I am a jerk. My wife lovingly tells me this often, yet I will still write this next blog post. Dealing with me, especially post Army and full swing into PTSD treatment, is a drain and requires a special woman to see and understand.
I am a lucky son of a bitch in that my wife was deployed as much as I was (ok, she has three more months in Iraq but I have a year in Korea, that counts right? No? K.). There were times that her being in theater added stress and there were times that her being on the same operating base reduced stress. (Big Cat knows)
All in all, now that all of the Army stuff is done, her knowledge of the gory details is a trait of our relationship that I would never trade.
I talk with a lot of other Veterans who have PTSD and are still married. They need their wives to keep them straight. But, that is not what I am going to write about here.
I have been diving into this treatment and so focused at times that I lose sight of the impact it has on my family and my wife. Everyday is a struggle and sometimes I take for granted that my wife is being strong and she is doing it for our family. This fact becomes more troublesome because the effects of PTSD on family members is direct.
Here is a link to the VA Website on PTSD and the family.
And here is a link that references the studies done with PTSD, the family and children.
So whats that mean? We, as PTSD survivors, can be real downers. If you are not properly communicating, not emphasizing the important recovery habits, the road goes from bumpy to cratered.
Take the time to thank your support group. Take the time to reflect on what your PTSD is doing to those around you. Depending on where you are on this road back, just continuing to give great effort may be enough. Again, communication is the key.
I have said to my therapist and continue to say that I want to raise my kids on my terms. If something is going to fuck them up, it is going to be all me and none of the PTSD crap. I am closer to this goal today, but not nearly as close if my wife did not support me as much as she does.
Use it, don’t abuse it. With fathers day coming based on where I was a few years ago and how close I came to the edge, it is I who should be thanking her.