My husband has PTSD and the last six years have not been what I would call a joyous journey, but I feel like the last month my frustration level has risen 500 levels and not even because of his PTSD. I have been so blessed through this experience to have met some amazing women who are living with husbands who have PTSD also and it has been such a source of strength for me to hear their stories, cry together, laugh together and just offer each other support. However, it seems like the women I talk to or the sites I read the theme seems to be the same lately. Our husbands are being over medicated and we, as caregivers, are beginning to accept and believe that this is just how life is going to be from now on and it will never get better.
I am lucky because my husband is very anti-meds. He actually just started taking some about 4 months ago after being diagnosed over five years ago. He is only on four pills most of which have to do with his TBI and knee issues. I think four is a decent number. I have talked to people that could actually run a pharmacy out of their home from the amount of medications their spouse has been prescribed and they have the exact same diagnosis as my husband. I actually know someone whose husband went in to a VA stating he was addicted to the meds he was on and he was on double the meds before he left compared to when he went in. How does this even happen? There never seems to be enough money to get better. Alternative treatment programs for our vets aren’t covered, but we can hand out narcotics like they are candy? The doctors, civilian included, seem to think this is the easy fix for it all that if they can make them docile and complacent we will all be happy. I don’t know about anyone else but my husband was never docile and complacent, why would I want that now?
I refuse to believe that the only treatment out there is filling my husband with enough narcotics so that all he does is sleep, play video games or try to end his life. This will not be my happy ending. I realize that because of the PTSD and the TBI I will never get the husband that deployed in 2006, but I do believe there are still large chunks of him I can rescue. I know that he wants to be a good husband and father. But because he can’t always figure out how to do it himself, I need to find ways to help him figure it out and not by always doing the work for him. I need to make him feel needed, instead of doing it all myself. I need to romance him, because him planning it is just too overwhelming and can trigger a whole lot of ugly. I need to make sure he understands that I am not going anywhere no matter how many times he pretends that he wants me to leave. I need to find things he loves to do and keep him busy so he doesn’t have time to get lost in war again. I need to pray for him every day and remind him of how far God has brought him. I need to help him find his new purpose so that he understands that it is possible for him to be happy again.
I will not accept that I have to live my life walking on egg shells or that my family has to plan each day by what kind of day we think PTSD will allow us to have. I refuse to allow PTSD to have anything. I will have a happy ending and it will be with the man I married that deployed in 2006 and came home broken and because we never gave up or gave in……we will get our happy back.