Thursday, January 12, 2012

"My Husband Left Me Today"... and why that's not such an uncommon phrase in a world with PTSD & TBI.


So, my husband left me tonight. It's the third time in the last three years he's done so. It wasn't a huge fight. I don't really have it in me to have huge fights anymore. And really in our PTSD/TBI world it doesn't take many words for a few things to be w-a-y misunderstood and for things to take a seriously wrong turn. So, short fight, husband gone, says he'll be back tomorrow to get the rest of his "stuff" (obviously not the word he used).

At this point I'm sort of numb. Sometime tonight I may cry, but honestly I probably won't. Not because I'm not hurting and raw and in an incredible amount of pain... but because I know from experience if I ever started just how hard it would be to stop. So, it's easier to just not. Not to go there... not to feel that... not to let myself fall into that pit with no bottom. (And, yep, I get that that's not the "healthy" response... but right now I'm in survival mode... promise to worry about healthy responses later.)

Another sort of odd thing occurred to me tonight. I called a few friends after he left (all fellow Veteran wives who live this PTSD/TBI life everyday, too) and said, "So, apparently my husband just left me." And each one of them said the same thing I know... been there, done that... actually, been there a few times.

Don't get me wrong. It doesn't make tonight any easier. The fact that my husband has "left" me two other times before this in the last few years (once for two weeks, once for two days) doesn't stop the gnawing in my gut that's terrified that this really is the end of our life together. But, it is sort of odd and sad and (sarcastically) funny that it's perfectly "normal" in this world for me to calling and saying that my husband just left me.

It's not shocking. It's not met with a gasp of surprise. It's just met with a sort of acknowledgment that it absolutely sucks... but it happens in our world... and hopefully after his PTSD fueled rage ignited by a TBI induced complete misunderstanding of a conversation is over, that things will simmer down to a more normal level of boiling (let's face it, in our world's the stove's eye is never actually off). There's really not a lot to do but wait it out. How freaking crazy is that?

It's also crazy that while I'm hurt and sad and mad and numb and confused and reeling that I also just really wish we could fast forward and get this over with. I know (or at least hope... really hope... because there have been Veterans that never come back) that our track record is that he will come back, that our marriage is strong enough, the our love is strong enough, and that we're both too stubborn to let our lives fall apart (even when PTSD and TBI are doing their best to defeat us). So, I wish I could just fast forward... skip this part... skip the pain, and hurt, and feelings of betrayal and abandonment, and uncertainty... and just have him back here with me. I want to be able to reach over when I can't sleep and find his hand. I want to be able to share those little meaningless things that "old married" people do. I miss those things... and am most terrified at the prospect of loosing them... when he leaves like this. I guess that sounds really weird to a lot of people? It's not like I'm ignoring what just happened... and there's definitely some "discussion" and work there to do... but I just want to get there and forget this part.

So, here I sit, typing and trying to process... trying to figure out how to answer the questions from our child over the next few days... trying to figure out how to sidestep several other situations that will undoubtedly be uncomfortable... doing damage control... ignoring my feelings (have you ever noticed Veteran wives often rock at that)... analyzing which of the hubby's care providers I need to call tomorrow... wishing, hoping, praying, and needing for this just to be over... and finding strange comfort (as always) in the knowledge that I'm not "the only" one who has faced this.

We sometimes live screwed up lives, there's no doubt about that. It's a good thing that the pay-off is those lives often transform us into individuals who are much stronger, resilient, and stubborn than we would have ever imagined possible.

I'm adding this song here because it's a song I listen to a lot in this life... but it especially means a great deal on dark days like this. Thought it might be helpful to someone else, too.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you kindly for your post and music clip, Sydney. Today is a real dark day and it means a great deal to me.

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  2. I'm very glad i found your blog as today im experiencing the "waiting time" after yet another fight. Trying to figure out what keeps us together... its here somewhere but if i hadnt found this, I might have called it quits. I appreciate your honesty, it gives me hope. How do I reach out to him with understanding and love in a period where he wont look at me let alone say a word to me... like I'm an awful monster who destroyed his happiness? We also had our second (and last) child Jan 11th.

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  3. Anonymous -

    That "waiting time" is incredibly difficult, so ((HUGS)) first. The best way I've found to handle it is to make it clear, whether my husband is answering or not, that I love him and I'm not going anywhere. I don't say it excessively to the point of being annoying, but I do say it enough that it's there in his mind. I've found that often in those times, even though he is so pissed at me (even when it's not justified... and sometimes when it is), that there's also a conversation going on in his head that I'm going to leave anyway, that his anger and frustration and PTSD somehow make him "unworthy" of me staying. So, I just keep reminding him gently but firmly. I don't get into the argument or reasons one or both of us is angry, just that the bottom line is I think "we" are worth fighting for.

    ((HUGS)) some more...

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  4. Sometimes I wish he would just leave so this hellish night mare would be over and I wouldn't agonize over should I stay or should i go....how much more can I take, what would it do to my kid. Im about at the end of my rope.

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  5. my husband left a month ago and is sure that this is it. I love him immensley, though I think he is with another woman hoping it will work out with her. He is dx with ptsd and takes meds, but I beleive he needs an adjustment. He blamed me for everything I mean everything! he says he only married me because he needed me for his children a mom to raise them. he never loved me and that was the just. I know he loves me somewhere in that heart of his.I think there is to much stress where we live, which started this whole thing I am not happy. and a friend passing away and now he is trying to be with his wife. Everyone knows....any help to understand the mind would be helpful

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  6. I am glad I found this site. My husband left last month. I spend many days/nights crying wondering what happened. I never thought my husband would ever leave me and our daughter. After much praying and talks with him, I realized it is not me. It is his struggle. I still cry at times, but mostly I let him know I am here, I love him and I am not giving up on our marriage. He begins counseling shortly. He stills tells me he is not sure if or when he will return home. He does talk about this being temporary and how we can look forward to things once he gets "straightened out." I am not counting on anything right now. Just one day at a time and praying each day.

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  7. My husband is not a warrior at all but he sure has PTSD, Bi Polar Disorder, and now a brand new TBI. His family convinced him while in the hospital not to come back home or contact me. He has been in contact with me for the past three weeks but refuses to come home stating that his family will be mad at him. I am just devastated. He talked to me on the phone tonight and said that he is just wondering how his life is going to be years down the road. I asked him with me or the brain injury? He said the Brain Injury. I think he is just now starting to realize where he is at. I just wish he would trust me enough to come back home. We love and care for him and can not imagine living life without him forever. It is such a sad situation. I have never felt this much anguish in my life. I would think that his family would support him being happy. Just terrible.

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  8. I'm into my 2nd year with my true love combat vet with ptsd, and he left me today. We've been full time rving, and dropped me off at the storage unit with nowhere to go, so I'm homeless now, no job, no money, no vehicle, no love of my life. I asked that we get counsel at a va center, but although he says he loves me the same, he's not showed interest. I wanted to go mainly for me to cope better for him. He's done this three times before, just this past month. Feeling lost and vulnerable.

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  9. This is my second time my husband with ptsd left. Now is more different he flew to stay with his mom. I haven't seen him in over a month. I try to text and he won't answer. Calling is definitely out of the question he just hangs up. He doesn't tell me he doesn't want to be with me but the cold shoulder seems like a huge sign.

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  10. This is my second time my husband with ptsd left. Now is more different he flew to stay with his mom. I haven't seen him in over a month. I try to text and he won't answer. Calling is definitely out of the question he just hangs up. He doesn't tell me he doesn't want to be with me but the cold shoulder seems like a huge sign.

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  11. I've looked at blogs and postings before but this is the first ever for me to respond. I see your story has touched several lives and yes it is hard to believe that your story becomes the norm. First let me say I'm sorry for the homefront battle you endure. That saying must be true. "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger". My husband too has PTSD. The military and the wars have changed him drastically. He's the shell of the man that I married. Sometime I feel as though I could reach inside him and pull him out, but there's nothing there. He's so very numb to the point he says he loves me but but has the need to leave me. Life hasn't been easy but still, I wish I could have kept him. We were supposed to be a team, but he never let me in. I never believed in divorce, but now he just wants to be alone. He's not changing his mind either. I feel I put so much hard work in through the years, I feel now like I'm holding an empty bag. I have to further respond that you made me smile with your song choice. I'm well aware of the song. It's a perfect one for this situation. Thank you for sharing. It's helpful to know I'm not alone. Best wishes, be strong & many blessings to you!

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  12. MARRIAGE RESTORED! My wife pack out of the house with my kids and said she was no longer interested in me anymore. She said all the abusive words and said am not a good husband because I wasn't working, instead I was wasting her time, so i contacted this Strong spell caster DR OLO'R'UN a week ago after reading Miracles about his spell over the net, I consulted him for a love spell, crying not knowing what to do. He told me that he will cast a lover spell for me so my wife will come back to me. After 4 days of casting the spell, my wife call me apologizing and begging me to come home. Am thanking DR OLO'R'UN for the Faith and Trust he showed me. if any body is out there passing through any relationship difficulties should kindly contact him via email: OLORUNODUDUWASPIRITUALTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM

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  13. Can someone get back to me on how they handled this and what they feel and was done. Mine left a month ago and I'm dying he refuses to come home he off meds he is drinking so much he admits he has a problem but won't get help. He just left me and our daughter.

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