Lately, we have had more good days than bad. I am extremely thankful for that after enduring so many horrible years since the IED changed our lives. Bryan has been steadier with his feelings and emotions. He has also been very supportive through our infertility struggles. He has been social with friends, as much as he can. We have really been having a fun summer.
When you walk on eggshells for years you still resort to those feelings when something upsetting happens. I try to put the past behind us but when reminders of the previous events creep in, I rely on those past experiences to predict what is going to happen.
A couple of days ago Bryan had a stressful day at work. He called when he left and I could hear the exhaustion, frustration and maybe a little anger in his voice. My heart started pounding. I immediately thought I needed to talk him down and fix the problem. I heard his truck revving up as we were getting off the phone and I asked him to drive carefully.
The old feelings resurfaced. I was worried. When he got home how he would be? Would he talk to me? Would he know that I was concerned about how he was reacting to the stressor? Would he be angry?
When he did get home I approached him cautiously. I didn’t want to set the post-traumatic stress off. He was still stressed out pretty bad. I finally just asked if he was OK. I told him that I felt that he was reacting the way that he had in the past.
But he put things in perspective.
“I am allowed to have a bad day once in a while,” he said.
Everything clicked. I thought about all the bad days I have been having when I get bad news from my reproductive endocrinologist. He is allowed to have a bad day. Even if he isn’t handling the situation the way I want him to, it’s OK. His reaction didn’t last a week like it did before.
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From Cheryl Gansner's blog, Wife of a Wounded Soldier. Used with permission. www.wifeofawoundedsoldier.com.