Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can affect the entire family unit. In addition to those with PTSD needing the support and encouragement of their family to get the help they need to recover, family members also experience their own challenges. AfterDeployment recently published an article and video series telling the story of Toby, an Army lieutenant colonel returning from Iraq showing signs of PTSD, and his wife Susan.
The near-breaking point in Toby and Susan Moore’s marriage — and a pivotal moment in his recovery from PTSD — came in a phone call to Toby’s office. “When Toby left, for Iraq this time, I told him that no matter what condition he came back in, as long as he was willing to do something about it, I was willing to stick around,” Susan recalled. When the Army lieutenant colonel returned from Iraq, they both realized he was showing signs of PTSD — he was sad, withdrawn, sleepless and short-tempered. And he followed his wife so closely [instinctively guarding her] that if she stopped too fast, he ran into her. But Toby was in denial about needing outside help.
“I was doing all of this work to get him better and he was not part of the solution; he was the problem,” Susan said. “Finally, he was at work one day, and I called him. I said, ‘I love you, and I told you I would always love you, but the time has come for us [Susan and their two daughters] to love you from afar.’”
Read Toby and Susan’s full story, “From Breaking Point to Unbreakable Bond: A Story of PTSD Recovery” on the AfterDeployment website. Watch the video series featured on the AfterDeployment page on Facebook.