• 💖 [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 Sudden breakup

bobkindles

New Here
Hi all, I've been reading this forum a lot over the past week in the context of a recent breakup. I get the sense what I'm about to describe may be a very common story at this point, but I at least hope I can use this space to get it out on paper, so to speak.

My ex-partner broke up with me last week. We had been together for two years, long distance. Since the beginning of the month - having last seen each other in August - they abruptly announced they didn't want to do any skype or zoom contact this semester (we are both academics, so we time when we can next see each other according to the cycles of the academic year). I got very upset about this, because it didn't seem sensible to try and maintain our relationship on the basis of text alone, but I ultimately accepted it on the basis that it was what she wanted. Then, she transitioned to not wanting any communication via text at all, which I tried to observe and respect, at this point getting very worried about her state until I felt it would be appropriate to reach out, because I had sent her a birthday present, and because it was getting to the time when I would have to book my flight to go see her in December. I got no response, and when, in a state of some distress, I urged her to at least see her therapist about whatever had rendered communication between us impossible, she broke up with me, via text, and in a very angry way, threatening to block me if I contacted her again.

She does not have a formal PTSD diagnosis, but does have experiences of sexual assault, and she recently returned to the place where her assault happened (which also happens to be her undergraduate university). She never told me that any of her behaviour might be related to that, and now I feel as if I could and should have acted differently, that I could have saved the relationship if only I had the strength to not contact her (and if I had come across the discussions on this site earlier!) with an awareness of how her need for space might be related to the triggering effect of going back to where she was assaulted. I can't get out of the mental space where I feel the mistake was mine, and I feel ashamed, as a partner, and also as a man, knowing how much violence men inflict against women.

She did subsequently reach out to me, saying she didn't mean to hurt me (I appreciate the sentiment, but needless to say, I feel ashamed and heartbroken). I gingerly suggested we might discuss what happened, to which she replied that we should both calm down first. I'm prepared for the possibility we might never speak again, and that I'll never get closure, though I plan to gently reach out when it's her birthday later in the month.

I suppose what I want to ask is whether this course of events fits a pattern, keeping in mind she does not have a PTSD diagnosis as far as I'm aware? And how do others navigate the sense of "I could/should have done something"? Is that a fair sentiment, or is there, ultimately, nothing that anyone can do when a partner who is *not* getting professional support begins to rapidly pull away?
 
I suppose what I want to ask is whether this course of events fits a pattern, keeping in mind she does not have a PTSD diagnosis as far as I'm aware? And how do others navigate the sense of "I could/should have done something"? Is that a fair sentiment, or is there, ultimately, nothing that anyone can do when a partner who is *not* getting professional support begins to rapidly pull away?
Less of a PTSD pattern than a long-distance-relationship coming to a close, pattern.
 
Back
Top