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I'm New, And I'm About Done - Wife Has PTSD and We Lost a Child

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by David66, Jan 6, 2007.

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  1. David66

    David66 New Member

    Lots of things racing through my head..... try to put it down so you all can understand.

    I've been married for 14 years, and love my wife to death. We, like most, have a relationship that is up and down. I truly love my wife, as much today as ever. I'm just not sure, for my health, and my childrens, that we can continue to live together.

    Our children are 11, 9 and 8 currently.

    My wife was abused my her mother, father, and raped by a boyfried. I had a "mulberry" childhood.

    I knew of my wife's issues before we were married. I always thought I could deal with them, and with stability I could nurse away her "issues". I was niave, very niave.

    About 10 weeks ago, my wife missed my mom's surprise 60th birthday party. She was playing tennei, and thought she would be able to make it on time, but tennis ran late. I lost my stack, and became mad. (I have never hit my wife, nor any other girl. For sake of full disclosure, I did try and push her out of bed once with my feet.) What really set me off was that it was my fault as I did not give her enough notice (My claim was a weeks notice, her responce was only 48 hours). Anyways, we end up in an argument, I threaten to leave, and she takes an overdose of her sleeping pills(she had 20, took 12). I rush her to the hospital, they gave her a charcol concoction, and interview us. It is at this time she shares with them that she is diagnosed with PTSD. I ask what that is, and the Dr. tells me.

    My wife has seen therapist off and on since we started dating, but I thought it was depression. She had never really wanted to talk about the sessions, so I respected her privacy. She never really keeps her appointments, and occasionally it becomes a sore point as we get billed when she blows them off as opposed to keeping/cancelling them, when we aren't charged or it goes to insurance.

    So they agree to release her that night, if she agrees to see her therapist/call her in the morning. She does, and goes to see that week. She has not been back. We also start seeing a marriage counselor, at the Dr. advice. We meet with the Dr.(therapist) and get some issues off our respective chests. He gives us some books to read, and we continue to meet with him. I at this time, realize that I have not forgivin my wife for an affair that she had, so I start seeing my own DR.

    As part of my therapy, he asks me if I know what PTSD is. I replied yes. He said I really dont think that you do, and gave me some additional reading. He said after reviewing your family history sheet,80% of the issues we have in our marriage can be directly related to living with a PTSD spouse. My wife only sees her DR once or twice a year, and usually during an unually bad bought of depression, or after an argument that we have. (ps, most of our arguments are about me not being supportive of her when she needs emotional help. Before requesting help, she usually becomes very moody and argumentative, which pushes me away. I am very slow to anger, but once I become angry, I shut down and take a long time to "reengage". So when she needs me to hug her, it is the last thing I want to do.

    I am concerned on a few fronts.
    #1-My wife will not go get help, she feels that she is "****ed up" and no one can help.
    #2-Marriage counseling is helping I believe, but my wife thinks that it is not working because we are seeing the Dr and I still am not there when she needs me.
    #3 I see the anxiety starting to affect my children, as they are unable to know if mom is going to "snap at them" or hug them. My children are #1 in my life, and I will do anything/everything to keep them safe.

    As I try and work through all this, a few questions:

    #1-Any suggestions on getting help for my wife? She loves her therapist (she says), but chooses not to see her more than once, twice a year. By the way, my wife is 42, I am 40.

    #2-Does PTSD become worse during, or just prior to ovulation? How about during menopause? As my wife agrees, her pre and post mood swings are terrible three weeks a month now.

    #3-What can I do to understand what she is enduring better? Any books, etc?

    #4-Is memory loss part of PTSD? This is a symptom that I have seen my wife suffer through, with no real explanation as to why. She is no where near as "sharp" as she used to be.

    We need help, as I am tired, very tired. I don't want to keep fighting this monster that has infected us. I know it is selfish, but after 16 years, I don't have much left, and again I see my kids getting anxiety...


    PS-other background. Our oldest is slightly autistic, and we lost a daughter a couple of days after birth due to trisomy 13. My autistic daughter is awesome, and I'm not sure we ever have gotten past losing my other daughter. My wife dreams of her all the time.

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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    Welcome David, I hope we can help you here and it may not hurt to turn your wife this way too. It is very normal to feel like we can't heal and we are beyond repair.

    I would like to add to what you mentioned about the loss of your child. It is another trauma she will need to confront too that will add to the PTSD.

    And yes, I will say first hand hormonal fluctuations can cause it to get worse symptom wise. Also, it will screw with your hormones.

    Book to suggest would be "I can't get over it" and this site is a gold mine of info.

    Memory goes to shit simply put and to the point. But it can improve in time. I say this with a stack of sticky post it notes next to me and my jar of pens...
  4. cookie

    cookie I'm a VIP

    ahh, david, welcome. sorry that your family is going through this. it is hard to admit that you need help when you have ptsd, you feel llike you should be able to handle things, and then you also feel crazy.Maybe i should say i do, prob. everyone doesn't feel that way. hormones definately affects the symptoms, making them worse. memory is a BIG problem. maybe you could encourage your wife to read some on the forum, it is a great help to see that a lot of problems is the ptsd, and not just you. my husband forced me to go to the dr., and i know if i miss appt.s he is going to take me to the hospital, it keeps me going. i know it's because he loves me, but it was hard to take at first, the important thing is, it worked for us. i so hope you find some help.
  5. masc

    masc New Member

    Not sure what to say that will help solve the issue. However, I do want to applaud you for staying with this so long. It's tough to do.

  6. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Hi David, welcome to the forum. David, everything you said is exactly typical of a PTSD sufferer in denial. Let me answer your queries in more detail individually:
    I must agree mate, naive is one word, or simply unknown is another. You didn't understand the complexity of the issue, most likely your wife may not off then at that time also...

    PTSD is an incurable illness, but that does not mean it can't be fixed, it just means fixing as such is a word for learning how to manage PTSD. To live life truly with PTSD means more often than not, a lifestyle change.

    Yep, denial, denial, denial all over her mate. She thinks she can manage and cope with PTSD with little to no help. She believes it doesn't impact her life to any significant degree, and is ignorant to the fact it impacts the life of yourself and your children. Denial is a blissful thing, but denial, and that is dangerous.

    Let me guess... she isn't feeling well to attend, or magically forgot about the appointment? Typical again. Why? Mostly if she feels ill as a reason, and most likely is ill, she is this way because she is pre-empting the emotional pain she must endure by having to talk about her issues. This is denial. If not reminded, yes, she will forget about the appointments if made well in advance, because trauma clouds her mind. She will most likely find things that coincide with an appointment, using that as an excuse not to attend those she remembers. Fear of facing her past demons, her past fear, her trauma!

    Ok, this is pretty common also actually David. You will find she used sex to help her try and forget about the pain she has endured. Often a person who has been raped, tries to relive the event to find reason, to try and understand why it happened, but they never find that reason by doing so, only more emotional pain. Your emotional pain is also now included into this equation, as it is a known within your relationship. Trust has been diminished the moment it occurs, or is known or even thought to be occurring.

    With uncontrolled PTSD present, the possibilit of that is about right, however; once PTSD is often healed, ie. if your wife chose to heal her past trauma and learn how to manage PTSD, when doctors or therapists get a hold of PTSD being present, it can then cause a reverse effect, ie. they blame everything on PTSD, and don't look at the real issues themselves for what they are. PTSD is a great tool to blame things on for them, its a way of feeling they are right. Whilst PTSD is uncontrolled though, yes, it is a major cause of relationship and life issues, no doubt.
    David, I must ask, have you always been this way, ie. pre-marriage? Whilst us males tend to carry this trait, ie. can be very stubborn and time consuming to calm from anger because we often close our emotional self off from the world, if this was not present beforehand, then chances are you are suffering what is called "secondary PTSD", which is common in spouses of a sufferer. What this is, is that your wife is most likely the same, and has been so for a very long time. When she gets angry, she remains that way for some time until time itself allows her to calm. If provoked during that calming period, it just gets worse. Secondary PTSD is what is used to apply to children, spouses, family and friends of sufferers, where they begin to attribute some of the symptoms themselves. It is nothing to hear a spouse who begins suffering depressive bouts, or takes a long time to calm down after an argument, or begins having panic attacks, uses alcohol to suppress emotions, etc etc. Children 99% of the time will get secondary symptoms, and will grow in adolescence with a very confused, often disruptive attitude towards life, others and family members. They in turn become reclusive from the world, abuse or become dependent upon alcohol, etc etc.

    Tell your wife, I beg to differ. I doubt doctors or therapists can help her, because they often believe medication is the key, ie. medication is a bandaid, when the sufferer gets more ill, their solution is to up the dosage, or change the medications. Why? Because they don't truly understand PTSD, because they don't suffer it. I do have PTSD David, and I have healed it to lead a pretty full and rewarding life once again, just as some others here are now finding also.

    PTSD is a killer, have no doubt. The sufferer must want to regain their life back, without all the emotional pain they carry, and the facts are, it takes a good year of very hard work, a lot of depressive bouts during trauma therapy, then learning how to manage PTSD itself to control it for the remainder of life. Its not easy, but hey... if you have PTSD, its nothing compared to not feeling that way for the remainder of your life.

    PTSD encompasses many disorders under its umbrella. When you have been diagnosed with PTSD, you have hit the end of the severity scale, you are at the worst of mental illness. PTSD kills a lot of people, because they fail to remove themselves from denial. PTSD is classed as an anxiety disorder because the majority of what PTSD does, is stress. Stress is so dysfunctional and severe within a sufferer of uncontrolled PTSD, that it kills. Often you will find a PTSD sufferer having heart attacks early in life, severe health problems and much worse. Read what is happening to your wife in [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread253.html[/DLMURL] which outlines some of the issues, all caused by nothing more than PTSD itself. To get a better understanding where this stress is accumulated, read this document [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread2296.html[/DLMURL] which outlines things in a basic sense.

    Does walking on eggshells within your house sound about right? Because that is what your wife is causing you and your children to do. She needs to know this, and she needs to know the information I give you here, and in the linked documents. She must be made aware that help does exist, and if she wants to be around to see her kids get married, then she might want to give herself a slap up the side of the head and wakeup to reality, she needs to get serious with this, and must be prepared to do some hard work herself in order to heal it. Send her my way, send her here to chat with me and others who know what she feels, and understands her life with PTSD, and can show her how to heal, and help her heal her past trauma. You don't have to believe me, just read for yourself on this forum what this place has / is doing for many others who thought life was lost, there was nothing that could make it better, all of which where wrong and are now rediscovering life once again, or on their way to finding it now.

    David, I want you to give this little test to your wife, its called "[DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread2411.html"]the road interview[/DLMURL]" and private message me the results. I will give your wife an emotional snapshot of her current self, which will demonstrate to her the ability for her to heal. The majority of doctors and therapists are really useless mate when it comes to PTSD, this is pretty known already.
    PTSD becomes worse not by menapause or mentrual cycles itself, but by internal emotions. Any negative emotions will make PTSD worse, to put it bluntly.

    Yes, and much more. Read [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread1097.html[/DLMURL] to get a better understanding of what is encompassed within PTSD itself. Doctors love to break all this down into individual labels, and the only reason they do that, is because they have lost touch with healing people, instead they focus only on the business side of being a doctor, and that is kickbacks from prescriptions they provide. To prescribe though, they must have a label for legal purposes, so instead of telling a person they have PTSD and what it encompasses, they tell them they have PTSD + all the individual symptoms that actually makeup PTSD itself, so they can prescribe more medications thus obtain more kickbacks. To give you an idea, one prescription can provide anything from $2 - $20 in kickbacks to the doctor from the pharmaceutical company for prescribing the medication. So the more they prescribe, the more they get from residual cash flow, thus they prescribe minimum dosages so the patient must return more often, thus they get the consultation fee + kickbacks based on numbers. I am afraid mate, 90% of the therapy industry has lost touch with what matters most, the patient, and instead are more concerned about the bottom line figure. This is fact, not fiction. It is disappointing, but you only need read here and other forums where people provide feedback about experiences with the therapy industry.

    David, if you look in the spouse section of this forum, at some point you must look after yourself and your childrens needs first, especially if your wife fails to want the help she so much needs. Whilst she remains in denial, and she remains ignorant to the fact that she is living with an illness that will kill her, she will continue to inflict her pain and suffering upon you and your children. Nobody can help a person that doesn't want help. She must want to help herself, she must want to allow others to help her heal. I for one will not waste my time with a person here who does not want to heal, because there are plenty that do, thus deserve my time and the time of others, and I am nto afraid of telling people that. We here help people heal for free, much of which would cost in excess of $10,000 to achieve otherwise, thus she must want to help herself first. If she doesn't, it doesn't matter what you say to her, it will only fall on deaf ears.

    David, the loss of your daughter is just another trauma that must be healed, a significant one, but to her it will be just another trauma within her life, as once PTSD is present, every single negative aspect of our past must be looked at for possible fear. Whilst this is a tragedy within itself, it could be the majority of her trauma, or her rape could be, or abuse from parents, it is unknown until further discussed with her. I am very sorry though mate that you had to endure such a loss. I know I love my kids to bits and pieces, and such a thing would tear me apart. I can barely begin to imagine what it is doing to you both.

    David, end point though mate, your wife must want to help herself, otherwise you need to begin looking at taking care of yourself and children first, you wife later down the list, otherwise you will all suffer because of her own selfishness, and it is selfishness. Chat with the spouses more mate, and they will certainly enlighten you and know exactly what you mean.

    I am diagnosed with PTSD David, the most severe end of all scales, and every symptom, and today I live life pretty complete, without trauma, without fear, without nightmares, without memory loss, without depression, anxiety and so forth. I control my lifestlye in order to maintain this output. If I intentionally put myself into something that creates stress, then I get ill, if not, I don't. This is what your wife must learn. Some people can work with PTSD, after healing PTSD, some will never work again, it just depends on the person and severity of trauma.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  7. wildcritter44

    wildcritter44 Active Member

    :hello: Wecome to the forum David,

    Sounds to me like you are heading the right direction. Your getting help from Drs, therapists, etc.
    As a spouse of a PTSD sufferer I understand it's a difficult road to travel.
    :wall: I often feel like this little guy to the left here.

    PMS/Menopause (depression) as some Dr's label it does weird things to some women. My Mom during menopause,had a lapse of memory of two whole weeks.

    PTSD (also sometimes labeled depression by some Dr's) or resulting pain can cause memory losses of minutes to hours. (my hubby experienced several hours of memory loss several different times. It scared both of us. He's disabled military.

    yes as spouses we do get very tired and some spouses do end up giving up and walking a way. Others of us stick it out. Take the bad because we love our spouses and want to help them. Maybe is makes us just a little :crazy-eye (goofy)... We know they are good people -- otherwise we wouldn't have said "I do!"

    learning about PTSD, PMS, menopause, are important helpful things. Communications with yr wife and seeing if she is interested in this forum may help. We have sections where you as a spouse can write that she can't read, and there is a section for the PTSD sufferer, that we spouses can't read. General sections where everyone can go, read, write, etc.

    Ask questions, read, and listen -- sift thru it may be something will help.
    Learn about "triggers" they are biggie for PTSD sufferer's. We spouses sometimes hit those triggers without knowing it. Sometimes the PTSD sufferer didn't know they were triggers until they learned what they are.
    Take Care & God Bless you & your family

    d (wildcritter)
  8. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Welcome David. I'm sorry that you and your family are going through this right now. But there is help out there. There's also a lot of great people who will help here, too.
  9. Andrea42

    Andrea42 Active Member

    Hi David,
    Welcome to the forum... we are here to try and help each other understand PTSD from our own experiences...i hope you find something that helps you here and i look forward to hearing from you....
    How has everything been this week??
  10. David66

    David66 New Member

    Thank you all for your welcome.

    My wife and I sat down and spoke Sunday evening. I told her I am at my end, that we do something, or we part ways, that for my sake, and the kids, i have no choice anymore.

    Funny, she says that she enjoys seeing her counselor. I ask why she doesn't go, and she said she does. My responce was name a year that you went more than twice? Her response was 4 years ago when our daughter died, she went 5 or 6 times. She says that even though she was diagnosed with PTSD, she feels that depression is really the issue, and the therapist don't even talk about the PTSD. She has made another appointment.

    No, she didn't want me to attend my brother's bachelor party at a strip club. I went anyways (and behaved). She felt the urge to get even and slept with an ex-boyfried a month later.

    I am sure that I am suffering from Secondary PTSD. While I always have been an introvert, I do suffer from anxiety attacks, and I get depressed occasionally, where I never did before. I mentioned it to my Doc, and he said he never heard of any such thing...

    She is on Prozac, sleeping pills, and something else for Arthritis. I believe she is also on a medicine for Fibromialsia.

    Three weeks a month!

    I will send here this way, but it will be in a couple of weeks. I need to get myself straight first.

    She was diagnosed prior (12 years ago) to losing her (4 years ago). I know she is struggling to come to grips with it. For me, I know in my heart we did everything that we could for her. I, however, did not carry her for 10 months, felling her hiccup, kick, etc.

    I am at this point and have expressed it. It just sucks that I have to totally crush my kids by breaking up the family if I can't convince my wife to get help. It's like heads i lose, tails I lose more.

    Knowing others have been through this, helps a lot.
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