The Cost of War, heroes and #metoo
Imagine for a moment we aren’t talking about #metoo.
Imagine something else had happened.
Imagine that instead of women’s metoo stories it had started with the story of one soldier. And then the stories of more soldiers.
Men and Boys. Young men and old men. And men in the middle.
Imagine that there had been a sudden and huge outpouring of their stories related to the things they have seen, the horror they have witnessed, the pain they have suffered, the things they have had done to them.
Imagine that spread like wildfire, across all nations.
Imagine those soldiers being able to talk about that in the pub properly for the first time. Or with their wives or their sons, their daughters or their fathers and mothers.
Imagine that all the soldiers, so many of them, for one moment in time spoke their truths about that.
Spoke the truth about the trauma of war at an individual and collective level.
And sit with that for a moment.
Keep sitting with that.
Feel every single last word and tear and scream.
Sit with that for a few days.
Then imagine that some women soldiers started to say “It’s not just men soldiers, it’s women soldiers too”.
Then imagine that some started to say “it’s us too”.
And some other “Don’t forget us, it happens to us too.”
Then imagine that the conscientious objectors started to say “It’s not just war. This happens to me too.”
And then imagine that the people started to say “Yes, but HOW bad was your experience really?” “I mean did you get your legs blown off?” “Did you see dead bodies? How many dead bodies?” “Were you tortured?” “Did they set fire to you?”
Imagine people started to attempt to grade the trauma. Approving of some and belittling the experiences of others.
Then imagine that lots of people who “look” like generals, other soldiers and arms dealers started to make videos saying “Ok, ok. We know we sent you to war. Please, don’t blow this out of proportion. We aren’t all guilty of sending you to war.”
And then a lot of people who “look like” the people who were responsible for sending all these men to war, start to say “so now we need to move on from this, yeah?”. And that starts to spread that everywhere.
And imagine this all happens in a period of a few months.
All those soldiers who thought that for a moment they might be listened to, when they started to speak up about the trauma and PTSD and consequences of that on their lives and all those that know them. Imagine that they are then suddenly swamped with people analysing and commenting on their levels of trauma. People trying to bring them into healing. People challenging them. People pushing them. Bombarding them with story after story and image after image. Its in every newspaper, on every media outlet, it’s in every pub, workplace and household.
Imagine people then saying “You have a choice to look at this you know. You can choose to look away.”
Imagine people saying “I hear your rage here and it seems like it is clouding your judgement about war and about me because I didn’t send you to war.”
Those stories of those men need to be told and need to be heard and need to be healed.
#metoo is the outpourings of women who have been at war. All their lives. All their mother’s lives.
All their grandmother’s lives.
Right back until as far as anyone can remember.
So maybe acknowledging that trauma, unboxed is currently VERY present might begin to adjust your behaviours online around #metoo. And maybe just maybe, we as humans can hear ALL the other stories that release our individual and collective trauma so it may come into a time of healing.
Maybe, I do hope so.
For the first 15 years of my career I worked in the defence industry. I worked with all those people who went to war and came home. I also worked with the people and was one of the people who helped arm them. I saw what those poor souls went through. I saw it and I felt it and it broke me. From then on I vowed that I would listen. I would listen and I would love. I would love their rage and their anger, I would love their pain and their tears. I would just love. Because nothing else is good enough.
#metoo #trauma #ptsd #healing #heartheheroes #helpforheroes #humanity