Secondary Survivor

Discussion in 'Home Defense/Guns' started by moopups, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    A new sticky and a new board at the parallel site; this thread is for the wives, children, and all loved ones of a vet whom might have issues that hampers relationships. This is where we discuss the hard things, the sad things, the things that need to change. This is also where we heal.
     
  2. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat Well-Known Member

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    If any of the mother's of children with Dad's who are in the Middle East, who feel uncomfortable talking about their hardships, loneliness, ect. on this new forum, they are welcome to pm or e-mail me. I have a dd and ds who's Dad is serving over in the Middle East as I write. Having experienced living in military housing, I know how someone can feel isolated while their spouse is away. And yet they are living next door to those who are going thru the same thing. I also know how hard it is to openly speak of coping with separations too. I do encourage you to post here first, but if you need a friend to talk to privately, I have an open ear.

    The only contact I have with my dd and ds Dad is thru the ships e-mail, if and when it is up and running. And a mailing address. I have no other contact nor do I know how to contact anyone else.

    A good ombudsman is an excellent source of information for spouses. Feel free to contact them, they volunteered to be there for you, but be patient with them, they are people too.

    I live on a large working farm about two hours from a military base. But if one is able to use the base programs, they are available to military families. There were programs for the children during spring break, and summers off from school, the last time I used them. Also classes for spouses during the school day and at night. Such programs were advertised in the base paper, posted at the Peds Dept., and a phone call away, ect.

    God Bless.

    Stray Cat :)
     

  3. rkintn

    rkintn mean people suck

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    What about those of us whose spouse is not active military but is overseas involved in civilian peacekeeping duties? It is the same but not..although the problems are pretty much the same maybe worse because the resources available to active duty military are NOT available to these guys. My hubby is having a very difficult time and our marriage is teetering on the brink and his company does not even really care as long as it doesn't affect his job. Spouses have little recourse or regard as far as the company is concerned. I have tried everything I can think of to get my husband help and very little if anything as been done. If you know of anyone whose spouse is thinking of becoming and International Police officer, by any means you can, make that person stay at home! I have not met many who have gone whose families have not suffered and fallen apart due to stress, finances (ususally too much money too fast and no concrete plan to deal with it), PTSD, depression, alcohol or adultery. It is very sad really. The man I have had to deal with recently is NOT the man I married or the man who left here last Sept. I wish I had done more to stop him from going! Even if it meant telling the airlines he was a terrorist (I thought of doing that when he came home in Mar for a brief visit but chickened out and now am really kicking myself for not!)
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    RKintn, its is agood thing you chickened out on fileing a false report, that is perjury and is a felony with prison being a possiability for you; plus the Homeland security people would be looking into your complete family history, finances, background, employment, ect. You could be charged with the cost of the investigation, your husbands career could be totally in jeopardy for life by such an action. A more settled, calm approach to this problem is needed.

    You state that part of the problem is finiances, then later you state that its 'too much money too fast'; there are people whom are trained in finiancial matters available for counciling you on these matters. Your relationship appears to be in disarray, I would suggest you approact a relationship counciler to seek other approaches to the cure. Your county mental health department can direct you to sources that are appropiate for you. Of course, asking for help requires admitting that there are problems, from what you have posted here it appears you are asking, so the hard part is over.

    From the limited amount of information above not much more can added at this point of view, people locally to you is the beginning of the answers. You have taken the hard steps, now its time to go find the easier ones. This isn't an overnight thing, its been growing since last Sept; it may take the same amount of time to return to normal.
     
  5. rkintn

    rkintn mean people suck

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    Moopups,
    Yes I have been asking for help which is fine for me but hubby is still in Kosovo and is NOT receiving any help that I know of. Things have deteriorated to the point that now we aren't even talking on the phone. He won't come home, he is trying to extend his contract with the company he is currently with for another year. He has even said if he can't get the extension then he will work for another company possibly going to another country. Apparently you can get paid $600 to $1000 a DAY to guard oil pipelines in Iraq. I have heard of this also from another very reliable source where my husband is at. I have begged and pleaded and cried and screamed and he still refuses to come home or talk about what has been happening in Kosovo, with me. And let me clarify, this has only been going on since around Feb. and I was totally blindsided. There was no indication of any problems before he left although I was scared the distance would affect our marriage I just had no idea that this was going to happen. He claims that there were problems but he never told me and our closet friends don't believe it either because he never indicated in anyway that he was unhappy. Just let me mention also we have 4 children at home, the two youngest (3 and 1) are ours together. Oh yeah, he went over there with a very close friend and police officer partner and he has also quit talking to him. The were living together, but then hubby got transfered against his wishes and now he isn't talking to his friend anymore either.
    He has also made statements such as "we would be better off without him" and "I'll hate him before it is over with". I know there is nothing you can do but thank you for listening and offering your advice. I am gonna keep praying and look to the Lord and take care of the babies as best I can.
     
  6. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I may be stepping over some lines here, but I have to just come out and say this...your husband doesn't sound like he's playing with a full deck, right now.

    Everything you said is your side of the story, I realize, and he's not able to defend himself. But regardless of the situation you percieve going on between the two of you, this just pulses with unstable mental capacity.

    If your husband has even isolated himself from his friend, then there is something going on in his head no amount of talking with you will fix.

    As much as you love your husband, in my opinion, you should be spending even more time trying to take care of yourself. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Try to distance yourself from depending on him, and establish more independance.

    I would recommend seeing a counselor, if only just to help you cope with your day-to-day stuff, so you can build up more and more self esteem and motivation. The hardest step will be letting go and getting on. It may not be permenant, and everything may work out in the end. I hope for your sake, that it does all work out, but from what you describe he's saying, his actions, etc, you may be setting yourself up for a big fall if he does decide he's not coming home or something worse.

    I've been through countless deployments, even war. Nothing is ever easy, but at that time, you have to switch gears. Maybe it comes naturally, but when he's gone, our family switches into a mode where we are fully functioning without him. It hurts his feelings, a bit, but he realizes there is a chance he wont be coming back, and we all have to be prepared to continue with life.

    Keep your chin up. You will have plenty of people here to talk to, when you need it.
     
  7. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    Connecticut
    I know that Viet Nam was a very long time ago and that many people who are here today hardly even remember it. (I've asked) But for our family it is still affecting our lives. I have a brother who went over there a sweet teenager who would cry when his puppy hurt his paw but when he came back he was a totally different person. He was injured mentally to the point where he is a "cutter" and cannot stop cutting himself. The last time a couple of months ago took many stitches to close. He has been and still is living in a Veteran's home with no chance of ever getting out. He is a great person and not "crazy" but is injured nonetheless by what happened to him over there. All I am sure of is that they made him a drill sargeant, put him in Recon and sent him to Nam. The only things he has said and that was to my dog (when drunk) that I overheard was they were made to go into villages and kill women, old Grandparents and children. Also that when marching he was made to step over a dismembered man's leg. He never talked to people about that war at all, only my dog. Shortly after that he snapped and they sent him home. After he was home he would slip back into the military way whenever something happened. One very hot day his work place closed down due to the heat. He went straight home and found his wife ummmm, with another man. He walked in on them. He stepped back and let the guy hastily run out the backdoor. He then calmly went out the front door and got up on the porch railing. The porch was on the second floor and the house sat on a retaining wall so he was about 25' off the sidewalk. There he crouched waiting until the man came past then he leaped down on him taking him down onto the sidewalk, the man was screaming like a woman. It took 6 cops to get him off the guy and subdue him. They were in the city so cops were plentiful and got there very fast~~~good thing as he very nearly killed that guy with his bare hands. Oh, and some of the cops had injuries and had to be treated. He was scraped up. Made the papers. A few days later he went to the place where that guy was working and rigged the gasline to blow up (military style) when they turned on the gas stoves. Someone passing on the road saw him and called the cops. Good thing or there would have been a major tragedy that day. Made the front page that time and was put into prison for attempted murder. He kept saying that whenever something happened his training would snap back in and he would act on it almost automatically. After he got out he drifted around but was clearly in trouble as a cutter. After 2-3 years he went into the Veteran's home and has been there since. The memories are way too painful for him to keep dealing with so when they get too bad he cuts himself to let out the pain. Each time the cut is worse and now they are terrible when he gets a chance to do it which is not very often. Because of this I am quite anti-military as I believe the guys in my family just aren't cut out for this kind of thing. Happened on a smaller scale with at least 2 other family members. Some people just can't take the training and come out ok afterwards. For other families it might be a great career but for our family~~~no.
     
  8. goatmarm

    goatmarm Well-Known Member

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  9. 4piecesof8

    4piecesof8 Racing and Sporting Dogs

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    It's always hard to know when to share the experiences I've been through as a Veteran and Spouse to a Soldier. I've lived both sides of the lifestyle.

    Communication is vital. Coping skills even more necessary. You can't force someone to talk * I only wish that were possible* Counseling only really works when it's wanted by the person being counseled, or both parties desire counseling and want to save the relationship.

    One of the lessons I learned over the years of having my Soldier return home from 12-16 months of " Fight or Flight " living day and night is this...fear of being judged by some one he loves. Our reactions no matter how subtle when they test us with a tiny piece of information often times is the make or break of continued sharing.

    A simple expression being uttered of " Oh my God! " in response to what he has said can shut the soldier's desire to talk down in the blink of an eye. Sometimes just a touch to the hand and saying something more to the tune of, " That had to be very hard on you".

    I never ask what he had to do, has done or what he has seen. It took him over 10 years to decide to share anything from Desert Storm, once we passed that test, he opened up more and more...over time.

    Try to remember if the deployment has been 12 months, expect at least 12 months to readjust. If he was a good, stable, loving man when he deployed, that man is still in there and needs comfort and acceptance from his loved ones. If a relationship had issues before he deployed, they are still going to be there when he returns and chances are that the problems before hand did not get resolved while he was gone and you were separated.

    One of the hardest lessons we had to learn was this. That while gone, the spouse takes over ALL the responsibilities of running the home and family. Handing over the control upon his return is difficult at best, and leads to so many misunderstandings. It's a fine line between reintegrating him back some control and not overwhelming him or the spouse at the same time. An example from our lives was something as simple as mowing the grass. Once he got home, I just jumped onto the duty of mowing one day. He came out and said, " That's my job now, I'll do it." My initial reaction was " I am perfectly capable of mowing the yard!" Something so simple and humdrum became the start of his feeling un-needed any longer. I had become capable of getting along without him......IN HIS MIND, not mine.

    We both smile now when we share this story with other military couples, but it was a huge problem early on for us. There is so much to share on being separated by a deployment and the reunions that follow.

    Now that he is newly retired, we are heading into yet again another chapter of Military Life. We are excited and unsure of this life changing event. I just pray that the both of us have learned coping skills to overcome the new hurdles that we are sure are out there.

    I can not make any claims to you that It's all going to be alright. I wish I could. I wish I could offer you words of comfort in these days ahead of you. Take the time to think through any decisions or choices that come your way. Best of Luck and I hope you at least continue to post about what is going on in your life. Communication of some sort sure starts the healing.
     
  10. Lilith

    Lilith Rocky Mountain Deserts

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    I have 2 grandfathers that lived through the Korean war, and uncle and father who lived through Vietnam, 5 brothers, 2 brother-in-laws and a husband that served in the middle east. I was an FRG leader for several years for my husband's military unit - one who took the returning divorce rate from 80% down to less than 3%. I volunteer with Idaho Horse Therapy's PTSD equine therapy program. I have held my extended family together through over 30 deployments. I participated in the yellow ribbon legislation that has become grossly perverted from it's original intentions.

    Some of what has been said here I view as BS, some rings true as the night is long. The truth about PTSD is as individual and unique as the people living with it, so each piece of information deserves the same credit as the next (even if I see it as BS). I won't be active on this forum, but if you need access to resources and are genuinely interested in finding out what is available to help deal with PTSD both in the private sector and the military sector, Send me a PM. I am very point blank and because of this would be better suited to helping connect you to resources where you can obtain the skills and necessities you need to get through. Emotional support and comfort is better obtained from the others here who I believe have the best of intentions. I am just not the touchy feely kind, I have a shrink for that lol.