Monday, November 14, 2011

The truth...

You know, it is hard trying to be tough all of the time. It is hard trying to be strong and positive all of the time... actually it is exhausting.

I am not one to tell people about my problems. Normally when people ask how I am I reply with "Fine!" or "GREAT!" when I really am not. Why do I do this? Because I truly believe that people really don't want the truth when thy ask this...

Yes, I am happy I have lost almost 70 lbs since April. I feel great, I look great (aside from saggy skin, blech), and I have a ton more confidence than I ever did before; but there is a side of my life that most people do not see because I am (believe it or not) a private person. I do not want to give the illusion that my life is perfect, it is not, I just don't want everyone knowing what goes on behind closed doors... but part of me feels like I need to step out from behind the closed doors and speak out because I know there are a lot of military families that are going through what I am now... and I chose to write about it because there is finally a resolution in my life.

Some of my closest friends know what is going on because I have chosen to share with them. For advice, for support, as a sounding board. Most do not know because it is embarrassing for me. My husband has PTSD, I know it, most people who know him know it, but he has not been formally diagnosed yet. With Combat PTSD come a myriad of issues and struggles that "normal" families never encounter.  Allow me to share.

My husband has been deployed numerous times, I believe that the one he is currently on is his 4th or 5th deployment. He has seen death, and I am pretty damn sure he has caused death (I would be stupid to believe he hasn't). What must this do to a person? To know that you ended a life, to see your brothers-in-arms die right in front of you while you are still alive by some grace of God. To see your fellow soldiers deal with being cheated on and divorced while they are fighting in another country and helpless to do anything; afraid that you are next for personal turmoil or death daily.

I cannot count how many times my husband has gotten angry over something and told me he wanted a divorce. I know that it has been a lot... and this past week I had enough. I agreed to the divorce, I was tired of hearing it, tired of the damn hurtful things he would say. I just resigned and said "Ok, fine." I guess he thought I was bluffing, but I had called my father, called my cousin, talked to my friends, talked to an FRSA, ready to go back "home" and stop the madness. I was looking at places to live, looking for work... I was ready to start over no matter how much it scared me. It would have been better than the alternative of continuing to live with doubt about my relationship. I was ready to go.

I guess my husband realized I was serious... but he was not. He did not want a divorce. He did not want to lose me and the kids, he said he did for reasons unknown to him, but he saw that he was about to. He agreed to go get help. In the past I had asked, begged, and pleaded with him to get help. He refused saying there was nothing wrong with him. I knew better.

Knowing he was FINALLY taking the steps to get the help he needed gave me some relief, but I am still wary. For now I am putting off leaving him to see what progress he makes. I KNOW he can be a good man, a good husband, and good father... he just needs help to get past all of the hurt, anger, and fear within him. I cannot help him, I know this... but I know I could not continue to live with him the way he was (and I really hope this helps him).

So my life is not perfect, my marriage is not perfect, and my husband being in the military does not come without added heartache, pain, and turmoil- things the movies do not show. Being married to a soldier is not like being married to a "normal" man. Living the military life is not all glamour. Being a military spouse IS the hardest thing to be if you have a man that has seen war, been injured, and seen death. No man comes out of that unscathed.

I just hope that people do not judge him too harshly. He has his issues, and he is taking the steps needed to fix them. He is not a violent man, he just gets angry and says some really hurtful things and wants to stop that so that he can have a family that loves him as much as he loves us but has such a hard time showing.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that all of this is going on. Please know that we love and support you and your whole family from near and far. I hope that your husband is able and ready to get the help that he needs.
I cannot imagine how incredibly difficult this all is for you and trying to hold everything together in the process.
You do not always have to be strong, it is okay, on the same note I also know that is is scary to not be strong ( I have issues with letting go and being vulnerable)
I think of you often and wonder how everything is going. I have also wondered how your hubby was doing with the PTSD. I hope for you some resolution, some stablility and some help. (((Hugs)))

Amanda said...

First Good For You for saying it out loud! It's not easy to admit that your soldier has invisible wounds & even harder to explain to outsiders. My husband/soldier also has PTSD & it took him about a year after a really hard deployment to get help. He is now on medications & see's a counselor every other week when he is home. He is currently deployed for the 4th time. I worry daily about if he will slip back into old habits due to another deployment. It does take work & it is a wait & see kind of game. There are so many times when I think "enough! I can't take one more fight one more unexpected explosion". Then there is reality where I can't picture my life with out him either.
It has been a long battle for our family & my soldier has more good days then bad now. So if your both really committed to helping him get the help he needs- then know it can get worse before it get's better. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Keeping you in our prayers.

Mare said...

You ARE the strongest woman I know! And ...your right not many can do what we do. You have my love Mrs. and my prayers. You know how to reach me always in all ways.
The Crazy Italian with the tin hat!