My wife is truly amazing. She has stood by my side, held my hand, and wiped my tears as I’ve worked through this overwhelming journey. She has always been there for me.
This past weekend, she needed me. She is dealing with some pretty heavy, emotional family stuff and really needed an ear and a shoulder. It is nothing horrific – she and her family will be fine. She is just feeling very overwhelmed right now and is trying to make sense of some unexpected news and events. She needed some support – just like she has provided me time and time again.
She didn’t need much. Just needed me to be there for her and with her. But I wasn’t. I was wrapped up in my own head. Again.
You see, I had two separate triggers gang up on me. They got me pretty good too. The worst part – Neither of the triggers were directly related to anything I have experienced personally. The first one got me just driving through an area where I know something horrific happened. The second one hit me while watching a stupid reality TV show. And yes, I do mean stupid. It was not the type of show that you would ever even begin to think something like this would come up. But it did. Out of the blue. No warning. These triggers were completely unrelated, but both dealt with the exact same terrible type of event. The murder of a child.
I know they got to me, at least in part, because I was with my daughter both times. Just tore me up. While I never had to deal with this scenario on the job, I did deal with a lot of kids and unthinkable accidents. And even parents who murdered their own kids – which is slightly different, although still horrific. But still, why did these two hit me so hard?
More importantly, why could I not get my act together – even just for an hour or two – so I could help my wife??
I already feel like my PTSD has dominated our lives for the last several years. I have already asked too much of her. Taken too much. At some point, I need to give back. I need to be there for her. And for my family. But I can’t. At least not all the time.
This is one ugly, nasty road. I do not regret how I got here, but I sure hope I get back to a paved highway soon….