This is my last entry. I started this blog in hopes of tracking the progress of my PTSD recovery. It hasn’t worked. The bullshit I’ve dealt with in the eleven weeks I’ve been writing has nothing to do with PTSD. I’ve learned that my symptoms are under control. It’s the sickness I can’t control. I’ll never be rid of the sickness until I cut out the tumors that exacerbate it.
Those tumors are the things I held in high esteem. I have to cut out my feelings. I have to excise my rationale. I must resect my good nature. The only positive quality I’ll leave myself with is the love for my children. Everything else is a fire sale.
I’ve done everything that was expected of me after this divorce. I learned it wasn’t hope that she had that I’d get better; it was her way of controlling me. She could justify latching back onto me by saying I was getting better. When she decided to leave again, she’d just say I was getting worse, and I would believe it. She turned my recovery against me for selfish reasons.
She’s going to use my kids to hurt me. That’s what she’s become, a whirlwind of suffering. It’s never mattered that I gave up everything for my boys, while she gave so little. She’s just going to take credit for my hard work when someone compliments how great my kids are. So be it.
I’m going to fight for my kids, tooth and nail. I truly don’t want this to go to court. It would be torture for all of us, especially my youngest son. I’m still here every single day for them, even her. I want to be. I know I need time to myself, but when I do get a couple of hours, my boys are all I can think and talk about. They’re my reason to live, and if she wants to use them against me, I’ll know she never fucking cared about me.
I hope she enjoys her nonexistent future with her deadbeat boyfriend. The few responsible adults that are still in her life have the same opinion of him. He came from nothing, he is nothing, and he’ll always be nothing. He’s a con, preying on her need for attachment and her envy of his “freedom”, which is a deadbeat word for not having responsibility. He just uses her for a free ride into town and the occasional “feast” at McDonald’s. He probably hasn’t even told her about his drug charges, but she wouldn’t believe them anyway until she takes off her rose-colored glasses.
I can’t compete with a deadbeat. I have a job that will give my kids a future. I work forty hours a week, and I do it for my kids. I don’t want freedom. I’m not giving up work or parenting time to make anyone else the center of my universe. That place is reserved for my kids, and my kids alone. I want a good life for my them, no matter the cost. I’m doing it, and I’m excelling, even with PTSD. If that’s not recovery, I don’t know what is.
The sad part about my situation is that I can provide a good life for the woman I love with my new resources. Even sadder is that I still fucking love her. I can’t stop. I’ve tried. That’s why my solution is to remove the good in me, and only reserve enough for my children. I have to stop looking at her and remembering how amazing she was no more than a year ago.
I have to think about all the snakes in the pit she’s put herself in, spitting venom into her ear. I have to realize that she turned herself into what they wanted her to be. I have to know that she was once perfect, and didn’t want to be anymore. I have to repeatedly tell myself the secrets that she thinks she hides from me. I have to mourn the death of my soulmate.
This is my last entry, because the ups and downs are not from PTSD. This roller coaster is from my heart breaking. My anxiety attacks have not been flashbacks from Iraq. They are flashbacks of a time when we were happy. I fall apart knowing that we’ll never be happy again. I may have those demons from PTSD against the ropes, but she’s the one giving them knives to fight back against me with.
I don’t need the reminders anymore. I’m powerless against her. Sometimes I see the one I love here and there, and I feel like I did a year ago, ready to give up everything for her and be a family again. Other times, she rips out the stitches in my heart and soul. Writing about it just makes me ruminate. I force myself to remember how much she means, or meant, to me. I’m getting in my own way of getting over her, and I’m holding her back from her inevitable self-crucifixion.
She doesn’t respect me or all the work I’ve done. I’m always the one giving, but if it’s not material, she doesn’t care. I still don’t make any decisions without first thinking of her and the kids as one entity, and the most important things in my life. I’ve held back so much from my kids because of the things she wouldn’t approve of, no matter how irrational the reason may be. I’m going to cook with tomatoes, dammit.
I won’t be writing anymore. I’m still waiting on weekend appointments to open up with my therapist, but if that doesn’t happen before I bid for shifts, I’ll make sure to get a shift with one weekday off. I’m never done fighting PTSD, but I’m done fighting for my well-being. I will give my children a better life, and I can’t do that with whoever she is now. I deserve better, and so do they.
Do I want her back? Absolutely. When I was at my worst, struggling to get through daily panic attacks and seeing that child I killed every time I walked in a room, she would make me feel better. Just knowing she was there kept my mind in the moment. Lying down next to her melted away all the stress. I used to wake up when she got home from work because I sensed the calm she brought me, and I’d just lay there and peacefully fall asleep.
Truthfully, I don’t know how I’m managing right now. Perhaps my anxiety has been diverted to her. I worry so much about her, maybe there’s not enough energy to think about other traumatic events. From all the pain she’s delivered to me in the past eleven weeks, I still don’t want her to hurt, but I’m not sure how long that will last.
This sickness doesn’t handle stress, and with the training I’ve had in responding to stressful situations, it can be disastrous. I don’t respond at the same level. I go all in, because not giving everything during a firefight could get me killed. It’s been nine years, and I still can’t shake the military training. Watching her enjoy herself while I’m struggling with the kids always ends in tears, usually mine. I don’t know if I can deprogram that stress response, but I have to try, or else I’ll be stuck at this point in my recovery forever.
This is my last entry. I won’t be the same after this. I can’t be good anymore, because I’m tired of getting hurt. Everyone leaves me, even when they promised they wouldn’t. I’m not difficult, but my illness is. It’s scares people away because it convinces them I’m not worth the effort. Maybe I’m not, but fuck them for thinking that. The one thing this illness can’t take away from me is the love for my kids. I’m a good dad, so that’s all I have to be now. I’ll replace all that pain and suffering in me with love and pride for my boys.
This will be my last apology in written form, my dear.