Note of tough love from a fellow victim: If you are single, living with PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have not been treated or seen a counselor, then you have no business dating or trying to start a new relationship until you get some guidance from a professional. You are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by ignoring it.
When most people think of PTSD, I think their mind goes to war veterans, but it is actually a more common struggle than you think. Maybe like me, you are one of these people and you understand the difficulties of navigating an invasive world that has little to no patience for people like us.
The person you were before the traumatic event ceases to exist and you have to create a new self.
Especially when it comes to finding a romantic partner who loves and accepts you for who you are, trauma and all. Here are some things I have learned on the road to recovery and love.
While it is important to be upfront and you will need to tell the person eventually if you start seeing each other more seriously, it is ultimately your private business and it is up to you when you divulge that information. Unless you have really severe symptoms, like a noticeable body tick, at least let them find out your favorite color or the name of your cat first.
Turtle with a broken leg slow. Whirlwind romances are not for people with PTSD.
You have been through a terrible ordeal. Maybe even more than one. You are a strong survivor but you are also fragile.
You have to be smart whom you give your heart to.
A person can only take so much heartbreak in one lifetime. The more times your heart breaks the harder it gets to put it back together. I know this from experience.
Just take your time and get to know each other. Trust that gut of yours.
Chances are your experiences have given you a new super intuition. Learn how to channel that. Yes, I am a woman who has been through multiple traumas. However, I am also a woman, who has a BA in English Literature from the University of Central Florida, a social media manager, a vintage collector, an artist and craft enthusiast, a sister to three fantastic younger siblings, a mom to a rabbit and two crazy Chihuahuas, a loyal friend, candy connoisseur, avid tree climber, and so much more.
You are NOT your trauma. Focus on all of the wonderful quirks and nuances that make you, you. If someone keeps trying to define you by the tragedies you survived, be it death, rape, assault, or fighting in a war, then they are not the guy or gal for you. The right one will see the real you and not just a rape victim.