Thank you for all the amazing feedback, shares, and emails about PTSD following my last blog. I received the same questions multiple times “How did you keep calm? Did you ever feel angry? or just sad?” So here you go dear readers.
I WAS PISSED! Not always at my ex-husband, sometimes at life, god, the Marine Corps. So I’m gonna say what many of us women married to men who served in combat and struggle with PTSD find it hard to say. I was pissed off too! I felt cheated and resentful. Yes, wearing the uniform comes with a sacrifice, NO SHIT! No one knows this more than the families, the ones left behind. But we did it, I did it. I watched him pack up his bags time after time, and each time I waited for the man I swore to stand beside. You know what the problem was with that? That the man I fell in love with 10 years prior was no longer that man, every time he came back he was different. It was like we were losing him each time a little more. With each day that passed, he became more detached…. more reckless… he drank more, he became angry all the time, irritable… paranoid. He looked like the man I fell in love with, he smelled like him, he smiled like him, and every now and then he would come back just long enough to remind me why I loved him. And as quickly as he came back to us, he was gone again. Mentally and emotionally gone… tortured. Anger, yes. That is what I felt. How dare you take a man who means the world to us and send him back like this! Empty and soulless… angry. And after a while the anger consumes you too. How? simple you are no longer normal. You too are damaged, wounded, paranoid, scared. Your own fears become irrational. I recall one sunny afternoon the door bell rang, and when I opened the door to our brand new house there was a package with his name on it. The so called “problem with this package” was there was no return label on it. While most of us would open the box… life wasn’t that simple. Life was now scary and dangerous. I remember the sound of his voice, angry… “Get the fuck away from the box! Don’t fucking touch it!” I remember looking at him and saying “just open the box”. His response… “NO. stay inside the house!” after what seemed like ages, he carefully and meticulously opened the box. Inside it…. Brownies! from out Real Estate Agent along with a congratulations note. Brownies. It was a fucking baked good! His reaction to him was justified. “What if I didn’t burn my mail all the way and they have our address! What if they know who my family is?” Well dear ex-husband… WHO THE FUCK WERE THEY!!???!! And why are you so fucking crazy! God there were so many times when I wanted to shake him and say “Snap out of it! you are a fucking retard! there is nothing to be scared of”. And yet, I would silently stare at him and nod my head. I knew better than to ask questions about it, he’s been clear before. “I don’t want to think about the things I’ve seen, so why the hell would I tell you? why put those thoughts in your head”. They were his secrets. The secrets I longed so badly for, why couldn’t he fucking tell ME! and his friends or shall we call them “his brothers” they knew it all. I was envious, jealous, I began to dislike them. How do they know more about the man I married then I do? Why am I the one tortured and left with no answers? Great, you all have this club, you know everything about what you went through over there. But guess what? While you all had each other, I WAS ALONE!. Shit I’m still alone. See what happens is, as time goes by and he gets help…. he talks about the things he saw, he did, he lived though. But what about me? who helps me deal with thoughts and memories that weren’t even mine to begin with.I carry these, silently… like weights tied to my heart, engraved in every part of my soul. And there are times when I curse his fucking name, and I hate him for all he was put on me, for contaminating me with his world of shit, with his fucking sickness. And then there are times when I just cry, and mourn the man I married. I mourn the life of my best friend, the man I used to know…. a man who is now just an empty shell. An empty shell that once contained, life, laughter, promises, and so much love. The man that gave me a ring, and promised to be my everything. That man…. who is now just of shell, a shell that holds, broken dreams, hurt, loss, and a shit ton of anger. So readers, the answer is yes, Yes I have been angry, shit who am I kidding…. I’M STILL FUCKING PISSED.
Love you all