General What are they thinking?

Wanderlust

New Here
Someone wrote a reply to this thread in the early stages and I can't find it, but it basically summarized how I have felt as a supporter, being left three times in less than a year. Everyone tells you not to take the isolation personal (hell, even my ex told me that after the first time he left). However, when you committed to someone with PTSD and signed up for the lows and highs, support them throughout everything...it is extremely hurtful to be isolated from. When someone tells you they love you and always will, and that nobody else has loved them the way you do, and that they appreciate you being there for them and caring so much, and then they isolate when their stress cup explodes.... it makes it really hard to believe the loving words were ever meant. I am separated from my sufferer and it sounds like his mind his made up, and never have I hurt this much in my entire life. It makes someone feel completely lost, and not good enough. At least it makes me feel this way. I am also not minimizing what sufferers go through; my heart really hurts for all of you but sometimes it's hard to wrap your head around it. It's almost as they have no room for empathy? But again, I know it's not their fault.... they did not chose this. Does any of this make sense?
 

scout86

Moderator
One of the biggest surprises I've gotten from this thread is learning that people might take my absence personally. Never occurred to me. (I tend to avoid relationships anyway, so this probably doesn't come up much.) My thought would be more along the lines that I'm sparing someone from having to deal with me, or put up with me, or something like that. Different people have different reasons, of course, and that's pretty well described here too. But, I tend to assume people are better off without me.

It's probably pretty unfair to tell you guys not to take it personally. The thing is, it's probably not MEANT personally. And the person who's doing the isolating most likely isn't doing it with an intent that's aimed at you. Just trying to get to a place where things aren't totally overwhelming.

What you said actually does make sense. I don't think the cause is exactly a lack of empathy as much as it is not being able to see that far. But, obviously, it's still pretty hard to be involved with someone where your ways of experiencing things are so different. (I guess the other thing I've learned from this thread is that avoiding relationships is probably a good idea.)

Sorry you're dealing with all this!
 

Friday

Moderator
Everyone tells you not to take the isolation personal (hell, even my ex told me that after the first time he left). However, when you committed to someone with PTSD and signed up for the lows and highs, support them throughout everything...it is extremely hurtful to be isolated from.
Keep in mind, too... there is a HUGE difference between isolating & breaking up.
 

Wanderlust

New Here
You are right. But when they come back everytime and tell you not to take it personal when it happens and that they isolate from EVERYONE and not just you, its hard not to take this as isolation instead of a break up. This time around, yes it's been a couple months and its definitely a break up so I agree with you.
Keep in mind, too... there is a HUGE difference between isolating & breaking up.
 

Wanderlust

New Here
Same for everything you said. It makes sense, it's just a little hard to wrap it around your head when you aren't the one dealing with it. My ex has often said things to me such as "I don't know how someone like you is with soneome like me" or "I dont want you to see me like this" and things making me feel like maybe he doesnt want me to see the monster in him (because I really havent seen it other than him leaving). I know he probably does not feel worthy. And it breaks my heart because he has a beautiful soul. But then again maybe it's not and this is just me looking for reasons for his pulling away behavior and still holding on to hope that he will come back. Who knows.

One of the biggest surprises I've gotten from this thread is learning that people might take my absence personally. Never occurred to me. (I tend to avoid relationships anyway, so this probably doesn't come up much.) My thought would be more along the lines that I'm sparing someone from having to deal with me, or put up with me, or something like that. Different people have different reasons, of course, and that's pretty well described here too. But, I tend to assume people are better off without me.

It's probably pretty unfair to tell you guys not to take it personally. The thing is, it's probably not MEANT personally. And the person who's doing the isolating most likely isn't doing it with an intent that's aimed at you. Just trying to get to a place where things aren't totally overwhelming.

What you said actually does make sense. I don't think the cause is exactly a lack of empathy as much as it is not being able to see that far. But, obviously, it's still pretty hard to be involved with someone where your ways of experiencing things are so different. (I guess the other thing I've learned from this thread is that avoiding relationships is probably a good idea.)

Sorry you're dealing with all this!
 

Freida

Sponsor
One of the biggest surprises I've gotten from this thread is learning that people might take my absence personally.
Exactly! I had no idea it bothered my supporters. I actually thought I was making things easier on them because they didn't have to deal with my drama. Finding out it was upsetting to them? ya...still not sure I get it.
making me feel like maybe he doesnt want me to see the monster in him (because I really havent seen it other than him leaving)
Many of us have demons we never want our loved ones to see. We did things, or had things done to us, that we never want you to know about. Doesn't matter how much you love us.

My facade of being ok was how I functioned for years. I couldn't face the demons in my soul, or that I felt like a horrible person -- how could I ask someone who loved me to? Nope - because I knew the truth --- if they found out who I was under that facade it would be the end of the relationship

You are right. But when they come back everytime and tell you not to take it personal when it happens and that they isolate from EVERYONE and not just you, its hard not to take this as isolation instead of a break up.
I know it sucks to hear "its not about you." over and over when it comes to isolation. But for me? when I get to that place my supporters simply no longer exist. I have NO idea they are there - waiting/wanting to help. Because I'm so deep into my own drama that all I can see is a long dark hallway with monsters all around. I have to isolate because any outside bangbangbang is just too much. Even when the bangbangbang is just my supporters knocking on the door trying to get me to let them in.
 

Wanderlust

New Here
I feel like this is also the case with my ex. He doesn't see that I'm not dangerous, that I can be his safe place. Because there is too much for him to handle in other parts of his life. And everything seems like danger. He came back twice, basically saying this, that he just gets in really dark places. Will he come back this time? I don't know. It doesn't sound like it but it also didn't sound like it the first two times.

Have you left your partner as a result of being in that "place"? I know it's different for us because we dont live together and arent married, thus its easier to leave. But I feel like he has done this with his ex wife as well...told me it was not unusual for him to sleep on the couch or in the spare bedroom and not talk for days or weeks.

Exactly! I had no idea it bothered my supporters. I actually thought I was making things easier on them because they didn't have to deal with my drama. Finding out it was upsetting to them? ya...still not sure I get it.

Many of us have demons we never want our loved ones to see. We did things, or had things done to us, that we never want you to know about. Doesn't matter how much you love us.

My facade of being ok was how I functioned for years. I couldn't face the demons in my soul, or that I felt like a horrible person -- how could I ask someone who loved me to? Nope - because I knew the truth --- if they found out who I was under that facade it would be the end of the relationship


I know it sucks to hear "its not about you." over and over when it comes to isolation. But for me? when I get to that place my supporters simply no longer exist. I have NO idea they are there - waiting/wanting to help. Because I'm so deep into my own drama that all I can see is a long dark hallway with monsters all around. I have to isolate because any outside bangbangbang is just too much. Even when the bangbangbang is just my supporters knocking on the door trying to get me to let them in.
 

Freida

Sponsor
He doesn't see that I'm not dangerous, that I can be his safe place.
My guess? It's not that you aren't safe. It's that being around you isn't safe.
I know there is someone waiting outside every closed door waiting to shoot me in the head.
I know it's not true - sort of
And that's after years of therapy.

When the demons associated with that situation are running amuck in my head they are REAL. That means not only am I not safe, but anyone around me is also in the line of fire. So I have to get away from everyone - even my supporters. Because no where/one is safe.
Have you left your partner as a result of being in that "place"?
physically left? Only a couple times
Emotionally left? All the freaking time. Hubby says I become like a zombie -- the lights are on but no one is home. I just shut him and everyone else out of my brain.
.told me it was not unusual for him to sleep on the couch or in the spare bedroom and not talk for days or weeks.
This is really common for many sufferers. We need space. Lots of space. And talking just takes way to damn much energy.

I think what is hard to describe is how ptsd takes over your brain. It's not reasonable or rational. It is flat out fight/flight/freeze reactions and adrenaline dumps. And it takes everything I have to not pull the trigger or go nuts.

I think to be a supporter (jump on in here y'all if I'm off base!) you have to accept that ptsd will almost always come before you. It's like the third person in the relationship. PTSD doesn't give us the right to be abusive asshats and make our supporters our personal pinatas. But sometimes it's running the show no matter how hard we try to get back on track. Learning coping skills helps - for both sufferer and supporter. But I don't know if you ever get to a place where it no longer affects you or your partner
 

Never_falter2

MyPTSD Pro
Just was talking about the new normal on another thread... and realized my vet struggles with this... in this case: corona pandemic which stresses and triggers him and he cannot accept the fact that it is around now... and I am not wanting to say I like corona.... not at all... but he cannot accept the fact that this our new normal now. Worried for him.
 

Friday

Moderator
but he cannot accept the fact that this our new normal now. Worried for him.
It’s not normal though, yet.

2 possibilities

- It will be normal in a year, or two... following several waves of infections and several million deaths (conservative estimate)

- It will be normal after they develop a vaccine, and there are no more waves of infections. Which is also a 1-2 year timeframe, even if a vaccine is developed tomorrow, as manufacture & distribution (planet wide) takes about 12-18 months. The death toll with this option is fractional.

Best option? People are going to die. Possibly people you care about.
Worst option? A LOT of people are going to die. Probably people you care about.

Wars, conflicts, deployments... operate on the same sort of timescale & certainty. For the next several months to few years, assuming you live, everyhing is up in the air. There will be hard times and easy times, but not steady times. Quiet times? Are the worst, because you know SOMETHING is coming, but you don’t know what, yet. And it’s always later you realize what you should have been doing during the quiet times to prepare for the busy time, coming. So there’s stress in trying to do as much as you can to prepare for what you don’t know.

The closest parallel I can think of in normal life is pregnancy. Your first pregnancy KNOW everything is changing, it’s already changing, but you don’t know how, yet. You can read about pregnancy/childbirth/babies, talk to other parents, talk to moms, talk to doctors... to help feel more prepared, but no matter how much you read/talk/learn? It doesn’t compare to living it. >>> Your 2nd pregnancy you know what’s happening, you’ve done this before, so you start preparing differently, but raising 2 kids together? That’s new. And will require adapting/adjusting. In both cases? It won’t be the “new normal” until a few months after your kid is born, and you’ve gotten your life set to its new parameters.

So if he’s acting like a new mom, who can’t put down the pregnancy books? Can’t stop rearranging the nursery? Or like a cat about to have kittens? That’s probably why. Same sort of mental/emotional process.
 
Top