Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Letter to My Significant Other About My PTSD

I received this message via LinkedIn from Vets advocate friend Laura Goodsen :

A very honest poem from my friend, TBI survivor, Debbie Wilson. She is also on LinkedIn. I hope this finds all of you well. - Laura

On 01/29/12 9:20 AM, Debbie Wilson wrote:
I thought you may know how to best share this to go the most good.

A Letter to My Significant Other About My PTSD

I have PTSD there is no cure yet but I can and will be treated for it.
I have triggers and I will teach them to you as I figure them out myself.
I know you did not ask for this but either did I, together maybe we can work it out.
I have issues with trust that have nothing to do with you, please stand by me anyway.

I have issues with anger that you can't believe, but I can learn to control my reactions.
I have a tendency to self medicate with alcohol and drugs because they help me escape.
I feel like a ticking time bomb and would never want or mean to hurt you or our kids.
I will learn to gauge my triggers so I can better control my frustration and rage and anger.

I will stay busy, because free time and worry exacerbate my PTSD symptoms.
I will never forget the trauma I have been through, but I want to go forward with my life.
I realize that even good and bad stress is a trigger, so stress is something we will try to avoid.
I know that the anniversary of my trauma will always cause a rise in my PTSD symptoms.

I hold in a lot of anger, so sometimes I take things out on the wrong people, my loved ones.
I know my anger can go from A-Z immediately without any kind of warning for you.
I especially dread holidays, they are reminders, but with time this dread will be lessened.
I am diagnosed with PTSD but that doesn't make my flashbacks or hallucinations go away.

I have a lot of fear I try hard not to show, one of my greatest fears is dying soon or right away.
I do know that once a fear is conquered it loses its power to hurt or haunt me anymore.
I have a lot of anxiety all of the time, it is very hard for me to ever totally relax.
I do know when my anxiety levels increase my PTSD symptoms are on the rise, I may need help.

I have intimacy issues because I feel like the people I care about always die in the end.
I don't want to get close to anyone because I don't want to lose anyone else that I love.
I have a lot of guilt about things I have had to do, also because I did not die and I survived.
I share these things as a peace offering of the things I cannot change but am willing to work on.

If my alcohol and drug abuse start getting out of hand, I will need professional help.
If I can not learn to control my addiction to adrenaline, I will end up in trouble or jail.
If I don't try and explain this to you, my significant other, how can I expect you to understand.
If I face that I have PTSD and do all I can to help myself that means PTSD does not have me.

Your Loving Warrior

Debbie Wilson

Thank you for your service Debbie .....Welcome Home
Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000

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