The PTSD Collective Away With Her Words

Searching for the Light at the End of Our Tunnel

by Anonymous
United States of America

 

In a month’s time, my husband and I will be married twelve years. For ten of those years, my husband served with the US Marine Corps. We met young, but I know he is still my one.

PTSD was not present in our home until many years after his deployments, while on recruiting duty. At the time, I didn’t know that is was PTSD. I honestly thought my husband had become an angry alcoholic.

He never talked about his deployments to me, and of course my husband would always lead me to believe that he was never in any danger where he was. Yes, I believed him, because I also wanted to think that he was safe.

The stress of recruiting boiled over and my husband could no longer suppress everything he had pushed down so deep. We have now been living with PTSD in our home since 2011, which was four years after his first deployment.

My husband did go through a program on base that helped him. And I actually thought, “this is it, he is finally going to be better now”. I saw him smile again. I had missed that so much.

Unfortunately, not long after he got out of the Marine Corps (after serving for eleven years he couldn’t do it any more, emotionally), he went right back to drinking. He stopped taking his medication and didn’t even try to find somewhere to go for help. He is currently back on medication, as of just recently, but we are still in the middle of a silent war in our home.

PTSD has changed everything in our home. We have three children together. But I have lost who I am in the process, because I have to work, take care of the home, and take care of our children. My husband just can’t do it. He is not emotionally capable of anything like that right now.

I am still searching for the light at the end of our tunnel, praying each day for him to want to fight his PTSD and overcome it.

PTSD is not something that you can cure. That is a big misconception. The person with PTSD will never be who they once were, but with the right help and guidance they can be just as wonderful.

Their love for you has nothing to do with the way they act. Your love for them will never be enough. They have to want to get better, and want to change, or it will never happen.

I have learned I cannot do it for my husband. I can help him by loving him and supporting him, and finding resources to help, but he has to make the move to go and to do it.

He has to want it.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. We have so many similarities. Especially using complete denial as a coping mechanism. My husband was in the Air Force and did 3 deployments between 2005-2009. Neither of us recognized that he had PTSD until 2013 after he had been out for 4 years. We had even done some marriage counseling where the therapist suggested that he might have PTSD. I recall being irritated because I felt that they were giving him an excuse for his behavior and it was ridiculous because I viewed his deployments as if he had been on vacation. Like your husband, he had never shared anything concerning. It’s certainly a survival mechanism for us because how would we function and take care of our families if we were always on high alert knowing they were in danger. It took about another year after it was mentioned before things got bad enough that I could no longer ignore reality. He was in the guard and was set to deploy again which basically caused him to shut down and implode. I find it somewhat incredulous now that I was so disconnected from the reality of war, but I really do think it was self preservation.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. You are right when you say they have to want it. My husband was just diagnosed 8 months ago, but we have been dealing with this for 6-8 years on our own. Even now we are on our own. His fire dept is refusing to accept that he got it from work. Their requirements for him were to go to an outpatient treatment program but all they could find was one for rape victims so that is as far as it went. A man going ibti a group of women who were raped??? We are currently fighting workers comp to get help with his treatment that we are paying for out of pocket.

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