Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about how we end up in bad relationships - not that there is a foolproof way, but we suffering from PTSD or the like - often find that we keep having bad relationships. Be it family, friends, partner, coworker - simply any form of relationship.
You are not only imagining it - it is something that is known and it is really important to understand the reason behind. This is an overview, if you want more of a specific point - please tell me. Either way let us dive into it and find the reasons why.
I could - without a doubt - fill a library with this question. Human relationships are a huge topic with many nuances and complications and the like. So this episode is here to give you the short answer so you know where you need to look.
Also this only covers the segment where you get screwed over by PTSD and the like - not the kind where you screw yourself over. That is up to you. It is also worth reminding, that we are talking about ANY sort of relationship - not just the romantic one.
We are going into the 2 main factors and then into the consequences that follow it.
Relationship with mother/Mother figure - 0 to 2 years
For the first factor I want to say beforehand, that this is independent of how good or bad everything else was. When you are around roughly 0-2 years old - the relationship with your primary caregiver, usually a parent, will shape your form of attachment.
The later years will reinforce or lessen it - of course there is always room for adjustment. You learn how much you can rely on your primary caregiver to fulfill your needs and keep you alive. If all goes well, and a majority of people it does, it is a secure attachment.
If not it is either avoidant, ambivalent or disorganized. This may lead to an inability to trust others, being clingy, problems with intimacy, unable to share thoughts, insecurity, bad at dealing with breakups, negative self image and the like.
So in other words - simplified - if you have been feeling insecure and/or not confident in a relationship, be it about yourself or your counterpart - then you should really look into this topic.
Relationship to others - 2 to 6
The second factor, from the age of roughly 2-6 years - we learn our definition of normal. That means we learn how a normal relationship and a normal day looks like. At least in theory we do. We learn how we are treated is how it should be.
So if you grow up in a household where when a person enters the room slaps everyone, then you will perceive that as normal and repeat that behavior. Until you learn otherwise. And if you get treated badly, you will think that is okay and normal.
You are most likely reliving your relationships you had as a child - the good, the bad and the ugly. And in combination with the first factor - this mean you will accept to be treated in a specific way, sadly often in a bad way, because you don’t know it differently.
And the sad truth is: People will treat you the way you let them get away with. If they don’t like boundaries or you saying no and standing up for yourself - they do not have your best interest at heart.
You should have been taught to stand up for yourself as a child - as a way to ensure your wellbeing. If you haven’t I strongly recommend learning how to do it.
With these 2 factors in mind a lot will make suddenly sense. There is also the consequence, that these factors influence your body language, how you move, how you talk, how you express yourself, how you word things and so on.
Now this has 2 consequences. One, you will this way attract similar people, who are similar unhealthy or in a similar position or share the same mentality and so on. And they will not encourage positive change and attack you for changing.
Meaning you will have a less to no supportive social network. The other one is, that you will attract abusers. Who are drawn to these signals and know you will be a good target. You will accept being treated in a way, that no healthy person would.
And they know exactly how to push the buttons they need to - as they know the insecurities and weak spots. This allows them to easily trap their victim and make escaping them incredible hard. It is best to avoid them as much as you can.
If you are unsure if you are in a bad relationship, ask yourself “Do I feel comfortable, secure and protected in this relationship? Does it make me happy?”. If not, it might be wise to look into it. And ask yourself why you are in that relationship?
Obligation shouldn’t be the reason. But that and more is a whole other topic, we might get into another time.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.