Saturday, December 13, 2014

Emotional Roller Coaster

A week ago we got the wonderful news that the VA gave Chris his final rating for his disabilities. 90% is now where he stands. To those not familiar with the military/VA world this is actually a good, especially when you have been fighting with the VA almost 2 years for these things.  A whole new world has opened up to us and for that we are both so grateful. Its amazing how a marriage can change when the financial status of it takes a 180. Things have been blissful.
Chris and I decided a few weeks back to get more involved with veterans in our community and we have a fun who runs local chapter of MPVN or Military Veteran Peer Network. After all we both have gone through in the last year we or at least I feel that I am ready to start reaching out and offering my ears, support and resources. The course is 8 hours and you learn how to interact, listen, and what to do in a crisis situation. It was emotionally taxing to say the least. We touched on Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Suicide and everything else in between. I learned and gathered some amazing and scary facts about our veterans. I have attended so many different trainings in my life but none have been quite like this. I learned a lot about myself and what I can do to be more effective at helping. I am looking forward to putting these new skills to work.
Speaking of putting new found skills to work I guess those we help can truly be any one age, race or gender when you have a family member or you yourself are a veteran you at some point find yourself needing help, reaching out and just letting it all out. I hadn't been out of training an hour before I found myself in a situation that has left me an emotional wreck and thanking the man upstairs that despite all we have been through I still have my husband, my children have their father/stepfather.
I went back to our friends house to pick up the children and her husband took his life 3 months ago after battling PTSD. They have two young children 9 and 5. I can't even imagine what it is like for them. However today I got a glimpse of just how hard it must be for them. After getting on to the 5 yr old about not ruining her brothers Christmas gift she ran to her room and began to sob. I sat down and noticed she had her "daddy doll", her head was buried in the doll and I wasn't able to make out what she was saying. However as soon as she lifted her head it was very clear, she wanted her daddy back. Crap. I resist my own emotions to try and console her and reassure her it would be ok. Of course it wouldn't be ok I can't bring back her father no one can. She is five and its not a concept she should even have a remote awareness of but yet she does. I am fighting hard to keep my tears in and hug her. I told her that her daddy is here that he is in her heart and in her arms as she holds her doll. I am at a loss. I just left a training but nothing about children were mentioned just the service member and spouse but mainly service member. Crap. I ask her what I can do she says she just wants to watch TV. I turn it on and leave I have to get out I can't let her see me cry.... or should I? I get back to the couch and I can't hold back. I still can't hold back. My husband and the girls aunt see my tears. How do I help her? Why does this even have to be a aspect of her life? The moment still haunts me, this can't be a reality.
As I laid on the couch and my head on Chris' lap I feel this sense of resentment and hostility I had towards him release. This could just as easily but us. Their stories are so similar its scary and I am quite aware how this just could be us. I can't live in anger and resentment I have to let go. I want no regrets, I want to know when I look back that we made the most of a really crummy situation and I truly can't hold this against him. I don't hold Autism against H so why would I hold TBI and PTSD towards Chris? I am fairly certain he didn't ask for this.
I know this event drained Chris. I can read him like a book. I also know he likes to decompress from these things alone and with minimal distractions as possible. I also felt an overwhelming need to be with my daughters tonight. I spent a few hours at the mall with them and made sure I spoke with love and caring I gave them affection and let them know they are special and I love them. All I could think about was that moment in that little girls bedroom of the heartache and angst she has has at the loss of her father.
This I am sure won't be my last encounter with this situation. I may never be fully prepared to take this on because its so close to home for me, however because it hits so close to home I might be able to be someones support. I guess only time will tell.