Friday, March 30, 2007

No, he isn't home yet

Yesterday was a hard day as I heard absolutely nothing from Mr.3. I kept it together, but I am sure that I felt distant to some of the people I was around. They apparently are staggering the release of the gentlemen in the pilot program. 3 were allowed to go home yesterday, and today there are going to release 3 or 4, but those individuals will not find out if they are going home today until after the group meeting...which ends at six. I asked Mr.3 to ensure that he got a phone call this evening regardless of the news. While I have been able to chat online with him twice today....hearing his voice is so much better.

A couple books came in the mail yesterday, and the one that I have started to read is absolutely fantastic. It is called "An Operators Manual for Combat PTSD" it has gone into alot of what is going on in the brain of combat vets, specifically what is happening during flashbacks...and it explains exactly what is going on in the brain during a dissociative state (and why things happen like they do). Initially, it was really hard for me to comprehend that Mr.3 didn't really know where he was last Fall....not concretely anyway. And even if he was told, while he was in that state, it wouldn't have mattered anyway because his brain wouldn't have let him comprehend that information.

And last night Jimmy and Libby went with me to a talk by Dr. Jonathan Shay, who has written the book Odysseus in America-Combat Trama and the Trials of Homecoming. While he waxed poetic in the speech, focusing more on the elements of the story the Odyssey that portrayed Odysseus as a combat veteran, he could have talked more about PTSD itself. For the audience there though, it was good. I would have liked to hear more. Libby and Jimmy talked on and on about how they had a hard time focusing during his talk....but I was riveted because the actions of Odysseus mirrored Mr.3 to a tee. I bought his book, and had him sign it for Mr.3. He was very polite and asked if he was a combat veteran. I said that Mr.3 was and that I was his Penelope. I was starting to well up the tears, and after that point I couldn't talk very much beyond "thank you". But when I said the comment, Dr. Shay looked up at me with such compassion and was the understanding that really struck me...because I haven't met someone who really understands what I am going through, and what I am trying to accomplish. He said that he hoped the book helped, but he said more than that with his eyes.

Mr.3 has said a couple of times that I should write a book about this....and most of the time I have dismissed it, but I have been giving it serious thought today. Maybe I should. Maybe I would be able to be a resource for the other Penelopes in the world. I even have a working title---which I copyright now---Embracing Penelope- Finding Hope and Strength for the Combat Veteran Wife. Sounds pretty good to me, now we just have to see if I will do anything with it.

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