Behind the Blog: My Soldier, His PTSD & Our Life

Foreword:  This post is a personal one.  I’ve been struggling to produce any new content for my blog because my focus has been on my family for the last few weeks.  Writing all of this down on my blog has helped me cope and deal with the struggles of my life.  Hopefully now, I’ll be able to get back to baking. Thank you for reading. 

 

My husband is the bravest person I know.  For the 8 years I’ve been in love with Dave, we’ve spent half of that apart.  3 years were of him deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (’07-’08 and ’09-’10) and to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom (’13-14′).  The remaining time apart took Dave away on long nights at work and days, weeks and months training in the field.

Until recently, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was only something I had only read about or learned about from Army pre & post deployment briefings.  I never dreamed PTSD would be something my husband and my family would be learn to cope with and live with.

Welcome Home to my Soldier! 3 April 14 - Vilseck, Germany | JavaCupcake.com

This photo is from Dave’s homecoming from his most recent deployment to Afghanistan.  Homecomings are amazing.  One of my favorite parts of living this military life.  Having my soldier in my arms after he’s been away fighting a war is one of the best feelings in life… knowing he’s physically home, safe and with me, it’s a priceless moment. Unfortunately, military life brings more than just joyful moments like this homecoming.

I am so incredibly proud of my husband, MY SOLDIER, for all of the time, hard work, sacrifice and dedication he has put into being a United States Army Infantryman.  His profession requires him to be away from home a lot, putting his countries needs ahead of his own.

These needs range from late nights at work to ensure that his Troop has everything they need for the next days training to being in combat and witnessing the vehicle in front of his being hit by IED while on a mission in Iraq.  You can imagine how stressful his job can be.

My husband has dedicated his life to the Army and in turn he has given up a part of himself.  He has been forever changed.  He will never be the same.

iraqThe picture above is from Iraq during his second deployment, Dave’s in the back/center. 

Two and a half weeks ago, Dave attempted to commit suicide.  Fortunately, he did not physically hurt himself, but it was evident that he was in so much emotional pain that he didn’t know what else to do and thought suicide would be the answer.

The 48 hours following his suicide attempt were probably some of the hardest moments I’ve ever had to endure as his wife.  Harder than any deployment.  My strength was tested and my eyes were opened.

Dave’s attempt on his life happened on a Sunday and since we’re on a smaller Army base in Germany the Behavioral Health Clinic on post was closed.  Our only option was to wait until the next day to see a doctor.   After being assessed by the clinic, it was decided that Dave needed to be admitted to in-patient care at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LMRC) on Ramstein Air Base.  I didn’t see this coming at all. I thought Dave would need help, but I didn’t think he would be admitted.  I think I was blind to how bad things really were for him.

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See, Dave has always been the kind of person who was so laid-back, go-with-the-flow and casual that he never showed any signs of PTSD, anxiety, or depression that are commonly associated with post-war behavior.  He kept his feelings mostly to himself and always put on a strong, tough exterior.  I always got the impression from him that he was strong and was handling everything life through at him.

I was wrong.  He was wrong.  Dave was broken.  The Army, previous life experiences, and war… they had broken Dave and now he was crying out for help.  Something needed to change and it turns out that attempting suicide was the catalyst for that change.

Landstuhl is almost 4 hours away from where we live.  I knew I wasn’t going to let Dave go alone to the hospital, so I pulled Emily out of high school early, packed up and headed across Germany with my kids to support the love of my life in his most vulnerable time.  It is Army protocol that Dave be escorted by members of his platoon to the hospital, so three soldiers drove him to LMRC and I followed.

Up until this point, I had been by Dave’s side going through this with him… but as we arrived to the hospital, I wasn’t prepared to not be able to go into the hospital with him, get him settled in or have time to say goodbye.  The Psych Ward at LMRC did not allow children behind their doors, so I was forced to say goodbye to my husband, my soldier… unsure of what was to come at the entrance to the Psych Ward.  The tears flowed from my puffy eyes.  I knew that Dave would be physically safe there… but my heart was breaking for my him.  My strong soldier, my brave husband was so sad, extremely scared and I couldn’t be there with him.  He had to do this part on his own and that broke my heart.

Visiting hours didn’t begin until 4pm the next day, so I set off to get my kids settled in at our hotel room on Ramstein Air Base.  It was a long, sleepless night of mixed emotions.

I was scared.  I was confused.  I was heartbroken.

I really just didn’t understand how I missed it.  How did I not see how much pain three deployments, a changing Army, a stress-ridden job had caused my brave soldier?

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After a few days of being in the Psych Ward, Dave was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and sleep apnea all under the umbrella of PTSD.  He was put on a few different medications to help him sleep and get his depression and anxiety under control so he could come home and begin working on his overall health and wellness.  Dave was released from the Psych Ward a week after he was admitted.

I didn’t know what to expect when Dave came home from the hospital.  I knew things would be different, but I didn’t know how.

There were triggers that brought me back to the moment I found out he tried to kill himself.  The first time he did something that he previous did right before he tried to kill himself always seemed to set me off into a tailspin of sadness.  The first few days were really hard having him home.  I didn’t realize how much his attempt on his life really scared me until he was home and I was reminded of how I felt in those moments.  I was so thankful he was home and alive that those feelings of joy for his life brought me back to reality and have kept me moving forward instead of dwelling on the incident of suicide itself and more on helping my  husband feel better.

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LIving with a soldier with PTSD is a helpless feeling.  I look at my husband I wish I would fix it for him, take all the pain away, make the experiences he’s endured go away.  It breaks my heart to know that this is his battle to fight and that all I can do is stand by his side and support him in whatever way he needs me to.

But, since being home, our marriage has changed for the better.  It hurts my heart to know that it took going to the hospital for it to happen, but our marriage is better, stronger for it.  We communicate more than we ever did before and we have a mutual understanding of what each others needs are. Our lives together as a couple and a family will never be the same.  Some things will get harder and some things will be easier.  Not all days will be full of anxiety, nightmares and pain.  Those are the days I hold on to.

I can feel our lives changing every day.  I am committed to standing by my soldier and our family as we navigate through what a decade of war and training has done to our lives.  It’s not going to be easy… but the struggle will be worth it when my husband is healthy, happy and in control of his life again.

 You may be wondering why I am sharing this story with you on my food blog.  My husband wondered the same thing when I asked him if I could share this with my readers.  It’s simple,  my blog has allowed me to express myself in ways that I never imagined.  Over the last 5 1/2 years of writing here, I have found that sharing the hard times with my readers really has helped me to cope and move forward.   Meeting others who have gone through similar situations, creating connections with those who understand my feelings…. well that’s simply priceless.  I share, because I want others to know that they are NOT ALONE in this battle against PTSD and that I am not afraid to talk about it.

So I will probably write about PTSD and our family again.  It maybe an entire post, it may be a few paragraphs included with a recipe.  But this is now a part of my life and I am embracing it.

For more information about Suicide Awareness & Prevention in the military, visit the Army’s website here.

97 thoughts on “Behind the Blog: My Soldier, His PTSD & Our Life

  1. Thank you for taking the time to share your family’s story. My husband is also in the military…we’ve been living with the effects of PTSD for about 8 years (although it’s only been the last 2 years that he’s gotten help. I’m sure you understand the fear, stigma, etc of getting behavioral help in the military.). This struggle is often scary, and it was really brave of BOTH of you to share it. God bless you and your family.

    1. Yes, it’s so incredibly scary. But, I know how much I love my husband and our family and the thought of losing him to something outside combat scares me. The thought of our love and him being alive… that keeps me strong. *hugs* to you Amber!

    2. I am a mental health therapist in Canada. I urge your husband and any other soldier to seek Dr. Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy. There are practitioners throughout the world. I have been using it with PTSD clients for 17 years, always with great results. It works – no drugs required.

  2. Betsy, thank you so much for sharing this with the world. More people than we realize go through PTSD and attempted suicide, yet no one seems to bring the situation to light other than from a medical stand point, let alone from a family’s point of view. Please know you are not alone in your war at home with PTSD. The army somewhat teaches the soldiers they need to seek help, but in no way provides spouses with the tools to fight this at home. Thank you for having the courage to tell your family’s story.

    1. That’s exactly correct Holly. No one has reached out to me to offer me any kind of support during this process. Not once. It’s such a shame. Thank you for being a friend to me, Holly. xoxo

  3. My boyfriend is ex marine,I believe he suffers from ptsd..he had a rough childhood and then the marines..it’s a struggle and I just take one day at a time..

  4. Betsy,
    Thank you for sharing your family’s struggle, while extremely difficult I’m positive your story will help others. Please don’t forget to take care of yourself while caring for your husband and children. The Army has numerous resources available…use them. I will pray for you & your family.

  5. If he has sleep apnea, he also might need a C-PAP machine, which you didn’t mention in this article. It will help him sleep better.

    Some people with PTSD do well with hypnosis, so you might try to find someone who has worked with PTSD patients before. Meditation can be good as well, but for now, just take it one day at a time.

    I have PTSD due to abuse as a child, and also being terrorized by my wolf hybrid about a decade ago. (Made it worse and changed it to episodic.) It can be managed, but you have to be gentle with yourself and know your triggers.

    If you have any weapons in the home, lock them up for now. Watch him and be there for him, and let him know that you’re going to keep him safe. You’re not untrusting of him – you just want to be available if he needs you.

    There are groups to help carers of those with PTSD. You might want to find one for you and your children, so that you also have the support you need.

    Some people do very well on medication, while for others it takes a while to find the right combination of things. Don’t give up, and don’t think all is lost if there are relapses. We’re human, and all we can ask of ourselves is to keep growing. Best wishes!

    1. Hi Heather – Thanks for bringing up the sleep apena issue. Dave is also dealing with that currently… he’s signed up to take the sleep study next month at LMRC and hopefully he can find some relief with the treatments they prescribe him after the study.

      I’m definitely going to look into support groups for myself and the kids. Thanks for all the feedback and advice. I really appreciate it! <3

  6. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your lives. As a new military wife, we haven’t yet had to deal with a deployment, but it’s in the near future, and I worry about the effects it will have on my wife and our marriage. But I commend you for talking about it here in such an open and public place. Talking about the hard topics such as PTSD is SO important. It helps break down those stigmas. From one milspouse to another, I’m thinking of you and sending positive vibes that you and your family will come out even stronger because of this experience.

    1. Thanks, Holly. When I was a new wife too… actually, up until a few weeks ago… I didn’t ever thing it would “happen to my soldier”. It just kind of crept up on us, out of the blue. It’s so easy to see it in others, but when it comes to those closest to us… sometimes we miss it. I’m here if you ever want to chat military life! <3

  7. Prayers and hugs to all your family. Important to take care of you, too. I’m certain you’ve helped other readers of your blog.

  8. Oh, honey. I’m so sorry that you and your husband are going through this. My husband was in the Army (paratrooper) when we got married. While he never saw combat, I know how tough military life is under the best circumstances. Please know that I am praying for you and your family, and keep us updated on how he is doing. <3

  9. Thank you for sharing! Our soldiers need more support and resources. Have you looked into K9s For Warriors? It is WONDERFUL program- you can see all they do on Facebook.

      1. I agree. This is an amazing project that has helped many soldiers who have returned home to cope with their PTSD. There is a great documentary from HLN on YouTube that you could watch.

  10. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so happy for you that your dear husband has survived. Thank you for your strength and love and perseverance. I wish only the best for each of you as you take on each day from here forward. And for your children. I can only imagine what it has been like for you and your family. I wish you husband strength and admire his courage for accepting help. You both have my deep admiration and sincere gratitude. I am a mom of a veteran, wounded only weeks after deployed; no sign of PTSD as of yet thank God. After recovering he has returned to active duty. I wish you all the best always and will keep your family in my prayers. A army mom.

  11. My heart breaks for you and Dave. Just reading about his attempt on suicide put me in tears because I still remember what it was like being depressed a few years ago. I know it wasn’t easy sharing this story, and all I want to do is give you a big hug.

    1. http://www.taps.org/

      Here is the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Another great program for either soldiers or spouses who need assistance dealing with issues like what you are going through. There is also some mentoring opportunities and a network of people who are going through what you are. Please check it out as it seems you have some unknowns. They are wonderful. Hope this helps.

  12. Thank you for sharing your story, Betsy. It was very brave of both of you to share this. I’m sure there are countless families that will relate to this and benefit from you sharing this. I thank God every day that Ben never suffered from PTSD when he returned home from Iraq and I will be praying for your husband, and you. Tell him thank you for his service…and thank YOU for your sacrifice. Hang in there girl. Let me know if you ever need anything in terms of your blog.

  13. Thanks for sharing this Betsy. As someone who has no close friends or relatives in the army, it’s hard for me to understand that kind of lifestyle and job. This was heartbreaking and eye opening at the same time. I’ll be thinking of you, your soldier, and your family.

  14. Oh Betsy. I cannot possibly imagine what it’s like to be a solider – be in combat. See the things he’s seen and experience all that comes with it. And I can’t imagine being a military wife – to be separated from your spouse for months or years at a time. You’re both brave to tell this story. No doubt so many people will be comforted by it. I guess sometimes cupcakes aren’t enough, huh? Hang in there. One day at a time. xoxo

    1. That’s one of the hardest parts for me Amy… not being able to fathom what he went through in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s so hard not being able to understand that. 🙁 Thanks for the love and support. I’m so glad to have a bloggy friend like you! xxoo

  15. Moving words of love and support for a man that has given everything. My husband is a Vietnam Sniper Combat Vet. For years we didn’t know why he did the things he did, we just held on and prayed for the best. Now, with the help of the VA, he is facing those demons – his horrors are mine as I can’t imagine what he’s seen only what he will share. Thank you for your blog it will indeed help others to see that there is help and that our BRAVE soldiers have given more than ANYONE. Please Thank him for his service and Thank you for loving him through it.

  16. First of all, let me say that I love you!
    Second, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
    These two statements will be the MOST IMPORTANT statements you need to remember throughout your struggles.
    I’ve been dealing with this for 15 years now. And I JUST started to understand that it’s not my fault and that I’m not alone. I had to start a blog to admit my feelings, to own them, and not let them rule me anymore. I am struggling with my own Secondary PTSD now and my health, physical and mental, has been compromised. I am doing the best I can to work through it and remain positive. it’s going to be THE hardest thing you will do as a military spouse, and as a veteran’s wife. I wish you all the best and I hope, if you need a shoulder, you will reach out. Just because you don’t know me, and this is my first time here, I want you to know that I am here for you. If you want to read about some of the things I’ve written, so far on my blog, please visit. I would love to share with you and to hopefully help shine some light and let you know you are not alone!

    <3
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    Caring for My Veteran

  17. Betsy, I’m in tears as I read your post. Thank you for sharing this. PTSD is something so real and I do feel like it often gets ignored (by the media) or swept under the rug, or even overlooked. I think writing about it is so important. Thank you to you and Dave for sharing his story. My heart goes out to all of you! I’m sending hugs and love and I am so happy that Dave is alive and with you right now. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you, and thank Dave for his service. Without people like him we wouldn’t have the freedoms and the life we lead, and I’m so thankful for that. xoxo

  18. something really hard you’ve been through. Luckly you are strong and can keep your family safe and together. We’ll keep on reading and supporting you all. Big hug

  19. So many hugs to you, Betsy! I hope you and your husband get the best support the Army has to offer! It really angers me when I see stuff like this because I feel like the Army doesn’t enough for our soldiers. My husband still denies any PTSD but I see the changes and some days I actually dread him coming home because I know how awful it was last time. The Army needs to step up and do better evaluations on all our returning soldiers! And get rid of all the stigma around mental health issues. Ugh. Anyway, so much love coming to you guys!

    1. Oohh…. the Army doesn’t have much support to offer at the moment, seeing that we’re in the middle of Germany, 4 hours from the closest US hospital. And you’re absolutely right, the Army doesn’t do enough for our soldiers. They sweep everything under the rug until it’s too late or too big to ignore. Love back at ya, Amanda! 🙂

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this Betsy. And thank you to your husband, too, for being okay with sharing it. I am so everlastingly grateful for what your husband does for our country, and so deeply sad that he has to deal with this burden. I wish I had the words at my disposal to explain just how much I hope your current circumstances soften around the edges and that the beauty you’re finding in it with your marriage continues to grow. Many deep thanks to both of you.

  21. Betsy, thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. I know it must be difficult and confusing for your husband to have to deal with something as debilitating as PTSD. It’s not an easy illness to deal with. Although we do not share the same events that led us to having PTSD, I can relate to his situation, as well as the emotions and confusion that come with it. I still have my own “demons” and hurdles to overcome, but it’s a process in progress. As for you and the rest of the family, I can only imagine how devastating and difficult it is for all of you to have to cope with the events that PTSD has brought onto your family. I am relieved to know that your husband is on his way to recovery and that your family is in the process of healing. Stay positive, enjoy each day with one another and continue to support one another as much as possible. You are all so blessed to have one another and I wish your family all the best for the future. I would also like to extend a special “Thank You” to your husband for his bravery and dedication to our country and for the service he has provided. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Stay blessed.

  22. What a tough experience for any family to go through. You and your husband are so brave and strong. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I will hold you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. Oh how far you have come from our freshman year in Hitchcock Hall. SO very proud of you Betsy. And Dave. And so glad that you still have your husband by your side to love on the good and bad days.

  24. God bless you Betsy for having the courage to share your heart wrenching experience with your readers. Please continue to CARE for yourself!!! Dave, THANK YOU for your years of service and sacrifice and God bless and watch over you during this most painful and challenging time. I do not suffer with PTSD, however, I have suffered with depression, anxiety and host of other labels since the age of 10 (I am now 61). I too have tried to commit suicide in the past. My only reason for sharing any of this is to share support and to let you know you are not alone in your struggle! There is nothing greater than the love of Jesus Christ and your fantastic family! Hugs Betsy!

  25. I am echoing the sentiments of a previous reply- I have no close family or friends in the military. I had no idea the struggle our soldiers go through on a daily basis. Your post has moved me, and I hope and pray that you and your family can overcome this difficult time and find the peace you so deserve.

  26. Betsy, it’s interesting you mentioned having “triggers” that made you feel anxious when your husband came home from the psych hospital. Undoubtedly, you are working hard to understand PTSD since you used this term. I have PTSD from episodes of spontaneously hemorrhaging and the sound of liquid that I could not see was a trigger for me. I adopted a cat for companionship and was talked into taking a second cat because the cats were “bonded”. I kind of resented the second cat because I viewed her as a burden I did not need. Well, this cat turned out to be the most moist cat ever. She drooled big time! When she would be grooming herself, she made loud slurping noises. Because of her “slurpyness”, I stopped being hyperalert for the sound of liquid. I call her my “therapy cat”. I sometimes still pull my shirt over my head, rock back and forth and loudly moan when TV shows or movies present sudden sprays of blood for the shock effect, but I will watch Game of Thrones just the same for enjoyment as well as the way it helps desensitize me to spraying blood. I guess what I am trying to say is your husband, you and your family will figure out a new way that works for you. It might come from unexpected sources and it might look weird to outsiders, but it will work. Much love and hugs to you!

    1. Hi Beth – You’re right, I’m working hard to understand it all. I think my own journey with my mental health has helped me to identify some of the things I’m going through myself. I’ll definitely keep an open mind, like you did, in finding things that help me. Glad to hear you’re overcoming some of your triggers. Loves of love to you! And thank you for sharing with me!! xoxo
      Betsy

  27. I can totally under stand ur world right now. My husband was diagnosed wit PTSD almost 25 years ago. Although PTSD is a lifelong issue, it is manageable. We found through therapy, talking was the greatest outlet for both of us. Your husband must have a very caring heart, to suffer with this as deeply as he has. He is fortunate, that PTSD is now out in the open….25 years ago it was a big secret! My husband helped bring it out into the light by doing a segment national TV. (48 hours). We were both law enforcement officers at the time!!!! (Nothing like going public and fear of losing jobs! Lol). As a result of reaching out, we found we were not alone, and there were thousands of people out there suffering as we were. I guess what I am trying to say is…there is hope, there is help and you can overcome this hurdle with your husband. Once you get through the tunnel….the other side is awesome! Always open to hearing from you and offering support. Wishing you both comfort in Gods love and guidance.

    1. Janine – This is great to hear. 25 years with PTSD and you guys are doing okay, that gives us hope that we’ll be okay too! I’ll go look for your 48 hours interview… I’d love to see it!! xoxoxo Hugs to you!
      Betsy

  28. Hugs to you!!! You have no idea how much I appreciate you sharing this with all of us. You are so brave to do that and I give you so much credit. If it can help someone else, it’s all worth it right? I lost my uncle to suicide two years ago and he was so special to me. Thanks again for sharing.

  29. Betsy-you are an incredible lady. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can only imagine the intense heartbreak you have had to go through, but I am so glad that you and your husband are getting better. 2 of my cousins are married to veterans and I know they both suffer from PTSD as well–in fact, due to her husband, my one cousin is going into a psychology field that deals exclusively with effects of PTSD. My fiance’ is also an abuse survivor (physical, mental, and emotional-at the hands of his ex stepfather)so he has some issues that are similar as well. What I’m trying to say is-you are so not alone, and thank you for sharing and letting the rest of us know we’re not alone either. <3

    1. Thanks Kayle! <3 More people suffer from PTSD than we realize, I think. I wish that it was easier to talk about publicly. I'm so glad we're friends... thanks for the support! xoxo

  30. Thank you so much for sharing this. You have helped so man people with just one post. My heart and thanks go out to your family. I also suffer from PTSD and the ONE thing that has helped me is EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. When you can, please look into it. There are many YouTube videos that are free, but finding a practitioner would be your best bet.

  31. PTSD is something my husband struggles with daily. He’s been out since 2009 and hasn’t been to IRAQ since 2008 yet, little things can trigger something in his mind within seconds. It’s unreal and I never thought it was something that could affect someone so strongly. But it’s there, it’s there during everyday of his life and no one really understands until they’ve been through it or watched someone they love go through it! I”m sending 100000 hugs and prayers to you and your brave soldier!

    1. It’s like I never knew what to call what he was going through before his attempted suicide. But, now that I know it’s called PTSD, at least we can’t ignore it anymore. I am thankful your husband is alive… that my husband is alive… and that we know that one day at a time is all we can do. <3 much love to you, Angie!! xoxo

  32. Betsy,

    My eyes are filled with tears as I read of the challenges facing your family. My heart and prayers are with you and your family as you travel this unknown journey.

  33. First and foremost, thank you, your husband and your family for your service to our country! Thanks you all for sharing your struggles….you are not alone! Please, seek all the help you need and stay strong and committed to each other…these are hard times but you will endure….God Bless you all!

  34. Betsy,
    I am a First Sergeant in the AF. My unit experienced a completed suicide last year. It was devastating. Thank the good Lord your husband did not complete his attempt and even more thanks that he is willing to get help. There is strength in asking for help. That is the only positive thing that come from the suicide in my unit…more people are now willing to “Shirt, it’s too much right now. I need help.” Bless you and your family. I pray for your family to continue to heal.

    1. Hi Jen – Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate your feedback as a 1SG. I’m sure as a person in a leadership position, it’s hard to keep track of the needs of hundreds of soldiers at once. I know my husbands command is having a hard time with it. Thank you for being aware of the situation and I wish you luck with your unit.
      Betsy

  35. What a brave and wonderful post. Thank you for sharing something so personal to you and your family. Hopefully this will help many others. I am so glad that your blog has given you an outlet for support. Sending many prayers to you and your family.

  36. Oh my sweet friend, hugs to you and your family. I am so sorry for all that you are all going through. While not the same as a spouse, I have spent the overwhelming majority of my life dealing with a loved one’s suicide attempts and depression, psych wards, and all that goes with it. There is nothing harder, and I don’t think anyone can know what it’s like for those doors to lock between two people, the fear, the panic, the sadness, the overwhelming concern and wondering if this is the right thing, right place, right everything… it’s a feeling that is indescribable. I’m sending thoughts and prayers your way. Take care of YOU. Your family will all benefit from you making sure your batteries are charged. Huge and love to you. XOXO

    1. Christi – Thanks for reaching out. That moment the doors closed, well I never want to have those feelings again. It’s comforting to know that someone I consider a friend also understands those feelings. <3 I'm trying hard to take care of myself... it's hard with a toddler and no childcare to get time away to see the doctor. I'll make it work though.
      Love right back at ya,
      Betsy
      xoxo

  37. I wish I knew what to say that would make everything better for you, your husband and family. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. I hope that you feel loved and supported by all your followers. Thank you for sharing. God bless xxx

  38. I’m so sorry to hear all that you and your family have been through. I’m thankful you remain positive. My husband is also military, deployed w OIF, and has PTSD. It almost broke us, but, like you, we remain positive and persevere. Thank your husband for his service, and thank you for supporting him. We are all in this together. You are never alone.

  39. Hi Betsy,
    A very good friend who has been following your
    blog for several years told me I should read it today.

    My husband back in December of 2013 tried
    to commit suicide. Not long after was diagnosed with PTSD. He has suppressed things that happened to him in the Army for many years. Something happened to trigger it last year and he just didn’t see a away out. He didn’t harm himself and for that I am thankful. I had no idea anything like this was a problem for him. He has always been the
    rock, get things done, care for everyone
    kind of guy. It is very hard because he is
    hurting and there is nothing I can do. He has
    been in treatment and things are getting
    better. Next month he leaves for in house
    treatment, he will be gone for three months
    over the holidays. He will be going through
    the hardest part yet on his own. I have never
    been an active duty Army wife (he is retired Arm), so I am not used to him being gone. We have been together 17 years in
    February.

    Your story hits very close to home
    for me. One day at a time is all we can
    do. Thank you for sharing your story.

  40. You, my darling, have reset the bar for all military spouses. This is from an 82nd Airborne and 75th Ranger Regiment veteran. And, this in no way is meant to minimize the great support Julie was for me.

  41. Dearest Betsy,

    I understand why you shared this story on your blog, and am thankful to you for your honesty and bravery. When these things are kept secret they become shadows lurking that hurt, rather then help, those with the “secret”and those who know and love them and those who need to know they are not alone. John, Jack and I stand by your side and support you, Dave, Emily and Matty in whatever way you need us to.

    I know you know this and ~~~ you are not alone.

    With big hugs and love, Deb

  42. Dave is incredibly strong for allowing you to share this. You are incredibly strong for being there for him. Thank you, both, for your service. There comes a time when the country needs to come second. As a military daughter and a military wife, I know how crazy those words sound. I hope the Army lets him put them second so he can put himself first. Thinking every good thought I can for all of you. – Heather

    1. Heather – I totally agree. I just don’t think that the military will truly let my husband have that “me” time until he’s retired. 10 more years. *sigh* Thanks for your kind words and support! 🙂 -Betsy

  43. This is such a honest and wonderful blog post. Before I moved to be with my now Marine husband, I was a nurse at the VA working with Veterans suffering from PTSD. It was incredibly sad and upsetting. It is incredibly brave and so important that you share this story. All too often, we push it under the rug and hide from the realities of military life. Sharing normalizes it and encourages veterans and military families to come forward and share the truth. This will save lives, Betsy. This post is going to save someones life and that is absolutely powerful.

    Luaren

    1. Laruen- Helping someone else is one of the reasons I wrote this (plus it was therapeutic for me). There is a stigma around PTSD and people are often afraid to talk about it. I hope that our story can help someone in any way realize they are not alone. <3 Thanks for support and love! -Betsy

  44. *hugs* Betsy. We’re fours years from the moment you are living right now. It still impacts us, but it’s getting better. My husband is back down range at the moment and, to be honest, I didn’t realize just HOW much things had changed until he was over there. The communication is so much better, he’s staying plugged in back here, he’s planning ahead for after the deployment. It wasn’t until now that I realized the signs that he was suffering started during his times out of country as his mindset changed. But know this, it can get better. Take the time to take care of yourself as you go through this process.

    1. That’s good to hear Kristen. I just can’t imagine my husband going back in the situation he’s in now though. Did you get help as well? I’m wondering the ways I can help him through this (besides being a good listener, supporting him when he asks me for things, etc)… specifically tools I can use, ya know? What resources have you utilized? Thanks for sharing your story with me! 🙂 xoxo -Betsy

  45. Thank you for sharing your story today. Wow. My heart just aches for you, for the pain you’re going through, for the pain your soldier is living with, and for all the military families suffering right alongside you. I will keep you in my prayers, and I’m following along for updates!

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