This is a VA rant, and I hope it comes out right because Im typing this while tired and upset. My vet is in the hospital tonight and was all day; his stress is causing all kinds of physical problems. I met my vet in early 2013, just after he retired from 25 years in the army. He spent, all total, 4 years in combat between Afghanistan and Iraq, in multiple deployments. He went through two IED explosions, many firefights, many many traumatic incidents that Im sure you can all relate to without explanation. He has both PTSD and TBI. I am the daughter of two military heroes, both Dad and Stepdad, and I thought I could handle this. My vet and I fell hard for each other, and I still love him very much. But over the nearly two years we were together, we went from a deepening relationship to chaos as his PTSD got worse and he took it out on me in anger, aggression, and violence. He refused to let me go each time I broke up with him, and we kept getting back together again as he promised to seek help. He did an in-treatment program that helped somewhat and had a smattering of counseling here and there, but we continued to make up and break up. At this point, the trust is gone between us, but I do miss him and he still hangs on to the memories and says he wants to get back together. Im exhausted by it all - having things Ive said thrown back in my face, the blaming, the name-calling, the threats, and I had to call the police on him one night when he showed up at my house drunk. My problem with the VA is that they knew from the beginning that I was part of his life. He brought me in to one of his counseling sessions because he told the counselor I calm him, and his counselor asked me how I do it, if there was a certain word or something. I said no, and my vet said its just me. That counselor never offered much for couples counseling, though my vet asked for it many times as things went downhill between us. Heres the thing. I understand and the VA understands two things: 1. PTSD is helped tremendously when there is a supportive loved one, and 2. the vets tend to take things out on us. So why isnt there more for caregivers? At one time, we talked marriage, and we couldnt possibly be more compatible in so many ways. I loved being with him before he became abusive, and in the few times that we were together since then, when he wasnt spiraling out of control, we had wonderful times. I just feel like my vet is in danger now that there is no longer trust between us - he doesnt trust me after I called the cops on him, and I dont trust him after his violent outbursts and he went after other women while still holding on to me. If the VA had just offered some kind of help to us, I believe this could have been saved. He asked several times, and at one point we were on a waiting list for a couples retreat, but that was all. And now its just a heartbreaking reality that its over. He tried to get help for us and it just wasnt there.
Posted on: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 10:00:00 +0000
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