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Anchored. is MFLN Family Development’s [https://blogs.extension.org/militaryfamilies/family-development/] NEW podcast created to support and inspire those connected to military families. Each episode focuses on real life struggles and topic areas that many families encounter. We invite you to sit back, relax and get Anchored. with us!
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We provide 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and 1.0 Georgia Marriage and Family Therapy CE credits. More information on the CEU's we provide can be found here.
Greg and Traci Ferris have been married for thirteen years. Greg joined the Air Force in 2001 and served four years as a flying crew chief. After dealing with a host of medical and emotional difficulties for about a decade after he separated from the Air Force, Greg was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Traci now, along with the duties of full-time employee, wife and mother, takes on the role of caregiver as Greg battles his health problems. They have two sons, ages six and four.
It’s not just some fake diagnosis that people come up with. It’s the real deal and it definitely can make major impacts on your life.- Greg
He went on a deployment and for all I knew, he was on an island fishing. But then after he was out, those words just weren’t there to be able to describe what happened to him. -Traci
We are battling PTSD- we are doing it together- Traci
From my perspective, I was terrified because I thought he was dying. For me it was a lot of just terror, panic of what is going on with my husband. Why is he so different now? When I met him, he wasn’t in the military. I knew what he was like before and I knew what he was like after was totally different. It kind of shook the foundation of how I saw him as a person. You know, I saw him as this strong, military-type guy. Very strong leader, brave. He was kind of the leader between the two of us. But after everything started happening, we had to shift roles. I became the leader- okay, let’s see what we have to do to keep this family together. It made me see him, of course, in a very different way. - Traci
From my perspective, I lost myself. All the focus internally for me had to be placed on myself and that took away from putting that energy forward to really keeping our bond as a couple, as husband and wife together, as a team.- Greg
One of the big things that I think a lot of people don’t realize about PTSD is that it may be a mental disorder, but physiologically, it does take a toll... From your mind constantly working so much on trying to make sense of what is going on... the mind can heal so much quicker than the rest of your body….It’s an invisible illness, you can’t see it from the outside. -Greg
Traci and Greg's Advice
Really trying to find some things that I enjoy doing. Reading, running, taking a bath… recognize that both of us need time to wind down if things are stressful… we really have to make that conscious decision and push each other. -Traci
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Cover Photo Image: Flickr[Decaying boats and an rusty anchor at Sheldrakes, Heswall, Wirral by Beverly Goodwin, October 15, 2013, CCO]
PTSD has become more prevalent amongst our military service members. What do you find most helpful in working with service members with this diagnosis? How has the diagnosis affected their relationships?