Tuesday, February 22, 2011


At this point, I don't know if labels even matter, but if they do, then I think hubby's "issues" definitely fall under the category of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I wish I could accurately capture and write down the exact changes in him, but I can't.  He's just NOT himself since he got home in December.  He is full of anxiety, and now severe depression.  He can't fall asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning, even with a little pharmacuetical help.  (This is a guy who I used to openly ENVY for his ability to fall asleep literally THE MINUTE his head hit the pillow every night). 

I know I already wrote about his lack of libido - that part is still killing me, but I am learning not to take it so personally.  Doesn't make me feel any less lonely, though.  I seriously miss having some connection to him, you know?  When we do have sex, there is no passion there, none of the real excitement that we used to have - none of the spark.  Sometimes I think I'd rather go completely celibate than have him just 'go through the motions' like that.

It's impossible to go anywhere with him - if I drive, he is snapping at me within minutes about how I should brake sooner, or later, or I better speed up so I don't miss the next light.  It's nerve-wracking. If he drives, we can't go three miles without him cursing at random drivers - or at the super-slow traffic light, or whatever else is getting on his nerves (which is everything).

Crowds make him BEYOND jumpy.  He carries his service sidearm everywhere - completely legal since he has his sheriff's badge with him at all times - but I see him reaching for it almost for comfort when he sees someone or something that makes him uncomfortable in the middle of, say, Costco.  Or CHURCH. To others, it probably just looks like he is adjusting his pants or his belt, but I know what he's doing.

He's always been hyper-vigilant (has to sit with his back to the wall in a restaurant, has to be able to see the entrances and exits, etc) because of his other job in law enforcement (and I think because of his personality). But now it is really ridiculous.  Bordering on OCD.  He used to pull the handle of the car door to double check that it was really locked after he hit the lock button on the little remote - now he has to check ALL FOUR DOORS.  Every time.  It's painful for me to even watch. I mean, I am all for him being careful, but this is just....well, for lack of a better word, this is just crazy.

I hesitate to use the word 'crazy' because I take mental illness very seriously - several forms of it run in my family, including bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia.  I myself have battled clinical depression for more than ten years now, and in the past few years have also struggled with some serious anxiety - complete with panic attacks.  Fun stuff, right?  As tormented as I have been over the years, I don't think my insanity comes anywhere close to the pain my hubby is in now - and I feel so helpless!  There is nothing I can do to help him right now, other than stick it out - no matter how much he hurts me with his reclusive behavior.

I've begged him to talk to someone, and initially he refused, saying he was 'dealing with some issues' and wanted to do it on his own.  I finally pointed out a few weeks ago that he's just taking too long - its not fair to his family to ask us to wait indefinitely while he deals with his issues.  He agreed to see a counselor, but has yet to actually DO it.

I love this man, and I pray he returns to some version of his pre-deployment self SOON.


Amanda M. said...

So I just started following you blog a little bit ago. I would like to let you know you are not alone out there in this world of PTSD. It really is a serious thing. My husband had a bad deployment before we met and it still haunts him to this day. Now four years later he is finally able to understand his PTSD. We have been together three years and he just started opening up about it. I know it is hard to look at someone you love and not know what to say or do. I promise you that being there for him will help. It may take time and it WILL take counceling on is part. My husband finally talked to someone a couple months back. I don't want to put to many details out here on your blog but you are more than welcome to contact me anytime. Just pray and be strong and things will work out. He and you both will be stronger people after all is said and done.

Goodnight moon said...

Oh girl! I am so sorry you, your hubs and your family is dealing with this. PTSD is a very REAL issue. Don't let him try to down play it at all. Maybe if you wrote him a letter and left it for him to read with your concerns and things you have notice different about him, he might understand that he needs help? Sometimes seeing it in writing and letting him read it on his own, instead of talking face to face about it, it might make him see things differently?

Ugh...I am so sorry, really I am! Let me know if you need anything. I hate that this is an issue for you, and for anyone else that is dealing with the same thing. I'm sorry!


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