#DearVA - 911


Coming soon...

Heroes and those who love them talking about their lives, the realities of Life After Combat, and what they truly need from the #NewVA.


7 comments:

  1. Dear VA,

    I have been dating a former navy vet and it has been a tumultuous union, but to be honest although he was diagnosed with PTSD, it seems based on our union that he.may have already had psychological problems prior to his military service, there is nothing he shared that would impact combat PTSD but rather other psychological factors and I am not a doctor but it seems he is in denial. I have tried to be understanding and supportive but he never takes accountability for his actions and uses PTSD as a copout, I'm sorry but I have endured the behavior long enough to see the pattern and his thought process that's its excusable and it is not. He is verbally abusive, I am constantly belittled, insulted, cursed at, he is very calculating and even manipulating. In the past he would use the fact of being in the military as a credibility tactic that no one would.believe me over him, he has on occasion pulled the plugs out from the tv so I cannot watch tv, turn off lights in the middle.of washing dishes when in one of his.moods and if he drinks the PTSD amplifies, there were days I'd catch a bus and leave just to get away from the apt. I feel he purposely damages my credibility to make me look like the bad guy, he.humiliates me and makes me.feel less of a person, he says sorry continuously and doesn't change behavior and the I love you are meaningless, my question is how much more must a partner endure? I could never consider marrying a man of.such character it pains me.to stay and going into a shelter is only a temporary fix. I must share my story as there is a double edged sword when we endure such things, its hard, hurtful and at times very mean and uncalled for.

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    Replies
    1. Im an only daughter of a Vietnam Vet with PTSD. I have lived the very description of your guy in my Dad for 40 years. It takes all I have to forgive him every day and love him unconditionally. You are just not strong enough for your relationship and should get out. You have to decide what you can endure, and it sounds like if you dont trust that your guy was forever damaged on a level you'll never understand, then you should end it and find someone capable of having a healthy relationship. My Mom was so patient for the first decade and semi-tolerant for the second, until she left my Dad. And rightfully so, he was awful to her. You clearly don't understand what has happened to him. He clearly has it severely enough that he doesn't always know what he's doing is hurting you...or he's doing it because unconsciously he wants to push you away because he doesn't think he deserves to be loved. People with PTSD may have had some issues before being exposed to a traumatic event, I agree with that theory. That those are the more susceptible to not having the proper coping mechanisms in place to deal with something so horrific as they have experienced. But all of the things you described are very similar to what thousands upon hundreds of thousands of families go through every day. Its sad. But don't resent or blame him, love him or just go. Do yourself a favor.
      Kindly,
      Someone who lives it too

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    2. It's like asking someone with Turrets to stop ticking, someone with ADHD to just calm down, someone in a wheelchair to just get up and walk already or someone who has been an alcoholic for 20 years to just stop drinking. It takes an even stronger person to have a relationship with someone with PTSD, and enough self-esteem for both of you. Enough love for both of you. Enough patience and tolerance and willingness to stop them when they act out and TALK about how the PTSD is effecting them and your relationship. PTSD sufferers are tortured, on so many levels you have NO IDEA. It is hard. It is humiliating, hurtful, mean and uncalled for, but it's not purposeful. They hurt so much that they project it onto those around them until they push everyone away and are alone. So just move on, so you both can find partners more suitable. You're not doing either of you any favors.

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  2. Dear VA,

    I'll start by saying that I truly believe that the majority of you do care about the health and status of veterans, as I'd assume many of your are vets or family members yourselves. What I do not understand is how families, specifically spouses (and others significant to vets) are completely left out of the treatment process. Not only that, but we aren't even provided support resources for ourselves and our children. Many of us do not fully understand PTSD and lack the skills to help our veteran. Many of us also lack coping skills.
    Personally, I have tried many times to reach out to the Frank Tejeda VA Clinic here in San Antonio to see if there were any support services available to spouses and children. Nothing... I've called the VA Caregiver Support Hotline many times and received the names of the VA Caregiver Support Coordinators who I was told to reach out to. And you know what? I won't mention any names, however, I will say that I left a long voicemail on one of the coordinators voicemail explaining who I was and the type of support we could use as a family. I never received a call back. Called the Caregiver hotline again and received another name. This time I was able to connect with one of the coordinators. I appreciated the fact that this person listened to my concerns and allowed me to vent. This particular coordinator told me that she would send me some resources that she thought would help. I was glad to hear that because at this point, I figured anything would help. A week passed nothing, another one and nothing and so forth... This person never called me back, never emailed me the "resources" she told me she would and I still have not heard anything back from her. This has been my experience with the Frank Tejeda Clinic in San Antonio, Texas.
    You know, it's been said by the VA to "reach out", but many times when people do (especially spouses), we get told things such as "oh, well, there is nothing we can do or maybe you can look elsewhere", "we are not the only resource you know", and of course "well, we mainly deal with the veteran".
    Meanwhile, I haven't seen my spouse in about a week, week in a half maybe and unfortunately, this has become a common occurrence. We have children and it breaks my heart to watch them suffer through this. I do my best to provide them with as much love and emotional support as I possibly can. I am graduate student in Master of Social Work program, so there are aspects of this I do understand such as patient confidentiality and things of that nature. What I don't understand is why there isn't any support for spouses, children, and other significant ones.
    While I've only just embarked on my career, I pray that I NEVER as a social worker treat a client or one of their significant others in such a dismissive way when they are hurting and need support to. And if you, the VA, can't provide the support nor the resources to help these families, then at least help these families find resources and other organizations that might be able to help them.
    To all of you spouses and other family members out there, hang in there. I feel your pain and I do care and even though I am fighting my own battle, I am very much so able to empathize with you. It's probably of no consolation, but just know you are in my heart and my thoughts, all of you.

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  3. Dear VA,

    I'll start by saying that I truly believe that the majority of you do care about the health and status of veterans, as I'd assume many of your are vets or family members yourselves. What I do not understand is how families, specifically spouses (and others significant to vets) are completely left out of the treatment process. Not only that, but we aren't even provided support resources for ourselves and our children. Many of us do not fully understand PTSD and lack the skills to help our veteran. Many of us also lack coping skills.
    Personally, I have tried many times to reach out to the Frank Tejeda VA Clinic here in San Antonio to see if there were any support services available to spouses and children. Nothing... I've called the VA Caregiver Support Hotline many times and received the names of the VA Caregiver Support Coordinators who I was told to reach out to. And you know what? I won't mention any names, however, I will say that I left a long voicemail on one of the coordinators voicemail explaining who I was and the type of support we could use as a family. I never received a call back. Called the Caregiver hotline again and received another name. This time I was able to connect with one of the coordinators. I appreciated the fact that this person listened to my concerns and allowed me to vent. This particular coordinator told me that she would send me some resources that she thought would help. I was glad to hear that because at this point, I figured anything would help. A week passed nothing, another one and nothing and so forth... This person never called me back, never emailed me the "resources" she told me she would and I still have not heard anything back from her. This has been my experience with the Frank Tejeda Clinic in San Antonio, Texas.
    You know, it's been said by the VA to "reach out", but many times when people do (especially spouses), we get told things such as "oh, well, there is nothing we can do or maybe you can look elsewhere", "we are not the only resource you know", and of course "well, we mainly deal with the veteran".
    Meanwhile, I haven't seen my spouse in about a week, week in a half maybe and unfortunately, this has become a common occurrence. We have children and it breaks my heart to watch them suffer through this. I do my best to provide them with as much love and emotional support as I possibly can. I am graduate student in Master of Social Work program, so there are aspects of this I do understand such as patient confidentiality and things of that nature. What I don't understand is why there isn't any support for spouses, children, and other significant ones.
    While I've only just embarked on my career, I pray that I NEVER as a social worker treat a client or one of their significant others in such a dismissive way when they are hurting and need support to. And if you, the VA, can't provide the support nor the resources to help these families, then at least help these families find resources and other organizations that might be able to help them.
    To all of you spouses and other family members out there, hang in there. I feel your pain and I do care and even though I am fighting my own battle, I am very much so able to empathize with you. It's probably of no consolation, but just know you are in my heart and my thoughts, all of you.

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  4. !! REMEMBER 1 JAN 2016 All VETERANS FLY YOUR FLAG UPSIDE DOWN FOR

    THE DURESS!!
    I call out to all American Veterans on 1 Jan 2016 For one day

    displaying this is the military way of saying we are under dress

    YOUR FLAG UPSIDE DOWN (for Duress) We are under siege (ANYONE THAT

    SAYS THIS IS WRONG ARE NOT FOR THE VETS BUT ON THE VA'S SIDE AS TO

    KEEP THE STATUS QUO). the VA is covering up and will continue the

    same methods as before. but if
    20 million Flags are in DURESS across our country Our Washington

    Representative will have to act properly or be replaced... Hillary

    is not our friend and neither is Bill
    I'm a disabled vet (I got my Paper work and registered in the VA as

    such) service connected i have been the system since 1986
    As one of my service officer of the VVA told me once, the people

    running the VA are
    not Vets (SOME ARE AND SHAME ON THEM), and they believe it is their

    money.
    The district offices make all decisions on all aspects of the VA

    mainly to
    determine Disability ratings for the VET's in their arena of

    influence. They
    are like any Insurance Company !!! Deny Deny Deny !!!, and hope you
    go away and give up trying. !!DON'T GIVE UP KEEP APPEALING..!! Now

    they
    give out 142 million dollars for bonuses to the employees who take
    advantage of VET's, How many doctors or nurses could they have

    hired.
    !! REMEMBER 1 JAN 2016 FLY YOUR FLAG UPSIDE DOWN FOR THE DURESS!!
    THE VA (THE WHOLE (THE NEW CASTERS ARE LYING WHEN THEY SAY VET'S

    ARE HAPPY
    WITH THE SERVICE(COME TO DETROIT)) If you don't think I'm right,

    don't do
    it, and get what you get as a Single Vet applying for VA benefits(

    I had
    the VVA fight with me for 14 years this is all documented) REMEMBER

    1 JAN
    2016 WE ARE UNDER DURESS From BOLD FACE LIES FROM OUR WASHINGTON

    REPRESENTATIVES
    !! REMEMBER 1 JAN 2016 FLY YOUR FLAG UPSIDE DOWN FOR THE DURESS!!

    One Day
    Lets get something straight I would in no way dishonor our flag,

    but this is the military way of say we are under dress, and FOR One

    Day will show US as Real People who need care Vets help Vets ( Tom

    Cornfield)

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  5. Dear VA,

    My husband is a 3 time Iraq and Afghanistan vet with PTSD. He is receiving disability compensation for his PTSD but he is not seeking treatment. I would like to think that if a vet is getting compensated he should be getting treatment.

    My husband is a very proud man. Proud to a fault and he is resistant to go talk to anyone but his PTSD is hurting him and our family in ways I never imagined. If he were required to get treatment in order to get his compensation - I bet he would go.

    Furthermore, I say this half jokingly, but I should get compensated for his PTSD. It is my children and myself who are suffering. He is self medicating and zoned out most of the time so it doesn't appear he is suffering. If not compensated for my secondary PTSD I should at least have access to mental healthcare. I don't even know where to start.

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