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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 18, National PTSD Awareness Month

So I left off with the idea of using humor, compassion and acceptance to deal with PTSD.
What the veteran has been through is the worst he or she has been through. What we have been through is the worst we have been through. Comparisons are odious. Compassion is better. Sharing is better. Even if you can't share details, you may be able to share the feelings, especially if you can identify them. If you can't share feelings, share a meal, or a back rub, or make love to each other.
If you are both really numb just from facing all the stress of living with PTSD, you can ask yourself, "If I were upset about this, what would I be upset about?" Substitute the feeling of your choice, happy, sad, appreciative, mad.
If you decide to talk, plan that while one talks, the other can listen without interrupting, except maybe to paraphrase. Then reverse it. Since the average person spends 30 seconds listening before they start formulating their reply, this takes practice and time.
It takes time to get better. It takes time for relationships to heal and to begin growing again.
Is your loved one worth your time?
Are you worth your own time?
Those are big questions and if you are feeling guilty and like everything is your fault, remember, it takes two to tango. It is nicer when you are working on coordinating your steps instead of dancing at cross purposes.
Compassion helps. Acceptance helps. Laughing at yourself helps. When Bob was writing Chickenhawk:Back In The World, we had to sit down and write out a timeline of what had happened. When we lived through the stuff in that book it was quite painful but in retrospect we were saying "You did what???" "I did what???" and laughing so hard we could barely talk. What had been so painful was now silly. Such drama!
Tomorrow I will talk about the kind of help I wish were available and some of the stuff that is.

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