Post traumatic stress disorder had a very big effect on my intimate relationships. It affected my ability to trust others and my instincts, to be emotionally balanced, and to see myself as deserving of receiving love. Getting better took me a long time where I made a lot of mistakes that I learned very valuable lessons from.
For my husband, it was at times a battle of wills to get me to open up about what I was feeling or thinking. It is difficult to express what you are feeling when you don’t know how to. It took therapy and a great deal of growth before I could be open about my emotions with others. The divorce rate for those with post traumatic stress disorder is very high with good reason. It is not easy for our partners who do not know how to always cope with our symptoms.
The duet sung by Pink and Nate Ruess titled “Just Give Me a Reason” reminded me of those moments where the love was still there, but we were struggling with each other. Nate sings: “You’ve been having real bad dreams.” Nightmares, and insomnia are the most troubling symptoms that I experienced when I was really ill. The two singers share a dialogue between them that reflects that love can survive even when things look dark.
I can remember asking my husband at one point as to why are you still here. He told me his reason was, “I love you.” Love is very much a verb. It is wonderful to say I love you to someone, but it holds no weight if your actions do not reflect those words. It means staying and trying even when things are difficult.