INVISIBLE WOUNDS and The Power of Words.
I have a sad but true story about somebody who thought his feelings weren't valid or acceptable.
At 3am one morning a man turned up at his home in a taxi. His wife didn’t expect him, surely somebody would have told her he was coming. He was snuck in under the cover of darkness, without announcement, so he wouldn’t have to deal with the fall out that would be waiting at the airport during daylight hours.
He was told not to speak to anybody about what he had seen or been involved in as nobody wanted to hear it, some people thought he shouldn’t have been there anyway.
There was no debriefing, no counselling and nobody to talk to. Anybody who hadn’t been there wouldn’t have understood any way and the only ones who could comprehend were under instructions to be quiet and keep a low profile. He wasn't to make other families scared or angry if they still had relatives over there. Nor was he to lower morale of anybody about to go.
He was told to have the rest of the week off, get back to work and on with his life. Toughen up. It could be worse, he could have died there right? At least he was alive.
He was never the same. How could he be. There were no forums to be able to express the ongoing fear, the anger, the depression, the nightmares, the daily pain. No validation that his thoughts were normal given the situation. No empathy for the constant anxiety.
No friends to say, hey mate, I know how your feeling. I get it, I’m here for you no matter what you want to tell me.
Those things could not be let out until somebody decided it was acceptable. By that time, it was too late. The years of keeping all that locked up, feeling like nobody wanted to hear what he had to say, that he was weak for not being able to get back to normal and just put up with the fallout had turned into a bottomless dark pit with seemingly no way out.
The story finishes at the end of a lonely dirt road with a car, carbon monoxide and a devastated family.
There have been many discussions about likening a cancer diagnosis and all its fallout to PTSD.
There have been a number of discussions closed (and rightly so when it becomes a slanging match) when things go totally off tangent.
Moderation by the moderators is at their discretion and this is their gig. However, what is not helpful is being moderated (even unintentionally) amongst our own community.
People are encouraged to see councilors and talk it out. Sometimes all that is needed is a good chat on here. Everybody’s safe place right?
We all need to stand and support each other together or some of us will fall.