Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pain of the Invisible Scar


The main goal of this post is to bring light to what it is like to live with PTSD through the eyes of a Military Wife (myself). My Husband served a year in Iraq from 2005-2006. We have been blessed with three children. I am a very open person and intend to write my blog that way. I encourage comments and look forward to this new adventure that we are going to have together. 

I started writing when I was a young teenager and needed an outlet for all of the overwhelming feelings I was dealing with. I struggled with having to live in a house with an alcoholic Father, co-dependent Mother, and a younger sister who I felt responsible to protect from it all. To this day even though my sister is well into her twenties I still feel the desire to protect her from the world. My Father has since gotten sober which I am very proud of him for but I still struggle with how to have a relationship with a person whose now someone I never knew growing up. Does that make sense? For those of you who have parents with addiction issues I think you will better understand what I mean by that. It is hard to explain but it is as if you grew-up with your parent always being a certain way and now that they are sober, they are somebody very different.

I struggle to have open conversations with my Dad about my Husband’s PTSD because while I know he genuinely wants to understand what on earth is going on in my marriage and home, at the end of the day he seems to be of the thinking that if Paul would just get out of the house and go to work that everything would be better. Sadly that is just not the truth. Paul (Hubby) will never be able to just forget and move on from watching his best friend burn to death. Those smells and sounds will forever be burned into his memory. Why is that so hard for people to understand? 

I find that family members seem to struggle the most with trying to understand what PTSD, TBI, and any combat related injury can do to your everyday life. While you are still in the recovery and acceptance phase of what happened while you are deployed it is very hard to keep those “demons” at bay. Just getting out of bed each day can be a challenge.

I wish more people understood the pain of an invisible scar.

Submitted by JA Raines

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