Relationships and C-PTSD

It took me nine years to realize the relationship I was in was a toxic one. I in no way believe I was perfect in my relationship, but I definitely realize now that I deserved a lot better.

C-PTSD is a bit difficult to explain sometimes. Probably more difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced it. I wrote about this here. Most situations that lead me to this are situations that others would brush off, or be sad for a while then come out of it.

I have this seemingly life-long habit of 99.9% of the males that I have let into my life started as a feeling that I could trust them, be myself with them, and open up to them; only to have them up and leave for various reasons. Some, the depression was too much for them to handle, and honestly, why would they put up with it if they didn’t have to? Some, I was probably just too needy. And some probably were just after attention until it was too much work. Nevertheless, I would always fall into these illusions that this person was there for me and I could trust them, only to have the rug ripped out from underneath me, cracking my head each and every time on the way down.

After one too many times of this happening, there’s no way to get by without some damage. Being a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), this may be what caused me to feel more intensely when this would happen. Not to mention my near crippling depression and anxiety hiding in the wings waiting to take over. My mind created the perfect storm for these situations to destroy what was left of my self esteem and hold me hostage any time a new male came into my life.

After 9 years of an on-again, off-again, toxic relationship, I decided I was done. I decided that being alone was better than dealing with a boy (not a man) who wanted to play games and manipulate me, who decided to be mad at me and stop speaking to me for any little thing, but how dare I ever be mad at him, because then he’d get mad at me for that, too. It became too much. My depression took over, and I had reached a point where I felt that I would not survive my mental health staying with him. So, I left. We were still in a years lease at the apartment we shared (note to self, don’t move in with your on-again, off-again ex) so I completely stopped speaking to him unless it was 1000% necessary. Which was extremely rare. That was when I started feeling better.

Then, a few months before our lease was over, I was very fortunate to be provided a way out. A new apartment I’d found, 20 minutes away, another town. One bedroom apartment, large kitchen, and it even came with a washer/drier in it! Barely more than I was paying at the two-bedroom I’d been sharing with him. So I took up on the apartment, and began moving immediately.

Throughout the years of being off-again and while we weren’t speaking but in the same apartment, I looked at dating apps, dating sites, whatever to get my mind off of this terrible person. But what I didn’t realize then is, I was not mentally healthy enough to look for another relationship. I was, in a way crippled, by my past with men. Any guy that came and tried to talk to me, I’d instantly push away and find a million flaws with. I fell for guys that were unavailable so that I knew I’d never tell them or get close to them. It felt like the safest sort of attraction.

The last year has been extremely eye opening. I’ve realized the damage done by some of the “relationships” I’ve had in the past, things that I tucked away in the back of my mind. The problem with not facing your problems is that they always seem to find their way back to the forefront. Through my blog I’ve been able to process quite a few things that I’d been pushing away for so long. I was able to sort out feelings and confusions, and above all else, I was able to accept that I am enough the way I am, and that these people were never enough for what I needed.

Come to today, 2019, “New year, new me” but not really. I spent 2018 really falling back in love with myself. Learning to take care of myself was the biggest success I had in 2018. But still, I find I’m not sure if a relationship is quite right for me. I know a lot of this is the C-PTSD talking, reminding me what happened every time I fell for someone, or even let a male friend get close. It reminds me of doors slamming repeatedly in my face, cold shoulders, being told I’m not good enough.

I feel that mentally I am in a healthy place where I could potentially handle a relationship, be able to express my feelings and my needs in terms of mental health, yet I find the idea terrifying. Now, it’s almost for different reasons. I’m scared of giving up my “me” time, of giving up friend time, family time, and all those things. I know the right person would be with me during family and friend times, while still letting me have my own time. I’m also terrified of getting into a cycle of someone who wants me one day and doesn’t the next. I’m terrified of someone coming into my space, my apartment, my sanctuary. I know, I know. When you find the right person it isn’t scary, and you want to do these things. But I’ve truly enjoyed being single and free over the last year, but now I’m starting to consider my options.

We’ll see how it goes!

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26 Replies to “Relationships and C-PTSD”

  1. Thank you for sharing. It sounds like we have similar personalities. 🙂 I wish you the best in your relationship-finding (or not-finding if you prefer that).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have PTSD too. It was caused by a mother who went from a terrible relationship to another one. She spent at least 9 years in the first one off and on. I went to two and three schools a year. It is good to reevaluate what you want in a relationship and stay away from the assholes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I wish I could say that I am. I started my blog to help me process things and to keep focused on something else.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I identify so much with everything you said here! It’s so hard to think about dating when it’s safe & nice being alone…and the idea of more heartache is such a drawback. I’m still not ready to risk it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “when it’s safe & nice being alone”, THIS is the quote of a lifetime for me. Although I am in a relationship today, and I love him; he is supportive and wonderful, but those moments completely alone are priceless for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. WOW!!! I am speechless. I was diagnosed with Severe Major Depression in 2001, but when I read other people’s mental concerns, I wonder if that is ALL I suffer from. Thank you for this read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for reading! I actually learned about C-PTSD while making a sort of joke to my therapist a while back, so it is still fairly new to me

      Like

  5. You seriously just took my life and wrote it thru your eyes. This hit home and im hoping to have a 2019 like your 2018. Gives me hope to know I am not alone and that others go through this as well. Im proud of you for getting the balls to walk away when you did. Something I am still coming to grasp with. This was a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words! 2018 was still an extreme struggle, but dropping that dead weight helped me manage what else I was going through. You are not alone!

      Like

  6. This is a very important post. Giving time for yourself and your healing is very important. I’m sorry that the relationship wasn’t a good one. I hope one day you find a good man in the future if that’s what you want to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That is amazing and so strong of you to walk away from the relationship. I was in a 10 years relationship where the person was very manipulating. I didn’t even know it until I got out of it.

    You’re going to find someone who is worthy of loving everything about you. For now, have so much fun loving you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry you’ve gone through that! Thank you for your kind words! I definitely have fallen back in love with myself and am enjoying me-time!! Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The strength you have shown in your writing is so inspirational!
    I hope to find that strength in myself one day and to also fall in love with myself. Good luck with your journey, i’m looking forward to following it on your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh my goodness, I went through this entire process! It took my 2 years to leave a horribly emotionally abusive man and thank you so much for sharing your story, because I have been there completely !

    Liked by 1 person

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