One of my fellow wounded warrior wives posted a funny, but sad list of “You know you are a wife of a wounded soldier when..” It was amazing how many women posted something that I have experienced. It was very eye opening as I did not realize how much of it I had experienced.
What I mean is that the time has gone by so fast, I did not pay attention to all of the minutia that had changed in my life or that I had to adjust to. When reading some of the other women’s comments, they triggered memories in my mind that I had forgotten about. Kind of like when you watch a mother hold a toddler on one hip, balance a diaper bag, purse, laptop bag, and lunch in the other free hand. Her toddler drops a toy and she bends with everything else in her hands and arms and in one quick, efficient step, has retrieved the toy.
You just adjust physically and mentally and get stronger as your baby grows. In this case, it was mental growth. Realization of how things that can seem so bleak and difficult (and there were some pretty tough days) are surmountable. The ability to keep plugging along is something us WWW’s have in common. Ever since I had found the website for the Wounded Warrior Wives, it has been a literal lifesaver for me. I have posted their website in the Useful Links area. I recommend it to any of you spouses.
In some of my blogs I wrote about the isolation I felt being the caregiver of a wounded soldier. No one else knows what it is like laying next to someone having nightmares that cause their husbands to get up and run to the restroom because they are so upsetting they make him throw up. To lie there and listen the moans, yells, avoid the flailing arms moving in self-protection, and console him when he wakes up. To get up with your child in the morning after you have had only three hours of sleep and act like everything is rosy and handle a few things and then take a nap when scheduling allows. To be fully aware of all of the things that trigger his PTSD and keep him in a zone to allow him to be more comfortable when he is out in public, in crowds, and other places where he can feel apprehensive.
We (wives of wounded soldiers) do all of those things without really thinking about it. We do it out of love for our soldiers. Just like how my husband STILL opens the door for me first, even if he is having an extra sore day and he will walk all the way around his truck to my side first. Even in rain. The Taliban did not blast away the gentleman that he was prior to getting injured. They did not blast away his courage, his strength, and his heart for his country. He does those things automatically.
When I look back on the isolation that took over me when I was away at the Fisher House and had to spend the weekdays away from my son, I can remember when the darkness faded and the sun started to shine. It was when I first read a forum that one of the wives had commented in. It was seriously a light in the tunnel of never ending darkness. It makes me think of that Police song,”Message In a Bottle.” The lyrics in which Sting’s character finds a million other bottles with messages lying on the shore,”It seems I am not so lonely being alone..” It just rang true. None of us are alone anymore. There are brave wives dealing with bureaucracy to help the future veterans not have to fight as hard for their health care. Some of them are giving voice to the many issues we are all enduring. I applaud every single one of them. I can only thank you. Your willingness to share the resources you have found along the way of helping your husbands recover has only inspired me to do the same.