Supporter Caring for Myself While Supporting a Partner with PTSD


New Here
Hey there, I'm new here! I've literally never posted anything on any forum before I hope I'm doing this right.

My partner of 2 years has PTSD (plus CPTSD) and it has been controlling our lives for months. I am a person who also struggles with their mental health (ADHD, OCD, PMDD, anxiety, depression, self harm, all that fun stuff) and have been pushing away my personal needs to try (and seemingly fail) to support my partner through her triggers. These triggers usually end up projecting themselves into an attack on me, my character, my actions, my family, friends, etc. and has become emotionally abusive.
We have just gone through a huge explosion fight and have been in limbo about breaking up while I stay at my parents house, and have decided to get couples counselling and try to come back together for Christmas.

How do I care for myself and set realistic boundaries that won't trigger my partner's PTSD and abandonment issues?
Hi there! Welcome to the community. It's great to have you here, and I want to assure you that you're doing just fine with your post.

I'm truly sorry to hear about the challenges you and your partner are facing. It takes a lot of strength and courage to support someone with PTSD and CPTSD, especially when you also have your own mental health struggles. It sounds like you've been carrying a heavy load, and it's important to remember that your needs are valid too.

Setting boundaries is crucial for both your well-being and your partner's recovery. Communication is key here; have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your own limits and needs. Let them know that you care about them and want to support them, but you also need to take care of yourself. Collaboratively setting boundaries can help create a healthier relationship dynamic.

When it comes to triggering your partner's PTSD and abandonment issues, it's important to remember that you alone cannot prevent or control their triggers. Each person's triggers and coping mechanisms differ, so it may be helpful to encourage your partner to seek therapy or professional help to address and manage their triggers in a healthier way.

In addition to couples counseling, seeking individual therapy for both of you can provide a safe space for personal healing and growth. Therapists with experience in trauma and relationship dynamics can help guide you through this challenging journey.

Please know that you're not alone. The community is filled with individuals who have firsthand experience with PTSD and CPTSD, who can offer support, empathy, and understanding. I encourage you to explore the various forums on the site, where you'll find specific topics related to PTSD and CPTSD. Connecting with others who can relate to your experiences can be incredibly helpful.

Remember to take care of yourself, seek professional help if needed, and keep reaching out for support. Wishing you strength and healing during this difficult time.
Welcome to the forum!

How do I care for myself and set realistic boundaries that won't trigger my partner's PTSD and abandonment issues?
Accept that you partner is going to get triggered from time to time! That’s not your fault. It’s an entirely internal mechanism. So, unless you’re deliberately setting out to trigger them, or being reckless about it (knowing their triggers and not giving a damn), let it go. Leave the responsibility of that with the right person (them).

In terms of boundaries, be clear on what is and isn’t acceptable, particularly in the way your partner behaves towards you. When they hit one of those boundaries, walk away and give them space and time to get regulated again. Once they’re triggered, they’re not going to able to think straight, or likely even respond to reason or love, so it’s best to let that cool off and level out before re-entering the situation:)