S6 E11 - This is what it's like living with someone with PTSD. . . - Full Episode


All right you ready. I actually hit record this time here. We go so in the most recent episode of the podcast season six episode ten. I sat down with my wife patricia. I talked to her about the challenges. She has faced in dealing with multiple mental health diagnoses over the years and right after we published that episode. We received an excellent recommendation from a listener. Asking us to tackle the topic of what it's like living with someone with ptsd. And i think patricia. And i are uniquely suited to tackle this since both of us. Have this diagnosis in in. Its for completely different reasons. This episode is going to be an unfiltered. Look at what. It's like to live with someone with post traumatic stress disorder and by way of introduction. This is the we served now. What podcast where. I do my best to answer the questions. Veterans and their families are already asking so you can make your post military life. Your best life money erin perkins. I'm a. us army combat veteran daddy to two amazing kiddos host of this podcast. If you hadn't guessed. And i am joined today again by my beautiful bride patricia. Welcome back to the show thank you. I'm so glad to be here. Well good good so it's been a couple weeks right and last time we talked about the treatments. You're getting and things like that for depression. Talk to us a little bit before. We're gonna dive into the. Ptsd topic talked us a little bit. About how those are going those are going. I'm not going to be very honest. they're painful. I think Winning expecting almost a miracle. I mean you you let somebody shock your head for twenty minutes a day. You expect something but it's actually made my depression a little worse. They said that's normal. It can get worse before it gets better. So actually they're going to re map tomorrow and see if there's a different place. They need to put the magnet. But i think it's gonna go all right. Yeah we hope we hope and pray as well trained for this for that. This works in putting you through a lot of distress but like you said pain to try to to address the depression right. And so that's that's just one part of what can be a result of ptsd another city but the actually brit really brings up our our first thing to talk about is. Let's talk about ptsd a little bit. What it is. And how. I understand it. How do you understand. ptsd how. I understand it is. I mean we all know it stands for post traumatic stress disorder and that can be from your childhood from your teen years from adulthood. Something you went through something. You saw something you experienced. That was just traumatic for you. And i know that it can you know make you. Have you know nightmares it. Can you know how you can have memories of that trauma and then you avoid situations that you know make you think of that trauma and you know a lot of even soldiers you know. They get like hyper vigilant. You know because of how it makes them feel and it can call anxiety and depression as well. I think the hyper vigilance was one of the i. I realize that i that something was wrong right. I knew i had a lot of anger in. I was like i don't know why angry like i'm i'm not in the army anymore. I thought you the anger was just part of just being in the army. You're just mad something every day. And so i thought that it would go away and it didn't in fact he got worse and it. Was that hyper vigilance piece. I always felt. I still do. But i always felt ready. This constant state of readiness hyper vigilant. That's one of the behavioral parts because there's behavioral parts psychological mood in general sleep. And then you know it you can break them all down like you know behavioral is like you know you feel agitated or irritable or hof style or hyper vigilant like you were saying or you know you start doing self destructive things like you know. Drugs are becoming an alcoholic or or if he just completely isolate yourself. That's me raise my hand right there myself psychological as you know flashbacks which i don't have those fear that comes from nowhere severe anxiety failure to trust other people. Because you don't know what's going to happen the mood part of it. You know you lose interest or pleasure in doing stuff that you used to enjoy doing right or you feel like the severe guilt or you are incredibly lonely like you have tons of people around you. You have a family that loves you but you are so lonely and it messes with your sleep. It can cause you to sleep too much. Not enough to have horrific nightmares and a lot of people have detachment from other people and like intrusive thoughts that they just can't get rid of you know that you know. They go through their day and i guess to some other people they might look like legitimate list crazy but they just have these constant like thoughts and some people have to talk it out. You know there's so many parts to ptsd. yeah. I think that's one of the challenges with even realizing that you might have it right because there's so many parts to it. Depression anxiety intrusive thoughts avoiding situations. Not sleeping sleeping too much having horrific nightmares having too much emotion having no emotion at all. There's so many things and so what i was told. People especially veterans is if if something feels off. Don't try to figure out if you have. Ptsd anxiety or depression go to mental health right and talk to the professional about it and let them figure out whether you use the va or you go out to out to in the civilian sector. You go get it checked out. Because there's there's nothing that's not going to hurt you to go get it checked out right and that was a question that i was going to ask you. Is you know like when did you realize you had ptsd. I think it was what year wise was twenty seventeen. I got out and twenty. Fourteen of twenty seventeen anger progressively got worse. The hyper vigilance. And what. I say hyper vigilance. I i don't mean just like you know on edge all the time and i guess that was part of it but for me it was this feeling like i'm about to go into a fight like just ready like i mean you know kind of like almost kind of like a sprinter would be at the starting line. Okay here we go all right. I'm ready. i'm ready and it was like that all the time. That sounds exhausting. It is it really really is it took i say i want to say it took a long time to get past that but truth is i'm up past that no the pd. Has these not a broken limb. You know you can't cast on it and wait six weeks and go back and get the cast off and you're good to go. No i mean people can't get past it it's it. There are stories of people who you know they had. Ptsd and to you know after a few months few years depending on situation you can't get past. It depends on the person. I think it's post traumatic growth right where you know after your trauma you become a stronger person. A bigger percent better person. I don't know if i would. I would say that people ever get over their trauma. They just they build one right in that instead of letting the letting it crush them they use it to to fuel becoming a better person in the end and the thing is it's not always a choice. I don't think this is my opinion right. I don't think it's always a choice whether you get to say like oh. I'm past the worst part of my ptsd. And i'm only headed for post traumatic growth now. I don't even think i've heard that term post traumatic growth. So i don't know. If i would be i don't know if my opinion i mean i hope that's a real thing Veteran futterman talk to me. One time so you're doing it basically you're doing to post traumatic growth thing like you like you know you start a company like you've got a great career you've got a great family you know you've got a beautiful home cars dog you've got all this stuff going for you you're doing life right you're in your a great church like you're doing all these things right and hosting this podcast you're getting so much stuff done okay and i'm like okay cool why don't it feel better yeah really i'm like okay. We'll see if this post traumatic growth. I number one. i'm happy i'm growing. I'm happy growing getting better. getting smarter. Faster stronger whatever it is. I'm happy about that part but like it is this like is post traumatic growth a destination or is it just this constantly journey. Yeah i think it's a journey in. It reminds me of what we heard in church on sunday about walking wounded. And that's what that means is like. Es your wounded mentally sometimes physically but you know ptsd is a mental disorder and your your wounded mentally but you continue to walk. Wounded is when you stop that. There's no growth And so the post traumatic growth is continuing to walk. Even though you're wounded i love. Obviously you we're in the same service. Same church service right and we were both talking about how great it was so we can ask each other. This question okay. What's it like living with me especially within. What's it like living with me. Especially when i'm experiencing some sort of triggering episode so you mentioned 2017 when you first realized that you had p. Tst then it was. You're angry and you know we tried to give you a little bit of space and like you know. Let you breathe calm down. But i think i think you have grown because now you take that space for yourself. You're like i'm going to go run or i'm going to take the dog and we're going to go hike for a few hours. I think that you know living with you. I've able to watch you grow. And and learn how coping mechanisms coping skills. And i think with. Ptsd you have to learn. Those people might not always understand them like. I'm not hiking ninety degree weather with a dog. It's not happening but three you that works that would trigger trigger something not. Ptsd that would trigger anger. It has nothing to do with. Ptsd you you. You've joined small groups that you guys run and you know for exercise in general for you just really helps you a lot of that. Is you know twenty seventeen. We had just moved to alabama and things weren't going the way we wanted them to and life was just really stressful right. And you hadn't even been diagnosed yet. sure sure. So you've you've grown okay. So i don't even ask this question. What do you like living with me. It's amazing it's amazing. I love it. Let next question experiencing some sort of triggering episode. Well i've told you this before but as a man as a husband i feel. It's my duty my job to keep you happy. You know and so a lot of times i think. Ptsd manifests itself in your life as overwhelming depression and crippling anxiety right. And there's not a single thing i can do about it so for me. It's not that living with you is better or worse. Y you know with a triggering episode. It's that my hands are tied right. And so i think it's super frustrating. Because i'm like. I see a problem my wife is in. It's not just unhappy. You know it's like she. Has this a legitimate mental diagnosis. A mental condition that. I can't do anything to fix Frankly doctors can't do anything to fix every single part of that right and that conversation we've had many times because you're like i just want to fix it and i'm like doctors i have and they can't fix it. Release yourself up that burden. You can't fix it and that is so tough as a man who says you know what i'm here to lead my family my wife and my kids and you know kind of you know take charge and we're going to go tackle life together and that is so appreciated but sometimes you just got. It's true it's true like it's nothing you can do. Well that's not true. Okay that's not true space. Give me space. You know like like you did tonight. I had that treatment today and it made me sick today. I was actually really upset stomach today. And i'm just chilling in the bedroom lennon bed phone and you just made dinner that i did that helped i did. I logged off my computer at work and went and made dinner. It was amazing. I don't know if the dinner was amazing. But it's good good good so coming up after the break tricia and i are going to ask each other one more question. We're going to ask this question. Is there anything good about living with someone who has. Ptsd and we're gonna share several takeaways with you. 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You can also schedule your free consultation with marco once again that's live like others can't dot com get on the path to your dream life today all right and we are back and as promised. We're going to talk about ptsd or would keep talking about ptsd right but the question that we have for each other. Do you wanna ask it. I want me to go go ahead. Is there anything good about living with someone who has ptsd. I wrote this question. I still think it's a tough question you know i would not wish. Ptsd on anyone true. I'll start with that so with that in mind. What the good that has come out of it. It helps me to understand other people abso win. I hear about a veteran struggling with. Ptsd or a a veteran's family member or or family member or friend who is struggling with ptsd. I'm like i get it. I know how you feel. I completely understand and so for me. It's if there's anything good. It's that i can better relate to people who are going through the same frustration and anguish and honestly emotional pain when they see their loved one going through this right and i know not everyone copes. Well that's true and so this question might be difficult for some other. Some people listening you know like they're their loved when ptsd is raging alcoholic. Who's angry all the time. In what would you tell that person. That's an even to that. That in itself is even tougher. I think what. I would be telling that person is i. Can't i cannot tell you what you should be experiencing if you're living with someone with ptsd and you're like you know my spouses a raging alcoholic as a result of pd. St how do i find good in that. I can't tell you what good you should find. I i'm in no place to tell you that the only thing i can do is point you to the one that is jesus christ the principe who can give you peace in the situation and and the bible even says you know piece that passes all understanding basically piece. That doesn't make sense. So i can't tell you. This is what you should be feeling. This is what you should be experiencing. But i can recommend you to eat a formula so to speak of how to live better in that situation right and and i would add onto that to a more. You know just. I don't know. Do we say worldly. Come that. Try to under try to understand. Don't don't try to fix but like research. See how you can help your one with ptsd. Because i think not. Understanding is a part of the problem right for years i had. Ptsd and you did not. You didn't understand it in in mind would manifest in depression anxiety in the soldier new said just go exercise pushups drink water burpee strength water and i'm like you so don't get it and it was true i didn't you act totally asked you to research it to better understand it and you you did better understand it but now that you have experienced for yourself it's completely different really it. It really really is just just so different when you experience it for yourself. So i'll ask you the same question. Is there anything good about living with someone who has ptsd. I think it teaches you. How similar to what you said compassion. I mean i've always had a big heart. And i think it's because it's been broken a lot and you don't hurt anybody else because you know what that feels like you know you have more compassion. Because you know what it's like to fill abandoned or left out or or or thrown away so you're not gonna do that to anybody because if you're not a monster you're not gonna do that because you know what that feels like me and so i have probably too much compassion. My heart's honestly probably isn't too big for people. There are worse things that people not for pets. But that's a whole different. That's a big for people. Pets you can have one. That's my ocd. Am sorry that's okay. But yeah i would say me. It's compassionate and i've seen more compassionate you as well 'cause i was saying earlier when you didn't understand it you just dislike. Oh burpee and water. But now you're like. Do you want to go take a nap. You need to lay down like there's way more compassion than there was before so if if anything good can come out of such a horrific diagnosis like ptsd. I mean if you can just you know. Be patient and be kind. You can learn compassion. Sure yeah that's a really good point. So that's it for the questions right now. We honestly united had these types of conversations for year really really long time and and this is just another one of those conversations of how to how to live with someone with ptsd. What it's really like. i. I'm going to go out on a limb here. What's the worst part about living with someone with. Ptsd not knowing how they're gonna react something and so you know there's times when not recently but you know there were times i'm like oh i don't know if i want to tell him this 'cause i don't know how he's gonna react. I don't know where he's at today. You know mentally like you know. He's already got a lot on his plate. I'm kinda it's almost like an egg shells kind of thing like the. You wanna be really careful. You know so so those can be a little. And i'm sure i'm the same way i'm sure you and the kids stay away. Well i think for me and maybe for the kiddos too. I don't know but for me. It's the the worst part you know other other than the obvious of you. Know seeing my spouse going through this right but you know how it how it affects. Your frustrates me is the inability to plan. I love planning. I'm like okay. What are we going to do tomorrow. Six weeks from now five years from now and like i don't know win and might depression depression. Yeah and you're going to be like. Oh sorry man like as much as you would love to go do that. Depression is just crushed. You for that day or week or i mean there are many many times to. I'm going to say through the years that i've pushed myself. You know because. I i wanna do fun things at the family like you know. I think a lot of people feel that way. Like yeah wanna goaded disneyworld and make memories you know and you feel like that that depression creep over you and you just got to push through it as hard as it is. You just gotta you can't quit. You got to keep moving gonna walk wounded speaking of which so i know we. We referenced. The walk wounded message right. So so for those of you. Who don't know this was a message from church. The highlands with A great jura tear in this region of the country. One of the biggest in the nation as i recall got twenty plus camp twenty two twenty. Three i don't even know now. We got a bunch of campuses anyway. The the one of the pastors nikon carter. He spoke any told the story about a guy that will testament by the name of jacob who ends up wrestling with this angel and this angel as he's wrestling with jacob he he knocks jacobs jacobs hip out of socket right but jacob keeps wrestling. He's like hey. I am not going to let you go until you bless me. And so he. He eventually wins the wrestling match. The angel blesses him. And then jacob has to go meet his brother. There's whole back did this to me his brother and as he's going to meet his brother he's limping like crazy. And so even though the angels blessed and basically god putting his hand on him and saying hey like i you know i i love you. I approve of what you're doing. You know i'm blessing right now. Even though god did that he didn't heal him completely soup but jacob still had to keep moving and he had to walk wounded. Right into put in real world speak is like yeah. You can have blessings you can have all these great things in life you can have money. Houses cars land lakes pools vacation homes. But that doesn't mean you're not going to have wounds right from other people from yourself from life itself. Ptsd is usually a a life itself kind of thing so what you gotta keep walking for. Sure for sure so what's another takeaway back to. What we're saying is be patient and educate yourself. If you want to help your spouse or even yourself like okay like read just read read. How other people are doing it and that have been successful and and see how it actually manifests in your own life. Because just saying it's ptsd. I bet there some other things surrounding it that maybe you don't even know. And so educate yourself and be patient with yourself and your spouse if it's your spouse right right and somebody said this is another great takeaway. Here is give your spouse space if your spouse was the one who has the. Ptsd right give them the space they need. I will say that with the caveat if you believe. They are in danger of hurting themselves. Get the appropriate help. Absolutely this is not the your spouse said. Hey i'm gonna take my own life and then you say okay one. That's giving them space. No no no. That's not a time when you need to give them space. That's a time when there needs to be an intervention right. You know so when we're talking to give give your spouse space. it's you patricia. Saying yeah take your dog for hike. Its ninety degrees. go ahead. i'm not with you. I'll be in the pool right. Yeah right yeah gopher run go go do something to to just relax to take that. Take the edge off so to speak. Then so give your spouse space. I think is a really really great takeaway there so anything else any other takeaways. We should share with our audience today. I don't know. I think we've covered it. I mean just to walk wounded. Hold their hand while they're walking did. Oh may that's the that'll pre treat there. that's good. That is so good well patricia again. So much for coming on the show really really appreciate. I know you didn't feel great today but you muscled through it and i'm so so glad you did. I know our listeners grew be happy as well and obviously on this show. We ask a lot of questions that we do our best to answer a lot of questions and we all have a lot of questions but the most important question we can ask ourselves is this. Have i accepted the forgiveness of sins. That only comes through faith. In jesus christ will thank you so much for listening. Be sure to follow social media. Facebook occurred to fight again. Same thing on instagram and twitter ad courage again. You can pick up. A copy of my book resolve at courage to defied again dot com or also on amazon. It has been such a pleasure sharing our hearts in this conversation with you today until next time. Thanks for listening.

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