One of the things I am finding important is coming up with a safety plan. It it is a good thing to have, and discuss with your spouse. I was recently given a blank safety plan to fill in/tweek with what will fit us. Once complete, it will be printed out, and put up in certain areas of the house to remember what is to happen if we get to that point where we have to draw the line. Below is the blank safety plan that I was given, and was told I could share. Please feel free to save it, and create your own. For us at the end I will add at the end what will happen if none of the items listen help, which likely means inpatient is the result.
This interview was done in 2013 before the start of the first Families of PTSD Vets and Military Support group in Hampton Roads VA. I found someone had placed this on Youtube, so I am sharing it, hoping maybe it will help someone else out there.
I want to thank my husband, Mike for his service of 15 and a half years. I am so proud of you and your service. I am also proud of you for how far you have come. I know the last few years haven’t been easy, and I see how hard you try everyday for your family. I’m so proud of you. Thank you for all you do
Here is the video I made for my husband.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been silent on Facebook, and generally the internet. Between sick kids, school, work, my husband, and being sick myself, I honestly needed a “break” from the page. As much as I love the page, and it is in a way, a therapy for me, at times, it can be a lot, taking in others issues, along with my own.
The past few weeks havent been the smoothest at home either. My husband has been moodier, shorter patience, and all around refusing to deal with doctors or any more doctor appointments. To be honest, everything has left me feeling raw, with that insecurity feeling creeping back in, along with self doubt, and questing my ability to handle a backslide from my husband should it happen. This is a feeling I hate, that leaves me a feeling of helplessness, and an opening for a downward spiral for my self into an avoidance, and depression.
I often suggest to other spouses to make sure they get into counseling for themselves, but this is a suggestion I have yet to do for myself. I’ve been in counseling before, but due to time, are no longer making sure my mental health is taken care of. It is in part for having to go down a road of bringing up old memories, and hurts, and dealing with them. It is also in part because of time between school, work, kids, husband, and household. When I do have time, I try to relax and just savor the moment with my kids and husband, but with everything going on, that is rarely the case. As a result, I get frustrated, and I get bitchy. That bitchyness, I am ashamed to say, gets taken out on my family at times. I bitch about the house, because most times, things only get done if I do them.
I think at times, I do so much and keep so busy, so I dont have to think about things, or mull over could of, should of, would of, or the wrong turns I took when PTSD came into our lives. I still dont always make the best decision or know the right answer. Often enough, I am flying by the seat of my pants. No one has said “this is how you do it, this is how you deal with it.”
As frustrating as things can get for me, I imagine them that much worse for my husband. I know he is tired of doctors visits, and me making him go, but I want us to grow old together. Anyone could understand that, right? So why doesnt he seem to get that? Why cant he see that I want him to grow old with me, watching our kids grow, graduate from school/college, get married and have kids of their own?
I think that is the most frustrating part of it all…about our story with PTSD. The fact that he isnt always able to see these things. To focus on that. The fact that most of the time, he rarely shares with me what is going on with him, when he used to always share. I could ask him what he was thinking, and he would tell me. Now I get the proverbial “nothing” or when I ask how he is doing, its “Im fine,” even though I know he isnt fine. It is frustrating to no end at times.
That being said, Im thankful. I am thankful for all he does. I’m thankful he isnt where he once was, in that extremely dark place that he couldnt get out of. The fear is still there we will backslide to that place, but in part I try to not focus on that. I mean I cant right? If I do, then how can I enjoy life, constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop, but still, it is always at the back of my mind.
Here is a great link that has some tips with living with PTSD and/or TBI. Remember that it is all a learning process. You have to learn what works for you and your family. Try to find yourself through all of this. Find the strength, and courage from this all.
Don’t think our service men and women don’t sacrifice? Think again. Not only do they sacrifice themselves when they go off to war, but while gone, they sacrifice time with their family, missing out on birthdays, holidays, births, deaths, and special moments. They miss that first step their child makes, or the first word, or even the first day of kindergarten. From war, many lose a piece of themselves, some physically, some mentally, some both and some lose their lives.
While yes, we do have a volunteer military, and our loved ones volunteered for their country, they did so so yours wouldn’t have to. If not for the men and women who volunteer for the war they go to (justified war or not), those who don’t want to go, would be forced to do so.
So while you may not agree with their mission, you can still support the ones that fight. They are still owed our gratitude and our respect. They have sacrificed so much, and are asked to continue to do so. Isn’t it time we sacrificed too? For many, the scars are deep, and for some, invisible.
The support shouldn’t stop once they are home. Support our Vets should be just as big of a catch phrase and action as Support our Troops.
We lose 22 veterans a day to suicide. Shouldn’t it be time we tell them #youmatter?