General Is this normal PTSD behavior?



Thanks for the insight everyone. I was prepared to cut ties for good when he reached out to me on my bday to wish me a good trip and say that he thinks I'm fantastic. I don't get it at all, and it can be very hard to separate out symptomatic behavior from intentional breadcrumbing meant to keep me around. Either way, the only thing I can really control are my expectations, which I'm working on!


Having ptsd isn't an excuse for being a jerk. Find someone else that doesn't treat you like a doormat! You deserve better. 🙂
I agree. So could it be argued that many supporters are treated like doormats by their sufferers, whether intentionally or not? Not trying to make excuses for anybody, just trying to understand. And in my defense, I have stood up for myself and also have my own life that I'm continuing to live.


that many supporters are treated like doormats by their sufferers,
Only if they allow it.

look around at the long term supporters on this site. They set ground rules, they set boundaries, they say "this is not OK" and then they stand by them. They are anything but doormats.

Like @Survivor3 said - PTSD does not give us the excuse to treat people like crap.
If we don't know we are doing it, it's up to our supporters to call us out
Then it's on us if we will do something about it
Your guy? has chosen not to do anything to change his behavior
Now it's up to you to make the choice to accept his behavior or not.
Because chances are he won't change - especially if he knows he doesn't have to.


So could it be argued that many supporters are treated like doormats by their sufferers, whether intentionally or not?
Not just argued… people with PTSD often treat their partners badly, which is wrong, and needs to stop.

That said?

There’s universal “badly” like
- lashing out physically (assault in all it’s many flavours, including whilst asleep/ in a nightmare)
- lashing out verbally (swearing, screaming, roaring, bawling, keening… as well as making threats against their own life, yours, others, etc.)
- emotional blackmail (like threatening suicide or divorce if you leave them to go to work, go to sleep, feed the kids, or any other normal & necessary act of life/living)
- blame-shifting // designated asshole (blaming you for their suicide attempt, cutting themselves or other kinds of self harm, job loss, panic attack, being triggered, etc… as if you did that to them, instead of them doing it to themselves)

^^^ ALL of which is straight up ABUSE ^^^

And, yes. It’s often understandable in the moment, but that not only doesn’t make ANY of it okay? It means it is a priority to stop immediately, because it is wrong to treat anyone like that (that you’re not deliberately abusing, say for interrogation or as punishment, and arguably wrong there as well), but even more wrong to treat people you love like that.

And then there’s personal preference “badly”

Which each of us have the absolute right to decide for ourselves how we want our partners to treat us. With far too many possibilities both tied to symptoms, coping mechanisms, and personality to even begin to discuss on a general basis besides Human A doing something that Human B is not okay with.

^^^ I will say a super common one with PTSD is isolation needs/wants not lining up. But that’s very much a lining up thing, because the exact same amount of contact from person A with B? Has B feeling devastated, alone, insulted, angry, etc. But person C? Is annoyed as f*ck at how clingy person A is, and wants them to back off. Exact same person A, exact same in contact style, with 2 different mismatches; both people not okay wih the same behavior, in opposite ways.
Why do you think this is in your opinion?

For me, I tend to get into a loop; I have to isolate for reasons I probably could explain, but explaining would break the isolation so I can't tell you until I've done isolating, so the person on the receiving end often feels ignored until I can tell them why I haven't been in touch for so long. And so it goes on....

I've friends with ptsd who do exactly the same, I hear nothing for months, then get a text message explaining they needed time out.

You will find that people with ptsd will rarely contact you at the beginning to explain the situation because its just one more stress we can't deal with at that moment.


Why do you think this is in your opinion?
Because it takes time to learn to manage an intermittent & reactive disorder, to relearn self control, & people in pain are both selfish & vicious by nature.

Literal nature, as in fight or flight is a survival mechanism. Even if some one’s knee jerk is flight? A cornered animal in pain will bite. It takes most people time and practice to learn to live in that state without making a pregnant woman or a toddler look like the soul of calm, reasoned, self control.

Which excuses absolutely nothing. Knowing this about one’s self is reason TO (re)learn self control, not a justification to never learn it.

These 2 articles below are the best synthesis & breakdown of the science and practice of PTSD. (700 pages down to 2 or 3? <low whistle> ) And yet, even as concise as they are, are far more complete than anything I’ve read anywhere.

Understanding post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) (includes the PTSD Stress Cup)

Ptsd diagnosis This one actually translates the medicalise into plain English, which is super handy. Criteria E is where a lot of the “Dammit. Time to relearn self control.” thing comes from, along with aspects of B, C, & D
Criterion E
Criterion E is quite behavioral, such as suddenly yelling at people, getting into fights, reckless or self-destructive behavior (dangerous driving or a sudden urge for extreme sports) excessive drug or alcohol use, self-injurious and suicidal behavior. Criterion E also covers threat potential, such as thinking you will have a heart attack at any time, will die or other accident waiting to happen. You may be jumpy, hyper-aware of your surroundings, suspicious of others and have a difficult concentrating, remembering simple things or even doing multiple things at once like you once could. This all often leads into sleep problems, sleeping a couple of hours nightly or changing your sleep patterns completely.


Hi ... I am new to all this and am great-full for those who have shared your situations. I have been seeing my vet for over a year and as I also suffer from cptsd. I too was comfortable taking things slow. I worked so hard on healing myself as I didnt want to frighten him away. As time went on I didnt realise he was going through his own pain. he never expressed to me that he has ptsd a workaholic who would connect from time to time and unknowing we feel in love with each other . its a journey im willing to take as he has shown me that even through our struggles he has never abandon me. It’s the first time in my life someone gets me. he is now accepting counseling and is starting medication , he mentioned to me once ... you cant handle me and how sorry he was that he wasnt the man I thought he was. because I had ended it due to no contact and disappearing, so over time I started to take it personally thinking the worst but this man is in my heart. I had no idea how different ptsd is and just how intense it gets. dating now days is all about ghosting breadcrumbs and redflags. its a wonder no one wants to date if they have no idea just how terrifying it can be to allow someone into your life. if anything my vet opened my eyes to the facts that he has never abounded me he has never cheated on me and when he told me how scared he was to be with me well he made me face my own fears because I too felt the same I used every excuse to try and break it off with him because of my own issues , i guess what im trying to say is that we all have our demons but dont let someone eles demons become yours and learn to recognize adjust and move forward hence why ive found myself on here to better our relationship I need to understand as I accept he can not put it into words and fair enough , my daily struggles are mine and his are his all we can do is understand and have faith and trust in each other ... my vet was in the service for 35years but had to leave as he had throat cancer and he beat ... im so proud to have met him and if not for him I would never have allowed another mans love into my heart.
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I haven't upread the thread and am a sufferer. As a sufferer, yes, this is normal. For me at least, when a anniversary is coming up or am in the middle of it, my mental storm is crazy. My PTSD cup is overfilling and am overwhelmed and when that happens, I ghost everyone. I cannot handle even the slightest stressor and so I just go completely radio silent. No calls, no text, no messages or emails, no nothing. I'm just trying to manage to get through the day alive. I can't focus on anything else. And, again, just for me, a romantic relationship is more stressful then any other relationship (like a friend) so I will make contact with a friend way sooner then I will make contact with a romantic relationship person. This may hurt the feelings of my romantic relationship person, but I have to make contact with the least stressful person at a time when I'm coming out of a bout of isolation.

Just from the original post, this sounds very normal for a PTSD sufferer. I'm sure others have mentioned this but the PTSD cup explanation post on here that Anthony put together is the best explanation I've seen thus far on what PTSD + triggers + stressor cause. When my cup is overflowing I will drop off the map and isolate completely. Starting with the most stressful relationship, which for me, is a romantic relationship.

Hope this helps to explain this in a sufferers point of view. I'm sure others have explained this better then I and keep in mind, this is just me. Everyone is different.