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Boyfriend is a Katrina Survivor

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by kaytiej, Mar 9, 2007.

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  1. kaytiej

    kaytiej New Member

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    Hi -- I've been dating a wonderful guy for the past four months. He is a Katrina surivor and suffers from PTSD. Need suggestions on how to cope with this, especially emotional distancing, fear of commitment, etc.
     
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  3. Kathy

    Kathy I'm a VIP

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    Welcome to the forum kaytiej. You've asked quite an enormous question. I suggest you read this forum thoroughly, especially the Information sections, and learn everything you can about PTSD. Knowledge is power, and as a family member I've found the more I learn the better I am able to cope. Communication is vital. Talk everything out with your boyfriend as openly as you are able, and be truly willing and open-minded to his feelings and requests, even if they seem silly to you. Know also that your boyfriend is the only one who can truly work on himself to heal. Friends and family can be there for support and guidance, but the person with PTSD must do all of the legwork themselves. I wish you good luck!
     
  4. kaytiej

    kaytiej New Member

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    Thanks for the kind welcome

    Kathy:

    Thanks so much for the kind welcome. I have been reading as much as I can on this forum -- I know this relationship is going to be difficult, but I care for this man very much, and don't give up easily. It seems that the closer we get, the more he pulls away. I'm certain this is not unusual.

    Being with him is sometimes like being on a roller coaster ---- up and happy one minute, dark and distant the next. I'm hoping that once he moves to the town where I live (he just got a teaching job at the university where I am employed), and can finally have a place to call home, he might feel more settled and grounded, and can move forward with the healing process.

    I want to help him more than anything, to help him to feel whole again.

    Kaytie
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Welcome to the forum Kaytie, glad to have you here with us all. The best things you can do is merely support him, talk with him, and try and keep him as open, honest and talking as much as possible about everything he feels. The more he does this with you, the less issues will develop between you both. A PTSD sufferer must talk openly within a relationship, and the partner must also return the conversation. It is a deep level that must be communicated at all times to ensure issues that cause stress are minimized.
     
  6. kaytiej

    kaytiej New Member

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    Katrina

    Hi, Anthony:

    Thank you for making me feel welcome. I appreciate it.

    We do speak very openly, but I feel that I should only talk about his experiences following Katrina when he feels like speaking about them. Is this advisable? I don't want to force the issue -- he knows that I will listen, and am compassionate and, perhaps, empathetic, as I also suffered from a mild case of PTSD following my sister's death in a car accident in the 1990s.

    Is it normal for him to be fearful of relationships? When we first started dating things were light and wonderful, but as things progressed, and our attachment to each other grew, he seemed to pull away, to be more resistant, less affectionate, etc.

    I want to make sure that I don't push too hard, and only take small steps that are within his comfort zone. But, I also know that my feelings, and my desire to move the relationship forward, are equally as important.

    Thanks again,
    Kaytie
     
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