All dressed up and having nowhere to go. A dilemma.
All dressed up and having nowhere to go, that is how Jo Anne Tenzer and I feel.
We met at Acupuncturists Without Borders’ (AWB) trauma acupuncture training. A Swede and a Brit, ready to jump in and do what we do best; armed with compassion, help people.
We learned how to do trauma treatments in a field situation, and also how to do trauma work in our communities. On the Metro North train, returning from the last day of training in the city, we decided to band together and open a clinic treating Veterans and First Responders suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We formed PCVAC.
That sounds like a fantastic idea, doesn’t it?
We read every day about the minimal support the veterans receive when they return from an assaignment, often broken both physically and emotionally. Sometimes the wounds are invisible but they hurt as bad or worse as any amputated limb. The news reports tells us about the TWENTY-TWO veterans ending their lives EVERY DAY.
I can only imagine why. When the demons won’t go away and there is little or no support for them – what else can they do?
These men and women are putting their lives on the line – literally – and then are forgotten.
So here we are. Jo Anne and I, all dressed up and having nowhere to go. We have support from AWB, all the needles we need were donated to us, we have a lovely room in a library to work in, Dunkin Donuts happily donates coffee and donuts but there is no one to treat.
Could it be the perceived stigma of being ‘weak’ if they show signs of PTSD?
These women and men are after all the tough ones, and I write that with respect, so showing signs of (perceived) weakness may not come easy for them.
Acupuncture is apparently not as mainstream as I would like to believe.
Let me add that the clinic is free. We are open to Veterans, First responders and their spouses. Active or retired.
How do we reach them?