Monday, December 24, 2012

So this is Christmas?

Being that this is a PTSD blog, I feel compelled to spend my whole time writing about PTSD.  And given that my husband is very concerned about what I share publicly, not that I blame him, I have been reluctant to share much about my job.  But, this holiday season, my job has played a big part in our little PTSD universe.  You see, like so many other spouses of service members with combat related PTSD, my boss doesn't understand. 

It's not an easy thing to talk about to people without sharing intimate details, so I often try to glance over it.  But when my boss asked me exactly what PTSD was and why my husband needed so much support, I told her about his forgetfulness, how I have to hold our life together and how I had to remind him of things and make sure things got done.  She told me her husband was like that too (a civilian with no PTSD history, mind you).  I'm not under any dillusion that she was trying to be a jerk, but it was insensitive.  But this is how she is.  She doesn't seem to understand. 

So, when I approached my boss about changing my work schedule a few months ago, she didn't understand why I needed it.  And when I brought it up again, she still doesn't, even though there is a different position open that I am more than qualified for. 

There's not much I can do to change this.  It just sucks to feel so misunderstood.  It sucks that just before Christmas, my husband and I had to have a chat about my future at my job, which I love.  It sucks that we even have to feel like we have to choose between my job and his needs.  I know that I can't make the world understand PTSD.  I know that some people are never going to really understand, but it's hard to think that we have to make this kind of choice. 

I don't have any advice for how to deal with an employer like mine.  I love my job, but I can't keep putting their needs before my family.  My husband needs me and when put in a corner, I will choose my family every time, even if that means having to look for other work.  I just wish their was a way to help employers see why it can be so difficult to balance work and home, and why schedules sometimes have to be adjusted.  I feel reluctant to talk too deeply about it though, because I don't want my employer judging my husband and I don't want HIM to feel judged.  He feels enough of that already. 

Just such a terrible thing to have to be worried about around the holidays.  Like they aren't stressful enough already.


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