- PTSD Phobia - I was afraid of my PTSD. Every time I would think about doing something, I would think, 'how will my PTSD affect me?' On the outside that seems like a healthy thing to ask. It is. My reaction and responses were not. I was so afraid of letting my PTSD get the upper hand that I would automatically think of the worst possible outcome (no matter how unlikely) being the most probable. I would shut down emotionally and my wife and I never did anything. Ever. We were held captive by my fear.
- The Birth of My Daughter - I know this sounds horrible. The reality is that no parent is prepared for how much their life changes when a child is born. Pack PTSD on top of that and it can be a hot mess. In my case I became obsessed with being a better provider. I became so focused on getting the next promotion, doing all of the extra work, loading up on extra duties, staying late for extra pay...Do you see where this is going? I came home from work (a job I love, by the way) stressed out and exhausted. As time passed, I came home from work more and more emotionally spent and less and less accessible.
- Communication Breakdown - When my wife's business started taking off (she's a massage therapist) and I continued to assume more responsibilities at work, we stopped making time for each other. We used to sit out on the porch and talk about our day over a cup of tea every night. We always checked with each other to see how the other was holding up, whether we were stressed about anything. Also very important - I would bounce my feelings and reactions off of her to find out if my PTSD was acting up. Yeah...Uh Oh. We got so wrapped up in our responsibilities as parents and working professionals that we forgot about being spouses.
OK, so those were the big three. My wife and I have talked about all of this and are working to fix all that we put out of place. I love my wife for her strength and her commitment. Not many women have the intestinal fortitude to hang around when they get put through the emotional wringer like that. I am back in therapy and I am starting back up group sessions again. I am going to make sure I continue blogging because it helps to clear my head and get out the 'bad shit'.
Most of all, I want to thank everyone who has read my blog and expressed gratitude. Your gratitude has been like the sun breaking through the clouds after a storm. I never intended my 'online diary' to turn into this. Let's move forward. Together. For Every Day is a New Day.