PTSD: Anxiety, Fear, and Things That Lurk on the Road

Friends Of Padre Steve’s World,

Back in August of 1978 when I met and fell hopelessly head over heals in love with my wife Judy, I had no idea how badly she had been damaged by the actions of her parents, siblings, and one particular grandmother. Between physical, emotional violence, neglect, and abuse that continued long after we were married in 1983, she showed herself to be a rock for me over the past couple of days.

On Thursday night I wrote about it thinking that by Friday I would be doing better. I got the car back late Friday afternoon. Judy took me to get it and take it home before driving me out to dinner. This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I have had trouble sleeping, but bed feels safe.

That being said I had to go to a grocery store to pick up a few things and see if I could get a refill on my antidepressant. I couldn’t get the refill today because they had to transfer it from the Naval Medical Center. Since I have to go there on Monday anyway, I go without. But I planned on going to another grocery store, a Wegmans, for the very best strawberries, cantaloupe, dark chocolate almond bark, and Paulaner Beer from Munich. But as I was trying to leave Kroger it seamed that every insane old woman in the parking lot was trying to crash into my car. No kidding, there were at least three times in the parking lot that old ladies locked eyes with me and tried to force me into crashes with parked cars by purposely restricting my ability to maneuver. To avoid each, I stopped and yielded.

On the way to Wegmans I stopped by Gordon Biersch for a one and done beer to calm my nerves. I posted my situation on Facebook and let Judy know. A friend came by to check on me. Judy told me to take the time to regather my nerves. I then brought us take out from there on my way home.

I think that it’s important to have someone who understands your anxieties, fears, and weaknesses. I haven’t felt this vulnerable, fearful, and anxious, since my last Commodore at EOD Group Two In 2008, took his life in January 2014. Tomorrow, I plan to take Judy out to breakfast and make the trip to Wegmans I had planned for today. Monday, it is back to fat boy PT at the base, followed by aquatic physical therapy at the Naval Medical Center, after which I will try to get my antidepressant refilled. I’ll see my shrink on Tuesday, and my psych drug doctor Wednesday. The rest of the week will between split between work, physical therapy, and medical appointments.

For the moment I am not okay. I am so frightened, anxious, and fearful that I don’t want to go out or get in my car. I love doing both, and for most of my life driving, and traveling has been relaxing. I don’t know when or if it will be so again, most of that is residue from convoys in Iraq. However, over a decade after I came home all it took to throw me back into that emotional morass, was an incident precipitated by someone who probably never noticed what happened on Thursday.

Pray for me a sinner,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

 

5 Comments

Filed under mental health, Military, PTSD, Tour in Iraq

5 responses to “PTSD: Anxiety, Fear, and Things That Lurk on the Road

  1. Hang in there. & so glad you have a Wegman’s near you! I used to work at Wegman’s, many years ago.

  2. Carmen

    Padre,
    I think it would help if you stopped thinking of yourself as a sinner and start realizing you are a ‘human bean’ like the rest of us.
    Shit happens; it’s the way of things. Sunnier days are ahead, I’m sure.

  3. Oh, and P.S. I see you as a very special ‘human bean’ – one who is genuinely trying to make the world a better place by sharing your experiences/thoughts, even though it increases your vulnerability. Brave, that. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you feel more grounded now. Support is so important for me too.

    • padresteve

      Thank you for your comments. For the most part I do but my shrink retires at the end of the year and with the change from Navy Medicine to the Defense Health Agency providers are being cut back. I will probably have to wait until I retire until I start therapy again in August. I have had too many bad experiences with military mental health providers to open myself up to someone in the months before I retire. I do appreciate your kind words, thoughts, and regardless of your faith, your prayers.

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