You don’t have to be a war vet or have a violent childhood to have PTSD. Divorce will do it… So will a bad break up…
And the more bad break ups you have, the more likely you have some degree of PTSD. We all have some…
PTSD grooves neural pathways in ways so that you may respond to life from triggers, from the reptilian brain (Amygdyla), rather than being able to access true feelings (emotions you are having in the present – the ones that are authentic and are not as much historical). You will also be able to access more readily your prefrontal cortex (rational mind) in tough moments when you need to. If you dissociate any time you feel pressure with your man (evidence of that is you shutting down, acting cool, lashing out, withdrawing, putting on airs and personas, going into a childlike state, feeling desperate, begging pleading, etc), you may be acting in maladaptive ways that prevent a man from connecting with you even if he wants to… he can only connect with you when your adult self is present and your heart is open, without airs.
Therefore, even if you learn the best way to talk to a man, you may still struggle to make new choices if you have significant PTSD. That said, good news… even this can start healing relatively quickly… You can reformat your own neural pathways through tools and new choices.
I am NOT a doctor. I am not giving medical advice. If you have a condition you know of or you think you may, see a doctor.
That said, PTSD you may have from divorce or other abuse or abandonment history can also be addressed with tools for healing your brain in little ways. We need a 2 prong approach to overcome whatever you are doing to push love away… whatever you are doing to keep love at arm’s length… or further.
On the one hand, you are learning tools for speaking and interacting with men that will change things quickly (… and the tools will yield neural pathway healing as you experience positive feedback in your romantic life that contradicts the old loop).
That said, on the other hand, you may also need tools for healing yourself in small ways in addition to interactions with men so that when you are out there with your man or any man, you can find it easier to handle him in the ways you have learned. In other words, I will help you to trigger yourself in small ways (a bit of exposure therapy) so that when you are with your guy, you can experience a feeling of being more relaxed and integrated, less inclined neurologically to dissociate … dissociation pushes him away because your true self, your adult self, is not present. A man wants to be with an adult woman.
You will feel triggered with your man sometimes… and that is fine… you will be more comfortable being in that experience and well-equipped to respond to those feelings with authenticity, femininity, honesty, and openness to draw him closer rather than push him away by shutting down and putting on airs.
It may even be as simple as telling him… wow, I feel triggered… I feel anxious… I feel bad… this feels bad… things feel weird… or whatever it may be. Or you’ll shift the mood with the tools listed in the section on tools for healing yourself.
You always have options… For more information about PTSD, check out our book recommendations.