Heal My PTSD
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I am close only to my fiance, Angel. But when I start a PTSD a episode he forgets I have a disorder and really gets on me for being Negative. I say "that is me, that's the way I am" and it escalates. Question to all of you great people: I don't want to turn into a Polyanna, but what are some ways to rid the negative and learn to be happy? That word kills me . Happy. How can I do it???

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It really is not possible to be happy about some things, especially traumas we have gone through. It is possible to find things that genuinely make us happy - or at least look for them with a hopeful attitude. My suggestion would be to explain again to him, when you are both in a good mood, that you are really struggling with something you can't control, and when it gets bad, you need to step back and end the discussion for awhile.

I have a close friend who knows I have PTSD, but when we would get into a conflict of some kind, or I would have a PTSD reaction to something, she would say something like what your fiancé is saying. I learned (it took a long time) to just stop the conversation and go be by myself till I felt better. Then try talking or hanging out later . It has really helped.

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I found the best thing to do was to:

1. identify some activity (for me it was dance) that I loved to do and that made me feel good and glad to be alive, even if just a little bit and for a small amount of time. Then, I made a commitment to engage in that activity every day. The brain learns through repetition. The more you engage in an activity that helps you access a good feeling the more your brain learns to create that feeling. The natural mood enhancing hormones that are released do a lot to start changing negativity into something neutral and from there you can work toward positivity.

2. once I got into the groove of being able to feel good I had more confidence and courage to work on resolving the effects of trauma -- when that was done I didn't have to work at being happy, I just naturally was that way.


Thanks, Michele for your response. Remember, I had a dgn. Of bipolar over35 years, so I always monitored myself for signs of mania and esp. In public stayed away from activities that appeared to show me in a manic light. When I was younger, I either had my own room in a share, went back for awhile to my parents' house where I had a large attic room, got a sublet, or in NYC got my own place in the cheapest area. At all these places, I would love, at times, to dance and choreograph by myself, ha, usually after midnight.

Since I am now in an efficiency in another city (which I was brought to by blood family against my volition), my fiance lives here too, I have big time personal space and privacy issues. Every so often, when the right music is on, we will dance together, but not often now with the PTSD anxiety , "rage" , (how I hate that word, so unscientific) , anxiety and depression issues. The real reason is I don't have much time alone, as he works only part time while looking for F/T work. I think this is one of my major problems keeping me from doing something I alone enjoy. Money problems, too. I used to oil paint and studied 6 years at Parsons School of Design, non-matriculating. I wore a thin cotton jumpsuit to paint, as I was still working and had my work clothes on, it being a night class. I did this even when the depressive state was bad, however, the paint would wind up all over me and It was the only activity I could throw myself into. Where I would totally forget my problems and become totally involved: a Zen dance, if you will. I have, in this ahem, wonderful city of Philadelphia, painted alone with cheap products and made-up canvasses ( try a square flat styrofoam packing piece ) in a previous apt. Ok, made me feel a little better but I was used to live models and 37" x 24" canvasses. By the way, after I was "kidnapped" a bit after a big traumatic horrific group act upon me for which I had to put myself in coma as I recognized a family member closely present, so I wouldn't see the sins being performed and 15 years until this PTSD dgn, my brother, who at first I thought was not involved, managed to not transport any of my own canvassed nudes down, even though that was on top of my request list, I went into a real mourning for my own works. To the family left after my dad's death, no understanding about love for one's own creative works.

I have searched for painting classes here where there are live models, but I have what they are calling non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which numbs and tingles the feet with lower back pain so I have no car since in NJ I was under my dad's insurance and his oh so mourning wife and other daughter the day after he died told me I had to drive the car into the junkyard and keep it there. Oops sorry for the rambling--permission to edit this long drivel for publishing if you keep the sense(?) of it.

To return to the main point, I am not painting anymore. The other day my fiance said he would buy me some oils. Nevertheless, to me, fruit gets rather boring to paint and even with a tarp I would be limited to the kitchen (this studio apt has one LR/BR and eat-in kitchen.), not where a nice interior would be fun to paint. Oh boy, I have answers to everything, don't I?

I can't think of anything else to do that I physically CAN do and would create a sense of joy. I even always prayed for a REALTYPE significant other and now I have one. But I am not made "happy" by him and you have no idea how much this man loves me, tells me, kisses and wats to make love to me, cooks and cleans where I let him. Could he also be infantalizing me by doing the chores and serving me in bed? Talk about being treated like a princess. But the other thing about me in the present Time and Space is I can't summon up inside me what I would term "real love"? Michele, I have since had recall about the traumas and they start in childhood and had many short-term "lovers", usually just physical relationships but always believed I was in love and not "using" the guy. Last night I took off the ring again. Could it be that mature love feels different? Except I meditated and went through layers from my outer skin to deep inside and saw a black box I could not penetrate when I tried to access love for both mysel and him. Could this be from the myriads of trauma (including a violent rape from a man of another race, while I prefer not "mixing" and being Homesless twice)? Sorry, another question, how to get rid of the other hatred (fiance says it is from the "Satan") that is deep inside when I used to be idealistic and even have a glowing love once for all humanity? Do you know and may I please have suggestions from others in this support group. Again, all apologies for length and details of this letter.

One last thing, what site do I go to to purchase a book of yours? It sounds like the first would be the best for me. You are wonderful for offering this place for us for free and with what love I do have, I send to you for your Selflessness. And to all you trying to get it together, Inner Peace, too.


Lora, you ask really great questions! So much of the progress we make comes from asking and finding answers. I don't know you or your situation well enough to comment so I'll turn the questions back to you. Finding your own answers is such an integral part of healing.

What do you want to be true? How will you know what's true?

Explore the options and possibilities for answers to your questions and start creating your own responses.

Re: your question about my books, you can find Your Life After Trauma here:


And Before The World Intruded here:


Lastly, thanks for your kind words! I graciously accept your kindness. :)

p.s. If you have access to a small feeling of love (which you do) there's your proof that you have the capacity for love and that it can grow....


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