I think this statement is something that any of us can relate to, regardless of your path in life. Well, let me shed some light on what this statement means from the wife of a Veteran with PTSD. The good days–they are amazing. We laugh, we love, we ENJOY our time. We take the kids to the park, we stay up late to watch movies and eat popcorn, we have watergun fights in the backyard and invite all our friends and family over. I begin to have hope that this is how life is going to be from now on.
Then, BAM! out of nowhere the next day I wake up next to a man who can’t stand the sound of his children playing, won’t speak to me, barely gets out of bed, and refuses to leave the house. He sits in a chair and I watch as tears run down his face. Is it physical pain? Is it emotional pain? Does it matter? Our kids play rambunctiously and he screams at them…for what? Even I get startled by the sound. I try to play interference but sometimes it only escalates things further. Who is this guy? Where did he come from?
Oh yeah…. Afghanistan.
So the question becomes how do I get MY husband back, not this somewhat familiar shell of a man the military left me with? Who knows if I ever will, but I can tell you that I will NEVER, EVER, stop trying. My husband, this man, my hero, the father to our children, gave up nearly 1 year of his life to go halfway around the world to protect us from people with much much more deep rooted issues. So yes, the days and nights may be long, may be exhausting, and some downright terrifying but I know my goofy husband is in there and I know he wants to be well, and as long as he doesn’t give up on that, neither will I.
Now, that being said, are there days that I think, “man this would be so much easier if we weren’t together”? Of course. Are there days when I understand why the military divorce rate is so ungodly high? Yup. Do I worry about how this could affect our children? Who wouldn’t? But you know what….I think that truly our children will learn that when you make a vow you never, ever, give up on that. I think my children will grow to respect that their dad is trying, and see that this is something we are ALL going through, not just him. Deployment changed our family, yes, but one thing I will never regret is fighting for us.
So yeah, some days are good…..and some days aren’t.