I used to think that the toughest thing I've ever done was make it through boot camp. Or maybe it was getting myself out of the situation I was in, before I got on the path to where I am now. Or any one of a number of difficult, seemingly impossible situations-- I've survived them all, but none of them add up to the situation I'm presently avoiding. You see, I've never told anyone else the exact details of what happened to me, all those years ago. This isn't about Desert Storm, although that plays a part-- DSDS was stressful in an of itself, and it brought some things up to the surface-- but it's those things brought up to the surface that are the problem.
Right now, I'm avoiding writing out the answer to my homework assignment for my PTSD program-- an exact description of exactly what happened to me. What it looked like, what it felt like, what it really was. I've never sat down and put it in writing, made a complete picture out of it. I've never told anyone just what it was like. I've told them that something happened, and left it to your imagination what it was-- but I've never revealed all of it to anyone. It's been my secret, my burden, my cross to bear-- and my fear-- for nearly forty years.
The assignment is simple-- write down, in your own words, what happened. And then, later this week, read out loud in your own voice what happened. Air it out. Tell someone. Reveal your weakness.
And, one can hope, somewhere as part of the process, get rid of the fear. Cast it aside. Hell, I don't know what the result is going to be, because I've never even come close to doing anything like this. I'm scared, but I want to believe that on the other side, I'll find a place that's a little better.