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Potential Challenges in Queer Relationships with Individual Histories of Trauma

If you’re navigating a relationship as  a queer person with a history of trauma, it’s important to stay aware of what might be helping vs. hurting you in your experience.

Here are some important potential challenges to keep in mind ➖

〰️ Note: These experiences can certainly be found within non-LGBTQ+ relationships as well. In this post, we’re discussing this topic specifically within a queer lens to highlight the ways that queerness can add extra context to the relationships at hand. 〰️

1️⃣ Bonding over trauma

Due to the inherent challenges and rejection from many societal forces, people in the LGBTQ+ community can often turn inward, toward each other, for connection and safety from traumatic experiences. Because of this, though, bonding through trauma can often get mistaken for emotional intimacy and deep connection, trust, or safety that might not actually be present.

2️⃣ Moving too quickly

Oftentimes, when a person feels like they have deeply bonded with someone, it can then cause them to move very quickly into relationships - bypassing potential red-flags. For some, this is because the fear of further rejection is stronger than the fear of a relational mismatch.

3️⃣ Ignoring your own needs

Queer people with histories of trauma might also bend, break, or ignore their own boundaries. This can stem from a variety of reasons, such as lack of support from family of origin, lack of safety within legal protections, or other messaging that a person's individual needs don't matter. However, this doesn't lead to true happiness, and instead often results in problematic dynamics and lack of emotional equity.

💬 What other elements do you think people should keep in mind when it comes to navigating queer relationships with individual histories of trauma? 💬

➡️ To learn more about this topic, check out Dr. Jen Towns's book, Our Deepest Roots, all about navigating past trauma within present LGBTQ+ relationships.

And for more LGBTQ+ education, check out these Instagram pages: @zoestoller (me!), @your.queer.therapist (Dr. Jen Towns), and @queerpsych_original (a community and resource for LGBTQ+ mental health, and those who work in this field)


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