When I first saw that I got 100% from the VA, permanent and total, I was in shock. Then I was happy. Then more shock. Then happiness again. I think I have been on this rollercoaster the entire time since I found out. I got the packet yesterday and read the entire thing twice. It still doesn’t feel real. I feel scared to talk too much about it and I don’t want anyone to know, really, but I actually got will be getting special monthly compensation (SMC-S) because I meet the requirements for housebound. The packet does acknowledge that while my records don’t indicate that I am housebound, I still qualify for that category.
The hardest part of all of this was reading the details all of the conditions. Some were pretty easy to read and I knew I’d get something for most of them. I know I have lost flexibility in a bunch of joints and that was no surprise. Reading about what the examiner wrote about PTSD was too much though. It hurt. Although everything she wrote was true, it made me feel bad; like I was a bad person. There is more work for me to do on coping with being bad/good. I have always struggled with seeing too much in black and white, and not enough of the gray area.
All of those traits of PTSD are present at varying times and levels because of what happened to me, NOT because of who I am. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. It’s going to take me awhile to actually believe that. For now, I will just not read all that again and remember that I am getting disability money at least.
But if I could do it all over again, I think I might’ve made a different choice. I don’t think I would’ve gone into the military. I’ve given up a lot more. I am happy with the path my life has taken, though, so it was worth it.
So that’s where my head is on this Veteran’s Day.
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