Monday, August 20, 2012
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO ALMOST DIE?
I wanted to share a paragraph about what happened to me one day in June 2008. Thank God things are better but just a few more seconds and we too could have been a headline: April 13, 2004 was a day that forever changed our entire family. Many people have ask what it has been like for me or even further wondering why I would stay involved with my husband after some of the things I have experienced over the last the last 8 plus years. I can simply answer with one word. HOPE. In 2008 things started to get really dark around our home. I never knew that much about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Interesting enough I later found out that I too had P.T.S.D. from things in my childhood and from the events surrounded my husband’s recovery. I have written a short account of what it was like the day my husband attempted to take my life. He was no longer the man I married. I was no longer his wife. I was the enemy. The look on his face was something I had never seen before. I was pinned against the wall trying to my hardest to get some sort of breath while I was looking at him in the eyes. I knew I wasn’t going to try to fight this time because I thought if I did I would die for sure. There I was staring right up my husbands arm. His single hand was tightly wrapped around my neck. He was squeezing so tight I could feel my eyes starting to bulge. He was holding me up from the ground with one hand. I glanced around to see my baby girl Sarah on his hip screaming. Just moments before I was pleading with him to hand her over. At such a young age she was going to watch her father kill her mother. I started to hear ringing in my ears along with my oldest daughter Lauren talking on the phone. She was trying to tell my mother that her daddy was holding her mommy on the wall. She was crying hysterically. She has Down syndrome and even she knew things were looking grave. She was screaming for her Granny to hurry and rescue her mommy. It was then I knew this was it. My children were going to watch their father, the man who read to them every night, chased them around the house playing tag, the one who put pony tails in their hair with great precision and more, kill their mother. That day I made the right choice not to fight, however, that was the last time I stood there unprepared and scared. I am a 41-year-old mother of three beautiful girls. I have been married to my Captain for almost 16 years. I followed him around for his almost 12 years of meritorious service to this country. I had no idea things would end up like they have. My story is one that is becoming more and more common. We are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. My Captain was physically wounded but the mental scars have been the hardest to overcome. I am a fighter now. It is my mission to help others understand that even in tragedy you can find hope. Today we are a happily married couple and our children are healthy and happy. Through education, treatment and our faith we have been able to overcome many of the obstacles thrown our way. I can now say I feel truly blessed. We were given a gift the day his Marines pulled him from death and we promised ourselves that we would live life the best way we could. I believe P.T.S.D. never goes away. You just find the tools you need to understand how to live with it. I have surrounded myself with some amazing friends that are supportive and understanding. They have been my rock through most of this. I would encourage anyone going through combat stress and P.T.S.D. to become educated and reach out for help. We are all in this together. I am here if you need to talk or find help. It is my hope you too can find peace and happiness again. Always faithful… The Captains Wife