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Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

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Old 05-09-2005, 12:01 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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angelblue65 HB User
Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

I wish to gain some knowledge and insight about adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and to somehow find some peace while being supportive of my BF who I've been with for nearly 14 months. He was abused as a child, was honest with me about it when we began dating, but he told he had come to terms with it. He also is Bipolar II and until very recently, I thought all of his increased irritability, anger, verbal abuse, etc. were attributed to that illness. Slowly, I have watched this beautiful, kind-hearted, vibrant man sink deeper and deeper. At times, things would be fine, just like the first few months of when we dated, but because of a number of outside stressors that have grown much much worse over the last couple of months, he began displaying more agressive behavior such as the anger, verbal abuse, and withdrawing from me emotionally. I now have a good understanding why.

In the interim, his old therapist did absolutely nothing for him. Fortunately, he started to see a new one who does EMDR. He's had 4 sessions and during the 3rd, he become completely non-responsive at home. He experienced self-hatred, guilt over everything, saying he deserves everything (bad) he gets (even his childhood trauma), and thinking that the anger and rage he feels is the true person he is and that all the good things I saw was just him "going through the motions." I know otherwise but it is so frustrating to see the obvious and not have him be able to see it.

When things reached its boiling point two weekends ago, I went to my girlfriend's for the evening. I explained to him I wasn't leaving him, just the immediate situation and he understood. But at the time, he was ready to end the relationship. I understand that as a child, he must have learned the only way to cope was to detach. And now that he views his current life as being out of control (has not been able to work for over a year due to a knee injury and he's only 35, his two teenage sons growing increasingly disrespectful and out of control, and the BP itself), I believe it ultimately became a trigger to revert back to the child-like defense of shutting down, which included trying to push me away by being hurtful and emotionally absent. Is this accurate at all?

As a young adult, he self medicated and had meaningless relationships.
The only two long-term relationships he had were destructive and he
was verbally abused. For the first time, he has in me someone who
loves him unconditionally and I don't think he knows how to handle
it. I was the last he tried to push away but I refused to give up on
him but right now, I need to know how best I can help. I have read about co-dependency and am learning to "detach with love". But I just
feel so lost and alone.

I miss him on so many levels and I know not to push. As I did with his Bipolar, I know if I can learn everything I can about the healing process of what he went through, I will better be able to understand his behaviors and not react so much or take things personally.

I would appreciate any and all input. For those who have read this far, thank you!

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Old 05-12-2005, 06:06 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 65
bjm32 HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

I was sexually abused as a child and it didn't really affect me until a couple of years ago because I blocked everything out. I was hit (like a ton of bricks) with emotions, memories, and difficult feelings that I never dealt with. It's hard to deal with this stuff. My doc recently suggested that I go through EMDR, but I am still wrestling with that one. It sounds like your boyfriend had a bad reaction to the EMDR. I can only suggest to you is just keep letting him know you are there for him when he needs you. Verbal abuse is an awful thing, even though you see the reasons why he's doing that to you, it doesn't stop the hurt that it causes. He may be trying to "bring you down" too because he's feeling so bad about himself. Yes, he probably learned to push people away or making others feel bad, as a "coping skill" when he was a child. Of course this is not a healthy coping skill. I am not that familiar with bipolar disorder, I know it's a bumpy ride trying to deal with that too. I know you love him and miss him and are trying to do all that you can to help, but you alone can't do that. It's good that he has someone like you in his life and I hope he feels better soon. Don't forget to take care of yourself too. ~Bunny

Old 01-10-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
lauriemc HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD


I believe you have chosen a difficult path with your boyfriend and I wish you and him every success and the best of luck.

I have PSTD resulting from childhood abuse/trauma (including sexual). Lots of death and violence. Also from Adult trauma finding my boyfriend dead after his successful suicide.

I have benefited the most from Hypnotheraphy. It kind of erases the pain associated with the trauma. I have enjoyed the feeling of remembering something without the associate physical reactions such as sweating, shaking, and terror associated with it. This is an unbelievable relief.

In a close imtimate relationship is where I have the most problems. Where I have the most invested emotionally. This is the unsafest environment in the world for me and generates the most fear and anxiety. I have very little capacity to acuately judge a situation or person safe or unsafe. Generally I tend to over trust and I pay for this. I can trust people but it generally takes a long time. Many years in fact.

I hope you are successful in your relationship with your boyfriend and that you have a happy life together.

I hope you get lots of support as I believe you will need it. I think it would be most important for you to get support for yourself and allow your boyfriend to get the help he needs independent of you. Then he can bring himself to you and your relationship and not just his problems. This is my opinion.

I am somewhat depressed at the moment and hope I don't sound too negative cause I feel it.


Old 01-10-2006, 11:54 AM   #4
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galinaqt HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

Where can I find a hypnotherapist?

Old 01-11-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
lauriemc HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

The hypnotherapist I found was a trained psycologist. Anyone can qualify as a hypnotherapist. I would look for a psycologist trained in hypnotherapy and hopefully specializing somewhat in the area you are looking for.

The hypnotherapy involved somekind of guided imagery related to the trauma. This is not talk theraphy. You don't talk about what is troubling you. Basically I was asked to describe the intensity of emotion I felt as it was played over and over sort of imaginary tape. The intensity of emotion diminished through the course of this and it has never been been the same since and yet it was the same for many many years. This is caused me to pretty much stop having obessive/recurring thoughts regarding the trauma.

I know it worked for me. That's all I know.


Old 01-11-2006, 02:06 PM   #6
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galinaqt HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

Two so called psychologists I tried badly hurt my feelings, so I am really afraid to try again.

Old 02-14-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NY, NY USA
Posts: 74
FiChna HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

i saw this thread rather late but i am going off of what angelblue65 is asking what in should do. i was dating someone for a few weeks but i guess i have met them at a wrong time-when the outside stressors became too much and the person had a breakdown and started engaging in self distructive behaviors. he is in a relationship that obviously made him unhappy and claimed he was leaving but ended up right back in the relationship.

to make a long story short something happened between him and his ex and he got very upset and disappeared for 3-4 days. he stopped going to work, would not contact me or return my phone calls and even his best friend didn't know what happened. he moved out of his apt and moved back with his ex and kid but still refuses to contact me. i called his friend last night to find out what happened and his friend just said "i am assuming he moved back with her to get himself back together" although that makes no sense since most of his grief was caused from that relationship.

truth be told i have no idea what to make of this cause it happened without clear warning and he won't contact me even when i have offered nothing but a kind ear and a shoulder to lean on. i would/could call his current residence but i don't want to cause additional harm to a touchy situation.

truth be told i feel more hurt than anything, i mean its only been about a week ago this happened but i don't know whether to assume this behavior is a result of his illness or the fact that he played me for a fool and used me until he got what he needed from his ex. i don't want to believe the latter cause i know he is very ill (even his friend stated that) and has seen what the past few weeks have been doing to him but i just don't understand even though i WANT to understand.

truthfully all this worry and wondering is wearing me down as well. i have been looking for him, hoping to run into him while doing my daily routine and have had no luck. i don't want to pester his friend anymore cause i feel like i am being a annoyance but this not knowing and not understand is driving me literally insane. i can't tell you when the last time i had a good night's rest, not cried or ate properly behind this.

can someone shed some light on what just happened?

Old 02-15-2006, 02:32 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central New York
Posts: 391
StephanieAnne HB User
Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

It is hard to make decisions when you have ptsd, you depend on yourself, and withdraw to secure spaces. Maybe the ex is a secure space for him ?

I hate to say this, but waiting for him, or staying with him will be very difficult until he can find some peace. His behavior is related to his illness, and not anything that you should take personally.

I know how it is to want someone/something so bad that nothing else matters, I have been there, and I have lost at that game too

Right now, you have to think about you. No one should be treated like he treated you, an explanation is the correct way to end a relationship, and if he respected you, that is what he should have done, but he can't respect anyone right now, he is worried about the ex and that is all he can carry right now.

Time to erase his number from your phone and delete his email address, you can't wait for him to make his decision or for him to figure out what he wants. I don't want to sound mean, but I want to sound honest with you.

I roamed around for years, trying to make relationships work, when I knew deep inside that they wouldn't, it is scary to face things alone, but it makes you a stronger and better person in the long run for when the right person does comes along. and he will

I wish you peace and happiness you deserve it!
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:29 PM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: California,U.S.A
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heartburnless HB User
Smile Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

I have lived with PTSD for many years, but only found out about it 3 years ago.Medication combined with one on one Therapy has helped me.
It is very difficult for both PTSD sufferers and our families to cope with it.
From my own experience and from those in groups I am apart of,I can tell you that Seroquel and an antidpressant combined with Therapy has worked well.I must stress that not all Persons are suitable for all Antipsycotic meds,
(but it really helps me to not think and dwell on that deep fear I constantly feel.)
It is VERY important to stay Med-Compliant and to see prescribing Physicion for Regular dose adjustments as needed.
I am a survivor of childhood molestation,Raped again at 15,shot in the shoulder at 30, I can go on and on with the traumas I survived,But I DID SURVIVE.
PTSD sufferers definatly need someone they can trust at all times,TRUST is a very hard thing for PTSD sufferers to feel,and is the most traumatic to them when it is broken and used to hurt them with.
I wish you and your Boyfriend all the best,you truley sound like a very genuine person,(from a fellow PTSD sufferer I can say that means alot to him.)
My Best to you both, PTSD Friend

Old 04-28-2006, 09:06 AM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: i homeless
Posts: 5
blipblue HB User
Lightbulb Re: Seeking Support and Advice-BF w/PTSD

I can relate to waht your boyfriend is expieriencing I was severly abused all my life alot of it included sexual abuse too and have DID and PTSD together which in itsself is a huge challenge. YOu have choosen a challenging person to have a relationship with and i wish you the best of luck with it.

As for adivce and therapy. Findind therapy for someone who has been sexually abused as a child is a huge huge challenge. What i can tell you is that he needs a threapist that specializes in trauma and sexual abuse.

ONe thing is that he may have been misdiagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder alot of people who have been sexually abused as children are and i know this is not easy information to take. ALot of the behaviors you have described in your message are common for those who have been sexaully abused and truamatized as children. Belive me I know.

I know that you have having difficulties in the relationship and you have found someone who needs a great deal of care and support, and this is somehting that you yourself cannot achive alone. You need to start finding other sources of support for him so that he does not feel so alone in what he is going through. He needs a great deal of support outside his threapy sessions which is porobably something you already know.

I could give y ou a great deal more information but my time is running out for today on the computer. If you wish to have some more info please feel free to contact me, you are more than welcome to write me on the site and i wish you all the very best with this relationship, its not an easy one.

Take care, all the best,

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