Last night was one of the longest and most frightening nights I can remember having in a long time. Yes, the husband was diagnosed with PTSD, and yes he had started counseling, but all that meant is that all of the emotions, turmoil, and memories that he had held in for 10+ years started coming out.
Last night was a breaking point for him. His reality is that he was doing his school work, and getting increasingly frustrated because he was just not understanding it (algebra- I don't get it either). He got hungry and decided to go to the PX and get something to eat (this was around 8:20pm), the PX was closed and he got angry because he just wanted to eat. He texted me, and I called and he was talking to me. He decided to go to the Shopette and get something. He went in and did not see anything he wanted, so he got a Mountain Dew and went back to his room. When he pulled into the parking lot it was filled with MP's and an ambulance. He was scared, confused, and did not know what was going on.
The reality: he was doing school work, got frustrated, wanted to quit. Went to get food and got pissed because the PX was closed. He texted me "sounding" despondent. I called him and was talking to him, and while I was talking to him he "left". He went from being despondent to being in Iraq. I drove out to see him and try to calm him. By this time he was in a full on flashback. I called his best friend and tried getting him to talk to him. He did not know him, he did not know me. The look on his face was absolutely terrifying. I got out of there and went home. His best friend told me to call the MP's, he needed to be safe. I called the MP's and told them what was going on. When he returned to the barracks they were everywhere. They took him to the hospital to evaluate him. I met him there...
From what he thinks happened to what really happened there is a three hour lapse in time that is unaccounted for in his reality. I asked him what time he thought it was, he responded "About 9?" I told him no, it was almost 1 am. The look of confusion and fear on his face was heartbreaking. He had a full blown flashback that took him away from himself for three hours and he has no recollection of it.
This is the reality, this is a face of PTSD. Luckily he did not hurt anyone, including himself, but if I did not call for help it may have been only a matter of time before he did hurt himself or someone else. Maybe not that night, maybe not the next day, but I know it was coming.
Right now he is in the hospital getting the intensive help he needs. He is waiting for the completed referral to go to a treatment center in TX for soldiers with acute PTSD. There is hope. This is not permanent. This is scary though and he needs prayers. Please keep him in your thoughts, prayers, or send positive energy his way. He needs it.