That's the funny thing about PTSD. You never really know when it's going to hit. Here we were, swimming along happily when BAM......PTSD strikes again. It started a little less than a week ago: I started noticing the shorter fuse for his temper, the more frequent outbursts of swearing, and the change in his physical appearance. Hubby has a habit of wearing the same clothes for days. He will sleep in them and wear them for at least two days in a row. It's disgusting. It's bad enough when he does that when it's winter out, but here in the dog days of summer......Gross.
Along with the lack of changing clothes, I noticed his facial hair going to crap. He tries hard to grow a beard and mustache. Some people look great in a beard and a 'stache. He does not. The crappy thing is, that he KNOWS he looks bad in one. It'd be different if it was the sexy 5'oclock shadow thing going on, or a few days of scruff. Nope. Instead, he grows it out so its scraggly and his mustache has that nasty part down the middle that some men get that looks creepy. To compound the look, his beard grows in gray. Not all the way around, either. It has hairs growing in gray just on his chin.
Like I said, he knows he looks like crap with a beard and mustache. He's said it to me before. I have come to determine that the facial hair starts growing when he is feeling depressed. I try, in a nice way, to motivate him to shave. I tell him how much younger he looks without it (he does!) and how it's not his best look and how often by having a better outwards appearance, you can make yourself feel better internally.
Last night he said he was going to trim it up and I thought "Hallelujah!" This afternoon we were outside and I commented about how I thought he was going to trim it up. "I did" was the reply. What???? His idea of trimming is to get some of the neck hair off. That's it. He still has wild long hairs growing in every which way, still has the creepy mustache line, and still has the gray hairs coming in. I told him I didnt like it and he told me something along the lines of "when I start caring, I'll let you know".
That hurt. I don't know why......He's told me before that he doesn't care what I think. When he's like this, in the middle of a PTSD cycle, it's true. I know that when he's feeling better, he does care. But right now, he doesn't. It hurt because I had been in a state of denial that another cycle of PTSD was upon us. Life had been so nice for the last 4 months or so. I forgot how much it can suck.
I have to start putting on my thick skin again. I've let myself go soft the last few months. Being soft lets the hurt in......I have cried more in the last week than I have in months. Stupid stuff really. Comments that shouldn't cut me, do. The rude, sarcastic comments are back and I have to get used to them again.....I have to remember that although his words and actions hurt, he doesn't really want to hurt me. I have to remember that his crappy, mean attitude is just an outward reflection of his shit mood internally.
It doesn't help though. It still hurts. But, I have to buck up.......I can't spend my days crying or tip toeing around him. I'm too busy for that. Here's hoping that this latest flare up doesn't last long.