Nothing Is Ever The Same

I am going to take a leap and write a story after feeling discouraged from writing one in so long after having a bad experience with a very personal story and a member that was not only soliciting his services, he was insulting towards me and another member on this site. But writing this story felt needed. And any spam or inflammatory comments will be removed. I usually encourage all forms of comments without problems. But given this is a very personal story, I am not going to tolerate petty bickering or insulting or any form of degrading other members or about this story. People can disagree with maturity and the ability to express difference of opinion but these ridiculous going ons I've witnessed are hardly going to be tolerated and I am not going to rely on the system to actually take care of it. These kind of warnings should not have to be written and we should be able to have a free discussion where our minds our open and we learn something new from all walks of life. I hope this is able to happen but I haven't been on this website so long that this story could quite possibly go unnoticed. I'm sure this is just for me to write and let it out.

When I first came to this website, I was disillusioned. Jaded. No trust in anyone. I had just come from having a ptsd issue with a violently racist area and medical malpractice while I was in labor. I had narrowly escaped most attacks and the ones I brushed up against were jabs with fingers, shoves, and objects getting slammed towards me. In the hospital, I was denied help, overdosed, berated, and psychically pushed around while overdosed to the point of where I couldn't feel my eyelids. I had jumpy reactions to people. I got nervous when kind strangers would start a conversation. I would actually jump back and gasp. People would come up from behind, I'd grab an object and clench it or yank my elbow back without thinking. I thought...everyone was out to get me and I couldn't stop feeling so much anxiety.

While I was on EP, I was on another site getting ptsd help. I knew I had it right after these events and got help immediately. It took a few years to feel like myself again. On EP, meeting different kinds of people and talking about different kinds of subjects helped me open up again towards being friendly, believing there were some friendly people in the world again. So I did use another website and different resources for mental help and came on here to just exercise my mind, learn things about different walks of life, and socialize. Eventually, the site grew too big and I just stayed within my circle.

My personal life was a different story. Though my husband is a war veteran, he gets regular help for that and joined different groups like a group that escorts and provides assistance for military funerals. It's his past child abuse that he repressed and is having major issues with. He had denied either getting help or letting the right kind of help work for him. In the few years I had been here, I've watched him walk out on the kids, do outlandish things claiming self defense. Delusions, paranoia, ocd behaviors (moving large pieces of furniture in his office about five times a day and rituals). As years when on, I left him and his issues compiled. He got worse. The only thing that changed was he didn't have our "marriage" to blame as the problem anymore.

During the time I was on EP, I had been getting out of our marriage. When there was a way of getting it to work, I set boundaries of safety for himself from his self mutilating behaviors, safety for our children and pets, and safety for myself. When it was crossed, that's when a lot of the bad fighting would happen. I would give him warning before hand that he needed to get help and prevent issues, he would ignore it, then he would start hallucinating and become very...what's the word...I compared it to a hidden bomb that if you attached a fuse to it and lit him up, he would explode. He wasn't hitting anyone but he was running around pointing fingers, making declarations about how I'm not to be trusted, and kind of running around in a fit of mania where if you got close to him and tried to calm him down, he'd start flailing and assuming people were going to hurt/kill him. These were many ptsd related episodes that would go unchecked, without assistance or the right coping mechanisms, and would build after many days or weeks of his own personal mental abuse towards himself.

During all of this, I taught the children respect. Not pity. People deserve respect. It was keeping me from hating him. And my tendency to probably hate him was because I really loved him. Because I was angry that he fell apart. I was angry that we knew each other since we were kids and he just destroyed himself and everything around him. But I said that hate makes you become what you fear and fear leads you towards being tempted to hate. It's a hard balance. So mostly I just focused on healthy relationships with people and that family isn't biology. It's caring and being compassionate for one another. Loyalty, fidelity, supporting one another, understanding each other even in argument or even with differences. And that we stick together and never leave each other behind. This became complex with the revolving dad syndrome. It frustrated me.

So while I had been living apart from him for a while. I actually felt like I was on my own. I wasn't sleeping on a mattress topper anymore with the kids. I found a way to make living circumstances more comfortable for them. They knew some differences but I kept things pretty balanced. Before the baby was born, it was just me and my eldest. We were alone for a while and she had felt very relieved from the fighting and discord. We'd go to the park, cook together, do all kinds of things together. Then the baby was born and there was a period where he came back in because of the baby. And then he went right back to how he was because he just didn't work on his issues. So I went back to living alone.

So here I am today, right after we were settled on getting a divorce and it was final, he had been getting serious help and changed his lifestyle. This didn't feel right if he wanted us back. He had to continue getting help and living a healthy lifestyle and my children's lives and routines shouldn't change. Go to bed early, a little educational lesson or two for my daughter (just some fun stuff to learn like science or music or fun with letters), nap times, meal times, baths, play times, time to go out, and time for me to have an hour or two a week just by myself to relax a little. A cup of coffee or a piece of cheese cake. Just a little something for myself before I headed back into the 24 hour routines with a toddler and baby.

So we all actually began eating dinner at the table together. He and I were separate so long, we had to learn about each others lives all over again. We did stuff together. Went on trips together. Sat together at least once a week for movies and snacks or pizza. Then we would start hanging around each other naturally in the same rooms. During this time, I became pregnant again which I know is a good thing for us but at the same time we were having several issues with work and several issues me going back to work. I decided not to because I had too many problems with a client. But he doesn't know what to do with his job and career. The fact that he really hates it doesn't help. Even if we had different things for him to do, his job is very demanding and extremely stressful. Some periods of time, he's overworked and on little sleep. They give him vacation but throw twice as much work on him when he gets back. Then start up with the traveling and night shifts along with day shifts with a few naps in between. Several therapists have suggested career changes because for his issues, his job can trigger some episodes or aggravate things.

Because he is ptsd, episodes trigger. And right now is a very delicate state of affairs. He had a really bad episode yesterday and was really lost. The trigger was a real violent memory from his dad putting him into a coma for two weeks and having physical therapy after wards. He said something about having really good dreams before waking up then not being happy that he was back to that and that he was in pain all over his body. He had moments where he was lucid and moments where he was not. At the end, he removed himself from the house and went to a hospital, said he isn't coming back until there is security in the house, something solid, and therapy.

Right now...I don't know how to feel about all of it. It's not the same but it's not great. But it's not terrible but it's not good. He's volunteering for getting the right help. So he's going without being told. He wants to do it for the right reasons. But the waiting period of seeing wants become reality is frustrating. And it's so slow in the process, especially during the first few sessions which can take weeks. For that I am ok with. However, if he wasn't getting help or moving in the right direction, this would be a different story. We should and need to continue to heal. So yeah. I've come far but have a long way to go. He's come far but is only a few months into what is a year long commitment for him at the least with his issues. There is no way I can say things are going to be solid, the same, or different...but this is very different than where I was years ago on here. I feel like whichever way, I know I am capable of making it alone or together or however. I know I can adapt and overcome. But being a parent you get this acute paranoia about the children being alright. It's hard for me not to overreact and hover and not dismiss things I think are trivial but are very important to the kids. We had already walked into a difficult circumstance before the children were born, things had improved, but there's a lot left to be done. A lot to be worked on. A lot to be solidified. A stronger foundation. Maybe I'm on the edge of some turning point or maybe I got nothing. I can't tell. What's ahead is pretty undetermined but I'll be prepared for it after a lot of what I've gone through. There are no easy answers, just adapting, challenging, and never becoming complacent or letting go of joy or dreams or goals to be achieved. I guess, I just keep moving along, moving forward. I'm going to ride with this current, see where it takes me.

UPDATE!

I've been researching on proper ptsd help and people in relationships with ptsd. It is by far a responsibility of a spouse to get the right help to know coping techniques while raising a family and being engaged in a relationship with another person. It is not my job or the kids job to do what he has to do himself or make excuses when he doesn't. Support is not defined by that. Real support is supporting the purpose, the ethics, and the journey towards to goal. With love, compassion, understanding, and a keen ability to not get stepped on or walked all over just because of "insert excuse". Healthy relationships and understanding are top priorities. Not enabling and excuses and "buts" and "well he tries". He does work, he does it to get his life back. For himself and his family. No excuses. A good family life with a person having ptsd is possible or you will have a aftermath of a family sharing ptsd together. It's ok and completely reasonable to keep shopping for the RIGHT kind of help, techniques and lifestyle. Not just a therapist. But the RIGHT therapist can really open some doors that you didn't know were there. The rest, it's up to the person. And it should be because it will be that person's success, triumph, and their own achievements towards overcoming things that had crippled them, shut them off from the world and people they love...and they did it. That's very important.

I need to inform you, it is very irresponsible for a ptsd to allow his or herself to be involved in interpersonal relationships while "walking around with a loaded gun" or unchecked ptsd. Even if the safety is supposedly on, sometimes ptsd can make you feel like you have to turn the safety off and defend yourself. The thought process is to realize you shouldn't be in a life where you should always have a loaded gun and when you do actually need a loaded gun. It's understanding the mind, traumatically enforced routines, and how to deal with it all. This person should never feel ashamed of having ptsd or hesitant to seek help during flare ups. It is a good thing to get help. It is not shameful or embarrassing. What is truly embarrassing is allowing episodes and the aftermath happen without help, without improvement...

Because of this one reason. You are forcing your children and spouse/significant other into a situation they may not be capable of handling or getting through and even if they love you, it's your responsibility to do what you can to ensure their safety by getting the right help. Episodes can happen unexpectedly, but know your signs, have a competent therapist that can help teach you techniques to practice at home to enforce good habits, make hot memories into cold memories that are less encompassing and better to cope with when the waves crash, and that above all, you understand fully what ptsd is, what it does, and how to live with it while being in a family of your own or relationship. It takes work but it is worth the work. It is worth being able to see all the colors again, to learn to trust, to have a good grasp on your mind and how you are feeling. And to finally find that healthy balance and be able to know what to do to handle flare ups and complete sensory overloads.
Tekkamaki Tekkamaki
31-35
2 Responses Aug 7, 2010

I think of you guys too and often wonder how you are. Your influences have been inspiring to me as well. Sometimes I causally mention something we talked about on here before. Sometimes its just a funny comment or something you said that really stuck with me. Squishy corny wubby moment, lol! : )<br />
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Well...when I stop to think about it the intent really ended up being a difference. Before he only sought help after he was "gone" or ran off to live in a hotel. So he was still reeling in the trauma that not much was getting in and he wasn't going to let much out either. It seems like the type of emergency therapy wasn't really doing much but giving temporary hope that wouldn't stick very long. So it had to be a real lifestyle change and viewing help as a place to learn, grown, have a controlled and safe space to allow difficult issues to come out, and just maintenance. It just seemed so temporary like it he would only get help after it would come to a boil instead of really getting a good handle on his life. I honestly think he felt like it was an occasional thing that he didn't feel the need to pay attention to until it slapped him on the face (he's even like that with his laundry and the dishes, lol). Anyhoo...yeah...for this year it's going to be a very huge aspect in our lives. Which is pretty much needed. I think prior, we were in between fighting and just kept separating. I also think there are more resources out there these days because unfortunately more and more people are getting diagnosed with ptsd. But...there are more resources...it's both good and bad in some ways. Meh. Least people don't have to just sit and put up with it, you know?

I'm really relieved to read that he is seeking help on his own volition. Has it been for different reasons before? I think you have a healthy definition of how a spouse supports. I can see that its all a tricky balancing act, with keeping healthy boundaries between the two of you, while also encouraging and supporting, and then the children add a whole new challenge to the balancing act. I often think of you guys, and your strength and resolve has been an inspiration for me in my life.