Thoughts on Relational PTSD

I recently heard George Bruno talk about relationship shell shock or PTSD on his YouTube channel, quite honestly relational shell shock was not something that would have come to mind. As it relates to my fear of entering back into the dating realm. However, I do believe that it is true non the less.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a huge desire to meet an amazing woman and unfold a new chapter of life together. And yet, I’m scared. Scared of what you ask? Entering another relationship with a woman who judges me on the merits of my life, and how much money there is in my bank account.

Yes, money is important but it is the only important factor and value in life. I’m scared to meet a woman that is never happy, constantly up and down and hardly ever encouraging. I want the opposite, but as I said in yesterday’s entry, that kind of woman is one and a million. And honestly very different than today’s typical westernized woman.

There’s days where I think that I’m okay, and ready to start a new chapter. And other days where things hit me and think to myself “do I really want this?” The apostle Paul says that if you burn with passion, it’s better to marry. Well, that’s me! Even though I’m scared as ####!

Maybe you, like me are wrestling with this or something similar and you wonder if you will ever experiences a newness in life. How we begin to heal? Two avenues we must take:

Pray- talk to God, ask him to not only help you heal but also the courage to move on.

Take risks: Why? Because that is the overall method to healing from trauma, you have to face it on some level. That doesn’t mean be careless, be wise and calculated and vet a person well. But take risks and then if doesn’t work, dust it off and move on. If we stay where were at things will never change.

          

The One and A Million

I’m beginning to think I’m doomed..

Doomed? You ask?

Yes… Doomed

From what? You respond

Finding a woman, and not just any woman.

One who is genuinely happy, encouraging, warm, affectionate and at peace… And a practicing Christian. But here’s the thing though, does a woman like that even live on earth? A lot of men seem to think not. Recently, I was listening to Eliot Hulse talk about this very type of a woman and my first thought was.

“Yeah, that’s probably not even real, and if it is, it’s probably one out of million.”

But as I have sat with that thought, the question comes to mind: What if waiting for that one and million is worth it? What if, I keep seeking God, bettering myself and wait for God to bring us to each other? That honestly seems so glorious to me.

And I get it too, women are different- very different actually and some are more emotional than others. People have problems, I get it. Yet on a personal level, I’m tired of dating women, in which I’m in store for something different each day. Unsure of what I’ll get. To be fair, some men act like women too and are just as emotional and frankly unstable.

To that I say, you need to start getting your poop in a group and act like a the man that God mad you.

It’s worth the wait, I promise you. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, can you still be strong, happy and content?           

Thoughts On Trauma 2: Leaving Trauma Behind.

In the last blog, I discussed the reality that many people have trauma to some degree. But is how one chooses to acknowledge their trauma to walk in health and healing. This is accomplished, not by white knuckling our way toward wholeness, but confessing a need of God’s grace and intervention, along with healthy members in community.  The key word and what we be the focus of this second entry, is the word healthy. Simply put if you are seeking to be healthy, you can’t simply surround yourself with people who are unhealthy.

Now, before you raise your hand in objection, hear me out. I’m not implying that because one is seeking a healthy life- or sobriety even. That one must strop loving or caring for others in your life that aren’t. Sometimes though, to find health, healing and clarity. We may have to leave what we once knew to find new horizons in life. No, this is not easy and yes it is extremely scary. Some people may actually write you off, because of the path you have chosen to embark on. So be it, sometimes others simply will not understand your journey until much later in life. Relationally in my own life, I have been prayerful waiting, praying and seeking a woman who is fairly healthy (physically, emotionally and spiritually) that is happy in herself and communicates well. In prior relationships, I’ve dated women that have a lot of emotional baggage and didn’t really have a handle on their inner selves. To be fair however, I was FAR-FAR from healthy. The narrative in my mind was “I’m broken, she’s broken lets be broken together”. This sounds well and good, but if two people aren’t walking toward healing and becoming more whole. It’s like twenty car pile-up. In the Christian sense, we are broken sinners, but Christ has made his sons and daughters new creations in Christ. Looking back, I was an overly sensitive man, who honestly lost sight of his masculine self. One who was afraid to speak up, disagree or stand up for myself. I kept my mouth shut most of the time, afraid to rock the boat. This is not how a man nor any person should live. It became all about making them happy, and sadly forgetting my own sense of mission in life. You can say that my “addiction” if you will, was different in a way. But over the last several months, I’ve had to cut some ties, learn a lot hard realities and find peace being alone. I’m happy to say that I have found peace being alone and a much deeper joy in my walk with God. Yes, the desire to date, marry and God willing be a father some day is there. But I want a healthy relationships, not built on chaos and disorder. I want to bring health and joy to my next relationship, the same way I’d want the woman that I was involved to do the same. Now, I’m not saying that there would never be difficult moments with two healthy people, of course there will be. But when you are healthy, you won’t go back necessarily go back to your old coping ways. Necessarily because there’s always a chance. But when a person or two people are healthy, they will completely forsake the old ways. If you know you could be a happier, whole person, take the steps to do so. Nothing happens over night, but as long as you keep moving forward you can become the person you desire. Will you fall on your face again? Yes, so you get up, dust off, maybe dress your wounds and move on. Don’t settle, don’t be afraid to embark on the journey you know you must.            

Don’t Wait Around (Small Relationship Advice)

I can remember being in junior high,

there was a girl,

her name was Molly.

Molly was cute, with brown hair and freckled skin.

Yours truly had a crush on her.

One day after school,

there she was at her locker…

So, something sprung up inside me “I should ask her out”.

And so I did.

And she told me, without even looking at me. “I have a boyfriend, but you’ll be the first to know.”

At first I was crushed, but when she said you’ll be the first to know there was a sense a hope. Maybe she would come around I thought.

But as time went on, nothing changed.

The lesson was, don’t allow yourself to be someone else back up plan. Have the fortitude and respect for yourself to know that you deserve better. And find someone that actually wants to be with you.

Being Healthy To Attract Healthy.

I woke up this morning with this question at the forefront of my attention:

Why Do I keep attracting the same kind of woman into my life?

It’s an honest question, and a life changing one at that. The same can be asked if you are a woman that just so happens to be reading this. You could easily ask yourself why you keep bringing the same kind of men into your life. Several years, an old friend of mine and myself, were having a beer after a bible study. Just the way I like it- beer and bible. Or bible and beer , however you want to say it.

Anyway, my friend asked me a very bold question, that actually pissed me off greatly in the moment. He asked Brandon, why do you keep attracting the same woman into your life over and over again? As first I was so blindsided and confused by the question, I took another sip of my beer, set it down still holding it and asked: what are you getting at? He looked at me and said:

“Bro, you keep attracting all these women that have all sorts of problems, their not actually healthy for you.” Again I felt anger rise within me, I looked at my friend and said “bro, doesn’t everyone have problems and baggage? “ Well yes he replied, but maybe you could find someone that had a lot less problems and was on a healthy path in life.”

I can understand if you’re offended after reading that, after all I was too. But do you know why I was so offended? Because my friend was right, and he was willing to offend me in the name of me seeing truth.  With my last few relationship’s, they have either had commitment issues or were honestly unstable in some ways. I don’t mean this to come across in a degrading way, I only want to communicate truth. And to be fair, some of the past women I’ve dated could say a thing or two about me.

And  yet, when I truly began to ponder this question, I only could look back at myself. Because taking ownership of our lives, starts with the self. Realizing our pit falls and where we can improve. I began to see that it some way or another, I was attracting what already existed inside of me. I had a lot of inward battles going on, mental struggles and so on. And so naturally when you’re not as a healthy as you ought to be, you migrate to what is most comfortable to you.

On another level, there lies a savior complex where I  want to help others with their problems and become more whole and happier. The only problem with that is, is that we can hope to “fix” someone to the point of forgetting to fix ourselves. That is the most unhealthy of options, it’s as they said proverbs, like a dog that returns to his vomit.

If I desire to be a healthy person, I also believe that you want to be healthy person as well. What does healthy actually look like? For me,  it means being less hindered by the past, dwelling on it less and less and leaving it where it belongs. This is something that I have to continually work on, though I’m not as bad as I once was. It always means having better control over my mental health and even emotions, in my own life I have been of anti-anxiety and depression meds for a long time. I’ve been learning to get a handle on my anxiety and or depression by getting down to the root cause. Moreover, I am learning to pray, and lay all my fears, worries and insecurities at the feet of God. This is not to say that I’m somehow arrived at the end of my progress, no in fact I have a long way to go. But I am nowhere near who I once used to be. That to me is a healthy person, one that’s moving towards who they were meant to be. And in terms of having another relationships, in the long term sense. I want someone who is at peace with herself in her own skin, isn’t attacked by insecurity or triggered by the little things.

I want someone that can handle their emotions, now I’m sure that your thinking “That’s not possible!” All I’m saying is that, I want to be with someone that even though their having a bad day. They can still vent about their day, and I can be there to listen and give my thoughts if needed and snuggle up after. Is that a lot to ask for?

Obviously, I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, but I’m not going to settle either. I’m going to keep working on myself and for once in my life I’m going to allow myself to be picky. You do the same, work on yourself. Improve yourself. This way the cycle can be broken and we can actually discover what healthy actually is.