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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Message Board


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Old 07-02-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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PTSD can possibly ruin new relationship

About 3 months ago I met a guy (I'm 54, he's 55) and we hit it off! That's the good news.

9 months ago I moved to a different state (where I currently live now) and honestly didn't plan on getting involved again. It's rural here and nothing is close which I love because I am surrrounded by nature (one of the reasons I picked this state to live). Anyway, he has been driving 2 hours to see me and stays over and we really enjoy each other. I am falling for him (I don't like to use the "love" word just yet) though he feels he loves me and is not afraid to say it.

The not so good news: Since I am 17 years old I suffer from PTSD as I was run over by a car in my legs crossing a busy street and almost didn't make it. I have overcome much of my fears but not all. Anyway, I drove to his place this past Wednesday for the first time. His family (daughters, grandchild, etc.) all live near him. He owns his place where I rent mine.

When we went to sleep I started getting anxiety because he lives near an interstate (just my luck) and the sound of trucks and cars bothered me. I am really upset by this because I don't want to feel anxiety from something that happened to me so many years ago. I also don't want my fears to ruin this relationship.

Right now, the only place I am relaxed is in my place which is not fair to him. Closing his windows does not help eliminate the sounds of the interstate. I told him about the accident and how I was damaged by it and he understands but there is nothing he can do about it. I have been in therapy before and given medication which I still take today for panic disorder and PTSD.

I was able to stay at his place for 2 nights though I didn't sleep very well because of anxiety. Not having enough sleep stresses me out. I don't know what to do and I don't want my problems to ruin this relationship. So now I am home and his family may be getting together for the holiday and for me to drive there and back in one day is too tiring. I feel very conflicted and I miss him already!

Any thoughts?
Sunny

 
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:08 PM   #2
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Re: PTSD can possibly ruin new relationship

Hello sunnyrise,

Have you thought of using earplugs and/or getting those tropical rainforest type of relaxing CD's?

Maybe even tiny earphones that can be attached to a portable CD player.

If you can imagine being elsewhere,then hopefully it will bring you some much needed comfort.

Is going back to therapy an option that you might want to entertain?(just a suggestion;if not,please let me know).

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Old 07-07-2011, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: PTSD can possibly ruin new relationship

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks for replying! Other's have told me to try earplugs though for some reason that idea doesn't sit right with me (kind of like avoidance)... The rainforest (relaxing) CD idea does sound good so I may give that a try...

This was a very serious and traumatic accident and by medical reasons I was not supposed to survive it. I had 300 stitches in my scalp, lost my teeth, my chin, and other parts and yet I never became unconscious (wish I had).

I had over 15 operations to put me back together again, yeah, Humpty Dumpty! I know I am damaged and have been in therapy for years and years. I even had a psychologist walk with me down a busy street but that didn't help me when I saw and heard the cars. Yet I am able to drive which amazes many people after what happened to me (I think because I'm in control). I just refuse to become an agoraphobic after what happened though I was agoraphobic for many years until I got angry at myself for not living life.

I don't know what my real fear is.. Will another car hit me in my legs again? I don't know.. What does help is having my boyfriends arms around me as then I feel comforted.

I hate having PTSD I really do... I spoke with many psychiatrists, psychologists, even attended a 3 month group therapy class that was based on dealing with phobia's, panic attacks, etc. and that didn't help. I was told I needed medication and I am on a low dose antidepressant that I wish I didn't have to take but it does help a bit.

I'm going to try to fight this with all my inner strength (though menopause does not help either, geez, what timing!), LOL! I think this guy is worth it and I think the more I expose myself to this scary environment the more I may get used to it... So time will tell...

Again, thanks!
Sunny

 
Old 07-07-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: PTSD can possibly ruin new relationship

Hello sunny,

Thank you for sharing your situation;I know it wasn't easy to do.

When it comes to driving, I can relate to being overly cautious,as a means of trying to prevent even the remote possibility of an accident from occuring.

I understand that your boyfriend provides you comfort but can I ask if you have a psychological safe place to retreat to,when things seem overwhelming or bleak?

Safe place imagery can be beneficial to those who implement it.

Respectfully
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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Re: PTSD can possibly ruin new relationship

Hi again Phoenix,

Actually since I met my boyfriend and knowing where he lived, I have been talking a lot about what happened to me when I was 17 years old. I wasn't driving when this accident happened, I was crossing a busy road (at that time I wasn't scared of crossing roads), since that accident I am terrified! I actually feel safe in my car if that makes any sense. I do avoid highways and major interstates so when I drive long distance I prefer taking the back roads and country roads (hey, they are prettier anyway).

It never occured to me to try safe place imagery as a place to retreat. I don't know if I am capable of that but my motto is there is only one way to find out and that is to try it.

It's "my" turn to drive to my BF's place but I can't this weekend as my car needs some work and the last thing I want to do is to drive my car without a mechanic giving me the okay. It is a 2 hour drive and if something happens my cell may not work as I live in the mountains.

Thanks for your suggestion about imagery, I'll let you know happens.

Sunny

 
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