Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Being Married to PTSD Came with Package Deal--Deal With It and Learn

This was a letter to 

Ms. Vicki: Is PTSD a Forgotten Problem?

"I am married to an Air Force officer who has been active for 15 years. He was diagnosed with PTSD after his last deployment in 2010. I am very disappointed because people don't talk about PTSD anymore. I feel that it's a forgotten illness because there is a draw down of forces and the wars are over....I don't think any of the professionals understand that I am suffering, too. What about the wives or other spouses? What can I do to try and make my marriage last and stand the test of time?"
Honestly, all I can think about is that with all the instant access to what this generation has, how can they know so little? After all, we learned, found support and when we couldn't we created the support for others. We did it without the internet. Shocking for the younger generation, I know, but life did happen before we even had cellphones.

I am sure you remember those days. Having to find a payphone when you were going to be late or needed directions. When you took long rides and actually listened to the radio or a cassette tape, instead of hearing the chimes of a new update about what someone posted on Facebook or Tweet from a friend...or the President. The times when we actually sat and talked over coffee instead of taking selfies.

Sometimes I wonder if the younger spouses think we were always this old! I met my husband when I was just 23! Good Lord! I am old! But it has been one hell of an experience being married this long. Some of it sucked. Most of it, after we left the doorway of hell, has left me wanting to see others make it this long. It was so worth the effort!

Maybe they are used to it...everything coming easy. After all, if they don't find the answers they need in their circle of linkers to their accounts, it must not exist! God forbid they do something like a Google search when we actually had to get into our cars and drive to the library. I don't know about you, but being an Army brat, I had to know what I was getting into. I read clinical books with a dictionary to understand what Vietnam did to my then boyfriend. All they have to do is sit with their laptops in their p-js and get all the answers they need.

So why don't they? Why haven't they discovered that none of this is easy and that is why their lives are a lot harder than they need to be?

Because it is hard work and far from something that can be reduced down to 140 characters. If they really want to save their marriages, or save the lives of their husbands, they need to actually be willing to fight for them.

One of the groups I belong to started just as long ago working on PTSD and offering support in tiny groups for veterans and families. Check out Point Man International Ministries and see what I mean. If you want an eyeopener on what was going on back before the flood (Yes, Noah) then discover what we knew back in the 80's when the best researchers started out and we found our own way our of the abyss.

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