One of our fabulous members is completing their first ultra-marathon ‘The Wall’ in June – this is a 70-mile run across the length of Hadrian’s wall – she has decided to raise money for The Ripple Pond, which we are extremely grateful for. At The Ripple Pond we enable the loved ones of the Armed Forces community to access the help they deserve; we support over 700 families in the UK.
As many people know, as it is not a conversation I shy away from, my fantastic hubby was diagnosed with PTSD in 2011 after his last tour of Afghanistan. The run up to and post diagnosis was a particularly difficult transition as we were in our early 20s and our lives changed forever. Learning to live with a new reality was often very difficult not least because PTSD is an “invisible” injury and often people would appear to be judgmental and disbelieving of his diagnosis. What people often do not see is that although he came back from war alive (thank god, there are others not that lucky) and in one piece that he came back changed.
Night terrors, suicidal thoughts, crowded places, unexpected loud noises and survivor’s guilt now all consumed my once fearless and carefree husband. In those extremely dark days without the support of our family and friends I dread to think how life would be different now. I only wish that I had found The Ripple Pond sooner as it often felt that by talking about the impact at home to my own support system that I was betraying.
“Finding The Ripple Pond was life altering”
My husband had a particularly bad relapse with his PTSD and was in a very dark place and I was given the details from a psychiatrist and I found a space that people just got it. I didn’t have to justify why things were the way that they were or feel isolated, they just got it. For the first time in years I felt that the complex feelings I had towards living with someone with PTSD was normal, and seeing others living with similar experiences made me feel relieved and lighter. Looking through testimonials and quotes that others have shared; it seems my own experiences are mirrored by others.
“The Ripple Pond has provided me with a light in times of darkness. Although I can’t always attend the group get together, just knowing they are there to call upon and having the Facebook group in order to vent has been such a relief”
“I feel so much better for sharing and listening. It has helped to process what has happened and understand certain behaviours. I don’t feel on my own anymore.”
“Being able to ‘chat’ with others about some of the ‘challenges’ of life with a veteran is both helpful and supportive. You don’t have to try to ‘explain’ to friends who really wouldn’t understand – they just get it (it really is a case of ‘if I had to explain you wouldn’t understand’!). There’s no judgement, we just accept each other, and offer what support we can. Having not really had anyone to speak to for over 30 years I cannot explain how refreshing and ‘normalising’ this is – thank you The Ripple Pond”
“The group has helped me through some really tough times and helped build my own strength”.
“It’s lovely to know that I’m not alone. Unless you have lived in our situation it’s very hard to understand what living with PTSD as part of your life is like.”