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How Do You Explain PTSD to a New Partner?

Discussion in 'General' started by Claire, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone give me an idea of how you start a new relationship with someone when you have PTSD. I haven't had much success with boyfriends recently and was thinking of trying my luck again. I feel I need to tell them everything straight away. I sort of feel like damaged goods and they need to know what they're getting into. I'm really clumsy with explaining it or I dont explain it at all, either way it doesn't work. Its somehow totally different to explaining it to people you already know and people you dont have such an intimate relationship with. I hate the lottery the reaction is.

    I really feel like saying, hello my name is Claire and I have PTSD, like an AA meeting or something. It bugs me that I have to explain myself early on in a relationship because of my behaviour. Things I can and cant do. In the ideal world I wouldn't explain it until further into a relationship, when I felt more comfortable with the person. I dont know if I may just be better off on my own while I get control of myself and become happier with the person I am now. Any advice anyone?
     
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  3. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    I can not provide help here much as honestly my situation is similar. I can direct you to take some of your own advice. Pick out the essential elements, the things you have tried to explain before, and keep refining how you say them. Watch for the correct time to explain, and do not treat explaining like confessing. For my part, even if I did not have this experience myself and somehow met a sweet girl who I became interested in who herself happened to have PTSD, I do not think it would drive me away from her. I have thought some on these lines myself. Ease into mentioning it if you can, if it is not time-critical to explain some part so that you are not forced to face a difficult situation. Find some way to bring the subject up to gauge their reaction to the condition in general. If they speak meanly then your answer there is that they are not compatible and you might choose to end things before becoming more emotionally invested. If they respond with empathy then that might suggest they would treat you better than if they were callous about it, so easing things a little when you begin to reveal its effects on you personally. Other than this I agree that saying more when you are more comfortable as you yourself wrote is the way to proceed afterwards.
     
  4. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Claire, if you meet someone and are honest with them about the trauma you have endured, but more importantly the impact is has upon your daily life, then atleast they can make their own decision of whether they want to continue or not. Its not really just about the label, but them knowing the extent of trauma itself and the impact is currently has upon you. Honesty is often the best policy, as it only turns around and bites you on the arse later within the relationship otherwise.
     
  5. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    thanks for those responses.

    Andre: yes I thought I should be taking some of my own advice when I wrote this thread. It just feels harder when its a brand new relationshsip and it gets in the way too early. Just simple things like my last boyfriend asked if he could pick me up from my house and I said no. Felt really bad becasue I really quite liked the idea of him picking me up but at the time and still now I cant travel in just anybodies car. I need to know how they drive first or I'd have to get out of the car. I need to trust them to drive carefully.

    Anthony: yes honesty is the best policy but this forces you to tell them things before you would normally. I hate that part. I would like to be in a relationship in some ways but last time I found it overwhelming.
     
  6. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    It seems like a way to ease your worries might be by looking over the actual details. How long had you been together before your last boyfriend wanted to pick you up by car? Do you imagine others will follow some pattern like that? If from the first then there are not many alternatives to some more immediate disclosure-maybe deflect mentioning PTSD a few times until there is more time to talk about it. Plan some equivalent justification to use for those occasions-something to laugh together about later. If it is after a few weeks or months, you could just ask him to listen for a while if he does not want to talk. A way to permit more freedom in picking when might be to suggest alternatives as more romantic a few times. If it is a short distance meet at a place and from there walk together if it is not too cold. Even if it is fairly cold alternating moving and huddling together a few times might be more fun. Returning home is more complex for short distances. If it is a longer trip keep the driving stress down for both of you and take a train-better to look at each other anyway. A few ideas.
     
  7. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Some good ideas. They might work where I'm moving to but wouldn't work where I live now. Being offered a lift could easily happen again. I'm in the country, no trains and nowhere to go out within walking distance but you have shown me I'm focussing on the negative rather too much. Its not that I'd never go in the car with them I just hate the way my hand is forced into revealing all this stuff so early on. I need to be more confident with myself. I just need to control it a little more. Its part of me, so if they dont like it then they're not for me!
     
  8. Andre

    Andre Active Member

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    Sometimes you just have to hear someone else say something for you, even if it is what you said for another. Identifying the real scope of things is often a problem for me too. If I can help you any more, do not hesitate.
     
  9. Scott_Fraser

    Scott_Fraser Well-Known Member

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    Hi Claire.
    Just tell them the truth and be honest. If they are decent enough they will stick with you and help you. If not tell them to get a life, they are not worth bothering about. You have a lot going for you, so keep it going Lass. One day you will find the right guy, an dit may be sooner than you think.
    Cheers
    Scott:hello:
     
  10. GR-ass

    GR-ass Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys.

    Having just started in a new relationship, I would have to say honesty is good.


    I told Luke straight out that I had issues, that I had PTSD. He asked me what that meant and when I told him he was understanding enough to say that he didn't mind me not going into deetails because when I was comfortable enough around him and trusted him enough I would tell him.

    So yes, sharing about PTSD good. Going into depth with your trauma, well, that depends on the whole trust thing.

    Hope this helps at least a little.
    cass
     
  11. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Claire,

    I skipped all the responses... I do that a lot and then go peek back. I am just going to give you my experience. I have always had it. But not at the I am going to die phase. I drank too much and worked like a dog. How I found time is beyond me.

    I caution you to keep an eye out for a predator who will take advantage, happened here. Like said before elsewhere it is like we wear a neon sign.

    My hubs now. I was getting bad but still able to get out to a hockey game a block away. We lived at the Greenway in Houston and the Summit was across the road and I worked on the same road. Until I quit and went in complete agoraphobic mode. Looking back it is like I could see breakers swithing off or blowing.

    But you know he got to know me. My biased ideas, opinions... My little tolerance for BS. We talked a lot, I had drinks, he went to AA maybe 12 13 years ago and does not go near it. I was married 3 times him none. He got me out to some blues clubs and it was fun at little ones. I never liked blues before. In person it is pretty cool.

    We did not marry for years and it was a year after a complete breakdown before I dos, we did not know what was wrong, just docs doped me up a lot. Not even a month after the I dos they said PTSD as it kept getting worse. We knew damn well I was jacked up.

    I was just me and the jacked up me. I say since you know say hey after a few dates if you are able to go out. Let him get to know the good you. Then let him know what PTSD is. They should know and have a chance to research it and be at a level of comfort to ask how bad is it for you? But a chance to know you first to see if it may be worth it for them.

    Last time I checked guys don't have much trouble bugging out. Hell if PTSD does not scare em say you have 3 kids LOL. You can feel it out pretty well.
     
  12. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Ok, went back and peeked... Anthony, when you get a chance. Really at what point to you say the extent of your trauma? Are you saying tell them the actual trauma? I mean I have some pretty jacked up shit that would scare the most desperate away! I mean think about it... new relationship I would send a troll running if he did not get to know me a little first, I would not even qualify for one nighter LOL.
     
  13. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    thanks veiled! you made me laugh, very funny!:rofl:

    I dont think you should tell them the whole story straight away either. Have them running for the hills! but they need to know dont they, so if they want to run they at least have the opportunity!:loopy:
     
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