My girlfriend and I have been together for quite a while and I’m proposing soon. It’s going very well and we’re very happy, but both of us are traumatized, and continuing to be so due to where we live, and that can cause some issues. Here’s a little insight on the problems caused by two traumatized people in love.
The main issue is what goes on inside our heads without anything being said. That voice inside our heads can say some pretty harmful, nasty stuff and it can be hard to bring that up to your partner without feeling like you’re invalidating your own thoughts and emotions. Sometimes, as much as we may want to communicate our feelings and be healthy, sometimes we hold it in a bit and ruminate on it, attempting to fix the problem ourselves. This can cause lots of friction, discomfort, and arguments if the afflicted partner’s feelings boil over.
Another issue that can be caused is paranoia, whether about the relationship or other areas of life and can make them feel isolated in their thoughts and panicky. Usually the other partner who is hyper-aware, due to their own trauma, will notice this and either try to help or start to panic too (sometimes both) depending on their type of trauma and how they reacted to it initially.
Another issue I’ve seen is suspicion of your partner. This is a common issue caused by paranoia getting the better of you and protecting or blaming your partner for things you suspect but never got confirmed. A big part of my own personal experiences has been that with all the horrible relationships I’ve been in, this paranoid way of thinking actually saved me in that those paranoid hunches were always correct. Now that I’ve switched to a healthy relationship and those hunches are all wrong, it can be hard to turn it off but you no longer need it if you’re with someone you can trust. Your traumatized brain can’t always tell the difference, and the confusion can hurt your relationships. Therapy can help with this, but healthy communication can also help and sometimes it helps to hear it from the source.
A very hard lesson I’ve learned is that as much as your brain wants you to distrust a healthy relationship, repairing your trust with those relationships is the healthier response that will ultimately help you heal. It can feel hard and ugly in the beginning but it’s extremely helpful to those who make it out the other side. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m hoping one day I will be, and when I am my relationships in general will be all the better for it.
I’m Alistair Chianese (said as Al-eh-stir Shuh-neighs), a 21 year old traumatized person of the LGBT+ community with anxiety, three types of depression, PTSD and C-PTSD, and several chronic illnesses. In my free time I like playing video games with my girlfriend, hiking with my dad and step-mom, and watching horror movies with my biological mom. I’m an artist, a fantasy/ science fiction author, an ex dancer of 12 years (Irish, ballroom, belly dance, ballet, tap, jazz, and modern), and a singer working on some music. I’m big on creativity and self expression and I love my pets with all my being.