Living with PTSD: Relationships

The grief of not feeling supported in your illness is intolerable.

I know. I’ve been there. I am there. Very few people in my life are able to or willing to support me, and no one within my immediate vicinity. For me, it’s the hardest thing about PTSD to live with. And yet I’ve had to learn to tolerate it. Because without the ability to tolerate pain and grief, you cannot heal. You cannot numb it, you cannot push it away and you cannot avoid it. It must be reckoned with. To do that, you have to learn how to tolerate the intolerable. Not from others and not from yourself, but from within yourself. Once you can face it, once you can look at it, you can reckon with it, and you can begin to release it.


IMG_20180601_211000_163.jpgI no longer cry audibly, except for my breathing. The pain and grief are too deep and too overwhelming to express with sound. I’m not sure I really cry anymore. I think I sob silently. I’m not sure when that happened, I just know it’s gone on for a long time. I’ve cried a lot since my car wreck, and it doesn’t look likely to stop. I sobbed through the first part of a yoga practice the other evening. The instructor was talking through the intro, and I was blowing snot all over my left sleeve. There is just so much grief that comes with PTSD. Most of the time I don’t understand, but I’m not sure I’m yet at the point I can.

What I do know is that getting intentional about healing is the way you begin to heal. Learning to love yourself is the way you begin to heal. Learning what your triggers are and deciding what addressing them in the way that is the kindest toward yourself is the way you begin to heal. Getting curious about how your brain has changed and what you can do about it is the way you begin to heal.

Finding people you can build trust with and who can support you is so important. Learning to set boundaries for behavior you can and cannot tolerate is more important. You may have to do things differently. Your relationships may need to change. People may not know or understand or be willing to learn how to support you. People may not be able to support you, even if they want to. Regardless of what others can and cannot do, what they will and will not do, finding a way to communicate your experience (or not) in a way you can tolerate and knowing what it looks like for you to need to reduce or remove a relationship for your well-being is important. It is really hard for others to help if they do not know (although thankfully some people will already know and understand and make space for where you are). But once they do know, they will prioritize that priority to the extent that they prioritize you. And you will know.

But sometimes knowing and doing are two different things. I understand that. We do the best we can. Center on being kind to yourself first.

2 thoughts on “Living with PTSD: Relationships

  1. Beautiful written and so true šŸ’•šŸ‘Œ They same goes for me when I suffer from anxiety. It’s just so important to find the right people who are there for you and also important to love yourself. Little by little we can go through it together ā¤ļø

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s