Sometimes, when I take the time to just stop and really look at my husband, it makes me really sad. I have accepted the fact that he is different than he was and that he will never go back to the way he used to be. I've made peace with this and I still love him. The part that makes me sad is the terror and horror that he lives with everyday.
Because of the severity of his PTSD and his dissociation, he is unable to drive. Therefore I drive him to all of his appointments and everywhere else he needs to go. I go into all of his appointments with him at his insistence. Regularly I offer to stay outside or tell him that I have errands to run when he goes to see his counselor, just to give him the chance to speak his mind without having to worry about me and my feelings. With this being said, I have been in the majority of his sessions over the last 2 1/2 years. He has become very dependent on me. Needless to say, I've heard a lot about what he has witnessed, taken part in, and been required to do during his service to our great nation.
The things he has to live with are enough to make anyone insane. In all actuality, he deals with those things better than anyone could expect, if they knew the things he has seen. This is where my sadness comes in. When he sleeps, he often has steady streams of tears running down his face and I know he is reliving one of the many horrific things he experienced during his time in Iraq. He also talks in his sleep a lot, which also tells me even in his sleep, he has no escape from the burden he bears.
While my road as his spouse is rarely easy, I gladly carry that burden for him, so that he has a little bit of peace on his road of recovery. I love him with all my heart and pray that someday he too will be able to make peace with all that war has brought him.