Always afraid, always needed to talk, but didn’t.
The recoil from pain is instinctual. For a long, long time survivors do not wish to talk about the past.
The need to be heard, is why I can still find so many stories of World War II survivors who share, who still need to share. Sharing is therapy. Sharing is walking through times of deep loneliness, and knowing that talking creates an as-if. It is an as-if your friend’s love was there all along. And if a friend can love so much, the possibility that maybe God was there after all too.
In my family my mother recalls my father’s nightmares early in their marriage.In the terror of nightmares, again he would be starving, trapped, imprisoned, performing slave labor over useless rows of growing food that never went to the civilian prisoners.
In my family my mother remembers my father happy in the early ears of their marriage. Yet every supper for a long time he had to ask, “Is there more?”
Eventually he didn’t need to ask as much. Yet my sister and I remember the question, so it never totally left.
Is there more? Is-there-more lingered.
Now POW’s and civilian survivors of the Japanese concentration camps of World War II, still provide for each others’ Istheremore. This Istheremore is the one of words. Is there more to say? Yes.
I think my father perhaps gave himself only one opportunity to say, “Thereismore, (to say)” and that is when he was experienced severe PTSD, during my teen years. It turned out the others with PTSD were Vietnam vets, and they wanted to say their own Istheremores. I hope that he and the Viet Nam veterans did tell each other more.
This photo is believed to be liberated boys in September 1945. Six weeks of food and protection, yet the brutality of concentration camp life shows. Each boy, is still emaciated, thin faces with haunted eyes. . When were you always afraid? How is it when you talk of the fear? Is there more? Tell me.