What You Don't See
We all love a happy story don't we? We love our heros and the overcoming of challenges that life throws at them, and we really love it when someone we admire rises above it all and becomes someone we respect enough to follow in a new direction.
It gives us hope, doesn't it?
But here's the problem...
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
It struck me just a few days ago when I was looking at pictures of Tom and Jen on our social pages, that our All Secure family of vets and spouses may not realize something critical to keeping their own hopes and dreams alive and thriving...
All the joy and fun and happiness you see, the loving thoughts you read and the committment they have for each other is real in every way, BUT...
It is not the full picture.
Tom and Jen are not talking to you from an enlightened guru level of wisdom, they are not fully healed and flawless humans, nor do they move through their every day in a joyous zen-like peace that passes all understanding.
They work their asses off every day, sometimes to make it through the day. She researches, he considers options, he triggers, she falters, they break down together and seperately. There is rage, fear, anguish, shouting at times, grief and unspeakably painful moments.
They hold each other just as tightly as they clench their fists in despair at times. They fight like junk yard dogs every day, week, month and moment to break through the surface of what would drown them just to get a breath of the joy you see pictured here from time to time.
What you don't see is what you need to know most.
They don't live in some perfect world you'll never see for yourself, they're showing you moments they've made possible for themselves out of what can seem like an endless hellish struggle with PTS and all that it brings with it.
There are times Jen is afraid for them, there are times he feels worthless, hopeless and alone. There are times I feel helpless, angry and doubt our futures as viable dealers of hope and progress.
PTS affects the individual, the spouse, the children, the sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, friends and strangers passing by...no one is exempt from the ripple effects.
What you see on this page when they share their joy and love for each other with our All Secure family are moments of joyous celebration in the face of the fierce and relentless undertow of PTS.
They are not speaking from some lofty place of accomplishment, they are swimming right beside you, walking the same battlefields, trying to remain calm while easing through the same quicksand.
They are "active livers", those who create moments of life worth living in the midst of chaos and adversity. They do this not just to give the rest of us hope, but to feed their own and keep them fighting together another day.
There is hope in these moments. There is life. There is a message here.
It is worth fighting like hell, together or seperately, to taste what is possible. Be afraid, let your heart break. Cry, scream or laugh hysterically as you feel led, but don't give up.
Don't you give up.
- By Shelly Aspenson