The prince finds the owner of the glass slipper, and his life is complete. Happily ever after, the end. I let my fairy-tale expectations cause hurt and misunderstanding. I kept waiting for Wayne to emotionally open up about the trauma he had lived through.
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I held tight to assumptions that after just a little more time together, the nightmares would go away. Because PTSD is associated with specific trauma or traumatic events, it was easy for me to fall into the trap of believing that the further removed from the trauma Wayne got, the more the condition would fade. After all, this has been my experience in light of painful events.
But it does give us the opportunity to grow and change the way we cope — this goes for the person with PTSD as well as their partner. Now, I know that there are times when I just need to let Wayne deal however he needs to. When I see distress rising in his face, I can reach for his hand, but I remind myself not to feel offended if he stays silent. That first time we heard fireworks while inside a souvenir shop, our carefree time quickly turned anxious.
Once we were outside and able to see the source of the noise, we could enjoy the display together. With Wayne, no amount of comforting conversation was going to replace the comforting sight of a harmless fireworks display. But everyone with PTSD is different.
In these times, physical touch from her partner can be comforting: While this means communicating with each other, it can often include talking to someone else as well.
3. Be careful with the words you use
On more than one occasion, Wayne and I went to counseling. But both of us showing a willingness to try spoke volumes about our commitment to each other. My perspective on PTSD and other mental health conditions has changed significantly as a result of our relationship. There are huge challenges, but there are also threads that come together to create a silver lining.
Regardless of what he says, I think others find him reassuring. I know I do. In fact, when I was writing this piece, he sent me a list of resources he wanted me to be sure to include and posted on social media a reminder to anyone reading that he was available should they need to talk. To be honest, this is a lifelong struggle for me, even still. In truth, PTSD is less about the nature of the trauma than it is about the size of its impact. Yes, the DSM-5 does give specific criteria when it comes to the trauma itself, but the definition is much broader than most of us imagine.
People with PTSD are of all genders, ages, races, professions, and relationship statuses.
How Dating Someone with PTSD Changed My Perspective
Talk to your health provider or a counselor about support groups in your area. If possible, go together. Frustrations at being unable to do this will likely only get in the way. Instead, come alongside them and learn how you can best support them. There are resources available. There are specific hotlines or anonymous chats for veterans , people who have experienced sexual assault or rape, those who were subjected to child abuse, witnesses to violent crimes, and more. Jessica is a San Francisco-based writer, editor, and rare-disease patient advocate. PTSD can affect anyone who has undergone a traumatic event.
The more open with your feelings, the more he will feel that they can share with you.
Watching someone you love suffer from anything — whether it be physical pain or mental or emotional turmoil — is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult things you can do. While you can listen, cheer her up and to help her cope, she needs to discover which treatments work best for her, and needs to add those solutions into her daily life. You just need to accept them at whatever stage they are currently in with honesty and compassion.
We all have those things about us that are not going to change and that our perfect partner will either appreciate or will learn to live with and those who suffer from mental illness are no different. You should feel like her equal and that there is a good balance of give and take in the relationship. You should also feel that she treats you well in return and gives you the attention you deserve. There will always be times when one person in the relationship is more vulnerable and needs additional support.
Dealing with constant changes is one of the keys to building a strong and lasting relationship.
You never know who your perfect partner might be so stay open to all of the possibilities! This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.
- The Top 5 Realities of Dating Someone With a Mental Illness.
- moving in after 3 months of dating?
- dating someone just like me?
Find help or get online counseling now. Relationship Questions to Ask for Long-Term Commitment For one thing, it is very likely that you will at least go on a date with someone who is suffering or has suffered from mental health problems.