General Not Asking Personal Questions.

0RCH1D

New Here
Yes, few months. Online but within a community (not a dating app). He has since left the forum, and as far as I know I'm the only one he keeps in touch with. We talk via voice chat too.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
UPDATE: the situation is gradually improving. But at a super slow pace! My deduction from everything he said (and I could be totally wrong) that despite being quite open about most things, the caring & emotional part of himself is carefully guarded. And to get to know someone beyond the superficial social banter for him would lead to an attachment, which seemingly he is trying to avoid. He did say himself that he "learnt the lesson to NEVER trust anyone" and that having fewer people in his life is "better"... Gosh. IDK, this boy is hard work. Even simple things require double the amount of effort & patience. Almost seems like it's one step forward, two steps back. I would have dropped it already, but he's such interesting company. I really want to stay friends with him & earn his trust. He's going through some turbulent times right now. Not condition related, just important changes taking place in his life that are stressful and time consuming. He gets tired easily. He has warned me that he will disappear for a short while to deal with it all. He keeps his struggles to himself as he doesn't want "to burden people or seek attention". I don't know what "a short while" means in his case. I just don't want to lose that connection while he's MIA. I'd like to support him, but seems the normal approach may not be the best option in this case. Any advice on how to best go about it all?
 

Livinginhope

Confident
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.
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.

He knows what he needs. You know what you need. The difficult thing is figuring out how to achieve a balance between the two. For the moment at least it sounds like you need to keep yourself busy and take care of yourself first, and let him do the same for himself. I know it feels totally counter intuitive! But if you push, you will probably push him away completely.

Good luck with it all. Be kind to yourself.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
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… ??‍♀️
 

Livinginhope

Confident
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… ??‍♀️
I totally understand how you feel. I went through much of the same thought process myself, and sometimes still do.

Trust is an issue for me too, after a particularly unpleasant relationship many years ago. But, only you know if what you feel about this man is worth giving time.

In any new relationship you can't be sure if someone is really a jerk or not, not for a long time. Even the most seemingly loving partner can turn around a year in and say they never really loved you.

My advice, for what it's worth, is absolutely give him his space. Occupy yourself as best you can so you keep happy and healthy. Maybe tell him you're learning as much as you can about PTSD and you're beginning to understand about his need for space. That you'll give him it. That you don't want to crowd him, but if it's ok with him you're going to message from time to time just to let him know he's not alone.

Then take a step back, don't crowd him, message once a week or so, and keep busy.

@mumstheword and @Sweetpea76 have both given me such valuable advice about precisely this situation over the past ten-eleven months. Don't put any expectation on the relationship, or him, or yourself. Be his friend, first and foremost. To gain his trust, he needs to feel comfortable with you, and listened to. Again and again. Giving him space is a huge part of that. If he is an isolater, as my friend is, he will most likely do this a lot! As time passes, only you will know if you are willing to put up with it. It sucks! It hurts. It's confusing. And you can't be 100% sure at the beginning that he's not simply a douche bag!!!!!

It's a long, bumpy path. But there are many here, far more experienced than me, who are willing and able to share their immense knowledge and support x
 

0RCH1D

New Here
@Livinginhope Thank you for your advice. I have read through most of your posts on the forum. I can relate to so much in them. This is a new friendship for me, and I do stress the word "friendship". We are not in a relationship, but i am too rather picky with my friends (who are mostly male if it matters) and I do not bond easily with people. So this internet stranger weaselled his way into my inner circle, and now I do want to invest time and effort into this connection. It's confusing as f***, and I cannot make heads nor tails of it either. I've not confronted him or reproached him on anything yet, I came looking for advice here first. So at least I'm safe on that front. I could have done things better though, knowing what I know now. At the same time... It's really hard to take in and accept what folks are saying on this forum. I have to go against everything I've been conditioned to believe with this individual.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
RANT INCOMING: NGL, frustration is kicking in at this point… I don’t comprehend wtf is going on anymore. I’ll be honest here. I cannot understand how one goes from a really engaged, thoughtful, caring individual to a blank space?! I’ve seen him being so rational, patient & kind to random troubled strangers. (Cases no one had the patience for). Yet after months of talking daily, seemingly overnight (no fight) we’ve gone to mostly being out of touch for a few weeks. Granted, I was given a warning that he may disappear for a “short while”, coz he does have stuff to deal with rn… But wtf does that mean though? This week was bad for me too, something deeply upsetting is happening in my life as well. So I reached out to him, because the situation has a common ground… and crickets! So… he’ll be concerned about strangers, waste his time on them, but not me?? 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. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing. But I’m finding it really hard to reconcile the two personalties I’m seeing. I just don’t want to be wilfully blind or taken advantage of, at the same time I am concerned about my habitual lack of trust too. So where does one draw the line?
 

Friday

Moderator
Perhaps there’s something I’m missing.

He has PTSD?

So where does one draw the line?
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.

If what you need & want out of a friendship is steady consistency? Someone who follows a pattern of INTENSE! ...absence. INTENSE!...absence. INTENSE!...seems like an unlikely long term member of your inner circle.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
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.
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.

There's really no reason to question your own feelings at this point.
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.
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.
 

0RCH1D

New Here
@Friday Glad i ranted in here & not at the person... I had a SUPER bad week myself, just sorta kinda lost it a bit last night. Guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm struggling to accept PTSD as a reality still. I'm sorry, sufferers, who are reading this. Did i mention I'm new to this? Coz i am. But i am here none the less trying to learn. I struggle with trust issues too. Not that i need someone in my life 24/7, literally quite the opposite. The sudden change of pace took me by surprise. The lack of empathy from someone I grew to like precisely because of that very quality is startling. I'm questioning my own sanity at this point. Was i played for a fool or is this a real health need for him? Only time will tell i guess. Taking a chance on someone is scary even without PTSD.
 
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