My counselor described me as "healthy?!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
My counselor described me as "healthy?!"
4
Fri, 06-06-2003 - 9:14pm
Do you mind if I share the latest in my and my husband's saga?

We have a good marriage, but life has been stressful the last couple of years. I have my stuff, and he has stuff. His stuff has been scary; PTSD coming to the surface with him wanting to hurt himself at various times. Over the last year he has been on anti-depressants; took a while to find the right one. He is also on Adderall for ADHD and Trazadone for sleep disorders.

We trade off weeks seeing our counselor, every other week or whoever needs the session more LOL. A week ago yesterday he went and saw her because he has been really having a hard time. We've identified a cycle, and she is now thinking he has a form of bi-polar disorder called cyclothymia. I went with him this week on Wednesday "to keep him honest" because he says "Fine," when asked how he's doing. Taking into consideration all his past trauma, it's possible he has Multiple Personality Disorder. She explained that many times children who are traumatized compartmentalize and "split off" to cope. She asked him to describe himself in different situations, and it's definitely different according to the situation and circumstances.

Here is a background on my husband:

He and his little sister were taken from their bio mother when he was three. She gave birth to my dh when she was 14, and his sister when she was 16. She was with an abusive boyfriend when they were taken; through hypnotherapy my husband has remembered seeing him beat her and threaten her with a knife. We found his biological mother a few years ago and have a good relationship with her. She has verified his memories. dh and his mother were very close, and when this guy came on the scene he didn't like the fact that there were kids. My husband remembers hating him and wanting to make him stop hurting his mom, but he was too little to do anything about it. He made a decision at that young age that when he was big enough he wouldn't let bad things happen to other people.

Shortly after this, they moved to another state where they were staying in a motel. dh's mother was working days while bf watched the kids. She didn't know he was writing hot checks for the hotel fee because he went AWAL from the army, and when the cops came to get him he left the kids with a motel maid and went and got her from work. He told her they had to leave or they would both be arrested. She insisted they go back for the kids, and he wouldn't let her, saying they would get them later. So the police took the kids away and they went to the state as abandoned children. From my husband's little boy perspective, mommy went to work and never came back. For a long time he would stiffen when he saw a policeman, and he didn't know why.

He and his sister were adopted into a wonderful family who has loved them and raised them well. The trauma for him continued, though, when he was raped at a sleepover when he was ten.

So there's a little background. When we were talking to the counselor on Wednesday and she was listing the possibilities, we were of course looking at each other like, "What next?" Never in my life did I imagine I would marry someone with a possible PERSONALITY DISORDER?! I told her that after the last session he had come home and said, "I don't think Diane believes that we really have a good marriage, because everything that's a possibility that I have lists the inability to stay in relationships as a symptom." We mentioned this conversation to her. She told my husband that she can tell we do have a good relationship, and that the fact that he was able to compartmentalize in order to cope says that he is very intellligent, and he was able to choose someone as a partner who is very HEALTHY?! I just started laughing and shaking my head. I have depression, ADD and am dealing with SA issues, and she said I'm HEALTHY?! I don't FEEL healthy!

I'm feeling some anxiety over this next phase with my husband. His moods have been pretty unstable. He said that he thinks it's more apparent because he's addressing it, rather than saying he feels better than he does. It's really baffling sometimes, like yesterday he was GREAT! when he came home from work, then he was down after an hour, then he was okay, then down, then GREAT! again. This was all within about a 4-hour period. Since I've grown up having to gauge my mom's moods to decide if it was safe to interract, I'm really sensitive to mood shifts. I can feel them without him saying a word, and it's natural for me to ask what I did to cause it. I'm also anxious because chances are he needs a mood stabilizer and who knows what else, and our prescriptions as a family are already straining the budget.

I've had the blessing of being a SAHM, but I think maybe for monetary purposes as well as having another environment to exist in to help me cope, I need to go back to work. That's a little scary because it's been quite a while!

Thanks for listening to me ramble; I know this isn't exactly SA stuff, but I needed to talk. It's crazy what abuse does to people's psyches. It's so unfair. We enter this world as innocent children with our inherent personalities and abilities, and it only takes one person to screw that up. I hate what my husband has had to deal with. When his parents first got him and his sister through the foster system, he wouldn't eat or let them do anything for him until he could tell his sister was taken care of. How many little three-year olds put their needs aside to care for someone else? Most three-year olds I see are completely unburdened and self-centered, and that's how it should be. They are discovering life and who they are. They should be carefree and gently taught. He was feeling that burden of responsibility and he was only a baby. He is such a good person; so loving and kind, and he has these demons to contend with. It's not fair. I wish I could just take it away for him. I love him so much. I've always been grateful to have him in my life.

I appreciate the board space!

Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
((((hugs))))

Wow, you have been going through a lot! I had to write and tell you about a WONDERFUL book on bipolar disorder. It's called "Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families." The author's last name is Mondimore, and it's a Johns Hopkins book. Also--An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison is a memoir written by a psychiatrist who came down with bipolar disorder while she was in med school. It's a wonderful blend of the clinical and the "secular." I researched bipolar disorder for a piece of fiction I'm working on , and those two books have been invaluable to me.

About you going back to work--I know it's hard to go back after a long period off, but you'll find something and you'll do well. You're obviously great with people. That's half the battle! Good luck! Let me know if you need someone to proofread your resume! :o}

And--I know what you mean about having someone call you healthy. It's so weird, isn't it? I read some notes a doc took on my medical chart for my recent physical. She wrote "PTSD--Under Control. Obesity--Under Control." That was very validating for me. I've worked so hard on these things, and it's great to have an "expert" tell me that they're "under control." :o}

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Reading your letter I would agree. You sound like you have a handle on things and even if you're not completely healthy; you're on your way. I read your letter and I have to say I'm a little jealous; but very glad to hear that people like us can have a marriage that might work. I've been beginning to wonder. Your relationship sounds somewhat similar to mine only more loving. Congratulations on finding that. And I have to agree withyou on the phyche thing. I'll be 28 this year and I'm only now realizing how much 11 years of molestation determined who and how I am.
Avatar for vick_mp
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Heidi, I read your post and thought, "wow, how can she be going through so much in her own life and still take time out to respond to my issues!". I feel so grateful that you have given me advice especially knowing you have so much on your plate already. I would consider you healthy too! I try to come across as healthy and everyone believes I have my stuff together but I don't. I feel for your husband having to go through so much growing up. I've said a prayer for you and your family.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful replies to my post! It feels so good to have someone say you're doing okay, as I'm sure you all know! All of you made me feel so great; I really appreciate it.

Love to each of you, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board