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CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 765
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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My relationship. JA: The Psychologist will know what to

Customer Question

My relationship.
JA: The Psychologist will know what to do. Please tell me everything you can so the Psychologist can help you best.
Customer: Well I've been with my man for four years. We're perfect together and I've never been this in love before. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with ptsd post military and alexithymia...inability to feel or verbalize emotion. This has put a huge strain on our relationship as it took him 3 years and me moving across the country for him to say I love you.
JA: Anything else I can tell the Psychologist before I connect you two?
Customer: Yes. I finally got an idea love you and I planned on moving back across the country with him.. he had issues with his work coming to see me so when I went home to see him I blew up at him once or twice. I believe I now have issues that are caused by his inability to really express emotion. So I push to hard to get reactions out of him. He finally broke up with me over the phone a week ago. I think he's done with all the drama. I know I could try harder to love him and have patience that he needs from a women. Now that I've lost him I can't eat or sleep and I'm 38 and alone with no kids. Just so depressed. Never been like this before.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Psychologist about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
Good morning. I hope that I am able to help you. First, I understand the hardships of PTSD and the effects that the service has on a person. I am sure that you have done your research and understand how the brain chemistry literally changes with trauma. When you are trained to kill and trust very few, adjusting or rehabilitating back to everyday life. This is no new concept, but recovery is possible. I have a documentary that you should watch. It is really unreal to see these soldiers dealing shell-shock, but then their recovery after months of inpatient rehabilitation. I am sending the name and the link-- mainly just to show you how long this has been occurring but that there is hope in adjustment.Combat Stress Reaction: Combat Psychiatry Documentary Film I am wondering if you expressed this same type of emotion and empathy that you are sharing with me in this message, if he would be more understanding? Have you been able to share your own awareness about your behaviors or why? It sounds like you have a great deal of insight and compassion. Maybe you can participate in a recovery class and counseling with him. You are still a vibrant and loving woman with so much to offer. You sound very hurt, sad, and scared. I wonder if how you are feeling, is more like what he has been feeling for years. Yoo guys can recover from this through empathy. Something to try may be a style of counseling called EFT- "Emotionally focused therapy proposes that human emotions have an innately adaptive potential that, if activated, can help clients change problematic emotional states or unwanted self-experiences. Emotions themselves do not inhibit the therapeutic process, but people's inability to manage emotions and use them well is seen as the problem. Emotions are connected to our most essential needs." This can help him get in touch with his own emotions as well. I am sure he has felt very lonely in his struggle to express a spectrum of feelings..... You cannot shut down or beat yourself up over this. I share this with others in my clinic and something that also really has helped me in my personal life.I am a big fan of Jack Canfield, he has the books "Chicken Soup for The Soul." He talks about the "Law of Attraction" and using a simple equation to help us realize our goals and focus on achieving the things that we want. It is E+R=O. Events +Response= outcome. In life, we cannot always control the events that occur, but we can focus on what we want long term (outcome). So first, decide what it is that you want. Write it down and be very specific about the relationship, career, personal goals, etc that you have. Then think of every possible event that can affect your achievement of this. Then take the time to create potential responses to these. It creates a safety plan or at least some sort of tool that you have in your "toolbox" to help you continue to achieve that preferred outcome. It may sound silly. But I think it is always a good idea to feel prepared-- it tends to ease some anxiety too. It also keeps you "congruent" or from reacting or overreacting when something comes up. I am an optimist and tend to believe that I can use positive self-talk to affirm who I am regardless of what or how others may say or treat me. That is where Louise Hay comes in. She teaches affirmations and talks about recognizing our worth to help us get through the pain. I make lists of affirmations and read through them every day- especially at the beginning of the day or before bed. It is a great way to start and end. It is somewhat like the serenity prayer for me. I think of the blessings I received through that hurt and how I am going to focus on being a better woman tomorrow. I have quotes all over my clinical office to inspire me, and others. Some of them say things like "courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow." I have had to learn to be patient with myself also. And accept that there are times when I am weak and hurt. God gave us a spectrum of emotions-- those emotions, even the painful ones, really are a gift. You have to remember that you are created for a purpose and you are the daughter of a king-- what I mean by that is your worth is far greater than the acceptance of another person.You sound like such an insightful and compassionate person-- That is great. But there is nothing wrong with using a bit of self-talk and self-love to reaffirm that. It's not self-indulgent- in fact it is appreciative for the blessings you have been granted. Try being patient with yourself but also telling yourself things such as "I am totally adequate for all situations." "I choose to feel good about myself. I am worthy of my own love." "I can stand on my own two feet. I accept and use my own power." "I take a deep breath and allow myself to relax. My entire body calms down." Some affirmations about relationships may be "I release the need for love, and instead, allow it to find me in the perfect time-space sequence." or "My heart is open and I speak with loving words." Even something like "I am comfortable looking in the mirror, recognizing who I am, and saying "I love you" to myself." For pain or forgiveness try "I am ready to be healed. I am willing to forgive. All is well." Or "I move beyond forgiveness or understanding. I have compassion for all." "Each day is a new opportunity. Yesterday is over and done. Today is the first day of my future." Even "the past has is over, so it has no power now. The thoughts of this moment create my future." A couple of books to try are "I can do it" by Louise Hay and "Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting" by Lynn Grabhorn I work as a trauma specialist using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. In that theory, we use what we call "cognitive triangles" to understand how thoughts lead to feelings and feelings lead to behaviors. For him, his thoughts may be dark and scary from what he witnessed before, so he shuts them down. This leads to having a "blank" sense of emotions, which then leads to very numb behaviors. You also may begin to experience this as you are processing your changes. Using CBT techniques to address your own depression and grief I suggest the following: understand the grief cycle..... denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. In understanding these, you will recognize and normalize whatever feelings you are having. Then please remember to be patient with yourself. It is okay to cry and allow yourself to do that, but follow it up with focusing on WHO you are..... If you are aware of the symptoms of depression, you may recall that a few symptoms are related to thought processes. For instance, the thoughts and feelings of worthlessness or guilt brought on by depression reflect the negative sense of self. Similarly, thoughts of hopelessness suggest a belief that the future has nothing positive to offer. Also, because depression often impairs your ability to concentrate, you may have difficulty thinking clearly and making decisions. This is a link about CBT and cognitive triangles. You mentioned not feeling that you have anyone, but you do. You have YOU and if you have a support system, outside of family, or a spiritual guide on any level, I would suggest surrounding yourself with company from that person or those people..... but right now, be patient. Monitor your thoughts, focus on the opposite, try the exercises that I mentioned previously and process affirmations. It makes a huge difference! I am so sorry that you are hurting. I really am. It is not easy to process a loss, but you WILL get through this......
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
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