MONDAY 14 AUGUST
I delivered my husband to the airport this morning, and he will finally be admitted to the PTSD ward tomorrow.
He was apprehensive, knowing that this hospital stay is going to really test him. He knows the depth of his mind, and it scares the hell out of him. But we had reached the point where it was no longer a matter of if.
I don’t quite know how to feel yet. I was ready to let my breath out, but a poorly-timed migraine has wiped me flat today. Hopefully an early night will clear my head for work tomorrow.
I will blog soon when my mind isn’t such a mess!
TUESDAY 15 AUGUST
He has a room, he is fed, he has been assessed by multiple professionals, and he has begun meeting some of the other people on the ward.
But most of all, he is safe.
So why have I felt on the verge of tears all day? I’m usually a vault, but today, when I consulted with a patient who was struggling with his severe PTSD (of all things!), I felt myself coming unstuck.
But then my migraine finally lifted during my shift at work, and my wonderfully supportive mother came around to feed my kids, so I escaped for a precious hour of hockey training in the crisp night air. Just for me.
I can do this.
WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST
Today, I have no words. But tears, I’ve shed plenty.
My day began with an email from the insurance company, bluntly informing me that their internal senior review has concluded that the decision to terminate my husband’s entitlements will remain unchanged. No payments, no income.
I’m utterly lost. It took all my strength just to go through the motions at work today. I was numb. And beaten.
And then, after messily struggling through a call to the doctors clinic to book appointments for myself and the kids for our psychologist referrals, I completely fell apart. My strength depleted.
So much of me is ashamed to tell you this, but I know I need to be honest.
My beautiful kids, shocked at the sight of me curled in a ball on my bed, did whatever they could. And in the end, my daughter found my phone and sent a text to my mother for help. “Dear Granny, mum is crying and we need you, so please help us…”
I know you all keep telling me how strong I am, but today I am broken. The tears just won’t stop.
Today, the bullies won.
THURSDAY 17 AUGUST
I am tired, and so very drained. But today I was determined to get up and make the very next step in this fight.
I spent two hours channelling my energy into an extremely fierce email to the insurance company; a company that seems set on ruining lives that are already marred by PTSD.
I sent my vehement email to nine individuals at the company, in varying levels. So how many replies did I get? How many phone calls?
And that’s exactly how many chances I’m going to give this immoral company. Zero.
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST
A day of trying to feel normal, and focusing on something other than unethical bureaucrats.
So I made sure I found some joy during my last day at work. Not ideal timing, switching jobs amidst the chaos in my private life, but at least I now have four days of breathing space before I start my new job.
And then, at the end of a long and cold day, a beautiful friend surprised me with a pot of vegetable soup, made with love.
Arriving home, I felt lifted and I felt supported, which is probably why the new email that was waiting didn’t break me this time.
Short, and to the point. The insurance company still don’t want to know about us being real people, they just gave me a variety of avenues of where I can direct my complaints. All of them away from their company, and all of them lengthy and stressful processes.
They have shown no concern for a disabled paramedic in hospital. They have shown no concern for a family unjustly cut off from all financial support. And they have shown no concern for the stress and hardship their actions are directly causing.
But still, they will not beat us down.
SATURDAY 19 AUGUST
I love to write. Ever since I learnt to read, I have loved words and how they can make me feel.
But it has only been in the last year or two that I have come to realise the full power of words. Not only of those I read, but of those I now write.
And today, for the first time, my husband finally gets it.
His hospital psychiatrist set him a task over the weekend of writing a full page about one of his most traumatic memories. Not the event itself, but about its consequences and meaning.
Would he do it? My husband has never been one for words, and I knew this was going to really push him. But he knows he’s there to heal, and to heal he’ll have no choice but to hurt. All over again.
He wrote nine pages. And not only did he complete the task, but before he could stop them, his memories began spilling onto the paper. Page after page.
He filled those nine pages with some of the darkest memories that haunt his mind. Images and events that have never once passed his lips, in all these years.
For the first time, they are down in front of him in ink. And, just maybe, those memories have lost a little of their power now they’ve found a way out of his spent mind.
Today, thankfully, my husband finally gets it.
SUNDAY 20 AUGUST
It’s seeming to be coming in waves now. Yet another day where my body and my emotions have let me down.
This time I tried to listen. I tried to stop when it said stop. And I tried to let myself feel when the tears began to flow for no reason. But also for every reason.
How can I feel so strong and determined one day, and so utterly wrecked and pathetic the next?
I just wish there was a pause button on life. Just so I could catch my breath…
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