Supporter My husband is a first responder with CPTSD.

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
hello cheri. welcome to the forum.

my strongest suggestion for helping your husband is to find help for yourself. i've been on both sides of the ptsd help desk and, for my therapy nickel, the support side is the harder side of the desk to be on. as a patient, i am pre-excused for much of what is going on and have access to great drugs, etc. as a supporter, it is all to easy to fall into codependency patterns that are hard to empathize with and even harder to find help for, or even good drugs.

joining this forum is a solid step that direction, but alanon is the best help i've ever found, both as a patient and a supporter. even if substance abuse is not on hubby's list of problems, codependency, etc. is hot topic there. it's also a great place to gain a deeper understanding of ptsd. there are many --myself included-- who believe aa and alanon are the largest collection of ptsd sufferers ever assembled.

just opining. . .

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome!

I'm from the sufferer side - military vet and then dispatch for 20 years.

In pretty much all of the 1st responder world it gets beaten into us right off the bat that 1) don't talk about calls because "they" won't get it and 2) ptsd is what happens to the weak.

While the first one will probably always be there the second is finally becoming "it's ok to ask for help because these jobs can suck the soul out of you."
But it is still pretty ingrained, especially if you've been in the career for a long time.

I think one thing that might help is understanding that in the 1st responder culture this ptsd crap is EXTREMELY shameful. It means you have somehow failed. You couldn't hack it. You couldn't do what everyone else can do (suffer silently and go to the next call). You are now marked as someone who no longer belongs.

I agree with @arfie that finding help for yourself is huge so that you don't get sucked into the drama of his recovery. Plus if you have a good foundation to draw from he won't have to worry about upsetting you, which might help him be more honest.

Just some thoughts....
 

Cheri

New Here
hello cheri. welcome to the forum.

my strongest suggestion for helping your husband is to find help for yourself. i've been on both sides of the ptsd help desk and, for my therapy nickel, the support side is the harder side of the desk to be on. as a patient, i am pre-excused for much of what is going on and have access to great drugs, etc. as a supporter, it is all to easy to fall into codependency patterns that are hard to empathize with and even harder to find help for, or even good drugs.

joining this forum is a solid step that direction, but alanon is the best help i've ever found, both as a patient and a supporter. even if substance abuse is not on hubby's list of problems, codependency, etc. is hot topic there. it's also a great place to gain a deeper understanding of ptsd. there are many --myself included-- who believe aa and alanon are the largest collection of ptsd sufferers ever assembled.

just opining. . .

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard.
Thank you for your reply and the suggestions. I will look into alanon for sure. He got his diagnosis a couple of years ago but I’m just now kind of realizing that I need support to be the supporter.

Also, thank you for putting so clearly what he’s been dealing with as a first responder. He’s on leave right now, but when he first started asking for help after white knuckling for a while, he really didn’t get much support from his bosses. He has had some incredible support from the « guys » at the fire hall though. They check in with him a lot and have kept some friendships going and that has made a huge difference.

Welcome!

I'm from the sufferer side - military vet and then dispatch for 20 years.

In pretty much all of the 1st responder world it gets beaten into us right off the bat that 1) don't talk about calls because "they" won't get it and 2) ptsd is what happens to the weak.

While the first one will probably always be there the second is finally becoming "it's ok to ask for help because these jobs can suck the soul out of you."
But it is still pretty ingrained, especially if you've been in the career for a long time.

I think one thing that might help is understanding that in the 1st responder culture this ptsd crap is EXTREMELY shameful. It means you have somehow failed. You couldn't hack it. You couldn't do what everyone else can do (suffer silently and go to the next call). You are now marked as someone who no longer belongs.

I agree with @arfie that finding help for yourself is huge so that you don't get sucked into the drama of his recovery. Plus if you have a good foundation to draw from he won't have to worry about upsetting you, which might help him be more honest.

Just some thoughts....
Thank you for your reply. It’s the middle of the night and I’m on my phone. I feel like my reply to the previous poster might be a combination of replies to your post as well. Thanks for the insight. My husband is such a lovely man and I think we are both finally accepting that this is a lifelong journey that we will both learn to cope with but will never completely go away. So I’m finally looking for support for myself while I support him as best I can. In my other reply I mentioned his brothers from the fire hall who have been keeping in touch and how great that’s been to see. I think there is still anger though at the stigma and how badly his bosses dealt with his cries for help.

Really appreciate your reply.
 
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