Relationship MY GF suffering from CPTSD broke up with me suddenly

Terryrocks

New Here
Hi everyone,
I found this forum and have been reading through the threads and they have been helping me come to terms with what has happened between me and my GF these past few weeks. But I'm still struggling really hard.

My story: I'm 37, she's 40. She was in a very abusive 5 years relationship which ended about 5 months before we started dating. Her ex was a narcissist who was both physically and emotionally abusive. She's told me pieces of the abuse but has never shared with me the depth of the trauma she went thru with her ex.

Everything was going really well with us for the first couple of months, we were so happy together. My GF always treated me with respect and never played games with me. She would want to spend every free night/ day with me that she wasn't working or with her son. We texted all day long and communicated. We were always so happy when we were together.

But as our relationship progressed I did notice that I would occasionally trigger her and I would try my best not to. Eg; the first time I asked her for a video call, that triggered her because her ex would constantly check in on her with video. Eg: I mentioned I would take care of her through her next surgery and she got triggered because she interpreted that as controlling her future. Usually, I would sense when I triggered her and then we would talk it out.

Over the past couple of weeks, her ex started sending her messages, even tried contacting her son. I could see the signs of CPTSD getting worse- she was becoming fearful, paranoid, anxious, exhausted, started becoming a little avoidant, kept repeating over and over that she can't understand why she stayed with her ex for so long. But she still wanted to see me and was still communicating. Then It got to the point where my GF had to file a restraining order against her ex, and then she started to unravel. The timing could not be worse because she simultaneously got covid, so I could not be with her to support her. I ended up not seeing her for nearly a month.

We had a video call and I could see she was in a really bad place. I was super worried about her being alone with covid and being isolated while her ex was attacking her. My friends told me to ask her for a check-in call everyday. I accidentally forgot about her trigger with videos calls and asked for a nightly check-in. This ended up being the worst thing I could've asked for at the worst possible time.

A few days later, we have a call and she is suddenly breaking up with me, she tells me that her ex had contacted her again, and then started telling me she can't handle a relationship right now, that she was overwhelmed and can't take care of anyone else. I was stunned, it was like I was talking to a completely different person. She was cold. She also lied about her schedule and was very vehement that she didn't have time for a relationship or me in her life.

I told her if she needed space, it was ok, but begged her not to break up with me like this because she was doing it from a bad place. She spent the next few weeks avoiding me and blowing me off and texting me sparingly. Eventually, she agreed to see me last week. We talked, we hugged, we kissed. Realizing this could be the last time I have the chance to tell her, I finally told her that I loved her. I had been meaning to tell her but never got the opportunity because of all the crap that was happening to her between her ex and covid.

She responded and said that she couldn't say that she loved me now because she was having difficulty feeling. She said that she wasn't sure she could handle being in a relationship. She told me that she knows that my intentions weren't bad, but me having asked for the check-ins just made her break. And that her friend then convinced her that she isn't in the right place for a relationship.

I'm wrecked. My sweet, loving GF is gone. Just a few weeks ago, even when she was feeling down, we were planning a weekend getaway, she was telling me she missed me... And then within just 5 days, she is suddenly breaking up with me and completely distancing herself from me.

She is away now on vacation with her family for her birthday. A vacation she has completely discluded me from, and it hurts. Before she left, I asked her what I could do to make her feel safe. She said to "be patient". She said, "she was trying but feels so detached". And She said that we'd see where things go when she gets back in town. She also said that I could take her out for her birthday when I got back. But at this point, she is messaging me sparingly.

I'm now stuck in this horrible halfway between missing her, wanting to have hope, and also trying to accept that there is nothing else I can do if she doesn't want me in her life. I'm struggling to cope with her change in personality and behavior, which in itself has triggered me.

I myself have a history of suffering from CPTSD that was caused by being in an abusive relationship with an ex who has NPD for 12 years. It took time and therapy but I've been in a really good place these past few years... but when my GF did a 180 to me, this has triggered me and "activated" my own CPTSD emotions. I've become depressed, anxious, and I feel like I feel myself disassociating.

Any advice, comfort, is welcome
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you are going through this.

When I'm in a bad place emotionally, I need to remind myself it will pass. If this is the end of your relationship: then this is the hardest part. It gets easier. It's a matter of being kind to yourself , and letting time do it's thing.

With it spiking your CPTSD symptoms: do you have grounding techniques that help?

Break ups are so awful. But it will get better.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
But as our relationship progressed I did notice that I would occasionally trigger her and I would try my best not to.

You’re not triggering her, she is being triggered. You’re not responsible for her triggers unless you are purposely and maliciously doing things that you know are her triggers. Otherwise what is happening is happening in her head, therefore they’re her responsibility to manage. Blaming you is not managing them.

My friends told me to ask her for a check-in call everyday. I accidentally forgot about her trigger with videos calls and asked for a nightly check-in. This ended up being the worst thing I could've asked for at the worst possible time.

Check ins aren’t necessarily a horrible idea, but daily might be a bit much. Again... if she’s triggered, that’s up to her to manage.

Relationships are difficult when your partner is symptomatic. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time.
 
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Terryrocks

New Here
I'm sorry you are going through this.

When I'm in a bad place emotionally, I need to remind myself it will pass. If this is the end of your relationship: then this is the hardest part. It gets easier. It's a matter of being kind to yourself , and letting time do it's thing.

With it spiking your CPTSD symptoms: do you have grounding techniques that help?

Break ups are so awful. But it will get better.
Thank you for the note. I dont have any grounding techniques

You’re not triggering her, she is being triggered. You’re not responsible for her triggers unless you are purposely and maliciously doing things that you know are her triggers. Otherwise what is happening is happening in her head, therefore they’re her responsibility to manage. Blaming you is not managing them.



Check ins aren’t necessarily a horrible idea, but daily might be a bit much. Again... if she’s triggered, that’s up to her to manage.

Relationships are difficult when your partner is symptomatic. I’m sorry you’re having suck a hard time.
It has taken me 3 weeks to come to terms that the triggers were not my fault. Thank you for reminding me that blaming me is not managing them
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
Five months is not a very long time to have dealt with her feelings and the fallout of her abusive ex to be getting into a new relationship. Possibly a lot of what she is experiencing now is things that she could have learned to manage had she given herself more time.

From what you shared, she is being honest with you about needing time and for you to be patient.

I have PTSD and walked away from many relationships, friends, or personal because they were not respectful of me asking for time. My brain doesn't work on the same timeline as other people. So a month to me, if I am very symptomatic is not very long. To the person waiting, it seems like a long time.

And maybe she can't handle a relationship with the ex and his threats hanging over her head. So, it's time for you to tend to your own PTSD and do what it takes to keep moving forward.

Breakups hurt. Regardless of the reasons. I hope you take care of yourself and are so busy with that, if and when she returns, it will be twice as good. If not, you are still a winner for taking care of yourself.
 

Terryrocks

New Here
Five months is not a very long time to have dealt with her feelings and the fallout of her abusive ex to be getting into a new relationship. Possibly a lot of what she is experiencing now is things that she could have learned to manage had she given herself more time.

From what you shared, she is being honest with you about needing time and for you to be patient.

I have PTSD and walked away from many relationships, friends, or personal because they were not respectful of me asking for time. My brain doesn't work on the same timeline as other people. So a month to me, if I am very symptomatic is not very long. To the person waiting, it seems like a long time.

And maybe she can't handle a relationship with the ex and his threats hanging over her head. So, it's time for you to tend to your own PTSD and do what it takes to keep moving forward.

Breakups hurt. Regardless of the reasons. I hope you take care of yourself and are so busy with that, if and when she returns, it will be twice as good. If not, you are still a winner for taking care of yourself.
Thank you for the kind words

The part that I'm struggling with so much is how she went from wanting to spend every moment with me to avoiding me in such a short time. Even when I was in the throws of my CPSTD, I had moments where I'd push people away, but it was never for very long. I'm having trouble processing this part
 
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Friday

Moderator
I myself have a history of suffering from CPTSD that was caused by being in an abusive relationship with an ex who has NPD for 12 years. It took time and therapy but I've been in a really good place these past few years... but when my GF did a 180 to me, this has triggered me and "activated" my own CPTSD emotions. I've become depressed, anxious, and I feel like I feel myself disassociating.
The part that I'm struggling with so much is how she went from wanting to spend every moment with me to avoiding me in such a short time. Even when I was in the throws of my CPSTD, I had moments where I'd push people away, but it was never for very long. I'm having trouble processing this part
I almost exclusively date people with my brand of crazy.

One of the wackiest things to wrap one’s head around? Is when their symptoms/ expressions/ coping mechanisms differ from my own.

Difference isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the upside? One person’s strengths can bridge the gap of the other person’s weaknesses, and vice versa. On the downside? It often ends relationships FAST, when there’s too much difference, or difference in just the wrong place... so instinctual responses conflict.

You see it happen in neurotypical relationships, all the time... it just takes longer, and has far more varied results. It’s a more subtle and pervasive seeping into the relationship. Rather than BANG! as instinctual responses cross wires. Like the difference between a loose connection in a lightbulb causing it to flicker, it will vex over time until finally the the bulb or the setting is fixed (and people break up or reach a compromise); versus the explosive, circuit breaking, bulb shattering HOLY f*ck!! ARE YOU OKAY??? as the person is blown backwards, the whole house goes dark, and flames start lickin up the walls.

Strongly agreeing with @ladee said (& ditto SweetPea, you didn’t trigger her, and it’s not your job not to trigger her; she was triggered, and it’s her job to manage her triggers)... and speaking from experience... Your girl wasn’t just in HotMess territory only a few months out of a long term abusive relationship WITH a kid. She was in HotFawkingDisaster territory. I’m sure the few months she spent with you were both lovely & very affirming that there ARE good people out there. But it’s also no wonder that she’s eyeballs deep in stress & stressors, and can’t handle even a normal relationship in the happy-happy getting to knooooow yoooooou phase, even if she were starting out on her own again... much less dealing with an abusive ex, court stuff, AND a kid who needs her. I’ve been there. It’s a mindf*ck.

If she were a couple YEARS out? It would still be in solid maybe, territory. As in I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all of her relationships were failing at the drop of a pin. Only a few months out? I’m honestly surprised you lasted as long as you did. Which is strongly in your credit, and hers. As the only relationship someone coming out of abuse can usually handle for more than a hot minute is another abusive as fawk one. Instead? She chose you to date, rather than the first abusive POS who crossed her path, and is choosing to end things rather than sacrifice her kid and her sanity, to cling abuse-style to you. So it speaks well to both of you. Even if it’s also completely understandable that there is too much going on with her, to be in a relationship right now. And why even a pin dropping is landing like a grenade, much less the crossed wires of instinctual & symptomatic responses of 2 people with disorder level stress responses. Instead of blowing out the power to the house, it’s blowing it out at the transformer for the whole region. Because she needs to learn to manage her new life, her stressors, her triggers, unlearn lessons learned in abuse, be there for an abused kid, and a thousand other things. It sounds like she’s left HotFawkingDisaster territory, for HotMess territory. And you helped get her through that. But, as she said? She has to work on her own life, now. That’s not something anyone else can do, for her.
 

Terryrocks

New Here
I almost exclusively date people with my brand of crazy.

One of the wackiest things to wrap one’s head around? Is when their symptoms/ expressions/ coping mechanisms differ from my own.

Difference isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the upside? One person’s strengths can bridge the gap of the other person’s weaknesses, and vice versa. On the downside? It often ends relationships FAST, when there’s too much difference, or difference in just the wrong place... so instinctual responses conflict.

You see it happen in neurotypical relationships, all the time... it just takes longer, and has far more varied results. It’s a more subtle and pervasive seeping into the relationship. Rather than BANG! as instinctual responses cross wires. Like the difference between a loose connection in a lightbulb causing it to flicker, it will vex over time until finally the the bulb or the setting is fixed (and people break up or reach a compromise); versus the explosive, circuit breaking, bulb shattering HOLY f*ck!! ARE YOU OKAY??? as the person is blown backwards, the whole house goes dark, and flames start lickin up the walls.

Strongly agreeing with @ladee said (& ditto SweetPea, you didn’t trigger her, and it’s not your job not to trigger her; she was triggered, and it’s her job to manage her triggers)... and speaking from experience... Your girl wasn’t just in HotMess territory only a few months out of a long term abusive relationship WITH a kid. She was in HotFawkingDisaster territory. I’m sure the few months she spent with you were both lovely & very affirming that there ARE good people out there. But it’s also no wonder that she’s eyeballs deep in stress & stressors, and can’t handle even a normal relationship in the happy-happy getting to knooooow yoooooou phase, even if she were starting out on her own again... much less dealing with an abusive ex, court stuff, AND a kid who needs her. I’ve been there. It’s a mindf*ck.

If she were a couple YEARS out? It would still be in solid maybe, territory. As in I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all of her relationships were failing at the drop of a pin. Only a few months out? I’m honestly surprised you lasted as long as you did. Which is strongly in your credit, and hers. As the only relationship someone coming out of abuse can usually handle for more than a hot minute is another abusive as fawk one. Instead? She chose you to date, rather than the first abusive POS who crossed her path, and is choosing to end things rather than sacrifice her kid and her sanity, to cling abuse-style to you. So it speaks well to both of you. Even if it’s also completely understandable that there is too much going on with her, to be in a relationship right now. And why even a pin dropping is landing like a grenade, much less the crossed wires of instinctual & symptomatic responses of 2 people with disorder level stress responses. Instead of blowing out the power to the house, it’s blowing it out at the transformer for the whole region. Because she needs to learn to manage her new life, her stressors, her triggers, unlearn lessons learned in abuse, be there for an abused kid, and a thousand other things. It sounds like she’s left HotFawkingDisaster territory, for HotMess territory. And you helped get her through that. But, as she said? She has to work on her own life, now. That’s not something anyone else can do, for her.
Thank you for the long reply and the perspective. Your points are all valid 😔
 

Terryrocks

New Here
I've been sitting on this thread and been speaking to friends about what happened. Everyone's reaction has been that triggering her was not my fault, that none of this was my fault, that she should've been communicating better. Initially, I was blaming myself hard because I felt that I destroyed the relationship but I've finally accepted this was not my fault.

But I'm still struggling with her personality and behavior change. I finally get that it's not quite personal, that she is going through a horrible situation, but my friends have pointed out to me that her behavior towards me these past few weeks has been hurtful and disrespectful and that I didn't deserve to be treated so coldly. And that realization has hurt me too - the fact is, she hasn't been treating me properly. I keep alternating between anger, sympathy, and general sadness from missing her. I don't know when to accept to give up, or if I should keep having hope. I keep telling myself that I'll be ok no matter what happens but the thought of not having her in my life anymore, is really hard.

She's away on her birthday vacation and hasn't sent me any messages in days. I've stopped initiating texts since I only get one-word responses and she doesn't send any to me on her own. I ordered flowers/balloon/chocolate, which are scheduled to be delivered to her on her birthday on Saturday. Part of me wonders why I even bothered since she isn't communicating anymore with me anymore. But I hope that if this is the end, that at least on the way out she'll realize that I only ever cared for her and loved her. That maybe she'll realize not everyone out there is an abusive POS.
 

Lotsoflove

Sponsor
Hi everyone,
I found this forum and have been reading through the threads and they have been helping me come to terms with what has happened between me and my GF these past few weeks. But I'm still struggling really hard.

My story: I'm 37, she's 40. She was in a very abusive 5 years relationship which ended about 5 months before we started dating. Her ex was a narcissist who was both physically and emotionally abusive. She's told me pieces of the abuse but has never shared with me the depth of the trauma she went thru with her ex.

Everything was going really well with us for the first couple of months, we were so happy together. My GF always treated me with respect and never played games with me. She would want to spend every free night/ day with me that she wasn't working or with her son. We texted all day long and communicated. We were always so happy when we were together.

But as our relationship progressed I did notice that I would occasionally trigger her and I would try my best not to. Eg; the first time I asked her for a video call, that triggered her because her ex would constantly check in on her with video. Eg: I mentioned I would take care of her through her next surgery and she got triggered because she interpreted that as controlling her future. Usually, I would sense when I triggered her and then we would talk it out.

Over the past couple of weeks, her ex started sending her messages, even tried contacting her son. I could see the signs of CPTSD getting worse- she was becoming fearful, paranoid, anxious, exhausted, started becoming a little avoidant, kept repeating over and over that she can't understand why she stayed with her ex for so long. But she still wanted to see me and was still communicating. Then It got to the point where my GF had to file a restraining order against her ex, and then she started to unravel. The timing could not be worse because she simultaneously got covid, so I could not be with her to support her. I ended up not seeing her for nearly a month.

We had a video call and I could see she was in a really bad place. I was super worried about her being alone with covid and being isolated while her ex was attacking her. My friends told me to ask her for a check-in call everyday. I accidentally forgot about her trigger with videos calls and asked for a nightly check-in. This ended up being the worst thing I could've asked for at the worst possible time.

A few days later, we have a call and she is suddenly breaking up with me, she tells me that her ex had contacted her again, and then started telling me she can't handle a relationship right now, that she was overwhelmed and can't take care of anyone else. I was stunned, it was like I was talking to a completely different person. She was cold. She also lied about her schedule and was very vehement that she didn't have time for a relationship or me in her life.

I told her if she needed space, it was ok, but begged her not to break up with me like this because she was doing it from a bad place. She spent the next few weeks avoiding me and blowing me off and texting me sparingly. Eventually, she agreed to see me last week. We talked, we hugged, we kissed. Realizing this could be the last time I have the chance to tell her, I finally told her that I loved her. I had been meaning to tell her but never got the opportunity because of all the crap that was happening to her between her ex and covid.

She responded and said that she couldn't say that she loved me now because she was having difficulty feeling. She said that she wasn't sure she could handle being in a relationship. She told me that she knows that my intentions weren't bad, but me having asked for the check-ins just made her break. And that her friend then convinced her that she isn't in the right place for a relationship.

I'm wrecked. My sweet, loving GF is gone. Just a few weeks ago, even when she was feeling down, we were planning a weekend getaway, she was telling me she missed me... And then within just 5 days, she is suddenly breaking up with me and completely distancing herself from me.

She is away now on vacation with her family for her birthday. A vacation she has completely discluded me from, and it hurts. Before she left, I asked her what I could do to make her feel safe. She said to "be patient". She said, "she was trying but feels so detached". And She said that we'd see where things go when she gets back in town. She also said that I could take her out for her birthday when I got back. But at this point, she is messaging me sparingly.

I'm now stuck in this horrible halfway between missing her, wanting to have hope, and also trying to accept that there is nothing else I can do if she doesn't want me in her life. I'm struggling to cope with her change in personality and behavior, which in itself has triggered me.

I myself have a history of suffering from CPTSD that was caused by being in an abusive relationship with an ex who has NPD for 12 years. It took time and therapy but I've been in a really good place these past few years... but when my GF did a 180 to me, this has triggered me and "activated" my own CPTSD emotions. I've become depressed, anxious, and I feel like I feel myself disassociating.

Any advice, comfort, is welcome
I can totally relate. It is awful. Heartbreaking. Hang in there.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I've been sitting on this thread and been speaking to friends about what happened. Everyone's reaction has been that triggering her was not my fault, that none of this was my fault, that she should've been communicating better. Initially, I was blaming myself hard because I felt that I destroyed the relationship but I've finally accepted this was not my fault.

But I'm still struggling with her personality and behavior change. I finally get that it's not quite personal, that she is going through a horrible situation, but my friends have pointed out to me that her behavior towards me these past few weeks has been hurtful and disrespectful and that I didn't deserve to be treated so coldly. And that realization has hurt me too - the fact is, she hasn't been treating me properly. I keep alternating between anger, sympathy, and general sadness from missing her. I don't know when to accept to give up, or if I should keep having hope. I keep telling myself that I'll be ok no matter what happens but the thought of not having her in my life anymore, is really hard.

She's away on her birthday vacation and hasn't sent me any messages in days. I've stopped initiating texts since I only get one-word responses and she doesn't send any to me on her own. I ordered flowers/balloon/chocolate, which are scheduled to be delivered to her on her birthday on Saturday. Part of me wonders why I even bothered since she isn't communicating anymore with me anymore. But I hope that if this is the end, that at least on the way out she'll realize that I only ever cared for her and loved her. That maybe she'll realize not everyone out there is an abusive POS.
It's good that you showed that you cared by sending stuff for her birthday and it showing her that no matter what... 'you cared'! That said I'd quit it now and just do what's best for you. Move on and find someone better where they reciprocate your kindness. No point flogging a dead horse is there?! Best wishes. S3 🙂.
 

Terryrocks

New Here
It's good that you showed that you cared by sending stuff for her birthday and it showing her that no matter what... 'you cared'! That said I'd quit it now and just do what's best for you. Move on and find someone better where they reciprocate your kindness. No point flogging a dead horse is there?! Best wishes. S3 🙂.
Thank you saying so, I very much appreciate that! And I agree, I've shown her more than enough kindness and compassion at this point.

She did go ahead and insta story a photo of my gift with a "You're so sweet" caption. But that isn't the way she used to speak to me, that's how she would talk to anyone, which made me feel worse. She also msged me to say "Thank you". I then asked how she was doing. She said she was doing ok and mentioned additional people that she had with her on the trip. I responded by saying I was glad she was having a good time and that I wish I was there too. That last statement was more for me, than for her. It was my own way of saying to her "I'm hurt because you excluded me and I never had the opportunity to say it." That was several days ago and she hasn't said anything to me since. Anyway, I will not message her again. I will not chase her or beg her to be a part of her life. I feel unappreciated and disrespected, and regardless of what she is going through, she knows better and I did not deserve this treatment. Right now I'm focusing on my self-love and dealing with how what she did to me triggered my anxious attachment style and fear of abandonment. In other words, i'm doing my best right now to move on. Hell, it still hurts, but at least I've accepted this wasn't my fault and I can move on.

Thank you to everyone for your support! This thread / forum has really helped me
 
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