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Understood or Tolerated?

Discussion in 'General' started by DesertDweller, Sep 22, 2006.

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  1. DesertDweller

    DesertDweller Active Member

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    Hey all,

    I am having an issue with "support". I am starting to believe that I am being tolerated instead of supported. Let me explain, I feel when you are being supported someone understands your problem and is sympathetic towards it, not just puts up with you. I feel I am not understood. There are few people that I trust enough to talk to, most are colleagues at work since they have seen the obvious change in me and are concerned. But even those people are few. On a personal level outside of the work place I feel that I am not understood. It seems that it is known that I have a "problem" but everyone has their own opinion or "diagnosis" of what is wrong with me.

    I think I have decided to take some time off. I think I defiantly need it. I just don't know when. That was a tough decision for me. Most everyone around me has told me to take the time off and take care of myself because health is paramount. Those people are more concerned over my health and the big picture instead of the current situation I believe. I have spoken in my prior posts about how I know that if I don't get better now I will only prolong the problem and really not solve any of my issues and continue to suffer in the work place and my personal life where if I go and take care of my issues now I have a better chance of going back to a "normal" lifestyle.

    Well, here is my issue. I keep bringing the time off deal up in my posts and I have really bugged the hell out of those around me asking for advise. I have gotten a fairly similar response from every one..... but one person. This happens to be the person whose opinion matters the most. I feel this person is more worried about me leaving work than me. I am sure that income has a part to do with it, but that is understandable. the part that bugs me is that I am being told that I would waste away the time of and be lazy and not do anything productive with the time off so all and all, there would be no benefit to the time off. I can see where the lazy part would come from, since every chance I get i try to detach myself from reality and get observed into either my art (sketching/drawing/graphic design) or 'vege in front of the TV. I can see how that could become annoying to someone especially when there is alot to be done. On the other hand it seems to me that my health doesn't mean as much as me staying at work and living the way I do now without making a change. This is where the tolerating not understanding part comes in. They tolerate this, at times may i add, but don't understand what goes on in my head and that my mind feels like it is going a million miles an hour and at the same time I cant concentrate on a given thing to save my life. I much rather be understood than tolerated and to be honest I am getting rather annoyed and fed up. I hate being told that someone understands what I am going through when in reality they don't, why say you do when you don't? If you say you don't I am more understanding of you in return and don't get as upset because I know you don't know what I am going through so wont expect much understanding.
    It seems to be that I say that "I cant take this anymore " about once a day. I don't like saying that, in fact I down right hate saying that and wish it didn't have to be this way, but I really feel that way. I can feel so alone in a room full of people,

    "The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift of life is yours, .... and you alone are responsible for the quality of it"
    - Dan Zandra
     
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  3. Andrea42

    Andrea42 Active Member

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    I love you.

    < edited by anthony as inappropriate. >
     
  4. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

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    Whoa Andrea! Don't be so hard on yourself. DD asked for our opinions and we honestly gave them. The decision being made is a huge step, and I'm sure DD is spending an enormous amount of time running over every little aspect of what might happen or not happen.

    DD - you sound like you've virtually made your mind up. There will always be doubt. It doesn't matter how long you take to make the decision, you will still be wondering what if... The only way you are going to know if stopping work will help is by stopping work.

    You have read what I am experiencing myself with my work. It's hard and I hate that I am putting myself through this. The thing is, I know myself. I know that if I walk away without fighting for my rights, I will feel far worse than I do while I'm standing up for myself. Your situation is different. It is YOUR situation and you are trying to make one of the hardest decsions of your life. Just know that the people here are supportive whatever you decide to do. We are all walking our own paths, but we can see others and learn from their experiences and maybe our paths will become that little bit easier.

    Take care.
     
  5. Kims_Man

    Kims_Man Active Member

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    Wow. Being the spouse of a person suffering from PTSD gives me a whole different perspective to this issue. I see what my wife goes through when she is hitting her lows. I also see when she is more likely to hit those lows. They come during times of uncertainty, or when she feels like she does not have control over a situation. I also know that in her job, she has control, and because of the structure that her job gives her, she is able to cope much better. In fact, she has never had an outburst during her work. Does she come home and vent? Absolutely! And that's the way it should be. But if she didn't have a purpose to get out of bed each morning, if there wasn't something with meaning for her to go and do, then I'm not convinced she would ever leave the house. I'm not saying that to be mean, and I'm sure she will be along to give her side of the story (love you, babe!) but I feel that having a job, something to give her purpose, is an incredibally important part of her life!

    DD, I have to ask you, what do you think quitting your job is going to do for you? I understand some jobs are extremely stressful, and can really add to the pressures you are already experiencing from the PTSD. However, would
    finding a new job be a better answer? One that has less stress in it? Perhaps doing something you have always wanted to do? You mentioned your art, and graphic design. Maybe freelancing as a graphic designer, setting your own schedule, but still having deadlines to meet, having some structure to help you through the day? I've got to say, if my wife were to up and quit right now, we wouldn't be able to do it financially. We would lose the house, her car (my old truck's payed for), and everything else that was important to us. And to be very honest, I don't know how well our marriage would survive such a drastic move.

    Again, I don't have PTSD so I can not imagine what is going on in the minds of a sufferer. But one thing I have noticed is that structure helps. Having a routine that is already set, without the unforseen variables, seems to be a soothing element. Once that is gone, what's left?
     
  6. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    These guys do have a point DD. So I guess my question is....Is work the actual cause of your stress? Having work one of the root problems is bad. Something that I had, since it triggered the most terrible reactions from me. So for me, quitting drastically changed my stress level. I was lazy. I did nothing for a while. But then, once everything stablilizes, you find something that you do want to do.

    Now, if work is not the cause, just an added pressure like paying bills, then you might want to look at other stressors to take time off from. Make it so your only obligation is to go to work, go to doctor appointments, feed yourself, and shower. If you accomplish these things, you are successful and will find that doing anything beyond those things are a blessing, and optional.

    All these factors need to be figured out between you and your spouse to see what will work best. If staying at your job is incredibly important to your spouse and to your marriage, I would try to delegate everything else but your job.

    When I decided that I had to quit my job, other responibilites replaced it. My husband got a second job while I stayed home and took care of the house and kids. I had to be available to my kids all the time so that hub could work. So, in turn, I took over the household duties while he does everything outside the home. It worked out for us in the end. I was the not the breadwinner though...so depending on your situation.....

    The graphic design free lancing is something to consider. I personally wouldn't be able to do it. (I have a graphic design degree.) The pressures of a deadline are too much for me (right now). Consider all of them. If your spouse has strong feelings, you must consider them. Do your best to find some sort of (I hate to say it..) compromise.

    I wish you the very best...
     
  7. DesertDweller

    DesertDweller Active Member

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    Thanks for the words of wisdom all,

    to clarify, I would not be quitting my job. I have talked about this in more detail under the private group. I would be taking 30 days disability to reduce stress, but return to my job. Also, the position I am in is very stressfull but i might be getting an offer within the same company but another section sometime soon. It would be working with an executive that is more understanding of my situation, he has been observing my situation from the outside in and thinks I am being treated unfairly, to help he is trying to have me go work for him. The problem is that due to company cut backs it might take a month or two. Me taking the month off would be more of an extended vacation to say where i would be able to "sharpen the Knife" being myself to be able to go into this new situation refreshed. I have been looking for a different field of work as well as a back up plan. In no way do I plan on not working anymore, I just feel I need to take a month off so that i can go to the support meetings I havent been able to go through and sort some things out with myself. It would be payed dissabilty, not my full earnings but some income.

    Bottom line is that I have hit a breaking point and feel really stuck. Even though it is only a month I want to take off, which my job is protected and all I dont like the idea of it and that is why is has been such a huge issue for me. I came to the point where I know that if I dont take some time off to better myself and deal with this I might not have a job anymore based on performance. I have a job where there is no room for error. My boss knows my problems this and has made a comment about taking time off. I am not a person that easily quits, and dont intend on starting now. I hope that sheds some light on what I was talking about.. I appoligize if I made it seem like somethinig else.. thanks again guys

    DD
     
  8. cdunny

    cdunny Active Member

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    Basic human instinct is survival. Its to take care of your needs above others. Its only natural for people to be selfish. Its not popular and we all try to do for others when we can, but sometimes tolerating is all we can do. This is especially true if the behavior we are tolerating is in someway affecting us negatively. Now, if we realy realy care for someone we can go above and beyond, but in a work place its not likely to find much of that going on. In general, most people just dont care. Its a sad truth but it is the truth. I think we've all experienced it in one form or another. I personally have just come to expect it out of people. But then again Im not exactly miss congeniality either.
     
  9. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Ha ha ha. I know your post is serious, but seriously what in the hell are you supposed to do with vacation time from work? You were talking about a month right? Spend it wasting time and being lazy, that is what a vacation is for now isn't it? No demands or added stress is the point of one, fishing, cold drinks with your feet up in the sun, find a national or local park and watch the water and natural wildlife, put you feet up and veg in front of the TV, release emotion into art, and what will happen the times not in front of a TV? Reflection! Reflection will give you an idea of where to go with this. And it would be a great time to read some self help books, hell they can't hurt, just embarassing to buy. I swear I would be more comfortable buying a porn mag! The one I have started and doesn't seem out of whack is Feeling Good, might be worth a read for ya. And trust me I have hundreds invested in self help crap. Most of it is crap.

    You sound as if you have made the desicision to take off so that isn't an issue anymore, more of what to do with it. I say screw off and enjoy it, I would kill for one, but being a stay home mom to 4 it just isn't going to happen without me running away from home, and I have. I went off and on for a few weeks hunting and the sort about a year and a half ago. That was also when I was at my peak being suicidal, I did need out. I had gone off the deep end and it helped.

    As for the spouse. You cannot make them understand, you cannot expect them to understand. You are setting them up to fail if you do and unreasonable. It is certainly one of those been there, done that, got the tee shirt things! All we can do is hope to be tolerated. If married expect to be tolerated, not excused though for bad behavior, there is a difference. Because you cannot truly undrstand until you are there. If you are being tolerated be happy you are! Many many others would not be able to do that much. Yes, this is looking on the bright side!

    I asked my husband how he does it... He accepts his reality simply put. He is not a wind bag like I am. And reality is his wife is basically a nut job right now. His expectations of me are pretty simple and set low. He is tickled and tells me so if I heat up something from a can for supper even if it isn't really cooking, he says it is something hot for supper and you did it. I guess if he does not expect a lot the little accompishments are a big deal and he pushes me up telling me how well I did or am doing. It helps me even if I tell him just hush, he keeps it up. Because little trivial things that others take for granted doing are enormous tasks for me now. So if I do something trivial he makes a little fuss about it and boosting my "I can beat this attitude". He has been key to how I am doing.

    When I am having a panic attack, he tells me I am OK and almost acts like a birthing coach when they were at their worst. When I come out of it he tells me how great I did. I did do great to him even if I fell apart, did not end up in ER again! Withdrawals = I shake, rebound attacks, vomit and other nasty tummy stuff, muscle pains, I don't shower, and let everything fall apart around me, ect. Then he tells me how great I am doing, because I am coming off and sticking it out. He finds the tiniest bit of good in everything I do and puts all his emphasis on that. And even if I have not showered, brushed my hair, looked at my make up, and have been in a pair of his boxers and a tee shirt stolen from him stinking up the joint for a couple days he will come and tell me I am beautiful. Who is the nut job now? He loves me and I guess in his eyes I can't be ugly. If I need alone time he gives it, at least I am not ripping into him. If the house is a wreck at least I did not burn it down... Sounds like an optimistic guy to the extreme? He really isn't, he is just like that with me and with helping me. Other wise he is one of the most cynical people you ever would meet. That was one reason we got along so well, so was I.

    I am now going to say he is the exception to the rule! I don't think he is normal and I am grateful for that, that is why I married him, I WANTED to marry him. I am also grateful that he took our vows seriously enough that he understands "for better or for worse" did not have an except if this happens tacked on! And God can throw some doozies your way testing it! He accepts this is my reality and his. Your spouse has to be your best friend and you have to let them be. I am in love with my husband and he is my all time best bud. I also try to be as open as I can be without dumping too much on him as I have dumped too much on him before. It made things worse watching him go through a stint of depression. Pretty sure compliments of me.

    He has never said he understands. I don't ask if he does. It is not fair for me to expect him to and if she says she does and it bugs you ask her to stop, she stops and one less reason to fight! And then leave it. Leave trivial crap of the past in the past. You have enough on your plate from the past to deal with that gave you PTSD, why add to it?

    Andrea, don't try to fix it, you can't. All you can do is accept your reality, and I love you isn't going to fix him but is nice to hear and needed to be said any way, that is reality. DD all you can do to start to heal is accept yours. Accept there are going to be drastic downs and some ups when you get lucky. Your reality is not Pre-PTSD, it is now with it. And no one will be the same.

    And the "I can't take it anymore" is going to be there, I am betting always to some degree. I feel bad because I feel like I have the best support system anyone could ask for, this board and other self help, a great doc, and a supportive husband who seems to get it even if he may not. And yet I hit I can't take it anymore daily too. But that is my reality and I have to accept it as fighting won't fix it. Learning about it and taking it one day at a time in little bits is the only way I can.

    So go be lazy like any good time off from work should be and enjoy the down time. Got a creaky door? Let it creak. House need fixin up? Ahhh screw it, it has not fallen in on you. Some things can wait, your mind and inner peace isn't one of them though. As usual long winded but I hope ya'll can take something away from it.
     
  10. Andrea42

    Andrea42 Active Member

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    My apologies to the forum...I was upset this morning...it hurt to read what my husabnd wrote. How i am pretty much the odd one out who has no clue of what he is going through..it goes futher than that but....thanks to everyone for their replies.

    Veiled,
    You have a wonderful husband it seems! Every woman (w/ PTSD or not) deserves to hear from the one she loves that she is beautiful... But not all of us get that. You are lucky to have someone who is so understanding and supportive.
    But i kinda dont agree with the whole being lazy for a month thing (my husabnd takes care of business when he needs to, im not worried about that) I am just afriad that his time away from work will make things worse for him and we wont want to return. The whole thing about going "on vacation" for the heck of it. What about responsibility?? I dont always want to come to work...I dont always want to take a shower or even feed my dogs!! LoL but i really dont have a choice. These are everyday things that just need to get done and its not fair that only one spouse takes care of everything while the other is "on vacation"
     
  11. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    Who ever told you life was fair... Go kick their ass, they lied. I am certain with PTSD he does not feel life is very fair either. Not to sound rude in any way at all, but it feels like ya'll have more issues besides PTSD to address. PTSD tries the best of relationships and marriages, if it wasn't great to begin with this sure won't help! Nothing wrong with marriage counseling to get to a better place.

    And I still stand by what I typed. Call me biased, I get it and understand. In spouse replies you will get the sympathetic ear who gets it from your point of view. But shit be realistic. Do you want what is best for him and his sanity, and maybe he knows what is going on in him and what he needs more than you *think* he does? Then be supportive of a choice he makes. I don't understand how in one breath you say he takes care of business and in the next ask what about responsibility?? So which is it? Is he irresponsible or does he take care of business? And the fact he makes a choice is a step! He made up his own mind about something, that is a step in the right direction. Look at the good in it, hunt for it if you have to.

    When a spouse or loved one contradicts themself we cannot make sense of it what is the right or wrong... We are working on what invades our minds as it is rather than deal with petty things. It may not be petty to you but in a PTSD mind compared to all the other shit it would sound petty to me if my husband acted like that and would probably be ducking to dodge a shoe. That is *us*, not ya'll, thought I should stress that. And that thought of telling you you are beautiful may not come through. I said my husband was an exception, he also does not have PTSD. Me, I will say it if I look like shit and tell him the same. I don't water anything down. Like this, I am going to give it to ya straight how I feel. He asked for our opinions, I gave mine. He can do with it as he wants, he is a big boy. And like they say opinions are like ass holes, we all got them and they normally stink. Man what a boring screwed up world if everybody thought the same way!

    I still say fish...
     
  12. Kims_Man

    Kims_Man Active Member

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    Veiled,

    I can't help but think your response sounds a bit biased. Hope I'm wrong, but like you, "I don't water anything down. Like this, I am going to give it to ya straight how I feel."

    Kim's Man
     
  13. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

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    Veiled,

    I don't think your response sounds biased at all. After all, shouldn't people who deal with us PTSD'ers try to understand it from our point of view? Way to go.:claps:

    Kim's Man,

    You know I love you, but reread Veiled's response. It may help you understand more about me and what I feel like sometimes:kiss:

    Andrea42,

    Please understand that none of us are against you. We want to try to help you understand what your husband is going through. With understanding comes understanding; with education comes empathy.

    But please also understand that your husband probably has a hard time articulating what he is feeling and/or going through. I suspect (from personal experience) that he doesn't like the way he is feeling and keeps most of it inside; after all, not only does he have PTSD but he is male too! (Not man-bashing, but you males know how much you LOVE to tell how you are feeling, much less talk about anything by using more than two words - "okay" "fine" "yeah" "uh huh" "yes dear" "sure", etc...:rofl: ). Probably for him, coming out and actually saying how he feels about the stress, the job, and the PTSD is a HUGE step for him.

    Do you go to his appointments with him? Is it possible to talk with the doctor about PTSD, more than just what happens in the appointments? Perhaps counseling for you would be good, if for no other reason that to get counseled on the intricacies (sp?) of PTSD. You could also talk with the counselor about how it is making YOU feel and/or react. Perhaps they could also teach you some coping methods.

    Feeling the need to go to counseling doesn't mean someone's crazy; it means they are listening to what their body and mind is telling them. Actually going to counseling means they're smart! And conversely, not going would be crazy...crazy stupid!

    Hang in there, Andrea. It's okay to be mad at us with PTSD. We realize we're not perfect by a long shot. When we screw up we crucify ourselves over and over and over. Marriage counselors tell couples to not bring up negative things from the past (which is sometimes easier said than done); in our mind we bring up the negative things that we've done, especially to our spouses and loved ones, and no amount of forgiveness on the other one's part is ever enough. It's as if we need to forgive ourselves but can't.
     
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