So, it's now official, I have PTSD. I have not felt right since last week, when we received our next posting. When I say not felt right, I mean mentally and physically. My head has been fuzzy and subdued, it has been difficult to get up, the nightmares and intrusive thoughts/visions have been relentless. I've been constantly wiped out.
The weekend, for me, was a right off. I felt really ill. No energy, headaches, disorientation and dizziness, that grippy, sicky feeling in my chest was back, shortness of breath and completely exhausted. Going into the week, it just hasn't let up so yesterday I went to the doctors. It was confirmed I most likely am suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Fucking great! Hearing the news was double edged really. On the one hand I felt relief. Relief that it's not just me going crazy. That I'm not, not trying hard enough to get over it. That I am doing my best and the pain and shock I experienced was so severe and so real, it's genuinely damaged my brain. It's actually a relief to have that confirmed because it feels damaged. It feels broken. Something doesn't feel right in my head. I am doing my very best to move on, forgive, work through the pain, focus on the future and it feels ten steps behind me, dropping anchors, refusing to move, creating the same sensations over and over again, desperate for me not to forget it. I understand, it thinks it has my best interests at heart, like a caring, but slightly annoying, overprotective parent. It's warning me, "Don't forget this! DO NOT forget how bad this feels. Do not go here again." It keeps bringing it up to remind me.
On the other hand, I was also distraught. So now what? Where do we go from here? How can I make it go away? This constant sensation in my head is so wearing. It is so difficult living with this day in day out, never knowing what can trigger it. I mean yesterday morning, I felt funny just looking at my WhatsApp messages as it reminded me of discovering their messages on his phone. I am not about to sit in my house and never go out for fear of being triggered. The doctor was very kind and empathetic, but the main options we discussed were counselling, changing medication and adding an extra one that helps with PTSD, being referred back to mental health and/or sleeping tablets. My heart sank. I felt helpless and hopeless. If you have read my "Get Help" blog, I have done all of this already. I eat well, exercise, I've sought counselling, coaching (which has been amazing) and mental health support. Sitting in the doctor's office, I couldn't see how anything more was going to have an effect. I don't wallow, I don't milk it, I don't throw it at my husband or use it to make him feel bad. I try to ride it out, accept how I'm feeling and let it do its thing, but my head hurts. It feels fuzzy. It's not right. I am still struggling with triggers and these debilitating PTSD episodes and I am so over it, but I also recognise I am not well, I can feel it.
This week has been hard. Hard to get up, hard to think straight, hard to get anything done at home, hard to stay wake and hard to stay asleep at night. My poor kids are back to prodding me awake on the sofa. It also effects how I've felt about my husband. The pendulum has been swinging again. I get this sensation that maybe we are simply kidding ourselves and I should just admit that it's all way too much to get over. Too much betrayal, too painful, too much damage has been done. It's sad but we both need to set ourselves free and move on alone. I feel very distant from him when I'm like this and he struggles with being reminded of the consequences of his actions. I need him to "lean in", show me his remorse, show me I have nothing to worry about and he finds it difficult to muster up the energy to re-visit it aaaaagain. In an ideal world he would never like to speak of or be reminded of this ever again. Whereas I'd like to hear more, I need the reassurance of his remorse, but he doesn't want to talk about it. I get that. It is the "worst mistake of his life" being dragged up over and over and again. He finds that hard. Despite this though he does try and we ride it out together. I have learnt that just because he doesn't always respond in the way I would like him to, doesn't mean he's not doing it "right". We are able to meet in the middle somewhere. I get warm hugs and little face strokes. He steps up with the kids, covers me with a blanket and doesn't mind cooking or dinners from the freezer, but generally doesn't verbally refer to why I'm like it. It feels like we go backwards a bit because the energy between us dips. It's difficult because I get scared of the lull, which doesn't help the symptoms. Talking to the doctor I actually realised how scared I am of him, or more to the point, who he was during that time. It's difficult to explain this concept because I'm not scared of him in the slightest. I love him. He has always taken very good care of me, something I didn't always appreciate. I don't walk on egg shells around him. He is not and never has been abusive or scary to me. But I have seen his Mr.Hyde now. It's part of him. It wasn't a separate entity, it was him, which in itself is very difficult to accept. Even though he says it's a part of him he's thoroughly ashamed of and doesn't want to be ever again, it was there and it has scared me to my very core. To be seen and treated like the enemy by someone you love was one of the worst bone chilling experiences of my life, EVER. Plus, to then experience him being complicit in the most spiteful act towards you for no other reason than being married to him, was unimaginably horrific. To try and comprehend all of that has been so mind blowingly traumatic, it has seriously broken my brain.