New relationship difficulties

Phoenixrose

New Here
Hi everyone. Came here to try and find some support/advice. I’ve been dating a wonderful human being for the last year. I’ve never met someone who understood me so well and enjoys the same things I do, it was going really, really well and I was falling in love after believing that I would be alone forever.

So, we both have relationship-based PTSD from previous relationships, mine was emotional and hers physical but we both have flashbacks and annoyingly this time of year is triggering for both of us. I’ve been having serious episodes of rage, despair and dissociation and I’m really struggling to maintain our relationship when I’m trying to hold myself together for my two children who I am raising alone. I feel as though when I am having a bad day, it affects her - when I don’t text her for a while because I want to try and be present in the moment and feel grounded, she tends to also start getting down and having a bad day and I’m just getting this horrible sinking feeling that actually we’re not good for each other. I don’t want to cause her more pain, but when I’m triggered all I want to do is run and get space and peace and quiet, and all she wants to do is be super clingy and with me every second because I make her feel better - which although I understand, I’ve been a relationship “band-aid” to someone before and it’s really not the basis for a healthy relationship.

I guess I’m posting to try and get some advice - how can we work this out? Is it hopeless? Do two people suffering from extreme trauma belong together or is it simply going to cause us more pain in the long run? I also have to consider my children, who have already been through so much of their own trauma, and I don’t want them forming a relationship with a person who could end up bringing more bad than good to our lives. I just want to be happy.
 

Phoenixrose

New Here
Please can someone reply I’m so scared 🥺
Hi everyone. Came here to try and find some support/advice. I’ve been dating a wonderful human being for the last year. I’ve never met someone who understood me so well and enjoys the same things I do, it was going really, really well and I was falling in love after believing that I would be alone forever.

So, we both have relationship-based PTSD from previous relationships, mine was emotional and hers physical but we both have flashbacks and annoyingly this time of year is triggering for both of us. I’ve been having serious episodes of rage, despair and dissociation and I’m really struggling to maintain our relationship when I’m trying to hold myself together for my two children who I am raising alone. I feel as though when I am having a bad day, it affects her - when I don’t text her for a while because I want to try and be present in the moment and feel grounded, she tends to also start getting down and having a bad day and I’m just getting this horrible sinking feeling that actually we’re not good for each other. I don’t want to cause her more pain, but when I’m triggered all I want to do is run and get space and peace and quiet, and all she wants to do is be super clingy and with me every second because I make her feel better - which although I understand, I’ve been a relationship “band-aid” to someone before and it’s really not the basis for a healthy relationship.

I guess I’m posting to try and get some advice - how can we work this out? Is it hopeless? Do two people suffering from extreme trauma belong together or is it simply going to cause us more pain in the long run? I also have to consider my children, who have already been through so much of their own trauma, and I don’t want them forming a relationship with a person who could end up bringing more bad than good to our lives. I just want to be happy.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Really - you have your answer, right here:
I feel as though when I am having a bad day, it affects her - when I don’t text her for a while because I want to try and be present in the moment and feel grounded, she tends to also start getting down and having a bad day and I’m just getting this horrible sinking feeling that actually we’re not good for each other. I don’t want to cause her more pain, but when I’m triggered all I want to do is run and get space and peace and quiet, and all she wants to do is be super clingy and with me every second because I make her feel better - which although I understand, I’ve been a relationship “band-aid” to someone before and it’s really not the basis for a healthy relationship.
Neither of you has developed a support structure of your own. You’re reliant on isolation/avoidance, she’s reliant on the relationship holding her up.

You’d each need to have the time, inclination, energy to invest in your own recoveries.

And even if you accomplished that - it still might not work out.

I’m sorry - I’m sure it’s not what you want to hear. Take what’s useful, leave the rest.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Sounds like when you are both struggling, you cope in different ways.
That's ok?
You're both allowed to.
What you both might need to work on is accepting that the other needs something different in that moment, and working that out together. Couples thet to help communicate this and accept it?

It's tough being in it. It's tough when emotionally you are colliding with each other.

But it doesn't always need to be like that.

Bit of understanding, communicating, accepting the other, and you can get through it if you both want that? If it's healthy?
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I think you both need a support network outside of each other in order for things to work out.

Since this is a new relationship it’s a bit worrisome that she clings to you so much.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
My grain of salt here, but clinging might be an inherited defense mechanism from the violent relationship (on the top of being already something quite present when you’ve been neglected).

Lemme explain. When your ex was unpredictable and violent, in principle for the cycles of violence to continue, there are good phases. In consequence, as long as you cling and are affectionate and he’s affectionate too, you’re safe for that moment. Ringing blinking bing bing balls of fear reward systems. When the person starts to get aloof, aya, alarm ring bells start to blow off and you try to distract or do something that bring you back together, or even provoke a conflict so at least it will happen sooner and you have a rest of sense of control. This has been from my own experience with DV and emotional abuse, it doesn’t necessarily apply to you, but it might be something you can discuss?

In any case yeah. Lots of therapy, CBT, DBT, and good support groups. Variety. Enriched environments. Isolation is a poison. With corona it becomes even more difficult.
 

PTSDisaster

Learning
My therapist once gave me some kind of 'instruction manual'. It's just a paper with the colors green, yellow, orange and red. The colors represent how you're feeling.
Above the colors are 3 categories:
1. What do people notice when I feel like this
2. What can I/people do when I feel like this
3. What should absolutely NOT be done when I feel like this

Both fill in the paper, hang it somewhere noticable (for example on the fridge)
Eventually you will recognize each others moods very soon and maybe you can even prevent fights/insecurities etc.

Hope this helps:)
 

PTSDisaster

Learning
instruction guidee.jpg

I made one for you so you can just print it if you'd like:)
 
Top