I don't want others to feel sorry for me. I want understanding and caring. Because people here can understand what I am going through, they show empathy and concern for me and I find it to be really helpful 'cause I know I am not alone in the world.

Sometimes though when I am grieving, I tend to get silent, which is typical for me. However, when it comes to trauma, silence may have made things more difficult. I have noticed that when I am angry I get silent and it is then that I don't want to discuss things. It is times like that when empathy feels like a bit of an intrusion. I need time to withdraw a bit and sort things out for myself. After that, I can welcome empathy, but I do believe every man is different.
 
#29
One of my longest term friends is a combat vet with PTSD. I am close to him because he doesn't do the "men shouldn't feel" "men should be tough" thing. He struggles with accepting empathy some days because he has general feelings of worthlessness, but it's not because he thinks he should be tough. He thinks his life is already so much easier than other peoples because of various things on the privilege checklist that the empathy should probably go to other people (including men) who suffer as much or more than him without all the privilege checklist things.

But I argue with him and by the end of a given conversation he thanks me for loving him and for persisting in being someone who thinks he is worth the effort. I've been at it for over 13 years and I'm going to keep at it. He is worthy of love and understanding and support as much as anyone. Everyone is deserving.
 
Thread starter #30
I am close to my vet even though he is tough (at least when it comes to some things). I don’t think you cannot be close to tough people.
I think my vet, too, feels that he is halfway privileged and he feels that privilege comes with certain moral obligations - and I don’t really agree because and I don’t think that there is so much privilege then there was in former times. (What’s a privilege Checklist btw?)
I think everybody is deserving of empathy... but if the person doesn’t want it? What can you do?
 
#31
I think everybody is deserving of empathy... but if the person doesn’t want it? What can you do?
Empathy is something you have. Not something you give.

When you have empathy for someone - then, you might want to express it. That can be through words, actions. They may be wanted or unwanted.

But don't make the mistake of confusing having empathy for someone with wanting to express your feelings to them.

You can tell someone you love them. You can ask them if you can help. But if they tell you they don't want your words, then you're no longer being empathetic if you keep on talking. You're being self-serving.

If they don't want your actions, then you stop.

What matters is, understanding when it shifts from having empathy to needing that empathy to be accepted, or validated, or anythinng else someone else is supposed to do. That's their choice, not yours.
 
Thread starter #32
Yeah, I see what you mean but... to give an example: He is unhappy with something and pretends he is not... or he cannot sleep and pretends it is not the case. Or wakes up screaming and pretends everything is fine.

Then I cannot give him any comfort and I think that would be good for him if somebody would give him comfort then.
 
#33
Then I cannot give him any comfort and I think that would be good for him if somebody would give him comfort then.
What you think he needs isn’t necessarily what he needs though. Perhaps he is pretending everything is OK because what he needs is some space or quiet to process things on his own.

I’ve found that keeping my opinions and “help” to myself is sometimes more of a kindness than trying to help my vet... be it with his PTSD or his physical disabilities. Or assisting in the most low-key unobtrusive way possible. For an obvious example, if he drops his cane, I’ll just quickly and quietly pick it up and put it where it was without drawing attention or saying something like “Oh no! Let me get that for you blah blah blah..” If he wakes up from a nightmare, I’ll just scoot closer to him (after I *know* he is awake). I won’t address the fact he had a nightmare.

The stress of “being noticed” seems to be added stress sometimes.
 
#34
Then I cannot give him any comfort and I think that would be good for him if somebody would give him comfort then.
Have you spoken to him about this when he's not symptomatic? Because comfort looks different to different people, so might be easier for both of you if you are able to discuss both what you are able to offer and what he would find reassuring.
 
Thread starter #35
Have you spoken to him about this when he's not symptomatic? Because comfort looks different to different people, so might be easier for both of you if you are able to discuss both what you are able to offer and what he would find reassuring.
Yes, I have. For example he often has nightmares those days... and sometimes wakes up yelling... and then he checks if everything is okay... and then he watches TV and drinks. Then I asked him “What is it“ he is just like “nothing - just a nightmare“.
So I discussed it with him when he was “not symptomatic“ and he was just like “thats okay“ and that he wants to be drinking and then it is okay.
 
#36
I meant have you discussed what he wants from you. Cos I get how you'd be confused about it all if he is obviously struggling and not letting you in sometimes. That can usually be cleared up if he's able to be like "when this happens, I'd like you to do this" then you can agree or disagree to that.
 
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