I am the PTSD spouse

I was the one shocked by the diagnosis and completely unprepared.

I was the one who saw the changes in your behavior but wasn’t made aware of PTSD’s existence so I blamed everything on myself. Was it that you didn’t love me anymore?

I was the one who couldn’t scream or even cry because I needed to be strong for my spouse and family.

I was the one who read the therapist’s diagnosis report “Is exhibiting self-defeating behaviours which can include suicide”.

I was the one who was terrified to leave you alone and would sit in the car in the drive way taking one last breath before entering my home in fear of what I might find.

I was the one who watched in disbelief as friends, colleges and even some family turned their back to us in our greatest time of need.

I was the one for whom even the smallest outings stopped or became major affairs.

I was the one who watched for the signs and did my best to prevent or support you through the triggers.

I was the one who became both mom and dad because even our regular daily activities became too much for you to handle.

I was the one who managed the doctor, therapist appointments and medication refills.

I was the one who researched and read all I could so I could stand up for you and get you the support and therapy you deserved.

I was the one who wanted so desperately to be close to you and feel your love but found the medication and your symptoms made this impossible.

I was the one who laid awake at night terrified and wondering if we would make it through another day.

I was the one who silently wondered what happened to the life we once lived, where did it go?

I was the one who saw the glimmers of hope and held onto them tightly so I could lead us forward.

I am the one who loves you with all my heart, will be there for you and my family, I will not back down from this challenge life has dealt us.

By Lori Wilson

Founder of Families of the RCMP for PTSD Awareness

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One thought on “I am the PTSD spouse

  1. So eloquently written Lori. I can relate to every word you have written being the wife of a husband (a former RCMP member) who was diagnosed with PTSD, clinical depression and anxiety disorder. My soulmate has since passed and as we navigated not only this mental health journey and his transition into his new existence, his only regret expressed after 21 years of marriage was the effects his PTSD diagnosis had on all of his interpersonal relationships and the years of joyful losses. In 1998, the organizational understanding and support of such mental health disorders was virtually non-existent resulting in an existence of isolation with the determination to recapture what had been lost prior to the diagnosis. My husband has been gone for ten years now and I miss him everyday; I am currently estranged from my daughter; and am on my own journey reconciling a recent PTSD diagnosis. I’ve stopped scolding myself for not recognizing the signs and embrace my courage to have sought help. My journey is significantly different and yet very similar in many ways. Most importantly, I am fortunate and blessed to have access to the OSIC; all its incredibly talented therapists; resources and therapeutic advancements. Any stigma I possessed has slowly dissipated knowing I am off the road of oppression and onto the road of recovery. Together my husband I served our communities and country for 55 years. It is now time for my husband’s soul to rest in peace and my soul to become peaceful. In Love and Light may you all find peace.

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