Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Battle of Emotional & Verbal Abuse (aka How PTSD Effects Our Family)

Received this story from a OIF/OEF Veteran's wife today. Many of us have and are walking in these shoes. Prayers and hugs to us all!

I married my husband before he deployed to Afghanistan. He had already served in Iraq and Katrina aftermath. When he came home from Afghanistan, he was not the same man. He flies into rages, cursing at me like I am a dog. He yells at our daughter for everything. Some days he is his old self...for a little while...But then something small will set him off and he will explode. I have left him and come back. He is mean to me so often I feel that my self esteem is so low. He degrades me and thinks it is funny. He laughs and grabs at my body. He hit our puppy in the face. When I tell him he hurts me he gets angry. Same with our daughter. He leaves marks and denies doing it. I begged him the other day to get treatment for ptsd, he just stood there, coldly looking at me while I cried. He is willing to do marriage counseling but stopped going to his therapist. He is on a med, it isn't helping. His dr. wont change the med...

He has gained a lot of weight and doesn't care about his appearance anymore. I have to ask him to brush his teeth and wear clean clothes. He insults me in front of people and drives recklessly all the time. He flips me off in public, walks off and tells me to "F" myself.

I know he experienced tragedy, but that is no excuse to abuse the people who waited and worried and loved him while hearing nothing during those dangerous missions. I don't know what to do. His best and only friend just moved across the country. They are both out of the army now. My husband plays violent war games and watches the military channel constantly, he always seems absorbed in the war. I feel that I can't get away from the war. If its not that itis gangland on history channel, CSI and gruesome scene from dead body scenes on true crime shows. I sometimes wake in bed to find him asleep and the tv showing a "true crime show" and pictures of stabbed women or shot men. I ask him to change this or turn off...he gets mad and explodes. Calls me a bitch.

No one takes me seriously about this.

I am tired of fighting and being abused and the merry go round. My daughter just woke up screaming w a nightmare about me and him fighting. He always threatens to hit things and told me "hey, feel lucky. It could be worse."

A lonely veteran's wife who is tired of fighting these wars....especially at home. My husband is somewhere wandering in the sandbox, I have the shell of what he used to be. And he is blaming me and our daughter for it. Is there help? At all???????


  1. Dear Lonely,

    You are not alone! Many of us have been where you are. My husband has been in and out of combat for 30 years starting with Vietnam. We have a 6 year old daughter who doesn’t always understand Daddy. I understand what you are going through as I have walked the PTSD path for 6 years. First of all your husband needs to get help for himself. It sounds like you are in a very dangerous situation if he is that volatile. My best advice is take care of yourself and your daughter. Everyone talks about the Vet yet unless you have lived with a combat vet one can not truly understand what it is like. It is the hitting you and your daughter that is really worrisome and no one should put up with that especially if he refuses to get help. My husband has never hit me or our daughter but the first time he did I would walk out the door until it changed. I am unwilling to live with anyone who would physically hurt my child or myself. There are many strategies of how to live in a PTSD relationship while not losing yourself. You can contact me if you would like to talk. God Bless you. JG

  2. I understand your pain..I wrote the blog about missing your husband when he is already home. I am truly sorry for what you are going through I know the pain all to well and my heart weeps for you. I know you want to make it work adn you want him to get better, but this is not always possible the most important thing tha tyou ccan do is get your daighter out of this situation. I have tlaked to women that have dealt with this behavior for 10 - 15 years and let their children dela with it and it has not gotten any better but they still have hope that it will. my husband has not contacted me more than 2 times since we seperated almost a yr ago and he sent me divorce papers. He has piushed me out of his life completely. the only way I cope witht his is by beleiving that my husband or the part that made him him died in iraq and the person who is home now is a stranger that I feel nothing for adn does not know me or love me. I have been in school for psychology for 3 yrs adn through my experiences have decided to make it my lifes work to focus on ptsd, not so muchhelping the soldiers but more the spouses. I was in a state less that a yr ago where I almost commited suicide because I felt worthless and I felt that it was my fault liek I did somethign worng. I often wonder how many others were in my situation and how many actually took their own lives. When all we really need is someone who understands to be their with us and listen and for us to know we are not alone. I want to tell you that you are not alone. I know exactly what you are going through. And I care...I truly care....if you need to vent or talk or just want someone to listen please feel free to email me at hope to hear from you soon

  3. Dear Lonely,
    You are definitely not alone. I have been dealing with this for over 35 years. My husband served two tours in Viet Nam as a Marine. I feel blessed that I have never feared for my physical safety; but the emotional abuse has been horrible. Please follow the advice of JG and anonymous. You MUST think of you and your daughter first. I too have considered suicide more than once, lost my self esteem, and struggled to remember that the man I married was still somewhere just under the surface. I hope your husband decides to get help and stick with it. But you cannot be responsible for that. Your daughter needs and deserves at least one functioning parent. if you believe in prayer, continue to pray that you be strengthened and that you follow the path that God meant for you. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Please keep posting your thoughts. We are all here for you. Take care.

  4. Dear Lonely,
    You are not alone!! Many of us know the pain you feel and I'm sorry.
    I am the wife of a Desert Storm vet and the daughter of a Korean War vet who suffered a TBI. I married my husband 8 months after he got home from the gulf and he tried to hide everything he felt. He became a workaholic and alcoholic with a little psychadelic experimentation for good measure. We have 3 children and I have experienced most everything you have described. I would encourage you to trust your mothering instincts and do what is necessary to make sure you and your daughter are safe.
    I believe we, as the spouses of these proud protectors of our country, feel honored to protect our soldiers; BUT we must remember that WE are "soldiers" and our mission is to protect the life, liberty and the pursuit of the happiness of ourselves and our families. Your feelings do matter and they are very real.
    I urge you to seek the assistance of someone who is experienced in treating veterans and their families. I believe the Vet Centers(separate from VA) offer services to the families of veterans. That could be a place to start. Even though it is difficult to make any long term decisions right now, you need to have an emergency plan;an idea of somewhere you can stay if you need to leave temporarily,some cash, identification,extra set of keys, couple changes of clothes all stashed in a bag somewhere(hidden). AND most importantly, remember that you always have a choice and friends here who will listen.
    God Bless You,