Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Progress. Oh wait...

There hasn't been much progress on the solo therapy (ST) and couples counseling (CC) front. Once a week we go to CC and sometimes we take microscopic baby steps in the right direction. Mostly though, it's a totally emotionally draining experience that leaves me with a migraine and wrecks the rest of my day. Our counselor is through the VetCenter and I'm very lucky that they accept me since I'm technically "just a fiance".

The Army doesn't normally recognize you unless you're a wife. I think that's complete bs, since I've been with my soldier for 6 years. I'm the only person that has EVER been there for him, and I know so many other girls are in the same situation and aren't recognized.

Well, this "just a fiance" happens to know the ins and outs of PTSD and TBI, and somehow I doubt that a piece of official paper would change that. I deal with some really difficult things with my soldier which is why we go to therapy, duh. Let's see. . .

Well, first up, there's anger. Hawk has the most unrelenting road rage I've ever seen. He doesn't even have to be the one driving. He'll start off cussing and at the end of his episode, he'll have punched the dashboard (hard!) half a dozen times, almost ran off the road, accelerated to 100 mph to make sure the other guy sees him flip them off etc. He'll weave through traffic screaming at the other cars. He doesn't care if I'm in the car or not. I don't even want to know what he's like when I'm not with him. And it isn't just road rage. We can't go out like normal people because if someone rubs him the wrong way, he will fly off the handle.

Theres the constant zoning out. He can't hold a conversation with anyone. Least of all me. I always find myself apologizing for his rudeness and bending over backwards to include him in conversations. It's draining, so we don't visit others much, or have people over. (Not that he'd mind since all he does is play video games all day and rarely leaves the house.) But more than that, it's killing our relationship. I speak and he doesn't acknowledge me. He never makes eye contact, just stares at the wall. If he does talk he stops mid-sentence and then won't talk again for hours. No matter how much I work with him.

He drinks. A lot of them do. He's an asshole when he drinks too, and that is the time he's most likely to have flashbacks.

I really hate the flashbacks.

He is completely irresponsible. He wont do ANYTHING around the house. He wont even take care of his dog who he loves SO much. He can't handle money anymore because he blows it all, or loses it. It's a struggle to get him to do anything other than warm the couch and xbox controller. I pick up the slack, like I've been doing for the past 19 months since this Hell that is my life began.

Silly me, I thought the deployment would be the hard part.

Next up: Memory loss! He can't remember anything. ANYTHING. I have to write every last little thing down on a huge dry erase board because his memory is shot. He can't remember the last time he talked to his parents or his daughter. Hell I have to make him call his daughter, not that he ever has anything to say to her. I have to feed him topics (ask her about school, ask about her dog, summer camp, whatever). We'll go to a restaurant and he forgets what he likes there. We go to the movies and in the amount of time it takes to get from the car to the ticket booth, he can't remember the name of the movie. He forgets EVERYTHING. I have to remind him his brother's wife's name. Or his other brother's daughter's name. It's always something. He either gets mad at himself and shuts down the rest of the day, or he acts like he's fine while he forgets where he is.

There is so much more, but it's such an everyday part of my life, I honestly can't tell what's normal and what isn't anymore. I forget that not everyone lives like this.

Therapy is supposed to be helping all this. We've been going for 2 months, and honestly things are worse now. Our last CC session I cried for 2 hours and finally walked out. The counselor is not trained to handle PTSD, and she and Him just twist my words and talk in circles. This isn't teenage depression, it isn't simple relationship problems. These are our life problems

And I'm not bitching because I can't handle the responsibility. But who the fuck wants it? When is enough, enough?


  1. Hi Birdie. Welcome to the blogging world! I'm Lacey. My boyfriend deployed to Afghanistan yesterday. He has issues with PTSD also but they aren't as severe as some guys. I know several ladies who blog about their husbands and PTSD. I'll send you their blog URLs.

  2. Oh Honey--I know what you are going through. Most of that stuff was like you were reaching in my mind and telling everyone how I feel. All I can say is this: I will always be here for you...ALWAYS! If you need to talk, or just get away from him for a little while, you are always welcome here. I Love you and I am sending you a big giant hug.

  3. I don't know about any of this, but I do know I can pray for you. I promise you that. You are amazingly tough, and open and honest. <3

  4. I found your blog from the mil blogging community. I'm in your situation.

    Has your fiancee been going to counseling for his PTSD? What about rehabilitation for TBI? Actually, let me back up, has he accepted that he has PTSD and TBI?

    My husband did almost six months of in-house treatment for OIF and OEF Veterans at The Pathway Home http://www.thepathwayhome.org

    Also, I saw that the Wounded Warrior Project has retreats for caregivers. I am going to sign up and let myself get away for the weekend.

    Please feel free to read my blog www.lovestacie.blogspot.com or email me.

    One Step at a Time


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