Merriam-Webster gives one definition stating that disorder is an abnormal physical or mental condition. Whoa. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…the label that is given to many of our men and women returning from war. For me? I don’t like it, I never have. In no way, shape, or form do I want my husband walking around feeling like he has a mental condition because of his job in the military.
Can we all just change this label?
I feel that if we removed the “disorder” part, those who are suffering wouldn't feel so alone, sometimes crazy, like outcasts. My husband did his job very well…so well that he is here, alive with us still. He just happened to have brought home with him some stress-filled, traumatic memories, and he has normal reactions to those memories. Maybe this is you too? Maybe someone has labeled you and the last part of the label makes you squirm a bit…it may even be hard for you to say the word, disorder. You're not alone! Our Mental Health Director Dr. Beach has such a simple yet powerful way of explaining…what if you're having a normal reaction to an abnormal experience? Such a simple statement that brings amazing clarity.
Patience, endurance, steadfastness…the ability to remain hopeful in times of waiting. My goal is to show my PTS suffering husband Christ’s love through grace...and patience. God has equipped me for this story of my family, even if I have to explain to our boys why their dad is having “bad Army days”. Now, we don’t need to feel like outsiders anymore. They’ve just been normal reactions to abnormal experiences, and we will proudly continue to walk alongside others who are going through the same. Patient endurance through this thing called PTS.
Remove the disorder….
“PTS is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of absolute strength. PTS is earned by doing what others fear.”