Monday, April 16, 2012
BREAKING DOWN WALLS
"SOMETIMES YOU PUT WALLS UP NOT TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT, BUT TO SEE WHO CARES ENOUGH TO BREAK THEM DOWN."
Words of wisdom from a 29 year old wounded warrior who calls me 'Momma'. We met perhaps 5 times with my therapy dog Kelsie at a hospital where he was being treated for severe PTSD. Since he returned to his home state, we have corresponded by email once or twice a day. It is like we are making sure each of us is still there, there for the other. "Are you okay? Are you still there? Always son ... always!"
He sensed something was wrong when I hadn't written him in a couple of days and then when I finally responded after he asked if everything was okay...I simply wrote 'nope.' He knew. He knew something was not right. We know each other that well. What was wrong is not important to this blog.
This is a man who captures the heart, soul and spirit of all our wounded warriors. They are a brotherhood...battle buddies till the end. And much like these battle buddies, he and I have taken each other under our wings until we can fly again.
The world I live in has been chaotic and frenetic and frenzied. It has been rewarding and yet tumultuous. And it has been full of grief, betrayal, and a deep sadness. Sometimes so much so that I can barely breathe. For my friend, he has lived through war and has come home injured. His mind is full of demons and nightmares and flashbacks, he is forced to remember and repeat and endure again and again.
He struggles daily to find a better life and he will! I guarantee him each day. I pray for him. And daily I find myself feeling guilty when the slightest things upset me, and tears come to my eyes while I am out to lunch with a friend, when I am standing in line at Barnes and Noble with an armload of books I have fallen in love with before even reading them.
The only thing that dragged me out of a house of isolation, depression, and grief yesterday was a friend. A friend who wouldn't take no for an answer. A friend who cares enough about me to break down the walls, when I am not able to do it alone.
A spray of brilliant pink roses in my back yard look prettier today. My heart isn't so heavy. Rain and puddles have disappeared from my head and heart. I find that when somebody cares, is there for me and knows when it might take a crowbar to pry me out of the depression that eats away at me like leeches ~ life takes on a new brilliance suddenly.
Sitting by the bedside of a wounded warrior, I listened. I heard. I felt. My heart once again opened up to what is really important. I asked what he was going to do once he was able to use his legs once again and recover from extensive wounds from an IED blast. "I don't know. But there is a reason I am alive." I feel certain he will find it. He has already helped show me the way. I have no doubt that he will help others find their ways. He hopes to become a recreational therapist and help others struggling to heal. Today he is at the Center for the Intrepid after a lengthy stay at the VA Polytrauma. He is prepared. He is equipped. He is amazing. I have only met a handful of warriors who have not been. Truly and utterly amazing.
If only others would take heed what a beautiful world it would be. I am struck with the venom and stones some throw at others that only tell us who they are, who they aren't. Sad people who lack compassion, empathy, and true caring for anyone but themselves.
Then, as if the sun glasses are removed, the sun shines through once again, as two warriors both struggling to survive another day support me in ways they will never comprehend.
The end of of the day a female warrior, having a severe mental breakdown, from military sexual trauma is back at the VA. I count my blessings and begin another day.