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DH - Don't know how to help him

(5 Posts)
SparklyUnicornPoo Sun 20-Nov-16 01:27:13

DH was the victim of quite a brutal, unprovoked attack. It was on the way back from the morning school run, so daylight, on a route he uses a lot. Bruises are pretty much gone now, stitches due out soon, he's recovering well physically.

But, he is obviously very shaken up, he's flicking between being really angry and frankly quite nasty and then really upset and frightened.

He's not eating, he's barely slept, when he does sleep he tosses and turns and shouts and wakes up in tears, or like last night he fell asleep on the chair and I went to put a blanket over him and he covered his face with arms like he was expecting me to hit him and started crying, it was horrible. When we're out any loud noises/shouting makes him jump and the other day 8yr old DD had a strop and shouted at me and slammed her bedroom door and I found DH curled up on the floor in our room shaking and crying his eyes out.

There have been a few times he's watching something or he's read something and he starts on about all these really violent things he'd do if he was there, with this really horrible look on his face. Which just isn't like him. When it happened he froze up and couldn't defend himself and I think he's ashamed (which is ridiculous, there were 4 of them)

I tried suggesting he ask the gp about counselling, that did not go down well, I won't repeat the whole rant but it boiled down to 'im not crazy, I don't need help'

Im trying my best to be there for him but each time I see him upset, once he calms down he's really spiteful, I have PTSD from completely unrelated things, and he brings it tells me he's not as weak as me and stuff. I can see what he's doing, he's ashamed to admit how he feels 'coz real men don't cry' and mental healths this whole taboo (fucking MIL and her stupid views) but it still hurts

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sun 20-Nov-16 07:31:21

The problem with an event like that is the victim feels helpless .. Men are conditioned to be strong and heroic. They like to see themselves as heros, (que all those action hero movies and computer games), so that when something strips them of everything they thought about shemselves it cuts really deep. Your man has effefctively been raped and needs help. You say as much when you describe him crying in a corner and feeling ashamed.

The problem is how to get him to accept help. As a man he has a very deep sense that he can cope with anything and to be strong and sort out things.. We men have our faults and this is probably one of the biggest. If he knew you were posting this he would probably be vey upset.

A thiught whilst writing....,Do you know any of his mates, or other men he is close to? If so can you talk to them to steer him to counceling?

SparklyUnicornPoo Sun 20-Nov-16 17:04:09

His best friend is trying but isn't having any more luck than I am.

It's just all so stupid and unfair, I have brothers and can completely see what you're saying is true, but it so shouldn't be! I mean he's had the guts to help the police catch scum that have been causing no end of problems locally, there's been other attacks but he's the first victim willing to go to court, in my books that's way more heroic than getting a few punches in and well, if he was a woman rather than a scary looking man no one would be making stupid comments about 'i bet you got a few hits in' etc and he could just admit he's scared and get some help, or at very least he'd let me comfort him and not be worried I think less of him (which I don't but he won't believe me)

Trouble is I can't make him get help, and forcing the issue I think would make things worse but I can't work out how to sort of nudge him into it.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sun 20-Nov-16 22:26:34

So the attack was a group of well known local thugs? Is there a a story in this? He seems to be stqnding up for the community.

AnxiousCarer Mon 21-Nov-16 12:37:04

flowers to you and your DH, different can probably give the best advice having the male perspective on this. My DH has been in similar situations (yes plural, his MH problems make him more vulnerable) in the worst attack he litterally had the s* kicked out of him. His response is very much fight or flight, and he talked quite aggressively about things. I think men are oftenconditioned to cover up their fear with anger.

It sounds like your DH has been traumitised by the attack (unsurprisingly) and does need some help dealing with things. I wonder if talking about soldiers and PTSD would help. E.g. even these tough guys need help sometimes.

I think the best advice is to keep showing him love and support and reassuring him that you still see him as the same man. I susspect this is more about how he sees himself than anything else.

I can understand why what he is saying to you is hurtful too, if you can keep telling yourself, hes lashing out because he's scared and hurting. He probably doesn't really mean the hurtful things he's saying.

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