What Do You Do When Your Complex PTSD Needs Clash With Your Advocate’s Health Needs

This week has been a train wreck. As you know from my previous posts I’ve been extremely suicidal and dealing with my “Mother” Alter who is very destructive and intent on self-harm. My Psychotherapist has been working really hard through talk therapy and EMDR to contain the situation both in face-to-face sessions and telephone consultations. My Alter is powerful and overshadows all the other Alters including my present self. This is when I  depend on my husband in particular to be my advocate.

But what do you do when you main advocate is out of action himself with a very nasty and virulent back-bending influenza. It struck him last Tuesday and has totally incapacitated him rendering him bedridden with high fevers, temperatures and a wracking cough. He has bad asthma so this is always a worry. He was wheezing like a steam train and the inhalers weren’t giving him much relief. My present day self when allowed, administered to his needs and looked after him, but my scheming Mother was in the background the whole time planning my suicide. It was a horrendous situation to be in.  I negotiated with her that it just wasn’t a level playing field. That he was too ill for her to act while he was like this. She bought it !!!!! A reprieve.

Sitting on the bench outside the kitchen on Sunday morning he unburdened himself about the strain of the last five years of the pressure of living with my C-PTSD and Dissociative Associative Disorder and how angry he was about the abuse my Mother and Father had done to me and subsequently the impact it had on our family. It was so hard to hear. I know it was the post-viral depression talking but it all came tumbling out. The responsibility he had to bear for our autistic son, the self-harm and suicide attempts, visits to ICU and Emergency wondering if I was going to make it. He was clearly suffering Carer Burn Out. We were at a crisis point. We needed help going forward. We couldn’t manage this on our own, even with the Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist’s help. We needed clear strategies with each other and a line of communication to cope.

I needed to open up to him more and let him into my world. Mistakenly I thought I was protecting him but what I was doing was blocking him from helping him deal with my alters and fight the suicidality and self-harm. I was expecting him to be a mind reader. Impossible. That had to be the first step. We needed a joint session with the Psychotherapist together to develop such a strategy. I needed to attend to his needs whilst developing stronger coping strategies for dealing with my own when my advocate was sick. This could be a simple as a call at the beginning and end of the day with my therapist. The main point I’m trying to make here is to have an emergency plan in place. Don’t always rely on your advocate to be available and remember there are times when they need you and so do your family and you have to find the strength to be available for them. WE CAN DO IT.

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