Impact of parent with PTSD on our children

Glenda - posted on 11/11/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Given the recent research on the impact of trauma on the brain - I wonder how others have been managing the difficulties in their children's behaviour as a secondary impact of ther PTSD in the home and how its affected parent:child relationships/marriage etc.

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Glenda - posted on 04/20/2010

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Have you sought counselling? to work through your feelings and to find healthy appropriate ways to respond to your husband and eldest son ? Sometimes the hardest part is even though our children see things differently (and it may not even be correct or right) yet it is our choice to acknowledge their feelings as real, because to them they feel real, even though its their perspective. The hardest part is putting their feelings first. No-one can make this decision for you as no-one knows what goes on in detail in your relationship. I had lots of breaks from my husband, I sometimes wonder how different life would be if we had not stayed together, yet we make choices and move forward. Do you have good family/friends support....You mentioned as well you were also in the military and attempted suicide, you have been through a great deal and need someone who can listen and acknowledge your feelings/thoughts....At least with a counsellor, there is that confidentiality thing, whereas with family it can be more difficult working through the issues. Happy to chat with you, I'm a good listener anytime.....all the best

Nichole - posted on 04/20/2010

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i am still married to my husband who also has PTDS and TBI. i haven't lived with him for over 3 years. soon he will retire from the army and come out here to live with/around me. i'm not sure i love him anymore. The thing is i left him because he killed my military career, pushed me to the point of attempted suicide, he with held me oldest from me, and used my oldest to get what he wanted from me i'd do anything for my son. just to name a few things. i'm scared to be around him alone because of the things he's done to me, and i dont know how to deal with it all. i left when i was about 6 months preg, we got into a very heated argument, and my oldest came running out of the bed room screaming at me not to hurt his daddy. i was always the bad guy to my son because his dad would let him get away with anything, and spoiled my son rotten. he says he's getting help but im not so sure, he's always been good at manipulation esp after he got back from deployment. i dont know what to do! i want a divorce but i dont want to hurt my son either. the damage all this has caused is way beyond repare.

Glenda - posted on 12/15/2009

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Hi Miracle....
It has been over 11 years for me, since my husband was medically discharged with PTSD/depression. I was aware but not to the extent I am now, following study and career path I have chosen, of the impact on myself, my children and my husband. It has been a long road. For me it is always about ensuring my children and I are safe from harm, which mean't putting aside my emotional attachment to my husband and ensuring that was my priority first and foremost. He went forward and back, forward and back and took a while for him to except that the trauma had a significant impact on his brain and he was not able to produce the 'feel-good' chemicals needed to ensure his own wellbeing or others. We are fortunate in Australia to have good Veteran support and many programs, including private hospitalisation of Veteran's, ongoing psychiatric support etc, financial support for families and the Veteran. This has mean't my husband has been able to access services when he would. Only in the last year, probably the last 6 mths has he really reached a level of acceptance of his condition, for the long term and realised this is not a death sentence, does not mean the end of everything, mental illness is liveable, he needed to take responsibility for his behaviour, his mental health issues and regularly take prescribed medication, which dramatically reduced the explosions, the nightmares and makes him much easier to live with. I also sought counselling for my children, from a young age and always talked to them about mental health issues and my husbands PTSD in terms they could understand, they have grown up to be very tolerant and also strong enough to tell him when something he says or snaps at is not OK ! There are lots of alternative therapies and treatments for PTSD, the hardest part is coming to terms with you cannot change any person, they need to want to change themselves. I also sought counselling as I was angry for a long time as I had lost the husband I had and had this unpredictable explosive person who kept me awake at night and kept us all on edge. I was hard to see him as different to that when it was happening all the time and sometimes its still a struggle, yet we have reached a level of committment and responsibility in relation to our children and ourselves and what will happen if he doesn't take his medication and manage his own treatment. It is working and he has recently enrolled to start University, to re-train, is focussed on his fitness and is a lot more positive, his relationship with our children has never been better than it is now. For me I accept that it is ok to be angry, upset, frustrated and even experience grief, your relationship will never be the same, its up to you whether you have a good support network (talk to family and friends tell them what is going on, let them be there for you) seek counselling yourself, maintain your own life, keep yourself and your children safe......prayers & hugs to you... this is not an easy road....

MIRACLE - posted on 12/14/2009

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I can say that the PTSD in my husband cause me to leave him for 6 months. On top of that the TWO boys that we have togther really did not have anything to do with him. They were always where I was at and they could tell when he was just MAD.... It was has far as hen I came back three months later he jumped on my HOOD and BUSTED my window of mmy car in fornt ofthem Then again I left. When I came back I took him to teh VA to get some help because I was noth going to deal with him. But what is even worse on my half is that I have put up with so much of that MESS that I have got to where I dont say much of amything to him and I sleep out in the livingroom. Grant it he is getting help and is talking to someone, but sometimes I just think the damage is already done and there is no going back... But that PTSD does take a big part of FAMILY AND FRIENDS....

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