I came across this article today and it has resonated with me.
I have PTSD. I have been diagnosed, treated and I am proud of my work to make my life with this a little better.
To assume I could come out the other side unscathed would have been naïve and I have been okay with my vulnerabilities.
But I have not known where to put those vulnerabilities or how to categorize my experiences.
Because when I think of PTSD…….I have not been in combat, I have never faced enemy fire, seen a friend shot or sat in a bunker in the freezing rain for my country. My life has never entailed being exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time; except for those self-imposed.
I am hesitant to relate my life to that of a solider. But there are parts that I think I might understand. In times of extreme stress, one wakes with a defined sense of purpose. I must defend that line, I must keep this child alive, I must look for the enemy, I must stop this seizure. Communication is short and to the point. Nothing else matters than that sense of purpose.
And when we are called upon for what we are trained to do……
I have seen Moms step into action without a word, seemless to rescue their medically fragile child.
I have issued orders to a medical team and thought…..who the hell is talking?
And I am still hesitant to write this comparison; because I sit here with my limbs, physically unscarred, not knowing the combat life, not knowing what you, combat solider have gone through.
But I do know I have PTSD. Maybe like you, it has settled in my bones, my ears, my brain, the sound of a siren; when watching a movie and they perform CPR; you either turn away or critique their style.
It is there; separating us from the rest of the world.
Combat changed her, some may say
Her child changed her, some may say
Of course it did. Life changes us. Extreme life in front of our eyes alters us.
Trauma is trauma. And like any life story must have a narrative; an audience and validation. I am grateful to those in combat brave enough to tell their stories and request their trauma be acknowledged. I hope it compels others to acknowledge that trauma is real and demands a voice. And most importantly, that we all are heard and not alone.