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Why My Husband Is Happy He Doesn't Remember His Dreams

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I’m usually awoken in the middle of the night by am  toddler or a sweet kindergartener. From scary dreams to a simple cup of water, my nights are interrupted by two cute little boys.

• What is PTSD?

Some nights I am woken by swift kicks and flailing arms. My husband is having another nightmare. He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his deployment to Afghanistan during his enlistment in the military. Nightmares are just one of the many symptoms associated with this disorder.

Once in the middle of the night, I woke up to the sound of crying and whimpering. I sat up expecting to see one of my boys standing over me.

It wasn’t the kids; it was my husband.

I was a little shocked to hear a man who doesn’t shed tears actually crying. I leaned over and soon realized he was still asleep. He was dreaming, and it did not sound to be a very pleasant dream. I imagine he was back in the real life nightmare of a deployment to Afghanistan. He was dreaming of that place again.

This evening I asked him if he had any dreams last night. He said he couldn’t remember, and I then told him what he had done in the middle of the night. He sat on the edge of our bed for a few minutes and seemed to really try to remember his dream. He looked up at me with a half-smile, and said he’s glad that he doesn’t actually remember any of his nightmares. PTSD has given him a horrible memory. He doesn’t have to relive all of these horrific nightmares. A simple, yet powerful reflection of his current situation. PTSD has so many negative parts. He found one of the symptoms that he can use to his advantage. That is what we must do. We must use or imperfections for our own benefit. We must learn how to use them. It gives us a way that we can have an advantage over the playing field of life.

Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: December 9, 2016
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