Space is the only thing you can do. I've been in a very similar situation for almost a year now. Sometimes, it feels almost impossibly hard but the strange thing is that giving him space when he needs it will strengthen your bond, not harm it.Honestly... give him space if that’s what he says he needs.
Giving somebody space is a loving act. To us it seems hard and distant, to them it’s something they need to feel better. The loving thing to do is let him feel better.
It’s sucky, I know. It’s not for everybody.
I totally understand how you feel. I went through much of the same thought process myself, and sometimes still do.Hm… I am someone who needs a lot of personal space myself at times, so it’s not in the realm of impossibility for me to give that to others. But I guess what’s different is when someone says they aren’t well or that they feel stressed out… The natural thing is to reach out for help or to provide that help. This is all so counter intuitive for me! Also trust is a big issue on my part too. Like I said. I’m new to having someone with PTSD in my life and I’m sorry to say, but I’m still struggling to accept … how do I put this? That they are not just being a dick? If I didn’t know about his condition, I’d be done with him weeks ago. Chalking it up to disinterest or being a douche or whatever else. But it’s like there are two of them. When he’s “in” he’s super engaged. When he’s “out” he may as well be a figment of my imagination… He once said about people with mental conditions (included himself in the category) something along the lines of “no one will give them a chance or bear with them”. I don’t want to be THAT person. I know it can be difficult to connect with ppl even without ptsd & whatnots. But what I’m ineloquently saying is that I’m having a hard time accepting his word for it. Even though… I’ve not caught him in an open lie ever b4. How do I know it’s not just an excuse?! Also very selfish of me to think that, but I’m trying to be there for him during the hard times, but if “staying away” is just that… I feel pretty useless & totally replaceable… ??
Perhaps there’s something I’m missing.
Wherever you want to. Really. In ANY relationship there’s a sort of dance where people figure out if in addition to liking each other? They also get on well / their lives work well together. PTSD patterns in relationships aren’t for everyone. Just like banking hours or military deployments, sports & hunting widows, public lives -v- private citizens, Autism or wheelchair lives aren’t for everyone. There’s more to relationships than simply liking or caring about the other person. There’s also you. And them. And the needs/wants of both lining up.So where does one draw the line?
This is why length of time you've known each other matters. You're still at the very beginning of getting to know them. You've really not had enough time to know if this is PTSD, or how they habitually are. In my opinion, it doesn't matter. Treat them like an ordinary human being who is responsible for their behavior.This friendship in my mind is becoming one sided fast at the moment. I don’t want to give up on him for the wrong reasons.
Finding it hard to accept the behavior isn't a wrong reason...if anything, it could be that you've accelerated into too much closeness, too fast. Bottom line: your feelings count, and you get to act on them. Trying to tolerate being put on the back burner because it's justified by his disorder...that's putting his needs before your own, and it's just as damaging to a relationship as semi-ghosting is.I don’t want to give up on him for the wrong reasons. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing. But I’m finding it really hard to reconcile the two personalties I’m seeing.