Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Female Veteran by Ty Will

First I want to applaud Ms. Will for having put this data out there. It's very revealing. It takes a lot of guts to put something so personal out there for the world. I understand she's done it to help other women who may be suffering from MST, Military Sexual Trauma.

PTSD is not just for combat veterans.

The book shows us the ongoing frustrations a female veteran goes through for YEARS after the trauma; her inability to talk about it, her struggle between wanting help and throwing it away by refusing to discuss the issue, her discomfort with men, her constant job losses. It all goes back to one--I should say series of, actually--bad situation(s) she experienced in the military.

I'm reminded of a graphic I saw on FB one day. It said this:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything." It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

This book is a prime example of holding that glass of water for way too long. 

It takes her years to get past what happened to her, years of being put through the wringer by the VA. She's passed from psychologist to psychologist, doctor to doctor, put through the wrong treatment. She has MST, not combat PTSD or drinking/drugs problem.

You can tell because the book contains...actually IS, all her psychologists' notes and reports. 

Therein lies the trouble with this book. Because the book is mostly those notes, it becomes a tad repetitive. She goes doctor to doctor and each doctor asks the same questions and writes the same data in their reports. Probably not the best way to put together a book, BUT if it becomes tedious for the reader, imagine how it was for her.

Each report is punctuated, however, with an angry or sometimes funny comment from the author, showing us her reaction to these doctors and the story behind her actions. SOMETIMES it felt as though she were making excuses for herself. Other times, I LOL'd.

"I don't particularly like this doctor; he is quite the character. When you sit at his desk to talk with him, his desk is full of water bottles and all sorts of cups too. Some bottles are full of soda pop, some are full of coffee, others are full of juice, and then there are some half full. This is very distracting--I mean there are at least twenty to thirty water bottles. Personally, I think this guy needs help more than me, and that's saying a lot!"

The next dr reports says that "She also made a rude comment about the amount of drinking glasses on my desk."

Technically, this story isn't funny. What she went through at the swimming pool and later in an apt, is NOT funny, but I appreciate how the author made me laugh anyway.

Had the story been told in a different manner, I would like it more. I just don't think the psychologists'-reports method was the way to go. Obviously the author has a good voice and I'm curious as to how the book would have been had she chosen to narrate her story.

On that note, however, if you are a woman veteran who has suffered MTS, be sure you get the CORRECT help. Talk to your care providers about seeking the appropriate venue of therapy. I can tell from this book, that if you don't know what you are getting into, you'll just be pumped full of drugs, shuffled doctor to doctor, and not receive the right therapy you need.

I received this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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