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General Not Asking Personal Questions.

Thread starter #15
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?
 
#17
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.
 
Thread starter #18
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… 🤷🏻‍♀️
 
#19
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
 
Thread starter #20
@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.
 
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