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Beware Of The "ptsd Excuse" In Combat Vets...

Discussion in 'Supporter Relationships' started by Army_Brat_88, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Army_Brat_88

    Army_Brat_88 New Member

    It's a very good day - or very good evening.

    My year of torment is over. Finally. I have almost a renewed vigor in believing in God, because He finally has set me free from my trials and pain.

    Anyone who's seen my thread knows of the agony I've been in from not hearing from a Sargeant medic who was in Afghanistan.

    Well, it's been a year, and since the last time I had looked in early November, I finally had the real courage to look at his facebook page again, to find he is - wait for it - engaged.

    Yep. All my begging and pleading. All his ignoring and not contacting me back - and there it is - the reason.

    I wish I could say I'm stunned. I'm not. I'm numb mixed in with relief that FINALLY I know. Finally. I don't have to spend one more day wondering what's going on. Deep down I always knew, figured I was being played. Sure, he may have had issues when he first got back, but there was time, there were chances, and always said if he REALLY wanted to contact me he would.

    Now I know why he didn't. He may have known her while deployed, he may have met up with her after the fact. Point is, he didn't have the balls to come clean. And by now most of my feelings had faded anyway - but there's still plenty of shock. Don't get me wrong.

    First of all, do I regret this past year? No. I have learned about a disease which I had no idea about, and has made me extremely sensitive to an issue that has become very dear to my heart. I still care about vets more than anything. Not all of them are this way. Not all of them would treat someone so terribly. I have become knowledgeable about a subject which many have no clue on, and can help in ways I could never have prior to this whole ordeal.

    Secondly, regardless of what I've said to Him and how I have ignored Him for months, I thank Jesus, my Lord and savior, for sparing me from a very obvious mistake, and got down on my knees in thankful words and prayers when I finally saw the huge revelation before me. I thank Him for his ability to allow me to come back to Him for strength and REAL love, and am ashamed that He even would bother taking back a sinner such as I. I don't know why You allowed me to be taken advantage of, Jesus, but just another person in my life I am greatful you didn't stick me with. There is then someone else I need to be available for.

    Medic boy had pictures of Jesus on his FB page, which leads me to my final thought...

    Sure, I wrote to him. Told him of my disbelief, and how the Jesus on his site will vindicate me - not him - for what he caused me. I messaged the girl, gave her the heads up. Said if she sees a few items around the house in particular, those are mine he decided to keep. Told her to think long and hard about her decision - the wedding hasn't happened yet, but will. Maybe. Maybe now it won't. If I recieved those messages, I'd put a huge ass hault on the whole thing. But she should know what her lovely finacee is truly like. I gave her a way out. If she doesn't take it, she may think on it each day of their married life. While I was spared.

    So, to all my girlfriends out on this site - with the combat guys who are acting shady - scarce - can't get ahold of them - don't return messages - be forwarned. Learn from my story. How I was played, and the suffering I allowed on myself. How I made myself sick over this person, for "nothing".

    Since I now volunteer at the VA, I can still use all I've learned. And no, not every vet will be like this. I know. But if you have a feeling in your gut - as I did but ignored - sit and put two and two together please.

    If they want you in their life, they will keep in contact with you, regardless. They will do what it takes. If they aren't, make some decisions. It's very much a case by case basis, and I'm not telling EVERYONE who comes on here with combat ptsd issues will be like him. Please don't mistake that. But if you have doubts....even a few....keep a distance with your heart and emotions. You may just save yourself more grief and pain than you could ever forsee.

    This site has been great. I learned so much. And while this isn't a PTSD related thread per se, it's the best place to put up the warning sign - for so many who have come and gone over the year looking for advice and wondering if what was going on was legit or not. Again, look at the situation. Your gut will tell you if something is up. If you avoid certain things - like FB, or talk yourself into/out of things, then take that as a caution light blinking.

    It'll be very easy for these combat guys to say "I'm in a bad place" in order to avoid any ugly breakups.

    Give it enough time if you don't contact them, and you'll find they didn't contact you either. BIG WARNING!!!!!!!!!

    But the biggest bombshell I WILL give in my last post is this: I never even had really met medic guy yet. I had prayed to God to give me someone decent, and before I knew it, I had "met" medic guy through being a group volunteer sending care packages. We talked all the time he was gone on the phone, then he came back and kinda just forgot all the promises. There were signs all along, but I wanted to be that good girl - the one that army guys could trust in a world of where so many get cheated on. I wanted that strike in my corner of being trustworthy and decent. So I took him at his word. For that? Yes, a year wasted. But everything happens for a reason, right? Some good will come out of this. I'll be damned if I know what, but when I get to it, it'll have fallen into place somehow. I must believe it. But I have nothing to fear, I was a good person, and somehow I'll be rewarded.

    And even - if by some small chance he said he did have crippling PTSD, and everything fell through and he suddenly "remembered" me, I'd never give him the time of day. Not since I've seen the person he is. He alluded to "dark days" on his post - but he knew I was around.

    He could have called. He chose NOT to call. That right there is the thing all combat GF's need to place down in their core right now.

    So good luck to everyone. I'll still look around here. I'm going to watch out for the girls who seem to be so smitten or stuck in *wanting* to believe something that's not true - just as I did. I know the signs. I know what to look for now. And I'll be ready to rescue them - or at least warn them.

    Take care everyone. It's been a hell of a ride that after 14 months I'm so glad to finally get off of!

    AB
    jesskali and amethist like this.
  2. Ayesha

    Ayesha Beautiful Disaster Staff Member Premium Member

    Relieved for you!

    Very Very Very true, Army Brat. Sufferers still have a responsibly to there supporter regardless of what is going on with them. No contact AT ALL for weeks at a time always sounds weird and irresponsible to me. Promises are worth nothing if there is no action to back them up.

    Take care of yourself!
  3. amethist

    amethist The Mystic Duck Staff Member Premium Member

    Glad you came to terms with what was going on. Not that is what you wanted, but at least you know now, and can move on for yourself.

    Drop in and let us know how you are doing sometime. We do like to know. :tup:

    Amethist
  4. sisu

    sisu VIP Member

    Army,
    In those 14 months you have changed so much for the better - for you and for your future. Your viewpoint has changed and your perception of the world has changed. These are good things - it shows you are growing and changing every day. Sometimes the things we have to learn are really hard lessons but as you found out, you were never alone. God had your back the whole time! He needed you to go through this for some reason - there was something there for you to learn or to know. You have a huge heart and deserve great things. Life is good - embrace it!! Take care and always look for the positives. ((((hugs))))
    Army_Brat_88 likes this.
  5. Army_Brat_88

    Army_Brat_88 New Member

    Thanks for the support everyone. I'm really trying to keep it together here, even though it should be long enough for me to just be done with all the emotion soon.

    Sisu - thanks for the reminder. I could have used Him giving me this revelation long ago - but I think of 2 reasons I had to wait this long:
    1 - medic boy had to get comfortable and figure I wasn't paying him any mind, so then he got lazy. If me messaging his finacee to warn him was the only revenge I'll get, I'll take it. At least I warned her.
    2 - if anything, the positive I take is that this overlap of me finding out, and finally starting my VA volunteering was supposed to happen. If I found out the cold hard truth months, or even weeks ago, I'd have given up and not continued the process of becoming a volunteer, and REALLY screwing myself - which would have been selfish since so many vets need help. Plus it'll get my mind off of how terrible a person can be.

    I don't understand why God let me be taken advantage of so badly. That I just do not know. And I do not know how medic boy could have pics of Jesus on his page, when, from what I know of Jesus, he'd never have condoned that sort of behavior. "Do unto others..." was definately not followed here.

    And that's what I'm now waiting to find out. Again, it could be my reason #2 up there. But I learned a lot, because I couldn't have volunteered w/o knowing this world of PTSD exists. I could have never sympathized as much. So while I wished I'd never have had to have this happen to me because I think I'm a good hearted person who didn't deserve it, at the end of the day I still thank God for not sticking me with him, and for having learned what I did. I've asked Him to just have me satisfied with the "revenge" I just got, and not go overboard, and asked Him to have that girl read my messages, and help her from making a mistake of marrying him. He may not be who she thought he was either.
    sisu likes this.
  6. sisu

    sisu VIP Member

    That lesson you are supposed to learn will become clear when you are ready to know it. I am a very spiritual person and have felt God's presense in my life when I needed it the most. I am open to it so I am very aware when it is happening. A few years ago after my traumatizing divorce, I went through a women's retreat at my church. It was a spiritual renewal and I felt drawn to this weekend retreat. It was sort of weird for me to feel so compelled - I'm Catholic and we are normally private worshippers and don't really discuss God and things I knew would be discussed in this retreat. Well that weekend turned out to be life changing for me. After my divorce I was an angry, hurt and hopeless lady - the only thing that kept me going was my children. The talks given during this retreat spoke to me - one especially and it was as if all things became clear to me and all my negative feelings towards my ex-husband were gone. Six months later I was on the team to present the retreat and I was asked to give a talk. So I prayed for a bit, then I hopped on my computer and began to type. I was certain my talk was going to be about my divorce and how it changed me because that was true. When I got done typing my speech wasn't about that at all - it was about so many other amazing things in my life that I am thankful about. I honestly don't remember thinking much while typing that 5 page paper - but there it was in front of me and I read it and knew my future held great things. I had learned that lesson I was supposed to learn. I was supposed to marry my husband, have kids and divorce - there were lessons learned - amazing life lessons. There are always more lessons to be learned in life, but I did it and I knew I would be okay.

    When I met my current BF - the guy with combat PTSD - I was ready. I didn't know much about PTSD, but I did know myself now and I knew I was capable of learning and capable of being understanding and forgiving when necessary. Our road hasn't always been easy because he had to learn his lessons too - he needed to know he could trust me with his "secret" without fear of judgement. We actually took a 2 year break with no contact - which turned out to be the exact thing we needed to do. We are now both in a really good place and have a comfort level that wasn't there the first time we dated.

    I truly believe everything happens for a reason - sometimes you just have to look really hard for that silver lining. ;)
    Army_Brat_88 likes this.
  7. Army_Brat_88

    Army_Brat_88 New Member

    I've read some of your posts Sisu, and have liked them. Thanks for responding back always. I just talked to one of the "spiritual coaches" my Christian rock station (Air1) provides. She hit on the fact that even if medic considers himself a "Christian", he still is of free will, and may not be following God's leading. If that's the case, then so be it. I treated him like gold while he was deployed, and if you don't keep someone who makes sure you have what you need while away from home, then I just can't help you no matter WHAT I'd ever do.

    I read a post of yours prior in hopes that's what lay ahead for me - no contact to then have contact, but it appears not so. If he marries her, he marries her. I'm not wasting time competing. I've gotten the closure I so desperately needed. It's onto whatever lies ahead. And if I'm blatently honest, I wasn't thrilled with being a step mom to kids. This girl seems to have 2 of her own also. I don't have any, and wasn't super crazy about getting thrown in with teenagers. My "pros" list will outweigh the "cons" list if I keep coming up with diddies like that, to where I'll thank God for hours that it didn't work out after all.

    But again, I'm never going back on having a heart for veterans. All the reading and learning I've done has never been a "chore". I'm happy to do it, I'm interested in it, so for now I go with it as my "thing" - what I'm "supposed" to do....maybe what I was supposed to learn in all this. As anyone who deals with veterans know - or will learn - is that you can't sympathize or try to help them w/o learning about PTSD. It's all just too interconnected. And I'd NEVER have known what to expect for my volunteer work at the VA w/o having gone what I have the past year.

    Again, I really have to seperate out the feelings I have on this - the wondering why God would put someone like this in my life who would use me so badly, vs. the trying to see how much I've learned and the benefit of it all up to this point in time. Anyone who knows about "God's leading", congrats. I still need to try to get a handle on that. Not even *master* it, just know a teenie bit about how to go about it. Maybe I can avoid disasters like this again.

    Yep. It just sucks that most of the time it has to hurt like hell in the process.
    sisu likes this.
  8. sisu

    sisu VIP Member

    Yea, free will - darn that free will sometimes. Ha! :p

    I always joke that it would be nice to have a crystal ball so I could see the future and avoid mistakes. But then I realize that I would have missed out on a lot of "rainbows" because the path would have appeared too hard. I would have avoided that hardship but missed out on some great experiences. And I might not go through life with this big grin on my face all the time (I have become an eternal optomist)! Life IS tough - but no one said it was going to be easy. I think if it ever became easy and we quit learning those hard lessons, then we might as well curl up and die. I have a lot of band-aids on my heart, but everyone of those band-aids had a positive something that I took away from that experience. It took time to see those positives, but they were there. (if you look at my very early posts from 4 years ago you will see I too have come a long way!)

    AND you said yourself that you might not have gone forward with the volunteering at the VA for PTSD had you known then what you know now. That would have been a shame for you and for them. But now you have that and can feel good about giving back. Be proud of how far you've come - and keep moving forward. Even if its just minute by minute sometimes. Before you know it you will find yourself so far past this and the next time you meet a special man you will be ready!

    I'm sending you a virtual high five!! :D
    Army_Brat_88 likes this.
  9. Army_Brat_88

    Army_Brat_88 New Member

    Well, that spiritual counselor enlightened me of one thing - a seeming lack of contentment. Hard to hear, but I couldn't tell her she was wrong.

    In my effort all last year to not be co-dependent I guess I was doing it another way perhaps. I should have handled things differently. She suggested to learn to be content single. OMG. I've been single for YEARS now, I was ready to finally NOT be. Now that's no longer a choice for me. Looks to be that I'm now being FORCED into it. Maybe it's that "learning the hard way" thing. I didn't want to focus on me, I wanted to focus on PTSD and what I could do to help, but in the grand scheme of it all, tried so hard to fit medic guy into that box, so that it turned into co-dependency - when he still clearly was not having anything to do with me. That's why it hurts so much after all, because in doing all I did to learn, I still kept hope alive that it wasn't all for nothing. WRONG. So now I'm dropped right into the middle of "Aloneville", and have to somehow learn to be content. All this time I thought I was, but maybe not so much if I sit quietly and think about it. But she's right, I'm not content in my job - or having a job, not content where I live, not content with what car I drive. Ahhh, yet another facet to learn about myself now. I'll have more time than ever to do it now that I can stop being fixated on fixing someone who I'm not supposed to fix, and never was supposed to fix (obviously!)

    I know God works in his timetable alone, but I'm still asking Him if he can't somehow work with me in the fastest lane available on the highway of life. :oops:
  10. brat17

    brat17 VIP Member

    ArmyBrat I am so sorry that this has happened to you and all that you have been through with this. No matter how things end up, ending a relationship is so very painful when you love someone.

    I hope that you are not concluding that all military, or those with ptsd, are deceitful when they pull away, when they are unavailable, or when something feels off. It seems from what I have read of your post that he was absent from you for a very long while, and saying he was trying to get it together. It sounds to me like it has nothing to do with military or ptsd, but more a personal characteristic of his-that he would hide before face you and hurt your feelings. I see that as a character flaw or a weakness that many experience and it could be without any malicious intent. It sounds a bit cowardly to me, for lack of a better word.

    If I am missing something please disregard or feel free to tell me where I am off, as I do not mean to be harsh. I tried to read back to some posts to better understand but may have missed something. I know that as a person who has grown up in a family that was anything but normal, I have been left to interpret meaning out of nonsense-it leaves us guessing-and often interpreting things wrong. If a partner does not respond over a long period of time when they are available to do so-I would consider they are not interested. Please do not take this as a criticism as it is not meant to be by any means, only wondering how long you were willing to wait without him making contact before you would consider the relationship over if you had not discovered his engagement on facebook.

    This is such a good example of how we can injure someone so deeply by not addressing what is really going on in our head-particularly when we are not interested in an intimate relationship, or something has changed.

    If I am understanding you correctly, you would not have completed vet volunteer training if you thought he was going to pull this on you? If that is the case, have you considered that maybe your intent was misguided in doing the training? Were you being true to yourself? I hear you having so much to offer as a volunteer. I hear compassion and empathy and a true desire to help which is a gift that not everybody has to offer.

    In many lines of work, you are not permitted to date work contacts, some in business area, but mostly I am referring to drs, cousnelors, teachers, social workers, lawyers, etc. I do not know what you do as a volunteer but is there any sort of inequity in your relationship with vets? If there is, it may be best to distinguish that and set your own rule about not dating vets.

    I am glad that you have closure to this situation because the not knowing had to be awful. I am sorry that you are not content right now but I know from experience that discontent is often a requirement to take a real inventory of ourselves and make the changes-and that can be exciting.
  11. Army_Brat_88

    Army_Brat_88 New Member

    Hi brat. Thanks for your post. I've read it over a few times and it's pretty good.

    To answer some of your comments:

    Absolutely not. I take each person on a case by case basis. I don't lump together people at all.

    Well, I gave him MULTIPLE texts during the year saying we could end it. I had popped it onto his FB page. All ignored completely. When he was deployed he knew I had been treated rotten in a relationship. I stated continuously not to have me waste my time - that that was my fear, and he always said not to worry - and I fell for it. But I openly gave him chances to not be the bad guy if he was using me. Even as late as last Sept we had a few text exchanges, and I said "if there's someone else, you can just go be with her. If you don't want to hear from me again, then tell me at least that", and he said not to say any of that, and played his game of still wanting to see me when he was able to. But still never seemed to return a phone call or voicemail. All the typical stuff that many girls with combat guys come on here talking about. That's why I thought it was textbook combat PTSD, and didn't want to push. However a month later I did text saying I was done with the whole thing for good - of course he didn't reply. He was probably relieved that I would leave him be.

    If anything, THAT'S what makes me mad. Like I said, I gave him chances, he could have taken one of them and that would have been that. But to never provide closure and just string me along during that year with wanting to see me is what will always just boggle my mind. That's not ptsd or anything, that's just a rotten human being. But I used each day to read something new on PTSD, so I didn't just sit around necessarily. I tried to spend all this time wisely.

    In my gut I've known since end of last year. But again, it would have been nice and decent for him to give me some closure. I can't understand how a human being can be so calloused. Not at all.

    I've already started volunteering! :) I'm not letting this stop me from people who need a kind word. And that's what I chose to walk away with from this whole thing - that in all this time my desire to learn about ptsd has really perpelled my need to help vets. My family is an army family, so I've grown up with a deep respect for the service. I regret not having elisted, so this is a way I can give back. I just meant that had I learned all this before I finished the process of getting to be a volunteer I may have been too depressed to finish what I had to do to become one. I could have said "why bother?" at the wrong time and missed my opportunity. I've been on their waiting list for 8 months now - imagine screwing myself by telling them "no thanks" after waiting that long!

    Well, I've learned by now to never say never, but I definately am not doing it to be dating vets. I had that talk with myself, to make sure I'm doing this for the right reasons. I'm just tired of many of them writing how people at the VA don't give a crap, and I'd like to try to be a bright spot to the cranky older ones I've already come into contact with. It's nice to see them smile for a minute or two!

    Yeah, the not knowing. That really was the worst part, but if I'm honest, I could have looked at his site probably months ago already. I avoided it. I had that sick feeling of "I don't want to know - but I do". Tip off #1. I've already seen some girls on here with that same mentality, and with what I've been through, I may be able to prevent them from ever making the same "mistake" that I did.

    But thanks brat! Maybe some read my story and are in the same boat. Not all combat guys are decent, not all are bad. But there are some who are probably playing games and just using PTSD as an excuse to skip out on the girl, and we're here bleeding around in pain wondering how we can help someone who's just not legitimate.
  12. Army Brat, you offer so much insight into this PTSD issue. I wish I had found this site earlier. You've gone through a lot of heartache and pain and can totally relate to many of who have joined the forum. I appreciate you taking the time to share your stories so that we can benefit and/or learn from your situation. Yes, each situation is different, but all seem to have some familiarities. Thank you, again, and again, and AGAIN!!!

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