Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reintegration and PTSD Support

So what's new? A lot... The husband is almost complete with his 10 week PTSD program at OASIS in San Diego; like so almost complete he has less than a week left and will be back by Thursday.

These last ten weeks have been a ride. I have seen changes in my husband that are hard for me to deal with. They are positive changes, but who would have known that positive changes would be so hard to accept? I have learned that things that trigger him, trigger me as well. When he touches on subjects that trigger him I am sitting here getting anxious waiting for the bomb to drop... but when it doesn't and he remains calm I am left in a hyper-vigilant state trying to calm myself and trying to remind myself that this is a good thing.

We started family counseling via VTC (Video Tele-Conferencing) last week, and it went well; it wasn't perfect, but it was good. The therapist mentioned rules in the home, the daughter replied "Wait, we have rules?", the husband proceeded to mock slamming his head into the table. I laughed my ass off.

His return home will not be immediate. We will do a slow reintegration so that he can adjust, the kids can adjust, and I can adjust. It is not an instant process where everyone is happy and ok. Last night the husband and I were chatting online and he seemed down about coming home, feeling like it was never going to happen. When I told him the kids were coming with me to greet him at the airport his demeanor changed and he seemed more positive about it and changed his line of thought completely. He loves the kids, and knowing that they miss him and want to have him back home means a lot to him... especially since he thought they hated him. I know they didn't hate him, but to be honest they did not like him... not him as a person, but the way he acted, reacted, and behaved.

The daughter worried that her behaviors and moods months ago was what was triggering him. To quote her "Mom, is the way I was acting back then what was pissing him off? Did I piss him off with how I was acting?" I told her that he had a limited range of emotion. I explained I think that he was more frustrated and it just translated straight to "pissed off". He saw she was upset and withdrawn, he wanted to fix it, and was upset that he couldn't. She replied "I think he will like me now better." I love my daughter. Not only is she thinking about him and what he is going through, she is recognizing how her behaviors and moods can affect others (good life lesson).

I have joined a group on Facebook called PTSD Project that I found via a page of the same name. PTSD Project is a page that is an organization of Vets and spouses who are hoping to help their brothers and sisters in arms and their families realize they are not alone. They are in the process of applying for 501c3 status.The group is a relatively new group, and screens the people that they allow into their closed group carefully. This helps those that are struggling feel safe to share their experiences and problems without fear of being judged by the rest of their friends and family on Facebook. The group has quickly become an extended family to me, and they help me (and so many others) in ways that are amazing.