Monday, August 29, 2011

weathering life's storms

Ever since I said I was going to be more honest on here about what my life has been like dealing with hubby's PTSD "issues" I feel like I have had total writer's block.

It's just, I don't know where to begin!  There are these crazy emotional storms, if you will.  Sometimes I can't tell if the storms originate from HIM, or from ME, but either way I never know if they'll be gentle like a spring rain, or sudden but short like a summer thunderstorm, or downright deadly like Hurricane Irene.

Like, a few weeks ago in one of our more bizarre arguments, he actually accused me of stealing/hiding his logo t-shirts.  (regular t-shirts with a logo on them, mostly surf/skate types like O'Neil or Quicksilver, even though he has never surfed OR skated). He has always worn these t-shirts, and when he got home from this deployment he started buying new ones compulsively.  Shopping compulsions are not new for him, but have always been tied to some sort of emotional distress, so I should have seen that as a cry for help way back in Dec/Jan, at least. 

We have issues already with fitting our clothes into our drawers/closets, so by about March I got fed up and said something to him.  We were in Costco and he was looking at the shirts there, excited by the great price, I guess...and I snapped and said, "PLEASE don't buy any more t-shirts until you get rid of some of your old ones!" So he claimed he couldn't FIND any of his white logo t-shirts, and then made a point to complain about this again several more times over the following weeks, usually while buying more shirts. Of course I went home and checked his drawers to make sure I wasn't imagining the t-shirt surplus, and I started having HIM put his clean t-shirts away after I washed and folded them, so he would at least see what I meant about not having room for any more of them. 

I didn't mention it again until I saw him wearing YET ANOTHER new logo shirt, and I asked him if he finally got rid of some of the old shirts.  He completely LOST IT, yelling at me for stealing/hiding his clothes or something, because he can only find 2 white logo t-shirts.  This man has always been incredibly organized, to a point that they probably put HIS picture next to the phrase "anal retentive" in the dictionary....but the day he blew up about the shirts, he had t-shirts in four different drawers (all full, of course...I counted 17 clean white logo t-shirts, plus all the grey, blue, etc and that's not even counting the 7 or 8 that were cycling through the laundry at that point!) and he had only checked one drawer before he panicked that they were all "missing".  That by itself was a serious short-circuit in his usually precise brain, but the delusional stuff.....the idea that I would for some reason sabotage his efforts to freaking GET DRESSED - that only hints at our biggest problem: he thinks I am the enemy.  He is so convinced that I am somehow out to get him, it is no wonder he can't fully trust me, or open up to me, or CONNECT with me.  Why would he want to connect with the enemy?

I can't even begin to describe how painful that is, in and of itself....knowing that he sees me that way.  There are times that I can really tell he is trying, and that maybe he even understands that those views are, in fact, delusional.  But he still treats me as the enemy most of the time.

The craziest part of this is the calm between the storms.  We probably have one major blowup a week (sometimes a fight, sometimes just one-sided yelling) and then 3 to 5 small ones.  Considering his work has him gone for 4 days straight every week and home for a max of 3 days, that's a LOT of storms (especially since we don't even have make-up sex any more). But in between fights, it's almost like nothing is wrong - at least to anyone observing us.  I don't know if we just keep up appearances for the kids' sake, or if maybe we cling to those moments of normalcy, wondering when the next storm will hit and how severe it will be?

Right now another storm is brewing, and I can't tell if I should find a shelter somewhere, or stand there shaking my fist at it, daring it to do it's worst.  I do know that I am strong and prepared and capable, but am so afraid of the BIG STORM coming someday.....the one that no amount of preparedness/prayer/strength/luck can possibly stand up to.  The one that will end me, maybe end us both.

In the meantime, all I can do is try to enjoy this little bit of calm before the storm - these precious few moments that allow me to actually blog about it all.  At 2:30 in the freaking morning.


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