View Full Version : PTSD Help Me Understand

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:31 PM
My ex husband recently quit his job, cashed out his retirement and announced he can no longer work because of PTSD.
He did not tell me he quit until a month later when child support payments stopped and left both of our kids without health coverage. He had been working at the same job for 18 years and has been out of the military for 8 years. Come to find out he has been applying for jobs:confused: I know he was disgruntled at his other job so it all feels like a cop-out to me.

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:33 PM
is he under medical care for it?

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:37 PM
He receives counseling through the VA.

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:40 PM
not knowing more abot the details, I do tend to think he is jumping on the band wagon PTSD being the malady tou jour at the moment.

However, knowing a little (very little) about the brittle human mind, it is not unheard of for mental problems to rear their ugly face some time down the road.

Considering that it has an impact on your kids, maybe it is worth revisiting the divorce agreement with a lawyer.

Child support is one thing, dropping the health insurance is really unacceptable without notice.

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:41 PM
He receives counseling through the VA.

if he is formally diagnosed.....it could be.

Feb. 24, 2013, 01:47 PM
PTSD can crop up years later, and the effects can range from annoying to crippling. My SS has it from Iraq and can be great for long periods of time and then severely affected because of one small trigger.

He does not speak highly of the counseling available through the military; felt it was very pro-drug and pro-disability (as in claim full disability and pop these pills, you'll be okay) and not very interested in intensive counseling to help actually dealing with it and maintaining a "normal" life. That said, I'm sure the help offered varies greatly by area.

Feb. 24, 2013, 02:17 PM
I think it's great that you want to learn more about your ex's PTSD diagnosis and treatment. But, really, you have a second issue, too: The state of your shared responsibility for the kids.

For now-- and since he has F-de up your life and you are pissed and you say that PTSD seems like a mere excuse to you-- may I suggest that

1) You are unqualified to speak on the topic of your ex's PTSD or the wider phenomenon.

2) It's also none of your business.

3) His not meeting legal financial obligations IS your business. PTSD or not, he needs to do the right things for his kids as best he can.

Really, I think you'll be saner and more effective in getting what you want if you just pursue the last one. You won't win on the first two counts.

Feb. 24, 2013, 04:43 PM
Some truly suffer. Some have slick lawyers. :no:

Feb. 24, 2013, 07:11 PM
MVP my life is not f up because of his decision. But because of it I have taken legal action to hold him accountable to supporting his kids. If he can't support his kids because of an issue I want to understand that issue also that issue is going to have to be questioned at length in court.
When my children are in his care I need to know they are safe so it is my business.

Feb. 24, 2013, 07:43 PM
PTSD SUCKS!! DH and I both have this dx. We both have worked very hard to over-come its grip and live semi-normals lives. I have had the dx since a teen, but it did not take over my life until I was almost 30. DH was dx with his several years ago (he was a SWAT Medic) and he ended up giving up a career he loved and went to another career that was more theraputic for him. He is a "healer" and loves helping others, so he became an equine dentist. Now he is not dealing with death and bad guys every day, but he is helping horses and he is so much happier day-to-day. I changed jobs from being an ER RN to position in Behavioral Health. I may go back to the ER, but I love giving back to an underserved population, and let me tell you, mental health care in the US is TERRIBLE!! Please don't judge until you've walked in someone else's shoes. Even though you were married to him, sometimes people don't want anyone else to know about their demons. If you are on a message board questioning his motives, maybe he did have a reason not to share his deepest, darkest secrets.

Feb. 24, 2013, 07:48 PM
Locke I just want to hear from people like you who can give me an insight. I'm not advertising who he is.

Feb. 24, 2013, 08:10 PM

Here's a link if you really want to educate yourself. I've had the excellent VA training on treating vets in the community. PTSD is very real. In simple terms it is the mind’s response to overwhelming trauma. It can be a really big trauma like 911 or a series of smaller, repetitive traumas over time. In combat service personnel can be repeatedly exposed to both. It is a basic part of being human to want to survive—think crossing the street and seeing an oncoming car in your peripheral vision. In order to survive we jump reflexively out of the way. Trauma survivors survive, often, by compartmentalizing overwhelming emotions in places so far away from conscious thought that they, often, are unaware of them… sometimes for decades.

I don’t know your husband, but it seems reason able to me that, over time, the “trigger” of his discontent over this job wore away at his subconscious mechanisms of defense allowing his feelings/symptoms to surface.

The good news, to me from your post, is that while many times symptoms can be incapacitating at onset, your husband seems to be able to function well enough to be job hunting.

Hope this is of some value and kind thoughts,

Feb. 24, 2013, 08:24 PM
Thanks hound!

Feb. 24, 2013, 08:36 PM
A close relative suffered after several tours in Iraq. With therapy, she worked through it, but I remember one time I took her to lunch and there were so many people she couldn't even walk in the restaurant. It wasn't even that crowded, just a typical day at Le Madeleine, but she nearly hit the sidewalk.

Mental health issues can be positively incapacitating. I wish you the best of luck.

Feb. 24, 2013, 08:51 PM
Thank you for sharing sketcher.

Feb. 24, 2013, 09:07 PM
PTSD is tough. It can seem like things are good for years and outsiders often can not understand a seemingly innocuous trigger that can absolutely push someone to the brink. Or understand the need to behave in certain ways to save ourselves - such as walking away form responsibilities due to a situation that has become intolerable for reasons invisible to others.

I'm living it right now and even though years of therapy have left me fairly mentally healthy and able to cope, there are some stressors that can instantly snap me back 20 years.

Even though I logically know what is happening, I'll be damned if I can stop the re experiencing and the absolutely awful, out of control type feelings that come with it. Once you have been damaged to the point of having PTSD, it never leaves you.

So yeah, I can see someone doing exactly what your husband did. He may have felt for a very long time that he had to get out of that job to save himself on some level. He probably just-could-not-go-another-day with something in his situation or he simply can not continue to "do the right thing" in terms of keeping he job to support his kids.

PTSD can be deadly. Better to have a disabled dad who is unable to provide but who can still be a father than a dead one.

Feb. 24, 2013, 10:05 PM
MVP my life is not f up because of his decision. But because of it I have taken legal action to hold him accountable to supporting his kids. If he can't support his kids because of an issue I want to understand that issue also that issue is going to have to be questioned at length in court.
When my children are in his care I need to know they are safe so it is my business.

I agree that your (shared) kids are your business.

I hope you can get the info you need so that you and Ex come to a workable resolution.