My difficult child husband is quietly ramping up...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    his anxiety.

    This new job commute is just really bugging him. He complains, complains, complains (granted, he has a solid case about the situation), whine, whine, whine (pass the goat cheese), and NOW he is starting to keep a list of his daily commute times!!! It's taped to the dining room wall. Can you say OB-SESSED? Holy cow. I would think this would only serve to enhance his anxiety over the situation! Here, let me make a visual REMINDER of my mental ruminations!

    I hope this settles down over the next few weeks as he becomes acclimated to the new routine. I am TRYING to be patient, TRYING to be a good listener because I know he just needs to vent a little... I came very close to snapping his head off tonight when he was going on about being tired and why wasn't I spending more time with him and he has to go to bed at 9pm because he has to leave by 6:15am tomorrow, yada, yada, yada -- to which I reminded him that I have been up since 5:30am (my usual for Tuesdays and Thursdays -- M,W,F I'm up at 6:30am) despite being out until 11:30pm last night and I CAN'T go to bed even if I wanted to because my job is not done yet as there is a kid downstairs who's still doing homework and needs my help thankyouverymuch. He on the other hand did not leave this morning until 8am -- so he got to sleep in. And gets to go to bed early. Maybe he's just missing the naps he used to take while he was off work the last 6 months. This work thing is proving to be a bit of a shock to his system. :alien:
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Okay, sweetie, I cannot remember. Did husband have Occupational Therapist (OT) or other behavioral/cognitive training after his brain surgery?

    It's amazing what I've learned on how to build myself back into a routine. AND the post brain trauma therapy (therapist kinda thing) has helped me work on the anger in the changes in my body; my life.

    I wonder if husband can use this type of therapy. I cannot remember but do you have any type of mass transit? That can be relaxing & husband can be connecting with you & the kids via texting, plus relaxing on the way home. I loved the transit system up on Seattle.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Does his vehicle have a working cd player? My dad drove over an hour each way to work for over 20 years. He liked it because it gave him time to wake up, to hear some adult conversations (usually NPR stuff), to do lesson plans in his head, and on the way home he used the time to "switch gears" from school to home.

    He LOVED audio books for the ride. In the years when the car stereo didn't work we put a boom box in the car to play either cd or cassette books on tape.

    It made the ride fly by.

    I hope he can adjust without driving you too crazy!
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I get severe anxiety driving sometimes so your husband has my sympathies- there's no way on earth I'd be able to work at a job that required a 2 hour commute twice a day. Add in the natural anxiety that a new job brings and I'd need a klonopin IV. ;)

    I expect it's going to take him awhile to get used to this change in routine/scenery/responsibilities. I think you're going to have to be visibly sympathetic (and privately detached) to his moans and groans until he makes the adjustment. I don't envy either one of you!

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Suz - I thought to myself 'what is a klonopin 4?' - then I realized it was an IV bag!
    It's early!

    Hang in there GVCMOM! You can do this for a few more weeks before you have to set him in his place. That is what a good wife would do, right? Eventually tell him that he is going on and on about something which he can not change? I will be new to this wife thing, so please tell me if I am wrong! LOL!
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Go to your library's website and see if you can download some books for him to listen to on his commute. Our county library has thousands of books. It might make his commute a little easier.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I am a person who likes to go for long drives, but at the same time, I can get really stressed out in some traffic situations...

    For me, it is not usually the whole trip that causes anxiety--but certain interchanges that get really congested and crazy. I usually just reroute my trip to avoid those really bad areas...and the stress drops considerably when I know I won't be sitting through four light changes at such-and-such street....or have to merge through three lanes of traffic at so-and-so exit.

    Is your husband able to narrow his anxiety down any further than "the drive"...?
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Suz, you're absolutely right about the tactics I must use :)

    TL, no he did not have any Occupational Therapist (OT) or such after surgery. This is not a new symptom for him -- he was like this before surgery. He is coping better than he did back in the old days... and maybe I'm just better at recognizing it for what it is now, after all we've been through. (And there's no convenient mass transit from where we live to there. We looked into it, and the transit website mapped out a 4 hour commute each way for him :surprise: )

    Susie & Loth, I've asked him about audio books but he's not very enthusiastic... maybe I should just get one for him anyway. He's happy listening to sports radio, and that's about it. Something about his attention span...:tongue:

    Busywend, yup it's just gonna take time.

    It's just so strange to watch the transformation in him... reverts back to the same cognitive habits and behaviors. He ruminates. He does not let things go. And he seeks out the same things for stress relief (though maybe not as overtly and obsessively as he did before medications) or at least he's suddenly talking about it more. Before medications, he would get like this AND become horribly irritable and explosive, especially if he thought he was being kept from his stress relief of choice (too much information). It's literally like he falls into this scratch in his mental record that just keeps skipping and playing over and over. Does that qualify as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? LOL

    And I feel my own anxiety start up when he starts complaining (that's the old codependent in me), but I'm working hard to detach (with love) and try to help him through this without taking on HIS anxiety as if that would help it go away. :faint:

    He called this morning to talk to the kids before they left for school :) I know this makes him feel better and more connected to us all. We're going to be in L.A. Monday for a GI appointment for difficult child 1, so I'm planning to take the kids by his office to meet him for lunch... maybe we'll hang out at a museum and go to dinner too.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I don't think I'd do well with a two hour commute. I hate rush hour traffic. I hated it even more when I had a 45 min to 1 hour commute that sometimes turned into traffic nightmare. I wish I had audiobooks then.

    I guess the only other thing to do is allow the time he does have at home to be extra special. Hopefully, he'll get into the groove and he will settle.

    I know what you mean about your stress level up when husband complains about work. My husband does it a lot to me, because I'm one of the only people that he can confide in about work. Even though I don't want to listen sometimes, I do anyway, because it's his way of destressing.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think you're right about that -- making the time he does have with us special. That will certainly go a long way towards buffering his anxiety. :)
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My husband had a commute like that for a couple of years. At first it was miserable. He never actually complained about the drive, but what a grumpus!

    I started to get him books on tape from the library. As I recall, I started with the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum books. Then he got wrapped up in the Harry Potter books, and re-read some of his favorite "Lord of the Rings", etc. It was good starting off with the "#'s" books, because they're funny and they gave him something to laugh about.

    He got to where he was picking out the books, and I was ordering them online from the library and then he had what he wanted. He still had a long drive, but he was back to his old self.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tony has those horrendous drives. Normally if they have to work more than an hour and a half to two hours, then they stay out of town but he has had to drive two hours each way every day for lots of his jobs. It is hard on them. I guess one thing that makes it slightly better is that he drives a van full of other guys but they also leave at like 4:30 in the morning when they are driving 2 hours and the other guys tend to

    Now Tony is working almost 3 hours away but he is staying out of town during the week so he only has that long drive monday and friday.

    They actually work farther away but those vans fly! LOL.
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. That is so not fun. When my husband gets stressed (due to holidays) he gets even more OCDish than he is normally. I had him start dinner the other night, tater tot casserole. I came home and he was meticulously lining up the tater tots on top of the casserole! I had to finish, and finish his way, as his hands were going numb. He also has to count steps, tile blocks, and dog knows what else.

    Hopefully as he gets used to the commute he will chill out. I would just get him a book on tape and put it in the car, in the stereo. He might listen to it then, but I know that my husband would not do it if it was my idea. I would have to somehow make it his idea
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Oh gosh, isn't it that way with guys and MOST things in their lives? :tongue:
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Well I hope he is not "bugging" you too bad about "spending" time with him.... ;) ;)
    Stress relief and anxiety will hopefully subside.

    I get weird with new and stressful things though also. I start amping up before hand and in the beginning.
    I am more agitated and annoyed easily. Short fuse. Hard to focus and racy. On edge.

    And then I can even act like a big baby because I am so nervous and anxious about the situation I feel like I am the only one who is suffering, so i rant and rave around the house as if I am the only one who has had to deal with ca-ca that day! LOL
    Luckily I can figure it out now pretty quickly!
    husband is pretty good at telling me to chill out also in a way that wont make me snap!
    I have to have my routine down though. My schedule, everything in the car, my coffee, all of my stuff, have made it out the door not in a rush...
    then I can drive calmly and not be in such a stress driving.
    If all else fails I have a Xanax IV... LOL

    Does his psychiatrist or other doctor know he started this job? They might want to do a medication adjust. just in case if he can't relax with time.

    hang in there, you are a trooper!!!
  16. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Any chance of a van or car pool?

    I commuted 2 hours each way to SF from the central valley for about 2 years and called it quits. There was no way I could handle it. I had no life at all. I was in a van pool most of that time, otherwise I doubt I would have lasted that long.

    The other van pool drivers decided I would not be given a turn at the wheel after most of the long time riders landed on the floor the first time I tried to pull the 16 passenger van out into rush hour traffic facing uphill on a downtown SF street and hit the brakes a little too hard. I later realized that this was actually a happy day rather than the moment of dismal failure it felt like at the time. I got to ride in the van and NEVER had to drive. Woo Hoo.

    But I digress.

    Perhaps a blow up doll for the holidays might be helpful?

    Why you naughty girl! Not that kind.

    I mean one of those ones with the weight in the bottom that you can hit and it bounces right back up so you can hit it again - over and over and over. Great stress reliever. Really.

    I don't advise picking it up and throwing it for stress relief however. Very unsatisfying. Generally just lands with a thud a short distance away and bounces back up grinning at you.
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    rls, you are too funny! And welcome back I've been wondering what you've been up to lately...

    He and I went out to dinner... ALONE last night (I know it's a crap shoot with the kids and all, but the first phone call didn't come until we were actually finished with dinner, so I count the evening as a success). I think the time we spent was therapeutic for him. The more he talked the more I could see him relaxing :) It may just take some time and me constantly reminding him that he can go someplace else after a few months at this job. He needs to remember that he has control over the situation ultimately.

    His boss said he wants to make this job work for husband because he really needs him, so working from home occasionally is definitely an option. He's planning to do that Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and that seems to have settled him down a bit already.

    My mom told him that the traffic preceding these holidays is usually worse than other times of the year... I hope she's right, and I told him that things may get better after the first of the year. I suppose if we didn't have kids at home this wouldn't be such a big deal -- it's nice that this matters so much to him :)
  18. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Glad to hear your news. Yes, it's been a tough several weeks with no time to go on-line and play with my cyber friends. Been answering occasionally on the DP board when I felt I had something substantive to contribute and the time but that's it.

    Hope you have a smooth Winter Break (your kids are out of school yes?).
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just wanted to send hugs. Hang in there. You rock.
  20. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Maybe you and he should plan a date night at least once a week. Sounds like it really helped.