Tips for Understanding

I talk openly about living with PTSD.  Sometimes I am with my husband, DH Darling Husband.  When we are together in contributes to the conversation and refers to OUR journey.  His perspective is of seeing me suffer and work so hard and not being able to help.  Or wanting to be there for me even when I am withdrawing from everyone, including him.  He stays with me through thick and thin.  He admits openly that he doesn’t always understand but he is there for me.

I try to keep my eye open for articles and ideas to help family and friends of people with PTSD or Complex PTSD.

This article shares 10 tips to help understand someone living with PTSD.  Go to their web page for their perspective on the ten topics.  I am sharing my perspective on these 10 topics.

#1 – Knowledge is power.  Listen and learn from the person with PTSD.  At first they may only talk surface stuff, if you listen to the small stuff they are more likely to share the big stuff.  Also study on your own and do a bit of research yourself.  DH attended many of my counseling sessions with me.

#2 – Trauma changes us. I was always like this so he didn’t see a change….but he learned how trauma affects my perspective and point of view.  I sometimes seem overly upset about some issues and fairly blase about others.  My reaction can be unpredictable.

#3 – PTSD hijacks our identity.DH experienced this over and over again.  It was a relief when I integrated but I still dissociate.  He hangs in there through the tough times and cherishes the good ones.  His persistence helps me to work towards more good times than tough ones.  Keeps me fighting to become healthy.

#4 – We are no longer grounded in our true selves. It was difficult for DH to sort through which was me and being me and which was dissociation cutting me off from the World.

#5 – We cannot help how we behave. He accepted that the deepening depression happens, not anything he can do about it.  He also knows it will get better again because I keep fighting to retake my  power and not let my past control me.

#6 – We cannot be logical. My logic and thinking are warped, convoluted and twisted around.  He accepts that I am not working under the same laws of logic that he does.  I don’t get it, life is tilted for me and straightening it out is difficult at best and impossible on my worse days.

#7 – We cannot just ‘get over it’. A summer project of counseling, turned into a 10 year odyssey out of darkness.  Sadly, the darkness still nips at my heals and invades my soul.  He hangs on to me and encourages me and accepts that I am not ‘getting over it’ any time soon.  He thankfully does see improvements.

#8 – We’re not in denial—we’re coping! I was in denial but then I faced my PTSD head on and tackled it full force.  It is an epic battle and he accepts that some days my way of coping is not to look at a for a few days then renew the battle.

#9 – We do not hate you. Pushing people away is a defense mechanism that may appear that I do not want to be around those I love.  I don’t hate them I just can’t cope sometimes.  Plus I need time alone to process information.

#10 –Your presence matters. My DH got us fancy phones so he could contact me during the day….He learned that his presence matters.  He is there.  Sometimes at the far end of the couch but he is still there and continues to be there.  That makes a difference.  The are other people in my life that are there for me too.  My sister and I lend support to each other.  Our children come to visit and are there for me.  I am building a wider and stronger team of people to be around me.  It makes a difference in my life.

Check out the page and see how the article views each of these topics.


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