This is going to be one of the most selfish and self centered posts I’ve ever done or ever will write, but all of it is the God’s honest truth. If you have PTSD of any kind, I’m going to go ahead an apologize now for anything that I may say that offends you. I’m sorry.
He’s always been a little on the hyper awareness side. When we first started dating, we always had to sit in the corner a restaurant, so that no one could be behind him. If we were anywhere else, we had to be where he could basically have his back against a wall, and see every single door and window in the room so he could be fully aware of who was coming or going and when. Now that he’s been deployed three times, it’s worse.
It’s bad enough he carries a concealed weapon out of of pure fear that someone is going to do something to him. He is ever ready for something, with no exact definition of what, is going to happen. There is no other option than a corner booth at a restaurant. We hardly ever go anywhere that is going to be crowded. A trip to Walmart as a family might end with a man who is beet red from stress or anger. A trip on post for the 4th of July festivities was cut very short because of no weapon to defend himself, way too many people, and not being able to be in control of the situation.
He’s angry. A lot. Not at me, or Bubba, but the world. “The world is damaged.” “The world is angry.” “Everyone in the world is evil. There is no good anywhere.” He snaps easily, and apparently has put hands on a few people at work. He has little to no patience, not like he really had a whole lot before the deployments.
He’s on medication. Two from what I understand. Both for depression. I guess they work, if you can call it that. He doesn’t get as angry as he used to around the house. Now he just comes home from work, and if he’s got time, he sleeps. A lot. He’s always tired, always sleepy. He doesn’t sleep at night, unless he’s taken his sleeping pill. One of his sleeping pills works better than the other, mainly because one causes the nightmares that keep him awake in the middle of the night.
He’s distant. Some days, I have no idea who I’m living with. I mean, I really have no idea. We’ll have been married for 5 years this December, and half of that time he’s been gone. When he’s gone, he’s either been in a war zone or training to go to a war zone. The two years we were together before we got married, we lived in different states for a little while, and then he went on his first 18 month deployment to Iraq. In retrospect, we hardly knew each other before we got married, and with all of the deployments, training, and PTSD, I still don’t know him.
It’s lonely. I did not want to move back out here when he came home from this last deployment. I would have given just about anything to be able to stay home with my family, but that was not the right thing to do. I am married. My duty is to my husband. My duty is to my son. I couldn’t be selfish and keep Bubba away from his father, but some days when he’s having a bad day, I really wonder if there is any point to us even being here. Bubba gets to see his daddy for three hours on a good day, and when he’s had a rough day, I wonder if those three hours did more harm than good.
I’m sorry. I really am. I’m sorry he deployed three times to a war zone. I’m sorry that he had to see and deal with whatever it was that he had to deal with. I’m sorry he’s got such an anxiety problem and is so depressed about everything. I’m sorry there is such a social stigma with PTSD. I’m sorry that if he were to get in-patient treatment somewhere it could hurt his career outside of the Army. I’m sorry that he has no career options in the Army. I’m sorry that I’m here and he has to tolerate his wife and tolerate his son. I’m sorry we decided to have a child and now Bubba has to grow up and learn to cope with his father. I’m sorry that I can still find enjoyment and happiness in life when he can not.
It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault he deployed three times. It’s not my fault he is the way he is. It’s not my fault I don’t understand why he has PTSD when nothing serious occurred while he was deployed. It’s not my fault that if something serious did occur while he was deployed, that he didn’t tell me. It’s not my fault that he doesn’t enjoy anything.
I can only pray. I can only pray that God will heal him, or comfort him in some sense. I can only pray that God will give me the strength that I need to keep this marriage together. I can only pray that God will give me the understanding I need to be more compassionate. I can only pray that God will give the ability to give Bubba all the love and affection he deserves when it may be missing it from one parent. I can only pray that God will give me the patience I so desperately need. I can only pray that God will see us through this dark time, and help us in the future.