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PTSD and people who don't seem to understand

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    I was diagnosed with PTSD about 9 years ago because of some childhood trauma and I've been having very small and spaced out improvements (and setbacks- oh the setbacks!) but I've been having a lot of problems with friends and family that never seem to really understand what PTSD is like. I have had family members bring up my trauma and (when I ask to stop or try to remove myself from the triggering situation) blatantly try to tell me that I need to "get over it" or tell me I shouldn't talk about it because "it makes them feel bad for not being there or because they didn't know etc." It's kind of been a scenerio of "I can talk to you about it but don't talk to me about it.'

    I'm getting really sick of hearing about it. I'm also getting really sick of hearing people tell me I should be over it by now, or how my panic attacks and symptoms are ruining their day or whatever. I've been isolating myself slowly like I did when I was first diagnosed because I feel like I can't be myself and I constantly have to hide what's wrong if I am triggered about something happening. The biggest problem is isolation typically makes things worse (as isolation from friends and family was one thing my abuser used to do to me). I feel like I'm trapped- a tiger in a cage is how my friend likes to call it. I just can't stay away from them though, and I've lost so many friends already that I'm terrified I'll be alone for the rest of my life.

    I've even tried having the boundary talk with them. Am I doing something wrong?

    -Ghost
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    GhostyGhoul I'm sorry you're going through this as I can absolutely relate to the PTSD and know how exhausting it can be to deal with, it takes so much work! You are absolutely right in that you can only prioritise yourself at those times and it's not like it is something you can just switch off (if only)!
    Of course, it's also true that those around us want to solve things and this can come out as frustration at their inability to be able to help as you describe - but that is their issue to resolve and should be done any from you. If they truly want to help, they need to respect your feelings and work with you on it rather than try to push their way. Is it possible that you can have a session with close friends and relatives with a therapist who can pout this into perspective for them? Hearing from someone else how they can help in a non confrontational way might be a huge help in moving forward.

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    • GhostyGhoul
      GhostyGhoul commented
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      I don't know why I hadn't thought of that before. I'll talk to my therapist and see if I can have a sit down.
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    • GhostyGhoul
      GhostyGhoul commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't know why I hadn't thought of that before. I'll talk to my therapist and see if I can have a sit down.
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    GhostyGhoul Let us know how you get on - we're still here while you work through this.

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