Relationship Q For Sufferers : How someone with ptsd feels when they push away the person they love most?

alexa4555

New Here
the hardest period after almost a year of relationship. There were signs of hot and cold from the first day. After the first few weeks, he distanced himself and told his friends that he didn't want to hear from me anymore, only that I told him that I wanted to spend time with him. After 3 days in which he barely wrote me, he told me that he had made this decision because he thought that only he would take the initiative in the relationship. A totally wrong assumption. and in that night he told me he love me for the very first time. I cannot understand how can you love someone and you want to stay away from him. Anyway after that moment we had a very nice time together, we got engage and in every month we went in city breaks, moments when i saw the happiest man in the world.

But this month all became a nightmare, when after some things that i told him he said that he love me like crazy but we need to broke up. Knowing the situation with the assumption that happened at the beginning of our relationship I stayed. I fought with him every day trying to show him that when we say family we fight for that, it was so hard for me. after that he thanked me for showing him that. And now I am mentally tired, I know that this will be hard to handle for long term. But I love him like never before and I feel that he loves me too, so I try to give him space, to be always in good mood. He had a neglect childhood , and I see him that is very sensitive and had a lot on his mind, but from time to time he is asking me "hey isn't that we really have a good life?" and also when he acts like a child he is so happy, i can see a child that no one took care of him, I can t ask him to be a man, but sometimes I need him to be one. Also, sex it s so good but it only happens when he is in good mood, and i need more.

I need to know what do you need from the person that is staying with you despite your hot and cold moment? Do you want a stable relationship? Do you fight for that?

Is sad that at our first conflict he went out partying, and home is was crying. It's so easy to detach?

I can't leave the man I love, I know that this is the only reason for that is good to fight in life, but i can't fight with him, I need him in my team. And we are a great one.
 
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alexa4555

New Here
Are you familiar with the concept of structural dissociation or personality parts? I don’t have the spoons to explain it right now, but maybe you can google it? It might lead to useful places.
hey, someone told me about this, I read about it a little and refused to believe it. But now I realize that yes, the description is so similar. But what to do know?

thatnk you very much!
 

Friday

Moderator
So this is what I said about fight, when you love , you stay, you don't give up.
Pretty much anyone who has ever gotten OUT of an abusive relationship? Or who has survived one parent staying with an abusive parent “because they loooooove them”, and it doesn’t matter how badly the abusive parent beats/rapes -or even kills- them or their kids? Or both? Has had to learn to disbelieve this, or has suffered severe consequences of not doing so.


that past is past
The past isn’t the past with disorders like PTSD, when they’re active/symptomatic.

People are not remembering the past, when they’re dealing with flashbacks, but reliving them.

The closest parallel I know of is dreaming, how one actually is “experiencing” whatever is going on in a dream, rather than imagining or daydreaming where one sees what one is imagining in their mind’s eye.

That doesn’t mean that one is not able to learn to more quickly distinguish the past & present, with less bleed through into one’s life…

BUT?

…Tremendously painful, horrific, all-the-whatever that I’ve lived through that IS NOT trauma, I can use a “the past is the past, it’s now and what we do next, that matters” series of skills to move beyond it. Meanwhile the parts of my history that have gone all PTSD-Trauma? Are as effected by those skills as food poisoning is by not wanting to throw up, or a broken leg is by attempting to “walk it off”. IE no effect whatsoever, to making things even worse. Because it’s not normal-life one is dealing with, but a neurological disorder that literally (not figuratively) keeps the past in the present.

Stomach upset caused by anxiety or injury can be far worse than a stomach bug. A sprain can be worse than a break. The pain and heartbreak of normal life can be worse than what one’s brain flags as “trauma” and keeps in the present. It’s not a pain scale thing I’m talking about. It’s using the right treatment (and expectations) paired with the right condition that’s in play. Broken bones aren’t healed by walking on them, viruses aren’t healed by not wanting to be sick, and PTSD & trauma aren’t healed by using skills/desire/determination that work amazingly in other parts of my life. No matter how much “worse” those other events may be or have been, or how effective those means and methods were with dealing with them.

It’s a difficult thing for most people without PTSD, and many people with PTSD to wrap their heads around. Why one set of skills works sooooooo well with A, but doesn’t even touch B, or even makes it worse.

The difference is the disorder, which is part of what makes it a disorder.

Also part of what makes it its own disorder… as “even” the skills/means/methods/treatments that help other disorders? Will often do zip/nada/nothing/zilch with any other disorder, or even make things worse.

^^^I say this both as someone who has watched people with other disorders that share symptoms with PTSD not understand “why” their tools don’t help, AND as someone who has 2 disorders, and often has to whip out both skill sets to deal with any shared symptom.


Serious, if at first conflict you break up, how can you build something?
Very easily, if the content -or style- of the conflict matters.

With great difficulty if the content -or style- of the conflict doesn’t matter.


I want to know the secret to make him happy in those sad moments.
Ah so. Don’t we all.


he is keeping me away from him, like he is punishing me.
That’s something some people actually DO, including some people with PTSD, just like any kind of f*cked up treating others badly sort of thing. So I cannot say that he isn’t punishing you. He may be.

But?

The vast majority of people with PTSD who are isolating as a way to moderate/manage their stress levels… are doing exactly that. Moderating/managing their stress levels by isolating. And are “punishing” others by doing so, in the exact same way that someone staying home from work sick as a dog, is punishing their coworkers. Or a diabetic not eating the cake you made, is punishing you by refusing your delicious treat, yet eats Sam’s steak skewers no problem! (😫 😭). IE they’re not punishing you. Because it has little to nothing to do with anyone else, it’s entirely due to them managing their condition. Whether a transitory condition like catching a nasty virus, or a life long condition like diabetes or PTSD.

(On a related note)

Why can a person with PTSD often be around OTHER people, just fine, when they’re isolating from us? (Speaking as both a sufferer and supporter, here)

Most basically, and most commonly, because they don’t cause them as much stress as we do. All relationships are stress. Both good stress & bad stress, but always stress. The more involved the relationship? The greater the stress. The same way you can smile and be nice to the bloke delivering your pizza, whilst staying home sick from work, and ducking your mom’s or best friend’s calls…. Because you’re sick, and cranky, and exhausted. Is the pizza guy more important to you than your job or friends/family? Nope! Which is exactly why you can pull your shit together for the 30 seconds it takes to plaster a smile on your face, and be nice. Meanwhile your closest relationships are likely to get the full force of your “I FEEL TERRIBLE!” directed at them, whilst the energy it would take to not do that in your professional life? Is beyond you for at least a day or six. So, being an otherwise rational intelligent adult? You limit the damage you would do to your personal and professional relationships, in various ways, depending on your personality.

Not all people with PTSD isolate to manage their stress. Some do. Others become insufferably clingy (IE one of the opposite reactions PTSD is so famous for; fight or flight, rage or despair, isolate when stressed or demand others drop everything and attend to them 24/7 when stressed); very little different from people who call others when they’re sick to bring them soup, or to vent about how awful they feel… just, like wih all symptoms & expressions…, taken to such an extreme that it’s pathogologcal.

“Symptoms” are simply normal human behaviours taken to an extreme, or series of extremes. Regardless of which disorder is in play? Most can be understood relatively easily, if looked at under the lens of “When DO I do the exact same thing?”

Understanding a thing doesn’t make it right/healthy/reasonable.

It also doesn’t mean a person is willing -or even able- to change.


I mean that at the first problem you are out from the relationship and you act like it doesn't matter to you, like the person who yesterday was the love of your life, today is a stranger.
Speaking for myself only:

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s harder. Either way? If I view it as the right thing to do? It’s what I do.

It’s infinitely easier to leave a relationship than to leave someone to die. So on a 1-10 scale? Even the hardest is maybe around a 2. There still off living their lives, not dying screaming. Shrug. So “harder” is very relative. As simply removing myself from a fully competent adult’s life? Ain’t no big thing.
 
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alexa4555

New Here
Pretty much anyone who has ever gotten OUT of an abusive relationship? Or who has survived one parent staying with an abusive parent “because they loooooove them”, and it doesn’t matter how badly the abusive parent beats/rapes -or even kills- them or their kids? Or both? Has had to learn to disbelieve this, or has suffered severe consequences of not doing so.



The past isn’t the past with disorders like PTSD, when they’re active/symptomatic.

People are not remembering the past, when they’re dealing with flashbacks, but reliving them.

The closest parallel I know of is dreaming, how one actually is “experiencing” whatever is going on in a dream, rather than imagining or daydreaming where one sees what one is imagining in their mind’s eye.

That doesn’t mean that one is not able to learn to more quickly distinguish the past & present, with less bleed through into one’s life…

BUT?

…Tremendously painful, horrific, all-the-whatever that I’ve lived through that IS NOT trauma, I can use a “the past is the past, it’s now and what we do next, that matters” series of skills to move beyond it. Meanwhile the parts of my history that have gone all PTSD-Trauma? Are as effected by those skills as food poisoning is by not wanting to throw up, or a broken leg is by attempting to “walk it off”. IE no effect whatsoever, to making things even worse. Because it’s not normal-life one is dealing with, but a neurological disorder that literally (not figuratively) keeps the past in the present.

Stomach upset caused by anxiety or injury can be far worse than a stomach bug. A sprain can be worse than a break. The pain and heartbreak of normal life can be worse than what one’s brain flags as “trauma” and keeps in the present. It’s not a pain scale thing I’m talking about. It’s using the right treatment (and expectations) paired with the right condition that’s in play. Broken bones aren’t healed by walking on them, viruses aren’t healed by not wanting to be sick, and PTSD & trauma aren’t healed by using skills/desire/determination that work amazingly in other parts of my life. No matter how much “worse” those other events may be or have been, or how effective those means and methods were with dealing with them.

It’s a difficult thing for most people without PTSD, and many people with PTSD to wrap their heads around. Why one set of skills works sooooooo well with A, but doesn’t even touch B, or even makes it worse.

The difference is the disorder, which is part of what makes it a disorder.

Also part of what makes it its own disorder… as “even” the skills/means/methods/treatments that help other disorders? Will often do zip/nada/nothing/zilch with any other disorder, or even make things worse.

^^^I say this both as someone who has watched people with other disorders that share symptoms with PTSD not understand “why” their tools don’t help, AND as someone who has 2 disorders, and often has to whip out both skill sets to deal with any shared symptom.



Very easily, if the content -or style- of the conflict matters.

With great difficulty if the content -or style- of the conflict doesn’t matter.



Ah so. Don’t we all.



That’s something some people actually DO, including some people with PTSD, just like any kind of f*cked up treating others badly sort of thing. So I cannot say that he isn’t punishing you. He may be.

But?

The vast majority of people with PTSD who are isolating as a way to moderate/manage their stress levels… are doing exactly that. Moderating/managing their stress levels by isolating. And are “punishing” others by doing so, in the exact same way that someone staying home from work sick as a dog, is punishing their coworkers. Or a diabetic not eating the cake you made, is punishing you by refusing your delicious treat, yet eats Sam’s steak skewers no problem! (😫 😭). IE they’re not punishing you. Because it has little to nothing to do with anyone else, it’s entirely due to them managing their condition. Whether a transitory condition like catching a nasty virus, or a life long condition like diabetes or PTSD.

(On a related note)

Why can a person with PTSD often be around OTHER people, just fine, when they’re isolating from us? (Speaking as both a sufferer and supporter, here)

Most basically, and most commonly, because they don’t cause them as much stress as we do. All relationships are stress. Both good stress & bad stress, but always stress. The more involved the relationship? The greater the stress. The same way you can smile and be nice to the bloke delivering your pizza, whilst staying home sick from work, and ducking your mom’s or best friend’s calls…. Because you’re sick, and cranky, and exhausted. Is the pizza guy more important to you than your job or friends/family? Nope! Which is exactly why you can pull your shit together for the 30 seconds it takes to plaster a smile on your face, and be nice. Meanwhile your closest relationships are likely to get the full force of your “I FEEL TERRIBLE!” directed at them, whilst the energy it would take to not do that in your professional life? Is beyond you for at least a day or six. So, being an otherwise rational intelligent adult? You limit the damage you would do to your personal and professional relationships, in various ways, depending on your personality.

Not all people with PTSD isolate to manage their stress. Some do. Others become insufferably clingy (IE one of the opposite reactions PTSD is so famous for; fight or flight, rage or despair, isolate when stressed or demand others drop everything and attend to them 24/7 when stressed); very little different from people who call others when they’re sick to bring them soup, or to vent about how awful they feel… just, like wih all symptoms & expressions…, taken to such an extreme that it’s pathogologcal.

“Symptoms” are simply normal human behaviours taken to an extreme, or series of extremes. Regardless of which disorder is in play? Most can be understood relatively easily, if looked at under the lens of “When DO I do the exact same thing?”

Understanding a thing doesn’t make it right/healthy/reasonable.

It also doesn’t mean a person is willing -or even able- to change.



Speaking for myself only:

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s harder. Either way? If I view it as the right thing to do? It’s what I do.

It’s infinitely easier to leave a relationship than to leave someone to die. So on a 1-10 scale? Even the hardest is maybe around a 2. There still off living their lives, not dying screaming. Shrug. So “harder” is very relative. As simply removing myself from a fully competent adult’s life? Ain’t no big thing.
You have detailed perfectly enough for me to understand exactly how it works. Thank you very much.
Pretty much anyone who has ever gotten OUT of an abusive relationship? Or who has survived one parent staying with an abusive parent “because they loooooove them”, and it doesn’t matter how badly the abusive parent beats/rapes -or even kills- them or their kids? Or both? Has had to learn to disbelieve this, or has suffered severe consequences of not doing so.
I wish that I can have the power to show him that love is so strong and worthy and magic.


…Tremendously painful, horrific, all-the-whatever that I’ve lived through that IS NOT trauma, I can use a “the past is the past, it’s now and what we do next, that matters” series of skills to move beyond it. Meanwhile the parts of my history that have gone all PTSD-Trauma? Are as effected by those skills as food poisoning is by not wanting to throw up, or a broken leg is by attempting to “walk it off”. IE no effect whatsoever, to making things even worse. Because it’s not normal-life one is dealing with, but a neurological disorder that literally (not figuratively) keeps the past in the present.
It has to be easier is not fair after all everyone suffered there must be something to heal everybody, there should be a easier life, can't imagine how it is and if I had a power to heal this then I will do that for everyone who is in this situation.
So maybe this is my struggle to make his life beautiful, easier, to help him with all the baggage that he has. To see him smile and laugh.


The vast majority of people with PTSD who are isolating as a way to moderate/manage their stress levels… are doing exactly that. Moderating/managing their stress levels by isolating. And are “punishing” others by doing so, in the exact same way that someone staying home from work sick as a dog, is punishing their coworkers. Or a diabetic not eating the cake you made, is punishing you by refusing your delicious treat, yet eats Sam’s steak skewers no problem! (😫 😭). IE they’re not punishing you. Because it has little to nothing to do with anyone else, it’s entirely due to them managing their condition. Whether a transitory condition like catching a nasty virus, or a life long condition like diabetes or PTSD.
I learned not to take anything personally, whatever he says I am switching my mind and listen to him as I am his best friend, not his girlfriend so that can't affect me, I know more now about how hard is for him, and why he have a big stress level.



Most basically, and most commonly, because they don’t cause them as much stress as we do. All relationships are stress. Both good stress & bad stress, but always stress. The more involved the relationship? The greater the stress.
When he is going at work I tell him "don't think at me today", and at first he was so curious why I say this, and I want him to feel that this relationship is not bringing more stress on his life.

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s harder. Either way? If I view it as the right thing to do? It’s what I do.

It’s infinitely easier to leave a relationship than to leave someone to die. So on a 1-10 scale? Even the hardest is maybe around a 2. There still off living their lives, not dying screaming. Shrug. So “harder” is very relative. As simply removing myself from a fully competent adult’s life? Ain’t no big thing.
This is what he said that he feels to break up and we have to do that, no matter what fun we have. In our best moments last day, he was laughing and after that said again we will break up. I saw a part in him that is cold and want to protect him, and another part who is looking at me hoping that I will make a miracle.
Now last night we booked a holiday for one week. So my only hope that he will charge with good energy there. every month in this relationship when I saw him in bad mood I booked trips, and every time he thanked me for doing that. I see him that after 2 weeks going to work and coming home his battery goes very low, then after one city break we reset the cycle. This will be the longest vacation for us, more than one week. And I pray to happen a miracle. When we go in vacations we are perfect like our energy is so bonding and everything is perfect. Home it depends on his moods, one day he is talkative, one day he can't say nothing.
You know? for me he is ok how he is, I want him with all his parts, I want to understand him more better every day. And I want him to believe in me. Last night he told me again that we will break up, that this is not working, don't know where he got stuck , but I made him a massage and told him that I will take care of him forever. And it was a " I don't believe that' but sounds exact like I hope this can be real.
Thank you again for all the information that you gave me, it really helped me a lot to have your perspective. And hope your life gets better and better and you are smiling every day!
 

alexa4555

New Here
One of the first things long term supporters have to give up is the idea that we can help or fix. You cannot love the PTSD out of somebody.
I don't want to fix, I want to make his life easier, doing things to make him laugh or smile. I want to know that he wouldn't give up on his feeling and he understand that this is love, because he don't believe. But I feel that he want to believe.
Thank you!
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
I want to know that he wouldn't give up on his feeling and he understand that this is love, because he don't believe. But I feel that he want to believe.

Emotional numbing is a symptom of PTSD, and sometimes somebody is just not healthy enough for a relationship. It has nothing do with what you or he wants. It is just the way it is. He isn’t making a decision, he has a mental illness. Sometimes they *can’t* love somebody back.

You can do everything right, and do backflips to make somebody happy, and sometimes it still isn’t going to make them stay. True love only works in fairy tales.
 

alexa4555

New Here
Emotional numbing is a symptom of PTSD, and sometimes somebody is just not healthy enough for a relationship. It has nothing do with what you or he wants. It is just the way it is. He isn’t making a decision, he has a mental illness. Sometimes they *can’t* love somebody back.

You can do everything right, and do backflips to make somebody happy, and sometimes it still isn’t going to make them stay. True love only works in fairy tales.
oh, I do believe in fairy tales :) and I do believe in love and magic. So I only have my believe now and hope that he will change his mind :(
 

Dergrosse

Confident
@alexa4555 the pain of ptsd is very real. If you stubbed your toe can someone else make it stop hurting by saying they love you, or do you need to process through the pain until it subsides?

What if it turns out your toe is broken, can someone heal it by saying they love you and don’t want you to hurt? Would it make sense for someone to get upset 3 days after you broke it because you're in a lot of pain and can't focus on a conversation? Afterall that was 3 days ago you broke it, even though it's still broken you should be fine, right?
 

alexa4555

New Here
@alexa4555 the pain of ptsd is very real. If you stubbed your toe can someone else make it stop hurting by saying they love you, or do you need to process through the pain until it subsides?

What if it turns out your toe is broken, can someone heal it by saying they love you and don’t want you to hurt? Would it make sense for someone to get upset 3 days after you broke it because you're in a lot of pain and can't focus on a conversation? Afterall that was 3 days ago you broke it, even though it's still broken you should be fine, right?
yes! this explain a lot.
If I have a toe broken I will not push someone away. I will want for someone to be there for me. But I understand.
Thank you!
 
Stay or go you have to choose what brings the least regret. Loving him but also affording loving yourself. He has to be the one to also take the reigns over managing his own condition. He told you he wants to take the initiative, that is his belief. If he does or he doesn't you will see for yourself. But you have also said there are things you won't accept. That is self awareness, but also what people come to learn as time goes on, sometimes. it's ok to want or need certain things. But doesn't mean there's always compatibility. Depends on what priority and effort and ability to do so is there for both people.
 
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