Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This is Me

Hey Friends, 

Just going to lay it all out on the line. Whatever you think of me or what he's told you, I don't care. I'm the one who has lived with TBI and PTSD the last almost 6 years and I know the deal.

First, I don't think anyone understands the depth of his injuries. He sustained a penetrating brain injury, Suffered a sub arachnoid hemorrhage and as a result had part of his right temporal and parietal lobes of his brain removed from an anti-tank grenade thrown at his Humvee. He has pretty extensive brain damage to include damage to his right frontal lobe from the blast, not just the damage to the temporal and parietal lobes.  He took another blow to the head in November when he was helping our landlord trim trees. Of course he decided to help trim trees when I had gone to a VFW meeting for the ladies. I took him to the hospital after I got home because he had all the signs of a concussion.  Docs confirmed it was a concussion, but since then he has gotten progressively worse, especially in the paranoia department.

This past weekend, he told me he thought his close friends were monitoring his computer activity. How, I don't know and he doesn't either. Monday morning he came home from his AA meeting telling me that someone was "following" him and he had to take evasive maneuvers in traffic to get away from whoever was following him. I played along with it. This isn't the first time. Last time it was random strangers hacking his accounts and placing tracking devices on his truck and listening devices on his clothes. He was hospitalized for that. That time he voluntarily went.

When he took off this time, he accused me of cheating on him while he was in the hospital. Between visiting him everyday, sometimes 2x a day, the kids, school, and work, it's not like I had a whole lot of time to run around on him, but he doesn't think things through logically. I've never ever run around on him period. Ever. I know he's also told people I was out to take his money because I had him sign some documents. He accused me of it in counseling, he told his sister, etc. Ok, so I've been plotting the last 15 years of marriage to wait for the right moment to steal it?? No, what I had him sign was papers for his social security disability because it's being re-evaluated and he had to sign off on the paperwork. He's not rational. At all. He has moments of clarity alongside moments of instability. He doesn't trust anyone. Like I said, he even expressed thoughts that was of his closest friends was monitoring him.

I tried to talk to his sponsor and I got the "you need to attend AA meetings because family is important". Excuse me, I'm trying to keep my family in tact. Family is of the utmost importance to me. I so wanted to tell his sponsor off and not in a very nice ladylike way either. And Please tell me when I have time to attend AA meetings between my husband, children, graduate school and work. I'm barely keeping my head above water as it is and his issues go far far beyond alcoholism. He has brain damage and PTSD on top of it.

The last 2 times he has taken off is because I told him to chill when dealing with our son. Our son is autistic. After disciplining our son once the other night, which I agreed with, my husband crossed the line. He grabbed our son's face and screamed at him for not looking him in the eyes. Autistic s don't like eye contact. Our son does the same to me. Autistic s don't like to be touched. Our son will push me away, his mothers  But in this instance our son had no clue what he'd done. I saw the look on his face. His IQ is 70.  It's the nature of the beast. My husband then began to push our son several times into his room. That's not discipline, that's bullying. He's not going to push the autism out of him. He's not going to yell it out of him. Our son's issues are also due to a chromosome deletion, a rare one at that. It is what it is. My husband's problem is that he has not accepted our son for who he is. But my husband has not accepted who he is post-injury. He's been avoiding it like the plague.

So the result is that my son is scared of his Dad. Understandably. I am too because I never know when he's going to flip out. So I drew the line and said chill. I wouldn't let my husband do that to our daughter either. I did the right thing. And I don't regret it one bit.

Our daughter has expressed wanting to hurt herself. I even had a deputy from her school call me and tell me.  She is in counseling. This is enough. I just ask that y'all as his friends, encourage him to get help. I've done all I can at this point. I don't want a damn thing from him except to figure himself out. I want the best for him.

That said,  I think he's a powder keg waiting to blow. I've told the VA and I'm telling you. His paranoia is out of control and if he doesn't do something about it, he will break at some point and become another statistic. He's deteriorating.

He knows he needs help because he keeps going back and forth on it. He even went so far on Monday as to call the place he went to in 2009 asking to come back he said because he knows he's so up and down. My husband is his own worst problem. The doc at the psych ward  said he needed at least one medication for the rest of his life to regulate his moods. He refuses to take anything. At least get squared away, If not for anyone else, he needs to do it for his kids.

I think I've said my piece/peace. You can think what you want of me, but I know what I've done and I know who I am as a person, woman, wife, and mother. I know he blames me...he has to have someone to blame because it keeps him from having to deal with himself.  I haven't always handled things perfectly, but it's not like this came with a manual. I've spent the last 6 years of my life living this...from Walter Reed to poly-trauma rehab in Richmond to this very point, I've been trying to keep him from imploding. I've been there every step of the way and I'm exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. But I don't want you to worry about me. My kids are suffering far worse than I can imagine. At least I can handle it. They can't. This unfortunately is their defining moment i life. I  just pray they will learn from it and be okay.

Thanks for listening,

Your Friend


  1. Christyne ChiacchiaMarch 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Ive walked a similar path with my husband and kids and you are doing an amazing job coping and making very hard decisions in a split second to protect your children and yourself and him too. Stay long as you continue to put the kids best interest first you can never go wrong and hopefully he will see it and thank you one day. You're in my prayers. OX

  2. I know how you husband has PTSD and this brought out his ADHD really bad. I deal with that for a few years too now, but reacently it got really bad. On a dayly base he is thinking that I am cheating on him. I never did and never will by the way. But he can find evidance in every single move I'm doing. So a long time ago I automaticly startet to tiptoe around him. this is just what you start to do...but when we fight, he's always telling me: don't tiptoe around me, it makes you even more suspicius.
    I try to read a lot about his syndrom and try to understand his paranoia and it helps me to read, that I'm not alone.
    I just wish he would understand me are you supposed to react if someone tells you on a dayly basis that he is thinking you are a liar, a cheater and just the worst person?
    We don't have kids but a dog and I can tell that our yelling is scaring her, she is always sitting in front of me trying to calm him down. That hurts me too.
    I guess we just have to deal with it, and I wish someone could tell me how? Thank you for writing, cause just the feeling that I'm not the only one helped me

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We are at the beginning of our PTSD journey. My husband was finally diagnosed, although it took a civilian hospital to diagnose him. We too have dealt with the paranoia. The military wanted to say my husband was either psychosis (schizophrenia) or drugs, even though I know neither are the case. My husband was in the military for 15 years with a stellar career. Watching the strongest most driven man I know, watching him change, watching him forgetting things, paranoia, anger outbursts, depression, etc has been hard. I have felt very alone in all this, but finding this website and reading others stories, I know I am not alone. Our daughter is 4, and doesnt fully understand what is going on, although I worry how this affects her. Im pregnant with our son, and I worry how the stress I bare will affect him. My husband is finally on medication that seems to help. The paranoia has subsided, the anger outburst have seemed to have fizzled, and he seems more like his old self, although not fully. The drive and passion he once had is gone. We are at the beginning of our journey with the VA, and I am skeptical with that. I know God is seeing us through this and this is all for a purpose. I know his light will shine through. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. So far, our experience with the medicene is, it does help a lot. Keep encouraging your husband to get medecine. It took 2 hospital stays and my husband getting into minor trouble with the law to realize he had to take his meds. Just like I know our situation will get better with time, I know yours will too. Just keep your faith. God Bless you and your family. You are doing a great job. Just keep telling yourself that every day.