Monday, January 25, 2010

New Years Resolutions and Mountains

Welcome to my first blog! Never blogged before but always a new adventure and always time to learn something new! Perhaps more of self therapy than anything, we will classify this as one of many of my New Year's Resolutions. Maybe by my blogging and expressing my points of view, someone else may read this and understand what I am going through and the many ups and downs I face every day. Some days are easy to tackle and done before you know it. Other days however, can be as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest in the buff and with no way back down. It's those days that I need to know I am not alone. It's for those that need to know they are not alone either. Together perhaps, we can bind our problems together and face that mountain and reach the top.

First off, I am married to a soldier diagnosed with PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for those who need further explanation. Don't know much about it...wasn't issued a book from the military, even a book for Dummies would have been nice. Instead, my husband served his country proudly and endured many hardships along the way of his deployment. What you might ask? I have no idea. The thought of opening up communication on my husband's behalf of exactly what went on over there seems to be a taboo subject. I believe though in my heart perhaps that he believes that I will somehow be disappointed, angry or look at him differently. Other parts of me think he just doesn't care anymore to let anyone in.

I will be selfish enough to say that I endured as well. Many families suffer, but I think it pales in comparison to those families who wait patiently behind while their soldiers go off to war. Somewhere between phone calls home, emails or letters, my husband was listed MIA and never came home. Someone came home on that plane and I met him at the airport....but I just knew taking one look at him....I no longer saw the light in his eyes or recognized the man I loved. Yes, the love was there....Yes, I was ecstatic over him being home and no longer having to watch my front door for those men in the official car giving me notice of death....yes it was relief because thank the good Lord above I had someone to help me with the kids and items incessantly falling apart while he was gone!! Most of all I could not wait to have my best friend home. I can't describe the feeling I had, nor can I say I didn't try searching for him in this "pod" of a person the military sent home. Whatever Uncle Sam sent me on that plane, was darn sure not my husband I sent over.

Some days I keep trying to look and look, and I feel guilty like I should be seeing him and am not. Other days I am resentful because I see this man, and wonder why the hell am I staying here living with this nightmare? I live by the golden song of Tammy Wynette, but did she have to face all this when singing "Stand by your man"????? PTSD.....I totally read up on the subject although I find that in the military world not only is there a HUGE stigma attached which weighs down the soldier and prevents him from opening up. This subject of PTSD also seems to be a hush hush word like the word "gay" way back when such a thing was just not openly talked about. I search and search for help, resources lead into dead ends.....We as families get promised all this help before they get back but I have been sending up flares and the weekly SOS, but so far nothing. They teach you that your soldier may or may not exhibit certain types of behaviors......possibly should these get worse, then utilize what the military benefits cover and get help! When help is not there, or so far out of reach, then what do you do?

The VA sure helps somewhat...I can understand that the system itself has many many soldiers from the Vietnam era and Korean War, not to mention the Gulf War Vets topped off with our OIF and OEF soldiers. So many men and women, and what perhaps two doctors to see them all? It's easy to sit and say, yes you have PTSD...let's give you four types of medication to "help" combat the symptoms, and let's hope you don't kill yourself or someone else in the process...see you in three months."

One meeting with a PTSD counselor to talk about issues these soldiers face and the next one scheduled in three to four weeks down the road. Not much help there either there guys. Needs to be on a more personal basis, and definitely more help. Am I resentful towards all this? Sure....anyone in my position would be. I served proudly along side my soldier...I endured 15 months of hell waiting for that phone call....crying myself to sleep with his pillow. Unless you have had someone you love so dearly leave for deployment not knowing what will happen in the could never understand the sacrifices the family of a soldier gives up. No one understands the relief when their voice is on the line for just one more time, or the disappointment when they don't call or you hear from them period for days. I made it through and as an individual I discovered a lot about myself. I ventured onto many things that captivated my interest and mostly to just keep me busy....but a year and half, yes I sacrificed and so did my family.

With sacrifices made on a whole family who served and served proudly, you would think that our families and soldiers who do come home with PTSD deserve just more than anti-depressants, and other meds you aren't really sure of. I do know this, all these solid white medication bottles with little white labels aren't helping much at all. Do they help? Not really sure how to answer that one. Let's just say its simply a glorified mask on Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. If I had to come up with a fair description, then that would be the first to come to mind. Although I am slightly resentful, I still maintain my respect for the armed forces, still hold true to my patriotism, and probably would bleed red, white and blue should I get a paper cut. I think what I feel most days is hurt and disappointment. Not only in my husband for allowing this disorder completely swallow him whole without a fight....but in the military itself for allocating money for stupid and useless items (hey, I watch dateline) rather than taking a portion of it and helping our soldiers.

I am hurt that when the call went out, our soldiers stopped and answered. They went and served with acceptance that if they gave their lives out of country, they died as heroes and died protecting all of us. So who wouldn't be hurt that the same could not be asked from our government? Why is it so hard to take care of our soldiers when they took care of our country? Is it really too much to ask for?

Wow. Reading over my very first blog, I have discovered that I am not too good at this! I also just broke one of my other New Year's Resolution of being more organized, when this is a little haphazardly written! I do promise though, that every blog I write will be somewhat sensible and hopefully someone else will feel better knowing that someone else feels the way they do. I am tired of sending out an SOS and pleading for help, only to get that blank stare and the "Oh just go to the VA"...honestly people, there is not a whole lot of help for the families with a soldier living with PTSD. I am not asking for a solution, or even having my husband returned back to normal. God knows what he went through, and my heart breaks for him every day.....I am just asking for someone to listen and give me advice....lead me down a path well lit rather than go through each day in the dark hoping I can find my way. I keep hoping and praying....maybe one day it will happen.

For those who made it through all this, thank you. You are a better person than I for listening to my rambles! Hopefully this will be a new start for myself and for you dear readers. Together we can possibly find solace within each other and lean on each other when those dark days are upon us. Here is to climbing mountains together!

Warm Regards,

A Survivor

No comments:

Post a Comment

I Would Love to Hear From Ya'll!