Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sully, a spirited child, a middle child, sat at the table playing legos.  All was quiet except for the random "tink" of a lego hitting the wood floor.  Each time a lego would fall from the gathering height table, the boy tensed, held still, like a deer in headlights.

After a moment of realizing his hair trigger, intolerant of random noise father was not in the room or bothered by the sound, he'd slump off the chair, collect his rogue brick, and clammer back to his make believe world.

While playing, he heard the door open, he knew his father was returning from outside.

"Hi Daddy!" his sweet little voice warm and expecting.  His father did not respond, incapable of processing the sweet child's greeting.

Sully, seemingly unaffected by the icy lack of return, continued to play, carefully arranging the legos to prevent them from hitting the floor.

"Daddy, I'm a little hungry." But the empty vessel did not respond.  No eye contact, no glance, just lifeless and robotic movement aimlessly around the house.

Hunger always seems to strike this boy down suddenly, and what was a little rumble in his belly, now is a full on flip into survival mode, cave man like mode.

"Daddy!  Eat! Now!"

The legos no longer pacified the boy and the pint size boy was going to have to sing for his supper.

"Dad?  Dad.  Dad.  Daaaaaaaad."

This was enough to awaken the beast.  The usual, sloth-like movements of the father disappeared and in a blink of an eye he towered over the boy.

"WHAT!?" He growled through clenched teeth.  "Sully! WHAT?"

The child rolled into himself, spirit and heart breaking- no words could come.

Tears came, and turned into sobs, sobs that originated from so deep inside this child.

Tears and sobs and sounds that look like spikes in a wavelength make the monster so much more....

Just as the father loomed over the boy- the mother returned from work.  Opening the door, she heard the cries from her blood, her sweet little Solomon.

She flew up the stairs- she saw the posturing- and without even setting her bags down, stepped in to prevent another fight- another death of spirit.

"Sully" she said softly wrapping herself around him, "Sully cries because his heart is hurting".  The sobs ripple away and are replaced with sniffles, the occasional rise and fall of hurt from within.

She turned toward the offender, "GO. AWAY."  She mouthed at him, and he retreated, though she felt him pacing somewhere behind them.

"Sully boy, what do you need?"

His face buried in her chest, he could only shake his head "noooooo".

Angry father chimes in "He wouldn't listen!  He wouldn't answer me!"

"Sullyboy, tell momma please....."  The mother coaxes and begs the boy back to safe feelings.  After a moment, a moment to which he had to work up the courage to leave this safe zone, his mother's arms, this soft landing, he slipped slowly off of her, quietly, almost stealthy, went to the fridge.

A writing exercise from my experience at the WRiters guild

"It's too far, I can't do it".  The overgrown trail stretches for what seems like miles.  Coming into view, the simplistic, yet strong stone building was wearing away.

Stones were missing from front, and some lay scattered around the foundation.  There were no glass window.  Just stone, crumbled mortar, a steeple that once proudly displayed a cross.  The walk was long but seeing the structure, even though it slowly gave way to itself- there remained a sense reverence.  A beauty in its brokenness.

And next a poem:

My Father, The Bastard

Oh lucky Father!

The universe treats you well!

Your misdoings and heavy hand, they earn you big stories and chance meetings.

Go ahead and drink Daddy,

Close the bar down!

Don't worry about the nonbelievers, our cousin is in town!

While he bears witness and you play it cool-

Dave Grohl will come around!

Never mind your lusting daughter, let her sleep, my Father, the bastard.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not being able to hear.... Validation within a post combat Marriage.

Funny how things play out in life.  You know that little voice in your head or gut that often you hear most clearly laughing and saying, "I told ya so!".... You know what I am talking about?

Well, my inner voice is pretty well developed, I just have behavior problems and often chose to ignore it.  I actually have grown tired of it saying, "Told ya so", and have decided to start changing my *behavior*.

Red flags, knots in my stomach, electric zings up and down my body, sudden flushes of heat, that annoying, nagging, "Something isn't quite right here" in the back of my head.  These are ways my inner self, my already installed security system, this is how it alerts me.

And I love to set it off, and then ignore it.

Here is the latest example.

My husband has had a marked decline in hearing for the past year.  He has always been hard of hearing since Iraq, but the VA only diagnosed it as Tinnitus.

"Now Mr. Peterson, if you are lying, we will know.  You will prosecuted, you could even go to jail", Dr. Peck said.  This was in 2006.  You think after being threatened with jail for HEARING problems this Soldier was going to "complain" about anything else?!  Hell no.

And so he didn't.

But I knew.  I saw.  I watched.  I lived.

My husband is deaf, my little voice would tell me.  There is NO way he could NOT hear me.  And the thing is, his hearing only became more non existent in crowds, busy environments, and cluttered places.  Like sensory overload.

I also watched nurse after nurse, doc after doc, at the VA, tell my husband, "yep, fluid on your ears".  And pass it off as nothing.  No professional ever connected WHAT THE WIFE WAS SAYING, WHAT THE VET WASN'T HEARING, and WHAT THEY THEMSELVES WERE SEEING with my husbands multiple blast exposures.


But I digress.  My husband went to ENT today, and the confirmation was turned into validation for me.  He has moderate to severe hearing loss in BOTH EARS across the BOARD.  


Tell me something I don't know.

It is 7 years of delayed diagnosis and failed treatment AGAIN.  To which I say, BRAVO!  But, such is life (at the VA).  

They are overworked, the system is TOO full, and I know hundreds of Veterans and their stories to prove it.  However, those are not my stories to tell.  And I am okay with that.  My world finally, FINALLY, just got a little clearer.

HEY VA..... CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!!!??????