What to Do?? ** TRIGGERING **

Disclosure: this is not a topic that I would normally write about, yet I need to put the thoughts down.

My husband and I have been growing apart for some time. It has been a long time since there has been any sort of intimacy ( kissing, hugging, not even talking about sex). Recently, he has become even more like a roommate, only talking about what needs to be done and who will complete the task.

Yes, I have PTSD, yet I am also a person and would like to feel like another is attracted to me and wants to spend time with me. For those who do not agree with alternative lifestyles, you may want to stop reading.

A little over a month ago, I brought up the idea of an open marriage. Even 5 years ago I would have told someone thinking this that they were crazy. I may have even thought less of them. I feel bad for judging others with very little information.

I want us both to be happy and get our emotional as well as other needs met. Realistically, neither of us is completely meeting the needs of the other. Being in a house with a person with a mental illness has to be difficult. Therapy was over telehealth and things are heard, habits are noticed more, and then there is being in the same area 24/7.

I have been talking to someone who I am interested in, yet because of my mental health and physical issues, I am terrified of rejection. It is hard to put myself out there. Any person is going to see the scars from my self harm that are like a neon sign on my arm. Can anybody even get past those to begin to get to know me? Will they think of me as “crazy”?

Maybe I am making to much of those thoughts, yet they are there. How do I explain that yes I have kids, yet they live with their dad and not all of them speak to me. Even writing this I feel like a train wreck. Maybe someone will be able to understand that I have a therapist to discuss my issues with. I have given this a lot of thought and research before bringing it up to my spouse. Will a person be willing to take a chance?

Again, this is not what I usually write. Later this week, there will be a post on my therapist’s newest find: shadow work!!

COVID and it Effects

The pandemic did not come overnight. The Wuhan virus had been around. For weeks the press release was that everything would pass. It did not help that the President believed the virus that did not exist.

We pride ourselves on the “freedoms” that we have in this country. While other countries closed down and maintained a strict quarantine, many areas of the US did not follow the stay at home order. Even wearing masks changed depending on what was acceptable in the area.

After a year, people are beginning to get together and travel once more. My experience has been that road rage and aggression has increased. Even on a 65 mph road drivers are doing. 80. People are pissed off about lines and are easily frustrated. Shootings have increased.

The reports are that around 70% of people are vaccinated, yet masks are still for the most part mandatory. To me, if we are so much better, why not allow mask to be an option. If mask wearing is mandatory along with sanitizing everything, why were these precautions not taken years ago with the flu and pneumonia which kill tens of thousands each year.

Prior to COVID I was in hospitals and watched as staff would go from room to room ignoring basic protection protocols. For now, COVID-19 is at the front of all illnesses and the talk of boosters is occurring as I write this. Worldwide I do not believe that things will ever return to before COVID-19. The world is irreparably changed and I do not think that it is for the better.

When your Spouse Becomes a Caregiver

My spouse used to be in love with me. We went out on dates and took trips together. He liked to talk about his day and would do little things for me that caused me to feel special.

In the beginning, our relationship resembled any other couple who cared and loved each other. The difference was that over time, he became my caregiver.

Things started out small. I would go into the hospital and he would come to visit on the weekends. He told me what was happening and the visits allowed the time to pass quickly. My visits to the hospital became more frequent. The stress of working, additional schooling, and being there on the weekends for me took its toll.

At home he never knew what to expect from one day to the next. Would I stay in bed all day? Was I taking my meds? How was I feeling? The discussions began to center around my diagnosis. Somewhere in all of this he became my caregiver. He worried about my health and would make calls to doctors to see if there was anything else that could be done. I became a patient instead of a wife.

As I sit here writing this, I know that we are strangers now. I am difficult to have a conversation with. We have grown apart in our wants and needs as a couple. I am thinking that this change is irreparable. My illness is not going away and my symptoms are right out in the open.

Mental Illness and Family

When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness, the entire family is affected. The person diagnosed is trying to come to terms with their symptoms and medications. There are activities that one needs to do such as find a therapist, psychiatrist, and possibly a support group. Often, one hospitalization turns into many. The feeling of being a spectator in their own life may set in over time.

For family members, it is a time for adjustment. The medications that are supposed to help actually make the symptoms worse. Trying to comfort their loved one turns into an argument due to misunderstandings. For the relative, they see their loved one struggling, yet cannot do anything to help. A feeling of desperation and helplessness begins.

Over my many stays at psychiatric hospitals, there is always the common issue of loved ones leaving. Just when we need support, people go away and stop answering texts. Even though, at our core we are the same, the changes are just to much to bear. It seems hardest for those closest to the patient as they see what happens everyday. Watching a loved one in pain is often to much to bear.

I am not an expert. All of this is from my own experience. In hindsight I wished that I would have listened to my treatment team and went into counseling with my family. Maybe there was something that I could have done. Now, some relationships are irreparable.

Stop Asking Why We Stay ***TRIGGER WARNING ***

When I left my abusive ex, I was lucky. I had a safe place to go to where people would protect me. Also, by that time I was not scared to call the police because I was safe.

Please stop asking why people who are in abusive relationships don’t leave. First is the fact that when a victim of domestic abuse tries to leave the abuser, they are at the highest risk of getting hurt or killed. Then, if they have kids who is going to take care of them especially if they stay home. Sometimes even the neighbors are involved in watching and reporting back to the abuser.

If the victim does not work, where are they supposed to go?? How do they leave with themselves and their kids safe. Getting an order for protection sounds great, yet nothing will be done “unless an event happens.”

Then there is the legal side. Lawyers are expensive and require retainers that are astronomical. App the ones cared about when I left was their $400 an hour. How can they sleep at night knowing that they could make a difference??

Some lawyers will go so far as discouraging the victim to stay. Please show some empathy and less judgement. Call if you here something concerning. Silence could be fatal.

Complex PTSD Changed Me

This post is one that those in the field of psychology debate. To me, the belief that your trauma is what you make of it is complete crap. What happened to me has altered the way that I view the world. Innocuous activities become a source of panics and flashbacks.

One of my main issues is trusting each people. Throughout my life, people have revolved according to what my abuser needed. My abuser caused me to fear the people and places around me. That began at age 3. A 3 year old believes their caregiver. By believing, I was scared that if we were out someone was going to take me or hurt me.

Being touched was painful. No was not a word that was respected or listened too. Obedience was necessary to survive. Even if that meant pain. Eventually, I just inherintly knew was expected of me. I followed knowing that I did not have a choice. To the day, I cannot even pick out a place to eat or answer what my favorite color is because that was drilled into me.

Noncustodial Mother’s Day

2007 was the last year that I was able to wake up with my kids. Little did I know, how tough the following years were going to be.

My ex’s parents did not have a care when it came to money or how much they spent. They were going to spend every penny it took to get my children away from me.

As most custodial parents, something was used against me. In my case it was my mental illness. Without adequate representation, I thought that if I could just show the court that I had taken care of my kids at home for 6 years that it would make a difference.

Except, I did not get a say. Within minutes. I was granted 60 +/- overnights a year. Even then, I did not expect the agreement to not be followed.

Over the years, I have repeatedly been taken back to court. If I need to go into the hospital for my mental health, I need to jump through all of the hoops to see my kids again.

This Mother’s Day is especially difficult. My oldest son believes everything that his father says, even if there is evidence to refute it. My youngest has taken the path of least resistance. That means not seeing me. My middle child who will turn 28’this year still sees me. He has always analyzed things around him and is neutral.

In 2007, I never believed that one day they would all be 18. That seemed so far away. I hope that my other two children will come to question their father, yet it may not happen in my lifetime. I love them and I always will. I have learned to appreciate every hug goodbye and every I Love you at the end of a text.

For those struggling today, we are out here and you are not alone. We feel the pain that comes with what you and those alike are going through. You are as much a mom as anyone else.

Don’t Take No!!

For years, I have been fighting the insurance for treatment that would help my C-ptsd. Finally, I received the letter from the insurance today that I can officially get the treatment I need without driving 2 hours or more.

I do not want to stop here. I am hoping that my new therapist will help me or an internet savvy person will help me to start a website. Someplace where people can go with this diagnosis to share resources. Where providers who may be willing to provide treatment pro Bono or on a reasonable sliding scale can meet potential patients.

Something has to change. There needs to be more awareness about this illness. Mote patients that do not keep taking the revolving door in and out of the psychiatric unit. Patients who are over medicated. Things need to change and I have a passion to do all I possibly can.