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Hi - I Suffer Anxiety with a Military Partner

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Syd, Jun 28, 2006.

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  1. Syd

    Syd New Member

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    Hello,
    I am dating someone who is currently in Timor, luckily I can talk to him regularly. He sounds Ok at times and down at others. Their calls are monitered so it is difficult to know how he feels. I have been with him for two years and am finding being an 'army' partner difficult to say the least. I think it is compounded by the fact that I too have had my own problems. I suffer from anxiety attacks, the result of a past abusive relationship. Having to constantly send him off is....stressful to say the least. Not knowing when or how long....worrying about his health and wellbeing. I have decided to 'post' to find out what to do when he gets back. He too is a fairly anxious person, and even though I understand that part of him, I would like to understand the anxious 'army' part of him too. Would value any insights.
    Syd
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Hi Syd, welcome to the forum, and glad to have you here. ET hey? What a messed up country that was is... anyway, WOW, you suffer anxiety attacks and are dating a person in the military. Townsville at a guess?

    Ok Syd, here it is, exactly how I felt when returning home from East Timor, and well, every operation I've been on. I felt like home was no longer home. Nothing was familiar, I knew that loved one's had survived and continued on without my presence, so I had no idea what to do, say or how to act really. So... I went and got drunk with the exact people I just came home with, who funny enough, all felt the same.

    Deployments are such cruel things now I sit back and look at it, because your isolated from your life as you knew it, your generally used to not sleeping much, and normal is carrying your weapon to the toilet, to the shower, to scratch your backside actually, you have a weapon in hand, all because a bad group of people reside around and could take a shot at you (your boyfriend), but whether they do or don't, its damn hard to get that constant state of alertness, shock, fear, anxiety and generally overwhelmed by what life can throw ones way.... and then confused as hell... just to mix it up. He will be a mess internally, though will most likely not show it, not talk about it, and just do everything possible to avoid more conflict, even by creating it in arguments, just as an excuse to get away and be alone, or be back with what is familiar to him, being those he has just suffered everything with.

    Its hard, and its selfish at the same time... I was an absolute mess in 99, and a little messy returning from ET in 2002, but not as bad the second time.

    My advice... DON'T let him bring up all the excuses under the sun, even fighting and conflict, in order to get away and get drunk. Talk to him about counselling, not because you have issues, but so you don't get issues because of what he has just suffered. The spouse at home suffers also, in another way, through seperation, and I have been on that side of it as well... loneliness, boredom, begin to make your own life without them, etc etc... support them, and all the common traits that go along with both sides ends of the stick when it comes to military relationships and overseas deployments. GET COUNSELLING... but more importantly, don't spring it on him, because he will automatically think something is wrong. Instead, talk with him about your feelings, and interpretations you got from him whilst chatting on the phone, and get into counselling together to talk about all the things that happened to both of you during that time, and how you both feel now, etc etc, so you have a mediator to help you along again, so you don't end up another statistic from OS Ops... divorce and seperation!
     
  4. Syd

    Syd New Member

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    Thank you for your views, some of what you describe, not wanting confrontation, not showing worry, holding it inside, is how he is already. He has been 'in' for nearly eight years and is very ready to get out. He is very disillusioned and is keen to finish his stint. I have pushed him at times to talk about what is bothering him, and now and again he does (after a fight). It is difficult for me to really understand though. All I can do is be empathetic. He lacks energy, focus and emotion at times, and gets very down. It seems to be the whole culture of the army that depresses him. Luckily he is a fitness buff so does not drink or take any drugs, but it seems a constant battle to lift him. This is difficult when I have had my own battle to do the same. I will most certainly take your advice. Thank you
     
  5. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    A very good thing there though Syd, is that he doesn't drink, and is fit and healthy, which are both two very good combinations that are most likely actually keeping him functioning within the military at present. If you stopped one or the other, and either began to drink or stopped fitness for a few months, you would most likely find he would get hit with the worst of PTSD at that point, which is quite difficult to then recover, ie. it takes years, but at some point, it is going to happen regardless, because his brain will eventually take over and shut him down, until such time as his mind and body can deal with the trauma he has seen and faced. It is very much the realism of PTSD. PTSD kills people, through depression and suicide, or unmanaged stress which has serious impact on the body.

    Here is a factual guide to the seriousness of [DLMURL="http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread253.html"]stress caused by PTSD[/DLMURL]. During the worst of PTSD, a persons body is basically so stessed, one can age 10 years in one nearly... I know this from my experience! He needs to begin dealing with all issues, and even bracing for impact now, because it will get him eventually. By the sounds of it, he is only suffering the milder side of PTSD, because he is functioning still.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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