Some Thoughts on This Blog and Its Purpose

The catalyst for me starting this blog (which grew out of a Facebook page originally) was the loss of my veteran biological father, who struggled with PTSD and other issues during his life. There were certain things that needed to be said in regards to the struggles that many family members of veterans in these situations face, among them:

  • Support options for family members trying to mitigate the effects of their loved one’s emotional issues or cope with grief complicated because of their departed loved one’s issues are somewhat limited, and sometimes come with issues of their own
  • Nobody, not even the veteran themselves or unsupportive “family/friends”, can control your narrative – your struggles are unique from the struggles that the veteran in your life faces
  • Estranged family members or ex-spouses/partners of a veteran who struggles with substance abuse who decided they cannot remain in the veteran’s life for their own mental health or safety should not be “punished” for making a tough decision
  • All support options are not a good fit for every circumstance – some are uncomfortable with in-person support, some prefer to avoid groups that don’t align with them politically or spiritually, others base their decisions on whether the group is a mix of veterans and family members or just family members
  • Veteran families can face a variety of issues that may or may not overlap with a veteran’s PTSD – these need to be acknowledged to help the families overcome struggles unique to their situation.

I hope to be able to keep blogging about issues that will be helpful to veteran families, and welcome suggestions both here and on the Facebook page. Please keep the following in mind:

  • The Facebook presence for this blog is a PAGE, not a GROUP, so please bear in mind that comments posted there are public
  • This is not a military-oriented blog, it is geared towards the family members of veterans, so any topics will cater to a mostly civilian POV
  • A closed Facebook or Google support group may be an option at some point, please follow this blog or the Facebook page to receive news if/when this is a possibility

 

Advertisements

No, You Don’t Get Over It

The most difficult question to ask 131022-F-NW635-999

Soul-Fully Beautiful recently shared an excellent statement via their Facebook page. To summarize, it points out that people who aren’t emotional abuse survivors don’t understand fighting daily mental battles with someone no longer in your life. All types of abuse, physical, emotional and verbal, leave residual affects that you simply can’t just get over.

Children of veterans with emotional and mental issues, as well as other family members directly impacted, often feel as though they’re fighting a battle. That battle occurs when the effects of long-standing emotional abuse rear their ugly heads.

This become more of a problem as my biological father descended deeper into the bottle and cut himself off from those uninvolved with his pub-focused life. Fighting a daily mental battle where you wonder where to even begin should the issue of confronting their abuse come up isn’t something I’d wish on my worst enemy.

When the emotional abuser isn’t alive anymore or you otherwise aren’t in contact, your troubles don’t automatically end. Sometimes, the very techniques you need to use to cope with the abuse make you into someone you’d rather not be – those who think you can simply “get over it” most likely haven’t walked that difficult road.

In one way, it was good that I wasn’t forced to confront my dad at the end of his life. In my last call to him, I was able to let him know I forgave him.

The hardest part wasn’t that final phone call, as much as I expected it to be. It was knowing that there were things left unsaid on my part and knowing that certain family members I thought understood how bad the relationship was were utterly clueless.

Going through emotional abuse does alter your reality, though you never intended it. Here are some of the things you’ve probably dealt with:

  • Feeling kind of lackluster about things that otherwise interest you
  • Having to be on guard against things that might set off your abuser
  • Thinking that you’re somehow deficient
  • Feeling too anxious, not trusting yourself to take charge of your own future
  • Having emotional difficulties spill over into relationships

No two people will have the same path to recovery – some can manage well with the help of a great support system, others may require at least a little therapy. Regaining trust in yourself and a better sense of your own worth is one of the most crucial steps, as well as knowing when you need to give yourself some healing space.

Save