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General TBI and PTSD resources

#13
When he barks out responses it's not really yelling, it's more the tone, very abrupt, not very nice but not necessarily loud. And like you said sometimes when I do ask questions he doesn't really know the answer. I

've noticed him pulling away at times, almost like he's on overload (stress cup explanation helped a lot there). I've learned a bit more about his situation in the last week and I think that's he's under an extraordinary amount of stress right now. He's working on getting all his appointments done with the VA for his medical retirement and has been thwarted by this damn pandemic. And of course the start of this relationship is adding to it. I had noticed a change in his communication and mentioned it and he about bit my head off. This was before I realized that the change probably had to do with his PTSD, I of course didn't let him get away with biting my head off, I held my ground and explained why I had questioned him, and it worked out.
Are you under the impression that he is angry when he barks at you or do you think it might be just his way of talking?

What kind of questions is it you ask them? Are they pretty intimate questions? May be if the kind he doesn’t want to answer or do you think it’s questions he actually wants to discuss but is just to stressed by them? Or do you think it has nothing to do with the question but he is generally stressed?

Could you give an example of a question you asked him?

Or he might feel blamed by the question, feel like you imply there is something wrong with him. My vet sometimes does... for example if he cannot eat and you ask him about it he sometimes feels blamed... because it makes him feel a bit guilty if you ask him the wrong way.
For example “Why aren’t you eating?“ is the wrong way to ask.
 
Thread starter #14
Are you under the impression that he is angry when he barks at you or do you think it might be just his way of talking?

What kind of questions is it you ask them? Are they pretty intimate questions? May be if the kind he doesn’t want to answer or do you think it’s questions he actually wants to discuss but is just to stressed by them? Or do you think it has nothing to do with the question but he is generally stressed?

Could you give an example of a question you asked him?

Or he might feel blamed by the question, feel like you imply there is something wrong with him. My vet sometimes does... for example if he cannot eat and you ask him about it he sometimes feels blamed... because it makes him feel a bit guilty if you ask him the wrong way.
For example “Why aren’t you eating?“ is the wrong way to ask.
I think maybe he felt blamed. When we first started dating, like the first 2 weeks, he was texting me a lot, a lot of sweet nothings, compliments, etc. All those things that makes a girl feel good you know. Then it literally stopped overnight, he'd still text me but not as often and no more sweet things, good morning beautiful was gone, etc. So I asked, "What exactly are we doing? I feel like something has changed the last week or so and I want your perspective" He kind of went off, it was via text (probably a mistake to ask via text, I won't be doing that again lol). He said I obviously didn't understand how his damaged brain worked even after he told me. That I obviously needed sunshine and rainbows and that he couldn't do sunshine and rainbows all the time. I held my own and explained that it wasn't that at all, that I had noticed a change and was confused by it so I asked, and that's how my brain works so not to get upset with me for that. He didn't say anything at all after that, but everything went back to "normal" the next day.

And that's when I joined this forum, I hadn't realized that being happy could be something that tips him over the edge with everything else he has going on. He had explained that he has to "sprinkle" happiness, that if he feels too much of anything it's like the "PTSD monster wakes up and says oh hell no, you don't get to be happy" I hadn't put two and two together at that time. Now I get it a little more and I'm able to recognize, I think, when he feels overwhelmed and pulls back. I'm encouraged by the fact that he hasn't pulled away completely.
 
Thread starter #15
I don't know you nor your guy so cannot say, but some times when all you feel pulled by is the tone - like "bark" responses - to shift focus to content and the whole expression instead?

As in I'm in wiildly different headspaces when "bark. Don't disturb me, thinking on something else." Vs "Bark. Playful, or not reaally annoyed, but I don't have the presence of mind to modulate yet my tone - and trust you (the supporter) not take it personally."

Vs "Bark. Hyperfocused on the next moves, do *not* disturb me."

Vs "Bark. Nearing feral, stressed. f*ck off. Or support me on the feral level - touch or none, hand me food, hand me meds or booze for meds, dim the f*cking lights as I'm not even able to notice massive sensory overload just cranky by it"... etc.

And entirely different range of "Bark. Protecting someone... and -you f*cked up in my book.-"

Only veery few of them are actually hostile. But the heard tone? Might be the same.

Sorry for the example noodle.

Thank you for the example noodle, lol. It actually makes perfect sense. There's more to the bark, I need to look at what else is going on, body language, situational circumstances, mood, topic of discussion, etc.
 
#16
He had explained that he has to "sprinkle" happiness, that if he feels too much of anything it's like the "PTSD monster wakes up and says oh hell no, you don't get to be happy"
Good stress is still stress, and their stress response is broken. That takes a bit of getting used to...The bounce back after an up.
 
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#17
((Apologies up front, I’m all wordy right now.)) first 2 words really cover it. The rest is just kicking back chatting.
What I think I'm hearing here is to use my skills to try to read him, but also keep in mind that I'm not at work, that this is a relationship and I should treat it the same way I would any other. Is that pretty much where you're going with that?
Yeah, exactly. Reading people is just going to be a skill set you always have, so it can be hard not to kick into a work-mindset whether you’re dealing with a disorder like PTSD, or dating a bloke in a wheelchair. It’s just going to swoop in from time to time. No worries, as long as you catch it & mind those boundaries.

Ex) I wanna ask a question! :woot:

Boyfriend = Yo, babe! Question for you!

Patient = (Pause). Brief consideration of all the factors in play so that the situation can be approached in the way that’s best for them; and failing that if I do set them off I need to be calm, cool, and not react because it’s about them, not me. (Decide whether or not to ask the question, and estimate it’s better to reserve it so as not to set them off).

AKA? No walking on eggshells. :D Treat him the exact same way you’d treat any other boyfriend. Because he IS exactly like any other boyfriend... with his own strengths, weaknesses, likes/dislikes, wacky-whatever-things that alternately crack us up and drive us crazy, etc. If you wouldn’t tolerate XYZ in any other relationship? Don’t tolerate it in this one.

To jump back to the wheelchair parallel for a moment?

- Walking boyfriend = Not allowed to yell at you & be a dick
- Wheelchair boyfriend = Not allowed to yell at you & be a dick
- Wheelchair patient = Eh. Sometimes I’m just going to be yelled at, by a dick.

((Dickish patient? No big deal, they’re in pain &/or just an asshole at the best of times,... Suck it up ... And then??? I’m off at 11, and it’s martini & foot rub time!!! Woohoo! Shifts oooover I’m outta here!))

See how easy it would be to blur those lines? Kick into work-mode and start treating wheelchair boyfriend like wheelchair patient? With carte blanche to be as big a dick to you as any patient has... except there’s no break time, no end of shift. This is your life. Turned into a job. Without pay or benefits... meanwhile a walking boyfriend would have gotten read the riot act a loooong ass time ago? Because it’s not your responsibility to remain cooly up professional with your walking boyfriend. It’s ALSO not your responsibility to remain cooly professional with wheelchair boyfriend. Even though you’ll naturally be mindful of things like stairs, and will assist in transfers, they’re still your boyfriend, not your patient. The 8 seconds it takes to assist in a transfer doesn’t mean the other 23 hours 59 minutes get professional-you, instead of barefoot & hair down & the rest of your life outside of work you.

Ditto PTSD. Being aware of things like stress response? And working around certain things, or with certain things? Doesn’t make you responsible for managing them. Because boyfriend :sneaky::inlove:, not patient :cool::geek:.

Just be yo’ beautiful damn fine self, same with him as anyone.
 
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#18
I think maybe he felt blamed. When we first started dating, like the first 2 weeks, he was texting me a lot, a lot of sweet nothings, compliments, etc. All those things that makes a girl feel good you know. Then it literally stopped overnight, he'd still text me but not as often and no more sweet things, good morning beautiful was gone, etc. So I asked, "What exactly are we doing? I feel like something has changed the last week or so and I want your perspective" He kind of went off, it was via text (probably a mistake to ask via text, I won't be doing that again lol). He said I obviously didn't understand how his damaged brain worked even after he told me. That I obviously needed sunshine and rainbows and that he couldn't do sunshine and rainbows all the time. I held my own and explained that it wasn't that at all, that I had noticed a change and was confused by it so I asked, and that's how my brain works so not to get upset with me for that. He didn't say anything at all after that, but everything went back to "normal" the next day.

And that's when I joined this forum, I hadn't realized that being happy could be something that tips him over the edge with everything else he has going on. He had explained that he has to "sprinkle" happiness, that if he feels too much of anything it's like the "PTSD monster wakes up and says oh hell no, you don't get to be happy" I hadn't put two and two together at that time. Now I get it a little more and I'm able to recognize, I think, when he feels overwhelmed and pulls back. I'm encouraged by the fact that he hasn't pulled away completely.
I don’t know him so it’s hard to know what he has been thinking. I know that many of the men I do k ow do not like to show their love with sweet words/writing sweet text messages... but they do it because they do believe that it is something a woman expects of them (my brother used to ask me to help him write love letters). So basically some do it just because it is expected of them and I guess when they already have stress it becomes an extra stress for them.

+ People with ptsd are sometimes afraid to be happy (because they could loose it) or love somebody (because they could loose the ones they love).

Think of a rich man, who always thinks of loosing his money. He might feel miserable compared to the poor man.
Same for the man with ptsd who always fears his loved ones could get hurt/he’ll loose them. Might figure it is better not to love too much.
 
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