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How i got ptsd: when death isn't "normal"

Discussion in 'Death' started by SomeoneFemale, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    In 2005 I got married. That same year my husband took his life. I was out for a half an hour, and when I got home I found he had hung himself. I called 911, cut him down, tried to save him following the directions given by the operator. The paramedics finally showed up and they worked on him 19 minutes (at 20 they stop) and got "breathing". The doctor did this test, without warning me, where he inserted water into each ear and explained that the lack of reaction means he is brain dead. He didn't warn me when he did this he just did it and told me he's brain dead. Two days later, after his family said goodbye, he was unplugged from life support and died. People said the cruelest things to me afterward like "what did you do to him".

    I dealt with uncontrollable flashbacks for a couple of years, and occasionally still have them. I am awake during the flashbacks, and I do also have nightmares at night. I have other symptoms and the story is much longer but I just felt I had to justify why I joined this group of people. Not just because I am a stalking victim.

    In 2015 I was hit by a car, and this event caused a whole new set of PTSD symptoms including being very jumpy and hypersensitive to danger. I have a hard time crossing streets.

    I am willing to elaborate in the comments section.
    Rosie11, gamereign555, C mom and 6 others like this.
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  3. ladee

    ladee All the hard work has been worth it ! Premium Member

    Welcome. Thanks for letting us know you are here and why you are reaching out.
    I am sorry about your husband' death and the thoughtless things said to you.

    Hope you are seeing someone to help you deal with this.

    Many here have had experiences with suicide of a loved one. You are not alone.

    Glad you are here and get the support you need.

    Gentle hugs for your loss.
    Lost Marbles and Freida like this.
  4. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    I am so sorry. I worked at 911 for a long time and suicides by hanging are the worst, worst, worst calls for the people who find their loved ones that way. My heart just breaks for you having to deal with that. And I could just bitch slap the doctor who didn't prepare you!

    As far as the stupid sh*t people say -- I don't even have an answer. Humans constantly amaze me in their need to blame someone for something. It's how they make sense of their world. They just have no idea what they are costing someone else. So even if you have heard this a million times by now I'll say it again:

    You Didn't Do Anything To Make Him Do This!

    Now stop thinking you have to justify anything. You are here for the same reasons all the rest of us are. Something went terribly wrong in your life, you survived, and you discovered the fun filled world of PTSD. Luckily you are now among people who know what that feels like and will help you through it.....
  5. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    Oy! That is a very tough to endure.

    You said "his" family said goodbye and the "people" said the cruelest things. I am wanting to assume this was the inlaws saying the cruel things? Correct me if I am wrong....because I understand it can be other random people like it was for my sister when going through a divorce.

    I don't think I have ever heard, if not often, of people getting along with the inlaws especially during times of distress. Does it make it right what anyone says their angry faze of grieving? Nope.
    You did what you could for him as per 911 and called for help. You were also there with him in the hospital.

    Even though my sister's divorce is mild compared to your story, I have always hated that reasoning she was to be blamed as she must have driven him to cheat (numerous times?) for the 8+ years of the 12 year marriage...? Seriously....

    It is frustrating, but natural for people to look for ways to understand or be sympathetic to the person's actions no matter how twisted the theories might be. And usually the outbursts or comments are due to them feeling guilty that they maybe missed something that may have saved him or prevented the situation.

    Doing this to ourselves, playing out the scenarios or allowing those comments to go to our head are damaging unfortunately even if we know the people are hysterical. We can't and shouldn't do this to ourselves!

    I work EMS...and hangings are difficult calls for us. Just thinking or writing that makes me feel nauseated. I have seen and heard some of the worse comments when people are distressed. I struggle to shake the words off too....and I regretted what I had to say back to try and do the job. I also feel I know what is going through the families head because my family has been on the other side of it for a hanging or suicide in the family.

    What is that saying "sticks and stone may break my bone, but words will never hurt." So wrong...a broken bone is easier to heal in the medical field I think. I also find it easier to get over being punched (generally from a intoxicated person or aggressive), then the words that keep replaying in my mind during those calls with so much emotion. Maybe being punch is because I feel I deserve it with the guilt. But both of us don't!

    Ugh...and I could go on and tell you many stories of poor bedside manners from doctors. I used to think they were all jerks, and some are! But I sort of noticed, even in myself sometimes as a practitioner, I have use harshness to keep the tears back. Then there are the times I just blubber with the patients and the family when you think you must be strong. It isn't right at all that some use harshness as a coping mechanism which doesn't even truly work once we are alone behind closed doors. So to be clear, I am not justifying the doctor's or the cruel comments.

    Lol I started writing this thinking I had some helpful and useful info....now I feel like I didnt know where I was going/ or lost my thought somewhere.
  6. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    Thank you. I just know I've been accused of not having PTSD and it is taken very seriously if it's faked/misdiagnosed so I wanted everyone to know my story so they would know I wasn't just really stressed or really sensitive or whatever people think when they decide you don't have PTSD.

    Thanks for working for 911, she helped me through it as best she could and I know in that moment she was being there for me in a way no one else could, and it's a thankless job. I can't look her up later and be like "thanks for helping me give mouth to mouth, I appreciate it"

    The only thing I could have done was recognize his suicidal ideations were more serious, but I was young, I had my own ideations at the time, and I only knew him less than a year... not really long enough to know someone is going to take their life. I probably shouldn't say this but, he totally loved and worshiped me so I don't think I'm the reason he did it. I think it was the x-drug issue, replaced by pain pills, and the physical pain he was in that just factored together in the most tragic way that night.
    Freida, Rosie11, Lost Marbles and 2 others like this.
  7. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    His mom accused me of being a witch, but other than that they didn't say much cruel. Well, the first year or two it came up in every conversation, I guess when it's fresh it somehow always comes up... (as compared to now where no one knows and they think I'm living some pampered life, because I am I made it that way). So people would say things when they heard I was a widow like "what did you do to him" and "that's your karma that caused this", they were mostly strangers and acquaintances in the work circles and public industry I was in at the time.

    A year later on dating sites I got called "bitter" constantly, which I am and was not. I was just willing to grieve and not willing to deny it. Although, when you keep seeing it replay in your head over and over, denying the truth is not really an option. Although my "closest friends" thought I should have been over it by the 3 month mark. I think sometimes people, close or strangers, think well if a husband or wife takes their life it must mean their marriage was unhappy. I think with my husband it was more like he thought he was a burden to me, which he wasn't, and I told him he wasn't. So I don't think they even think it through when they say things like "He passed away, you must be kidding!" which was another popular one.

    So, either people are really mean by default without intending to be or "gang stalkers" had a great time with me. One of the two. My inlaws and I got along alright, but then we quickly parted ways only a month or two after the death. His father was abusive and I wasn't in need of more narcissists in my life so I cut ties with him. He just wanted my money anyway. When my husband died he was self employed, and I decided to take over his business. So his dad had me pay back the $5000 his son owed him. Nice guy eh? Real Trump-like. Bet he even voted for him. I paid it back by returning merchandise in that value, cutting him off, and went on to run the business for 8 years. So that's my in-law story.

    I did keep in touch with his grandmother until she passed away, and we had some good times both in person and by phone. She was very awesome, kind, understanding, and big hearted. She was able to share memories of him with me I never would have got to share so I was grateful.

    But yeah, definitely random people like in your sisters divorce. Strangers just know so much about strangers it's really amazing (sarcasm).
  8. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    Thanks I didn't think you were defending bad actors. It's true, physical therapy works a lot quicker than mental health therapy, in my experience.
    Freida, Rosie11 and Lost Marbles like this.
  9. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    It's just so odd, now, years later, that people look at me and think I'm young and haven't experienced much. Assume I've not yet had my first marriage. Have no clue that I'm not at all what I look like on the cover. Very much like we may be looking at the actresses of the metoo movement, looking at them saying to ourselves "I never imagined she had gone through this type of thing!"
    Rosie11 likes this.
  10. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    Please do not do that to yourself...I know the "what if's" are hard. You only knew him less than a year you said above....so you don't know how long he may have been struggling and what he may have done for help.

    But in reality, "what if" the doctor picked up on the depressed mood when prescribing the new pills, "what if" the pain medication decreased his mood and maybe the doctor told him to give it extra time, "what if" he did reach out to other avenues for help you are not aware of of and they missed it as well, " what if" he confided to family- you don't know what they may have said.

    When I have been bad, I never ever want my family to think it was something they did or missed. Reality, Is I have been close and family are what has let me hold on as long as I did.
    And the fact he worshipped you, I bet that helped him to hold on longer.

    Even when on crisis lines, I get upset when they tell me to "promise them" because I don't want my actions to cause them any sort of guilt. Of course...when I flipped out on that on a crisis line I got a a *cough* police check. But generally, depressed people don't want to bother people to act on the crisis lines as well and know what to say to avoid that.
    Freida and Lost Marbles like this.
  11. Muttly

    Muttly Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

    I'm so sorry you have been through all that. You've had a terrible time. Please know, you are welcome here. You don't have to justify being a part of this group. I hope you find lots of support.
    Freida, katz, +littlebird and 3 others like this.
  12. SomeoneFemale

    SomeoneFemale Member

    Hmm I wasn't trying to what if, just trying to answer your question...
  13. Daph

    Daph Active Member

    Gotcha sorry
    SomeoneFemale likes this.
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