October 3, 2013

Another Knife in the Back: I Feel Like I did in Combat, a Pawn in a Unreal Political Game

Disclaimer: This has profanity, and contempt for politics on all sides. However, I am a person who currently supports one party over another, that has not always been the case, and try as I might to remain objective some of my bias might come through. If I could control my triggers I wouldn't have PTSD. I apologize if my descriptions, of how current politics are triggering my PTSD, appears as an attack on anyone's beliefs.

I usually have uplifting things to write, about and I am as positive as possible, but I can't get past what is going on right now. I am having a terrible week. I am getting the somatic fevered symptoms common in my worst months. It started when I presented a paper at a conference this weekend. Don't get me wrong the scholars were so inviting, supportive and did everything they could to encourage a graduate student, but public speaking is always a burden for me.

When it ended I did what I always do. Run stairs until I stop panicking. It usually takes a few terrible, nauseous, slow and miserable days to get through it, but whats going on in the country right now is making it harder this week. This week all I can think about is how Congresspersons are using my livelihood and benefits as pawns in a game. Like many other vets all the cuts may or may not hit me in my paycheck while I struggle to create a new start in a more appropriate career field. Worse it reminds me of how George W  purposefully held off offensive operations in Iraq during his reelection (a fact that was most frustrating to me at the time because I voted for him), and all the heavy fighting it caused on my first deployment. I remember the faces of men and women that died, because we weren't real to politicians. Just pawns in a game.

But like then, now we aren't pawns: we are real and we are struggling to get by. Suicide numbers had to get to 22 times a day to make the VA start taking its backlog seriously and now, because of partisan nonsense the overtime in the VBA to combat the backlog is over. All the advocacy seems to be meaningless because politicians don't actually care about anything, but political ideology. My advocacy and openness about PTSD has cost me my relationship with my father, yet all that sacrifice can be wiped away as a chip in the game for a group of politicians unhappy with a law that can be combated with an infinite amount of other strategies. Whatever your beliefs about the affordable care act or Obamacare you can't believe that taking people off of working the backlog won't create terribly real and measurable loss in the lives of American veterans and their families. How many vets have to kill themselves a day for our earned services to cease being a chip in some partisan battle.

Though we probably won't lose our benefits we, who have major anxiety disorders that at times result in death by suicide, have to hold our breath and fight new mental battles about what Congresspersons, who clearly don't give a shit about the secondary effects of their current political battle, who only see our hard earned benefits as something to leverage in a political battle. All while safeguarding their own salaries and healthcare. I can only say what I have to say. Fuck Congress (regardless of political party)! I hope you will join me in my absolute contempt for what is happening today, but I hope that you are all doing better during this very frustrating and tenuous time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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