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Supporter Combat-related Ptsd Spouse

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by honeybee4413, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. honeybee4413

    honeybee4413 New Member

    Hi everyone -

    Obviously I am new to this forum. I decided to join after searching locally for some support groups and finding relatively nothing nearby.

    I have a long story, but I'll give the Cliffs Notes version. My husband, an ex-military officer, has been suffering from PTSD since a combat-related incident in 2005. He was diagnosed in 2008 during a second deployment. He left the military in 2009 and entered the civilian world. He was going to therapy at the VA, and finally agreed to try medication (Zoloft) in 2010. He also struggled with alcoholism since the incident. In 2011, he had a minor surgery which started his addiction to painkillers. I did not find out about this addiction until almost 18 months later. Thankfully there were no legal troubles but we are 45K poorer as a result.

    He agreed to go to detox/rehab. While there, it was determined that his drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is directly related to his PTSD. I understand that this is very common, as a means of self-medicating or escape. He spent almost 90 days in the Inpatient recovery, and was discharged. However, he chose (because this was given to him by the facility as an option) to remain seven states away, find a rental apartment, and stay down there for a length of time TBD to continue outpatient treatment. This decision was made without any consultation or discussion with me, as his wife, as to how this would work financially and realistically. In my humble opinion, a better option would have been to enter an inpatient PRRP PTSD program at the VA. There's a very good one in our home state with an excellent reputation. And it would have not cost us anything. I also wonder, if his PTSD is so severe and delicate right now, is it really prudent for him to be living on his own?

    So, he's seven states away. I am down to just my income, struggling to pay the bills. We cannot have a pleasant conversation because everything I say, is taken as a personal attack. I'm at the point where I don't even want to talk to him. I can't see an end in sight to this - he doesn't even seem like he wants to get better at all. Lately he has just been outright nasty to me. That's not happened before.

    I have to be realistic about my own life - I'm 34, we have no children, and I'm generally pretty stable in most regards. I'm working on myself too, through studying yoga (living yoga, not just on the mat).

    I do love my husband, he is a wonderful man. But the PTSD and Addiction have made him unrecognizable. I am doing my best to understand these diseases/afflictions. So here I am, hoping to learn more about PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction. Maybe I just want to hear from other people that they are going through the same thing. Maybe I just want to hear that there's hope...I'm not sure. But right now, my husband treats me like the enemy. I've already forgiven him openly for the drug addiction, secrecy, lies and money spent.

    Thanks for reading, hope to make some connections soon.
  2. nomedic1

    nomedic1 VIP Member Premium Member

    Hi Honeybee maybe getting him to join the combat PTSD site is a start, but most of all its taking care of yourself, and trying to get him to set ground rules with you, if he doesnt want to talk he can have a code word or just say so. And in the same sense if you need something you can communicate it to him without being attacked.

    And there are some wonderful supporters on here that can give you better guidance.
  3. KP the nut

    KP the nut Prettiest Duck in the Bath Staff Member Premium Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum.
  4. intothelight

    intothelight Totally Quackers Duck Staff Member Premium Member

    Hi Honeybee,

    Welcome to the PTSD Forum! :)

    There is an entire section for Supporters, and I believe that you will find you are not alone in some of the issues your are facing. It is important for supporters to also have support.

    Take care of yourself and I hope you find this site helpful.

    Debbie
  5. Ayesha

    Ayesha Beautiful Disaster Staff Member Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum Honeybee. :)
  6. myvetswife

    myvetswife Well-Known Member

    Welcome Honeybee....a lot sounds familiar to me..
  7. ptsdpain

    ptsdpain New Member

    Honeybee- I am new too & a lot of your pain resonates.
  8. Eleanor

    Eleanor VIP Member Premium Member

    Hi Honeybee, Welcome to the forum! And the supporters section is full of great people who know a lot of things.
    Here is what jumped out at me:
    This may come off as a bit harsh, but it is true and I want to be clear.

    If this is true - if he is NOT committed to getting better then his treating you badly is just abuse, and you have no obligation to put up with it or stay. Life with a spouse with uncontrolled PTSD is horrible. No rational person would sign up for it. And so if he is not 100% committed to healing, and you are not %100 percent committed to supporting him and taking the hits while he is healing, your relationship will bring you tremendous amounts of pain to no good purpose. He needs to be committed to you and to himself.

    Just because people have PTSD doesn't make them less responsible, and shouldn't make them less compassionate.

    Wishing you both peace and healing.
    AussieRose likes this.
  9. ptsdpain

    ptsdpain New Member

    I can relate because a lot of the time my husband will say he doesn't remember either doing something or saying something which is incredibly hurtful. I believe that a lot of his actions he IS in control of but he chooses to lash out and not commit to healing.
    HisSix likes this.
  10. honeybee4413

    honeybee4413 New Member

    Thank you everyone for your kind welcome and responses. I have already learned so much from this forum.

    Eleanor, I appreciate your response - and I don't think it came off as harsh, just truth. This is what I need and want to hear right now - just truth... It's hard to find people in your life that will tell you the truth, for fear of hurting feelings.

    PTSDPain, I hear you. My husband has been acting like nothing happened since our horrible conversation a few nights ago. Keep in mind we are not currently living in the same state - he is down South, continuing his Intensive Outpatient (at the facility where he went for addiction!?) I am not 100% faithful in the level of PTSD therapy and care is he receiving there. However, he thought this was the best setup. After that phone call, and reading some posts from others here on the forum, I decided it was best if we BOTH had some "space" for a while - geographically, yes, but for me it was about not reaching out and initiating communication. So far we have texted each other (him more so than me, I just respond) and it's been cordial and pleasant. It's almost as if he doesn't remember that nasty conversation.

    Has anyone had experience with your PTSD sufferer and drug addiction?
    Eleanor likes this.
  11. AussieRose

    AussieRose New Member

    Hello honeybee,

    I really feel for you and l trust you receive the guidance you seek via this site. One thing's for certain, people care. :)

    I'm not sure if this will help you and your husband, but l just finished reading Theo Knell's book, "A Hell for Heroes - An SAS hero's journey to the heart of darkness". I read it in support of a friend who has PTSD as a result of years in the UK military and it really opened my eyes. It was difficult and heart-wrenching read, but Theo Knell has a beautiful writing style which brings his story to life, and his chapters are dotted with poignant and insightful poetry.

    I agree with Eleanor, PTSD is no excuse for abuse so please take steps to protect yourself, and don't be afraid to set healthy boundaries. I was reading an interesting forum thread on the topic of boundaries. It could be worthwhile checking that out too.

    Best wishes to you, honeybee,

    Linda
    HisSix, Eleanor and honeybee4413 like this.
  12. HisSix

    HisSix Member

    I believe 199% beyond a shadow of doubt they suffer beyond what we can comprehend BUT there is no excuse to take it out on us. We are the people who help them cope when everyone else has turned their back on them due to their behavior. I knew what I was getting into when I married him and I educate myself on coping skills, just as many spouses of combat related PTSD suffers. It is real, and if I chose to stay, he should not use this as an excuse to abuse and act anyway he wants. Fortunately, my abuse is mostly verbal, it has got physical a few times. My point is this, wish they would realize it is so much easier to let things slide off my shoulders when they use self control. It's there, I've seen it! Wonder how much trouble I will be in when he reads this?
    Eleanor likes this.
  13. HisSix

    HisSix Member

    WOW! Almost a year later and nothing has changed......it is worse and I am freakin tired of talking about it!
    Poop or get off my pot!

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