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Relationship I don't know what to do


Policy Enforcement
I'm in bits and really struggling right now.

We were meant to spend a beautiful weekend together. Christmas decorations, lights, building memories.

I feel like I've totally messed it all up. It started off perfectly, so excited and happy to spend time together.

A very close family member of mine died last year, a lot of memories and Christmas decorations linked to it.

This didn't cross my mind and wasn't what the weekend was supposed to be about. Whilst putting up decorations, a Christmas song randomly played.

The song I listened to repeatedly whilst saying goodbye. It hit my like a train. I tried up fight the feeling and shut it down, "this isn't what the evening was about, focus on what is right in front of you" the person who I love deeply.

Then a Christmas decorations I kept that my relative had on their death bed. I tried my best to shut it down. I didn't want to put these bad feelings on my partner and made light of it.

It was okay until I said I wanted to tie a new string on it and put it on the tree (I used the original ribbon as a memorial).

My partner told me I shouldn't put a new strong on it, as the old one is a memorial and can't be replaced (I don't see it like this, it's not replacing but celebrating), a bit of back and forth over this and I became a bit flustered.

She tried helping me by putting it on the tree as it was , I was afraid it would fall , or damaged. She was trying to thread the treet stem through the little hole.

I know she was trying to help but was becoming panicked and wanted to have it back so I could put a string on it.

I become quite adamant I wanted the decoration back. I tried being as calm as I could, I asked, and requested please give it to me.

Then basically forcefully took it out of her hand. I put a new sting on it and hung it on the tree.

It ruined the night. She said from the point of the song , I was in my own head (which is probably true), and basically not allowing her any input on where things went.

I don't personally recall it like that. I feel the situation got tense after the tree decoration.

I spent the whole evening trying to ask her where she would like things to go, how about we put this here , let's do this e.t.c. you know get back to the night being about us.

She later told me she couldn't just switch off how she felt and get it back her feeling like we were doing this together.

Next day she told me how it made her feel. It wasn't my intention and I wanted the previous night to be about togetherness.

After this conversation a unit arrived. Something she had been looking forward too. We got it into place , moved a few things around. This unit was super important to her and where I really let her down.

After that I says I was going upstairs for a bit. That bit ended up being a few hours , I just zoned out and went into a bubble.

Shut the world out. She text me if I was "okay " I told her I was and that I loved her and I'd be down soon. She told me she loved my back.

Around 35 min Later came downstairs. She was angry at me for disappearing. I was a little surprised and didn't understand it at first.

She had set up the space alone and I wasn't there and it was really important to her. When I was upstairs I just zoned out and didn't realise or think.

I tried apologising, defusing the situation, kept on wanting to talk about it. To a lot of extent I was defending myself and justifying that causing her hurt wasn't my intention.

It went on for a while. I then later said "disappearing for a couple hours upstairs wasn't the biggest crime in the world ", Said it out of frustration.

It got a little heated. A bit and back and forth. Trying to argue my point, her arguing hers.

I was pacing a little, not wanting to argue desperate to defuse the the situation. She felt triggered and told me if I didn't stop and leave, she could pack up and leave in 20 min.

Heat of the moment, sat down the floor the opposite end of the room and continued to make my point. Wanted her to hear what I was saying.

Her anxiety got high.

She told me because I couldn't respect her need for space and I made her feel trapped. The relationship is over.

I've probably made the situation a million times worse but been trying to talk to her all night going over things, lots of back and forth, basically trying try talk things through or be at least open to it.

Just made her feel trapped, she's downstairs in my house. I'm upstairs in bed. I'm desperate to talk , keep checking in asing if she's up for talking. She keeps saying no, so leave and try to respect her space ( I'm finding it hard and quite emotional so keep pressuring her to talk by asking her).

She's planning her exit in the morning. I'm desperate to communicate and work through things.

Love her to bits. She's having a really rough time at the moment, coil implant, stresses, ill health all massively triggering her PTSD and PMDD.

Just want to be there for her. Feels like I've just made everything worse.
The big thing for her was her warning me she would leave if I didn't stop trying insisting she heard me and give her space, Instead I just shouted her down.

The moment was heated and i was getting frustrated, felt defensive, although I don't recall shouting but no way was I expressing myself calmly (so a good chance I was coming across shouty / we both were)

I didn't attack her verbally, or anything like that.

Just felt the need to defend my position that although it was selfish of me to disappear for a few hours and unthoughtful, taking time and escaping from the world wasn't the worst thing.

Pretty much what I said/shouted (don't recall).

This was a massive break in trust, crossing the line and breaking a boundary. Not taking space (leaving her to feel alone whilst doing something important to her), but the fact that I didn't leave the room and give her space when she said she would leave if I didn't.

Emotions high both sides tonight. Feel alone and unable to express myself. Wish conflict was easier to navigate.
Reading that I would’ve guessed you were the one suffering from PTSD.

I’m not sure what you expected, not just from someone you know has a mental health issue but I’d think you expect that sort of response from someone without a mental health issue. Give her space as she requested.
I have been struggling it's coming up to the anniversary of the death.

I don't think I've been my best self for sure.
Idk what to say, arguments aren't easy to resolve at the best of times, especially if one or both parties don't want to, or trust feels violated. Turning away at important times happens but is damaging.

What I don't understand is you took space, said a few minutes and were gone for hours. She said she wanted space and you saw it differently?

I can't recall also how long you've been together?

I am sorry for your loss. i hope you will be able to resolve it and come out stronger. Maybe you over-estimated your ability to bear the emotional weight of the reminders of your loved one's death, especially this first year.
You've been banned, but feedback to anyone else who might need it and also if you're lurking somewhere:

It sounds to me like there's a lot of miscommunication going on and a lot of not listening on potentially both sides.

My impression: I thought about my relationship with my best friend, "Bestie," and how this sort of disagreement wouldn't happen because in the moment of "please give me the string," one of us would have asked why. As in, if I were you, I would have asked Bestie why he didn't want to add a new string (assuming he experienced the traumatic death the way I did), and he would have asked me why I wanted to add a string, and we would have discussed it from there, with each other's emotional needs in mind.

At the very least, if I got flustered and couldn't answer then, I would not have been afraid to walk away and come back in a few minutes to explain. We both have CPTSD, and have both learned to be extremely respectful of each other's boundaries.

Which includes alone time. I find it a little odd that "disappearing" for a couple of hours caused such a reaction, from either of you. Specifically, (a) that she found it so upsetting, and (b) that you immediately felt like you let her down or failed as soon as she showed an ounce of discomfort afterwards. There's a lot of black and white thinking going on that seemed to have been getting in the way of your relationship.

(a) In trying to understand her potential perspective, I figure either she is the most evil person who ever existed and decided you have to celebrate everything with her forever, or there have been some fundamental misunderstandings between the two of you.

You seem to feel (b) that you let her down, and that is possible, I guess, in that you told her you were fine but sat in your room upstairs zoning off and needing some time alone. Bestie and I are both occasionally get hit with periods like this, where we need to be executive dysfunctional people all alone for a while, and can barely answer questions. If that happens, we both view it as a medical issue. It doesn't mean we've never been frustrated at each other, but we do allow each other the required space and put off celebrations for later when necessary.

Sometimes I get confused and don't realize I'm doing it, leading to those "I'm fine :)" texts because I genuinely don't think otherwise, I'm just "stuck" or catatonic. Maybe you were catatonic after such a stressor -- both upsetting your ex-partner and being upset by her behavior about the decoration from your deceased loved one.

Back to (a), it's possible she was feeling as overwhelmed as you were and didn't understand that you were having symptoms, especially if you aren't diagnosed with anything. And with the lack of communication, she felt frustrated and like you were distancing yourself.

It's possible you could explain yourself over text or through some other way that's not in-person, though she's her own person and may still decide that it's not working right now.

I hope this helps someone.