My name is JW, and I have PTSD, Post Traumatic Relationship Syndrome. I initially posted this within a group that I belonged to at one time and laughed as I posted it. However, after I began to think about it, it was true. I at the time was in a relationship that I really was beginning to enjoy. He was everything that I wanted. He was good looking, respectably employed, interesting to talk to, and a consistent church goer. The way he talked about his faith in God increased my faith. Let’s face it, that is hard to find these days. I was totally smitten.
One evening we went out for ice cream and a movie. We greeted one another with a kiss then walked to the ice cream shop. He smelled so good! But I digress! Well we finished our ice cream and walked back over to the theater. We purchased our tickets, then sat down. The movie was nearing the end when he then got up to use the bathroom. About 5 minutes passed and he still was not back. That was fine. Now I had to go to the bathroom. Just before the credits began to roll I stepped out.
After finishing up, I looked for him. Where was he I was thinking. A bit of anxiety began to arise. Why was I feeling like that? Anyway, immediately I checked my phone. He had called. I missed it. It was just a moment ago. I went from calm to ticked in 2 seconds flat. All these questions began to bombard me. How could he just leave me like this? Did he leave? Why in the heck is he calling?! Where is he?! Then the phone rang again. It was him. “Honey, I’m outside. Where are you? I said coldly. ” I thought to myself, “Why in the hell are you outside?” But I said, “Okay where?” He responded, “I’m by the car.” I replied okay and hung up the phone. As I walked to the car I am thinking it is 1 o’clock in the morning, our car is more than 50 feet away, I am precious cargo, and what if I get mugged! Wait until I see him! As I approached him, he saw how unsettled I was. He quickly began to say as he chuckled, “Honey. you mad? I’m sorry.” Then he reached out to hug me. I pulled away. He reached out again while apologizing. He said he was just doing something for one of his friends. I accepted his apology but something deeper was going on inside of me. I had to find out what.
The next day I kept thinking about why I was so upset by what happened, so I talked it over with a friend. She then asked me a question. “Why were you so mad? Did you think he abandoned you?” That hit me hard! I prayed about that. Abandoned? God confirmed it, and yes I felt abandoned! Yikes! Dang it! I wanted to dissect it more. So I asked God to help me get to the root of it. It definitely should not have been that serious! However it really was that serious.
God revealed to me that the abandonment that I felt that night brought back how I felt when I was left during my marriage. My then husband left to work out of town. Then upon discovering his affair, he left to be with his mistress. He did not come back to our home to help move, get his clothes, or even to tell me that he was leaving. I did not see him until almost a year later. Not to mention that they way I found out that he was never coming back was horrible enough in itself.
I remember feeling rejected that night at the movies before he called me. When I pulled away from him as he reached for me, it was the only way I had of protecting myself from how I was feeling at that moment which was unimportant, and forgotten about. He did not mean to make me feel that way, and I did not want him to know that it cut that deep. But I want you to know that the things that you need healing from the most will rear its ugly head at the most unexpected times. This is when I really began to understand how trauma lies low, then strikes without notice. My boyfriend at the time did not understand why I questioned him with my eyes when he told me what he was doing. He read my body language in my pulling away from him as me shutting down. He was right. I was. I felt he left me.
Let me say this, a divorce is a traumatic experience period! I have talked to individuals that had amicable divorces. The process of divorce still caused wounds that they are healing from. The pain of falling out of love is a painful process. Dealing with betrayal is painful. Facing life alone when you had forever in your sight is difficult. I’m now dealing with my abandonment. I recently got so encouraged by what my boss told me the other day. She said. “Jay, God says that when you see someone who is where you want to be, do not focus on the distance that you feel like you have to go to get to where they are. Be grateful in the fact that you saw that there is another level to grow to.” In other words, there is no need to compare. The ability to recognize that there is another level that you can grow to, is a good thing. I saw and felt nothing but the hurt that night at the theater, but now I understand that the root of that abandonment had to be exposed. Even if it took a date to do so. I had to know how far I had healed from my divorce, but I also had to know that there was another level of healing that I needed. Nothing is going to keep me from my greater. Nothing will keep you from your greater.
You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.