Is There Such a Thing as a Restful Vacation when a Partner has PTSD?

Is There Such a Thing as a Restful Vacation When a Partner has PTSD? Heather Tuba @heathertuba PTSD

Some of you know that I took the month of June (2017) off for some vacation time. I traveled to Victoria, BC to visit friends, spend time in nature, shop, and have fun! Sounds perfect, right? Having never visited the West Coast of Canada, I was enthralled by the massive trees, the lush gardens, the harbors, and the quaint coffee shops and boutiques. I loved spending time with my dear friends in their beautiful condo.

Yet, the answer to the question of a restful vacation remains somewhat elusive. Yes, I slept more, laughed more, and cooked less. The kids were at home with my husband, Derek. But, alas, Derek’s struggles with PTSD did not take a vacation–even from a distance. I still had to take calls and texts regarding his health issues, which included a really bad flashback. Then, there was the ongoing, necessary discussion about upcoming treatment options and insurance coverage.  And although I did limit these conversations, I couldn’t completely get away from it.

Is there such a thing as a restful vacation when a partner has PTSD?

For me, the question of a perfectly restful vacation falls into the same category as the perfect wedding, the perfect graduation, or the perfect marriage. It really doesn’t exist. This applies all the more when a member of a family struggles with PTSD.

So, I’m letting myself off the hook when it comes to my vacation–and I hope my honest answer might let you do the same. Was my vacation restful? Somewhat. Did I enjoy it? Yes, immensely! Would I do it again knowing that it will not be as restful or as refreshing as I’d like? Of course!

What About You?

  • Have any of you had the same experience with vacation time?
  • Have you been disappointed by a vacation or have you been able to accept the reality that trauma symptoms don’t take a break?
  • As a trauma survivor or the partner, how do you find time for rest?

2 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing as a Restful Vacation when a Partner has PTSD?

  1. *sigh*
    My strong survivor hubby suffers from Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) when he is triggered into a flashback.
    We are still very much at the beginning of his recovery journey and because so much is still blocked from his memory, we never know what potential triggers may be (or how to avoid them).
    He can’t be left alone yet, and our children aren’t yet capable of assisting him during a PNES.
    There is so much validation in everything you post Heather. Thank you! And YES- vacation can have restful moments, but trauma symptoms take no vacations. So much truth!

    1. Aubrey, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I can absolutely relate to the amount of stress this must put on yourself and your family. My thoughts and care are with you. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing a bit of your story.

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