You guys, I normally don’t get political on this blog. I don’t complain about PTSD, debilitating hip/knee/back injuries, or the horribly slow VA healthcare system. I don’t usually cry over how PTSD strains my relationship, affects our kids, and negatively impacts our lives. But, as this government shutdown continues, with no visible end in sight, MAK and I have started to worry. And pray.
What’s going to happen when MAK doesn’t get his monthly disability payment? What’s going to happen when MAK doesn’t get his living stipend from the GI Bill? What’s going to happen when we no longer have money to pay the bills?! Are we going to end up homeless? Living with our parents (puke)?! Are we going to lose our vehicles?! Transfer the kiddo to public school? Am I going to have to leave my job, in a field that I love, to find a corporate job?! Am I going to have to drop out of graduate school?! Will MAK have to drop out of college to find a job that pays more than his current part-time position?! Do you even KNOW what that would mean for his PTSD?
There are so many questions, so many possibilities, so many scary scenarios.
All of them very real possibilities.
Everything we have worked so hard for could be yanked away from us like that, all thanks to a bunch of idiots who cannot compromise, discuss issues like adults, and engage in effective problem solving processes. Propaganda and lies are everywhere, and then we have this clown who “needs” his salary to pay for his house, his kids in college, and his lifestyle. Wait a minute…doesn’t that sound familiar?! What about MY family?! His words exactly,
“I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it,” elaborated Terry. “Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”
And then a few days later, after the media has flung his
words shit everywhere, he’s suddenly “sorry” for being a greedy, incorrigible bastard.
Hey Lee Terry, you know what?!
We can’t handle losing this monthly disability payment, the one that MAK almost died to receive. You haven’t spewed blood, poured out sweat, and been forced to tears watching your buddy die after an IED explosion in Iraq. You don’t live with the guilt and shame associated with that. You don’t re-experience these horrible tragedies every year, when that calendar flips to the date they happened. You didn’t have to do the unthinkable, the unspeakable, in order to come home. You haven’t faced excruciating back/hip/knee pain, PTSD, and ineffective medications/therapies from the VA hospital. You haven’t cried yourself to sleep night after night, only to wake up sweating after yet another nightmare. You haven’t had to avoid large crowds, certain foods and smells, and interactions with certain cultures because they all lead to vivid and violent flashbacks.
Your wife hasn’t had to adapt to the fact that you aren’t the same man she met and loved before PTSD. Your wife hasn’t had to deal with your mood swings, your verbal outbursts, and your utter lack of a social life as a couple because of your desire for isolation. Your wife hasn’t had to drag you out of a store in the middle of a flashback. Your wife hasn’t had to talk you down from a panic attack because a man of Arabic descent looked at you with a frown on his face. Your wife hasn’t had to explain to your children why Daddy can’t watch fireworks on the 4th of July without ducking for cover. Your wife hasn’t had to explain to your children, your family, your friends, and your coworkers why you don’t attend their parties. Your wife hasn’t gone to those parties alone. Your wife hasn’t been smacked awake in the middle of the night by your violent nightmare, only to roll over and hold you tightly until you fall back asleep.
I have faith that we will be okay. I have faith that we will make it, even if it costs me everything I own. If I have to sell all of my prized possessions, we will make it. We’ve faced a lot of tough things, MAK and me. I think I’ve unintentionally disclosed a lot of them here; but it’s raw and it’s the truth. I’ve left out the worst ones, if anyone can actually believe that.
If you’re still reading, thanks for letting me vent. I’m going to go read Matthew 6:19-34 and pray on it.