When you walk on eggshells for years you still resort to those feelings when something upsetting happens. I try to put the past behind us but when reminders of the previous events creep in, I rely on those past experiences to predict what is going to happen.
A couple of days ago Bryan had a stressful day at work. He called when he left and I could hear the exhaustion, frustration and maybe a little anger in his voice. My heart started pounding. I immediately thought I needed to talk him down and fix the problem. I heard his truck revving up as we were getting off the phone and I asked him to drive carefully.
The old feelings resurfaced. I was worried. When he got home how he would be? Would he talk to me? Would he know that I was concerned about how he was reacting to the stressor? Would he be angry?
When he did get home I approached him cautiously. I didn’t want to set the post-traumatic stress off. He was still stressed out pretty bad. I finally just asked if he was OK. I told him that I felt that he was reacting the way that he had in the past.
But he put things in perspective.
“I am allowed to have a bad day once in a while,” he said.
Everything clicked. I thought about all the bad days I have been having when I get bad news from my reproductive endocrinologist. He is allowed to have a bad day. Even if he isn’t handling the situation the way I want him to, it’s OK. His reaction didn’t last a week like it did before.
Have you ever overreacted to your wounded warrior’s actions? How do you separate the past experiences and the current experiences?
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