This blog could potentially contain triggers. Please make sure you are emotionally safe before continuing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

One Step Back

I think it's safe to say I still have some unresolved issues with my husband.  If there was any doubt before, it was all cleared up over the last few days.

I've said before that things aren't the way they used to be.  And for the most part that's completely true.  But every once in a while we have what I could only call a relapse.

We had one this past weekend.

Emotions and tensions were building.  Why?  I'm not sure.  A multitude of things probably.

And Sunday night it fell apart.

The spark that started the fire doesn't matter.  It was a stupid thing.  But soon it was raging out of control.

He yelled.  I yelled in defense.  We went our separate ways.  He wouldn't let it go.  He came back again and again with the fight.  He dragged the kids into it.  He treated me with disdain.  He mocked me.  He contradicted my parenting choices with the kids.  He blew off commitments.  Everything in his approach with me that night said, "Screw you.  You're worthless anyway."

The children cried and/or got upset.  One left the house to avoid listening to the fight.  Another asked if we were getting divorced.  It rocked their foundation.

I think he forgot to take his pill that morning.  I can't confirm this, but from the way he'd been acting all day it seems pretty evident.  The kids even noticed.  One of them asked me why he was picking fights.  I had no answer.

Now, the pill was originally prescribed for his OCD.  I don't know how much it helps with that.  He says that it helps with the obsessive thoughts.

What I do know is that it helps with the anger.  When things got really ugly a while back and we were talking divorce, the medication was one of my bottom lines.  He can only stay if he remains on the medication.  He is a different person on the medication.

Sunday night he was the other person.  The angry person.  The person that hates me and sees me as the enemy.  The person who radiates hatred and a desire to destroy.  The person who is looking for war.  For blood. 

No, he didn't hit anyone.  He did push someone.  That was not okay.  I addressed it in the moment.  He probably doesn't even remember it.  He often doesn't remember his actions when his rage is flowing like this.

As ugly as it was, and it was so ugly, I also gained some important insight.

The next day he felt fine and thought it was all better.  This is typical.  He feels better so in his mind it's over and resolved.  No talking about what happened, what went wrong.  How to prevent it happening again.  No acceptance of his misbehavior.  It's just over.

And in the past that was often enough for me.  I was just glad the hatred was gone.  I was just glad the fire was out.  I could bandage my own wounds.  I could move on.

This time it wasn't enough.  Lines had been crossed, important boundaries.  I no longer felt safe in my home. 

But I didn't initially see it.  For the first day or two I was edgy.  I was still upset with him.  Any contact from him sent my anxiety through the roof.  When he got home from work and was near me or talked to me, I wanted to back away.  I wanted to hide.  I was afraid.

It was Tuesday or Wednesday that I realized he had triggered a PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) episode in me.

The fear.  The holding my breath.  The claustrophobia.  The need to run and hide.  The crying at almost nothing.  The avoidance.  The defensiveness.  The snapping.  The tension in my body.  The explosion in my headache.  The extreme sensitivity to touch.  The desire to climb out of my own skin.  The desire to curl in on myself.  All of these things were a PTSD response.

And that's important for me to understand.  It will help me figure out where the triggers are.

I don't know yet.  I believe this triggered something from our past, earlier in our marriage.  But it's possible that it was something from before, from when I was a child.  I just don't know yet.

I've calmed down some.  I've done a little work on it, although not much.  It's scary work to do. 

I told him what was going on.

But I still feel threatened when he is near.  I still can't relax when he's home.  There is still work to do.


From Tracie said...

I'm so sorry. What a scary event. The fact that you are able to look at it and see these things, and learn is really good. It shows how far you have come, how important that hard work is.

It is not okay for him to just feel better and not address what happened. It is not okay for you to feel unsafe.


Survivor said...


Day said...

1) I hope things improve fast. I wish there were something I could do to help.

2) What do you do to cope/re-balance when you get triggered? I have a lot of trouble with this.

3) I really appreciate this blog; I've had some similar experiences. And I've spend so much time feeling like a freak for them that it feels really good just to know there's another real live person going through the same things. Thank you.

Kimberly said...

I can't even imagine living with that kind of fear...not feeling safe in my own home. It seems so contrary...so completely opposite to how things should be. I'm so sorry.

JoJo said...

Wow that's scary. I'm so sorry you're so afraid. I really hope things get better soon...maybe with time and therapy.
I always think my husband has OCD. He doesn't have obsessive thoughts, he's just a huge control freak and goes crazy when he loses control. I always worry about it escalating one day in the future.

DarthBillgr said...

I feel I must correct something here Robin. I did address it. We talked about how it made you feel and I took responsibility for my part. I really like this blog and I like that fact that you are honest on it.

I am sorry you didn't feel safe in our home. I'll do better. I love you.

misssrobin said...


You are correct that we did eventually address it. You listened and tried to understand. I feel like you did get it, in retrospect. Thank you for giving me the space I needed to figure things out.

I am sorry I haven't updated this sooner and left it hanging so negatively. I just haven't felt well enough to write. I will try to remedy that soon.

I love you, too.