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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Message Board


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Old 08-22-2012, 07:58 AM   #1
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PTSD from Childhood Affecting Relationship with my Husband.

There's so much to say on the subject, which is part of the main problem; I'm having an incredibly difficult time communicating my thoughts and feelings with my husband. To put our current situation into perspective: I'm 8.5 months pregnant, we just moved in together slowly over the last couple months (he's in military training), we've only been together for a year, and we've been good friends for about 2 years. So far our relationship has been wonderful, when we do communicate it always feels like a break through. Lately though I've been shutting down and withdrawn. I'm timid, insecure, and I'm reduced to tears by simple triggers.
Growing up as a child I lived in an abusive/unstable home with my mom and her various boyfriends. She was a recovering alcoholic/drug user, and she was always putting herself into destructive, aggressive relationships with current users. These relationships were generally short lived, lasting a few months to a few years, until she met my current step dad. As a child and adolescent I never felt completely safe in my environments because they were always changing and I was constantly under scrutiny. My mom and my step-dad would use religion as a means to bully and berate me. My mom always accused me of lying to her, and intentionally making her sick. Several times she'd scream at me about selfishness, hate, and making her so miserable she wanted to kill herself. No matter what I said or did, I was also in trouble and at fault for something, or I was too stupid and clumsy to handle something. She kicked me out of the house at 16 and sent me to Vegas to live with my father who was a complete stranger. It destroyed my high school career because it was the night before finals, and my dad wouldn't enroll me in school. I spent the next few years acting out on impulses, and re-traumatizing myself over and over until I realized that I would never heal if I continued to exacerbate this pattern.
Sometimes I simply don't know what to say, because I'm overwhelmed. There's a lot going on in our lives that I already feel defeated, and I can't articulate my thoughts. Other times it's just me being locked inside my head (which is how I coped with abuse as a child). For example, we were in the kitchen the other day and he made a passive comment about how I should dispose egg shells, and laughed (not in a mean way) when I told him I was intimidated by handling meats. He said something along the lines of, "How will you ever be able to cook if your scared of touching meat?" It sent me into an anxiety attack. It was humiliating, and he was thoroughly confused. When I was living with my mom, she always belittled me in the kitchen. Dinner time was the worst time. It was always a space and time filled with extreme criticism, verbal abuse, and she was a plate thrower.
I don't know what to do. Does anyone have advice on communicating?

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: PTSD from Childhood Affecting Relationship with my Husband.

Hi. I just read your thread, and it sounds like we grew up in the same kind of warzone (though my stressors were different - the "feeling" sounds the same). I have been depressive for 20 years, and I have just recently been diagnosed with ptsd. My husband, though totally supportive, doesn't completely understand what is going on with me. The only advice I can give is to educate your spouse to the best of your ability about what ptsd is and how it is affecting your life. I think it is only most normal symptomatically that you should be having flare ups right now as you are about to become a mother (your ultimate stressor as a child).

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: PTSD from Childhood Affecting Relationship with my Husband.

Hello why me ptsd and welcome.

Congratulations are in order.

It is unclear whether or not you were professionally diagnosed as having PTSD.
The symptoms are definitely there.

Communicating(for some reason) was never my problem.I could articulate until the cows came home......just couldn't do anything about it at one point,which further frustrated me.

With respect to your situation,I would sit him down and explain things similarly to the way you did here.
Maybe even getting him a book,so that he could better realize things from your perspective.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Talking Re: PTSD from Childhood Affecting Relationship with my Husband.

[QUOTE=
I never felt completely safe in my environments because they were always changing and I was constantly under scrutiny.

My mom and my step-dad would use religion as a means to bully and berate me.
Other times it's just me being locked inside my head (which is how I coped with abuse as a child).

Dinner time was the worst time. It was always a space and time filled with extreme criticism, verbal abuse.

I don't know what to do. Does anyone have advice on communicating?[/QUOTE]

Hi members - old and new and Merry Christmas.

I understand you fully. It isn't really anything to do with communicating with your husband where your problem lies.
You suffered terribly as a child. The negative emotion you felt as a child (because of the abuse) has grown up with you, unfortunately...but there is hope with hard work. You are a grown up now with a loving husband. There is no longer the need to put up your defences. Nine times out of ten there is never any meanness or malice on the speakers agenda....just an illogical reasoning of the facts as we see them. It gets much easier with practise.

 
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