• 💖 [Donate To Keep MyPTSD Online] 💖 Every contribution, no matter how small, fuels our mission and helps us continue to provide peer-to-peer services. Your generosity keeps us independent and available freely to the world. MyPTSD closes if we can't reach our annual goal.

Relationship Seeking Relationship Advice, Girlfriend (PTSD) triggered and broke up with me

BaltimoreTy

Not Active
I know that it is dangerous to assume. Right now, I am hurt emotional, and trying to make sense of things. In total, it has been about 3.5 months now of confusion and struggle. My girlfriend (PTSD) broke up with me 2 weeks ago and I’ve been trying to make sense of things and it wasn’t until I googled PTSD breakups that I found stories similar to mine.


She let me know within the first month of dating ( 1 year ish of dating total) that she had PTSD due to a really bad relationship. Over time she opened up just how bad it was, and it was truly horrible. I knew she had PTSD from that, but I didn’t actually understand it as to me, I was none of those guys and I could just show her a lot of love. I have had a friend who suffered from PTSD and I was there for him and we communicated triggers and such. Unfortunately, I only knew a couple of my girlfriends triggers.


Unfortunately, 3 months ago, I did something that broke her trust. I didn’t think of it as a trigger and thinking this had anything to do with her past was not on my radar at all. It was a small thing that I never thought would turn into what it did. I did make a mistake, I apologized and owned up to it. However, at the time of the incident, she reacted quite poorly, and I saw the pain she was going through and I accepted that what I did was the worst thing I could have done, as she reminded me and told me she never thought I would do something to break her trust. It was a horrible time. I did everything I could to try and appease her, and I definitely over complicated things and over apologized for things I didn’t even do, just so she would feel validated in her feelings. What do I know? Maybe my lack of communication was just awful.

I did apologize to her, to do everything I could to help her feel better and own up to my mistake. Her response was very emotional, and she was also quite angry lashing out a lot, calling me names when we brought it up. We continued to text and even though I lived only 10 minutes away she didn’t want to see me because I made her feel unsafe, and the thought of me being near her or touching her disgusted her. I took this to heart and didn’t make an attempt to see her, those were hurtful things and I believed I was truly the worst person in the world for the first couple of weeks. I did end up working through what I had done and knew this wasn’t appropriate but I was so conflicted because she was clearly hurt. After about a month of this, she broke up with me. She told me she was still angry and couldn’t be with someone she couldn’t trust. She did leave the door open and said she wanted time to see if we could work things through. She continued to reach out to me via text and we kept things as they were. I was happy to talk with her and hopefully mend things. Then one day she said she wanted space and then blocked my number for a month and a half. I found a non-intrusive way to reach out to her (wrote a letter), I let her know I was still thinking about her and wanted to be with her and asked her if this was her way of telling me she no longer wanted to work on this. She said she still needed space and time and was quite angry, lashed out and called me names. I knew that she was scared and hurt which is why she was angry so I remained patient. Then two more weeks passed and she said that she really did want to go our separate ways. Our last conversation was good, but she didn’t want me reaching out to her and didn’t want to be friends.


Throughout all of this, I did not understand that this had anything to do with her past trauma, maybe it doesn’t and I’m wrong.


I never thought that a stupid thing like miscommunication would ever lead to this. Over 3 months of anger, confusion, pain, crying, and then a breakup. So I’ve been so confused and hurt, wondering why she can’t look past this? I feel like we were meant to be, best friends, and then one mistake and it turned into this. I am trying to make sense of it, and I know she is scared, anxious and hurt. I want to reach out to her again, and tell her I love her, and I want to encourage her get help to work on her past traumas. She did tell me during the relationship that she doesn’t go to therapists because she’s too self aware and a therapist once told her she didn’t have to because of said awareness. She only blames me for all of this and when I have tried to suggest the two of us needed to work together on this, she said “why, I wasn’t the one who messed up.”


I know a lot of these posts say that I can’t fix her, and I can’t love her into healing, but is there anything I can do? If this truly ended because of a PTSD response, it saddens me so much! She has such a wonderful and amazing heart and I can see through all of this to who she really is, a loving person that has been unbelievably hurt by the world. I have done everything I could during our year together to encourage her, and to help her see who she is.





Is there anything I can do? Is there anything I can say to her to either help? Or let her know I haven’t given up and would want to be with her in the future? I know that she needs healing first. But I don’t want to abandon her.
 
If someone says "don't contact me", findings ways to contact them becomes stalking and harassment. Definitely not the way to go to make her feel safe.

Whatever the reason for the breakup: listen to her 'no' and respect it.

Everyone, PTSD or not, has boundaries and red lines. We may or may not know them at the time until we cross them or someone crosses them. That's relationships.
You did something she can't see past. You can't understand why she can't see past it. But there you go: you have different ways of viewing things. And best it ends now and you both meet someone who is more inline with how you see things.
.heart break hurts like hell. But it happens. You get over it. And you learn. And life goes on.
 
This >>> My ptsd partner left me - now what?

Is there anything I can do? Is there anything I can say to her to either help? Or let her know I haven’t given up and would want to be with her in the future? I know that she needs healing first. But I don’t want to abandon her.
In normal life? (No zombie apocalypse, world war, true emergency of any kind, etc.) You can only abandon kids & pets. Everyone else? CAN take care of themselves. Maybe not as well, or maybe quite differently, but they can. As we don’t date kids or pets? You’re not abandoning someone when they break up with you. Nor if you break up with them. Because adults, with their own agency.

As far as what you can do to convince her to change her mind? No. Idea. PTSD isn’t a personality disorder. There’s no way to tell what would move her, convince her, inspire her, etc… without knowing her. After such a short time together? It’s not crazy that you wouldn’t know her well enough to know, either. Neither is it crazy that either of you would be so head over heels that you would WANT to. If only wanting was enough. It’s usually not.
 
Last edited:
I understand your frustration but unfortunately sometimes PTSD is like this - things are "fine"... until they suddenly AREN'T.

If we focus on the "small trigger" that set it off, it can drive us nuts.

The thing is: if this thing hadn't set it off, some other little thing would have, 3 or 6 or 12 weeks later... and then you'd be fretting about *that*.

Use it as a learning experience, try to grow from it and try to move on.
 
Unfortunately, 3 months ago, I did something that broke her trust. I didn’t think of it as a trigger and thinking this had anything to do with her past was not on my radar at all. It was a small thing that I never thought would turn into what it did.

You didn’t trigger her, she was triggered by something innocuous. You did not have malicious intent. You weren’t being abusive or unsafe. She was triggered by something that only registered to her.

I did everything I could to try and appease her, and I definitely over complicated things and over apologized for things I didn’t even do, just so she would feel validated in her feelings.

Don’t go down that rabbit hole. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Her response was very emotional, and she was also quite angry lashing out a lot, calling me names when we brought it up. We continued to text and even though I lived only 10 minutes away she didn’t want to see me because I made her feel unsafe, and the thought of me being near her or touching her disgusted her.

But you’re the unsafe one, right? How would she like it if you did to her what she is doing to you?

You can’t fix mental illness. She would have been triggered by something else at some other time eventually. If her reaction is to take it out on her partner, she’s going to keep doing it over and over. Is that what you want for the rest of your life?

If she doesn’t want to talk to you then I’d respect her wishes. Take the time to grieve and heal. Your mental health matters too.
 
Back
Top