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Community Member

Hi, My husband has mild cognitive impairment which is getting worse so the dreaded dementia is looming.

Most days I am okay but there are some where I feel really sad also angry and frustrated. He served in Vietnam and was a heavy drinker for years after and life has been hard but I kept our family together. He stopped drinking some years ago and just when life was starting to feel good his memory began to fail him. My two children are grown up now and have families of their own. I feel sad, angry and frustrated some days as I feel that I have been robbed of any sort of happy life. Were it not for my children and their partners I would have cashed it in long ago. 

Most days I feel strong and say to myself that I am a survivor but there's always that odd day when sadness overcomes me and I wish things were different. 

No way would  I end my life and leave my beautiful children to have to deal with their father. They have suffered enough from his abusive drunken behaviour.

So why didn't I leave him years ago I hear you say.  Because I have always thought that Service in Vietnam created this problem not him


1 Reply 1

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Tuppeny

Re: "No way would  I end my life and leave my beautiful children to have to deal with their father. They have suffered enough from his abusive drunken behaviour."  Thankyou

That comment brought back memories of 1996 when I went to a place I will never go again. We should all remember the hurt we could leave behind us by our loved ones and of course children.

What you have done is devote yourself to your man that has issues that were caused by the war. That is honourable and you can walk tall.

Have you contacted the RSL or Government departments to seek help/respite etc? You likely have. What I think you need is time out. Dare I say that he will get to a level whereby he wont be able to take care of himself. I'd suggest then he be placed in a facility where he can get the best of care. You could have some days with him. But we are talking here about measures that can help YOU. Because although we can all identify with your husbands issues you need help also. you cant continue to ignore your own health.

So start with a GP check up and let loose on your problems and struggles. Seek out all the assistance you can find to open the release valve a little in your life.

And- well done for hanging in there.

Here is a poem for you and your husband.


  White soldier in every town

Wears a slouch hat to hide the frown

Statue a reminder of where he’d been

Greatest carnage the world had seen  

In a trench with a mate

About to charge then hesitate

Bullets fly above their heads

Living then but as good as dead

Share a fag make a joke

Fellow digger-bloody good bloke

Bullets zing all around

So much mud there be no ground

Immortal statue at every town

Tribute to those diggers fallen down

Could have been me- maybe you

Lest we forget ‘soldier blue’  

Hat on reverse teenage joy

Same age then- only a boy

Jumper’s word – USA

Ignores statue with plenty to say  

If concrete face could erase the frown

Of white statue in every town

He’d halt the boys without Aussie pride

Teach them not to copy Yankee stride

“All my mates fought for this great land

Do you boy ever understand?”

I stand here in concrete uniform

To remind you lad- of before you were born  

I love you young man for you are me

But I didn’t make it to twenty three

Be proud to be Aussie no regret

Please young aussie- lest you forget…      

Tony WK