I sometimes wonder if I should be writing about dating and social life-- does it fit with the idea that the blog was originally about academics and PTSD? The entries I've written about dating and PTSD have been pretty popular, and it's honestly a part of my life as a student veteran. So I'm going to write more, as things come up to write about.
I actually went on a second date over the weekend. We went out to a hockey game, then to a burger place afterwards, where we actually had a chance to sit down and talk about things. I think we laughed at least as much as we talked, but at one point something I'd written in my dating site profile came up. I'd written that I could be "difficult to deal with sometimes". So, I was asked to explain why.
I didn't go into any of the details of what actually happened, but I did explain that I'd been involved in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, among other things, and I'd been having issues with PTSD for quite a while. I also explained that I'm taking sertraline and trazodone, which both help with PTSD symptoms. I was quite nervous about explaining it all-- if there's a time when someone's going to get up and leave, that's going to be it (I thought).
She responded by explaining that she was taking an antidepressants as well, and had some issues of her own. She was genuinely sorry that I was dealing with all of this... which floored me. It wasn't the response I was expecting. We went on to discuss some of what's actually happening-- nightmares, flashbacks, trouble concentrating in classes, having to double check that the door is locked (twice), not liking unexpected loud noises, etc. It turns out we even share a few symptoms.
After burgers, we walked back to my place, watched some TV, and talked some more while watching music videos. At one point, she commented that normally, she'd never go to someone's place that she didn't know that well, even just to watch TV-- but she felt safe at my place, with me.
So, maybe my earlier fears that no one would want to deal with me at all, aren't as real as I thought they were. It may be that with the meds, I'm better able to be honest about myself and my issues. I can't speak for everyone in the world, but there is at least one person who didn't run away when she went out with a veteran with PTSD.
I don't really have a plan for how dating with PTSD is really supposed to work. I'd love to hear from those of you who are dating someone with PTSD, and find out what your concerns and questions are. Veterans, is this helping you as well, or do you have more questions?