PTSD--is that is what has been wrong with me all this time????

I just realized this morning that the literal hell I've been living in is PTSD. My incident occurred 8 years ago, but I feel just as much pain daily from the realization that all that I perceived about life was all a lie. I've been mentally raped over and over again by the offender who is my husband. Let me clarify my story- And let me preface this by saying: do not tell me that a person cannot develop PTSD from emotional trauma. I know the diagnostic criteria--I'm a nurse practitioner. But I'm telling you this because what I need is support and not to be told that my incidentals does not qualify me to be in this category.

Me and my has been have been married for four years and had a really good marriage, or at least a thought so. Both of us had her minor dysfunctions but we functioned well together. We were blessed to have a good life together. Things were at and "on time" when we were living in Charleston South Carolina and he was attending school for a degree in cardiovascular perfusion. I was a nurse working at the medical University of South Carolina in the adult ICU learning so much and enjoying my career. I had met some really awesome girlfriends in that unit and we had fun on the weekends going out to eat. Or going to the beach. I had noticed that my husband was particularly controlling on some levels before everything feel a part, maybe had some unfounded paranoias about my fidelity which were completely off-the-wall to me, but overall we were wrapped up in each other's world so tight I thought nothing can come against us, and then I thought nothing or no one could ever hurt me.

Until it happened. I was pregnant with our first baby-to me it was a culmination and the highest point in my life--we created a life with our love together--how blessed was? I knew and I was extremely grateful for my life I never took it for granted. However I never thought what I'm gonna share with you next what happened to me.

I noticed in the last month of my pregnancy that my has been started acting distant. He had just been on an offsite rotation in Florida for six weeks while I stayed home in Charleston. I could not pinpoint why the distance was there at a time we are supposed to feel our closest. Make a long story short he had opened up an account while in Florida online called "manhunt". He had sex with so many people I lost count. The very moment that I discover all of this was true is imprinted on my soul my mind my spirit and will never leave me I relive every day. I could not fathom that the one person in my life I have been able to trust, the one that "had my back" (I was raised by borderline personality disorder mother with narcissistic personality disorder or so I had some issues before meeting my husband with trust)he was "my person" --he was the one I could trust in the world, and made me believe that there was such a thing as trust and honesty and commitment.He LOVED ME!!!! And I loved him.

I did not find out about all of it until my son was two months old. At that point all I remember is thinking that I had lost everything that I had I had hoped for. In a very instant my future went from Bright and beautiful to hopeless and ugly.

For the in a very instep my future went from bright and beautiful to hopeless and ugly.

For the sake of time I'm going to skip a lot of things and try to summarize the next little bit.

We decided to stay together, honestly leaving was not even in my vocabulary at that point because I just had a new baby and let's face it I'm sure I was codependent, and after trauma like that experiencing the acute symptoms I did not feel stable enough to be a single mother.

We left Charleston and came home to Tennessee. We went to the usual stages if an affair but I never stop having intrusive thoughts or nightmares or hypervigilance. I did have really good coping skills at first is probably why have not realized I have had PTSD. I even enrolled in graduate school obtained my nurse practitioner degree and began working as a hospitalist. I should've been happy and for Fielden healed and moving forward but I was still stuck in this perpetual hell. I trusted no one in the winds were still so fresh and painful. After I finished my graduate program is when things started to go downhill. I became more socially acylated, whereas I would want to linger at a function or at church to interact with others I quickly found the nearest exit and went straight to my car and left as soon as an obligatory event was over. And many times I would wind up canceling meetings that were mandatory for work due to migraines or some other sickness that I faked. I just couldn't go out and put the face on all the time like I could before, I'm not sure why.

If I had to pinpoint why my coping skills probably diminished it would probably be secondary to my substance abuse. It started before the birth of my second son. I have severe scoliosis, that causes some chronic back pain but I had learned to just deal with it. My sweet mother-in-law, God bless her, offered me a Lortab one day to take for my back pain when I have been painting. I'll never forget in 1 million years how good that pill made me feel. It was like instant happiness was imputed up on me without any circumstances having changed or anything. I got this sensation of joy and happiness again. I was able to interact with my child. I was able to start to deal with my husbands negative and critical attitude about everything that I did.

I guess I to deal with my husbands negative and critical attitude about everything that I did.

I guess I forgot to mention that part didn't I?

As soon as we came back home to Tennessee two months after I found out about the affairs, my has been changed. He became hypercritical of anything I did around the house: the towels are folded correctly, I didn't get the tea stains off of the pot with a Brillo pad every time I did the dishes, I was in charge of paying the bills, but due to his inability to manage money we were always broke despite having two six-figure incomes-but I was blamed for that as well because I didn't know how to manage money well. So I handed all that over to him (which wound up being a much BIGGER mistake) and then in general just every few moments he was making negative comments like: " you're lazy, why do you look for the easy way to take care of things?" Or "You're pathetic, I deserve a better wife." Or the most common theme in our marriage became--

"you haven't had sex with me in two days and I have needs --and you know that, remember what happened when we werent able to see each for six weeks and I had to go without sex?" Basically blaming me for his first affairs, and then threatening me to repeat that same active indiscretion that had brutally wanted me because he wasn't getting his "needs" met. I could go on and on about his negativity and his hyper critical comments. But just suffice it to know that it was daily, repeated, and also contributed to the exacerbation of my PTSD, because he was my perpetrator, and he was still mentally raping me. He brushed it off as he was trying to help me improve myself.

I digress mentally raping me. He brushed it off as he was trying to help me improve myself.

I digress. So back to the substance abuse that started about two years after the affair. But mind you that was two full years of negativity and criticism emotional abuse, whatever you want to call it. It's no wonder I became addicted to hydrocodone and the way that it made me feel which was "normal" I did not take enough to get "high". I would just take small dosage is enough to bump my mood a little.

Then I got pregnant with our second child. And I hate to minute but let's be truthful, I continue to take cutter cut and throughout my pregnancy because it was actually a category B, which is almost the safest drug class.I did not do it on a regular basis, more like once every two weeks I would take something, mind you, but I did still take some while I was pregnant on the days that were the worst.

After the I did not do it on a regular basis, more like once every two weeks I would take something, mind you, but I did still take some while I was pregnant on the days that were the worst.

After the birth of our second child thanks just continue to decline. I became more socially acylated, increasingly depressed, and lack the will or motivation to clean the house or to fix myself up (and that was A big deal for me.). I stopped playing with my children because I just didn't have the mental aptitude, all I did was robotically care for them.

2 1/2 I stopped playing with my children because I just didn't have the mental aptitude, all I did was robotically care for them.

2 1/2 years later I became pregnant with her third child, this time a little girl. I was honestly devastated when I found out I was pregnant because I felt like at that Point that I was barely keeping my head above water surviving with working and holding down that job because my mental focus was so poor and maintaining good care of our two children. I remember thinking that this third pregnancy was going to "finish me off" I don't really know whatmeant in those words to be honest but that's just what I thought.

My meant in those words to be honest but that's just what I thought.

My beautiful baby girl was born and then things got really bad. I began to take Lortab daily, mind you was still being supplied by my mother-in-law, but at this point I didn't really want to stop at enough just to give me a little "bump" I wanted out of my misery. I wouldn't take but like to buy daily basis, and never more than that because my mother-in-law had a limited supply of herself.

I started having extreme trouble concentrating at work and finishing tasks. I would leave things undone, or just simply forget to do them. My coworkers could not count on me to be consistent because I had no foundation underneath me. Where once professionally I prided myself on giving my best and having what I thought was good work ethic turned into doing the bare minimum to not get fired. And even that wasn't enough because I actually did lose my job when my little girl was a-year-old. I was fired because my The hospital was quiet I would leave work early and take My Pager with me in case I got called back in, but I was not supposed to do that, I was supposed to stay at the hospital if I was on call. However I just had to leave the very second I felt like I could to feel like I could breeze from the feelings of wearing that face all day, I felt completely physically and mentally exhausted from it. So I was caught doing that and fired from my job--but it gets worse. Then I had developed this attitude of not caring about anything, the feature, repercussions of my actions, I live one day at a time, or should I say one pill at a time.

Then something awful happened, I made a really poor decision to do something stupid. I wrote a prescription for my sister-in-law for diet pills which are a controlled substance. She just was too lazy to go to the diet clinic and get them for herself, so I went ahead and just wrote her a prescription for it, because like I said I just didn't give a shit about anything anymore. Well got busted by the state board of nursing and monarchs practitioner license and my are in license were both revoked. It was a harsher judgment than most people received for one such incident, however there was a new DA on my case who had a reputation she was trying to make up a ball buster. Well she busted my balls.

So now I'm at an all new low, I've lost my identity professionally, personally, spiritually, emotionally. The embarrassment of what I had done and having my license taken away made me even more reclusive. I did not want to answer questions as to why aren't you working or what not.

I became so depressed that I was vegetative really. At one point a got so low that I did not get out of bed except to use the bathroom for two solid weeks. I hardly took in food barely some water. My sister-in-law made me go to the doctor-- I was already on maxed out Effexor--so we added Abilify and Topamax to augment. I got to where I can get out of bed again, and a plaid for another state license as a nurse practitioner. Went back to work for six months before they figured out that I had lost my losses in the other state and then took that license away too. So then I was right back down to where I started

And that is where I'm at today. I quit doing any housework for the most part because it was never right, or enough,so why try? I certainly did not care if the house fell down around me. Much less it it was clean. My days have been characterized by getting up getting my oldest two to school and then coming back home going to bed until it's time to go get them again while my mother-in-law keeps my little girl. My husbands family thinks that I'm the biggest reject in the world – after losing my License and our livelihood they didn't ever say that to me but I can see it in their eyes. There oh so self righteous eyes.

My husband he writes me on a daily basis and recently has decided to get on grinder which is a app in which men can meet other men for sex and has been caught twice by me and shows little to no remorse because he says it's my fault because I don't have sex with him but three times a week. And I'm over here like "you're lucky to be getting that" because I am barely breathing.

Thankfully though there is a little bit of positive now. My mother-in-law and decided to cut me off with the Lortabs. I was absolutely furious at first because I feel like that was my only crutch, my only way to have a little bit of relief from the unrelenting oh pression I felt. At first it was a little rough but you know what? I'm actually starting to feel somewhat better and starting to feel feelings of motivation and the need to change things in my life. Whereas over the last six years I have felt paralyzed and frozen, some hot feel like I'm starting to fall out because I have begun to look for another job in corporate management of pharmaceutical companies and their medical affairs department's. Which Monja you has been a struggle because when they find out that I have lost a professional license due to prescribing illegal narcotics, even if it has nothing to do with my job description they will not hire me. But I am still hopeful. Hopeful. I haven't use that word in years. And to me that is a very very good sign. Sorry this was so long but it's hard to articulate how your life has been so devastated. I have never been able to share the details with anyone about my husband's infidelity with other men because of the embarrassment of it, or about my addiction problems. So thank you to whoever is out there and I'm reading this. God bless.

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3 Replies

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  • Hi Beth,

    Welcome to the community.

    I have changed the privacy of your post to be viewable to only this community, to protect you, as you shared so many personal details and you probably wouldn't want all of this being viewed by everyone on the Internet.

    You have been through a lot.

    Sometimes emotional abuse is much worse than the physical one. It leaves no scars on the outside but very deep ones on the inside. I have been through both physical and emotional trauma and personally I find the emotional ones more difficult to heal from.

    It sounds like your husband is very manipulative controlling type. Seems like it was all great at first but then he changed like a chameleon. I am really sorry that you and your children are living in this situation, where you are dependent on him. I feel that his criticism and constant berating and belittling you is like an ongoing trauma which makes it difficult to get out of this situation.

    I am not going to advise you anything, just wanted to say that I have read your story so that you know that someone out there has heard you.

    I really feel for you being in this situation and struggling to cope. I do not judge you, I appreciate your honest and open sharing.

    I hope you will find a way to start again, get a new job and with new professional life, things might get better.

    You deserve a caring and loving husband and your self worth should not be dependent on his mood swings as he seems to have problems.

    I would encourage you to find a good therapist as you might benefit a lot from it, to heal the wounds and to strengthen your self worth and who you are, as your identity and beliefs have been badly affected.

    I wish you all the best and a lot of strength in dealing with things.

  • Oh, Beth, I so understand! I'm soooo sorry you are trapped in that horrible situation.

    I'm a survivor of several traumas, and the emotional abuse was so much worse than the physical. I can heal physically, but I can't heal emotionally, and in a couple of situations it went on for years and years and years. My PTSD has worsened as time has gone by. There's so much I fear, and so many triggers!

    I also had a prescription drug addiction, mixing it with alcohol. It was many many years ago, but I remember that pain that drove me to it.

    You are NOT alone! I'm here for you... I understand, and I care. I'm hoping that you can find a safe place to go to get away from him. He's an abuser and doesn't deserve you... please protect your children? I know you will... you love your kids. Just know that there are places available to run to, safe places for you and your children.

    Sending lots of hugs and love....

  • Hi Beth, and welcome. I too have read your post and can understand your pain. Betrayal by someone you loved is tough. I'd imagine it would have you questioning your own self worth and your self esteem would plummet. Your husband has systemically abused you and then turned it around to be your fault. It is not so. Sometimes getting it down helps us see it for what it is. Don't be hard on yourself for the crutches you have used. It's kept you alive hasn't it. I hope there comes a day when you have the strength to say I'm too good to be treated this way. I hope too that when that day happens you have the strength to pack up and move away from your abuser. You are amongst friends here feel free to vent.

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