Here’s another advantage to being married to a combat veteran with PTSD:
After almost twenty-five years of living with Jack, there are very, very few things in the world that frighten me.
Years ago, when Jack and I were harassed by police while towing a 35’ trailer the length of Mexico, I got a little afraid looking down the barrel of that gun. I admit that.
The thirty-eight hours spent in a 10×10 cement building with thirty-eight Mayans, twelve truck drivers, and 3 Federales while a class five hurricane roared directly over us flexing the walls and filling the room with water? Yeah, okay, that was a bit hairy.
Jack’s first med-induced psychotic episode? Oh sure, that scared the bejesus out of me.
Riding a bus with no brakes down the mountain pass between Hue and Danang? That was a little sketchy, I confess to a slight increase in heart-rate.
Coming face to toothy-face with a bull shark, a mako shark, or a hammerhead? That was just good fun.
Emigrating to Panama with two giant dogs tethered to our wrists AT ALL TIMES? Well, sure, I shook and twitched for a year or so after THAT adventure.
But here’s the thing, I’ve survived enough of Jack’s adrenalin-seeking adventures now that, unless somebodies shooting at me, I’m unlikely to take fear too seriously.
Which isn’t to say I don’t still worry and fret and second-guess myself about every inane and insignificant detail and make everyone around me slightly nuts. Oh hell yeah, I do that.
But that’s not fear. That’s ego. That’s my own need to be perfect, which, given who I am? Holy self-delusion batman, has THAT train ever left the station.
Jack, on the other hand, is a big picture guy. He comes up with the bright idea and lets the details fall where they might. Which drives me insane. More insane. I’m coming to grips with this need of mine to hold life’s reins tight in my hot little white-knuckled hands. Each year I get a teeny tiny bit better at doing my best and then stepping back and letting life happen. I accept more and more my glorious imperfection as a human being.
Jack is a master at this. My favorite line from my big lug of a former Marine is:
“Stick with my, baby. Who else would take you into the eye of hurricane?”
And, maybe that’s another reason Jack and I are still together. After all these adventures and miscommunications and just plain messes we’ve gotten ourselves into, I’m still learning from my stubborn jarhead.