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General Struggling with Trauma from past relationship with an ex who had PTSD/a lot of trauma

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Anonymous L

I was previously in just under a 2 year same-sex relationship with girl who had PTSD. She had a very troubled family life where she basically didn’t have a family, she fell out with her only close long/term friend and so only really had me.
It was a very tough relationship. She had other trauma from SA and suffered bad mental health with suicidal threats. There wasn’t a day where something wouldn’t trigger her, I did my best but I always felt like whatever I did was wrong and I could never really read her. At one point she cheated/left me for one of my friends. I stupidly took her back after but we didn’t last much longer and broke up. Originally we tried to stay as friends, when I noticed she had got close to someone from work I asked her if she was seeing him and she flipped out on me and didn’t speak to me for a month. She eventually said she was ready to be friends again. That lasted about a week because people from work kept asking me if she was with this person from work, I asked her again stupidly and she blocked me and we haven’t been in contact since.

Fast forward to today, I am in a new relationship with a girl. The majority of the time we are great, but when we have an argument sometimes I don’t seem to react normally. The problem is that I think I suffered a lot of emotional abuse from the previous relationship and there are certain scenarios that my brain just can’t handle like a normal adult anymore and it is upsetting my new partner, rightly so. She thinks, which I agree with, that I have basically got these issues because of my last relationship.

Sometimes I do things that upset my partner, for example we had a bit of a miscommunication before bed last night and my anxiety and mind raced off. Instead of waking her up and talking to her (like she’s asked me to do multiple times before) I tried to just leave and sleep in the other room, this caused more of an argument. I didn’t seem to recognise that I was in a situation we have talked about before and I repeated the same mistake. I did it because I was too scared to talk to her about, which makes no sense because we normally talk through things quite maturely if we want to raise an issue. I think this was also because sex was such a sensitive topic in my last relationship.

I’m not really sure exactly what I’m looking for here. My partner suggested maybe I do counselling but I don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about it.
I guess I’m looking to find out how to start breaking old habits from a traumatic relationship? Or at least how to recognise that I’m in a situation where I need to not perform habits from a previous relationship
 
So it sounds like you’re looking at 3 distinct possibilities?

1. That you may have PTSD -or another disorder/condition- from having spent 2 years in an abusive relationship.

2. That you may have Secondary PTSD…

(which is not the same as having PTSD, but is more like how if one person starts yawning? Everyone else around them start yawning. The people who yawn 2nd or 19th? Aren’t faking the yawn, or anticipating how to respond, or anything else …but instead… the reaction is totally genuine. People who live with people with unmanaged -or badly managed- PTSD for a long time? Often start responding the same way as their partner does to triggers/stressors/stress. Secondary Stuff isn’t just limited to PTSD. Most BIG disorders/conditions carry secondary effects on those around them. A very common example are parents/siblings who live with autistic children often start freaking out about certain textures/etc. that didn’t used to feel like wearing a shirt made from eyelashes, or bees, but now gets ripped off over their head and stomped on. Just because their own sensory perception has altered in the presence of someone with sensory issues.)

…The abusive aspect of your relationship, and relatively short timeframe (it’s more common in decades long relationships, with zero abuse), makes this waaaaaaay less likely, but still a) still possible, & b) you’ll undoubtedly be coming across the term/question in your research.

3. That you’re purely dealing with bad habits, misplaced fear, loss of self confidence, battered boundaries, damaged self esteem, lowered standards, serious trust issues, & expectations of abuse, assholery, & betrayal.

ALL 3 of these? TOTALLY rate a badass therapist to help you through this.

You are doing the EXACTLY RIGHT THING in getting out in front of very real, and very serious problems.


In addition? Check this out! 😎 >>> Traumatic resilience: avoiding ptsd

A badass therapist? Is only one smallish/largish part in becoming the most resilient you can be. Some people have the the pieces in place by sheer dumb luck. But most of us? Have to go deliberately add things into our lives to make us better/faster/stronger, even when things are great, but especially when things are hard.

Welcome to the community! 🤠
 
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I was previously in just under a 2 year same-sex relationship with girl who had PTSD. She had a very troubled family life where she basically didn’t have a family, she fell out with her only close long/term friend and so only really had me.
It was a very tough relationship. She had other trauma from SA and suffered bad mental health with suicidal threats. There wasn’t a day where something wouldn’t trigger her, I did my best but I always felt like whatever I did was wrong and I could never really read her. At one point she cheated/left me for one of my friends. I stupidly took her back after but we didn’t last much longer and broke up. Originally we tried to stay as friends, when I noticed she had got close to someone from work I asked her if she was seeing him and she flipped out on me and didn’t speak to me for a month. She eventually said she was ready to be friends again. That lasted about a week because people from work kept asking me if she was with this person from work, I asked her again stupidly and she blocked me and we haven’t been in contact since.

Fast forward to today, I am in a new relationship with a girl. The majority of the time we are great, but when we have an argument sometimes I don’t seem to react normally. The problem is that I think I suffered a lot of emotional abuse from the previous relationship and there are certain scenarios that my brain just can’t handle like a normal adult anymore and it is upsetting my new partner, rightly so. She thinks, which I agree with, that I have basically got these issues because of my last relationship.

Sometimes I do things that upset my partner, for example we had a bit of a miscommunication before bed last night and my anxiety and mind raced off. Instead of waking her up and talking to her (like she’s asked me to do multiple times before) I tried to just leave and sleep in the other room, this caused more of an argument. I didn’t seem to recognise that I was in a situation we have talked about before and I repeated the same mistake. I did it because I was too scared to talk to her about, which makes no sense because we normally talk through things quite maturely if we want to raise an issue. I think this was also because sex was such a sensitive topic in my last relationship.

I’m not really sure exactly what I’m looking for here. My partner suggested maybe I do counselling but I don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about it.
I guess I’m looking to find out how to start breaking old habits from a traumatic relationship? Or at least how to recognise that I’m in a situation where I need to not perform habits from a previous relationship
You are really smart.ask yourself how much of this situation are Genuinely mine and how much of this are her baggage that she left me scarred with.i just got out of a relationship where neither person was not willing to look at or change.alot of times I tried to help my partner understand that this PTSD triggers were not theirs,they were mostly mine but they never really understood how to disconnect,we tried for years ,somehow it did not work.i am moving on but I know what I bought to this.i don't feel bad I just know this relationship has made me change for the better.it takes 2 to make things work so I am supportive that you did the right thing.sometimes people would rather look the other way and not own up to their share of how things worked out or didn't. My partner refused to go seek help for our miscommunication so I had to say goodbye.i am not saying you played a part in where you are,just saying be honest with yourself,it takes others to see things we put away until someone brings them to the surface.sounds like you need someone to talk to other than this.good luck.we are sensitive beings.
 
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