Relationships with PTSD are hard.
My brain reads so many things as a threat, including many personal interactions. It makes most of my relationships very difficult, and I have spent a lot of time being cold, aloof and out of contact for periods of time that vary with the severity of my symptoms. I can have a hard time listening to things I think are small and insignificant when I am dealing with severe symptoms, and I can lack compassion for other people’s challenges and disappointments.
I had to commit to being kind no matter what in order to save my relationship with my boyfriend.
It wasn’t because I struggle with kindness, I needed a reminder and I needed to really commit to being kind no matter what so that I didn’t let my reactivity harm my relationship. If I am committed to being kind no matter what, I am careful about my tone of voice, my words and my responses to things that can be triggering to me. If I am committed to being kind no matter what I am not ignoring or discrediting my own needs, but I am making good communication a priority and focusing on what it looks like to engage in communicating in ways that are kind rather than in ways that are meant to retaliate. I am being much more aware of my response and how and why I am responding that way rather than closing myself off and listening only to my emotions.
It pulled things back from the edge, it has helped me to take a breath and be a more kind and thoughtful person. Wherever this one goes, those are skills worth keeping and practicing in any relationship.