Living with a Vietnam veteran who is suffering from PTSD is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. We, as the women of these veterans, go through so many emotions. Not knowing how to handle things or who to turn to, is so hard at times.
I adore my veteran, and to see him go through this hell is so heart breaking. Even though I know there is nothing I can do to ease his suffering, I try to be there. While I can have empathy, I will never know the hell he is going through.
I always thought the older a veteran gets, the less the PTSD would bother them, but this was the wrong assumption. This condition is getting worse, and I keep wondering if he had been treated when he first came home from Vietnam, would he be much better now? I guess this question will never be answered; we can’t turn back time and have him do it all over again.
The VA now acknowledges PTSD and does try to help but I am wondering if this is ‘too little too late’. My veteran has had hypnosis, acupuncture and meditation, to no avail. He may feel better for a day or two but then reality comes crashing back with a loud bang. I have seen my veteran be soft and gentle, and then, in the blink of an eye, become an explosive volcano. I wonder what he is thinking or feeling at these times. I know he is so afraid that he might become uncontrollable. He does try his best to control the demons that are plaguing him, but to live with those demons twenty-four-seven is simply, unfair. These demons plague his nightmares and his waking hours; crowds make him uneasy, and being in public causes him to constantly scan his environment. At night every sound wakes him, as he is constantly on alert.
My veteran is very protective; always worrying I will be hurt and wanting to protect me, every chance he gets. He doesn’t rest easy until I am home safe, and despite constant reassurances that I am fine, he still worries.
If I could wave a magic wand and take away all his pain and suffering, I would do so, and I would heal all the hurt he has ever suffered. Technically, a country wins a war but our soldiers will suffer until the day they breathe their last. I would dance this dance with him all over again knowing how things would be, because he is my Hero.