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Am I man enough?

Community Member

This is a really uncomfortable subject for me to be raising, one that I have drafted and deleted time and time again after only joining the BB site.As mentioned in my first and only thread I have been diagnosed with PTSD through a military operational triggering event.I have since realised that I have suffered depression and anxiety for 8 years prior to the diagnosis.I am 40 years old and am currently recovering from my second total hip replacement.I am married with 3 kids (6,4 and 2).Whilst I have opened up about my PTSD through this forum,there are other things going on in my mind (likely connected to the PTSD) that I need to get off my chest but feel so embarrassed and fear judgement in doing so.I have discussed this topic with my wife and whilst I do believe her response,I still have self doubt over her overall truthfulness-in her trying not to hurt me further.This is more likely my depression stopping me from seeing her truth,yet I am still suffering deeply with a lack of self confidence regardless of what she tells me.With all that has happened after my PTSD I don't feel like a strong man to her and now doubt I ever was even before.By this I mean physically more so than emotionally.We have been married now 12 years and I know she had a lot of partners before me and as a result of my PTSD,subsequent depression and recent hip surgeries I have zero self confidence in being her man.Without embarrassing myself to tears I feel inadequate in all departments of being a man anymore.I feel I fail her as a man both physically and mentally.

Mentallly comparing myself to what my wife's previous partners must've been like and the thought that I am nowhere near the man she had or wants is killing me.Before spilling my guts to her quite unintentionally I spent months without sleep,having horrible thoughts and visualisations-this all on top of fighting daily triggers and flashbacks of my PTSD.I am on ADs and seeking therapy for my PTSD,however this other somewhat embarrassing issue is really crushing me and it is something I find hard to raise in discussions with my wife again or even begin to talk to with my therapist-due to the fear of ridicule,embarrassment or the fact of being seen pathetic.Help,advice really needed. Ta.

108 Replies 108

Ha ha aha he he he...ah ha ha ha...

You absolutely cracked me up Navy Man! Those pain killers must be atomic strength! Ah ha ha ha...

I hope you took in some much needed oxygen during previous posts...lol I was breathing for you in between giggles while reading. BTW...they seem to be in sequence too.

Legendary thread...hmm...as you can see, there are 70 entries to date; that's no mean feat. Then there's the quality of posts from all concerned, which incidentally bought out some revealing stuff from us. (CC's) The subject matter is kind'a unique and specific too. (opening doors for others) Your speedy progress and recovery from some pretty mind blowing PTSD and physical injuries. Then there's you...open, honest..sometimes brutally, kind, relevant, pragmatic, philosophical, heroic, a great dad/husband and a Billy Zane look-a-like ta boot! Need I say more?

(BTW...Google Billy Zane movie; 'The Phantom' 1996. [A play on the old cartoon strip] for a look-see at his early years as an actor)

When you put all these together, it's not hard to understand why we've warmed to you and this thread.

Your complements have not gone unnoticed either NM. Thankyou for your kind hearted, generous sentiments and gratitude. It's accepted with pleasure.

It's nice to hear you've been doing the doing as Farmer Joe and all round great Dad. Your wife sounds like a keeper too, she must be run off her feet with 3 little one's and you at the hop-a-long helm. (That's about the closest I can get to a navy reference lol) So buckle down the britches and man the tackle keel (uh oh...there I go) for some hard work ahead me harpy's. Giggling he hee...

Loved the chat..still giggling...

Sara xo

Hey Navy Guy,

You have been busy with all your posts! Hope the appointment went well for you and there are no more operations on the horizon!

Just had an idea! Do you have a goat? You could hook up a cart to the goat and it could race you around your farm. That would be so excellent. You might even be able to learn to play golf from the cart, maybe you could switch to polo for a while!

You might want to line the cart with an old mattress or hay so you don't bounce around too much and jolt that hip.

Just think of all the fun the children would have as well.

I've been thinking of getting a goat to help me out with all of this weeding! Do you think if we bought a young goat we could train it up to not eat the roses? That would be good.

I'm just raving a bit here. Didn't get much sleep last night due to helping out at the CFS station while the crew were attending a vehicle accident, car v truck! Home at 1.00 a.m. and little sleep after that.

Okay, over and out for now, cheers from Mrs. Dools

Hey there Mrs.Dools,sounds like very busy and tiring night for you.My advice grab a nap when you can,put off everything else(unless life threatening)& curl up somewhere warm with a book on the basics of seamanship navigation...you'll be asleep in no time!What a great idea with the goat,although I had a goat when I was a young boy-it ate my favourite sneakers and my Action Man figure(scuba diving kit and all)! Not so sure I go down that alley again, as I loved that Action Man...We've halter trained our cows, so I'm thinking they might be the best solution for your golf buggy idea-a brilliant one at that. Hmmm,I am a man of many talents,however goat whisperer is not one of them...Unless you can tether the little critter with chew proof rope,I would suggest having a goat as your lawn mower would place your beautiful roses in a clear & present danger!We had some poddy lambs for a while,but as they grew they would get into and eat anything that they could access.They'd eat the rubber seals around the car doors as we would be getting our kids in or out of their car seats!Strongly recommend a well behaved beast like a John Deere(knitted out fully with weed sprayer wand & tank)...Appointment went well,thank you for asking.Trying some new nerve blocker drug to help with the muscle spasms & associated pain-happy to hear no further surgery at this stage,which is music to my ears.So it's now more hurry up and wait for this little black duck.On a more serious note,I have just started a new thread(not sure if I should have as it probably might have fitted in along with this one)regarding PTSD triggers. I haven't checked replies yet,but would dearly love both you & Sara,if she reads this,to have a look and pass on your well respected advice.I was ticking along ok until yesterday & have true concerns of things worsening between now and my lengthy wait to see my psychiatrist for the first time.Anyway,so great to hear from you,I hope you do get some well deserved rest and have a lovely rest of the day.I'm off to ice my hip& leg yet again and study up on the art of goat whispering on your behalf! much love and warm kind wishes ❤️NBM

Hi Navy Guy,

You mentioned the goat ate your toys. My sister's dog chewed one leg and half the head off my teddy! I was not at all impressed. I tried to sew up my teddy and still have him. I called him Charles. Ha. Ha.

The dog and I did not see eye to eye at all. Mum would suggest I took the dog walking with me. I managed to get the dog across the road and then it would just sit there and turn her head back to home. She would not budge until I turned for home again.

A friend had a goat on a non edible chain stacked in the garden. The goat used to run back and forth pulling at the chain until the stake came out of the ground! A goat could be a challenge! Ha. Ha.

The chooks aren't too well, they seem to be getting some kind of disease. We had one put down now another is looking quite ill. Poor darlings.

At least the cat is thriving! She is an indoor cat so can't eat any of the wildlife. She is so fat I don't think she would be able to catch anything anyway! Ha. Ha.

Your other thread is going well too. Hope the hip is doing okay.

Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

Hi Mrs Dools, great to hear from you as always!No good to hear about the chooks..what are the symptoms?My wife is very good with chickens as we have quite a few.She would love to help you if she can,unless you have already asked your vet.Adding some garlic powder to their water I know was one remedy that helped fix a lot of our issues or there is some special concentrate stuff that comes in a bottle-the name escapes me but I will find out for you for sure.If they are egg bound,then that is a whole different kettle of fish-very time consuming & not the cleanlest way to fix..Happy to help though as I hate to see or hear of anything suffering.The hip is coming along alright now,just appears I have suffered some nerve damage to several major muscles.Just trying to get the dose right on this new nerve blocking drug & she should be apples & I can crack on with rehab as planned.About to check in on my other thread,but have found the deep breathing & mind over matter excerises help a little with the triggers & I have not yelled at the kids since.I will reiterate on that thread that my term "lashing out" at the kids was a verbal thing,not physical (ie violent),as I am really concerned I upset another member who replied early on in the thread.I don't have a mean bone in my body & I certainly would never ever harm my children or any other children in any way from any of my triggers-they are (my triggers) all about worrying about their safety and protecting them.It is a beautiful day here as I look out my bedroom window while icing my leg.We have a total of 4 new calves now,with 8 more expected soon.Dexter calves would be no bigger than a Jack Russel when born-just with longer legs,they are the most adorable little things & their mum's don't mind us getting up close and patting or even lifting them up sometimes.I love Spring,as I am sure you do with what I can only imagine is a beautiful garden you must have.We are still in the "building" phase of ours,but we have managed to lay all the reticulation & look forward to choosing our plants wisely and then planting out.We live in a harsh climate,heat to severe frost and snow.That said it's God's country to us &we love it here very much even with the long commute that goes with it..just makes coming home that bit more special.Thanks again for finding the time to write,I am doing my best to remain chipper around the kids but it is hard.Pain,emotional &physical is draining to hide,I have a lot of both at the moment.❤️NB

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Navy Blue,

You mentioned in your post to Mrs Dools that you were concerned about upsetting another member when you talked about lashing out. I did reply in detail early on in that thread to your post, hoping to partially ease your mind by talking about my experiences.

If it was me you were referring to then there are no worries as at all. On the contrary I've found all your posts, including the more graphic descriptions of your experiences and determination to overcome combined with your obvious caring to have been encouraging to me personally and feel that your frank and detailed posts to be a very positive contribution to all.

If you were not referring to me then all I can say is that it is very hard In these forums to judge the effect of what one is saying as unlike a face to face conversation there are no clues as to a person's state other than the actual words they write down in response, no facial expressions, tone of voice etc. Combine this with a delay on replies and it is possible in this environment full of people who have suffered that some may misunderstand or react unexpectedly.

Either way please continue, I really hope you find your interactions with the members here are of benefit and that your physical ailments recover quickly.

Again my very best wishes


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Navy Guy and Croix,

It is very easy for the written word to be taken in a way that was not at all intended. Even a slip of the key can change a word completely.

Once I told a friend that I was so tired I crashed into the bed when I arrived home. Her daughter asked me if I hurt myself when I crashed into the bed.

Same as lashing out, it can be verbally or physically. Many words have a double meaning.

If there have been any misunderstandings any where in the forums, it is good if people can sort them out.

We all have our own experiences, personalities, expectations and so on. What is acceptable to some will not be right for someone else. We are all individuals, that is what makes this community great! Different ideas, points of view and a variety of possible solutions, all help make the world go around.

Everyone has something to contribute, if they write only a couple of words or use up their whole 2500charactors!

I for one am very thankful that I can read and write! Life would be quite different without those skills.

Communication is important too.

Cheerio for now from Mrs. Dools

Community Member

First I would just like to say to everyone involved in this thread that I am so happy to see how you all support and help each other, I am deeply touched by this. I found this thread while I was doing research for my essay regarding Stigma in Mental Health (I am a Nursing Student) and this thread is just wonderful to read after reading so much about negative attitudes and instead get to see the fantastic support.

To Navy Man: I must say that from the beginning of this thread until now it feels like your confidence have grown (not saying that you may still have a long way to go) with the support from others which I am glad to see? What you are saying remind me so much about my boyfriend. He suffers from depression secondary to a rare autoimmune physical disease. When he gets down he too does not feel like he is man enough and it does not matter what I say, he does not believe that I am being truthful. However, if I didn't love him so much and considered him to be the man for me, sick or not sick, I would have been long gone but I am still here and will stay. He sometimes try to "hide" away from me when he is at his worst because he does not want me to see him like that, he thinks that I will stop loving him, that will never be a reason for me not loving him though. We are very open with each other though and talk about absolutely everything and I think that has helped us so much to get through the rough patches.

I would also like to comment in you apologising for your troubles not being as bad as others and that it is pathetic. What you have gone through and what you feel now is not pathetic in any way. I suffer from severe PMDD and for no reason what so ever I can get aggressive or depressed and this happens on routine every month. I have many days where I can't get out of bed or be around people at all. And I have no legit reason at all to feel that way other than that my hormones are out of whack but I still feel it as powerful as a loved one just died. What I am trying to say is that what you feel is never pathetic and you should never compare your reasons for feeling something to someone else. We all have different experiences, we all have different coping mechanisms and some are more open than others and some have easier to access the health care and support they need. And for my last 160 words I would just like to say that recovery is a journey rather than a destination and you are already on that journey and I wish you all the best!


Community Member
Hi Croix, thank you for your post and adressing my concerns. I won't name names as to whom I thought I'd upset or distressed but I am glad to hear you find my honest yet sometimes maybe too brutally honest posts helpful - as I am hoping all people who read that thread do. You and I seem to share a lot in common in what are/were going through and I find reading your posts easy to understand the underlying message and therefore can connect and reason with your implied message. I will continue to write, and hopefully with the trigger warning now attached to the thread (my misunderstanding not to have added it in the first place) others will find use out of the post as apposed to distress. Please keep throwing your penny's worth is,as you say, as I for one am very grateful for you sharing your insights-it makes me feel human again instead of the selfconcious monster I often feel. Thank you again for making the time to value add to all my posts to date and I look forward to hearing from you again soon, cheers NB

Hello again Mrs Dools, where would this forum be without your wise words of wisdom and continued valuable insights? I for one would still be that black sheep lost in the wilderness that is the world. You are so right as was Croix to point out that words in text can be misread or misunderstood - as I feared mine were in my other thread. I will need to carefully chose my words from now on as I certainly have no intention of causing harm, distress or hurt to anyone on such a caring and compassionate forum. I worry a lot, too much my wife would say - I carry the world of worries on my shoulders - probably not healthy for me, but that is who I am. I care for everyone, animals included. Speaking of which Kilverm was the liquid I was talking about for your chooks...again, I don't know the symptoms yet but if you'd like to let me know (to take another weight of worry off my shoulders) I am hoping to help in some way. My recovery, like everyone's I guess, both physical and mentally has been having its up and downs of late. I'm partly to blame, for instance stopping to help,a dear old lady change her flat tyre on the way home from seeing my physio. I think I just about covered all the don't do these movements or actions - as strictly directed by my surgeon and physio - during this deed, but this is who I am. Tyre changed, she was grateful for my help - I am now suffering a bit physically - but I couldn't have just driven by, not in my nature. On another PTSD note, I am going to have my wife sit down with the kids at an appropriate time and have her explain that dad's unwell. To avoid confusion to the relation of unwell not meaning my hip do you or any other readers have any suggestions as how best to phrase/describe this side of unwellness to a 7 and 4 year old? Tipping my 2 year old will just suggest a bandaid, so best probably not have the same talk with her..maybe the same with my 4 year old son - although he is quite switched on and has the vocabulary of a 6 year old, just like his older sister has been assessed as having the vocabulary of a 9 year old. Just not sure what to say that they will,understand - dads brain is sick? No good, they'll worry... Any help in how my wife should phrase it without all the grim details would be warmly welcomed. I hope this post finds you well Mrs Dools and has also been helpful to other readers that my previous wording on posts have never intentionally meant to cause any harm. Much love to you and to all ❤️NB