If you have PTSD, if you are a combat Veteran, I of course urge you to watch this with a friend. It is very emotional, there is footage in the beginning that would trigger a young Vet. I like to agonize and feel and grow by myself, though my intense response to this documentary had the producer checking in on me one day. I'm okay :) Here is the link to The Welcome http://www.thewelcomethemovie.com/
And here, my soul:
My name is Kateri, I was recently in touch with you over an outdated job posting on your website, you kindly mailed to me The Welcome. I am the mother of 3 small boys, I am the wife of the most patient and kind soul~ torn apart by Iraq. Torn apart by PTSD, TBI, and other crazy "we don't know what to classify *that* as..." wounds of this war. I am an advocate. Endless nights, like tonight, I educate myself, I reach out to other families who are being annihilated by life after combat. I am a nurse, 40 hours a week I go to the VA and work on an Acute Psych Unit. I see the heroine, the booze, the sex, the fight, the pride, the pain, the shame, the despair, the confusion, the tenderness.... every day. In young men. Young women. Old men. Old women. And everyone in between. My soul is drawn to the combat veteran. I work it, I live it, I love it, I hate it. It kills me, yet just before I feel I'm taking my last dying breath, it renews me. It brings me back. I fight for the combat veteran who has lost the will to carry on, I fight for the veteran who is so caught up in fighting he doesn't even know what he's fighting against/for anymore, I fight for the ones who didn't have a leg to stand on, I fight for the ones who fell on their faces. I fight for the veterans who put guns in their mouths, I fight for the wives who gently coax pistols out of shaking tired weary hands, I fight for the veterans for hang from rafters, and I fight for trail of anguish left behind. I fight for me. I fight like hell for my family. Everyday I wake up in the morning, slumbering man next to me, restrained and tangled by sheets and war, I chose. I will get up and continue on, as so many have done for me and my children, or I will bury my head in the pillow and wish for the end. Most often I chose to get up, hungry mouths and clammering babies eager to start the day, oblivious, yet not really, to the monster who has snuck under his bed, under ALL our beds, I resolve to raise my 3 young boys to be just half the man their Father is.
I know you will gently accept that I am only now watching The Welcome. It sat on my island in my kitchen, it made it through meals and messes and mail and that damn cat who will not stay off the counters.... It sat. Every day in my kitchen I noticed it presence. I had *no* idea what The Welcome was, and I noticed my eagerness had given way to fear, to anger, to saddness, to now.
It is 0239 central time. I was up early yesterday morning to ready my little boys for the day. Take the Husband to his umpteenth doctors appointment this week, and then, a brief play date with our new friends (Another Veteran who was in Iraq and his wife), and then, quickly ready for work all by 1500. I had groceries to get after work, and a brief trip in for milk turned into Strawberries for our Solomon, Radishes for my Husband, String Cheese for Simon, and baby food for Severin. I have to work again tomorrow (er- today I guess) at 1500... I wanted to leave the boys with something to brighten their day as they feel their way through this wicked hell with Daddy.
But my groceries Bill, they still sit on the kitchen floor, as I was moved to put that damned movie in and watch it. I have watched 26 minutes and 13 seconds, but I felt compelled to stop to email you.
I need that. I need The Welcome. I need the coming together. I have no idea how this will all pan out, but so far I am amazed by the beauty of the landscape, the calm and gentle redirection, and the fight I see in these people.
I know that fight.
Thank you for sending The Welcome. It has already impacted me in ways that are unseen.
As my husband snores and tosses in the next room, I wish you good night, or good morning..... I'm pressing play.
Just made it through the first 3 poems read... you, as the producer, likely have these people in your address book. I am broken hearted listening to the mother, on my knees crying with the woman who terminated a pregnancy, and in still and silent shock at the Dutch man.... Thank them for me.
And Miserere....loud and clear. Jesus, this is incredibly painful to watch, yet only because I know. I know. Thank you so much for sending this. I'm not sure my husband will be able to watch this. Not now, not yet.... I pray and beg and bargain with the devil that he will one day be at a point that he can watch this....
The woman who speaks with sadness and pain wrapped tightly around each word. Suicide. The question in our minds bouncing around like a red rubber ball... while we try to keep calm on the outside, Why Baby? Why can't I be enough to live for? Why are our children not enough for you....
I don't know.
Hug that woman for me.
"The better he got, the worse I got"
That right there. Why?! Why do we do that! So many of us, caregivers, wives... Crazy.
After watching The Welcome I cannot be silent.
June 23, 2012 | Bill Mc Millan