What I want you to know about being a female veteran with PTSD

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Anonymous.

I am the face of PTSD...

If you saw me walking down the street, you would not see the scars. If you stopped to talk to me, you would not see the wounds. If you asked me how I was, you would hear that I am fine.

I am the face of PTSD.

I am the mother who has to be strong for her kids. I am the wife who has to be there for her husband. I am the NCO who has to be at work each day.

I am also the face of PTSD.

I have been beaten, drug down, overwhelmed, terrified and forced to face my own mortality. I have seen the dead on the battle field and the injured who were headed home.

I am the face of PTSD.

I have been in mental places I never thought possible. I have feared for my life. I have been to the bottom on more than one occasion. I have spent nights in the hospital for my own safety.

I am the face of PTSD.

I have cried, screamed, curled into a ball. I have anxiety that leaves me feeling out of control. I have nightmares that keep me awake. I fear that every day will be my last.

I am the face of PTSD.

I have overcome many obstacles, with many more to come. I have relived my fears over and over. I have come home from the front lines to learn to live a new life.

I am the face of PTSD.

I am medicated for the safety of myself and sometimes those around me. I am medicated to sleep at night. I am medicated to enable myself to function.

I am the face of PTSD.

I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter. I am a military member, a friend, a confidant.

I am the face of PTSD.

This was written so that my friends and family would be able to see the struggles I had endured after being injured in Afghanistan. I wanted them to see the honesty of how I felt, the reasons for those feelings, and the aftermath of what military service can do to a person. I still struggle three years later. I fight to force myself out of bed each day. I fight to keep the fears and anxiety at bay. I fight not only for myself, but for my husband, my children, and all the female veterans who suffer from PTSD, but are not seen because we are not male.



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