15 years married! We are still here, still standing. Continuing this conversation, one day at a time.
There have been times I wouldn’t have believed we’d reach this milestone. On top of life’s expected challenges, PTSD officially stepped in about 5 years ago. This part of the journey has pushed both of us to our personal limits and tested our relationship. We’ve separated twice in the last few years and had a number of dramatic blow-ups. I don’t believe every challenge we’ve faced is due to PTSD but it has been a significant factor in most areas.
I’ve watched and learned what being triggered means in my husband. I’ve seen it take different forms and last for varying amounts of time. I’ve reacted with anger, sadness, support, fear and love. I’ve had to face my own demons and challenge my own beliefs in order to find strength and compassion. I’ve had days I’ve been proud of and days where I focused on just getting by.
We’ve been pulled apart in the process of figuring all of this out. We are lucky that we have found our way back. We’ve had to let go of outdated expectations and have found reason to continue.
We were extremely lucky to get to attend the COPE program offered by Wounded Warriors Canada earlier this year. We spent an intensive week with councillors and a small group of amazing couples. We learned tools that I don’t think we could have absorbed as quickly any other way. This program was a great gift.
We both had to be willing to accept what was happening in our lives and be willing to address it. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t both eventually willing to do our share of the work.
I’m proud of my husband and of the strength he’s found. I’m also proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We’ve both grown and are still learning.
It’s still not easy and there are no guarantees. I’m happy with the present and today is really all any of us have. I’m hopeful that with patience this will continue for many days and years to come.
For any friends or family that have provided support I am extremely grateful. I hope our story can be an example of overcoming challenges and growing through change.