My oldest son asked me later that Sunday evening, what was wrong with dad. I explained what had happened at the restaurant and he said "We are reading the Scarlet Letter in English, and now I know how she must have felt. Maybe instead of wearing a scarlet A, we should have PTSD and TBI embroidered on our shirts. Not much difference". I chewed on what he said all evening for a long time. I wondered looking back, whether standing up and forcing those in our areas to recognize issues such as these in returning Veterans, was a positive thing or negative. Did I make the right decisions by starting this blog? Did I make the right decision for my family to say "We are not ashamed. We are here. We bleed like you do and yes, we hurt the same way". Either way, the road was set...and it's a long hard road to walk alone. In all though, I don't think I made the wrong choices and maybe I am supposed to be here. I CAN hold my head up high because you know what? I did it on my own without anyone's help. I didn't depend on anyone else or asked anything more that I couldn't and haven't given to others. I made it the past four years and I am still standing. My spirit aches, my mind is in pieces, but I am still standing dammit. I am learning to find my own way, on my own conditions and am a better person for it.
I wonder if those people that shunned and shamed us will ever be able to really say that to themselves and it be the truth?