In case I forget.

Self Pity are two four letter words
March 14, 2007, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Brain Bits, Fear

I’m trying to remember the last time a movie made me cry so hard I had to pause it so I could wipe up the tears. I just watched Baghdad ER. Holy shit. I don’t have a yes or no on if we should be in this war, and I don’t know what is right and what is wrong. But these soldiers oh my God these soldiers.

I was talking with a psychologist a couple of weeks ago about PTSD. He made a reference to a couple of previous clients he had worked with. One had been raped and beaten, left for dead. Another had been kidnapped and tortured. He equated my experience, my fear, my anger, my mental white noise, oh did I say my fear?, my constant dreaming, my depression, my inability to come to grasp with my brain being hurt, my total grief, with their problems as an attempt to correlate the experiences that can cause PTSD. I said to him, “But these people have been through truly horrific experiences!”. He said, “But you have, too.”

I don’t see it. Like these soldiers in this movie, those two clients were brutalized, they were attacked, they were permanently injured in body and mind through no fault of their own. When I write it like that of course, it’s me. The theme I keep coming back to, the words that come forth when I’m at a loss to voice my pain, are always: I didn’t do anything wrong. Just typing those words makes me cry. I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I wasn’t speeding, I didn’t run a red light. My car was in perfect running order. I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t stoned. I wasn’t talking on my cell phone, I didn’t have the radio up so loud that I couldn’t hear what was going on in traffic around me.

All I know is that one minute I was at a mall dumping the trash off the tray where I had eaten a light supper and the next minute I was looking up into my husband’s face, asking him who he was. “Are you Husband?”

Pity. These soldiers. My God, how selfish, how totally obscene is it for me to think a little brain injury, a few broken bones, a lifetime of seizures, a lifetime of fear and white noise in my head, in any way at all compares to these soldiers who have volunteered to serve in MY military, be the war right or wrong. I don’t see it. When you make a list I see the correlation. But when you look into their eyes, I think I’m worthless for anything other than abiding gratitude that I left that hospital with all my limbs, all my organs still attached. I’ll never be right. My brain will never work the same way. My knees will never work right again. My shoulder will always hurt. My pelvis will always get stiff. My wrist will develop arthritis and one day I’ll start to loose use of it in tiny ways. But my God. Oh my God, these soldiers.


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