This is going to be tough for you to read. Really – but, it will also give you hope. See, I have PTSD with extreme depression due to years of child sexual and physical abuse. Add that to adult rapes, rapes by others as a child and wow….trust does not exist in my world. Or rather it didn’t. Im 47 and I finally understand how to trust and what it takes.
We know from hypnosis and regression therapy that the abuse started at age 3 by a family friend named Meryl and another named PR. (Nick names we think.) Also, someone named Edna and her husband as a young child. There are more – but, this gives you an idea of the pain and trauma. Add in the step father’s abuse, sexual abuse and mental abuse and oh yeah – I’m a whopping pile of ugly emotions.
Then, adult years we have rape by 3 marines. 2 exes who were physically abuse & Emotionally. Add in the trauma of the accident and ohhh looky! More ugly. How the hell can anyone function after all that??? Why am I not dead? Luck. Friends. Love. Hope. Great drugs. LOL
So, as an adult, these past issues have affected my relationships in many ways. I get in front of people or around people and I stutter, act like an ass, and I talk like a frieght train hitting a wall and not make a lick of sense. Until I get to know you, not fear you, not be gaurded. Then, the few that get to that point – find out that there is an amazing brain (I’m the top 10% of people in the US on intelligence levels – like Mensa plus), a kind heart, a will to learn and grow. These few that even bother find out that I am not the weirdo I seem to be, my brain just works very differently than most. PTSD w/add and they are thinking aspie on the low spectrum now. (Answer for everything these days).
So, how the hell am I surviving this new relationship?? (Oh yeah, Miso Man. The friend I had when I lived in Hawaii before), well, January 29th was the first kiss of many. We have grown, I have grown and changed because of him. Despite the abuse, despite the quick temper, despite the suspicions on my side…..more on that in a bit.
Relationships are a give and take. I vowed to never fall in love again after 3 abusive ones. the first abuse was pure neglect. Pure ignoring what was happening around them and me. The second was cheating, lying, using me for home and money. The 3rd was lying, cheating (A lot) and he freaked out and is so paranoid that i’m out to get him, he sold his apt because I am too close to him. (I didn’t even know he lived there LOL).
But, along comes Miso. Patient, caring, kind, loving, intelligent, funny as hell. He was a friend, and turned lover, and now we are in a relationship. Me, again, oh hell what have I done to deserve this man? I mean come on! Dear followers – I am blessed with amazing friends and now an amazing man. He knows I’m openly bi and that I fall in love with the person – not the gender. He knows my adopted son is gay and married and my ex is ftm. He knows I’m broken, bent and emotionally unstable. And he is still here.
Some of the things people with PTSD and depression have to deal with, our spouses/so’s can’t. The emotional outburst, the aches and physical pains which keep us from doing things, the freak outs in crowds, the inability to express needs, wants and desires. They have a hard time with constant therapy and medications. They have a hard time with basic day to day things with us. The “Why aren’t you” the “Did you just” the “WTF was that?!” and the “I’m too tired to argue anymore.” Sound familiar?
Now you know the background – how am I alive and healing? Miso Man firstly is Japanese and grew up with a Buddhist family. So calm, quiet and conservative is in his genes. LOL Though where his wacky, off beat, often inappropriate humor comes from I have no clue – but I am so glad he has it. He keeps me in stitches. And that is helping me heal. Really, laughing works.
When I start to blow up or get mad, he makes me crack up. Then we talk about what set me off. He has taught me to stop, take a couple deep breaths and ask myself – “what happened and why did I react that way.” Trust me, I am not great at this. It’s a learning process. But, one worth doing. He catches me before a trigger hits, or immediately after and stabilizes my breathing and thoughts. I want to get better for me, but, also so he doesn’t have to do that as often as he does. Unlike my ex, he went to my psych apt and observed, listened and gave input. So he knows what he is getting into completely.
He watches me. Like really watches me. He has learned that if my sugar gets low I get cranky. So he reminds me to eat or just gives me something. LOL He has also noticed triggers. Noise first thing in the morning, crowds that are extremely fast or loud. Also, visual issues – bright lights (I live in Hawaii – sunglasses are a must!), flashing strobes and some led’s will set me off to crankyville with no warning. So, being the superman he is, he tends to hold my head against him or holds my hand to counteract the triggers.
I have learned from this. I now know what some triggers are and how to understand them. Next is the why – why does it trigger me? (That’s still in process. LOL) Diet – seriously. Eat 3 meals a day or 5 small. Take your meds ON TIME, same time everyday. Set alarm reminders on your phone. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to make a habit. Start asap. Caffeine – most people with PTSD are night owls. We can’t help it. The world around us is quieter, calmer, less chaotic. Because of that caffeine is an enemy. None after 5 works. It does. Talk to your Dr. about the insomnia and medications that will help. You may have to take a few diff ones before you find the right one. But, a great nights sleep is worth it.
I have trust issues – like major. He knows this. He knows I’m suspicious of emails, texts, calls, internet. And he knows I’m working hard on not being so damn suspicious. A call early in the am when he doesn’t normally get any at all – that set me on edge. I know I can trust him now. But, part of my brain hasn’t caught on to it. He told me after who called and why. I told him I didn’t need to know. He laughed and told me flat out that I did need to know and my brain won’t stop being bitchy until I find out. Even if I’m not saying or doing anything. It’s still there in the back of my mind. He acknowledged it, and told me it’s OK to feel that way given the amount of lying, cheating, and crap that went on with past relationships. And he reminded me – he is not them. (A lesson I am continually learning and having issues with I assure you!)
We talked about trust, about information, about me telling him when something is bugging me and TOGETHER we figure out why. Then, we come up with game plans. Putting safety nets in place. Like the stop and breath, like his hand over my eyes to calm me down. Really, that worked cause in the CatScan I put my hand over my eyes like he does and woah, no drug needed no panic attack. It’s taken 4 months to be able to do it. But, he still does it to reafirm that it’s OK and I am SAFE.
WE have built in systems for safety, stability and Fun. Naturally. We didn’t say “Hey we are going to”….no, it just happened. And I want to share this with you dear friends so that you can find hope, maybe clues, maybe “Oh My GLOBS ME TOO!”. So you see you aren’t alone. Let me know if you try any of this and does it work for you. Doesn’t work for everyone. We all have to find our triggers, our crankies and our good points too.
I have learned to love myself despite my brokenness, my crankiness, my physical concerns. I have learned that I can trust and love again. I have been learning how to heal, slowly, carefully, naturally. It’s painful. We have had some doozie fights. But, we end them asap, talk and listen. Relationships are complicated. Even more so when you have a partner who has PTSD/Abuse/Trauma and bad relationships in the past.