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Another Life Lesson Learning To Live With PTSD

Discussion in 'General' started by Marlene, Mar 14, 2007.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    This morning my husband and I drove over to the body shop to pick up his truck now that the repairs are finally done. I had no idea of where it was (glad he did!) and this morning while we were sitting at the kitchen table, I started feeling anxious because I didn’t know exactly where we were going, how we were going to get there, etc. I had my husband tell me in detail where the body shop was located and the route we were going to take to get there. This was partly so I could get myself back and then onto work. Partly because I just needed to know.

    This part of myself (needing very detailed directions to get somewhere-especially the first time) is something that has always been there and had gotten worse/greater when my symptoms got bad last year. But some good has come out of it. For years I just figured I was a complete neurotic about needing detailed, written directions for going someplace, even if it was local. I couldn’t understand why I would get so upset without them…now I do. You can give my husband directions like ‘go west on this road for about a mile or so, turn north here and it’s behind that old shop that sells whatever’ and he’s got it processed into that map he carries in his brain. Me…with directions like that, I’d get in the car, turn on the ignition and have no idea where I was going. There have been times where I’ve been so frustrated that I’ve been in tears trying to explain to my husband that directions that are crystal clear to him are absolute Greek to me.

    Now as we’ve been going through this journey together we’ve each learned things. I’ve learned that whenever something new comes up in my life (expected or unexpected) that if I don’t prepare myself for it (in this instance detailed driving instructions are my preparation) my stress level will almost invariably go up. I read an article written by someone with PTSD and in it he said something along the lines of ‘changes in your routine-big or small…anything that upsets the apple cart has the potential to raise your stress level’. It took me a while to understand that. My husband has learned that I’m not being difficult (especially with directions LOL) and that by he and I talking things out and me getting as much information as I can, I can better deal with most situations. A side benefit to all of this is that our communication with each other has definitely improved.
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  3. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

    I wouldn't stress about the directions thing...there are studies on how men and women process things differently, one in particular is directions being bad for women, men have areas they are useless at in comparison too. Nothing can be applied universally, but you can always google it if you are interested. It's no biggie and something I have been told I am not good at from time to time, although I would actually attribute it to not being able to listen, concentrate and remember, nothing to do with directions per se. I need to write things down more, whether it is a shopping list, a list of the day's tasks, or directions. Whether that is result of brain trauma or PTSD is debateable, but less relevant in the scheme of things. Learning a different approach without getting angry with myself is the hardest part...and I can be stubborn, think I will just do it, then get angry when X or Y of the day are still forgotten, and try to not mention it and hope noone notices...
  4. slhlilbit

    slhlilbit Active Member

    i can understand that. i like to stick to the familier too. im so glad to hear that your husband is so understanding and willing to be there and help. that is awsome.
  5. starshine

    starshine Active Member

    I also struggle with changes in routine. Always have done. Anxiety about the unfamiliar, the unknown. For me its both a result of my traumas -- when things were so out of control, I try as many ways as possible to try and feel I am in control... and also learnt from my parents, my father inparticular.

    I think its great that you are your husband are working things through together. I am sure you and he are learning a lot - about yourselves as well as each other.
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Oh yes...we've been married for just over 20 years now and I'm amazed at the things we're learning about ourselves and each other since PTSD made itself a part of our lives. Not all sunshine and roses...but what we have we will always fight for. And I do think he's pretty awesome myself.

    Changes in routine-my personal hobgoblin for as long as I can remember. But learning to give myself a pep talk and be as prepared as I can for dealing with different/new things has helped so much when life throws a curve to me. And since those curve balls aren't going to stop anytime soon, I figure the better I get at this, the easier it's going to be to live the kind of life I want-happy, lower-stressed and doing things I enjoy.
  7. wadoo

    wadoo Active Member

    I have problems with changes in my life too. I have to know the ins and outs as well. I cant stand change...

    I think the key point is fear of the unknown that is the scariest thing.
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