How do parents cope?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by caulkhead, Dec 28, 2008.

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  1. Dropped my Royal Marine son off at Brize yesterday after his 2 week R&R. Whilst we were travelling I bought the Daily Mail and read about the mother of the RM who died Christmas Eve. She said that she thought about her son every minute of every day and the only time she didn't was during his phone calls home but 10 minutes later was worrying again.

    This is so true, whilst my son was home he downloaded all his photos onto my computer and whilst looking at them this morning I don't know which are the ones who have died or have been injured. I am finding this all so hard to cope with.

    It's possibly made worse by the fact that I was out there myself earlier this year as a Nursing Officer with the TA and have seen first hand the injuries and sad loss of our lads.

    Over Christmas at work I am also looking after a lad who we are going to lose any day now. I have to leave for work any minute now and will have to pull myself together to face the day... If not only for myself but for my patients and colleagues who do not want to see a whinging unhappy person. So here goes............ :D
  2. not overly expert at this sort of thing, but

    Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Is there a support group you can lean on? Military or for your work? A vicar at the local church? Maybeeven your TA unit or someone at work.

    Could you take a sabbatical from your current job (which sounds, if I may presume, like intensive care or similar) for one less stressful. Is there a course you could go on for a few weeks. It might take some of the pressure off.

    My local vicar is also a TA padre and brilliant at looking after those of his flock, and others, who know people wh are away (with or with out religion). There may be a similarl guy near you.

    I know my family deal with it in several ways. My Grandparents sit glued to the tele, my wife never watches the news or picks up a paper. I remember my wives work gave her the week off (buckshee) if she needed it, when it all kicked off on Telic. Not sure what my parents do.
  3. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor


    While there is not a lot anyone can do to help you in situations like this, remember, you are a member of Arrse and we are ALL with you and wish you and your son the best.

  4. Hiya Caulkhead

    I’m the mum of a RM in Afghanistan too (lucky you having him home for Christmas :) ), so I’ve good idea of how you’re feeling.

    Why don’t you nip across to

    If you register (you’ll need your sons service number to register), you’ll gain access to the forums, where you’ll find lots of other WAGAMADs (Wives and Girlfriends and Mums and Dads) all of whom have loved ones in Afghanistan at the moment, and can identify with how you’re feeling.

    They’re a good bunch, all very supportive – and will make you feel welcome.

    The forum is split into the different RM units but we all flit in and out of them all, so don’t worry if one seems quieter than the others.

    For any 1 Rifles, 20th Armoured Brigade and 2nd Royal Ghurka Rifles families reading this, there are parts of the forum for you too – but as I said before, everyone joins in together, so come and say hello. :)
  5. Your concern is understandable, but he's doing a job he loves? Be happy for him.
  6. Aye, we stand as one and are always here.

  7. My best advice to you sir,----- Carry on regardless. All of us who have been to war have all been through the same thing with our loved ones. With the grace of god , your son will return home to you one day, and you will be proud of him, just as he is proud of you !
  8. Caulkhead
    as one who got called for telic 1, I do have a little knowledge of what you have facing you. as most of the posts on here will say, you are not alone, we all support you and anybody who is in the position of loved ones away, if you need to talk any number of us are waiting, willing and able to talk, no doubt there are members of arrse who would be able to meet to spend some time with you allowing you to have a sounding board.
    As you have seen for yourself firsthand you know what can go wrong for our lads, but remember that there are more lads & lasses who come home who have a humour that is irrepressible and those youngsters, for that is what most are, are the future, they do what they can through choice and make the best of every situation no matter what. Your son is away doing a job he loves to the best that he is able. His training makes him among the best at what he is doing.
    We on this site have our foibles we might make fun of the Booties, Jack Tars and the Crabs but we have every respect for them and support them in any & every way we can
  9. Hard question to answer, having never been a parent of a serving soldier, however as a serving soldier the thought of what my parents went through, never once crossed my mind.
    That isnt to say i didnt think of them at any point, be it on tour/Ops or whatever, and given todays climate and the rough places our troops now serve, I cant begin to imagine what its like for you/them.
    The one thing I can say is, when your lad is out there, he will be with his mates, and doing what he joined to do, and as such will not be looking at the crap side of reality, but living life to the full in all aspects of his job.

    That may sound harsh, but reality is, he will play each day as it comes, and will enjoy the laughs he has doing it, as with most tours, there is always something that will happen that will take you away from what is going on.
    The sad part of modern media coverage is, they dont show the bits that dont make good news, but for the bod on the ground there are some classic moments that only those there at the time will appreciate.
    And these are the things that keep life ticking over, for him, if not for you.

    Stay strong, and look forward to him coming home, and enjoy what you have with him when you do, as im sure, if you said to him how worried you are, he would just say, oh dont worry, im fine etc etc.

    What you also have to think about, is the fact you are not alone in this, there are a lot of parents out there going through the same thing, and not all of them have the first hand knowledge you do, or indeed the support of ARRSE and all that that entails.
    The family of the services is way bigger than just the members of your own family, we are all part of it, and anyone of us is there whenever you need that shoulder or ear.

    We all feel it when something goes wrong, and we all feel for those directly hit by it, so never feel you have to go through anything alone, god forbid it ever happens, there is always someone there.

  10. It might also be worth popping into ARRSs Rear party site
  11. Another great place for support is I joined when my son was in Afghanistan last year and found the support there really good. Dont think I could have got through his tour without someone other than family to talk to. Most of us on there are mums or partners who know exactly what you are going through just now. Come over and have a chat with us all there.

    Edited to add - although it is called support our soldiers, we have parents and partners from the army, air force and marines on there just now. Usually someone around to talk to as well no matter what time of day or night! If you want a parcel sent to your son there is a form to fill in on the home page or email his address to me - I am one of the co-ordinators on there.
  12. Hi guys, thank you all so much for the support I had yesterday. I was having an 'off' day and feeling fed up and sorry for myself. It means so much that you are all took the time and trouble to post and give me advice.
    My son is actually loving every minute of it out there, as did I on my tours.
    My youngest son has now said he's going to try for the Para's at the end of the year when he finishes college - he's currently in the TA. My poor husband has to cope with us all going away on tours and he's the best support of all. My job doesn't help at the moment but I had a good old British 'stiff upper lip' yesterday and got through it.
    Thanks again...
  13. i'll second Jarrod on that, the idea of talking to others with similar experiences can only help. Hopefully support of your Hubby will mean a great deal also talk to each other about how you feel, he probably has an insight which is even more telling. As he saw you go away & return, no doubt changed in ways you wouldn't notice, he has been through more than most