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Relationship Push-pull

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And no amount of self-care makes this feel ok.

I'm the one with PTSD in my relationship and what you've said here really touched me. You've made a perfect argument for the other side... i have to thank you and commend you for your bare honesty here. I don't know how you guys deal with us honestly. But your love, patience and understanding had to have changed your partner on some level and they will be forever a little softer having known you.

For the original poster... my advice? None. I do push pulls all the time. It's part of this. Trust a push as a need for space and not to expose you to more hurt. Trust a pull as insecurity or remorse. Ig that's all i have
Thank you all for your comments!

Its just so hard to see him go down and there is nothing I can do about it. I spent this time to think what I want. One day I think f**k you! Other day I cry out of love and concurn for him. And to be honest.. Im afraid for the day he knocks on the door.. not that he would be agressive but how I feel and deal with that situation...

Again thank you all!
Sufferer here.....with a shout out to all of you that can deal with us and still love us.

I just made...
@ Freida can you please expand on your comment about isolating the ones you love, not the ones you need? This left me a with questions....
My ex ended our relationship abruptly. One week we were talking about wedding venues, and the next week the relationship was over. I was at a complete loss of how he could love me then throw it all away in a matter of days. Yet, he has very tight knit group of friends and family that mean more to him than anything in this world. In the time we dated I never saw him treat them the way he treated me. When he was in a flare up...he would speak to them on the phone, his mood, his tone of voice, his words....all very cheery and loving. He made it a point to tell them he loved them upon hanging up the phone....EVERY TIME. The phone call ends...and before me would stand a different man, a man I didn't recognize. Dark, moody, unaffectionate, monotone voice, and literally no expression on his face but a blank empty stare. He would love me one day, then the next, he was a stranger in our house. It was so confusing and frightening for me
Is it common for some to hide PTSD symptoms from close friends and family?
@Freida @LB226 I’d like to join your question to Freida if you don’t mind. In my story, my wife would direct all her issues towards me but to the rest of the world, she was as pleasant and good natured. Like LB226 writes, it was as if I was living with 2 separate people.

It didn’t occur to me that she was hiding her Illness from others as much as she was directing her issues towards the one she believed was closest to her.......me. While I had difficulty accepting she couldn’t trust me even though I gave her no cause, I also understood that her trust issues were based in the stressors for her C-PTSD; that is, childhood based trauma and subsequent young adult physical and emotional abuse.

So, while she is still with me today physically, emotionally she is not although she is in current therapy to help herself through this. She will not share her heart with me but will with others. This is why I ask the same question LB266 asks of Freida. I truly appreciate your insight.
It’s exhausting faking “I’m fine” to the world. That’s the ANP of structural dissociation I...

I'm totally guilty. This knowledge had been changing my perspective. I'm working on it hard with the T.
I guess he's not the only one pushing and pulling after all...

To the O P... you're ding a good job trying to maintain your own mental health at this point, keep it up! You need to be healthy for you... whether he's around or not. It's almost impossible to be supportive when you're a hot mess yourself, (speaking from my own past).
@Snowflakes I'm in the same boat. My sufferer does the same thing. He can be the most charming, outgoing person with strangers and he will totally isolate around me. I used to get so hurt by this . . . Thinking it's something about me.

My therapist (Who is a male and helps me understand a makes perspective) has taught me that we as supporters can make our sufferers feel inadequate, needy, childlike, and many other negative emotions by being to supportive. By doing everything for them (they never ask us to) and we give and give and give hoping they will see our love and support but it makes them feel like we don't have any faith or trust in them to crawl out of the PTSD hole. I know my husband has resented me for this. I make him feel that I am strong and can do everything and he thinks the reason I do everything is because he thinks, I think he can't.

This made a huge impact on me because I never realized that I was destroying his self esteem. I thought I was helping and I was hurting. I'm learning to not define him by his illness. If he was quiet, I would ask if he's having a bad day. Now I just except his quietness and it may or may not be related to PTSD but I don't need to remind him of his illness.

Ever since I stopped acknowledging his moods he tends to snap out of them very quickly. I build him up, give him more responsibility, . . . My T also said that when I allow his moods to get to me, he sees it and hates being around me because he knows he's causing me pain (not intentionally) and he starts self loathing and it causes him not to want to interact with me because its painful.

It's hard, confusing And life changing to love someone with PTSD but I'm learning to love my sufferer with a true heart, a good conscious and a sincere faith. Prayers going your way.
@ Freida can you please expand on your comment about isolating the ones you love, not the ones you need? This left me a with questions....

I'll try......

So I have three groups of people in my world.

Those in the outside world co workers, general public, people who are acquaintances but not friends, some family members.
These people are the enemy of PTSD I HAVE TO hide what is wrong with me. These people make me hypervigilant because I don't trust them. I can't predict what they are going to do. I have to watch my back at all times because they are a potential threat. If I am not on guard all the time, or if I let them see my weakness, they will get me killed. This is not a ooohhh scary statement. I mean this. THEY WILL GET ME KILLED IF THEY SEE MY WEAKNESS

So day after day I have to hide from these people that I am fighting for my sanity Happy face - happy life. It's exhausting.

Then there are those I love in a "normal" way. Hubby, sisters, a couple of trusted friends.
Love is a funny thing. I know I love these people. I know they will accept me as I am, in all my moody, unpredictable, unreachable me-ness. I know they are there for me if I need them. I know they love me and want me to come to them for support. And alot of times I can. I can share how I'm feeling and whats rattling around in my head and how it effects relationships and we can work out whatever issue is making us unhappy. Just like normal people can.

But - They want to understand when I say "I'm having nightmares" and there is no way they can. It's impossible. Their nightmares are about imaginary cartoon characters chasing them in the dark. Mine are memories of actual things that have already happened and I am reliving them. I can't share those things with a normal human.
Even sharing small details of what caused my ptsd, or what living with ptsd is like, can send them into a dither. And I get that it is because they love me and it is so painful to imagine I survived these events, that I did the things I've done, that I am a different person in that space than who they know here and now. They want to help but it overwhelms them. And then I end up either having to take care of them or feel guilty for causing them pain.
So I isolate

When the monsters are loose in my head, they have NO IDEA how hard it is to try to figure out where I am and what I'm doing. I can barely hold it together without taking off, running away, lashing out or killing myself. All I want is to escape the pain. I have no energy left to try to monitor what is coming out of my mouth so that it doesn't offend or upset the person who loves me. They keep pushing trying to help and I can't make them see it hurts. And even though I know they will forgive me it still leaves me with guilt I can't deal with.
So I isolate.

That's where the people I need come in. These are the people who understand what a shit storm life can sometimes be. These are the people I can share the scary monsters of my life with because they have been there. I don't have to explain or worry that my trauma will somehow derail them for the day. They have the same monsters in their heads and hearts. Even worse - they may have BEEN those monsters.

They can just look at me and know why I'm freaking out. My mentor said to me yesterday while I was pre-meltdown -- "you forgot to do your 60 second sweeps dumb ass! You know that's the trick you need when its bad like this. When are you going to get that through your f**king head?! You want to die? Now knock this shit off and get yourself grounded"

Yes - he does speak to me like that - because he has been where I'm at and he knows how it feels. It's something normies could ever say to me because they have no idea how to function in terror, much less how to lead me through it. With my "needs" I can swear and cry and scream and I don't have to explain. I don't have to worry they are offended or upset or hurt or that I'm being a sarcastic bitch who doesn't give a shit about anyone. Because they don't care. These people have gone to hell and survived. Nothing I say to them will cause damage so there is zero risk, which means no need to isolate

Plus those I need can give me ways to handle it in the moment (as opposed to the T who is trying to get me to see a bigger picture). And yes, often that comes out in horrible humor. I was in flashback hell one day and a "need" showed up with McDonald chicken nuggets and a bottle of wine. It was hysterically funny because it tied into one of her traumas. She walked in the door with those stupid things and I (knowing it was part of her horrific experience) lost it. We couldn't stop cracking up. The trauma we were laughing about was horrible. It was the kind of thing that would make a "love" puke. (We know this because she trusted a love and he puked on her after hearing the story). For us, however, it was something to get drunk and laugh about, and it pulled me out of my flashbacks.

Another example: I'm on facebook in a group that keeps getting shut down by facebook because the things we think are funny and what we talk about horrifies normal people. There was even a game going around a while back to find the worst possible meme and see if we could get shut down again! It's a coping mechanism - because laughing at the horrible makes it a bit easier to handle.

And yes - there is what you would call love between all us "needs." But its not the kind of love you have for your spouse or kids. It's love based in trauma and love of those who you can show your true self to without judgement or
worry or sorrow. It's the kind of love that you have for the people who can pull you out of the depths of despair and send you back home

And really - that's what its all about. Finding your way back home...
You've read my story

I've never heard your story. Were is it on the forum? I'd love to read it.

Anyway.. I'm PTSD and very familiar with push/pull because I do it too. Sometimes when I push, I know I'm going to be in a bad mood for a week and I don't want my partner?Boyfriend? to experience my "down". That's considerate but some supporters don't realize that. As far as the pull. It's when we need you the worst ( to understand) we don't realize boundaries very well.

Push/pull isn't necessarily negative. It's negative for the other person ( I like this thread, thanks all) Everyone has to have space, we just do it wrong. We don't see when the boundary as blinking, "Hot Red" ,( like a stoplight) until its too late.. and then its catastrophic ( in our brain) and we just run away from everything. It's kind of like a dog who runs away from home for 2 weeks and then returns.

But the thing is, it passes because everything is in "motion". Everything and anything changes with time. I change, you change, we all change.

And really - that's what its all about. Finding your way back home..

Awesome Post!
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I've never heard your story. Were is it on the forum? I'd love to read it.

Anyway.. I'm PTSD and...
@Deanna's Gap the forum is
Shut outs/blocking
Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Willowtree, Oct 8, 2017.

My profile name on that forum is ladyboss226. I recently changed it to LB226.
This web site has been a blessing for me. Insight from both supporters and suffers has been greatly appreciated. I had first researched about PTSD and it's symptoms only two weeks before my relationship ended. I had no idea what I was dealing with (my ex's symptoms) or the depths of it, during the relationship. I was left with so many empty holes and questions that will never be answered, but the people on site have helped me to make sense of some of it. I am still very saddened about how it ended, but I can't change anything. Therefore, I'm slowly moving forward and focusing on my own healing from this traumatic experience.
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