Relationship I triggered my gf- now what?

Sweetpea76

Moderator
Only adjustment I can think to make is to do my processing with someone else, so when I do come to her with my feelings, they're exactly what I mean and more concise. I have a tendency to go on wide, looping tangents before I discover the real point I'm trying to make. Sigh. ?

That’s probably a good idea... the most linear, straight-forward conversations tend to be the most productive. High emotion and squirrelly “talk through feelings” conversations tend to go straight to the dumper. Same with “come to Jesus” talks about deep relationship issues when they’re symptomatic ?.

I also find it helpful to let out a little frustration or emotion when I’m alone... especially on those designated asshole days. I like to break old plates against the back of my shed “to make mosaics”. If I happen to take a shot, cuss, and smoke a cigarette while doing it, so be it.

Self care is important too... your emotions are valid too.
 
Hahaha! She actually mentioned taking her 11 yr old daughter out somewhere to break plates to get some emotions out. She has 3 kids, and the two oldest saw and heard way too much for kids to understand and process over the past 2 years in particular, and she's trying to prevent them from developing the same issues she has now. Maybe mosaics are the new thing lol. I work outside, so I get lots of exercise daily to burn off excess feels, but a little harmless destruction of property may be a good idea on particularly difficult days ?
 

Freida

Sponsor
you’re going to be the designated asshole when your partner is symptomatic.
Same with “come to Jesus” talks about deep relationship issues when they’re symptomatic ?.
Yep. :laugh:
:Sorry. sucks.. but if this helps at all --
I make hubby the bad guy because I know he loves me and will forgive me (once I grovel a bit.) I try not to make it a habit, but if I have a choice of who I'm going to blow up at and/or run away from it's usually him because I know he can take it. He understands what is happening (often before I do) and he knows how to handle it, so it makes him my safe person.

it's kind of a backhanded compliment I guess :)
 

joeylittle

Administrator
My best friend of over 8 years, girlfriend of a year, has recently been diagnosed with cptsd due to childhood trauma, followed by a 14 year relationship that was very abusive- mostly emotional but also some sexual/physical abuse.
Do you know - was her PTSD late-onset, and that led to a diagnosis - or, was she living with symptoms for a long time but never sought help until recently?
 
She was diagnosed bipolar 2 at age 15. Had later docs disagree with the diagnosis, but either they didn't ask the right questions, or she didn't trust the system enough to open up about her experiences. Fast forward to age 33, stumbled onto a knowledgeable trauma therapist while we were seeking couples' counseling to help navigate her scary exit from an abusive relationship.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Thanks. I think it's helpful context for understanding her reactions - but it sounds like she would have been symptomatic but misdiagnosed the whole time you've known her.

Working on the trauma will tend to intensify trauma reactions - which in turn, can lead to behaviors and responses from her that will strike you as out of character. PTSD goes hand-in-hand with real and enduring alterations to psychological functioning. What she'll be working towards now is some amount of trauma processing (recovery) and some amount of symptom management, which will be ongoing.

When you feel like things are different - it's because they actually are, and to a certain extent, will continue to be. So, as you're identifying how your own boundaries are going to work (vis-a-vis her trauma responses), bear in mind that it's not a situation where eventually "things go back to normal". You're in a new normal, that is right now exacerbated by beginning trauma therapy.

Don't know if that makes sense....
 
It makes perfect sense. I've read The Body Keeps the Score, and excerpts from her CPTSD workbook, so I know that there are some things she can control, and some she can't. Some things can improve dramatically, some may never change. Because she's been symptomatic in various ways the entire time I've known her, accepting these truths isn't hard for me. I love her for who she is, I just hope that she finds some semblance of peace and happiness, and I'm optimistic that now she's getting the treatment she needs, that could be possible one day.
 
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