I don't have many suggestions to help with the in-laws, I've never had to deal with that sort of problem, but if your wife wants you to confide in
her you need to explain that it makes things more difficult if she doesn't treat what you say as confidential.
I'm not sure about the comments about your medication. If she is being unkind then that is totally out of order but could she be asking out of
I ask this because when my friend was drinking he could be really mean. Hard to explain but selfish, distant, dismissive that sort of thing. So if he
acted badly I'd wonder if he'd been drinking, because it was hard to accept that he could be mean when he was sober because his real personality is
kind, warm, humourous and helpful.
Is it possible that your wife has a somewhat rosy idea of you as she remembers you in the past, so if you act in a particular way she finds it hard to
accept that 'real' you would be that way? So she wonders if you've remembered your medication because she's looking for an excuse for you?
Either way, it's not helpful to you. The implication seems to be that you're not allowed to have (or show) negative emotions because you've got
pills to dampen them.
I wonder, next time she asks about the medication if you could ask her if she's serious and what you did to make her think you'd forgotten it. If
she's genuinely concerned, you've given her the opportunity to say what made her think that. And if she's being mean, then a genuine enquiry from
you might pull her up just enough to realise that she ought not to make fun of you in that way.
You could even make a point each day of taking your medicine in front of her so that there can be no question that you had it.
I wonder, too, if the reason that she wants to know about your war experiences so much is that she is trying to find the reason, maybe the one thing,
that brought you home in your current condition?
It sounds as if she is struggling to understand and from what you said about her parents, they are probably not able to be very objective, or
supportive in any way that would be helpful to her.
You both might have a different perception of what's going on between you. For example, sometimes my friend shouts at me and I complain. He then says
that he didn't shout and 'don't put that on me'. Then I feel bad, as if I'm in trouble for trying to defend myself.
In reality, I am extremely sensitive to noise and can't bear raised voices. So probably he didn't shout, but he did raise his voice enough to upset
So we're both wrong but we're both sort of right.
Perhaps you and your wife could examine a particular incident and see what actually happened as opposed to what you both think happened. Probably, you
can meet half way with a little honesty and good will.
I hesitate to suggest this as a way to help you through your communication problems, but my friend and I bicker a lot. It's like a safety valve. You
and your wife have some hostility, I think, that you're struggling to resolve in a safe way. If you can have silly little arguments that you can turn
into something humourous it might help.
Of course, both of you need to understand the game you are playing
I remember how polite and careful I used to be with my friend, bottling things up when he was mean, until one day I called him a git. It doesn't seem
like much, but it helped me turn a corner.
Its a silly word, not too offensive, and just expressed how I felt. It evolved into GOG - Grumpy Ol' Git - and now we quite merrily send each other
up. He put his tongue out at me the last time I grumbled about something and I feigned horror when he put it back in his mouth.
All extremely childish, but you can get so much negativity out if you play and make a joke of your less worthy feelings.
And far better than taking too much negativity from someone when there is the danger of really snapping because you feel that you are expected to take
everything that is thrown at you and you're not even allowed to complain.
I've felt like that a lot in my life. I've known so many people who behave outrageously and then say 'Don't' when I try to speak up for myself.
It's like they think they can walk all over me and then deny me the right to protest about it.
That's because people have a hard time accepting that they've behaved badly or thoughtlessly. It's easier to blame the other person for being over
sensitive. And most of the time, most people can get away with that.
Compare that to your situation. You've been forced to own up to bad things you've said or done. You've been given no place to hide. You've shown a
sort of bravery that most people aren't capable of, and you are being asked to show even more.
You're being asked to do a lot to accommodate the people around you, but you have to not lose sight of yourself.
There's more to you than someone who is recovering from trauma end excess.
Real you is still inside. A person with heavy burden to carry, but the burden isn't you. Make time to have a little chat with yourself. Remind
yourself of what you think is important. We talk so much about how you relate to other people, but how are you relating to you?