Rebuilding a relationship while living with PTSD and depression
Relationship stories: Rebuilding a relationship while living with PTSD and depression
Relationship story intro
It’s 5:30 in the morning and I just woke up from sleeping in my hammock.
It is currently 39 degrees right now which is significant because I have been sleeping in my van for the past 3 weeks because I felt like I could no longer live with my wife. T
he weather has been going down hill for the past week or so and I can officially say that summer is gone.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS RELATIONSHIP STORY
A NEW DESTRUCTIVE HABIT
CUrrently not in therapy
Current relationship analogy
hope for rebuilding
My relationship failures
Lack of communication
lack of support
trusting my gut
things I need to work on
A new destructive habit
I have been spending money like crazy as a new found form of self destruction. I have plenty forms of self destruction one of which includes destroying relationships and cutting off the very few things I find enjoyment in.
If you would like more backstory on how I got to this point feel free to check out my post about fighting with my partner that I wrote recently.
I am not currently in therapy
for the sake of transparency
I have have been on a break from my EMDR and talk therapy for the past two to three weeks. It started out because I wanted to take a trip to get away and think about stuff then spiraled down to not being able to afford to go to therapy because of my new found poor money handling habits.
I now am rationing what little money I have left for the rest of this long month and I am now going to be not only doing a dietary fast, but also a monetary fast for as long as I possibly can.
Once I get another disability payment I will start therapy up again and be much more present when spending my money.
Current relationship analogy
our relationship is a spare tire right now
If I had to come up with some sort of relationship analogy for my marriage right now I would have to say that if a healthy marriage / relationship is a working vehicle with an engine, 4 tires, door and windows then our relationship is the spare tire that is came off the vehicle and settled down on the side of the road.
Hope for rebuilding our marriage
the good news
The good news of living in my van that I think we both have been able to appreciate one another more and are trying to figure out a new way for our relationship to continue.
For the first week I was feeling like there was no way I could even live with my spouse any more, but as time has progressed I have realized that much of this has been due to a lack of communication on my part and my PTSD.
We actually have many of the harder parts of our relationship down pat, but struggle with the day to day living which I am sure is common with partners that struggle with depression and PTSD, combat related or not.
Neither of us feel that we want to end our relationship, and I feel like if I could get past my problems, and my wife can deal with her issues that it is possible for us to have a strong health marriage.
My failures in our relationship
things that I need to work on
I am going to use this opportunity to write down some of the things that I need to work on if I want to get this spare tire back on.
lack of communication
the relationship killer
I have never been a good communicator, it just was not how I was brought up. I have had to teach myself how to communicate openly about how I am feeling. I have come a LONG WAY, but there is a long way to go
not being present in a relationship
Even with my years of therapy I am I habitually dissociate whenever I am stressed.
I had to do it to save my life while disarming bombs and I am finding it incredibly difficult to turn it off especially when faced with any type of stress.
I am the type of person that enjoys learning new things and finding better ways to do things, but apparently I am also good at finding new negative things to feed my self destruction.
lack of support
What is a relationship without supporting one another?
On my best of days I feel like I am pretty horrible at providing support to my loved ones when they are in need.
I have kept all of my horrible emotions inside for so long, that I get angry when others put their emotions on to me, even when they are just showing me that they are in some sort of distress.
My anger towards this is unfair to my partner, our marriage and it incredibly unhealthy for my own well being.
Once I get back into therapy I really need to take a good hard look where all of this anger is hidden inside of me, and try to pry it out with some explosives or something because I know it isn’t going to be easy.
good news on the communication and support side
talking on the phone and physical touch
Even though our relationship has been straight trash for the past few weeks we have gotten to a point where it feels like we are becoming closer again.
We have had a few serious talks about what we are doing, and have been affectionate towards one another.
We have been calling each other on almost a daily basis and I am actually able to provide some support with the things my wife is struggling with now that I am not in such a bad spot.
feeling a connection again
COMMUNICATION is the missing link
All of the talking and physical communication that we have been giving each other has started to give me a renewed feeling of connection with my wife again.
I need to continue with these things and work on myself if I want to rebuild our rapport.
I need to have open and honest communication about the things that I was not happy with in our relationship in order for us to be able to work on those problems if we are ever going to be able to get this spare tire back on the car and upgrade it to a real tire again.
Nothing worth having is easy
something I need to remember
I love a good challenge, but for whatever reason I struggle with the challenge of having a real, meaningful relationship.
I need to remind myself that nothing worth having is easy.
I know deep down that the relationship that I could have with my spouse could be an amazing one if I can get past my problems, and my wife is able to get past hers.
Some people place the blame of their problems on others while I have been told by my therapist that I place to much blame on myself ( which I do ).
trusting my gut
Follow the beam
In the amazing Dark Tower series by Steven King the protagonist and his crew follow a ghostly beam in the sky showing them the way towards their destination.
I am feeling like we are headed in the right direction. I need to continue to work on communication and support if I want this relationship to go in a positive direction.
I also need to continue to work on becoming a whole person who is capable doing those things.
Winter is approaching, and I do not do well in the winter so I think I should hash out some of the things that I need to do in order to keep this relationship headed on a positive trajectory.
This article is getting longer that I expected so I will not get into the details of this section.
For now, I will just start a list of the things I should work on then I will update my progress in future posts.
list of things I need to work on personally
Getting more exercise to improve my overall mood and health
make sure I am getting the proper nutrients to keep my mood elevated
fight of my self destructive habits
Volunteer at the Pittsburgh Glass Center more often
Continue being creative
Continue to work on our house even if it means that I may not live in it
continue to contact and support my wife
do everything with the intention of rebuilding our relationship