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The ptsd cup explanation


Karina Blake

Thank you for all your helpful information. I can understand a lot of my bfs behavior better. I want to be able to help him cope and overcome his ptsd. And those out there that feel disappointed about the no cure . The hope is that overcoming ptsd WILL make you a better version of yourself even better than before ptsd. Just like any other battles it requires courage and willingness and is possible l truly belive it!
I also thank you for all your information. Like Sammy, I feel like I was ‘trained’, not to be angry, to hold it in, to be passive in my communication and interactions with others. I understand the difference of military training, yet this seems a good word at this time to describe my childhood. And although I do not want divorce, I push away those I love. Recently I have started to be more open about my mental health with friends, but receiving mixed messages. I am so confused. I feel unloved, and fear now that I opened up, even more worthless, although there is nothing that anyone has said to indicate so. I just want to feel safe, and so far being in a relationship, albeit a non-satisfying one, makes me feel safe, because there is someone there. I feel bad about that, like I am faking it. It’s like that song, “I can’t get no satisfaction”, and fear that my partner is losing interest, or has just stopped putting effort in the relationship as am I, although I do love him. I don’t know what to do. I feel lost and confused.
Thread starter #17
Lagatha, don’t think on behalf of your husband, ask him, and ask for an honest answer. Ask, what can I do better to meet your needs? Decide whether that is right for you, and make a choice. Relationships are a two way street, if one or the other fall into bad times, it affects the dynamics of the relationship. Communication during such times is significantly important.

Sex is part of a relationship. My wife is going through menopause. Whilst she doesn’t have the urge for sex, she still understands that I want sex and thus we do so. Sure, less than before menopause, but she understands its a part of the relationship, and if she didn’t want to have sex at all, then that causes a relationship shift. With time… the relationship may then break down because both parties needs are no longer being met. Tough times are about communication, compromise, finding amicable solutions that meet both parties needs and wants so both parties are happy and thus, less stress, less issues, less confrontation within the relationship.

The shoe was on the other foot when my PTSD was out of control… I didn’t want to have sex, she did, a middle ground had to be found, and was. Both parties must communicate honestly and openly, and not say nothing as though being polite. That just causes issues and harbours negative emotion, stems problems and things typically get worse.
Thanks for your response,
We are at that point where we are honestly communicating. However it is certainly more difficult than saying nothing and being polite, as I feel that even a disagreement represents a slight or hurts my partner, as he acts upset. He says he will get over it, but it is alarming to me, as I don’t want to see him upset by my decisions or opinions. Of course it would be nicer and smoother if we agreed on everything, but what gives? What is the breaking point? How many disappointments (on both ends) does it take? How much compromise? I know a relationship takes work, but how much work?

Anyways, I know only these I can answer as it is subjective, and my previous traumas just kind of puts a damper on things and skews my perspective. Yet my spouse continues to listen, continues to be engaged, even when he is tired, or would rather do other things, and relax. This alone is enough for me at this time. Having been called ‘crazy’ by family and ex-partners in the past, he is the most loving, and understanding, and even manages to normalize my experiences, he understands the reactions. I know I cannot count on him for my happiness or total healing, but I attribute a lot of healing to him. Is understanding enough? I also fear about draining him.. I always fear the worst…


I just realized that I have been dealing with symptoms such as these. I do not feel in danger for myself but for my 2 adult sons who have and have had drug addictions. I mostly deal with it on my own. But i fear everyday something horrible will happen to one or both of them. I have realized that my back pain is associated with the stress of this. I am tense all the time. It doesn’t matter what I am doing brushing my teeth, doing dishes, taking a shower.I have tried many different things. Massage, accupuncture, Chiropractic, Meditating. I have been working extremely hard at recognizing when I am tense and trying to relax. Does anyone have tips that will aid in trying to keep from tensing up?

Also the fear is never quite gone. Everytime the phone rings, a car drives down my street, I see a vehicle that looks like my sons, I drive by a place my son was (one of which is on my way to work so I pass it daily.) If I don’t hear from them often enough. Or I hear from them too often! UGH it never goes away!!!

David M. Wilkins

To the author:

Back up think and again, if you think the 4th cup is for only for combat vets.

I’m a first responder American stateside, and I take strong exception to this idea. Vets sometimes get PTST with only their shortest time in service.

Those of us with a career in Public safety, with at least one traumatic event a year. American Vets are not alone.

Public Servants get less respect and are being killed like combating flies, I’m one of those fallen though the cracks and down. I eat or do without meds. What is out here for our recourse, and assistance? I can tell you! Not Much of a Damned Thing!
I am an aid worker I have been exposed to life threatening disasters floods earthquakes and tsunamis, bombs, searches, killings, life like training exercises – i have replaced two people who were either killed prior to my employment or died shortly after my employment and in the line of duty and experienced six staff dying in one day and another a week later and been in theprocess of promoting peace talks when a terror attack resuted in revenge-like military operations killing and displacing millions . I have a shut down response which is about freeze and many combat vets who do UN peacekeeping get the PTSD from the having to watch atrocities and not take action, hopelessness, helpness and fear for others is our lot. I have the same HP dysfunction as found in vets – we have training and exposure but my explosions are verbal not physical or alternately when threatened I might think oh well this is bad maybe I should just lie down shut my eyes and at least get a rest. Other times confinement will cause severe muscle spasm- I agree I am not likely to be physically violent but verbally yes or tonic as needed. I am also a woman and my gendered social role means that while suicide might be a escape plan it is rarely taken because of our commitment to the care of others- we don’t get to stop the trauma merry-go-round for fear of how our getting off will impact others and on a really bad day…. I am not sure where we manage to put our overflow =perhaps our combat as carers never ends
Thread starter #22
Very well stated eloc. There are plenty of civilian roles, such as yours, that are near side by side with military troops and thus are exposed to exactly identical situations and stressors. Well done for what you do for others… I could only aspire to be similar to someone such as yourself. A role model for us all.
Hi, I’m sort of at a strange place and it’s hard to explain. Its like I’m not really connected to anything or feeling or though I find myself getting very agitated at things, certain things will cause me to not sob but tears will run down my face. I started therapy with my psychologist over 2 years ago and have been working through things, my depression lead me there out of desperation, I never dreamed My life would include therapy and now the past year medication from a psychiatrist. I hide these things from most people as it feels wrong somehow, and this isnt the way my life is and I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.

Apart of me feels really pathetic and another feels like there’s this deep sadness in my gut. I wear a mask to most people and they probably wouldn’t really know me if i took it off. It’s very exhausting.

Stuff has happened through my life, and as one thing after the other got added ontop of the previous event it seemed to be too much. There was things as a child and I can’t trust the memories i have, to be real and i can’t remember much of what i feel to have happened, i could never stand up in court and say this person did this because I cant be sure and i feel like i would be lying, and along the way on different occasions things happened to family, friends, me from murders, attempted murders, hijackings, attempted hijackings, car accidents, gave birth to a special needs child, miscarried another other instances of men making me uncomfortable like they are taking something from me, suicides, rapes, this all sort of escalated to a place of heavy depression, and always on guard, guilt and having no pleasure in life and also bad thoughts and needing to fix things and very tired and stressed. The past few months I’ve had a few triggers and it’s like the 2 main triggers 3 months apart that particular subject of the trigger its like all the instances sort of converged into this tornado of emotion and then almost this numbish place where i almost don’t feel depressed but in a way it’s like a zero place? It’s so hard to explain, i battle to connect to the reality of things if I can say it like that. And not been able to trust myself and trust the memories that won’t leave me for the past almost 30 years makes me doubt the very core of who i am and makes me feel crazy.
After these past triggers, the one concerning that touch is not love, the other searching for someone that was missing and probably laying dead somewhere, it became so important for me to find him, i drove around looking and looking but there was just too much bush and ditches where they could have hidden his body, it’s like all those other violent things also converged into one and somehow i needed to find him to make some type of justice or something, i eventually just realised there was no way and cried in my car. The past couple of months I’m not myself, as i said above it’s like I’m numb but also not, i want to withdraw from people and block my psychiatrist and my psychologist I just feel weird. When does yourself whatever that is, come back after this almost switchoff? How will I ever remember the things that plague my mind from my childhood, is this considered ptsd? Or depression and stress?
I’m just tired but I also feel Im being pathetic, and overdramatic, I just don’t know how to get unstuck.
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