Essay: How OIF deployments and PTSD has affected my marriage
My name is Andrew and I was in Operation Iraq Freedom (OIF) and it has been very traumatizing since the day that I left Iraq and flew back home. Before going to Iraq, I was living with my wife and daughter. We had been married for seven years for we had celebrated our seventh anniversary two weeks before we left. While in Iraq, we would communicate almost every day, either through the mail or by phone. I had thought that I could ignore everything that had happened and I was doing well for the first three and half years. Almost every sound even the ringing of the phone would startle me, but pretend that nothing is happening to me. My wife noticed that there was something disturbing my mind on the second night but I explained it is just the fact I had been used to always been alert but with time I will learn that am no longer in the war zone. I had a lot of self-denial for I thought that I was man enough to overcome all those tribulations. (Downing 123)
When I told my wife about the things that we used to do in Iraq she started viewing me as murderer even though I had told her that we killed in self-defense. It came to a point whereby I told her to her face that she wanted me dead in the war. Although she knew that I no choice as a soldier sometimes I thought that she was too ignorant. I started having the feeling that if my daughter learns that I used to kill people in Iraq then most likely, she would never come near me. It is very traumatizing when you realize that you fear almost everything even yourself for you will be ready to defend yourself against nonexistent enemies. In the neighborhood, everybody was looking at me as if I were an alien although I had lived there for more than ten years.