So last night- I finally saw Hacksaw Ridge- if you can say I saw it; because I became the reason they only allow you one alcoholic beverage in the theater (I am sure other people were thinking when seeing me there).
I love Military History- documentaries, books, movies. Give me some Brad Pitt in a World War 2 uniform, regardless if it is a Tarrantino movie (sorry Q)- and I am sold over a rom-com any day. This one was even more anticipated as the stars visited where I work- throwing us some side love to the military. It felt like a Bob Hope Christmas USO Special.
Sure enough, the movie starts. My A.D.D. is strong in the beginning (sounds like The Force from Star Wars- wrong movie reference). I was the annoying one in the theater, checking my phone, waiting for the movie to "get started." Tapping my foot, wondering if I took my meds. I keep waiting for Vince Vaughn to crack a joke. He didn't. I don't think at least. He played a serious role and I was waiting on the edge of my seat for the punchline. He definitely didn't have the Tom Hanks' softness of Private Ryan. He was more like the guy in the Smokey Bear you didn't want to see in Boot Camp- adding to his swift tempo of his speech- and he could deliver a tongue lashing better than Indiana Jones and his whip.
The action starts- the scene is intense. The platoon (or whatever the unit is called in the army) moves in. There is an intense battle scene- I see open gut wounds and in one scene- the soldier picks up a body without the legs and uses it as shield to move closer to the enemy. And who loses it? Yup, this girl. The same girl who has over 400 military history documentaries. The one who did the Bataan Death March Marathon- 26.2 miles in the desert in honor of the event. I have volunteered for hours in Veterans' Hospitals. I never winced when I saw burns, missing limbs or scars. My mind thinks to the mothers of these soldiers and I see my son- who had jumped from a balcony. I saw his pale white legs coming out of the windshield- I saw blood and I saw his legs. I thought he was dead. I couldn't handle the battle scenes once I saw the limbs of the mannequins or actors. I was taken back to my balcony.
I left the theater- my body crawled into a ball outside of the movie theater (the spectators probably were thinking this woman needed AA or an intervention). I began to relive the moment the accident occurred, no matter the smell of the popcorn and the patterns of the carpet, my mind and body were transported back to the time when Kiernan's fall occurred. PTSD yeah you know me was the theme of the night.
I went back to the time of Kiernan's suicide attempts- this last one the most major. Somehow I knew my life and myself would never be the same. Everything is different. Everyone around me I see differently. I haven't figured it out yet. I made a commitment to be authentic in the podcast- because I was tired of carrying around the secrets of mental illness of my son. I was tired of carrying around other's issues and projection of other people's fears and judgements. I was tired of being censored. Always trying to please everyone else. However, I am taken to task now on speaking my truth, being authentic, even if it is just to figure myself out and inspire others. Because whether I liked it or not, I jumped off that balcony with him for mental health issues- I have to now heal along with him. I have to make sense of it. I have see if there is a purpose. I won the lottery, that I didn't enter, on maybe helping others- although at times it feels more like I ended up in Shirley Jackon's The Lottery. I see some humor in it. Even podcasts aren't sacred now apparently. And maybe someone is listening out there.
However, with everything, just as the movie came to conclusion, so did my PTSD episode. All we can do is to take each day- one day at a time. Not worry about what hasn't happened yet. And maybe just maybe you can find a place- be it in a darkened movie theater, a bubble bath or over a glass of wine- where you can just be yourself. Not wondering what others are thinking. Not wondering what is expected of you. A moment frozen in time. Just being one with yourself- not carrying others' issues but all your glorious self- good, bad, because those moments of adversity brought you to the beautiful mess you are today.
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