How the words of a spouse describe PTSD as an “unwelcome guest in our home.”

by | Aug 27, 2012 Quote from this site…

“PTSD is our new four letter word. It has become an unwelcome guest in our home, in our
lives & in our family. PTSD is a battle that my spouse & I battle every minute of every
day. There are times that it feels as if IT has won, but that is a lie that I refuse to
believe. PTSD has forced us to adapt to the world in a way I never imagined possible.
For example, we cannot go into crowds. We cannot go to church, the movies or
restaurants without a “plan.” We have to make sure we know where the exits & entrances
are, we have to plan what to do if we get separated, and we never ever let our guard
down. PTSD
requires careful monitoring.

There is a fine line between true PTSD symptoms or triggers & simply using it as an
excuse for bad, bad, bad behavior. Which brings me to what PTSD is not…….it is not a
license to hurt or abuse others. There are tools out there to teach someone how to
handle the triggers of PTSD…..we are not going to be perfect in our endeavor to
overcome, but we will keep trying…

PTSD doesn’t look like a crazy person, waving a gun in the air & talking crazy. My spouse
is quiet, withdrawn & embarrassed by the stigma attached with PTSD……PTSD is your
neighbor, your friend….it is the person sitting next to you.”

K. Stalnaker, Spouse of a Veteran

It is often more meaningful to me because of my own famly experience to hear directly from a spouse or a child of a parent who suffers from PTSD in the circumstance of life after war. The words of Ms. Stalnaker above hit home with me and no doubt countless other loved ones and caregivers of PTSD sufferers.  I especially like her comments regarding “what PTSD is not…”  All too often the stigma of PTSD prevents us from becoming aware and educated so that we can be more compassionate toward those who are challenged.  The above new website offers comments by both veterans and loved ones on their experiences living and coping with PTSD.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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