We are on a forever healing path. But it doesn't get easier.

BlueWillow

New Here
New Member here...

Feeling that deep prisoner in your own mind, suffering, lonely and fiercely angry type way recently; and I know you all know what thats like.

Is it possible to have PTSD and be in a healthy marriage or relationship? If you say yes, please explain how; because I am determined its impossible.

After all the work Ive done on myself for the last 20 years, I sit here and think when the F will it get easier? All the therapy, spiritual work, self help book reading,
journaling, meditation, praying, yoga, pilates, retreats, EMDR, YOU NAME IT, IVE DONE IT. I STILL feel like a prisoner to my trauma.

And its ruining my marriage. I allow my anger [which is ultimately sadness] to break my husband and I apart. Early on, he was unfaithful and 8 years later I still
cannot forgive him. Why? Because I cant forgive anyone. I cant forgive myself, my abuser, friends, family. No-one. I hold on to my sadness so tightly because its
the only things ive ever known. I do not know how to forgive.

Sexual abuse from age 5 to 15 here... and my life passes me by and I refuse to be happy. I refuse to move on, I refuse to stop playing the victim.

I would love to hear from all of you out there on how to forgive, break free from your trauma and realistically move forward.

Thank you xx
 

Geopolis

Confident
Welcome @BlueWillow ! I'm new as well and I've found that there are endless resources here to help.

Unfortunately I don't have any simple answers for but I do share some of your experience. I have done a massive amount of work on myself for 10 years and could not seem to break through my trauma. I was consistently hurting myself and others and i felt completely alone.

Then I had an ah ha moment and reached out one more time. Between the identification/collective experience here and some courageous work with my therapist I now feel hopeful. Thats more than I could have asked for when I started.

You're here now so that shows your intent to change! Congrats on your new diary, I look forward to supporting you on your journey 😀
 
Is it possible to have PTSD and be in a healthy marriage or relationship?
Yes. Is it easy? Hell no.
If you say yes, please explain how; because I am determined
1. The person with PTSD needs to be actively trying to get better. It sounds like you're doing your best.
2. The person without PTSD needs to separate the PTSD from their partner, to acknowledge that the person with PTSD is doing the best they can (if they are), and understand things will be harder in the relationship because of the PTSD.
3. There needs to be a huge amount of communication about everything.
4. Empathetic ruptures are really, really, really common in PTSD relationships. These are not things that will go away over time. They have to be worked through with a therapist.

I'll use my relationship as an example. My partner, early in our relationship, berated me over something I couldn't do sexually. Over years it got bigger and bigger in my head and I got more and more obsessed with it. Once I determined that my partner was really sorry, and once I realized I still couldn't let go, I had to work through it with my therapist.

Some relationships might need trauma-informed couples therapy.
 
I would love to hear from all of you out there on how to forgive, break free from your trauma and realistically move forward.
My opinion is that forgiveness is not strictly necessary to heal. We do not ever have to forgive our abusers. We don't ever have to forgive ourselves for being abused - we did nothing wrong. We may, however, have to forgive ourselves for things we did under the influence of our trauma.

There's no doubt that empathetic ruptures can be exacerbated and widened by trauma. In your situation? It sure sounds like you need to try to forgive your partner, if your partner is truly sorry and has shown you he is truly sorry. Eight years is long time for you to be sticking a knife into him, if he's atoned. And if he hasn't, eight years is a long time for you to be sticking a knife into yourself.

Have you talked about this with your therapist? Have you talked about this with your husband?
 

BlueWillow

New Here
My opinion is that forgiveness is not strictly necessary to heal. We do not ever have to forgive our abusers. We don't ever have to forgive ourselves for being abused - we did nothing wrong. We may, however, have to forgive ourselves for things we did under the influence of our trauma.

There's no doubt that empathetic ruptures can be exacerbated and widened by trauma. In your situation? It sure sounds like you need to try to forgive your partner, if your partner is truly sorry and has shown you he is truly sorry. Eight years is long time for you to be sticking a knife into him, if he's atoned. And if he hasn't, eight years is a long time for you to be sticking a knife into yourself.

Have you talked about this with your therapist? Have you talked about this with your husband?
Thank you for your insight, thats some serious food for thought.

Empathetic ruptures is a term I have never heard but it's the perfect one to use. Also, thank you for sharing your example, trauma informed couples therapy is our next step. I have been scared to go to therapy with him because, deep down I know Id have to face the verbal abuse i've given him for *years.* But, we are finally going to do the work together.

I love what you wrote about "forgiving ourselves for the things we did under the influence of our trauma". Recently my husband said to me , "you're a very hard person to love. You're very lovable don't get me wrong - but its hard being in love with you." And when he said it, I actually wasn't even mad, sad or anything- I was like yup thats right, I got what I wanted. I have pushed him far enough that he tells me exactly what I needed to validate me. Because of-course I feel like I don't deserve love.

He has shown me 100000% that he is sorry, that he has changed, that he's trying, that he's a good man who just made a mistake. And for 8 years I've made him suffer with me, I don't blame him for how he feels.

You asked if I have talked to my husband about this - oh yes, Im an over-communicator if anything and an empath- I feel e v e r y t h i n g. And when I feel it, I bring it up. I need to learn how to pick and choose my battles for sure...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
My reaction to you is: who are you without your marriage?
Can you fly the airplane alone?

The lack of separation or the presence of enmeshment or the lack of awareness...is a marriage killer

Who are you? Figure that out. Love or hate that...but ultimately accept that imperfect human and then see if you are able to merge or something unmerge without painful ruptures or at least reach a place where you can acknowledge the separation of the minds/bodies.

It takes two to make marriage like copilots but both must be able to survive or fly without the other.

In my marriage, when shit hits the fan, I check (often) my own taking others for granted and unleashing entitlement love I never gotten as a child....and try to recalibrate and then have decent, heartfelt conversation of how do we move forward.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Sounds like his betrayal early on hit something big in you, on a number of levels. You have every right to be hurt by infidelity. It's so hurtful. And then on top of your trauma.
It's that learning of letting go. Because if we say "we accept and move on", we have to mean it. Otherwise it's a toxic thing that festers and grows.
It's great you are thinking of couples therapy and I hope that helps.
Facing our flaws is really tough. But we all have them. So if there are things you can do differently, then that is great? Doesn't mean you are a sh*t person. Just means you can take responsibility for how you behave and change it. Positive. Not negative.

I also suppose we are all hard to love at times. Long term relationships have their ups and downs. Ups are fantastic. Downs so unbelievably painful. And there will be many ups and downs.

Been with my partner for 17 years. We've had some pretty hairy moments where I have felt, and she has felt, that we can't go on.
What I find really really hard: is arguing over the same thing over and over and over again. Because it means something is stuck. And if you both are saying the same things each and every disagreement and not hearing the other: time to get someone in to help break that impasse.
 

BlueWillow

New Here
My reaction to you is: who are you without your marriage?
Can you fly the airplane alone?

The lack of separation or the presence of enmeshment or the lack of awareness...is a marriage killer

Who are you? Figure that out. Love or hate that...but ultimately accept that imperfect human and then see if you are able to merge or something unmerge without painful ruptures or at least reach a place where you can acknowledge the separation of the minds/bodies.

It takes two to make marriage like copilots but both must be able to survive or fly without the other.

In my marriage, when shit hits the fan, I check (often) my own taking others for granted and unleashing entitlement love I never gotten as a child....and try to recalibrate and then have decent, heartfelt conversation of how do we move forward.
Grit, thank you for the reply.
Ive been asking myself that on a loop for the last year or so. There’s no doubt I have been a bit co-dependant and I have defined myself based on the events of this marriage. The line has blurred…

I don’t have many friends , so I experience quite a lot of isolation. I spend 90% of my time with my dogs and husband. The other is spent doing things solo. So I am surely trying to figure out, at my core: who I am.

Thanks for the tip on handling “in the heat of an argument “ situations. I need to check in and try to catch myself before I unleash my sh*t. Not easy… but I will try.
Sounds like his betrayal early on hit something big in you, on a number of levels. You have every right to be hurt by infidelity. It's so hurtful. And then on top of your trauma.
It's that learning of letting go. Because if we say "we accept and move on", we have to mean it. Otherwise it's a toxic thing that festers and grows.
It's great you are thinking of couples therapy and I hope that helps.
Facing our flaws is really tough. But we all have them. So if there are things you can do differently, then that is great? Doesn't mean you are a sh*t person. Just means you can take responsibility for how you behave and change it. Positive. Not negative.

I also suppose we are all hard to love at times. Long term relationships have their ups and downs. Ups are fantastic. Downs so unbelievably painful. And there will be many ups and downs.

Been with my partner for 17 years. We've had some pretty hairy moments where I have felt, and she has felt, that we can't go on.
What I find really really hard: is arguing over the same thing over and over and over again. Because it means something is stuck. And if you both are saying the same things each and every disagreement and not hearing the other: time to get someone in to help break that impasse.
Thank you for the reply.
Yes his betray cut me so so deep. Infidelity hurts like a b*tch. But I think this hurt like never before because he was the first man I ever truly opened up to about my childhood sexual abuse. And he betrayed me anyway.
It’s been very hard rebuilding our foundation, So I’m praying therapy helps.

Thank you for the reassurance on the ups and downs. We are at one of those “we can’t go on” moments…. It’s also so helpful to hear that the repetitive arguments don’t just happen to us! I’ve started to feel crazy because we are unable to come to a resolution, ever. It’s the same talk, same words, same attitude, every single time. Very toxic. It results in DAYS and weeks of us being angry and upset. When it’s bad, it’s awful… but when it’s good it’s great.!
 
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Aliana

New Here
New Member here...

Feeling that deep prisoner in your own mind, suffering, lonely and fiercely angry type way recently; and I know you all know what thats like.

Is it possible to have PTSD and be in a healthy marriage or relationship? If you say yes, please explain how; because I am determined its impossible.

After all the work Ive done on myself for the last 20 years, I sit here and think when the F will it get easier? All the therapy, spiritual work, self help book reading,
journaling, meditation, praying, yoga, pilates, retreats, EMDR, YOU NAME IT, IVE DONE IT. I STILL feel like a prisoner to my trauma.

And its ruining my marriage. I allow my anger [which is ultimately sadness] to break my husband and I apart. Early on, he was unfaithful and 8 years later I still
cannot forgive him. Why? Because I cant forgive anyone. I cant forgive myself, my abuser, friends, family. No-one. I hold on to my sadness so tightly because its
the only things ive ever known. I do not know how to forgive.

Sexual abuse from age 5 to 15 here... and my life passes me by and I refuse to be happy. I refuse to move on, I refuse to stop playing the victim.

I would love to hear from all of you out there on how to forgive, break free from your trauma and realistically move forward.

Thank you xx
Hi! I'm also new here, but still would like to welcome you!

I hear you... Romantic relationships gets so hard with the trust issues and the trauma stuck feelings that follows PTSD. Still, I say it is worth the fight. I dont think of my marrige in terms of healthy though, I'd rather think of things as healing/ helping or breaking.
A loving marrige can be such a healing thing.

I hear your pain. I am so sorry for you that you have to go trough this. The thought of people not being trustworthy is really hard, and lonely.

One thought about forgiving, just mine but perhaps of use for you;
Is it possible to distinguish your anger about your husbands betrayal from your anger towards others who broke your trust? I ask because if it is not, how could forgiveness be given if the anger about that specific betrayal of his has not been heard and confirmed as juste?
To accept that he behaved like an arse earlier but has proved he has changed, the hurt about what he did need to be adressed separatly from the hurt about other peoples betrayal.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Grit, thank you for the reply.
Ive been asking myself that on a loop for the last year or so. There’s no doubt I have been a bit co-dependant and I have defined myself based on the events of this marriage. The line has blurred…

I don’t have many friends , so I experience quite a lot of isolation. I spend 90% of my time with my dogs and husband. The other is spent doing things solo. So I am surely trying to figure out, at my core: who I am.

Thanks for the tip on handling “in the heat of an argument “ situations. I need to check in and try to catch myself before I unleash my sh*t. Not easy… but I will try.

Thank you for the reply.
Yes his betray cut me so so deep. Infidelity hurts like a b*tch. But I think this hurt like never before because he was the first man I ever truly opened up to about my childhood sexual abuse. And he betrayed me anyway.
It’s been very hard rebuilding our foundation, So I’m praying therapy helps.

Thank you for the reassurance on the ups and downs. We are at one of those “we can’t go on” moments…. It’s also so helpful to hear that the repetitive arguments don’t just happen to us! I’ve started to feel crazy because we are unable to come to a resolution, ever. It’s the same talk, same words, same attitude, every single time. Very toxic. It results in DAYS and weeks of u

It seems being isolated and having only one person to communicate can but a lot of burden on the relationship. Isolation alone is extremely hard when dealing with past traumatic situations. It also looks like you have done a lot of work (therapy or not) and that you are able to see things in different perspectives and that alone is also a gift from the universe. I wish you well in finding a balanced way of moving forward.
s being angry and upset. When it’s bad, it’s awful… but when it’s good it’s great
 

BlueWillow

New Here
Hi! I'm also new here, but still would like to welcome you!

I hear you... Romantic relationships gets so hard with the trust issues and the trauma stuck feelings that follows PTSD. Still, I say it is worth the fight. I dont think of my marrige in terms of healthy though, I'd rather think of things as healing/ helping or breaking.
A loving marrige can be such a healing thing.

I hear your pain. I am so sorry for you that you have to go trough this. The thought of people not being trustworthy is really hard, and lonely.

One thought about forgiving, just mine but perhaps of use for you;
Is it possible to distinguish your anger about your husbands betrayal from your anger towards others who broke your trust? I ask because if it is not, how could forgiveness be given if the anger about that specific betrayal of his has not been heard and confirmed as juste?
To accept that he behaved like an arse earlier but has proved he has changed, the hurt about what he did need to be adressed separatly from the hurt about other peoples betrayal.
Aliana, welcome !!!

I am feeling so grateful for your reply and everyone elses- its like a warm e-hug :) this community is great.

I appreciate your perspective of the healing/helping or breaking. Also, youve got my wheels spinning about separating my anger. I didnt realize until reading your reply that when someone hurts me, it all goes under the same category. The category of "I cannot believe this happened to, I will never let this go, they are on my sh*t list. Even if they are sorry, I will make them pay for hurting me". Now thats a complete defense mechanism ofcourse, and unhealthy; im aware. But retraining my brain to believe that not everyone is out to purposely screw me over is not easy.

Again, thank you for the insight!
 
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