Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The Point of Decision - The internal struggles of being a PTSD/TBI Veterans Wife
I think that for those of us that live with and love a hero with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and TBI (traumatic brain injury), those choices often come more frequently... and too often, during difficult times, they come in seemingly endless waves.
Right now our family is in crisis mode. This time of year (middle of August through the end of February) has "anniversary date" after anniversary date clustered together for my husband. His PTSD goes off the charts with heart breaking regularity each and every year. And, each year I struggle in a place somewhere just this side of hell to keep my head above water.
In this place, I want to lay down and give in. I want to spend my days in bed. I want to shut myself off from the world. I want to run away. I want to scream. I want to sob. I want to let my own hurt, anger, and "well, just &#!* it" feelings overrun me.
The problem with that is that I also know that here in this place, like it or not, I am the glue. If I lay down now, we all come tumbling down. If I give in to becoming angrier and angrier, more and more hurt, less and less kind, it just fuels the broken places that are trying to spiral out of control.
So, the point of decision becomes how I make my choices in this season. Not that I am responsible for my husband... or that I can control his attitude or actions... but I can control mine. I can control them. I can control them. Incredibly hard to do, but I can. So, do I?
Do I respond to shouts with shouts of my own... or simply walk calmly away?
Do I answer grumpiness with my own sullen attitude?
Do I, in those rare times in this place that my husband chooses to reach out, reach back? Or let my own hurt and anger push him away?
Do I keep putting one foot in front of another and keep walking forward, or do I lay down and let this destroy us?
It's a point of decision. It's my part in this fight. It's the choice I have to consciously make, minute by minute, hour by hour, in the months to come.
Here I go...
Proud wife of an OIF Veteran
Founder of FamilyOfaVet.com - an organization dedicated to helping heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive after combat with real world info about PTSD, TBI, and Life After Combat!