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Untreated PTSD of girlfriend

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Untreated PTSD of girlfriend

Postby Obi Ron Moldy » Mon May 02, 2011 4:31 pm

So, I recently started dating a woman who I have become very bonded to emotionally. We are really hitting it off. She’s disclosed to me that she is Bipolar and med compliant. She’s also explained to me that she has some very sensitive issues surrounding sexuality. Her mother was the victim of spousal rape on multiple occasions, and I have put together that she was also horribly victimized by the same man during her childhood. She shuts down rapidly when triggered.

I recognize, thru some reading and common sense, she suffers from PTSD, as well as a sleep disorder, possibly related to PTSD.

So, other than try to avoid the triggers, can anyone help me/give me suggestions as to how I can be supportive? At times, I do or say something, or even pick up on her body language and ask a question, and there I am triggering bad memories.

I really care for her and don’t want to blunder thru this. Other than the times when these issues are triggered, it feels special when we’re together and we have so much else in common to bond over and enjoy together.
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Re: Untreated PTSD of girlfriend

Postby carpediem46 » Mon May 02, 2011 9:46 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum :)
I don't know if this will be the answer you were looking for exactly, but I truely believe the best thing you can do for her is give her time until she is ready to really go into the issues with you. Let her know you're there to listen whenever she needs to vent or talk, support really goes a long way. Also, with what you've said about triggering her, it will take a while to learn what is acceptable to talk about or do and what isn't possible to talk about with her, it's just something you will learn over time. I'm sure she won't be upset with you when this happens, afterall it's very difficult to know what may trigger someone as usually it is a pretty broad scope of different things.
It sounds like what you are doing right now will be really helpful to her, but if you do feel yourself asking questions that are causing triggers, it may just mean she needs that time to prepare for opening up to you completely. Sometimes traumatic events are very difficult to talk about out loud.
Sounds like she is very lucky to have someone supporting her so much!

Take Care,
K
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Re: Untreated PTSD of girlfriend

Postby lilpersianangel » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:55 pm

Hello, I happened by your post from a couple of months ago, not sure if you are still dating the same girl or not. Well, I have PTSD too (and I'm in my late 30's)from being attacked (in that way), car accident injuries caused by another person, and surviving physical abuse growing up from family. While everyone is different in their 'style' of handling the anxiety, memories, and triggers...usually it falls within a spectrum of behaviors and needs, at least for women. I would say first off, it's nice that you care at all to try. Second, try asking her directly "Sweetie, I want to help you feel happy, comfortable, and safe with me. Please tell me whatever I can do to help that happen?" Third, when someone's PTSD is 'triggered', the best thing to do is make sure they can 'escape' (if not at home), and also to say reassuring things like "I care about you", "everything will be okay baby", and "you are safe, I won't ever let anything happen to you honey" sorts of comments. If she is not 'afraid' but rather, 'angry' (tougher to calm down)...just understand that it's like having the same level of intensity/emotion you might feel as you would defend your mother, child, etc. and the only thing you can say is 'yes' or 'of course, as you wish' stuff, until she calms down (hormones in brain take about 20 minutes to dissipate) and becomes more 'rational' again. Then hopefully she will apologize if she was grumpy with you.
I know my own PTSD, although alot more mellow than it was a few years ago, can still be triggered in situations when other people have control or dictate my freedom of movement, whether that be someone blocking my parked or moving car, doctors in an ER not 'allowing' me to be released after an allergic reaction, or anything/anyone that can 'control' my well-being. She might also be sensitive to males that display bad tempers or yelling, be careful with that. In fact, with all the predators out there, most women are fairly nervous around men these days that cannot control themselves well.
Hope that helps. Hope it all works out for you. :D
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Re: Untreated PTSD of girlfriend

Postby Onebravegirl » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:07 am

Hi lilpersianangel
It is nice to have you here. That was a nice post you made. I hope to hear more from you. Dont forget to visit the just for fun forum. Good people there that cheer just about anyone up or can kill boredom in a healthy way!
Thanks for being here.
One
Two men looked through bars. One saw Mud, the other saw Stars.
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