Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Panic. Temper. Strain. Depression.

Several years ago, I had no idea how four letters could turn someone’s life upside down.

Today is my wedding anniversary. Thirteen years ago I married an amazing man. I envisioned having beautiful children and a beautiful life. For many years that is exactly what we had worked to create. And then something changed. Suddenly a monster was living in my home threatening to destroy all that we had worked so hard to establish.

For years, the monster remained nameless. But its presence was no less intrusive. This monster laid open a path for fear, anxiety, even depression. And I felt helpless. It was terrifying and overwhelming.

I have alluded to this issue in past blog posts but there has been a hesitancy in me to discuss it in detail. Maybe it’s one of those things that is so painful it’s just difficult to talk about. But, it’s my anniversary. And I have much to celebrate. I think it’s time.

It feels impossible to transcribe our journey in a single blog post so I intend to make this a series. As I pondered how to cohesively write a short group of blogs I thought of doing an acronym. I seem to like those. So this will be the first post of five. Each post after this will highlight a specific part of our journey. And what better acronym to use than P.T.S.D.

Please understand that I am not a doctor or psychologist. Writing about this widespread and debilitating issue is strictly based on my own experience. And even that being limited. I am not the sufferer directly. I am not the one haunted and tortured and controlled by horrific images and memories. I am the bystander. One who has had to learn to love in the midst of the paralyzing unknown. However, I am intimately acquainted with the condition. I had a first row seat as I watched my husband wrestle and fight a foe that was unseen. I watched as the father of my children was nearly taken from me.

I am the spouse of a highly decorated law enforcement officer. He is courageous and honorable and broken.

Happy anniversary to us and I hope you check out the next blog, “P is for partially blind” and take this journey with us.


18 Responses to “PTSD”

  • Tammy Vanella Says:

    Such a real and honest post. Great job! But more than that, as a recovered PTSD survivor myself, I am grateful for how you are willing to courageously share not just what it’s like for the one who suffers but for those who love the one who suffers. You are a woman of great courage and strength. (p.s….Happy Anniversary my friend!)

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Thank you Tammy. But I think strength is a lot like beauty. It too is in the eye of the beholder. 🙂

  • Joyce Owen Says:

    And this is one of a host of reasons why I love you RQ. God bless you for standing firm in the journey with your precious husband and for fighting for him and your family. I am eager to read more! I love you, Joyce

  • Dawn Koch Says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Whatever your courageous story is, I am glad you are sharing it with others. I should also start a blog about my journey about what I’ve walked through and where I am at now. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. God bless you!! Miss seeing your smiling face and your little angels…


    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Thank you Dawn and I say yes! You should start blogging about your journey and when you do I would love to follow it! I miss you too!

  • Ingrid Stukey Says:

    Dearest Rebecca, thank you for posting about PTSD, it is such a horrible thing for our loved ones to go through. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and for years he fought this, back then there wasn’t much help but he got a good Therapist and he helped a lot.
    Thank you for posting your experience.
    Happy Anniversary to the both of you and many many Blessings

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Ingrid, thank you so much for taking the time to share part of your story. As I mentioned in the blog, I plan on writing more posts about my experience in the role of supporter and I would love to hear if you shared similar experiences. I hope you’ll check out the future blogs and let me know. Blessings on you and your husband as well!!

  • Susan Basham Says:

    Okay, Rebecca, I’m holding on tight waiting for this. I know it’s going to make me sad, but I admire your faith and risk in talking about it. You are a wonderful writer, and your heart shines through your words. Love you, Susan

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Thanks Susan and I am happy to report that it’s a happy ending so you can read on with confidence! 🙂 Love you too!!

  • Victoria Newman Says:

    Hey Friend – I’m hooked! I look forward to the next post, and will pass it on.

  • Susie Robinson Says:

    This a brave and wonderful blog about the PTSD that your husband suffers. Prayers lifted for you and your family.

  • Susan Lamkin Says:

    We are also a PTSD family, still struggling day to day and trusting the God sees the bigger picture. Some days are bright and we bask in them, and then there are the dark days, ugh! We just celebrated 36 years and was a great day, one we didn’t think we would see just a couple of years ago. Am excited to read about your journey!

    • Rebecca Qualls Says:

      Congratulations on 36 years!! And thank you for sharing a part of your story. I wonder how our journeys may be similar and hope you continue to comment. It is always easier when you feel like someone gets it. And then again, your journey may be quite different but I’d love to hear that too!

  • Teddi Deppner Says:

    May God pour His strength into you and lay His grace over your eyes as you address this subject. May He wrap your family in a bubble of understanding and protection as you struggle to put into words the things you’ve seen and felt. May your story encourage and lift up others who face this challenge.

    I praise God that you have a husband whose confidence in God and identity in Christ is secure — and still growing! Sharing this experience with others is one of the most courageous things you two can do, and I’m so awed by you both! May many lives be touched by your testimony.

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