Thursday, April 19, 2012

Judge Mental

(Reuters / Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
If you haven't already read Craig Walker's Pulitzer-winning photo essay about Scott Ostrom, suffering from PTSD after four years (four years!) in Iraq, please take a few minutes to do so. I'll wait.

Back already? Was your heart broken? Did you read to the end so you gained hope again?

I have a confession to make: the first time I read the article and pored over the pictures, I was judging Scott. Even with all my spouting about mental health, I judged him.

"Well," I thought, "who knows what kind of messed-up jerk he was before he enlisted."

I sympathized with the potential landlord. "I sure wouldn't want him punching holes in my walls, even if he did have honorable discharge papers."

"Sheesh. If he chooses a girlfriend like that, then he kind of gets what he deserves," I thought. Which is what he thought too. "I needed someone to affirm the way I felt about myself ... I felt like if I stayed with that person long enough and received enough punishment, then I have in some way sought redemption for my actions overseas in Iraq," he shares.

And then I despaired. How on earth could any treatment - residential or not - make this man whole again? I was sure he would, as he predicted, end up on the street, shivering and terrified, trapped in his own living hell.

Then I saw the last picture. I had to look at it several times and re-read the caption because I didn't recognize Scott at all. He was a completely different person. Thank God.

He put a hand out and asked for help. Thank God there was someone there to hold it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...