Over the years I have said we do not suffer from PTSD but rather ATSD because there has been nothing post about the twenty one year, 365 days 24/7 threat of when the next Kassam will come or where it will land.
As I read a story about a mother who was taking her child to kindergarten and having to answer the hard question her toddler was asking; questions a Mother should never have to answer. “Is it safe to go outside?”, “Are they trying to kill us?” “Why can’t we play in the sand box today?” What does a mother tell a five year old? I started to feel sick, there was pain in my chest and the anxiety level started to climb. It was then I realized I was suffering from PTSD. It would have been very easy to sit there and just cry. What I was experiencing is nothing every other citizen of Sderot is experiencing as well. There is no one that is not affected by our way of life, not even the strongest men.
As we were getting bombarded over the eleven days, I refused to stop living. There were trips to the super market and to other stores. My sense of humor kicked in as I tried to lighten my wife’s fear. It didn’t work! As I joked she said “when you have heard “Tseva Adom” and you get out of the car and run to the bomb shelter only to find after the explosion, that the car you got out of just took a direct hit, it changes your life.” All of our lives have been changed forever.
Our hearts were broken and our security was shaken to its very core when we learned that a five year old boy in Sderot was killed when a piece of shrapnel from a Kassam that hit next to his apartment, blew through the ¾ inch thick plate steel window cover. Now our safe rooms, our bomb shelters were no longer safe as well. Now when Tseva Adom sounded we all hunkered down in the corner hoping to stay out of range of our ¾ steel plate window covers. On the night the IDF started to hit the Hamas underground tunnels, the explosions were non-stop for maybe an hour. They sounded like they were exploding in the front yard. You could feel the concussions of the explosions and there was what sounded like a constant sixty cycle hum.
So, looking “post” war, YES, we all suffer from PTSD and ATSD both at the same time.
What The Future Holds
We know from past experiences, this cease fire will not last; oh, it may last for a few years, but we WILL find ourselves right back; right back to running for our lives to bomb shelters or safe rooms. I really can’t say “right back” in the same situation as before, because for whatever length of time Hamas needs to re-stock, re-train and re-group they will use it to come back again on another day STRONGER than last time. After all that is what their definition “hudna” means not a cease fire like we would understand it. We have seen it now over the past four wars now and there is NOTHING to make me to believe any differently. If shrapnel can now penetrate the ¾ steel plate window cover what will the next war bring?
The situation I find ourselves in reminds me of when I was a little boy. I often found myself in trouble and I would hear the words of my mother “Wait until you father comes home”. I would go about the rest of the day forgetting that in a few hours my father would be coming home and all the wrath of dad would be upon me.
There is a cease fire for now and we move on and go about our days and sometimes we even forget where we live and who lives just across the border from us. We know in the back of our minds, all too well that in a few weeks, months or even years we will be right back to where we just were… sort of like when Dad came home.
So what does the future hold… unfortunately and sad to say, more of the same; more fear, more Kassams, more destruction and more death, BUT….
Tonight I can take a long shower without it being interrupted by Tseva Adom, I can sit outside and have a cup of coffee tomorrow morning, I can sleep with the window open and enjoy the fresh air , or can I???
In spite of it all, I thank GOD for the peace we have today, right here and now; all that can change before I push the send button and post this to our web site. He has been and will always be our Hope For Sderot.