The reminders…

After the heartbreak of the other day… I have a sense of renewed hope (which I know is part of the ups and downs of living with someone with PTSD). I’m not sure how or when the change happened. 

He had to work again and sometime after he got out of work we decided to go grab some food at a local pizza place. The night went really smoothly and we got home and he decided he needed to go to the library. After time at the library and then time where he rode around on his bicycle I had texted asking where he was. “Right down the street” he said, so assuming he would be home any minute I let our daughter wait up for him… 30 minutes later he still wasn’t home. I sent panicked texts and called many times with no response. Finally, I put our daughter to bed and sat on the couch waiting for an excuse or some reason he wasn’t home yet.  When he called after about an hour of waiting he was crying saying he was just down the road and had a panic attack. I talked him home and made him chamomile tea. He told me that night that he knew he was hurting me and it killed him but he didn’t know how to make things better because he felt so numb. 

Now is where I remember how his therapy works and what the healing process looks like. He is doing the “Prolonged Exposure Therapy”, in short, this therapy uses a contolled enviroment to reintroduce the trauma and help them face and process it correctly. The reintroduction is called “imaginal” … they work together and he recreates the trauma (s) in great detail and when he starts to panic or avoid he uses specific techniques to stay present in that moment and process the event. This is obviously very exhausting and trigger inducing and our minds will fight the anxiety and pain in various ways. So when someone is going through this therapy they often will feel very panicky, confused, irritable, and distant (among other things). This is all normal and slowly these feelings will subside until eventually they experience clarity and freedom. 

So knowing this I remind him how this is part of the process and everything will be ok. I kept the evening as quiet and stress free as possible. 

Today he was gentle and kind and very open and not distant at all. This was the reminder that the part of him that wants to run from our marriage is the part that is deeply wounded and scared. This part of him will not always be there and that light at the end of the tunnel is not elusive. We can make it through this and he will wake up one day and be able to breathe, think, and dream with out any walls or demons. He will see the beauty in things instead of the preceived harm. 

I just need to remember not to neglect myself in this process so that I can stay strong and rooted in the reality that healing and change is possible.

*** I am obviously NOT a doctor so any and all info is my own paraphrasing based on information I gathered from various sources. If you would like more information on Prolonged Exposure Therapy or PE I will have links posted! and as always feel free to reach out :)***PE information

Ups and downs.

It’s funny how things can go from great to heartbreaking in just a day. 

One day after posting my last post, we were both able to get a good nights sleep and I woke up feeling amazing. I was playful and making him laugh and the whole day was awesome. He had to work a double and fit in a therapy session but even after therapy he seemd to be pretty happy and so was I. The next morning I wake up and suggest breakfast (he had to work at 11am so it would have been a bit of a rush) which he seemed game for… then I mention florida and our plans to save money and when we should leave etc… thats when the switch flipped. Now he is antsy and saying things like “you always do this…”, “you always try to tell me what to do…”, (“always” insults are his go to) I said as nice and as calm as possible that I absolutely do not always nor was at the present moment trying to contol him in any way shape or form… I simply was talking about our plans for florida and our plans to save money (to me these are adult things). His response immediately broke my spirit and my heart. He said, with a mean look on his face, “if you push and push and try to force me to make decisions and tell me what to do I’ll make a decision for myself right now…” insinuating him leaving me. I told him if thats what he wanted he could make the decision right now and he responded by saying “I’m currently working on that”. 

My heart torn in pieces with the memory of just the day before laughing and being playful. It was a very abrupt reminder that he still teeters everyday on his feelings about be married to me. 

We went for a walk to get coffee like we planned…me holding back tears. On the walk I apologized  (like I do… always) and then told him that my wanting to talk about these things came from a place of excitment for what opportunities were awaiting him. I told him how much I love him and how much I believe in him and his dream. 

He looked at me with a look that said to me that hearing that hurt him because he doesn’t hold the same passion and love for me (today at least).

 He told me a story once of a woman he worked with who was bragging about how the married man she was having an affair with received a call from his wife while she was with him. His wife was crying and begging for her husband to come back to her, saying she would do whatever it took to make it work… in the background this woman was laughing at how pathetic she thought his wife was. 

As she told this story he said she was still laughing and bragging about it as if it were actually funny. 

I feel like that wife. He is the husband and the woman is the PTSD. I could beg and cry all I want but it’s laughing at me and how pathetic I look trying to get someone who is already gone. 

But I will NOT give up. I can’t give up… we need eachother… all of us. I will keep fighting for my family and for my husband. 

Here is a picture from one of our first adventures together… things were not perfect but that is what the other day took me back to. A playful and fun us.