So, I am very confused & seek some insight

Ajay24

New Here
I've been through some traumatic experiences that left their marks & am still very much so working on myself yet my confusion comes from another's actions. It's a pretty long story but I caused them to dissociate. At first I didn't know what was happening to them until I did it myself & everything clicked together. I was 'pursuing' him romantically. He's a gay male, I'm a straight female. I've never had any expectations on actually being successful. He was moving (with his bf- which I was supportive of) & for so much of my life I had to hide emotions or 'play a part' that now I do what makes me happy. & Finding ways to make him happy- made me happy- though every word I uttered or wrote was true I wanted him to feel... I dunno...a fraction of the warmth & love I feel for him because he struggles with being him I think. Their relationship is an open one & I was extremely firm with myself that if I did get the opportunity for anything more physical that I wouldn't hide it from anyone. I actually gave him a yellow flower with a post it note for his bf that said, 'Sorry if I've ever disrespected you. I can be ridiculous sometimes.' A long with a maroon one for him & a romantic letter. I'm very brazen. Yet, he had both said & done things that made me seriously question why I was triggering him. Because even conversations that I led that caused him too, he would follow up (evidentially) or full on lead himself (same topic different narrative). Just so confused. Ex: he came into work (we worked together) one day drunk (as a customer) with a group of his friends & bf & I straight up avoided him. Because I dunno if he was 'throwing me a bone', just enjoying the flattery, or seriously curious about women but I figured then was not the time to find out! Even though he actively tried to seek me out. I can't say what the point in this is. Input on why I caused a complete shut down on someone I deeply care for to better understand how not to do that or ways to help I guess if I'm ever in a similar situation because as much as I enjoy seeing his doe eyes flutter it was obvious I caused him distress when it was that and literally nothing but a side wards eye lock on me.
 

LittleBigFoot

Confident
I’m struggling to find where you caused him to dissociate. Maybe that’s cause there’s no paragraphs and I’m having a hard time with focus right now. But what I’m reading is he swings for the other team but you wanted to try anyway (which is fair) and you shot your shot and it just didn’t land. And that’s. . . normal? So I don’t see where this has to do with PTSD or dissociation. . .
 

Ajay24

New Here
The last bit. He would completely shut down at times. When I say nothing, I mean it very literally. As in, his eyes would lock on me but he wouldn't answer me and would freeze. Frozen. Not a twitch of a finger, anything. And it would stretch on for minutes.
 

LittleBigFoot

Confident
So, whether that was dissociation or not I can’t really tell because people experience dissociation in different ways. What I can say is it’s not your responsibility to censor yourself to avoid him dissociating. Obviously if you’re good friends with someone or in a relationship with them then you learn what would cause different reactions and they can tell you things to avoid. But something like this? It’s not your responsibility. It’s his to manage himself.

For context, I’m dissociated AF right now but still manage to have some executive functioning and can interact with the world. It’s not always just zoning out (though it can be). Did he actually tell you he dissociated? Because depending on the conversation he could have just been shocked or unsure how to respond and panicked and froze. Could also be a medical issue, some seizures can present as that kind of freezing. Regardless it’s his responsibility to manage himself.
 

Ajay24

New Here
No, he didn't tell me he did but I would bet about anything that's what was happening. I can't over emphasis how when I say he would shut down, he shut down. It only happened with me. Even though, he wouldn't interact with anyone when it would happen if they were around. People knew him for years, never seen it.

Yeah, it is up to him to manage himself yet I don't think it's a bad thing to figure out ways that I could have handled the situation better. As part of managing myself :)
 

LittleBigFoot

Confident
Right, but it’s impossible to keep yourself from triggering everyone all the time. Because everyone has vastly different triggers, triggers also come and go for the same person, and it’s just impossible to be the completely safe person for everyone around you.
 

Ajay24

New Here
Truthfully, I dunno. I've never really dived into it besides a few court ordered therapist when I was kid. & I can't speak for him but I know him and his sister would be left alone a lot at a young age until their grandmother stepped in. Whose husband molested his sister (she's still married to him). So, yeah.
 

Ajay24

New Here
I see where you're coming from. Without him directly telling me, no one else could.

I believe, that getting put in uncomfortable situations can help us grow so it's not so much as wanting to be 'safe' for people. I just would like to understand more about it in general. Knowledge and understanding can go a long way.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Truthfully, I dunno
Okay, so taking ^^^ this on board - that you're not aware of either of you having ptsd, and I'll assume by extension that you're also unaware of either of you having a dissociative disorder...

He would completely shut down at times. When I say nothing, I mean it very literally. As in, his eyes would lock on me but he wouldn't answer me and would freeze. Frozen.
This ^^^ sounds like someone who is reeeeally uncomfortable with the situation. If you like this person, and can respect that he's not into you, perhaps offer a bit of respect for where he's at, and give him some space.

Because "making me uncomfortable" deliberately, so that I can grow? Sounds patronising (at best).

Good friends? go out of their way to make each other feel good, safe, and respected.
 

LittleBigFoot

Confident
If he dissociated, it’s up to him to communicate that and tell you what he needs done differently. I don’t read him as being dissociated, I’m curious what the conversation leading up to the freezing was. The reason I say this is if I’m having a conversation with someone and they completely freeze and have zero reactions for actual full length minutes? I’d be thinking more along the lines of stroke and I would have called 911 at some point. So that makes me think this was more like 30 seconds, which I would read as him being shocked/uncomfortable/uncertain/possibly panicking about whatever was said.

Everyone dissociates differently though. Like I mentioned, for me I can still have the conversation but it’s more on autopilot and I’m not understanding any of what is saying and so I only have memory that we talked but not of what was said. I can zone out of course, but you can still get my attention during that.

I just feel like you focus on being a kind human to those around you and let them manage their own triggers and if someone isn’t interested, they’re just not interested.
 
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