Sunday, September 17, 2017

Can Love Live Again After Combat PTSD?

Are The Battles We Fight At Home Worth It?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 17, 2017
The song "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt hit me hard every time it was on the radio in the early 90's. Honestly, it still does. I remember the darkest of times when I thought the song was about the life I was living. Now, looking back on those years, I understand what other wives are going through but as much as I understand that, it is more important that they understand what is is like coming out on the other side.

This was the part that I refused to surrender to,


"I'll close my eyes, then I won't see

The love you don't feel when you're holding me

Morning will come and I'll do what's right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight"

I was not about to give up the fight. Did I think about it? Sure, too many times. Did I walk away? Partly. I left him a few times but we never stopped talking. Even with everything I knew about PTSD back then, I couldn't get him to go to the VA, so, I couldn't find hope that he would get the help he needed to heal.

Finally, he agreed to go. Even back then we had the same problems as this generation does. I can assure you that the VA is not the enemy. They have helped generations of veterans and their families. Just don't give up and do not take "no" for an answer.

I already knew that love alone couldn't make him happy. It just didn't matter how much I loved him, how many times I prayed for him or how many times he broke my heart.

Instead of just walking away, I got pissed off! The Vietnam war wanted to take him away from me. It was almost as if I was fighting another woman for his soul.

I won and it lost. This month is our 33rd anniversary but it has been 35 years of a fight I never planned on. So yes, I get it. I get the pain, the endless questions in your mind and the fact you're probably getting advice to get divorced and give up. That is up to you but base your decisions your intelligence, not your emotions.

What made you love him/her? It is all still inside of him, but it is trapped behind a wall his mind created to protect it from feeling more pain. Trapping out the bad, it also prevents good from getting back in.

First, understand that he/she loved so much they were willing to die for other people. That kind of love is very rare. Maybe you're wondering why they can't show that same type of love for you? They would if your life was on the line, but when your love is on the line, they can't believe they are worthy of being loved anymore.

They forget the fact the men and women they served with were willing to die for them, but during a time when they need them the most, they don't want to bother them with a phone call for help. It is almost as if they have forgotten in combat, they called for all the help they could get, and didn't see anything wrong with that.

You have a fight on your hands if you decide to stay. The only question you need to know right now is, are you ready to give up this fight or are you ready to give up fighting this battle after combat with the wrong weapons?

Everything you loved about them is still in there. They just forgot how to find "who they are" because of how they feel about themselves.

Learn all you can so that you'll be able to understand why they act the way they do. Why are they making a big deal out of nothing? Why are they freaking out over such little things? Why are they acting like everyone is their enemy?

All the answers are there along with what you can do to make the decision to calm things down or make a stand. Pick your battles wisely. Too often if you set aside your pride, you'll be able to see it isn't worth fighting over. Save that energy for when you do need to take a stand.

Define their lives and your future together by what they were as much as what they can become again. Nothing in this is impossible. Remind them of what you saw within them when you fell in love and then tell them you know it is all still there.

The most important thing I can tell you right now is that PTSD is because they feel so deeply. Their emotional core is that strong! What is good within them hurts them the most. They are worth fighting for and things can be so much better on the other side of the choices you make today.

You can't make them love you... because they already do!