Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Connection ...Army Spouse to Army Spouse.

I wanted to share an email I received after a reader found my blog and read it. She then contacted me through email. It was awesome! The reasons I started this blog in October 2007 were many, but the main one being to connect with others in our situation. I was so desperate back then to share information and to gain knowledge.

I have really not been a faithful blogger for some time now. Couple I felt like I was being censored by people who felt I was sharing too much, so I guess I gave in.Also I developed a trigger to my secondary PTSD, which was using the computer. I think that happened...sorry I analyze everything...since every since Rodney was deployed the Internet was my lifeline to what was happening over in Iraq as well as when he returned home after being was my way of searching, and locating information. I became obsessed and would have anxiety attacks on a normal basis. I had to back away a Facebook became my means of contact with my blogger friends. Ok I am way off subject...

Below is the email letter I received and then responded to. Now I remember why I Blog!

Dear Tracy,

I enjoyed reading your Blog, I found you as a follower of the "Wife of a Wounded Soldier" Blog.

A few days ago I felt compelled to start my own Blog. As the spouse of a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and TBI I realized the unique challenges I face on a daily basis.

I would be honored if you would read my new Blog “The Combat Veteran Spouse - Living in the Shadow of PTSD” I would love to know your thoughts.

The war in Iraq is churning out thousands of young men and women who are returning home changed forever. For those that live with them, the transformation in their loved one can be overwhelming. There is no handbook accompanying the returning veteran, and if there was it would read “Dear spouse……you are now the proud recipient of returning veteran whose mind, body and soul have been changed forever. Forget what you knew about them before they were deployed….oh, and good luck finding a support group near you that deals exclusively in the trials and challenges you are about to face!”

Thank you so much for your time....and please feel free to share this link with others.

Warmest Regards,

My response:
Dear D,
I appreciate you contacting as well as reading my blog. I do not keep it as updated as much as I feel I should, but I am thankful it is there when I need it. It was a lifesaver when I needed one within the vast sea of the unknown and craziness of dealing with our "new" normal. I made many great blog friends over the last 2 plus years, who I still keep in touch with through facebook and email. I hope your blog is as therapeutic to you as mine has been to me.

I did go to your blog and read your latest entry. It hit me hard, as I read about the different medications your spouse takes. (We have our list on the fridge just in case we have to grab it for a trip to the ER.) Then I read about the self-medicating with alcohol. That is where I went into my own secondary PTSD mode and most likely why I don't read blogs like I used to. Your situation though is so familiar. You see my husband spent almost 3 months inpatient at the VA for substance abuse, coping and all the other stuff he needed to deal with emotionally. He was diagnosed as bi-polar. He came home a week prior to Christmas and it has been different, I guess I can even say better. It took a long time to get him to this point. Over the last year that was the 2nd time for treatment.. I am hopeful but not stupid. The thing is now I can truly see the extent of the TBI and PTSD which was being masked by the alcohol and over use of his prescription drugs. If he could have controlled the alcohol I wouldn't have been opposed to him using it-he has been through hell. The deal is that due to the alcohol on top of everything else he had gotten 2 DUI's, lost his license, lost his job of 13 years (he is national guard),had major court costs we couldn't afford, was constantly lying, had started acting out and having inappropriate behavior at our son's sporting activities. There was also the anger issues and chaos within our home. So as you can see your post hit me hard.

This was stuff that happened over time but it got to the point I couldn't deal anymore. I am grateful for our time apart and for his recovery. We have a relationship where I am his wife, friend as well as caregiver but I respect him and understand him more now. I don't feel bitter or look for ways to get out of the craziness of the marriage. I had an attitude 180, for that I am thankful.

Thanks for letting me share-I probably should have blogged something like that..LOL. Maybe I will use it. It took strength to reach out to me and I am here if you need an ear.

As you said the military doesn't tell us how to do what we do. The way I have found to find the resources and information is to search like crazy, ask a lot of questions and develop relationships with other wife's with wounded warriors. The Wounded Warrior project and the site has been to of the best organizations I have found. So I guess what I am saying sharing information and our stories is what we CAN do!

I will follow your blog and feel free to comment or email anytime. As far as your blog goes there is not right or wrong, just write what feels right. Readers will find you. Use the tags at the bottom of each blog entry. Comment on other's blogs. Best of Luck!

So I hope you all check out D's blog and keep coming back to mine, your support is so appreciated.
Trying to Keep Imagining!

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