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Hi I'm Alyce - PTSD Questions for Research and Awareness

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Pita, Jun 1, 2006.

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  1. Pita

    Pita New Member

    Hi im the student that Pita was referring to, thanks for allowing me to ask a few questions regarding PTSD on your forum.

    1.How would you describe your current family/living arrangements?

    2.Do you believe that your experience of PTSD impacts on the people you live with? Yes/No. (if yes continue, if no thankyou for your time)

    3.If you answered yes to the previous question; can you describe the nature of these impacts.

    4.How do the people that you live with cope with these impacts?

    5. How does knowing that your PTSD impacts on those you live with affect you personally?

    Thanks again,

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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi Alyce,

    Welcome to the forum, and more than glad to help you out.

    Married, two children (15yrs & 18mths), lovely large home (4 bedrooms, study, rumpus, family, dining, meals, lounge, etc etc etc, neat and tidy, very active within my childrens social events and upbringing, majority of the time quite happy (usual family ups and downs, especially with a teenage boy), we talk about current issues, schooling, raising the little fella and so forth. If you need more from this question Alyce, could you please post some specific sub-topics to this question so people can answer exactly what you may be looking for.

    Let me first just say, that if anyone with PTSD answers "NO" to this question, they are in denial.

    Yes, most definately it does.

    So many... where to start! I think our spouses could provide more information on this question that we could, but I will give it a shot from my perspective.
    1. Walking on egg shells: If I get anxious then my family will definately tip toe around me to ensure I don't get worse.
    2. General choirs: If we are preparing dinner and missing an ingredient, then someone has to go to the shop. If my wife is handling bub, then I would have to go, which could make me extremely moody and anxious because I have little to no notice to prepare myself, and I would have to drive in peak hour traffic (Melbourne suburbs). If the house needs to be tidied or cleaned, and I am not feeling well, then my family would have to do this extra choir to pickup where I failed that particular day. Can often become more workload for them, as I become physically and mentally unfit to do anything.
    3. Attitude: If stressed, my attitude will change dramatically, very quickly, and remain for some time. This means my family may not tell me something, or try and divert plans to other alternatives.
    4. Lifestyle: My family will often negate somethings they may want to do just because I am not up-to it as such. I could be anxious, depressed, stressed, etc etc, and plans could have to be cancelled because of it.
    Sometimes they cope because they understand, sometimes they just don't cope, an arguement will occur, thus I would often get worse again, dig my heels in, and not budge, even if I'm wrong. I guess my family understand and help me suit the lifestyle I require to live a fairly normal life. If they don't adjust, then my life, and theirs, turn to custard very quickly.

    I think it comes down to how much family love one another, how close they are, and how willing they are to learn and help we with PTSD deal with each day. This also falls back to the person with PTSD, in that I am well educated now on PTSD from self learning over the years, thus I can generally identify my own issues as they begin to occur, thus take action to stop them going further and becoming a major issue to myself and my family. An example would be yesterday, where I had an overall good day mentally, though was beginning to feel a little sick from anxiety, though through quick identification of what was going on with myself, I had to pin point the problem, and that problem was the day before I had a very large day of work around the house and was worn out, so I stopped doing what I was doing, rested myself and didn't take myself out into any situation that could cause stress, ie. just going to a shopping center, etc etc. Last night my son sprung upon me, that I had to pick up some mates of his on the way to indoor cricket, which when he did, I got quite angry and annoyed about because of my overall mood. Whilst many parents may get annoyed about those type issues regardless of PTSD or not, it immediately made my teenage son realize I was stressed and may not be able to help him out on what he had said to his mates already, so I was forced to do it, then get myself over it as quick as possible when home. He realized he had pushed me with little warning, so he got a lift home with another friends parents instead of getting me to pick him up. Indoor cricket was at 6.15pm, thus once again, leaving at 5.30pm in Melbourne suburbs, peak hour traffic, exactly what I had been avoiding all day was now upon me. This was an out of the blue event to fill in for someone else who couldn't attend, so I did what I had to do, and told him that I he is not playing indoor cricket anymore at present, as currently I run him around with his AFL and AFL umpiring on Wednesday nights, Friday Nights, all day Saturday and Sunday. I know about these four days and what I need to do, so I am self prepared mentally to cope with peak hour traffic and so forth from the skills, knowledge and techniques I have learnt and practiced over the years, thus they are not any issue for me at the time, nor the day after. So, my families commitments I can handle, but I definately need warning for self preparation.

    My son talked to me about it, and understands that too many social and sporting events off his impacts me hard, so he apologized and said he won't do it again, and will give more than a couple hours warning, ie. two or more days.

    I actually no longer worry myself about this, but most certainly used too when I had little control over my PTSD. When PTSD is in full flight as such, and heavily burdening a person, these thoughts directly cross our minds, in that we think we should leave our spouses, children and family so we don't burden them with our problems, but as time goes on and one learns to cope with PTSD, I also learnt that if my spouse, children and family didn't want to be around me, then they wouldn't, and its not something that I should decide, but instead allow them to decide, thus it becomes a nil issue. My family know I have PTSD, they know they can't upset me outright for the repercussions it will cause, so they talk too me, at me, whatever, but definately find other ways to get their message across without yelling. Yelling definately triggers me from the military experience and background.

    What we think to ourselves, and attempt to believe when PTSD is controlling us, is wrong... but most will definately think these thoughts, and this is why many relationships around PTSD diminish IMHO. The person with PTSD has often told themselves and convinced themselves, off the wrong information, thus beating themselves up constantly about others feelings, with little to no actual concrete proof that others around them feel this way. It is very hard to get yourself past these thoughts when PTSD is controlling you, and it makes things much worse.

    I left my first wife to similar circumstances, told myself everything I wanted to hear, with little to no concrete information on her feelings. We beat ourselves up when with the people we love, but when we leave them, we then beat ourselves up to whether we made the right decision or not for everyone involved. The fact is, we with PTSD shouldn't make decision concerning our family with PTSD is in control... probably shouldn't make important decisions fullstop under those circumstances.
  4. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

    Hi Alyce,
    I wouldn't mind answering those questions ya :)
    Just takes me a day or two to get my thoughts out

    1.How would you describe your current family/living arrangements?
    I'm a 22 year old who has been dealing with PTSD for about a year.
    I have been living with my boyfriend for 3 of the 8 years we've been together.
    And instead of kids, we've got a dog, lol

    2.Do you believe that your experience of PTSD impacts on the people you live with? Yes/No. (if yes continue, if no thankyou for your time)
    This disorder affects the lives of the sufferer, the family, friends... and basically anyone that triggers any reactions from the person.
    ESPECIALLY the people they live with (or close friends... if they have any left)!!!

    3.If you answered yes to the previous question; can you describe the nature of these impacts.
    I asked my boyfriend his answer to this question...
    he summed it up in one word more "stress!"

    This seems to describe it pretty well...
    I can be extremly hard to live with on my bad days.
    I cannot handle being in situations where I feel unsafe,
    whether that be emotionally or physically,
    I have to feel in control and cannot take interruptions at all.
    My boyfriend has been making changes to help accomodate my "nuttiness"
    Like him having to drive sooo cautiously when I'm in the truck
    Also, he usually has to be extra careful about setting me off.

    What I mean is... anyone can get the brunt of a PTSD episode
    I could be waiting in line somewhere...
    first of all, I would already be very stressed out about having to deal with so many people and possible dangers or embarressments...
    and then just imagine if someone were to be silly enough to butt-in-front of me in line...
    ...a "normal" person may be annoyed or pissed off...
    I'd be ready to fight the person,
    I will be obessed with the situation basically untill I confront the person,
    when I would say nothing...the rest of my day is destroyed because I let small things get to me.

    The smallest stressor or inconvenience is a much bigger deal to us than it would probally be to you.
    And some of us don't know how to handle our emotions.
    That doesn't mean we are weak/too emotional/insensitive...
    It just means that we already have soooo much on our minds...
    things we can't get out of our head, constant worries, even flashbacks (seeing the event that 'caused the PTSD)

    4.How do the people that you live with cope with these impacts?
    Hmmmm... let me ask him....
    ... he said that he handles stress really well, so he just deals with it
    ... now he just told me that he loves me and is willing to deal with whatever probs I have...
    ... even if I do seem to have alot of issues recently

    He is always looking out for me... making sure I eat, sleep, shower, etc.
    I also think he might keep "bad news" from me (minor issues obviously) sometimes when I'm really having a bad day
    I worry about his own stress levels sometimes, but he's been very strong through all this

    basically I think people that live with me try to "let me be"
    I am very emtional at times (remember I am new to this whole PTSD thing)
    So they try not to ask too much, or interrupt me if I'm lucky enough to be able to concentrate on something
    Also my boyfriend was there when "it" happened,
    so he understands that it was a major life changing event,
    and I need time to ajust

    5. How does knowing that your PTSD impacts on those you live with affect you personally?
    Honestly, less than 4 months ago I was contaplating (sp?) leaving my boyfriend of 8 years.
    Not because I didn't want to be with him, trust me I needed him more than anything.
    I just felt like the hugest burden... I didn't want "it" to ruin his life too.
    I want him to be happy...
    and it has taken alot of convincing on his part to make me believe that he is happy when he's with me.
    I know how hard I am to deal with,
    so in the past, instead of risking embarressment...
    ... I pushed away anyone I cared about.
    I didn't/don't want them to see me like this.
    I have alot of guilt over not being able to "contribute" to the household,
    as I had just recieved my diploma shortly after the accident,
    I feel frustrated that I have to depend on someone else,
    Makes a person feel useless.
    But... when I worry about these things...
    PTSD tends to hit me really hard,
    its a vicious circle
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