Saturday, April 13, 2013

Living with PTSD

Living with a husband with PTSD is hard... especially when there are children involved. The bursts of rage are scary. You do everything in your power to shield them from it, but it so often comes on without warning that you can't always protect them. Luckily my husband is never physically violent toward people, but the yelling, slamming doors, punching holes in walls, etc., at the drop of a hat are not something kids should be exposed to. He lives life as a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any second. When he does he changes quickly into it, and then he's quickly out of it. And it's more likely to occur as a result of a simple mistake he made. Almost never is it aimed at anyone other than himself. No words are said to him by anyone else to bring it on. No provoking occurs. No blame is placed or guilt is thrown. As a PTSD wife you learn to NEVER acknowledge to your husband that he has done something wrong, or the episode would be MUCH worse. The problem is, the baby's already screaming and crying by the time he's finished with his episode, and the 12-year-old has already shut himself in his room. Yet he sees nothing wrong with his behavior, and I suddenly become the bad guy for telling him to stay away from the kids until he calms down.

Yes, living with PTSD is hard... much harder than I ever imagined. But we do our best as wives and mothers... loving our husbands and protecting our kids... all the while praying this doesn't have long-term negative effects on the children.

The beauty of this situation is he typically controls it in front of the kids. The last time before tonight I can remember an outrage when the kids were present was about a year ago. And the PTSD therapy we went through and knowledge we gained on the disorder has helped him improve drastically. The frequency of episodes is extremely rare compared to what it was in the past. And prayer... well... prayer is the greatest healer of all. I have faith that with God's help these struggles will become a distant memory.

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