• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Hiding from in-laws

Yusuke22

Learning
His parents are coming for a visit today. They don’t live nearby. I haven’t seen them in about a year and a half. Only met them a few times before. But they know more about me than my own family. He’s told them about the abuse and rapes. He’s also talked to them more about our relationship problems than he’s talked to me about them.

On Tuesday night, he did something during sex that was painful for me. I have a neck injury right now and was in a neck brace at the time. My mobility was limited. So I used my voice to tell him I didn’t like what he was doing and to do something else. All good, I thought. He moved on to doing something else. Less than 5 minutes later he went back to doing what I’d just said no to. Having to say no to the same thing twice in short succession like that is triggering on its own. Combined with the pain I was already in and the lack of mobility, I was done. Just fully triggered. This was my fault, somehow. He got angry with me for ending the sex. And he’s avoided talking to me about it ever since.

My ex’s family had a cottage. Our first trip there, he raped me on the first night. I spent the next day hiding in a bedroom, pretending to be sick. Had to listen as his family talked about me, wondering what was wrong with me and making comments about me being anti-social. Been reliving that the last couple days as I’ve been dreading this visit. It’s too similar. I’m just expected to endure. But I can’t.
 
Touch a hot burner? Get burned.

That’s what flashbacks are all about.

Whether it’s wearing a pretty dress, or the way the sun shone through the slats on the window.

They’re not REAL, but they’re reeeeally your brain attempting to protect you.

Which means? You’ll have to manual-this-shit instead of depending on your instincts. It is exhausting, and difficult, and a pain in the ass… but? Worth it.
 
They’re not REAL, but they’re reeeeally your brain attempting to protect you.
I have a very short list of deal breakers, but what he apparently did tops the list. I think he needs to know how YOU feel about that kind of thing and the sooner the better. (Too bad this came up when there's an impending visit from his parents but that's not your fault.) Have you thought about how you feel about someone doing what he did? Whether or not there's a way you can see it as "ok"? What are the pluses of the situation that outweigh the minuses? Have you discussed it with him? Maybe this is more important. Do you feel SAFE discussing it with him? The not stopping when asked is a big deal. The pouting is a big deal too. Sometimes our brains try to protect us from stuff that we really ought to avoid.

Maybe take that all with a grain of salt. Your situation hit a nerve. What he did really IS a big deal for me. I know it to the extent that I say so up front if I'm heading into that kind of relationship. "There are a couple of things that will freak me out, so don't go there and you'd better be willing to stop if I need you to stop." Can't handle that? Then we're not going down that road. It's a big enough deal to me that I believe it's only fair to say so up front. Not everyone feels that way and I'm not saying you should. I'm just saying this is something that needs to be talked about, not blown off. If he's not willing to talk about it, why isn't he?
 
I have a very short list of deal breakers, but what he apparently did tops the list. I think he needs to know how YOU feel about that kind of thing and the sooner the better. (Too bad this came up when there's an impending visit from his parents but that's not your fault.) Have you thought about how you feel about someone doing what he did? Whether or not there's a way you can see it as "ok"? What are the pluses of the situation that outweigh the minuses? Have you discussed it with him? Maybe this is more important. Do you feel SAFE discussing it with him? The not stopping when asked is a big deal. The pouting is a big deal too. Sometimes our brains try to protect us from stuff that we really ought to avoid.

Maybe take that all with a grain of salt. Your situation hit a nerve. What he did really IS a big deal for me. I know it to the extent that I say so up front if I'm heading into that kind of relationship. "There are a couple of things that will freak me out, so don't go there and you'd better be willing to stop if I need you to stop." Can't handle that? Then we're not going down that road. It's a big enough deal to me that I believe it's only fair to say so up front. Not everyone feels that way and I'm not saying you should. I'm just saying this is something that needs to be talked about, not blown off. If he's not willing to talk about it, why isn't he?
It’s a big deal for me, too. I’ve gotten really good at managing most of the triggers that come up during sex. Being ignored when I say no, stop, or do something different is something I can only manage by ending the sex, though. He takes it as rejection. I wasn’t particularly kind about it. I’d already said no and redirected him once, after all. But he can’t handle even the smallest amount of conflict or anger. I wasn’t yelling or saying anything cruel. I kept my comments related directly to what was happening in the moment. About the pain I was in, about him ignoring my pain and my words.

But even an angry tone triggers him. Then his RSD kicks in and he goes on defense. I don’t buy his lashing out defensive bullshit, then it becomes a yelling match, and when he finally realizes that I’m not going to believe him when he tells me I was asking for it, he runs off and depends on avoidance instead. I don’t know if he’s avoiding self-awareness or accountability, or if he’s just doing it to punish me and to try to put me back in my place. Withdrawing his love after hurting me has worked for him a bunch of times before, though. It’s his go-to move and it feels particularly targeted and tailored to achieve maximum effect. But now that I’ve got a better handle on my attachment issues, it’s not working so well for him.

I don’t think I’m actually getting anything out of this relationship. I wasn’t looking for anything more than fun, safe companionship. I can’t think of any pros anymore, just cons. I’m not dependent on him for anything. Not since I realized I don’t need a partner to feel worthy or complete. He’s not safe. I know that. I just don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because he’s using me (he’s not self-sufficient) or if it’s because he’s messed up and stuck in avoidance mode. I spent decades shut down and mostly unaware of what was going on with my brain. I see a lot of that version of me in him and I’m sympathetic. I keep holding out hope that watching me come out of my shell and work on finding myself might prompt him to do the same. But it doesn’t seem to be happening. And really, the ignoring my boundaries during sex, which has happened dozens of times now, is something that happens when things are good. It’s a conscious choice he makes each time. To hurt me. It’s been 6 days since the last time now. He knows he’s hurting me more by avoiding talking to me about it. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and about the avoidance. But that’ll be my fault, too. Never mind that he avoids everything that’s uncomfortable or unpleasant. It’ll still somehow be my fault. I love him, but he’s just not ready to be honest with himself, let alone with me. I have to decide how much I’m willing to risk my health and progress to wait around for him, I guess.
 
Then his RSD kicks in
I wasn't sure what "RSD" is, so I looked it up. "Rejection sensitivity disorder"? I suppose that might be a real thing. It also might be a handy excuse. Is it something he's been diagnosed with? Something he's working on?

There could be a lot of stuff going on in the relationship. I know some of it looks familiar and I'm trying to avoid that rabbit hole because I purely don't know. My own opinion is we can make bad relationship choices and when we realize we've done that, the thing to do is get out. There doesn't have to be a bad guy. Doesn't have to be anyone's fault. "Not working" is enough of a reason.

I don't tell many people I have PTSD. No reason to. I tell even less anything particular about how I came to have it. No reason to. But, if I'm going to be intimately involved with someone odds are things won't work out through pure luck. So I tell them what I think they need to know and I answer any questions. I used to worry about this. Worried things I was asking for would be deal breakers for them. Since then, I've decided "better to be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not". In other words, stating my deal breakers and observing their responses gives me valuable information about whether or not the relationship is likely to be ok. But I think I have to be careful about giving second chances. I mean, sex is something where stopping can be tough. I get that and don't expect perfection. I DO expect a partner to be concerned about where I'm at with things. And, "you asked for it" would be the end. Period, no discussion. That's me though and no one else has to play by those rules. All I'm saying is I, personally, don't think you're unreasonable if you want to leave a relationship with a person who acts like you're saying he does.
 
Back
Top