standing up to the demon of PTSD

Dear PTSD, This is My Promise to You

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?

You have systematically stripped him of his confidence, his courage, and his conviction. You have robbed him of his career. You have deprived him of his freedom. Tell me, what is there left to take?

And it seems he’s not enough for you. Must the children and I be your puppets too?

You demand proof of our love for him in the face of your intimidation. You make us fight, time and again, to keep our family together, even though we’re fighting for a family life that will never be safe from your erratic intrusions. A family life where laughter can quickly turn to tears. A family life in which we must watch our every step, every day.

And then, in those moments when you force me to look you in the eye and you challenge me with unbearable rage, it takes all my determination to say, I will not back down. You will not win.

You shroud my husband so well, it’s almost impossible to glimpse the man underneath at times. You smother our family so easily, sometimes it’s difficult to breathe. You control us with the past, but more cruelly, you make us fearful of tomorrow. With you as our guard, what future can we hope for?

But you already know all this. This is your strategy. This is how you break your prisoners, how you claim your victims. And my husband is only one of many.

Yes, you are powerful, but he is stronger. You will not destroy this man.

I will soothe all the tears that you evoke. I will intercept every trigger. I will protect my children from your storms. I will comfort every flashback and nightmare you summon. I will endure every outrage. I will do whatever it takes. And I will stay.

I will unhinge you with love, and I will crush you with tenacity.

This is my promise to you.


Yours resolutely,

A wife, standing strong for as long as it takes


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9 thoughts on “Dear PTSD, This is My Promise to You

  1. Rebecca says:

    It’s been 28 years and two children two grandchildren .i always knew i was lonely and being for his emotional side ,the affectionate side , the love, I grew up with. I never realized he had been alone all his life and didn’t know how, then the cracks in his shield type through him one nite and the battle to find him is an ongoing egg shell walk. I will fight for him and keep reaching out to groups for understanding, to help me cope with my anger and my fears.


    • Lea Farrow says:

      Thank you for your comment, Rebecca, and for sharing your story. The best way you can care for him and support him is to reach out as much as possible, learn as much as possible, and to be sure you’re looking after yourself first. Take care.


  2. Camille says:

    This is my life, but I did leave. I had to leave to help my husband understand that he needed to get more help. We are working things out and I know I will return; he is my husband and I still love him. My only hope is that he can continue to improve and doesn’t backtrack.


    • Lea Farrow says:

      Thank you for your comment, Camille. This plays on my mind a lot – am I supporting him in his recovering, or could I actually be a hinderance? I hope your journey brings you two back together at the right time. Take care.


  3. Bobbi Howard says:

    Something to check on. Is he taking any medication like Prozac or paxil or other SSRI’s. If so check to see if they are brand or generic. The generic in this class of medications do not work. Must be the brand. My dad has a book coming out on this. He is a retired psychiatrist and realized years ago the the generics were not effective. Hope things will get better for you.


    • Lea says:

      Thanks for your comment Bobbi, though as an Australian pharmacist, I find this theory somewhat worrying. Are you in the US? Quite possibly, the regulations surrounding the generic counterparts are different country to country. I am certainly well aware of how strictly regulated generics are in Australia!


  4. Jackelyn Hawthorne says:

    Chills…gave me chills on just how accurate this really is. My husband cried. But hugged me and told his military brothers how i am the best of wives. So many people could never understand the grip ptsd has on one and ones family.


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