Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -- including complex trauma (cPTSD) -- is debilitating, breaking down the body through anxiety and stress, and it poses a significant suicide risk in sufferers. MyPTSD seeks to help and inform those who are directly or indirectly affected by these conditions through peer-to-peer support and educational resources.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

The Daily Dose

Get the last 24hrs of new topics delivered to your inbox.

Click Here to Subscribe

Abuse From PTSD Sufferers

Discussion in 'Supporter General Discussion' started by Nicolette, Sep 23, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Nicolette

    Nicolette ♡ Supporter Admin ♡
    Supporter Admin

    Somewhere on this forum, where I can't now find, a Carer posted that she went to a therapy session with her Sufferer and the therapist said something along the lines of "a PTSD Sufferer can be abusive, that is part of the illness, and you have to accept it".

    While I agree in principle that Abuse is a symptom of PTSD and that Sufferers can be abusive that in no way means you should accept abuse because your Sufferer has PTSD. Understanding the illness and learning how to set boundaries to 'control' the abuse projected at you is part of the process but please, don't for one minute, think that you have to sufferer abuse at the price of 'acceptance of that is how it is'.

    I am married to a PTSD Sufferer and we have been together over 3 1/2 years. He may have been mean at times of great stress and illness and may have isolated or used unacceptable language but over time all of that has diminished and, at no point in time, will I ever think that PTSD gives he the right to treat me badly, let alone abuse me. Full stop.

    Sorry but I am really passionate about this and it goes for both men and women. If you have a illness and sufferer that is terrible but that does not give you the right to mistreat any other human being using the illness as an excuse. For a therapist to say such a thing is disgusting (if I read it in the right context).
    becvan likes this.
  2. Register to participate in live chat, PTSD discussion and more.
  3. a nonny mouse

    a nonny mouse Well-Known Member
    Premium Member

    From a sufferer's point of view : It happens to me. Less over time, but it still happens. There seems to be some invisible breaking point at which I just lose my temper. Usually after something emotional has happened to me. It's no excuse and to be perfectly honest it's not beneficial to the sufferer either. Of course there is a degree of tolerance and understanding that should be displayed. But there is a line at which allowing someone to just vent and get personal is not healthy for either party involved. After I have a rant at someone who really did not deserve it, frankly, I feel pretty crappy about myself. It does not help me move forward at all - in fact it sets me right back. The worst part is that it's usually the people you care most about who have to bear the brunt of it.
    Learning123, Jadebear and tch75 like this.
  4. intothelight

    intothelight Just Being Me

    This is a good topic, and I agree that no one has the "right" to abuse anyone. Abusive behavior is NEVER acceptable and everyone in the household has a right to set limits, boundaries and expectations.

    However, then you run into the problem with a sufferers overload. What do you do when they are out of control? In our family, we have a plan that was set out to address the situation if it should arise. In my case, I am not destructive to others, but to myself. But this still hurts my family to a degree I cannot measure and is unacceptable. I have given them my approval to act on my behalf, in advance. Basically, they are to ignore me and do what is prudent. No one can talk to me in that state anyway, because I am NOT rational.

    Then there is the opposite side of the coin. Everyone has a tendency, myself included, to look at behavior through PTSD glasses. There are times when I am irritable that has nothing to do with PTSD. It is not a symptom, I am human and someone in the house has legitimately ticked me off. Sorry, a teenager does need to pick up their room, and after asking multiple times, I will be irritated and remove privileges. There are also times we will have conflicts with our spouses, but it is part of being in a relationship and not necessarily PTSD. It just becomes hard to tell what is what.

    Finally, there is the whole isolation thing. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I tend to isolate when overloaded so I can "get my head together". I do let my family members know I need "down time" and it is honored. When it wasn't honored, I would be overly emotional, from snapping, to crying, to self-harming. That isn't normal.

    I seem to be rambling so I'll end this. Abuse is never acceptable, but everyone is human and there are times we all act like butts, PTSD or not.
    a nonny mouse and James B. like this.
  5. amethist

    amethist The Mystic Duck

    My husband has never been allowed to take his anger, pain, emotional distress, anything out on me. He is my husband first PTSD sufferer second, so he treats me as he always did, no question no exceptions.

    He only once over stepped the mark big time. He can't remember much of it, just that he was so deep into his pain, was drinking 24/7 and was really not a nice person to be around at that point. He was calling me all sorts of names and giving me such a hard time, that I snapped. Once he calmed down and had finished his ranting and raving, (I never spoke a word all through this). I very quietly and calmly, but with complete determination told him, "If you ever speak to me like that again. I will put you on your a#se. He was stunned to say the least, asking me what he had said.

    I never told him then, and still not told him what he said. It does not matter now, as I understood at the time it was not him but his PTSD coming out in a rage. But he did understand that if he ever did it again, he would be on the floor. He never has done this since.

    If he goes into melt down now, it usually send him the opposite way, as into shut down mode, needing to sleep and reboot his mind. I can go with that anytime, no problem handling him reacting that way.

    If he needs space and I am in the way he tells me. If he feels I am going on a bit (Yea I can at times, though very rarely now), he just looks at me and says "Enough now". My signal to leave it be.

    Hi therapist, his doctor and his support worker all agreed with me.

    Any other issues are usually normal married couple disagreements. You can't get away from them ever. LOL.

  6. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    I didn't see that idiotic therapist comment but it would have sent me completely up the wall, to be sure! Wow. I genuinely accept that I'm saying something quite definitive yes, and so will say it was one of the biggest loads of crap I've ever had the misfortune to be witness to. It is exactly the same thing as saying my abusive SOB was raised by an abusive SOB, was an alcoholic and it's just rather expected of him, so please ignore the fractures!

    It's a good topic as an aside, although self-harm is a bit different, really. Certainly it harms the family-it just feels as if the self centered, violent, power mongering,*sswipe of a control freak at the heart of any abuse ( sorry-PTSD sufferer or no-abuse is abuse-I'm speaking of getting hit ) is the opposite dynamic from a shattered self-harmer, that's all. That's terribly different again from yes, the plain old irritated MOM whose teenager has made yet another rat's nest in the living room. Irrational and abusive aren't the same thing. I do that irrational thing also-where you just can't 'call yourself BACK' and nowhere in it is anything approaching something including striking out in a way harmful to anybody-but me-much less abusive. I agree I act like a butt-good turn of phrase! It has nothing to do, though, ( like yours does not) ITL, with the self-indulgent bullying of an abuser, though.

    Hee! I'm not allowing the concept of anyone I like behaving 'like a butt', however. Extremes of emotion aren't necessarily the lashing out abusively in plain old self-indulgent temper like that idiotic therapist claims is 'normal' for PTSD sufferers, Now THERE'S a butt!
  7. goingonhope

    goingonhope Member
    Premium Member

    I guess I just interpret it a bit differently. I read and understand the therapist as having said, that 'one has to accept that part of the Ptsd sufferers illness is that he/she can be abusive.'

    All reads to me a just a matter of fact rather then a therapist speaking out of pure indifference or ignorance and saying, 'one just has to accept the abusiveness of a Ptsd sufferers illness because it just may be an active, present symptom, while inferring accept and dismiss it and get over it; ....Which that of course would be all bullsh't!
  8. Iam

    Iam I'm a VIP

    Exactly Jen. When we act out as a result of our PTSD misperceptions we hurt not only the people around us, but ourselves also.

    ITL, I took severaly of the things you said that I can really relate to.

    Setting boundaries, both on the par our loved ones and ourselves, is essential in dealing with our PTSD, .

    That plan will be different for each of us, but there should definitely be a plan. When we are very sypmtomatic it is pretty much impossible for us and those who love us to think clearly. Developing a plan when we are a-symptomatic is key. That is when we can look honestly at what our triggers and our reactions are. Then when we go off, the plan is already in place and can be implemented.

    I get so pissed when my frustration or anger is blamed on my PTSD, i.e. reacting to the immediate problem and then being told that I am responding due to what an abuser did to me in the past vs reacting to the present situation. I am more than my PTSD and have very normal human reactions to unfair situations just like anybody else whether they have PTSD or not.

    I am the same way and I do not see that as a negative. I would much rather isolate and work things out than have to deal with the problem when I am overloaded. I am not thinking clearly during an emotional overload and someone forcing me to "deal with the situation or disagreement" at that time is just another trigger. My husband understands this and gives me my space when I tell him. It allows me time to figure my head out so I don't unfairly lash out at him and it has worked very well for us.

    I have no right to abuse another just because I was abused and have a faulty brain processor. I do not want to abuse anyone and do feel that I have made progress in that area. I broke the cycle of physical and emotional abuse with my kids. However, and this is something that is hard for me to deal with, my tendancy towards self harm, i.e. Suicidal ideation, has affected them (including my husband) negatively. When we hurt ourselves, whether it is suicidal thoughts/attempts, lashing out verbally or physically, abusing drugs or alcohol or extreme, complete isolation it hurts those who love us, not just ourselves. That is wrong too.
    intothelight likes this.
  9. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    I think my problem is feeling like you're being tough on yourselves, I guess. If it were labeled something other than 'abuse' it would be an easier conversation. That word- it's just so loaded because of HIM. Associating it with the fall-out, what the victim is left to deal with hurts somehow. I don't like an assumption on the part of a therapist that we'd be abusive-same reason. I also hear nothing but the sincere struggle to overcome what you are feeling are out of control tendencies, and disliking them in yourselves. My abuser, and I'm certain most never had a second's remorse, much less a moment of self-examination.

    I'm not being very clear, I know! It's just such a loaded word, I think, to associate in the PTSD world.
  10. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    That was typically nice of you-PM- so thanks much for settling things in my little PTSD head. :)


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

User search cloud:

  1. abuse sufferer