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Frustrating and Difficult - Fiancee with Complex PTSD

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Nafe, Aug 2, 2006.

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  1. Nafe

    Nafe New Member

    Hi all,
    I have just been reading through a lot of the posts and I can see that there are many people in similar situations. I am extremely frustrated and almost completely exhausted of all patience with my fiancees condition. A little background information might help...

    My fiancee is 23 years old and we have been together for just over a year and a half. I am 24 myself. She has had many hardships in her life for such a young age. It is very complicated but I will try to explain the best I can, in hope that someone will be able to help.

    She has never had a very good home life since she was little. Her dad and mum never got a long and pretty much got forced together into a marriage after a one night stand. Her father has always been an alcholic (and always will be, despite what he thinks) and a hopeless father who was selfish and always put himself first (in one instance there was a fight between her parents about who would buy her new shoes when she was 8 years old. She did not get a new pair until 3 years later...) He has been in jail and also into drugs for most of his life, he is now 50.

    Her mother is schizophrenic. She had a brain tumor removed when my fiancee was young and that has made her a very emotionless person. She almost resembles a robot. She is polite and well mannered but there is no personality and she doesn't really know how to live her life (her parents, my fiancees grandparents are very greedy and horrible people and are no help).

    This is just the icing on the cake really but is a good start or I could be here forever!
    My fiancees mum used to hit her and be horrible to her and was a terrible burden. She had not seen her dad in 14 years until a month ago and that has really shaken her up because he is no different but has just aged dramatically.

    Basically she has had to mother her own mother since she was 10 and would basically have to do the same if she chose to spend more time with her father. Through all this she developed a speech impedament since she was around 8 years old (her mother had told her that her father died when he left them and moved away, only a little while later did she find out this was not true). The stutter still causes her great distress to this day, as it is sometimes very difficult for her in restaurants and similar public places. I have seen that not many other people are understanding to someone with a stutter as they are rude and force them to hurry up with what they are saying. This just makes it worse for her and she becomes very embarrassed and feels really small and insignificant.

    We are going through a very tough time at the moment (fighting and shouting every night for the last few weeks). I am by no means making it any easier for us as I am constantly worried about the finances and the things that I don't get to do. I am aware that I can be very selfish which doesn't make it very easy for her. We have just moved to a new place (living in Australia) and I have found a very good job that I love, but she has not been working for a while. She has only worked for a few months in the time that I have known her, and this has caused us to rack up over $50,000 in credit cards, loans and other things which we are desperately struggling to pay everything off. To her, money is not important because she sometimes has suicidal tendencies and tells me that 'who cares how much money we owe? At least I'm still alive!'. I totally agree with this, but it is so hard to see the bills pile in every day. It causes us both a lot of stress but I worry about it in a very unhealthy way.

    I have tried my best at helping her with her problems, but I think I could do a lot more. We have come to the decision of breaking up so many times I've forgotten, but I love her so much, and she is the most brave and true person that I've met. She always stands up for what she believes in and I admire her spirit and tenacity at the way she tackles life. I don't want to be without her, and I know I can be of more help to her but its so frustrating.

    She has seen many psychiatrists and understands a lot about her condition, she is extremely intelligent (which I get so frustrated with, because if she didn't have PTSD she could be so far in her life with whatever she wants to do) but this mental illness holds her back from sticking at things long term (jobs, university) and makes it overall hard for her.

    Is all I can do just hang in there? I think that I'm not a great help because sometimes I resent her for the time and pain its caused me in my own life, making me not being able to do what I want to do and I take it out on her, which I know is not fair because she did not ask for all of this.

    I'm very confused and I would love to hear from anybody which could give me any advice.

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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Welcome Nafe, glad to have you here.

    Nafe, I think you need to read what you wrote again mate, as it sounds to me, as though your one pretty tough character yourself, a person who truly loves your fiancee and supports her with a debilitating mental illness, are in hock to your eyeballs, and still hanging in loving her. Well done mate... bloody well done. You are a true person to yourself and your fiancee, and should be damn proud of yourself.

    Your fiancee has a point you know, in that money doesn't matter, as it is something that has no life, no real meaning and no purpose. Money is a materialistic item, which is nice, but not necessary to be happy. You love your fiancee, she loves you... it is that easy, really it is. You are yelling at each other when all you want is to love each other. Why bother with the yelling then? One has to stop it, break the chain, and the other will cease because it gets boring being alone in something all the time.

    Honestly, I think you both need to get into counselling together, not seperate, but together at first. Ring your community help centers or something like crisis line or the like, and chat with them about the situation, and let them help you both, as that is what they do. Lifeline and relevant organizations are not there just for looks, please use them. Pick up the phone, and give them a call to have a chat with a counsellor about the best approach forward.

    This is what you need at this point, before it spirals out of control. We can support you, listen to you, and chat with you, share experiences and so forth, but at this point, you also need professional guidance and counselling to get both yourselves out of the situation your in, and digging yourself further. Neither of you obviously want to seperate one another, so be honest with each other and leave those silly words out of conversations. They are just words, because they have no meaning behind them, only anger and hostility.

    Your fiancee has suffered a hard life, and lets face facts, you love her, she loves you, so now you both need to get on with some professional guidance, which is freely available at no cost through those organizations mentioned above. Please, pickup the phone and give them a call to see how they can help you both.

    We can help with the PTSD, and support you in regard to supporting your spouse with PTSD, but you also both need to help yourself at the same time. You are obviously doing that, but what about your fiancee? Is she getting professional counselling about her trauma? Is she medicated to help her during these tough times? Does she want to help herself, and get past the worst of PTSD?
  4. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Hi Nafe,

    I am always amazed at the harm that trauma can cause and the lengths that spouses/partners will go to, to support them. Obviously you care for her very much otherwise you wouldn't be here seeking answers. We don't profess to have all of the answers but a couple of things might put you on the right track and alleviate some of your stress. First, as far the finances go, you would not be the first person to take control of the finances to keep that stress from your life. Your fiancee is not the first person I have heard of with PTSD to be a less than frugal with money. Sure it doesn't make you happy but you can't live without out, and being in debt just adds to your stress. Perhaps you could look at strategies to limit her spending possibilities also perhaps consolidating your debt might ease some of the burden.

    Anthony's advice regarding counselling for both you is also sound. As a partner, you need to take some of your load off........even if it is just with a good mate at the pub for a beer. Although speaking to someone with experience of PTSD will really help. Please don't fall into the trap of feeling guilty about what support you can and can't provide for her. Partners have needs and limits too!! You are still there, you love her, thats a better start than a lot of people have. Please give yourself some credit, you didn't know about PTSD before you met her and I'll wager that she doesn't know a lot about it herself. Oh and just for the record, your human too and allowed to have 'bad days', this is not the exclusive domain of those with PTSD!

    Which leads me to my next point - education. Depending on what stage of PTSD your fiancee is at will determine how open she is to further educating herself on PTSD but that doesn't stop you. It will also help, trust me!!

    She needs help, support and boundaries. You need to take care of you and be careful and clear about what rubbish you will and will not tolerate. Support and loving does not necessarily equal taking excessive rubbish off anyone - PTSD or not. Be kind with both of you and give yourself the well deserved recognition of wanting to support her. I hope this helps, please feel free to post anytime.
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