Women & PTSD

by Deborah Grassman
Opus Peace

Visions of War, Dreams of Peace (Van Devanter L, Furey JA ed. NY: Warner Books, 1991) is written by women who served in the Vietnam War, suffered PTSD, and used poetry to heal the experience decades later, so that peace could then ensue. Its eye-opening contents make the struggle to recover from the aftermath of war very real.

I Went to Vietnam to Be a Nurse Healer

by Dusty
I went to Vietnam to heal
and came home silently wounded.
I went to Vietnam to heal
and still awaken from nightmares about those we couldn’t save.
I went to Vietnam to heal
and came home to grieve for those we sent home blind, paralyzed, limbless, mindless.
So I go on seeing the wounded when I hear a chopper,
washing your screams in my sleep, scrubbing
the smell of your burned bodies from my clothes,
feeling your pain, which never eases,
fighting a war that never ends.

My Dead are not Silent

by Dana Shuster
My dead are not silent.
They scream in my dreams.
My dead are young soldiers
Spent, wasted, discarded.
They paid the price for political ploys, strategic follies, tactical errors.
The politicians and planner, the orderers and senders
discomfited but unshamed
demand my dead lie quiet
my grief be smothered
my ache be shunned
my memories denied.
But my dead will not be stilled.
They will not be shelved
Numbered
Catalogued
Straightened into sanitized rows.
Their blood yet drips through my soul
Their moans still echo through my heart.
How can I make you hear?

Some Days

by Joan Furey
Some Days I can’t help but remember,
when these very young men without their arms or legs or half their faces,
looked to me for hope, encouragement, strength or peace.
When hidden behind my smile of, “It’ll be OK”
was the burden of the lie, that knew that it wouldn’t.
Anger! The Anger!
The silent, stoic anger.
The anger at the death
The anger at the carnage
The anger at the demands that could not be met
The pain that could not be stopped
The wounds that could not be healed
The tears that could not be shed.
Become numb to the pain,
Become numb to the cries,
Become numb to the death,
Walk away from the grief.
When I finally came home, I came home to a life
That no longer was real.

Thanks Nurse

by Diane Carlson Evans
If our country could have known
but one dying man,
Alone in Vietnam
with that look on his face
and hopelessness in his eye.
If this country could have seen
the courage he had
and concern for his friends.
If this country could have wept in his tears
and told him he was good.
If only this country would have listened
they would have learned of his experience
and his sacrifice and then told him they were proud.
If only there would have been a
“Thanks.”

For Molly

by Lynda Van Devanter Buckley
What did you do in the war, Mommy?
hazel eyes shining brightly.
I wrote a story about a war Mommy
Where nobody got guns or dead
This one was a good war.
Why do you have tears now, Mommy?

We Went, We Came

by Janet Krause Wyatt
We went to the war;
We came back to chaos.
We went with the values of healing and caring;
We came back with the hatred for a nation.
We went believing in a just cause;
We came back suspicious of our great leaders.
We went thinking our young bodies immortal;
We came back knowing we were used and fragile.
We went innocent and forgiving;
We came back embittered and intolerant.
We went alone and open;
We came back alone and isolated.
We went whole and unwise;
We came back fragmented and wise.
We went to the Wall;
We came away with hope.

Education. Compelling workshops presented in unusual and engaging ways on intriguing topics: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Aging, Personal Healing, Veteran issues, Self-Care, Chronic Illness, End-of-Life care, Spiritual Growth, PTSD, Forgiveness, Good Grief.

Low-cost Retreats. 1, 2, or 3-day retreats in your city or ours (Tampa). Topics include: Soul Injury, Soul Restoration, Personal Growth and Healing, Forgiveness, Aging.

Soul Restoration Ceremonial Workshops. Caregiving, whether personal or professional, takes a toll! Understandably, we often disconnect from the pain. Disconnecting from the part of self carrying the pain contributes to loss of energy, emptiness, and compassion fatigue. This 4-8 hour ceremonial workshop will provide a restorative experience for your staff or your patients’ families.

Soul Injury Ceremonial Workshops. We will help your community organize, plan, and implement a ceremony for combat veterans which helps them lay down any burdens of unmourned grief or unforgiven guilt they may still be carrying. The gaping hole in our society from the aftermath of war can be healed!

Book Circles for Personal Growth.Utilizing the book, The Hero Within: Redeeming the Destiny We Were Born to Fulfill, we will help you grow small communities of people who want to cultivate pervasive personal peace.

Book Circles for Veterans. Utilizing the book, Peace at Last: Stories of Hope and Healing for Veterans and Their Families, you can become an agent of healing for our nation’s heroes by hosting a book circle for veterans and their families.

Free web-based Materials, Tools, Resources, and Blogs.

We offer these services with our Opus Peace prayer: Cultivate in me, oh God, the willingness to re-own and re-home scattered pieces of myself so that I might be restored to Your wholeness. Grow in me the honesty, humility, and courage to release my fears of who I am and who I am not. Fuel me with your Grace. Amen