I have these days, when I'm alone, especially when my husband is gone off doing military things that I can't know anything about, when I feel guilty. In the past I have talked of feeling guilty for my anger, or feeling guilty because I can't help him, but this guilt is different. It's almost like a survivors guilt.
If I'm going to be honest, and of all places in my life, this is the one place where I am at least that, I often blame myself for what is happening in our life. If I'm going to be honest, I knew in my heart that he came home not right. But I never said anything.
He came home and told me his unit had brought in a person to talk with each of them individually and I never asked why. I never once asked what had happened that his unit would do that. And now it's too late to ask and now he doesn't want to tell me and he is angry that I never asked.
He came home and that person told him he had all the markers of a man with combat related PTSD and I chose to follow his lead and shrug it off. I never asked what the markers were. I never asked if he thought he had it, or if he thought he needed help. I told myself that he missed beer and that is why he started his morning with one. I told myself that he was having a hard time with severe jetlag and that is why he couldn't sleep for days and then slept for days on end. I let my husband down because I was too naive and I honestly believed he would tell me if something was wrong.
But things were wrong. He was wrong. We were wrong. Nothing in our life was right anymore. Nothing was right...
And I fought him. I fought the current of our life. I tried to push a river to flow in the other direction. I tried to make him into the husband he was supposed to be to me. I tried to force him into a life he couldn't live. I was angry at him for being a bad husband, a neglectful husband and a disinterested husband. And I told him, in not so many words, that that is exactly what he was. But in my heart, was a voice whispering so silently that it was easy to ignore. It was whispering to me that he wasn't right. It was telling me that I couldn't make him right.
I wish it had screamed.
Maybe if it had screamed, or I had tried to listen more closely, we would not be where we are. Maybe if I had not wanted him to fit back into the life we had planned so desperately, we would not be here. Maybe, instead of me trying to force him to be this man he was supposed to be, that I wanted him to be, that he used to be, I should have been the wife that he deserved. And maybe, if I had been that wife, we would not be here.
I couldn't make him right and in my heart, I knew that. In my heart, I knew. But I tried anyway. For three years I tried. Maybe he wouldn't have PTSD the way he does, maybe he would be better now, maybe he never would have gotten so bad if I had been the wife that he deserved to have.
He deserves better and maybe we wouldn't be in the broken state if I had been a better wife. A less selfish wife. If I had been the wife he deserves the last three years wouldn't have happened and he couldn't have gotten the help he couldn't admit he needed for the problem that I couldn't admit was there.