To the Veteran Spouse Who Still Suffers from Deployment PTSD

NOTE: Please, PLEASE understand that I would never compare a spouse’s PTSD to that of the active duty member. What the active duty members go through is 1000x worse and they, in my opinion, don’t get enough compensation and help for what they do. You can read my tribute to Veterans here. With that being said, I also won’t ever discredit the hardships that are faced at home when a spouse deploys.

 

The day my husband’s military contract ended I felt a huge sense of relief, we both did. No more moving with a month’s notice, and no more deployments. We were home free!
A couple of months later, when my husband booked his ticket to fly to his brother’s graduation, those familiar feelings of adrenaline, fear, sorrow, and needing to be prepared kicked in. I was feeling the pre-deployment blues, but he wasn’t getting deployed and he was only leaving for 4 days!
He was still leaving though, and that brought back memories that weren’t all that pleasant from his time in the military. Here’s how I recognized my feelings and then overcame them:
• I sat down with my journal and really thought (and wrote) about where those feelings were coming from, and why I had them.
• Once I understood those negative feelings I was able to come up with a game plan to change them to positive ones:

  1.  I reminded myself throughout the day that he wasn’t deployed, and that he was doing something exciting…seeing his family!
  2. I was patient with myself. I was a Navy wife for 6 years, more than half a decade! It would take more than 2 months to adjust to civilian life.
  3. I had a good cry. Embarrassing, but such a good outlet for all of those negative feelings!
  4. I took care of myself. That meant eating healthy, getting a full night’s sleep, and soaking up some vitamin D outside every day.
  5. I talked with my husband. He used to serve on submarines, where once he deployed, there sometimes wasn’t communication for a month+. He wasn’t deployed this time, so I talked with him every day and that helped my “deployment blues” feelings calm down a little bit.

• I talked with a friend who also was a Veteran spouse, and found out that she has the same struggles! It helped to know that I wasn’t alone.
My heart goes out to the Veteran Spouses who still panic when their husbands leave. Give yourself time, and be patient. You’ll be a pro at civilian life before you know it!

 

BONUS:
If you’re having an exceptionally bad day then check out my 17 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Having a Bad Day post and do at least 3 of them.

 

One thought on “To the Veteran Spouse Who Still Suffers from Deployment PTSD

  1. Elizabeth O

    June 7, 2017 at 7:51pm

    I can only imagine the difficulty that involves parting ftom a love one who might be going to a war zone. I send love and hugs to all who face this daily.

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  2. Nicole

    June 5, 2017 at 4:36pm

    This post must be super helpful for people going through the same as you. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like! thanks for sharing. X

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  3. Elizabeth O

    June 4, 2017 at 5:12pm

    There are so many who your message will touch because it is not uncommon to know someone struggling with PTSD. This will be of some needed comfort.

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  4. Elizabeth O

    June 4, 2017 at 12:42pm

    I can only imagine the pain and fear that must come up when a spouse is deployed. Building a support system is definitely a helpful option.

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  5. Caitlin

    June 3, 2017 at 8:25pm

    Oh, you should never feel embarrassed about crying – especially over something like this! I’m so glad you were kind to yourself. It’s a testament to the strength of your marriage that you were able to share your feelings with your husband too.

    Sending you lots of love!

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  6. priti

    June 3, 2017 at 7:08pm

    Hello Shannon, I read your post and every word you wrote felt so near and dear to heart. Hoping you can soon become throw away the worries and concentrate on happy life .

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  7. Claire Santiago

    June 3, 2017 at 12:20am

    It’s really hard to be apart from our loved ones but those are sacrifices we have to face. Let’s just think of the good times we shared with them.

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  8. Katy {ashadeofteal}

    May 30, 2017 at 2:34am

    My husband travels a couple times a month for work and I always get sad and dread when hes gone. So I can’t even imagine what having a spouce deployed feels like.

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  9. Elizabeth Brico

    May 30, 2017 at 2:22am

    Hey Shannon-I totally understand what you mean by that disclaimer in the beginning, but definitely don’t discredit your own PTSD. Anyone who has PTSD goes through enormous struggle, no matter what the trauma. It is a really difficult disorder to live with. But anyway, like I said, I get why you said that.
    This post is great, thanks for sharing it. It is helpful even for people who have PTSD for other reasons.
    If you ever want to guest post on my blog, which is about parenting and living with PTSD, please just let me know-I’d be honored to host a piece about your experiences.
    I also have a biweekly link-up and I’d like to invite you to add this post to the current one on celebrations (which includes posts celebrating our “wins” in overcoming triggers and other difficulties). I hope to see you there-but either way, lovely post. Thank you.
    bettysbattleground.com Off-Fridays Week 2

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