So, you're husband just received his PTSD diagnosis, right? It's no real surprise, as it's already hell in your forteress. Let me share with you what you will take years to understand.
Let's be real:
Stop crying about the fact that you want him "back like he was before". He's changed and he will never be completely the same. He will get" better" -if he puts the efforts- and you'll be able to find a balance. The man you fell in love with is still inside..and you will see glimpse of that man, once in a while. But get real: reality is today, right now. He's wounded.
He doesn't want to be and feel this way in the first place.
Stop taking everything personaly: he will forget to bring back a cartoon of milk. Untill he can realize and accept that he needs help remembering, he will forget.. or choose to forget. You know he can't remember the conversation you guys had 3 hours ago..
Medication and pills do have an effect on the sex life. You know he's "a one woman's man"? If he doesn't have the erection you're hoping for, it's not always because "you're fat, you're ugly and he doesn't love you anymore".
He's the first one who would love to be able to perform. His penis is still his manhood thermomether and will always be. No erection is the end of his world too... And yes, it does come back. It's a matter of time.
At times, you will hate him. You will despise him. But rememeber that it's your face that will prevent him for committing suicide when he will go down, down, down, down.
He needs you. More than you will ever know.
Accept from the very beginning that there will be collateral dammages to you and your children. You can't live with someone who shows so much anger, paranoia, anxiety... without getting hurt. That is impossible.
The day he will realize those collateral dammages will brake him apart.
You will know him way before he will be able to connect the dots by himself. Instead of using your knowledge as a weapon against him to make him feel bad about anything, use it wisely, in a positive way, to help him become more conscious about himself, his reactions..
He needs you, so desperately. He needs your love, most of all.
Learn to shut up when it's time to shut up.
Stop the damn nagging all the time.
Let him breathe and stop acting like you were General-I-Know-It-All of the place. Learn how to talk to him and when to talk to him.
You have a choice, just like he does.
No, you don't have to accept to live in fear, even if you love him, even if you know he's wounded. It's your choice to be a victim or an allie. What is unacceptable for you and your children IS unacceptable. You have a responsability..but never forget that he has one as well. That's it, that's all.
The fact that you will help yourself will help him, beleive it or not. Go get the help YOU need for yourself and the children.
Will you stay because you're afraid of what would happen to him if you'd leave or will you leave to protect the children? That will be the hardest question of all.
You will become his ennemy and will have to learn his war strategies. When suffering, he has no empathy. Stop looking for some..and learn how to deal with it, in a way that won't trigger him.
When you become his enemy, he will be mean. He will look at you like if you were "nothing". He will try to make you pay for his pain. You will be confronting the soldier he can be in a war zone and you can't win over "Rambo".
You're life is now based on the fact that PTSD is a reality and yes, it will run the show: plans will be cancelled at the last minute, you will leave family parties early -sometimes after 20 minutes..- He will be jalous and possessive too.
PTSD is a process for everybody, get it?
Stop thinking that because he saw his psychologist twice that he should be "cured" instantly. It a matter of YEARS. Wake up from LaLaLand, General-I-Know-It-All. Would you feel completely empowered yourself after two sessions with your own psychologist?
The answer is most probably "no". And you didn't see death, body parts. You didn't shoot anyone in the head. You never lived that feeling of living on the edge, never knowing where the life-treatning attack will come from, for months and months.
Please, realize that his pain is real and what he has to deal with is REAL. The physical and emotional impacts are REAL.
So back to lesson 1: He will never be completely the same again.
Wich brings me to lesson 12:
Take care of yourself. He can't take care of you the way you'd like him to, for now. He will improve with your support. He will learn how handle everything better on his own. And taking care of yourself is YOUR responsability. Stop waiting for the rest of the world to pitty you if the only thing you can do, is complain all day without doing anything to help you.
Anyway, your tears are a trigger. So is your own anger if you don't express it properly.
Accept the fact that YOU don't have the answer to everything. That service dog, if he needs one, welcome it. Any help from the exterior will make the weight on your shoulder lighter.
Accept the fact that you are not WonderWoman.
You can't be a perfect spouse, mother, daughter, friend, housekeeper, worker...
Never forget that LOVE is stronger than everything. Even PTSD.
Reach out to those who beleive it as well... YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Rough, isn't it?
Indeed. For him, for you and for your children.
Everything relies on education: the more you know, the more you are empowered, the more you will help your family.
Love is strong but unfortunately, it's not always enough.