Justice….or Something Like It.

Hey, Friends!

Today has been a good day…today has been a bad day.

I will start with the bad.  Monday is therapy day.  Yeee Hawwww.  I know that it is for my own good but sometimes it is very painful.  Living those experiences all over again.  Hey, I found the emotion today.  That is good.  During my therapy session we decided to go a step farther.  I told the story of Jerk on my knees.  Talk about being inside a tornado.  Everything was swirling.  I couldn’t breathe.  I cried.  I shook.  I felt angry.  I felt humiliated.  I felt like he was right there again.  I felt the stick.  It was awful.

I got home today and on the way I reminded myself that if all went well I was 1/2 way through the waiting period for my VA decision.  I have to count it “glass half full” or I was going to go crazy.  I stuck my hand in the mail box and pulled out a large envelope from the VA Regional Benefits office.  My decision was here.

I shook opening that envelope.  50% compensation rate.  30% for the PTSD.  It was a good day.  I balled my head off for two hours.  I’m still crying.  They admitted that my PTSD is due to military service.  A little bit of justice…and justice is sweet.  They admitted that the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Migraines are the result of PTSD symptoms.  It’s not an apology…but they admitted it.

Who do you call?  It is one of the biggest days of my life…someone finally said that what happened isn’t okay.  I called Brigid…I called a co-worker who has been praying for me.  I will drop a note to my Therapist.  I can’t tell anyone else.  Who can I tell? 

“Hey, great…what’s the disability for??” 

Yeah, answer that question.  Don’t want to do it.  Money will be forth coming.  It isn’t much…it doesn’t change what I live with.  The money is so secondary to everything else.  When I cash that check I will still be hypervigilant, I will still hate elevators, I will still not like being in unfamiliar surroundings.  I will still know that for the rest of my life that I was forced out of the military.  I will still go to therapy next week and probably sit on that floor on my hands and knees and feel everything…see everything.

I am now officially a disabled American veteran.  But who can I tell?  It still leaves me trapped in silence just telling you all out in cyberspace.  It’s not like I will be calling up my local Disabled American Veterans asking for an application.  I couldn’t sit there and look at all of those veterans who have wounds of honor and know that my enemy was “inside the wire.”  They wouldn’t understand.

It’s still a little bit of justice.  Still a little bit of the security that they stole from me.  It’s still healthcare and it’s still the knowledge that they were wrong.  They were wrong.  What they did was wrong. 

Jerk was wrong.

Clarence was wrong.

How come I am the one who somehow feels wrong?  Why do I feel like I am being given something I didn’t earn?  Shame is a hard thing to overcome. 




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4 Responses to “Justice….or Something Like It.”

  1. Jamey Harding Says:

    Congrats on the 50% rate and yes while it of little justice, I suppose once I get mine recognized formally then I too will feel a sense of vindication no matter how slight. As you say “shame is an awful thing to overcome.”

    • enemyinthewire Says:


      It most certainly is hard to overcome. Hang in there…the process is long but it will be worth it in the end.

      It is a small sense of vindication in the end…not much…but some sort of a closure. Not really a closure to the healing process – because I don’t think that ever really ends. More of a closure to the horrible waiting that accompanied my claim. The waiting was really hard for me.

      Blessings! I wish you the best with your claim!!


  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    Oh Joan. It is all a mixed blessing. Yes, you got your compensation, but you will never get back what was taken from you. I am really sorry that I didn’t seem happier for you at the time, but it was so much to wrap my head around. I am happy for you, I really am!

    I would be happiest if we didn’t have to go through this at all. Happiest if they gave you 100%. Happy if…


  3. enemyinthewire Says:

    Dearest Brigid…How I love you! I knew when I told you it would be a mixed blessing for you. Happy for me – yes. Happier if this had never happened to either one of us! Happier if both of us were still doing what we had dreamed of doing – serving our country with honor and with pride.

    I fully expect you to see more than me in compensation. Your evidence is better! In fact, what you suffered is worse than what I suffered in so many ways.

    You and I are so incredibly lucky! Silly to say – but you know exactly what I mean. I have you…you have me! One for all…all for one…even if that is just you and I. We are never really alone in this. We don’t wonder “who do I call?” on those “bad” days.

    Privately we may “suffer” from mental illness…but together we can “enjoy” it! (How much is that doggie in the window?)

    Love ya!


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