So, we are 4 days in now. Four days into Rob actually being home with us. For good! And not just for a temporary R&R.
It's been wonderful and scary. Wonderful in all the moments where everything feels right. And scary when we think about everything we have gone through. Rob is doing well with readjusting...but even doing well there is still just that. Readjustment.
Some of the things that he is dealing with are trouble sleeping, trouble falling asleep, loss of memory and concentration and being easily irritable. I haven't seen any signs of the easily irritability part, and for that I am so thankful.
Just these few, very normal symptoms of readjustment made me think about what happens when soldiers return with true and severe PTSD. Post Tramautic Stress Disorder is a very serious condition and many of our soldiers are returning with symptoms ranging from those above, to serious withdrawal from familes, spouses and even themselves. Sometimes the normal world just seems too much to cope with.
Just in Rob's very normal readjustment, I feel a tad bit overwhelmed. I want everything to be fine, I want him to be happy and healthy and completely home. Rob has always had an uncanny ability to switch off and on between his civilian life and his military life. So this subtle readjustment is a bit scary. I know in my head that it has to be a lot, to come home to a rambunctious one year old and a crazy wife. But in my heart I just want everything to be normal.
The best thing is that I recognize this as another opportunity. If Rob had a completely perfect homecoming and reintegration, how could I empathize with the wife who deals with a husband who seems completely different, ravaged by the mind game that is PTSD. I know that we will be fine, that Rob is being honest with me and talking me through how he is feeling about everything and I am so grateful for that. Talking is one of the best things that could be happening right now. And he has no trouble expressing his love and appreciation to me and Max and that is a true gift. So I know that God is showing me just glimpses of what the other wife feels like, when she can't reach inside her husbands head and heart and bring him back to what he was.
Just another opportunity to learn about what it truly means to be a military wife and mommy...to learn about the sacrifices we risk, to learn about God's safety when we are fearful.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a soldier with PTSD there is valuable information at this link, http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/ncmain/index.jsp Remember, this is not your fault. Nothing that you did or didn't do CAUSED this. Cling to the hand of your heavenly Father when you are fearful. Pray for healing for your husband, believe in God's word over his life. And seek support and help from the plethora of resources out there for you and your soldier. Normal reintegration and PTSD are nothing to be ashamed of.
Psalm 27:3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear.