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Friday, February 18, 2005

At Least You Have a Window

The hill outside of my kitchen window is dressed in vibrant, green, fresh: the only positive result of several chilly days of grey, winter rain. I was playing "the process of elimination game" with the soakers in the dishpan and enjoying the view, when a thought voice whispered to me, "at least you have a window".

I have many windows in my cottage-sized house. There is even the window above the kitchen sink that is essential to the survival of one who must wash dishes. Warm and dry, I gazed through the window at the wet beyond, and shivered for all of those who are on the outside looking in. I remembered then, what I had read earlier in the week.

It was known as Soldier's Heart during and after the Civil War. The cruel carnage of World War I hinted at realism with a somewhat stark term for the multi-symptomed disorder: Shell Shock. Weary of "wars to end all war," World War II dragged Battle Fatigue into common usage. It's use continued through the end of the Korean War. Then, there was the quagmire known in the United States as, The Vietnam War, and in Vietnam as, The American War. Phrases like, crazed ex-soldier and out-of-his mind, drug-addicted, Vietnam veteran, came to describe those who were suffering wounds to the mind and soul. The Vietnam War's out-spoken generation, (who both fought it, and fought against it) finally forced research into the haunting, horrific malady is the fallout of trauma and war. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is very serious, destructive, and disabling. It's wounds are, for the most part, invisible, and are compounded by it's social stigma. Treatment is absolutely necessary.

I can see them; our haunted-looking children, out there, roaming the "no man's land" streets of Hometown, America. Unemployed, homeless, and suffering from mental and physical pain, they are alone. The yellow ribbon factory jobs have "out-sourced" to cheap overseas labor. No jobs to provide a paycheck for food and rent. The families of "our heros" are being destroyed by poverty and stress. Iraq War Veterans, who wait months for medical, and mental health care, are living on the streets. Some have been victims of suicide. These youthful warriors are returning to an indifferent America claimed by a parasitic ruling class. Spent, so therefore, unimportant and invisible, they have become disposable, these soldiers, .....our children.

They are on the outside looking in. At least, I have a window, do you?

Shame on you America.......

.....Kitchen Window Woman


Blogger sc said...

Hi Kitchen Window Woman -
What a lovely blog you have. I'm new to blogging too - in the formation phase, actually - but it's fun, isn't it?
Thanks for your kind comments. I'll be checking back in with your blog too.
All the best,

11:51 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Hi again!

I appreciate what you're doing with this post in particular.
I would though, like to add one thing to your discussion of PTSD and that is the fact that it is a condition known to anyone who's experienced trauma in varying degrees. My dearest friend cannot stand to have anyone move quickly toward her because it triggers flashbacks from when her (now ex)husband grabbed her and beat her into the ground. For years after being raped at knifepoint I couldn't stand the smell of a certain cologne or a certain laugh without being forced back into a state of panic for my life. With regard to windows and trauma I think too we need to recognize the need for and reduce the shock of and silence surrounding the "airing of dirty laundry." Too many souls walk wounded in this place and if we cannot talk to one another or better yet, listen to and respect one another as human beings equally endowed with the right to be free from violence, cruelty and oppression, then the bars on the windows of the mind remain, even with the windows flung wide open. peace!

8:28 PM  

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