I am writing from the front lines – or from what feels like the front line – of the war to care for our silently wounded veterans. Please excuse today’s post – it is going to ramble and be a little out of control. I am also dealing with a family situation – my husband managed to take a header down our stairs and broke his arm…so I am a little exhausted from work, worry and caregiving.
I continue to work within the system in regards to the Peer Support issues. I have been told that I was considered “too far along in my recovery” for patients to relate to me. HUH?? I am still scratching my head on this one and others are scratching along. How can someone be too far along in their recovery. For those of us living in recovery – we know that it is a daily battle – a choice we make. We choose to be healthy and to be happy. That isn’t to say that we don’t become overwhelmed, angry, sad, depressed, furious, frustrated or just plain pissed off. That isn’t saying that we don’t want to lay at home and forget the world exists..we make a choice.
Those of you living in recovery know what I mean. The choice is an everyday thing no matter what your “addiction” is. For some people it is alcohol, drugs, cutting, bad relationships, job struggles – for me it is agoraphobia. (Fear of the market place) I would be very happy to seal myself inside my house and lock all the windows and doors. I would be happy to refuse to function. So long as the cable television is on and the refrig has snackage – I could be at complete happiness and peace. When I live that way no one hurts me. There are no dangers. I am surrounded by nothing but peace and quiet. No racing thoughts or anxiety attacks or doubts about my own feelings of being “not good enough.”
I would never wonder why the kindness I try to give is returned with venom. I would never question another person’s silence as anger or disappointment. Never ask the question – “What did I do wrong, now?”
That is my drug. Feelings of unworthiness, shame, being a stupid ass, feeling useless or clumsy. Wondering why some people are just cruel and why we can’t just color nice and not throw the sand in the sand box. Racing thoughts that keep me up at night telling me – you aren’t good enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t strong enough. When I listen to them I fall apart.
The choice of getting up and moving forward is MY Choice – in fact, for most of us who are survivors of sexual trauma – it is our VICTORY. We didn’t get to choose…we weren’t asked our opinion when it came to our sexual assault or our rape. No one asked me…”is it okay if I sexually assault you?” In fact, that is part of why it is called forced sexual penetration without consent. No one asked if we’d mind.
Having the ability to choose – the right to choose – knowing that I can say “NO” or “YES” regardless of any situation is part of recovery for a survivor of sexual assault. Knowing that we are in control – we can take back what was taken from us – it is a powerful thing.
Very few people walk through life without experiencing hurt, tragedy, sorrow or anger. We all suffer from trauma – we are all walking wounded at some point in our lives. Some of us struggle and work hard and make a recovery – some of us don’t. Life is a bit like a food processor – some of us make it into the salad just sliced up and some of us get shredded.
I continue to fight – I don’t know what else to do but fight. Anything else feels like a surrender and surrender is not an option. You know how I feel about “coincidence” – there is no such thing. Maybe this is supposed to happen this way. I am working with people in positions of authority and I have actually gone to the ethics committee because they aren’t caring for women veterans or MS survivors. We will see what becomes of it. Hopefully, someone will stop and think and see where the mistakes are in the system. I am hopeful – there is no other option. To give up hope is to give up on thinking that anything good could ever come of the fight.
I beg you for your warm thoughts and prayers.