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My Life Story Case

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My Life Story

Wow, this is the hard assignment for me. I wish I could give you my life story, but someone will have to give it to me first. I was injured in Iraq when a 57mm rocket landed within 20 meters of me. I was slammed into the corner of a trailer; I hit my head, my back, and landed in a way that tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee. When I came to all I could think was what the hell just happened to me? I knew who I was, where I was, and why I was there, but so much else seemed fuzzy. I began to notice differences in my personality, problems with my vision, I had the worst headaches ever, and I had problems with my short and long term memory. At first, I wasn't really trying to or needed to recall events from my past. I would go to the doctors and complain about the headaches, but all I got was, "You have PTSD," "You have PTSD and this is your body's way of dealing with the mental trauma," and my favorite of all time, "You're a girl, you don't know how to handle stress because you are a girl, you have PTSD. You need to do pushups." Have you ever been threatened with hospitalization because you threatened to put your size 4 ½ combat boot up someone's ass? I HAVE!! Apparently I have anger management issues.

The more time passed, the more people began asking me questions. Did I remember this or that? Do I remember this person or that person? The more someone asked, the more I realized I didn't. My ex-husband and I remained friends and he made a comment about how I wasn't reading like I used to. I asked what he meant and he told me that I used to read a book every couple of days, but he noticed that I was reading the same book more than a week later. I would have to go back and reread passages to understand what I had just read. When I read letters float and I get headaches. When I type, I type letters out of order. When I write, everything starts neat, but turns into scribble soon after. I bump into furniture and walls all the time. I have bruises that I cannot explain for the life of me.

I think this affects my oldest daughter more than it does me. I know who my immediate family is, even if I can't recall specific memories. Other people have been forever erased. But for my daughter, she asks if I remember when we did one activity after another, I can see the hurt in her eyes when I say no. Those were special memories to her; I think she feels that they meant nothing to me so I let them go, forever forgotten. I swear I didn't. I would much rather have those memories then the ones I got saddled with. The ones that I would prefer to never remember.

Anything I remember is connected to a traumatic event. I remember almost every day in Iraq; but not much before that. It's like life didn't begin until I got to Iraq and maybe it should have ended there as well. I feel like the shell of someone I was supposed to be. Like my soul was left behind. I still have heart, broken, but still beating. I remember everything about the soldiers I lost, every conversation, every joke told, every argument we ever fought. So, why do I remember those people and those events, but my life before is gone? Why do remember their deaths so clearly, even the ones that happened before my injuries occurred? Why do they haunt my nightmares?

I have moved on since Iraq. Sure I have to look at the phase of the moon before going to bed every night. But for the most part I have moved on. I got remarried to man that I went to Officer Candidate School with. We were also deployed together. He helped me through a very traumatic day. We were friends before and we waited until after the deployment to actually date each other. We both were stationed in Europe at the same time after the deployment, him in Belgium and me in Germany.

During that time he took me down to Lake Como, Italy and proposed. I say it's the most romantic night ever because truly, no one could out do what he did. He reserved a room at the Villa d' Este, seriously, Google that place. He had dinner brought up to our room, which cost 1000 Euro a night, and they had these beautiful dishes with the sliver lids on them. We had a balcony and they set the table out on the balcony overlooking the lake. We sat down, the waiter removed the lid and there on the plate was the best thing I ever saw; a 10oz rib eye with French fries. You laugh, but that's my favorite dinner. To get good steak, by American standards is almost impossible in Germany. They did a great job. After the dinner the waiter brought in lemon gelato;



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