Archive for the 'veterans' Category

Outsider

June 21, 2012

I wonder if there are circumstances in which a person returns from a long absence to find they can’t fit into what they left and are returning to, that they are too changed by it.  Soldiers come to mind, the incarcerated, even astronauts or members of the Peace Corps.

What interests me here is how their difficulties become compounded if they are counseled that they can fit back in but in fact they actually can’t as things stand — if they are now outside the system they left, they probably need to take that as their starting point, not try to make things work according to the old system as if nothing had happened.  It’s not that they wouldn’t be bearing in mind the goals and values of the old system, it would be a recognition by them that they could no longer reach those goals through the same mechanisms as others who never left can use, that the system will never respond to them in the same way again, so they have to find other, acceptable, ways to reach the goals, interact with others, and get their needs met.  But it also means that they would not get caught up in paying into a system that would no longer respond to them as it used to and therefore they wouldn’t become as frustrated by the fact it will not operate as before.

I am thinking this is true for people who go on spiritual journeys, too.