I’ve seen this on my news feed on facebook about twenty to thirty times now. I absolutely hate this photo.
This man is Ty Ziegel, and the woman beside him Renee Kline. They were sweethearts when he went off to war as a Marine. In 2004, however, a bomb/blast removed part of his skull, damaged part of his brain, left half of his left arm needing to be amputated, and blew off several of the fingers of his right hand. He can’t see from one of his eyes. After two years of surgeries and recovery, Ty and Renee were married in October 2006. A year and a half later, she divorced him.
What irks me the most, is look at this photo. This isn’t a woman in love. She looks mortified, on what should be the happiest day of her life. She looks like she’s at a funeral, not her wedding. She looks unhappy. In this whole picture, you can tell she’s not happy.
But, that bitch! She left him!
Let me tell you what all of this physical damage means for him. He has brain damage, so he’s not fully functioning (it’s fair to say; I don’t know what level his brain is working at). He now has physical problems, and likely pain.
Let me tell you what his mental state is. He’s not fully functioning mentally. He has severe PTSD from war and from the explosion. He probably saw a lot of men die. He’s also dealing with the harsh reality of his face. He’s treated differently now… He’s treated special, not like a normal person. He’s dealing with the loss of a part of him, his physical features, his identity. He’s dealing with the fact that he may never function as a solid member of society again.
All of this means that he is not the Ty that went to war. Other soldiers who aren’t physically injured still have issues with PTSD. He’s got that on top of his physical injuries.
His behavior was so outrageous because of his PTSD that she couldn’t handle being with him anymore. All articles I’ve read are vague on this, but one mentioned it prevented him from having sex. It’s likely loud noises are triggering, smells, scenes in movies of explosions, talking about it…. Maybe when she touched him in the morning to wake him up, he would react physically and punch her in the face, or slap her, or grab her throat, because he though she was a threat. We don’t know.
But the major reason she left him was the PTSD. It wasn’t his face. It was the psychological damage from war.
In her case, she gave up years of her life for him. But she can’t raise a family with him, not if he can’t have sex, or is violent. She can’t support the family mostly on her own. And she shouldn’t have to put herself through the emotional and mental turmoil of living with a man who isn’t functioning and is not mentally stable. She shouldn’t. She may love him, but she’s still number one to her, and her health and safety aren’t something she should sacrifice at his hands. She shouldn’t be painted as a bitch for leaving him.
She stated she feels she can better support and help him as a friend, not as a wife, and I fully believe that.
I hope Renee can find peace and happiness in her life, and I hope Ty can find and enjoy what makes him happy and live as normal of a life as possible. I hope they both find love again.