Have you experienced or witnessed a traumatic event and now some bizarre things trigger your PTSD? It’s never easy to navigate through life after enduring an awful experience. Most people don’t understand you and they tend to think you’re overreacting.
How can you explain it to them? The answer is simple: Don’t. If they don’t believe you, they don’t have to. You have more important things that you have to deal with.
You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, nor do you have to share your story everywhere you go. It can be difficult to even listen about those devastating things someone else has gone through when something similar has happened to you.
But you have to be brave and courageous. Don’t let your trauma define you. I know it’s easier said than done, but you’re not those bad things that happened to you. You’re so much more.
Being in a romantic relationship is often challenging, and dating with PTSD can be tricky, to put it lightly. Here are some of the devastating things you may experience when you’re trying to navigate through it.
1. Lack of control
Sometimes you may feel like you’re losing control over simple things. You may easily get distracted and have problems focusing on a conversation or the task at hand. Isolating may be the only solution in these overwhelming situations.
If something doesn’t go the way you planned it, you get nervous. You have boundaries that may seem irrational to most people and you don’t feel safe if they’re crossed. But this is your way of protecting yourself and having control over your life.
Flashbacks are extremely dangerous. You may experience them when you least expect it, triggering anxiety or panic attacks. You may shiver at the first beat of a specific song that played in the background while you were abused.
Or perhaps that new cologne your boyfriend just bought is the same as the one your molester had back in the day. You feel sick and withdraw, usually without an explanation. I think that I don’t have to mention how the specific location may make you feel uncomfortable.
Out of all the symptoms of PTSD that greatly influence your life, this one makes you writhe in agony.
3. Arguments are scary
If you grew up in a household where heated arguments would arise simply because someone was not in the mood, you may feel uncomfortable if you find yourself in this situation. It’s not going to be easy for you to speak your mind from the fear that your partner may raise his voice at you.
Conflicts are going to be scary, but you need someone who’ll understand where your fears are coming from and be patient with you.
4. You get emotional
Did your partner say something that hurt you and now you’ve locked yourself in the bathroom, wiping your tears away? Of course, you’ll get emotional. You went through a traumatic experience and you’re constantly suffering. Even if you healed, it may happen that you get overly emotional from time to time.
Take a deep breath and take some time to think it through. It was surely not his intention to hurt you, so you have to find the strength to forgive him. Take some time to explain your situation and why you sometimes feel misunderstood.
5. You’re constantly anxious
Triggers for your PTSD could be everywhere around you, so it’s no wonder that you’re constantly on edge. You never know when a flashback can occur. How can you know if a movie you’re about to watch with your boyfriend has some disturbing scenes?
Is someone following you while you’re walking back home after a night out with your girlfriends? You just can’t shake off the fear of reliving the traumatic experience you once went through.
6. Certain phrases may trigger your PTSD
Do you shudder every time your partner tells you those three beautiful words? Do you feel uncomfortable every time someone compliments your outfit or how your hair looks?
Certain words and phrases may trigger your PTSD, even if someone is joking around. You cannot say “I love you” without a quiver in your voice, and there’s simply nothing you can do about it, no matter how hard you try.
7. You have touch aversion
If you suffer from PTSD after being abused, you probably have touch aversion. Every time you shake hands with someone, you tremble. It’s really scary for you when someone casually touches you during conversation and you simply can’t enjoy those beautiful spontaneous hugs from behind.
Maybe you’ll even feel uncomfortable for some time until you get used to your partner and his touch. But take it easy on yourself. Healing doesn’t happen overnight.
Your partner needs to have a lot of understanding
Being in a romantic relationship while having PTSD may cause you some trouble. That’s why you need someone who has a lot of understanding for everything that you’ve been through. Someone who appreciates every scar you have and won’t force you to do things that aren’t pleasant for you.
You need a partner who gives you space when you need it and holds you tight when you’re breaking apart. He should help you to overcome your fears, not deepen them. It’s not your fault and there will be times when he’ll need to remind you about it.
Remember that you have to love yourself completely and embrace your flaws and traumas. Because you’ll have to be ready to teach your partner how to love you. Collect all your shattered pieces and make a masterpiece out of them.