As a former military family, it’s definitely not been the easiest route. I knew there was going to be lots of time apart, moving away from family but I wasn’t educated about PTSD. I got married when I was still in High School (crazy, wild, and in love!). My husband’s name is Ernesto (Ernie), we’ve been married for almost 7 years. He’s soon to be 26, and I’m soon to be 25. We have our Sonny Jameson, who’s turning 3 years old soon.
Living in Jacksonville, NC at Camp Lejeune Marine Corp Base, we had lots of time apart as he was in the Infantry. He’d spend weeks and months away. We were away from each other more than we were together.
Living with PTSD. When he was on his last deployment, we purchased our first home in California, our home state. He was eager to get out and enjoy family time. I soon got pregnant. For the first year and a half, it was exciting and full of joy. He went to school full-time and was able to support our little family with the GI Bill income. However, once he adapted, that’s when his PTSD started to become expressed more often. He’d have mood swings, very bad anger problems, depression, missed his military brothers. We argued so much that we nearly separated. We actually did, he packed his bags and left for a week with very little communication. I had our 6 month old Sonny and an empty lonesome three bedroom house with 4 dogs.
I was constantly calling him, although most of the time he never answered, I called his family to make sure he was ok. He went through two deployments and lots two brothers. It was an extremely traumatic deployment. Yet, the challenges had just started.
I wish there were more meets, counseling, or classes that military wives were able to participate in without looking like “bitchy dependents” or making our husbands seem like they’re crazy war veterans.
I’m glad that as the years slowly pass, there’s more awareness of PTSD. I’m not saying it’s all OK and we’ve passed that. But now, I have taught myself to give him his space. If he’s having a bad day, I simply go spend time with Sonny, family and friends. I’ve come to understand that there’s nothing more comforting for him, than to just relax, enjoy his hobby and letting himself unwind without interruption. Everyone needs “me time”.
There is SOOO much less arguing. We used to argue for hours, be upset with each other for days. Now, we simply just have a moment of attitude and learn to give each other space. It’s definitely challenging but I would never give up on this man. He’s my high school sweet heart, he needs my support. Even if it means, giving him space.
It’s something we have to learn to grow and understand.
I’m just happy there’s more PTSD awareness and events that support military families and veterans.