I think my PTSD stems back many, many years. I’ve just been able to manage it and still function “most” of the time. I think the incident that cemented it was when I lost my late husband to a brutal work accident. He kissed us while we slept (kids and I) and went to work. At 10:30 am I got a call from his sister in a panic telling me to get to the hospital. He had lodged a piece of steel in his throat and was on his was being air lifted for medical care.
At 6’5” tall, and 240 lbs. I could just imagine him pulling the sliver from his neck and making a big fuss about the people around him. My instincts told me it was something more if the chopper came to get him. My worries were put into over drive when i was met in the halfway by other members of his family and a grief councilor. She explained to me that the doctors were doing everything they could. When one team was exhausted a second team took over. They were not going to let this young father of 4 die on their watch. They managed to get his heart going after 53 units of blood. He went into surgery to try and repair the main artery that he had cut.
He actually survived surgery, only to be lifeless and left on life support. My world was crashing in on me. At least I had the chance to say good bye. The children also had the choice to say good bye. He was pronounced brain dead by two different doctors and I removed him from life support. His family went home. My father begged me to also go home. I couldn’t leave him to die alone. He would have stayed with me and so I stayed with him till he took his last breath and last heartbeat.
In a few minutes I’d lost my husband, my best friend, my lover, my children's father, my future plans, my support system and even my income. My world came to a crashing hault. My old symptoms of PTSD came back to revisit me. I was angry at the world, depressed, and most of all I isolated myself from the world. Had it not been for my children's need to be fed, I would have died in my bed I think.
recovery from this was long and difficult however I did recover. I did learn to have peace again. Life forces us to get up, to move forward. Time presses us on. Even if we don’t like it.
5 yrs later I’m now married and was happy and seemed well adjusted. Until my husband who happens to be a soldier, deployed to Afghanistan. My god. I think it was the last straw for my mental health.