Saturday, May 14, 2016

I've been thinking more about the last post, about Posttraumatic Relationship Disorder (PTRD).  Again, while it is not an official diagnosis, it is something that I am convinced affects many people.  As a male, I have personally experienced this, and I have also talked to many clients, both male and female, who have experienced this trauma.  As with any trauma, repeated exposure to it tends to harden an individual, to the point that they become completely cynical and untrusting, and to the point that future trauma is all but guaranteed because of the lack of trust with which they approach relationships.  Sometimes, people with PTRD never again are able to maintain a long-term relationship, because there is so much unresolved trauma from the initial relationship that caused the PTRD.

And, another, perhaps much more controversial point, when it comes to PTRD.  In instances of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there is typically a victim, and a perpetrator.  In war situations, it may be harder to identify a particular perpetrator, and we may simply refer to 'the war' as the source of the trauma.  However, in more personalized instances of trauma, such as instances in which an individual assaults another, there is a clear perpetrator, and a clear victim.  What of situations in which an individual develops PTRD?  Is there a perpetrator?

If an individual goes to court to get a PFA, they must identify a perpetrator they want to be protected from.  The court, from my understanding, will validate PFA's in situations in which there has been bodily harm, or threats of bodily harm.  There may be other forms of abuse the court recognizes, but I do not think they recognize relationship trauma as a form of abuse.  And yet, if one agrees that this type of trauma exists, there seems to be no protection for the victim...they must simply endure the trauma associated with the situation, and the stress of being re-exposed to the source of the trauma, over and over, without any response.  In a society that has evolved to the point that the goal is to prevent anyone from experiencing trauma, and to the point of punishing perpetrators of trauma, one wonders where this particular issue rests.