Relationship Anyone dealt with a situation like this?

Hamiltonian

Not Active
Hi all,

So, my spouse has CPTSD, and has done for around five years. The initial diagnosis determined that it was prompted by the medical trauma associated with the death at birth of our first child, and also some earlier traumatic experiences. The episodes at first took the pattern of a breakdown triggered by something (not always easy to tell what). She would fall to the ground, sometimes rolled up, and would be screaming or sobbing. After the first time, and especially after the first few times, we figured out how to deal with it a little better, using various techniques to reduce the severity of the episodes.

Since then, things have been a mixed bag, with some good times, and often periods of months without issues, and some very bad times, with breakdowns on all sides (I have suffered from depression, and we also have two children with special needs). My spouse has a good therapist and has gotten good advice, and she hasn't had a serious episode of the initial type in years. Still, she had trouble with sleeping - lots of nightmares - and stressful situations often bring out serious issues (almost every vacation is preceded by a near breakdown).

Now though, we have a new situation. She feels very dissociated from myself and the kids (and the dog). She feels like she's meant to be somewhere else, like that she's meant to be where we were 12-13 years ago, and that either she's switched place with the spouse who is meant to be here, so that her "other" life continues with her being replaced, or that she's simply travelled forward in time, with her life and loved ones from that time being left with her having disappeared.

Now logically she knows that is not the case, but it's how she feels. She feels very dissociated from us, and like we are basically strangers. She talked to her therapist, and the therapist said it's cause she is burned out, and needs an escape - so her mind is basically seeking escape routes by dissociating and imagining this other option. She said it was probably depression with psychotic features, and was somewhat related to the PTSD. Her recommendation was to look into ways of getting a bit of a break from things, and that even researching options like that was helpful in terms of making the escape seem possible (I guess thinking it through).

Now, she had a sort of a creeping flashback type of situation on Thursday night, and had a difficult time dealing with on Friday (but not all the way, like she was still seeing the kids as hers), then she went to sleep on Friday evening and slept through to the next morning. I was hopeful that the next morning she'd have slept it off, but she was having a much harder time, and was texting me to say that she'd done this and that "for your kids", as though they weren't hers (I was at work). She had to go lock herself in her room for most of the day. Luckily she had an appointment set up for that evening with her therapist (pre-arranged), and after she talked it out with the therapist she seemed to be doing better. She talked things out, and by late in the evening she seemed to be her usual self, and we were able to spend the evening together. She was able to lie in the next day, and when she did get up seemed fine, was affectionate with the kids etc. Then she had one or two moments of frustration, and had to take a break in the bedroom. Following that, she quickly reverted to the same as the previous day.

So the timeline was Thursday middle of the night - flashback, Friday daytime some feelings of exhaustion and frustration, slept a long time through to Saturday morning, then most of Saturday till she spoke to her therapist she felt dissociated. Then from around mid-afternoon today has been dissociated again.

Does this sound recognizable to anyone? Has anyone experienced similar issues, themselves, or with a family member? Any advice on how to handle this?
 
Hi all,

So, my spouse has CPTSD, and has done for around five years. The initial diagnosis determined that it was prompted by the medical trauma associated with the death at birth of our first child, and also some earlier traumatic experiences. The episodes at first took the pattern of a breakdown triggered by something (not always easy to tell what). She would fall to the ground, sometimes rolled up, and would be screaming or sobbing. After the first time, and especially after the first few times, we figured out how to deal with it a little better, using various techniques to reduce the severity of the episodes.

Since then, things have been a mixed bag, with some good times, and often periods of months without issues, and some very bad times, with breakdowns on all sides (I have suffered from depression, and we also have two children with special needs). My spouse has a good therapist and has gotten good advice, and she hasn't had a serious episode of the initial type in years. Still, she had trouble with sleeping - lots of nightmares - and stressful situations often bring out serious issues (almost every vacation is preceded by a near breakdown).

Now though, we have a new situation. She feels very dissociated from myself and the kids (and the dog). She feels like she's meant to be somewhere else, like that she's meant to be where we were 12-13 years ago, and that either she's switched place with the spouse who is meant to be here, so that her "other" life continues with her being replaced, or that she's simply travelled forward in time, with her life and loved ones from that time being left with her having disappeared.

Now logically she knows that is not the case, but it's how she feels. She feels very dissociated from us, and like we are basically strangers. She talked to her therapist, and the therapist said it's cause she is burned out, and needs an escape - so her mind is basically seeking escape routes by dissociating and imagining this other option. She said it was probably depression with psychotic features, and was somewhat related to the PTSD. Her recommendation was to look into ways of getting a bit of a break from things, and that even researching options like that was helpful in terms of making the escape seem possible (I guess thinking it through).

Now, she had a sort of a creeping flashback type of situation on Thursday night, and had a difficult time dealing with on Friday (but not all the way, like she was still seeing the kids as hers), then she went to sleep on Friday evening and slept through to the next morning. I was hopeful that the next morning she'd have slept it off, but she was having a much harder time, and was texting me to say that she'd done this and that "for your kids", as though they weren't hers (I was at work). She had to go lock herself in her room for most of the day. Luckily she had an appointment set up for that evening with her therapist (pre-arranged), and after she talked it out with the therapist she seemed to be doing better. She talked things out, and by late in the evening she seemed to be her usual self, and we were able to spend the evening together. She was able to lie in the next day, and when she did get up seemed fine, was affectionate with the kids etc. Then she had one or two moments of frustration, and had to take a break in the bedroom. Following that, she quickly reverted to the same as the previous day.

So the timeline was Thursday middle of the night - flashback, Friday daytime some feelings of exhaustion and frustration, slept a long time through to Saturday morning, then most of Saturday till she spoke to her therapist she felt dissociated. Then from around mid-afternoon today has been dissociated again.

Does this sound recognizable to anyone? Has anyone experienced similar issues, themselves, or with a family member? Any advice on how to handle this?
A little more to the extreme than me, but my spouse who suffers from ptsd has his moments where he distances himself until the trauma is over than he’s his own lovable kooky self I love so much
It’s hard because I have a special need adult son with a lot of behavior issues and it’s hard to deal with at times so I understand He loves my son as his own just looking for ways for things to get more normal
And with God’s help it will I’m sure for you and yours as well
 

Trivell

New Here
Hi all,

So, my spouse has CPTSD, and has done for around five years. The initial diagnosis determined that it was prompted by the medical trauma associated with the death at birth of our first child, and also some earlier traumatic experiences. The episodes at first took the pattern of a breakdown triggered by something (not always easy to tell what). She would fall to the ground, sometimes rolled up, and would be screaming or sobbing. After the first time, and especially after the first few times, we figured out how to deal with it a little better, using various techniques to reduce the severity of the episodes.

Since then, things have been a mixed bag, with some good times, and often periods of months without issues, and some very bad times, with breakdowns on all sides (I have suffered from depression, and we also have two children with special needs). My spouse has a good therapist and has gotten good advice, and she hasn't had a serious episode of the initial type in years. Still, she had trouble with sleeping - lots of nightmares - and stressful situations often bring out serious issues (almost every vacation is preceded by a near breakdown).

Now though, we have a new situation. She feels very dissociated from myself and the kids (and the dog). She feels like she's meant to be somewhere else, like that she's meant to be where we were 12-13 years ago, and that either she's switched place with the spouse who is meant to be here, so that her "other" life continues with her being replaced, or that she's simply travelled forward in time, with her life and loved ones from that time being left with her having disappeared.

Now logically she knows that is not the case, but it's how she feels. She feels very dissociated from us, and like we are basically strangers. She talked to her therapist, and the therapist said it's cause she is burned out, and needs an escape - so her mind is basically seeking escape routes by dissociating and imagining this other option. She said it was probably depression with psychotic features, and was somewhat related to the PTSD. Her recommendation was to look into ways of getting a bit of a break from things, and that even researching options like that was helpful in terms of making the escape seem possible (I guess thinking it through).

Now, she had a sort of a creeping flashback type of situation on Thursday night, and had a difficult time dealing with on Friday (but not all the way, like she was still seeing the kids as hers), then she went to sleep on Friday evening and slept through to the next morning. I was hopeful that the next morning she'd have slept it off, but she was having a much harder time, and was texting me to say that she'd done this and that "for your kids", as though they weren't hers (I was at work). She had to go lock herself in her room for most of the day. Luckily she had an appointment set up for that evening with her therapist (pre-arranged), and after she talked it out with the therapist she seemed to be doing better. She talked things out, and by late in the evening she seemed to be her usual self, and we were able to spend the evening together. She was able to lie in the next day, and when she did get up seemed fine, was affectionate with the kids etc. Then she had one or two moments of frustration, and had to take a break in the bedroom. Following that, she quickly reverted to the same as the previous day.

So the timeline was Thursday middle of the night - flashback, Friday daytime some feelings of exhaustion and frustration, slept a long time through to Saturday morning, then most of Saturday till she spoke to her therapist she felt dissociated. Then from around mid-afternoon today has been dissociated again.

Does this sound recognizable to anyone? Has anyone experienced similar issues, themselves, or with a family member? Any advice on how to handle this?

After some of my life experiences, my advice is to reassure her of your love for her especially during her time of struggle. A book I read says to love your wife as you love yourself and I definite love as full acceptance of a person or thing, forever. If she will allow it, affectionately nuture her with all your strength, in your strength, when she is not at her full strength. Cook a meal, do the laundry, write her a love letter, easy some of her worldly burdens, massage her with warm oil in a comfortable place and climate while playing soothing tones (maybe a selection from binural beats on YouTube). Assure her that she can confide in you too and if you are that kind, pray for her and with her. Best regards.
 
S

Seasons Change

This sounds incredibly hard on you. I am glad there are forums like this....You sounds like an awesome partner.

Before I left my abusive husb, I read a book about the trauma/abuse I was experiencing. And one thing that popped out at me was that researchers found that some people temporarily get worse when they finally feel safe. That thought came to mind as I was reading your post. The idea was that u cannot heal until u feel safe. So under that lens, I wonder if each step back could be progress forward later?

I had a good friend and I have also had this thought as a mom of special needs kids, when I am out by myself, "What if I just keep driving and disappear?" It sounds like u do a lot. Mom's also carry a heavy "mental load". At the end of my marriage I became less and less capable had he started ordering home supplies for us on Amazon. Unpacking them and breaking down the boxes. He would also run to the store for a last min dinner ingredient on his way home. Sounds like u may already be doing those things.

I had 1 GF with PTSD who recently took a vacation all by herself. Went to the beach. Now....they have lots of funds...lol...

I do find with my PTSD that I need time to just sit and let my mind wander. I can do that easily now that I am single. When the kids go down. But when I am dating, it's harder b/c then there is another adult who wants to connect with me. And sometimes I am just trying to connect to myself.

I believe I have read that the brain heals and makes new connections and gives us new ideas when we daydream. I don't think our current culture gives much space for it. We are on screens, talking and then off to bed. (Not sure if that helps at all). Maybe u could some nights where she's just "off" in space. With permission to do so. I used to go to bed super early to get away. I think sometimes I just wanted to be by myself. To regroup.

From my small understanding to heal from PTSD u have to take the trauma memories, reprocess them with someone safe and then they move to 2 different parts of the brain. And the best part is the amygdala has less of a log jam (and we can function better in real life). I hope that I am crawing slowly towards those goals. I want my life back. Myself back.

My child has had some breaks with reality and dissociation and we ended up with a hospital admisson and a different class of medications for her, which has been so good for her. As much as she hates to be admitted, that was the only way I could get her docs to do a radical medication shift.

It sounds like your plate is really full. Hang in there. I have also struggled with feeling that all the "things" about me (my identifiers, if you will), isolate me farther from main stream socializing. Single mom, PTSD, special needs, not very supportive friends and family, etc. So I have been looking for an online coach who has some personal experience like mine. There may not be anyone in my city but now telehealth is Wide open.....and I am also looking for forums like this. Even if I see just 1 person dealing with my level of chaos, I feel stronger.

My marriage ended for non PTSD reasons. Regular infidelity stuff. :((

I hope u can find lots of comfort and encouragement on here. I also recently reached out to some forums for parents with special needs kiddos. You say it so casually but that alone is a huge burden for both of u to be managing.
 
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