I have been married for 37 years,there is so much I could say about it all. How Vietnam has hurt me and my children and we weren't even there. I have been writing about it for years in my journals. I started because he told me the thing he did didn't happen or weren't happening. The physical and emotional abuse, not coming home at night, the drinking, never being good enough none of us.
My son who went into the Army and served two tours in Iraq (didn't have it as hard as him). Today I wanted to share with you today some words from my journal and a poem I wrote. I wrote this after my daughter got messed up on booze and pills. She never had a problem until she turned 34 years old.
Over time,but it seemed like a day, I saw everything differently. It was like a awakening from and deep slumber and having a dream which made everything clear. The dream made me realize my life could be different without you. The awaking hurt and it made me cry, it was not easy. I would hold my pillow to my chest and cry into it's folds so you could not hear. Only the soft creeks and canyons which my pillow made as I held it to my face. It seemed like all the abuse, which I had locked in the dark left ventricle of my heart had leaked out and spilled out into a puddle of light. The light was my daughter It was her sickness which awoke my like a phoenix coming out of the fire. I saw her empty eyes, her sadness. The liquid sickness which consumed her and now me, I realized I could not contain you and her in my room. You became like a weed I had become use to, but needed to pull.
Everything you did mad me afraid. You were always lying so you could do the same thing over and over again. you were like a rat always nibbling on poison, but you were immune and never died. I would wake up afraid, because I was the one dying. There was no love in me anymore.
I just felt empty like you. The poison had seeped into my skin. my only salvation was the stars I gazed up into each night and early in the morning., and my God who I cried out to.
I would always hope when I looked out into those heavens. That all my children would hear me and know how much I loved them and wanted them to forgive me for always being being their fathers point man and protecting him. Always trying to explain to them why it was so hard. I wanted them to understand I was tired of being there for everyone, but nobody was ever there for me to understand.
You are the mirror man, a hard cold reflection.
Inside glowing embers of the past, light up the empty tomb within.
They swirl and dance upon the rotting dead, the faces in your dreams.
I hear your cries as you play the game.
Hunter and hunted like tiger and prey.
Horror filled landscape I can not enter.
Then silence, the demon is there with you and leaches.
Delusions, I am the angel who wraps my wings around.
The warmth you sometimes reach for.
I see your dark curls wet with moisture
Memories of moist damp places drip away.
Breathe; he is but an illusion with out direction.
Tell me how to heal the wounded boy who is without sin.
To kiss away the scourge who haunts the jungles and swollen streams.
Scream no more my broken warrior; I am here just the same.
Hands reach to pull you from the enemy within your center.
No foreign mud to sleep in, you are in your bed okay.
Let me be the stronghold where the demons can not breach.
What? I hear you whisper and the stars and moon make no sound
Just a dream, just a dream standing at our door
Go back to sleep I’ll watch the garden gate
So you may live without feeling for another day.
Submitted by The wife of a disabled Vietnam Vet