I don’t remember if I am the one who said: «I want to abandon everything for you» or if he is the one who said «abandon everything for me». It doesn’t matter «how» it happened. But «why it happened», matters. To determine if it was a «choice» or an «obligation», vital.
So, «my husband and I» became «we» the moment I embraced the invisible uniform of a vet’s spouse-caregiver, never realizing that it would also make me a phantom of this society. Yes, he needed to be my priority just as much I wanted him to be mine. It is my place to defend and to protect him and it is my responsibility to keep my sanity in a world full of imaginary enemies that I have come to see, to recognize, to know, to handle.
I understand that the fact I want «my dignity» might be offending to some. «My sacrifices» and «the impacts» expressed in a «me, myself and I» perspective are based on one absolute simple certainty:
«If you help me, you help my husband. And if you help my husband, you help me». So many ignore what it is really like to walk the dark and excruciating road of the healing process and the civilian integration, as a veteran, as a spouse, as a couple, as a family.
So, Big Lion who wished I would go back home, in order to help this country’s hero-your brother in arms-my husband, I would like to know how to «support the operational efforts» of a war that only exists in my husband’s mind but is a reality within the walls of our fortress.
Septembre 2015, I’m now burned out.. For the first time of my life, I fell down on my knees, exhausted, disconnected and mostly angry. Angry at the political system that silently accepted the «Caregiver Relief Benefit», angry at the politicians who are supporting it and can sleep at night when I can’t, angry to be a dependent vet’s spouse who has nothing left and who can’t leave her husband because making him «her everything» has left her with absolutely nothing and I became very angry at some of our notorious Big Lions who unwisely spent money from a donation: as much as Karma will be rewarding for many Big Lions, for others, I expect her to be a total bitch. (thank you for allowing me to express this unnecessary part!)
Still, «I am just a vet’s spouse».
In the political arena, it was enough for people to open their door and listen to what I had to say but for the Big Lions, it meant nothing.
In their eyes, I turned into a «Flash-in-a-pan». Did I?
Listening and observing them was educational: they taught me the art of war..of their war. A war that I also wanted to be a part of, at one point. But a war I came to despise, as ego is more important than the cause. An ego fought through media appearances and fought through the political relationships.
It’s all about in who’s office you get to rest or who’s paying you a drink after a meeting.. or who’s pizza you eat at the Veterans Affairs committee.
In fact, many veterans are defending the families and promoting the vital role of caregivers. But on a political perspective, I worked hard to deserve, in the eyes of the Big Lions, the title of «advocate» and be someone more than just «The Vet’s spouse who ran after Fantino» who got to be promoted to be «Flash-in-a-pan».
Ego, in this world, is an absolute necessity. But I also believe to be wise enough to realize that I have failed with the Big Lions but I owe them everything. Because they ignored me, they forced me to find myself. I didn’t succeed in becoming a credible advocate. But I am succeeding becoming everything else, most importantly, me.
«Flash-in-pan’s Operation Freedom»¸is not over..but the part with you, is.
Thank you, Big Lions. It was an honor to meet with you but as you can see, I finally understood that my place is not with you.