Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric illness that often occurs after a mental or physical trauma. It can be something that you thought you dealt with, but then something triggers a reaction in yourself that can be frightening, traumatic, or just down right scary! It may present as a physical or mental issue or a combination of both.
I never thought I had PTSD. I mean, I’ve been to therapists over the past 11 years, and some have mentioned it to me, but I never REALLY thought I was suffering from PTSD. I have always somehow reserved that particular diagnosis for first responders, military members fighting in the war, people that witness the murder or assault of their friends or family etc., but never me. That was until a very intelligent friend (Thanks Sarah) mentioned it to me once again last week during a casual conversation via phone. Hmmm….I think she made me think about this possibility more than I really wanted to, but to think is to heal, so let the healing begin!
For those who don’t know, I was cheated on by my ex-husband. For those who have gone through similar experiences, you know all to well, it’s one of the hardest things to overcome. Adultery has a way of eating away your self-esteem. It takes away your confidence. It makes you doubt yourself in every way. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he chose to have an affair with a woman who attacked me physically with a beer bottle, leaving me with over 75 sutures to the face and breast. So now, I have a constant reminder of the affair staring back at me every time I look in a mirror or see a picture of myself. It never goes away. For them, they have moved on…both of them had more affairs with other people and got remarried. Thankfully, I never have to see her again, but not by his choice. He kept dating her after the attack, even bringing our child around her. But they stopped dating because a judge ordered no contact between her and my daughter who was 3 at the time! Unfortunately, once a cheater, always a cheater seems to be fitting for him. Now I just have to deal with my daughter being drug through relationship after relationship, most of which have ended due to him cheating!
So now that I’ve explained my situation a little bit, I can get back on topic! It all began a little over a week ago. My wonderful husband had a port call. This was an unexpected port call that I was not mentally prepared for. It was great, don’t get me wrong! We usually go months without hearing his voice much less seeing his adorable face on FaceTime! But last week, we were given the chance to enjoy his smile, his encouraging words, his sweetness, and just him being him! Yes, I am SO in love with this man and just hearing his voice gives me butterflies! The girls were happy to hear from him too. I think Everleigh had given up on dada coming home from work! She’s been in much better spirits since hearing his voice last week!
One would think hearing my husband would be a happy occasion. But….there it was….without any warning…that nagging feeling of fear! What is he doing? Where is he? Who is he with? Is some slutty whore talking to him? As much as I tried to push those feelings down, they were there. I was up late at night, not sleeping well at all, and just overall anxious! Why was I being all crazy when this man has never given me a reason to doubt his love for me? He’s never made me feel anything less than beautiful, so why was I so concerned with his whereabouts and what he was doing?
Then my breaking point. I sat here waiting for his call. It was late and I was tired but I wasn’t willing to miss hearing his voice before bed. I tried to text him, no response. I thought maybe he had to go back to work and couldn’t call me, so I decided to use my iPhone to track him. My head was saying “JUST to see if he is at work” but my heart was saying “just to make sure he’s not a lying, cheating bastard like a lot of men I know!” There it was….he was in a hotel!! My heart sank! I picked up the phone and dialed his number, meanwhile mentally preparing for my upcoming divorce and facing life as a single mother once again! He answered….I guess I wasn’t expecting that since he was OBVIOUSLY in the middle of a scandalous rendezvous. I asked where he was. He of course said he was eating and having a beer at a restaurant, not the hotel that I tracked him to. I was quiet….
Husband—“What’s wrong baby?”
Husband–“Baby, we HAVE to come here! I’m at the restaurant in the military hotel where we could stay and it’s awesome! It’s family friendly and they have lots to do…..”
I have to admit, I zoned out after I heard him speak those words. I am so stupid! Why would I ever doubt this man! He is the most caring, loving, family-oriented man I know! He has never been just about him and I, but us as a family! He plans everything, from career to vacations, around me and OUR kids! And when I say “our”, I mean all of our kids including those that aren’t biologically his! He definitely deserves 100% of my trust! So after 10 minutes, I told him why I was so quiet when I first called him. He said to me, “Baby, all I ever want is you! I hate being here without you and the kids…I love you!”
The best part is knowing that he meant it with all of his heart! He told me one time when we were dating he would NEVER walk out on my kids, no matter what! He knew what it felt like and there was no way he would ever do it to a child! When he said his vows on December 10, 2006, he meant every last word. For better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, he is the man of my dreams….my forever…my sanity….my love…my everything!
I’m sure the PTSD will rear its ugly head from time to time, but when it does, I will always have my husband, the perfect cure, to help me through it!