So the other day as I was sitting at work- one hand on the key board, one hand in a bag of Honey Nut Cheerios- while I listened to The Friend Zone podcast. As usual, Dustin, Asante, and Fran thoroughly entertained and connected with me on a level that made me question if my friends were writing anonymous letters to them about me.
As I got past the Wellness Segment in the “Me, Myself, and I” episode something they mentioned seriously stood out. “PTSD from relationships.” The first thought in my head was “That’s soooo real!” but as the day went on I began to dwell deeper into the fact that it really is so real.
Relationship trauma is generally associated with abuse. I always felt that since my past relationships were never abusive that I was scot-free after they ended. It was easy to move on to the next relationship because nothing too serious occurred. However, like PTSD, relationship trauma can have its triggers.
For anyone reading this thinking “this girl is being real bold/insensitive by comparing PTSD to a trash boyfriend” I absolutely acknowledge the difference between the two and don’t aim to devalue PTSD. Nor would I ever suggest that traumatic events and relationships are on the same playing field. BUT, if you have experienced trauma from a past relationship whether it was abuse or cheating, it’s important to get help no matter how minor you think the offense was in your head. There’s never any harm in self improvement.
With that being said, be honest with yourself about when you are ready to move on. If you still check your exes Instagram page and scroll through his comments, you’re not ready. Just because you’ve found someone you like doesn’t mean you have to jump into a new relationship before you’ve let go of your hurt from the past. If they’re worth it, they’ll understand and you two can get to business once you’ve gotten yourself together.
It’s also crucial to address triggers. Did you and your exes mom get so close that you two were going on lunch dates and going shopping without your ex? Acknowledge the fact that maybe you’re holding on to that attachment following your breakup and that you now have inhibitions towards meeting your new partner’s family. Take it from me, it’s important to address past hurt and catch yourself before you sabotage a good thing.
At the end of the day, the sole trigger we all have is based on fear. We could be afraid of being alone because nobody in our family is married. We might be afraid of infidelity because you experienced a girl climbing through your exes window just as the two of you were getting cozy. But while we’re sitting around coming up with reasons to roadblock our happiness, we’re also wasting time.
In my favorite book, You’re Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero she quotes an unknown author saying “We tiptoe through life hoping to safely make it to death.” I’ve pretty much been applying this to every aspect of my life since reading this quote and so should you. Specifically to relationships. Holding on to past relationship trauma is doing nothing but solidifying you’re spot as the old person on the block who sits on the porch in everybody’s business because they have none of their own. Sure, that might be an extreme reference, but who’s to say that the cycle your on won’t become perpetual? Break the cycle today, write down your triggers, and get to lovin’!