For those that have followed me, know that my husband has PTSD. He had PTSD before we got married, he had it before we became a couple. I was first his friend and now his wife. Through nightmares, suicide attempts, and just outright hellish times, I was there for it all. I knew and went through all of that with him and yet I still became romantically involved with him and then later married him.
Some would call me crazy, others say I should have just walked away, it’s not MY problem. You’re right it’s not my problem, it’s America’s problem. Most choose to turn their backs on this issue and just assume someone else will help them. I have never been able to turn my back on this issue, nor will I ever turn my back on a service member in need. But that’s for another post at another time =).
Jerry came home from his 3rd tour in Iraq December 2008. Shortly after that, he decided he wanted my name tattooed on him. I didn’t understand why a man would want a woman’s name, who’s only commitment to him was friendship at the time, tattooed on him. I was able to talk him out of it, but he made sure the subject never died.
On June 19, 2010 I gave in and 6 hours after sitting down in the tattoo chair, my name was tattooed on his left forearm. The tattoo is not finished (his arm quit taking the ink) so he will have to go in for another session.
Some people will never understand why someone would get another person’s name (who they are not related to) tattooed on them. Honestly, I am one of them. Call me superstitious but I think it’s bad luck (unless of course, it is your child’s or family member’s name). Then again most couples will never go through (thankfully) what we have been through.
My husband, of course, gets asked this over and over again; the following is what he tells them:
“This woman saved my life a couple of times after coming back from Iraq and has helped me to deal with the personal demons I have brought back with me from the war and helped me and continues to help me survive my own personal hell. She is my best friend and I love her more than she or any…one else can imagine.”
I have wanted to throw in the towel so many times in this marriage. It’s not Jerry that I despise, it’s the PTSD. It’s not Jerry I want a divorce from, it’s the PTSD. I also realize that if I choose to divorce the PTSD that I also divorce Jerry, and that is something that I can’t do.
So I may go into a fit of rage every now and then as a way to help me cope, but leaving him behind is something I will never do. I love you Jerry.
I originally wrote this post in 2010. As of August 2016, we have been married for 7 years and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with the man who stole my heart. He is absolutely my best friend. We have an unbreakable bond and connection that even some call a little weird (we are so in tune with each other we tend to think the same things at the same time and will blurt those thoughts out together at the same time). We rarely go anywhere without each other and can’t stand being apart from one another, not even for 5 minutes. You can imagine how fun deployments are!