03/23/2014 by syrbal-labrys
Sometimes I think I could do without existentialism. After all, they are right; beginning to think is to begin to be undermined. But then, without existentialism and the hard truths it encourages one to embrace as a matter of being, I’d be dead. If I had kept drinking the slop that passes for philosophy in America (short-sighted pragmatism with a side of stupid religious pap), I’d have picked my top three exit choices and put myself beyond rescue.
Every time I think I am getting a handle, though, there is something else. My husband was finally felled by his Viet Nam PTSD after years of denial — HIS denial, the rest of us knew better and suffered all along. So, I took a year to try getting my oxygen mask adjusted. He took a year to get his airways working. We began the third year trying to resuscitate our marriage. But it is tough going at times. Just in the past couple weeks, for instance, I almost called 911 to say “Come get me before I hurt myself.”
And then, today, I read this and for a little while, all I could hear was wind in my ears as I fell, fell, fell. Oh, it is funny how things you KNEW all along don’t lose the ability to punch you in the gut AGAIN. Reading the teen’s tale at that link? A daughter of an Iraqi vet laid bare the suffering as her father vanished into PTSD, and I could have written her words…as the daughter of a Korean veteran. Reading the spouse’s tale — oh, dear gods and goblins, we drank the same Kool-Aid, she and I — but she drank more of it. But the same sense of loss, loneliness, and abandonment describes over three decades of my life. And the parents’ tale? Well, my sons are alive, but my daughter is lost to me in drugs, booze and alienation. And I still fear for my sons’ lives.
So, there is no way out except through it for us existentialists. Time to go plowing through the past, lancing pus-pockets of pain. I will start
on Monday as soon as I can coherently express myself and go until all my readers have fled or I run out of need to write, whichever comes last, unfortunately.