This is Amy Miner’s first time writing about her and her family’s experiences with PTSD. Amy is an RN by profession, but a mom, first and foremost. She has been spending her time raising her 4 children, ages 10-21. Amy is also taking time to care for herself. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and reading. Amy also enjoys paddle boarding on the lake, hiking and taking road trips with her kids.
This new journey has not been easy, but with the support of amazing friends and family, she is finding a new normal. Amy would like to continue to help veterans and their families however possible. She currently resides in Vermont with her amazing children, awesome dog and cuddly cat.
AN EXCERPT FROM AMY'S STORY
EVERYTHING AND NOTHING
I lost the love of my life. Now I have to go downstairs. They are waiting for me. While they wait, I stand in a room I don’t want to be in, but I never want to leave. I’m staring into a closet with nothing to wear. No clothes for my new title. A title I do not want.
* * *
I found a shirt. Black. Black pants. Black boots. Black bra. Black underwear. Black socks. I’m running on autopilot for a few minutes, and then I am focused. I walk over to the oddly-placed sink in our bedroom and grab a q-tip. His q-tip. He was obsessed with cleaning his ears. The ceramic container was always full of the tiny cotton swabs. I hold one under a light stream of water, just enough to get the tip wet but not saturated. I get down on my hands and knees and crawl over to him. I rub the damp q-tip in his dried blood. The only piece of him left is soaked in the carpet, dry now. As the white cotton tip starts to turn red, I begin to cry. I don’t want to leave this place. The only place he is. I’m frantic now. Crying, trying to get all that’s left of him onto the fucking end of a q-tip. In a split-second I stop crying. I stand up, put the q-tip into my jewelry box next to the earrings he bought me to replace the ones he broke. I wipe my face, open the door and head down the stairs to the new responsibilities I never wanted.
He was everything. We were each other’s everything from early in our relationship. We were a blind date that turned into a friendship that turned into love. That first night, we talked for hours about TV shows, music, traveling, life experiences... everything. The innocence of an eighteen-year-old girl that was just starting her life and a twenty-four-year-old guy who had lived so much already. We were just lost in each other. Enveloped by a bubble where the future didn’t matter and what either of us experienced in the past no longer existed. This new friendship evolved into so much more with one question.
“Can I kiss you?”
With that one kiss, everything changed. One touch of his hand on my face, feeling his breath on my lips, leading up to the perfect kiss and that was it. All our plans changed in that moment. We just didn’t know it yet.