Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wife of War

I was raised in a very small community.  My father wanted to "protect" us from the world around us.  I went to a small school with only 12 kids in my class.  I was a shy child, but now realize that I have always had an inner strength.  I learned to love God at an early age and my faith in Him has grown stronger over the years.  

I was a naive young lady in high school.  My parents decided to pull us out of the small school.  I then attended another small school- this one had about 50 in my class.  It was at this school that I had my first real taste of the world.  I met a young man and we quickly became friends.  Friendship led to dating and now that man is my husband. 

I became pregnant while he was a senior and I was a freshman in college.  We got married when I was seven months along- he had graduated one week earlier.  He got a job one week after that and the baby was born one month later-that little one decided to come early.  

Two years later, we had another child and my husband decided to join the military.  I thought, "this is exciting, maybe we will get to go to another country for a while!"  Ahh, to be young and naive.  

We did not make it to another country, as a matter of fact, we did not even leave the state we lived in (and still live in).  Over the course of seven years, we were together three and a half.  The other three and a half, he was in a different country.  That does not include the times he spent doing month long trainings away from the house.  

Through those years, my independence developed strongly.  I mentioned I have always had an inner strength, well it just got stronger.  We seemed to be happy when together and I enjoyed my little world when he was gone.  I had no idea of the torment he was going through a lot of the time.  I don't think he did either.  We both are people who always try to make the best of things.  He is a workaholic and I am a doting mother of four.  I also home schooled during these years and still do.  We were happy.

My husband got out of the military in 94 after a tour to Iraq.  Three years later, I found out he has a severe drug problem.  I have been asked how I didn't notice anything, but you would have to know our relationship to understand.  My husband is an "avoider" and has become quite an exceptional liar.  I am a peacemaker and still naive- yet not nearly as I used to be.  I want to believe the best.  My husband was diagnosed with PTSD from his experiences in Iraq.  Unless you know someone with this disorder, you cannot begin to imagine what it does to a person and those around them.  

It is now six years later and we are still struggling tremendously.  There are times when I want to give up and call it quits- those times torment me.  I am a strong Christian and believe I must do everything in my power to strengthen my marriage, not tear it down.  But drugs and PTSD are a very confusing thing to deal with.  There is no straight answer on how to make it better.  It is a daily struggle and a constant worry.  There are many times when I go over and over in my head what we've tried and not tried.  What can I do different?  What have I tried?  What have I not tried?  

I spend a lot of time in prayer.  I am not angry, I am frustrated.  I still love him.  He has such a good heart.  
I must be strong for my children.  They need me.  

My husband did not come home again last night.  I got up this morning, got on my knees and asked God to carry me through another day.  That is where I find my peace.  I know that I can trust in Him.
what can i do differently?

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