Just Breathe….


You can’t jump the tracks were like cars on a cable and life’s like an hour glass glued to the table.  No one can find the rewind button now, so cradle your head in your hands and Breathe…Just Breathe…

I love this song by Anna Nalick because it is just so true and fitting.  I heard it on my way into work this morning.  Tomorrow is the big day and today I am reminding myself to breathe in and breathe out.  My nerves are completely frazzled and they remind me of communications wire all tangled up with the ends stripped off.  Little pieces facing every direction.

What is it with mornings, anyway?  That seems to be the toughest time.  Maybe it is because you have nothing to do in the shower but think.  Maybe it is because I’m in a small space, which is an automatic trigger.

I have PTSD.  I have Major Depressive Disorder.  I have Panic Attacks.  There, I said it.  (It took me 6 months of therapy to admit that I have PTSD) I don’t like saying it because it is not for a good reason like Combat.  I have friends who are veterans and they talk about Viet Nam or they talk about WWII – I know exactly why they startle so easily or get angry so easily.  They don’t know why I do what I do.  They don’t know why I want my face to a door and my back to a wall at a meeting.  How do I tell them?  How do you say it?

How do I go into a small room tomorrow with a man that I have never met and tell him what my life is like?  How do I explain that although I go to work every day, I raise my children, I have a husband, I work for other Veterans in a Veterans Organization that even though I function…I suffer.  Today my right shoulder hurts (a story I haven’t shared) and my right breast hurts and my lower right abdoman hurts and I am trying to get a migraine and I may throw up and I am trying not to cry and I hope the hell I don’t crap my pants at work because I’ve had two days of diarrhea and I couldn’t find my car keys or my cell phone this morning so my husband laughed and called me a “scatter brain” and shit…I can’t even use punctuation in a friggin sentence.  How can I make someone I don’t know understand when I don’t even understand?

Okay – I’m starting to tear up and I gotta work in 10 minutes.  I have to stop my hands from shaking because I have people to care for that don’t want shaky hands.

Please pray for me.

Joan

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2 Responses to “Just Breathe….”

  1. Steve Says:

    Joan,
    I can relate to much of what you have said, having been and continuing to go through veterans’ ordeals. Presently, I have the VA calling me insisting that I mail them back the medical records of another vet which were sent to me. I peoplefound that vet and called him when I received them. He asked me to hold on to them for evidence for a HIPAA complaint. I ran across the following websote that I found interesting, maybe you would too. it is;http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/2/12/836349/-Veterans-and-Shreddergate-destruction-of-compensation-claims
    Best of luck.
    Detroit vet

  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    Steve,

    Thanks so much for sharing! It is terrible when those things happen and I am well aware of Shreddergate. It never ceases to amaze me that it is easier in this country to get Farmer’s Benefits or Welfare Benefits than it is to get our Veteran’s Benefits.

    I filed the paperwork a year ago. I figure that, in some ways, I am the lucky one. I have a wonderful woman who is my County Veterans Affairs representative and she has done all of the filing of my paperwork. She responded same day to my questions of, “What is going on?!” Had she not responded my claim would still be sitting on someone’s shelf at the VBA.

    Part of my “fight” in all of this is to get things readmitted that the VA decided that were not service-connected years ago. I didn’t even know that I was filing a VA claim when I did my discharge physical. I remember seeing a doctor that said, “There is nothing wrong with you.” I was evaluated for Migraines and Lower Right Quadrant Abdominal Pain in an office for all of 10 minutes. It has been so long ago I didn’t even remember. Just like our Brothers and Sisters that had to fight for Agent Orange…no one acknowledge at the time that abdominal pain and migraines are physical manifestations of Military Sexual Trauma. Not that I would have ever told the doctor what happened to me. However, now the VBA says that I never appealed so their decision is final. I just hope that the Psychiatrist takes that into account.

    Thank you for having the courage to go forward on the HIPPA complaint. The only way to make the system better is for the mistakes to be pointed out and if it causes the system pain and suffering, then they will be sure to do something about it in the future. We have seen this to be true in Veterans Administration Hospitals over the years.

    Joan

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