Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PTSD: The Great Divider

It's a dark and rainy day that has just been a bad one today. I started missing my husband pretty badly this know, the missing where it kind of makes your stomach feel kind of hollow? I don't know why because most of the time, I feel like he could care less of how my day went or how I feel. I did however enjoy our conversation last night on the phone because it seemed like since he has been there in the PTSD program....he is a little more attentive. As always, this got the Mistress to thinking about how things are constantly on a roller coaster when living with PTSD.

Now what do I mean by more attentive?

He listens. Well, more than he does at home. Often times I can feel like he is in the same room yet we are planets apart from each other. We can be sitting side by side in the living room, and often I feel he just isn't really there. More times than not, I feel like I am bothering him with my flapping jaws when he is watching a show or doing something. I am like a child at Christmas because when he does stop and listen for a second, I am going ninety miles an hour because I am so afraid at any minute...he will shut down on me again. Most of the time, he pushes me away with just the looks on his face making me not want to talk to him at all. He asks me how my day is going, or listens about the latest issues I have been having with the kiddos. It's nice. It's nice to think on the other side of the state he is listening to me.

He laughs or chuckles. Now it's not that he just stopped all together, he just sounds happier or maybe a little more relaxed being in that type of environment. It's nice to snicker over something together on the phone, and smile. I don't believe he has really made me smile in a long time...........

He is more loving. Now none of that mushy, makes you want to fall in love all over again...but I noticed that he calls me baby. He hasn't done that in a very very long time. Most of the time, his term of endearment is "mommy" because of the kids. I have noticed though that a few times in one single call, the word baby pops up and well, it just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

He cares. On this, I have sat here and debated writing because I know that he loves me, just sometimes I think I love him more. I know he cares, but PTSD has just taken over so much that often he leaves me walking five miles behind him. When you tell him how you feel about something or how you are angry or hurt, its this blank look that is empty of a thousand souls. He asked me the other night when he called, "How are you feeling?". I nearly fell over and really wasn't sure what to say. I sat in bed in the wee hours of the morning thinking that I hadn't really heard him nicely ask me how I felt in, well almost five years.

Of course, he is still having those outbursts on the phone and that's ok. I didn't expect a recovery or permanent fix of his PTSD with this program, and probably would have freaked me out if he didn't have these! However, I feel like there is something more cohesive with our relationship while he is away, than there was when he was home and I can't put my finger on it. Yes, Yes, I know....take it and run with it, right? Enjoy the moment. My issue is I get used to such things, he comes back home....then I am disappointed. So then anger, resentment coupled with that disappointment and pure longing comes back into play. It's like a bad tease at a strip show. (Sorry guys, the mistress has never been to one-but I saw one on the movies) You see a beautiful woman (or for us gals, a Hunky Chippendale Dancer), she starts taking her clothes off....she gets almost the point of being completely nude....and THEEEENNNNN.... it ends. My analogies and references really suck today, but if I had to compare the same disappointment and let would be to that. PTSD has simply become a cock tease to put it bluntly and to the point.

So as I sat and listened to the rain last night and thinking of the positive things I have seen so far. At the same time, I wondered why it was so different now. I thought long and hard, and somewhere out of came to me. It's because we aren't together. We are separated in two different states with only phone communication unless he comes home on a pass. So why does everything change to the warm and fuzzy, when we are literally separated? I absolutely could not wait until I heard from him throughout deployment just because he was very mushy and this old gal is somewhat of a romantic. (shhh don't tell anyone) Deployment ended and I with very built up hopes, new dreams and newly discovered relationship found myself face to face with a monster who had no feelings. So is this PTSD program really helping him and it stick? Or is this merely a short termed deployment with the same ending coming?

I notice when we are apart, we miss each other. When I am not there, he appreciates me more. I don't feel like I am whole without him with me, even on the days when I really would just love to take a cast iron skillet to his head. When he is away he misses the little things. When we are separated for a long time, the sex is incredible...the attention is wonderful and we can smile and laugh. So what is it here at home that prevents all this from being part of our lives when we aren't separated? What makes PTSD become so much uglier at home than anywhere else? I would hope that it's not me, or our children....but he isn't like this at all when he is here.

The only thought that rings in my head over and over maybe PTSD wins as far as being the better partner than myself, for my husband. There is something wrong with our home or our relationship, when you love someone so much when they are gone...but just can't stand to live with them or you act that way. Is it better to be separated and love each other, or be there and just fight back with high hopes? When we are together, I just feel like I have the room mate from hell sitting directly in between us and there is this huge divide. When he is gone, it's the only time I feel anything that remotely feels like closeness in a marriage. Hope any of this makes usual, just getting it out there so it's not swelling in my chest all day. Anyone else going through these types of thoughts?

Little Down Today, 


  1. I've often heard that "Distance makes the heart grow fonder." I'm praying big time that this all works out for both of you.

  2. Hugs to you USM,

    You described my marriage to a "T". In fact, a navy wife friend of mine and I were talking about how really messed up it is. She is not living with PTSD. When I talk about how much better our relationship is when we are geo separated, she lectures me about how I simply married the wrong person.

    Honestly, I believe the separations mimic the intense feelings of the deployments which were the birth place of the PTSD and thus where the vets feel comfortable. For my husband, because he has such a pronounced intimacy disorder, calling me baby over the phone and c**t to my face is just normal, easy, feels safe.

    PTSD wants our relationship to fail, it wants our vets to pull the trigger.

    What you are describing is normal for PTSD, and you are not alone. I work hard to cherish the man lying next to me, even though he is a million miles away, and most of the time I still want to lock him in the closet along with his attitude.
    Take Care, and thank you for making me feel normal.


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