Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

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helping loved ones heal.

helping loved ones heal.
by cookieslovebrook on Jun 22, 2013, 04:24AM

I was injured just over 2yrs ago. I was sitting on the front of a boat. It was maxed out plus turning. I flew off the side and went under the boat getting run over. My boyfriend was the driver. It was just before our 5yr anniversary. I was 19yrs old. I can still see the look on my face. I was brought to a dock. Ambulanced to the closest hospital and later air lifted to another. Where I had a long surgery and a 6 day stay. I almost had my right arm amputated. For a couple months I carried my right arm with my left one. Had long nights and no sleep. I wouldn’t have made it without my mom who was the only one I showed my pissed off what did to deserve this attitude with. I liked talking about it. I mentally deattached my arm from me. It was mine but it was separate from me. Talking about it made it more a reality helping me accept what happened. In front of all I was brave which helped me be that way. Daytime I could help others feel better about their bad because I was soo much worse physically. Only at night was I a mess. Now I have PTSD but only in certain situations. My boyfriend however still has nightmares frequently and won’t talk about it with anyone. How do I help him?

Reply: helping loved ones heal.
by Deleted User on Jun 24, 2013, 01:08PM

Hi cookieslovebrook – I am so sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through. It sounds like it’s been a very tough road of ups and downs. Healing ourselves is tough enough, and it gets even harder when there are others (in this case, your boyfriend) who are struggling and in need of support. It sounds like what you are doing – encouraging him to talk, talking to him about your own fears/concerns/anxieties, and just being a comforting presence around him – is a great place to start. Some people don’t heal by talking, so you could also encourage him to do other things to work through some of the emotions like working out or writing to see if that helps at all. If he (and you!) continues to have PTSD symptoms, you may want to suggest that both of you go talk to a professional to make sure the symptoms don’t worsen over time – I know this is sometimes easier said than done but if you both go, you will be setting a good example for each other in regards to getting a mental health check in. Where do you guys live? If you are close to a hospital that has a TSN program, you could try the peer visiting program, where you get to visit current patients at the hospital and offer them hope and guidance as someone who has been through a traumatic experience. It can sometimes be of some comfort to be able to help another who is still hurting. If nothing else, continue to do what you’re doing. I would suggest not hiding your emotions (no matter what they are) in front of him and letting him know that you go through the same ups and downs that he probably does. Since there are no words that anyone can say to take away the pain of what you both have been through and are still going through, sometimes just sitting together when one of you is having a bad day can be supportive in and of itself. I wish you both much healing, and I hope you continue down your road to recovery.

With care,

Reply: helping loved ones heal.
by cookieslovebrook on Jun 25, 2013, 01:58AM

Melissa, thank u so much for the support. It is so sweet and helpful. I’m in south Florida and do not know the hospital on the list. I’ve checked because it is something I would love to do. Helping others has been a huge part of my healing process. I just feel like my process is stuck in place. Like I can’t heal more without my boyfriend healing.