What It’s Like To Have PTSD & Be In A Relationship

I have the privilege to be best friends with one of the strongest women I know. Her life hasn’t been easy, and still, in lieu of tragedy, she didn’t let that darkness take over the light inside of her. She has always been so supportive of me and this blog. I feel so honored to share her story with you. This is her story, in her own words.

And, Ally, I will always be by your side if fighting the darkness gets too hard. You will never have to do this alone.

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By Ally

Why I am the way I am:

We’ve all heard of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), that thing that soldiers go through when they come back from war; but what a lot of people don’t know is that it can happen to anyone. It happens after a traumatic event,  and it happened to me. Without diving too far into that chapter of my life, here’s a little background. I was 15, and he hit me almost every day for 9 months. Now, I’m 21 and a lot is different, but that trauma will always stay with me.

The New Guy:

So fast-forward, I’m a senior in college, I’m an athlete and an A student, and I have a boyfriend. He is loving and kind, and he gets it. That’s easier said than done, and it took us a long time, but he gets it. This new guy, he deals with a lot more than most men do in a relationship, but he loves me and says it’s worth it. He deserves so much credit for my rehab. One of our favorite quotes? “I don’t need you to fix me, I need you to love me while I’m fixing myself.”

What it all Means:

My relationship now has changed a lot from when we first met. In the beginning, we had a lot of long talks, rules, and walking on eggshells. Things would pop up that neither of us was expecting, but we’ve learned over time what works for us, and our relationship is stronger because of it. Sometimes we realize right away that something isn’t working, and another time it takes us a few tries to get it right. It only took once for us to learn that if he touches the back of my neck, for whatever reason, I will have a panic attack and stop breathing. Our routine for thunderstorms and fireworks is closed curtains, a glass of wine, and a lot of snuggles under the safety of the covers. Forming that routine took us some time. What’s most important of all of our routines? Making sure we’re loving. Even when we’re angry, we still give off more love than hate.

Why I’m Glad I have PTSD:

Everything I’ve mentioned points towards me being miserable. I sound as if I’m paranoid and jumpy all the time, and to a certain extent, I am. I can’t go in large crowds and I don’t do well without a plan, an escape routine, and a Xanax on hand. That being said I wouldn’t change my past. My boyfriend and I had to have a lot of long talks, and we’re stronger because of it. I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like if we didn’t get to sit down and talk about real life. I am weary of things, but it makes me careful. I have been saved in many situations because I am prepared for the worst. Lastly, I am strong. I’ve lived through this awful thing, and I survived, and I’m successful in spite if it all. This is my life, this is my story; and while it’s hard having PTSD, I’m glad I do.

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