Skip to comments.(vanity) Vet and family
Posted on 07/03/2018 9:36:34 PM PDT by Lean-Right
Hello fellow Freepers, I apologise for the vanity, but I'm near my wits end. My son, a two tour Iraqi combat veteran, diagnosed with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Hyper Anxiety. Family relations are strained to the max, as anything he's confronted with turns into shouting matches, and a lot of hurt feelings. He refuses to take his prescribed medications, and instead, would rather lose himself in alcohol or pot. A regular job for him is impossible to hold. His short and long term memory is nonexistent. I have a daughter that lives less than a mile from me, along with three of my grandchildren. My son doesn't allow them to visit for fears of being ripped off of his army gear (which he is very protective of). He'll give something of his to a friend only to forget who he gave it to, and then blame it on them, accusing them of stealing it. My wife is distraught, as the only way she gets to see her grandchildren is to drive over to my daughters house. Normal family get to gathers don't happen. I've resigned myself to the fact that I can't possibly fix this on my own, and neither can he, unless he can recognise his problems. There has got to be others out there that truly know the pain (as a father), that I'm experiencing. It's tearing us apart.
Prayers up for him.
I know not how to help you. But I will pray hard for you and your family.
You need to find the best doctor you can who is familiar with this kind of brain injury.
Is your son living with you? Are you enabling drug and alcohol use? That needs to end ASAP.
Sounds like he needs to be in an inpatient program for awhile to be and feel safe, get his meds on board conaistently and learn to manage his emotional state better. The family could be involved as well, to help all of you learn how to handle the situation better. I’m sorry for all of you and hope he can get the help he desperately needs.
I just said a prayer for him and all of you.
We have asked so much of men like him. It is a sorrow to hear this account.
I pray that he can make it out the other side with family intact. To be young and so full of rage and anger is a trial indeed.
Good luck and God Bless all of you.
TBI changes *everything*.
Much of what you describe, he cannot possibly “help”.
His brain has been rewired by the injury and this may be his new normal.
How and what he “thinks” is being influenced by damaged neural pathways, some of which can totally change a person to “someone else”.
There are therapists who specialize in TBI and you should try to help him find one.
It will not ‘fix’ the TBI side effects but it can help him to understand what has happened to him, why he perceives things as he does, now, and hopefully he can find ways to cope with/manage it.
TBI is a living Hell I would not wish on anyone.
There are groups that help veterans. Have you put him in touch with these people (who arent family)?
How is your son’s relationship with the VA? Maybe you could talk to his doctor, or a counselor? I know that some of the docs are good, others not so good. I hope you and your son can get some help.
I don’t have any good answers, but I will pray for you and your family.
I do know in the face of alcohol use, sometimes it’s hard to assess how bad the underlying problems actually are.
Prayers for you and he family and him.
I am assuming, from your post, that he lives with you and your wife...correct? Are you fearful of what might happen if you set rules?
Rules like: No pot. Get a job. Your grandkids visit when you say so, not him.
Either he gets it together and sincerely tries to do what he needs to do or he hits the road.
You, your wife and the rest of the family have a right to a decent, peaceful life and the pursuit of happiness.
Prayers up !
PTSD doesn’t have to be a permanent problem, it’s a byproduct of unprocessed events that need to be reduced to memories. Since in his case the events were in war, the VA may be able to help.
You might see if they have recommendations as to how you might get him into treatment.
Al-Anon exists for you first and foremost. Here is their website: Al-Anon. This is not alcoholics anonymous, but a complimentary organization for family members facing the same struggles as you are with loved ones who are out of control.
Sounds like a very serious situation. There are people and organizations that can help, but there has to be some desire on his part to get back on the right track. If you can’t convince him, maybe some of his buddies can help. I know of one group here in Houston TX that has a good track record and as far as I know they don’t charge for anything.
Know this: I had TBI and all the symptoms. Doctors said I’d have it for the rest of my life. After 5 years of it, I cleaned up my diet and one day, the fog - aka the iron curtain - lifted (accidentally; I never expected it). Even my memory came back (mostly). Some weeks it’s like opening a new book, the old memories which present once again.
I view PTSD and many forms of mild TBI as complications to other health issues.
My stepson claims he has PTSD. The problem is that he’s no different now than before he shipped out. Just wiser (except for women). On his own, he cleaned up his own diet and I credit that for his symptoms not manifesting like some of his buddies. He makes excuses, but always seems to find a way to make it work. The big difference is that he’s NOT here at home, but 1000 miles away.
In many ways I fault those stuck in the rut of PSTD for relying on doctors & family. To be perfectly clear, I’m no fan of psychotropic drugs. At all. Your son needs to quit the drugs & booze or he’ll continue to spiral down until other bad choices present...and for that I fear for you and your grandchildren.
Provided it doesn’t make your world worse (it may), if you’re inclined print and leave this (below) where he can find it or mail it to him. I truly hope he has access to counseling or at least his comrades to speak to (if the wood chopping is physically-impossible for reasons you don’t elaborate or not suitable due to your city location, delete that portion):
Dear ____...once-proud soldier,
I know your pain and also know how you are inflicting it on those in your circle; been there, done that. You shame your brothers for declaring war upon your family, but we know that is not your intention. If you are unable to seek help, exile yourself and spare your family your inflicted pain.
If, by chance, you remember - even for a moment, now or some point in the future - who you were before the excuse of PTSD delivered you the rationale engage addiction to inflict pain upon your family, life is either a blessing...or a curse.
Grab an axe and go chop wood. Chop until you can no longer swing the axe, stack it and then look at what you accomplished. Be proud. Then reflect upon the core of your pain and chop away once again. Break it down and stack it just like the wood the first time. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, stack all your pain and put it “over there” where it can’t hurt anyone, including both your family...and YOU. It will always be there, but stacked like wood it’s harmless. When the pain returns, don’t grab a bottle or a bong...grab an axe and exorcise your pain. Like a woodpile, you can touch it...you can feel it, but it’s not hurting anyone.
It’s YOUR choice...not the Army’s, your fallen brothers, Hajji’s or anyone else’s fault. Certainly not your family’s fault who only wants to help you.
A concerned brother.
That’s the conundrum. I don’t want
to see him homeless, in the street.
We (my wife and I), dearly love
I’m a die hard conservative, and
am extremely proud of my sons’
sacrifice. In cases such as these,
we are all sacrificing. Rules have
not worked, as there is only a slight
indication that he’s drunk or stoned,
and he seems to mellow out somewhat.
Yes, he does live with us, but he
has nowhere else to go if I kick him
out. I want to help him, not abandon
him. I do thank you for your input.
Rage and uncontrollable anger are often consequences of TBI (impulsiveness is too), and a damaged memory function can make normal behavior and normal functioning in society nearly impossible.
your son’s drastically altered emotional states and damaged personality arise directly from the combined organic damage listed above, thus his problems are not psychological in origin but originate in physical damage, it’s just that the physical damage isn’t visible as it would be if, say, a limb were missing.
sadly, it’s possible that no matter what is done, that that kind of damage may not be fully fixable, just like a lost limb isn’t fully fixable ... maybe your son can get better, but maybe not ... and that’s a hard thing that ya’ll may have to accept.
i’m not an expert, but have seen something similar before, including the terrible impact it has on loved ones desperately trying to cope with an impossible situation ...
my heart goes out to you and pray that a resolution is possible ...
Thank you. Times such as these
are a true testament of faith.
And I have faith my son will
be able to come to realize that
what he’s going thru is not his
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