Hi everyone! I am a student in a counseling program and am taking a class on military trauma. My grandfather was in the military, and he had a very difficult time adjusting after his deployment. He had PTSD after an explosion. He also contracted TB while deployed and was in quite a bit of physical pain. Unfortunately, he turned to alcohol to relieve his pain. This was really hard on my family. My grandmother actually had a lot of physical symptoms that were a result of secondary stress. I'm just wanting to find out about others' experiences. What would you say is the hardest thing to deal with during and after deployment? What were some of the struggles your family faces post deployment?What resources did you utilize?
Did your loved one have any medical, psychological, etc. issues post deployment? How did you all cope?
@Tiffanyz I have grown up in the military culture. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, and husband have been in the military. My grandparents went through sometime very similar. My grandfather developed PTSD while in the marines. He was knocked unconscious in a blast near the end of his deployment and had substantial medical complications after. He also witnessed his best friend being shot in the head and he died in his arms. When he came home, he was much different. My grandmother wasn't sure what to do. He was having nightmares, hot flashes, and had a hard time trusting anyone. He was pretty much disabled, which affected him greatly, as he started working when he was 11. He couldn't find a job that he could was able to do. She started to have nightmares and started to have panic attacks. I remember they went through a lot of marital problems. My grandfather did start seeing a therapist and things started to get a little bit better. Unfortunately, it took him a long time to adapt to civilian life.
My husband is also in the military. He has been gone for a year this go around. This is his 2nd deployment. I think one of the hardest parts is not being able to see him. There are times when we have no clue what is going on. It's emotionally draining. It's also hard to explain to the children. When he came home last time, my youngest told me he was different. He wasn't sure how to play with the children anymore and was very isolated. It was like he lost a piece of himself. He also had anxiety and depression. It was hard on me. I wasn't sure what to do. We have used the VA and have leaned on fellow marine wives. My husband was seeing a therapist at the VA when he came home last and seemed to like it. We also did some family counseling for the children.
@soco147 Wow! Thank you for sharing. You have been through a lot. It sounds like your family learned a lot of coping mechanisms. Did your grandfather receive medical care? Do you know what sort of therapy he received?
I know it has to be difficult adjusting to life after deployment. I know for my family it was especially hard for my grandmother, as like your family, she wasn't sure what to do. How were you able to address all of the changes with your children?
If you don't mind me asking, how did you find this support group?
@Tiffanyz Its been difficult, but I always tell people, it makes you stronger. I loved being a BRAT. My grandfather had some sort of lung and ear injury. He also had damage to his right leg where he was unable to move it for a long time. He received care through the VA. He went to some sort of rehab when he returned, but I don't know where. I think my grandfather received EMDR? therapy. He seemed to get a little better after it.
It was really hard to address everything with the kids. They were young during his first deployment and didn't understand why their daddy wasn't home. They had difficulty at school and were acting out. I put them in therapy and tried to create some sort of normalcy at home. It was hard. We were lucky that we didn't have to move.
I found this group through a fellow military wife who is on here. She said that gave her a way to vent, so I thought I'd try it.
@soco147 It sounds like you did a really good job. I think its really interesting to see how different families cope. You have to do what’s best for you. Have you had to move in the past?
To everyone on here, how has this support group helped you? What do you hope to gain by being in this group?
Hello, I'm fairly new here and would like to connect with others on here who are coping with missing their significant other overseas. My hubby has been gone and won't be home for about another 2 years.
@diamondeyez85 Welcome. Thank your husband for his service. I know the distance is difficult. How long has he been gone?
@soc0147,it must be difficult and challenging to work through those issues. I'm glad that you have support through counseling and therapy. How long have you been a part of this group and what do you hope to gain by continuing to be a part of it?
@oasmcmill76, I'm trying to be positive and hoping that this group will help me to connect with others.
Have you thought about some other support groups in your area?
Well, yes, I've been feeling some depression and was told there was a group that meets about once a week.
Ok, that sounds good. It sounds like you have been doing your research to find something to help give you support. Do you have any other agencies or mental health providers in your area in which you can possibly go an seek some counseling or maybe therapy?
Yes, there are some good agencies in my area and I think I will take advantage of them. It would be nice to talk with someone and possibly get some help for my depression to talk things out.
@cmb2017,I know some people who have the issue of loneliness, how do you deal with that?
In my experience, the best ways to cope with loneliness are to stay connected to loved ones, either near or far. It is always important to create a community wherever you live. Whether it be a church group, recreational activity or civic volunteer work, finding ways to meet people and creating a sense of community are the best methods of coping with loneliness.