New love is exciting and fun. Yet, if a prior relationship left scars, you may have fear fully trusting a new partner. While the current partner may be completely different than the ex, yet any interaction resembles a past experience with your ex may produce anxiety, panic attacks, insecurities and a lot more in your current relationship. In the past you may have experienced sexual, physical, emotional or verbal abuse and assault or maybe all of them which in fact causes PTSD(post-traumatic stress disorder). All levels of trauma can have a serious impact on our lives, even if we don’t realize it immediately. Sometimes it can even be hard to recognize, as not all signs are expected or clear.
Speaking of unexpected signs… here’s what I think you should look for.
1. Feeling Afraid Of Making Another Commitment
Being afraid to commit to a new relationship is perfectly fine. It takes time to recover after a breakup before jumping back into the dating world. But do take note if you want to date and yet can’t bring yourself to do it, as it could be a sign your last relationship has left you with some trauma. When that’s the case,I strongly recommend you seek support from friends and consider therapy. It’ll help you figure out ways to move past the trauma you’ve experienced and learn to trust again, so that you can get back out there.
SEEKING HELP FROM MY FRIEND’S IS SOMETHING I’VE BEEN DOING LATELY.
For some time I’ve grown to be more vocal and transparent with my life and common issues that I’ve faced with my close friends. Lucky me my friends can relate. You’d be surprised at who’s in your everyday life facing the same issues.
2. Feeling Worthless Or Lack of Confidence
If you feel worthless after a breakup, it could be another sign of trauma. Being in an abusive or toxic relationship can create huge self-esteem issues. Many individuals who leave toxic relationships feel like they are damaged goods and that they don’t deserve a chance at love with someone of higher quality. At times the person you’re interested in may come off as intimidating.
Thoughts like these are often a side effect of harsh words from your ex, who may have done everything they could to knock you down and fuck up your self-esteem. These thoughts can be tough to shake. But they’re certainly possible to overcome especially with the help of supportive friends and a therapist.
3. Falling Into Another Unhealthy Relationship
Repetition is a big, yet unexpected sign that you’re suffering from PTSD from your past relationship.If you haven’t given yourself time to recover, treat your trauma, or learn about what a healthy relationship looks like, you most likely will find yourself in another unhealthy relationship. It’ll be just as toxic as the last one.
Trust me…. I’ve had that how tf did I get here again moment too.
4. Find Ways to Cope
Although we all deal with trauma in our own ways, we also find ways to cope. It’s our way of fixing our problems whether we realize it or not. Drinking, eating, using drugs and more are ways to cope or self-medicate away the problem. You might not be aware that you are coping with trauma because your subconscious is creating a different reality for you and your tolerance level increases based on consumption over time.
So how are you coping with your PTSD?
5. Having A Hard Time Letting Go
Having a hard time letting go is more common when PTSD symptoms are present, it is possible to experience intense flashbacks to moments in your relationship, after leaving a toxic relationship. In my opinion, when you’ve been in a toxic relationship for some time… you become accustomed to the toxicness. Everything about it becomes natural to you. How easy is it to let go a toxic relationship when you’ve grown to accept it? At times you’ll find yourself having flashbacks that will cause you to be angry, doubting yourself and taking too much of the responsibility for what happened.
6. Having Flashbacks
Having flashbacks is most common when PTSD symptoms are present as well. It is possible to experience intense flashbacks to moments in your past relationship, or wake up in a cold sweat while having a nightmare, after leaving a toxic relationship.
I find myself replaying episodes throughout the day. It’s a constant reminder of what I don’t want to experience in my future relationship.
Many people with trauma have flashbacks from times where the relationship was painful and distressing, or nightmares associated with the relationship.
Other symptoms of PTSD after a relationship consist of:
Overly negative thoughts about oneself
Exaggerated self-blame or blame of others
Decreased interest in activities
Irritability or aggression
Risky or destructive behavior
To heal from PTSD it is a process. A process you have to be willing to take for the sake of your health and future relationships. Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the body’s relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD. Exercising and getting a lot of cardio in helps me tremendously. Also get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger anger, irritability, and moodiness. Try to get at-least 7-9 hours in at night. I also listen to soft music. It helps me sleep better. Most importantly I strongly recommend if you’re dealing with PTSD you should seek professional help.