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  • PTSD

    Interested to hear from partners of ex servicemen and how they deal with their partners PTSD?

    I've always thought that I've "gotten over" the worst of most of it. But it still creeps into everyday conversations and activities.

    For example i can act randomly emotional, be that sad or aggressive.

    I had a pretty serious injury that made my PTSD process easier to overcome become because we were going through it together.

    Not sure if that makes sense. But I've found my partner doesn't like talking about my injuries or stories for fear of upsetting me. Whereas there are some occasions i like discussing it, particularly with my daughter

  • Hey! It's interesting that you posted this. Yesterday, I attended a service for my late grandma where everyone talked a lot about her and my grandpa's lifelong romance. We talked about how while he was in WWII in combat, he wrote her a letter almost every single day. We read those letters and realize that if not for her, he probably wouldn't have made it through that nightmare.

    And then after he got home, he dealt with severe PTSD at various times throughout the rest of his life. With a wife and 6 little mouths to feed. We agreed again, if not for the love he had for Granny, he wouldn't have made it.

    So, what made their situation special? I think it was just that they knew each other, they knew it was going to be hard and they buckled down in preparation for whatever was to come, together. When he wanted to talk about it, she was eager to listen. (I never heard the first WWII story from him. He only spoke about it in phases of his life and only briefly.) When he woke up with night terrors, sometimes reacting physically against her (thinking she was a threat), she was there...calm and understanding. It was never about her. She never took it personally even though I know how hard it was for her.

    This isn't to say you haven't already tried this, but I recommend talking with your wife about it. Heart to heart. If you WANT her to ask questions about it and you want her to talk about it, tell her that. Open the door. If you don't want that or haven't opened that door, then she will consider it off-limits.

    Where do you fall in the realm of wanting to talk about it vs not wanting to talk about it?
    "Be what you're looking for."

    Comment


    • I second Ashley T.'s post. I don't know much about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but am also interested in hearing people's experiences of it. I know there has been a lot of research into it: and the wars really increased cases of PTSD. I suppose the wars helped in this research and treatment into the condition.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post
        Hey! It's interesting that you posted this. Yesterday, I attended a service for my late grandma where everyone talked a lot about her and my grandpa's lifelong romance. We talked about how while he was in WWII in combat, he wrote her a letter almost every single day. We read those letters and realize that if not for her, he probably wouldn't have made it through that nightmare.

        And then after he got home, he dealt with severe PTSD at various times throughout the rest of his life. With a wife and 6 little mouths to feed. We agreed again, if not for the love he had for Granny, he wouldn't have made it.

        So, what made their situation special? I think it was just that they knew each other, they knew it was going to be hard and they buckled down in preparation for whatever was to come, together. When he wanted to talk about it, she was eager to listen. (I never heard the first WWII story from him. He only spoke about it in phases of his life and only briefly.) When he woke up with night terrors, sometimes reacting physically against her (thinking she was a threat), she was there...calm and understanding. It was never about her. She never took it personally even though I know how hard it was for her.

        This isn't to say you haven't already tried this, but I recommend talking with your wife about it. Heart to heart. If you WANT her to ask questions about it and you want her to talk about it, tell her that. Open the door. If you don't want that or haven't opened that door, then she will consider it off-limits.

        Where do you fall in the realm of wanting to talk about it vs not wanting to talk about it?
        Very interesting. My uncle was in WWII where he was a combat engineer under Patton in North Africa, Sicily and Italy per family history. I don't know where he went from there. I never heard a first hand story from him about it. I heard second hand stories from my father which weren't highly detailed and third hand stories from my mother that she got second hand from my father. My father told of him telling of soldiers killed on all sides of him. I would suppose he came back with some trauma because of his experiences. Hard to say. Of six brothers, in which he was number four and was seven years younger than the oldest, he ended up dying the first (heart attack while driving). My father said he believed that was due to what he brought home from the war. That could have been mental but it also could have been being exposed to physical conditions such as poisons.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        ...
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

        Comment


        • jns - Yes! I don't think most of us can even fathom what these young men and women endure while in combat. For my grandpa, I believe it was the killing of innocent people that haunted him the most. He was literally handed a weapon at age 18 and told "I know you've been taught your entire life not to take a life. But now, you will make a choice that either you take life or they take yours."

          My cousin did a research paper on WWII in high school and asked to interview him. It was so hard for him. I can imagine that he did not want his grandchild to see him as the murderer that he felt he was. He did tell us grandkids some stories, but most were the "funnier" ones, not the darkest ones.

          I relate this topic to tragic death, because I can relate to that one. When you lose someone tragically, people totally lock up around you and have no idea what to say. I mean...honestly, even after going through it more than once myself, I still struggle knowing what to say to people going through it around me. Everyone is different and we won't all need the same things during that time. Some people don't WANT to talk about the death OR the person who died. Others need to. It is SO HARD for people to know how to approach such a delicate and emotionally intense topic.

          People have told me, "I don't bring it up because I don't want to cause pain to resurface for you." I respond, "You cannot cause something to resurface that still exists on the surface. I think about this every single day. You bringing it up won't CAUSE me to think about it. You bringing it up gives me the green light to express and release some of what is already weighing heavily on my heart every single day."

          And for MrMr, it is important to know which of those people you are. The one who doesn't wish to discuss it or the one who needs to discuss it. The people closest to you need to know which of those you are so that they can feel comfortable in honoring your wishes.

          "Be what you're looking for."

          Comment


          • I think you're right, Ashlee T: we can't even fathom how it must feel to be in combat, knowing you're going to take a life because you've been ordered to. It is no wonder PTSD is rife for our men and women in the army. Their memories haunt them their entire lives. Yet - as we know - they're not murderers: they are men and women who've been given no choice. But it is heartbreaking knowing the pain of war. Still, our people who have fought for our country - and other countries - are heroes and suffer needlessly.

            I can't imagine watching someone die at the hand of my gun: and can only glimpse what people with traumatic stress disorder are going through.

            Comment


            • "Yet - as we know - they're not murderers:"

              This is a statement that rings so true with myself. I received outside therapy which helped me with my ptsd. The perception others may have of me can give me great anxiety.

              My partner, friends and family (whilst being pretty Liberal) don't have any negative views on those involved with combat, but its not something I discussed in detail with them. Although they have been witnesses to ranking and combat awards i received.

              My daughter is really inquisitive and i love talking to her about the importance of the lessons of service. She recognises the family dynamics that have been shaped by my experiences and its a beautiful thing.

              Comment


              • I was interesting in reading your post, MrMr. I can only imagine what you went through, so I won't condescend you by saying I do. But PTSD is common in jobs, such as yours was. But it is wonderful you're teaching your daughter the importance of service. Because as cheesy as this sounds, life is like a big ship and everyone has to work to keep the ship sailing.

                I assume you're having therapy still. Although the scars and memories don't fade. But you are a hero and I think everyone can sympathise with what you went through.

                Comment


                • Most ex service persons hate being asked "have you ever killed someone". Its perceived as an uncouth question. I certainly never asked my father or grandad
                  ??????
                  Today my daughter asked the same question in front of my partner and her friend. I said if you really want to know then ask me later. This kid doesn't miss a beat, so she did.

                  I told her a story about how an armoured vehicle i was in went over an IED and i escaped whilst also being shot.

                  She gave me a look that I'll remember forever and hugged me and said "tell me a story with funny voices" (its a thing we do) and we went downstairs and had dinner.

                  Kids are amazing. My kid is amazing
                  ?????
                  ????

                  Comment


                  • One thing I wish to get off my chest is the lack of funding and understanding around mental health in the UK.

                    I went private (and paid through the nose for it) my partner is so disenfranchised with the services now. Its very hard for me to feel the same way.

                    Comment



                    • Didn't mean to post

                      Comment


                      • I thank God i failed the seal tests. I was a lost, angry young man looking for answers in the wrong places.

                        My daughter saved, changed and shaped my life. I cant wait until she is old enough understand how she saved my life

                        Comment


                        • All love

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by MrMr View Post
                            Most ex service persons hate being asked "have you ever killed someone". Its perceived as an uncouth question. I certainly never asked my father or grandad
                            ??????
                            Today my daughter asked the same question in front of my partner and her friend. I said if you really want to know then ask me later. This kid doesn't miss a beat, so she did.

                            I told her a story about how an armoured vehicle i was in went over an IED and i escaped whilst also being shot.

                            She gave me a look that I'll remember forever and hugged me and said "tell me a story with funny voices" (its a thing we do) and we went downstairs and had dinner.

                            Kids are amazing. My kid is amazing
                            ?????
                            ????
                            Children are usually taught that taking another person's life is wrong (some families don't convey this message or convey a different message by actions). When it is someone close to them who did it, they have to figure out how to reconcile opposites. When you grow up, you have to reconcile the fact that a good person may have to take the life of someone else and that it does not diminish the goodness of that person.
                            I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                            ...
                            Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                            From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                            Comment


                            • I absolutely agree, jns. You've hit the nail on the head. Because our soldiers - and other trained fighters - are good people and are doing a job to protect us and our society: they are NOT murderers, but are heroes. Without them Hitler would be in power, terrorists would've killed more and more people. Evil has to be battled and stopped.

                              Respect to our soldiers and police force and other crime fighters. We owe our lives to them.

                              Comment

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