How I have learnt to love despite my PTSD

By Samantha Jones

PTSD is a very varied condition for everyone. Whether you sustained emotional neglect, a war veteran, a horrific one off trauma or if you were physically and sexually abused, like myself, the symptoms will vary considerably. For me it is the flashbacks of being beaten and raped when I was too young to know what was happening.

I never thought I was worthy of being loved, especially by a male. It is because of this I hid away for so long and I never discussed how I would cope in a loving relationship.

However, slowly, over time I found that I had to love myself before I could allow anyone else to love me. Bare with me, I’m still working on how I actually do this. Anyway, when living with PTSD that is caused through abuse, a sexual relationship can be really difficult because at any point during a kiss, holding of hands or the deed, you can be right back to where the trauma took place. This is something I have always struggled with but the man I am to marry in the near future accepts that this is what life is like for someone living with PTSD.

I have found that not every man is cruel, manipulative and violent. Especially not my man. It has taken many months for me to accept and acknowledge that he isn’t the abusers and nor will he ever be. It took me a long time to know that he wasn’t going to abuse my trust, just like they did.

My fiancé is able to know when I need space and when I am feeling more vulnerable. He knows how to help me whilst the flashbacks are happening although at times this can prove more difficult depending on the severity.

When PTSD is caused by someone else abusing their power I personally think it is more difficult to trust others, in my case more so males. I know there will be males thinking ‘but don’t females abuse too’ and yes you are right but here I am just writing about my trauma.

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