Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hijacked by PTSD

Today, Allen had an appointment with his psychologist. We started out discussing his day as he had trouble even walking into the doctor's office. I told his doctor that his symptoms were elevated today. Our discussion continued about things that were bothering him and some possible reasons that he was having a difficult morning. Usually, I am in the beginning of the conversations filling in how the week has been from my perspective, but then it moves on to be just between the doctor and my husband and I become a spectator. The things I have learned about the terrors he has witnessed through his service to this great country are unbelievable, but I am thankful to have a husband that is willing to share so much of his own experiences.

Today, they focused on some triggers and whether or not my Allen has any awareness, or warning from his body, that something is about to happen. His complex part of his PTSD, is that he completely dissociates and at times, it is a challenge to bring him back to the present. (This is part of the reason for the 24 hour care.) He mentioned a few things that have warned him at different times but at the present, he has no warning. Something happens and he is gone, checked out. The counselor called this being hijacked. His mind is being hijacked by the PTSD. His body stays, but his mind goes. 

Neither of us had ever thought of it that way, and we think it is a great analogy. My husband went on to say that one of his biggest frustrations is that people think that his symptoms are either made up or controllable. He expressed how much it hurts him that people think it is something he can control. Do people really think that he would do these things if he could help it? Planes get hijacked, but is it the pilot or flight attendant's fault that it was hijacked? Absolutely not. No one would ever blame them for the fate of the plane and passengers in this situation. It is the same way for my husband. No one should blame him or think less of him, because his mind frequently gets hijacked by his PTSD!!

I decided to share this today because more of us need to speak out. How can we ever expect things to change in our society, if we don't begin educating others and sharing our stories with our elected officials. They can't change things they do not know about. So, I encourage you to share something with someone today. Start small and see where that takes you!

Even Now.....Gina

1 comment:

  1. That is a very appropriate and fitting analogy. I sometimes find myself in "hostage negotiations" with the demon PTSD, trying to get my husband released from it's grip during some of his flashbacks.