Posts Tagged ‘MST and family’

…listen to these words from a guest writer!

July 21, 2011
looking into the face of God by jayfherron
looking into the face of God, a photo by jayfherron on Flickr.

I suggested to Jay a while back that he should consider having some “guest bloggers” share their stories. I think this was when Jay said he was finished, and had no more to say. That was not good news for those of us who follow his blog, and the chronicle of his struggles. Because I know, at least for my husband, it has been immeasurably helpful to know there is someone out there that gets it.

But now it is time to put my offer to the test. And I am realizing just how hard it is to put myself out there. And I am not the MST survivor. I am the wife of a man who was raped violently in the military.

I know the statistics that the divorce rate is astronomical for veterans. I honestly do not think I would still be in my marriage if it were not for my background in mental health counseling. At the very least , I have some tools available to me. Like how to handle it when my guy is disassociating, and does not know who I am, when he screams in the night. Or is hearing men’s voices, or believes someone is in the basement. Or when he attempted suicide. No one has written a manual on how to do this.

Not that I’m a saint , by any stretch of the imagination. I did not sign up for this. I met and married a lovely, kind, gentle man. He was prone to dark, dark moods. He had issues with men in authority. But the good qualities far outweighed the negative. I did not know that this monster issue lay buried within him. He had a cover story, that “something” awful happened in the military. I was not aware of the scope of the trauma, the despair. It took a suicide attempt, and a hospitalization, and lots of added trauma from the VA to even get to the point where he “blurted” out the truth to a psychologist. Then the real fun started. We are now four years into the battle to get this to a point where my husband is functional.

I sound cynical, as I hear the words in my head. I have watched the VA make my husband into a pharmaceutical zombie. I have fought the battles he has not been able to fight. I have been the keeper of information, the chauffeur, the counselor, the babysitter, not often wife. No one tells us wives how to deal with this, how to be in a marriage when the partner does not even feel like a man. I have even been told I now have “secondary PTSD” from living with him. I know there are days I drive him crazy, constantly checking on him. Ah, yes…being hyper vigilant, sleep disturbances, missed work, intrusive thoughts…

But, things are getting better. The symptoms are less disruptive, and I am getting more and more glimpses of the man I married. Or maybe a different version, now that I know the truth of his difficulties. He just got awarded 100% compensation for PTSD. It feels like a little justice, although the fight is not over. That is another story. But, at least some validation from the VA has made my husband feel like he was heard, and wasn’t crazy or making it up. Like anyone would make up what he has been through.

I hope I am not rambling, or not making sense. I do not feel like I can share my husband’s story. It is not mine to tell. I think he will tell his story on this blog someday, as long as I type it for him. For all those who read this wonderful, brave blog that Jay writes, I hope you find peace, justice and love. We are all connected.

Love to you all,

Mel, the wife of a MST survivor