Some of us are good at wearing a mask – hiding our symptoms of PTSD. If someone close to you has experienced a traumatic event, it can be hard to know how to support them. The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem-solving—which may lead to troubled family relationships or friendships.
Here are several ways you can help your loved one, strengthen your relationship, and take care of yourself too.
Take care of your own health.
Continue doing the things you enjoy and find relaxing.
Recognize the effects of PTSD on relationships
Be realistic about how much you can do.
Talk about what you’re going through with your own support network.
Consider seeing a counselor or therapist.
FOR YOUR LOVED ONE
Plan enjoyable activities with friends and family.
Encourage them to get treatment.
Offer to go to the doctor with them.
Make a crisis plan – together.
Check in with them often.
Be a good listener.
Supporting someone with PTSD can take a lot of time and energy—and it can be stressful. It’s common to feel that taking care of yourself is selfish, or that you don’t have time. But taking care of yourself is actually an important part of caring for your loved one. If your needs are met, you’ll be a stronger source of support for them.
Relationships can take any form. From romantic relationships, marriages to friends or close families that have just drifted apart over time or due to specific problems. The Lord helps us cure all wounds if we follow the lead of Jesus. One of the things I have found that ruins all kinds of relationships is STUBBORNESS. Especially when you are the one who has been wronged. It is so easy and normal to hold on to our grudges, to feel right and vindicated in our refusal to forgive, but this feeling is not Godly.
I know how difficult it is to forgive. I know how much time can be wasted holding on to pain that someone did to us in the past, but if this past year–of coronavirus has taught me anything, it is that, I don’t want to waste any more time. Unforgiveness sucks the life and the joy out of you. While you may feel like you are justified in holding unto your pain, you are only hurting yourself. Think about all the times you fall short of what you KNOW, God is telling you to do, and yet, God keeps on forgiving you.
The disciples ask Jesus, “master how many times shall we forgive, is it 7 times?” to which Jesus responds, “not 7 but 70 x 7” (Matthew 18:21). There is no limit to forgiveness. Relationships are not just about husbands and wives, someone is praying for their children right now; perhaps the relationship that needs healing is the one with your sibling. I know people who haven’t spoken to their brother and sisters in over 15 years! God is calling you to heal and reconcile.
I have fallen into the spirit of stubbornness, I’ve been running around ranting about all I did for a family member, and how dare he not be grateful – his gratefulness should not be measured by me and in inability to show gratefulness should not be judge by me. I surrender today!