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Unable To Sleep PTSD Nightmares

August 30, 2011

After all these years it still does happen to me, from time to time, waking up from a PTSD nightmare I have learned how to cope with it now.  I realize that laying there, tossing and turning, with my mind racing back to things I’d rather not be dwelling on is not good for me.  So I get up and I write.

Writing, for me, is still therapeutic even when I have little to say.   It is amazing that once I sit down in front of the computer how the words just start to come.  I know that writing helps me and I know it will help others too so I put myself up to the daily scrutiny to encourage others to write.

I would really love to encourage PTSD spouses to contribute to the Military PTSD Forum.  These women are the forgotten people in many of the PTSD discussions.  I wasn’t married when I went into the service but I did have a girlfriend.  About halfway through my tour I received a “Dear John” letter.  I had told her before I left that I didn’t want her to wait around for me although I really did.  I wish I could say that it didn’t affect me but it did and I was haunted by it for the remainder of my tour.  It would have been so much worse had this been someone that I had been married to.  Worse still if we had had a child together.

Coming home was a different story altogether.  I have often told my wife that I was glad I didn’t know her then.  I am not sure that we would have stayed a couple knowing what I was like dealing with my own struggles with PTSD.

I sometimes think of the poor women waiting at home, waiting for the person that they married to return.  They patiently wait and keep the home fires burning and in many cases, I’m sure, idealize the man that they love who has been away.  Then the reality sets in once their loved one returns home. He returns a different person and very much different than the one who has been conjured up in the spouses mind, the ideal husband or wife.

A PTSD sufferer is distant and closed off and this closed off position can easily be confused as uninterested. Anger is easy to come by for a PTSD person and this anger is usually directed at the spouse or children. This terrible situation can be linked to alcohol and drug abuse which can also be deadly to a relationship.

There is a much higher divorce rate among PTSD couples. I urge the spouses to become involved and not fall prey to sweeping things under the rug if they at all thing there may be PTSD issues.

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