Your description of the quandary a military spouse faces gives the rest of us civilians some badly needed insight, awareness and empathy. Thank you for that! It’s not something most of us think of first when we hear about combat stress, but you are so right to call attention to the families, who are impacted so profoundly.
Just this past week, I heard about anguished Service members, devastated by the suicide deaths of their children. I fear there’s a far higher incidence of this than we want to know, and that’s just one devastating statistic. We simply must figure out a range of practical, effective ways to alleviate the suffering running rampant in our military bases, hospitals and installations.
Just yesterday, some of us from Health Journeys were talking with the Playaway people about how we should probably load several imagery titles onto one Playaway for returning warriors - maybe call it Coming Home - and maybe have one version for the troops and one for the family members.
We would encourage the couple to listen together (it’s apparently easier for some of the more adrenergized, hypervigilant, transitioning warriors to let down and relax if they’ve got an arm around their honey and they’re resting and listening together - and the partner derives benefit too, of course - from the imagery and the relaxed closeness, which can be hard to come by.)
For this, we’d choose imagery from the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for Posttraumatic Stress, which includes imagery for Stage 1, Re-establishing Safety & Control: Imagery for Protection & Support, a Walking Meditation and Imagery for Restful Sleep; Imagery for Stage 2, which is the actual Healing & Integration: imagery for Depression, Grief and Healing Trauma; And Stage 3, Clean-up & Renewal: Imagery for Confidence, Imagery for Anger & Forgiveness and Affirmations for PTSD.
Other titles that could fit in there, which we hadn’t created at the time Three Stages was published, would be our imagery for Panic Attacks, and the imagery for Heartbreak, Abandonment & Betrayal. Another great one that would work here: the couples’ exercise on Successful Relationships.
For the spouse or partner’s version, I’d be inclined to include our imagery to Relieve Stress; Caregiver Stress; Successful Relationships; Heartbreak, Abandonment & Betrayal; and Anger & Forgiveness.
For very young kids, Roxanne Daleo’s Mindworks for Children is terrific, and her From a Grain of Sand and Wanka the Caring Elephant work well for kids a bit older, in early elementary school.
For general elementary school ages, my personal favorites for family stress are Sleep Fairy, Magic Island and Discovering Your Special Place, along with the Sing Song Yoga DVD. Older kids (later elementary school or middle school) enjoy Fern Fujimoto’s 2 E-motion CDs, and teenagers can use the adult materials.
I hope this gives you something of a clue. Clearly this is a work in progress. We’re still in the process of figuring out what resources work best and for whom, under what circumstances. All I can say is, we’re getting there, we honestly are!
And thank YOU for your service. It’s not just the warfighters who sacrifice, that’s for sure.
All best to you,