I would like to welcome the loved ones of those who struggle with Complex Trauma/PTSD. I hope you find support, understanding, hope, and tools to assist you in helping your loved one to heal and move into the fullness of who God has created him or her to be. I want this website to be a place of education and support for YOU as well.
This process is NOT easy--or for the faint of heart! Sadly, I did not have much support in navigating my relationship with my husband when all of my symptoms hit in full force and it was a very confusing time for both of us. I hope to write some very raw and real articles about some of the things we had to navigate throughout this time, but please feel free to use the contact link to directly ask me questions if you would like; it will be good fodder for a blog post, and if I can help save someone some heartache along the way, all the better!
It was a very painful 3+ years of trying to separate my childhood trauma and emotional flashbacks and the triggers and emotional flashbacks that had gotten woven into my relationship with my husband. We BOTH sustained trauma during this time because I did not have a trauma-informed therapist who could help me navigate things more clearly. It took me almost three years to figure out if I had married a Narcissist like my father, and I had been married for 26 years and raised three children with him at this point! That's how confusing and lost a person gets inside the emotional flashbacks of Complex PTSD after enduring the psychological abuse of a Narcissistic parent as a child.
Pete Walker has a book called, "Complex PTSD: From Surviving To Thriving" and he has a great website with a lot of free resources for people struggling with CPTSD. A word of caution: this information can actually re-traumatize someone who is living with severe emotional flashbacks associated with CPTSD and I highly recommend finding a trauma-trained counselor to help your loved one find a safe relationship inside of therapy. Once safety is established, the counselor will give them tools to help them feel safe and grounded and to keep themselves emotionally regulated BEFORE beginning to excavate past trauma or beginning education involving all the ways the relational trauma of ongoing childhood abuse, neglect, trauma, abandonment is affecting them in their everyday life. Essentially, for the Survivor, it is as if the trauma is being lived over and over in the present moment when triggers cause us to go back into the immensely overwhelming painful emotions of the past (called an emotional flashback--see Pete Walker's website for more information) but we BELIEVE that these emotions are related to a present- moment situation. When someone "over-reacts" or reacts in a way that is "out of context for the situation at hand" this is usually a sign that they are in an emotional flashback. This can also be referred to as an Amygdala Hijack--which EVERYONE experiences on some level--where, for a moment we are triggered and automatically "react" without logic or control to a situation. Usually, within 4-6 seconds, a person recovers and is quickly aware that they "lost their head" or over-reacted or lashed out in some way. For someone with Complex Trauma, this amygdala hijack can cause emotional dysregulation (emotional flashbacks) that last days or even weeks.
Here are a couple of articles to get you started...
Please reach out with questions--I'd love to help in any way I can.
What is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
When You Love Someone With Complex PTSD
Really, one of the ONLY Spouse support online options I have found or heard about until I found this recent article mentioned above from the Couples Institute Counseling is www.heathertuba.com. She is an author, educator, and consultant, as well as, the wife of a Trauma Survivor, giving her personal experience and insight as a loved one.