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. 

Where to start, how to start…

I want this to be as real and as raw as possible. I know that I’m not alone, I know I am not the only woman who has a spouse with PTSD and that is why I am writing. I FEEL alone, I FEEL like I am the only one. I have no friends to talk to about this, no family I speak to, and no therapist. I feel trapped, abused, alone, neglected, and unappreciated. My husband is doing all he is able to do. He is seeing a therapist and working full time and does as much as possible with our daughter, so I feel like I can’t complain. But I am not getting anything in return for all the support and energy I am giving to him and our family.

I live each day not knowing if today is a day that he loves me or if it is a day where he looks at me with hate and contempt. The days he loves me are so great and so beautiful but are usually ruined by all the walls I have put up. The days he hates me he is demeaning and treats me as though I gave him PTSD, like it is an STD that I passed to him without telling him.

Last night after I recieved a phone call from my brother (He is a drug addict and is living with a girl he doesn’t know and has no job, no car, and warrants our for his arrest) I was very sad and needed to talk to him… After asking him to get off his phone while I was trying to speak to him and then him telling me “I always try to control him and always try to get him off his phone because I’m obsessed with whats on his phone” I was finally able to tell him how sad and scared I was for my brother and what his future holds and he fell asleep while I was talking!! I woke him up turning over in a frustrated manor and he got mad at me… AT ME. So much so that he slept on the couch while I cried myself to sleep wondering if it was even worth it to keep pushing through this relationship.

When these things happen I have such conflict in my mind. On one hand I want to stand up for myself and tell him that how is acting is unacceptable and I won’t put up with it anymore. On the other hand I know he can not always control how he is feeling or how he reacts and that I need to be understanding and be the bigger person and just apologize for my part in it and move on. And that is exactly what I did this morning and then I got ready for my day.

I need to find a balance. But how do I do this? How do I balance sticking up for myself and being understanding and soft? What does that look like and how will he react to me standing my ground. I often feel like he has a mental list of “reasons to not stay in my marriage” and every time I do something that he doesn’t like he adds a new reason to that list. So every time I even consider sticking up for myself the anxiety sets in that this may be the straw that breaks the camels back. Maybe this is the what will make him leave and not come back.

I am not ready yet to be assertive. I know I need to do it the right way and in a loving way. But I am too hurt and angry to do that just yet.

I am so very hurt that after 4 years of supporting him and encouraging him to chase his dreams. Four years of believing in him and sticking by him through all these struggles and never giving up on him, he can say to me that he doesn’t know if at the end of this he will want to be married to me. How can he do that to me? How can he tell me such a horrible thing? How do I live every day not knowing if at the end of his healing if he will still be my husband? How at 28 weeks pregnant with our son and seeing our beautiful daughter would he want to leave this family we have made? Am I such a horrible influence in his mind? Am I so stifling? Am I so horrible to be around?

These questions haunt my every thought… every day. I find being intimate scary and panic inducing. I feel disgusting receiving kisses and affection from him knowing that he doesn’t even want to always be with me or even love me everyday. I don’t tell him this either because that would also cause me anxiety and panic. So I pretend the best I can… he can sense it though and I deny it every time.

** one thing I will add that is part of the backstory… is that I have finally convinced him to let us move back to his home town, Miami, Florida to pursue his dream. So we are in the process of getting the ducks in a row to move in the next month or so.

A lot of anxiety comes with this move because I don’t speak spanish and if he leaves me in Miami I do not know what I would do or how I would survive. But as a family, this is the best thing for him and he needs to pursue his dreams because I believe that they will come true and that he will be everything he wants to be and more. I want to be there to see it happen and I will encourage him all the way. As a family this is best, for single version of me this is terrible. I need to focus on my family while we are still a family and do what I can to keep us together… well as much as is in my control.**