Monday, March 30, 2009

Missing My Husband When He's Already Home...

We received this story from the wife of an OIF Veteran yesterday. With her permission, we're sharing it on our blog. We're sharing it for many reasons... mostly, though, that it speaks so strongly to the heart of what so many wives and husbands of our combat Heroes are dealing with.

PTSD at its worst is an cruel beast that can destroy once loving families. That's why it's SO important for all of us who are part of the "new" generation of Veterans and families to work together. Our marriages and families are worth saving... but the only way they will be saved is if we get the help, information, support, and resources we need. NONE of us can fight this beast alone.

If this story sounds familiar to you... or if you and your family are having other struggles for which you can't find help... PLEASE take 10 - 40 minutes and complete our Congressional Survey. The only way to get what we need is to know exactly what's needed!

Here's the story of this Veteran's wife:

Is it PTSD?? Where do I find help??

My husband was deployed in Iraq for 14 months he came home the 2nd week of December, about 4 months ago. I was so ecstatic to have him home after being without him for over a year. He had mood swings while he was deployed and since I was the only one he had the most contact with out of his family I guess I was the one he took most of his stress out on. I have no idea what happened over there, what he saw, or what he did, but I tried to be more than understanding and blame his anger on the situation, telling myself I didn't know what he was going through, but I knew I had to be there for him.

Now that he's home, I feel like I lost my husband in Iraq and this person is a stranger. He doesn't come home after work until late at night, he doesn't talk to me, he doesn't answer my calls and when he is home he is very distant. He often sleeps on the couch and it seems he is uncomfortable being around me or showing affection.

We started marriage counseling about a! month ago, but that has shown little improvement on the situation. In counseling everything seems great and things will work, but once we are home everything stays the same.

I've tried to find help, I've talked to the chaplain, my husband's SGT, our counselor, and anyone I could think of that might be able to help. What I am beginning to understand is that there really isn't significant help for people in our situation and although he is home and healthy and wasn't physically wounded in war, he lost who he was there.

I gave the greatest contribution of my life to this war; the love of my life, and there isn't anyone willing to help me get him back. About 2 weeks ago we hit rock bottom...I couldn't take him lying to me anymore; telling me he was at work late when really he was at his friend's house and when he did come home he busied himself with everything else and distanced himself from family life or any kind of affection or intmacy with me.

After 4 months of being alone, crying, depression, trying to understand but not being abe to I finally told him if things didn't change soon I was going home because I couldn't take the lonliness anymore. He told me to leave....and today here I am...700 miles away from him. I've been home for a week and he wont answer my calls or texts ..it's like he doesn't care that I'm gone...I miss him so much...I want my husband back.

I was searching Google just now for anyone who might be able to help me and I found this site. I don't know if I will find help here or if there is help for my situation, but atleast I found somewhere that I can tell my story and maybe someone can relate. If anyone at all has any suggestions, words of comfort or inspiration, or can just relate and let me know I'm not the only one that feels like my husband died in Iraq and i'm losing control of everything I valued as worth living for contact me at jessdm1223 -at- yahoo -dot- com

9 comments:

  1. I would like to thank this wife for sharing. I am currently doing my PhD focusing on the familail issues surrounding soldiers affected by their combat stress. As a combat veteran's wife, I understand it is not easy reasching out and even harder to find help. If this spouse would like to contact me I will try to help point her toward some information that may help her.

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  2. I would like to talk to you about this. I have gone through something similar with my husband since his return from Iraq in 2007. If you would like to contact me for some advice or just to hear my story and that your not alone please let me know. My e-mail address is kristen_bledsoe@yahoo.com. Oh, and my husband and I are still together...there is hope!

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  3. Christi & Anonymous -

    Thanks you both for your comments. I've passed them along to the author of this post.

    Christi, the Veteran's wife would like to contact you, but your profile doesn't list an e-mail address. Please e-mail her with your information (her e-mail address is listed at the end of her story).

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  4. My name is Brenda and I'm the spouse of Navy retiree who spent 15 months deployed to Afghanistan. After reading your story I felt as if I was reading about my spouse and myself. I would be happy to talk to this spouse, share my story and information that I have been able to get with her. After doing alot of research, I have found that there is not alot of help out there for the spouses and families when dealing with a service member who has been diagnosed with PTSD. I can be reached at rewilson@tds.net.

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  5. My name is Kristle, and believe me, I know exactly how you feel, my husband is now medically retired from the Army for TBI and PTSD, and a multitude of other Iraq related things. I know what it feels like to "miss him" and im doing my darndest to try and keep us together....Im having a really hard time accepting this new person he has become. Please feel free to email me. Natesownwife@aol.com

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  6. I am crying right now because I can relate so well. I haven't had to leave, and some of our situations are different, but I know that feeling so well. Loving them so much but not knowing what to do because he just doesn't seem to care about anything. I'm so thankful for everyone who is sharing their stories. I was reamed earlier today for some of the feelings I've gone through in all of this. I was feeling really terrible about what she said and these testimonys really normalize things for me. I'm not just a nut job. At this point with us, I am not sure what is going to happen. We're going through a lot right now. Things are so up and down. I never know what the next day will hold. I just pray that we all can find some relief somehow and somewhere.

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  7. My husband is currently on his way home from Afghanistan. I already do not recognize him from our phone conversations of the last few monthes. He is angry and distant and recently told me that he can no longer feel anything at all. He said that he doesn't even want to see me or our family. He was given a choice for his next duty station before leaving the war zone. He chose the most far away and remote one available. He then informed me that he wants to pcs alone. I asked him what that meant, and what I am supposed to do. He just responded, "I don't know." I am worried about him. I am worried about our marriage. I am worried about our family. He sounds like a complete stranger to me. This is not the man I knew.
    He called me a few minutes ago from Germany, waiting for a flight out. I was so happy to hear that he was finally making his way home, but he did not sound that way at all. Instead, he sounded even more angry, distant and cold.
    This is breaking my heart.
    I found this website, searching for advice.

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  8. WIFES - GET YOUR HUSBANDS BACK!
    Hi,
    I was a sufferer for a long time due to a serious car accident which nearly took my life. In our support group we had four returned soldiers or should I say 'Retrenched Soldiers' as they were serious sufferers and one of them was very suicidal. I was lucky to have been introduced to this terrific workbook. It is called My PTSD Workbook and I purchased it from http://www.treatptsd.com and I have to say I was feeling ‘different’ from the first ten pages. Today I HAVE MY LIFE BACK thanks to that book - now I tell everyone about it when they come to the support group. Three of the four soldiers in our group are feeling fabulous within themselves and one of the wifes is so thankful she now is councelling newcomers to the centre. She tells everyone to buy the book.
    You should contact the writer of the book GK Talbott and put it on your site.
    I Love your site and the friendly feeling it has.
    Regards,

    Barb

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  9. I am the army wife who iriginally wrote this blog and I would like to speak further with the anonymous person who replied in the comment 2 above this one. She spoke of her husband getting ready to return adn being distatn and not wanting to be around family and wanting to PCS alone. This sounds identical to how my husband was even before he came home and I really think it could be beneficial to both of us if we couls talk. please email me at jessdm1223@yahoo.com

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