Ptsd, ocd, ruined relationship?

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shrzn

New Here
This is going to be a long post (and my first one), so thank you in advance for reading.

I've had an "official" diagnosis of PTSD for about 4 years, but with my new therapist the possibility of CPTSD as come up. I've also had severe OCD, depression, panic disorder my entire life. And for the last 2 years, I've been going through what I consider a "chronic trauma" due to suddenly developing life-altering (physical) conditions that I'm trying to resolve.

Prior to that, I had already experienced multiple traumatic events over the years and many back-to-back.

I spent most of 2015 in PHPs, residentials, and other therapies..I was trying to work through past traumas and OCD, but by spring of 2016 I got sick, so my life essentially stopped and I lost all of my progress, developed this new trauma..

Anyway, prior to getting sick, most of my PTSD was from abuse and sexual assault, multiple situations over the last several years and back to high school. My trauma has revolved around men. And now it also revolves around my health.

I never really had interest in relationships, but I'd end up in these "situations" where a guy would try to get with me and I said yes because I felt bad about saying no. And while I was never initially interested, they got me hooked on their instability and they were very abusive- emotionally and sexually and psychologically above all.

As a teen, I didn't know what non-physical abuse was, and a social worker at school taught me, which eventually led to me dumping my first "boyfriend" who also sexually violated me (and that was my first sexual encounter).

It took me a few months to realize I had been assaulted (I was 17 btw, I'm now 25). Fast-forward to age 19-20 and I found myself in a long-distance "situationship" with a friend of a friend, online, which ended up being extremely psychologically/emotionally abusive and involved plenty of harassment and stalking afterwards. It lasted a year but after I cut him off he still would re-appear and scare the crap out of me until 2015.

In early 2014, a couple of months after I got away from that guy, my mental health declined further and I started to develop PTSD symptoms-everything triggered me, I was having panic attacks all the time as if I were a child again, and my OCD as also off the charts. I had meltdowns and would be taken to the hospital, given benzos and sent home. I was already in therapy, but I kept switching therapists.

There was no real progress or any treatment that targeted my actual issues. It wasn't until I switched therapists again that PTSD became part of my diagnosis.

My last relationship technically ended in late 2013, and there were also 2 other sexual "encounters" with other people that year, which occurred against my will. Both were with people I thought were my friends/had known for years, so it took a while to sink in that those were assaults as well. But I cut every ex and the "friends" as well. The trauma responses always caught up with me later, always delayed.

Around this time I began reading books such as "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft, learned a lot about narcissists and how empaths like myself often end up with them.

I continued with therapy and I narrowed my circle so that I was mainly around like-minded women who identify as feminists, like myself. I started to feel more empowered this way, and I cut off the majority of men that I knew, all the random acquaintances and fake "friends" who just wanted to date or have sex with me.

Every time I opened up even a little bit to a guy, especially about my ex/another guy, they pretended like they were on my side and behaved as if they were my "savior" to come rescue me and then enter a relationship with me. But as soon as I said I felt uncomfortable or tried to assert boundaries, I was met with verbal harassment, bullying, and I saw their true colors.

From then on, I isolated and became very private.. no men in my periphery. It felt much better. But there were a few incidents when going out with friends at bars or concerts where I would be groped or harassed by men and I would flip out and fight them instead of allowing it. That backfired, and I only became more hurt and my PTSD was triggered worse each time.

Until I was physically assaulted by a random guy at a music festival and had to scream for a security guard to get me out. After that, I stopped going out.

The only times after 2013 that anything happened between me and a man were at a party and a couple of concerts, where guys asked me to dance, but were drunk, and ended up groping me and triggering me badly again by the next day.

I got sick 2 years ago, and I made sure to keep to myself and was unable to go out anymore due to my conditions anyway. I didn't allow anyone new to speak to me while in such a vulnerable position and I promised myself I'd finally take care of myself and my recovery because all of my attempts to recover from my past traumas, emotionally, were disrupted. Now that my physical health was also in shambles, I drew the line again.

For the first 8 months of my illness, I was essentially bedridden.. I also abandoned social media, many so-called friends stopped associating me since I was no fun anymore, and no one saw me.

I eventually felt too isolated, so I returned to social media. I got back on my old facebook and received a lot of messages from random guys or old high school friends, and although it felt gross, I needed some attention and validation. I didn't want anything further, but while being impulsive one night, one of the guys who kept trying to talk to me was online and I randomly gave him my number although I wasn't interested. When it's late and I feel impulsive it's like I'm a different person, and it's almost as if I'm trying to get an adrenaline rush or intentionally trigger myself.

Anyway, this somehow led to us "talking" because he texted me every day (even though I felt uncomfortable bc I tend to get attached to people easily just by them always being there, especially since I've been sick and isolated). There were definite red flags, but for some reason I thought that me acting tough with him, trying to set boundaries, and continuing to talk to him..would prevent me from getting hurt.

But eventually he became more and more pushy because I didn't want to meet in person until my health was better. He would start crying and getting angry.

Then the old pattern I already experienced several years ago began- he went from love-bombing and kissing up to me when he barely knew me, to starting to ignore me out of nowhere after convincing me he would always be there. I already had PTSD and was familiar with manipulative and abusive tactics, but he had a different "approach," so it still happened.

He kept "ghosting" me and coming back and lying to me saying he would call me that night, for multiple nights in a row- then ignore me again.

I felt shocked and like I was psychologically tormented again, and suddenly this cheesy, goofy guy who I originally thought was annoying, was taking the control away from me and making me feel powerless. Because I wasn't ready to meet?

And so I sent him a final text saying that I knew what he was doing and if he continues, I will never speak to him again. Even then, he didn't respond. It was very difficult but I'm used to behavior like this from exes so I knew I had to cut him off- it became some trauma bond thing.

I never contacted him again and of course once I stopped chasing him, he began to contact me and I ignored him every time. I also received messages and calls from different numbers that I didn't know were him.

Right before this, he had already pre-emptively blocked me on Facebook. It brought back all of my old feelings and triggers from past relationships, and this dude didn't even meet or date me. Yet he re-traumatized me emotionally over 4 months.

And I feel that me being homebound and chronically ill, it was exceptionally cruel because he took advantage of this "sickly" vulnerable girl who has already lost everything, and acted so friendly and said he was always praying for my recovery and shit. I was afraid of this happening and its why I didn't talk to anyone anymore.. even with having good boundaries myself, and taking all pre-cautions, it happened anyway.

I was livid from then on and told myself, okay- back to the original game plan: focus on my health and recovery. I also deactivated facebook and went more private again. But I still had some guys on snapchat and elsewhere who I added before that, so while I was talking to that guy, there were other guys who would message me.

One of them who had my snapchat and continued casual contact with me there on occasion, is who I'm involved with now. Now I'm gonna move into the actual point of this extremely long post...

So last year around this time, my current s.o. would occasionally message me on snapchat. He didn't flirt with me or get weird at all, he wasn't overly-friendly, he was just chill. We just exchanged a few boring words.

He was a little dry and people like that sometimes make me uncomfortable (including my dad and brother who can be dryly sarcastic but are nice people), but I was relieved that he wasn't like the last guy I talked to, and many other guys who would try it with me- they were TOO friendly and it was clearly fake and they were trying to charm me. This dude just seemed neutral.

One day though, we were messaging and he said something sarcastic that came off as rude. But I honestly can't remember what he said or what we were talking about.

Earlier that day, someone else had triggered me and I was still upset about the guy who just screwed me over, so I was feeling extra emotional. So the sarcastic remark set me off and I felt reminded of past people who abused me who tended to be sarcastic. So I stopped replying and that was that. He didn't try messaging me again either, which I was slightly surprised by.

Then a few weeks later, when my plans with a friend fell through, it was late at night and I was feeling antsy and attention-seeking again..so I impulsively snapchatted the guy (my current s.o.) and told him happy belated birthday, because I had remembered the month before he told me it was coming up and I wasn't talking to him during that time.

I'm not sure why I was seeking him out- maybe I wanted his attention because after I stopped responding him the last time, he didn't chase after me. Then he ended up saying thank you and complimenting me on some picture I posted of myself.

I can't really remember now (this was 11 months ago now), but I think we flirted a bit and perhaps talked about our last discussion and why I stopped talking to him. Not sure what we said. But somehow it led to him talking about us getting to know each other?

And I hadn't intended on involving myself with a man again, especially after the last betrayal which was less than 2 months prior- I didn't wanna break my rules. But for some reason I went with it.

So he just kept messaging me.. and the next day I randomly gave him my number (it was actually a fake number from a texting app) because I found it easier than snapchat. So unintentionally..I started "talking" to him and he would text me every day usually at the same time in the evening.

I was already scared because the last guy talked to me daily and that's how I got attached right away. I was trying to avoid that and so I preferred that he texted me only in the evenings and not all day- but it was still every day.

There were times here and there where he or myself would stop replying, or occasion days he wouldn't text me. I never contacted him unless he contacted me first.

I always try to avoid what's happened to me in the past, but it doesn't really work. I got used to us talking almost daily, so I felt attached not too long after this began, but I still kept boundaries up for personal stuff and I tried to keep some distance.

The couple of times he didn't text me after work, I noticed that I did feel really nervous and feared he was ghosting me like the last guy did. I was angry with myself because I know I'm easily emotionally dependent, especially since I've been in crisis with my own health and have lost my independence and autonomy even further.

But he never abandoned me or whatever. He seemed pretty stable compared to anyone I've ever talked to.. and really laid-back, almost too passive. I can't trust anyone so I was of course wary of him automatically, but we kept talking and he didn't pressure me to meet and understood that I'm dealing with health issues and wasn't ready.

In that time I went back to school, but online, and I worked a couple of jobs for a few months because I'm desperate with my medical expenses (I couldnt continue working bc of my conditions and school).

I started to feel at least a little bit of agency again even though I'm still sick. I did feel a lot of suspense with this guy, because we hadn't met in person and we didn't know if we would like each other in real life- but there was already this attachment.

Sometimes we would talk on the phone or we would plan to, but he didn't follow through each time. I was triggered by that because of the last guy, and I feared he was blowing me off. He said it was because he fell asleep, like multiple times. But it is true that he would usually fall asleep early because he woke up really early for work.

Before we met in person, I guess he got really into weed, which is fine, but he went from doing it a couple times a month, to every weekend, to every day. I can tell it made him more out-of-it and forgetful. I didn't know it was daily until he told me recently..which bugged me because it made me feel like I got to know him in this altered state.

Anyway, I wanted to wait til I was "all better" healthwise and was back to looking and feeling like my old self, but I didn't know when that would happen. It was kind of unrealistic. Because there were 2 times we almost stopped talking-the last one being due to me never believing him when he says he stops responding at night because he fell asleep and/or was high.

I made the mistake of sort of pleading for him to keep talking to me, bc I told myself before that I would never chase a guy and that if he appeared to be backing out I'd let him go and act like I didn't care. Usually I cut people off and I need to feel in control.

So because of this suspense and fear of abandonment (even though he told me he had no intention of "ghosting"), I think that's part of why I met him sooner than I was ready for. He also told me he didn't expect to meet me soon and that I could take all the time I needed (he also said to me later that he often times didn't think we'd end up meeting at all). He always seemed to be chill about everything and let me be the initiator.

I just didn't want yet another thing to fall apart without even meeting in person, and it was too suspenseful, so despite my anxiety I popped out with some short-notice idea to meet a little after New Year. We had already been in contact for 10 months prior and had "talked" nearly daily for over 6 months.

We met in the city and it was cute- I never "date" and haven't had anything with a guy in 5 or so years (since last being abused and developing PTSD), so I felt very awkward and scared but I tried to embrace it. He's very shy and awkward and he never tried anything with me- this is where I get mad at myself. He had boundaries when we met- he tried to shake my hand but I leaned in to hug him even though I wasn't actually comfortable (I never am fully sure of comfortable with anything I do). I also impulsively held his hand. I didn't ask him if it was okay.. if we had randomly met without talking virtually for so long, I wouldn't have gone so fast- but I guess I felt like we kind of knew each other already, so I felt as if I was "supposed" to do those things with him..even though he didn't try or ask or initiate those actions.

In all of my past experiences with men, they took control- they were overbearing, pushy, and all I've ever known was having my boundaries violated and going along with it because I was never taught and only experienced unhealthy relationships/friendships for most of my life. I've never not been coerced or forced.

So this was the first time a guy didn't try to make any moves on me at all. Maybe part was due to shyness but it seemed like he had boundaries and he also is inexperienced with dating for the most part, and hasn't had serious relationships. There are upsides and downsides to this but at first I was relieved by it because he seemed "innocent" and he's also a virgin- which to me is a miracle because anything sexual, and the fact that no one I've ever known or been involved with by high school was still a virgin (except me- I've been sexually abused/assaulted but I'm still a virgin in the "traditional" sense) was triggering too.

I guess that because I'm not used to men who DON'T violate my boundaries or automatically touch me, I don't really know how to act- I just get nervous and impulsively break my own boundaries, following the pattern that I'm used to.

My s.o. didn't stop me from holding his hand, he didn't stop me from anything (I wish he would have), but he later told me that his shyness/inexperience and his poor communication stopped him from saying anything. If he's being truthful that is.

But he said he also didn't want to offend me or make me feel rejected by stopping me from doing what I was doing. It seems that both of us have been awkward, lacked communication, and not wanted to make the other feel rejected.

But for me, I'm also terrified of men and their reactions if I say no or put up boundaries. I'm used to being punished. I have PTSD, my s.o. doesn't. Our first date was actually pretty nice- I only realized later on that we moved too fast even if we had known each other for several months prior to meeting.

The second date, we went to a movie, but I didn't wanna go home afterwards and there's nothing to do where we live. I see now that I was pushing my boudaries again. So he asked if I wanted to come over, and while I wasn't actually comfortable with it, and he wasn't pressuring me to, I impulsively said yeah sure.

Again..he and I are both not used to "dating" and I/we felt that because we had talked for such a long time before meeting- that it was okay to do these things early on. I'm used to things moving too fast anyway, and this was actually the slowest I'd ever gone with someone. I have a hard time identifying my feelings and what's okay because I'm always nervous.

I went over and his family lives there so we weren't alone in the apartment which made me less afraid. But we were alone in his room and we sat in the dark watching movies.

I feel stupid because I have major PTSD but I somehow thought I could handle all of these new things, with a guy, that soon after meeting in person. I guess that because it had been 5 years since I've had involvement with someone or physically hung out with a guy, my past trauma was kind of lying dormant and I didn't feel massively panicked or triggered (yet). I didn't prepare for this.

Again, I initiated pretty much everything, and we were kissing and cuddling on the couch like people do, and I encouraged him to kiss my neck. I knew I wasn't totally comfortable but I was desperate to try to feel good and curious to know if I would like it..without taking my PTSD into account.

He was really awkward about it but he ended up giving me a hickey and I got really upset because 1). who wants a hickey in their 20s 2). I would have to hide it 3). one of my abusive exes purposely gave me hickeys and would pull down my bra just to give me them- he wanted to mark me as his territory.

So I felt uncomfortable after this, but not full-blown panicked. I did have a few thoughts comparing him to my ex "what if he's abusive, he gave me a hickey" etc.

I wanted to slow down in seeing him because I planned to focus on my health and was supposed to have a trip coming up for a medical procedure- I was just relieved that we saw each other and it killed the suspense, so I could stick to talking to him virtually for a while again.

But my trip kept getting postponed and everything's been up in the air. So again, without being able to identify what my real feelings were and whether I really felt like seeing him in that moment, I impulsively agreed to hang out a couple weeks later, but didn't feel like going out. He said we don't have to hang out but I was like no let's do it, and he invited me over. Instead of going on casual dates outside of our houses like most people would when theyre in the early stages.

Things still felt okay that night- we watched movies again. But I mean, being in the dark with someone in their room automatically makes me feel a little awkward- the only time I had been in a guy's room was when my first ex assaulted me. I didn't think anything of it at the moment. He's so quiet and really did suck at communicating, which made me feel even more awkward and I didn't communicate either. He didn't ask or expect anything of me but we didn't discuss things and verbally set boundaries. I told him vaguely about my PTSD and mental and physical illnesses but no details because I wanted a boundary there, I didn't wanna ruin my comfort level being too vulnerable.

But we should have discussed by PTSD in the sense of boundaries at least, because neither of us really spoke or knew what to say. So again, I began to break my own boundaries- I didnt intend to sleep over but it happened. It was very late, we were tired, and again, feeling like I switched personalities- I asked him if I could lay in his bed because the couch was feeling uncomfortable. He said sure, but he stayed on the couch, which he should have.

But then, as if to intentionally trigger myself and because I felt a little rejected, I was like "wowww, you're not even gonna come next to me?" It was awkward but he came over and we were half-sitting in bed watching TV still. There was distance between us but I still felt really weird about it. But I didn't stop it, I thought if I sat through the anxiety it would go away, and it seemed innocent..he didn't try to touch me or anything. He said he never had a girl in his room or bed before. Even with PTSD I trusted him enough since we talked for so long before meeting and because he was passive with me taking the action.

After being with my exes who controlled me, I always imagined that I'd love it if I were in a situation where I was the one initiating and having control. But because I hadn't had trauma therapy, hadnt prepped for this or set clear boundaries prior, and because I usually cant even tell what I'm okay with (or if I'm doing something because I don't want to reject the other person, or out of obligation), me being the initiator ended up backfiring.

I didn't know when to go home and he didn't tell me to leave because he didn't have work the next day- he knew I liked to be in control of things so according to him, he thought that if I was doing something or saying I wanted something, it meant that it's what I wanted. Kind of straightforward- but to me nothing is straightforward.

So after waking up multiple times kind of shocked that I was sleeping next to him, I still didn't go home in the morning. Since he had the day off we continued to slouch around watching movies all day, and I flirted with him and encouraged him to get in bed with me, get on top of me, and he would ask if I was sure.

And I wasn't, but I said yes. I was "aroused," but I couldn't differentiate between truly wanting something or not because I hadn't realized that just because I was physically aroused, it didn't mean that I was mentally okay with it.

As I've said, my only other experiences involved coercion or assault, so the fact that a guy actually wasn't making any moves on me was like..confusing? Even though I was relieved that he didn't. It would have been much worse if he did.

We still had only made it to first base even being in bed, and all clothes were on- he would stop me sometimes when I tried to have him on top of me. He seemed kind of uncomfortable himself but I think he wanted to please me. And I was desperate to feel good.

I still wasn't really triggered yet..it didn't go too far, and he was just sweet and affectionate. I definitely shouldn't have slept over and stayed an additional day though.. and so..later, evening hit again and I had been with him almost 24 hours. It was dark again. We both lacked communication, he was really awkward so I felt like I had to cut the tension.

I should have gone home, but just wanted to cling to him for some reason.

We were in bed again watching something else, and i was laying on my stomach on him. Again- impulse- I was kind of aroused and I encouraged him to touch me..my butt. He went ahead and did and it and while he was doing it he asked "is it okay that I'm touching your butt right now?" and I said yea. Idk why.

I did feel weird at that point, but I'm used to constant violation and being constantly uncomfortable so in a sense I was thinking that was normal.

Then soon after, he was laying down and I was sitting there- it was awkward. I wanted attention and I got this sudden impulse to get on top of him. So without asking him or any communication prior, I got on top of him. We were fully clothed.

The thing that was different this time was that it seemed that he assumed that just because I gave him permission to touch my butt before, he could do it again, without asking. Which I wasn't okay with- but I didn't speak up.

He should have asked but I also should have asked if I could jump on top of him. I was just laying there staring at his face so he put his hands down there and I allowed it. I know that if I told him to stop, he would have. But I'm used to "going with" things and I was kinda curious to see if I could enjoy it because I'd been untouched for years.

I can't remember anymore whether he was already inching his hands towards my private parts or if I encouraged him to..that part scares me, I can't remember. And if he did it without me telling him to, I'm worried that means he was coercing me or something. If there wasnt "technical" consent.

But whether or not he was already inching his hands in that direction because we were both turned on, I remember telling him to go lower and lower, as if I was testing my limits. He didn't stop and ask or discuss with me- we didn't have actual prior communication or plan to do any of this. He seemed to be following my lead but wasn't questioning it and I didn't know what I was doing either. I just wanted to feel good.

So then it turned into him "f*ngering" me but with clothes on. I guess 2nd base. And I didn't really like it- my sexual trauma revolves around not being able to be touched there unless I do it myself. There were a few seconds here and there that felt okay, but I mostly felt awkward and he didn't really know what he was doing either.

I should have definitely stopped or spoken up and said I wasn't enjoying it but I kept pretending to enjoy it- I'm used to being performative and when my exes assaulted or coerced me, it's like when I would fight back or try to say no they kept going.

So in this case, even though my s.o. wasn't initiating and I don't think would have continued if I was telling him or showing him that I wanted to stop, I still followed my same pattern, "the drill," and felt too awkward and weird to communicate much during the act.. I just freeze up and get nervous.

I wish that he would have stopped it since I didnt. So he would ask me how I wanted to be touched and I tried to direct him but I didn't like it and I felt like he was trying and assumed I was into it.

Then there were several times where he would go "do you want me to stop?" or "do you want me to keep going?" and things like that- and I didnt- but I kept telling him yes ...I kept telling him no don't stop, keep going. I don't know why. I just felt so awkward and as if I wanted to hurt myself.

And even though he wasnt trying to hurt me (at least I dont think so, but cant trust anyone), he didn't know what he was doing with his fingers (I don't think?) and I didn't really know what I wanted him to do either, so it actually was pretty painful and he was going too hard.

I was moaning and stuff but it was probably fake or more out of pain but I don't think he knew the difference.

There was another point towards the end that made me more uncomfortable- I kind of sat up while he was still touching me and he asked me if I wanted to continue but before I had the chance to say yes or no, he was still continuing and it really hurt so I wasnt able to say yes or no, I just kind of moaned (but because of pain).

Then I just abruptly stopped and got off of him and I quietly felt kind of stunned that we had done that. But bc he and I had only hung out 3 times and didnt discuss personal stuff especially in person, we didn't actually communicate after it happened.

I wished I would have told him right after how I was uncomfortable and that I wish we didnt do that. I assumed that his silence meant he was into it and got what he wanted, and was just glad he got to touch a girl like that for the first time.

He later told me that he wasn't fully comfortable with it ...but he's not traumatized so he's fine.

So I just kind of dissociated after that, and soon after we just kinda continued on like nothing, watched tv again, and there was one other moment that triggered me- he lightly slapped my butt and I was startled- I think that because I allowed him to touch me there before, he became entitled to do it without having to ask for permission each time.

And right after he was like "oh I'm sorry was that okay," and again, out of how trained I am to be afraid to tell a man no, I lied and said yes it's okay.

By the time I got my Uber home, I was in a rush to leave and I started to feel terrified. I didn't say anything to him about it. Once we were texting, I noticed that my perception of him had completely changed in an instant. By the next morning, the "delayed trauma response" hit me hard and I had a meltdown, feeling like my world came crashing down and like I was developing PTSD for the first time all over again.

I went into some sort of shock and I felt like the perception of him I'd had for 7 months before meeting and on our first 2 dates was shattered, like I was dying, and like I had to leave him.

I did tell him the next day thru text that I was very uncomfortable with what happened and that we need to not do those things anymore, which he was fine with. And I told him that if I come on to him, stop me.

But it was so awkward because he didn't know what my PTSD actually entailed and we hadnt discussed those personal things, or our emotions. Being afraid of male reactions, I didn't know how to say everything I wanted to either.

After I discussed it with him and we agreed, I thought I could move past it even though my view of him changed.

The next couple of days I got worse and worse and depersonalized severely. I told 2 of my close friends what happened with him and theyre similar to me with being traumatized and hating men, so they said that if I felt that uncomfortable and triggered by what happened, maybe I should leave him.And that they dont think he would have enough willpower to stop me if I come onto him etc.

And from there, idk what it was, but something "snapped" in me and it was one of the most terrifying feelings I've ever felt. Like all my past trauma was brought to the surface. And that's also where I think my OCD kicked in. I always have OCD, but usually once a year or so, it "spikes," more like Pure O, and my "themes" have always alternated. Harm OCD etc etc. I'm not sure but I don't think I'd specifically experienced "Relationship OCD" before- I read up on it and I fit the bill and realized I was like that in the past too.

But when you have actual PTSD on top of it, from real experiences, and when most of your relationships have actually been abusive.. it gets confusing.

I still feel that this is more PTSD related than OCD, but from a few days after that "incident" when something in my brain snapped and made me spiral, the obsessive thought pattern began, about him, and "what if he assaulted me" and feeling like i have to leave him etc.

I did have the urge to run after it happened, but felt like shock.. maybe I should have taken space from him after it happened initially, but I didn't want to have our relationship totally ruined after investing so much into each other for 7 months.

I had no idea how to identify what was going on with me- it was the worst thing I've ever felt. I had a constant pull to get away from him, afraid that if I talked to him I was gonna break up with him, and now I don't know if thats what I wanted and I was just in denial and fighting it?

I have no clue anymore..but as the obsession increased the more trauma/PTSD I felt, over what happened. This incident also forced me to break even more boundaries I wasnt ready for, like emotionally- I was trying to keep things casual when first dating, as most do- I wanted to keep my personal stuff separate and gradually build up over time. Keep healthy boundaries etc. But because of the sexual thing that massively triggered me and my meltdown, it forced everything to the surface and put it all on the table and he suddenly saw me in this vulnerable, unstable way and knew all this personal stuff about me.

That's how I really lost my sense of power and safety. And in an attempt to maybe try and support or help me, he got even closer to me, instead of giving me some space-

I didn't know how to ask for space and feared his reaction bc he's a guy- so when he got even closer to me, and sweeter and more affectionate, I just felt smothered.. and then his emotions came out as well- he kept saying he has hope that we can fix this and he sounded kind of desperate to save us and said we would get me some help, and "I don't want to lose you I couldn't bear it now," which kind of made me even more nervous bc I perceived it as selfishness and him caring more about me not being with him, rather than about my well-being.

He later told me he was referring more to losing me in the sense of su*cide, and idk if I believe that because men can always just lie and make up anything, which has been my experience. But yeah, at the time he seemed all worried, whether for selfish reasons or not, suddenly his emotions came out whereas before he was aloof.

So it went from not enough, to too much. And suddenly he was super involved in my personal life bc of how messed up I got after we did sexual stuff. Even if he meant well, it made things accelerate rapidly and get serious too fast. I didn't really know what i was doing or how to approach it either bc in my past experiences, I would run away from any guy I had sexual encounters with- but those past encounters actually were assault and those men actually were abusive..this is the first time I didn't completely run away and cut off a guy after something sexual happened. Because I'm like, well, it wasn't assault- it just triggered me and felt painful like the things in my past.

But then I go wait- was it? Did he actually violate me or assault or coerce me? Because it feels that horrible regardless.

I need constant reassurance about it and yet even with that it still doesn't really help. Not only did the encounter itself mess me up but it was handled wrong afterwards and neither of us communicated properly and if space would have helped me, I didn't take it, and he got too close to me after..maybe thinking the support would be helpful but because he became my trigger, it made it worse much of the time. Or beyond the encounter itself, perhaps me staying is the issue... but then he would still just be added to my trauma repertoire. I dunno.

Soon after this happened, since my PTSD and OCD became acute and active again, I stopped functioning altogether- I mean I've already had my health issues keeping me home most of the time, but I was unable to do my homework, unable to get out of bed and shower and do basic things. I needed my mom with me all the time and all I did was cry.

I've had chronic nightmares for years since PTSD began, but those became way worse at this point. I also gave my s.o. my mom's number in case he couldnt get a hold of me if I was too messed up to talk to him- which I also felt weird about later because it was again, breaking a boundary too soon, and making me feel like he had more control over me even if he didnt mean to do that.

My parents didnt know I was seeing someone- I'm not used to sharing things with them and they used to be really strict- but I did tell my mom like a week after this happened. But it was only because I was in crisis and always crying, I couldnt hide it and needed help.

Instead of a normal introduction to someone I'm dating, I revealed him to my mom because of a traumatic event..

My s.o. tried to offer me all of these things- its true I needed therapy anyway, but I only began to seek it again so soon bc of what happened with him. He tried to look up places for me to go to crisis counseling and he would call me Ubers once I did go. I was never able to tell if he was genuinely trying to help n support me and thought that getting closer and involving himself more in my life, or if he was breaking more boundaries and smothering me to try to make me dependent on him ..or that he was only trying to help me for fear that I would leave him..

I dont trust men..so I can't know. Maybe bc he's inexperienced with dating he didnt realize that it was too fast and too much, idk.

After a few weeks I did see him again for Valentines Day, and wanted to try to be okay, but the whole time I was extremely nervous and detached and having intrusive thoughts.

After we went to the city we went back to his place again, which I shouldnt have done because the last time I was there, the sexual thing happened and being back in his room kinda triggered me..but at the time, I kept thinking that if I pushed thru and exposed myself to the same things/places, it would help things.. so I continued to see him and sometimes we did end up back at his place, there were 2 more times I accidentally slept over with him, and I noticed it became more difficult each time- one of those times I actually had a nightmare about it while sleeping next to him.. my assumption that it would get better over time was wrong, I only became increasingly uncomfortable and increasingly less physically affectionate.

There were a couple of other times I was aroused and had strong urges to do things but he would stop me, or if I told him to kiss my chest or whatever, he would but then he'd limit it and make it stop.

There were a few weeks 2 months ago where we started sexting and I kinda pushed him into it, again, as if to purposely trigger myself when he and I had never sexted prior and werent comfy with it.. but after doing that for a few weeks on-and-off, I had this delayed trigger thing again and suddenly felt panicked like "wtf am I doing," I triggered the crap out of myself and I told him we cant do that anymore.

It's like our relationship has been all out of order and gone backwards, instead of gradually building up to things, things went too fast in a way, and then I became increasingly more uncomfy and unable to do things instead of more comfy over time with him. All because of the sexual incident that happened on our 3rd date-turned-sleepover. Once those boundaries were broken, the rest followed, and the floodgates opened.

I wanted a "normal" relationship for the first time and tried to do it the Right Way by getting to know him before meeting and all of that, but now its all backfiring and having a trauma response over everything.

He even met my family when they had a little birthday thing for me, which I've never done with anyone before and it went well but maybe I wasnt ready for it. Bc in retrospect it feels like the only reason we even got so close and involved in each others lives, let alone so quickly, is because of crisis/traumatic circumstances that shoved me into vulnerability and losing control- it feels like now the whole relationship was a traumatic farce and that those were the wrong reasons to get close..

I've had constant anxiety around him since that initial incident and have been stuck in ptsd/ocd mode ever since, the whole relationship has been this big panic for me and constant obsessing and urges to run but then also urges to cling to him.

He told me he cried every day for weeks when he thought I was gonna hurt or kill myself. He doesnt show emotion very easily but he cried while on the phone with me before, we were both crying and this was 2 months into us seeing each other- he told me he loved me and by last month I said it to him too but I cant know if its true because of the circumstances surrounding our relationship and that something traumatic has shaped it- our "natural progression" was ruined and i'll never know how great our relationship could have been if that stupid thing didn't happen.

Over the last 4 months, there have been periods where I've calmed down a bit, but I always wonder if thats dissociation and denial and trying to not remember what happened.

But in the last 5 weeks or so, things took another turn for the worst because multiple other triggers occurred. Not physical/sexual, but just things we were talking about, or how he talked about his ex and thats one of my biggest triggers, and certain words he used that reminded me of past things with bad people.

And learning that he was getting high every day, up until last month, which if more often than I'd thought.. combined with communication issues and me picking everything he says apart and lashing out at him, etc.

There were back-to-back triggers, which when each occurred, definitely felt like "its over" moments, bc I had immediate flashbacks and it was something that would have been a dealbreaker if we had just begun talking.

Like when he spoke of his ex in detail for the first time, it triggered me to have nightmares about him cheating on me every night for 11 days straight.

The therapist I'm now seeing, said that it just sounded like history-telling, whenever I tell her about things he's said that have triggered me, she sees them as normal and not as red flags or anything and I just cant see what she's seeing.. anyways, with all the recent triggers, it's been like System Overload, and the more my s.o. and I try having deep discussions about these things or how he tries to explain things or reassure me, it just ends up spiraling further and im never satisfied with his answers and i never believe him. or i do but then i change my mind, back and forth, my perception keeps shifting and its very confusing.. having to try to not think about thinks hes said or that incident that happened and having to avoid so much shit in my mind or even avoid thinking of him or talking to him at times bc of constant triggers, it feels impossible.

Then whenever I feel that something is calming down, I remember something from the past and freak out again.

Last week or so, it shifted from the recent triggers, to this huge wave of shock that suddenly hit me about the original event that acted as the catalyst- the sexual stuff- all came flooding back to the surface and felt like I had been avoiding it or suppressing it.

Along with other things we did together that I thought I was okay with but now I'm not. Its as if I had all of these "revelations" 3.5 months late and I went into shock like it all caught up with me and I started to see things differently- that for the last few months I blamed more of my feelings on Relationship OCD but that I must have been in denial and it's actually that I've been being retraumatized this whole time without fully realizing and just trying to push thru it...?

I dunno, this meltdown was the worst yet, it felt different, I felt like me and my s.o. were over and were strangers and my brain started seeing him as my ex, as another past trauma, and for the first time, i was really feeling what it would feel like to be without him and not seeing a future with him..I also felt completely detached from time..and I dont know how to describe it.

There are multiple factors since this time of year is also extra bad for me due- it's the "anniversary" of the time I got sick 2 years ago, and also last year its the time that other guy betrayed me and messed me up- I dont know if that accounts for some sort of deja vu feeling because I feel like I'm constantly reliving things and every situation feels the same.

Now the other triggers with my s.o. feel smaller and like the real issue is what happened with us sexually, months ago, that this is the root cause of everything and it never went away, that me pushing it down made it stronger ..i dont know.

So now, that's what I'm obsessing over again-whether or not I was assaulted and how it feels the same- my therapist said I wasn't, that my past trauma just became rekindled with my current s.o., and that with my PTSD and everything else, I'm unable to give true consent.

So then I panicked more- "oh god that means it wasnt consensual, i was assaulted or coerced" etc.. i cant get rid of the feeling. It's just like..things werent supposed to go this way- some of my worst nightmares in a relationship have occurred despite my goal to prevent them.

Now that this past incident is at the forefront of my mind again, it feels like the delayed trauma responses Ive had in the past when my exes assaulted me and it took a few months to set in???

So with my current s.o., i was thinking that he just triggered past stuff for me, but now, it feels like what happened with him is its own thing..not just a trigger from a past, its another trauma in itself.

My therapist has only seen me like 7 times and I dont think knows me well enough, but now she says that although my s.o. isn't abusive and seems to be sweet, that I've basically been retraumatized, like being with him and all the triggers and things that happened early on and breaking boundaries too fast and not handling things properly ..bc it took a while to get into a therapist- its retraumatized me- so now I'm categorizing him with my abusers.. even if he's different.

As of my most recent meltdown, I'm now having "body memories" and feeling pain and weird sensations in my genitals.. which happened after my abusers assaulted me....which makes it difficult to separate my current s.o. from them.

I'm having worse nightmares again- now instead of him cheating, it's him r*ping me. Last night I felt hopeful again but then I had a horrible nightmare and I could actually feel the physical pain and once I woke up everything felt doomed again and I'm once again feeling afraid of him and lately I'm back to not functioning at all..

My therapist said that he and I could still salvage our relationship despite how traumatized I feel, that we need to keep things more superficial for now and backtrack/backfill the relationship, do things like we would have at the beginning, communicate more just on a basic level, in person, go on short casual dates for no longer than 1-2 hours, not go over to his house or him to mine, and nothing physical etc.. trying to "Start over"..which in theory, I like..and yes I want to try to re-establish boundaries that were broken early on..its just difficult when I've gotten used to emotional dependency and him being super involved in my life the last few months.

It's as if we spent 7 months at a healthy distance, then a trainwreck occurred that melded us together in an unhealthy way, and now i'm suddenly trying to split off and somehow act like we've just met.. I dunno, it feels so fake and like I have to detach and try to forget all that weve already been through..and go backwards. it's very confusing but I'm trying..and I know I don't have to stay with him..but I really want to save us if it's possible..I cant handle another tragic story in my life, with no resolution

My therapist said for us to actually not take a total break from each other right now and for me NOT to avoid him despite that distress/triggers? because she said it would solidify my negative perception of him more. idk if I agree bc sometimes it seems that going more and more towards him has caused me to feel more trauma, bc my nervous system is constantly activated. but i can see what my therapist is saying as well.. basically right now I feel totally hopeless and like either approach is doomed and that I'm traumatized regardless, it's already happened, and whether I stay or leave , I've already been retraumatized.

I just dont want it to end this way with yet another guy, if this guy isn't even bad or like my abusive exes..

My therapist said that we would begin the actual trauma therapy relatively soon, I don't know what her exact approach is and if I should be out of a relationship while doing that. I have no idea about anything anymore. I just want a different ending this time..we had a good beginning and things would have gone so much better if that incident didnt happen or happen so early..I don't want to be in denial or brainwashed as I've been with abusers...but my therapist keeps saying it's really just my PTSD and OCD combined with the fact that even for someone without PTSD or anything, going as fast as we went after meeting in person, sleeping over so soon, and before having much IRL communication or emotional intimacy- isnt good.

She said I'm not as crazy as I think I am and that a lot of it is me being insightful..and I know I am. And I've already been through so many traumas and mistreatment- after finally learning to trust myself it's now feeling like the opposite- that I need to question everything more than ever, bc I have ptsd and ocd making me confused and afraid of everything.

Although I was never looking for a relationship, and I do wish I would have listened to myself in terms of waiting longer before I met up with my s.o., I don't want to have to lose him because of the triggers and the past events, and because I'm having these delayed reactions suddenly not being okay with things that I thought I was okay with..does anyone relate to anything I've said? Does anyone have a success story?

I know this was a ridiculously long post, probably confusing and full of run-on sentences.. I just need some support.. I feel embarrassed at the length of this, I've been typing for four hours..yikes. Again, if anyone has actually read all the way through this........thank you very much.. <33
 
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420kitty

MyPTSD Pro
Although, I only read a 1/3rd of a half and partly the ending - this sounds a lot like me. I'm 5 years older than you. Had severe depression as a pre-teen and still to this day. After psychoanazylzing my weird (f*cked up) behaviors: -the serotonin/dopamine rush is amazing. Do you often feel you go 'too fast too hard' because the rush is amazing? Are you codependent because your scared of losing someone ? Low self esteem? After researching and reading - these are all factors that contribute towards abusive or unhealthy situations. Try not having sex for at least 6 months. Make the person wait to see if they are actually into you. Don't fall for common lines. Be aware of the men you are subconsciously attracted to. It all feels like a game at some point.

I have found someone (I think) that understands and gives me space. Sees when I am in edge and need some time. Knows when to push me and not. He has his own issues also. I think it is a matter of truly knowing yourself - what you can and cannot handle. Setting boundaries but mos importantly, sticking to them. Good luck. All relationships have theirs ups and downs. It is just a matter of, do the ups outweigh downs? From both parties.
 

digger

Moderator
I know this was a ridiculously long post, probably confusing and full of run-on sentences.. I just need some support
Hi @shrzn, welcome to the forum.

This is just suggestion, but a lot of us with PTSD find it difficult to read/process long walls of text, it might be helpful to you, in terms of how many responses you might get and the amount of support people are able to offer, if you could provide a summary to highlight what you are struggling most with just now and what you would most like other members input and support on.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
@shrzn - I’ve read your entire post pretty thoroughly.

I want to say, I’m sorry for how much you are struggling. It’s clear that your feelings are quite intense and disturbing to you.

I think it’s also clear that you have some pretty deep problems. I don’t think this current guy has much to do with them - I don’t think he was at all abusive, and to my eye, you’ve manipulated him rather extremely in order to make him fit your own (perception of) your trauma narrative.

You describe yourself throughout as a victim of your past abusive relationships. You’re also completely centered on yourself. My advice would be to end this relationship, because it isn’t real, never was real, and won’t be real. Spend time in therapy, deal with what happened to you in the past. EMDR could be very effective for you.

Also look into DBT, for learning ways to manage your overpowering emotions and distorted thinking. A formal DBT program could be helpful. It will offer a great deal of support.

It’s going to be a long hard road, and you’ll need to do a lot of work in your own thinking styles. But you sound motivated. Being motivated to change, to confront these things within ourselves - that’s the essential element to recovery.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
I got maybe 1/4 of the way through and started zoning out.....and I rarely zone out while reading posts. I kept thinking I was surely near the end...

You added a lot of unnecessary details. I suggest sticking to the main points so that people can read your entire post and give you constructive feedback.

It can be difficult for those of us with ptsd to read long posts....the more info, the more to keep track of....and I forgot the title of your post and why you were writing to us....

Just some suggestions.
 

shrzn

New Here
@shrzn - I’ve read your entire post pretty thoroughly.

I want to say, I’m...


I do see most of your points but I dont know what you mean by my relationship isnt real and will never be real and my OCD is spiraling now-I just dont understand. I want to have this person in my life..I want us to be able to have a normal relationship if I continue therapy and it hopefully helps me out..I just dont understand how my relationship isnt real and will never be...
 

KwanYingirl

MyPTSD Pro
Maybe for now @shrzn you can dial down the racing thoughts that are fueling your despair. Activities such as mindfulness meditation help you stay grounded in the here and now. You can take time out breaks throughout the day to help stay grounded. Once you settle in therapy and design a roadmap of your treatment goal, then a relationship may be possible that doesn’t follow your usual push, pull, desperate, pushing away. You need to settle and you need self awareness. Develop these skills and relationships will flow smoothly.
You have a history of relationships that cause you to be overreaching and manipulative. No one wants to be manipulated, and it won’t build trust with a partner. Working with a therapist you will learn to recognize cognitive distortions and other land mines in the quest for a healthy relationship.
 

shrzn

New Here
Maybe for now @shrzn you can dial down the racing thoughts that are fueling your...


I agree with you.. it's just that my therapist said it's still possible to sort of "start over" with my current bf if we backtrack and re-establish the boundaries that were accidentally broken so early on, and try to keep things more distanced for now, as if we had just met (although we obviously cant forget whats already happened). And at the same time, me being in therapy working on my PTSD,OCD etc. Even if we had to separate for now, I dont want to be permanently done with this guy and I want to resolve it..maybe thats stupid, I dont know..
 

joeylittle

Administrator
as if we had just met (although we obviously cant forget whats already happened).
This is why I think the relationship is done.

I think it was never real in the first place because of how it began. It seems like you’re interested in rescuing it because you aren’t done with it - IMHO you’re too invested in your own agenda to be in a two-way balanced relationship right now.

Work on yourself first.
 
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