Thursday, June 23, 2011

Anxiously Waiting

PTSD Awareness Day falls on June 27. In hopes of spreading awareness to people, we will sharing stories and experiences on here that are based around PTSD. Jo-Ann Morrison has has willingly shared her experiences. Thank you, Jo-Ann!

My husband left the forces 7 years before I met him.  We have been together for 11 years.  He has always had trouble sharing information of any kind with me.  It has been a battle throughout our relationship to keep him engaged in our family as he has frequent urges to run away and hide via alcohol use, pot use or by physically leaving.  Three years ago he finally agreed to be assessed and was diagnosed with PTSD.  He has been off work for the last two years and claims that he has been engaged in "desensitization therapy" for about the last 6 months. He is receiving a monthly allowance from VA on the condition that he attend treatment.

About three weeks ago, I went into our driveway to drive our 8 year old daughter to school.  Our boat was gone.  I freaked out thinking it was stolen so I called him (he was supposed to be out shooting with a friend). He told me that he sold it.  I was not pleased.  Later that afternoon I sent texts him to ask him if he was going to pick up our daughter after school as we had agreed.  He resonded back with "no". Again I was not pleased.  He took no calls after that and did not come home.  I found out from a friend three days later that he had moved out of town and was now living in the bush.  I was shocked and devastated.  He had said nothing about being unhappy or wanting to leave. 

I was pretty worried given that he had told me awhile ago that three of the six guys who were on a particular mission with him had died by suicide.  He told we a couple of weeks before he left that another had recently died. I took steps to verify that he was not suicidal by contacting his family and the counsellors who apparently work with him at the VA.  His mom said that she did not need this right now and told me that in her opinion our marriage should be over, asked me to encourage my daughter to call her and told me that they want nothing to do with me outside of my being the mom of her grand daughter.  No doubt he has been feeding them misinformation for months.  They knew that he moved but would not tell me. 

To keep a long story short, I have since learned via the bits of info I have gotten via paper trails and from others that he had obviously planned to leave. He has been depositing his income into a separate account for the last 4 months.  He has, in total, taken about $15,000 in family assets and cash during that time.  I am pretty sure that most of this money is gone because he took more out and sold the boat just before he left.  He had taken "trips" to visit people during the weeks before he left.  He lied to my face several times.  He wasn't visiting anyone.  He was setting up his escape nest.  A change of address notice arrived two days before he left.  He told me it was an error. 

We have had some interaction since he left.  I found him and basically harassed him and those who knew where he was to get him to contact me.  He has been adamant that I was planning to leave him.  This is not true.  I have no idea how he came to believe this or why he believes this.  He has been telling others this for months apparently but has said absolutely nothing to me about being unhappy nor has he asked me anything about my intentions regarding our marriage. 

The counselling staff have listened to me but can tell me nothing due to confidentiality.  He told me when I was first able to contact him that he had gone to where he is to be in a treatment program.  I believed him.  It turns out that there is no program.  He says he is ill, confused and that he keeps thinking about people getting shot and there being nothing he can do about it.

He told me four days ago that he wants to come back and try, then told me two days later that he doesn't know.  My life has been turned completely upside down.  It feels like I am dying inside. 

I love him and want him so much but I have, for reasons unknown to me, become his sworn enemy. He has lied to me so much during the last several months.  He has attacked me personally via our finances.  He has abandoned me and our child. He has been telling people I care about that I want to do him harm for several months.  His absence and current "I don't know" attitude is killing me.  I don't know what to do, how to act.  I think this is PTSD but it could be that he is simply being a big jerk?  This behaviour goes way beyond anything he has done before in our marriage. However, he has a child from a previous relationship that he walked away from similarly about 5 years before we met.  Family counselling has been arranged via VA but he needs to show up for that to happen. 

By the way, he said he is returning tomorrow - and tomorrow is my birthday.  Return for what purpose?  I don't know because he won't tell me.  I am trying to have faith.  I feel fortunate that he has never been violent but I am very very afraid of being rejected and further attacked emotionally.  That is how my day is going.  Freaking PTSD. ......
~Jo-Ann Morrison

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