growth

There are times in our lives when it feels like our partner is so far away and  we will never be able to re-connect and grow together.  When one person has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress that divide can seem even bigger.

I have developed a “Re-Connect Contract”  for this situation based on a checklist that I saw posted on Young Diggers website.

RE-CONNECT CONTRACT

Hello my name is_______________________________ I think I would like to get to know you. Hello my name is ______________________________

I think I would like to get to know you.

VETERAN PARTNER
Give me space when I need to be alone – don’t overwhelm me with questions.  I’ll come and talk to you when I’m ready. When you are ready I will provide you the safe space to talk to me.  Understand there may be times I need my space to reflect and seek strength.
Get away from me if I am out of control, threatening, or violent. I will not provoke, question, or judge when you are out of control.  I will ask you seek support to help with this when you are back in control.
Be patient with me, especially when I’m irritable. Be patient with me, especially when I’m irritable.
Don’t personalise my behaviour when I explode or get quiet. Don’t personalise my behaviour when I explode or get quiet.
Learn and rehearse a time out process. Work with me to develop this for both of us.
Don’t patronise me or tell me what to do.  Treat me with respect and include me in conversations and decision making. Work with me to develop a way we can communicate that works for both of us in different circumstances and on different topics.
Don’t pity me Don’t feel guilty you are doing the best you can do
Don’t say ‘I understand’ when there are some things you cannot understand. I don’t understand and I can never understand.
Realise that I have unpredictable highs and lows – good and bad days Realise I have days where I love you and days where I am not sure I can do this anymore – good and bad days
Anticipate my anniversary dates – recognise that these could be tough times Work with me to develop a calendar of respect for both of us around our anniversary dates
I’d like to share my traumatic experiences with you, but I fear overwhelming you and losing you. I want to hear your stories, trust me to be brave enough to seek support if I feel overwhelmed.
I want to be close to you and share my feelings, but I’m afraid to and sometimes I don’t know how to express my emotions. Work with me to find a way to communicate so you can express your thoughts, feelings and maybe eventually one day your emotions.
I also fear your judgement. I also fear you don’t want me anymore
Know that I still love and care about you, even if I act like a jerk sometimes Know that I still love and care about you, even if I act like a jerk sometimes
Don’t ask me to go to crowded or noisy places because I’m uncomfortable in those settings Don’t ask me to not go to crowded or noisy places, I will be okay if you cannot come with me.
Suggestions from Veterans who were involved in combat in the Vietnam War.  Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, 2000 – Sourced via Young Diggers Facebook Page Michele Reading, Startafreshlife – www.startafreshlife.com
I agree to abide by this contract to the best of my ability, however I ask for your patience and understanding while we reconnect and get to know each other again.
Name: Name:
Date: Date:
Signature: Signature:

This contract is not a magic cure, but it is a starting point for an open and honest conversation between two individuals that want to try to make this work.

When two individuals can sit down discuss and make an agreement to work towards a fresh beginning the outcomes can be beyond any hope you may have had.   The power is in the process and the shear determination of two individuals.  Take the contract and personalise it for you.

If you would like to know more I am developing a monthly newsletter where I will explore other tools that may support that reconnection.  There is no obligation for services and you can opt out at any time.  This is an education and sharing process.

If you would like a copy of the contract and would like to receive a monthly newsletter please contact me via this online form below.