Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Am in Hell

Writer's Block

I have been trying for days to write. Problem is I work on topics that I am having trouble finding the motivation for. What I want to write about may be too personal to share with my readers. Unfortunately, I think I won't be able to get past this writing block until I share everything.

A Little Bit of History

Some of my readers may already know that my husband has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have never fully shared what it has been like living with him and I don't think I want to yet. Suffice it to say it has not been easy for any of us. 

The man I fell in love with twenty years ago is now gone. In his place is this angry, anti-social man who could not go to work, participate in family events or do anything around the house. He wouldn't even come down on Christmas day.

For those who haven't read my earlier posts, my husband was not diagnosed  for approximately four years. Last spring he finally shared some of the problems he had been experiencing since the accident at work - the nightmares, anxiety, anger always simmering below the surface and flashbacks. 

His symptoms seemed familiar from articles I had read online about work related PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) After much persuasion, he finally made an appointment with our family doctor. My suspicions turned out to be true. 

My husband was so happy that he had a label for what he was feeling. He wasn't going crazy. 

That was all good but we still did not have a second income. My pay checks were not enough and we were always falling behind on the mortgage.

Don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic that my husband was able to get the help he needed but we had very pressing matters that needed to be tended to. Like keeping our house. Paying our utility bills so we could continue to have water, electricity and heat.

Then came the struggle with the WSIB to have his claim approved. With the help of our local MPP, my husband's claim was finally approved five months after dianosis. The money came just in time to save our home from being sold by the bank.

This is where I thought I am finally able to take a deep breath of relief and shake off the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress of the last five years. It was hard. Strange isn't it? To finally have relief but not be able to enjoy it? I was always on verge of tears and there was no stopping it.

My husband's therapy wasn't making a difference. I kept waiting to see him smile and just be happy. 

His medication seemed to work for a while but then he reverted back to the anxious irritable man. His meds were upped. For a short while I saw a glimpse of the man I fell in love with.

But it went down hill. He started getting worse - not better. He wasn't eating. He has lost so much weight that he has to tuck his sweaters in to hold up his pants. His face has become gaunt. Episodes of agitation became more frequent.

Valentines Day

This is usually an uneventful day for us. Now I will remember it for the rest of my life. It was the day I fully realized I was living in hell.

My husband woke up at about three in the afternoon. Well, that's the time he emerged from the bedroom. His routine included jumping in my daughters car, getting a Tim Horton tea and going for a little drive while he smoked his face off.

He asked my daughter to borrow the car. She agreed but asked that he not wake her again at five o'clock in the morning to use the car and to please not leave garbage in her car. 

He lost it. How dare she not lend him the car. No matter how much we tried to explain she had not denied him use of her car, it just didn't register for him.

His anger didn't stop there. He was a raging lunatic for almost six hours. He looked like a rabid dog. The vein on the side of his head was pulsating. He was frothing at the mouth and spit flew in all directions when he screamed at me. 

I could not get away from him. I could not do anything with out infuriating him. I raised my eyebrow - it annoyed him. I looked at him - I annoyed him. I looked in another direction - I annoyed him. I was the source of everything bad in his world.

He agreed that his meds needed to be adjusted again. He did nothing about it.


Aw Sunday. The day to clean the house and relax.

I heard the bedroom door open and close. My anxiety level sky rocketed. My husband was coming down the stairs.

A simple conversation turned into another husband rant and rave and lose his mind afternoon. 

I was sitting at the dining room table working on my blog. I learned from the Valentines Day Rant that there was no rationalizing with him and there would be nothing I could do to stop him. 

I sat there, saying nothing and not looking at him. Of course he told me I was making him angry. Again. I can't go into all the details. It ended once the police arrived and took him to their car. He is not allowed to contact me or the girls.

Sometimes gratitude and optimism just aren't enough.

Gratitude Journal

I can't end this post here. I have to leave it on a positive note. My gratitude journal always makes me feel better. I am blessed in many areas in my life. Thank you.

I am grateful for:
  1. The safety of my family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  2. Our home because it provides shelter and grounds me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  3. The food in our cupboards. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  4. Another day of life so I can spend it with those I love. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  5. My laptop and the internet because it is my link to the outside world. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  6. The heat in our home because it is really cold outside today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  7. My daughters car because it provides convenient, comfortable, safe transportation for her and her sister, my granddaughters and me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  8. For my pay checks because they are the means to provide the necessities in life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  9. My daughter for her support and companionship because she stops the heart ache from crushing me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
  10. My granddaughters because they continue to be the reason behind my strength, perseverance and hope for the future. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank goodness I don't have to read this out loud. I don't think it would get past the lump in my throat.

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