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Don't Know What To Do! Communications and PTSD

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hello my name is paul, i have ptsd from serving overseas with the defence force. my wife is a member of this forum so i thought i should give it a go aswell.i finished work two years ago and i think it was for the best sometimes im not so sure(loved my job) i thought everything was fine in my house until i went away to look after my mum,my wife relized how more relaxing life was without me there,she rang and told me which shattered me.my wife talks to people from my car club online,its just talking but she feels she can open up to them as they dont get angry like me,i have been going through a time thinking its more than talking but thats all it is,i love my wife very much and i know she loves me,has anyone else had a similar situation,and how did you handle it?. cheers paul. my wife is somalia spouse.
Welcome to the forum Paul,

I know that I definatly make my spouses life more "interesting" because of my PTSD. One of the hardest and most important things to do is communicate with our partners.
Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum. I am Anthony's wife (you will see a number of my posts here) and many of them talking to other spouses or simply highlighting the difficulties that I have with Anthony. Communication is one of the bigger things that bites me on the butt about Anthony. Lets face it, most guys aren't the biggest communicators generally, black/white, grunt or nod usually is the sum total of contributions to discussions. I suggest that Kym is simply chatting to the people on your car club for support. We girls need to talk and not always to our spouses, although it would be nice to be able to from time to time. It is probably just her way of getting things of her chest and in reality its a good thing that she does. As a support person of someone with PTSD it can be very hard, isolating and lonely if you allow yourself to live without talking to others. Anthony will be able to put a better spin on things from the blokes perspective but that would be pretty much it from Kym's, I would imagine.

One other thing that will make it harder for her is if she knew you before you had PTSD. I didn't know Anthony, although he was undiagnosed until 2003, he was always a little odd. Things only escalated for us dramatically after he did a return deployment os, kind of like one wasn't enough, so lets give you another to reinforce it.

So, yes we are in a similiar situation to you but like Anthony says many times on this forum, it is kind of irrelevant how you got PTSD...........the fact is that you have it and you have to learn to live with it. How do we deal with it? Its a struggle, daily, but we are starting to find our own feet as a couple there. We used to work in opposition to one another and that just created chaos for us, horrible to live in and very stressful. Not what you need if you have PTSD and not nice for the spouse either. The best thing we ever did was do that PTSD course together. Anyhow Paul, there is a heap of information on this forum and lots of various experiences dealing with PTSD. Please browse, ask questions and vent as you need to.
Hi Paul, welcome along mate. Experienced the same? Absolutely. Kerrie-Ann could certainly tell you all about it... actually, she has already posted all that here already to others. She's not shy in exposing me for who I can be at times.

Still in Townsville ha? I bet that has an impact on you all the time! I know it did with me after I got out, and even when I returned. Blackhawks flying on the roof tops, military everywhere... it was like I couldn't escape it. I felt I was back on operations again, every day just about. I know moving to Melbourne has certainly done a hell off a lot in that aspect of things.

You can now see the PTSD forum, for those with PTSD, as I just gave you access. This is for those times when you don't want your spouse or anyone actually, who doesn't have PTSD to see what you say. Sometimes we just need to chat amongst ourselves... so please feel free to unload anything you don't want to share with the general public.

Have you done the PTSD course? I assume your TPI.
thanks for the welcome and advice guys.i havent done the course yet but my shrink is recomending my wife and i to attend one soon,ive been on tpi for three years this november but i was diagnosed in 1999. I dont mind staying in townsville because im close to my mates and i can keep up to date with my battalion,and i dont know about anyone else but i would get back in if i was able to. once again thanks for your advice so far look forward to talking again.
Paul, as Anthony and I have highlighted, the course will be of significant benefit to you and Kym. It really is good to have people to chat to, who understand and are not judgemental. Believe me, it is not just those with PTSD who are being judged. You would not believe the amount of times that I have been questioned as to why I am still with Anthony after all of the b/s. Some of it is genuine concern but sometimes it is just plain interferring.

If Townsville is an alright location for you and doesn't trigger your PTSD then that's cool. You've mentioned a couple of mates, who I gather know about your PTSD and are supportive. If that's where you are comfortable, that's a good thing. It just wasn't for Anthony. We would have the Blackhawks flying over, doing their usual night ops (etc) and Anthony and would get really frustrated with it. The fact that I am still in the military and we lived in Idalia (Fairfield Waters) only a stones throw from the base didn't help either. So we are in Melbourne now, I rarely bring my kit home (I even wash and iron it at work) and that seems to have eased some of his stress. Anyhow take care, chat soon.
Yer, I don't know if I would get back in or not now. What I do know, is that if I didn't have PTSD, well... then I would still be in the military now. But everything is different now, and honestly, I think my life is taking far better turns nowadays, with or without PTSD, and I believe I have much more interesting things to pursue as a result of leaving the Army.

I remember when I joined, as I had been an electrician for 7 1/2 years when I finally made the change, and even going from one secure job to another made me feel pretty nervous... as it does with most. Finding you feet I guess. I felt the same when leaving the Army, but I must say, I don't think I would go back now. I miss the mateship and fun we had, but I must say I really do enjoy staying with my family more now, and being part of my childrens life again, as we tend not to be when in the military.
write it down

Welcome to the forum. It is hard communicating with someone when you don't understand what is going on yourself. My therapist suggested a letter. I found it easier, something to try. It is harder to explain what is going on when your own guilt for PTSD gets in the way as you look at those you love. I myself found it easier to write it down when the other person wasn't standing in front of me. Kinda like we do here. You know you have their full attention when they read, no questions to answer as you speak, you get out what you need to say. I find when I speak, even though the topic is important, I never actually get to say what I really think. When I write the words come so easily, all the things I should have said get where they need to be. Kinda like writing a "to do" list, a journal of thought. Cause even if you don't put it out there right away..you feel better. For me it is a way of putting some sense to what I am feeling at the time. It was probably one of the best peices of advice my therapist gave me. It is not easy living with PTSD, as you have written you also understand that it is even harder for someone who doesn't have it live with someone who does.
it looks like ill be moving out so well see what happens after that,i said before that if i could get back in i would,well im really starting to hate the a.d.f for this,when i was in a contact overseas at least i had some control over what was happening,at the moment i feel so helpless to change the situation, im wondering if everyone would be happier if i just disappeared into the distance.
What you're feeling isn't so strange...it is hard to see where you're going when all you see is the places you've been. We've all felt this way at different points...the proverbial "high days and low days" Trust me, in your mind disappearing always seems like the best solution, ask anyone here, but it is a remedy that will not cure the problem. Do as we have all done, with a hard personal struggle, stay true to yourself, keep your strength that you know you have. It is one point in time, one point in many to come. Try to hold onto hope, if only hope for a better future. If you have trouble holding on, we're all here, Anthony and Kerrie Ann are great sounding boards, Heck, we're all good. Write it down here...vent if you need to, but PLEASE, don't give up.
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