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Relationships

I don’t know how to move past this comment

131 replies

HotPotInASpot · 24/01/2023 18:58

Background info - 15 years ago X happened to me. It was a hugely traumatic event, I had years of counselling, I still regularly wake up screaming, I have both physical scars from X self harm scars as a result of being unable to cope all over me, I cannot speak about it without having a full panic attack, if I see anything related on the news I have to do a full deescalation routine to stop myself panicking. About a decade ago a book was written about X and the author said he would either use my words from police interviews and the court case or I could write a statement that he’d include. I did the latter and various parts of this are included in his book. This is the only time I have used my own words to describe it other than to the police and court. I absolutely cannot physically discuss it.

I’ve been casually seeing a man for a couple of years. About a year in after I woke up at his screaming I sent him a message to say X happened to me, if you want details read this book, I can’t speak about it but I want you to understand. Recently he moved closer as his eldest had left for uni so we decided to give the relationship a proper go rather than just seeing each other a couple of times a month due to distance/ childcare. I introduced him to my dc for the first time a couple of months ago and I really thought we had a proper future together, never had an argument or disagreement since we’ve met.

Then at the weekend we were chatting about stuff and he mentioned a few things he wanted to do in the next couple of years as he felt he’d led a fairly unexciting life up until recently. I said that unexciting isn’t necessarily a bad thing and he said that it was easy for me to say. That I’ve lived the most exciting life out of anyone he knows and he finds it absolutely fascinating. I didn’t really know what he meant and asked him to clarify as, apart from a bit of travelling that ended in a few disastrous comedy moments as a young adult my life had been pretty straightforward. He said “all the stuff you said about X in the book. I’ve read it so many times and I know I’ve never talked to you about it but it’s such a huge, fascinating thing. So often I’ll look at you and you’ll be completely normal and lovely and I am just amazed that you’ve gone through this incredible thing.”

It just broke me. I left and came home and told him that I found the comment really upsetting. He’s apologised profusely for upsetting me but keeps saying it was just badly worded rather than that he didn’t mean it. I don’t know if I’m overreacting because I know I don’t necessarily react rationally when it comes to X. I hate the thought that he’s ever looking at me thinking X happened to me. Please can someone give advice.

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Eixample · 24/01/2023 19:06

I don’t think you are overreacting at all. He was speaking as if envious of X happening to you rather than in a sympathetic way. Assuming that X is an obviously traumatic thing, that sounds absolutely fucked up.
I know someone well with a possibly X like experience that received media coverage and was made into a film and occasionally it crosses my mind when I am not with them and something reminds me of it, but I never think of it when with them as I am thinking of them rather than something in their past they had no control over.

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Hurdling · 24/01/2023 19:06

So sorry to hear you have been through something I can only imagine was very extremely traumatic. This does seem an odd way for him to think and talk about it, in terms of it being exciting. It must be odd for him to know and you to know he knows and not be able to talk about it at all. He seems to be letting his curiosity get the better of him and be lacking in empathy.

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ICanHideButICantRun · 24/01/2023 19:11

Oh my god, he has no emotional intelligence whatsoever. As soon as you said you'd told him to read the book I winced as I knew this wouldn't end well.

I would end things immediately with him. He is excited about the fact he's with someone who has had something dreadful happen to her. What kind of sick fuck does that make him?

Flowers to you.

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Tribblesarelovely · 24/01/2023 19:13

I’m on the fence with this. On one hand, he was horribly insensitive with his remarks, on the other, if you’re very close to someone, it must be difficult not to discuss something so huge . Trust your instincts, do you think he’s a good man ? Do you trust him ? Was he honestly just being a twat rather than malicious ?

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Xrays · 24/01/2023 19:17

Hmmm well he sounds extremely verbally clumsy at the very least.

I have been through some very traumatic things and I think sometimes people just don’t know how to react. It sounds like he was trying to say he admires you for the way you manage day to day but it just came out wrong. If everything else is good I’d give him another chance.

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SorenLorensonsInvisibleFriend · 24/01/2023 19:17

To play devils advocate, maybe he just really screwed up. If you try hard, you can make out that he's trying to compliment you on your amazing resilience. He tried to say he's in awe of your ability to survive.. but he delivered it completely hopelessly.

When someone doesn't have any background in trauma or stuff to unpack, they won't have that ability to empathise. Only you can judge whether he's truly sorry, whether he's worth giving another go and whether you can forgive him his poorly chosen words said on the spot.

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Iwritethissittinginthekitchensink · 24/01/2023 19:19

You’ve never had arguments or disagreements - red flag. One or both of you are people-pleasing.

I really feel for you having gone through a big trauma myself. Some people are totally ill-equipped to respond to trauma and say the most hurtful things. It sounds like he’s more ignorant/emotionally unintelligent rather than malicious. But you’ve got to decide if

  • you can live with his level of awareness
  • or whether you could talk with him about how this made you feel and see if he develops a level of awareness/sensitivity that you could live with
  • or whether you need to let him go.


Regardless of which you pick, your reaction to his comments reveal where you still have wounds that want to heal. It really does sound like you could do with more support e.g. trauma-informed therapy.
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ouch321 · 24/01/2023 19:24

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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Dotcheck · 24/01/2023 19:25

But- asked him to read it so he can understand you- then you never speak of it.
I can imagine he read this extraordinary thing, but couldn’t talk about it with you or anyone.
Perhaps the curiosity just took over. Maybe just have a conversation with him about how you both ( as a couple) navigate this giant thing which you insisted he know about but cannot talk about

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UnfinishedBusiness · 24/01/2023 19:25

Ermm, am I the only one freaked out with the “I’ve read it several times” comment? If someone I knew and cared for had been through what is clearly an extremely traumatic experience and they trusted me enough to tell me and direct me to where I could learn about it, I wouldn’t be reading and then rereading, multiple times, what they had been through, or finding it exciting. Or saying i find it fascinating.

I don’t think I could work past that op, I’m sorry. Do you have much support in your life. Are you able to talk this through with someone who is impartial and can offer you guidance on how to deal with this and whatever you decide to do?

💐💐

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Sweetmotherofallthatisholyabov · 24/01/2023 19:27

She insisted he found out about it after he woke up to her screaming. Admitted she couldn't speak about it and showed him the book by way of an explanation. And the extraordinary thing sounds like it's deeply traumatizing.

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TedMullins · 24/01/2023 19:27

Xrays · 24/01/2023 19:17

Hmmm well he sounds extremely verbally clumsy at the very least.

I have been through some very traumatic things and I think sometimes people just don’t know how to react. It sounds like he was trying to say he admires you for the way you manage day to day but it just came out wrong. If everything else is good I’d give him another chance.

I agree with this. I don’t think his comment was nasty. It was insensitive though. I’m sorry it brought up such trauma for you. I think it does also depend somewhat on what X is (I’m not asking you to tell us, just saying that context is important to gauge exactly how insensitive he was). But I appreciate that it’s impossible for you to think about it objectively like that.

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007DoubleOSeven · 24/01/2023 19:27

You're not overreacting and if you don't want to continue the relationship, then that's fine op. Flowers

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Zanatdy · 24/01/2023 19:28

He might just be bad with words. He could have been talking about your resilience, hard to say not knowing the full context. If you see a future with this guy would you consider talking to him about it? So he fully understands the impact it’s had on you, as he’s either just bad at saying what he means or has zero emotional intelligence. Assume you’d have found the latter out long before now though as that generally comes across very early on

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UpUpAndAwol · 24/01/2023 19:32

It sounds to me like he interpreted X as something exciting which does seem incredibly strange as to me it reads like something horrific happened to you. I can’t understand how he read X as anything other than trauma.

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9thFloorNightmare · 24/01/2023 19:33

He failed to realise this is real life, your life, not a movie script or a documentary. He obviously knew well how you felt about X since you can't even talk about it with him and still he brings it up in the most insensitive way.

Do you think he is capable of feeling empathy?

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MumUndone · 24/01/2023 19:33

Difficult to say without knowing what X is, though obviously wouldn't expect you to say on here. I mean, surviving a shark attack and living on an desert island for 2 years is different to being a victim of sex trafficking.

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9thFloorNightmare · 24/01/2023 19:35

You’ve never had arguments or disagreements - red flag. One or both of you are people-pleasing.

This is true

And maybe you don't know each other well enough

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9thFloorNightmare · 24/01/2023 19:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Let's play guessing game about what X is to trigger OP, shall we?
🤔

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FictionalCharacter · 24/01/2023 19:38

That shows a shocking lack of empathy. Words like exciting and fascinating are completely inappropriate.

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iklboo · 24/01/2023 19:41

Well he used the wrong word - exciting- as I'm guessing you were caught up in a violent burglary or some such.

Why on earth would you guess that out of all things? Or are to attempting to lure OP into sharing information she finds deeply upsetting & triggering.

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HotPotInASpot · 24/01/2023 19:43

I could understand the clumsiness of words if he hadn’t linked it to him wanting to do something exciting with his life. One of the things he was saying he wanted to do was walk some long distance path in Spain on his own then immediately saying I’ve led such an interesting life because of X.

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HotPotInASpot · 24/01/2023 19:46

He might want to discuss it but that’s simply not going to happen. Certainly not at this point, anyway. I’m not sure what he’d want to discuss, everything you could possibly want to know about it is in the book he read. The only extra info he could possibly want would be to know exactly how I felt at various points which seems really odd to me.

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HotPotInASpot · 24/01/2023 19:48

@ouch321 I’m obviously not going to say what it was. It’s not only deeply distressing but it’s completely outing and I’d rather not do that. Suffice to say it was an event traumatic enough to leave me permanently physically and mentally scarred, a huge court case and a book written about it.

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UpUpAndAwol · 24/01/2023 19:48

Is he quite young OP? Seems like such an immature thing to say.

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