Recently our family was awarded a vacation along with other wounded warrior families. It was a 2 day retreat into the hill country, paid for and all inclusive, in the cutest cottage style hotel. Following are my tumultuous thoughts on what I had expected to be a comfortable experience, and in reality it was. But emotionally, it was a growing process to say the least...
"Here it is safe. Here they cant find me. Here, nobody can repossess my car. Here, I cannot be kicked out of where I am living. Here, the electricity, water and heat are on regardless of my ability to pay. Even this post is written a little less anxiety filled, I am not staring at the wifi bar wondering if I'll make it to the end of this paragraph before it shuts down while I wait for our pay to fulfill the bill.
I am attempting to stay in the moment while I am here, be present and enjoy it all while I can. But this is the third time I sit to write just so I can get through. I see now. All I have been struggling to find in Austin is built up here already. There IS support, there are well established places for resources and assistance, there are other people with PTSD and TBI. They do exist. It was all just a fairy tale I read through the computer screen before, and chats with others across the country online. Now, living breathing before me: wives, children, and other wounded warriors.
I am completely overwhelmed. You get so used to doing everything yourself for so long, I'm now battling to reestablish ground realizing there is a bigger support system.
I don't want to return back to the house. In that house, people come to my door with letters of foreclosure over and over and over. They mistakenly put my vehicle up on a tow truck in the middle of all our neighbors because they forgot to take us off the "list" after we came up with enough to pay. Barely. The police knock on our door, the EMS come to care for a family member, the utility men show up more than I ever have seen in my lifetime to disconnect, reconnect, disconnect again. Older days of PTSD introduced anger and violence inside the walls of what I so wanted to be a safe haven of a home.
Would you go back there?
But everyone here has the same story, or worse. We are not crazy. We are not completely and totally fucked up and just plain failures at life, there are reasons. Family back home around us trying to convince me I just made a huge mistake in picking a guy are actually wrong. Never have they tried to understand the veterans' issues, never have they lent a soothing word in regard to these struggles. They are all just waiting for me to come to my senses. My brothers don't speak to me hardly at all, they are polite when we are in the same room. That's it. My husband's family are far away and even more clueless. They think he is just a fuck up too I suppose, but only because he didn't follow their choice of religion. His other alarming behaviours when he was at his lowest are just fine. IDK. They aren't concerned for his well being at all. We have been largly alone for many, many, many years in the most horrendously difficult time I could ever imagine. Not a good combination.
To think that that's over? Emotional to say the least. We hit a turning point this weekend, a huge, huge turning point.
I want to find safety in a home again. I want to feel comfort there, I want to stop being afraid and threatened at every waking hour of my life.
I want peace.
*photo credit bravegirlsclub.com