Pushing People Away

My sister shared a link to Coming Back Home about why people with PTSD tend to push others away.  http://canadianveteransadvocacy.com/comingbackhome/?p=946

She also share her challenges with being with people. https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/sliding-in-a-post-from-coming-back-home/  I did use a stuffed TV vegetable tomato as she mentioned in her blog.  It was the fabric kind with a big fat lip and blood shot eyes.  It was my attempt at boundaries.  It worked too.  I was trying to let my family know that I was not reasonable.  I wanted to be, but I knew I wasn’t. I was trying to protect my family from myself.  I am the first to say that having a relationship with someone with PTSD is difficult.  For years, I was undiagnosed, so I didn’t know what was wrong either.  I would suddenly feel so angry, with no visible cause.  I would forget days, not moments, whole days would disappear.  I didn’t know that the half life feeling had a name.  I didn’t know it was treatable.  I didn’t know I could manage it better.  I didn’t know, how could I tell someone else?  Attempts by others to ‘fix’ me ended in disaster.  Their fix never worked for me because it didn’t address the real problem, my past.  I didn’t remember it but it had me by the throat and was emotionally suffocating me.  When I finally sought counseling we went to a marriage counselor.  The problems in my marriage were another symptom of the real problem, unresolved issues from my past.

If you feel like you might need counseling, get it.  Look at it as an investment of yourself.  I also recommend interviewing counselors, doing your own research, and be prepared to work hard.  Very hard.  If you are like I used to be, believing that counseling is for the weak, I challenge you to change your mind.  Counseling confronts you with your worse nightmares, deepest fears, and hidden rotting places.  One of the therapist I talked to briefly declared she would fix me.  I don’t believe that.  She cannot open my head and rearrange my thoughts and emotions.  If she can, that is called manipulation and still leaves me a victim.  I was blessed with a counselor with 30 years of experience, a PhD, and a clear understanding of the process we were about to go through.  He called himself my coach but I had to run the maze.  He could give me suggestions but I had to put them into practice.  He could give me homework assignments but I had to do them.  I was astonished to learn that some people going to counseling don’t do the work, don’t face their fears, and refuse to do even the simplest assignments.  There is truly no point in going to counseling if you don’t plan to change.  I wanted to change, I hated where I was.  I still want to change because I love where I am going.  I no longer feel a need to push people away.  I recognize early, before I’m angry, that I need breaks to process information.  I enjoy being around people.  I no longer feel the need to be a hermit.  Pushing people away was my way of protecting others from my worse nightmare.  I don’t need to do that any more.

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