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I am Making His Life a Living Hell!!

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Andrea42, Sep 1, 2006.

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  1. Andrea42

    Andrea42 Active Member

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    We had the worst night...
    It has been so hard to be around him lately because of his PTSD... Im afriad of how he will react if i say something that he takes the wrong way... and i am tired of him snapping at me everytime i say anything at all! It seems that he is always angry...or he just wants to be by himself... he looks hurt, and confused... i know he is scared and feels alone... it must be awful and to think that i feel i make it worse for him.
    We argued last night because i feel his meds are making things worse for him and i feel he should talk to his doctor about it... I have been on anti-depressants and i know that they dont always function the way they should because everyone is different and has a different reaction, therefore it may take one try or several to get on the right anti-depressants.... please, if anybody knows this is not right, then post what is correct.
    Also we argued because i want to be there for him when he is down or needs someone and he has a wall between us that i cannot climb over. I am a lil hard headed and i dont always go about things the right way but i am human...i am also a bit aggresive when getting my message across he has told me and now i notice.
    i didnt want to do all that i did to him...
    he told me i pushed him over the edge and i didnt want that. he just layed on the floor, his face covered for what seemed like a couple of hours! did not move at all... then finally when i wouldnt leave him alone, he exploded and there was nothing but anger coming from him...and he was hurt that i would not simply let him "cool off" why am i like this? why cant i be there for him? why dont i know how to be there for him?

    I drove to my mothers house and stayed away for an hour... when i came back, he seemed a lil better...he asked me if i wanted cold pizza and we went to bed afterwards...

    I feel horrible today....i feel depressed and i feel the distance from him...the one thing i dont want right now...
    I
    do not want to make his life a living hell...i want to show him that everything will be ok, and that things will bet better and that he is the strongest person i know. He is the sweetest person and has a heart of gold ive always told him...He doesnt deserve this.....

    i dont know what to do...i know its me. I know i make things worse..I feel i am his problem right now..i just dont know how to stop doing all the wrong and start doing the right.
     
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  3. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    This really stuck out to me, because I can totally relate to this situation.
    Except I was on the other end... I have PTSD

    What you said "finally when I wouldn't leave him alone" what did you mean?
    Were you pressing him to talk? Or just sitting with him?

    In my own experience, everything can just get so overwhelming that sometimes I just need to escape.
    Be somewhere that I can try to get my thoughts straight, or try to calm down.

    And although I love my partner very very much, I still need to be alone.
    It's frusterating to be so angry, and yet have no way to release it.
    And the last thing I want is to direct it at my partner!

    Your husband obviously didn't mean to hurt you by saying/doing what he did.
    I would bet that the moment he calmed down, he regretted pushing you away.

    The problem with us PTSD'ers, is it can be extremly hard to explain or show our emotions sometimes.

    His offer of cold pizza was a "truce"
    I believe his way to tell you that he's sorry, and he doesn't want to fight.
    He probally had a chance to sort his thoughts out during this alone time.

    The thing is... if he says he wants to be alone,
    Why not leave him alone for abit?
    Remember that it isn't meant to hurt you
    it also doesn't mean you have to leave the home, or get in an arguement.
    By having an open line of communication, where both partners are listening to eachother, I guarentee things will get better.

    When he can tell you that he needs some "alone time", please trust him
    he probally just doesn't want to end up in an arguement
    (when I'm in a "mood" I just feel like I need to pick fights, etc.)
    maybe he could have a room, or area where he can escape to?
    You can use this time to take up an old hobby or take a nice relaxing bath. :)

    When he's ready to talk, he'll know he can come find you.
    No hard feelings.


    Now Andrea,
    I can tell you are a very caring and loving spouse.
    First of all, you're here, trying to solve things, rather than just running away!

    You are not making his life a living hell,
    ...PTSD is.
    You just happen to be an innocent victim caught in the path of a vicious PTSD episode sometimes.
    With knowledge... a calm (or calmer) household can be achieved!
     
  4. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Oh Andrea,

    That could have been me writing that. Anthony and I used to have some real doozy fights and I am not kidding. I have learned that the best strategy when they are in a mood is to walk the hell away and try not to say anything as you do so. Don't worry I know exactly where you are coming from. Anthony and I are one pigheaded pair when we have a mind to be and that was often. He often says that the reason he is with me in the first place is because I don't take any of his shit but that goes both ways!! I always thought that I had to stand and fight with him no matter what and the end result was always the same.........no resolution, me in tears frustrated, hurt and angry, him withdrawn into his PTSD shell (often for days), an icy household and back to walking on eggshells. He did something similiar to your husband one day only he locked himself in the spare room, in the dark, would not come out, respond, anything. I was desperate by the time he came out as I didn't know if he had taken any means with him to kill himself. I rang everyone, psych, VVCS counselling the lot, thankfully he came out before I had to get someone to break down the door and admit him to hospital.

    The best thing you can do, if he says to leave him alone - do just that. You will learn in time to pick the moments when you can, kind of discuss anything important or volatile. Meds will always be one of those issues. We also went through this at the beginning of the year and did it cause us some grief. Basically, Anthony went off the meds without telling me, he went to Townsville to do the PTSD course update and came back a mess. Angry, frustrated, bitter and hurt all directed at me. He walked off the plane from Townsville went straight to our little one and did not say a word to me. I was busted up because I was so looking forward to him coming home and he had only been gone two days. We have argued over him NOT taking meds and the last discussion we had he started to get angry again but I had done some thinking. I realised that no amount of arguing was going to change his mind. See I always thought that they made him better and he was better to live with and easier to handle but then I didn't know about the increased tendency towards suicide with Lexapro and I wasn't aware of the internal effects of the drug on him.

    As for the right kind of anti-depressants, Anthony is the best person to point you in the right direction regarding those and he will be online tomorrow. Please take heart, if you are there loving him and supporting him because you want to be there, then you are doing the right thing. You can't be everything for him, he has to do most of it for himself and the hardest part is you have to let him. You are not his problem, PTSD is his problem.
     
  5. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

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    Andrea

    I'm sending you the biggest hug! I'm so sorry that you had a crap day.
    Hope today is a brighter day for you.
    Be kind to yourself
     
  6. Andrea42

    Andrea42 Active Member

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    Hi YoungAndAngry,
    I hope you are having a good long weekend first of all and thank you for the email the other day :) Hope your doogie is good :) mine are being annoying this morning lol
    When you ask me if i was pressing him to talk, unfortunately i have to answer yes. I know thats not right and like you said exactly "everything can just get so overwhelming that sometimes I just need to escape.
    Be somewhere that I can try to get my thoughts straight, or try to calm down." he has told me this many times before. He needs his time to calm down...thats all he asks for but i guess my reason for not stoping was the fact that he was crying and banging on the walls and he just didnt look ok and it scared me and i didnt want him to hurt himself or do anything dumb...thats why i did not leave. I do realize now i should have at least shut the heck up. I know that made it worse...I left only when i knew he was calm and i knew i could trust him to be alone. I understand you guys need your time to calm down and be alone...Just dont forget that we want to be there...and we cant help but to want to help and we care and love you...Thank you for your reply, it seems that you and my hubby and im sure alot of other people on here go through the same thing. Im glad i have this place to understand.

    Kerrie-Ann,
    I always look forward to reading your reply. I feel you and i are in the same place (i dont have kids though) so i can imagine how hard it is on youself and the children. As for the anti-depressants, he has been on Effexor for only a couple of weeks and he did lie to the doctor telling her he had been on them longer so she went ahead and told him to take 2pills instead of one....he claims he did it and it made him feel "weird, or sad" i think he said, so i dont know if this ever happened or he lies to me also. I ask him most everyday if he takes it and he tells me yes... I do feel this type of anti-depressant is not helping him so maybe next time he has an appoinment i will ask him if its ok to go with him and ask questions and let the doctor know how he is acting and feeling.. because this week has been hell for him..he missed once dose the other day..he has been what seems more depressed than ever and just quiet and/or he snaps out of nowhere...he does not have much to say to me..its just hard right now..i dont see the meds working at all.
    I feel the same when he goes into his PTSD shell..I feel frustrated, hurt and angry and i cry alot and if my husband where to lock mimself in a room without any communication i think i would finally go crazy myself because i dont know what he would be doing in there, or what he would be thinking or planning and thats scary.. i would probably break the door down myself..thats just the type of person i am, i dont like the feeling of not knowing whats going on or what horrible thing can happen. Thanks for the reply Kerrie-Ann.. I hope you and your family have a good weekend!

    Jods!!!
    Thanks for the biggest hug!!! :) i really needed that! Something so short and simple can mean so much to one person...Thanks everyone!
     
  7. Jen

    Jen Well-Known Member

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    Hi Andrea I can relate so much to your story. My husband has PTSD he had a breakdown a couple of months ago and I have had to take over the small business we have. Which I dont mind because he went in to it like a bull at a gate and overdid it which led to the breakdown. Now he has depression doesnt want to get out of bed sits in front of tv when he does get up. So I am in at work but I dont mind because it stops me getting to cranky seeing him waste his life like he is. As far as medication he is popping pills all the time he is on Panadeine Forte for pain seems to be always taking them as well as other tablets. That is another worry with him is the medication he takes! I have been on antidepressants for about 5 months but I am going to stop these after the last script which is 1 more month.
    Hang in there I know its hard especially when you are living with them I often wonder if life will get better!
    Jen
     
  8. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

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    From a PTS perspective

    Hi there

    Of the few people closer to me who I have discussed PTS with, many simply refuse to get the idea that sometimes being alone is the solution in several ways, or refuse to acknowledge I can have PTS, or spout other waffle about it being something else as they do not want to accept it exists, or could happen to me. So all of you here have come further than many by being here. You show enormous compassion by being here.

    Firstly, when I have reached my threshold and cannot listen to whatever is being said anymore, it is usually because it is being repeated or too tentatively addressed. I need direct short and precise 'matter of fact' sentences, not beating around the bush, which starts winding me up towards hysteria when analogy and past events are discussed in a build up to the point. If I can't concentrate, get to the point! Continuing to labour a point of view, whether correct or not will only antagonise me further, as it is ultimately the point of view of the person talking to me (which feels like talking at me). If I am being stubborn at that point, you can labour as much as you like, but I won't be budging. Best to do it later, and better still, if it really caused a scene get your thoughts out on paper, again in brief notes. It can avoid arguements and unnecessary grief on both sides. You may even find once that is done you can talk about it properly without the aggression coming back. Overall, accept that moment when the threshold is reached and give me the private space I need.

    Secondly, I am fully aware most often if I am about to blow a gasket and become rude and angry, which as well as causing me unnecessary distress, also hurts the other person and damages feelings and the relationship. When I try to avoid this by walking away, it is often not accepted, so in the end I do blow a gasket. Allow us to walk away. We may be trying to protect you as much as ourselves.

    If anything can be accepted on the other side where you are sitting on the forum, it is the ability to say 'at this time I need to walk away, we can discuss this again'. However infuriating it may be, nothing will be resolved once that threshold has been passed. 'Peeing against the wind' comes to mind, however unrefined an analogy it might be.

    You will be doing your partner and yourself a favour by giving that time. Perhaps if you are married, you could discuss some kind of code word that means, 'we go our separate ways temporarily'. Heed that when it is said, as there is only a moment before almost blowing a gasket and 'meltdown' which helps noone and achieves nothing.

    Showing affection in such cases can be overwhelming also and feel like being smothered. It often doesn't help and can antagonise further, as I know full well I have said many times that I sometimes cannot be hugged, but it just doesn't seem to get through.

    Often we know at first that we are about to erupt, and hate the fact that it is there as much as you do. Learn when you walk away, not to stomp off (which I can imagine is hard) and not respond to what you know is not the person you married is the best you can do. We will shortly return and it may only be a matter of minutes. Chances are, we will be feeling sheepish and daft- we didn't choose this any more than you did. Although we may not say it, we hate this as much as you too.

    I think overall, a quick word like 'cut', to close off the discussion could avoid a lot of unecessary heartache and pain on both sides, as well as one for when we can't or don't want affection. We often don't say it, as you need it, but it can be making us worse. On the other hand it can help. I don't want to be fickle, but am accepting at the moment that I am, and thinking what I would try to do for others in the past who find themselves in that situation.

    There is a difference between a conversation where PTS is showing and a normal conversation. Move away from the PTS moments we have, as we are not nice to be around and need space to come back down to earth. Nothing and noone can help that sometimes- it simply needs time.

    By the way, I often drop the 'D' of PTSD, I am not 'disordered' in my mind. I believe that many would be worse, and might not have stuck it out at all. This is not a question of weakness, and only exists because of events that happen to the few, in many cases concurrently, that lead to this happening.
    Considering the various things that have happened along the way, I know I am not weak, any suggestions to the contrary really get me going...so you might want to avoid those too. Little riles me more than comparing me to someone weak who had similar 'issues'. Almost always, they did not.

    I hope some of that might be useful...to have an insight from an 'anonymous' party on the other side.

    I can be stubborn, but I won't budge ('til maybe later)
    I can need you there, but need to push you away equally (which confuses me too)
    I can't concentrate, so learn to be direct (very important- sometimes better to get to the end point first 'eg 'Can we talk about you meds for a moment', instead of 'I was talking to X the other day and he said that Y had been going to see Z....' (I am almost exploding already, just writing it)
    I can't stand shouting, emotional outbursts (I will return them immediately, or worse will be happening inside you cannot see)
    If I ever do something like slam a door, a hit something leave immediately- I will always go for an inanimate object, but it is time to stop, and again not grab at the person to hug them.
     
  9. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Thanks for that Carp,

    This sheds a little more light into what is actually going on with you guys although I had pretty much figured out a lot of it through trial and heaps of error. I am proud of the fact that I am getting better at walking away because there are some days that you just cannot do anything right. One day recently Anthony was up and at me from the moment he got out of bed, by mid morning I'd had enough and told him that 'you were spoiling for a fight since we got out of bed this morning, you can bugger off I am not going to accommodate you and walked out of the room'. Much as he would never admit he knew that he was being a pain in the ass.

    Two things I will comment on, your 'peeing in the wind' analogy. You have summed up talking to my husband, when he is in that frame of mind, accurately. The other thing I will say and it really bites me on the butt is not so much the fact that it is necessary for us to walk away - learning to cope with that fine - but in my situation, Anthony will NOT come back to a conversation he doesn't like the content of. Lets face it, life deals us shit that we all don't necessarily like and perhaps you may not like someones else perspective but in a marriage or like situation you have to suck it up and be told the cold hard truth sometimes. PTS (following your lead) impacts on the whole family dynamics and it shits me to tears when you guys just point blank refuse to either acknowledge that or accept your part of the responsibility.
     
  10. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

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    The first thing was although infuriating for you all, I have less tolerance of others anger, and believe me, I grew up tolerating a lot of it and mediating through it for others. Therefore people are surprised at the change. Now, at times, I can't so if I am told I am being 'a pain in the butt/spoiling for a fight', I will likely get worse....if you tell me I am 'in one of those moods again, I am going away for a bit', I will accept it better and come to my senses faster. I don't want to be in that mood in the first place either.

    'Talking about things we don't want to talk about.'
    In a typical situation a subject can be raised again half an hour later, or the next day. If it has caused an arguement there is a tendency to tread eggshells broaching it...we hate that. 'Would you mind talking about X for a minute' works better. We also hate it being broached repeatedly through the day, when really it could wait. That's your own judgement call...does it really matter to leave it lie for a couple of days?

    There are some things I don't like to talk about;
    Advice on medication from others who do not fully understand what is happening to me, and although it has been discussed they haven't read more than a couple of paragraphs about it (if I am lucky) so are not really that qualified. For you here, I think that is different, as you are deliberately informing yourselves.

    Being told to go to bed, especially if I was about to go (guaranteed to wind me up and keep me awake for another couple of hours as a result)...I don't like being awake either, but prefer to work through it rather than pop a pill and feel like a zombie all morning to fit into everyone else's norm. Currently it is not mine, and I do not need to add poor quality drugged sleep and addiction to sleeping pills to exacerbate insomnia later (they also cause nightmares on the withdrawal, and am perfectly able to conjure up vivid enough ones on my own)
    Organisation and my future; it eats me more than anyone, but I cannot do certain things right now, I am not who I was right now. Raising this reaffirms my state of mind and the limitations that I do not want to accept either (in my case not knowing if it is just PTS or mild brain trauma aswell also just adds to that).
    Resolving the situation according to someone elses needs; I have needs too, and for (often the first time) am taking care of those first (I have to), which is surprising to others around me as they always expect me to be as accomodating as I was before. If I do not accept my limits, I will get exhausted, but might not want to talk about it. I can't do the things I used to do, even if that is sometimes as simple as sitting around chatting all day. I reach a point when I have had enough and need my own down time, to deal with in my own way. I have to deal with it somehow. I need more time on my own, and sometimes can't concentrate on the most basic of things such as the shopping list or party someone wants to discuss with me. When I am beat (tired mentally), nothing will change that. It doesn't mean that I readily want to admit it is happening either. I don't want it to be that way either.
    Affection 'I need a hug' I know how I am can affect someone, but the variety of things that have happened has left me sometimes not wanting one, or being able to give one without actually feeling uncomfortable in the process, which of course I cannot say. Even if you take my arm at the forearm, especially if I don't see it coming, I can feel threatened (through association, not by the person, although it is meant out of affection). It does not mean I think any less of the person, just that at that moment I can't. Demanding one makes the situation worse- it does not mean I don't care, but reminding me of the things I can't do and shouting/crying about it just makes it worse. Imagine that you had been through something traumatic (find your own idea of what that might be) and how that might affect your ability to recieve or give affection temporarily at certain times.
    Telling me you want the old me back/Comparing me to before; Don't you think we know, don't you think we don't want to be here either....

    You did not say what the things were, but I imagine I might have included some of them. Feel free to add more or ask me directly for what is only an opinion, but one that doesn't raise the hackles of your nearest and dearest.

    I am not sure how together the post is, that was very much off the cuff...but may show some of the problems you have had along the way.

    Something else just occurred to me; it's not about prying but a simple fact. Some of the meds affect sexual performance and sexual feelings generally and can even cause impotence and premature ejaculation. The last thing needed is a dysfunctional sexual relationship, but it may well be that this is related to medication, and equally frustrating for the person suffering it. It's easy to be prudish about discussing some elements, but with the level of honesty that needs to be used here, I think it is of value to add to the post. Similarly the drugs that are sometimes given are notorious for having side effects such as aggression, depression, irritability, insomnia with very strong withdrawals. I sometimes question how some of these medications ever got licensed, but as the other half you are the best person to notice changes over the weeks of changing medications and the best one to monitor that situation. Again, many don't like talking about it. There are plenty of things that can be printed out with a google search ('drug name' 'withdrawal'). Bear in mind that I believe what is said in the packet, is often an underestimation in the withdrawal that actually occurs.

    Some of these things may be valid only for me. The closeness to other people is less likely to occur from a car accident I believe, but more likely in the case of something like physical assault.
     
  11. Jen

    Jen Well-Known Member

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    Kerrie-Ann
    PTS (following your lead) impacts on the whole family dynamics and it shits me to tears when you guys just point blank refuse to either acknowledge that or accept your part of the responsibility.

    Sorry Kerri Anne who are you referring to as 'you guys' I dont know if I have misunderstood this.
    Are you talking about spouses who dont want to acknowledge the problem or the sufferer themselves dont want to acknowledge it or accept responsibilty?
    Jen
     
  12. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Kerrie would be referring to the sufferers I think Jen... being me... LOL, as I can be a right royal pain the her backside when I choose to be. DOH! Sufferers are 99.9% of the time ignorant to the fact they are in the wrong... and we are in the wrong often if PTSD is at work... (This should never be misconstrude though for normal relationship issues, as they tend to mix in and get blamed on PTSD)
     
  13. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Andrea, from your title "I am making his life a living hell", this would actually be impossible and you cannot bring this upon yourself, and the reason why is that PTSD is making his life a living hell, not you. The toilet roll being around the wrong way will exaserbate this, you walk in the door and that will exaserbate PTSD, a fly land upon him, that will exaserbate PTSD... it really is nothing you do... it is more PTSD.
     
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