The delusion of awareness
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
September 5, 2018
I do not send veterans to the "awareness" folks for more help than I can give. I send them to professionals because they do in fact make a difference!
Are they therapists? Are they psychologists or psychiatrists?
Have they invested years of getting college degrees to help people living with mental health conditions? Are they members of the clergy, listening to people who have lost all hope?
What qualifies the "awareness" raisers to earn all the millions people donate to them all the time?
What is so important about the stunts they pull to attract reporters all over the country and being bestowed such publicity?
Why aren't we asking those questions?
Thirty six years ago I started to research PTSD and invested years training to do this work for one reason. It was personal to me. I did it for the veteran I loved, and fell in love with veterans. I do not make my living off this work. It is not my occupation. It is my obligation!
I know what it is like to feel all alone, lost and confused. Above all, what it is like to lose hope.
I can tell you right now, that after all the years of hearing the "awareness" folks, not once have I heard the one thing veterans need to hear the most. The one reason that will make them want to get up one more day.
Who thought that telling veterans they were committing suicide was a good thing to do? Hell, we did that way back over a decade ago, because no one was taking it seriously. Back then we thought it was eighteen a day. Then again, we thought that if we let people know what was going on, someone would do something to help.
I read the DOD Suicide report, see the numbers remain about 500 a year, and I grieve. Those men and women were willing to die to save others, but did not think they were worth saving too? What the hell did these groups do for them?
I read the news reports from across the country and see the veterans' families left behind, grieving and wondering what they did wrong. I wonder what the hell these groups did for them.
How does raising awareness of a number, that is not the whole truth, give anyone a reason to fight to stay alive?
This delusion of doing anything worthy of the lives we continue to lose must end!
The groups attempt to gain attention but so do the veterans who have committed suicide in public so that some knows they were here and suffered.
The veterans over the age of fifty, the majority of the known veterans committing suicide, are wondering why they no longer matter to the folks claiming to be raising awareness.
The one thing these veterans needed to hear was that there was HOPE for them to heal and live a better quality of life. That they really mattered and not were reduced to a slogan of a number when they all had names!
You may say that it is not hurting anyone to get the number wrong. Some have even had the audacity to say "It is just a number" when defending the use of the "20" or "22" a day.
They live their lives making a living off the fact that veterans continue to take their own lives. Professionals make their living off saving them, one at a time. That is the only number they need to know because they have a name to go with it!