Sunday, September 5, 2010

Explanations Do Not Come Easy

This Labor Day weekend, our house has been filled with company. One of my husband's cousins and his family came to visit. It is the first time in the 9 years we've been together that anyone from his family has come to visit us. It is also the first time we have spent any amount of time with anyone from his family since his injury.

I'm thankful that he finally got to visit with some of his own kin. He loves my family like his own and they love him too. However, I'm sure that there is nothing like one's own blood relatives. We were all excited to have them visit, but it is definitely a struggle to try to keep it all together!

Overall the weekend went pretty well. However, I find it very difficult to explain what our life is like to someone who has no clue what PTSD is and how it can manifest itself, as well as all the other things that go along with it for Allen. He had several "flashbacks" which were relatively mild in comparison to some he has had. One night he did have one that was bad enough I had to force him into the shower and then put him to bed in order to break the cycle.

The other thing I have found is that everyone seems to have a magic solution for him. The best thing I can relate it to is when a woman is pregnant and everyone has to give her advice for what to do and how best to do it. Everyone seems to have advice and their ideas about what he needs to do to get better! Of course, they do not share these "ideas" with Allen, but with me instead!! Well, I'm thinking if you can't share them with him, maybe they aren't going to work for him!! And, if you have not ever been around someone with combat PTSD, please keep your ideas and suggestions to yourself. I have taken care of my husband now for almost 3 years with absolutely NO help or support from any part of his family. Please do not come in and tell me that all he needs to get over it is to spend more time with HIS family. Well as far as I'm concerned, his family consists of me, our boys, my parents, and sister! We have all been here through all of it and still love him!!

It seems to me that as often as I have to explain my husband's bizarre behavior, I would get used to it and have an explanation down pat. Yet, I still struggle with explaining it even this far out. I expect to have to explain it to kids who witness one of his flashbacks or episodes, but adults are harder for me. Hopefully one of these days, society as a whole will start to get it!!

Even Now........Gina

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