Fitting In –PTSD

February 16, 2012

Coming home is something that everyone in Vietnam looked forward to. Not only do the troops want to come home but those at home can’t wait to see them. So it is a pretty awesome experience. From first hand experience I can tell you that the bloom quickly comes off the rose.

In my case my tour was only a year. The tour in Vietnam was 365 days give or take. The World turns 365 days and people get 365 days older and experience many things in a year. The biggest thing is routines. In the military you have a routine that happens while you are “in Country” what ever it may have been. From my personal experience it isn’t always a life or death routine but I personally always had that thought in the back of my mind that I could die. I had a job to do, which to whatever extent, impacted the war.

But back at home there are also routines. Families continue to function without the missing part. Let’s take a married family with a child. The child grows a year older and the wife has had to make due with an absentee husband or father. The child has had a year to not bond with the male/ female member missing. These routines set.

Now the tour ends and the missing member returns and now tries to squeeze into this already established pattern. Under normal circumstances this is difficult. It is even worse if the member experiences PTSD. Now the disruption of the pattern is more pronounced and needs extra attention just to try to find normalcy.

Of course we all want to feel sorry for anyone suffering but when it creates a disruption in what needs to get done and an additional burden instead of an easement of the pressure it becomes an issue.  Statistics show that is not unusual for a marriage to break up in the first 6 months of return when one member suffers from PTSD/.

Getting help is crucial and trying to cope in silence is not the answer.  There is no shame or weakness in seeking help and the sufferers well being and future depends on it.