The burden of the Family and PTSD

They family doesn’t always know what to say to the Veteran. Whispering the event of the day so as not to rekindle the spark that ignited the rage, the violence, and finally the shame.

The family doesn’t always see the Veteran. The Veteran has withdrawn into isolation. The holidays bring too much emotion to feel safe. Too much anxiety to feel normal.

The family doesn’t always hear the Veteran. Yet they know he struggles and cries out in his sleep. His angry outburst is not directed at them but a manifestation of the grief that lingers and interferes.

The family doesn’t always hold the Veteran. They stand to the side, though they long to hug the boy that left for war. His Soldierly pride prevents their warm embrace.

The family will always love the Veteran. He wishes he could show them and tell them how much more he needs their love. He loves from a distance. The pain of losing more is too great to face. The family tries to understand.

One thought on “The burden of the Family and PTSD

  1. awifewhounderstands

    I just started reading your posts and wanted to thank you. I have suspected my husband has had PTSD and possibly bipolar disorder for some time now since his return from Afghanistan. His mostly manifests in angry outbursts and periods of crying behind a locked door/blackouts/ infidelity/guilt/overspending. Things that were completely out of his character before he left. I have tried hard to get him help but the Army has not made it easy. At his last duty station I succeeded in acheiving help when he had a run in with a VA counselor who recognized his symptoms. However shortly therafter he pcs’ed to a new environment where there was no one who knew him and no accountability. I know he also has to want help and if I force it I will essentially end the relationship.We live in separate states now due to financial reasons (after his last spending spree that I bailed us out of, I was too scared to give up my job/retirement knowing we were retiring in 3 years) I love my husband and do not want to divorce him at this point I am just scared for him and the path he is on I am scared for our daughter. One of his co-workers was given an article 13 for seeking mental help against a commander’s orders. So he has written off seeking any help. He is an instructor now and recently on an eval a cadet suggested he get help for ptsd/bipolar disorder do to his mood changes and tendency to forget and anger over it. His 1sgt called him in showed him the evaluation and they both laughed it off. I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle and have no idea where to begin helping him. I feel like either way I stand to lose everything. At least by reading your posts I can understand that I am not as alone in the world as I thought and for that I am most greatful

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