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I let the cat out of the bag….kind of

cat's tail out from the bag

cat’s tail out from the bag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m such a dick sometimes… I’ve really gone and done it. Part of me is relieved but the rest is just angry at myself, I feel like I’ve meddled in something that isn’t my business and I don’t know what will happen next…. I know its probably because we are seeing his therapist this evening and I’m shitting myself about it so subconsciously I’m preparing myself for the worst…I’m trying to cover my arse by finding out as much as I can, I’m trying to avoid any unwelcome surprises that the last experience with my husband and a professional has taught me to expect…. but still…I spoke to his mother…my husbands mother…my mother in law….about my husbands past.

It started off innocently enough, my new job, moving, making friends etc and the conversation naturally moved to bullies,not-so-nice humans in general, pasts etc I saw my chance…so I took it, I asked questions.She told me he had always been shy, and kept himself to himself, he was bullied but it seemed to get better. There was friction at home, she steered clear of the drugs and left his father; He and his dad were not close, one time he was kidnapped by his dad for 24 hours…whilst on drugs and taken to his home – where he was living with his drug dealer and other people…

I reassured her and asked about the kidnapping, where he was taken…’ I don’t know much about hard drugs but from what I’ve seen on TV and heard from people who do it comes with a lot of bad stuff god only knows what he witnessed that day, I wonder if he remembers it but either way it’s not worth thinking about what could have happened had he stayed there…’

I could have stopped there… I should have… but I didn’t. There were so many continuations and chances for elaborating right there in front of me that not only did it feel quite natural for us to carry on delving…I mean this is my husband after all…don’t most spouses know more about their partners past?…so I did it…I asked about physical abuse… ‘He mentioned a relative being hard on him but its blurry and he’s almost convinced it was a dream so I guess it must have been….again I’m not asking for any reason other than the fact that he doesn’t remember ANYTHING – almost like he’s blocked it out or something I don’t know, maybe everything you mentioned was enough to do that on its own.’

She told me that one day her daughter (hubbys sister) had told her about this family friend being hard on her, The kids never went back and its very possible that they did the same to my husband….its probably not a dream. It then dawned on me that she really hadn’t realised until know what had happened….shit! I tried to reassure her…maybe it was just a different type of discipline to what they were used to, kids are so literal maybe he remembers but didn’t understand it at the time? -I don’t believe this for a second….SOMETHING happened…but I wanted to try to undo what I had already done :/ But she stopped me, she told me she was sure it was worse, that she had asked him before but he had never told her, that she should have known back then, she should have stopped it…

I apologised for bringing it up and again tried to ease her worries…’if it makes you feel any better he doesn’t remember much – and what he does is very hazy which could be a blessing. BUT the thing that worries me is that perhaps he’s blocked out more of it- maybe that’s why he “cant remember” but surely those memories will surface one day and I don’t think any of us know what to expect if and when they do….’  I reassured her that he’s not a nasty person, he’s not violent and hasn’t brought any of that stuff – whatever that stuff is- forward with him, I tried again to calm the conversation…’I think it’s more the self worth that’s been affected (hubbys) so maybe that’s why or where that comes from Please don’t feel bad it wasn’t your fault and I’m sorry for bringing it up I really am’

By this point I felt like a real bitch…I’ve not only dug up stuff my husband may not want to dig up now but I’ve dug it up for his mum too. She told me he had always had a hard time with self worth, with everything that happened at home, (the relative) & with his dad not showing any concern his self worth is low… ‘I hope & pray with time that it gets better. A lot of time this comes with age! It will come out— it always does. It will be important to get it out when he’s ready. He can always come to me with anything. Don’t feel bad for being concerned for your husband. That’s what happens when you love someone. You want to help them in any way u can. Thank you for loving my son & wanting to help him !!! Xxx’

I answered some questions and explained that for me some things have seemed odd and I don’t like wondering, I’d rather ask the questions and figure out the rest when I know all the facts -On top of that I’m just curious about people’s backgrounds – especially ones I’m married to lol. I said I didn’t think he was ready to talk yet but was trying to understand more and prepare myself so I -we now- could support him whenever he was ready…and I apologised again. I thought that was it…I figured I had turned it round and made the talk a good one….and then she wrote again saying I was right, we needed to be on the same page with this and asked what it was specifically that made me wonder in the first place…just the fact that he couldn’t remember stuff or….?

*face palm*

I walked straight into that…going on and on about secrecy and being open and then being faced with having to withhold even more info from his mother!…erm shall I give her this link? lol I took a while to reply, I thought about it and I decided not to tell ALL. I feel that I’ve already said enough. Enough to understand a little more, enough to help him, to help us and I wish I could tell her everything but at that moment I had given everything I could without actually telling her ‘he feels nothing…he’s numb….he’s probably got PTSD‘ So I stuck with the curiosity, the lack of memory, piecing together what I did know about his childhood and trying to fill in the blanks.

We ended on a positive note, offering support for each other, thanking each other and sending love…But I know its not over, I know she will mention it (without meaning to) one way or another when they next talk…I know he will know… So what do I do? Do I tell him first? Do I tell him at therapy so we can all talk about it together?
I learned so much about him today…and I don’t believe he knows -or remembers- most of it either… you learn something new everyday
xBx

 
 

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A new perspective: Thinking INSIDE the box

Three-Point Perspective

Three-Point Perspective (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As mentioned yesterday I recently received an email from a fellow blogger. He told me he knew personally about the numbness of PTSD and wanted to give his perspective on the whole situation… ‘How I felt, what caused it, and most importantly, what you can do for your husband as he goes through this’

The emails went back and forth between us, we established that all experience of PTSD is different…every PERSON is different and that some situations or causes are more complex and deeper rooted than others… BUT regardless it was encouraging to read his account. It helped me to understand SOME of what my husband is going through and he’s also offered to write some guest posts for me to delve deeper and explain more about it so those posts will be up soon. For now…I want to share with you some of the points which struck a chord with me and hopefully help YOU to understand a little bit more too.

‘I want to try and explain this part clearly so you know what your husband is going through. I know this probably has to be the most confusing aspect of PTSD for you – I knew I had a heart because I could feel my pulse, but I could not FEEL any emotion whatsoever.

…as for your husband, I have no idea why he has PTSD so I cannot tell you what to avoid or how to specifically help him, but I can tell you what I would have liked as I was going through it…

  • Love him – This part is going to SUCK, because you won’t get much love in return. Hold him. Kiss him…While his heart may not understand, his head will. When he finally awakens, you will have a stronger relationship.
  • This one will be especially hard. Make love to him. Loveless sex may be difficult for you, but the intimacy would be appreciated by him. His sex drive may be lower right now. If so, it definitely isn’t you, so don’t put that blame on your own shoulders. With his brain in overdrive, the thoughts may not be focused on sex.
  • Get him help – This is beyond your abilities to help him by yourself. PTSD is evil. Being a zombie is evil. Living that way feels awful. The sooner he can talk about it and deal with it, the better.
  • Encourage him to write – It helps. Buy him a notebook and pens. If he is writing, don’t disturb him. If he asks that you not read the notebooks, respect his penned words and leave them alone. The words will only hurt you and it will break his trust.
  • Encourage him to exercise and eat right. After fights with the ex, I would walk the city streets at 1-2 am. It was the only thing that helped calm me down. Look for a co-ed sport that you both can participate in. Talk walks together. If he wants to talk, let him talk. If he doesn’t, talk to him about ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE PTSD. Make walking and meal times PTSD free zones. Don’t let him eat fast food as it will only make him feel gross physically. Encourage him to eat right because he needs all the brain power he can get.
  • Limit video games – I’m a gamer and I started playing A LOT. I didn’t have to think when I was playing. I didn’t have to feel when I was playing. I could get lost in the world I was playing in. While it can be a help at times, don’t let him go overboard. Men like to go to our “cave” when we are dealing with issues. Don’t let him get lost in his online cave.
  • Don’t ask him how he feels. He doesn’t fucking know. Honestly. Pressuring him to answer that question or any other question about feelings is going to make it worse. In fact, try not to talk about emotions as much as possible. Yes, that is unnatural and completely foreign to you.
  • Don’t take what he says personally – I remember saying some crazy shit during that period of time. Remember, he cannot feel, so statements he makes have no emotional motivation to them. They are just words. Conversely, try to remember that your husband is in a PTSD cocoon. He may want to tell you that he loves you…but he can’t feel it right now. When he does say the words, in whatever form he says them, cherish them. I’m sure it was hard for him to say them.
  • Find a support system for yourself – You will not be getting the same kind of love from your husband as you are used to. Rely on family and friends. Treat yourself to a spa day once in a while and keep up your appearance. Go out with the girls and get drunk and dance your ass off. You deserve it. This is FUCKING HARD! It is perfectly OK to spoil yourself once in a while to recharge your batteries.

You two CAN DO THIS! You can win against EVIL. You can get your husband back. You can have an AMAZING marriage. It CAN BE DONE. Do not GIVE UP. Failure is NOT an option. I have faith in both of you.

I will do my best to help you understand what he is dealing with and I will give you as much insight as I can. Honestly, I lived with that shit for far too long. If I can help your husband get better, I will, because I know exactly how it DOESN’T feel.’

There IS hope

xBx

 
 

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