Bear and I returned home last night from North Carolina where we screened Halfway Home, a documentary we are in that deals with PTSD and how it affects some people and ways to get treatment. It was amazing to watch. It was so well laid out and I feel like it was very effective at getting the message across by using very powerful clips of raw moments. I loved how it featured professionals who were able to explain a little bit about what and why we were going through what we were.
I felt so honored to be a part of something with so much potential to impact people. After the screening I was able to speak with some of the people who came to the screening and I was shocked at how much the story affected them. I guess since it is something that is just part of my daily life I don’t think about how others may see it, or how others can relate. What amazed me the most about this film though, was how I go through feelings or have certain reactions to things in life and feel so alone. I feel like no one around me really understands it, but to hear what the other guys go through, and how they react the same ways I do, it made me feel more normal somehow. They said things that I know I have verbatim said, (“People went through worse than me, so why am I like this?”, etc.) and it just amazed me that I really am not alone in this. Intellectually I know I am not alone, but emotionally I do feel it.
I really hope that this film gets picked up by someone because I feel that it is different from other war documentaries and I feel, I honestly feel, that there is something in this film, about the layout or the very strong statements made in it, that reaches out and grabs the soul of the person watching it. I had never seen it before that night so I didn’t know the stories of the others in it. I felt compelled to reach out and hug Mary and wanted to comfort everyone who was in it. It just hit me that hard. Watching the struggles that everyone has had to deal with. The losses, losing friends, marriages, homes, jobs, and above all, loss of self, that every one of us (vets as well as family) has had to go through.