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Stress and PTSD

Stress and PTSD

Well, that’s a given isn’t it!

Stress is one of the things that Craig and I have been told time and time again that he needs to avoid in every way possible, which I know many others have been told the same thing. Think about it. That’s in reality a very difficult thing to do. We are talking about life, everyday life in general, and then disabilities themselves mixed in there.

Just with PTSD alone think of what the symptoms are and what they bring. Nightmares, bring stress. Lack of sleep, brings stress. Avoidance, brings stress. Anxiety, brings stress. Triggers and flashbacks, bring stress. Negative changes in thoughts, feelings, emotions of one’s self or others or the world itself at times, bring stress. Guilt and/or Survivor’s guilt, bring stress. The trauma(s) itself, brings stress. And the list goes on. PTSD… “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. Oh look, there’s that term “stress”.

Then take all of the symptoms and add them to everyday life and trying to manage it, trying to be the best you can be, trying to function as normal as possible, trying to maintain relationships with family, friends, people in general. The mind can become easily unsettled, even overwhelmed, by simple things. So you can imagine what more important things, issues, or must handle situations can bring to one? It can cause one to shut down, become stuck, and not be able to function.

To those of you that understand PTSD and what it is, you are probably thinking “What is Bec writing? Of course PTSD is all about trauma and stress.” 😉

But what about those that do not understand, or brush off what stress does to someone with PTSD?

It becomes an additional battlefield for the one with PTSD, as well as their spouse/partner… and in many cases their advocate. Stress is the one thing that is always there, but at the same time stress has to be managed, and many situations even avoided. Because it’s what is in the best interest of the one with PTSD. You have to maintain a healthy balance and environment.

Some people look at the suicide rates linked to PTSD alone, they are in awe over the high numbers. But yet what is being done to help? What is each person doing or not doing? What can help make life better? What can help a person get to the best point they can get physically and mentally?

Many spouses/partners are in the shoes of, well, playing referee. Many do see and know what external stress can bring to their loved one with PTSD. They know what it also adds to their own life, as well as their family. When stressful events occur or even the “what if’s” of what may be coming, for one with PTSD, symptoms are going to increase. Then the vicious cycle of managing those symptoms continues.

Many people wonder why many of those with PTSD have difficulties leaving the house, many cannot work or are limited, many have a “safe room” that they can retreat to when needed. Many are disconnected from others. Avoidance is a very real part of life with PTSD, and a symptom.

Those with PTSD do try! They really do not want to be a hermit closed off from society or that stays locked away in a room. They WANT to be and feel normal, like they used to. But PTSD does bring a serious challenge, much of the time.

When PTSD becomes a part of someone’s life, life changes, it’s the reality of life with PTSD. You learn different ways of wording things, you have to tune the communication skills, you have to learn how to manage the symptoms and learn coping skills, you learn safety protocol… as we call it here, you learn signs of depression and suicide, as well as what to do when or if they come, and much more.

The “normal” you knew for that person cannot be expected from them any longer. It does not mean they can’t do anything or are helpless, it just means life has changed and does have to be handled and managed differently. You will still get glimpses from time to time of the person you knew before PTSD, enjoy those times when they come, but you cannot expect them to remain that way all of the time. You can not dismiss that PTSD has become a part of life, and with that a new normal forms.

Which brings us back to stress. When one cannot accept that PTSD is a part of a person’s life now, and that life has changed, it is going to bring additional stress. Why? Because the expectations you hold are going to be too high for one to accomplish or if they can it will not be permanent. Another reason if you see one with PTSD, and you are not living with them, I can pretty much guarantee you are seeing them on a “good” day, because they do not like you seeing their rough days.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times over the years I have seen external, as in outside our home, stressful situations brought on where they lead Craig to “shutting down” or pushed towards that and I had to step in for the best interest of his health. Which of course I don’t mind doing if need be. But the fact is if people would just think once in awhile and take the time to learn, and face the facts, there are many situations that could be avoided all together to where a certain amount of stress is deleted.

Craig and I had a situation recently, well reality is it’s been an on going battle off and on over the years but came up again and this time came to a head. His docs had already said he won’t be able to handle this type of stress so in the best interest of his health, it was put off again. Our focus HAS to be on his health. He gave up, shut down, became completely numb, and just could not handle the stress of fighting for what was right anymore, several months back, again.

Recently I noticed it weighing on him again. There it was, like this demon haunting him. This was a fight that he wanted to try to do himself, but it became too much. He shut down again. I also saw that at times he would try to push himself hard but would feel like a failure when he could not manage getting things done. Honestly, shutting down is probably the best thing for him at this point, but he can’t stay there, something had to be done. This cycle had to stop!

So as his advocate it was time for me to really step in heavy on this from a different angle than we had tried before, because those ways obviously got us nowhere good, and not just help out but to see if I could get this done, so this burden on him could be done and over with. I thought about it carefully, talked to several people, weighed the options to what the best and less stressful path would be on Craig, and I took it this past week.

I know that this “battle” we will call it without stating details, has to end, it’s been going on way too long (off and on as we could face it and dependent on Craig’s health, what he could or could not handle at the moment) and there has to be an outcome. If it was completely avoided and left alone, just let go, I have already seen the stress and guilt it has been causing Craig or how it leads him to completely shutting down, so I can only imagine what more would come to him by just letting it go completely. I can’t let that happen. Our focus HAS to be on his health.

I took my leap on Thursday with fingers and toes crossed that someone would hear my voice and my cry for help with this “battle” of Craig’s. To my total shock I was heard, the very same day I asked for help, after years of trying someone listened. I heard back from another person on Friday. We don’t have an outcome yet, but something is actually taking place and it’s not a stagnant situation of “what if’s” or “failure” or “ok we need to handle that again” anymore. No matter what the outcome is, it’s going to finally be over, at least that’s the hope.

This is one of those situations that in reality should have never existed, but this is life and things happen. My point of telling this is life with PTSD does and will come with stress of many different forms.

If you are not the one with PTSD, please keep in mind that what you do, how you act or react, and taking the time to learn will matter. Do not place additional stress on others, especially if they have a life large battle they are already having to manage. Please take the time to learn so you can form good relations instead of causing undue stress on another. If you are the one with PTSD or their spouse/partner, you have to figure out what is the best way to handle things, what is going to be in the best interest of your health, and always know that if you can’t seem to find what works best… ASK FOR HELP! 😉

A Spouse’s Story PTSD : FaceBook page

PTSD: Negative changes in thoughts and mood or feelings

PTSD: Negative changes in thoughts and mood or feelings

Negative changes in thoughts or mood and feelings are one of the hardest parts of PTSD to manage, for either side of the fence. This is the symptom of PTSD that EVERYONE with PTSD experiences in some way. It’s also the toughest part for others to understand, as well as to learn not to take personally.

These negative changes in thoughts or feelings, that come with PTSD can include things such as:

* Not being able to experience positive emotions
* Having negative views of yourself or others
* Feeling emotionally numb
* Experiencing a loss of interest in things you use to enjoy
* Lack or loss of hope for the future
* Having difficulty with or maintaining close relationships
* Memory issues, which can include not remembering parts of the trauma experienced
(Reference: MayoClinic.org)

This can include viewing yourself as bad or a negative change in the way you view yourself compared to the way you use to. One may feel they are not worthy, may have feelings of failure or that they are now a burden to others, may have feelings of guilt or shame.

One with PTSD can also view those around them in negative ways. Instead of feeling love and closeness to others that was experienced before PTSD, one may feel anger, resentment, distrust, etc. or nothing at all. One may feel others are “out to get them or ruin them”, may feel the world is against them or the world is not fair, and/or may feel as if nothing is safe and no one can be trusted.

Whoa! Now that is a lot for the one with PTSD to experience! It was difficult enough experiencing the trauma they went through, and now many of these symptoms may be at hand as well. This is when you stop, take a deep breath, step back, and really start thinking about it. All of these things just listed are NOT done on purpose! They are all or each, a part of what PTSD can or may cause.

All of these changes in thoughts and feelings can bring another part of PTSD, arousal- emotional reactions. One may get angry, irritated, experience verbal outbursts or aggressive behavior, feeling of guilt or shame may increase, one may stay on guard or alert, may experience self-destructive or relationship-destructive behaviors such as drinking too much, drug use, sexual communication or encounters with others they would not have had/done before, or driving too fast or recklessly. One with PTSD may be startled easily, have trouble sleeping, or have issues concentrating.

PTSD is NOT an excuse, unfortunately it is a very real medical condition that many people who have been through a life changing trauma experience when symptoms last for more than three months (time frame of symptoms for diagnosis changed from minimum of one month to three months, referenced from va.gov website).

But do not lose hope! There are things that can help manage these symptoms! Just as with other PTSD symptoms, and with a lot of effort, work, learning, and working together… we can try to manage these thoughts and feelings through learning and using coping skills, therapy, there are even worksheets that can be used to help you view on paper your thoughts, feelings, even fears in comparison to facts. There are many things you can try and do to help manage the thoughts and feelings when they come or are present. Things will not change overnight, just like with anything else, PTSD is not going away, but things can change.

Spouses/partners, family members, and friends…

You have a huge role in this too! I know firsthand that when PTSD throws these things at you or into your life, it’s hard, it can try to emotionally destroy you. It can cause you to feel some of the same things PTSD has caused your loved one to feel or experience. And yes, that goes for experiencing or doing anything listed above. This is when those words I say have to play a role, “PTSD is the battle, NOT each other”. The old saying “fighting fire with fire”, is not going to get you anywhere but more stress, emotional hurt, and possibly two people who really care about each other walking away from each other. You have to work together to find what helps best for you, your loved one, and whatever situation is at hand.

So what are some examples of things we can work on?

(NOTE: I am not a doctor or in any medical field. The things I share are from our personal experiences, knowledge, opinions, and what others have shared with us. For more information or help PLEASE talk to your doctor or contact one.)

Self-esteem and self-worth are the two major things that negative thoughts and feelings effect (and that goes for both the one with PTSD and their spouse/partner). These are things that everyone can work on.

* Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If the answer is no, then there is something we can work on.  Write down what you do not like seeing. Then set realistic goals in writing for yourself, on how you can change what you do not like seeing. Maybe it’s I’m going to start walking each day for 15 minutes or other exercise, then build from there over time. Maybe it’s I’m going to watch what I eat more closely. Maybe it’s I’m going to shave x number of times per week. Maybe I’m going to have my hair cut once per month. ANYTHING that can help you view yourself in the mirror better than what you are seeing right now.

* Hobbies or projects. These can be challenging! I will not tell you they won’t be. Between the symptoms PTSD brings, then add in any co-occurring conditions, such as depression, or any physical disabilities… yes this can be challenging. BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE! Do not overwhelm yourself or set unrealistic goals. Pace yourself. Choose things to do that bring enjoyment, or are things you use to enjoy doing!

Hobbies and projects, no matter how long they may take to complete or do, show progress. They help with self-esteem and self-worth. Each step taken you are proving to yourself you can still do things and may be very good at something that you had no idea you could do before. 

* Compliments. Oh come on! It does not matter who you are or what you are going through, everyone loves getting compliments! Not only are they nice and make you feel good when you receive one, there is a lot that comes from giving them as well.  A simple compliment given or received can change a day around, bring an unexpected smile, shows someone that you care or notice things. It does not have to be some huge life changing compliment, do not forget that many times it’s the little things that mean the most.

Nothing is negative 100% of the time, no one is wrong 100% of the time… there is always something that can be complimented on, just do not over-do it, make compliments count with meaning.  AND accept them when they are given! Whether you see yourself as the compliment given or not, accept it and realize that people do not give out compliments for no reason, so you must have done something right or something that was in a positive way noticed. 

* “Motions lead to emotions”. Oh you knew I would not leave this one out! PTSD brings all of the symptoms, challenges, and can bring numbness. Numbness is not just going away or decreasing without help. When you go through the steps, you might just find some sparks there in life that you thought were gone. PTSD is good at hiding things or masking one from their true self or feelings. Spouses/partners, you too can experience the distant or numbness, so this is for you as well! Learn how to unmask things by going through the motions. Motions do not have to be only in a physical sense based around relationships and/or sex! It could be anything that you do that can bring back a sense of enjoyment to a relationship or other things that you use to enjoy in life.

* Work on changing the negative to positive. NOT an easy thing to do, but not impossible either!

One of the most common examples I have had come to me lately…
I have had [number of] failed relationships. I will never have a good relationship so why even try.

Okay, so you have had failed relationships, we all go through that in reality. So let’s change the perspective a little and try this, “My last [number of] relationships did not work out. So I am going to work on improving myself, so when that right person for me comes along our relationship will be better than those of my past.” 

And write it down in a note for yourself, place it to where you can see it, as a reminder if you want to! It can help you stick to a more positive mindset when those negative thoughts try to step back in. And you can do that with anything in life!

* Set goals for yourself! Setting simple goals, goals that prove to be a little more challenging, and life goals, all give you things to work towards. By setting goals of different levels they can help when PTSD symptoms are more of a challenge but can be done, it helps you see that even when PTSD challenges you, you can still accomplish things. And when you reach goals of a higher challenge WOW, what a positive change it can bring to you! In all seriousness, setting goals are extremely important. They give you things in life to work towards and are rewarding when accomplished. They help with both self-esteem and self-worth. AND can help you view things around you and in the world differently.

* Oh those negative views of others and how PTSD loves to play with this one! Bring out the pen and paper if you have to on this one! I’m serious! What are the thoughts you are having then put the facts of what has happened or is at hand next to them. Compare them to see if it’s PTSD sticking it’s hand in this to make you think negative about another person ot even other things in life, before placing blame or getting upset at someone (or bringing worry or fear of other things). Many times it’s the negative views that PTSD is bringing and not what another person has actually done. PTSD loves to bring in all of those “what if’s” on this one that you have to be cautious of. Communication is going to be a huge help in this also.

If something seems way off base from what a person would normally be like, talk CALMLY and ask questions. Do not jump to conclusions. Really hear each other out and talk about any concerns and the way you are viewing things. And BOTH people try not to put those defenses up, talk and work through whatever the thoughts are causing and get to the facts. It goes back to the why and letting the facts of why help you get through whatever is at hand.

Okay, these are some examples and what PTSD can cause. Do not lose hope, it is there even if it is masked right now. Keep working on those steps forward to understanding, accepting, and working through what “PTSD negative thoughts and moods or feelings” can bring, and are a very real part of life with PTSD. There are many things each person can work on by themselves, for themselves, as well as with and for others.

And just a personal note from me to you,

I BELIEVE in you! You ARE one of the “best of the best” and CAN make it through this part of PTSD. Do not give up!

A Spouse’s Story PTSD Facebook page

Dear PTSD (Anniversary Month)


Dear PTSD (Anniversary Month),

I might as well go ahead and say hello to you, it’s no secret you are here. You have made it very known that you had no intentions of skipping your visit to us this year. I’ve seen your little tactics, all of your messages have been received. So please do not think they went unnoticed, your visit is not a surprise to me.

I know you love your games you play, messing with the mind. You love to cause a chaos, you try to cause it every time.

I know you love to dance at night, your type of party through one’s dreams. You bring so much restlessness and oh how you love to hear one’s screams. Then you carry your party on through to daylight, when one is tired and needs peaceful sleep. Pushing them on to follow you, you never let them be.

I know how you love to create an environment that’s completely out of control. As you play back the traumatic visions, that weigh heavily on one’s soul. You do not allow them to rest, they are not allowed any peace. You play those same visions repeatedly, to see if you can get them to break.

I know how you love to shelter one from everyone, and everything they love so dear, just causing more confusion, heartache, and despair. Your eyes get large with excitement, as you watch a loved one’s reach, as they try to pull one back from you to weaken your grip of strength.

I know you do not like to slow down, high speed is your desire. You love to feel the adrenaline pumping, pumping hard through one’s veins. Their mind in such a fury it can cause them to lose control. You love watching the anxiety, frustration, and even anger it can bring. You like to keep them on high alert and fear what your next step may be.

I know you love pushing one to the point they feel like they cannot take anymore. You love that type-rope between life and death, and watching them struggle for balance. You bring a challenge all year long but this is your favorite month, when you can push one to their furthest point, to see if this will be the year they take your plunge.

But there is something that you missed in your party you like to bring. The one with PTSD is not going to fall, not quietly upon their knees. They are not going to give in to you, or to the chaos that you bring. There are thousands standing with us, that help each other every day. We all stand together, to make sure everyone survives you, and makes it to another day! You may bring your little party, but we have one of our own. We share our tools to battle you, and we NEVER stand alone!

You PTSD, do not own us, you just simply brought changes to our lives! You may think you hold such power but each day we are chipping that away, one symptom at a time!

So bring your little party, your chaos and discontent. We know how to handle you and will NEVER willingly give in. We will carry each other through you and to see another day. We are teaching each other how to live again, by keeping you at bay.

Never standing alone against you,

For more information and to learn about #PTSD and how to live life with it, please visit us at…
A Spouse’s Story PTSD on FaceBook

PTSD and Pushing too hard

PTSD and Pushing too hard

Let me tell you a story…

There was a day that I needed to wait in a waiting room at a medical facility, the only seat available at the moment was next to this young gentleman who did not seem to be doing so well. He was leaned forward, his elbows were on his knees, fists on the front of his face… he had actually nodded off to sleep.

With knowing it was a mental health waiting room, I could pretty much guess why he was there. I sat down, giving as much room as possible with seeing he had nodded off so not to startle him when he woke. A few minutes later I could hear his breathing change, I understood it because of the way Craig sleeps. I knew he was waking up. I softly said to him, “You didn’t get much sleep last night, did you?” The soft voice was enough to let him know I was there but not startle him.

He turned his head slightly towards me, opened one eye, and replied “No m’am I didn’t. Thank you for asking.

He then leaned back in his chair and just looked at me for a second, then said, “I just can’t handle this.” I looked at him with full attention then he continued, “They push me to go to school full time, I am working a full time job, and my nightmares don’t allow for any good sleep. I am wore out and tired of fighting.

To say the least we had a long conversation while we both sat there waiting.

His words rang in my ears like a cry for help. I’m not a doctor but I sure sat there and listened to everything he wanted to say, and I talked to him. Gradually other seats cleared and it was only the two of us waiting. The more he talked the more I realized that there may be such a thing as pushing one with PTSD too hard, too much, for too long.

I asked him if he had told his doctors that all of this was too much for him. He replied, “Yes m’am, but they said I have to do all this stuff. I’ve been doing this for over a year now and I just can’t take it anymore. I’m trying really hard not to fail them, not to let them down, but this PTSD? I’m not going to make it.

It was very obvious that this young man had been pushed so hard to try to have a normal life, that he was worn out and ready to quit the fight. I watched the tears form in his eyes as he talked to me, he would look down every time they would form, hoping I wouldn’t see them. He was trying so hard to please everyone else that he had no focus actually on himself and only on that he could not do this anymore.

I looked at him and asked him to look at me. “What about you? What do you want for yourself?” I asked. He looked at me and a tear ran down his face as he paused, trying to hold himself together. “M’am, no one has ever asked me that before.

Well?” I asked him. He had a hard time answering, he really didn’t know because he had never stopped to think about it and was just doing everything he was told he had to do. He finally replied, “I want to be able to get better but there is no time to get better with everything they have me doing. They say all of these things will help me, but they aren’t, I feel like I’m just getting worse. I go to work, then go to school, then have homework, then I’m exhausted and try to sleep but can’t, then the cycle starts all over again. I hardly see my wife or my kid, and my wife, my wife brings my kid to meet me between where I have to be to make sure I eat and so they can see me some because by the time I get home and get my school work done I am too tired to stay up with them. Then I have my doctor appointments also I have to make it too. It’s too much, I can’t do this.

“If there is so much, that you are not feeling you are getting better after this long of trying, but actually becoming worse, and not wanting to battle PTSD any longer because of it, then at what point do you start looking at the too much part of it and what’s best for you? Not as you have failed or can’t do it, but as maybe I need to pace myself and not over-do it to the point you don’t want to continue?”, I replied.

You know what he said? “I have never thought about that or what’s best for me.” He thanked me for sitting there and talking to him, he told me I just made all of the difference in his world and he could not wait to get home and hug his wife and tell her how much he loves her. Then he said, “You were sat beside me today for a reason, thank you.

To say the least I’m not a doctor (and he knew that) and it wasn’t my place to give medical opinions, we were just two people having a conversation. He finally asked me how I know so much. I simply replied, “My husband has PTSD.” He simply smiled, then it was time for me to leave. I looked back at him and told him, “Never give up on yourself, you are worth more then that.” He just smiled and told Craig thank you for being here today. Craig just looked at him, lost of course, and said, “No problem man, take care.” And we walked away.

SO… With that being told now, isn’t there a thing as too much? Everyone needs to try for obvious reasons, and push themselves to see how much they can accomplish. If you don’t try then you won’t know the extent of what you can do or how much better you can indeed become. But doesn’t there come a point in time that if you are being pushed to the point of wanting to give up everything, life itself, you have to step back, look at the big picture, figure out if all of the pushing and expectations are actually what is causing you to get worse not better? Then regroup and try things differently?

I personally don’t believe in giving up, especially not on yourself. But I also believe that every person has a limit, and that limit is going to be different for each individual. I believe you have to pace yourself so you don’t become too overwhelmed. You have to know or learn your own boundaries. Just because something may be too much for you today does not mean that it will be tomorrow or the next day or next year. But if you are so overwhelmed right now and nothing seems to be changing, and you feel you are just becoming worse, then isn’t it time to regroup so you can continue to get better then you may be right now, at your pace? If you are so overwhelmed by others expectations, and trying not to be a failure to others that you do not want to take another breathe, aren’t you forgetting about you and what’s best for you? Which in turn will be best for everyone as you pace yourself and find a balance that is right for you. PTSD is not just going away, but finding a balance in life and within yourself so you can manage it… I believe makes all of the difference in the world and in getting better then you may be right now.

Life is too precious, don’t give up on it, and don’t give up on yourself!!! 

If you know someone that is having a hard time with PTSD and life, and you believe my story can help them, please share it with them. Their life matters, and they need to know that!

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

Everyone needs to read and share this…

PLEASE read and “share” this…

I’m on my soapbox this morning. So pardon me while I’m there but this needs to be said. The worst thing to me is knowing that so many people wear blinders when it comes to hearing the term “PTSD”.

Yes, by all means doctor, medications, and therapy can be of great help to ones who suffer from PTSD… BUT, yep I put a but in there… but the real help is going to come from the public and people learning about PTSD! That is YOU!

We have proof right here in front of us that educating yourself about PTSD can save lives! In numbers we can and do make a difference.

It does not matter if you know someone who has PTSD or not! And I can almost bet you DO know someone rather you realize it or not, many suffer in silence due to the stigma and what others will say or think. People, that’s sad!!! Each day there are ones with PTSD taking their own lives, the numbers are extremely high. Why? Because the battle became too strong for them to handle alone! PTSD takes support, it takes learning, it takes educating others, it takes this WORLD laying it’s differences to the side to save mankind!

When you turn your back on a person that is suffering, you are turning your back on a human being, and many times that person is a mother, a father, someone’s brother or sister, your friend, your neighbor, that nice person you met at the grocery store that offered to help you load your car, that person who went out of their way to hold a door open for you, that person who you made eye contact with that politely nodded and kept on walking. PTSD wears many faces, a person with PTSD is no different then you or I, they have just experienced something traumatic when maybe you haven’t.

Taking the time to learn about PTSD rather you think you know someone with it or not can honestly save a another person’s life! It is never too late or early to learn. PTSD can affect anyone, and I dearly hope you never have to experience it, but in all honesty look at the numbers of how many people do. Look at how many take their own lives each day… ONLY the reported numbers in the United States, now that’s reported numbers, that does not include civilians, unreported cases, or world wide… 22/23 per day! That’s a lot of people and YOU can help prevent this!

It only takes a few seconds to hit a “share” button from any PTSD page or share a link to a website… I mean seriously, you do it for everything else in the social media, it only takes a few minutes to read an article on how YOU can help or learn the basics about PTSD, and it only takes one second to save another person’s life! That person you passed in the store or made eye contact with, they may be the one on that last breathe that sees no hope left, did you know that YOU may be the person that creates a setting for them to keep fighting? I’m very serious, I pull no punches and I play no games, you never know when it may be you to save that person, and many times you may not even know you did.

If you were or are the one who suffers from this unseen disability, wouldn’t you want someone to care enough about other human beings to help YOU? ABSOLUTELY!!! Take the blinders off!

Ones with PTSD have feelings, emotions, and can throw a good cook out just as the next person, they can be great fathers and mothers and friends. DO NOT let the fear of the unknown blind you to what is all around you, stigma is a horrible thing and comes from the fear of the unknown. It only takes a few minutes of your time to educate yourself and share that education with others. And again, if PTSD happens to you or a loved one, wouldn’t you want someone to do the same? YES!

A person suffering from PTSD is not a bad person, they are only a person who has to fight harder to have as normal of a life as possible. They are not weak minded, if fact they are what I call “the best of the best”. Why? Because they have made it through something that completely changed their life, they have witnessed things that you can not even imagine the horror, and they fight everyday of their life to make it to the next! That takes a strong person in my book! Much stronger then many.

The only things you hear in the media are the bad things. It’s extremely misleading. And those bad things that are being reported most likely are cases where that person did not receive or was not able to reach for proper help. If you want those bad stories and cases to go away, you want the fear of the unknown to vanish, then do something!

Many of these people are heroes and many wear different “uniforms”. They are military, civilian, doctors, nurses, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, teachers, fathers, mothers, K9 trainers/handlers, etc. and they may just be your neighbor.

It is not a battle anyone deserves to fight alone. With support, education, and just taking a few minutes of your time, YOU can make a huge difference in this world… you can save a life! Why are you delaying? Rather you know someone with PTSD or not, I ask you to please… and I will swallow my pride and beg you, please hit the “share” button on this. You might just save a life today!

Let’s make this go viral! Someone out there and someone you may know, deserves it!

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

What is PTSD?

What is PTSD?

Sometimes we need to get back to the basics of what PTSD is, especially for those of you that are just starting to learn or have not heard of PTSD before.

PTSD is the abbreviation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Majority of the time you will not see it spelled out and “PTSD” or “PTS” are commonly used.

PTSD is a psychological reaction to a highly stressful event(s)/trauma(s) which is/was outside of normal human range of experience. It is caused by experiencing or witnessing life threatening harm to oneself or that of another person. PTSD can effect anyone who has experienced a severe trauma where the symptoms last more then a month. Many believe it is only military related, which is untrue. Civilians can develop PTSD the same as one who had a military experience. The trauma experienced may be different, but the symptoms from “what happened” are much the same no matter what the trauma was that one experienced.

Some examples which could lead to PTSD developing:

* Military, Law Enforcement, Emergency personnel, Prison Guards, Doctors, Nurses, etc. related event(s).
* Car accident.
* Personal physical attack.
* Rape/Sexual Assault.
* Home invasion.
* Child abuse.
* Natural disaster.
* Witnessing a death of one close to you.
* Abuse (adult)
* Major surgery (such as breast cancer and stroke patients)
* Kidnapping or Torture.
* Mugging or Robbery.

Virtually any trauma that is life-threatening and damages the physical and/or emotional state or well being of an individual or causes intense fear.

Symptoms of PTSD:

  •  Reoccurring thoughts/re-experience of what happened.

Nightmares of the event.  Flashbacks.

  •  Dissociative symptoms.

Can include memory issues. If you have not heard of this one, please research it! This can in many cases explain things that do not seem to be PTSD related symptoms.

  •  Avoidance of people, places, or things that remind one of their trauma they experienced.
  •  Increased Arousal. Feeling keyed up.
  •  Sleep problems.
  •  Anger, Frustration, Irritability.
  •  Negative changes in beliefs and feelings.

May include guilt, fear, shame, lack of self-worth.

  •  Self destructive behavior. Such as alcohol or drug abuse.
  •  Suicidal thoughts or attempts.
  •  Physical symptoms can co-occur with PTSD.

Such as heart disease, digestive issues, upset stomach, high blood pressure, diabetes, and others.

  •  Other mental illnesses can co-occur with PTSD.

Such as depression, survivor’s guilt, dissociation, and others.

These are a few of the most commonly seem symptoms of PTSD.

Developing PTSD does not mean a person is weak, which is a huge misunderstanding by many. It means the person has experienced something beyond what is normal. Many people who develop PTSD may have experienced more then one trauma, compiling the traumas. Again, anyone could develop PTSD after a life threatening trauma, it is not based on being weak or weak minded.

There are many different treatments and therapies to help manage PTSD. It is highly recommended to seek help as soon as possible! The sooner you seek professional help, the sooner you can learn to develop ways of coping and managing the symptoms, as well as being able to maintain a more normal lifestyle.

Having a support system of some form, rather it is family, friends, support groups, online support, etc is urgent. These things are needed not only for the one who suffers from PTSD, but for family members as well. It is in your and your loved one’s best interest to take time to learn as much as you can about PTSD, the better educated you and your loved ones are, the stronger you will be to “battle” and cope with PTSD symptoms, as well as what can come with living life with or beside PTSD.

PTSD is not new. PTSD has been around for many, many years… just known as other names such as shell shock, battle fatigue, and soldier’s heart. With the technology in today’s society, PTSD has become a more known name due to the many forms of awareness and ones speaking out to the public in hopes of helping others and reducing stigma. Past generations suffered alone in many cases due to the stigma which does come with PTSD and the lack of information provided. Thus in the past, majority of known cases were related to military and other cases were unreported.

These are some of the basics of PTSD. There is a lot that can be learned as well as taught regarding PTSD. Rather you believe you know someone who suffers or not, the hard fact is, you probably already do or sooner or later you most likely will know or meet someone who does suffer from PTSD. Learning about PTSD could very well help save lives. PTSD is a very real disorder and has touched many, many, people’s lives. It is not something that one can just snap out of, get over, or forget about. When PTSD affects one’s life, they relive the trauma they experienced each and every day, it is not just going away. Ones with PTSD are very strong individuals who fight every day to make it to the next the best they possible can and to be there for their family/loved ones, have a heart, please take the time to educate yourself.

One who suffers from PTSD is no different then you or I, they have just experienced something we may have not.

“A Spouse’s Story…PTSD” :Website

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When you first start learning about PTSD OR a Reminder…

When you first start learning about PTSD OR a Reminder

There is A LOT to learn about PTSD, I will not lie to you and I will not tell you it’s going to be easy. It’s not going to be! But just because it’s not easy does not mean it’s not possible to make it through it or make things better. The more you learn, the more effort you put into trying and understanding, the better things can become.

PTSD is not going to just go away. It’s not something that you can just say “this can not be happening” and ignore it hoping things will be better tomorrow, and it’s sure not something to battle alone! When you do not face the truth of PTSD, do not accept it, and do not try to learn… you can almost guarantee life is going to get harder then what you are already experiencing.

There are a few terms/phrases you are going to hear very often related to PTSD (other then what’s in text book definitions)…

* Roller coaster ride

PTSD has that nick name for a very good reason, because that is exactly what you are going to feel like you are on! Every day can be different, especially before one learns to cope with PTSD (no matter which side of the fence you are on with PTSD). And even then, there will be days that a quick turn could be hit, then back again.

One of the golden rules of PTSD is to take one day at a time. Don’t have overwhelming expectations and learn the “tricks” to get through what does come. It’s not going to happen overnight, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error, and again a lot of effort, but things can get better then they are right now!

You are going to feel like your world and life have been turned upside down then back again, but with learning and putting good effort into it, things can get better and symptoms can be managed. PTSD is not going away, but there are ways of coping and managing it that can reduce the symptoms and put some symptoms at bay, so to speak. But it will not be handed to you on a silver platter and you are not going to just wake up one day and PTSD be gone. You have to work at it to make things the best they can possibly be! But things CAN be better then what they may be right now, but you have to actually DO something!

* Walking on eggshells

This is a phrase you will learn very fast, especially if you are a loved one of one with PTSD. You are going to find things “appear” as if you never say anything right, you can’t do anything right, you may “think” you can’t express your own feelings or emotions, you may even feel fear of PTSD, and you are going to experience the feeling of being alone, even though that person may be physically right beside you. And when a good day is experienced you might even feel like you are waiting for the other shoe to drop and wonder when everything is going to turn around again. Over time these things can change! Again, the more you learn, and understand, the better things can become. You will never understand exactly what the one with PTSD went through, you are not them and most likely you were not there when what happened to them happened, however you can learn to understand what they experience now as a result of what happened to them in the past.

Always remember, the nasty things that may come with PTSD are not the person you love, it’s PTSD. The person you love has not left, they are still there and you just have to find ways that work for you and them to help some of their old self shine through. I learned a saying a long time ago, “I know this is not you talking/acting this way because you would never do that, I know this is PTSD”… that one phrase may be the understanding I found that saved us.

When you find yourself walking on eggshells, make sure you are taking care of yourself! Take time to do something for yourself, even if it’s just getting outside, away from everyone for a few minutes. Self-help will help things become a lot better then they may be right now. And my goodness, learn the same coping skills one with PTSD learns!!! I can not say that one enough, you would be shocked at how much they can help you through the rough times. If you don’t take care of yourself physically and mentally, how are you going to be able to help or take care of someone else? You won’t be able to, and you may very well find yourself standing in the same shoes as the one with PTSD.

PTSD can have many different levels to it. Some can still function and maintain a somewhat normal life, others can be more severe to the point they have to rely on someone else to help them make it through each day, and everything in between. No matter what level of severity you or your loved one may experience, educate yourself on everything you possibly can about PTSD and the real life things that come with it, not just textbook symptoms! Doing so can give you the knowledge to battle PTSD on just about anything that PTSD can bring.

My husband and I do share our story, our experiences, and things we have found that do or can help. If my writings about our life can help just one person make it through living with or beside PTSD, then everything I do is worth it! I did not have help when things were at there worst, I battled what my husband was going through totally alone, and I do not wish that upon anyone! My words come from the heart and our experiences. I can place it all in writing but what you do with it from there is up to you. Whatever you choose to do or not do is up to you, but whatever it is, DO something to make things better for yourself and/or your loved ones.

I’m not a doctor or in any medical field. But I am a spouse that has been there and continue the battle PTSD each and every day of our lives, and I share our story with you!

Work together! Battling PTSD together instead of battling each other will help you accomplish much more in life. The battle is not between you and your loved ones… the battle is PTSD.

“A Spouse’s Story…PTSD”

PTSD vs Money/Finances

money and PTSD

PTSD vs Money/Finances

Oh boy! This one can be a tough one for everyone involved!

This one has to be handled with the utmost grace, understanding, kindness, and in a way that toes are not stepped on or self-esteem.
It will be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have, and needs to be the calmest one. BOTH people need to really pay attention to the other’s feeling also.

Now I will say right up front, not everyone what suffers from PTSD has difficulties when it comes to money. So if one is doing okay with handling money then let them! Do not try to interfere with something they are able to do just because you fear it may become an issue.

However, there can be a flip side. Some with PTSD may have started having issues, others may have already been through it. This could be due to memory issues, dissociative symptoms, it could be used as a wrong form of coping, etc. This is something that I have also heard of as being one of the symptoms causing one to be misdiagnosed at times with bipolar disorder, when it’s actually PTSD at hand. There could be many different reasons why one that use to be awesome with money, now has difficulties with it.

This is an extremely sensitive subject especially for those that are normally the ones that take care of the bills, is the one who is working and providing that money for the family, or have never had someone involved with their spending before. If spending/money problems are or become the case, you both have to face the facts of it being real before you end up in a financial hardship… and trust me, it can happen!

When handling money does become an issue, no matter who you are, the facts must be placed on the table… as I say it. Misuse of money can effect you and your family greatly. There are bills to pay, making sure the roof stays over your head, food on the table, priorities to be taken care of. Etc.

So what do you do?

You know a conflict may come with talking about this, you know PTSD may very well be set off, oh boy is an understatement!

Face the facts. That is a huge start. Rather you are the one having the issue or the one seeing it happen, the facts have to be faced. AND you can NOT treat the one with PTSD like a child in the process! They are not a child, they are an adult that may be having difficulty with what their disability is causing. But there has to be a solution and the one with PTSD has to trust their loved one if confronted with this issue. Here comes that “balance” word again I say so often. You have to find a balance that everyone can accept. I won’t say it’s going to be easy to except by any means, but a balance that is reasonable can be found.

Going off on a rage because someone spent the grocery money or bought something that should not have been purchased is NOT going to help and won’t help you find a solution! So keep your anger and frustration in check. And spouses/partners, don’t point fingers too fast here, you might notice you have done the same thing! Many spouses start having spending problems too, again that quick make me feel good way of trying to cope, I’ve even heard some say they have purposely spent money or made a large purchase as a way of getting back at their PTSD partner “Well he/she did it, so why can’t I?” This is not going to get you very far and it’s sure going to cause your finances to be in a worse place then they were or could end up.

It does not matter which side of the fence you are on with PTSD, money requires discipline. Ask anyone who is considered rich, I bet they will tell you they are wealthy because being or becoming wealthy comes with discipline.

So what can you do?

* Talk for starters. 

Communicate with each other about the finances.

* Make a budget. TOGETHER if there are two of you!

And I mean actually on paper where you or both of you can see it. Many already know what their “income” is for the month.

Take that income and start with the bills and groceries, both are important and you have to find a balanced budget for both, and bills include medications.

Now at times, bills and groceries are going to be a hard balance to find. So just to add a note in here, if you do not have income enough to cover both there are things you can look into. The bill collectors are not just going to stop so those are extremely important to handle, but at the same time you have to eat!

The groceries, everyone has to have food and must eat healthy in order to have the correct energy to function, especially with battling PTSD in your life. You don’t have to have the most expensive foods or tons of junk food that will eat up your budget. When you shop, shop wisely! Make a list of things you NEED then always add in a couple of things you want so you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself of wants. Plan meals ahead of time. Use coupons and take advantage of sale items. But don’t buy things just because they are on sale! Only buy them if you NEED them and know you will use them. Many fall into the sale trap of marketing, and many times that food is never used… don’t be a victim of marketing when that money, no matter what amount it is, could be budgeted for something else. If you like to eat out, or pick up takeout on days you are too tired to cook, then that money comes from grocery money… it’s still food, but understand at times takeout might be more then actually cooking but at times is needed.

If you are having the problem of budgeting bills and groceries, there just is not enough funds for both, look into local food banks/pantries for some temporary help. See what programs are offered in your area. I know this is a hard one to swallow and tampers greatly with pride, however it is better then not eating. You can also speak to your bill companies and see if they have a payment plan that they could work with you on. Just keep in mind these are temporary solutions only until you can get back on track. Bills are still owed and each month you delay them puts you that much further behind. But the temporary relief while you get back on track can be of huge help.

Then move on to expected gas/transportation for work, doctor appointments, those MUST do travels. This makes sure you can continue to make it to where you need to be so your income can continue and also make sure you are doing what you need to to keep the best health you can. I can’t begin to say how many times I have heard of appointments being cancelled because someone can’t afford to get there. You have to make sure you budget in so you can make your doctor appointments!

Once the priorities are taken care of then you budget what is left for extra things and savings.

Some of you may be in a position to where there is nothing left over, or already in a spot where bills take everything you have. This is a very real situation I hate to say. This is when you have to look over everything! What do you have that you really don’t need, where can you cut corners, what extra can you cut out or back off so you can get your budget back on track. Many times this happens when a disability comes into play which is by all means unexpected. It’s time to start working on a new budget, and face the fact it’s not going to happen over night, but you can still work on it.

Now that I got those two things out of the way let’s move on.

I can already hear some of you saying it, “But he/she won’t stop spending and spends it before I can pay bills!” I do hear this a lot.

I will say it up front, you have to find what works best for you. And I’m saying that before I tic some of you off with what I’m going to say next. So know this is coming from personal experience and with heart.

When “uncontrollable spending” comes into play, and no matter what you do it’s not stopping, a serious conversation really needs to take place. And I will tell you right now, someone is not going to be happy about it. But facts on the table must be done nicely so you and/or your family can survive financially!

Here’s some things you can try:

* The hardest one is going to be allowing someone else to take care of the priorities… the bills. 

Many times with PTSD roles do change. This is something that you may like like, but sometimes are a must. It doesn’t make you any less of a person when this happens, it makes you a responsible person. Let someone help! And the one taking over this role of the priorities, it by no means puts you in charge! So you have to be careful that you are not belittling the one with PTSD!!! They are not a child, they are just having issues with money which needs a little help to get back on track.

* Start doing the bills together!

Rather you handle the money/finances anymore or not, you can still sit there and help when bills are being done and keep up with what the budget is and what is going on each month with the finances. This keeps you included, keeps your input valuable, helps keep stress down of not knowing or feeling left out or from feeling like you are a failure. You still have a brain and intelligence! There are still things that you can suggest that could be of great help, as well as it could help take stress off of your partner by them not having to be the one to make all of the decisions alone.

Some people with PTSD find it is actually a stress reliever for someone else to handle the finances. It can be one less thing you have to worry about and the focus can go towards getting yourself the best you can be. So you have to figure out which way works best for you and your stress level. And if you choose this way, the one that is handling bills ALWAYS must leave the door open for the one that is not handling the finances to sit in when they feel like helping. Never shut a door to someone trying when they feel up to it.

* Calendar.

My handy dandy calendar. Write the bills and priorities on a calendar. This helps provide a visual of things that must be taken care of and make a small box you can mark off next to it when it is paid. This is the easiest way to keep track of things and both of you can see it. It can sure help keep stress down.

* Credit Cards, Bank Cards, and Checkbooks.

Facts on the table and you have to face them and be reasonable when it comes to these things. If you know you are spending money that already has a priority to it and you can not control it, you might want to consider locking those things away or handing them over. Again, this is not to put you down as an adult human being, it’s to ensure the responsible things are being done. NOW, when this is a must to do, no one wants to take away a person’s self-esteem which can easily happen in this case. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that person has some cash on them. Again, and I know this is a very sensitive one, it’s not treating one like a child, it’s just making sure that responsibilities are being taken care of before extra spending.

* You want to make sure the person without the credit card/bank items has a way to pay if you stop for a burger, pay for gas, etc. You don’t want to control them, that is NOT what this is about and sure don’t want to make them feel like a child.

* Some people set up a bank account solely for the person who is spending, then once that amount is gone that’s it for the month. And I will be honest, I have not heard good results with this one. The money seems to be spent then they are asking for more to be put into the account which leads to conflicts when a budget is in place and there’s just not any more to give.

* Gas. This can be an easy one Make a trip out together. The one handling the finances can easily hand a card to the other person and let them pump the gas and pay at the pump. One it gets you out of the house together, two it gives them the ability to do something. So what if you get handed a card in the car and hand it back after paying, you still did it. You can do this with other things as well. It allows the person to still handle something but at the same time allows the budget to stay in place. This is one Craig and I actually do ourselves, it was hard for both of us at first but over time has helped and neither of us take it personally.

Again, you have to find what works best for you, and also what will keep conflict down. There are too many things that already come with PTSD you all must handle and adding financial conflict and arguing needs to be controlled… don’t let money rule over the more important things!

Whatever you come up with, and no matter which side of the fence you are standing on, work together and do what’s best for you and your family. It might take swallowing a little pride, it might take switching rolls for finances, but if it will help you, your family, and keeping everything financially on track, isn’t it worth it? Money can be the root of all evil, don’t let it be. Don’t argue over money, work together and find the most reasonable solutions that have the least conflict possible. You have a larger battle to fight, and it’s sure not about money, it’s PTSD.

A Spouse’s Story…PTSD

Surviving in a PTSD Relationship…

Sometimes in life with PTSD, things are going to get rough. It is going to seem or feel like your life is falling apart. Relationships are going to get rocky.

But I will gladly be the first to tell you that relationships can survive PTSD. It will take more work and effort then normal, learning how to communicate so you know where each other is standing and what you both are feeling, it takes truly accepting that PTSD is real, and planting your feet in concrete that you are not going to let PTSD destroy your family.

I know the fact is not every relationship will survive, however if you truly love someone, you can get past what PTSD can bring or did bring, and you can heal and form a stronger relationship then you ever thought possible. But you have to try!

I won’t tell you PTSD is just going to go away and a fairy tale story magically appear… that won’t happen, this is real life. However I will tell you there are many ways of coping with it and making things better then where you have been or are standing now. But you have to put your all into it. BOTH of you!

When you both give it your all, you might be shocked at how much better things can become, instead of that dark rock bottom place you have been.

There were several times over the years that I thought I couldn’t do this anymore, thought it might be best to walk away, but when it came down to it and I looked in the mirror, I realized he is a part of me. I couldn’t walk away, he’s worth more then that, WE are worth more then that.

So I planted my feet and decided the only way for us to make it through this was facing the battle and learning what weapons/tools to use to fight it. You know what? It’s worked.

Every day I come here, I share things, and I rarely post something without some type of meaning behind it. I’ve been there, I live beside PTSD every day, and I share the tools with you that can help no matter which side of the fence of PTSD you are standing on. PTSD and life with it is by no means new to me. I won’t tell you it’s always easy, it’s not, those ups and downs are going to come. But I can tell you, our marriage survives through it, we have and are raising wonderful well balanced children through it, and we do make it from one day to the next. I won’t accept anything less.

But I can’t make you use what I share, that one has to be up to you. You are the one that chooses your and your family’s future. You are the one that decides if the fight is worth it. You are the one that can make a change for the better. But you have to choose to.

I will tell you, even through the worst PTSD can bring, it is possible for things to get better. But the first thing you have to do is stop holding things against each other, accept PTSD is what you are battling, and take a stand to battle it together! Craig and I, and our family are living proof it can be done! If we can do it, so can you!

* If you have already left, it does not have to be the end!

If you have already chosen to and walked out that door, have taken breathing room, really think about if that’s what you truly want. If it’s not, if there is any ray of hope, walk back through that door and stand tall that you two are going to work together to make life better through this.

* Communication. 

Place the anger, hate, and hurt of the past to the side and start new today. I know you won’t forget whatever has happened, but you can get past it. Learn to really talk as well as listen so you can work together.

* Set rules. 

Learn each others lines or boundaries. They have to be spoken, even write them down if it helps. But you have to know where each other stands in order to move forward and heal whatever has already happened.

* Get professional help. 

Many times having a third party to help you find a level ground is needed, you are both worth trying, reach for additional help if you can’t find that level ground to stand on. Get one on one help also. Therapy can help keep both of you balanced and moving forward.

* Take care of yourself. 

BOTH of you have to do this! Make sure you use the coping skills. Make sure you take “me” time when needed. Use self-help therapy, whatever works for you to help keep you balanced.

* Physical and/or Verbal Abuse.

These are things that can change! No one purposely hurts the one they love. In many cases you can get past these. Coping skills, learning about PTSD and what comes with it, communication, and everything else you can use to your advantage can help correct these things. Work together to get past any abuse that may be going on. Do it for yourself and do it for your family.

* Safety Protocol.

Rather there is any type of abuse in your home or not, having safety guidelines is a must in any home. Especially if you have children. We all know what PTSD is capable of bringing, have safety in place of what to do in any certain situation, it goes back to it’s better to be safe then sorry. Knowing ahead of time if you are faced with such and such then this is how it will be handled, and everyone understanding that, can save a lot of issues from happening or knowing how to handle them if they do arise.

* Education.

Learn! There is no tool more powerful or that can help both of you more then both of you learning what you are faced with. As you learn you will also learn solutions and ways of dealing with or coping with what PTSD can bring. You learn how to handle situations without over reacting. You learn to find a balance which helps you move forward.

* Stop fighting each other.

You have a larger beast to battle then each other! Fighting and arguing just breaks down your relationship, don’t let it!

Through everything, keep in mind you chose to be with the one you are with for a reason, don’t lose sight of that! Both of you do what you need to in order to make it through life with PTSD. PTSD is not just going away, so make a plan and take action to make life the best it can be with it. Life might not be a fairy tale story all of the time, but it doesn’t mean life has to be bad either. Don’t give up on each other! Work together, help each other, support each other, and let go of the past and start new today… it can make all of the difference in the world! 

“A Spouse’s Story…PTSD”

Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

After spending many years fighting this battle called PTSD, just Craig and I, I felt the loneliest I have ever felt in my lifetime. After a few years of learning about PTSD in the beginning and doing what I could to better understand it, I refused to believe we were alone. Just over two years ago I started the FaceBook page trying to find others like Craig and I out there, There had to be others that were going through the same things we were, and ones that had already experienced it.

I decided that if I could help just one person, just one person out there have more knowledge then I had in the beginning, if just one family could be saved, if just one person realized they were not alone, if just one person learned it’s okay to reach for help, then the effort for me to try was more then worth it. I think in a way it was also my reach for help into the unknown, my little hole on the internet as I call it. If we were going through this, someone else had to be too.

I found out really fast that we were by no means alone! There are many of us.

Two years ago today I sat here in my desk chair, looking at this page, and realized just how many this page had touched in such a short time. I sat here and realized that I could do more! My mission was not going to stop here. When Craig woke up on this day 2 years ago, I told him “A Spouse’s Story PTSD” and every single person it touched was worth it, they ARE worth it. I had purchased the website domain that day, a Birthday gift to myself and hopefully a gift of life and understanding to others.

Today, I want to thank all of you for becoming a part of this “family”! We have had so many friendships form here, we have kept each other’s backs, we have picked ones up when they reach the down side, we have shared silly things that life brings, we have laughed together as well as cried together… THIS my friends is what the word FAMILY is all about! And I am proud and honored that you are a part of it!

It’s not about numbers to me, it’s about heart, helping, and understanding… reaching out to a hand that needs to be held onto and not letting go. However, that number of 30 people two years ago has now reached approximately 70,000 people and growing! No, none of us are alone anymore! Thank you for helping me spread the word and awareness about life with PTSD, that has touched so many lives, you ALL ARE “The Best of the Best”!

Today on the calendar it says I was born 40 years ago today, but you know what? Two years ago today was a very real birthday. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

HAPPY 2nd Birthday “A Spouse’s Story PTSD”!

“A Spouse’s Story…PTSD”