Recently a friend posted a timeline photo on my facebook wall that’s basic message was “let go of the past, it’s time to move on.” I’ve seen messages like this in the past and they always make me feel like I have been punched in the stomach. Let me explain.
With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) you are constantly being pulled into the past by flashbacks and triggers. Even if you wanted to leave “the event” in the past your mind is working against you. It’s a constant tug of war. It is not a case where I want to be there, but a case where I now have a traumatic brain injury that keeps taking me back there. I see those “get over it” messages and I just want to scream, “I WOULD IF I COULD!!”
The other reason I can’t just let go of the past is because it is still my present. I was diagnosed with PTSD after 15 years of Domestic Violence and 9 months of marital rape. My ex was charged and has plead not guilty. We are set to go to trial sometime in the future. There I will be put on the stand and have to talk about what happened. So again my past will become my present. I also have three children who are at various stages of healing from the abuse that was in their home. Everyday something comes up about it and once again our past is our present.
When it comes right down to it no one has the right to tell another when it is time to move forward. It is their journey and they need to go through every step, even if it is a baby step, to heal.
I ended up removing the picture from my facebook wall. I know my friend meant no harm and I do not begrudge her. I just couldn’t keep looking at that message as it made me feel I was failing in some way. That I am not where I should be on my journey. In reality I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
If you know someone, or you are that someone, who has gone through trauma and trying to heal know that they/you are right where you are supposed to be, taking steps forward when you are ready. You are getting there one step at a time.
Here are some ways you can help someone recovering from Trauma and/or has PTSD.
- Learn everything you can about PTSD. By knowing all of this information, you will be better able to handle the situation.
- Exercise together. Exercising strengthens the overall body and improves health.
- Don’t judge them.
- Be there to listen. Make your self available to them when they need to talk. Be an active listener by giving input when needed.
- Show respect. Respect them even though they may be having a difficult time at the moment.
- Look out for them. Show you care by recognizing when everything doesn’t seem to be okay.
- Allow room for mistakes. Recognize that they will make mistakes, but always be there to forgive them and offer help if needed.
- Talk positively.
- Give them their space. Your loved one may not always want your opinion on everything, be willing to step aside every once in a while and give them some space.
- Be active together. Planning and participating in family activities can be a fun way to interact and show them you don’t look down on them.
- Love them.
- Don’t belittle them. While it is important to not expect too much, not expecting anything at all is unnecessary and can be hurtful.
- Be patient.
- Avoid harsh remarks. Stay away from telling your friend or family member to get over their problems, this may only make problems worse.
- Encourage their self-esteem.
- Take care of yourself. Remember that you can’t take care of someone else if you haven’t dealt with yourself first. In many cases seeking out a friend to help you is beneficial.
About Janet B
Mentor Survivors of abuse at Verbal Abuse Journals: verbalabusejournals.com facebook https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals
facebook page: Freedom Within: My Journey through Domestic Violence and PTSD https://www.facebook.com/VerbalAbuseJournals
Pinterest: Freedom Within
Linkedin: Janet Brownlee <a href=”http://ca.linkedin.com/in/janetbrownleedvptsd“> <a>