Status Updates Are Sensitive Things

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This concept would have been foreign to me in high school. My youngest sister, now in high school, wields her status update with the flair of a bubbly, insightful teenager eager to share her life with the world. I, on the other hand, vacillate between posting too much or not posting at all.

When Facebook launched, I was in college. Back then it was about communicating with people in your classes and social groups quickly. This was before texting was easy or cheap. Qwerty keyboards on phones were reserved for the elite and their Blackberries. Then Facebook evolved to include the general public. Nowadays, people are in a position to make informed decisions about what to post on Facebook. Some consider wisely, some just type and click.

When my husband was injured, it was during the wee hours of the morning. I was in shock. My only thought was, "It's too early in the morning to call people." So I posted an update to Facebook that was alarming, to say the least. They proceeded like this with each new update we received until the members of our support system starting waking and the phone calls began pouring in. I still think about this moment, analyze it, over and over again in my head. I think about how dissociated I was. I existed inside of the bubble that encompassed the emergency room and my husband's grunts and shouts of pain.

Now that my husband has been accepted into the Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor program with the Navy, I find myself once again considering how to communicate with family and friends via Facebook.  It is quick, easy, and people are able to follow up as desired.

Unfortunately, we are finding that this time around, the trickle in of phone calls and texts tend to possess a certain...disbelief. A common misunderstanding seems to be that Jeff is somehow less deserving than other wounded warriors, those wounded in combat to be more specific, or that he may be taking money away from others.

It's not as if we didn't have this worry ourselves, that we have not scrutinized every implication of this enrollment-this new label-in the same way we considered the roles and imagery associated with titles such as enlisted service member or military spouse. We had so many questions for Jeff's recovery team in the beginning just to allay these fears and insecurities. The unanimous answer has been all injured and ill service members are deserving, and there is no shortage of funds that would preclude anyone from receiving the assistance they need.

I find myself holding back on Facebook now, and maybe it's for the better, because there is just so much information. Too much. We have become entrapped by the wealth of resources and information at our fingertips that seems so inaccessible at the moment. It is overwhelming sometimes. I find myself not wanting to share this burden with others, even while I sometimes want to scream about how overwhelmed I feel.

In short, status updates are a sensitive thing. In this day and age, they are immediate.  They have a powerful impact.

I feel like I am rambling tonight, but maybe it's because I haven't written in so long it is all just jumbled in my mind and I need to continue unraveling it a bit more. I know I'm not alone out there, because there are so many families caring for a wounded warrior. There are just so few blogs by caregivers; I wonder who else has experienced these issues.

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