Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Year Ago

One year ago today, my sister and I flew Allen across the country to California to be admitted into The Pathway Home.  I remember that period in my life like it was yesterday.  A lot has happened in this last year, and we've come a long way.

Allen retreating into his computer shortly
before going to California for treatment.
The place Allen was at when we left home was the worst I had ever seen him.  He was struggling everyday to simply live.  He was fighting for his life.  He was scared to death he was going to hurt one of us and knew that if he did he would never be able to live with himself.  He was struggling not to take his own life in hopes of preventing something else from happening that scared him even more.  We easily could have been one of the tragic stories that make national headlines of combat veteran's going on terrifying and often deadly rampages.  Thankfully, we had a different outcome.

Allen's 11 months away was a lot of hard work for him as well as missing out on a lot at home.  He missed everyone's birthday, the holidays, our anniversary, Makale getting his learner's permit, Dreyson's numerous plays including the big one at Starlight theatre with Lou Diamond Phillips, Makale's track season, and numerous other things that happen in a year for a family.  However, he was a trooper and put in the hard work it took to get to a much better place.  

With him being away, we also missed him.  We drew comfort from the fact that he was in a safe place that could help him get better.  But, that didn't take up the hurt in our heart of being separated from him once again.  While he missed out on tons we were doing, we missed out on the progress and hard work he was doing.  We weren't there to celebrate with him the milestones he was making.  

However, in the realm of the rest of our lives, a year was a small sacrifice to make.  Allen put in so much hard work, dedication, determination, and resilience to get better so that he could live at home and be an active part in our family again.  In the 6 weeks he's been home, I've seen more of the man I married than I have in the last 4 years.  He truly is in a much better place.  He's actively parenting our boys, helping with homework, housework, and just engaged with all of us again.  Do not let that fool you though, he still very much struggles with his PTSD.  He's not cured, just better.  

While I really struggled with decisions regarding his care a year ago today, I can say I definitely made the right choice.  It was incredibly hard getting on that plane to fly to California, but I am so glad we did.  Sometimes, we have to go through these difficult choices to get to the other side.  I know that we will always have mountains to climb, but there is light on the other side.

Happy to have my husband and best friend home and, for the boys to have their dad back!!  

Even Now..........Gina


  1. I am so proud of all of you. I love happy endings and admire everyone for their intestinal fortitude to push through the difficult times, work hard, and have faith. You guys are an inspiration!

  2. Gina, I remember the days when you were working up to going and telling you about Chris being there. I am so happy Allen went and I know it was hard but you guys made it. PTSD is never cured. C still struggles everyday with his but he has the tools from The Pathway Home to make life better for all of us. I am blessed you are my friend and I wish you guys years of happiness to come. I love you lots!!

  3. YAY I am so glad to hear this. I love when you can get parts of your life back that were robbed by combat and injuries. I have had some of my husband back for 2 years now and I am so thankful as I know you are about Allen!