Post # 1
How do you guys help your SO deal with flashbacks?
My guy had a severe flashback last night. He woke up shaking, sweating and disorientated. Luckily I know to how to handle it now – the first time it happened we had only been together a few months and it scared the heck out of me. For us, me staying calm, keeping my voice soft and my movements slow is essential in the first few minutes. I never push him to tell me about the experience but instead, after he’s calm again, we talk about something (anything) else until he can go back to sleep. Thankfully he only goes through this a couple times a year and he has talked about it with his friends, his minister and me.
Anyone have any other tips to share?
Post # 3
I do the same things you said…soft voice and slow movements. While my guy has had some flashbacks, I’ve noticed the worst thing is for him to get riled up while in the car. I absolutely do not make quick movements or shout out while he’s driving. And i’ve learned that going “Oh Shiz” in a loud and scared voice will send him into a tizzy.
When the hubby first got back from Iraq he had a lot of angry outbursts (never directed at me). The littlest things would set him off…computer freezing up, water not heating up quick enough, not having his weapon around him, etc…basically anything & everything. I just let him vent knowing that he was going through a seriously hard transition. After a few months, the outbursts occurred less often. I just think as long as the guys are talking to somebody about their experiences, then it’s good. Thankfully my guy recognized that he needed to talk and get help right away. The made a HUGE difference on the transition.
Post # 4
Js – Sooo glad I’m not the only one here dealing with helping their SO through these things! You mentioning that your guy has a hard time while driving reminded me how common that is for veterans – when you’ve come back from a place where every stretch of road is a nightmare scenario it’s a difficult thing to relax behind the wheel.
Post # 5
I have no tips for you, other than I respect you ladies endlessly. Your FI’s and husbands have the most difficult jobs out there and being a military wife is a job in itself.
Post # 6
I’d look into getting him treated for PTSD. My guy never had any flashbacks or weird things, but came back with a little bit of depression. He essentially “lost” 15 months of his life and sometimes he realizes just how much he missed. But, he’s been back for over a year. Definitely seek some help beyond just talking to a few people. There may be an underlying issue.
Post # 7
I think you are doing the right thing – but if it hasn’t resolved within a year after deployment, he should seek counseling for PTSD.
Post # 8
I just try to keep myself calm. If I freak out, he freaks out even more. I just let him calm down, and if he wants a hug, I’ll give him one (mostly he doesn’t want to be touched). As for the driving…We live in an area where there are massive potholes…and they never get fixed. I learned very quickly not to let him drive. We’ve been dealing with his PTSD since Jan 2008, so we’ve pretty much got it down (except actually getting him to sleep…that’s the hard part). But basically, what you’re doing is the right thing to do. Don’t push anything on him – he’ll talk if he wants (and chances are, he won’t want to talk)
Post # 9
FI served in South Korea, I agree with everyone else in speaking in soft tones and just waiting it out. I had only been with FI a few weeks when I experienced a flashback with him for the first time and it scared the heck out of me. I wish there was something I could say or do to bring him out of it, but I just have to wait it out and see if he wants to talk about it later, but he doesn’t usually want to talk about them. The worst part is having to sit there with him while he is re-living everything he went through and not being able to do anything to make it better.
Post # 10
I too wanted to suggest that he be treated for p.t.s.d. Maybe he has a collegue who could lend an understanding ear. I’m sure there are support groups on base and if he’s no longer under contract there will be a support group of some sort around.