Support for Spouses of Veterans
It’s an honor to share Allie’s story with you and how EFT positively impacted her life. Allie and I met through Veterans Stress Solution which offers free services to Veterans and their families around the world. I volunteer with VSS as a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping. Allie is the wife of a Military Veteran who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Although she is ready to share her part of the story with you, I have changed identifying information to honor and respect her husband who is not ready to share his.
When Allie’s husband returned from a deployment to Afghanistan, she knew something had changed. Even though he physically returned home, Allie started noticing changes in his personality and temperament. Allie’s quest for answers began, doing as much research as she could to try and piece together what caused these changes. She deduced he was suffering from symptoms of PTSD. Along with welcoming two beautiful children and adjusting to her growing family, she was also trying to navigate a new normal of how it was affecting her husband, their relationship and their young children. Even though her husband would continue to deny the idea he was suffering from symptoms of PTSD for many years, Allie learned as much as possible and looked for anything that could help her family get through this. “Anyone who has lived this knows it is challenging” she said. Allie learned about and started using Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping, after 9 years of searching for solutions. “I tried helping myself and tapping kept my head above water for a few years; however, the challenges continued. The pain and suffering they were experiencing became their best kept secret for over 10 years before her husband was able to ask for help and was officially diagnosed with PTSD.
Allie had been on the Veterans Stress Solution website multiple times before booking her first session. The truth is, she wasn’t sure if she could trust the mission of Veterans Stress Solution- to serve military members and their families. “I was worried because so many organizations say they support the family but in reality, the support is lacking and it’s still focused on the Veteran. It was also scary to tell my story because I hid it for so long. If it had come to light sooner there was always fear that it would have ended my husband’s career and we didn’t know how we would support our family. When this started, mental health wasn’t talked about like it is now and we didn’t know what support was available through Veterans Affairs in our country.
Allie returned to the VSS website multiple times, but questions and fears flooded her thoughts and she couldn’t bring herself to book an appointment. “Will this really be about me or about my husband who is a Veteran? Will the practitioner think I’m in an abusive situation or really understand PTSD and the symptoms? Will I be judged for waiting so long? Is it okay for ME to ask for help?” She kept telling herself “I am still managing on my own” and another day would pass without asking for help.
Unbeknownst to me, our paths crossed before Allie booked her first session through VSS. Allie heard me speak about volunteering for Veterans Stress Solution. She shared “Your words told me I would be safe talking to you. You emphasized the families of the Veterans, not just the Veterans when you mentioned volunteering for VSS. That was just what I needed to finally admit I was no longer doing okay and needed more help. That’s when I had just enough courage to reach out.”
In Allie’s first session, we worked through one of her most pressing questions, “Is there room for me?” Because of the additional support her husband required after his diagnosis and the busyness of raising teenagers, Allie realized she no longer felt there was space for her in her own life. She was filled with fear and overwhelmed with the idea of change and all the unknowns ahead. Allie worked through other intense emotions in her sessions as well, anger for what she had to deal with and the guilt and shame she felt because of that anger. At the end of each session, Allie consistently felt lighter and soon her hope returned. She spent so many years just trying to survive, treading endlessly keeping her head barely above water and all of a sudden she once again could see the shore. She shared “I feel hopeful that I can feel happy again.”
Allie wanted to share her positive and powerful experience using Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping, with other spouses and family members of Veterans, especially those influenced by symptoms of PTSD. “We suffered alone in silence for all those years unnecessarily. It was a very long process for us but I hope sharing my experience will encourage you to ask for help. Even if you feel it’s been too long or it’s too late or like there’s no coming back from this for you, your marriage or your family, you’re not alone and it's not too late.” Allie hopes that telling her story will encourage others to ask for help as well.
Allie received her two free EFT sessions through VSS and decided to continue to work together a bit longer over the span of three months. I asked Allie to share a brief testimony of her experience. She started with “I have been struggling to find the right words, they just don’t seem to express the magnitude of the change I went through in just 6 sessions using EFT. Katie’s calm presence and vast knowledge of EFT was instrumental in my healing, she was my rock to lean on, and helped me let out my deepest fears and release hurtful memories permanently. She held space for me in a way no one ever has, I felt freedom to express anything I needed and felt completely safe! I feel joy now where before there was shame, fear and worry. Now my family is stronger than ever! If you are a military spouse and are struggling, please don’t wait like I did, reach out.”
I, along with numerous other volunteers at Veterans Stress Solution, are here to support our Global Military Community. Please know we are ready to share this safe, compassionate, healing space with you as well. Thank you for your service and sacrifices.
We look forward to supporting and serving you!
Veterans Stress Solution Volunteer