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Questions About Being Shut Down/Detached/Numb

Discussion in 'General' started by nyc, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. nyc

    nyc Member


    I have to say and I'm very grateful to have found this forum. I've been dating someone who has PTSD from surviving 9.11. He recently started therapy - 6 months ago- which seems to have brought out all of his demons and unfortunately our relationship has not been able to survive this.

    Ironically he went to therapy to not only heal himself, but to give our relationship a chance. He has a sense of humor about this one.

    This site has really helped me to understand what has been happening to him and what has happened to our relationship. I've spent the past few months researching and reading books recommended here. And reading many many of your threads. I am inspired by your strength and wish you all so much peace. You deserve this so much.

    I have some questions/thoughts- I feel a little uncomfortable sharing them. I hope there might be someone who doesn't mind answering if they can relate. Maybe i have too many questions. I apologize for that.

    Our relationship ended a few weeks ago due to a kind of shut down that I don't quite understand. He is completely numb and feels absolutely nothing. Not even any sense of care. I have been reading about alexythemia. But I don't know how permanent it is. What can shift it. Do the feelings come back? Or does the suffere just move on because he has caused too much pain in the last relationship.

    When we were together intimately (since he had taken up the therapy) he would have anxiety attacks, heart palpitations like nothing I've seen before, there was even an occasion when his face rashed over and he was vomitting. I guess we broke up because he felt so sick and uncomfortable when we were close. He does not understand why this happens.

    He has now shut down completely- as if he is in a cage. He won't let me in in any way. Not even as a friend at this stage. I am doing my best to respect his wishes.

    I don't know if this detachment/numbing/shut down is part of recovery; if it's avoidance; or if this is him going deeper into his anguish and pain.

    I feel that in the past 6 months he has made good progress with his shrink. But at the same time he has become more and more detached to the point of total shut down.

    His self destruct, self loathing, and lack of self respect is so confusing to me- because I see him as a survivor and an incredibly strong, sweet, and beautiful person. He won't accept any of this.

    I know he has some sort of depression. And I wonder how much of this is perpetuated by the pot which he says saves him from going totally crazy. He's not on meds.

    What are the signs of recovery? I feel like I need some positive news that he is going to get better and that he will be ok.

    I guess I need some answers that he is not able to give me.

    I have passed this website along to him in the hopes that he will see that he is not crazy- and that everything he is feeling is perfectly normal for someone who has experienced something so unimaginably horrendous. But I'm not sure that he wants to deal with this beyond his weekly visit to the shrink.

    I hope to hear from someone. I'd love to hear about the healing. I'd love some hope.

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  3. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Welcome to the forum.....

    I am sorry that your relationship has suffered from the effects of PTSD too.
  4. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack Well-Known Member

    nyc, my advice is if you love him, stick it out with him. There is only so much a person dealing with PTSD can do on their own. Right now he's a lead pilot in a dogfight with his emotions and memories, and you're his wingman. He needs you. If he pushes away, stand back and give him room. But make sure that when he says he needs you, that you havn't left. I've been there and I know how much more it hurts when you need someone and they aren't there.

    My suggestion is you talk with him about it. No matter how bad it gets in talking, he needs someone to listen to him. One of the key factors I saw as a firefighter is a person's inability to stop something from happening. Get him to just dump out his emotions, dump out his memories and feelings, if possible get him to cry by his own works, then just tell him like it is- there is nothing you could do. It was out of your hands and you had no control over it.
  5. nyc

    nyc Member

    Thank you so much.
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