Peer support subsequent to trauma contributes to full recovery

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Lying And Ptsd? Is This A Common Symptom?

Discussion in 'Supporter General Discussion' started by confused, Feb 8, 2012.

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  1. confused

    confused New Member

    My partner of 18 months has recently suffered a major episode of PTSD. He has been lying to me a lot, and trying to compartmentalize his life (eg keeping work away from family, not wanting me to mix with his family etc)
    I's this common to ptsd sufferers, or another problem altogether?
    He is ex special ops
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  3. amethist

    amethist The Mystic Duck

    Hi confused.

    Maybe the following linked thread will give you some answers. But as most supporters probably will say, lying is not exceptable in any relationship.

  4. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Transitioning to Single Parenthood
    Premium Member

    Hi Confused,

    Can you share more info? Was he different before? Does he allow you access to all financial info, knowledge about when he is working (though knowing he can't share details), people he spends time with?

    Are you close to any of his family?

    I can't give much info based upon what you shared, but if you're not safe sharing I hope you'll see a T.
    gizmo and Srain like this.
  5. wife of

    wife of I'm a VIP

    The very fact that he is ex special ops may well be contributing to this !

    Covert,need to know,the less you know of given situations then the less you can use against him?

    Just the thoughts of a former service wife.
    bootz, gizmo and Mrs. T like this.
  6. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Transitioning to Single Parenthood
    Premium Member

    Here's some info on identifying Abuse, which can be helpful to either confirm inappropriate behavior or show that behavior is not worthy of this criteria.
    Anna and gizmo like this.
  7. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    During one of my wife's admissions, I was told by a Social Worker that it was not so much that she was lying to me but that she was Lying to HERSELF. Unable to face things. That helped me see it a different way and to try not to take it so personally.

    I know it's hard.

    bootz, kabeh394, Springer80 and 5 others like this.
  8. Srain

    Srain "Please don't tell me not to cry."
    Premium Member

    I don't consider myself a liar nor do I consider it a common symptom of my ptsd. Separating out my life was how I was raised but I don't not discuss those with my husband (like this forum) that's not how I am in my relationships.

    I'm not saying I don't issues, but being a liar is a character issue not a pstd issue in my opinion.
    Abstract, gizmo, Daisygirl and 2 others like this.
  9. Meadowsweet

    Meadowsweet I'm a VIP

    Lying isn't a symptom of PTSD. But, from what I can gather, the behaviours that show on the surface when we are experiencing symptoms, tend to relate to what the trauma was and the thought processes it developed. So the reactions to symptoms can be quite individual.

    I don't know anything about your husbands trauma. But it doesn't seem too wild to imagine that his job may have required him to keep things from people, or for suspicion to be a necessary part of survival.
    kabeh394, Abstract, gizmo and 5 others like this.
  10. confused

    confused New Member

    Thanks for your input everyone! My partners childhood involved violence and neglect, to the point where he was removed from his parents. He then went into special ops, was married for 20 years, this ended when she cheated on him, and he reacted by moving to a different state from all of his family, including his children. We recently went for a happy family holiday (!!) to meet them, and they set up a devastating situation which ended up causing a huge rift between my partner and I, and resulted in the children and I leaving. This seems to have been the trigger for the PTSD, and since then , Greg has been completely closed off, hardly communicates with me, has put a secret password on his phone, doesn't tell me that he loves me, but when pressed, says 'of course i do".

    He finally admitted last week to needing help, and has been seeing an army psych pretty much daily for the past week.

    There seems to be some improvement. He is talking to me a bit about his feelings, initiating contact a bit more, and yesterday when I was unwell, left work to come and care for me, when my mother could easily have.

    It's very difficult when you love someone so much, and they shut you out. I hope one day he feels safe enough with me to trust me ...
    kabeh394, Abstract, gizmo and 4 others like this.
  11. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    OK, perhaps I used the wrong words in my post. It WAS 3 1/2 years ago, I am old and the Memory is the first to go. :eek:

    I think the words actually were that she was not being honest with herself. Depending on interpretation, that can be different.

    gizmo likes this.
  12. EloiseLandau

    EloiseLandau Well-Known Member

    I have PTSD and I go the other direction; don't lie to me, don't fib, don't embellish or garnish the details. If I give it to you without deception, please do the same for me.
    gizmo and Daisygirl like this.
  13. Meadowsweet

    Meadowsweet I'm a VIP

    It sounds like he is doing the right thing for someone with ptsd. I think sometimes, when the mind is full of stuff, as a sufferer its extremely difficult to communicate whats happening in there.

    At times like that, the whole focus has to be on sorting out whats in the mind. It sounds like he is doing that. I know its not easy for the wives or husbands of sufferers.

    I think it can be helpful to imagine that the mind is the same as a muscle or physical body part. If your partner had an illness and he was unable to move his legs, it wouldn't be because he doesn't care enough about you. And in a similar way, if your partner hits a period where he is unable to work his mind, its not because he doesn't care about you.

    I hope it works out for you both.
    Srain likes this.
  14. Srain

    Srain "Please don't tell me not to cry."
    Premium Member

    Not trusting is not the same as lying. I think I understand your feeling shut out, my Hunny goes through that quite a bit. We have been together for 11 years and my family is a HUGE trigger for me.

    I think the wording, as ISH pointed out, might be an issue. If my husband accused me of lying I might hit the door and not come back. Too sensitive? You bet. I think coming from a place where the parental trust is destroyed can make one edgy and I can only imagine where your hunny's been since. It seems to me he wants to let you in but that can take time and testing on his part. To me, he trusted you enough to let you see where he came from. That says a lot.

    He most likely needs time to recover.

    I think you are asking some good questions and it's obvious you care very much. Wording makes a difference is all.

    Take care of yourself as well,
    Abstract, Eleanor and Meadowsweet like this.
  15. Toria

    Toria Sitting duck!
    Premium Member

    Hi Confused - I'm just going to say this how I see it from my point of view... which actually goes against what most of the others have said - and I could well be wrong so please feel free to ignore me!!!

    When I met Husband he was married but separated and mid-divorce from his second wife who he met in Germany when he was posted out there with the Army. She had run off with the Families Officer whilst he was out in Bosnia and Kosovo. His first wife had run off with a used car salesman when he was out in the Gulf War the first time round - taking their young son with her - and leaving him with a mountain of her debt.

    So... I had a fair few trust issues to deal with before the PTSD hit. If your partner has had a 20 year marriage fall apart and then has had to deal with PTSD, family crises etc etc it could just be more than his broken heart can deal with. PTSD can put a skewed perspective on things and I was incredibly lucky that Husband has never seen me as the enemy, or one not to be trusted. But I can see how easily he could be projecting past experiences on to you. Fair? No. Possible? Maybe... x
    Daisygirl and Srain like this.
  16. confused

    confused New Member

    Thank you all so much. I have felt soooo alone, and can't share Gregs issues with family or friends, as I feel it is too private, and personal. I sooo want him to learn that I accept him , flaws and all. I am flawed also!!

    Inspite of his biggish ptsd issues, he is the man I've trusted most ever, and I love his company, admire the way he conducts himself, and want to build a life together.
    I am trying to give him space, but this is difficult, as I want/need him so much.
    I am not sure why, but his family and ex's have made it clear I am not welcome (he is relatively wealthy-perhaps they feel threatened re this?) They have set up acts of vandalism, of very valued personal items of his, and pointed the finger at me. Sadly, due to opportunity, I fear a small percent of him believes their lies. I have also had anonymous abusive calls, and much hostility aimed at me.

    Prior to this, we were so happy, that I was actually questioning how can life be going so well??

    Now, I don't know how things will turn out. My man has showed signs of secrecy, and perhaps joined an internet dating site.

    I am willing to accomodate anything, but not chronic infidelity, as this is what destroyed my first marriage.

    I know my friends and family would say-don't walk-run!! He has too many issues.
    But I really do love him unconditionally, and I want to help him finally feel loved and at peace.

    He is a GOOD man xx

    <Full line spaces inserted between paragraphs>
  17. confused

    confused New Member

    Thanks for the tip re wording. You are right- I wont use the word lying again. Thanks for your support x
    Abstract, Srain and timetorecover like this.
  18. confused

    confused New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I'm still riding the rollercoaster of ptsd. My love has been away for work for 3 days (his choice), and returns tonight. He doesn't want to see me until Tuesday, but inspite of it all , I'm still pushing for a brief meeting after work tomorrow.:(

    I am such a sad case.

    It is hard to get my head around the fact that he wants me less than I want him, although maybe he needs me more...hard to tell-I MISS HIM SO MUCH...

    <Line space inserted between paragraphs>
  19. ISupportHer

    ISupportHer Supporter Member
    Premium Member

    I have been kind of stewing over how to respond.

    I absolutely hear what Srain is saying but on the other hand I absolutely know of specific circumstances with some previous members that can not be described in any way other than lies. Not necessarily just a PTSD thing.

    I know that giving a sufferer some space is appropriate but yet days away kind of raises a red flag for me. I hope things go well but please follow your instinct.

  20. Brussell4

    Brussell4 New Member

    I personally lie on occasion, used to do it a lot. I can't really even explain why, other than the fact that sometimes it's just easier to do that than get into a real answer, which would be messy and difficult to discuss. Maybe it's also because it allows me to build a little pretend world where things are better for me and I don't have the problems I have.

    As for the other problem, I am also bad with trying to separate things out. To be honest, it may be a way for him to help deal with his problems. By separating and organizing things out into different little groups, it may be easier for him to deal with life. It certainly is for me; if I don't separate things out like that, everything gets so jumbled up and messy for me, and I don't know what I am doing, what I need to do, or when I need to do it. Sorry, this may be a little confusing, but I am trying to convey my own behavior through words, which isn't really something we naturally notice in ourselves, but instead notice in others. And the separating part, it really doesn't have to do with the lies, if that is what you are thinking, but instead with helping make sense of my life, which always seems out of control and unorganized. In addition, he is Military, which means organization has been embedded into his personality. I also have a big problem with trying to emotionally separate myself from others. I compartmentalize my feelings and emotions from others, because for some reason I feel like all of my problems and the way I am so messed up inside will somehow transfer over to the other person and mess up their life too, as if it is contagious. I also do it because I am terrified of letting someone else into my life because I am afraid they will hurt me and make everything worse, bringing back very bad habits. This, in itself, is a bad habit, too.

    I don't want to say to leave him be and let him do whatever he has to do to get by, but I also don't want to tell you to try and stop him from doing it because it may be the way he is dealing with whatever happened to him. Just please try to understand that maybe this is a way of dealing with it for him, or a way of making sense of his life, which is probably strangely and difficultly confusing at the moment, for reasons he can't consciously understand. If anything, seek therapy, the both of you (separately and together). One thing that you aren't going to like but are going to have to learn to deal with is that there are going to be things he never tells you about his trauma. That's just how it is. Like I said before, I almost unconsciously come to the conclusion that it is somehow contagious to the other person, and I'm afraid of transferring it to them, even though the details of what happened probably wouldn't affect anyone else but myself. I just naturally come to the conclusion that because it hurts me it must hurt someone else too, even though that may not be the case.

    Just learn to be patient, learn to be supportive, learn to help, and most of all learn to not pry when it gets difficult for him, no matter how bad you want to know. And like I said, he definitely should see someone about whatever happened, and it may help if you also see someone to help you through the process of helping him. Also realize that a lot of the times whenever you notice there is a problem or he is doing something out of normal behavior, he isn't going to realize he's doing it. We talk about behavior and subconsciously feel like we realize what we are doing when we do it, but most of the time we really don't until later. Behavior is just that - what we do at the moment, we don't usually think about it right then.
    Eleanor likes this.
  21. ronin47

    ronin47 Well-Known Member

    I think lying is more a symptom of low self esteem than anything else. Being honest sometimes means acknowledging your shortcomings, which is hard for me personally at times because I'm afraid of how people will react to them.
    kabeh394 likes this.
  22. confused

    confused New Member

    Thank you so much Brussell and Ronin for sharing your thoughts. I have been very distressed by the lying when I originally uncovered it, but lately I have been thinking that he probably lies, or more kindly misrepresents himself, in order to build up a facade. He probably feels shattered, and embarrassed, even though he is an immensely competent man. So building in an alternative reality, serves to raise his self confidence, and to create an intimacy barrier so that no one can really know him, love him, and as has been his past experience, hurt him again.

    Brussell, your post has helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    BTW, today has been a much better day. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully, it will be a long, long time before we ever get this low again. We are both in therapy ( separately), and this is also helping alot. But to be honest, this forum sustains me :)
  23. ProudWife99

    ProudWife99 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to hear that the days have gotten better since your original post. I know sometimes it is important to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You do mention how you hope it will be a long, long time before you ever feel that low again. I hate to be harsh, but the realities of PTSD are too harsh to ignore. If you stick your head in the sand and hope upon hoping you'll never go there again, you will just get there faster.

    One thing I learned is that I can't expect things to never go downhill again. I can expect that we manage and handle them appropriately, respectfully, and as lovingly as we can. I have hope, yes. Hope is definitely what kept me around in the darkest days, but bracing myself for the eventual decline (regardless of how steep) helps me manage myself and my needs as well. Just my opinion, though.
    Srain and Eleanor like this.
  24. confused

    confused New Member

    I think I'm done :( I can't handle the coldness, or the lack of empathy as to how this is effecting me. It's always all about him, and I feel so insecure, that I think I'm adding to the problem. So , sadly, I am walking away. I know he wont want to be my friend. I will now be one of the enemy. But I cant eat or sleep, can't perform properly at work, and I don't even know that he finds my presence comforting or supportive. :(
  25. ProudWife99

    ProudWife99 Well-Known Member

    Confused - Sending hugs and peaceful thoughts your way. Sometimes the best thing we can do for those we love who are suffering is take a step back. It is difficult to know when it is the right time and I know it can be almost unbearably painful. Continue to focus on yourself, do things that bring even the smalles amount of joy to you.

    I've been having some difficult days myself as A seems distant, detached, and has all but emotionally checked out on me recently. Hoping for peace for you!
  26. confused

    confused New Member

    Thank you proud wife. I received a beautiful text from him yesterday, telling me how much he loves me, and how I'm his best friend, and, as I have read here is a common feeling, "that I deserve better than him". It made me very sad, but I haven't even responded.

    I will give him his space. He requested it. But I'm not thinking of him in my head as the one anymore. I am trying to emotionally detach, because lately he has been very much less than loving. He is in therapy, so maybe in time, he will find his way back to me, and be able to show me some love, not just text me about it.

    I hope your situation improves , it is so painful to have the man you love more than anything treat you with indifference. It's very hard not to take it personally, because it feels personal!!

    You are in my prayers :)
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