We All Need Some Headspace

My 7-year-old daughter stayed home from school yesterday. She’s at the tail end of a nasty cold, however she wasn’t nearly unwell enough to pass my strict sick-day checklist.

I know she would have coped with the day at school. Except, when I looked past what she was actually saying, I found myself hearing something a little different that morning. It wasn’t her sore throat, or some playground issues, or wanting extra time with me.

Yesterday, my daughter just really needed a  Continue reading

The Same Life, but a New Perspective

It sure would be nice just to flick a switch and turn this off sometimes. Finally take some of that time out, that people tell me I need, and actually let myself relax. Feel the knot of anxiety in my stomach loosen a little.

Do I mean turning off my husband’s PTSD? Clearly that’s not an option. And even if it was, would I actually choose to flick that switch and risk missing all the important life lessons that adversity has taught me? Risk losing the person I have become?

No, I want an off-switch for something much more universal. Something you probably want to switch off yourself, from time to time. Continue reading

When the PTSD Beast Bites

A letter arrived last week. Official ambulance correspondence. Addressed to my husband, but in my role of anticipating triggers, this was mine to open.

From that crisp envelope, I pulled out a commendation letter for my husband. Commendation letters are those sent to unknown paramedics from grateful patients or their family. Heartfelt words expressing their deepest gratitude to the paramedics who became the one light shining on their darkest day.

It was an impromptu rainbow, defiantly bright against the grey clouds of my husband’s PTSD. A smile passed over my lips and into my heart. Surely, only good news.

But as it turned out, there was a trigger waiting inside that envelope. A trigger for me. Continue reading

Crying Over the Ripples of Trauma

I was alone in the car. I made sure of that before I let the tears flow. Moments like these catch me off-guard, my reaction cannot be predicted. It was an ordinary day, a completely normal Monday, and I’d just driven past the scene of a car accident.

It’s always unexpected, really. A siren wails in the distance as I’m on my way home. I only half-register it. Then the sound building, the urgency mounting. It has my attention now. Cars are moving aside to let the ambulance pass.

I do the same. Then immediately feel my heart skip a beat, Continue reading

I Couldn’t Heal My Husband’s PTSD, but I’ve Found 10 Ways to Heal Myself

“You really need to look after yourself,” they all tell me, time and again. “Just take some time on your own. Or maybe get a babysitter and have a night out together.”

Stop pestering me, I answer in my mind, fighting back the tears yet again, do you really think I don’t know I need a break? It’s just not that simple. And you will never understand why…

Supporting a partner with PTSD is more difficult than I could ever imagine. Five years ago, when my husband was diagnosed, I was naively confident that I could handle whatever may happen. I was sure that with the right counselling, the right medications, the right therapy plan, and some time, we would easily beat this together. For the sake of our marriage and the sake of our young family.

But somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Continue reading

My Promise to You, PTSD

Dear PTSD,

You have controlled my husband for five years now, and I’m writing to tell you that it’s time to let him go. We need him back.

Unshackle him. He is no longer your prisoner.

Day after day, year after year, you have mercilessly put him through every test possible. You have relentlessly forced him to jump over every last hurdle, just to keep going. He’s beyond exhausted… he’s empty. What more does he have to prove? Continue reading