Hells bells it is 2013. Usually I kick off my new year with a healthy list of unattainable goals and ideas. This year, well, this year was different.
I don't care to lose weight, I have bigger things to worry about, and not swearing this year? Ha. Unlikely. My usual list of New Year Resolutions have been replaced with one singular goal.
Spreading it, making it, giving it, taking it.... You get the point.... You've heard the song.
The past year was filled with "teachable moments" for me. I have grown more in the past year than all my 30 plus years together.
I have an awesome mentor. She exudes love. It sometimes makes me sick. She can take the darkest night, and create such a wicked warm and loving glow. She really is a fine example of a human being. Thank you B.
But this year, I'm a tad fearful. Advocating for Vet Families and all of the big changes that happened in my world, leave me feeling like I'm walking in flooded foot impressions. Do you carry on, or do you turn back, knowing that the journey ahead may never end, or in many cases, end well.
I have no choice other than to carry on. Tonight I found out a fellow advocate is dead. Dead. Died on Christmas Eve. Not aware of why, but I have my suspicions, and I am angered that this young woman spent her last few years on earth trying to piece together her life that was shattered by a combat veteran suicide.
Now if you keep up with my posts, you know I, in my own personal world have my fears of suicide. Tonight was startling reminder that it could be me, my husband....my orphaned children. So what do I do? I contact a funeral planning site online "just in case". Be prepared. Welcome to Secondary Trauma. When my husband was extremely ill, and battled his own demons, what did I do? I took out another life policy. Because I can't stop this train. I can just try to buffer the blow.
Now pray. Pray for me that doesn't happen.
Its an unfortunate and alarming reality. When the truth is while many women are off doting on their babies, putting them in private schools, bustling around from activity to activity, many of us "WWW" are planning. We plan for the inevitable, the worst case scenario, the unthinkable. We scramble for any sort of life preserver we can find. We start from early morning, and we never stop. Our day doesn't end at 10 pm. When the house is quiet we can finally hear ourselves think, that is often when the body may rest, but there is still much to decide, to work out, to process. It is exhausting.
Now that we are a little farther out from the "end" of the war in Iraq, I am worried about what is cropping up in our Vet families. Symptoms not present before....show up randomly and cause panic. Our Veterans are growing weary of the internal struggle with guilt and shame and self doubt, the suicide rate for Veterans that once, not that long ago, is starting to hit close to home.
The struggles in these families, the broken-spirit children, the tired caregivers, the frantic mothers.... I see it. I was naive 2 years ago, to think that these things would never happen to me. Its true, I thought that. I was sympathetic to the blogs of other women, and applauded them for sharing their story...but I selfishly praised God that these things would never happen in my home.
Turns out, I was wrong. I was not one of the lucky ones. Turns out, my fight isn't going to be any easier than the next families. Turns out, my family is no different. My family is at risk for many things, because of trauma.
I keep thinking of the Israeli studies, the studies of families in the Balkans... What I would give to sit with a woman from either place....or from any of the thousands of warring communities around the world.
I keep telling myself to stay calm, be level, keep loving, never give up. Don't grow weary. Often times, me telling myself isn't enough. That is where I lean on and gain strength from those who have walked in my shoes. I belong to an amazing underground of women who lift me up, who encourage me, who share with me, who take from me, who remind me, this is worth it. I am worth it. They are worth it.
Reading this, if you have not loved a combat veteran with PTSD and TBI, you may be annoyed or even confused.... a fight???? I only can say to you one thing, yes. I am lacking the want and desire to inform people right now. Why don't you just know already?! This has been going on since older wars, and this particular war, for me, has been going on since 2006. Why do I keep repeating myself!? Why must I continue to explain to you what you will never get.
So thats my fragmented thoughts for the night. Good night people.