On days when Izabelle Gibson can pull her husband Alexandre out of bed, she starts his shower, lays out his clothes and retrieves his medications from a safe place.The meds help with his PTSD symptoms, but they’ve also almost ended his life more than once when he had access to them.
It’s been 12 years since Alexandre’s deployment to Iraq a deployment that has completely changed their lives.
Over the past seven years, Izabelle’s fierce determination has helped her husband move forward in life. She now has answers to her questions about his sleep talking, emotional outbursts, self-harm and explosive episodes, but more importantly, she now knows his limits.
In addition to guiding him through his days, Izabelle keeps him engaged in activities so he doesn’t dwell on negative thoughts. Even now she doesn’t know what each day will bring a husband connected to their family life or distanced from it, there yet not really there. But Izabelle is there—every day—helping him make his life work.
She takes one short break each morning, alone in her car with the radio on, then gets out and confronts whatever the day may bring. As an Elizabeth Dole Fellow, she wants to help other caregivers live their lives to the fullest, and hopes one day to get a degree in counseling and work at the VA as a counselor to mentor homeless veterans.