Today I hear a question from a friend asking something that could appear trite, or even romantic. The question was “are the stars a map to getting out of this place?” I am not so sure this question is trite, nor romantic. I am sure it must be a bad day for that friend. I am sure bad days with the PTSD filter are not ones to take lightly. In fact, those are the days to buckle down and hope someone understands.
….But, if nobody understands, at least you are worth being studied….
A post from a Steve Rose PHD…about Military Identity and Civilian Isolation indicated those with PTSD were worth studying. Rose found he was able to identify that moving from a heightened sense of awareness common in the military (and presumably 911 services), to the apparent calm of the civilian world can be disorienting. Rose’s comment brings to my mind, the cormorant. The cormorant is a bird, less than loved by fishermen.
It is also a bird at home by, in, near, and on the the water. It is a bird that redefines any presumption of grace, when transitioning from air to the water. The military and 911 persons are cormorants, when they return home. They are birds transitioning from air to the water, and they do it less than gracefully. In fact, they defy any presumption of grace. The trick about grace is it has nothing to do with success. Grace is all about optics.
Meanwhile, in the civilian world, there appears to be a different understanding of grace. That understanding is no less awkward. It is paralleled by a different kind of bird, a bird that likes bright shiny objects, the crow.
If bright shiny objects represent consumerism …. no one with PTSD will understand how to integrate with other crows. Cormorant or crow it is important to look for allies. Allies can inform and support during any transition. Rebecca Lee of Charlottesville, Virginia appears to be one of those allies. She claimed a theory called “The Object Relations Theory”. She stated it was A form of psychoanalytic theory postulating that people relate to others in order to develop themselves. It sounds confusing, and it is. It is confusing enough to allow the mind to rest while the chaos continues. It also speaks to why I write this site. I write in hope to train my mind to work differently. I write to demystify this injury and allow it to move into existing in the general population, without stigma.
The Lee theory, and the Rose author, appear to be brief mind allies before becoming solitary thoughts. The solitary thoughts then weave their way to a story from years ago. It is a story that demonstrates the sorrow indicated, when one searches the stars for a map out of this world.
In that story I recall sharing with a friend that I was having a bad day. The friend responded by saying “everyone has bad days”. That was the last thing I needed to hear, as the concept of “bad days” was no longer anywhere near the realm of “normal”. Bad days were sooooo “not normal” that I wondered if ” the stars were a map how to get out of here”. Today I am still here and I recall that desired escape. I also observe the answer appears to be arriving. It appears contain the following:
It takes time to be understood … even only by some.It takes time to know the map of the stars..even if there are none.It takes time to be brave and stay, and be the only one.It takes time to take a second look and see we are more than one….It takes time to fly together… once again.
It takes time….use it.
- the cormorant of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
- the crow of Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
- the sunset, found consistently in the west
- my mother’s forever lesson: “trust your confusion”
- Rebecca Lee and Steve Rose who study and share with strangers such as myself
- all those struggling to find life after the PTS injury…it exists…life exists.