Need help

Hey everyone, it’s Jamie.

I’ve just came home from Ohio where I was staying with my boyfriend and his family. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize just how bad my PTSD is, from the way both he & I would set each other off with our episodes (he has severe PTSD, too), which was damaging me even further.

We’re not broken up or anything, and I do love him and try incredibly hard not to let his past abuse and trauma affect me too much, but I knew I needed to come home and get help myself. I actually have an appointment to see a psychiatrist to be prescribed meds for my own health. It’s just hard to help him when his episodes are unleashed, and I’m already in an extremely fragile state of mind.

I don’t want to break up with him, so if anyone can guide me into helping myself so I can help him even better, that’d be great. I just need to learn not to take my PTSD out on him, and I know he promised he’d try to get help himself, and we both agreed once I get back there eventually, we’ll try therapy together. I guess I somehow thought I could help him without getting emotionally damaged and drained, too, but it’s hard.


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23 comments

  1. mkyuellig

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for sharing with us. It seems like you are pretty in tune with your self mentally and emotionally, and that’s awesome. Once you start recognizing your own needs it really helps you to jump start certain things vital to self-care. I think it’s great that you are seeking professional help, that can be a really difficult step to take for people who have experienced trauma. It can be great to be in a close relationship with someone who has similar experiences to your own, because they are so understanding. However, as you mentioned, it can sometimes be a struggle when you both have similar triggers, or when you are both having an issue at the same time. It seems like you already know that the most important thing is to take care of yourself. You cannot begin to help others if you are not first taking care of your own needs. The downside to this is that often times when we are crisis it makes us blind to others’ experiences. That’s why communication is so key. My husband and I have nightly check-ins where we share how we are feeling, and the high and low of our day. This way it is much more difficult for things to sneak up on us. I also think it’s super great that you are considering therapy together. If every couple took the time work on their relationship and communicate with one another in therapy the way couples in therapy do, I think a lot more couples would last. Please feel free to come back and update us.

    Stay strong, and be gentle with yourself,
    Keight

  2. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for coming here to share your story. I am glad that you are getting professional help! It must be hard that someone you love so much brings back PTSD episodes. Therapy together could really help because then you could both talk about what kinds of things trigger each other. You are so strong for wanting to help him through his struggles and PTSD. He is very lucky to have you. Please keep posting here if you want. We are all here for you.

    Tyler

  3. Jordan L

    Hey there,
    I’m glad you are seeking out professional help.
    I think taking care of yourself first is the correct thing to do. Getting yourself in the right mindset and a healthier state of mind will help as well. This way you can help him in the way you want to. With both of you in therapy, it will help you both cope and understand the PTSD better. Maybe the professional help will help you find the triggers to help you both avoid them so you don’t take it out on each other. Potentially journaling your feeling daily will be useful as well.
    Keep us updated on your journey, we are always here for you!
    -Jordan

  4. andyspringer Volunteer

    Jamie,

    You’ve taken the correct steps scheduling a psychiatrist appointment. My advice would be to continue using whatever resources you have available to you and after examining all of them, pick the one that is going to provide you the most aid in your healing journey. PTSD is a beast and in manifests itself different in every single person which makes it incredibly difficult to deal with. The fact that you want to stay with your significant other despite both of you dealing with trauma is very admirable as PTSD can sometimes be damaging to personal relationships. If you truly do want to be in the relationship, then stay and use that as motivation to accelerate your healing journey.

    We are all here for you and on your side.

    Warmest regards,

    Andy

  5. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,

    I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your boyfriend. How you are feeling is totally okay! I can tell you truly care about him and want to best for him, but at some point you have to care for yourself too and remember your own needs. Have you talked to him about how you are feeling? That might help you relieve some of your emotions and allow you both to figure out a way to work on yourself while being in a relationship. I am sure it is very difficult. We are here for you. Keep coming back to update us. And please, remember to take care of yourself!

    Sending love,
    Natalie

  6. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Hi Jamie ,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with your ptsd and that’s it’s straining your relationship, I hope all things make a turn for the better soon. Thank you for sharing with us and know we are here for you and always will be. Stay strong and keep on fighting

    -Brianna

  7. Lizzi G

    Hi Jamie,
    I’m so sorry that you’re having a hard time with your PTSD, and that it’s putting a strain on your relationship as well. I’m not good with relationships so I don’t really have much advice on helping you help him, but I think it’s great that you’re taking the steps to help yourself by seeing a psychiatrist. I truly believe that if you both spend some time working through your own demons, you’ll be even better together than you ever were. It’s amazing how much better any relationship can be when both people are happy and taking care of their emotional needs. Keeps us updated!

    Much hope,
    Lizzi

  8. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Jamie,

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a difficult time with your PTSD. It’s a bear in itself and having a partner struggle in the same way can make things extra difficult. I think taking some time apart to tend to your own needs is a great idea. You’re valuable and deserve the space necessary for self care. What’s that saying… you can’t fill another’s cup unless you fill your own? Take all the time you need to fill your own cup. Please feel free to post again as you need to on your healing journey. We’re here for you. Take care,
    Becca

  9. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi Jamie!

    I am sorry about your PTSD. I know it can be diffcult when you and your boyfriend are both struggling with it, but it seems that you care about each other a lot. I think it’s great that you recognized that you need to talk to someone and get help. You have to help yourself before you can help others. You are making great steps in your healing, and it sounds like you both are open to getting help. Stay strong! We are here for you.

    Carmen

  10. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi Jamie,

    I think it is great that you understood that you need to help yourself first before you can help anyone else. A psychiatrist is a great step. Sometimes it is tempting to think that romantic relationship can be what solves all of our problems, but other outside sources are usually also necessary. It is okay that you both need outside help. I think eventually working up to doing therapy together is a great goal for the future. Stay strong, you’re doing the right thing! Thanks for the update. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help.

    Thomas

  11. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with your boyfriend. It is hard to deal with someone else’s PTSD especially when you have your own. I would just take things slow and talk to him when you are ready. It sounds like things were just rushed a little too fast. You do not have to break up with him over this small incident. Just give it time, so you can collect your thoughts and figure everything out.
    -Alyssa

  12. colton95 Volunteer

    Change is different in everyone and not everyone reacts to help in the same way. I know this sounds awful but I believe that all you can do for your boyfriend for now is to simply just be there for him and support him as he also tried to get help. Hopefully, he will be there for you as well as you try to get help. I hope that both of you will get through this and that both of you will stay strong and positive!

  13. rkr18 Volunteer

    Jamie Marie,

    Thank you for updating us. You acted so bravely by coming home to seek help for yourself. I believe it’s so hard to help others when we haven’t completely helped and healed ourselves. Talk to your psychiatrist as well and ask him or her for guidance too. I am proud of you for taking that step. Please keep us updated and we are here for you if you need anything.
    -Marie

  14. Jess Volunteer

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. It’s incredibly brave to recognize that you need to seek help outside of your relationship. That can be incredibly hard to admit to ourselves sometimes. Taking care of yourself is incredibly vital, and seeking a psychiatrist seems like your first step down your path to healing. I think it’s amazing you’re working on yourself so that you can come back to the relationship – continue down that path. Get yourself in a good position and then come back to the relationship once you’re ready. Don’t rush yourself. Your healing is so incredibly important.

    If we can help you in any other way, please let us know. We are always here for you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  15. kelly Day Captain

    Hi, Jamie. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think it’s really brave of you to seek help separately from your boyfriend. I’m sure it must be really conflicting having to leave someone you love for things to get better, but I think it sounds like the right thing for your relationship and most importantly—you. Maybe try to just focus on yourself right now. You need to get better for you. You are deserving of help and healing with or without a significant other. Same for him. I know you guys can do this, and you’ll know when the right time to reconnect is. Wishing you both the best.

  16. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Jamie Marie,
    I’m glad that you’re taking steps toward caring for yourself. Taking care of ourselves is so important, and it can help us help others. When we’re feeling and doing our best, it can be easier to support others. I hope that your appointment goes well and that the medications work well for you. I agree with the others; I think therapy could help you figure out coping skills as well.
    I’m also so happy that you both are planning to work on this together. I have a feeling that communicating effectively and being there for each other may help a lot. Maybe as you’re figuring this out, you could suggest tips that work for you (and he could do the same).
    Thank you for sharing an update. I’m proud of you for being so self aware and getting help for yourself. If you ever need anything, we’ll be here to help. You can get through this, you are strong, and I wish the best for you and your boyfriend.

  17. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Jamie,

    Thanks for sharing with us. I’m really sorry that you and your boyfriend are having a rough time helping each other, but it takes a lot to recognize that how your pasts are affecting each other. It’s really great that you both are trying to work things out for the other person and yourselves.

    I’m really proud of you for making an appointment with a psychiatrist to better your own health. I think it will be really helpful in dealing with his PTSD on top of your own. Considering how hard you both are working to help the other, it sounds like a really healthy and supportive relationship which is something that is so important for survivors to have. I’m really happy you have that! I don’t really have any advice on how to help him, but I want you to know how amazing I think you are for trying to help him even though you’re having your own issues. You’re awesome! Keep it up.

    Stay strong. You’ve got this.
    Marissa

  18. blashea Volunteer

    Hi. I think it requires a great amount of strength to be self-aware. I am proud of you for making the tough decision of distancing yourself to strengthen/ help yourself. Self-care is the most important. You are so brave and have come such a long way! I hope your appointment goes well.

  19. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Jamie Marie,
    Thank you for keeping us updated. It sounds like you are on the right track already and know what you need to be healthy and happy. Taking care of yourself first is the most important thing because if you aren’t healthy, then you are giving away the energy that you need. Do what you feel is right for taking care of you and the rest will sort itself out in time.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  20. Juliana331 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us. I’m so glad you saw the need to care for yourself and have taken steps to do so. It makes me think of my life as a mom. If I don’t take care of myself then I cannot be the mom I need to be for my kids. Take the time to take care of yourself, to heal and to get stronger. As you do so it can encourage your boyfriend to start taking steps to heal as well. Meds are a useful tool but talking to a therapist on a regular basis can be helpful too as they can help identify triggers and give you ideas for coping with them.

  21. Jay Volunteer

    Hey there! PTSD is tough. I struggle with this daily. I think it’s great that you are seeing a psychiatrist for med management, but I know that for me, I benefited greatly from individual therapy. My therapist has been able to offer me many coping skills to manage my PTSD. Is that something you would be interested in? We can help you find resources in your community. Maybe this is something you can talk to your BF about and maybe both seek therapy? Thank you for sharing. And, if you are ever in crisis and need someone to talk to, please reach out to our text crisis line to speak to a crisis counselor. Just text “Voice” to 741741! I hope your day gets better.
    -Jay

  22. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming to share with us. I’m sorry your PTSD is affecting you so much. I think seeing a psychiatrist and taking the time to heal yourself is probably the best thing you can do. Because yes, all survivors need support and support can be really important for recovery, but we also have to try and focus on ourselves and recover-no one can completely do it for us, as much as we might want to for those we care about. Is there anything else we can do to help? Let us know-we are here for you.

    Erin

  23. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Hi Jamie! Thank you for reaching out to us. Your health is the most important thing. Go to the psychiatrist and see how things go; maybe sharing a good experience with a doctor will inspire him to get the help he needs as well. I think it may be a good thing to be back home for a bit and get that distance just so you can focus on yourself and your health more. Is he doing anything currently to help himself? We have lots of resources in our get help tab that you can look at and share with him as well if he needs more information. I think that you are right, focusing on yourself and getting better will make it easier to help him as well. Let us know if we can do anything else to help and stay strong <3