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Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode · 11 months ago

Episode 24: Trauma of Relationships Past

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A lot of us have some sort of trauma from past relationships, whether that be cheating, crossing boundaries, abuse, etc. So how do we stop projecting these things onto new relationships and work passed triggers? That's what I explore in today's episode.

Welcome back to sex, love and psych. Thank you all for tuning into last months pride month episodes. That we're really fun to do and I got to do a lot of cool studying and talking with people in my audience as well. So that was a super fun month for me. But this we will get back to more regular general themed episodes like our usual sex, love and psych format. I hope everyone did have a great pride month and that they're enjoying being able to get out of the House and enjoy socializing a little more, if that's something you're comfortable with doing at this point. I know that between my birthday and a concert and different friends birthday and a tea party at my dad's house, like, I have really loved being able to get out of the apartment and hang out with my friends more than two at a time meet New People. Have met a lot of really fun new friends the past couple weeks, but a lot of connections. It's a great time and I hope you guys are able to get out there and do something similar if that's what you want to do. Also, I did want to announce I did start training for a new job today. It won't place my current job. It doesn't really have anything to do with this podcast, but I'm very excited about it. I'm going to be a party and introductory pollen share instructor at the place that I do my pole dance classes. I am super excited about this. It has been an absolutely wonderful outlet for me being a student at the studio and I'm really, really excited to bring that forward into starting to instruct. So I will be. I still have to do a few shadow shifts where I lead a party and have a different instructor supervise me,...

...for like Bachelor Party's, birthday parties, that kind of stuff. I will be able to do, like a friends and family party at no cost to my friends and family, just to get that practice in. So I may be reaching out to a few of you friends to come new a Intro Pole party support me in my new position. But anyway, that being said, I am super excited. But let's dig into today's topic, and today I want to cover how past relationship trauma can carry forward and negatively impact future or like current relationships. How we may not even realize that that's what's happening and that's why we're responding in a certain way. It can be really hard to tell the difference between if we've just carried forward a lesson and are like being careful in a way that is actually really smart to be, or if we're just projecting and this trauma on to our current partner for no reason. It can be really hard to start to tell the difference, especially if you haven't even realized that that is what you may be doing. And then we will be covering a little bit about what to do about it, the steps a kind of take in order to move past this and like work through it with you and your partner. So we have covered things like boundaries and gas lighting and all of that super fun stuff in past episodes and how to recognize them, but I did want to acknowledge that sometimes it can be easy to jump the gun and start accusing our partners of not respecting our boundaries or gas lighting us. It's going to be easier to jump to those conclusions when a previous partner has put us through the extremes of those kind of negative things like boundaries...

...and gas lighting and cheating and all of that are more extreme. Response can be made at the very first inkling, or like the first kind of shutter of US expecting that that's coming. For example, if a previous part partner cheated on you, you may look back at that relationship preceding when they cheated on you and start connecting every single little thing that they did choose the fact that they cheated on you. So and then we can kind of start projecting that angst and stuff onto our current partners if they start doing one or two things that are probably pretty normal but are similar to what our past partner did before they cheated on us. So let's say you're you were in a relationship they cheated on you, but before they cheated on you they had to stay at work late a lot, or they would say their phone died when they were out with friends all the time, and maybe these are the times when that person was actually cheating on you in that relationship. So in a current relationship, even years later, if we start seeing that similar, probably innocent, maybe not innocent, action from our current partner, we can start kind of jump the gun and assume that they are doing the same thing as that previous partner. So let's say our current partner has given no signs that they are cheating on us, but similar to our last partner. They have had to work a lot late, a lot latelier, their phone has been has...

...died a couple times when they were out with friends and stuff. Even if they aren't cheating on us, and we have no reason to believe they are cheating on us, we can kind of throw that in to that trauma response to our last partner and just jump and say, oh well, I haven't heard from them in two hours, they're must be having sex with someone else, and that is our natural fight flight phon response. It's just being triggered earlier because we kind of we did that attributing all of those little actions to the big action and we kind of built a really, really, really big fence around the big action. So obviously we have reason to fight or flight when someone has cheated on us or has betrayed our trust or has stepped over our boundaries in a really big way. But what we do is we start expanding that into you, oh, we got a fight or flight. If they don't answer in two hours, we got a fighter flight. If they have to work late, we have to fight or flight if they have female friends or opposite gender friends or whatever it is. We just build that fence further and further around it. So smaller and smaller action and more significant actions can actually trigger that fight or flight response a lot faster and slightly different but related. I did want, I think I might have mentioned it before, to when it comes to like my general anxiety and what I learned from my therapist, this is kind of what she told me, was that that fight or flight response in the in that emotional side of my brain, like that survival part of my brain, is just kind of misfiring where it I have started attributing small tasks to mean dangerous and harmful. So I that fight or...

...flight is triggered a lot faster and it just kind of like misshoots. So that can happen here as well. And the kind of solution that she gave me for that started out really, really tough, because he said, okay, with the things that trigger your anxiety, like making phone calls, you're bringing up something tricky with your partner or asking for a raise or something, ask yourself like how dangerous is this situation really, like how what's the worst possible outcome on making a phone call? What's the worst possible outcome of me bringing this up with a partner and generally it's not as scary as my overthinking brain conflated it to be. So I was able to be like, you know what, Nope, I can handle the person on the other side of a phone being mad at me or whatever. That's going to be a really temporary emotion, so I can handle it. And then you have to push yourself to do the thing, to rewire your brain into realizing that that's not a dangerous task, and then it'll get easier and easier to do. So how that relates here? How I've kind of drawn a line between that and this specific scenario is not necessarily being like what's the worst case scenario, because you're going to jump to that like, Oh, my partner's cheating on me, blah, blah, blah. But maybe just say what is the most logical reason for this? Or has my partner given me reason to believe that, just because they haven't answered my text in two hours, that they are cheating on me? Probably, if it is a healthy relationship up to this point, they probably haven't given you a reason to believe that and you're probably...

...projecting that just like trauma from your past partner who did that onto this partner and that's really unfair to them. So just start really trying to trick your more logical brain into acting over your emotional brain. Like, do I really think my current partner, who loves me and I'm really happy with and has given me no reason to believe that they would cheat on me, is cheating on me right now just because they have to work late, or are they actually working late and just really busy having a busy day? So as we start asking ourselves those questions and really looking at it and starting to just like, trust our partners and trust our own judgment of why we got into this relationship, we're going to slowly move away from those really minor, insignificant actions triggering that fight or flight response as quickly. So how can we correct this other than that little trick, because that trick's going to take a long time, it's going to be a lot of work. The two biggest things that would help to involve your partner is trust in communication. What a surprise. We all know that. Those are two of the biggest things for me are communication and trust. So communicating, we need to communicate these issues on like our triggers with our partner but we also can't expect them to always have to walk on eggshells around us because of trauma they aren't responsible for. So what I mean by that is if they are aware of things that can trigger you or things that your previous partner did before they cheated on you, if we're...

...going with that example, then they can be more aware of the possibility of how you'll react to those situations that are sometimes unavoidable, like working late or having your phone die. But we can't expect them to always be texting us or always be on the phone with us or sharing their location, because that's just they're gonna feel like they have to walk on eggshells and that's not going to be healthy for them. But just having that awareness of your previous trauma is going to help a lot and they're gonna be able to maybe empathize a little bit more with you and, of course, like they should be considerate of these things, but they just shouldn't always have to be on high alert of possibly upsetting you by doing a little fairly insignificant things. So maybe they check in a little bit more frequently, but if they're out with their friends, you just gotta and they maybe aren't on their phone. You just have to trust that you guys are on the same page with your boundaries and that they aren't going across the month and that they aren't your ex. They are a whole different person and they haven't given you a reason to believe that they are like your ex. So the other part of the yeah that other are part of this is trusting. Don't assume that your partner can be trusted right off the bat unless they give you a reason to. Because if you can't trust the person that you're with and you force them to constantly worry about triggering you, then it's not going to be healthy for either of you. They're going to get really anxious, your fight or flight is probably going to kick in a little bit faster, where you either like shut down or start fights more often, and they're going to feel more on edge because they haven't had that downtime in between if they're constantly worrying about setting you off because your previous...

...partner, who they probably don't even know, did something really terrible to you. The other thing that I will always, always, always recommend is finding a good therapist, if you have like coverage or if one successible to you. I know that that's a privilege that not everyone, unfortunately, has access to, but if you do, I would highly, highly recommend it. They're going to be able to work more on your specific issues. This episode is pretty broad. I obviously just use the example of cheating, but there are a lot of voys that we can project past trauma onto current partners. For example, my, like some of my past trauma, has to do with like control and manipulation. So like the earliest signs I see of that happening. Sometimes I can spook and I just have to be aware that that is a response that other people created in me and it's not necessarily due to the partner I am currently with or whoever it is that I'm currently dealing with. That they are two different people and they probably aren't the same if this new person is currently my life, because I've done so much growth in work. But again, going to a therapist figuring out the roots of these issues and kind of they can direct you on if you are projecting or if maybe it is a valid concern. It's really nice to have that professional third party who knows what they're talking about and they can facilitate a great conversation between you and your partner, or even on your own, or a combination of those where you do individual and couple therapy, to just like figure all that out...

...and kind of start to come up with solutions and a plan. It's not going to be like none of this is going to be an instant fixed because that's just, unfortunately, not how trauma works. I wish it was. Trust me, if I could shake some of this thought, if I could just do a little dance or something and shake off some of the shit that is fucking around with my brain, I would absolutely love that, but unfortunately it's not that easy. But I hope that this episode kind of gave some New perspective to some of you, maybe some new ideas. Projection and trauma are completely normal, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't take the steps to deal with those on our own in new relationships, to kind of give the benefit of the doubt to our partner and our new relationship. And you can be in a relationship for years and years and years and still have shit bubble up. As I said, it's not just going to you can't just do a dance and make it disappear forever. It's still going to bubble up every once in a while, but if you have the tools to recognize that that's what's happening, sit with the emotion for a little bit. This is another piece of advice from my past therapist. Sit with the negative emotion for a little bit, but let it pass through you and maybe just take some space for yourself, take a couple minutes. Don't immediately jump to breaking up or fighting. If we can recognize and acknowledge and discuss these things in a calmer manner rather than the fight, flight or fone response, it's going to be it's going to lead to a lot more progress and it's going to eventually get...

...easier as you go. But that's the thing here. You both have to be able to acknowledge and accept that you have shit from past relationships that's still affect you and that your current relationship isn't those relationships and you just got a trust that you and your partner can work through it. If you don't have any trust for your partner or for yourself, then maybe you need a little more you time, or maybe that's something that you can work on together, but that's really something you have to figure out for your individual issues because, as I said, this is all pretty general advice. Specific therapist could really work through individual issues or more specific advice, as, as I always say, I'm not a therapist at this point. I am almost done my being in psych but I've got a few more years before I can hit therapist. So this is all just general advice that I've picked up from my psych from a therapy, from my personal experience with relationships and from how I've kind of observed other people's relationships. So I hope this was helpful. If you have any feedback for me, you guys know I love that, so shoot me a message on here or whatever social media you have me on and we I'd love to discuss this with you. Thank you so much for tuning in and I will chat at you next week. Have a great week, you guys. Thanks so much. By.

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