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ttimttim , 28 Feb 2013

Help w/ girlfriend's picking as result of PTSD/Meth

Hi. I have a wonderful girlfriend. A few months into our relationship she started picking at a couple pimples that appeared on her face. She has not stopped. The first time I brought it up I was expecting anything but what happened... she curled up in a ball, hid her face and started shouting things like "don't touch me" and was crying... I'd NEVER seen anything like that from her before.... nothing close. I tried to bring it up a second time... being very careful... and the same thing happened. She freaked out. About 6 years ago she got off meth. When she used she did some prostitution and trades of sex for meth as I guess is common. (we're healthy etc). I can clearly recognize that this picking is tied to PTSD around these issues that has never surfaced in any other context. She said it 'puts her right back there.' It's a trigger. It fucking kills me to sit around and watch her pick. I used to do the same thing when I was in middle school and had to teach myself to just pop the zit once not go back for seconds and thirds... I understand what feels good about it and that it's a "pacification gesture." How on earth should I approach this situation both short and long term? She said that it won't get that bad and she has it under control but is not ready to have it brought up. This outbreak has been about a month long now... 1st time in 6-months together. Dear god... what should I do? How can I best support her? How can I begin to approach this situation other than pretend it's not happening. It makes me so uncomfortable and she knows it and that makes her uncomfortable. I have my hood up to hide my periferal vision from my beautiful, adorable girlfriend who I'm in love with. I'm 35. She's 30. We're both educated, self-actualized people. I had a drug problem 9 years ago and also overcame PTSD related to experiences in my life... but she must have experienced so much worse. Please... any incite appreciated. C
4 Answers
March 01, 2013
I would recommend writing a letter to her. Make sure she knows how much you love her and that no matter what she does she is stunning and beautiful. Let her know that all you want is for her to be happy and healthy and that you are there to support her through everything. Include how you feel about the behavior and why you are worried. Include that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Letters from my boyfriend always make me feel better. There is something different about seeing the words written down. It takes more time and effort..seems more meaningful. just make sure you are very sensitive to the topic. make sure she knows that your feeling uncomfortable is from worrying about her well being.. If I could tell that my picking made my boyfriend uncomfortable I would be scared that he was ashamed of me.
March 01, 2013

In reply to by laurams_1991

Thanks for that. Writing is a very good suggestion. I mean... I know how PTSD feels. It's intense when it comes on and all-encompassing. It's hard to know what to do with this. Please... any input anywhere from anyone appreciated. *Fwiw I'm an express myself person and it won't be a radical departure from things I normally say to her to make sure to phrase as you described. I guess that really is the best I can do... that or ignore it. C

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