So, yesterday I saw the VA Psychiatrist and went over my background.
As PTSD had been diagnosed by the private practice Psychiatrist, I was trying to come to terms why this was one of my diagnosis' (depression? sure.... anxiety? you betcha... PTSD? what does that even mean.... that I am completely broken????). You see, I view PTSD as something only combat veterans go through (or rape or shooting victims).
So we discussed some of what the family (and specifically I) have gone through... and these are things my family knows and is aware of:
- I was abused as a child (and watched my mother and brother abused far worse than I was)... and this was at the hands of an alcoholic for many years.
- I went through a very mentally abusive situation during my first marriage / divorce including her having a relationship with another Marine in my unit (the lingering effects which affect my family and I to this day).
- I struggled with dealing with being a step-father (being on a different page with my wife due to the baggage both of us brought into the marriage), to which took many years to heal.
- My child was molested as a child by the maternal grandparent and I was unable to both protect that child (I was prevented by DCFS, government, and lawyers to act in my child's best interest... and then was told I couldn't even talk about it with my child, even though the child brought it up to me).
- The same child then being abducted/harmed by a stranger 4 years later in another state.
- My wife was shot (the aftermath was a war zone of blood, chaos, crying/shrieking and many emergency vehicles).
- Going through the subsequent trial (that resulted in the Death Penalty being handed out).
- Dealing with former Governor Ryan then taking the perp off death row (along with over 140 others) a year and a half later (and revisiting the pain / suffering).
- My ex introducing my child to the man she had an affair with 20 years after it happened.... to keep me away from my child right before my grandson was born.... and my having no choice but to get a DNA test in order to re-establish the paternal bond that she was trying to wrest from me.
- My sister's constant drug / alcohol battles and everything that entails regarding children who are affected (my family and I having to constantly jump in to right the ship).
- An in-law who seems as dead set in trying to dehumanize me almost as much as my ex-wife does.
So, now I am trying to get my head around this and learn how to change how I think when encountering such situations. Since this is the first time I have dealt with such issues head on with a professional, I am hoping that at some point.... I'll be able to sleep better at night and when faced with such situations, I can react in a more positive manner without hurting others.
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