You Are Not Alone
Article Reprint Date, December 2001/January 2002
BY STEVE MASON
an overview report that will give you
permission to feel as you do knowing two
things: You are not alone, and together we
will get through this.
None of us
feels as we did before September 11. Our nation is at war and our
country is on a war footing. We are concerned for our families and
loved ones here at home. We identify with our troops who are
engaged in combat.
feelings be more normal? Every right-minded person in America old
enough to watch TV feels this way. Our children are being
traumatized by events they do not comprehend. Most Americans feel
at once angry, frightened, and powerless.
For those of
us, however, for whom war is no stranger and the ravages of our
experiences in the past remain unresolved, this new,
almost-invisible enemy threatens our personal balance as few
events can. Many veterans of all wars are incapable of suppressing
the memories, trauma, confusion, and moral pain we had worked so
hard to control before the terrorist act of aggression triggered
an emotional concussion grenade deep within our psyches.
All the deep
bottom-feeders from the depths of our souls have surfaced. Ugly
and undeniable. Simply here with us at street level again where we
attempt to step over, around, and through them to negotiate our
daily lives. We cannot kill them because they are among the undead
of our past. We must keep them in the light and drive them back
down and away, scattered and afraid.
long ago that psychic bullets kill just as lead ones do. And old
land mines are not to be ignored as harmless. So, we donít feel so
great. The question is: How to feel better?
is committed to do all in its power to bring to bear the increased
need for support in all areas of PTSD/Substance Abuseónot only for
veterans, but also for their families. We will adopt an agenda
that will request and, if necessary, pressure our government for
increased resources and funding. We will encourage a coordinated
effort among the other VSOs and work with all VVA committees with
will do its best to draft and finalize a pamphlet concerning the
most salient aspects of PTSD for veterans and their families. It
will seek advice and assistance from independent agencies and
individuals with expertise and experience in these concerns.
importantly, the PTSD/SA Committee is here to convince each and
all that your reaction to this abnormal chain of events is normal.
You are not alone. We are one. We need each and all of us to win
the inner war that we may help our great nation win the outer war.
We will win on both fronts. Consider this committee as a rear
guard which will fight for the last man and woman among us. Be
brave and up-front for the sake of all our children.