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Relationship Screwed up with partner

Derailed

New Here
Going through something I can’t really talk to anyone about and need to sort things out in my head.

My bf and I have been together for a year and half. He has severe ptsd, that was diagnosed a few years before we met. He had a relapse soon after we met but we stuck it out and are finally out on the other side.

About a month ago an incident occurred with another friend’s dog that I was pet sitting while I was on the phone with him. I knew he was completely freaked out just hearing it, he helped me through it but at the end of the call he said that he needed the evening to himself. I took the pup to emerg and I could feel myself spiralling. Had a friend there with me to help out. I tried reaching out to him but he just texted that needs to get to bed an shut me out (I know he shuts down a bit when things are overwhelming, it’s something we have been through in the past) but he gave no further explanation. That evening I sent an email to his therapist (I know it was a bad move on my part given everything going on) to check in on him the next day. I was worried that this event triggered his ptsd in some way and I didn’t know if he was going to reach out the following day. I was scared and just wanted him to be safe (as in not relapsing or experiencing any symptoms). The next day was normal. He let me know that his therapist reached out because of me.

In the following days he began to get upset about what I did. After a conversation with his therapist he said that he felt violated and that I had inserted myself in his safe space. He said that that evening his body began mimicking ptsd symptoms, which really tore me up. We had been carrying out ‘normally’ for a week or two after the incident, but I know it hung between us.

Close to a month ago he requested space to process it to see if he can get over it as requested/discussed with his therapist. After a couple of weeks of only text messages, we met up and then he began accusing me of being vengeful. I got really upset by this and began sobbing. He said he needed time. He’s still been a bit distant. He also mentioned that he feels like he might be experiencing some symptoms because of the time of the year. He still messages me every day. See me for a little bit once a week after work. I keep reassuring him that I love and that I’m proud of him and that I understand that he needs time and that I am truly sorry for what I did.

I guess I’m just feeling really sad. We generally just have a very good relationship and have struggled to build what we have through some very dark moments. And I feel that if he cannot move past it, this would be it for us and it breaks my heart I’ve hurt him in a way that I never intended to. I even told him that I want what’s best for him even if it means walking away.

I don’t know how or what to do to recover from this. Is there any advice on what I can do to give him back control and make him feel safe again? I’m scared that he sees me as a monster and doesn’t feel safe with me anymore.
 
I wonder what made you reach out to his therapist? Did you think he was going to harm himself? Or did you just want him not to have challenging feelings and distance himself from you?
Because, and I have no idea how he feels, maybe those two things are felt very differently?
And maybe thinking through what your motivation was, and how you will manage your anxiety about his situation, might be the way to build trust?
Idk. Just a suggestion.
 
I wonder what made you reach out to his therapist? Did you think he was going to harm himself? Or did you just want him not to have challenging feelings and distance himself from you?
Because, and I have no idea how he feels, maybe those two things are felt very differently?
And maybe thinking through what your motivation was, and how you will manage your anxiety about his situation, might be the way to build trust?
Idk. Just a suggestion.
I didn’t think he was going to harm himself. I think I was worried that him shutting down and shutting me out meant that the situation was triggering for him (and by that I mean it was traumatic for him). I have let him know that I did overreact and it was incredibly erroneous judgement on my part but I only did it because I wanted to make sure he was ok (again, an incredibly stupid thing to do on my part). But I felt like I was going through too much at that point and I couldn’t take care of him if he needed it. He was also extremely angry with me that evening (unusual for him), which added to my state of confusion and stress and fear that evening.
 
Shift your focus from “helping” him by trying to manage his symptoms. All you are going to do is violate boundaries and cause him to resent you.

Instead, help him by respecting boundaries and giving him space without making it about how you’re feeling. That is 20 times more helpful than inserting yourself into his treatment in any way.

Stop. Take a breath. There is not quick fix for the situation. You violated trust, and trust is hard earned with PTSD sufferers. Now you have to do the time. Be trustworthy until he trusts you again. That’s the only option.
 
I would also add don’t beat yourself up for reaching out to the Therapist. I have done this a couple of times for fear of the situation and desperate need to have someone who knows what they are doing to support your partner. I hope your partner can eventually come to an understanding that you did what you did out of love.
 
It may have been out of love but it violates privacy and trust. Hard earned with ptsd.

I have been invited into my guy's meetings on several occasions to work through certain issues. I would never in a million years contact his T because I was worried about him. If I was so worried I'd call the suicide hot line or make him call someone. Or send a welfare check. Or. Or. Or.

I'm not here to control his triggers, that's his job. If he needs space? I give it. If he's triggered? I give space.

I guess I don't understand why you thought calling his T was your only option?

Good luck!
 
It may have been out of love but it violates privacy and trust. Hard earned with ptsd.

I have been invited into my guy's meetings on several occasions to work through certain issues. I would never in a million years contact his T because I was worried about him. If I was so worried I'd call the suicide hot line or make him call someone. Or send a welfare check. Or. Or. Or.

I'm not here to control his triggers, that's his job. If he needs space? I give it. If he's triggered? I give space.

I guess I don't understand why you thought calling his T was your only option?

Good luck!
Because the therapist understands his specific symptoms - and as emotionally attached it can sometimes be difficult to seperate your own anxiety from reality. Calling police, calling suicide hotline, welfare checks etc could lead to a huge escalation resulting in way more loss of trust or even a bigger incident. Whilst the boundaries of the therapist and the sufferer should absolutely not be broken for many reasons, the therapist should understand the full picture and it is up to them the information they take on board.
 
Then you weren't worried about him. You were worried about yourself and him leaving you.
Couldn’t disagree more. In the heat of the moment it’s almost impossible to make the right decision, so you just have to make the decision you feel is best to keep them safe
 
What did the therapist do to help after you called them?
It was an email not a phone call. They talked through with my partner what happened and understood better why he was behaving in a certain way…and from that helped him develop an ‘escape plan’ which he implements now instead of the original panic behaviours he was displaying. This now gives him something to implement in a panic, keeps him safe and also helps him keep the communication lines open with me and other family members. Happy to explain that further if doesn’t make sense.
 
Because the therapist understands his specific symptoms - and as emotionally attached it can sometimes be difficult to seperate your own anxiety from reality. Calling police, calling suicide hotline, welfare checks etc could lead to a huge escalation resulting in way more loss of trust or even a bigger incident. Whilst the boundaries of the therapist and the sufferer should absolutely not be broken for many reasons, the therapist should understand the full picture and it is up to them the information they take on board.
Agree 100% on calling police, SUICIDE HOTLINE, etc. These are usually ill-informed people who arrive when it comes to PTSD. They have always escalated my situation and wow. Not good for me. We need some serious help in this country for mental health. I wasnʻt even aware of the stigma attached. I hear itʻs getting better. (Iʻve been hearing that for a long time however.)
 
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