PTSD Re-traumatization and Self Isolation

PTSD isn’t about what’s wrong with you, it’s about what happened to you.

This post, written by Annie on her Gentle Kindness blog, is one of the best explanations I’ve ever read on the reasons why close relationships are often difficult for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

My husband and I were both diagnosed with PTSD before we met in 2003 when we were in our fifties. We had each gone through the devastating heartbreak of multiple failed relationships prior to meeting, and we had both given up hope of ever having a good, lasting, loving relationship. We are so thankful that God, in His infinite grace and mercy, had a different plan for our lives.

In this wonderfully insightful post, Annie writes:
“People who have PTSD or C-PTSD from abuse were invalidated as part of the abuse process. Their emotions were minimized, disregarded and made fun of.

To have someone close to you minimize your PTSD, or disbelieve you is re-traumatizing. It puts the victim into an emotional flashback of their perception of reality being intentionally altered.”

This is SO TRUE. If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with PTSD, I hope you will read the rest of what Annie has to say on the subject of PTSD, Re-Traumatization, and Self Isolation.


PTSD is a term most people have heard, but often they do not really know what it means.

If you tell someone you have PTSD it is hard for them to know what you mean by that, unless they have it themselves or maybe they have a close friend or family member with it.

People with PTSD have trouble with relationships, but not for the reasons people think.

Once you have been traumatized, and repeatedly re-traumatized, it becomes very isolating.

People with PTSD can be re-traumatized by people who do not understand, and by people who are more concerned with their own agenda than really understanding.

When someone with PTSD has certain triggers, and explains those triggers to someone, it is important that they are validated and respected.

A person that intentionally uses your triggers against you is not someone you can be around at all, or have any kind…

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About Linda Lee

Linda Lee is my pen name. I am a former nurse, a Mensa member, and a writer, diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by severe trauma and narcissistic abuse. Formerly an agnostic, I am now a Christian. My husband, a USMC combat veteran and a chaplain, has also been diagnosed with PTSD. We've come a long way on our healing journey; we have a ways to go. ***We put the FUN in dysfunction***
This entry was posted in abusive relationships, Aging with PTSD, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Complex PTSD, Developmental PTSD, domestic violence, Healing PTSD, Husband and Wife with PTSD, Marital Relationship, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Self Esteem, severe childhood trauma, Trauma, Trauma Triggers. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to PTSD Re-traumatization and Self Isolation

  1. Really glad I found this site! These are all great tools!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee says:

      Hi Collette! Welcome! I can’t take the credit for this post by Annie of Gentle Kindness, but I’m glad you find it helpful.

      I was reading through your site and I am just dumbfounded by what you are going through! It’s insane, it’s cruel, and it’s so freaking unfair. How AWESOME that you are fighting back and doing what you can to STOP this insanity from happening to others!


  2. luckyotter says:

    Yay! Your comments are working. 😀 This was really interesting and I agree, is very well written explanation of complex PTSD. I love Annie’s blog. She has a huge heart.
    I don’t know why your posts aren’t showing up in my email anymore. Am I subscribed? I should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee says:

      I thought you were subscribed. Maybe you need to refollow me? I’ve had to refollow others before when suddenly their blogs disappeared from my reader.


  3. She wrote one thing that you might consider expounding on more in some of your writings. That is the “fight or flight,” aspect of PTSD. Being a former police officer and now firefighter/paramedic, I understand the nor-epinephrine release process of “Fight or flight.” Although I do not suffer from PTSD, I can relate to the intense adrenaline rush. I’m gathering that those who suffer from PTSD are walking a fine edge where the “fight or flight” is very easily activated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee says:

      Thank you for this terrific post idea, Patrick. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said, regarding the norepinephrine adrenaline “fight or flight” rush. I have no doubt that you are very familiar with this normal physical phenomenon, both as a former police officer and now in your work as a firefighter and a paramedic. Wow!

      It may take me awhile to put a post together on this topic, but I definitely plan to do it. I agree with what you said about people with PTSD having a hair-trigger “fight or flight” reaction. It feels like an internal switch has gotten stuck.

      Since our tornado warned storm happened last October, our town has had a 15 second emergency test siren every Wednesday at twelve noon. When the test siren sounds, I instantly flash back to that scary destructive storm and my heart feels like it’s about to burst out of my chest. To keep this from happening, I now have an alarm set on my cell phone to alert me every Wednesday at 11:58 am. Being aware that the siren is imminent keeps me from reacting in a “fight or flight” panic. Then all I have to do is comfort the dog, who doesn’t understand that the sky isn’t about to fall again. 🙂


  4. jncthedc says:

    So glad to be able to leave a comment. I appreciate your willingness to share personal stories as well as educate us on this important topic. It is difficult for the average person to relate to this experience without having any parameters to go by. You clearly outline some ideas on the subject that will help your readers identify and communicate better. Thank you for all your effort.

    Liked by 1 person

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