I Witnessed My Fiancé Shoot Himself
Anna is struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is a mental health disorder caused by trauma. It’s the pain of reliving the trauma over and over. Anna’s fiancé shot and killed himself in front of her on Thanksgiving, 3 years ago.
Feels Like I’m Never Going to Get Better
Anna says, “I went through a year where my PTSD got so bad, I couldn’t even function. I couldn’t feed myself. I couldn’t dress myself. Let alone, work or go to school. But I’ve been seeking treatment for about a year and a half now. I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m living on my own. I can hold a part-time job and I’m a lot more self-sufficient than I used to be. But I’m just struggling with how much energy, emotional and physical energy it takes for me to get through a normal day because of the PTSD and the symptoms I have. Therapy is helping tremendously, but by the end of the day, it feels hopeless, like I’m never going to get better than where I am now.
Why Did He Do It?
Anna – “He actually had PTSD himself, he was in the Air Force. He struggled with it after his plane was shot down over Afghanistan. He came home, and he was pretty much like I was, not functioning. Every time a plane would fly overhead, like if we would be driving to dinner or what, he would go into a full-blown flashback and I would have to bring him back to the present.”
You’ve Made Amazing Progress
Anna, you’ve made amazing progress! Do you know the Lord? Anna explains that she used to, but she’s lost touch with him because she doesn’t trust him anymore.
I Need Hope that I Can Get Better
Anna says, “How Do I Get My Hope Back and Trust in God?”
If you really want to get well from the inside out, you need to give your life to the Lord. Only he can take you to the next level, and the next, and the next, etc. You don’t want to fight against the great physician. He’s trying to help and he’s really trying to help tonight. Would you be willing to tell God that you are open to making peace with him and coming home? Anna says, “Yes.” Okay, I’m going to give you a prayer to pray:
Every bit of my healing has come from you. I praise you for it! Now, tonight I want to give you my life…all of my struggles, to walk with you day by day.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Peer to Peer Help for Anna:
Madison shares she doesn’t know much about PTSD, but she’s learned she can trust the Lord. Kyle’s a veteran himself, he says with time and God’s help, the wounds heal. Sherri knows what it’s like to lose everything and she says God can give you strength. Here are their responses and others to Anna:
You Can Always Trust the Lord! - Madison
Madison – “I don’t know much about PTSD, but I do know about feeling like you can’t trust the Lord and trust His plan. I know it can be hard. You can trust that through the hard times, the parts where you feel like you want to give up. He never leaves your side. The thoughts in your head telling you, “Give up. Stop. You can’t do this anymore.” That’s not him. You can trust that’s not him. He’s telling you go get help. You are doing fine. You can do this. You don’t ever have to doubt him, you can always trust him."
I’m a Veteran Myself and Have Some PTSD! - Kyle
Kyle – “I’m a veteran myself. I served 2 tours in Iraq, as a Marine. So, I have some Post Traumatic Stress from the various combat I was in. Also, my roommate was shot in the chest right next to me. I tried to save him, but it just wasn’t God’s will, so we lost him.
At first, PTSD is very uncontrollable and you have no hope. But as time goes on, the wound does heal, and you eventually can function much more.”
Do you still see your buddy dying there in front of you?
Kyle – “I can picture it like it was yesterday if I want to. For a while, I had a bracelet with his name on it. A lot of veterans do that when they lose a buddy. At one point I took that off…some separation from things that trigger memories is good to help you move on.
I had a friend that had a very similar situation. She and her husband had a little baby boy. She came home one day, and her husband did the exact same thing Anna described [of her fiancé]. I don’t think her baby boy was in the room when it happened, but she had a hard time dealing with that at first. Eventually through the Lord and with time, she’s moved on as well.”
I Know What It’s Like To Lose Absolutely Everything - Sherri
Sherri – “I too have been through a lot in the past 3 years. I know what it’s like to lose absolutely everything. I want to give you hope, Anna. What got me through was trusting the Lord. He’s always there. He’s going to strengthen you through your tough times. One verse that got me through everything was Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
Get Around Other Christians for Support - Michael
Michael – “I lost a few of my close friends through PTSD in high school when they came back from tours. What you can do is keep trusting the Lord. That helped me through it. I too was lost from God for so long, but I always come back. Now, I’m so attached to the Lord, I’m going to church. I’m being active in my church. Being around other Christians and explaining what you are going through…they can be there to give you advice to help you through your time of need.”
God Has Plans to Give You Hope and a Future – Julia
Julia – “I’m very sorry. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I wanted to share the verse Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and to give you a hope and a future.” Hang in there. I encourage you Anna to seek a local church, they can be of tremendous help in difficult times.”
Did Today’s Episode Get You Thinking?
Wow, Anna received some amazing advice and encouragement. She surrendered to the Lord, so there’s going to be some major healing in her life. As Michael said, go to church and get around some people who will support you.
What advice would you give Anna about PTSD?
If you have PTSD and found ways of coping or have any other thoughts or encouragement for Anna. Please share in the comments below!
Resources for help with Post Traumatic Stress:
- Free eBook: Understanding PTSD (Anna mentions in the podcast)
- Blog: PTSD: What Is It and Do I Have It?
- Blog: PTSD and Suffering: Each Person’s Trauma is Different
- Blog: 6 Self-Help Skills for Coping With PTSD
- Need to talk to someone? Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.
One last thing,
Remember, whatever you do, Never Lose Hope!
If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. For additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.