General New Supporter Learning

The day he told me he had PTSD is the day i started my research. And we've been together quite a while so i know when to give him his space. If i hadn't done my research i would probably be begging for answers too. And we probably would have never made it this long.
I have only been dating someone with PTSD for a week, and he stopped talking a few days ago. This thread has made so many things clear to me. WOW. I will admit, not knowing what at all I was dealing with, and walking into it blindly was hard, but I gave him his space, and just messaged every once in a while to say goodnight or good morning, just to make sure he was safe. I started researching, and found this board, and I am SUPER relieved that I have. You are all amazing, and this has been such a help for me. <3
 
If you need a support group for someone you’ve only been dating a week?

I’m not sure it’s their mental health issues that are in play, here.

Is there something I’m missing? How is this not alarming to you?
This is his first isolation since we met. I wanted to understand why he was withdrawing. He has been a VERY emotional, and loving man since we met, so when he told me he was dealing with a PTSD issue, I wanted to learn what I could do/not do to help, and make it easier for him. If I had to back off, and let him work through it, or if I needed to try and be there. Walking into this not knowing anything about PTSD, I wanted to educate myself to what he may be feeling, or going through that caused him to back off substantially. He is still here and there talking to me, and he has explained that he appreciates my patience, and that it isn't at all about me, but rather things he has to deal with in his head. That alone helped a lot.

If you need a support group for someone you’ve only been dating a week?

I’m not sure it’s their mental health issues that are in play, here.

Is there something I’m missing? How is this not alarming to you?
He was outward enough to tell me that he couldn't talk, and that he was dealing with some PTSD issues, so I knew it was important for me to find out how I could be a good person, and do what I needed to do to help him through it. Alarming, I wouldn't say that at all. I am a helper of sorts, and have been my entire life, so really for me, this was another person I had been moved towards to help. I often say to people that throughout my life I have felt like I am John Coffee from the green mile. Always trying to take away the hurt. So it came natural to me to find the help I needed to help him. :)
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
I am a helper of sorts, and have been my entire life, so really for me, this was another person I had been moved towards to help. I often say to people that throughout my life I have felt like I am John Coffee from the green mile. Always trying to take away the hurt. So it came natural to me to find the help I needed to help
I think this is good. Though, someone not talking to you for, what has to be a few days if you are only been dating a week but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't alarming in the least. People get busy. I mean, I dunno. A week is not long at all, and if someone dropped off the map for a few days, I'd say that's normal human behavior.

That said though, if he was forthcoming with having PTSD, I think it's nice for someone to try to educate themselves as much as possible on that as that will change the relationship a lot. And if a helper by nature tried to say, hoover over me to help when I'm isolating due to PTSD, I will drop off the map forever and likely break up with them. That's just me though. That or explode all over them.

So, honestly? I see it from both angles. I don't think it's bad to want to educate yourself from day 1 of learning your partner has PTSD. And I'd appreciate that a ton if my partner took that initiative to do. That said, though, a week and someone not talking to you for a few days is rather normal human behavior. So, I dunno. I see it both ways.

Hope that made sense.
 
I think this is good. Though, someone not talking to you for, what has to be a few days if you are only been dating a week but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't alarming in the least. People get busy. I mean, I dunno. A week is not long at all, and if someone dropped off the map for a few days, I'd say that's normal human behavior.

That said though, if he was forthcoming with having PTSD, I think it's nice for someone to try to educate themselves as much as possible on that as that will change the relationship a lot. And if a helper by nature tried to say, hoover over me to help when I'm isolating due to PTSD, I will drop off the map forever and likely break up with them. That's just me though. That or explode all over them.

So, honestly? I see it from both angles. I don't think it's bad to want to educate yourself from day 1 of learning your partner has PTSD. And I'd appreciate that a ton if my partner took that initiative to do. That said, though, a week and someone not talking to you for a few days is rather normal human behavior. So, I dunno. I see it both ways.

Hope that made sense.
It does make complete sense. He has talked here and there, and let me know bits and pieces of what he is experiencing, and that he "doesn't know what he needs from me". Which is why I really wanted to see what may help. I hope that makes sense. He has been way more verbal to me than I have read a lot of stories on here, so I am very thankful for that. Even telling me hes just sleeping, and trying to get his mind right, and not to worry, but to give him some time. I appreciate that he did that, and I know not everyone can when they are in that state, so it was a blessing, as it made me help to understand why there was a complete shift in his actions, and the way we had been communicating. I sensed something was up in other words lol
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
I'm surprised he told you he has ptsd so early in a "relationship". It usually takes time to build trust.

J and I had a history together. I knew he was in multiple conflicts and suffered multiple injuries. I knew it would be difficult. But I loved him since I was 14 years old and I wanted to be there for him.

If he had pushed me away in the beginning, I would have obliged. Instead he opened up and shared his struggles. We worked together to come up with a game plan. We went to the V.A. together to start the process of healing. We communicate.

Some people aren't healthy enough for an intimate relationship. Sometimes I wonder if J is? Or if our relationship causes him more stress? There could always be a day where this is too hard for him and he just bails without explanation. I love him but I also know the statistics. The reality.

Is your guy in therapy?

Good luck.
 
I'm surprised he told you he has ptsd so early in a "relationship". It usually takes time to build trust.

J and I had a history together. I knew he was in multiple conflicts and suffered multiple injuries. I knew it would be difficult. But I loved him since I was 14 years old and I wanted to be there for him.

If he had pushed me away in the beginning, I would have obliged. Instead he opened up and shared his struggles. We worked together to come up with a game plan. We went to the V.A. together to start the process of healing. We communicate.

Some people aren't healthy enough for an intimate relationship. Sometimes I wonder if J is? Or if our relationship causes him more stress? There could always be a day where this is too hard for him and he just bails without explanation. I love him but I also know the statistics. The reality.

Is your guy in therapy?

Good luck.
weirdly enough, it was pretty much love at first sight with us both. I was rather shocked myself. Of course, when I wasn't looking for it, and it found me lol. I will be 100% honest I am not sure if he is in therapy or not, but his injuries were talked about, and some of the things he has been through in the second day we spoke. It was surreal, and to be honest I immediately felt at home with him. I am thinking he felt safe telling me, otherwise he wouldn't have. I am a pretty loving, and open person, so I hope anyone feels that way.
He is an amazing communicator, and I am very thankful for that. I guess that is also how I knew something was up within days when on the sixth day he just shut down completely for hours. I guess you have to understand we are those silly arse ones that couldn't go 15 mins without messaging, and couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces.
My guy talks about intimacy, but in just a touchy feely snuggly way for now. (of course as we are pretty new haha) So we shall see how that goes. But this man had my heart at day one, so I want to do right by him.
I am thankful J didn't push you away! <3 and I truly hope he never does. You seem like a lovely lady!! I do understand a lot of it though now that I have really read through hundreds of posts, and I am very thankful W was so open with me off the hop. It sure set us in a good forward direction. Fingers crossed, but we shall see. All I can do is my best. :) Thank you for the luck! And good luck to you too! I hope you and J have many years to come together <3
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
Hey… at least he told her. Mine told me pretty soon in the “getting to know you” phase too.

It’s not the finding out they have PTSD that’s the hard part for us supporters. It’s the smacking us in the face with the actual symptoms when we’re picturing “tv/movie” PTSD when we thought we knew what we were getting into. Then we find out what *real* PTSD looks like.

Still finding out after a decade here.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
@Suddenly_Support I made a new thread for you separate from the “what are they thinking” thread. That one is great, but it’s also sufferer opinion. This one can focus more on your situation, which I think is interesting.

I think it’s great to learn and research as soon as possible when dealing with this.

My only warning has to do with this;

I am a helper of sorts, and have been my entire life, so really for me, this was another person I had been moved towards to help

You have to stop thinking about helping him. You cannot help him. You can be empathetic, you can be supportive… But if you try to help or fix it’s gonna get real toxic real fast. That’s another thing supporters need to learn right away, right after PTSD isn’t what you think it is.
 

anthony

Founder
You have to stop thinking about helping him. You cannot help him. You can be empathetic, you can be supportive… But if you try to help or fix it’s gonna get real toxic real fast. That’s another thing supporters need to learn right away, right after PTSD isn’t what you think it is.
That.

Educate yourself. Yes. Attempt to help him according to you. Bad things will happen.

This all being at one week into a new relationship.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not sure I understand, because I have to agree with @Friday , one week is not enough time to get to know anyone intimately enough to decide if either of you are compatible, without ptsd in the mix. I agree with the others, it is not as portrayed in a movie, and can result in what feels like very heartless, cruel and selfish behaviours. The fact that they are not necessarily intended to be heartless, cruel or selfish doesn't make them much less painful. I do think it takes maturity, ownership and constant hard work and maintenance to be able to manage and juggle stressors and demands of day to day liiving; it then also requires all that is necessary to make a relationship work. I would be a bit concerned when he says he doesn't know what he needs from you, because he shouldn't expect you to provide anything for him after knowing him one week, he should be apologizing if he has inferred you did something wrong. No one would know what someone else needs after one week, let alone with mental illness or injury present. But also, it may be helpful for you to determine what is acceptablle to you in terms of contact/ no contact, and communicate it and stick to it. (There is no wrong amount, but neither do you necessarily define it the same). Nor is isolation usually referred to as a few days absence after one week- it may well be absence every week, or months or even a year on end, or when things are important, or when you need help or support, or when things are good, or when things are bad (all are stressors), or when you don't see it coming at all.

I don't mean to discourage you. This is the getting-to-know smeone stage (usually takes months or years). PTSD is a very hard fight or battle. it can leave people and those who might care for them burnt out, depressed, hopeless, angry or cynical. It will have rewards, but maybe more tears than rewards, and things that can be traumatizing or hurtful. And often cheat you out of what comes much easier or more frequently without the prresence of ptsd. It is, as it is his challenge, all on him to address, cope with amd try to manage and overcome.

Just my 2 cents, ignore if you don't think it's relevant. Good luck as you go forward.
 
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@Suddenly_Support I made a new thread for you separate from the “what are they thinking” thread. That one is great, but it’s also sufferer opinion. This one can focus more on your situation, which I think is interesting.

I think it’s great to learn and research as soon as possible when dealing with this.

My only warning has to do with this;



You have to stop thinking about helping him. You cannot help him. You can be empathetic, you can be supportive… But if you try to help or fix it’s gonna get real toxic real fast. That’s another thing supporters need to learn right away, right after PTSD isn’t what you think it is.
I meant to help him by understanding what it IS, s I had no idea until I started looking into it, and how I need to act, and help.... by not mentioning things that may trigger him. Sorry if it didn't come across as such.
 
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