reply to post by k21968
I lost the man that was my husband in 2009 when he went to war. The man who came home is not the man who left. I get that bad things happened
and that it messed him up. I get it. I just dont get why he is not strong enough to over come this.
k2, I can sympathize with your frustration and sense of loss. You're right, he's not
the same man he was before, and the truth is that he
never will be again.
That said, he can
reach a "new normal" and learn to function again, but it will be hard work.
I understand you are at your wits end, that you are overwhelmed and angry, sad and bewildered.
The fact is he is NOT strong enough, not now. Not yet. He has been damaged physically, emotionally, mentally and very possibly irremediably.
Yes, I have experience with being a veteran's wife, and he struggles with chronic PTSD, high anxiety, depression, and crankiness. I didn't know him
before he was damaged by his experiences, but it was I who helped him recognize that he needed help. A litany of prescriptions is a bandage, not a
am a retired clinical psychotherapist with specialized training in Family Relationships, and a survivor of crippling anxiety and
depression myself (which led to some addiction) which, with my education and clincal experience, gives me the ability to speak about those issues as
well. So, I'm not just an armchair browser of the Rant forum.
I see that you have a real problem on your hands, and while venting your feelings on ATS is fine for you to let off some steam, I also see that your
anger is misdirected and misplaced.
I want to emphasize this: if you are not supportive of him, it makes things WORSE.
While your reactions and responses are perfectly legitimate, valid, and normal
, and you have every right to feel that way, blaming him is not
I suggest that you not only go to a 12-step program, but get into PRIVATE COUNSELING for yourself. YOU need support and help, and someone to talk to
who will understand your reactions and emotions, AND be able to help you deal with your husband's symptoms.
A TBI can be a very insidious thing. You do him a disservice by blaming him for his symptoms. He is not JUST an addict; (for one thing, addicts are
NEVER happy people), and he needs treatment for the CAUSES of his migraines. There may be things you are completely unaware of that are tormenting
him; it helps if you remember that every one of us is doing our best at all times, as weak and lame as we may appear to those around us.
Your husband has become a casualty of war. Plain and simple.
Seek out a Clinical Social Worker (as opposed to a "shrink" -- psychiatrists are MDs, and they are the only ones who can prescribe, but they are not
all good "counselors", and they think of the client as a SICK PATIENT rather than a person who can determine what is best for themselves and learn NEW
Meds are not the sole solution; your husband needs professional support and help. You can't do it because you are too close to him; I learned the
painful way that we cannot "therapize" our own loved ones...no matter how much we know about what will help them). I suggest also that YOU GO WITH
HIM to his appointments,
But, GET INTO THERAPY YOURSELF.
Do not let this destroy what is left of your life. Seek guidance from an experienced
therapist who is a SPECIALIST in PTSD and
Counseling. Clinicians are all different; like doctors, they have specific "categories" of study and expertise. A general behavioral health
counselor may or MAY NOT know much about PTSD.
Also, you will want to find someone who is (or was) married, and preferably has/had children. Your entire family is affected by this, not just your
husband. Your child as well is a victim, as are YOU. You didn't say how old your child is, but don't neglect what might be going on with him/her as
well; a tense household that looks bomb-struck is not healthy for any of you, and will not be productive toward smoothing out your post-war lives.
Remember also, when you get angry and frustrated, it's okay to take a break from it. Go for walk, ask for help (not from him, necessarily, but if
you've extended family around, or friends who can help with a meal or some housework don't be too proud to ask them), and remember to breathe. When
the body is tense due to emotional fatigue and strain, FOCUSED BREATHING always helps. Close your eyes, take a deep breath to the slow count of 4,
hold it for 4, let it out slowly to count of 4, rest for 4. Repeat. Focus on the air in and out, and nothing else. This will help relax your entire
I wish you all the best; and I'm truly saddened by what war has done to your husband, you, your child, and our entire society. Feel free to pm me if
you like. But please, get some help for YOURSELF. You can't help him if you are not coping and calm and able to manage your own feelings. (I didn't
say "stop" your feelings: learning to MANAGE them is the trick.
For both of you.)
God bless and give you strength. You will need it.
edit on 19-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)