Tonight, I’m getting us (my husband and I) ready for his visit to his doctor. He doesn’t get many appointments with him and he is still not followed by any therapist for his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). So, I’m trying to maximize the time we will have in the doctor’s office.
After listening to Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen, M.D., (I often start by the audiobook and then move to the hard copy to highlight), I gained a better understanding of what I’m dealing with. I’ve been aware now for 6 months that this PTSD condition is not him doing things on purpose to be a pain in the … and after listening to Dr. Amen I’m even more aware of his inability to become better if he doesn’t receive the right kind of treatment. I ordered the book and the cards, and tonight we sat down to fill the questionnaires to pinpoint which brain system is not working optimally. Very eye opening. Especially when you recognize that a brain system that is over or under active brings its specific problems and that until the system is identified and treated it is very unlikely that symptoms will get better.
I believe that being proactive and taking things, and especially our health, in our own hands is very important because you become a participant, not a patient patient. Plus, who knows better than you and your loved ones what you are experiencing? No one. I think we have given doctors an Herculean task by expecting them to know exactly what’s wrong in a 15 minutes visit. In my husband’s case it’s important that I be there to relay the concerns and questions since he has a tendency to minimize the problem when facing a doctor or getting fixated only on one aspect when there are many.
Do I get discouraged of being his main support system? Definitely. Even though I think that being a LifeSuccess Consultant is a major benefit in this situation since I’m using all the tools I know about to help him change his mind and his brain.
Am I hopeful that the situation will get better? Yes or I wouldn’t be there. And since I listened to Change Your Brain Change Your Life I know that the coaching tools I have used with my husband are very helpful since Dr. Amen prescribes them to his patient.
Now let’s see what his doctor will think.
I have been experiencing a bit of discomfort from my hip since I did a TRE session (Trauma Release Exercise) back in October. And for the second time since then I took “Le grand dictionnaire des malaises et maladies” by Jacques Martel out and checked for what my body is trying to tell me.
Hips represent your ability or desire to move forward. Painful hips occur when you start questioning the why and how of things. You wonder if you have the right to live for yourself or if you have to continue living for everybody like you’ve always been. There is a link between this pain in moving forward and the sense of autonomy, independence. My body is trying to tell me that I have a certain stiffness, resistance and rigidity toward a situation or person, because I felt betrayed or abandoned.
I just couldn’t grasp it the first time I read it. I was in disbelief that I, Chantal, would be having an issue with moving forward in my preferred future. After all, that’s what I help people do, for a living. Since then, life has been showing me a few things that bring evidence to what I cited above. I have finally decided to get information on what is PTSD and its impact on me, my kids, my relationship because I had enough of living for my family, putting their needs up front all the time, and many times putting my dreams on the back burner. A little bit frustrating for someone like me. I like to pursue new ventures and feel free. But now I feel like I have to tiptoe my way to it. I feel abandoned because this relationship use to be about team work and spirit, and it’s nothing like that anymore. This weekend I became aware that independance to me is being in a “do-it yourself” mode because when you’re independent you can’t rely on anyone. Is this really true? No. You can be independent and co-operate with others to bring forth your dreams.
Is my body talking to me louder than I would like? Well… I know it could be worse, I could have a broken hip instead of a painful one. So, now what… what can I do about this? I started seeing a physiotherapist; have taken a different approach with my personal life coach; have seek advice from my fitness coach on what muscles I can work to get better; have been doing Tong Ren for it, have been in contact with someone that offers support to spouses of military or ex-military that are living in a relationship affected by PTSD; I’m reading more on PTSD and its effects and this new understanding is allowing me to be gentle with me, the kids and my spouse.
I think I’m on the right track… and I’m positive that the future will confirm it.
Last night, the dog was whining so much that I couldn’t sleep. D#*@> dog! He’s not a young dog so he doesn’t have this excuse running for him. He has been sleeping in a cage for a few weeks now because the kids don’t want to sleep with him anymore since he started growling at them when they move in their sleep, and it wakes them up. And when we left him lose during the night he would pee in a few spots. A highly annoying fact to wake up to…
So last night he was whining because our daughter had some friends over for a sleep-over and he wanted to be with them. I imagine that in his dog mind he thought of all those human bodies he could cuddle up to and how lovely it would be. The problem is they didn’t want him there. So all night he was longing to be in a situation he can’t experience anymore. And of course he doesn’t understand that. Just like we don’t understand that most of the time the situation we are longing for is not available anymore for us to experience. Not matter how much we long for it it won’t be the way it used to be. Period.
I could be spending hours crying or mourning the relationship I used to have with my husband before his PTSD. Will it bring it back? Will he be magically touched by a magic wand and brought back to the way he was when we were living “the life”? No. What can I do then? Live and enjoy the present moment. Enjoy the good moments I spend with him when he is present the way I like him to be. And the other times, when he is caught in his own whirlwind, when he is stressed out, I back off. I send him lots of love and continue doing my own thing. I could go back in my mind to the “good old days” and get all nostalgic, and I’ve done it often enough, but I became aware that it wasn’t helpful, that it was bringing me down. What’s the use then? He’s stressed, I’m down and the kids are upset. It’s a lose-lose situation. When I acknowledge where he is and continue doing my stuff, I’m happy, I’m in a responsive mode if I need to be, not a reactive one, and my household is more at peace. Much easier to live that way, in my books.
Accepting what is… a magic key for many life experiences…