Individuals with PTSD or CPTSD can struggle with healthy relationships. There seems to be more prevalent and complex trauma, but can affect single type 1 trauma also.
Relationship is a connection between two people, relationships are formed in the context of cultural, social, and other influences. Context of a relationship can vary from family relations, friendships, work, clubs and neighbours. Relationships usually involves some level of interdependence and it has been noted that people in relationships influence each other's thoughts feelings and behaviours. This is why it is so important to have a good support network while working through trauma.
When we interact with other people it shapes how we view ourselves and the expectations of the environment and others.
We know that our experiences can shape relationships and adult life, we all develop templates for relationships and we create these templates through interaction with our parents. It is the parents job to provide safety for a child and help them develop healthier templates for future relationships, this is not trivial that can cause a plethora of issues for our adult lives.
Whatever template we have been shown that guides our behaviour and social situation and teachers how to communicate between others. Tells us what a role in each relationship and we use early childhood experiences to shape their future relationships which can be positive but can also be negative depending on the skills learnt in childhood.
If an individual's experience of relationships in early childhood is negative in distressing, feelings of safety positivity and connection are compromised. This can lead to negative outcomes in adulthood.
When we have dealt with relationship issues in our childhood it can result in common difficulties such as: sensitivity to criticism, lack of perspective, budget and limited template of relationships, rejecting others, getting involved with people who treat you badly, difficulties communicating your wants and needs and feelings, problem setting boundaries, mistrust and guarded detachment, isolation, constant effort to people please, projection of negative feelings, clinging to others for Comfort and accepting poor treatment.
When we experience childhood trauma we see devastating effects on the beliefs that we have and on ability to form safe and healthy relationships.
And adulthood these beliefs can be activated lead to power imbalances within relationships. This can cause the relationship to become similar to our past and cause revictimisation.
We may find ourselves and unhelpful cycle of destructive relationships due to our maladaptive beliefs. It is our belief about relationship that influence thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
We may feel that our feelings don't matter, "if we cry other will harm me". This is because we may been punished for expressing emotions in the past which can lead to us being passive in relationships, making us vulnerable to further domestic violence.
And expectations of others may also be affected as previous experiences may have left us feeling less than whole worthless and lonely. It can make us believe that your happiness rest on finding another relationship. If we have been hurt or neglected as a child we can spend our adult lives searching for someone to replace that hurt that we've experienced however, if we do not receive that replacement we can reject people very quickly and are unable to compromise and be flexible in our interactions.
Please try and remember that moment of care from another will replace a love you did not receive from a parent or caregiver. Adult relationships work best when both individuals feel happy within themselves, we cannot expect others to find happiness nor can we find happiness for them.
Take a moment to write down what you view as healthy and what you view as unhealthy aspects of a relationship. That can help your main to categorise at bitter when we experience it in real life. You may also find that some of your past experiences and relationships begin to be listed in these boxes and you can begin to work through your difficulties centering relationships.
Currently we are conducting research into the causes of trauma. I have included a link to the survey here : https://surveyheart.com/form/5f06e63b3ed8765392fe12d0
If you would be interested in taking part, please feel free. If you would like to share this study i would also welcome you to use the link, many thanks!