December 26, 2012

If I Had a Caregiver

I don't have a caregiver or someone to share my life with, I live alone with my dog whom helps with the companion component. But, I lack a special someone who empathizes and has compassion towards this disabled vet. An advocate for me when I no longer feel like fighting the system and naysayers and a healer for when the pain is too much to bear. The person whom I trust implicitly when it comes to making executive decisions on my behalf when the PTSD beast bites.

Here's what I'd say to my caregiver if I could;

I trust you the most and it's why I can lay my soul wound bare. I understand it hurts you when I'm not able to reciprocate and you may seem to feel a failing. Please understand when I'm lost in pain, mental and otherwise, you are the angel feeding my soul sutures one stitch at a time.

Thank you for being my beacon and providing a base for reality testing. Sometimes it may seem that I'm lobbing round after round with you scurrying about, within the chaos your feelings and place get lost. I recognize the cost upon our reserves of rationality and understanding when the darkness sets in. When I'm delusional and dissociative you receive the overflow from my war trauma and it rings a high toll. I see you doing everything possible and seeking knowledge when there is none. Above all I see your pain and loneliness when I'm in despair.

I see the struggle to understand my conditions and diagnosis, swimming through paperwork and drowning in supporting me. You do not have to be everything to me because then there would be nothing left for you. I choose you because of your capacity for compassion and love. Not your ability to take on my pain, your soul needs nurturing. Let it go and take a break, go for a walk. It's okay to capture your own mind and read a book or go see a friend. I need you to let your creative side out through networking with other talented people and groups.

When I'm in the trenches and you feel out of options, know that I have faith in you.


  1. Hi Scott, this morning I read your letter and I felt deeply touched in my soul reading `I trust you the most and it's why I can lay my soul wound bare´.
    In everything you write I am hearing the depth from where your soul is crying out loud the message that should be heard and need to be heard – the message that has chosen you, to give voice to it.

    I think, as I read your letter, that in your moments of deeply felt pain, you also know what is missing most: someone who is standing by you, knowing that it is your soul that is trying to emerge from the darkness, longing to live in the light, to be heard, and to be recognized.

    What your soul’s message is, can be understood and found out may be only by you. But I guess that you know that answer already. Your writing tells about it. As I read you, I can see and imagine the world as a place where people know what it means to say `Thou´ again. To say `Thou´ because they understand that your pain is an expression also of their pain, not at a personal (ego) level, but at soul’s level.

    Many veterans may have assumed that the road of trials ended when returning home to their country. I suppose that this return home was probably more like the last trial, and therefore also the heaviest and longest or most painful trial, taking. Seeing the pain of the veteran with ptsd as a cry of the soul from the darkness, a cry to be heard, first of all by people around you, but also and most important by yourself, will not take away the pain, but may give more meaning to the pain. May at last even reveal the jewel hidden in the wound.

    I first and most of all want to let you know how valuable it is that you write and express your feelings and thoughts. I am sure that it can help you, and so many other people, suffering all in their own way, but all sharing the wound which soul is. Healing the wound is, I think, what life is about. Some people escape this mission by avoiding being touched by the pain, or by life at all. Though, some have accepted the call, may be not knowing then what it would bring them. I think the worst thing to do for them is ignoring what it is all about. The best thing to do, is giving the pain a broader perspective, giving it meaning by applying a larger contextto it: soul’s journey.

    There is a long distance between you and me, geographically and language-wise, but may be not so long distance at soul’s level. I hope you find some sense for yourself in my words and I’m looking forward to your next writings!

    1. Hello Janna,

      Thank you for your thoughtful response to my souls call. I once had a reader explain to me that I a mission in the sense of a calling. I had already accepted the calling to give voice to the pain in my soul. But when it was laid out in from of me that my calling had turned into a mission. I had that sense of God peaking over my shoulder and commanding too press on.

      I do miss spending time with a special someone, this letter was written so that I could express my feelings of loneliness in a positive way. I would tell her what I was thinking in the form of a letter from veterans to their caregivers whom may not be have the capacity to express these words to their loved one.

      We were not prepared or given the tools to survive the long journey of healing back at home. We were not drilled and trained for the return to the civilian world, where we no longer fit. This is where I found my meaning in my soul wound, telling and yelling my story to sooth the beast.

      You totally got the meaning and context of the letter and what it meant to me to write it. It is an awesome feeling when someone understands your inner self and accepts you. I will keep writing about my soul journey in an emotive way. Thank you for being a reader and keep commenting, it inspires me to write more!

  2. Hello Scott, you certainly can count on me being a reader of your letters, and with your permission, I will pass on your letter to people, veterans, and hopefully their close relatives, around me, some of whom have not, indeed, the gift of the `written word` as you do. Tomorrow I´ll visit someone who has been in the Lebanon (1980´s). He has written a few books about his experiences as a 19 year old boy. Wish you a good day today!

    1. Thank you, you have my permission. I appreciate it when my words find a carrier, it's my hope that they find those in need the most. Send as many of them here! I would love to hear more about your visit with your veteran friend. Have a great day too!

  3. Hi Scott, I´ve been busy reading archived documents on your blog, and have not quite finished with it. I realise that in volume and intensity, the USA military experiences far outnumber the ones over here. But even on a smaller scale the same stories are heard.
    I had an interesting and inspirational conversation yesterday with someone who is on a mission in Afghanistan for still another half year, and at this moment home for a short leave. Probably we have planted hope for a rich harvest, after winter has done what needs to be done, to grow what we have planted.
    Furthermore, he made an interesting observation, that many times the `problem` of the soldier/veteran is `disowned´ by people who surround them, being either colleagues (at home) or relatives, of whom neither one has lived through the operational experiences. The stories become `everyone’s stories´ and in a subtle way bereave the soldier from his own, very personal experience of telling his story from his perspective. Although I feel that this is an important observation, I don’t know yet in which degree this is playing a conscious or unconscious role in the lives of many soldiers. Without jumping into conclusions, I can imagine that it might be an important reason for the hesitation of some people to speak about experiences from operation.

    I do recognize the issue from different situations (of loss) or when media are `taking over´, and I’m going to follow this thread to see where it brings me.

    Wish you a great day today!

    1. Living through combat or operational experiences fundamentally changes the way we see the world. Our survivors perspective becomes permanently etched into our psyche altering our connections with people whom we once were close. It may seem as though they have disowned or turned their backs on us. But, it's the relational arena that has changed, the place where we used to relate has changed addresses.

      In combat we develop the most intense bonds that humans can have with one another. Bonded through blood and survival in unimaginable situations on a scale of biblical proportions. In a pocket scene a squad emerges having survived burns away the facades we fake. We develop a skill that sees people as they are, not as they present.

      If we are unaware of this development in our skill set, then it can become problematic. It triggers our alarms when we meet people who hide in plain site, even though that's what we may try and do. Then we may project our anxiety onto the other person, again fouling up the opportunity to reach a relational arena. We may feel disowned or out of touch with our loved ones, but what we have lost is the place in which to relate again.

    2. Thanks Scott for your comment. In fact, I’m grateful for what you write. In my view, you are talking now about the spiritual dimension of the combat experience, and about all the consequences that come along with this.

      I am very much aware of the damage done in the relational arena - as you call it - as a result from ignorance, even more than from malicious intent. But that means so much more that `ignorance´ has to be faced and dealt with.

      I can’t help feeling all the time that all of you, who have experienced what you have in combat, have seen into the other dimension of life which is described as the `awakening into higher levels of awareness´, like a transcendental or transpersonal experience in which you live through a heightened awareness of closeness with others, feeling part of a larger whole, feeling you can survive everything or at least more than you knew, etc. Or, as you wrote:
      `In combat we develop the most intense bonds that humans can have with one another. Bonded through blood and survival in unimaginable situations on a scale of biblical proportions. In a pocket scene a squad emerges having survived burns away the facades we fake. We develop a skill that sees people as they are, not as they present.´

      And now comes the hard part for me to explain, but please stay with me for a while, even when my words may be clumsy.

      The next stage after this `awakening´ may be, especially when it happens under the circumstances as you describe in combat and after the return home, a deep and dark crisis. A crisis which is mainly due to the fact that all you experienced in the good sense of the word seems to be gone. It may even seem to be lost for ever. Which is not true.

      When this crisis ( the dark night of the soul) mistakenly is taken for a psychopathological breakdown and the crisis is not recognized as a spiritual crisis following a transpersonal experience, soul feels like banished and shut out.

      Ignorance about this, may cause much harm, damage and pain, which all can be avoided. However, reality is that only just lately the psychiatrists and psychologists begin to become less ignorant. See one of the latest issue of Psychology Today:
      So, when you describe the changed perspective on the world and changed skill in relating to people who are pretending in stead of behaving authentic , it is actually a consequence of the good thing that happened to you under circumstances that made it very difficult to understand it in a spiritual sense.
      In my view you all became aware of being children of two worlds (the world where you started, and the world in the other dimension which became part of your inner world), but the military context does not (yet) made it easy to learn how to deal with living in these both worlds.
      It can be learned, however.
      In my work I have made a start with introducing people (soldiers) into this image of the two worlds, which I call the personal and the transpersonal. It is offers them inner rest and space, and some of them tell me they have `found themselves again´.

    3. Yes, the spiritual dimension is felt by many soldiers in the battlefield. I felt the omnipresence that is God in combat, right before we rolled into the largest tank battle in the history of war. I watched in from a distance taking in the fiery scene of warfare when I heard from what seemed a thousands miles away, "Move out!" I was out among the exploding crescendos in the crusade, when I slammed back into my body and let training take over.

      I believe that He gifted me with my Military Experience so that I may find purpose in educating on my condition. It is a blessing to have the skills such as authentic living and my BS deflector. It was an unchecked skill that got me in much trouble along the way until I gained the new skill of patience.

      I fight the feeling of banishment by writing about it or sharing with others who share my spiritual malady. Talking about God may run off some vets, but

      The lack of understanding in the medical and mental health community is profound. Recently a friend made the remark that they want to call holistic treatment without the spiritual component is ridiculous.

      Hmmm, so you are saying that because of the extreme states of mind in combat we who have sustained a spiritual awakening. That we now live in two worlds; the spiritual and living. I have experienced these two worlds since childhood when Angels used to visit to take me and show me otherworldly things to combat in 1991 and since then in writing and insights.

      I'd like to hear more about your work, you can email me about it at

  4. Janna, I too know of the dimensional relationships you talk about here. You've given me the support I've been needing! Thank you so much for writing this and including the link to the article.


Please share your comments, stories and information. Thank you. ~ Scott Lee