Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's Not About You

When you live with someone who has PTSD if feels like nearly everything in your life is about them.  And it sort of is.  I know I've mentioned before that all the advice tells you how to structure your whole world around your spouse while simultaneously telling you not to become all consumed by making everything in your world revolve around them.

They must think I'm Wonder Woman.

Over the holidays we had a few things pop up that had nothing to do with my husband.  For the first time in what feels like forever, I had things that needed attention.  This has not been going well.

My husband doesn't seem to be able to accept that sometimes not everything is about him.  On the one hand, he has a very real condition that needs a lot of time and attention for us to work through.  On the other, he has also sometimes taken advantage of that.  I'm sure he's not the first person do so.  And while he only takes advantage of me and not the system, it still bugs me.

Today we hit a breaking point.  He is walking around the house pouting and generally acting like a brat because he's "frustrated at the world" because I'm sick.  He went so far as to come to me and begin to yell at me for being sick.  Which is where I hit MY breaking point.

I looked at him, dead in the eyes, no softness, no gentle kid gloves and said, "THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU." I didn't yell, I simple said it firmly. 

I understand that he can't always control his temper.  But sometimes, it's not about him.  Sometimes, things in our life go wrong that have nothing to do with him or his PTSD.  And sometimes, I get sick.  And sometimes that means he has to take care of himself a little more than usual.

I don't generally get very firm with him because it's very hard to predict his reaction.  Usually it's more of a gentle verbal walking through to help him reach a point of understanding or keep him calm enough that he can think about it and come back later and calmly discuss.  He doesn't do well when I am firm or yell and today was no different.  He clenched his fists in anger and glared at me, angry that I told him what I did.

It's not about you.

Sometimes, not everything in your life can be about your spouse.  Sometimes, we give up so much and sacrifice so much of us to be who they need us to be that we forget to take time for ourselves.  And sometimes, you get sick and can't do anything about that.  And while I didn't yell, I did lose my temper.  I probably shouldn't have.  But sometimes, he needs to understand that not everything about him and not everything can revolve around him.

Every now and then, it's about me.


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