Sufferer Looking for support - Childhood trauma, abandonment, relationships, & triggers.

QuirkyLady22

New Here
Hi everyone! I’m 46 and have CPTSD with a history of childhood abuse, neglect, abandonment trauma and all that goes with it. I was married for 10 yrs to a partner that didn’t do any self work and was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive at times. I’ve done loads of trauma work (EMDR,IFS) and made real changes in my life over the years. I’m currently seeing two therapists presently. One focuses more on IFS and exile parts and the other focuses more on present coping and how it effects me now with EMDR. I have been fortunate to have long periods of remission and to find peace in my life.

Well.. I’ve started my first relationship after my divorce (over a year ago) and I am struggling. I dated for a bit but didn’t find anyone I was super into until this person. I was surprised I actually developed feelings and interest in this person since initially there were no huge sparks. Which for me is a good thing considering my history with abusers. I didn’t just go for someone based on sexual chemistry.

My abandonment wound was triggered by them pretty bad in December and I can’t seem to get on top of it. It’s around only one “recovery” friend in their life. Basically.. I was in a triggered disassociated state (not my normal anymore) and he knew this. His recovery friend called with a crisis and he dropped everything with me to help them. This is my worst and fear and something with a direct line to my childhood neglect. To be in such a vulnerable place and be left. Now I can’t even hear this persons name without a trigger.

Later he called me needing support after her crisis and I learned her issue was domestic and triggering for me. I was triggered further because he kept saying he needed to call her and I kept saying I was triggered. I ended up having to leave his house because I was getting worse. I had a bad episode that night of disassociating again.

I work a professional job and it’s starting to affect my work. Nothing bad has happened at work but I am super distracted and I am a provider in a hospital so you can imagine my concern. I end up getting mildly triggered at work thinking that I will be abandoned.

I’m doing the work and using RAIN with lots of self soothing. I can’t seem to make him understand how dire my situation is. I don’t know what boundaries are appropriate with this friendship he has. They talk on the phone a lot (twice daily) and text. They hang out. He watches her dog. He lets up her use his car. She’s attractive. Probably more than me. I have asked him to not talk to her when we are doing things which was an issue and rude in a way too. He has stopped that. It’s so stressful for me to even write about. So much shame.

PTSD community what have you found most helpful when your abandonment trauma is triggered?

What advice would you give a partner dealing with it?

What helps you most when severely triggered?

Do I throw in the towel just because I can’t seem to get it together?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Tricky..., I mean you can't stop someone having other friends or caring about other people but obviously you have your own needs. Can you try couples therapy? Is that an option? Well done for the work that you've put into your own part of recovery, it's great!

If your not getting your needs met within this relationship then maybe you should not invest so much into it. I hope you feel better soon and also hope that you and your partner can maybe have a good caring and honest conversation about it all.
 

QuirkyLady22

New Here
Tricky..., I mean you can't stop someone having other friends or caring about other people but obviously you have your own needs. Can you try couples therapy? Is that an option? Well done for the work that you've put into your own part of recovery, it's great!

If your not getting your needs met within this relationship then maybe you should not invest so much into it. I hope you feel better soon and also hope that you and your partner can maybe have a good caring and honest conversation about it all.
Thanks. I had therapy and I feel better. I was just in that abandonment wound place of pain and no escape. I think I see what is going on now in a much clearer way.
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
I'm glad you feel better. Unwelcome maybe, but I'm upset for you. I hope he can meet your needs or move on, because needs are non-negotiable.

I know that's not a very long good answer but I think worth saying for sure.
 

QuirkyLady22

New Here
I'm glad you feel better. Unwelcome maybe, but I'm upset for you. I hope he can meet your needs or move on, because needs are non-negotiable.

I know that's not a very long good answer but I think worth saying for sure.
Yes, I agree. And thank you. I set lots of boundaries and have been saying my needs. He has decided to take a break from that recovery friend since I just keep getting triggered. It has come to a point where if I keep having to deal with severe triggers every week I won’t be able to continue. It takes me time to recover. Sometimes a few days. This weekend I did ok but I called out to work one shift which I never do. So he decided to let that recovery friend know he was talking a break for awhile to be there for me. I feel guilty but it will give me time to have trigger free days with my partner. He has become more understanding I’m grateful.
 

Friday

Moderator
PTSD community what have you found most helpful when your abandonment trauma is triggered?
My on-going mantra is… (in normal life) You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves. They might not want to, but they CAN.

What advice would you give a partner dealing with it?
- Don’t accept the blame for evils others do.

- Don’t co-sign crazy. (If what you “did” was normal/ healthy/ morally correct/ etc.? STAND by that. Agreeing with your partner that you’re an enemy combatant come to kill them all, or a neglectful/abusive parent who needs to pour all their energy into their child, or a rapist, or whatever? Does. Not. Help. Anyone. Do not allow yourself to be treated as if that’s really who you are, and that your actions should be judged by those standards. Ever.)

- Don’t put up with being abused, even if you understand why the person you love is abusing you (mixing you up with a rapist, neglectful/abusive parent, enemy combatant, etc.).

^^^ All of which ^^^ equal BOUNDARIES & Olympic level self-confidence.

What helps you most when severely triggered?
To know that -be definition- I’m overreacting, and to NOT act on instinct, or what feels right, or what’s ‘logical’(in the moment, because what’s completely logical 10/15/20 years ago in a wildly different situation is rarely logical in THIS moment. To use a casual example? It’s completely logical to drive to the store for groceries. It’s no longer logical if I’m drunk. Just because I was sober yesterday doesn’t mean driving is a good choice today)… and to reeeeeeeally throw the breaks on any kind of BS justification FOR that overreaction. Deal with the overreaction first, then reevaluate what happened; rather than attempting to justify that overreaction with modern events. Avoidance as a symptom? Makes that bit VERY difficult.

That doesn’t mean that what the person/situation/etc. is in the present isnt f*cked up. It may be. It may also be normal/wanted/desired/nothing of note. Mixing up the present with the past means my judgment of the situation is completely f*cked, and I have to wait until I can judge it on it’s own merits, rather than by what it would have meant umpteen years ago, in another time and place, with different people, in a wholly different environment.

Do I throw in the towel just because I can’t seem to get it together?
Giving up is always an option, but? IMO It’s a very boring option. Personally I refuse to give up whilst my life is f*cked up, or I am. The time to stop trying to do better, be better, love more, live more, be more, etc.? Is when my life is amaaaaazing. Not when it’s hard.
 

QuirkyLady22

New Here
Thanks for the reply!!

My problem with being triggered at this point in my recovery is sorting out what is distortion and//or what maybe a red flag or legitimate issue that also happens to trigger me. So challenging. After years of abuse I have a hard time trusting myself. With triggers I get so exhausted and it’s hard to make sense of things. I do wait before I make my final say but it’s hard.
 
Hi everyone! I’m 46 and have CPTSD with a history of childhood abuse, neglect, abandonment trauma and all that goes with it. I was married for 10 yrs to a partner that didn’t do any self work and was an alcoholic and emotionally abusive at times. I’ve done loads of trauma work (EMDR,IFS) and made real changes in my life over the years. I’m currently seeing two therapists presently. One focuses more on IFS and exile parts and the other focuses more on present coping and how it effects me now with EMDR. I have been fortunate to have long periods of remission and to find peace in my life.

Well.. I’ve started my first relationship after my divorce (over a year ago) and I am struggling. I dated for a bit but didn’t find anyone I was super into until this person. I was surprised I actually developed feelings and interest in this person since initially there were no huge sparks. Which for me is a good thing considering my history with abusers. I didn’t just go for someone based on sexual chemistry.

My abandonment wound was triggered by them pretty bad in December and I can’t seem to get on top of it. It’s around only one “recovery” friend in their life. Basically.. I was in a triggered disassociated state (not my normal anymore) and he knew this. His recovery friend called with a crisis and he dropped everything with me to help them. This is my worst and fear and something with a direct line to my childhood neglect. To be in such a vulnerable place and be left. Now I can’t even hear this persons name without a trigger.

Later he called me needing support after her crisis and I learned her issue was domestic and triggering for me. I was triggered further because he kept saying he needed to call her and I kept saying I was triggered. I ended up having to leave his house because I was getting worse. I had a bad episode that night of disassociating again.

I work a professional job and it’s starting to affect my work. Nothing bad has happened at work but I am super distracted and I am a provider in a hospital so you can imagine my concern. I end up getting mildly triggered at work thinking that I will be abandoned.

I’m doing the work and using RAIN with lots of self soothing. I can’t seem to make him understand how dire my situation is. I don’t know what boundaries are appropriate with this friendship he has. They talk on the phone a lot (twice daily) and text. They hang out. He watches her dog. He lets up her use his car. She’s attractive. Probably more than me. I have asked him to not talk to her when we are doing things which was an issue and rude in a way too. He has stopped that. It’s so stressful for me to even write about. So much shame.

PTSD community what have you found most helpful when your abandonment trauma is triggered? answer below

What advice would you give a partner dealing with it? research this. then take care of yourself. no threats of leaving. keep it safe

What helps you most when severely triggered? a pill. connect with a human accepting that just not dying is enough for the moment

Do I throw in the towel just because I can’t seem to get it together? No, you detach and focus on self care-quit trying to make him understand.
Hi. Also new here. If my trauma is triggered really horribly I have to medicate. I am in the process of finding a pup to PSD train. So it can save me from suicide or self-harm. If I can move and a part of me remains present-then self-love and extreme self-care is the ticket. First I feel-grieve it. Then I run a hot bath. Make tea. Turn on a rom-com favorite. Do my toenails. Give myself a facial. eat anything that feels like a treat or comforting. I also do a lot of mapping. If you want to know how that works let me know. It draws you back into reality sometimes. I would love to create a support circle here. I am alone.
 
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QuirkyLady22

New Here
Hi. Also new here. If my trauma is triggered really horribly I have to medicate. I am in the process of finding a pup to PSD train. So it can save me from suicide or self-harm. If I can move and a part of me remains present-then self-love and extreme self-care is the ticket. First I feel-grieve it. Then I run a hot bath. Make tea. Turn on a rom-com favorite. Do my toenails. Give myself a facial. eat anything that feels like a treat or comforting. I also do a lot of mapping. If you want to know how that works let me know. It draws you back into reality sometimes. I would love to create a support circle here. I am alone.
Yes, please tell me more about mapping!
 
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