Is There Such a Thing as a Restful Vacation when a Partner has 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. However, his struggles with PTSD did not take a vacation–even from a distance. I still had to take calls and texts regarding his health issues. Then, there was an 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! 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?