I get information from the VA even though I am not a veteran. They have one of the best sites on PTSD. This particular link is what family members can do to support a person with PTSD.
At the top of their list they suggest learning about PTSD. There is a bunch of information about PTSD. Since PTSD is on a spectrum, not all of the information applies to every person. They also list ways to take care of yourself. Sometimes a person needs to self-care when loving someone with PTSD.
These are a few things that I believe would be helpful to understand:
After years of counseling, I still have bad days.
Sunk in despair. It would be lovely sitting with me….not expecting me to respond, just being there.
Remind me that it is not ok for me to be a jerk. If I cross a boundary or behave rudely, please, tell me. Too often people act as if I will break at the slightest correction. I sometimes need to be told if I am out of line in my behavior.
Sometimes you need to talk through the simplest instructions. Something as simple as folding a towel can become a monumental task. By the time you finish explaining step 3, I forget step 1&2. I’m not stupid, my mind really is like wading through waist high sludge.
Pushing me, usually brings negative results….suggest, recommendations, involving the doctor to make the recommendations sometimes helps….
Improvement in my eyes is not always noticeable by you.
Telling me someone else is worse off than I am, isn’t relevant. Comparisons almost always have a nasty side effect of discouragement or false pride.
If I say I can’t do something, I probably can’t because the truth is what I believe. Don’t berate me for what I believe.
Counselors do make a difference and the relationships appears particularly close when sharing the deepest darkest secrets….however, counselors can not replace friends or loved ones. Feeling excluded is fairly common, keep in mind that you have a different role that is often much more important.
Thank you to all those that support and encourage me. Thanks to family and friends that continue with me on this arduous journey.