Archive for » December, 2012 «

From a child’s point of view. “Owning” something and Communication

I have a few different things really weighing on my heart this morning. So I think I need to touch on them individually since they are so very different. You know how I love to write. Well, over the years both of my children have found the love for it also. My son is writing his own book, which he works on as he has that want to. And my daughter, well actually Craig’s daughter also, they do thingsΒ a little differently. We taught them to write, to express themselves, their feelings.

Well my daughter has done something very unique with it. She writes when she gets frustrated or if something is on her mind, but not in a journal or such. She just writes. When she is done she reads it, then crumbles it up and throws it away. It is her way of talking, venting, and letting it go. She told me last night that when she crumbles it up and throws it away it makes any bad feelings go away with it. Over the weekend there was an adult that did not understand this thing she does or why, and they took her writing she had been doing and read it. Okay, she was fine with them reading it, she also understood their concerns, but she also explained to me something else. “They are always telling me to ‘own it’, they say I never own anything. How am I suppose to ‘own’ something if they don’t let me? And how am I suppose to ‘own’ something that I didn’t do or is not mine to ‘own’? If I don’t ‘own’ what they say I should then I’m told I’m lieing!”

Oh boy! Yep, there was a long talk last night here. Now I know she is strong headed like I am and if she thinks she’s in the right she will stand up for herself and not back down. She said “mom, how am I suppose to ‘own’ something that I didn’t do when an adult is telling me I did it. I didn’t do it!” Well, I know myself that sometimes she won’t own something that she should, not all the time, but sometimes. So I explained to her my “stepping out of the box” theory.
“You have this invisible box. Pretend that everyone involved in whatever the situation is is standing in that box, including yourself. Now leave yourself in that box, but step outside of the box and look back at everyone including yourself and what you and each person were doing or saying. This is looking at the big picture of what happened, and can make you see your own actions as well. But you have to leave your bad feelings with the you that you left in the box so you can view things clearly.”
I went on to tell her that sometimes, not all of the time, but sometimes, you are going to see the mistakes you made, and this is when you realize you were the one that was wrong, and also when you have to ‘own’ whatever it was. That no one is perfect, people learn and grow from their mistakes but to do that you do have to ‘own’ what is yours. Then on the other hand if it’s truly something someone else did or how they were acting and there needs to be a resolution to it, you have to tell them and talk to them about it. Again emphasizing that no one is perfect.
“But what if the other person won’t ‘own’ it and I still get blamed?” Then you have to decide how it will effect you and the situation. At this point you spoke your mind, they know where you stand, and sometimes people won’t step out of their box themselves and you have to accept that they are unwilling to do that, and let it go, just like when you crumble up that paper and throw it away. Sometimes the fight is not worth it and it might be something that in a week or year might not really be important anyway. If it’s something important, then you stand your ground and what you know is right. ‘Owning’ what is rightfully your’s to own over time will change the way others view things when you say “it’s not mine to own.” Oh she got it! πŸ˜‰

“But mom, I’m still mad.” And I explained to her what a child psychologist explained to her a couple of years ago. Sometimes you have to except the way an adult is, sometimes they won’t change or only try to change for a brief time, and you have to except that that might be a fact and might happen sometimes.

“But mom!”, she said. “So what are you so mad about?”, I asked. “They kept my writing! So I couldn’t throw it away!” Oh dear. I think today I need to make a call and see if I can get someone to fix that one. πŸ˜‰

This adult and I did talk last night so I already knew the situations at hand, and I knew what needed to be owned and what didn’t and by whom. But I didn’t know this part lol. This part is fixable though. πŸ˜‰

I did emphasize that if there is something that needs to be worked on and something that can’t be written and just thrown away, to always remember to talk to me or an adult about it, or the person it involves. Oh she was very clear on that one, I got the “oh mom I always talk to you, you don’t have to worry about that!” And I told her, that even includes if it is about me, no one is perfect and even though I’m mom, I make mistakes too. The only way anything can be attempted to be fixed is if you talk about it, communication! πŸ˜‰

~Bec

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

Just a little story… NAVY vs ARMY game.

I wrote this yesterday and was not going to post it here, but after seeing that so many enjoyed this little story, thought I would share! πŸ˜‰

From my page December 9, 2012…

I have to tell you a funny from yesterday. πŸ˜‰ Morning by the way lol. You know it was the NAVY vs ARMY game yesterday. Congrats NAVY! Well on my personal page and Craig’s, of course there was talk with all of the veterans and active duty. Well, I posted to my wall something along the lines of…So who do I yell for? I married NAVY but my dad was ARMY. I normally yell for the team Craig isn’t for to keep the game at the house interesting lol. πŸ˜‰ There are also a lot of the veterans on my page that are Army. Well, did I ever stick my foot in my mouth lol! Craig posted “ummmmmm?????” Yep, it was on hehe. I said, I’m a NAVY wife, I’m a NAVY wife” joking back. Well in all of the joking I said “Well if ya want to get technical I love our MARINES!” AND noted it was an inside joke. Well, that note didn’t matter and the technically the Marines are… came back at me from everyone but Craig. πŸ˜‰ I know that! LOL! They missed the inside joke comment lol. Craig knew what I was talking about though lol. πŸ˜‰

See, he use to joke with me, we joked, when we were in California, because I would drive to the Marine Base to go shopping. He asked me one time why I go there instead of the other base. I joked back and said because I love our Marines, why don’t you go with me and you will see why. Now Craig and I can joke about anything by the way and are comfortable with it and to say the least comfortable with our marriage and relationship, just so you understand this wasn’t disrespectful in any way. Well, he went to the base with me, as we approached the building I chuckled. It was all nods of hello, morning m’am, doors opening for me, and come on lol we all know what a Marine looks like in uniform lol. πŸ˜‰ Craig started laughing and I knew where this was going. He said, well I sure never have to worry about you coming up here lol. No one will ever mess with you with these guys around! We laughed and I said the eye candy is nice too lol. He said yep, you like a man in uniform lol. I just smiled and said yep I married one, now didn’t I. πŸ˜‰ The day Craig and I stop pointing out nice looking people to each other is the day someone better start checking one of us for a pulse! LOL! Our little joke.When Craig and I moved to Cali, the first day we were there I went to a store to get things we needed, off base. Well I’m from the south. There was a man going into the store in front of me, that did know I was right there. Well he opened the door and walked in and me being from the south assumed he would hold the door for me. NOPE! That door slammed right in my face and I just stood there in shock. I had never had that happen before. Then after the store I stopped to get gas, the pumps were different then what we have in Florida and I had no clue how to work it. I finally figured it out then it wouldn’t let me pay at the pump, so I had to go in. Paid for the gas then went home. Well, I got a notice from my bank. Would you believe the clerk at the station charged up my card with all sorts of stuff! Got that one handled and they found out what a southern lady was all about when I went back down there. πŸ˜‰ It was a couple days before Christmas and I was in tears over the first day in Cali.! What a huge change, I grew up in Florida and things were totally different! I learned later it wasn’t all of Cali like that, just the location we were in at the time. Well, when I found that Marine base, it made me feel like I was back home and I found I loved California. I was comfortable there, and Craig knew it. To this day he still jokes with me about how I love our Marines and I simply joke back “gotta love that uniform”. πŸ˜‰ And he just chuckles “that’s my girl”. πŸ™‚

When PTSD gets you down career wise…

So Craig just said, “Hey do you remember Nick …?” I said sure I do! He said, “He just got picked up in … by the FAA, all of my guys are succeeding.” My response, “That’s good! You did a lot for those guys to help get them where they are.”

“It’s people like you that made my time in the NAVY worth something.” That’s what Craig just read to me that this person just wrote to him. πŸ™‚

It really weighs on Craig to see the crew that was under him succeed, not because he doesn’t want them to, he loves seeing them accomplish what they set out to do! It’s because Craig couldn’t continue his own career. Not being able to be a controller still really effects him. He LOVED his job! And it was his lifetime dream. I just keep reminding him that his encouragement and things he helped teach them and the support he gave them is part of why they have succeeded. He should be proud of himself as much as he is proud of them!

People don’t realize how much it effects one, especially military, when they lose their career due to medical issues. It’s hard and something that is hard to stop blaming yourself for. Craig has a strong personality and great work ethic so it’s been one of the hardest things for him to grasp.The last crew Craig was with was our “family”. I couldn’t begin to tell you how they looked up to Craig and came to him for guidance. They were for the most part all younger and they were like our kids, we love them all dearly and helped out with any situation they brought to him or us. I miss them. A handful of them still keep up with us, and we might actually get to see one of them this month!

All I know to do is keep reminding Craig that he didn’t fail by any means. Each time he sees one of his crew get that new job, he accomplished something too! πŸ˜‰

When one with PTSD does lose their career, take it into consideration how they feel and never put them down about it or now not being able to work. Always focus on the positive of what they have succeeded with in life! πŸ˜‰

What do you do when a dear friend is diagnosed with PTSD?

What do you do when a dear friend is diagnosed with PTSD?

You simply remind them that PTSD does not change the way you feel about them, it doesn’t change the way you view them, they are still your friend and it just means they need you now to be the friend you have always been, unconditionally. They can still make you laugh and they can still be there when you cry, and you for them too. They areΒ still a special person that friends and family love dearly and my goodness where would this world be without them!

It might mean they need a little more of your time, but time is just something on a clock that you don’t have to sit and watch pass by. It might mean they need you to listen a little more before giving your input or sometimes just being that ear, nothing wrong with that either. It might mean they have rough days when they don’t want to talk or see anyone, we all have those days, so that’s okay too. They might be the one that was the supporter and now might need a little support of their own, I don’t see a problem there either. It means that when you see their chin drop down you smile and remind them to pick it back up.A dear friend, is a dear friend through thick and thin, nothing will ever change that. So don’t ever forget that.Yes, this is to all of you, however this is to a special friend of mine and Craig’s…you know who you are. ;)SMILE our friend! It will be okay…you have friends! πŸ˜‰ We’ve got your back too!!! :)~Bec

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

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The “ME”

I want to start with something personal, and what I think of as special today. As you can see lol, I do indeed post a lot of things that are not PTSD related…and as I always tell you, everything I post has a reason! And actually, they are ALL PTSD related!

Some of you might think “oh my, Β Bec’s posting another crazy dog thing or what she baked today or oh there are the flower pics again.” πŸ˜‰

Now, what am I REALLY posting???

See, when Craig’s PTSD got really bad and we did not understand what was going on, I grabbed on to everything I could to save him, and us, as well as our family. But there was one huge problem. In putting so much effort in all of it, I lost myself.Β I had already watched us lose all of the material objects we had worked so hard for. We lost our careers and businesses. And I grabbed a hold of what we had left and hung on for dear life, and that was our family!It took time for me to face that all of the material things and including our credit were gone. The two people who had our futures planned out to the last “T”, knew every step we had to make to keep our future and our family’s future rock solid financially, vanished!When all of that fell apart, well, so did I. I mean I was still a good wife and still a good mom, but I lost me!Everything that was “me” had just dissolved into thin air. My focus turned to holding on to whatever I could to keep our heads above water, so to speak. I found myself, which was always a loving, caring, happy and all smiles person, turn into a person who cried a lot, it was hard to find a smile, and with all of the outside stress coming at us I really didn’t know up from down anymore.Then the day came that I just couldn’t take it anymore. Something snapped as I stood looking in the mirror at myself. I said, “Who are you? You are NOT me, and I want me back!” Β That day changed everything! My fight was back as I stood there looking at this person that I no longer knew. I was mentally and physically worn down, I looked at myself and my hair was a mess, no makeup on, my nails were all different lengths with chipped polish, my tan was completely gone. Then I walked through the house. My dogs were out of control, trained, but out of control from what they should of been. It seemed the only things in order were Craig’s care and my children.

I took a step back and really looked around. I sat for a long time and watched my dogs behaviors…sounds silly I know, but animal behavior was my specialty. When I saw that my own pack was acting the way they were, then noticed my alpha female was actually putting herself in between me and everything else, I knew there was a huge problem! That problem was me!

I made a change that day, and I won’t tell you it came easy, it was hard! I had to get structure back into my life, our lives. If I didn’t have me, then I knew eventually it would become worse and start really affecting the family, along with everything else.

Yep, I was stepping out of the box and looking back in. I then realized that Craig’s PTSD, not on purpose of course, had released some of my own demons of the past, things I had always been able to handle, but not anymore at that point. My stalker and home assault that happened to me at age 18 was weighing on me, the car accident at age 23 was causing issues, things I went through with my ex, and the over alerting to whatever could keep Craig in a good place was weighing on me. Anxiety, panic attacks, being paranoid, even some of my own nightmares…I faced it was all there and I knew that was NOT me!

I owned it. I went over everything I could see about myself, and about my past… from outside of the box. And I started making changes! What good would I be to anyone else if I didn’t find ME again?

It took time, and a hell of a lot of effort, but I did it. Craig noticed I stopped slapping his leg at every situation that would happen while we were in the car with him driving, the panic attacks stopped, the passing out spells when my anxiety was high stopped, the smiles came back, and everything else that went with it. If I see I’m having a moody day I tell everyone, up front, I don’t hide it… moods are normal for anyone. I watched my pack find some sort of order again, I was in control again in that area. And the list goes on, but you get my point.

I started setting goals. They might not happen on the exact day or exact time I had planned, but that’s okay, life’s not perfect for anyone. But they happen. I make that effort every day to work Alex, to get outside with him if the day allows for it, to put my love for training back to use. I bake with my kids, something my mom did with me and a tradition I like carrying on. I piddle with my pond, something that I enjoy doing and found it’s something my niece’s absolutely love when they come over, it’s our thing, “Aunt Becky” time. I started working on my flower gardens when the budget permits, I love my fresh cut flowers. I take time to read and study. All things that are “me”. πŸ™‚

See, I post off the wall things because LIFE is important! And when you battle PTSD, no matter which side of the fence you stand on with it, it’s easy for life to become just a word or even for it to feel non-existent. I share with you the things I do because in reality all of it relates to PTSD in some way, I remind you there is still LIFE!

How many of you started baking or cooking again? How many of you said “oh I wonder if I can get my dog to do what Alex did? How many of you took time from your day to watch a movie with your loved one? How many of you stepped out to see where a garden could be made or redo one? How many walked out the front door to go get something from the store? If you are honest with yourself, I bet it’s a high number of you.

I found a way to find myself again, and every day I share that part of me with you. It helps others realize there is still a normal out there, there is still life, but sometimes it takes seeing it through someone else’s eyes. Your “me” is important, emotionally and physically important. Hang on to it! πŸ˜‰

You ALL are awesome people! I don’t know what I would do without this huge family here. YOU are important! πŸ™‚

~Bec

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

Comments from those who wrote in on this subject: (with permission given to share)

” Becca, your description of you and your feelings along the way have so closely mirrored me and mine and I am the one with the PTSD. Though we all differ in what event(s) precipitated the development of our PTSD, it is clear that there are so many typical issues that we struggle with each and every hour of the day…the difference is in our skills with which we cope and move forward. For me, somedays it is a struggle from the moment I open my eyes in the morning and other days, thanks to God’s grace, the weight lifts a bit off my soul and I can breathe! I know that the life I cherished is frozen in time and I have to build a new life and try every day to find joy and excitement amidst the sorrow of such a loss. I pray every day that I will not lose anymore people in my life (family) who cannot deal with what has happened to me and I ask a special prayer for them, that their hearts may be healed of the fear they have and the pain they will feel from the self-isolation. I am thankful for the knowledge and inspiration that I gain from you and those who follow your journey, it encourages me and assures me that I am not alone and can overcome the heavy weight on my soul, for me it is a godsend because those who love and care about me are clueless not because they don’t care but because they have no way to relate to what I am going through, and really I thank God for that. This is a difficult journey, I don’t wish on anyone and I have to forgive them for not knowing how to help or how to deal with their own feelings. I am thankful for you and all who follow you, it makes a difference in my struggle to learn, to cope, to take the steps to move forward- one step at a time, one hour-at-a-time somedays. Until then, I am grateful for the love and support I do receive from those close to me, even though it is emotionally protected in many ways. This experience is difficult for those who love us also, they often experience such change that they too are shell-shocked by it all and feel like they don’t know what to do. This I know doesn’t mean they don’t love us, it just means that they too are temporarily lost in it and we just have to find out how to heal ourselves, so that we can reach out to one another. It is a process, albeit a long process…but I know one I won’t be going through alone. I am grateful for all of you!”

~Shelle

“Wow! Such wonderful posts from everyone. Thanks Rebecca for once again giving all of us “food for thought.” I too had lost myself after many years in an extremely unhappy marriage. I have suffered from depression and the loss of my brother and father..I am finding the happy me again!!! I went to treatment and quit drinking, I can think clearly again!! And I have met someone that makes my heart go “pitter patter!” I’m takin it one day at a time and enjoying the ride again. Not to say everything is perfect all the time but I’m learning and growing and for that I’m very thankful!!!”

~Wendy

December “Self-Help” Therapy ;)

It’s that time again. πŸ˜‰ My once a month self-help therapy of buying flowers for myself! It’s always important to take care of yourself when you take care of someone else. I love fresh cut flowers, so a long time ago I started treating myself once a month to flowers. This month my favorite of all roses…the red rose. I thought they would look nice for the holiday season and always bring a smile to my face when I walk through the room. πŸ™‚

My daughter asked me while I was taking the photo, “Mom, why do you take pictures of your flowers each month? And isn’t it kind of weird buying flowers for yourself?” My answer, “I post them to my page.” I smiled and continued to explain, “Flowers are something that makes me smile. I enjoy them, seeing them when I walk into the room, and the fresh smell they bring to the room, so they are a little way of me taking care of myself. I post the photos because it reminds people to take care of themselves, gives them something to see that’s not just words but something to make them stop and think and remind them to take care of themselves too. As for buying them for myself, why not? You don’t have to wait for someone to do something for you when you can do it for yourself.” πŸ˜‰ Her response, “Oh, that makes total sense. I’m glad you do it then, I like them too!”
~Bec

A Must read! “LOVE OUR VETS Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD” ~Welby O’Brien

Okay… I know I just shared this same photo on my “page” when I received this book. And let me be up front about this, and all of you know I say it like it is, period.

To start with, I receive nothing from posting this. And I do NOT advertise for anyone. But I have to hand it to Welby on this one. I have read only 51 pages of this book, and let me tell you it is something else! I would swear I was reading my own writings. This book so far hits PTSD right on the head of the nail, so to speak. I am VERY impressed! AND, yes there is more, it will make you see yourself also and know how to handle a few things that you might not have thought about! It truly makes you realize that you are not alone, that others do go through the exact same things you do! It does not matter if you are new to learning about PTSD or have lived with or beside it for years, this book is a must read!

So with that said, now I’m going to say this…and it’s something I don’t normally do. If you are new to PTSD, if you have a spouse that does not “get it”, if you are the spouse or caregiver, you have or are a parent or a loved one that just does not seem to understand, you might want to think really hard about giving them or getting this book for yourself for Christmas or just as an “I care about you and us” gift!!!!
I’m VERY serious! Page 51 and I think it’s the best book I have ever read!

 

Thank you again Welby O’Brien for having the love, kindness, and compassion in your heart to think about me!

~Bec

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