Why did I open this blog?
I thought opening this blog would help me sort through my feelings so that I could approach all this craziness with a clear head, but the truth of the matter is I'M TIRED! I'm tired of all of the evil that is PTSD + TBI. I'm tired of talking about this crap. I want it to all magically go away even though, in reality, I know that's not going to happen.
If you have ever dealt with the monster that is PTSD, you know that this life is exhausting. You also know that it's very difficult to not lose yourself in all of this, so you can understand how it feels to just not want to do it anymore. I'm tired of talking and not making any progress, so why would this blog help me? I don't want to talk about it anymore.
Why am I still here in this marriage?
Since this mess started, "Fight for what you believe in" is some of the best advice anyone has ever given me. Those words of wisdom came from a dear friend who has zero experience with PTSD. She's a very inspirational person, and I still love her even if our busy lives keep us from talking regularly. I think her advice was her gentle way of encouraging me to say "To HELL with what everyone else thinks! It's your marriage so you do what you need to."
I think I need to have her advice tattooed to my head because when I don't have those words in the front of my mind, I sometimes forget why I'm still married. We've been dealing with my husband's problems for 2 1/2 years. That's a long time to go without much improvement, but then I have to remind myself that we had that lovely Army-sponsored year-long break called "deployment". I couldn't possibly have expected my husband to be healing himself while surrounded by the environment that was causing his problems especially when he didn't have access to, or the time for, therapy.
I'm sad that he continued to dig deeper into the pit of despair, but expecting anything more than that would have been an unrealistic expectation on my part. I couldn't possibly ask him to try to repair himself while his life was in danger on a regular basis. His survival instincts were at their height, and nothing else mattered to him while deployed. His only concern was his own life, and the 17 lives of the soldiers he supervised. It's a painful dose of honesty, but only the strongest of people can accept it for what it is.
It's completely unrealistic and selfish of me to expect him to have time for therapy while on a combat deployment, so here we stand, 9 months post-deployment, and we are about to take the biggest plunge into repairing our marriage. Tomorrow starts our marriage counseling that will be tailored to our needs. Honestly, I think, the only reason I'm still here is because I told him I would leave him if he didn't use every resource available to him for recovery. Quite possibly I was "done" a few months ago, but our counseling dates are finally here, so I have to keep my end of the promise. I'm hopeful that this will help us find the road to our recovery, but I'm also realistic at the same time. There may be no repairing this broken marriage.
Why haven't I reached my limit of how much crap I can take, and where is that limit?
If you know me, you know that I've been through a lot of crap with my husband. I look back at some of the stuff I wrote when all of this first started and I think "OMG what the hell is wrong with that girl?" but then I hear "Fight for what you believe in" in my head and that reminds me to stay focused. There's NOTHING wrong with that girl because she will fight this thing until she has no more fight left in her. I still believe that the man that I fell in love with is still here, and I still believe that he is a good man. I just hope that he can find that "good guy" and I hope that he can make the "good guy" take up residence in our home again.
Sometimes I feel like I'm teetering back and forth between the limits of "I'm done" and "I'm staying". I've established the physical boundaries of "I'm done" with my husband, but I'm not sure if I can let go of all the pain that he's caused me. We've seen some truly ugly times together, but at the same time I've had some of the most wonderfully memorable moments too. Some of those memorable moments have been very recent, and the ugliest ones are in the past.
To the casual observer this all sounds like a typical pattern of an abusive relationship, but if that's what you think, then you know nothing about PTSD or TBI. You may be sitting here thinking "Just leave him" but if you're dealing with a spouse that has PTSD, you know it's just not that easy.
The glimmers of hope that come shining through are enough to suck in even the strongest of people. It has sucked me in, and made me realize that he's still here. I just need to support him on his journey back to the guy that I fell in love with. I realize that he will be forever changed, but I truly believe that he can be that amazing man again. I guess that's what I've been fighting for all this time. I do believe in him.