You Don’t Understand

I originally had another post scheduled for tonight but you will not be seeing it this evening.  I have interrupted your regularly scheduled post for a little venting session.

Honestly, for someone to understand things in my life, you need to actually be me.  You cannot be someone who was lurking in the shadows and understands.  That’s just how it works and that’s pretty much a fact of life at this point.  If and when I decide that I trust someone and that I like someone enough to share my story with them.  The one response I do not want to hear from you is that you understand.  That’s because you do not and you cannot. You can sympathize with me. You do not truly understand.

Another person with PTSD, they can understand.  They can tell me that.  Even though we all have different stories and we all react differently.  Enough of our lives are the same that they truly understand.  This my friends is a fact of life and you will be hard pressed to ever change my mind in this fact.  You do not understand so do not say it.  Anyone have any questions on that, because if be happy to further elaborate for you.

Anyways, this is actually something my VA gets correct.  Since the beginning of the summer when I finally went into the VA to see and diagnosed, I have never heard anyone on the staff utter the words, “I understand” in regards to my diagnosis and what I live through. Because even with all their training, they may know what I go through, but without living it themselves, they don’t truly understand and they don’t claim to.  I have gotten many things from them, all positive reinforcement, but not “I understand.”  My first appointment was filled with things like, “you are doing the right thing” or “we are sorry you have to go through this but we are going to do everything we can to help.”  I cannot speak for every VA in the country or even ever Doctor at the West Haven VA Hospital, but mine have been great.  Even my intern who is doing my CPT.  I can also say that I think every one of them genuinely cares about me and that I get better.

There are many other people who feel the same way I do.  I do not personally think everyone does and I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I do know that others do feel the same way I do. I am not just referring to vets with PTSD either, I am talking about anyone with PTSD. The whole lot of us.

In retaliation for anyone who might approach me to discuss how they understand, I have the following statement to share with them. Just as a fair warning to the world, I think I might throat punch the next person who tells me they understand.  Consider yourself informed of my decision to do so.

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