General How do you (supporter) tell people who care about you what you are encountering?

D-sweet

Learning
it's not easy for us supporters being in the other side of the sufferer's PTSD especially when they isolate/ghost. It sometimes inevitably drains us emotionally and people who care about us (family, closed friends..etc) would notice and ask to care. How do you share your difficulties without disclosing too much about your sufferer's situation to protect his/her privacy? it's a difficult position when you know those people are genuinely care about you but at the same time, they may not understand what PTSD can do to your loved one.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i am both sufferer and supporter. when challenges of the support side are escalating to more than i can bear alone, i respect confidentiality of the sufferer and keep the focus on the reactions being triggered in me, strictly personal. when the sufferer and i share the same inner circle as the person inquiring, i answer in broad strokes. eg. "________ and i are having problems between us. ________ will tell you their side of the conflict, if s/he wants you to know."
 

StillWurdy

New Here
i am both sufferer and supporter. when challenges of the support side are escalating to more than i can bear alone, i respect confidentiality of the sufferer and keep the focus on the reactions being triggered in me, strictly personal. when the sufferer and i share the same inner circle as the person inquiring, i answer in broad strokes. eg. "________ and i are having problems between us. ________ will tell you their side of the conflict, if s/he wants you to know."
My sufferer and I went out separate ways in January and we haven’t talked since. Inquiries about us have happened up until August and I know for me, it’s important that I no longer walk on eggshells and when asked I tell the truth about what I’m going through. I sure if she knew she’d be pissed, but as I see it, it’s my story now. Sometimes I feel guilt about it, but again, it’s my story and my experience. When we were still together it was so hard, people on the outside who would keep inquiring about when I was going to propose and would act like cheerleaders for us because they really liked us and assumed everything was a ferry tale when in reality, after she became symptomatic, I was being pushed to the end of my rope.
 

moonjuice85

New Here
Thank you for this question. Sufferer and supporter. We are in the middle of selling the house and have been 'separated' since June with her getting an apartment she says she got in a panic bc she was scared to stay while processing trauma from childhood that she feels deep shame for/assumed would repel me. Family members knew we were living apart and shutdown any inquiries. I was asking for help and they told me it's better not to talk about it. Ugh. We have been in couples therapy since June and now spend time together as we work to repair, and now that family has seen us together again, they assume everything is fine, and act like nothing happened. Family is my main network where I live -- there's a lot of them & I'm not from here.

So what I've done is turned down my expectations for who to share with. I turn to a completely separate source whether it's meetings, chat boards, live streams, and a *small* network of friends who are also doing the work.
Even to say "we are both working on our mental health and discerning what's best for us as a couple, thank you for your support" has gotten blank stares, abrupt change of subject, or, seriously, one time a family member actually ran away. It's so hard to balance the fact that others have their own struggles but I try to recognize that. I was reminded of that when I saw this question though I take full responsibility for rambling as well 🙃 Because it seems to skirt the idea of defining what's not "too much" for the survivor, the listener, yourself... and I simultaneously get lost and in search of a map. ✨
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i'll buy the notion that the breakup means that the story is now yours to tell, freely and according to your strictly personal needs.

i hope healing happens here. for what it's worth, in my experience both sides of the ptsd help desk, the sufferer side is the easier side to be on. nobody expects me to be rational on the patient side of the desk. on the supporter side, there is seldom support for the days when i feel pushed beyond human endurance. i heartily agree with the theory that ptsd is the number one cause of ptsd.
 

D-sweet

Learning
I just tell people he’s sick. They figured it out on their own. My partner is an obviously disabled vet though, so it wasn’t hard to connect the dots.
thanks - mine is relatively healthy so it's a bit tricky.

i am both sufferer and supporter. when challenges of the support side are escalating to more than i can bear alone, i respect confidentiality of the sufferer and keep the focus on the reactions being triggered in me, strictly personal. when the sufferer and i share the same inner circle as the person inquiring, i answer in broad strokes. eg. "________ and i are having problems between us. ________ will tell you their side of the conflict, if s/he wants you to know."
this is a very good one, but unfortunately, this is a relatively new relationship, not many of my close ones have known him personally, then all these happened.
So what I've done is turned down my expectations for who to share with. I turn to a completely separate source whether it's meetings, chat boards, live streams, and a *small* network of friends who are also doing the work.
Even to say "we are both working on our mental health and discerning what's best for us as a couple, thank you for your support" has gotten blank stares, abrupt change of subject, or, seriously, one time a family member actually ran away. It's so hard to balance the fact that others have their own struggles but I try to recognize that. I was reminded of that when I saw this question though I take full responsibility for rambling as well 🙃 Because it seems to skirt the idea of defining what's not "too much" for the survivor, the listener, yourself... and I simultaneously get lost and in search of a map. ✨
I am glad you got to manage your expectation. does it make distance between you and people who care about you? for me, I avoid sharing too much some time which have put distance between me and family/friends..
i heartily agree with the theory that ptsd is the number one cause of ptsd.
this is really true.

My sufferer and I went out separate ways in January and we haven’t talked since. Inquiries about us have happened up until August and I know for me, it’s important that I no longer walk on eggshells and when asked I tell the truth about what I’m going through. I sure if she knew she’d be pissed, but as I see it, it’s my story now. Sometimes I feel guilt about it, but again, it’s my story and my experience. When we were still together it was so hard, people on the outside who would keep inquiring about when I was going to propose and would act like cheerleaders for us because they really liked us and assumed everything was a ferry tale when in reality, after she became symptomatic, I was being pushed to the end of my rope.
it makes sense when you are sharing the story on your side. thanks for sharing and I am sorry it didn't work out.


To All: My birthday is also coming next week which I believe he won't be available as he has been in isolation mode. I am trying to avoid disappointing myself for having expectation, but at the same time, I know my close one will be asking about it. I honestly feel stressed and distressed about it. I hope you guys can give me some advices to how to make it easier to get pass. thank you
 

moonjuice85

New Here
Yes there is distance. It's normal to long for connection. In my situation it became a tool to recognize the connections I do want. Also it's normal to want to celebrate yourself for your birthday!! I hope you find a way! If you feel like the alternative to some version of the fact that your SO is wanting to be alone rn is to subscribe to the suggestion that *you* are not good enough, please remember you are. You are not responsible for their suffering or saving them. Sending peace ✌️
 

D-sweet

Learning
Yes there is distance. It's normal to long for connection. In my situation it became a tool to recognize the connections I do want. Also it's normal to want to celebrate yourself for your birthday!! I hope you find a way! If you feel like the alternative to some version of the fact that your SO is wanting to be alone rn is to subscribe to the suggestion that *you* are not good enough, please remember you are. You are not responsible for their suffering or saving them. Sending peace ✌️
thank you for supporting, I am not having expectation and will pamper myself
 
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