Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How did I not know?

When you met your significant other, did he already have PTSD? Mine did.

I never truly knew how severe it was until our 2nd week of attending Reboot Combat Recovery course. He divulged to me that he thought about suicide almost daily. How on earth did I not know?! How did I not even have the slightest clue? We have a house, jobs, children, material possessions. Does he think this life is that bad? Is it me? Am I not good enough? Did I let myself go?

That right there is a little bit of false guilt going on. He was happy with me and the children. He could care less about whether we were homeless or not as long as we were together. Yet, why does he have these suicidal thoughts if I've done nothing wrong?

Because PTSD sucks. His trauma haunted him and discussing it with people who aren't willing to listen without judgment makes it worse. Then to make matters even more worse, I, his wife, appeared unwilling to listen. When he comes down with a cold, the phrases "Suck it up!" or "Get the heck over it!" flow freely until he stops sniffling. If my remarks are so callous over a cold, imagine what they would be like if he tells me his trauma is negatively affecting him.

 It wasn't just the trauma either. He lost his sense of purpose and worth. His ETS date is soon approaching and the thought of figuring out how to be the provider of our family scared him half to death. I, on the other hand, have been raised to fend for myself and be independent. I have been working steadily and figured I would just pick up his slack. But that isn't what it's all about. The Army has been guiding his every move since he was 18 and here he is, 30, and about to be "thrown to the wolves."

Going to Reboot really helped Michael find a purpose. Reboot equipped him with the knowledge on how to pray his was through his issues or seek the necessary help. Reboot gave him enough hope to rid him of his suicidal thoughts. I'm not saying Reboot is the fix-all, end-all. But it's a start....

My thoughts:
-Be available to talk to... and no, not just physically present. Are you mentally and emotionally there, too? This doesn't mean be 100% available for his every beck and call. If he wants to vent or complain about his day, are your responses thoughtful or harsh? I know, I know, it seems like he's whining and groaning. Take one for the team (or rather, the sake of both your sanity) and let the man have a moment. You never know... that one "vent session" could be the tip of an ice burg.

-Pray about it. You may not be aware that your significant other feels this way. Ask God to shine His light on his life and His love into his heart.

All together now:

Dear God, Thank you for blessing me with my {insert title here}. I know he has been through a lot in combat and I ask that you safeguard his heart, mind, and soul. Help me to listen and show him that I am here for him and that he can depend on me. I ask that you give us both the strength to make it through these trying times. In your blessed name, I pray, Amen.

**Signs of suicidal behavior, click here. **

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