Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Moment of Loneliness

"When we truly realize we are alone is when we need others the most."


Loneliness is an emotion that military spouses feel at frequent times in numerous situations. We understand the amount of loneliness that is felt in a room where we are surrounded by people and our spouse is deployed, in a room alone, and in a room sitting with our spouse after they return from war...


I am not sure if the times that I have felt more alone in this life were the times that my husband faced deployments or if it would be now, as he battles PTSD and TBI. There are times when I felt the most alone when he was deployed for obvious reasons... I was home by myself and he was thousands of miles away from me, on a totally different time zone, and fighting a war. Yet, there are moments now, even with him home, that I feel more alone that I have ever felt before. I feel as though a great distance has been cast between my family/friends and I. There are times that I get on Facebook and I will see family that has asked for prayers because someone has caught a cold or is having surgery or they are just having a rough day. I see family and friends posting to one another, just letting them know that they are thinking about them. Then there is me. I am battling major health problems, again, as I write this and an everyday battle watching my husband with his combat problems. With both of us, our problems will never go away. No matter how much people try to push them out of the way, this is it for us. I have noticed that the more we have to work through the more we are alone in this life. I can't tell you the last time someone in my family left a status of "please say a prayer...." followed by what we are going through. For quite awhile I would feel upset and let down over this. I mean, I have given up so much in the past to always be there for my family and friends and hear I am screaming out for someone to just be here for us, for someone to just let me cry and vent when I feel as though I am hitting bottom. After so much time passed, I realized I no longer have that....

It took me months of going back and forth and feeling as though I had done something wrong before it all started to make sense to me. It is much easier for someone to be there for you when things are good than when they begin to fall apart. People in general just don't want to listen or be that shoulder when times get tough. Especially when times hit with me and I am lying in a hospital bed, fighting for my life...or when Kevin is struggling everyday and I am trying my hardest to just pick up the pieces and mold us back together. It gets hard. It gets even harder when I have no outlet. Why am I the go to person when things get tough for my family and friends, but I can't seem to have the same friendship back when I need it? I know I put off as being the "strong one" at all times, but come on, even the strong ones fall down at times.

So, here I am now, at 1:30 in the morning feeling more alone than I have in awhile. I sit here and think that after the week I have had and the things that go through my mind, there is no one I could just call or text and know they would respond and be here for me. I can't help but to wonder why people run when things get tough. People get upset because we no longer go to their houses, so it is easier to just write us off. Do they not realize that we can't anymore. Kevin does not do well at someone else's house and it is just better for people to come here. Do they not realize that there are times when I do have to cancel plans at the last minute because he is having a day? The severity of Kevin's PTSD does keep us home a lot, more so than before and I refuse to go somewhere and be around people without him. If he can't handle it, then I won't be there. That's just how it is supposed to go in marriage. I am the one picking up the pieces, but who is supposed to help me mold the pieces back together when I fall apart? What happened to the friends and family that promised they would always be here?

I know it is hard to see someone that you love struggle with something, but people aren't supposed to walk away from ones they claim to love. Through it all, I have learned who I am and how to better depend on myself and I have even found a deeper closeness between my husband and I. I have found more of an independence and as much as I would love to have the ones that I truly believed in, I can now smile over the lessons I have learned. Even if it did lead me down a long and lonely road. I have learned and discovered who I am in life.

Through this ordeal and learning to pick up the pieces, I have also found a passion and love for PTSD/TBI and other combat related injuries Advocacy. I want to reach out and help others.

In this life, even when we feel isolated from the world, we are never alone. There is always someone that is going through a battle that can share similarities to what we are taking on. So, to all of you that have felt the emotions of being alone like I am now or have in the past, just know there are so many of us that have been in your shoes and would love nothing more than to get you our of where you are now. Just keep your head up.

Even when a night like tonight hits me...I refuse to give up

~ Brittney Biddle
Proud Wife of an OIF/OEF Veteran
FOV Community Blog Coordinator

2 comments:

  1. Dear Brittney,

    Loneliness is a devastating and debilitating feeling with which I am all too familiar. People will never truly understand the ups and downs of military life or life with PTSD/TBIs unless they've been through it.

    It is all too tempting for caretakers to quit living when their loved one suffers with PTSD and TBIs and refuses to participate in activities outside the house. Let me encourage you, you must determine to keep living. In social gatherings, there is no need to explain your solo appearance. If someone inquires of your husband's absence, a simple, "He's not feeling well today" should suffice.

    A long time ago I realized if I didn't take a little time for myself, I was not as efficient at taking care of my husband. I'm glad you have FOV to encourage and support you. I pray that the loneliness you feel tonight passes.

    Many Blessings,
    the PTSD Widow

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  2. Thank you so much for your comment and your words. You are absolutely right that people will never understand the ups and downs and the extreme changes that we experience, unless they have lived through it themselves.

    I think it is harder on me to go to social events without my husband than it is to not go and spend time at home. I tend to feel left out and my mind wonders elsewhere for many reasons when I go somewhere without him. Unless I am around other people that understand. Though, it would definitely be a wise decision to just say "He's not feeling well" other than trying to explain circumstances.

    I think words such as yours help ease the feelings of loneliness and I cannot even tell you what that means to me. Thank you for that. I do feel better today and more like myself, probably a lot of it has to do with him having a good day, which I am extremely grateful for. I know we all have our moments of weakness and loneliness and it sometimes takes someone with a better understanding to help bring us out of those moments.

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