A Life with PTSDAugust 15, 2012
I am a woman who has learned the hard way how to be in love; beyond PTSD. My husband is my world! He makes me smile, he gives me a reason and a meaning for life; and in return I am forced to give more strength than I ever knew I had to support him. He is a man who has been through a lot in life and watched as his friends gave their lives only feet away from him in Iraq. He is everything I would define a hero to be. He is someone who suffers from severe PTSD.
Maybe it’s the mini pharmacy on our counter, the extreme mood swings or the complete lack of affection towards me (90% of the time) that gives it away; but simply knowing him you will easily discover his PTSD, and neither of us cares to hide it. It is what he did for this country that has put him there.
PTSD has caused him to say hurtful things and later, in his own way, apologize because he knew he went for “the low blow.” It has caused him to react to things in ways that later have him near tears because, in his words, he feels like a monster. PTSD has caused him to shut himself out from the world and completely deny any type of communication. I watch him twitch and struggle in his sleep as he has nightmares that he’s fighting for his life. I’ve watched him go from happy to indescribably angry in a matter of moments. I have endured hurtful things he’s said, and him destroying things I bought him all because of a petty argument. I’ve seen him attempt to get out of a moving car full of rage all because of the way he felt someone looked at him. And this is just a peek into our life with his PTSD.
Watching someone you love so much go through this is beyond heartbreaking. I wish I would take it all away and suffer myself instead of him having to go through it. So often people shake their head and look at me with confusion and concern. I am continually defending my decisions assuring them that I KNOW with all my heart that he would never hurt me, that they just don’t understand him and they have no clue about PTSD. My husband is the kind of man that would give his life for someone he just met; he is the kind of man that loves with all his heart. He is a man that cherishes children and animals and it destroys him to see them hurt or sad. I have watched him break down into tears more than once when he’s seen the utter happiness in the face of a child who has suffered so much before. He is a man who is willing and ready to give his life for this country and its people if they appreciate it or not.
Yes, my husband has PTSD. Yes, we have to endure things that normal couples don’t and normal people don’t understand. Yes, he goes 0 to 90 in a matter of seconds. But he is most definitely not a monster. He is not someone who would ever hurt me or anyone else (unless they did something to truly warrant it). He is not broken and he is not damaged. He is a United States Marine who has put his life on the line for our Freedom, he is a Hero.
People do not understand PTSD, but I truly want to educate them and bring light to the reality of this horrible disease!
Written by: Heather
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