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Relationship Had My Own Little Breakthrough Today

As you have every right to be.

I have friends who are so busy with their lives that their best & truest friends? They only connect with once every few years. And friends who are gutted/shattered if they don’t receive a response in moments, much less minutes, and forget about days/weeks/months/years. Both? Are EQUALLY valid need/wants in a relationship.

If yours & theirs misalign? That doesn’t make either of you a bad person. Or invalid in what you need or want in those closest to you.

Thank you Friday, I appreciate it!

In some ways, I feel better than I've felt in months re the whole situation.

In otherwise I feel tired - either because I'm in a weird life season generally, or because maybe I'm suddenly processing the whole situation from a place of feeling more grounded and safe (I've spent much of the last year feeling 'fight or flighty' and 'wired' to some degree).

Either way, I'm happy to be feeling better in lots of respects, but the tiredness thing is a little troubling.
I'm noticing my capacity for social interaction has gone right down just at the moment, and I really want to crawl into my own little cave and sleep for a little while!

Anyway, I'm taking it as encouraging sign for myself, and it also probably doesn't hurt me to keep the perspective that I *can* expect to feel fully myself again in time, and some people struggling with long term mental health conditions don't have that luxury.

So I guess it doesn't hurt me to remember that I'm also pretty blessed, in that regard at least :)

(I don't want to wallow too much on a forum where people have been through far worse - I just kind of... want to honour myself the right amount, while keeping some perspective too!)
 
I totally get it, but boundaries aren't best when it's "my way or the highway and I'll call that a boundary so it sounds better".

You can do that of course, but I feel like they're ideally meant to be mutually discussed, explored and somewhat negotiated.
This ! Thanks @Anon1

I could not have put it into words better myself .
A boundary within high toxicity perhaps does not need in depth explanations .
A boundary within a loving, caring, commitment- definitely mutuality, agreement, negotiations, share perspective, exchange concerns, communicate ,discussions, unpack -these are so crucial, so important.

Funny random thought just popped in my head.
Ever been on a zzooooom meeting ?
What is feels like sometimes is exactly this- The "host" exchanges communication with all - then MUTES everyone for a certain duration .
Then when its time to communicate again if the host does not UNMUTE the "speaker" it is the most frustrating sight- where they are genuinely making an effort . No matter how much they tried to explain their point or communicate , they are placed on "mute" ( intentionally or unintentionally)
*Point being - They are never really heard*.
This was particularly ,hysterically funny during the pandemic when the world went off kilter.

Been 'muted' in several ways - do you feel you have been too at any point ?
 
This ! Thanks @Anon1

I could not have put it into words better myself .
A boundary within high toxicity perhaps does not need in depth explanations .
A boundary within a loving, caring, commitment- definitely mutuality, agreement, negotiations, share perspective, exchange concerns, communicate ,discussions, unpack -these are so crucial, so important.

Funny random thought just popped in my head.
Ever been on a zzooooom meeting ?
What is feels like sometimes is exactly this- The "host" exchanges communication with all - then MUTES everyone for a certain duration .
Then when its time to communicate again if the host does not UNMUTE the "speaker" it is the most frustrating sight- where they are genuinely making an effort . No matter how much they tried to explain their point or communicate , they are placed on "mute" ( intentionally or unintentionally)
*Point being - They are never really heard*.
This was particularly ,hysterically funny during the pandemic when the world went off kilter.

Been 'muted' in several ways - do you feel you have been too at any point ?
That seems like a very good analogy!
 
I totally get it, but boundaries aren't best when it's "my way or the highway and I'll call that a boundary so it sounds better".

You can do that of course, but I feel like they're ideally meant to be mutually discussed, explored and somewhat negotiated.

True- Everything that is mutually discussed, negotiated and explored brings clarity, understanding and peace.
Its a healthier attitude and more grown up too.

I think there is some confusion as to what a boundary actually is, and why they’re so important in PTSD relationships.

A boundary is not meant to control other people. You cannot control anybody but yourself. A boundary is an expression of your limits. People can choose to respect your boundaries or not, that it their decision. It is your job to enforce your boundaries and to decide if you want to associate with people who cannot respect them.

For example, you would not say “you are not allowed to ghost me”. You would say “I will not tolerate being ghosted. I do not choose to be in a relationship where I am disrespected.” He then has the option of respecting that boundary, or not. If not, then he suffers the consequence of you leaving.

Nobody has a say in what your boundaries are. They’re your limits, and they are not up for negotiation. Boundaries are healthy. No boundaries make for a toxic codependent situation.
 
I think there is some confusion as to what a boundary actually is, and why they’re so important in PTSD relationships.

A boundary is not meant to control other people. You cannot control anybody but yourself. A boundary is an expression of your limits. People can choose to respect your boundaries or not, that it their decision. It is your job to enforce your boundaries and to decide if you want to associate with people who cannot respect them.

For example, you would not say “you are not allowed to ghost me”. You would say “I will not tolerate being ghosted. I do not choose to be in a relationship where I am disrespected.” He then has the option of respecting that boundary, or not. If not, then he suffers the consequence of you leaving.

Nobody has a say in what your boundaries are. They’re your limits, and they are not up for negotiation. Boundaries are healthy. No boundaries make for a toxic codependent situation.

I agree with this - but consistency is key too, and strong lurches between "this wasn't a boundary last week, but it is this week [but I didn't tell you that beforehand] and now I'm not talking to you" is sort of crazy making.

They have to be clear, predictable and consistent - otherwise a relationship can't flourish...

(Just adding this as a caveat because of the context of our conversation!)
 
Did you have any boundaries of your own @Anon1 ?

Of what behaviour you would tolerate in a relationship and which you wouldn't?

Did you put them into practice?
 
Did you have any boundaries of your own @Anon1 ?

Of what behaviour you would tolerate in a relationship and which you wouldn't?

Did you put them into practice?

I did, but I flexed A LOT.

Partly that's because I took their lead on how to be with them, and thought I had to 'not trigger their cptsd'; partly that's because I hadn't thought through a strong approach to boundaries, and a lot of it was that I was behaving codependently (and had been in some relationships without realising it).

There were a couple of times that I nearly called it off, and then remembered "Oh but... their abuse..." and I'd try to stay a bit more.

And then it got to the point where I felt bombarded, and their therapist (apparently) was giving their 'good vs bad' opinions of me, and I was kind of isolated in their city just with them.

So I was vulnerable in that sense, buuut - it was me that let it get to that stage, and who chose to move etc. And that was actually ridiculous of me 🤣

It was a big BIG wake up call to me, to ask how I volunteered to get so deep into something which became so unbalanced.

I can see how it fits in with the narrative of my life (I was a young carer etc), and I can see how I'd better get my ass in gear in the area of boundaries etc, or I risk going down the same road again.

It's been very sobering in that way, and it's given me a LOT to reflect on. I almost feel a bit shocked by it - when I consider what I willingly signed up for, and what that says about some part of me...

It's sometimes helpful to share experiences and vent etc, but ultimately I have to take responsibility for my part in it...
 
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When they broke up with me, they said they wanted space, but they broke up with me partly because they thought I didn’t like them.

And it left a ton of scope for overthinking, because it was like… if I don’t give them space, I’m going against what they want. But if I do give them space,it might play into the idea that I don’t want them - which is what got us to that point in the first place, and it wasn’t even how I felt!
Hey @Anon1 hope your days have been slowly getting better- I have been reading your posts because I have had someone with CPTSD in my life as well- thus, making me the supporter. It seems like you have turned the situation inside out and upside down and dissecting everything, trying to see it from all angles. Credit to you for doing that. It can be exhausting.

Which brings me to notice something in your post-
"they broke up with me"
"they wanted space"
"they thought I didn't like them".
Which word appears thrice?

( I can relate. Was in the same situation.Been there, done that)

Then you went onto the doubting oneself, creating stories in your head, ruminating and second guessing the whole relationship, wondering if they ever truly loved you or cared.

( I can relate. Was in same situation. Been there done that)

Communication is the key - if you have made attempts to reach out - and there are many ways to do this: text, phone call, mail, email, via a friend or family, in person - and all your gentle and respectful approaches are denied, stonewalled or ignored- its on them. My theory is, and I say this respectfully - UNLESS bound and gagged and tied up - anyone who truly wants to can find a way to either RESPOND OR REACH OUT.
If we lived in 2000 BC I would understand communication, distance, limitations and technological barriers.

Sounds like you have tried. Sounds like they are stubborn.
I can hear you've wanted to honour their "give me space" request .

But speaking from experience one wonders if "give me space" is getting to be a thrown around sentence and it begs the question- how much space ?
How long is a piece of string?
Right?
Go easy on yourself . Sounds like you are in full blown grief- mode and YES it IS painful.
 
Hey @Anon1 hope your days have been slowly getting better- I have been reading your posts because I have had someone with CPTSD in my life as well- thus, making me the supporter. It seems like you have turned the situation inside out and upside down and dissecting everything, trying to see it from all angles. Credit to you for doing that. It can be exhausting.

Which brings me to notice something in your post-
"they broke up with me"
"they wanted space"
"they thought I didn't like them".
Which word appears thrice?

( I can relate. Was in the same situation.Been there, done that)

Then you went onto the doubting oneself, creating stories in your head, ruminating and second guessing the whole relationship, wondering if they ever truly loved you or cared.

( I can relate. Was in same situation. Been there done that)

Communication is the key - if you have made attempts to reach out - and there are many ways to do this: text, phone call, mail, email, via a friend or family, in person - and all your gentle and respectful approaches are denied, stonewalled or ignored- its on them. My theory is, and I say this respectfully - UNLESS bound and gagged and tied up - anyone who truly wants to can find a way to either RESPOND OR REACH OUT.
If we lived in 2000 BC I would understand communication, distance, limitations and technological barriers.

Sounds like you have tried. Sounds like they are stubborn.
I can hear you've wanted to honour their "give me space" request .

But speaking from experience one wonders if "give me space" is getting to be a thrown around sentence and it begs the question- how much space ?
How long is a piece of string?
Right?
Go easy on yourself . Sounds like you are in full blown grief- mode and YES it IS painful.

Yeah, it's definitely reached the end of the line now, and now I can start to grieve it properly.

It was hard, because it initially ended because I wanted to spend Christmas with my family (she wanted me to go to their family). We'd been together six months at that point.

From there, it felt like a string of misunderstandings, or CPTSD responses... it was on/off, and she kept coming back then disappearing.

And for the longest time, I... I kind of figured they were just struggling.

They've had so much drama in their relationships, I just wanted to try and keep going if at all possible - they had this narrative that everything had gone wrong for them.

I liked them as a person - as well as romantically - and I figured I could try to understand, and keep persevering. Because everyone needs second chances, and she'd been through a lot.

And yeah, I was in pretty deep.

I think seeing them with someone else kind of confronted me with the stark reality of it all, and showed me that in the end... I really can't do anything.

I don't understand all of their words/actions, but that's what a mental health condition is...

Now I really do need to focus on myself entirely, and not concern myself with their side of things.

It hurts to cut them off... I'd have stayed in there with them, even just as casual friends, but there's been so so much unpredictability, and it's painful every time.

I feel guilty too - I don't want to be another person that's given up on them, and I don't think they'll see my viewpoint. It'll probably be seen as an attack, or me turning on her.

I really don't want to add to the list of things which have gone wrong for her.

I just can't do it anymore.

So... yknow... that's that, I guess!
 
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