Thursday, October 31, 2013

PTSD........ my homework assignment from the Psychiatrist


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.
There are other things I have faced also, but the gist is..... that I have faced quite a few situations that when piled on each other over time, has resulted in my having a very dysfunctional way of dealing with them (I shut people out of my life in order to protect myself). When people bring up specific issues, I have to go into another room. When there is severe angst and arguing, I have to leave (remove myself and those I love from having to deal with my getting so angry... I'll say something I will regret) So, it appears those are symptoms.

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.

<end of homework assignment>

We are still only at 14 tickets sold (out of 100). I really need to figure out a way to get the word of mouth out there (if anyone has any ideas, I am all ears.... please comment in the comment section and I will get the message directly).  =)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The end of a beautiful weekend. Another week coming up, a lot more effort to go.

A wonderful Chili cook-off / hoedown at FVC

We had a fantastic time last night at Fox Valley Church's annual Chili Cook-off and Hoedown. Pots and pots of chili awesomeness, and many were able to work it off with square dancing (unfortunately, we couldn't dance due to my gout and Penny's foot fracture).

We didn't win first prize in the chili cook-off... but it was first in our hearts (and we enjoyed tasting many different types of chili... over 27 pots worth).  =)

Getting ready for winter.

Penny, Travis and I slowly worked on getting the house ready for winter. One upside is that we still have our Montgomery Wards riding lawnmower (it is over 25 years old, but it is still running). It has hydrostatic drive (essentially an automatic transmission), 18 hp, a 46" mower deck, & a grass catcher chute/bag system. It might be old, but it saves us a whole lot of effort. So as long as my left foot and left hand aren't enduring a gout attack, I can quickly cover a lot of ground. As it is autumn and we have 4 very large trees in our east side plus back yard, we have a LOT of leaves. As our mower has a mulching blade also, we are able to break down the leaves into small bits (and Travis helps me by emptying the grass catcher making life easier for me). Penny helped Travis by showing him how to rake the yard and pile up the leaves (Travis then gathered the leaves and put them in a pop up leaf bag and we discarded the leaves / grass / mulched leaves in our compost area behind our fence). Travis helped Penny tremendously (as Penny might have a fractured foot). So the pictures below show our house with the Summer stuff put away (and the autumn stuff having been put up including scarecrows).   =)

The leaves are almost finished dropping (we didn't get much fall colors this year tho).  =(
These are the views of our tree line from our backyard. =)

I cleaned the Corvette also (getting it ready for the next month when the raffle completes). We received the yard signs from so now the website is visible to passing traffic via this sign (we'll see if it is helpful). The signs printed up perfectly (it took 2 weeks though to receive them). A person at a Corvette Forum indicated he will be buying 2 raffle tickets this upcoming Wednesday, so if that does happen.... we will be at 16 tickets. Here are pictures I took of it today.

Proactive unemployment & disability

We have 2 months of unemployment left (so I am looking at my VRAP approval from last April as an option for training / income regarding January through March (2014). I'm still not getting any call backs from prospective employers, so I'll be working with VA "VRU" employment unit regarding what I can or can't do. I have three VA clinic / hospital visits this week, so I will be busy going to those. We are working with Penny's Disability Insurance company to get help for her regarding her "Res Judicata" appeal review and I hope to have this dealt with this week. Travis' Disability claim is just waiting for a decision now (as are my Social Security / VA claims).
It is almost a full time job keeping up with all of this (not easy when considering my many different medical issues), but with God's help (as we have given it to God).... this too shall pass. We still have our home, we have each other, and we are hanging in there. =)