by Rachel Latham
For the Hurting Military Wife
I received a message recently from a military wife trying to find the hope to persevere in her marriage while her husband struggles from the depths of PTSD. And then another wife who is seeing a light at the end of that dark tunnel. The two messages came the same day and reminded me again how long this road is that we travel.
So, today, this message if for the military wife who doesn’t know what to do, to the one whose heart is breaking, who wants to help and doesn’t know how, to the one who is living in both fear and love at the same time, this is for you:
You are not alone.
You are not alone. You are seen by God and you are loved and understood by the military wives who share your burden.
There is information and support to help you.
Trying to understand PTSD is like learning how to put out a fire when the building is already engulfed, so be patient with yourself as you sort, understand and learn to apply the information. Use resources through the military: Military OneSource, VA Centers, etc. Look up Hope for the Home Front and Military Ministry as starting points. I believe the best book for wives on this topic is When War Comes Home: Christ-centered Healing for Wives of Combat Veterans, by Chris and Rahnella Adsit, and Marshele Carter Waddell. This is available on Amazon as well as some ministry sites. There are several valuable facebook pages that have information. FamilyofaVet is one of the best. (Jocelyn adds: VoiceofWarriors is another, led by Patti Katter, founder of Christian Military Wives.)
You need healing for yourself.
This took me a long time to figure this out (I wrote about it here: http://rachellatham.blogspot.com/2012_06_01_archive.html )
If you don’t take care of yourself and get things in a good perspective, it will be so much harder to fight for your marriage and help your spouse.
You can’t fix it.
You can’t fix it, but you can learn to understand it. Healing does come, with help. PTSD may not go away, but learning to cope with it becomes easier. I know, dear sister, if you are in the depths of despair and afraid of losing everything, it will be hard to see this. I know. Learning about PTSD, loving your husband, drawing close to the Lord, and taking care of yourself are the best things you can do. Fight for your marriage! But do it from a place of education and support and taking care of yourself in the process.
*A note from Jocelyn: Good news: Marshele Carter Waddell has a new book coming out March 1, too: Wounded Warrior, Wounded Home: Hope and Healing for Families Living with PTSD and TBI. Available for pre-order here. *The above post originally appeared on Rachel’s own blog, Scattered Words. Rachel is an Army wife, mother of four, and a contributor to Faith Deployed . . . Again.