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Addiction after the war..
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Addiction after the war..

Hi everyone. My husband and I are both 25 years old. We have been together for almost 8 years and have 2 children, ages 3 and 6. My husband was in the Nat. Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 for a year long deployment. When he returned in 2011 he was on a lot of medication for a lot of issues. He stopped taking his medication for reasons unknown to me and (I believe) started self-medicating. His drug of choice is suboxone and route of choice is IV. It took me a while to figure it out and put all the pieces together that he was an addict. For a long time I didn't want to believe it. I have spent hours on here reading everyone's stories and they all sound like mine.. All of the lies, the disappearing for days on end, the mood swings, the odd eating/sleeping times, lack of $$ and missing money and items, etc. He has never done drugs in front of me so I was in denial for quite some time. It took me accidentally walking in on him in the bathroom and finding him with a needle in his leg in order to really believe it. I have tried talking to him but he tells me he doesn't have a problem and that I'm the crazy one. He blames EVERYTHING on me and completely shuts down when I do try to talk to him. Or he will flip out, break things, and leave. I have to walk on egg shells around him. He has never gotten physical, but lots of yelling and rage. We tried counseling in 2012 and it was pointless because he told the counselor he refused to talk. I'm just looking for words of advice or encouragement.. This man is not the man I married. He's a stranger to me. He is not home most of the time (and he is unemployed) and when he is home he is not *really* here. He just recently told me he wanted to go to rehab but now he has disappeared again and has been gone for days. When I asked him where he was he told me it was none of my business and to not call or text him. How did this man who loved me and loved his kids become this cold, evil person that could so easily up and leave and act as if he didn't care? He always comes running back eventually, apologizing and wanting back in. I always let him back in. I don't want to enable him but he is still my husband and I still love him. Is the man I loved gone forever? Is it time to give up and move on? I always thought love could keep us together ... But now as my kids are getting older, all I can think of is I don't want them growing up thinking this behavior is normal. I want to protect them. I have a college degree and work at the local hospital in the ER so I see overdoses a lot and it scares me. When i hear one is coming in, I always wonder in the back of my head if it will be him. I have a stable job, don't smoke or drink, and am very conservative. I was raised in a healthy, Catholic family growing up and this whole addiction thing is so new to me. My parents are each other's best friends and do not smoke, drink, lie to each other, etc. Since I am Catholic I never believed in divorce........until now. I don't want to be dragged down anymore. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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:( Unfortunately, addiction does cause someone you love to turn into a totally different person. He has told you that he wants to go to rehab, but then disappeared again for days, I think he wants the help but is afraid. I am not an expert by any means, I have just seen addiction destroy my family since day 1. I would really strive for the rehab, addicts often need inpatient treatment so that not only will they not have access to their drug, but they will be monitored in case they go through withdrawal symptoms. Best of luck to you hun, addiction is hard to beat but it can be done if he wants it bad enough.
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3149845_tn?1415046551
Hi Leelee,
Sorry your going through this. Soldiers returning from a war need special care. His head is full of terrible images and his body has put in on edge from the constant worry of being killed. Post tramatic stress syndrome is a real debilitating disorder that needs professional care to get his mind and spirit back  to the person he was before his exposure. I Believe we owe a great deal to our Vets returning home.
I lived and worked in some terrible countries as your husband was in and can tell you my mind was affected as well. The images continue to plague me and are hidden in our subconscience.
Please contact the VA about this as they will bring your guy back to you. Please help him, its not his fault as is trying to escape the experience.
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1551327_tn?1414146344
Do you know where he was stationed at in Afghanistan?  I have been there and I have PTSD from both of my deployments.  I spent a year in Iraq (2005-2006).  I also spent a year in Afghanistan (2009-2010)  What was his job...infantry, MP, artillery?

"He always comes running back eventually, apologizing and wanting back in."

This is a typical behavior.  A lot of the time it occurs when we withdraw and the emotions come back but it can happen sometimes when he is using.

I hate to say it but it was necessary for my wife to leave me before i got help.

He is likely going to have to go inpatient or intensive outpatient at a treatment center.  I had to.  I say this because when you are dealing with PTSD along with an addiction it is SO hard to recovery.  I know you still love him and want to see him recovery, I understand.  You are right he is not the same man.  War is a very hard thing to dope with.  I had PTSD from my childhood but it was because I was abuse (in many was).  I lived in fear and felt as though I had no security.  Fear of being beat does not compare to fear of losing your life.  It adds another dynamic that cannot be understood unless you have been there.  It is hard to recconnect with civilian life again when you thought that you was never going to see them again.
Like I said it may be necessary for you to let him go but do it out of love and not anger.  When this happened to me I won't lie it was so hard but had she never did it, I would not have hit my rock bottom and checked into treatment.  If you wan to message me we can talk more about PTSD and I can try to help.

So sorry, you can blame it on the military, and you would not be wrong.  I don't blame it on anybody any longer.  I know why it happened and I am in the process of recovering.
Is he still in the military?  If he has no insurance he can go to the VA.  He should qualify for it for 5 years after his deployment.  It would be so much better if I could talk to him but I have never had the chance to do that on here.  Pride will keep him from getting on here and talking to me.  If you tell him that you have met a soldier on here who has done two deployments and one of the was in Afghanistan, he may be receptive to it but I doubt it.  It is hard to open up about the war even to a a fellow soldier.  What was his rank while he was over there, if you know it
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1551327_tn?1414146344
Ironically I am going to see my therapist today and I am going to get back on a medicine that work wonders for me and has been tested but not really confirmed yet of it's therapeutic effect on PTSD.  I will be back on here later, probably around 5 or 6 central time.  I hope to hear from you soon.
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He has went to the VA a lot, trust me. He went there for narcotics addiction last August and told them he did harder drugs so they prescribed him suboxone. He didn't tell me about it for months until I found the prescribed suboxone pills in October. But they weren't helping him because he was shooting them up. Who knows, he could have even been selling them. We live in a small town but lots of drug addicts around. He called the VA about wanting to get off the drugs altogether. He told me that they told him to go to the ER there. He went there twice and both times they sent him home. They gave him phone numbers of nearby rehab/treatment centers in Wisconsin and it was his job to call and get in. He didn't call around me but told me he had to wait to get in and that there weren't beds available. Apparently they make it hard to get into rehab. Well I don't know what happened but all of a sudden, like I said, he packed his bags and left. He was supposedly supposed to start rehab in Milwaukee next week. But I don't know if he chickened out and if that's why he took off or what. I am insanely worried because I don't know where he is staying or who he is with. I am angry, but can deal with that. It's just the uncertainty of what will happen. Its the constant fight in my head whether to go get divorce papers or not because if he cared, e would be home with his family where he belongs right?

As for the questions.. He was stationed in julalabad from 2010-2011, and was diagnosed with PTSD and depression when he got back. He was in an engineer company - building things and whatnot. While he was there he was promoted to specialist.
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I feel like I should also mention that his first visit to the ER for narcotics addiction last August, I found out that the dr recommended inpatient therapy but my husband declined it and decided to just go with outpatient therapy. When my husband found out I knew because the VA called to follow up and informed me of all of this, he was mad and clearly didn't want me knowing any of his medical information. He even called his case worker about a breach of confidentiality. So essentially I do not have access to any medical information on him and all I know is what he tells me. The last 2 times he went to the ER there I went with but he did not want me going in the exam room with him. So its hard to even be sure he wants the help now because most of the time all that comes out of his mouth is lies so I don't really know if he really wants help or if he just wants me to think that to make me happy/hopeful. I still have not heard from him. He has been gone for 3 days (and counting) this time.. I have made the decision I am not going to let him back in.
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3149845_tn?1415046551
He is not home with his family because he is not he right now. Before you start the papers, wait till he contacts you and tell him your plans as an ultimatum. If your in fear of your life then just walk away but if you are just getting tired of trying to help him, reconsider your marriage vows.
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1551327_tn?1414146344
If he called around and checked on trying to get in, even if he didn't, he was at least trying.  It is difficult to get into inpatient care sometimes because there are so many people struggling.  I know it ***** when you get put on a waiting list and have to suffer until you get in, or maybe change your mind by then but unfortunately that is how it works sometimes.
I truly hope he does check himself in and takes his treatment as a life or death program.  
As far as not wanting you to go into the exam room with him.  You should respect that.  You have to remember you have NO control over his recovery.  You can support him and be there for him but this is something he is going to have to do on his own.  I'm sorry, that may not be easy to hear but it is the truth.
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I do realize he needs to do it on his own, I just wish he would let me give him support. Instead, he treats me like I am nothing. I can deal with a lot but coming in 2nd place to drugs is hard.. As for the exam room, I understand his need Dorris privacy but I got more of the feeling that he did not want me in there so he could lie or decline whatever help they would offer him. Obviously I have been going through it for so long of course that is my first thought -- more lies. Ugh I feel like I am, too, battling this addiction because it affects me in such a negative way. Every day is a struggle. And I am the clean one. I can't even imagine the hell he goes through. And if it continues, the effects of it will harm our children even worse. The yelling, anger, rage... My older son constantly says dad is bad and my dad is a bully. Some days he says he wishes that he wasn't his dad. I just tell him his dad loves him, but that he is sick right now and that he doesn't have to like his dad right now but he does have to love him. It's hard though. I know I need to stay separated from him now, for the kids sake, but all I can do is hope and pray he will choose to get the help he so desperately needs. Every day seems like a struggle just to keep my head above water and it's so very frustrating..
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1551327_tn?1414146344
Well, I am truly sorry that you have to go through this.  Obviously I am sympathetic for a soldier but it gets to a point where enough's enough.  I am sympathetic and can relate to the PTSD and the addiction but as far as the yelling and anger that is where we differ.  I grew up through that and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
Whatever it takes, protect yourself, protect your kids, and hold onto hope that he can recover.  I can't tell you what life will look like without him but I have a pretty good idea of how it will play out with him.  If he does recover that is great.  Being a fellow soldier, I will pray for him but he is displaying behavior that I do not approve of and I will not support any of those actions.  There are a lot of types of abuse, whether he is physically abusive or not...
All forms of abuse take time for the wounds to heal.  The longer it goes on, the harder it is going to be to recover from it.  He needs to find sobriety for his addiction and you need to find emotional sobriety and when you do hold onto it and never let anybody take it from you again.
It is your choice, of course.  However entertain the idea of what it would be like without him and then entertain the idea of years from now still being in this cycle with him.  When and if the addiction is gone there may still be some of the things that hang around because of the PTSD so he is likely going to need to have therapy for a very long time.

Read this as information.  I was only trying to plant a seed.  I wish you the best and I pray for him to recover...

Larry
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