It's been a while and I feel so horrible that I have been so long getting back to my blogging. Blame it on the holidays as they were somewhat stressful and busy! I sincerely appreciate all the comments left on several posts I have made, and the "where the heck are you Mistress?" emails! With my family, my husband, the VA, the holidays and then several rounds of viral crud going through the household....I just honestly didn't feel like getting on here and writing! I must admit for the first time, I really didn't know what to write about! *Gasp* I know! The Mistress with nothing to say at all? It is a scary thought! Trust me, I spared you at least three posts about stomach bugs, sinus infections and two rounds of severe colds!
So how did everyone fare this holiday season? We made it through Thanksgiving without any problems worthy of mentioning and the month of December with only minor problems. In latter part of October, my husband's doctor (you remember the one who told my husband a healthy bowel movement would cure his PTSD?) was fired and a new one took her place. I can't tell you all how relieved we were and overjoyed that low and behold.....THE NEW ONE ACTUALLY CARES!!! After about an hour of listening, she quickly changed all medicines around and added another anti-depressant to my husband's already brimming medicinal cocktail. I was quite skeptical at first, but man oh man at the difference in him! For the past few weeks, he hasn't been bad at all to get along with and just maybe five really bad days in a month. Better than what I was dealing with before! I really like this new doc as she is married to a Veteran with PTSD and knows what we are dealing with from both the family side and the Veteran's side. I think it should be a requirement that every doctor, nurse and all in between, have some type of experience working with Veterans with PTSD. I felt like my husband was actually being cared for, by a person who was treating him like a family member and she really wants to be there. I am sincerely hoping she won't go anywhere as the VA here is notorious for having revolving doors with their personnel.
I had quite a few emails from readers dealing with the Holiday blues in their Veterans and with themselves. All completely normal I assure you! I always wonder why it is the holidays seem to bring out the worst in our PTSD Veterans. Often I used to think that my husband intentionally set out to sabotage such holidays so everyone else would be as miserable as he was but then sometimes, I wonder if its other reasons and really out of their control? For those of you who wrote to me and stated such similar sentiments, I hear you! There isn't any reason to feel guilty about such feelings, and sometimes you just got to get it out. Why should you feel guilty about feelings you have? Once we start regulating those and keeping them hidden from even ourselves, I kind of think all is lost.
As for New Year's Resolutions are concerned, I usually try to make some...then I change my mind, and then... I completely forget about them. You know those standard resolutions of "try to be more organized" "lose the weight" and the "clear the house of all the junk you have been hanging on to" rings across the US and possibly the world this time of year....I never get any of these accomplished, no matter how diligent I am about them. Living with a Veteran who changes daily and leaving you in suspense, its somewhat silly for me to even try to stick with the same old same old. So this year, I decided not to make any resolutions that are going to be easy for me to forget and just let the cards lie where they are thrown....I will try to watch what I eat, try to throw out or donate as I come across something, and do my best not to lose things or lose track of what I am doing...but I can't promise anything!
So rather than resolutions, I will be setting some goals to get accomplished this year....the Mistress is on a mission. Tired and fed up with most of the general lack of help, lack of support and naturally the huge epidemic that is facing our nation of our Veteran's returning home...I will be partnering up with Quantum Leap Farm and the At E.A.S.E. program to create the first non profit, peer-to-peer support group for families of PTSD and TBI. As you may have remembered from other posts, I was quite thrilled to attend the At E.A.S.E. program for spouses. I am really excited to work with the whole group there at QLF! My personal goal is to bring in all the non-profit organizations, groups and communities to fight back against the devastation of war coming home to us. Our launch date is to be this Spring and I am ready. Our VA and our Vet Center here is interested in doing referrals and by utilizing our community professionals (medical and mental health), business owners and leaders, and all points in between...I firmly believe we might be able to give families such as mine, the support that is so desperately needed. My goal is to be able to have chapters spread across the US so its available to all. I know personally, just being around other women like me...made me feel like I belonged somewhere for the first time since my husband got off that plane.
I am a little nervous, but I have some great volunteers who are ready to get it going and each of them having some type of involvement with Veterans. Each offering so much individually, that I am really ecstatic just seeing them once in action. So many of our community members want to help the military but just without the ability or knowledge...I plan on tapping into that. I am a little nervous, I have to be quite honest with you. However, it's time for a change....it's time we stand up and say "Yep, this is my family and we are a family of PTSD". It's been really good for my husband as well as I have noticed a huge change in him. He is more apt to talk to people about it, without hanging his head in shame, and just as vocal as I am about the importance of education among our families. My biggest fear is letting myself down by screwing it up somehow. I am not overly religious but a firm believer....things have just happened these past few months I couldn't ignore and for whatever reason...I am supposed to be here; or at least it sure feels that way.
Right now, I just see so many of you writing in and sharing your stories. I can't count how many of you are Master Degree students working on a thesis and wanting to cite something you read about PTSD on my blog which is quite an honor. Maybe by incorporating all of this, into one organization that can stand together and fight....we will ensure that no family is left behind. Our Veterans are hanging on by a small thread; literally on life support when they come home because they aren't who they are anymore...their families sitting by and watching as our Vets shrivel away and not knowing what they can do for them and feeling helpless. It shouldn't be this way...it shouldn't be so damn hard.
My only reservation in all this, is finding the help to pull it off. I am not afraid to stand up and say "We Are a PTSD/TBI Family", but many families are......some due to shame, some due to the military, and some just in plain old denial. Out of all of it though, if this is my only reservation or fear? I can overcome it...I have to. I know in my heart I am going down the right path, but my mind sometimes wants to argue with the old ticker and give me all the reasons I am setting myself up for failure. That is the OCD side of me who always has a plan A and a back up plan B when all else fails. What do I have to go on? My Family....My Veteran, the soldier who just came home and at 25 took his own life because he had no where to go. I think if I can at least stop just one from thinking the business end of a pistol is the only option left available to them, or one family who is torn apart and going through divorce all because of the issues stemming from PTSD....then I accomplished what I wanted to. This I think will allow my husband and I to find something in common with each other as we have lost so much since he has been home.
I will promise I will get back to my blogging as many of you ask me weekly when the next post is going up! I truly have missed it for the past few weeks as blogging makes me feel whole and not so alone. As always, I will be just as honest and candid as I have been in hopes that one of you out there will realize you aren't alone going through all this. And as always, I really don't force the ones who want to read and then send me nasty comments. It is in my feelings and perspective remember? If you wanted lies or candy coated semi-truths....go somewhere else because you won't find it here.
Now....Raise your glass and drink a toast with the Mistress......ahem.
Here is to a New Year...with Friends old and new....may this new year come in with hope, love and adventure in all of our endeavors. Most of all, let us go into 2011 with a new sense of peace, understanding and patience so we can keep fighting for our Vets. Pat yourself on the back and know that you survived another year....let's keep going!
Still Twirling My Hula Hoop,