Dating someone with childhood trauma
Every survivor is different, and they each process trauma in a different way.
ATTN: spoke to three survivors of sexual assault, along with Melanie Carlson, the Client Services Coordinator at Doorways for Women and Families, a domestic violence shelter that also provides support to victims of sexual assault, over email about their advice on how to best support a survivor.
@Tian Dayton Ph D (Note, continued training along with streaming video available on “The Workshop” membership site)Relationship trauma is the kind of emotional and psychological trauma that occurs within the context of relationships.
We are biologically wired to seek close and ongoing connection.
Without this powerful form of bonding, our species would become extinct, baby animals and human children would wander away from parent figures and parents would forget about their young. Understanding relationship trauma requires under- standing the depth and strength of these bonds.So having a partner that validated my experiences and my reactions to them was huge."Opening up about sexual assault can also be re-traumatizing — if your partner opens up to you about past trauma, let them share their experience to whatever degree they feel comfortable."More and more research is showing that telling the assault story on repeat re-traumatizes people," Carlson pointed out."It is more about creating the space for someone to tell you what they want by illuminating thorough options and trusting survivors as the experts of their lives."If your partner does share one of these stories with you, resist the urge to press them for more details or label their experience."If you’re not a survivor and your partner discloses that they are, you don’t get to push for information," Danielle*, a 25-year-old writer and domestic violence advocate living in Portland, Oregon told ATTN:.In time, most are able to resume their prior level of closeness in relationships.
Yet the 5% to 10% of survivors who develop PTSD may have lasting relationship problems.An unsettling number of Americans experience sexual violence each year — around 293,066, according to RAINN.