Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife: Not Just Surviving But Thriving

Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife: Not Just Surviving But Thriving

by Barbara K. McNally


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Imagine sending your spouse to war with a heavy heart, then receiving a life-shattering phone call telling you he’s been badly injured. Your beloved returns to your arms, but changed, broken, angry, conflicted, and in need of around-the-clock care. What do you do?

Meet the women who drew upon their inner resilience and prevailed. Their vivid personal accounts provide inspiration to those who face daunting challenges, and offer a path forward. Each one of these brave, strong military spouses shares her personal tale of reuniting, recovering, and rebuilding with her catastrophically wounded warrior.

Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife offers an intimate look into the chaotic and demanding lives of military spouses as they adjust to living with injured combat veterans. These women are thrust into caretaker roles for service members who return home with amputated limbs, brain injuries, burns, and disabilities, with virtually no support or training. Posttraumatic stress tears their families apart, and they must wrestle with huge, imposing questions: Does he still love me? Must I sacrifice my career forever? How will this affect my kids, my sex life, my happiness?

Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife reveals the innermost thoughts of women who faced these challenges and prevailed—to not just survive, but thrive.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633932876
Publisher: Koehler Books
Publication date: 09/15/2016
Pages: 228
Sales rank: 370,257
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.48(d)

About the Author

Barbara McNally is the author of Unbridled: A Memoir, a member of San Diego Writers Ink, and an active blog contributor to the Huffington Post. A licensed physical therapist, she has helped people from all walks of life, including veterans, recover and regain their strength. This work also connected her with the spouses of wounded warriors and hearing their stories inspired her to launch the Barbara McNally Foundation, which is dedicated to offering workshops, seminars and scholarships that enhance the lives of women. The foundation also cosponsors Support, Purpose, and Appreciation (SPA) Days for the spouses of wounded warriors, offering caregivers a much-needed day of relaxation and self-care. Barbara is dedicated to helping women access their personal strengths and potential, and finds her work incredibly energizing and rewarding.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Preface xvi

Introduction 1

1. Why Is My Husband So Angry? Dealing with

Posttraumatic Stress 4

Julie: I Will Quiet the Unheard Screams 9

Jane: I Will Heal Your Shattered Soul 16

2. Traumatic Brain Injury: My Husband’s Mind

and Memory Hijacked 22

Shannon: Nothing Else Matters 26

Katy: Not Okay 33

3. Living with Iron Man: Visible Injuries

Compound the Situation 40

Fiona: Making Life without Limbs Limitless 43

Jacqui: From Torn Limbs to Full Heart 50

Carla: Uninvited, Unwelcome, Unfriended 57

4. A Reason to Live: The Suicide Epidemic 65

Suzie: Unconquered 70

Sheila: Keeping Faith 78

Lexi: Miracle of a Daughter’s Wish 84

5. Sexuality: Battlefields to Bedrooms 91

Kelly: Kissing and Telling 99

Kendal: Taking the Reins 105

6. Stay or Go? 115

Amy: The Guilt of Going 120

Mary: Options 123

7. Not Just Surviving but Thriving:

Posttraumatic Growth 131

Mai: Making Margaritas out of Lemonade 135

Natasha: A Constantly Challenging Endeavor

Fuels Inner Fire 140

Jenny: Silver Linings 146

Grief Growth 154

8. Wounded Warrior Women 159

Tammy: Saving Oneself, Saving Others 163

Olivia: Allowing Tragedy to Shape Success 167

9. The Healing Power of Storytelling:

Reasons to Tell Your Story 172

Tips on Getting Started 176

Epilogue 177

Acknowledgments 181


Appendix I: Suggested Questions for

Book Discussions 186

Chapter 1: Why Is My Husband So Angry? 186

Chapter 2: Traumatic Brain Injury 188

Chapter 3: Living with Iron Man 188

Chapter 4: A Reason to Live 189

Chapter 5: Sexuality 190

Chapter 6: Stay or Go? 190

Chapter 7: Not Just Surviving but Thriving 191

Chapter 8: Wounded Warrior Women 192

Appendix II: Resources 193

Veteran and Governmental Service

Organizations 195

Caregiving Resources 197

Nonprofit Service Organizations 199

Therapeutic Services 201

References 203

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